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…and, heaven help me, they're all under the age of 13

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Jack Attack

April 20th, 2014 · Celebrations, Parenting

Twelve years ago, Jack turned us into parents.  I’m not sure who in their right mind would give ME a baby, but a couple of days later, we brought him home.

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The time has absolutely flown by.

Oh, and not to take away from Jack on his big day, but it is Easter and I do owe it to Kristina to add this little link.

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The Miracle of Birth

April 18th, 2014 · Conversations, Family, Parenting

A couple of Christmastimes ago, Luke asked me about Jesus being born in the manger.  He wanted to know how he was born, since there were no doctors present to cut Mary open to get the baby out.  (My last two babies were born via c-section, so the birthing question had been explained with a scar up until that point.)

Me:  Ummmmmmmm….

Luke:  Was it a miracle?

Me:  YES!!!!  Yes.  It was a miracle.


With Easter quickly approaching, there has been a lot of discussion about Jesus in our house lately.  Yesterday, as Luke and Andrew sat eating their breakfast, Luke asked me again about how it was that Jesus was born.

As Luke is almost finished with third grade now, and I didn’t think he’d go for the miracle thing again.  So, I took a deep breath and said, “I’m not sure that you’re ready to hear this…”

Luke:  What?

Me:  Well, not all babies are cut out of the womb.  There’s another way for the baby to get out–

Luke:  How?  They’re pooped out?!?  (Hysterical laughing…)

Me:  No–

Luke:  Peed out?!?  (More hysteria)

Me:  No–

Luke:  THEY’RE BARFED UP?????  (Wide-eyed look of horror on his face).

Me:  (After laughing myself, as I hadn’t heard that one before) No!!!

Then, as simply and quickly as I could, I explained that a woman has a special tunnel for the baby to go through when it’s time for him or her to be born.

I turned away, thinking the discussion was over.  Unfortunately, I had forgotten the consequences of discussing something such as this in front of the four-year-old, who tugged at my shirt and said, “I want to see the special tunnel!”

Suddenly, I had some very important things to get done.

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A Great Day

April 14th, 2014 · Parenting

Unbelievably, my baby is 4.

On the day before his birthday, he was able to celebrate at school:

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After school, we worked on his cake:

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Andrew was very patient while it baked.

The inspiration for the cake was Andrew’s cape:

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Here’s how the cake turned out:

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On the day of his birthday, Dan woke AP up for an early donut run.  Then a friend brought MORE donuts after the big kids were in school… I’m pretty sure Andrew had donuts for breakfast AND lunch.

After Dad got home from work, it was time for presents!!!

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After a dinner of chocolate chip pancakes  (’cause who can get enough sugar on their birthday?!?), we had cake!

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We finished the evening off with a campfire at the neighbor’s house.

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(Don’t worry – it’s just Orange Crush in my red party cup!)






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Just Hangin

April 9th, 2014 · Family, Projects


Check out my new bike rack, built by Yours Truly!

Now we can hang the bikes out of the way AND they swivel, so they can lie flatter against the wall. Will probably add a shelf, too.

Got the how-to from this guy:

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The Boys Don’t Get It

March 26th, 2014 · Adventures, Parenting

Maria and I just returned from a “Girls’ Trip” to Austin.  My sisters and niece flew in from the west coast and we all met up at my parent’s house.


While the boys were disappointed that they weren’t able to go, I’m fairly certain that they had as good – or (in their opinion) an even better – time than we did.

What did WE do?  We ate TONS of Mexican food, bought beads and made jewelry, shopped, saw some movies and visited with brothers, friends and extended family.

We also took a lot of pictures.

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While we were gone, the boys ate out, saw a movie, played hockey and went to Lego Land.  Thankfully, they had so much fun they almost didn’t miss me!


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One of THOSE Days

March 7th, 2014 · Adventures, Parenting

The morning started in the usual manner:  a few cups of coffee for me and then upstairs to gently wake the sleeping sweeties yell at the monsters to hurry and get up: Potty!  Teeth!  Dressed!

Andrew (still so, so sweet) sat up and asked groggily if this was my day to go to school with him.  YES!!!  I told him excitedly.  I PROMISE, I told him, I am going with you today.  (On Tuesday I was scheduled to work in his classroom, but another mom showed up, too.  Turns out she had her dates wrong, but she was 11 days postpartum with TWINS, had a babysitter in place, AND it was her preschool son’s birthday and she’d brought chocolate filled cupcakes for snack time.  She TOTALLY trumped me and my store bought cookies.  I said I’d come back on Thursday, much to Andrew’s disappointment.)

The kids mostly made it through breakfast and I started gathering the things we’d need for school.  Then I hear:  MOM!!!!  I’M SICK! (And a few other sounds that you’d rather me not try to recreate.)

