Corn Chex and Daddy


To understand how endearing this little story is, you will have to go down the side bar on the right and listen to the song "Watching You" and have a little history. Most mornings Karlie is up before the other kids and loves her alone time to eat Corn Chex with Max before he leaves to work. If she sleeps in she always wants to know what kind of cereal he ate (usually Corn Chex) so that she can eat it too. Yesterday we were listening to music and I remarked that a certain song was one of Daddy's favorite songs. Karlie asked me why it was his favorite. I said, "I don't know why do you like the Buckaroo song?" (otherwise known as "Watching You") She said, "because it makes me think of Corn Chex". You have to love the way their little minds work.

Congratulations Mel and Colin!!!!!!!

We are so happy to be welcoming Colin into our family and love the joy that radiates from you two together!

Long Live the Dino-Shirt


Thanks to a fine gift from Aunt Anna, all three girls have had the pleasure (or we as parents have had the pleasure) of wearing the Dino-Shirt.

It's Raining, It's Pouring....


Not even the pouring rain could stop these guys from playing outside. They splashed, jumped, and collected water for almost an hour.
Hailey pouring the water from her boots into her pail.

Baby Kaitlin refused to stay inside with me, so out she went where she started riding her bike as though it were a sunny afternoon.

Cute Kaitlin

Now she is just like the big girls!

Modeling her favorite hat from GrammaNette.

Aspen

Max had a conference in Aspen yesterday and had a chance to combine business with pleasure. The conference ended early afternoon and he was able to get in a little fishing and sight seeing on the long 3 hour drive home.
The cabin we stayed with Pops and Gramanette when Hailey was 10 weeks old.
Photography runs in his family's genes.

Not bad for a day's work!

Something Blue

"Something Blue" is the sequel to "Something Borrowed" and something about it just isn’t as good. I found the first half of the book trying to get through. The story takes off after the bride to be learns her best friend has been having an affair with her fiancĂ©. She was a selfish, shallow, and insecure character in the first book, which was why it was easy to side with the mistress. Darcy’s judgmental, entitled and petty personality caused the house of cards she created to fall down. She flees to London in an attempt to have a fresh start and re-create the life she once relished in Manhattan. The book takes the reader on a fanciful journey from the very lowest point in her life through the many transformations that motherhood can bring about. It’s a bit of a stretch that motherhood could so completely overhaul someone's personality, but I suppose that is why we read fiction, to escape reality. The second half of the book is much better as we see Darcy examine herself and all of her prior notions about what is important in life. The ending was foreshadowed well, so no big surprises here. If you’re the type that likes everything tucked away in a neat box, this is the book for you. If you are like me and can’t stand to watch action thrillers because they are so over the top that it could never happen, then you might want to skip this one.
Order Something Blue

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake


I love cheesecakes of all varieties. This tasty cheesecake adds a little sweet to the traditional cheesecake. It makes a large amount and is great for company.

1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs(the kids had a great time jumping on the bag of cookies to make the crumbs)
3 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
5 packages Cream Cheese softened. I use 3 1/3 fat cream cheeses and 2 regular ones.
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 cup Sour Cream (reduced fat works too)
4 eggs
1/3 cup seedless strawberry jam
Pint of fresh stawberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 13x9 baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Mix cracker crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar, and the butter. Press firmly onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 min.

Beat cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, the flour and vanilla in a large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over curst. Gently drop small spoonfuls of jam over batter; cut through several times with a knife for marble effect.

Bake 40 min or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Lift cheesecake from pan using foil handles. Cut into squares and serve with sliced strawberries on top.

Thanks Alot Heather!!!





Apparently monkey see monkey do is contagious across cyber space. All of the kids (even the 30 year old one) just had to try it! LOL!

A Penny for Her Thoughts


Kids say the darndest things. The cute way they say a word or their innocent and pure hearted ideas are worth capturing. As they grow these memories often fade. I have already forgotten which words Hailey mispronounced as a baby. I hope to hold on to a few words out of the mouth’s of babes in this section. The first one is a drawing Hailey made.

