"Honey" Can Get You in a Sticky Situation

Today we had a fun fall play date with one of Karlie's friends. The first thing the girls did was to play house. I love hearing kids interact and what words other families use. Her friend taught me a few things about honey today. While deciding who would play what, Sydney said, " I will be the mom, Kaitlin can be the baby, and you can be honey (speaking to Karlie)." As I am folding laundry listening to them, I smile at the term of endearment her mom must use for her husband. I found myself chuckling as their make believe house goes on. Here are some of the phrases I heard:
"Honey, go mow the yard."
"Honey, have you washed the dog?"
"Honey, you can't buy that."
"Here is the snake to put on the grill Honey."(Yes snake. She handed Karlie one of our play rubber snakes.)
"Honey, it is 90 degrees out! You need some shorts."

Sydney taught me a new term for peanut butter and honey sandwiches too. They are called "Pooh Sandwiches." I also learned that it is not ok to alter the shape of the Pooh Sandwich. I will use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for the girls' sandwiches. Since we were having a fall theme today, I used a maple leaf cookie cutter to make a leaf Pooh Sandwich. Big mistake! She politely said, "I don't want that. It is not a Pooh Sandwich." I tried to explain to her it was all the same stuff but in a different shape. No go. Back to square one, a regular shaped sandwich and all was well. Karlie didn't mind eating Sydney's and her own; such a good friend.

For our craft we went on a leaf hunt and tried to find as many pretty leafs and fall things as we could. When we got back to the house, I cut out the center of 2 paper plates and let them glue their leaves on. Turned out pretty, although I think they got stickier than most of the leaves.

To finish off the morning we baked cookies the preschool way. No recipe here. Just buy the pack at the market, open, let the kids break them apart and throw them in the oven. The only trick is getting the cookies in the oven before the little ones eat all the flavored chips off the top. These cookies are officially kid only!

Not Making the Grade

It has been a rough week for mom. You put all you have into making your kids' lives as good as it can be. There is gymnastics, swimming lessons, playdates, Brownies, story time at the library, trips to the zoo, walks to the park, crafts, and field trips. Then there is the not so fun but important stuff like brushing teeth, eating right, exercise, and school work. My kids have a busier and healthier day timer than I do! So it is always disappointing when you see that despite your best efforts, you’re not making the grade. This week has been particularly brutal. Hailey gets her weeks worth of test and homework back on Thursdays. In her folder was the big geography test that we had worked so hard on. She had it down. She knew it like the back of her hand. I guess until the test anyway. She missed 3 out of 21 and earned a 73%. Then next in the folder was the spelling test that we had practiced over and over, B-. Then the study books were all Bs. Don't get me wrong Bs are ok, it is just that she does so well at home it seems she would make As. I guess she inherited my test anxiety.

Then the topper of the week was the girls' check up at the dentist yesterday. It is a children's only dentist and they give you a report card. Hailey has fallen from A to a D this time! The assistant innocently told her and me that mom would have to keep helping her and that she is not big enough to reach all the spots in her mouth. I sheepishly smiled. I do brush her teeth every night and work very hard to try and get the back molars, the gum line and the cheek side! Harrumph! Then she politely tells Hailey it is her job to get the floss and take it to mom, since mom is so busy and has not been flossing her teeth. Just go ahead and give me the hit below the belt. Total failure. At least Karlie is still making As at the dentist. It's probably just she is not old enough to have the effects of her mother's poor brushing take a toll. I am left wrestling with knowing I am not making the grade even though I have an A for effort. Bummer. I guess it is time to go check out some how to guides on homework and brushing teeth at the library. ☺

Happy REALLY Late Birthday Heather!


I have been know before to miss or forget a birthday, but this time I have an honest excuse. I think I mixed Heather's birth date up with her son Spencer's. As I went through my calendar to mark birthdays, somehow I put Heather on the 25th of September instead of the 19th. You can see not only did I make the mistake on our kitchen calendar, but also on the one in our bedroom. I was proud of myself because I called Sam a whole week before her big day to see what she might like( I am sure he was thinking, "nothing like the last minute Katie.") and I would have enough time for shipping. I purchased my item and smiled with delight when it said it would be delivered on September 25th! Perfect. That is until the 20th when I stopped by Heather's blog and realized to my dismay that it was the day before! Yikes! I am glad you had a nice day even though we royally messed up. I have been thinking of you all day. Well, it is the thought that counts. Right Heather??? I hope you like your present even if it is week late:(


Papa-Wheelie??

