June 30, 2009


I know I've been MIA lately. Just popping my head out of my laundry pile to say "BOO" for a few minutes. We took a spontaneous mini-vacation to the beach this weekend, and I am still recovering from all the sand that followed us home. I will post pictures of our trip soon.

And I've also been very busy working on Twain's birth announcements. It's taking me forever this time around(having 4 kids has slowed me down quite a bit).

But I am having plenty of fun experimenting with my new toy.

Seriously, too much fun for 1 girl to handle!

And here I am lifting weights while my cricut is chirping happily away.

I have been trying to get into more healthy shape for let's see...oh the past 2 days.

Before I say goodbye, I must tell you about my exciting field trip to Trader Joes this afternoon. I know Trader Joes is old hat for many of you, but it's a rare treat for me. Since we are on a strict budget, we(meaning John) have been shopping exclusively at Winco. I know that Trader Joes is relatively affordable, but Winco is still cheaper, overall.

For a looooong time, I have been wanting to eat more healthy foods, but it just did not seem economically feasible. But after reading this post, I was more motivated to try. If she could do it on a budget with 6 kids, I could too. It is just a matter of changing my priorities. Many people eat healthy and are willing to spend less on other goods. And perhaps less on cricut paraphenilia.

And so I think I am willing to spend less on the clothes category{gasp} and more on the food category. Well, let's not get too crazy. Maybe the supplies category could take the first hit.

So off I went with my little wad of cash.

While at Trader Joes, I saw a dad shopping with his 4 sons, with their cart loaded to the brim.

I want to be them. I do! I do!

And there I was, with my measly stash of food, but I was awfully proud.

I held up the peanut butter aisle for almost 15 minutes, while at least 3 or 4 people had to say "excuse me" and reach around me for their jar of choice. I finally found some with omega-3, that suited my fancy.

Isn't it handsome?

And I bought some eggplant humus because it had less calories than the regular kind.
It is quite zesty and tasty, fyi.

And the vanilla almond granola bar took at least 15 minutes to chow down, it was so dense and chewy. I felt like a goat or pigeon. And I loved it.

Ok, back to my announcements. I am hoping to get them out before Twain's 1st birthday...

June 24, 2009

2nd Annual...

Father's Day Photo Shoot!

"You've got 15 minutes", says He.

"I'll take what I can get", says She.

So off we went, to take our 2nd annual father's day pictures. Last year we took some across the street. I thought it would be a fun tradition each year, to take photos in the same vicinity.

I was not quite able to get the shots I wanted in just 15 minutes, but since it was HIS day, I wanted to honor HIS request. 15 minutes of photos. That's it.

I chose the following photos...

...because Calvin looks so gleeful with his stick,

because everyone is gazing adoringly at Twain,

because Finn is truly hugging John,

because John looks so excited with his bunch-o-boys.

because this is typical John, holding his babies,

because I like weeds,

& because who wouldn't want D-A-D shaped rice krispy treats?

Happy Father's Day to John, Dad and Ron!

I think you guys are swell.

You are the hardest working helpers I have ever encountered in my life. I love you all!

June 21, 2009


In the twinkling of an eye, Ollie is 2. My baby is TWO!

He sleeps in til 9:30. Bless his heart. This is his mother's son.
greets me with a huge smile,
and says "I"(meaning Hi).

We say hi or "I", about 5 times back and forth to each other, before we start the day.
He gets so excited to eat, he simultaneously laughs and cries when I prepare his meals.

I can scarcely get any chores done because I'd rather tackle him every time he walks by. Or smother him and hold him on my lap. And play with him on the floor.
He's not teething anymore, so this stormy, temperamental child has been replaced by a sweetheart that melts my heart day after day with his sparkly set of pearly whites.
Basketball, baseball and soccer are his passions...making him quite the quintessential boy,

but he's got some quirks too--sometimes he will sit outside in his wagon or stroller for hours holding a stick.
He walks around saying "ldldldldldldldl". And when we ask him to say a word, like "nose" he says "noseldldldldldldl".

He has a voice inflection at the end of his words. Like banana.
"nah-NUH" (the nuh part of the word goes up 2 octaves).

He's fascinated by brother Twain. He always tries to help by putting the binky in Twain's eye. He somehow knows that this is going to be his special buddy.

He's my special buddy too and I can't wait til 9:30am to say "I" once again.

June 18, 2009

sweet little treats

I ♥ cupcakes. They are so cheerful.

A little while ago I stumbled across this adorable
cupcake blog.

"Whose blog is this?", I wondered.


