The First Ever Human to Plant Viral Transmission...

Hailey to me this morning. "Mom, did Hank give the bananas Chicken Pox too?" What a turkey!

Hank's 1st Birthday

What to do when stuck in the house with a sick kid for a week? Blog! Here are Hank's first birthday pictures. On his actual birthday I made him a chocolate cake. He was thrilled with everyone singing to him and began to clap. He also had great fun smashing up his own cake. He took cake by the fistful and shoved it in his mouth.








For his party last Saturday we made this cake. It turned out pretty cute. It is the first time I have ever had no cake left. The kids ate all of the fondant balls too. They thought they were gum balls!
Yeah, I am riding in a dump truck. Got a problem with it? It has been fun to get so many "boy" toys. Balls, trucks, hammers and such.

There were 15 adults and 11 kids all singing to him and he enjoyed every minute of it!
He ate his entire piece of cake and most of the ice cream. Little man knows how to eat!

Kaitlin's 3rd Birthday

Turning 3 is certainly cause for celebration. Apparently 3 times! Kaitlin had 3 birthday celebrations. Her first was with her best friend Addison. It was a friends Tea Party. Addison was also turning three so her mom and I hosted a tea party. Max and Addison's dad dressed in their finest attire and were the servers. We had tea sandwiches, tea in fancy china, boas, frilly dresses, pink purses and top hats for the boys. I am so disappointed our camera ran out of batteries. It was really cute. The girls ate up all the attention and fuss. I made two smash cakes with pink fondant and placed a crown on the top of each one so each girl could have her own cake. We tied tulle around the chairs and added pink flair to the dinning room. It was a princess tea for sure!If that wasn't enough, the Birthday girl decided for her actual birthday where she got to choose the menu for the day that she would like to go to "Punkin Toodys" (Gunther Toody's).
She was a little startled when the entire wait staff came and sang to her. I wasn't sure if she was going to smile or cry.

On Easter we had her family birthday party. Kaitlin's speech therapist turned her on to Dora and she has become a major fan. She wanted nothing more than a Dora Cake. I tried to persuade her to let me just put a little Dora candle on a regular cake but she wouldn't have it. She wanted Dora. So disastrous Dora is what she got. I won't be going into cartoon cakes that's for sure! Luckily for me a three old is a pretty soft critic and she was delighted with the freaky looking Dora. Gotta love kids!

Turning 3 is a pretty big deal! What is 16 going to be like?

What a Difference A Day Makes

Only in Colorado can you go from snowing with 5 inches on the ground to warm and sunny and almost all the snow gone in one day. Crazy spring we are having. I am ready for a little more summer like weather. Along with the extended winter has come extended illness. We found out today that Hank has Chicken Pox.

We celebrated his birthday with our family and friends (the original day got snowed out) on Saturday and he wasn't acting his normal jovial self. I figured the slight temperature was due to his shots that he got on Friday. Nope. I just infected everyone we care about with Chicken Pox. He started to break out with what I thought was a rash on Saturday night. We took him to church on Sunday and infected all the kids there. I did my grocery shopping this morning before talking to the pediatrician. So we contaminated all King Soopers shoppers too. I am such a good mom!

We are hunkered down for a week to try and not contaminate the rest of Colorado. To think this morning I thought he had just a rash related to a food allergy or the shots. What a difference a day can make!



Thursday 13~ Reasons to Un-plug From the TV

In honor of National Turn Off Your TV Week, I thought I would highlight just 13 of the major reasons to turn off or at least decrease the amount of TV you watch, especially with children. With all the violence, school shootings, sky rocketing out of wedlock babies, obesity, demoralization, and dumbing down of our nation I think it is clear to see these are symptoms of America's TV addiction. When you think back to a week ago do all the shows you watched come to mind? There is about 35 hours of time lost for the average adult. I encourage you to try to un-plug for just one day and see what a difference it makes! God did not create us to be mindless blobs.
1. Four-year-olds watching the daily average (3.5 hours) were 25 percent more likely to become bullies.

2. The child who watching eight hours of television per day was 200 percent more likely to bully.

3. There is a direct correlation between a child’s weight and the number of hours the child spends watching television. As TV viewing has risen over the past three decades, so has the average weight of American children.

4. The number of sexual incidents that occur during the "family hour" prime-time hour increased more than 400 percent since 1976.

