Friday, August 31, 2007


Denali has been getting more attention this week with Emlyn being at school. This morning we were taking our time walking home and playing with speed.

First Denali asked to walk really slowly. So we happily did that.

Next he asked to walk faster. We walked faster.

Then we were running!

And then, with a sly grin upon his face, he said "Now, mommy, carry me!"

Who could resist?

I carried him.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


I would just love to say yet again that I love my massage place. It is so relaxing. If you like massages, and you live in my area, you should totally check them out. I go once a month and it's 39/hour before tip. I tip $9 because my lady is so good.

Today I kinda fell asleep a little bit. I was totally in the more relaxed zone I could be. It was lovely.

Ahh, makes even watching an extra kid seem easy.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

First Day of Kindergarten

Emlyn and Mrs. T.

Emlyn had a whole entourage to walk her to school today. Joel came along, which he won't usually do.

We got to see our neighbors and friends walking to school as well. We are only about a block and a half from the school. It's an ideal distance.

For lunch she had honeydew melon, cheese, sausage, and bread cut into flowers. She requested triangles for tomorrow. She also had some green bell pepper.

Denali and I had an almost normal day. We waited for the plumber (didn't take him long to fix the problem), and then went on some errands. I should have had him nap before picking Emlyn up because they just want to play together now, not rest. For the first 9 weeks Emlyn will rest at school.

She looked very weary when I picked her up. And it was stinkin' hot! I know it will just get cooler from here but it was hard to make them walk faster than... standing. I brought a snack and some water. It was too hot to play on the playground.

Yesterday we finished up with swim lessons. Emmy got to ride in a boat! It was awesome.

Tomorrow is a busy day. I'll drop Emlyn off and then go get a massage and then watch another boy for the rest of the day. I guess I need to go get my tired-but-not-sleepy kids and bring them downstairs to play.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Ummm, oops?

I have been mailing lots of things lately. Yesterday I took three packages to the post office. One was for Grandma Linda, one for a friend, and one for Joel's dad's sister-in-law. This morning I looked for the package that's supposed to come with me to my grandmother's birthday party. It has the scrapbooking pages in it, as well as photos for others of my cute kids.

It's not here.

But Grandma Linda's envelope is here.

Which means that the package for today is really on its way to Alaska.


Thankfully I scanned those pages into my blog, so I can print them out and take them with me today, with a promise of the real thing coming.

I am a dork sometimes.

Oh and I mailed a pic to one of my friends that I had written "to Granna" on it. Did I mention I am a dork sometimes?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Freedom and Joy

A few days ago I took the kids to an evening "Back-to-school bash" for my alma mater. Joel couldn't come along and I wasn't smart enough to invite my friends who also attended the same school.

Emlyn picked out her favorite party dress to wear. Denali just wore whatever.

When we arrived I was both pleased and dismayed to see a huge in-ground pool in the backyard, where the party was taking place. Almost immediately both of my children went and sat down on the edge of the pool and stuck their feet in. They took their shoes off first so that didn't bother me. In fact, I stuck my feet in too. It was a warm evening and the water was nice and cool.

At first I was somewhat chagrined to be at a party with lots of adults and a few kids, and me sitting with my feet in the pool with my kids. They were excited to be there and running around the pool, getting balloons out and gradually getting more and more wet. Denali eventually got wet up to his armpits.

As the evening wore on, and my small-talking abilities (what little there were to begin with) petered out, I spent more and more time watching my kids play with the other kids there and with the water.

And you know what? I had a good time anyway, even though I didn't have any philosophical conversations about university or religion or politics. I didn't even hardly meet anyone new. Instead I played.

Inspired by this post over at Lilting House.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

ehow Expert of the Day

Tomorrow I am ehow's expert of the day. I don't know if it's because I'm any good, or simply because they have to have a new one every day and they're just at the bottom of the barrel, but I still think it's cool.

If you have any ideas of articles I could write, let me know in the comments.

