Who knew

that eyeliner was the new crayon?

our bathroom door
bathroom cupboards
the tile surround and our tub

Obviously, I didn't pay close enough attention to the notes to self!

Or maybe this is payback for when I took crayon to wall. A white wall. In our living room. On the day of my brothers HS graduation party. It was a nice hand turkey though. Probably some of my best work. 

Eyeliner cleans up better than crayon. I might have gotten off easy- this time!



The smallest airplane I have ever flown on is a one hundred passenger plane-that is until last Friday ....

We had a field trip to the airport with our church homeschool group.  We have a dad who is a pilot - he and his wife arranged a field trip where we could learn about airplanes and tour a jet, life flight, and a prop plane.  As our field trip was winding down, the husband and wife who planned the field trip convinced our tour guide to take our kids on an airplane ride.

As this discussion was taking place, my heart was going pitter patter. The thought of putting my children on a six passenger plane was putting me in a slight panic. As the other parents were cheering with excitement, I was trying to act excited and hide my fear.

When I looked at my kids jumping up and down cheering, their faces filled with excitement I knew my fears could not/would not hold them back from this experience.
Morgan went up in the first group. As she and three of her friends walked towards the plane, they were holding hands and bouncing with excitement and a bit of anxiousness.  When they returned, there were plenty of squeals and little girl giggles as they told of their flight.    

Landon was going up in the second group and there was room for parents on this flight.  I was in a bit of an internal dilemma.  You see I do not like to fly, I fly only out of necessity but I was also a bit intrigued by the idea of seeing our city from the air.  

It was hard to pass up an opportunity to take a FREE flight and share this experience with my kids so I decided to be brave and go for it.

It was amazing!  The view from the air was spectacular.  My emotions ranged from anxiety and nervousness to excitement and wonder.  Landon was in awe the entire time. He just looked out the window with his eyes wide open taking it all in. 

I am so thankful for the generosity of our tour guide to give our children this opportunity. It is something they are still talking about days later and something none of us will ever forget!

landon playing pilot in a jet
morgan's turn in the pilot seat
the single prop plane we took on our airplane ride
view from the plane
capital/downtown boise from the plane


Playing Hooky

The sunscreen has been lathered, the summer clothes pulled from drawers and closets because today we are going to play.  We are going to swing on the swings, bike around the neighborhood, play in the sandbox, have a picnic lunch and eat ice cream in the middle of the day.

There is laundry to be folded, floors to be vacuumed and washed, bathrooms to be cleaned and schoolwork to be done but those things will still be there tomorrow and the next day. Today, we need to embrace the nice weather (our first nice day in weeks) and have some fun. We need to forget our work and responsibilities and just play.  We need to laugh and be silly.  

Today is a day that is about taking a break from all other responsibilities and just being with my kids. Really being with them - listening to their chatter, focusing on their interactions and conversations, watching their imaginations in action, and observing new skills they have developed.  

Today we are playing hooky.


3 Things

Shannon tagged me for this fun little survey!
3 places I go all the time: Costco, Library, the gym (taking Morgan to/from gymnastics)
3 people who email me: Morgan, Kara, Val
3 favorite places to eat: Culvers, Whiskey River (both back home), I don't really have a favorite here
3 places I would rather be right now: in MN visiting my family/friends, on a beach vacation, on a date with my hubby to the movies
3 people who will do this: I am going to give more than 3 so maybe 3 people will do it :o) Sarah (short stop), Lynn, Jenni, Rachel, Val, Earen, Renee, Denise
3 TV shows I could watch over and over: Friends, Amazing Race, So You Think You Can Dance


Where oh where is Landon?

Oh, there he is hiding in the top of his closet!
Oh my boy, my boy!

* of course I had to get a picture before getting him down and having a little chat about scaling his shelves to get to the top of his closet! 


Late Bloomer

She is my late bloomer. She crawled late - around 9 months. She walked late - almost 15 months. She is a late talker - she has only about 10 words in her vocabulary. 

When she wasn't crawling, I was not concerned. I knew it would come eventually and life was fairly easy when I could leave her in a room to play while I made dinner or helped one of the other kids. There was never a concern that she would crawl off and be near the stairs or get into somethings that she shouldn't.

When she wasn't walking, I was not concerned. She was taking a few steps but for a long time had no desire to walk or even cruise around the furniture. The fact that she wasn't walking kept her my baby for a bit longer.  Since she is most likely our last baby, I enjoyed the fact that she wasn't walking and still depended on her mama. I knew when she started walking their would be a whole new list of challenges and a fight for independence.

When she wasn't talking, I will admit I was a bit concerned. I was excited for this stage, I love watching kids develop their language. Since her sister and brother were early talkers, I wasn't sure my expectations should be at this stage. At her 15 month check up I asked the doctor about it.  Our doctor assured me that she was within the normal range for vocabulary.  (I reminded myself to stop comparing her to her siblings!)  I know her language will develop, like all her other skills but there are many days when I wish she could/would be able to express herself with words instead of frustrated shrieks and cries. 
There will be days when she surprises me with a new word. I am not sure how words like duck make it from brain to mouth yet eat, drink, up, or help - words that are used in her daily life- escape her vocabulary.  

