Friday, December 21, 2007

Mom and Dad's Cabin

My mom and dad just put a cabin on their farm, just a few feet away from their house. They plan to use it for guests and also as a cabin for hunters. I am trying to convince them to rent it out to weekend scrapbookers too! Anyway, we all just love it. It is so cute and cozy. I keep trying to get over there while I am here over Christmas to just relax and watch a movie, scrapbook or read a book by myself, but with the two kids, its almost impossible! I thought I would share some pictures with you.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Hooray for Isaac!

Isaac handed me this slip of paper last night and I was astounded! He has been working on his name for quite some time, but this is the first time he was able to print it perfectly without any help! I am so proud of him!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Some odds and ends from our life...

We just started solids last week, and Graham LOVES it! I am hoping he will be a better eater than Isaac. If the first bite is any indication, I'd say we're off to a good start because Isaac hated his first bite of rice cereal. Graham absolutely INHALES his food. He looks like a little hamster-he sort of hunches over and grabs the spoon with both hands and scrunches his little nose and slurps it out of the spoon. It is a total body experience for him, as you can see in the picture above! He's so cute!

Here's a couple recent funny Isaac stories:

*We celebrated our Christmas early on Saturday because we will be leaving next Friday to be with our family. Isaac LOVED all of his presents from his mom and dad. One of the things we got him is a real acoustic guitar for kids. After we got done opening gifts, we heard him strumming away on his guitar singing, "I love my parents, I love my parents..."

*Isaac came up to me the other day and showed me his little plastic pig from his farm set floating in a bowl of water with a couple of rocks. He said, "I put my pig in this water, do you know why?" When I said, "why?" he said, "because its his natural habitat."

*Isaac came running downstairs from his room and excitedly said, "Mama! we're having circle time! Come see!" I proceeded to go up to his room and found all of his little stuffed animals sitting on the baby's washrags in a circle (at his preschool the kids sit in a circle on carpet squares during circle time).

Friday, November 30, 2007

Student of the Week

Because Isaac was student of the week at preschool this week, I got to come into his classroom this morning. I had so much fun and I think Isaac really enjoyed having his mama there too! He wanted me to read a story to his classmates, and he picked "The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein, one of his favorites. Here are a few pictures of him doing his show and tell (he took a photo book today with some of his favorite pictures--mostly of him and grammy) and with his teacher, Mrs. Smith.
This morning as I was walking into his classroom, I got flashbacks of being a kid and having my mom come to my class for whatever reason. I can remember that always being such a treat and thinking she looked so pretty and being so glad she was there! Now, I am the mom...that is so weird to me! I still feel like I am 16 years old most of the time!
With Isaac having the option of doing kindergarten next year, I have been seriously contemplating what to do with him...there are so many questions-should I wait another year and do one more year of preschool (his birthday is in July)? Should I home school him? Should I enroll him in public school? I am really divided down the middle on the whole home school vs. public school debate. Does anyone have any insights for me? If so, I would appreciate you emailing me or leaving them in the comments.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Here is what we have been up to lately:

*Baby has been sleeping SO poorly lately-up four or five times per night and up FOR THE DAY at 5:30am which is crazy! I finally wrestled him down and looked in his mouth this morning and low and behold, I think he is getting his first tooth! I am hoping it pops through soon so he gets some relief!

*Isaac is "Student of the Week" at preschool this week. He gets to take show and tell every school day this week, so its been this huge deal deciding what he should take! Friday we get to visit his classroom and he wants me to read a story to his class.

*We were visited by the lovely stomach flu bug last week. Isaac was sick a week ago today, and Dave got sick Thanksgiving night. Thankfully I have not gotten sick. I have never anticipated an illness so much in my entire life. With every little twinge my stomach makes I think, "here we go" but, so far, nothing! Yaaay!

