Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm so proud of Karilyn

On Sunday, Karilyn sang for two services in her Cherub Choir, recited part of a verse, and also played Mary in her Sunday school play. I was feeling rather apprehensive about the whole thing. I was worried we'd get sick, or Karilyn would be nervous or who knows!

The singing was first. Another mom and I stayed in back of the kids for the performances to make sure no one fell off the bleachers and to keep them "in line". They did really well for the first service. When it came time to exit the stage some of the kids went over to the other side of the stage to say their verse, while the other mom and I were supposed to help the rest exit. It didn't go so well. Some of the kids followed the other ones, one walked across the stage in the back, and one went down the steps to find her mom. I was chasing kids everywhere, in front of everyone. Yikes. I'm sure it was probably pretty humorous. It went okay during the rehearsal, so I didn't see this coming.

The second performance didn't go as smoothly as the first. Some of them were sitting, some were moving all over the place, others weren't really singing. But the exit process went well, thanks to my fear of not wanting to chase kids all over the stage again.

Then it was time for the play. Karilyn did so well. She was beaming as Mary. She looked so sweet doing all her things perfectly, except when she almost dropped baby Jesus on his head. Too bad I didn't get a picture of that.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A puncture wound, a sliced finger, and several bruises later...

We have safer basement stairs!

I've always wanted to have our basement steps carpeted, it made me so nervous that someone could fall and get really hurt. It problem is though, I'm cheap! However, now that we are going to be using our basement more frequently, especially after Christmas, I wanted to feel safer about having the girls walk up and down the steps, especially Heidi. So I thought, how hard could it be?

I gave myself a budget of $100 and did some research. I wanted to surprise Dave and have it be one of his Christmas presents. I got all the tools I needed on Monday and went to the Habitat Restore to get the carpet and pad yesterday. I went over my budget by about $20, but I got really nice carpet.

I got to work after lunch and got 4 steps completely finished before I punctured my leg with a utility knife. Ouch! Simultaneously, Heidi woke up from her nap, prematurely, and was screaming her head off. So I called Dave, who was due home anyway. By now, he figured out what I was doing. So he came home and helped me finish. Unfortunately, there are no pictures of ME carpeting the stairs, and I did most of it. Oh well.

Don't look too closely!

The sliced finger was Dave's, on a pair of scissors, and the bruises are all mine.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The After Pictures

I'm bummed that I didn't think to get "before pictures". I spent the weekend cleaning up the basement. It was really bad! There was rice EVERYWHERE from our rice box. There were also all kinds of toys, books, and various trash items spread everywhere. I was at the point of not letting anyone down there as I would have died of embarrassment.

My motivation to clean all started Friday night when Dave and I went to an auction. I'm kind of a chicken at auctions and I'm afraid to raise my little yellow card up, so I missed out on some things. I'm hoping to get over my timidness because I really enjoy getting good deals and the whole auction atmosphere is fun, except when it's really cold like it was on Friday night.

Anyway, we weren't going to go to the auction but my mom and I just happened upon it as we were driving home from Ikea. At Ikea I bought 2 bins, a broom and a dust pan, a real exciting trip. Anyway, I am so glad we stopped at the auction.

They had a $1,900 school bus indoor play set thing. We waited and waited for the bidding to start. When it did, I handed my yellow card over to Dave and told him I didn't want to go higher than $250. I knew it was a long shot, as I thought it would go for at least $1000. I was sad when the bidding go up to $250, but then Dave bid $300 as I gasped and nearly fell off my chair. I sat there as the auctioneer did his thing, "Do I hear a $350...$ all maple play set...think of the grand I hear a $350?" Then after a minute he pounded his little gavel and said, "sold to seller #73." We won, I was so happy.

It's kind of cool, I had a bit of a disappointing week and I was questioning some of God's plans. I feel like God put this there for us, I've always wanted one, but knew that we couldn't fork out $2000 for one. I've had that happen countless times before, where I've wanted something or needed something and God puts it right in front of my face for free or a small amount of money. Sometimes I've had to wait a couple of years, but his timing is always worth the wait.

Anyway, I couldn't put a nice, new play set down in our dirty basement, so that's where my motivation came from. The plan is to build it on Christmas eve and surprise the girls with it. We also have a rope ladder and rings to hang.

So here are the pictures:

I did this all by myself, well almost, Dave moved a white chair for me. He was busy insulating our garage.

I'll post pictures of the new play set after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My favorite Quote and our Christmas lights

Karilyn got herself dressed today and said:

"I don't really kind of feel like matching much today."

