Wednesday, November 26, 2008


To my friends,
We will be out for the next week. We're looking forward to sun, swimming, and general family fun in Puerto Vallarta. We'll be looking forward to seeing you all in a week or two.

If you are not my friend,
Ahhhh, we may be gone but our alarm is on and our friends will be keeping an eye on our house. We have lots of friends so don't try anything. OK? I mean it. And my next door neighbor is an attorney and tougher then you for sure.

I am sure I'll have good info for blogging when I get back.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Parsnip Soup

I have never in my life had a parsnip that I recall.....until 2 days ago. I don't know what you use parsnips for but I can tell you they are YUMMY as a soup.

I joined SPUD a couple weeks ago. I have a standing order for every other Thursday. They send you a message a few days before you get your order incase you want to ammend your basket. I wanted to amend mine because, "What the heck do you do with parsnips?" But alas, I was too late and I got my box with....parsnips. Thanks goodness for the internet. I checked out a few recipies and this is the one I came up with, Parsnip Soup . This soup is not only delicious but it is really easy and great for a cold winters day.

So not only did I love the soup but I am going to make sure I have parsnips in my SPUD order next time.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spoiled and Certainly Comfortable

..................................I have been trying to ride my bike a lot lately. My goal is to ride more then I drive. It's tough but I think I have done pretty well. Portland is not very big and most of what I need is within 5 miles of home. One of my main rides is taking the boys to school 3 days per week. The other 2 days I drive the car pool so that would be too many kids (See my entry Oct 21 "More POOP" for a driving day story. Maybe this is why I like my bike).

This morning it was cool out and I want to make sure my boys are warm. If they are uncomfortable my trip will become the same....uncomfortable. I pulled the blanket that was in the trailer out and threw it in the dryer and then I got an old milk container and filled it with hot water. The milk container was in the bike "tent" as I call it and warmed it up. When the boys climbed in they were so happy. We covered them with the blanket and then set the milk container between them. Yep, worked, they were happy and WARM. Off we went.

I am going to try really hard to keep this up through the winter unless it's REALLY bad weather. Though I may have to go to 2 milk jugs.
Have a great day and get out there and RIDE!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kees Made a Joke.....A Good One.

Tuesdays and Thursdays are Kees' days off from school so we just hang out. Today after dropping big brother off at school we were getting in the car. Kees noticed a sticker of a witches cauldron on the floor of the van. This was a sticker he got for Halloween from Spook-O-Rama. He saw it and said, "Mom, look at my sticker. It's a pot." And then he looked at me, smiled and said laughing, "It's a pot sticker." (You know like the chinese dumplings?) We both laughed.....hard. I didn't know he had it in him.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gratitude in Your Heart

...........................................So Bob has been out of town all week. We all went to drop him off at the airport on Sunday evening. This was good because it involves the kids and Bob took us out for dinner on Kaiser. I hope I don't get him in trouble by posting that but really, Kaiser owes me. Dinner was pretty good and Sophia and Coulter were really well behaved. That being said, Kees was not. He wouldn't sit still, wouldn't eat anything but french fries, kept poking Coulter and was generally annoying. He is going through a really annoying phase. I guess that is his right since he is only 3 but I am done with that so he should be too. Have I mentioned that I DO know it's not about me I just have a hard time fully accepting that.

After dinner we all gathered in the area before security and said good bye to daddy / Bob. The moment he turned his back they all started in, "Can we go to the play structure? Can we? Can we?" I will tell you that using the term "play structure" is a stretch. I give in, we go. They all run around this thing like it's Disneyland. At first it's fine but 20 minutes in there are 15 kids running around and I think, "There is going to be an accident." So it's time to go. They are pretty good about leaving.

We walk through the terminal toward the car. They're all lagging behind. "Can we ride the elevator?" "Can we go up and down the escalator?" "Can I go on the evegator?" (that's Kees, the evegator, I love that.) We ride the elevator, get out and are approaching the car when Sophia says, "I can't wait for daddy to get home." And I say, "Meee tooo" apparently with a lot of attitude in my voice. Sophia stops and says to me, "Why do you always say it like that?" I say, "What do you mean?" and she says, "Like we're a pain in the ass." I stop dead in my tracks. She's right. I said it exactly like that. Like my beautiful, wonderful, healthy and generally well behaved children are inconveniencing me. I feel about 2 inches tall and am shocked into her reality. And I know that if she is able to articulate that, that her brothers feel it too. I walk around the car and get in facing her in her seat. I say, "I am so sorry. You're right I did say it like that but I don't mean it. I'm not going to do that again because I love you very much and you are not a pain in the ass. We are going to have fun this week. Sophia, I am really, really sorry. Do you forgive me?" She says she does but it still stings. I still feel badly thinking about it. If she said it now she must have been feeling it for a while.