5. Researchers, stating that violent animated shows can cause the child to become desensitized to violence, suggested that parents follow the American Academy of Pediatric guidelines for watching television. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend NO TV for children under 2 and no more than two hours of viewing time a day for older kids.

6. Children spend more time watching television than in any other activity except sleep. - Huston and Wright, University of Kansas. "Television and Socialization of Young Children."

7. A study of 1792 adolescents ages 12-17 showed that watching sex on TV influences teens to have sex. Youths who watched more sexual content where more likely to initiate intercourse and progress to more advanced noncoital sexual activities in the year following the beginning of the study. Youths in the 90th percentile of TV sex viewing had a predicted probability of intercourse initiation that was approximately double that of youths in the 10th percentile. Basically, kids with higher exposure to sex on TV were almost twice as likely than kids with lower exposure to initiate sexual intercourse. - Study Conducted by RAND and published in the September 2004 issue of Pediatrics.

8. By age 18, a U.S. youth will have seen 16,000 simulated murders and 200,000 acts of violence. - American Psychiatric Association

9. Levels of brain activity are measured by an electroencenograph (EEG) machine. While watching television, the brain appears to slow to a halt, registering low alpha wave readings on the EEG. This is caused by the radiant light produced by cathode ray technology within the television set. Even if you're reading text on a television screen the brain registers low levels of activity.

10. Children younger than 8 "cannot uniformly discriminate between real life and fantasy/entertainment… They quickly learn that violence is an acceptable solution to resolving even complex problems, particularly if the aggressor is the hero."

11 .Academic achievement drops sharply for children who watch more than 10 hours a week of TV, according to the report "Strong Families, Strong Schools," from the U.S. Department of Education, December 1994.

12. In a 65-year life, that person will have spent 9 years glued to the tube. NINE Years! Is there anything else you would have rather done with those years?

13. "I will set before my eyes no vile thing." Psalm 101:3


Now I have to go turn off Curious George the kids are watching while I have done this. :)

32

What is a 32nd Birthday? Pretty boring. :) I think it is a bad sign that Max was trying to compliment me last night by telling me I "looked 25" and asked if I was "using a new skin product because you are looking really young today." I wasn't sure if I should say thank you or kick him. Anyway. Here are 32 random things about me in the order they came to my mind.

1. Family is everything to me.
2. Motherhood has transformed me. I like to think more like a butterfly than an ogar.
3. I am crazy about kids, mine in particular.
4. God has gotten a hold of my heart and I am growing in my journey with Him.
5. I am still totally smitten with Max.
6. I think I will go back to nursing when the kids are all in school.
7. I used to have real blonde hair and now I have fake blonde hair. Blondes do have more fun!
8. I still have real blue eyes.
9. I have real boobs but hopefully one day they will be fake. See, now it won't be such a big deal when I get them. LOL
10. I hate cleaning the house but am getting better at it.
11. I love to cook.
12. I love to bake even more.
13. I am stubborn.
14. I am not good at saying sorry. Sorry Max for all the times you were right and I never said so. :)
15. My mom is my best friend.
16. My sisters are a close runner up.
17. I am the woman I am today because Snork chose to be my dad.
18. I have 3 college degrees and am using none of them, but still paying for them!
19. My self indulgences are pedicures and a Mocha from Starbucks.
20. I have always wanted to play an instrument. I am thinking empty nest will be the time to do this.
21. I am lucky to have the in laws I do. They are like my second parents. Unfortunately for them, they got to deal with another teenage girl. Once again, sorry. :)
22. I won a beauty pageant in high school. Sorry mom and Snork for the rip off but thanks for letting me learn I am not beauty queen material.
23. My idea of a vacation include palm trees, sand, ocean, fruity drinks with umbrellas in them, and it is so hot the only appropriate attire is a bathing suit.
24. My favorite food is Mexican. You name it, I will eat it.
25. My favorite dessert is cheesecake and brownies.
26. I also really like Sushi.
27. I like to sew and knit. Maybe some more activities for empty nest.
28. I like to mountain bike ride. Too bad they don't have some sort of attachment for kids. Pretty impossible to do this these days.
29. I am happiest when hanging out with Max and the kids.
30. I think TV is a waste of life.
31. I love fiercely and am loyal.
32. I am slowly learning how to just enjoy the present without always working toward the future or remembering the past.

Happy 1st Birthday Hank!