This week she has gained a new word that she is practicing throughout her day.  Her new word is  NO!  It seems to be a favorite as she says it with a smile and a shake of her little head.  Oh how I have been waiting for her words to come, longing to watch her vocabulary develop, but this is one word I could have waited a little longer to hear.


Something Stinky

Mom, something stinks in here!

Those are the first words I hear as I open the car door to put Mauryn in her car seat. As Morgan is making this statement, I am hit with the smell.  The smell of something very unpleasant. I immediately wonder what got left in the car that is rotting.  We were on our way to the dentist office so investigating the source of the smell would have to wait.  Thankfully the dentist office is less than 5 minutes from our house.   

As soon as we return from the dentist office, I unload the children and everything from the car. The car seats, the misc toys, the trash, the pens, the shoes, and the coats.  With each item I remove, I am amazed by what I find and the sheer amount of stuff in our vehicle (anyone else have this issue?).   

I lift up floor mats, dig under seats, open every little compartment in search of the smell.  I can't pinpoint the exact spot.  I start to clean and the rotten smell is now mixed in with the smell of the cleaner.  After the car is clean and everything back in its place, the smell seems to be more faint. Either the smell of the cleaner has overpowered the smell of something rotten or I just don't notice the rotten smell anymore. The true test will be when we get in the car tomorrow, will we be hit with the smell of something unpleasant or the smell of a freshly cleaned car.  At least for a day, my vehicle is sparkling clean and vacuumed (gotta love the central vac hook up in the garage)!


Blonde or Brown?

This is my boy

This is his hair
This is the ongoing argument debate discussion in our home: blonde hair or brown hair?

Sleepy Heads

Umm, I think I have tired kiddos. It is 8:45 am and my first child has risen for the day!


The Shack

the shack
Since late January or early February, I have been reading Anna Karenina.  It has been a slow process getting through this book. I am thankful that I created my reading challenge or I would have given up by now and moved on to another book.  Anna sits on my night stand calling my name repeatedly to finish her.  A few weeks ago, I committed to not read anything else until I finished Anna.  I finally made it through a portion of the book that was painfully slow moving and started getting into some more interesting reading material again.

Just as I was getting back into Anna, I started hearing about this book called The Shack.  It was a book that intrigued me, but I was going to stick to my commitment to not read anything else until I had finished reading Anna.  I was content with my decision to add The Shack to my sidebar and read it next or even later this year.

Last week when the kids and I were at the library getting our books for school, there was The Shack. Sitting front and center on the display shelf calling my name.  I resisted, but only for a minute. I knew this book was just waiting there for me to check it out. I rarely find books that I want to read at the library when I am ready to read them. I regularly have to go online to request the books that I want to read.  So I picked it up, broke my commitment to Anna (sorry Anna!) and started reading. 

I wasn't sure what to expect in reading The Shack. Generally when I hear a book is "the best book" or a movie is wonderful, I set myself up for something wonderful and then feel disappointed.

Do I think The Shack was the best book I have ever read? No, I don't think it is the best book I have ever read, but I am not sure I have a book I think is the "best I have ever read".  I found the book to intrigue me.  There are parts of the story that are heartbreaking, parts that make profound (to me) statements about forgiveness, and our relationships with each other as well as the Trinity.  It isn't easy to understand the Trinity, it isn't easy to understand God's tremendous, unconditional love for us all - but I think this book gives a good perspective on it.  

I am going to read it again. There are so many things I know I missed the first time through and I want to revisit some of the things that touched me.  I really want to get my own copy so I can underline and highlight the things I want to remember.  I am strongly encouraging my husband, who is not a reader, to pick up this book and read it.  


Just so you know

 17 miles is a very long way when you are running -especially when it is windy and it starts to snow! (it is april right, no more snow please)

I felt good until between mile 14 and 15,  then my calves started to cramp and my legs were just plain tired. I was able to push through and finish my run. Thank you Lord! I am so thankful to have someone on my team who has a compatible running pace, because even when we are both focused and too tired to talk, it is just nice to know someone else is there probably thinking the same things and definitely feeling the same things.

After today, I know I am ready for my half marathon on May 17th. I felt good about my pace and my time.  I am thankful I have six more weeks to train. I am thankful for the encouragement and support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the coaches, mentors, and other participants. It has been such an awesome experience training through this group. 

Now, it is time for a hot shower and maybe a nap :o)



Sarah's post yesterday had me laughing out loud, but also thinking about how different the world is for our children because of technology.

My first memory of using a computer was in the fifth grade when we could go to the library and play Oregon Trail. On an Apple IIe. With a green screen. A floppy disk. No animation. No color. We thought we had hit the jackpot! I think our school library had two computers at the time and having a computer at home was a rarity.

Fast forward to my senior year in college when I was introduced to this new thing called email.  It was such a strange concept but now thirteen years later email is a part of my daily life. It is my main form of communication throughout my day as it allows me to maintain contact with friends and take care of some details of life without disrupting our school day.