In an effort to spend more time together as a family this year we are doing The 12 Dates of Christmas. We did our first one today. We took Karilyn and Heidi to see Santa. Okay, so we don't believe in Santa at our house, but they were having a santa party at my OB's office and Karilyn and Heidi LOVE going there, so I thought they would have fun. They'll be so excited, I have an appointment tomorrow too. You would be able to see Karilyn's newborn picture on the wall behind santa if the tree wasn't blocking it, and if the picture was a little bit bigger.

And here is our house all decorated:

I walked out across the wet street in my socks to get the picture. And yes, the lights over the garage aren't cooperating, thanks for noticing.

And, oh dear, Dave got another deer. A doe, I asked him if we could actually keep some of the meat this time.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Professional Gingerbread house makers, WATCH OUT!

We created some "really cool" houses today. Shall I enter them in a contest?

The pictures just don't do them justice, they are even more awful in real life. I'm really bad at gingerbread houses!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Just some thoughts

This is going to be a long, boring post, but I wanted to put some thoughts into words and I decided to use my blog to do it. So don't feel obligated to read this or make a comment.

I've been doing some thinking and pondering lately on parenting. I try to practice gentle discipline techniques. I'm not perfect, I'm far from it, but I think a lot about how I should handle certain situations so that my girls will grow up respectful of others and with tenderness. I also read a lot of books, mostly the good ones, and if they're not good, I make comments in the margins. I guess that way if I ever suffer from amnesia, I'll know what I would want myself to do.

First, for some reason, I've been thinking about the punishment techniques some parents use. I don't really believe that punishment works, so I don't use it. I group spanking and time-outs in the punishment category. I don't believe that these should be labeled as "discipline" as some parents would suggest, I believe that discipline means guidance, not punishment. I don't see how spanking a child is guiding them to be a better person. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Actually, I think that these forms of punishment (spanking and time-outs) breed selfishness. Here's why: It may cause the child to think about what he did, but the problem lies in the fact that he can only think about how it will affect him. He is not guided to think about how his actions affect others, he makes his decisions on whether or not something might negatively affect him.

I'm going to give an example of a little boy who hits his sister. One option is that the mother gives the boy a time-out, the boy is being punished for his actions, it's a consequence that directly affects him. Life doesn't work that way. When we do something we shouldn't, it's not us who usually have to face consequences, most of the time other people are the ones who suffer for our mistakes.

The other thing the mother can do is to explain to the boy that it is wrong to hit his sister because it hurts her. She can say, "Look at her face, she is crying, that hurt her when you hit her." I believe that a kid is more willing to stop a bad behavior when they understand that it does affect other people.

Let me now translate that into adult lives. We have people who speed up and down our street. I'm sure pretty much everyone can relate to this problem. It's frustrating. I thought about it. I don't speed because I know that it could potentially harm someone else. So then I thought, why do people speed? I believe that they were raised in this selfishness way. They think about how the speeding would affect them directly, they speed because getting a ticket is not that big of a deal to them. They have lost the ability to think about how their actions might affect others.

So, today, in Heidi's Sunday school class, I got a chance to test out my theories. I went in with her because she had a bad experience last week. Even today, with me there, she wanted to leave. I quickly learned why she got so upset last week. There were a couple little kids that pushed a grabbed a lot. I think someone might have pushed her or taken something from her last week. Some people might label my child as sensitive for reacting by crying, but I see nothing wrong with being upset over being violated. Oh ya, and I'm against labels.

One little boy was particularly "bad", I used the quotation marks because I'm against labels, but for the sake of the story I had to describe him. Anyway, he grabbed toys from everyone, just to do it. The teachers in her class do a great job, but I think people just don't know how to handle such a little stinker. They told him to "share" when he grabbed toys from other kids. I have big issues with the word share. First of all, it's a big concept for a two year old to understand, especially when you just use the word "share". Some kids even think they are "sharing" because they took something from someone else, in a sense "sharing". I also wouldn't tell a child something that I would feel silly telling an adult. I wouldn't say to another adult in church, "you need to share that hymnal", I would say, "Can I also use your hymnal?"

I've found that explaining to a child what you expect him to do works so much better. Instead of using the word "share", I say something like, "Karilyn would like a turn with that doll when you are all finished." I explain it more if I need to. It takes more time to explain what you expect of a child, but it's worth it. If you're just going to say "share", than you'd actually be better off saying nothing.