Hailey is determined to learn how to do a pop a wheelie. She has been trying and trying. While coaching her on how to try it, she stopped and said to me, "if there is a papa-wheelie then there must be a mama-wheelie!"

Max Tries Out a Pink Purse


Over the weekend we installed 3 new windows in the front of the house. Well, Max and Scott did it and I was on kid patrol. They still need the interior trim done, but they already look so much better. I had to laugh when I saw Max return from Home Depot with the trim.


Yep, that is Karlie's pink purse. I guess I guy will do what a guy has to do.

Sleeping Beauty


Rarely in life do you get affirmation on a big decision that you did the right thing. Deciding to let Karlie not go to preschool is one of those rare times that we see that we made the right choice. Since Hailey has started school we have seen Karlie flower into a new little girl. She has taken on the role of big sister and gleefully teaches Kaitlin how to play slumber party, babies, store, coloring, blocks, and many other games. Another major development is naptime.

Karlie has been trying to give up her nap for almost a year now. But she doesn't realize that she is up against one of the most stubborn mothers out there. After her 3 year old check up confirmed that most 3 year olds are napping and should be getting 12 hours of sleep a day, I have been steadfast in trying to keep her napping. While I would like to pretend it is just doctor’s orders that have maintained my resolve; I look forward to naptime everyday where I have just a tad bit of time to myself. So we have been battling and battling (I guess she inherited my stubborn gene). I have tired time-outs for when I go to check on her and she is jumping on the bed. I have tired taking away favorite dolls or toys when she has put on three different outfits and is laying with her feet in the air kicking her feet together to watch her shoes light up. I have tired telling her I am not happy with her when she has taken every book off the shelf and made a sea of books around her bed. Ultimately this song and dance would lead to her crying and then finally surrendering to the nap that she so needs. We tired on occasion not doing naps and ended up with a meltdown Karlie by 6pm.

What I haven't tried until this week was lying down with her. I am a rule follower and this is a major no-no when it comes to sleep habits in our house. We have never let the kids sleep in our bed at night so to avoid the bad habit of them wanting to sleep with mom and dad. But I must confess, I like breaking this rule. The last 3 days in less than 10 minutes Karlie has drifted off to sweet sleep and so have I. What a joy to not be angry or frustrated but to be snuggling with my sweet girl and catching a few needed zzzzzzs. I am so happy we have this special time together and I can see how we are both growing. Naptime is no longer the much dreaded fight for both of us, but a special time. She is thriving on the extra attention and I am finding out that some rules are meant to be broken.

Bathroom Remodel

There is nothing like knowing a newborn will be coming in a few months to motivate you to get those home improvements finished. We are in the process of replacing our windows and repainting the outside of the house. Two big jobs that we have been wanting to do but have been putting off. We know that nothing will get done those first months after the baby arrives, so its now or never, or at least not for a very a long time. Our last baby, Kaitlin, motivated us to start and finish remodeling the master bathroom. We haven't done a thing since and she is almost 18 months old! Hopefully the windows and painting won't take as long as the bathroom took, almost 9 months!






>Max did the entire thing with the help of Scott, Snork, and Monty. He replaced the aluminum window with this beauty. I hope the rest of the windows turn out as nice.
I used to loath showering and getting ready in my jade and white bathroom. I now love the warmth the earth tones create, the beautiful fixtures and the vanity that allows me to neatly hide all of my toiletries.

Super SAHD (stay at home dad)

This weekend I flew to Kansas for my grandma's funeral and left Max at home with the girls. It seemed foolish for us to take the whole family when ultimately Max would have to excuse himself half way through the service to take out the little ones that would undoubtedly get fidgety and start making too much noise. It seemed better to have him stay home and let me fully partake in all the activities that would be going on. I departed Saturday afternoon and returned Monday night. In just over 48 hours my amazing husband managed to do more than I can accomplish in a week, showed me how much he loves me, and made it all look easy. Maybe a little too easy!