I remember when she was a baby and you could say whatever you wanted around her. As she grew we all learned to refrain from certain words. Then, of course, we went to spelling. And until last weekend it hadn't occurred to me to worry about my inflection. They say that body language is 90+% of what we convey and isn't inflection verbal body language? We can all say, "Are you wearing that?" in 50 different ways. Some are excited like we love it and others are completely condescending and rude. And I, by saying that I couldn't wait for daddy to come home conveyed a message that I never intended. I meant it, but didn't intend it for the kids. So I have learned a very valuable lesson. First that I need to be very careful about how I say things. Kids are smart, very smart and they know what we mean. They carry things around in their hearts so we must be careful what we put there. And secondly, I needed to adjust my attitude, and I have. I need to be grateful for my time with them and I am. I need to be grateful that my husband has a good job and I am. I need to be grateful for my smart, wonderful kids and I am. So rather then just adjusting my inflection I have tried to take a different perspective, a perspective of gratitude. We all get busy and in those times we can treat our kids as a bother and they feel that. I am trying to show them that I have gratitude and that is what is most important. I want them to carry gratitude not sadness in their hearts.

So It's been a pretty good week. We got a new movie and they have all seen it twice. We don't usually have TV during the week but this week was different, plus they didn't have school on Monday or Tuesday. We've eaten pizza, had play dates, friends came over for dinner, we've done art and I even got to chaperon a field trip with Sophia's class. I love my kids so much that I can't imagine my life without them. I am grateful for their existence and for my opportunity to raise and support them. They are little people with all the same feelings and perceptions as big people I just needed a reminder of that. So now I am going to carry gratitude in my heart and let that be the feeling that's inflected in my voice.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Great Weekend for Me and Mine

I am loving life today. I slept in my bed with all 3 of my kids all night. Bob slept in Kees' bed. He didn't feel like moving the kids. So I had the honor. While it is frustrating to sleep with all the kids because they take up the whole bed, they sleep sideways, they take all the covers and they wake up OR occasionally pee in the bed. Yes, that is my personal favorite, pee. I try and take the attitude that this is only a short period of time and some day I will miss them peeing in my bed. Oh wait, no I won't. I will, however, miss snuggling with their little warm bodies, smelling their hair that still smells sweet, and merely the fact that they want to be with me that much. So today I took that attitude. The one that loves sleeping with the kids. When I woke up at 6:30, I went back to sleep. When I woke up at 8:30, I went back to sleep. When I woke up at 9:30 I called a friend. And then I called another friend. And then my mom. And then Bob's parents. It was great. The kids climbed all over me, the bed and each other. They built a blanket fort. They talked on the phone too. Bob brought me breakfast in bed. And at noon, I took a bath BY MY SELF. OK by my self for 5 minutes. Then Kees and Sophia hopped in. After an hour long bath I climbed out and got dressed. So finally at 1:30 I managed make it down stairs so I could blog and tell you all about my great day. I have the classical music station on the cable. The kids are playing out front. Sophia is creating a pirate treasure hunt for Coulter, Kees and Max, the kid next door. There will be no play dates today, it's a family day. And the kids don't know it yet but we're taking them to see the new Madagascar Movie at 4:30. They are going to be sooooo excited. We'll have dinner at the mall. It's a kids dream. Tomorrow, after church, we're headed to one of the indoor pools around town. It should be fun! Our summer was so packed that we never got to just hang out. I love weekends like this. So we are having a great time. Nothing too exciting but it's perfect for me and hopefully the rest of my family. I hope you are having a well deserved, relaxing weekend too.

Things Over Heard at My House This Week

Coulter crying histarically responds to the question, "What are you crying about?" "Fia won't let me watch her sew!" I can totally see why he's upset.

I heard my self say, "GET OFF THE DOGS HEAD!" Why, why, why do I have to say that?

Kees hung a wash cloth on the side of the bath tub and said, "Look, look what I did." I said, "You're a genious!" He frowned and said, "I'm not a genious. I'm a Kees."

