Weekend Getaway

It is 5:30 AM and I am taking one last glance through all the blogs before we leave for a weekend getaway (of course I told my husband I would get up early to start packing, but I had to take a peak at any updates before I left for 3 days).

We are headed for the Petosky area of Michigan, which we've visited many a time this part of the year, but never with children. The lakes, bike trails, cutsy shops, clean air, vineyards, and of course ice cream shops are plentiful and inviting. I am looking forward to going there with my family and enjoying the change of scenery, mostly because this will be our only trip this summer spent alone with just our little family. Hopefully, it will be a great bonding time and refresher before we switch to the next season (that is of course provided that there aren't too many breakdowns and Katie doesn't scream in the car the whole trip, which she frequently does).

So here's to what I mark as a vacation to end one season and start fresh with a new. I look forward to the fall and have many new goals to begin next week. For now, I will enjoy my Mackinaw Fudge ice cream!

The Simple Things

Look Mom, I made a square!

Birthday Party

This weekend we celebrated my oldest's birthday. She turned 3, and boy was she excited. I think she has been talking about her birthday for about 3 months now. She had grand ideas for her birthday, ranging from getting a zebra (which I happened to get her, only in plastic form) to planting a tree (which would have been a nice idea but we didn't do). Anyway, her birthday was a success.

She had a great time with the cousins, loved her presents, and her cake (thank goodness, because it took me just about 6 hours to make it). When I asked her what her favorite part of her birthday was, she said playing with her cousins. Ahww. We all had a great time. Now if we can only distract her long enough before her next birthday (which she is already planning!)

3 Wonderful Years

Dear Kyra,
It's hard to believe that it was already three years ago to the day that you entered into this world. I remember planning out when the perfect time would be to have our first child. Of course our plans don't always match the plans of our Heavenly Father, but a short while later you were conceived. The best part was, I found out we were having our child on my birthday!! What a wonderful birthday present, to find out that we were finally going to begin building our family in just a several months.

Finally, the day arrived. The doctor announced I had a girl! I was quite groggy, but felt a deep joy on the inside. And you looked perfect. Your chubby little cheeks and perfect little toes and fingers were all mine to care for. What a wonderful gift God had granted for us to watch over. Even your father, who was quite nervous in becoming a Dad, was quite smittin with you. I watched with a sense of new found love, as I watched him hold you and caress each small toe, finger, ear, and brow. It only took him two days with you and he wanted four more just like you.

Now you are three! And we are in love you more than the day you arrived. You are such a blessing to watch. You are thoughtful (praying for each and every member in your family). You are loving (whispering everyday in my ear - "I love you very much mommy"). You are imaginative (sneaking a peak at you when you are supposed to be taking a nap, but setting up tea party's for all your animals instead). You are kind (giving hugs to your sister after she has bumped her head). You are loved.

We love you so much Kyra. You are permanently engraved in our hearts. And we can't wait to share in all your newfound experiences and accomplishments in the years to come. Happy Birthday.

Love, Mom and Dad

Comparison and Contentment

One of the blogs I visit frequently just touched on the issue of being content. It was very inspiring, and if you wish to read her entry, just click here: http://grshortstop.blogspot.com/2007/08/content-mom/html

I too, struggle with finding contentment in everything in life (sometimes in even things that may seem enjoyable). Whether it is a rut that I am currently visiting in my life, or the fact that I sometimes refuse to open my eyes and see just what a wonderful life God has laid in front of me, the truth is, finding contentment in every situation is often a struggle.

When I think to find the core reason as to why it is hard to find contentment in my own life, I realize that my continual defeat in comparison is one of the main reasons I struggle to find contentment. I know comparison is wrong and has so many ill effects on ones life, and yet my mind continually wanders in that direction. I go to a party to have a good time, and wonder why I couldn't be as good a hostess in my own parties. I see another mom at the park show her little one all the different colors and shapes in her surroundings, and wonder why I don't take the time to teach my youngest more of the wonders of the world (thinking maybe she might suddenly say more words if I took more effort). I see a woman at church juggle 4 children, choir directing, teaching, and be a team leader in a softball team, and wonder why I can't even make dinner without the help of my husband to distract the kids. The list goes on.

And the truth is, if I didn't compare all the time, I would find joy in the person God created me to be, thus finding contentment! Bingo, sounds so simple. It sounds so easy, but really it takes lots of prayer, friends, encouragement, and practice to break a habit like comparison. God created me in His image, and if I only look to Him I will find contentment. Thus, I will continue to try and break the curse of comparison. After all the person I truly want to be is the one God created (unique and different in my own way).

