Thursday, December 24, 2009

...and to all a Good Night!

Things have been non-stop around here. Now that #3 is sleeping, #1 & #2 are in bed, and #4 is nursing as I type, I am taking a few minutes to share some of our highlights of the season (thus far) and things I'm grateful for.

Generous friends at church with beautiful toys to pass on

Generous landlords (and dear friends, like parents to us really) who allowed us to have kittens for Christmas! (Welcome, Izzy & Louis!)

Church friends with mechanic shops open on Saturdays to diagnose a problem with our car the day before leaving for St. George.

Car problems which turn out to be unidentifiable. Can't pay for a problem you can't find! (The van made it here and seems to be running just fine.)

The chance to be with my sister and her beautiful family for Christmas. Seriously, aren't sisters (and family?!) just awesome?!

A generous stranger who chose me as someone to receive an envelope with a substantial amount of cash and a beautiful printed card with the quote from Mother Theresa's orphanage wall.

Stay tuned for pictures! We've been busy playing at the park with cousins, building gingerbread houses, goofing off, making cookies, baking, listening to beautiful cello music (courtesy of my lovely and gifted sister), and thoroughly enjoying being on a break from school and work and being with family!

Friday, December 4, 2009

After the bickering reached a high point I looked over at the clock and realized none of us had eaten a SNACK or LUNCH and it was well past time for BOTH!!

No wonder we were having so many issues!

Food and a park trip later, things settled down and the rest of the day went much more smoothly.

Lesson learned. Don't forget to eat! Don't forget to feed your children!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Here's another great book to add to your library list!

Sally and the Purple Socks by Lisze Bechtold

Booklist Review:

Sally the duck is thrilled with her new purple socks. They fit perfectly, and she wears them constantly until they oddly begin to get too big. She uses them as scarf and cap to wear while she gardens, but when they continue to grow, she turns them into curtains, then blankets, a carpet; and, finally, when they block traffic in front of her house, she makes them into a circus tent and invites all her neighbors over to have some fun. All goes well until rain shrinks the socks, leaving Sally with her “lovely, soft, cozy, warm, luxurious purple socks,” which fit perfectly again. This is similar in concept to books such as Tomie dePaola’s Strega Nona (1975) and Jay Williams’ One Big Wish (1980), in which things grow and get out of control. The quirky, playful, and ultimately warm illustrations, coupled with the simple text and a plot with just the right amount of suspense, make the book spot-on for sharing with young audiences. Preschool-Grade 2. --Randall Enos


All my saran wrap gone. Someone needed it to build a popsicle stick house?! Apparently it didn't pan out because the evidence is gone. Remember a few days ago? I don't like this part of parenting. I'm trying to channel some kind of inner peace and have some perspective. It's hard. Really hard.

It's not all about the saran wrap. I haven't gone loco over just that. It's a combination of everything happening this morning...

Set up the Christmas tree (first chance...we're usually early birds!), watched and tried to contain things as the girls unraveled the Christmas decorations boxes, and the girls have been at each other this morning!

Judas Priest!! Not my usual exclamation but when I think this to myself, I hear Grandma's voice saying it as only she does and it eases the stress, a little.

And now back to the grind...after a good venting.

Within me is a peacefulness that cannot be disturbed...I can do hard things...This feeling is temporary...I am not this feeling, I am not this feeling, I am not this feeling!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

These are great books to add to your reading collections! For now we just keep checking them out from the library multiple times, but I look forward to slowly adding these to our own library.

I'm including the reviews that Amazon provides to save you some time and save myself the brain-work of summarizing them for you!

School Library Journal Review:
Sophie's family needs a new couch. After a full day of searching, they finally find one that is just right. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, it comes with an odd-looking creature that just sits in the middle of the cushion. Resembling one of Jim Henson's Muppets, the creature, readers learn, suffers from upholsterosis and on doctor's orders that they get him out more, the family takes the sofa and the newcomer on a cross-country journey. Slonim's very funny picture book will appeal to children with a taste for the zany. Told from Sophie's point of view, the understated text is often at hilarious juxtaposition with the illustrations. The colorful artwork will appeal to fans of David Shannon's work as will the tongue-in-cheek storytelling.

Hilda Must Be Dancing by Karma Wilson
This one is an old favorite we were excited to find on the shelves at the library again. Review:
Finding a suitable sort of self-expression can be a challenge. Sometimes what seems so right for one individual is so very, very wrong for everyone around her. Take Hilda Hippo, for example. There's nothing Hilda loves more than dancing. But whether she's tangoing, square dancing, boogying to disco, doing the flamenco, rumba, or samba, Hilda makes a lot of noise:




Her friends in the jungle try to subtly guide Hilda down other creative paths, but knitting and singing just don't do it for our hefty heroine. Is there anything else Hilda can do that won't make bananas fall from the trees and clouds of dust fill the air?

Rollicking rhymes and dynamic, jungle-hued illustrations make Karma Wilson (Bear Snores On, A Frog in the Bog) and Suzanne Watts' picture book collaboration a must for every foot-stomping, tutu-swishing reader. Irresistible! (Ages 3 to 7) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Mary and the Mouse, The Mouse and Mary by Beverly Donofrio
The review below has some negative things to say about the book, but trust, this is still a very charming and fun read.

Booklist Review:
Little Mary lives in a big house with her mother, father, brother, and sister. And behind the dining-room wall, a little mouse lives with her mother, father, brother, and sister. Though the little mouse has been warned about people, and Mary has been warned about mice, they secretly wave to each other after dinner. Years later, Mary is grown, has a daughter named Maria and lives in a new house. Coincidentally, the little mouse lives in the same house with her daughter, Mouse Mouse. In its little girl–little mouse concept, the story is reminiscent of Jim Aylesworth's Two Terrible Frights (1987), but this develops differently. Since it takes two generations before a girl and a mouse actually speak to each other, the time frame is unusually long for a picture book, which makes this a bit static. Still, the telling is clean, the parallel structure of the tale is pleasing, and McClintock's warm, precisely drawn ink, gouache, and watercolor artwork will fascinate children and adults alike. Phelan, Carolyn

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I've had it up to HERE with buying toilet paper, dish soap, and toothpaste!

These things should last three times (or more!) longer than they do in my house (lately...). It's already annoying enough to have to buy something just so you can throw it away (speaking especially of toilet paper...), but to buy it and then have it used for something other than its purpose...

Why? Why? Why?

I know, I know....this too shall pass. I am not this feeling (although I usually disagree with that in the moment...). This feeling is temporary. And my favorite, I can do hard things!

Tell me please, someday they'll buy their own, right? Maybe I should use their piggy bank money to replenish? Or do I simply scold and leave it alone, accepting that they're kids and this is how it is for now? Granted, it is just toiletries...really. In the grand spectrum of parental frustrations and hardships, there are many more higher on the list.

Today I threatened to give them toilet paper, dish soap, and toothpaste for Christmas...