Friday, November 7, 2008

New Reality

I think our country is settling into the reality that we are going to have an African American President. Being a white woman (and growing up as a privileged white kid) I have no idea what it means as a black person and how it will effect that reality. I can see the excitement in the faces of young people of color and it is thrilling. I can see excitement in most people's faces, especially here in the northwest, and that makes me thrilled and proud. Most of us have been told all our lives that, "You can do anything you want to. You can be anything you want to be. Even President of the United States." I think and have heard from prominent African American people that while they have heard that all their lives there was always an, "Yeah, right." in the back of their mind. I pray that voice is fleeting if not gone now. This is an equality that is so important. Not just for African Americans but for all of us......AMERICAN AMERICANS. No matter what you think, this is not about you, it is about us, all of us. Together we are stronger, we have more resources and more hands to help. We need to rebuild from the inside. Literally from our insides. We have become sad and passive as a nation. This new hope has given me a burst of energy as an individual and an American. As we feel stronger we can work together to build our nation. We need to take care of one another. As we become stronger as a nation we can take care of other nations. America has always been a beacon of light to other nations. Our light was diminished but did not go out. We are now given the opportunity to work together and become stronger. Stronger as families, communities, cities, states and as a nation. I love that Barack Obama knows he is faced with a huge challenge and responsibility. He is facing that as a man, an American man. May we all learn to treat each other as Americans and not to tolerate one another but celebrate each other. This is our time to shine and show the world that, "YES WE CAN." And that we will......

Sunday, November 2, 2008

This Has Been the Definition of a Weekend

It's been a busy weekend. Friday night was, of course, Halloween. We started the evening with multicolored cheese pizza. The kids thought that was sooooo cooool. Then I stayed home to hand out candy while Bob took the kids around the 'hood with another dad / kid team, the Wangs. I was glad to be at home alone because Bob was traveling last week while I was here, alone, sick with the kids. So the moment they left I cracked open a bottle of wine and poured my self a glass. And then I waited for some trick-or-treaters, and waited, and waited. I was really disappointed because we only had a few and I really like seeing the kids. I will tell you that the first group was all teenagers. At least they had costumes on. It makes me crazy when a bunch of 16 year olds show up, say their half hearted "Trick or Treat" and then stand there with open hands. Come on....aren't you embarrassed? I am embarrassed for you. Anyway, I could hear them coming up the stairs and then I flipped the switches. We have a smoke machine, blinking lights and scary music with screaming. I heard one of the kids say, "That's not cool man." Ha ha, scared you. I was pretty happy with myself. Our kids were only out for a short time. Kees came home and Sophia and Coulter stayed at the Wang's house for a sleep over. Kees was so happy to be an only child. He ate candy and watched America's Funniest Home Videos with mommy. We laughed, a lot! He got to sleep in our room (with permission) opposed to the rest of the nights where he has to sneak in.

Then yesterday Sophia and I shopped for dinner. We had such a nice time together even though she didn't want to go because it was, "So boring." Ha ha, it wasn't. Score one more for mom. We were having our friends the Stewarts over. It's been a really long time since we did that. We used to do dinner almost every Friday Night. Anyway we were looking forward to seeing our friends again. I ordered 2 lbs of ground lamb and then a 5+ lb lamb shoulder. The guys at the meat counter were like, "Whacha makin'?" They wanted to come over. One of them said, "Lamb two days in a row? You are living large." Pretty funny. So we finished our shopping and headed home. I made dinner, the kids played and before you know it the Stewarts were here. We all had a nice time, the kids all played well and then Gracie stayed for a sleep over. Bob and I stayed up too late but it was fun.

And today we have more friends coming for dinner. We're having braised lamb shoulder....yummy. Their kids were actually here for a few hours earlier today so they could have some grown up time. We had 6 kids running around here and they all had a fine time. I also went to the grocery store to pick up a few things. As I was picking up a bottle of wine I felt like it was Groundhog Day. Wasn't I just doing this yesterday? Yep. So I got more wine and a few other things and back home to make dinner for our friends the Wangs.

Dinner is cooking, the kids are playing, it's grey outside, the TV is on but it's on the Classical Music Station, I am doinking on the computer, this has been a great weekend. We didn't get much done, the house is a mess but sometimes this is what the weekend brings. I am pretty relaxed and just enjoying being in my house with my family doing weekend things.

Have a great week.