*I decorated for Christmas this past weekend. I did way more than I did last year and kept wondering why I was going through all of the effort since I doubt anyone will see it but us. But, I guess I shouldn't make it look nice just so others will see it. Our little family is special enough! It was tough doing the decorating with both kids underfoot. I kept wishing for a grandma to magically sweep in and take them away for awhile! Then I kept remembering a family who just lost their only child-an eight year old boy-who drowned in the bath tub after suffering a seizure (his mom had just run downstairs to shut something off and when she came back she found him). My heart breaks into a million pieces for them. I kept reminding myself how lucky I was to be "inconvenienced" by an active four year old and a teething, grumpy baby.

*We (meaning Liz) are trying to get our Christmas shopping all done. I made the mistake of venturing out on Black Friday by myself with the kids. The line at Kohl's to check out actually went from the front of the store way to the back by the customer service area! What was I thinking? I think I am going to do WAY more online shopping this year.

*I hope you enjoy my Christmas slideshow. My mom was paranoid that everyone who sees the picture of Graham with the lights would think we had subjected him to near electrocution. Let me say that he only had access to the lights for the half a second it took me to snap the picture and Dave was standing nearby and was in charge of watching him like a hawk to make sure he wasn't heading toward his mouth with a fistful of lights. The things I do for cuteness!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

First Snow!

We had our first snow this morning! Isaac has been home sick and feeling a little bit squirrely, so he was wishing he could go outside and play in the new snow! Too bad mommy isn't as excited about the snow as Isaac! When I see the first snow, all I have are feelings of impending doom and thoughts of a long, cold winter. I hate winter!

Yesterday Isaac said, "Mommy, my tummy is tired. My legs are tired. All my parts are tired." Have you ever felt that way? I know I have!

Thankfully, the rest of us have not gotten sick so far...

We were invited to our neighbor's house for thanksgiving. Because they had the same bug Isaac did, thanksgiving at their house was called off. So, Dave and I are planning our own little (big) lunch with all of our favorite things. Even though we miss our family, we are looking forward to a day of eating and relaxing!

We hope everyone has a wonderful thanksgiving!

Friday, November 16, 2007

This is a picture of the boys we just had taken...Double click to enlarge.

This is a picture of the boys we just had taken...Double click to enlarge.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I think I could fill a book with Isaac stories. Daily he provides me with material! I try to be "fair and balanced" with stories on each of my boys, but Isaac is a hard act to follow these days. All that being said, I do have to say that it is SO nice to have a baby to love and kiss on about a million times per day (and there is no resistance! He just sits there!). He is so lovable and sweet! He is showing us a little more of his personality each day. Some of his current "faves" are watching Isaac do ANYTHING (no one ever told me about this particular perk of having two can entertain the other for fairly long periods of time which allows mama to get something done!), his toes (can you imagine being able to comfortably reach down, grab a foot and chew on your toe for awhile?), his stuffed elmo doll and baby einstein DVD's. Oh, and just LOOK at those thighs! Aren't they the cutest things you have ever seen? (Double click on the picture to view them in all of their chubby splendor.)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A Day in the Life (and Death) of Isaac's Bear

This morning I was busy with the laundry, not paying any attention to Isaac who was happily playing away. Suddenly he excitedly came running up to me saying, "Mommy! Mommy! I shot the bear and it's dead! It's dead!" I had no idea what he was talking about, but wanting to appease him so I could get back to my laundry, I went over to the place his bear was laying on the floor. There he was, with those little ends for kid's pencils lodged in his between his eyes, and two more in his body. Then Isaac proceeded to ask me if I wanted any of the meat, and whether or not we should bury him. Oh my. Should I be concerned?
Well, a few moments later, his bear had been resurrected and he was teaching him how to play on the internet. I guess the moment of silence will not be necessary.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

