Friday, September 26, 2008


Ryan had a piece of toast this morning for breakfast; Logan had cereal. That's pretty normal. The conversation with Ryan that followed, however, is not:

Ryan: Mooommm, I'm still hunnngggrrryy.... (said with whiny voice)
Mom: Well, you can have another piece of toast or a bowl of cereal. Which would you like?
Ryan: Not cereal. Not toast. Mom, I'm HUNGRY! (more whining)
Mom: Well, Ryan, you can't have a cookie.
Ryan: Okay. Can I be 'scused? I'm fuuulllll. (no whines, just a big smile)

I about died laughing! And yes, he REALLY wanted a cookie. I made chocolate chip cookies yesterday. He helped me put some in big sisters' lunches this morning, then watched as one of the girls took one to eat on the way to school. Stinker! He thought he should have one too.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wii anyone??

About 6 weeks ago, we bought a Wii. It's been a BLAST, but Logan hasn't been able to put all the pieces together to be able to play with us. As a matter of fact, it's been an exercise in sheer frustration for all of us. In the last week or so, though, he's made a HUGE leap. Now he loves bowling and golfing and baseball with anyone who will play. In this pic, the boys are bowling while I fix dinner. (I snuck in to take a picture.)

The boys don't get much time to play--about half an hour a few times a week. One of the things they love most is to bowl with Mom AND Dad before bed. It's hysterical and fun, and we try and play at least once a week. Watch out though--Ryan will beat your socks off. Not many places a 3 year old who weighs 29 pounds can really bowl, but on the Wii he consistently bowls a 180 or so. Kicks my butt. Logan? Not so good. His average is about 65, but he loves trying.

While I'm not a huge fan of electronic games for the preschool set, this has been fun. Where else can you truly PLAY baseball or golf with your 3 year old? Bowl with them? And there are some added benefits: keeps them moving, keeps them playing with us (or their sisters!) , and has definitely helped the eye-hand coordination. Just don't play baseball or tennis with Ryan--he'll cream you!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

back to the hospital

My nephew Nicholas, age 6, heads back to the hospital tomorrow for another round of chemo. It will be a 4 or 5 day stay this time. He'll have a lumbar puncture (lp) tomorrow and some chemo meds injected into his spinal fluid during the lp. Then he'll be on intense IV chemo for 4 days. Sounds nasty beyond measure. If I understood my sister correctly, he'll end this round of chemo with a bone marrow test to determine how much residual leukemia lives in his marrow. Those numbers will determine whether he has more chemo or heads here for his bone marrow transplant.

Please keep Nicholas and his family in your prayers! (And see the post from September 11 titled "Bone Marrow Anyone?" for a picture of Nicholas and more information about his leukemia.)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

what a week!

Crazy week last much so it's one better left behind! Monday was gymnastics, and the boys did SO much better!! They're looking forward to tomorrow's class and so am I. It will be fun to see them take each new step. And Logan's a hoot to watch! Seeing him try his hardest to jump his way down the "runway trampoline" is worth huge praise, and some serious laughs. He works so hard, and the improvement in 2 weeks is measurable, but there's still a long ways to go. The first week he fell every 3rd jump. Last week it was every 5th or 6th. I can't wait to see what it will be tomorrow--10th maybe? Won't be long before he doesn't fall at all!!

Tuesday was our first day of preschool. I teach one of the children's classes for our mid-week children's program that's part of our womens' ministries at church. This year I am with the crawler/walker class. On Tuesday we had 15 little ones between 10 and 17 months! It was so great!! Ryan and Logan are in one of the 3 year old classes with a great teacher and they had a ball. Asked me the rest of the week when they could go back...

Wednesday was a long road trip to watch Emily play volleyball. After a 2 hour car trip we settled into the gym and watched a great match. Em played awesome and her team won 25-12; 25-17; 15-4. After a fun ride home that included Emily and one of her friends, we tucked two tired boys into bed. Ryan seemed a bit warm, but I didn't give it much thought. Maybe I should have!

Thursday morning when Ryan got up, he crawled in my lap and said "I feel yucky." I knew why, but got out the thermometer to check. Yep, 103. The day went downhill from there, since 3 year olds aren't known for their ability to hit a bowl/bucket/bag when they vomit. My carpet cleaner got quite a workout.

Friday Ryan was DEFINITELY feeling better but Logan started hacking and sneezing. Drippy nose, watery eyes--the whole thing. Not pretty, but he's good about using tissues and throwing them away. Now, if only I could get him to cover his mouth and nose when he sneezes....

Saturday we spent the day watching Victoria play in a volleyball jamboree. The boys were awesome--it was a long day! Her team did well and ended up 3-3 for the day. We dashed home in the rain so that Jim could do a bit of homework, then he and I were off to the fair! In the rain. Oh well....