I am amazed at how much my children know about the technology. My eight year old is fluent in terms about email, text messaging, and using instant messenger. She uses email and IM to communicate with her friends and her cousins who live far away.  It helps her to feel connected to those she left when we moved but it is something that I monitor closely.  She has friends who at eight have their own personal cell phones. Of course, she thinks it is very "cool" and the thoughts of her own cell phone dance in her head. I am the squasher of that dream - sorry babe but you are eight!

There are advances in technology every day. I know I will never be up to date on all the latest as I am not very tech savvy. But as my children approach the "tween" and teenage years, it concerns me as to where technology will take us. Where is the balance going to be with IM, email, text messaging, blogging, and the new things we don't even know about yet?  How do the conveniences of technology fit into our life and the values of our family? I surely don't want that comic strip to become a reality in our home.

A Future Writer?

This is how the babe has been spending some of her time, laying on her belly "writing". Now if we can just keep the crayons, pencils, and markers out of her mouth.....


Lessons from the playground

As she gets out of the stroller, her eyes grow wide, a smile spreads across her face, and her little feet are stamping the ground as fast as they can go. It is pure awe and excitement. It's her first trip to the park as a toddler. The first time she can run, climb, and explore this new place of wonder. She doesn't even know where to begin her exploration. Then her brother takes her chubby little hand and shows her the way. It only lasts a few minutes and then she wants to be on her own, figuring out this new place.

I watch her amazed at her lack of fear and her perseverance. I go behind her as she tries to climb a tall ladder. As I keep my hand on her back, she pushes it away. I stay right there, my hand mere inches from her back just in case she slips or gets distracted. It reminds me of our Heavenly Father, sitting there with His hands on our backs and how often we push Him away to do it on our own. But yet He is there, mere inches away to catch us when we fall and comfort us. He is always there to take care of us, to watch over us even when we think we don't need Him. So much like my toddler who thinks she is courageous and independent enough to master this playground on her own.

Then there is my preschooler, who only a year ago needed me to be in eyesight,  running and climbing not worried about where I am.  He would per
iodically run up to check in, not realizing my eyes were on him making sure he was safe and being careful.  There are times in our lives when our Father is so close, we need Him right there. Then we start to grow independent and our eyes turn from Him, occasionally looking back to see if He is really there.  In our hearts we know He is there, always taking care of us and how He must long for us to look to Him in everything. Just as I long for my preschooler to be looking back at me, still needing the security of his mother at every turn on the playground.   
My children are focused on exploring and finding their independence. They don't notice that I am watching over them and protecting them. They may find it more of a hinderance than a blessing at this age.  I am truly thankful for a Father who protects me, cares for me, watches over me, and loves me even when my eyes are not  turned on Him.  I am thankful for the lessons from the playground, reminding me that He is always there, waiting for me to turn to Him in everything. 


Give the boy a box

or two, some scotch tape and what do you get?

A Jeep!  
The proud creator of the jeep (with his roll of scotch tape)
Now he wants to find some 'real wheels' to put on the jeep. Umm, don't think so buddy but nice try!


For You Lynn!

My bloggy friend Lynn commented the other day that she sees pictures of my kids, glimpses of Lance, but no pictures of me.  I guess when you are the family photographer you are always behind the camera and never in front of it.  So, Lynn here is a photo from our neighbor Cooper's baptism (or as Landon says bathtism) yesterday.  It isn't a great photo but it will have to do for now!


What a day, what a day

Sunshine. Warm. A never ending blue sky. No plans. An entire day outside. Tanned faces (and some a little red but ahem we won't talk about who got sunburned). Glorious. 

First spin on the rollerblades 
Lance, Morgan and Landon rollerblading
Morgan and Amiah in the sprinkler (yes, the kids were SOO hot that they were begging to open up the sprinkler Landon got for his birthday)
Warming up in the sun after the sprinkler
Morgan helping Mauryn explore the sprinkler

Sweet Little Chocolate Face

Last night was such a beautiful evening, we ate our dinner outside in the warm sunshine on our front patio.  It was just far too nice to be in the house.  The kids ran, biked, and played until the sun started to set.  In the midst of the playing, Mauryn happened to find an almost empty chocolate pudding container from our neighbors dinner.  The little babe snuck off with the container, licking ever last drop of chocolate from the inside, only returning when the container was empty.  We just had to sit back and laugh at her sweet little chocolate face as she smiled with delight at her accomplishment.

Mauryn's chocolate beard
Shh! Don't tell


More Mothering by Mauryn

Mauryn LOVES babies! When she encounters a baby she wants to hold them and love on them - play babies, real babies, any baby.

A few days ago, our neighbor Cooper was over. The poor little man gets a great deal of Mauryn's love and affection, which isn't always so gentle (we are working on it). I am hoping Cooper will forgive her as she continues to mother him and they can be great friends in a few years just like Landon and Amiah. If not, Mauryn, you better watch out because it won't be long until Cooper is bigger than you!

Mauryn holding a not happy Cooper - do you like Mauryn's cheese face :o)
Mauryn and Cooper size comparison (age difference 13 months)