All that and a Bag of Chips

Today we happened to be out and about at Target over the lunch hour, so Isaac, the baby and I stopped there for lunch (one of our favorite places for a quick bite together). I decided that Isaac and I could share a bag of chips and made the mistake of handing them over to him. Little did I know that with a bag of chips comes great power. He spent the entire lunch time doling out the pathetic tiny chips from the bottom of the bag to me and then he would proceed to giggle in this nasty little way. I was completely at his mercy. When he finally did put a bigger chip on my plate, he giggled again and immediately snatched it out of my possession.
The whole scene reminded me of another story from when Isaac was about two. At our old house, there was a very slanted driveway that went directly out into the street. I was always afraid Isaac would ride his trike on the decline and pick up speed and find himself in the street. So, I found a line in the cement and told Isaac he could never go past that line. Immediately after I told him this, he wheeled his little trike over to the line and slowly rolled his wheel until it was touching the very edge of the line. Then, he then sat there on his trike and just looked at me. Talk about kids pushing the limits!

Sunday, November 4, 2007


I went to an all day crop on Saturday with some friends. Here are a few of the pages I did. Because I am swimming in a sea of photos right now, I am into simple and clean layouts. If you click on the pictures, you can see them a little better.
It was SO fun to get away for a day and gab with girlfriends! It was also the longest period of time Dave had ever been alone with the baby (and both kids together) and he did great! I think I should go away more often! :)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Some Thoughts on Motherhood

It is official. I have become one of those mothers. You know the kind. Maybe you used to be one of those mothers. Or, maybe you had one of those mothers. Maybe you even are one of those mothers right now too.
They were the kind of mothers I would look at in all of my self-inflated college "coolness" about 10 or 12 years ago and roll my eyes. There they were in the grocery store, or in their mini-van, or at the park. "What do they do all day?" I would secretly think to myself. Buzzing around town in my frenzied state, I would become irritated if a mother in her "mommy-mobile" had the audacity to drive under the speed limit in front of me when I had somewhere very important to go.
I was smack-dab in the middle of the grocery store this morning with my two kids, and all of these thoughts came back to me. There I was, with Graham strapped to me in a snugli, drool dripping from his mouth and down my arm (leaving a huge wet spot on my sleeve) and Isaac in my cart. I was paging through my coupon organizer and wearing the customary "mom uniform" (sweats and tennis shoes). And as I noticed the glances of those around me, it occurred to me that I have been completely consumed by this incredible task of motherhood.
I remember feeling accomplished if I received a great compliment from others on my work with clients. Those same feelings of accomplishment would follow me confidently into my staff meetings, looking what I felt was pretty polished, to discuss things I felt pretty knowledgeable about. Now, my feelings of accomplishment come from using twelve dollar's worth of coupons at the grocery store, pulling through the day without baby puke somewhere on my person, and hearing Isaac say, "you look pretty mama" when I have just rolled out of bed in the morning. The successes are less clear and less frequent. What keeps me going are those nano-second glimpses I get of my children that tell me they are going to be OK. Not only OK, but uniquely suited for infinite plans God has for their lives.
So, I am alright with this. I may not be perfectly polished, but I have a four year old that thinks I am pretty. I may not always be confident, but I have a Heavenly Father that has armed me with his Word and the privilege of having two beautiful boys that have hailed me as the Queen of their world (and one big boy too!). I may not be accomplished, but my heart is filled to overflowing when Graham looks up at me and smiles that smile that is just for his mama. And I can honestly say, I love my life as one of those mothers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Here's a few pictures of our Halloween!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chicken in Basil Cream

Here is a recipie from my good friend Sara (who is one of my cooking heroes!). We had this at her house and loved it, and I just made it for supper the other night and it was SO yummy! I am NOT a cook, and this dish makes me feel like a gourmet-it looks really nice when you are finished with it! Here goes:

1/4 c. milk

1/4 c. dry bread crumbs

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

3 tbsp. butter

1/2 c. chicken broth

1 c. whipping cream

4 oz. jar pimentos drained

1/2 c. grated parmesean cheese

1/4 c. fresh basil minced

1/8 tsp. pepper

place milk and bread crumbs in seperate bowls. Dip chicken in milk then coat with crumbs. In a skillet, cook chicken in butter on both side about 10 min. or until done. Remove and keep warm. Add broth to skillet, bring to a boil over med. heat; stir to loose browned bits from pan. Stir in cream and pimentos. Boil and stir for 1 min. Reduce heat. Add parmesean, basil and pepper. Cook and stir until heated through. Pour over chicken.

