My confession is that I have a terrible addiction...I cannot control it...and I don't really want to control it! My addiction is Photography...I take a ridiculous amount of pictures...pictures of everything...every little detail. I don't want to forget the adorable way Elsie insists on wearing her gold sparkly shoes on the wrong feet...or the way James smears black beans across his face and smiles till we laugh at him...all those little details and moments are the things that make my life perfect...and I simply want to photograph them in my vain attempt to freeze time... Now that I upload all my pictures in files on Photobucket I just see how many pictures I take...I tend to average pretty close to 1,000 a month! At night after the kids are in bed is when I go through all my pictures...upload and edit and blog. I find that I am normally always about 2 weeks behind on blogging because I take so many pictures...and all of them seem to have a story behind them or I just really want to post them so we can look back and remember. When I freak out a little about being "behind" on posting I remind myself that I blog to create a family journal of our everyday life...no matter how "old" the picture or stories are!
Thursday, March 31, 2011
My Dad, Brother and a couple of my sisters have a new hobby this Spring...Tapping Trees! They have tapped over 100 trees...with any luck we will have lots of fresh Maple Syrup to enjoy! These pictures were from a couple weeks ago...and they are now getting ready to start boiling the sap in the sugar shack. I can't wait to see the whole process...and of course taste a little... Jon, the kids and I did have tag along to take pictures as they tapped the 2 big Maple Trees at my Grandparent's house...I am so thankful that my children get to be apart of so many fun hobby's that my parents have...they will learn so many lost arts!
Tapping the trees looked so simple...it is literally tapping the trees! they simply made a hole in the tree with a drill...
Pushed the spicket and hose into the hole...
Put the hose into the bucket...and waited! Yesterday afternoon the girls and Colter went out to the woods and collected some of the syrup...half a 55 gallon drum of syrup!
If you read my blog you know I have a thing against plastic...the very idea of my children eating healthy little snacks from a plastic baggie just does not seem like a wise idea to me...so last week we made a little snack bag out of cotton fabric. When it gets dirty we can simply throw it in the wash...a very "green" thing to do! James has a little green and white polka-a-dot bag with a zipper...and Elsie's has Velcro...I have plans to make more with a Velcro closure. These little bags are way easier than plastic baggies for little fingers to get into... Elsie chose a cute little numbers print for the inside lining...I had no pattern to follow...so I am impressed it turned out so good! These little bags are super easy to make...I made this one in about 15 minutes with 2 fat quarters and a little Velcro. Elsie waited very patiently for me to finish so she could play picnic...carrots and a cheese sandwich...and yes, she still insisted in wrapping her sandwich in plastic wrap! She didn't want to get the bag dirty...now that the bag is a few days old the plastic wrap has been forgotten and the bag gets good and dirty!
Packing the new snack bag for an inside picnic...dreaming out being outside on a real picnic...
And she is off...snack bag in hand...I later found the stale sandwich and carrots in her room...I guess she wasn't so hungry after all! Oh...and the bag was full of Barbie clothes! I think the concept of a snack bag will take some getting used to!
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
A few weeks ago Jon and Elsie were laying on the living room floor reading the comics together...and it looked so cute! I remember begging my Dad to read the comics from the Sunday paper when I was little...our favorites were always Blondie and Dagwood and For Better or Worse. I do not ever remember my Mom reading us the comics...that was always Dad's thing. I find it interesting because I always tell Elsie, "mommy doesn't read comics, that is a Daddy thing!" I think Jon and Elsie read most of the Comics in the paper...and Elsie pretended to "get" the little jokes...She usually responded with "that's so funny, hahaha..."
I have wanted to do a list of "25 Random Things About Me" for a while now...and I figured this week's Embrace the Camera was the perfect time to share...and my 2 favorite pictures from last summer when James was a little tiny baby of 2 weeks old!
1: I can get my tongue to touch my nose...it is a family trait!