As I was getting ready for work one afternoon she told me she was drawing some money and wanted to know “which president is on the 100 dollar bill?” I replied it wasn’t a president but one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin. She asked me what he looked like. So we got on the internet and found a picture of Ben. She continued to draw while I frantically made dinner, changed a dirty diaper, tried to get some make up on, and packed a lunch for the night. Between blow drying my hair and trying to find my work shoes she came and showed me her picture. “Only 30 minutes until I have to be out the door,” I thought to myself. I glanced down expecting to see yet another piece of artwork that I will praise, throw on the fridge, and then one day it will disappear into the trash without the artist noticing. However, her remarks stopped me in my tracks. She said, “mommy, I made all the money so that you don’t have to go to work tonight”. I gave her a big hug as my eyes welled up and I choked back that frog in my throat. As I held her I told her how sweet that was and how we all wished we could make money that way!

I know for me, leaving and going to work was the hardest when they were babies and I was breastfeeding. At that age they seem so helpless and dependent upon me. I assumed by now Hailey had gotten into the rhythm of it and that it did not bother her anymore. While Kaitlin will sometimes cry when I leave and on a particularly rough day Karlie can get weepy as they send me off. But Hailey is rarely upset by my evening departure. I rationalize to myself that she is sleeping for the majority of the time I am gone. She has daddy to tuck her in, and Grammy to spend the morning with. Could it really be that hard on her? Her heart felt gesture made me stop and wonder as she waved bye from the front door that night.

Happy Anniversary Mom and Snork


"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
1 Corinthians: 4-7
Thank you for showing us the meaning of Love.

Citrus Shrimp

I have yet to find a better summer dish. The citrus gives it a light and fresh touch while the pasta and shrimp leave you feeling very satisfied. It is not too bad on the prep time and is a real crowd pleaser.


1 ½ pounds large shrimp
½ cup butter melted
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
¼ fresh cilantro, chopped
5 garlic cloves pressed
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Peel, devein, and discard the tails. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in a large, shallow nonreactive baking dish. This is important as we once made a double batch and put it in one of my pyrex glass baking pans and the heat caused it to shatter! We called the dish Shrimp du Glass!

Combine the butter, juices, cilantro, garlic, salt and cayenne pepper in a bowl and mix well. Pour the butter mixture over the shrimp.

Broil for 6-8 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. We usually serve it over angle hair pasta, but thin slices of French bread, rice, or orzo would work well too. Garnish with left over citrus slices, cilantro and sprinkle with fresh parmesan cheese. Serve with a salad and white wine and you now have a beautiful meal that will please the mouth as much as the eyes!

Serves 4



Adapted from
click to go to Amazon.com

Thank You Auntie Anna














Crazy for Crocs


At first glance I can see how some might think Crocs are ugly. But let me tell you that beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. I love these shoes. A mom must have designed them. They are undoubtedly the best shoes I have come across for kids. They are virtually indestructible, come in every color of the rainbow, slip on effortlessly, and are comfortable and cool. Crocs were actually intended as boat shoes, so they repel water and are slip resistant; two bonuses with kids’ shoes. They are perfect for new walkers because they are lightweight, slip resistant, and easy to put on but difficult for them to kick off.

I have a hot pink pair for work and then a more subdued black for home. Neither my back nor feet hurt after standing for twelve hours when I wear them. Max also has two pairs that he uses at work and home. I highly recommend them for kids and parents alike.

We have a mix of true Crocs and generics. The real crocs have the best material. It is more pliable and soft. I have found the cheaper the imitation, the more plastic in the shoe which makes them stiff and prone to cause rubbing blisters. However, Payless' Airwalk makes a pretty good one that is half the price.

Something Borrowed


I avoided this book for quite sometime. Many of my friends at work raved about it, but something about the title made me leery. It doesn’t take much imagination to figure out from the title what the book is about. After more close friends of mine continued to praise the book, I decided to give it a try. I figured I could read a few pages before bed every night and see what all the hubbub was about. Well 48 hours later I had read the book cover to cover. It is a story of best friends with the ultimate betrayal. Yes, the maid of honor having an affair with her lifelong best friend's groom. The story is told from the mistress' perspective and includes a colorful group of friends. The characters are developed so well that I was shocked to find myself rooting for the mistress! You can’t wait to turn the page to find out what will happen in this tale of love, heartbreak, and friendship. It is the essence of chick-lit. The author Emily Giffin manages to weave a great story without trivializing the despicable act. She also writes an entire book about sex without all those graphic sex scenes. In conclusion, don't judge a book by its cover. I recommended it for a break away from reality in the daily ritual for moms. It’s perfect for sun bathing (in all our spare time), killing time during naptime (because there is no laundry, dishes or cleaning to do) or to help you get off to sleep at night (because you are never tired since all you do is lay around and eat bon-bons). Giffin's sequel is "Something Blue" and is told from the bride's perspective. Should be another fun read. Stay tuned for the next review.
Emily Giffin Books

Happy Birthday Aunt Mel!