Note: This is REALLY good with mashed potatoes- use the extra cream sauce for gravy. This is not a diet-friendly meal!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Interview with a four year old

Here is a transcript from a recent interview with Isaac:

Mom: Isaac, mommy is going to put a few of your favorite things on your website. What is your favorite color?

Isaac: Red

Mom: TV Show?

Isaac: (looking at the TV and seeing what is on) umm, Jimmy Neutron

Mom: Movie?

Isaac: (looking at the TV again) Jimmy Neutron

Mom: Are you sure? Think about all your DVD's. What about Finding Nemo, you've been watching that a lot lately.

Isaac: Yeah, Finding Nemo

Mom: Favorite place?

Isaac: (without hesitation) Grammy and Papa's

Mom: Favorite thing to do?

Isaac: Play by myself

Mom: Favorite book?

Isaac: my Barney books. No, I hate Barney. My Bible.

Mom: Your best friend?

Isaac: Ricky (from Cubbies at church)

Mom: Your favorite pet?

Isaac: a kitty

Mom: Your favorite place to eat?

Isaac: Applebees

Mom: Your favorite thing to wear?

Isaac: (looking at what he has on right now) umm, my army guy outfit.

Mom: Your favorite game?

Isaac: Candyland

Mom: Your favorite food?

Isaac: Chicken and fries (surprise surprise)

Mom: Your favorite drink?

Isaac: Water

Mom: (thinking, "yeah, right") Are you sure? Think about everything you like to drink.

Isaac: ummm, pink lemonade!

Mom: Your favorite toy right now?

Isaac: My pet shop stuff

Thanks Isaac!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Smells and Sights of Fall

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year. The sky is a brilliant shade of blue, and the leaves are such unbelievable colors. I love the smell of the crisp, fresh air outside. Inside, there are yummy smells from my mulled cider candles burning! Here are a few pictures from our outings this fall to the AWANAS hayride and the park by our house. Happy fall!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Here are a few pictures of the day we added another Buckaroo to our little family. Let me tell you a little bit about our precious addition. Graham Dallas Gerald (after both our dads) was born on June 5th. He weighed 7 pounds, 5 ounces. He lost quite a bit of weight those first couple of days, so by the time we brought him home, he was SO tiny! Isaac was a really big baby, (and two weeks overdue-he practically came out asking what took us so long to come in and get him!) so it was a new experience for us to have a baby so tiny to take care of. Graham was a bit jaundiced those first days, so he slept a lot. Other than that, he was completely perfect and healthy. We were/are so thankful.
You may have noticed that he has a birthmark (called an angel kiss) on his forehead. It was quite dark when he was first born, but we think it has lightened considerably since then. It still gets really red when he cries. His doctor says that it will continue fading until it is almost completely gone by the time he is 1 or 2 years old.
Graham seems to have a very laid back personality (at least until he learns a few things from big brother!). We think he might end up a lot like Grandpa Jerry in his nature, which would be so great. But, whoever he turns out to be, we will love him with our heart and soul and pray to be the kind of parents he needs us to be for him!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Here are a couple of my favorite stories from the "Isaac Archives:"
(age 3 1/2) We were at the park and a little girl, who was a couple of years older than Isaac, was picking on Isaac and saying, "You're a baby. You still wear diapers." Isaac took this taunting for awhile, and after a few moments looked at her and said, "You should be ashamed of yourself."