Here's the text from the people at ehow:

Hi, I just wanted to congratulate you on being selected as our eHow Expert of the Day. Your profile will be featured in our community page and our eHow community will take notice for your contribution on our site. Be sure to tell your friends and family about your accomplishment. Your profile will be up on 8/23/2007. You can check it out here:
So go check it out (on Thursday):

Or if you just want to see my profile:

Grandma Billie and Kindergarten Preparation

Grandma Billie is having her 75th birthday party on Saturday. It will be a great time with all eight of her children there. One of her sons is organizing it and he asked us to do a scrapbook page with some thoughts or memories of Grandma Billie.

I wrote a couple of sentences and sent them to my uncle, and he responded "sounds good! I'll be looking forward to seeing your scrapbook page!" which challenged me to go ahead and do one. I took a regular sized piece of paper and set to work. I do not scrapbook very often at all, and I only have a few supplies, but I think it came out well. Then Emlyn asked if she could do one, and so there you have it. Our additions to Grandma's book.


Emlyn starts Kindergarten soon and we have been practicing getting up, dressed, out the door, etc. Today went pretty well if we hadn't needed lunch. We had a leisurely walk to the playground and played for a bit before coming back home.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Toilet Training

I may have found the key to Denali's potty training. Juice is a precious commodity at our house. Denali has not been able to drink it for about a year, ever since he got Toddler Diarrhea. The other day he was asking for juice (he still knows it exists) and I had an epiphany.

"Of course you can have juice, Denali. Right after you poop in the potty."

His 2.75 year old eyes gleamed. He thought it over for a few minutes.

As we went up to bed I took off his diaper in preparation for a new one. "Would you like to try and go poop in the potty, Denali? Remember you get juice if you do!" And lo and behold, we went and he sat on the potty and pooped. Hallelujah! And lest you think it was a coincidence, he did it again this morning.


Okay, it is technically bribery. But I totally believe in bribery for certain things. And potty training is one of those things. I had tried to bribe him with stickers, but he doesn't care about stickers.

Emlyn has also jumped on the bandwagon. Our deal with her is that every book she reads all the way through, she gets some juice.

Bring on the juice.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

New Pictures of the Kids

I paid good money for some professional photos of the kids recently. They came back and I am very happy with the results. These images are copyrighted by Wa*l*ma*rt. So don't download them unless you ask first.

I think they turned out really well. If you would like a copy of any of them please let me know which one and what size. If you are a grandparent or close relative you are already getting one but you could tell me what size you want.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Independence Day in August

EDIT: I fixed the link for the coloring pages. It should work now.

Yesterday the kids were waving around the flags I bought at Office Depot on clearance. They were marching and acting very patriotic. I started singing "You're a Grand Old Flag" and couldn't really remember the words very well. Then I remembered my new favorite friend iTunes. I went on their store and searched for patriotic music and what do you know? My favorite kids' music company has an America album. Cedarmont Kids are a Christian group and they always have great worship songs sung by kids. It isn't extremely annoying either. So I bought the whole album and then burned it onto a CD. We were marching all over the living room with it turned up really loud.

Then Emlyn took it a step further and wanted me to be making flags and coloring them. I decided to google and find some pre-made coloring sheets for Independence Day. I used these.

We had lots of fun and now I feel that we've really done a great job celebrating our country's independence a month late.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Baseball Game

These pictures are from a ball game we went to last week with our small group. It was a great time! I am not posting any pics of our small group because I didn't ask permission. They are all very beautiful happy people too. :)

Grandpa Jim and Denali

Denali and Me
(Do you notice this is a candid, and I look skinny? It's great!)

Grandpa and Emlyn

Cotton candy!

Quit taking pictures!

Taking Care of Business

About once a week my desk and computer chores get overwhelming and I let the kids watch a bit of TV while I catch up. This is when I make sure all the receipts are entered, clear my desk (somewhat), clear out my email inbox, send off bills, etc.