"Are those Katy's eyes peeping behind that mug of coffee?"

Why yes, that is my friend Katy! What a surprise!

I had no idea that she was such a cupcake connoisseur. I was just itching to sample some of her yummy goodness.

Well, a few days ago I got to experience some of her heavenly creations.

But not before snapping 219 photos of them, to be exact. But who is counting?

I just could not help myself. It was so much fun to capture pictures of cooperative subjects, for a change.

However, it was getting harder and harder to resist these charming little numbers.

They were practically begging to be devoured!

That's it! I can't take it anymore!

I polished off one...the drizzled frosting was absolutely DE-LICIOUS! Seriously mouth-watering.

So I ate another...

...and shared some with my boys.

goodness, is there only one left?

WARNING. These cupcakes may be highly habit-forming.

Mosey on over to Katy's Sweet Little Treats...because everyone needs a little sweet in their day!

And if we are nice to her, she might even do a special post on how to get her super thick and gorgeous eyelashes. Right Katy?

Also special birthday wishes to sister Jessica, though she is protesting today because her kids had the pukes. I wish I could send some of these scrumptious cupcakes your way, Jess!

And it's Ollie's birthday today too! Happy Birthday little Oolie Boolie!{When Ollie saw these cupcake photos on my blog, he got all excited and said "mmmm" & asked "mow-wah?" (more) and threw an absolute fit of devastation when he could not crawl into the screen to eat some more.}

June 16, 2009

Finn's 6th

"When your kids hit a certain age, you are supposed to let them pick out their own backpack and birthday party theme". As per sister Jessica, when I questioned her decision to let Tacy pick out the pink hello kitty backpack over 5 years ago. Finn was just a baby.

A Bob-the-Builder party? {{{Shudder}}}. Not for my boy, thank you. My wee brain insisted that all my birthday parties would be Martha Stewart-esque. And backpacks? Why, they must be neutral to match each and every outfit. However, I tucked Jessica's advice away...

Fast forward 5 years... I am lucky if I even manage any party at all...and you should have seen me in Target last week, hyperventilating over the McQueen party plates and cups for Finn's 6th birthday.

I dashed home and practically woke Finn up, just so I could see him smile at all the McQueen loot I bought.
Boy, things have changed around here. And it's not that bad. I'm happy when the boys are happy.

Which explains why I called 2 different Michaels to track down the McQueen-shaped cake pan. And drove all the way across town to the far Michaels because they were gone at the store near me.

I was absolutely determined to follow the Wilton cake instructions to the tee. No short-cuts.

I diligently mixed up all 8 different color frostings and put each color in its own bowl.

That only took me 2 hours.

I was so excited. This cake was going to be absolutely perfect!

Except that I completely ignored the part about greasing the bottom of the pan with SHORTENING, not butter or margarine.

I used margarine anyway. What could go wrong?

Well, McQueen's face could get ripped right off or something...THAT IS WHAT COULD GO WRONG.

Hm. This was going to be tricky. I was going to have to do a lot of guessing on where his eyes went and such.

The more I frosted, the messier things got. My vision of the perfect cake was going right down the toilet. The cake was looking like a disaster. I almost quit, but once I frosted the eyes, it started to look a bit more like McQueen. The directions seemed ridiculously backwards, so I finished my way.

Though kludgy and rookie looking, it was still McQueen, no doubt about that.

Kind of looked like McQueen was in a wreck, but Finn was happy with it! I was back in business! Vrooom!!!

John encouraged me to to take a cake class to improve my technique. He should know better than to entice me with yet another hobby that would gobble up my time and money. That's all that's missing in my life right now.

I wanted a photo with Finn and his cake. I made him change his shirt 3 times so the colors didn't clash with his cake, LOL. Old habits die hard. Some things will never change:)

I was kicking myself for not embroidering him a McQueen shirt.

Mom went out and got some balloons.

Of course I waited til the last minute to throw this party together, so it was very small and quaint. But we ended up having the best time ever. There was absolutely no stress.

The kids played soccer and softball outside in the most perfect weather ever.

Dad pitching to Finny's dear friend Zach.

John set up a homemade t-ball set for Ollie, who was in heaven; Nikki and Cade to the right.

We sang Happy Birthday,

Finn read aloud his favorite McQueen book to his party guests,

We opened presents,

And we visited with loved ones.
John's brother Mark; and Breanna holding Twain.

Happy 6th Birthday Finn! I feel like the most blessed mama on the planet to call you my son. I hope you can tell how much I love you, dear boy!