We love you and hope you have a happy day!

Summertime S'mores

Unfortunately we haven't been able to get out camping yet this summer. That doesn't stop us from eating S'mores. It has become a pretty regular desert around here. Our neighbors laughed at us last night as we fired up the chimenea on a near 100-degree day.



Maybe You Can Send a Man to do a Woman's Job


Working overnights as a Labor and Delivery nurse has many perks, such as the night differential and getting paid to watch miracles happen. But, it also has its causalities. The foremost being the damage on my body after staying up for over 24 hours and then catching a morning nap and picking up like nothing ever happened. This weekend was particularly hard because I worked the whole weekend instead of just one shift. Enter Mommy Max. It is crazy enough wrangling three kids on a good day, but try and keep them quiet so your wife can sleep. Usually after these types of weekends the house looks like a tornado blew through, no baths have been given or hair brushed, the fridge is bare, and no chores outside or in get accomplished. That all changed today. When I got up today, I was amused to see Max washing the truck with all three kids. He came up with the perfect solution for keeping it quiet in the house for me, getting something done, and allowing the kids to have a total blast. He put the kiddie pool in the bed of the truck and then created an awning with a flag to protect them from the sun. The kids had a covered pool party while he washed away! So much for men not being able to multitask.

Blogger Tag

Lets see….. Eight random facts about me.

1. I have a unique family. We fondly call it a family orchard rather than a tree. This Brady Bunch style family has given me three loving sisters. The kind you see on TV or read about in a novel. We are very close in spite of our different personalities. In the orchard is also the most giving and down to earth parents you could hope for. We have all learned a thing or two watching them love each other and grow us girls into women. If you can’t tell from my blog, family is everything to me. Motherhood is what I was designed for. It fulfills me like I never imagined it could.

2. Max and I met when we were 14. His best friend had a crush on me and brought Max along one summer afternoon. Bad move on his friend’s part. We have been smitten since then. I shudder at the thought of Hailey finding her soul mate in 8 years!

3. I am not a risk taker. See #4. The biggest risk I have ever taken was choosing to attempt a vaginal birth after two cesarean births. It was the most spiritual and emotional moment I have experienced (exchanging vows was big, but this was bringing a life into the world!). I might try taking a few more risks in the future.

4. To say I am a planner is an understatement. I plan everything and don’t do well when things don’t follow “the plan”.

5. I loath cleaning. Sure I enjoy a clean house as much as the next gal, but not at the expense of ANYthing else. I can always find something better to do than clean. I get no satisfaction out of it or the end result. It is a boring task and it rarely last for long in my house of 3 little ones. I even plan cleaning. There will be no spontaneous cleaning in my house. ☺

6. I hate the TV. I could stand on my soapbox for hours about this one. It is a waste of time. Think of all the wasted moments and productivity that go buy watching some lame sit-com that we won’t even remember in a month. It is a main player in America’s growing waste line and shrinking IQ, not to mention its moral failings.

7. I have been training for a sprint triathlon since January and it is only 23 days away! I am shocked how quickly a body that hasn’t worked out in nearly a decade has responded to the challenge. It has been interesting to say the least trying to train with 3 little kids. I am still praying I don’t drowned in the open swim!

8. I have a speeding problem. I have tired to work on it since I am almost always carrying precious cargo. But I think I need a help group. Invariably I always glance down at the odometer and am shocked to find I am well over the speed limit. Maybe I can find a Speeding Planners Anonymous(SPA).

Since I use this blog mostly as an online scrapbook to share with friends and family, I haven’t gotten into the “art of Blogging”. Thus I was tagged by the only family member that has a blog, Heather at SPLANEYO, and don’t have anyone to tag. So if by some random chance you ended up on my blog- you are it! Leave us your blog address in the comments and I will check you out. Thanks Heather. Fun little game.