So, back to Heidi's class. This little stinker went up a grabbed a toy saw and screw driver right out of her hand. Heidi started to cry. I said to him, "Look at Heidi, that made her very sad when you took the saw from her. She likes to be asked for things". I saw his little eyes kind of turn up as if he was thinking and he stood there and pondered for a minute. He didn't give the saw back, but I think at that point it would have hurt his pride too much.

Now, I'm not calling myself a miracle worker or anything, but I saw a change in that little boy. He didn't take anything from anyone else the rest of the class, and he became my little buddy. He sat by me during the story and wanted to play with me. It was like I gained his respect, I think he was glad that someone explained it to him.

So I'm trying to come up with some ways that help Heidi handle these types of situations in a way that's respectful to every party. It's hard though, since she still isn't talking much. For the time being, I think that showing her the "girl" toys and encouraging her to play with those will help since her class in mostly boys and I don't see any little boys grabbing dolls out of little girls hands. I could be wrong though, we'll see how it goes.

Now wake up and go get some coffee.

And, Valli? Did I use the right "affect", or should I have used "effect"? That one always confuses me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Last Straw

I've had it up to my eyeballs with the general public. We did some shopping today, I know, I'm crazy. It seems that people forget how to drive when it's busy or something. I had one lady block the entire intersection right in front of me for an entire light cycle. Traffic wasn't blocked where I was going, but because she absolutely had the be the next person into the Kohl's parking lot, all of us that were just trying to get through had to wait.

I'm tired of being run into, pushed, cut off, etc. in stores. My sister and I used to pretend to be rude people in stores and run into each other on purpose. We laughed and laughed!

But, the last straw just happened at the post office. So I just had to mail a simple package. I walked in and there was this THIN person moving very slowly, you know, the kind of person that's "thin", like a straw. Well, this one was a little on the obese side and it was obviously interfering with her ability to walk. Me, being the nice person that I am, didn't try to hurry up and get past her in the short walk from the door to the line for the counter. I just casually walked slowly, after all she did enter the door before I did. It would have to be a very rude person to run ahead and cut her off, right?

But then out of no where, this second THIN person enters the scene. This one was a little less obese, so she was able to maneuver herself rudely in front of me, but she didn't darn cut the other THIN person.

Wait a minute!

I was like, did she actually just do that?

Then, it's "her" turn to go up the the counter and she takes FOREVER! She had the postal worker pull out every kind of stamp that was available and took her good old time deciding on which ones to buy.

I had a simple package, one minute's worth of counter time.

I can help but wonder if she would have cut me in line if I was THIN like her?

Okay, I know I might of lost some of you with my "thin" comments. If you are curious I'll fill you in on the whole story. Those of you who do understand, do you like my title, ironic eh?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Really Incredible when you think about it

"He replied, 'Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you" -Matthew 17:20

I was looking through some old pictures and I was amazed again at how cool God's world is. It reminds me that when things seem impossible that God can do it. We started out with very small sunflower seeds and they grew into flowers that were taller than us. They had trunks on them as strong as a small tree, in a few short months. I know this because I pulled them up out of the ground recently and it was really hard work.

Here is the "little" sunflower sprouting up out of the ground. The one on the right is a morning glory; we planted them to climb up our sunflowers.

Here is one of the really tall ones. I didn't get any pictures of when they were REALLY tall.

This is our sunflower patch at the very beginning.

Here it is towards the end of summer. We didn't realize that sunflowers end up facing east once their heads are too heavy to follow the sun. So they point in the direction at which they first see the sun. Next year we will be planting the sunflowers on the other side of the yard. I think we might put a blueberry patch in this location.

I also like these pictures which show a big change in just about a month's time:

Monday, November 17, 2008

I got my sister a goat for Christmas

Christmas is approaching very fast and I have been brain-storming about what I'm going to get everyone. I called up my sister Amy today and we decided to go in together and buy a goat and two chickens for a struggling family as our Christmas present to each other. It is through a wonderful organization called World Vision. Their website is I feel very good about this gift as I have too much stuff anyway!

Thanks for the goat and chickens Amy!

With a pair of chickens and a goat, we'll provide a steady supply of eggs, milk, and meat to feed children and transform lives.

In redemption of the deer

This should make up for the murder of the deer...

I've been feeling somewhat apprehensive about getting our kittens de-clawed so I've been doing some research. I've read that, apparently, if you give cats adequate things of their own that they can use to scratch and stretch, and a little training, that they should leave your furniture and carpet alone.