On this day, I am overflowing with many emotions. I am so grateful for your life. I can't praise God enough for the many miracles He did so you could be our son. He has blessed us more than once during your short little life. I am filled with joy when I look back at your first year. I am filled with sadness that this day marks the end of my baby era. I am excited at the thoughts of you growing into a little boy. I am delighted with the love and joy you bring to our family. You complete us. We love you Mr. Hank!
Press Play to enjoy music with the slide show.

Victoria's Secret Here I Come

After yesterday's Downer Debbie post, I thought a little Friday Fun was in order. One look at me in this sexy number and it is no wonder we have four kids in seven years. I can tell you the front of this nursing bra is just as remarkable. Pop in two nursing pads and I am practically a Victoria's Secret model. Just imagine the wholes and runs as lace and the the rumpled up front as boobs instead of plastic and paper. While you are at it, imagine I am 2 inches taller and 10 pounds skinnier.

This bra has seen me through the best and worst of times. She has held me up through encouragement, through those horrible first weeks of nursing when I thought I might die, through babies sleeping through the night, and through ALL four of the years I nursed my babies. It is going to be hard to let her go. I am sure Max will have no problem putting her in the trash but we have a bond he couldn't understand.

When she started to deteriorate after Karlie, I thought to myself, 'Oh, I will get some new bras with the next baby.' But Kaitlin was such a hard baby I considered being done and didn't want to invest in another nursing bra. In my younger (pre-baby) days I would have thought nothing of dropping $30 on a new bra, but that is like 2 weeks worth of diapers! So I held onto her and pulled her out for go around #4. She has been hollding on for dear life. She has been a good, faithful servant. Now that my nursing days are coming to a close, it is time for her to be released of her duty and put out to pasture.

A Bad Day at Work

I had a rough day at the office yesterday. My boss doesn't pay me enough for days like this. I hope by recording these "precious" moments I will avoid wearing rose colored glasses when I look back at my child rearing years. There are a lot of wonderful times, but there are also tough times when I think, 'if I was working, the babysitter would have to be doing this!'

It started out with Kaitlin wetting the bed in wee hours of the morning. Once we all got up I washed her bedding and showered her. Then the normal hustle and bustle of getting the girls off to school. I was feeling pretty proud of the fact that I had vacuumed, moped and done two loads of laundry. I had hopes for shriky dinks with Karlie during nap time and a relaxing movie night since Max was going to come home early (leave by 5p.m.) because he wasn't feeling good. All seemed to be going fine until Max called.

He is on service three out of the four weeks of April. This means working weekends and at least 12 hour days and up to the 18 he worked last Friday. How he managed to be on service more this month than any other month is a mystery to me. It only happens to be the month that 3 of his 5 family members have birthdays in. Anyway, he called to tell me that next week, the one week he is off service, he forgot to tell me he has to go on a business trip to North Carolina. Forgot to tell me! What? We will just end that portion of the day there and move right along to dinner.

I had just gotten all the food on the table and realized Hank had diarrhea leaking out his pants. This was the 4th outfit in 24 hours he had destroyed. I knew he was teething but didn't remember the one year molars being this vicious. Max, who was home sick with a cold (I could go on another rant about sick men, but will save that for another day) tried to tackle the job but called for reinforcement. The diarrhea was up to his chest and he had stuck his hands in it and was waving fecal fist all over the place. Max was completely contaminated with feces. We got Hank's shirt off and I got contaminated in the process. Dinner sounded so appetizing at this point. We rinsed him off and tried to bleach ourselves clean.

Dinner was relatively uneventful except that it was cold. Hank wasn't enjoying his sweet potatoes as much as usual, but I still managed to get a whole jar down him. As we were clearing the table Hank let loose with the sweet potatoes. A gigantic splat over my freshly moped floor and down my leg and all over my shoe. It was so much it came out his nose, which he immediately went to wipe and then proceeded to rub it in his eyes and hair. Bath number two.

Hank is the worst bather. He splashes so much you might as well get in with him. After Karlie got a partial bath watching, she jumped in for the real deal. I started a vomit-diarrhea load of wash while Max supervised the bath. We got the kids out of the bath and did the nightly bedtime routine. Between brushing teeth and rocking Hank to sleep I ran to the bathroom. Great! My first period in nearly two years (pregnant for 9 and breastfeeding for 12)! I wasn't expecting that but with this kind of day I guess I should of. Is that why I almost reached through the phone to strangle Max earlier today? It is all starting to come into focus.