*EDITED TO NOTE*

I totally forgot all 3 of my lovely sisters and brother-in-law have Myspace pages! So guess what? Your it! So tell us 8 random facts about yourself and post it on your page. Then tag 8 of your friends to do the same.
Chrysti
Melanie
Kerrie
Scott

Happy Birthday Uncle Scott


We love you and hope you have a special day!

Tooth Fairy

Hailey has reached that exciting point in childhood when you are about to lose that first tooth. Her little tooth is so wiggly it will surely fall out at her next meal! She was squealing with delight last night as she wiggled it over and over in front of the mirror. This morning she asked me if she could email the Tooth Fairy to let her know that she should plan on coming to our house soon. I guess everyone these days is accessible by email, even mythical creatures. Here is her email(which took her nearly 15 minutes to compose).

Dear Toothfarey,

i will be loosen one of my babe teeth prite soon. SO i will be seeing you prite soon. from Hailey love Hailey.

You can also email the Tooth Fairy! The site guarantees a reply. I will be sure to let you know her reply and when the big moment occurs!

Views From Vail



We are home from Vail and completely wiped out. Something about vacation just takes it out of you. The majestic views were breath taking and I marveled at what a beautiful place I live in. Listening to the water rush by in the stream, seeing the wildflowers in bloom along the mountain side, and smelling the cool mountain air refreshed my spirits and gave me pause in my hectic life. The beauty of God's masterpiece gave me a little deeper view into the joys, hardships, frustrations, and self-doubts of raising kids. This is a mere pebble on the mountain of time. It will be over before we know it, so I had better soak up every minute that I can. Good and bad.

The guys learned a lot and the ladies learned just how crazy six kids ages six and under in one house can be. The four older ones spent most of their time playing in the jacuzzi while the babies had fun exploring a new surrounding. All went well until the last few hours before we departed.
While the moms were busy packing up a few mishaps occurred, of course all involving my children! The house was advertised as "kid friendly". Somehow, two steep flights of stairs off the main level and not a single gate in the house, is not "kid friendly" to me. We had blocked off the stairways with coolers and suitcases in a vain attempt to keep the babies from toddling up or falling down. I wish I could report that Kaitlin happened to toddle up the stairs, but no. She pushed through the coolers and down she went. A huge crash of the cooler hitting the tiled floor and baseboard heater made my heart almost stop beating. However, the adrenaline that surged through me as I raced around the corner kept it pumping. As I rounded the stairway expecting to see my baby broken at the bottom, I found her sitting perfectly in the center of a stair about half way down. For the life of me I can't figure how she stopped. As I scooped her in my arms, I fought back a flood of tears. The fear almost made me sick. Mother of the year here I come.... Not only has one of my children rolled down the stairs, but two! Yes, when Karlie was nearly the exact same age, she tumbled down our carpeted stairs after I forgot to latch the gate. She was shaken up but not a bump or bruise on her either. I can attest that miracles do happen, sometimes twice.
Well, if that wasn't enough excitement for me, not an hour later Hailey was sitting on the side of the jacuzzi when she lost her balance and fell straight backwards cracking her head on the concrete about 3 feet down. After giving her a thorough once over being sure to check her pupils and looking for any sign of a concussion, it was back to packing up. I may have lost a few years off my life in those two hours. It’s amazing how the threat of harm or injury to your precious baby or child can bring you to your knees. The fear provided another view into motherhood, unspeakable love.














Fourth of July Fun Packs


This will be our 2nd annual trip to Vail with friends that have kids the exact same age as ours. We share a condo for a long weekend while the guys attend a pathology conference. The kids have a ball together and the moms get a chance for a little adult conversation while taking in the mountain views. This year I put together these little backpacks of fun for the four older ones and got some big bouncy balls for the babies. You gotta love Walmart! The backpacks come with a towel, sport bottle, and frisbee. All for $4!!! I added a few healthy snacks and then some treats(gave me a chance to eat some gummy worms and fun dip), bubbles, balloons, and tied a handkerchief around it. Hopefully the kids will have as much fun with them as I have.

Road Trip 7/07


Breakfast on the Go
Best Buds
Mr. Driver
Karlie Having a Ball
Chrysti, Snork and Gma Helen 
Wonders on I-80
Maxwell

One, Two...
And 3 Strikes Your Out!