Fresh from the Garden

I'm not big on tending a vegetable garden (flowers are a little more my style), but eating vegetables from the garden is a different story. My husband and his family love to garden, which is a benefit for me, because he can tend to it while I only need to eat the fruits of his labor! He makes this massive garden that becomes almost to hard to keep up with. So when mid July to August hits, watch out, because you are going to be eating potatoes/ corn/ zucchini/ squash/ tomatoes/ beans out of your ears!

Anyway, the other day we had dinner at my brother in-law's house, when we noticed something. The entire meal we were eating was either caught or home grown! Nothing came from the store (with the exception of butter and rolls). And it was one of the most delicious meals I have had in a long time. We had steamed brocolli and beans, potatoes (which once you've had from the garden, you'll never like a store bought one again), corn, a red pepper relish (to put on the potato), cooked red cabbage (which I never liked until I had this), and grilled salmon (caught from Lake Michigan). Mmmm, I love the taste of summer.

Bloggy Block

I've come to a bit of a Blogger Block. I'm having trouble coming up with things to write in my blog (if you haven't noticed from my lack of writing for the last 5 days). Anyway, I came to the realization that I was searching for anything in my day that I could blog about, just to blog (which may be fine for some people, for many of you are excellent writers with the ability to put humor in almost any situation). As for me, the pressure to keep up with the Bloggy Jones' outways the therapy I receive from writing down the few thoughts I have on my blog. So from now on, I will probably slow down on my blogging a bit, so as not to stress my pretty little head. Sorry to my many fans (all three of you), but I will still blog when the mood strikes, or my adorable kiddos say something too cute to keep to myself.

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Here are some of the funny things my kids have done/said this week (if you would like to read some other cute kid sayings, click here: http://notbefore7.blogspot.com/2007/08/tiny-talk-tuesday_14.html

Kyra (2 yr): (running into the room with much excitement) Mommy, mommy I just got Katie to say TOES!
Mommy: That's wonderful!
Kyra: Yeah, but she won't say Doodlebops (baby steps, Kyra, baby steps)
Kyra: (entering the room with a memory game) Mommy can we play this game? I heard it was very interesting!
Kyra: Daddy, guess what we saw today?
Daddy: What's that?
Kyra: A springmattress.
Daddy: (looking in my direction with an odd look) You saw what?
Kyra: A sperringmattress (practically spelling it out to him, like duh!)
Mommy: A praying mantis.
(Kyra runs to me with books in hand, as I am currently checking books out)
Kyra: Mommy, can we check this book out too?
Mommy: (I glance through it quick) Kyra, I'm afraid this book is too old for you.
Kyra: I need to have it Mom. I really, really need it.
Mommy: Alright. (I give in with a sigh, as I check out the book she had to have -The History of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur! That will be a great bedtime story)

Food Chain

Disclaimer: okay, for all those faint at heart, or people that can't stomach anything having to do with snakes, STOP READING HERE....there are pictures involved you may not want to see.

Yesterday, my brother in-law found a snake on my doorstep. Now fortunately, I am not one who cringes at even the thought of a snake, so when he told me to take a look, I came along. I find snakes kind of interesting to watch (weird I know), but I was curious to see how long this porch snake was and what it was up to.

Of course, when we crept upon it, I saw that it was not only quite a large snake, but it was a snake devouring a toad! Here's where it gets a little twisted, I actually was very intrigued in seeing just how this snake was going to eat this toad. Although the snake was quite large, the toad was about 3 times the size as his mouth (I mean hey buddy, pick on someone your own size). My brother in-law and I had bets going on to see if he was actually going to accomplish his goal in eating the toad. It seemed impossible. So I proceeded to check on the guy every 1/2 hour or so. And to my surprise, he did it! It took probably 2 hours, but he did it. He didn't care for it too much when I came in close for a good shot (in fact if it weren't for the toad in his mouth, I think he might have gone for me for antagonizing him), but it sure was interesting watching nature take its course.


I figured I was safe to turn my head from Katie for a minute to watch my oldest daughter do her newest trick in peddling her bicycle ("watch me, watch me!"). I was wrong (you think I would know by now). The minute I looked back the stroller she was playing with was in the driveway and my daughter was gone. Fortunately we have a big enough yard, that I knew she wasn't in the street or anything, so I didn't exactly panic. I did however run around the corner of the corn fields, to find her crouched in a mudpile! Yes, after this lovely rain (praise the Lord), we have mud - and our daughter was thoroughly enjoying it. The sight of her was too hard to resist in taking her picture!

Tiny Talk Tuesday

I've begun to write down some of the cute things my kids say, and perhaps some day down the road they can read what they said and be amused. I got this idea from another blogger, but am not sure how to put up links to her site or others. Perhaps next time.

After a day at the zoo:
Daddy: What did you see at the zoo?
Kyra: Monkeys
Daddy: What else did you see?
Kyra: Martini Monkeys (more teeny monkeys)
After a potty training accident:
Daddy: Kyra, it's okay but you need to try and remember to go potty in the toilet or let Mommy or Daddy know you have to go.
Kyra: It was just an accident Daddy. I'm really a sweetheart.