2: I have an extra bone in my back and not enough in my chest
3: I have given birth to both my children with no pain meds...all natural!
4: I have a hidden talent of making beautiful paper snowflakes
5: I haven't mowed the lawn since I was a teen! I now wait in knee-high grass until someone takes pity on me...(thanks Dad!)
6: I wear a size 7.5 shoe...the smallest in my family!
7: I have PCOS
8: I am obsessive about healthy eating and the connection to allergies
9: I spent over 2 weeks in Sierra Leone, Africa on a Mission Trip
10: I am the 2nd oldest in my family of 9 children...and my youngest sister is only 8!
11: My favorite meal is Taco Salad with western dressing
12: As a child I wanted to marry Randy Travis!
13: As a teenager I wore pearls and red lipstick everyday because I wanted to look like Jackie Kennedy
14: I don't like people telling me what to do...makes me what to do the opposite just to tick them off!
15: I hate plastic!!
16: I would do almost anything for Skittles or Potato chips
17: I do not like animals~ especially dogs and cats in the house...yuck!
18: I chose not to go to collage because my ultimate calling was to be a stay-at-home mom!
19: If I had to live my over I wouldn't change anything~ except to have a few more kids
20: My favorite movies are Sweet Home Alabama and Walk the Line
21: I am addicted to my Droid!
22: My favorite holiday is the 4th of July~ because it is the only holiday we get to host at our house
23: I love pink, sparkles, ruffles and accessories
24: I once dreamed of being a Photographer, a hair stylist or a pastor...then I met Jon!
25: I have a strange obsession with strollers~ I think of them as an accessory...we are on our 5th stroller in 3 years!
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
I have been waiting and waiting to meet my new little nephew...and Finally...now that he is 6 weeks old we got to meet him! And Gus is adorable...a perfect little baby...I tried to steal him but his mama found out just in time! Even though Elsie was hoping for a girl cousin she thought Gus was a special little guy... Even though James was this little just a few months ago I seem to have forgotten how much babies sleep...we had to wait forever for the little guy to wake up...I really think he sleeps too much...and after waiting 6 weeks to meet him Elsie and I just wanted to wake him up to cuddle him!
Gus is one big baby...he is outgrowing his 3 month clothes already...and he needs a size 2 diaper already! It really is amazing how fast babies grow...Such a contented little guy...I only heard him cry when he was hungry or tired...but maybe he was just showing off for his auntie!?
I love these next two pictures...this is exactly what I have always dreamed of...my sister and I...surrounded by our children...we chat as our children happily play together. It doesn't get much better than this...this is Family!
James and Gus are just a few months apart...and I know they will have some good times together as they grow up! I am just wishing Ana and Brandon can buy their dream home soon so my children and I can come visit for a longer time!
But until they buy their dream home we will be contented to stay in the motel up town...and eat our morning bowl of Fruity Dino Bites in bed while watching cartoons...I have a funny feeling Ana and Brandon will not be okay with such things in their dream house!
It just so happened our whirlwind trip was on the same weekend as Oliver's 2nd birthday party...Elsie was so excited be able to go to the Birthday Party...and Gus slept through almost the entire party! I threatened to just take him out of his seat and wake him up because I needed some baby cuddles...but his mother wouldn't let me!
Elsie enjoyed the Birthday Party meal...hot dogs and Macaroni and cheese for the kids (Oliver's favorite meal!)...and Brats and Potato Salad for the adults...
Opening the gifts...Elsie wrapped Oliver's gift with duct tape...we had scotch tape but she insisted in making the gift look "boyish" with the duct tape...I think she has watched the Red Green Show one too many times!
After the gifts came the best part...Cupcakes! Oliver had 2 candles...and Elsie and Aubrey (Oliver's little friend) each had one candle in their cupcake to blow out! When everyone sang Happy Birthday poor little Oliver sobbed...he did not like it one bit...as soon as the singing was over he dried his tears and blew out the candles! Not sure what that was all about...