For starters he washed and stained our deck. This is no easy feat as our deck is enormous! Where he found the time is a mystery to me. He also got all the girls dressed and to church which is usually a big task when there are two of us. I expected to return home to a house in ruins, kids that hadn't been bathed since I left, none of Hailey's homework done, and kids that had eaten haphazardly. Boy was I wrong. He vacuumed the entire house, moped, tidied every room upstairs, made the beds, cleaned the kitchen in a way that I only get to once a month, did all the laundry (not folded yet), made the menu for the week, and went to the store and purchased all that I would need to make those meals!! As for the baths... They had all been bathed and when he realized I had taken the only brush with me (I know, why do we only have ONE brush in a house of 4 girls??) he used a fork to comb through Hailey's hair so she looked cute for school. The majority of Hailey's homework packet was completed and he had just fed them homemade chicken fingers with steamed broccoli and pasta.

I was so delighted to come home to a sparkling home, my sweet babies that had made me welcome home cards and gave me more hugs and kisses than I could have hoped for, and a super SAHD that did all of this to show me his love and appreciation. Such a blessed girl I am!

But at the back of my mind, I am no longer feeling indispensable as a mom. As a nurse, I know there is always someone who can fill my shoes and do as good as job as I can. But at home when you are running the household and juggling 20 things at once, you start to think that things would sink without you. Apparently not when you have Max as your husband. ☺

The Life of Grandma Allen

Dorthy Lucille Allen
January 21st, 1921 - September 12th, 2007


Lucille grew up on a farm just outside of Seneca, Kansas. She had 8 brothers and 2 sisters. She was a member of St. Peter and Paul and attended school there. She graduated high school in 1939. Most importantly, in 1948, she married her husband, Ray, right in the church where we will have her service on Monday. Ray and Lucille farmed in Kansas until 1953, when they moved to Colorado.

Lucille and Ray were married for 59 years. 59 years!! It is an amazing accomplishment in this day and age and one that Lucille was very proud of. Lucille and Ray were inseparable and upon arriving at their house on any particular day, you would find them sharing a can of Diet Pepsi and watching a baseball or football game. Shortly before her death, Lucille told her daughter that Ray was “the best husband any woman could ever have.” Lucille struggled for over 40 years with rheumatoid arthritis. During this time, her husband was there to help her, care for her, support her and guide her through the ups and downs of this terrible disease. His love and commitment never wavered even in the toughest of times and until the last minute of her life his concern and love for Lucille was apparent to everyone around them. All of the family would like to take this moment to thank their dad, their grandpa and their great grandpa for his patience, his strength and his never-ending love for Lucille.

The loving marriage of these two people is the solid foundation around which their family grew and continues to grow today. Lucille would like you to know that above all else she was a family person. She was devoted to her children and loved nothing more than to sit and watch her many grandchildren and great-grandchildren at family gatherings. She was continually amused and delighted with the growing number of great-grandchildren and recently celebrated the news that another one is on the way!

It is hard to put into a few words the essence of a woman who lived for 86 years. She was a simple woman who understood the important things in life. She could be stubborn, she could be funny, she could be cranky and she could be delightful. Above all else, she lived her life the best she could, holding God close to heart, loving her husband and family, living morally and simply, and setting a proud example for all of her descendents to follow. Although Lucille struggled for over 40 years with a debilitating and painful disease, if you were to ask Lucille today about her life, she would say that you shouldn’t mourn her too much. She lived a full and wonderful life surrounded by family, by friends and most of all by her loving husband. Lucille would want you to take this opportunity to connect with your family and friends and to know that she thanks all of you for being a part of her life.

Edited to note: This is the Eulogy that my mom wrote and was read at her funeral.

Happy Birthday Snork


Most parents don't get to choose the kids they get to raise, but you did. Thank you for choosing to be my dad and for loving me as your daughter. You have always been willing to give me the shirt off your back to help me along as I have grown up. Thank you and I love you don't seem big enough words to describe what is in my heart. Love you.

I Am Not Smarter Than A 1st Grader


You may have seen the show "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader"; well after helping Hailey with her homework this week I know that I am not even as smart as my 1st grader. We love the school she attends and are very proud that she tested into the advanced reading and math class, but I am a little overwhelmed with what is expected of a 1st grader these days. She is to do 20 minutes of independent reading every night (even weekends and they have a log sheet to keep you honest), a 10 page homework packet on grammar for the week, 2-3 math workbook pages a night, a small book that she has to read to me each night, and a 10 word spelling test every Friday. This week they also have a geography test. Here is a sample.
map shown

GEOGRAPHY TEST
1. She will be given a blank map of the world and has to write the names of the 7 continents and 4 oceans in the correct location.