Kyra: Mommy, I have a new song for you. It's called Jesus and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!
Mommy: Oh really, why don't you sing it for me?
(in the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star)
Kyra: Twinkle and Jesus, Twinkle and Jesus, Tinkle and Jesus, Tinkle and Jesus, Done
(of course as the song progressed, she got faster and faster, and the Twinkle ended up sounding like Tinkle)

And finally, this morning I was watching the morning news before the kids woke up, when Kyra walked in the bedroom. She walked in just as pictures of the Alquida (sp?) were in view. Looking at their turbans, she said: "look Mom, they're wearing party hats!"


My mother is a wonderful gardener. She loves talking about flowers, she loves tending to her flowers, and even just being with the flowers. I grew up learning just how much water the plants needed, doing the grueling task of weeding, and taking numerous walks around the yard to identify what was what and how much they had grown (my favorite part). So, I just assumed that the gardening gene would be passed on. I was wrong. Okay, I'm not a bad gardener, that's proof from these pictures (of course I didn't take pictures of the dozens that are wilting away). Maybe it just takes years and years of experience (and perhaps the energy that is currently taken away from 2 preschoolers). I do love the excitement in the spring when you go to the nursery, pick out your little baby flowers, and mentally plan out each spot they will take in your yard. I don't even mind taking the time to plant each one and water them for the first few weeks. However, after vacations are taken, heat sets in, and it hasn't rained in what seems like a month, I lose interest. I took my garden tour today and most of my plants have been either eaten up by Japanese Beetles, taken over from a certain kind of mold, or plain died from my lack of attention. All I can do now is care for the ones that endured the many hardships and give thanks that I have hardy plants that make my garden look somewhat healthy!

First Corn of the Season

One of my friends posted a blog of her 3 year old daughter downing an ear of corn and asking for more. It was a cute little story, and it made me anxious to try our corn fresh from the garden. Well the day has arrived. My daughter came running to me with two ears of corn in her hand, shouting "Mommy, mommy the corn's ready!" Shortly after, my husband came with several more ears. I told them that was great and that I was anxious to try it for dinner. However, my hubby said "Oh no, we have to eat this right now!" So in to the house we went eating an early lunch of corn. I knew Kyra would enjoy it, since she did last year (and she did...all 3 ears). But I wasn't sure how Katie would do. Kevin cut the corn up for her, when I said why don't you let her eat it off the cob? We tried showing her how to hold the little corn holders, but she had no interest (oh well next year maybe). Oh no, we put it on her plate, she grabbed it by the cob and dug in! She almost ate the corn holder! Yup, I think she's going to fit right in to this corn eating family.

What a Guy!

After going back to sleep this morning, I awoke very groggily to my lalatting 16 mo old. We headed to the table for breakfast, where I found a sticky note pasted to my daughter's booster chair. It read the following: "Good morning family! I have a quest for you. On the computer you will find a clue." Oh, how exciting, a morning excursion. I headed for the computer, found nothing (looked for a message on email, a picture, word document, nothing!) Fortunately I began to wake up a bit, and found the next clue had slid underneath the keyboard. My daughter then wandered in and said, "I want dessert!" No good morning, just I want dessert. I told her dessert had to wait, daddy had a hunt for us to go on first. She got excited when I showed her the sticky notes and off we went to the next clue. We visited daddy's closet, the window sill, and finally the basement. There at the kiddy table (where my kids love to eat lunch), were 3 plates of chocolate zuchinni cake that daddy had made from scratch. I guess Kyra was going to get her dessert after all. My husband, who is not much of a writer, had rhymed each clue and everything. It was a fun little pick me up from the previous night and something I will always cherish. Way to go Hon! Bonus points for the hubby.

For the Birds

I have two things to say: one, is that this potty training thing is for the birds! I know it has to get done (and hopefully before they're five), but it is hard work! I'm sure most people are tired of hearing about potty training stories, but a girl has to vent a little after she has woken up 3 times in the middle of the night due to little tidbits wetting the bed. It is now 4:15 am and I've surrendered to getting up. It's no use now going to sleep. The sleep Gods are telling me my time is up for the night. Okay, so I'm being a little melodramatic. I guess my point is that it is really tough deciding if your child is truly ready to be potty trained, or if I'm the one needing training.
My second thing is this: Every woman that has made comments to my blog, every woman's blog that has had funny or thought provoking entries, I thank you. You have been inspirational both in the stories, recipes, thoughts you have written and the encouragement that is in the comments you make. It is heart warming to know their are other women going either through some of the same things (ie: potty training, loneliness at times, jubilation from the little kidlings), and are willing to share their stories. Thank you, and good night.