Luke was in (my) bathroom, puking.  Ugh!!!  I asked if he was okay and he told me no.  I asked him if he’d made it all into the toiled and he said yes (whew). I asked if he’d be okay if I left him home to work at preschool and he said no.  The tears started rolling down Drew’s cheeks as I explained that I was again going to have to skip helping at school.  “I am NOT going to ‘chool without you!” he told me.  I apologized profusely and explained that his brother was sick.

Then, through the bathroom door, the Best Brother in the World could be heard: “I’ll be okay, Mom.  You can go.”

After making SURE that Luke would be okay, I ushered the other kids out the door and into the van.  As I parked in the school lot and the kids hopped out, I received a text from my friend, asking if I could take her daughter during the recess hour.  As I was texting my reply about having a barfer at home, she pulled up in her car.  I quit texting, walked over and explained in person.  She told me she’d find someone else to do it and began pulling away.  I turned back to my van to see that it was still running, keys locked inside.

Thankfully, my friend was still in shouting distance and I had her stop.  I ran Andrew into school and explained my dilemma, telling his teachers (and swearing to him) that I’d be back soon.  Passing Jack in the hallway, he asked if I could grab his track shoes while I ran home, as he had forgotten them.

Why not?

I jumped in with Erin and she drove me to my house where I checked on Luke (just fine), grabbed Jack’s shoes and dug up Dan’s keys to our van.  Then Erin drove me back to school.  As I approached my still running van, I noticed that the door to it was unlocked.  WHAT???  Did I hit the key fob?  I don’t think so.  As a matter of fact, it occurred to me that my van doesn’t LET you lock the door if the engine is running.  I know I tried to lock the door as I got out, but I guess it didn’t engage since the keys were in the ignition.

Hanging my head low, I thanked her for the ride and then begged Erin not to tell anyone.

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A Sweep!

March 1st, 2014 · Boy Scouts, Celebrations, Parenting

Maybe all the planning, late nights, sawdust, noise, graphite and drilling were worth it after all.


Still, it was nice to see it all come to fruition.

Our boys cleaned up at this year’s Pinewood Derby!

Sam took SECOND PLACE in the beauty contest (aka “cool car”) and then took THIRD PLACE  for speed!


Luke won FIRST PLACE for speed!!!


Oh, and lest I forget, Andrew won ALL of the exhibition races.  (He was the only one racing, but still…)



I don’t think it gets better than that.  Luke gave a bunch of credit to his dad (“I have the best dad EVER”) he told the crowd.  Then he mumbled something unintelligible about his mom helping him a teeny tiny bit with the paint.

Sam was a little more generous with his mom, as he told everyone his favorite part of working on the car was painting it by hand with his mom.

Brother against Brother…


Guitar vs. Cardinals…



Two winners!


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The Race

February 22nd, 2014 · Dads, Exercise, Family

Last weekend, Dan and Luke got into a heated argument and Luke started spouting off about how he could beat his Dad in a foot race.

Dan wasn’t going to let that one go.  So, despite being old and slow and on the injured list, he challenged Luke to a race.

Sam was… somewhere, and Jack was at mass, but the rest of us piled into the car and headed to the track.

Which was covered in a foot of snow.

So, we headed to the path.  Maria sat in the warm car and Dan and Luke headed off to warm up.  Andrew and I stuck around the finish line for a while, until Andrew decided to set off on his own:


Soon after, they all caught up with each other:


Then the real race began:

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He’s all smiles, even if he did lose.

“I’d beat you in a mile race,” he told Dan as they walked back to the car.

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February 17th, 2014 · Family, Parenting

My fool child:

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He came in wet and cold from shoveling, but left the shovels lying around in the yard.  An unhappy Dad demanded he go back out to put them away properly.  Not wanting to put on wet, snowy pants, he opted for going out as-is.

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February 6th, 2014 · Animals, Parenting, Projects

photo-12 Have I mentioned here that Andrew wears his cape EVERYWHERE?

A few weeks ago, while I was searching for something (no idea what anymore), I came across this cape.  I had had it made for Jack long ago by a friend’s mom.  To go with it, I bought a sword, shield, breastplate and helmet.  A perfect knight’s outfit.  We gave it to Jack for Christmas and he loved it.

The sword broke (go figure) and we’ve also since moved.  I think the shield and helmet are still in the dress-up bucket, but the cape had disappeared and been forgotten about. Until I recently came across it.

I immediately called to Andrew and showed it to him.  “Put it on!” He demanded.

And he hasn’t taken it off since.  Well, except to shower.  And poop.  (It wouldn’t do to have doo on the cape!)


He wears it all day, sleeps in it at night, skates in it, and even wears it to church.  Forget about the knight idea.  He is a super hero.  A HOLY super hero!  (There is a cross on the back.)


Well, it didn’t take long for super kid to request a cape for super dog.  I made it a couple of weeks ago, but finished the embellishment today.


Watch out evil-doers!

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