I haven't made up my mind yet, but I asked Dave if he would build me/the cats a cat tree. We had the scrap wood and carpet so basically we would be out no cost! He actually thought that it would be a great idea and was enthusiastic about building it, I love my husband! I think he was excited about building it to save the couple hundred dollars it would have cost us!

So I searched the Internet for ideas and we came up with this which we, mostly Dave, spent ALL weekend building:

I'm not sure who likes it more, the cats or the girls.

It didn't take Smokey long to properly use it as a scratching outlet!

Dave says that if the cats don't like it that he was going to get new cats that do.

Next, we are going to build a cat castle for the girls room. We are going to look for pink and purple scraps for the covering. It's going to be a Christmas present for Karilyn, Heidi, Sparky, and Smokey, don't tell them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Poor Deer

Dave brought home this last night:

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Smokey and Sparkle-works

Well, we finally broke down and got Karilyn a cat and since we were at it we got Heidi one too. Karilyn has been asking for a cat ever since she could talk. A few weeks ago I met a friend of a friend who had kittens so I told her we might be interested. Now we have two cats, both girls. Poor Dave, even our pets are all girls.

We let the girls name their cats. Heidi named hers Smokey, or "Mokey", she stole the name from you Caiti, I hope you don't mind. Karilyn named her cat Sparkle-works. I think we might call her sparkle for short, or maybe sparky.

Dave and I did a LOT of contemplating! I'm not sure I've ever been so stressed out about a decision before, but I did it for Karilyn and Heidi.

Heidi is a mother hen with her cat. She tries to make her eat, drink, and pee all the time. She pushed her around in a stroller for a very long time. Karilyn just likes to sit and hold her cat. The cats are really tolerant of the girl's less than gentle handling.

Misty is tolerating the cats pretty well, she doesn't seem to care much. Karilyn's cat is more afraid of Misty than Heidi's cat. But we've not had anything worse than a bit of hissing. I think they'll get used to the idea of living together really soon.

I'm sure you all want to see pictures:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Happy Birthday Heidi!

Heidi's birthday was last Thursday. I can't believe she's two already! We celebrated her birthday with grandma and grandpa. Grandma made her a turtle cake. Here are a few pictures from the party extravaganza:

We let her blow out her candles 3 times, she wanted to do it over and over again.

She had to immediately cut the tags off of her new outfit. She also got a new leotard, that's all she ever wants to wear anyway.

She put her outfit on backwards.

Karilyn helped her open all her presents.

Happy Birthday, my sweet little girl!

Never in my life have I wanted to leave a place so badly

I know I just posted, but I wanted to post this as well.

I have been contemplating on what hospital I wanted to go to for birth and who I wanted to attend it. I like my old doctor, but I have some bad experiences at the hospital that he delivers at. So I thought I would try a hospital in a different city and see what I thought of some midwives. Some of my friends really liked the midwives and the hospital.

So on Friday I went to my first appointment with the midwives. It was horrible! They were really pushy with what they wanted to do, like testing and stuff. I thought midwives were supposed to be more natural, I guess most are, but they seemed really clinical! I could kind of tell by the paperwork they had me fill out.

Then it all went horribly wrong when the midwife told me I needed to wean Heidi! OK, pick your jaw back up off the floor, It's normal in most cultures, and the World Health organization recommended breastfeeding for AT LEAST 2 years! Nobody tells me to wean my kids, nobody! That decision is for me and them to make. She said that it would put extra stress on my body to continue to nurse. Hum, It didn't seem to be a problem that I nursed Karilyn through my entire pregnancy with Heidi, in fact, I was more healthy during that pregnancy than my first. There are even a lot of benefits to nursing while pregnant. So at that point I thought I could either argue or lie. I didn't want to do either. And, why would I want to go to somebody that didn't understand that this is an okay thing to do. My old doctor NEVER had a problem with it.

So after that, she took me into the examination room and handed me a paper sheet to cover up with. My old doctor didn't use paper, he had nice soft sheets to cover up with and nice cotton gowns to wear instead of paper. Are you getting it, at this point I'm really missing my old doctor.

She didn't even try to find the heart beat, I've always heard it at 9 weeks with my other two. So I was kind of sad about that.

Then, I went to a different room to get my blood drawn and a different girl came in to do it and she was complaining to me, a new patient, that the office didn't put her pay check in on time and she was having bank problems. Do I really want to go to a place that doesn't pay it's employees?

