Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Scream, You Scream...


This is why I love blogs.
I had no idea it was Ben & Jerry's FREE CONE DAY until I ran across Sarah's blog. And it's not too late!!! Guess what we're doing tonight???? HAPPY BRAIN FREEZE!
*SADNESS UPDATE: we went last night after church to catch our free cones...and THEY WERE CLOSED!!! Even though the sign said they closed at 9pm (it was only 8:30), I couldn't convince them this was fraudulant. Even through my unique through-the-glass communication skills not one of the 3 college students budged from wiping down the counters. This was a sad moment. Hope some of you were able to get in. I might have to take up my fight with the higher-ups!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Birthday Interview Idea

In our upheavel of the house (no picture. sorry) I came across a spiral sketchbook that I purchased exclusively for Drew & his "art." I wanted to keep an ongoing progression of his scribblings and doodles. Nothing very structured or perfect. Just for fun. Well, it had been packed away some time ago and it was recently unearthed. Drew's last entry was just after he turned 2, so I wanted to start it up again. I decided to recreate some birthday ideas that is in this birthday book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal I got for Jack.

The design is so adorable and I love the book but I didn't want to leave the Drewster out. So I got out my (er, drew's) crayons and started coloring away. I mentioned this interview idea earlier and told some of you I'd post it in detail, thus the looong post! SO here it is:

[Everything underlined would be blank for personalization.]

***page 1

age 4
conducted by MOMMY with ANDREW on TUES. MARCH 18th, 2008 at the DINING ROOM TABLE. ANDREW is sporting his "CHOCOLATE" CORDUROY PANTS & IS STILL IN HIS PJ SHIRT. (oops) It's 11:05AM.


1. What is your Favorite Color: YELLOW...(AND BLUE & PINK & PURPLE)
2. What do you think of when you hear the word:
Home: watching videos & playing. (nice)
Sibling: (I said brother) playing with Jack in his pack 'n play.
Magic: "how can daddy get pictures from his blank drawing book?"
Bedtime: reading books & music. I like mommy to put me to sleep.
Love: sleeping with you in your bed. (we usually all pile in our bed in the morning if the boys wake up before we do)
3. What makes you feel sad? nightmares
4. What makes you feel happy? pixel & seaweed (his 2 favorite stuffed animals)
5. What makes you feel scared? a witch (a "scary" witch figure was out at halloween at home depot and he has never forgotten it)
6. If you could have any animal as a pet, what would it be? a little, little, little, little puppy
7. What do you want to be when you grow up? to play outside with my children
8. Do you like your name? (a smile & nod of head)
9. Who is the last person you kissed? mommy!!!

***Page 2: I'll spare you the details, but I also jotted these down about his birthday.
*time i woke up
*first thing i said
*what i wore
*my breakfast
*fun morning activities
*lunch of choice
*afternoon doings
*my special supper
*gifts i opened
*places we went, people we saw
*favorite part of the day
*crash time

***page 3
(I drew 5 different sized quote brackets and filled each one with a funny thing he said)

***page 4
(captivate in your words how you would describe your cutie patootie. keeping the memory of personality, looks, mannerisms, etc. alive. it's amazing how quickly we forget as they move from one stage to the next)

***page 5
"GIFT LIST" (for thank you's + remembering)

WELL, there you have it. Another great thing that I have done is gone on a "date" with just Drew to Barnes & Nobles and gotten a yummy treat and grabbed the latest WONDERTIME magazine. They usually have a great little insert called "instant journal" (although not in their latest...I hope they're not doing away with it) that I go through with Drew. It always has some great little questions and even activities such as: "what is your favorite animal" or "draw your child's hand here," etc. Just those neat little things to captivate those moments in CONNECTING with your child & making memories! Simple things throughout life. They don't necessarily need to cost anything except maybe a bit of time & care & attention (and whatever a hot chocolate & PB chunk cookie costs at starbucks!).

p.s. pleeeeease share with me how you like to connect with your kids and if you decide to try out the interview and how it went! i love feedback! (hint, hint!) :)

sibling bonding

In keeping up with sibling bonding from my previous post, check out this momma's musings that hits the nail on the head.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Please Pray with me...

I am writing this to ask you to please pray for this urgent request for my aunt Rena. She is 43 and delivered her 3rd baby last week. She was experiencing some swelling and difficulty in breathing so she went into the hospital this past friday. On Sunday morning(4.20), while still in the hospital, she experienced a hear attack at 1pm. The update from that is one of her arteries is completely blocked and another is partially blocked. She also seems to have pneumonia and an infection from her C-section incision. With the combination of all these factors they are giving her a 50% chance to live. She and my uncle have 3 children: Riley is 6, Ethan is 3 and Jillian is one week old. She is married to my mom's brother, Terry. Please pray for them, physically and spiritually. There is a specialist coming in on Monday to assess her situation and determine what to do next.

