Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Resolutions, Resolutions

Do you make them?

After reading a friend's blog, I decided I better start thinking about my resolutions for 2009.

Of course there are the ones I put on my list every year, like lose weight, go to the gym, read my Bible more, more quiet time, be a better wife/friend, etc. But, I'm thinking this year I need to have some real tangible, realistic goals for 2009. I will give birth to my fifth child in June, and I need to keep my expectations of myself very low, but there are certainly lots of things I'd love to improve about myself.

Definitely on my list: Being fit(taking care of myself), nurturing my relationship with God, keeping my desk clean, overall home organization, keeping my car clean (inside and out, but mostly inside), being more patient with my kids, I could go on and on......

What resolutions are you making? Are you good at keeping them?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas Highlights

Here are some highlights of our Christmas:

  • The minestrone soup Josh made on Christmas Eve.
  • Watching the true joy in Josh's eyes as he discovered "The Christmas Story" would run 24 hours straight on Christmas Eve.
  • Enjoying lots of time with Josh as he took time off work.
  • Watching my girls experience the pure joy of giving this Christmas as they gave gifts to one another.
  • Knocking Josh out in our first boxing match on the wii (I can't wait for the re-match).
  • Addie kicking my butt (and Josh's too) bowling.
  • The delight on my children's faces as they bounced for the first time on the huge trampoline Nana and Papa gave them.
  • Spending time with my in-laws on Christmas Day...it was just us and them and they seemed so excited to be with us and we were so excited to share our holiday with them.
  • Driving to southern California to spend the weekend after Christmas with my family (it's still feels good to go home no matter how old I get).
  • Having my sister invite me and Josh to go out for drinks (this has NEVER happened).
  • Visiting with Kathy, my friend since the second grade, and catching up (I think it had been almost 2 years since we had seen each other).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I can relate, can you?

Whether you have one child or many, you can probably relate to this. I think I've heard every one of these comments from strangers....what's your favorite (or most annoying)?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Kevin!

Harrison, Kevin, and Peggy (Kevin and his family)

My brother has said he reads my blog, we'll see if it's true. Today is his birthday, he is 37 years old. My brother tortured me as a child with his farts, spit, and wrestling holds, but I have to say that I think I am a better person today because of him. Thanks for making me endure the pain of being your little sister, I think you helped equip me for the chaos I now endure raising my own kids. Happy Birthday Kev, love you!

Gingerbread Houses Galore

The beginnings of Audrey's house.

It's finished.

Ellie's house at the beginning.

Me and Ellie

Ellie and her completed house.

After they all finished their houses, they lined them up on this road. What a cute idea!

Ellie and Audrey both made gingerbread houses at school today. The kindergarten classes put on a HUGE production in the cafeteria as they decorated their houses with their 6th grade buddies. Audrey made hers in her classroom this afternoon. I went to watch both of them assemble their masterpieces... Ellie wasn't afraid to get messy and wasn't too worried about how the house looked, she was more particular about the candy she used (it had to be candy she liked). Audrey, on the other hand, was meticulous and had to be reminded several times that it was okay if the gingerbread house wasn't perfect and structurally sound (it's meant to be eaten).

Winter break is here and all I can think of is how nice it will be to wake up Monday morning and have nowhere to go. 3 weeks of rest, ahhhh that sounds so nice!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Something worth watching...

My friend, Kristal, sent this to me today....watch it. I found it meaningful and empowering. I also cried, which could be blamed on the raging pregnancy hormones, but let me know what you think.

It's beginning to look like Christmas around here

Thanks Steph, I used your idea for ribbons on the doors.

Reading a Christmas story.

Reading The Little Gingerbread Boy.

The wreaths on the landing upstairs.

Our tree

Ellie found a craft she made last year in pre-school

Olivia trying to help me with the tree skirt

Yes, an ornament in the right spot!

Teamwork: I put the hangers on the ornaments, and the girls hang them.