I have never been so happy to see the end of the day. I anticipated a night full of vomit and was relieved when Hank woke up at 3:45 a.m. with no vomit just ready to start the day. Too bad he didn't go back to sleep. I am hoping to make lemonade out of lemons or dessert out of stressed but I have lowered my expectations for today. If four little people get fed, clothed and to school, it will be a good day. :) It is all about expectations after all.

Easter 2009

Dyeing Easter Eggs is always so much fun. The smell of vinigar will forever conjure up brightly colored eggs.  It was nice this year to only have to assist one kid. Hank was too small to partake and Hailey and Karlie have mastered the skills to do it on their own.  The best part is Easter morning turning the colored eggs into creamed eggs!



This was the girls making the Easter Cookies.  The lesson was illustrated really well.  Karlie kept telling me how they hurt Jesus.  The cookies however were not much to speak of.  I think I put too big of dollop on the cookie sheet and they didn't "cook" all the way through and they tasted awful.  I'll just chalk that up as a Bible Study lesson rather than a recipe to pass on.

Curlers before bed is always so exciting for them.  This was the first time Kaitlin got hers done.  They didn't last pass tuck in. :)

Easter morning.  The Easter bunny left quite the loot.


This is the best you get after 124 pictures.  Getting 3 or 4 kids to all look at the camera and smile naturally is about one of the most frustrating activities.  NOT recommended before church.  Daddy was more like a rotten egg after this session.
We put up black fabric in high hopes of getting a keeper shot for the picture wall.  Guess I need to buy more fabric.
That's better.  Au natural.
Me and my little man.
My two guys.  They are a handsome pair if I do say so.

Easter Cookies

My girlfriend sent this to me and I thought it would be a great thing to do with the girls tonight.  Kids learn so much by hands on and I can't think of anything more important for them to learn than about the sacrifice and love of Jesus.

EASTER STORY COOKIES

To be made the evening before Easter

You need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
tape
Bible


Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important-don't wait until you're half done with the recipe)!

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed. Read Matt. 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. Read Matt. 28:1-9

Happy 3rd Birthday Kaitlin!

1. You have a special magnetic quality that draws people to you.
2. You are very tender hearted. An angry tone of voice can bring you to tears.
3. You call Macaroni and Cheese "knock knock knee".
4. You love your Bitty Baby and carry her everywhere you go. You really like to match her.
5. Karlie is your best buddy and role model.
6. You love to snuggle and give hugs.
7. You wake up around 5 a.m. so you can spend some special time with Daddy before he leaves to work.
8. You are my little shadow and would rather sit outside Hank's door when I put him to sleep than watch TV in another room.
9. The only TV you will watch is Dora and Baby Songs.
10. You are gentle and loving. Your sweet nature makes Daddy putty in your hand.
11. You love to help me bake and cook.
12. Your favorite breakfast is Life cereal, lunch is Macaroni and Cheese, dinner is pasta and tomatoes.
13. We call you R2D2 because you sound like him when you talk.

You are a joy to have in our family. You will always have a special spot in my heart because you birth was so magical. I love you so much Shuggie.

Spring Bust

We had grand plans for blasting off into a week of fun for Spring Break. But instead of sun and fun we got snow and colds. We tried to make the most of it, but it was pretty much a bust.Karlie at the space station center in the Museum of Nature and Science.

On Wednesday we hit one of our favorite places to visit, the Museum. The kids never tire of exploring through space, ancient Egypt, the kids' discovery zone, or many of the other exhibits. My favorite is the animal dioramas.
Max and the kids having a Lama race.

On Monday while it was a blizzard outside we went to the recreation center to swim. The girls rode down the water slides, swam in the lazy river, and played in the tot water land. Hank enjoyed soaking in the hot tub and the climbing in kiddie play area. Our fun was ended when the lifeguards blew their whistle and ordered everyone out of the pool. As we discussed having lunch and leaving, a lifeguard came by to tell us it would be 15 minutes or more for the chlorine to work. I asked what happened and he said, "some kid pooped in the lazy river." Well that was all we needed to call it a day.

No trips to the zoo or long bike rides or flying kites. It was mostly a bunch of this.
And a whole bunch of this. I think we got more snow in the week of spring break than we did in all of January and February combined.

I am hoping the sun will come out to play and KILL all the sick bugs in my house. Poor Hank has had one illness after another. We are currently battling Roseola. In the last week I have spent $90 in co-pays to the pediatrician! Talk about needing a break!