I will keep you updated.

Thank you.

4/24**update: thank you all for your prayers. The Lord worked in such a wonderful way that has relieved my spirit. My aunt is doing better and is considered stable now. In the past couple of days they have drained a lot of fluid from her body which has helped reduce the stress on her heart. They also realized that Rena's mom experienced something very similar when she had Rena and her twin. When she went to the doctor on Friday, she was given diuretics, and if she had just went home, she would have probably died. They thought that her breathing difficulty was due to stress but she kept insisting that this was different and NOT due to stress. It was the Lord's protection that she kept insisting (sometimes we have to know when to communicate strongly what we are experiencing in the medical realm). She has recently been able to sit up and eat something. She is being moved to a normal room by tomorrow. The prayers of the faithful avail much!!!! The Lord is so merciful and we know He has a wonderful purpose for them. Sunday, the day she had the heart attack, was her birthday. And yesterday was their anniversary. No doubt, this will be one of those unforgettable weeks. One that I know I will always look back upon and thank the Lord for his HEALING & watchcare. Thank you all for praying.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Spring is finally here. The loooooong awaited weather where you once again realize you have neighbors and grass. I feel like it is OFFICIAL since the stubborn snow piles are finally melted away after enjoying a perfectly beautiful 72* day this past Saturday!!! With this season comes new life as the buds meekly poke their friendly faces out of the earth, freshness with the smell of warmth in the air & new beginnings as we, like those buds, start to unearth ourselves from behind our sheltered protection. Thank you, Lord, for the 4 seasons. But THANK YOU for spring!  I sometimes wish the "new year" was after the dismally long winter. I am feeling much more motivated and NEW than I did in Jan. In the spirit of spring, I am also loving all things birds, nests and eggs. So I decided to do a post of my little collection of photos that I've gathered.

Birds Nest at our local museum

a library book full of fabulous illustrations that I have renewed as many times as possible.

my most favorite calendar snatched up from eBay (even the company was out of stock).

the remainder of the chocolate eggs in my faux birds nest.

made this one night. the eggs are from my vera catalogue.

a thank you note for my MIL for easter dinner.

a favorite nest N magnet.

practicing my art. this picture was in the favorite book I mentioned earlier and I just loved it. so i set out to draw it. I was so surprised at it's turn out. I am now on a mission to keep filling my journal with pictures. 
more to come...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Once Upon A Time...

...there was a young girl who didn't think she liked to read all that much. She would much rather play ball outside or bike up the steep hills of her small home town. But when she became a woman and had a baby (which settled her down a bit) she found herself desiring the thing that she so often neglected. And thus began her love of reading.

WELL, there you have a short synopsis of my life. Except for the fact that I don't get that much time to read even now. And it is probably a stretch to say that I LOVE to read. I should say I LOVE to read a good book. I have very little enthusiasm for a poor book. Or a boring book. Or one that takes too long to get interesting. But I am surprised at myself at how much I am reading now in comparison to the whole of my life (not counting required reading assignments, of course). Thus needing the narrative intro to move on to the real reason of the post:

I just finished this book. It is the Prequel to Anne of Green Gables: the first 11 years of her life. The book starts out before Anne is even born with her beautiful parents. Although I will not be giving my "acclaimed" opinion of the book...since I am no critic...I would like to say, if you are out there, and you are an ANNE OF GREEN GABLES lover...YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!!! (look here for a noteable writeup) I heard about it while at our Barnes & Nobles story time with Drew. While talking to my friend/worker K. she mentioned this book she was currently reading. She pulled it off the shelf and I held it in my hands and stared at the cover. I couldn't believe it was in my hands. It was fresh off the press and it was their last copy on the shelf (probably a total scam to get people...er, ME, to buy their books!!!). So I bought it. And I went home that night and started to read it. I just finished the 300+ page book. It wasn't perfect. There was a tiny bit of language I thought was unnecessary. There was a lot of heavy and sad parts with Anne being an orphan and all. In the beginning, I thought, how neat. The "next generation" can start with this and get the whole story. But, I dare say, I am not sure that this book would be appropriate for such young readers. At least it seems to be geared toward older readers already in love with Anne. But that is my humble opinion. This new author does, however, do a great job of intertwining the Anne we know so well and blossoms her from babyhood into the imaginative and strong 11 year old we see in the beginning of Green Gables. I think it is brilliant. To have to work backwards and not lose anything or add too much. Oops, I guess I gave my opinion anyway. Well, there's one thing I am quite sure of. There won't be a movie. (That is stricktly my opinion). I dare say not even makeup could create Meagan Follows to look like a 6 year old. Oh well. Some things are better left to the imagination.

