Monday, December 31, 2007

What Is He Trying to Say?

So, it's snowing, again. I thought I would take some time this morning, with no major plans, to catch up on the blogs I read. Brian is reading homework in his room, and Michael and Dustin outside moving snow around and looking industrious. Zachary saw an opportunity to play with the shovel we clean ashes from the woodstove with, and came to show me his dirty hand. I told him to go wash, and he apparently took that as a sign that he should play in the bathroom.

He decided he didn't like grownup toothpaste. Blech, and Mommy please help me rinse my toothbrush. I plunked him back in the living room, and a few minutes later I hear, "M-o-m, I stuck."

"Where are you?"

"In ze bafroom."
Mom literally rolls her eyes and wonders where the nearest nail is to unlock the bathroom door.

"What were you doing?"

"I STUCK, I need help."

But as I approach, I literally burst out laughing:

So, what is he trying to say here?

a) "Mom, I need clean socks."

b) "Mom, you need to keep up on the laundry."

c) "Mom, you need to keep a closer eye on me."

d) "Mom, I am stinkin' CUTE!"

Saturday, December 29, 2007

"What I Did Over Christmas Vacation"...

Nicki wanted me to blog before photos, but I/we didn't think to take them. But on Thursday, we managed to do this:
The room formerly known as Dustin and Zachary's room is now called Michael and Zachary's room.

And the room formerly known as Brian and Michael's room shall heretofore be known as Dustin and Brian's room. OK, really we call it the boys' room, and it will probably continue to be the boys' room, which makes no sense cuz they both have boys, but that's another story.

And this is what I have to deal with today, the rest of the "stuff" we moved out of the way to be able to move the furniture!

Oh yeah, and THANK YOU NICKI!!!!! She salvaged my weekend, and arguably my marriage, by preventing Bill and I from having to tackle this today! She even sacrificed one of her toes in the process (I'm SOOO SORRY!!). What a good friend!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas with a Happy Ending...

Doesn't he look content?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Last night was a doozy...

My kids are convinced of Santa now. After yesterday, nay, this WEEKEND'S atrocious behavior, the whining, the needling, the gnashing of teeth that has occurred within the walls of our home (and even at CHURCH one had another in tears), they still got happy surprises under the tree. Come last night at supper time, they knew that there was no WAY Mom was going to put anything else under there! So Santa must be real, and must be able to see the good in their hearts, even when they try to push it WAY DEEP DOWN.

We had a family talk last night. I have prayers in that the rest of this week will be better. It has to if we are all going to survive it!

And I know they are kids, they are boys, the whole boys will be boys load of manure people want to dole out to excuse children from developing responsibility for their actions. But if I had a nickel for every time I had to say, "Were you TRYING to make him angry? Then think about these things BEFORE you do them." yesterday, I'd be a wealthy woman. I won't share in this venue what all took place, but let's just say rearranging portions of the nativity to assault a school made decoration was my last straw!

I ask a lot from my boys, and I know that. Mostly because of the genuine, sweet, loving and thoughtful things I have seen them produce without being asked. But also I have a knowledge of the divinity of their souls, of each of our souls, we have a potential most of us don't know about, or want to see.

My favorite quote is prominent on my fridge: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear, is that we are powerful beyond measure." I really believe that, I believe we are that powerful, and not as the world sees power. But that with this kind of power comes responsibility, and we (including myself) shy away from taking that responsibility on. My biggest expectation for my children is to love each other. And love is a verb in our home.

Monday, December 24, 2007



Phew, ok, sorry about that, my twisted little sense of humor (or lack of!). Let's move on to the post, shall we?

We've had a couple of Christmas parties, one on Saturday, one on Sunday. Saturday we went to Stephanie's, Bill's cousin on his mom's side. It was supposed to be at her mother's house, but very last minute we all got called and told to go there, we'd have more room. Poor Steph! Turns out being a clean freak (her description) pays off though, she was all set to entertain 10 kids and 20 adults!
Some of Bill's family who were there we get to see a couple of times a year, but a few we are lucky if we see them once at Christmas! With lots of catching p to do, it is great to sit around and chat! A couple of times I causght myself making jokes, which is rare for me, especially around them. One thing I learned early when Bill and I met is that our families have VERY different sense of humors. I hope I didn't embarrass myself, but I had fun either way! No, there weren't twin boys, I spliced it 'cuz Jill wasn't in the first shot!