Happy Birthday Boy and his cupcake...Oliver has the clearest Blue eyes ever...and the funkiest hair!
When the party was almost over Gus finally woke up...and just wanted his mommy to nurse him! Love this picture...
We tried to get a picture of the little cousins together...but Elsie would not be in the picture...and James fell asleep...we got a cute picture of the Birthday boy and his little brother though!
This is the best cousin picture we got...better luck next time!
The first stop on our Road Trip was Lanesboro to visit Jon's grandma...we stayed at Jon's cousins little Inn...and we had a Whirlpool in our room!! The kids thought it was a blast...James was busy splashing the moment we put him in the tub and never stopped...we had more than a little water all over that floor! Elsie has decided we need a tub like this at home...if only our bathroom was large enough!
Since getting this new camera Jon and I just can't get enough self-portraits...These Whirlpool pictures were Jon's idea...he even pulled an end table over to prop the camera up on...what a guy!
Our room at the Inn had a private entrance...the kids thought that was so cool! James has no practice with steps...so these steep steps outside the door were a great little trap for him...he could be outside but not get anywhere... a mother's dream! As soon as James saw the door open he would make a bee line outside as fast as his little hands and knees could carry him...
Enjoying the brisk morning air...
James has a thing against hats and coats...way happier to be free of extra clothes...
Before we left Lanesboro we visited with Jon's Grandma, Ardis. The last time we visited James was a little tiny baby...now he wouldn't sit still! Ardis is quite the quilter and crafter with a very full apartment...James was in heaven...so much to explore!
It took both the kids a little while to warm up to Ardis...but by the time we left Elsie was even talking to her...and James let her hold him for a little bit! Ardis let Elsie dig through her basket of scrap fabric and bring some home...that may have earned her a few brownie points with Elsie!
Monday, March 28, 2011
This past weekend we went on a Road Trip...a very, very long road trip! Jon called me late Thursday afternoon and said we were heading out in the morning...not much of a notice! We threw some clothes in a laundry basket (because that is how we pack!) and threw some food in the cooler and away we went...4 hours in the car...all the way to the very southern edge of Minnesota to visit family. We did manage to forget Elsie's Uggs...so she wore flip-flops the entire time...and we only brought one of James walking shoes...so he wore his Robeeze...not bad to only forget 2 things! Like I said it was a long car ride...so out came the camera and that lovely wide angle lens! It was planned that Jon and I would lean over and kiss right before the camera went off...but Jon, in true Jon style, leaned the other way! Poopie-head!
The kids did an excellent job riding in the car! James drank his bottle and took a couple little naps...Elsie played and talked to herself almost the entire ride! And when things get a bit much we pull out some DVD's! We did make several stops on the way there...but we made it with only one stop on the way home...and NO potty breaks for Elsie...2 for me though! Elsie got to the point of telling me, "no more water, mom! Remember there are no potty's for a long time!"
We had quite a time of finding a Taco John's...our favorite restaurant...good thing for the Droid restaurant finder and GPS...what did we do before the Droid?!
I would like to say we have a very clean and organized car...but it simply is not so...Jon and I kept shaking our heads saying if our car is this bad with only 2 kids what will our car look like as we add more children! I don't think we could even see the floor...it was bad!
But the kids were happy...keeping them happy was the most important thing...happy kids = a happy Mommy and Daddy! *Note that shoes are optional only in our car!*
Love Jon's sunglasses...I think he wears them just for me!
Jon and I took turns climbing to the back to keep the kids entertained...and we argue about who will drive...and Elsie always tells us, "you guys can just take turns!" Smart girl!
Our travels took us 4 hours south from there 2 hours west then 4 hours back home...towards the end of our trip the kids were getting a little bored and not quite so happy...so we started pulling out everything we could think of to keep the kids happy. Who knew an umbrella could keep them entertained for for long...all James would do was look at the umbrella and he would start laughing!