It's taken us a while, but it's beginning to look like Christmas, the tree is up and decorated, the stockings are hung, and some of the presents are wrapped. The girls had a lot of fun decorating the tree, and Grace had a lot of fun undecorating the tree. She's at the age where she loves the tree and wants to take every ornament off of it, it's a little annoying, but oh well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Baby's Ultrasound & Hail in Fresno all in the same day

Ellie on the front porch, water is pouring down behind her.

Can you see the hail???

We had an ultrasound of our sweet baby today. I'm measuring right where I should be and baby looks good and healthy. We have another scheduled in 6 weeks. Along with our exciting pics of baby, it hailed this afternoon in Fresno for about 10-15 minutes. Olivia and Ellie were scared to death of the thunder and hail, and it took lots of prompting to get them outside to enjoy God's work. I should have made a fire, but I was too lazy. I'm enjoying the change in weather even if I do feel like I need my ski jacket inside. Here's to winter: cozy fires, warm meals in the oven, comfy slippers, and fuzzy pajamas.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Cat is Out of the Bag...

We are having another baby! Yes, you read that right, we are (I mean I am) pregnant with baby #5! My due date is June 23rd. So for all of you with big families out there I'd love to hear your advice/secrets. I don't know too many people with 5 children so I need all the encouragement I can get. We are excited! I'm trying to decide if I should find out the gender of the baby....what do you think? I only found out with baby #4 (Grace), and I kinda thought it was boring to find out, but I'd love to hear what you think.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Run, run as fast as you can....

me and Andrea after the race

My friend, Andrea and I ran a 5k yesterday at Fresno State. I improved my time a wee bit from last month, and it felt good. I felt a little bit like the little gingerbread boy as I kept telling myself to run, run as fast as I can, they can't catch me....lots of people caught me, and passed me, but I finished and didn't get eaten by a clever fox, so it's all good. I wonder what's next for me in my running adventure, possibly a 10k? I'll keep you posted!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Dnner with Friends

Some friends had our family over last night for dinner. I just have to tell you about the awesome dinner they made for us. Fillets, shrimp, lobster tails, salad, bread, au gratin potatoes, and for dessert, chocolate covered strawberries! This is probably the best meal I've had in months. Thank you for having us, we had a wonderful time and really hope we can hang out more. The food was great, but the company was even better. I should have taken some pictures, but that might have made it a little too obvious how excited I get about good food and good friends.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Christmas Cards

On of my favorite things about this time of year is receiving all the Christmas cards. I anxiously anticipate the mailman each day to see how many new cards we receive. I guess I don't have a life because this is seriously the highlight of my day during the month of December.
Well as of today, I have received 6 Christmas cards....these 6 must be from the most organized and on-time people I know.
Quite a few years back I started the tradition of putting all the cards on the backside of our front doors. I like putting them there (even if this would be considered tacky by some) because they are in a place where I can enjoy them fully. My kids really like seeing all the different cards we get too.
Have you sent your Christmas cards? Do you love getting cards like I do? How many have you received? What do you do with the cards you get?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tagged..... you're it

So Teri tagged me http://momcolumn.blogspot.com/2008/12/tagged.html....I feel privileged, I better respond...

If you read her tag, you can see she gave me a few choices of topics, one of which is "6 things that make you happy," but I wrote a blog a while back of things that make me happy so in an effort to not be redundant I will choose 6 things I would like to replace in my house. If I tag you pick the topic of your choice...

1. The security screen doors that are on every entrance/exit of my home, I would not replace them, I would trash them! They were on our house when we bought it and I hate them.

2. The cheap fake wood blinds that have seen better days.

3. Bathtub in the master bathroom.

4. All the interior doors and hardware.

5. The 70's wet bar that's in our living room. I'd love to make it a coffee/wine bar.

6. Our backyard, it needs some serious landscaping.

Okay, I'm tagging these six people:
1. Andrea
2. Stephanie
3. Nicole
4. Liege
5. Jacinda
6. Sam

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Our Thanksgiving

Getting a bath in the sink.

Snuggling on the couch.