Bill's cousin Ben (on the right) is an amateur photographer, but I use the word amateur loosely, he is definitely talented! He let me drool over his new camera, it's a lot like Melissa's, though if I remember it was a Nikon, and he got a wicked good deal on it, in excellent condition. That was fun, but it reminds me how little I really know about taking pictures. I wish I had more time (patience) to play around with it, even just reading the owner's manual on my new camera would be nice. But anyway...
Some candids of the relations:
We had a "Yankee Swap", it was a lot of fun, but I didn't end up with the gift I opened (and REALLY loved!). Such is life when you draw #5 and there are 20 people!
Cousins are great, aren't they?
The bird feeder was one hit of the night, Lillian is there with my beautiful snowman wind chime she took home (Lucky #1!!), and don't let Joy's quiet demeanor fool you, she was eyeing the gifts to make her swap!
By the time the festivities were wrapping up Zachary had officially warmed up to Hannah! They were having fun!
It's taken me all day to get this posted, will have to post Sunday's party later, Merry Christmas all!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Our Gingerbread Secrets

OK, Sarah was wondering about my recipe, and since I hate to type (ha ha ha), here is the link:,173,156176-249195,00.html

Just type that in your address bar (or highlight it, right click, hit copy, and then click the address bar, right click, and paste it) and you'll have my handy dandy recipe. Although I did alter it a touch. I actually HATE the taste of gingerbread, it's just too strong for me. So I completely left out the cloves and only used half of the cinnamon. Remember the trick to roll it right on the back of your cookie sheet. And I just asked Bill to make the patterns, you only need 3. Make a rectangle for the sides, a square the same height for the front and back with a triangle jutting out, and then however long your triangle side is, the roof should be a little wider to hang over, and a little longer then your side wall. Piece o' cake, er, gingerbread! We made ours only about 6 inches long, to cut down on the overall supplies required, since we were making FOUR, and it took me three recipes. I thought it only took 2, I re-rolled the dough out that I peeled away and put in four trays of cookie from that two batches. Then someone pointed out that I forgot two walls and two roofs. Oops. It was late, I finished at 11 PM as it was! So I made another batch Saturday morning and had enough for about a dozen gingerbread people, too. I get to decorate them, if I can make the time. And cooling on Saturday for about 5 hours was plenty of time, even though the recipe says over night in the oven. My firefighter husband would never permit such a crazy idea!

Oh, and stiff Royal icing, that's a whole other story. Four cups of confectioner's sugar, 3 TBSPs of meringue powder (find it in the cake decorating section of Walmart, it replaces egg whites so you don't risk salmonella!!), 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 c warm water, makes a very runny icing!! That was the recipe I found, I added 2 more cups of confectioner's sugar before we used it as cement. Then I made a separate batch, with probably only 1 extra cup of sugar to "glue" decorations on! I mixed in my left over cement too, no need to waste it! The cement batch the boys had trouble with, it really was quite stiff, but the other batch even Michael could do easily.

One side note my recipe forgot to mention. Royal icing turns solid as a rock, which makes it great for the gingerbread houses. I almost hurt myself trying to get the decorating tubes apart the next day though, so put them in water to soak or just wash them right away!!

Lesson in Blogging

OK, sometimes when composing a post, I put certain little touches, like centering my Merry Christmas, that don't work out. Blogger likes to change the spacing when you hit the publish button. I ALWAYS have to go back and delete blank spaces that want to make my post even longer than it is!

Also, there's a handy little thing at the end of each post called the "comments". You may have clicked on this, if so, you get to read all the comments other people make, which are limited to about three people. If you want to make a comment, it asks you to create an account. Creating an account is actually quite easy, you just come up with a user name (usually your email address) and a password. You don't receive bulk crap email for this.

However, signing up is not required. You can leave a post anonymously, and then just type your name at the end of it. Though if you want to say something nasty not nice you don't have to leave your name either, as the person I have since labeled unhappy anonymous did.