2. She will have a multiple choice section that will ask things like:

What is the smallest continent?
What continent neighbors Europe?
What is the equator?
What continent do Giraffes and Lions come from?
What is the majority of the world covered by?
What continent do we live on?
What county do we live in?

GRAMMAR PACKET
Now for the one that really made me feel stupid. I know grammar is not my strong suit, but I don't think I ever learned this stuff!
The directions are as follows for 10 sentences:
Classify each sentence. Use SN for subject noun, V for verb, Adv for adverb, Adj for adjective, and A for article adjective. Underline the complete subject once and the complete predicate twice.

The eight little boys laughed loudly.
A Adj Adj SN V Adv

The eight little would be underlined once = complete predicate, and boys laughed loudly would be underlined once = complete subject.

I had to google complete subject and predicate. I plan on calling GrammaNette tonight to make sure we have it right! YIKES!!

EDITED
After talking to GrammaNette, I found that I still didn't get it right! The predicate is the verb part, so "laughed loudly" would be the predicate and "eight little boys" is the subject.

MATH
She is doing addition and subtraction in the double digits, telling time and counting money. Thankfully, I can still handle this subject, but probably not for long!:)

I think you have kids so you can really learn it at least once!

Grandma's Ball of String

Grandma Allen is in the final stages of life here on earth. I have become close to her in this last year as she needed more and more help. I am thankful we had this time together and had a chance to get to know each other as adults. As I look at my family that is so dear to me, I have realized that she was the ball of string that knit us together. She raised one of the most special, loving and wonderful people on earth, my mom. Grandma will be missed greatly. We are praying for peace for her and that Jesus will be waiting to carry her home.


I found this lovely poem by Don Iannone on his website. He has kindly granted me permission to publish it here. He has a collection of many beautiful poems.

old and new, tied together
like the large ball of string
grandma saved and added to
for more than fifty years

a grandmotherly thing to do
not just save string, but
string together family
otherwise lacking connection

without strings attached
her love brought us together
nurtured and helped us grow
like tender young flowers in her garden

each expression of her love
a thread of hope
spun out to us
just when we needed it

even her unassuming smile
unraveled us, bringing laughter
at times tears
always helping us find ourselves

even after all these years
grandma’s ball of string is still working
sustaining us
connecting us to what matters most

~ by Don Iannone

Desert Daddy Style

What do you get when you have a can of whip cream that is about to expire, kids that were part of the clean plate club for dinner, and daddy on patrol for desert?

Not only is Karlie's cup full of whip cream, she got a shot in her mouth.
Hailey got ice cream with whip cream on top and an extra shot to wash it down!

Dad can't be left out of the fun. The whip cream is about to expire!

Happy 3rd Birthday RJ!!!


You are such a delight to be around. We love watching you grow. Have a happy day and we will see tomorrow!

Pothead


You can always count on kids to make you laugh. Hailey came up to me as proud as she could be and declared that she was a "pothead"! If she only knew.

The book that started it all

Kaitlin was a difficult baby and had colic. In those first weary months I swore I was done and did not want to go through that again. This was music to Max's ears. But I have always wanted four children. So after time had eased the pain of those colicky first months and Kaitlin entered that adorable baby age of sweet smiles and sleeping through the night, I started to talk about #4. Max and I were going back and forth on the issue for months. There were pros and cons of adding one more addition and we weren't sure when or even IF we should go for it. We both prayed that God would make it clear what was best for our little family. Of course we never discussed this in front of the kids. Who wants to get into a discussion about where babies come from?! Then one night in April while I was at work and Max was rocking Kaitlin to sleep, Hailey wrote this story. She had all the pages ready for him to help her put into a book when he was done. I am sure he thought I had planted a seed in Hailey's mind, but I never spoke of it to her. I got home the next morning and he asked me what this is all about. I was as surprised as he was and very moved. We looked at each other and had our answer.

The whole family with little baby inside my tummy.
On our way to the hospital!
Me in the hospital bed. She detailed my two prior cesarean scars.
The nurse helping me have the baby. Yes, the baby is blue. She saw the pictures of when Kaitlin was born and remembered how blue she was. :)
Mommy with tears of joy holding the new baby.
Heading back home from the hospital.

I hope her story is right.

MKHKK?


Max OS(OffSpring) Version 4.0 due out May 2008