(age four) We were at the park and a brother and sister around Isaac's age were playing with him. The brother and sister began fighting. Isaac said to the boy, "You should do what she says. You should say you're sorry." The boy walked off and Isaac followed him. I could see them in an intense conversation across the playground. Pretty soon Isaac ran over to me and excitedly said, "Mommy! we had a little talk and he said he's going to say he's sorry to her!"

(age four) Isaac says, "Mommy, I want to say a bedtime prayer. Dear Heavenly Fadder. Please protect me from the darkness that is all around me. Thank you for my food. Thank you for everything. Please keep me healthy and safe. In your name I pray, Amen."

We were playing with a mom's playgroup at the playground. I was visiting with some other moms and occasionally glancing over to where Isaac was playing some distance away. During one of my occasional glances, I saw that Isaac had gotten a wood chip from underneath the swings in his shoe (one of his pet peeves) and was sitting on the ground dumping his shoe out. On my next occasional glance over, I saw him begin to pull his pants down, working to get a wood chip out of his pants that must have gotten there while he was working to get the wood chip out of his shoe. In horror, I watched the progression of events unfold even further as he began to pee on the ground in front of everyone (you know, since he was already out in the open anyway!). I was mortified.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Isaac and his Bible

Isaac is changing rapidly these days. He is more interested in quiet activities like looking at books and pretending to read them, playing computer games on the internet, putting puzzles together, etc. He started preschool this fall and even though I have to encourage him to get ready for school in the morning, he does really well and has a great time when he is there. He comes home with all sorts of stories for me. The other night we were laying in bed. I thought he was already asleep for the night and in a sleepy little voice he said, "Mama! I forgot to tell you. The teacher said, 'who can be bathroom leader?' and she said, 'Isaac can because he has been sitting criss cross applesauce all morning and listening so well!" I was so proud of him! Today bathroom leader, tomorrow the world! He has been very interested in writing and I have had to put my computer paper up high so he has to ask for it because he has been going through it like crazy, practicing his letters.

Isaac asked for a Bible the other day, and that was one thing I certainly was not going to say no to! We went to the Christian Book Store on Saturday and went Bible shopping. There are SO many Bibles for children to choose from. I finally found one that I liked, and of course he had found one that HE liked, so we walked away from the store with two Bibles. Anyway, it has been his new favorite thing (he gets attached to different things for a span of like three days where he takes his beloved possession with him everywhere)-he has been sleeping with it at night and everything. He had to take it with him to church today because "that is what daddy does." All weekend he has been "reading" me various scriptures, which are bits of Bible stories he has heard mixed in with just a little bit of Isaac's own spin. It makes for very interesting Bible stories. He has been learning real Bible verses at AWANAS through our church-which he loves going to.

I was thinking today as I looked at Graham and Isaac about how we are all born with so much possibility. I look at them and think that they could do just about anything in the world they want to, and its so exciting to see what they will become.

Dave started working from home a few days before the baby was born, which will enable us to move to ND in the next few months. We are really looking forward to moving home. We both tend to be a bit more homesick on Sundays when we know that would usually be a day we are with our family. We usually go out to eat on Sunday after church and just sort of stare at each other over the table, both wishing we were there with our family.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Welcome to my blog!

I recently became intrigued with the idea of blogging as a way to stay in touch with friends and family. In the year we have been away from our loved ones, I have come to really appreciate the time I spend with friends and family that live far away. I have learned that it is truly quantity time with loved ones, not quality time, that counts!

It seems like Isaac says something hilarious (or at least thought provoking!) nearly everyday. And most days, I feel like the only ones who get to see all of baby Graham's fun changes are Dave, Isaac and me. So, I plan to share with you what new tricks he has been showing us lately so you can "watch" him grow too! And, as I tend to ramble anyway, I am sure I will throw in a few random thoughts from my daily life as a wife and mama. Thanks for taking some time with me. I would love for you to comment so that we can stay in touch!

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