Our Thanksgiving was restful and relaxing. The girls had the whole week off school...they loved it, I loved having nowhere to be at 8:15 a.m. We spent lots of time together as a family and it felt so good to be together and enjoy each other. We spent 4 days at Shaver and soaked up our time in the mountains. We took lots of walks, watched lots of football, listened to lots of Christmas music, and fixed lots of yummy meals. Tomorrow's craziness and routines will quickly be here and the holiday will be over. Can't wait for Christmas vacation.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Look at that sidewalk!

The girls and Kyle (our neighbor) chalked up the sidewalk again. I loved the way it turned out!

Ellie's feast

The feast and 40 kindergarteners.

What a cute pilgrim!

"I am thankful for my house."

Ellie's class had their Thanksgiving feast yesterday. They all dressed up as Indians or Pilgrims, it was so cute! She wasn't much of a risk taker with the feasty food. She ate a few bites of turkey and the cornbread muffin. She wouldn't try the mashed potatoes because they had gravy on them, the green beans, the stuffing or anything else on her plate. I guess she gets her picky eating from me, but let me tell you she ate up the pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream, that's my kind of girl.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I hate it, I hate it, I hate it...

I hate doing laundry!!! Laundry is probably the most mundane task I have as a mother. I hate it (did I say that already?)! On any given day you can find piles of clean clothes all over my couch. We recently purchased a new washer and dryer after our old washer quit working. It's fun and exciting having new machines, pedistals and all the new, fun buttons but guess what? I still hate doing the laundry! I do okay washing it, but after that I start slipping, I hate to fold it all, and even more I hate to put all the piles away. My older girls are pretty good at putting away their laundry but it's all the other laundry that overwhelms me. It takes me days to get it folded and put away, and then it's time to start all over and wash it again. I guess it's so mundane because it's never done, as soon as one hamper is empty, another is filling up. Do you do laundry on certain days, or everyday? Do you wash, fold, and put away after every load? I need some serious advice and inspiration. Tell me what works for you and how I can get out of the laundry black hole.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Have you started your Christmas shopping?

It's the middle of November and I'm sad to say I have not done ANY Christmas shopping. I dream of being this put together mom of four who has it all done by Halloween but that is simply a dream because I have never done that and probably never will. I made the list of who we need to buy for, but that's as far as I've gotten. I'm thinking you will all make me feel better by telling me you haven't started either or I will sink into a depression when you all tell me you're finished and it's all wrapped ready to go. Don't worry I can handle it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Trip to the Zoo

My troop

The whole troop

Sam's troop, Kevin & Marky

Ellie smiling BIG.

Grace enjoying her ride in the stroller.

We spent our Veteran's Day morning at the zoo. The girls were in strange moods that urged me to get them out of the house for a couple hours. The funk continued with incessant whining and bickering with each other, but thankfully I had Sam to talk to. Thanks Sam for a fun idea and getting me out, had I stayed home I might have gone crazy. Sam shared some zoo trivia she learned with me, "Elephants are pregnant for 22 months, and their babies weigh between 200 and 300 pounds." I bet that's a fact you didn't know....Makes 40 weeks and 8 or 9 pounds sound like a breeze.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

My Weekend

Well this weekend I celebrated my 33rd birthday. Josh's parents agreed to watch the girls overnight so we could get away. We left at about 11 a.m. on Saturday morning and headed to Oakhurst, only about an hour from Fresno. We stayed at the Houndstooth Inn, we've stayed there several times over the last couple years. We had a room with a warm, cozy fireplace and a gigantic bath tub with jets. I let the stress of the world roll off me as I soaked, read, relaxed, laughed, and talked with Josh. I can't think of a better way to spend 24 hours. I treasure times like this when we get to reconnect. Thank you Nana & Papa for babysittng, you're truely a blessing to us!

We also had the privledge of attending our friend, Todd's 40th birthday/military retirement party in Coasregold on Saturday evening. We had such a nice time celebrating with friends. What a milestone for Todd!