If you know who unhappy anonymous is, please tell them I posted a reply to their complaint.

Lastly, if you go back to the page to see your comment all pretty like and don't see it, don't despair. That only happens because I have it set to approve comments before they show up. This is the Internet, and sadly there are times when I go days without looking at my blog, I don't want anyone being particularly rude and others (including myself) being offended.

It's a happy place here in my blog world, won't you join me, and speak whatever's on your mind when you visit? Heaven knows I sure will!!

Run, run, as fast as you can...

OK, it's 10:56 AM, and as I am typing I am discussing the pros and cons of leaving a door open with a two and three year old, we'll see how far this gets.

We were VERY Christmasy this weekend! We froze our butts off getting the tree, we got it decorated, and come Saturday night I was up to my eyeballs in gingerbread!! It was actually pretty stinking easy, once I learned you roll the gingerbread right on the pan, and then just cut away what doesn't belong. So, come Sunday afternoon nap time we did a trial assembly with some incredibly stiff Royal icing.

I figured I would see if Zachary's held together before calling in the whiners other children who can be a tad impatient. It came together beautifully though, and the onslaught began!

My husband is a wonderful, wonderful man, and while I appreciate that he takes the camera from time to time, so that my children will have pictures of me, his picture taking is slightly twisted unorthodox...

up close...

and peculiar

When Zachary woke up we started the actual decorating. He was upset at first that he was
limited to his own two bowls of candy.

But he settled down and got over it.

What is it with sticking out your tongue when you are concentrating?

Zachary did help some with his own, though he was more interested in eating, so Daddy did most of it!!

Ah, the glory of the finished product!

Now we have our own little gingerbread village!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Hmm, Can I blog with Donovan and Zachary Playing?

So, the boys had their Christmas concert on Thursday last week. I brought my camera, but the pics aren't that great. I got video, but the blogger doesn't like my video. So here's a couple of pics just for funsies!
Michael has a thing lately about sticking out his tongue. Brian finally smiled after speaking to him TWICE!!
Here's a shot of Michael's little friend Zak, he makes a great Santa Clause, huh? And he smiles so nicely!
"Mommy, is too loud!"
"DUSTIN!!!!!" We were all glad to see Dustin when his school was dismissed. We were at the Middle School Gym, so he joined us part way through.

Then on Friday we went to Uncle Kevin's for birthday cake. Due to some frustrating circumstances, I ended up leaving to go pick up Donovan at Mrs. Osgood's house. Donovan and I were very glad to see each other, regardless of the circumstances! He is so adorable, and gets such a big kick out of my boys! He and Zachary got along just fine, getting into equal amounts of mischief!! ;-) Joy Smith was there for the birthday, the kids are really warming up to her. People (including myself) kept coming and going so that we didn't get to cake until about 8, and even then Grampa wasn't back, but he had said not to wait for him. Michael was cutting the cake, the pieces were pretty interesting! Not that I thought to bring my camera.
Saturday Brian H. came to get Donovan bright and early, and in spite of 7 degree temperatures we braved the trek for the perfect Christmas tree. Picking out a Christmas tree is made even more interesting I think due to my lack of depth perception. We've had some years where the tree was so big around we couldn't get between it and the dining room table. And then there's this year's:
Brian wasn't cold.
Michael wasn't cold... yet. Give him 20 minutes and he'll be whining like a baby 'cuz his feet are freezing!!
Brian likes this one. Um... no.
We finally are here when we can get to "the hidden field", ooooohh.
I think this is what we went with, looks ok, huh?
The boys wanted to cut it down this year.

"This is what them mean when you reap the benefits of years of work, huh?"

Daddy dragged it until Mommy showed him "a better way."

Ok, all you moms of girls, go ahead and raise some future wives, I'll keep my boys!!
Then Mr. Ouellette showed up and bailed them out!!
Then we cut off the bottom foot or more, and had this:

Oops. Oh well, the kids were happy, and I saved some floor space!

Here's our finished product:

And here's us:

And here's us showing our bellies, 'cuz if a two-year-old wants to do it, we should ALL want to do it!!
Well, that settles it, I can blog with them. It just takes a good mood on their parts, and three hours. Have a FANTASTIC day, I'm going to Walmart.