Today I am happy to announce that I have once again done these things and my mind and computer (and kinda desk) are much less cluttered. Unfortunately I know I will have to do it again next week.

It's kinda like the kitchen, living room, and laundry. I may let things slide a bit in those rooms, but at the least I get caught up once a week. I notice a big difference in how I feel once those things have been done.

Now I should really do some filing.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

A really cool site

Thanks to Parent Hacks I have a site for Emlyn to play on. Should be hours of fun.


It's somewhat about math.

Say Bye-Bye to Siding

Our city has a program I refer to as "bulky pickup week." Twice a year you get to put out all the big things that don't fit into a trash can and the city will take them away for you. It's fun to watch all the other people cruise by looking for a free treasure. A lot of the time our stuff does not even make it to the city because other people take it first. Which the city is okay with.

Anyway for some reason no one wants old rotten siding, except, I guess, the city. So it sat out for a couple weeks and this morning the coolest truck came to pick it up. The city has two kinds of trucks. One is a huge claw hand that comes off the top of one truck, picks up the stuff, and drops it into an open-top truck. It's like a crane or something...

The one that came today is way cool. The back is open. Workers load stuff in. Then a dragging claw/hand thing comes up and over the stuff, chomps down, and drags the stuff back inside while making a horrendous noise. It's awesome to see it eat a couch or half a house's worth of siding.

I should have taken pictures. I wonder if they allow that.

Anyway half the siding has been replaced and the old stuff hauled off. We (and by "we" I mean "hard-working men", not "me") are making progress, people.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Lunch #2: Tacos for Joel

This morning I was almost at a loss as to what I should send for Joel. We are out of leftovers and frozen entrees. So I made him a bento lunch (the first for him). Contents:
andouille sausage over black beans
sour cream

I wrapped a cold pack in a paper towel to keep it cool and it all fit nicely into a little box with a handle. Let's see if he likes it.

The only thing he would have to reheat (if he wants to) is a silicone dish with the black beans and sausage.

The kids and I will be having pasta salad (thanks to Chinell), pineapple, and hard boiled eggs.

This is so fun! Let's see if it lasts until school starts.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Lunch Time!

I have been thinking about lunch-packing a lot recently. Joel has been short of leftovers to take now that we have two kids eating so much, and he usually gets CRAP to take with him. I feel bad about that. I don't want Emlyn to have the same problem, so I've recently subscribed to two blogs that are excellent for figuring out the age-old question: what to do about lunch.

The first one is:

The second one is:

They are both really excellent. If you look at the way the food is presented you can see how appetizing it looks. I want to eat it!

Therefore I went to the Dollar Tree and bought some things that I think will work as far as containers go, and this afternoon I made my first "bento" box. I'm not really sure what to call it, but it sure makes me want to eat it. Here are some pictures.

These two pieces screw together and have a lid. There's blueberries, cucumber, a couple flower ice cubes, apple chicken sausage, green bell pepper, and quesadilla.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


Today I started my year of service in the infant room at church. We have a simple curriculum which consists of about 15 songs we sing every week to the kiddos. They love the music and learn just a bit about God, then they play for the rest of the time.

I had a good time, even though one of the little girls cried almost constantly. I love singing to babies. They are certainly captive audiences.

I'll be doing this every week that I'm in town. For a year. Hopefully that will cure me of my baby longing. :)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Old Friends

Left to right: Joel, me, Julie, Varsa

Julie and Varsa, newly married, came to visit us this week. We were able to find a sitter and get out and go bowling. The place we went was horribly expensive but we had a great time. We also went out to dinner at a local restaurant. I ate some yummy food.

Then we picked up the kids and put them to bed, and then played cards to all hours of the night. It was great fun!

Julie and Varsa seem to be a well-matched couple. We enjoyed getting to know him better and visiting with our old friend. They are going camping in Colorado and then moving to Australia. We wish them well in their future endeavors. Maybe someday we will be as cool as they are.