When I got to the van, where Dave was waiting for me with the girls, I started bawling. He probably thought that sometimes horrible had happened. I was so upset that It took me a while to be able to tell him that I just didn't like it there. I know, kind of dramatic and emotional of me!

So, I'm going back to my old doctor! Yeah!

I was kind of laughing at myself. At work, sometimes we'll have people just get up and walk out in the middle of a procedure because of nerves or whatever. I've always thought that they must have serious problems or something. I came REALLY close to doing that!

For the record...

Some may not like what I'm about to say. If you have a problem with it, go away, seriously!

I am deeply saddened by the way the election turned out. I couldn't sleep last night. So just for the record I voted for McCain and Palin!

Obama spent more money than anyone ever did on a presidential campaign, a lot more, and in the middle of a financial crisis. How do people think he's going to limit his spending in the White House?

He makes promises to fix the economy. He blames, as many Americans do, President Bush for the bad economy. I blame Americans who took out loans they knew they couldn't pay for. I blame Americans who took out loans for amounts worth more than their house, borrowing $700,000 on a house worth $200,000 is not okay! They like to blame the banks, but honestly, I think the people are even more at fault. I blame Wall street and Americans for being greedy! How dare they blame President Bush!

I have a problem with people who say that by voting for the white guy I'm being racist. I didn't not vote for Obama because of his race, I didn't vote for him because I didn't like his values, attitude, or plans. I think it would be ignorant to vote because of race. I did my research on the candidates. Should we stop and wonder if the 95% of African Americans did their research or just voted on race alone? I guess I've got a problem with people who have never cared to vote before now? Would they have come out of the woodwork to vote if Obama was white?

I'm scared and worried. I'm worried that we will loose rights; health care rights, education rights, and financial rights are just some. I'm worried that my boss will be taxed a lot more! Obama has been full of promises, It sure seems like he won't be able to keep most of these! He promises change in this country, it will be interesting to see if he can do that, and still keep peace. I feel like McCain was more honest and realistic with what he said he would and could do.

I'm also bothered that the media announces on election day, after half of American has voted, that Sarah Palin was, by the way, not found guilty of unlawfully firing one of her people. Anyone who does their research would have known this anyway, but the media's portrayal of the candidates is upsetting and unfair. They're reporters, and although I see through them, I'm afraid that a lot of people take them seriously. Of course, I could talk all day about the media.

I know I'm not alone in feeling a little scared and disappointed, but It pains me to think more Americans believe in Barak Obama than John McCain. It's frustrating that my state went for Obama, and not only that, but my own county.

So for the record, if Obama doesn't "fix" our problems, I voted for John McCain and Sarah Palin! This may seem trivial or obvious, I've never been very good at writing or politics, but I wanted to get these thoughts out of my head so I can sleep tonight.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Trick or Treat...Fall asleep!

We had trick or treating on Sunday. Neither Karilyn or Heidi could decide on what they were going to wear. Karilyn finally had a real pretty princess dress picked out and Heidi kept going back and forth between a skunk and a cow, and sometimes a dog.

It came time to leave and Karilyn changed her mind and went upstairs and put on a too small princess dress nightgown thing with brown polka-dot tights and a maroon long-sleeved shirt underneath.

Heidi thought she wanted to wear the skunk, but then at the last minute threw a fit and wanted it off. She said she would be the cow, but I couldn't get that on her either! So she had it in the wagon and wore black pants and a white shirt. It would have been really cute with a cow over top.

Heidi didn't make it half way around the neighborhood before she was out cold! It should have been her favorite activity too, going around and getting "nandy".

Notice how she is at least "holding" her costume

Don't worry, we still have our status as the neighborhood hooligans, everyone else's kids looked really cute and wore appropriate costumes.

I won't be quiting my day job...

to become a hair cutter lady.

Karilyn cuts her hair on a pretty regular basis. Usually it's just a little here or a little there. Like the other day, she was making a scrapbook page of Heidi's first haircut, ha ha, and she cut off just a little bit of her own hair to paste on to the page. Not today, it was a little off the top, a little off the sides, a little from the back, a little everywhere. I'm sad because she cut bangs! It was just starting to look nice too! She told me she wanted to look like Laura.

This picture doesn't really do it justice to how bad it was after she cut it.

So I'm too cheap and lazy to take her to the haircutting place. So I thought I'd give it a try myself. Here are the after pictures. I tried to make it look like Laura's haircut as much as possible. She was really pleased with how it turned out. I kind of just "ignored" the part where she cut bangs, you can still see it in the pictures a little.