-to all the friends/family who called , texted, or made a point of telling me happy birthday, you're so sweet to remember
-Heather for bringing me a caramel machiato Sunday evening just for my b-day
-to my daughters for picking out the most awesome waffle maker any mom could ever want
-Nana & Papa for allowing Josh and me to get away
-Josh for buying me a new washer and dryer even though I know that goes against everything you believe in (no appliances as gifts). I can't wait to blog about laundry and my new appliances this week.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Quiet Evening at Home

Josh attended a fundraising dinner for a Christian organization tonight. The best part? He offered to take Addie and Ellie with him. They were so excited. They both got on pretty dresses and requested a braid in their hair. I should have taken a picture, it was cute. Olivia, Grace, and I had a quiet evening at home. I was trying to think of all the great ideas I had for my next post, but really I don't have any great ideas, just contentment with my life today. What are simple, everday things you find contentment in?

Friday, October 31, 2008


Josh and Gracie, our princess

Our jack-o-lantern pizza, yum yum.

Olivia and Addie checking out the cake, can you see the HUGE spider on it?

The cowgirl, princess, chef, and mouse pose for a pic.

An attempt for a family photo in front of our huge blow up pumpkin in the front yard.

Well we did our Halloween thing here at home tonight. I bought the girls a pizza shaped like a jack-o-lantern, Nana brought a spooky spider cake from Eddie's Bakery, we warmed some apple cider on the stove, and went around our neighborhood trick-or-treating. We had fun and the girls were more interactive this year, actually excited about knocking on doors and talking to our neighbors. I always enjoy Halloween, and I think it's because it involves walking around our neighborhood and talking to the people who live around us. It was a fun day, the girls are fast asleep, and I'm tired. My candy eating is done, I've eaten all the DOTS I can find in their candy bags. Tomorrow I'm back at my feeble attempt at no sugar.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Audrey's writing

Audrey wrote this after school yesterday. She loves to write. I found this on the kitchen table this morning and it made me laugh.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

On our way to school this morning, Ellie asked, "Mom, when is Grace going to start acting like a one year-old?"

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grace turns 1!

One year ago...

Awaiting Grace's arrival.

Grace and Dr. Steinke...she weighed 9 lb 3 oz. 20.5 in. She entered the world at 3:31 p.m.

Newborn pic taken a week after she was born.

Mommy's hand on Grace.

And today...

Singing Happy Birthday.

Eating that yummy sugar cookie.

Grace and Nana

Grace and Ellie

Grace turned one yesterday. It was a busy day filled with lots of excitement, but nothing as exciting as our baby turning one! We had a lot of fun singing to her and telling her over and over it was her birthday. The older girls were so excited for this big day, they could hardly contain their own excitement. We spent the evening celebrating, eating cookies (instead of cake), and opening lots of colorful, noisy toys.

Grace is crawling, I don't think her first steps are too far away as she likes to stand up and "furniture surf." She loves her sisters and is easily entertained by anything they do (even fighting). She is just a happy, smiley little girl. I don't know what life would be like without her, she seems to fit into our family just right and we love having a baby to love, hold, baby talk to, and spoil rotten!

I love that we named her Grace and the name holds so much significance for both Josh and me. We are constantly reminded of God's unending and abounding grace for his children.

Happy Birthday Grace!

Kaweah Picnic

Olivia enjoying a picnic treat...her own can of Sierra Mist. It can't get much better than this.

Erin and Lucy

Elle climbing inside the bounce house.

Lucy just being cute.

Ellie's favorite thing on the playground....the monkey bars.

Greg and Lindsay. Lindsay coordinated the picnic and did such an awesome job!

Grace and Audrey bouncing.

Mike with a smile.

Kevin fell asleep on Sam after playing for hours.

Our family attended the annual Kaweah Picnic yesterday afternoon at a park in Clovis. It was a fun time of hanging out, eating good food, and watching the kids play. I enjoyed getting the chance to catch up with everybody and spend time together as families. Our girls had so much fun, they were beyond tired as we packed up and headed home.