We enjoyed a bit of time together just wandering around, then we grabbed a bite to eat. While we were eating, the rain quit. That was wonderful, since we had tickets for the (uncovered) infield of the Michael W. Smith/Steven Curtis Chapman concert. What fun!! I loved almost every minute of it!! Two very different styles, but each was special. I am partial to SCC, but most of that is because he's very open about his family and what they've been through in the last few months. His youngest daughter Maria Sue was killed in a freak accident in May. Maria was a darling 5 year old girl who lived in the same orphanage Logan did when she was a baby in China (or so I've heard). His openness and love for his family were amazing to see, and I could sit for hours listening to his music.

And we ended our weekend on a fun note. This morning at church, Logan was dedicated. Well, actually, Jim and I were dedicated--publicly committing to teach Logan about Jesus who loved him enough to die on the cross for his sins. It was a special time, even having done it 5 times before. And as an added bonus, the girls chose to stay off the stage this time so somewhere we actually have pictures of this dedication! There's a first time for everything. :) I'll post them as soon as I know who took them/what camera they're on.

Back to crazy around here with Jim's niece and nephews here while their mommy is in the emergency room with a nasty cut on her finger. Hopefully she'll be stitched up soon so they can go home to bed.

Monday, September 15, 2008

dinner was awesome!

I admit it--I have an evil streak. I LOVE seeing people proved wrong. Especially when they make judgments on my family based on the size of the group or the age of the children.

Sunday night we took all 5 kids who are home out to dinner. We went across the valley to a very nice restaurant on the water. They serve delicious seafood. We're talking dress up type place, with reservations and the whole thing. Anyway, we walked in and the hostess seated us, no problem. But when it became apparent to the foursome at the next table that we were going to sit down next to them, I got "the look." You know, the one that says "I can't believe I have to sit at MY dinner out next to your children." The displeasure was obvious. I just smiled nicely and helped Logan into his chair. And you know what? It's a good thing my back was to the foursome, because it wouldn't have been nice of me to gloat over my preschoolers' behavior! Logan and Ryan sat quietly and colored while waiting for their dinner. They ate with the appropriate utensils and drank out of water goblets and soda glasses without spilling. They ate their dinner (fish and chips) neatly without fussing. They put their napkins on their laps and used them when necessary. They tried bites of other people's food and were appropriately polite about it (yes please, no thank you, may I have another bite please). They sat patiently while the rest of the family finished dinner. They didn't fuss when they had to share dessert with those who ordered some. They participated in conversations around the table using inside voices. They charmed the socks off our waitress. In short, they were pretty close to perfect.

When we left, both boys smiled nicely at the foursome behind us. They pushed in their chairs and walked quietly out of the dining room, holding a big person's hand so they didn't get hurt by someone not expecting short people. It was a wonderful evening, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It's such fun to have children you WANT to spend time with! And a great way to celebrate.

Next weekend, I get to celebrate with Jim--just the two of us. We're headed to the fair! After many years of spending our anniversary at the fair because it was "Fair Day" at school, we're going there by choice. MY choice! We'll do the fair, then see Michael W. Smith and Steven Curtis Chapman in concert. I can't wait!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

22 years!

Yep, our 22nd anniversary! Hard to believe it's been that long--neither of us wants to admit we're THAT old. :\

So how did we spend the day? Well, the cable on the garage door broke earlier in the week, so we had a date for breakfast and to go to the hardware store to pick up a new set of cables. Then we changed the cables--together. After that, the brakes on the Suburban needed changing, so we did that--together. Then the brakes on the Avalon needed to be changed too, so we did that--together. Jim mowed the front yard and then I mowed the back (while he was putting gas in my car and getting new brake pads for his) After dinner, we'll take a few minutes together to take Emily to a friend's house and put gas in his car, then we'll probably crash! Not exactly the most "romantic" day, but I'm sure happy! A garage door that works and good brakes on my car are the best presents I could get.

And yes, we're going out for dinner tomorrow. :) We have the privilege of celebrating with our children, and we're all looking forward to a nice evening.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bone marrow anyone?