Happy reading.

p.s. I have this happy memory I just have to share. When my dear friend, stephanie, was moving away at the end of our freshman year of high school, I spent a lot of time over at her house while they were packing up. One time, I sat down at her piano with the sheet music Anne's Theme and Steph pulled out her violin (I did not even know she played the violin) and we screeched and plucked away at that song in probably the worst duet known to mankind. But it was great. Our song that we played in our way. We were...are...bosom friends. I am so thankful for all my bosom friends, that just understand. No matter how well, or not, you sound.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

drew's BIG day

the big F-O-U-R

March 19th, THE BIG DAY: We had a fun random day, giving into many of Drew's whims. I'd ask him what he wanted to do and that we did! He got a free movie rental so part of the day we watched "Everybody's Hero" which is what he picked out. He bought a magnetic fishing set at the dollar store with one of the dollar bills he got in one of his cards and we visited daddy at work for lunch (this was at the lighting store). MY PLAN was to let Drew completely make his own cake, with some guidance, but I thought it would be fun to see how it would turn out. But the day slipped by and we just didn't have time to do it. So while the boys were playing with "daddy," I whipped up a chocolate cake. (he wanted only chocolate-chocolate) and I let him decorate it himself. Isn't this the PERFECTLY decorated cake by a 4 year old. I LOVE the slanted candles!!! (yellow being his favorite color)

I got this "INTERVIEW" idea from a birthday book I actually have for Jack. So I thought I would copy it into Drew's "art book." It was actually very fun and Drew munched on a snack while I fired away at the questions. When I have time, I'll do a post about the specifics in case anyone out there would like to use the idea.

One of my favorite pages is the "Funny Things You Said Recently." Here are some of my favorite DREWISMS:

Drew got some bubble wrap in one of his birthday boxes. He pulled it out and put it on the floor & said, "Mommy. Watch me pop these goosebumps!!!"

Completely out of the blue, Drew said one day,"I like this home, mommy!"

I was putting my contacts in one morning and Drew was intensely watching me (I haven't had them in nearly a year.) Drew said, "Mom, how do those eye-tacts work?"

After Drew's recent dentist appointment, I was finishing up some paper work at the receptionist's desk. Drew tugged on my arm and said, "Mommy, I think I need some water! That toothpaste is making my esophagus feel funny!!!" The receptionist and I had a good laugh about that one.

The other morning Drew asked me, "What is in the inside of a pillow that makes it soft and fluffy?" So I was briefly explaining "fill" to him and then said, "Some pillows are filled with feathers. Those are called down. Like a duck has down feathers in the wintertime which keeps it warm." He immediately responded with, "So do they have UP feathers in the springtime?"

::Easter Dinner/Family B.day Celebration::

with Drew's birthday being so close to Easter this year, we decided to mesh the two since all the 9er family would be together. So on Sat. we enjoyed a fabulous ham dinner...with EVERYTHING else you could possibly imagine (so wish I had a picture of the spread) and then had birthday cake for Drew.

CAKE #2: not often does one get 2 birthday cakes!!! But I promised Drew this igloo cake a few months ago when I brought home the mold from a super clearance deal. It is by Martha Stewart and is silicone. It is quite amazing and baked a delicious cake. Although due to its depth, the cake took 2 hours to bake! Thanks to my artistic hubby who hand-molded a replica of Drew's favorite "friend" (i.e. Pixel) out of marzipan.

if you can't clearly hear on the following video, Drew says his wish is [in a very 4-year-old kind of way]:
"I wish everybody was gone,
and I ate the cake by myself,
and nobody was here,
just me by myself."

[warning: Italian family is gathered together here. there is much talking at the same time...]

The "daddies" (john & doug) nap efforts are quickly thwarted by the runaway gang...


Now that Drew is 4 he moved up to the children's sunday school class (and is also sitting in "big church"). Here is one of Drew's verses for his new Sunday School class. It kind of amazed me at how quickly he memorized this. It was a good reminder at all that I need to be actively teaching him and filling that little sponge of a mind with! (and no, I'm not talking about Sponge-Bob!! And I am ever grateful Drew is not into that!) :)