This is my nephew Nicholas. He's sitting in his hospital bed with his dad and his big brother. Nicholas has leukemia...and he needs a bone marrow transplant. My sister and her husband are fortunate--there were multiple potential donors on the National Bone Marrow Registry for Nick's transplant. Others are not so fortunate. But you can help! From now until Sept 22, you can go online and register to be a potential bone marrow donor AT NO CHARGE! This is huge, because typically it costs $52 to register. Right now, the NASCAR Foundation is picking up the tab. It's super easy: go online and fill out the registration form. NBMR sends you a cheek swab kit and a postage paid return envelope. That's it. You're done, unless someone needs a marrow donation. Who knows? Your marrow may save the life of someone's spouse. Or their child. Or their nephew. Here's the link: National Bone Marrow Registry

You can keep Nick and his family in your prayers. Nick's finishing chemo, then he and his mom will head out here for a bone marrow transplant. Right now, the target date is mid-November. But that can change. Pray for God's timing, for wisdom for Pam, Tony, and the medical staff, and for Ted as he and his daddy stay at home while Nick and Pam are gone for several months.

And one more big thing: pray for that family as they try to sell a gorgeous vacation place in McCall Idaho. It's incredible, with lake rights and a private beach community on Lake Payette. An incredible steal!! PLEASE contact me if you want more information--we're nearly desperate to help them sell this place. I have pics galore, and I've been there a couple of times. I'm happy to answer questions and direct you to the agent handling the sale. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!! Pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Now THAT was an experience...

Or, the very discouraging day...

The boys had their first day of gymnastics today. was interesting. Neither of them could follow even the most basic instructions, and Logan simply could NOT pay attention. Too many distractions. And, he had trouble not touching the equipment or wandering off from the teacher and the class. I certainly hope that next week is better! Fortunately, the instructor was not surprised, and indicated that it's a pretty common "first time' experience. She was confident that they'd do great in the next 2 or 3 weeks. We'll see.

From there it just went down hill. First Ryan wet his pants, so we had to stop at home to get dry clothes before we ran our errands. Then Logan wet his pants. TWICE! I hadn't packed anything for them--I can't remember the last time one of them had an accident when we were out. Quite frankly, I don't think it's ever happened. I couldn't find a couple of things I needed at Costco, and then we ran one more place to pick up something I've been trying to find for more than a month. Foiled yet again. At this precise moment I'm ready to just chuck it all and call it a day. I hope today is not indicative of the rest of my week! Fortunately, I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's mercies are new every morning, and I will continue to trust that He is in control. Even on a discouraging day.

But even when they have trouble following directions, the dynamic duo is cute:

Now, does anyone have about a CASE of chocolate???

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Logan is a child of almost insatiable curiousity. I can't even BEGIN to count the things he's tried that our others never thought of. Things like being helpful and trying to start Momma's car with her car key when it's time to leave. Like "stirring" the flour mixture in the bowl--all over the counter and the floor--when Momma goes in the pantry to get another ingredient for the cake. Like washing his hair in the bathroom sink, with bar soap. Or today, like trying to figure out exactly how the 3 hole punch works...on Hailey's placemat at the table. In light of all this, I've decided that my new motto for Logan is "Cultivate GREATNESS!"

And so we spent a long time learning exactly how a 3 hole punch works. On paper, not placemats. Satisfies the curiosity, and helps cultivate greatness. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back at it

Well, school started Tuesday. Hard to believe that Hailey's a senior this year. I told Jim on Tuesday that I wanted to sit in the corner and cry, that it wasn't fair for them to grow up so fast. Having already done this once, I know for certain that this school year will be over before I can catch my breath. Already we're looking ahead to things coming up in October and November, and I've been trying to figure out if I can pull off my (used to be) annual Christmas shopping in Portland. Problem is, I'm having trouble coming up with a weekend between now and Thanksgiving that isn't already committed! I'm working on it...

Jim, the little guys, and I traveled to Portland this past weekend so that Logan could meet some more of his family and so that Jim could help his youngest brother with the addition on their house. Logan had a ball, Ryan loved playing with the cousins, and Jim was sore and tired but very content on Monday. I rather suspect he'll be headed down again to help with the sheetrocking.

The boys and I are adjusting to the new routine: tumbling on Mondays, preschool on Tuesdays, baby Emily to play on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and speech on Fridays. It was fun to see Emily today. She's grown so much we'll have to come up with a new name for her, since she's most definitely NOT a baby any more! She and the boys had a ball this afternoon and both of them asked me at bedtime when she was coming back. It will be fun to watch the 3 of them play together this year.

Not much else is new here. On other fronts, my nephew Nicholas is back in the hospital. He's doing well--it's for this round of chemo--but it's been a tough road. Nick has some blood clots in his head that are a bit of a concern. This round of chemo is tough, and he'll be in the hospital for about 6 days. Brent will even have the opportunity to help out this time: Nick's big brother Ted has his first football game on Saturday. Pam wants to go, so Brent's going to hang out at the hospital with Nick so she can attend. He's a great kid, and I'm proud of him for being so willing to do whatever they need. At this point, it looks like Nick's bone marrow transplant will happen about Thanksgiving.