Author Archive


vitamin D

   Posted by: admin    in health

our area is suffering from the loss of natural vitamin D.

unfortunately, this vitamin plays a vital role in MY HAPPINESS.

the 10-day forecast shows snow-showers and cloudy conditions every single day. this means that we won’t see the sun. and the sun makes me….happy.

joking aside…any suggestions on getting an extra vitamin D boost when the clouds and cold aren’t helping? thsi is the tiem of year i need it most!


another resolution

   Posted by: admin    in Uncategorized

i never buy paper towels unless i’m forced to. i clean all the messes up with our kitchen towels and then promptly throw them in the laundry room (which is right off of our kitchen, so it’s easy for me to wash a load every day).

kenny and my mother make fun of me and they covertly sneak rolls into the house all the time.

my mom buys cute towels for my kitchen to replace my ratty ones. i think this is part of their plan to force me into going the paper towel route. because i’m beginning to feel guilty cleaning up marinara or hot chocolate spills with the cute kitchen towels she buys. and admittedly, the ratty towels have a stench that won’t clean out.

so. their plan has worked and i’m vowing to add paper towels to the “indespensible” list each month.

so. i need to know what brands are good…rolls that clean well and last long and aren’t too expensive. because the expense in disposable towels is what has kept me from buying them all these years.


the book you can’t put down…

   Posted by: admin    in Uncategorized

i was first introduced to audrey niffenegger’s new book several weeks before christmas. since i fell in love with the characters in her previous book, The Time Traveler’s Wife i was eager to see what this book would be like, story-wise. when i read the book jacket notes, i was very excited about reading it and asked kenny for it for christmas.

with the huge popularity of the twilight series and my complete boredom of them (i’m still about 50% through the first book and about to give up on it yet again, a year after having started it), i was beginning to think that my love of a good love story was waning. i couldn’t feel any sort of love between bella and the vampire dude. i felt it was all so swoony and silly. and i just didn’t understand why i couldn’t get into the love story-ness of it while so many people who i admire loved it so much.

but then i find myself enticed by the ghostly print on the front cover of niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry and jumping out of my socks excited about a love story that takes place around highgate cemetery in london that hints at ghosts, and love-lost. the book came in the mail a few days before christmas. i wrapped it and opened it christmas morning, and began it the day after christmas. her second novel didn’t disappoint. i may even say i loved it more than The Time Traveler’s Wife. it’s a bit on the quirky side, but that’s what keeps it interesting. there is nothing cheesy about her characters, her writing, her story lines her one-liners. they are very realistic, yet not right-angled. they’re full of regular emotion and human intensity, yet their lives are just outside any realm of reality that we experience. her books’ characters deal with things like time traveling and ghosts appearing and odd sixth-sense experiences. those parts of her stories become real and while you find yourself describing the book to a friend, it sounds so foreign and other-worldly in your words spoken outside of the pages….but when you’re reading it, it feels so normal. it feels as though these things are reality.

although we don’t believe in spiritual hauntings and coming back as ghosts to haunt our loved ones, kenny and i jokingly promised to haunt each other after our deaths. i introduced him to one of my favorite movies, “truly, madly, deeply” when we were dating. the main character has lost her love and he comes back to help her move on from her catatonic mourning. she eventually does move on. i thought the movie charming and it contains one of the most heart-wrenching scenes i’ve ever seen (when alan rickman’s character makes his ghost known to juliet stevenson’s character). there is so much romance in hauntings…

i can’t speak of a conventional haunting in Her Fearful Symmetry…you’ll just have to read it to see what i mean. we can be haunted by past choices, decisions, events…not necessarily people who have left us. in fact, this book is bound to haunt my thoughts over the next few days as i unwrap the treasure that this story has been for me to read this past week. i will re-read chapters and re-introduce myself to the characters for the first time again. i’ll fall in love yet again, and eventually i’ll bring myself to read another book.

so…what books have moved you so deeply that you feel as though you’ll never be able to enjoy another book ever again?


the new year resolutions.

   Posted by: admin    in family fun

happy new year! this year, i resolve to:

  • blog more.
  • get a new blog.
  • play more boy games (that include pretending to be a monster or a dog, playing Mouse Trap 10 times in a row, and making a bigger effort to play in the snow for more than 5 minutes).
  • put more dinners in the crockpot so as to open up that time slot in the day when all of us are cranky (3:30-5:00). we’ll spend that time playing to keep from yelling at each other.
  • write about all the mistakes i make along with all the fun parenting things i get to do on a daily basis. because being a human mom means i make mistakes. a lot. see previous bullet point which alludes to the fact that yes, i yell at my kids.
  • write down my dreams. not my goals, but my actual night-time dreams. i have some real hum-dingers.
  • sew more. for other people.
  • knit more. for other people.
  • complain less.

wish me luck!


school days

   Posted by: admin    in Uncategorized

this morning, i was privileged to have school with two superheros:

they FLEW through their lessons.

this is a re-post blog entry from advent, 2007. i have to remind myself of its message every time i sit down to do crafts with my kids.

today, i spent the afternoon with two friends and their children making gingerbread houses. we all had a great time, got sugared up just in time for dinner (woo hoo!) and are all proud “parents” of some lovely gingerbread houses. i enjoyed the day being with my friends and watching the boys be with theirs. how i love spending the day as a family, and as families, with friends.

*   *   *

originally posted december, 2007

advent sundays are so fun…they’re feast days, so fun happens.  last week we spent sunday afternoon with my parents and yesterday our friends traveled from the big city to eat and fellowship with us.

this morning, it was grey all morning long. the forecast called for nothing but grey. fortunately, i had a whole hour to plan the day between the time kenny left for work and when the boys woke up. and here’s how our day went down:

we were out of milk (the milkman comes every monday around 8:30) so breakfast was muffins and apple juice. i found a chicken carcass (lovely word, i know) in the freezer, so i decided to make chicken soup for dinner. i found a fabulous recipe for dumplings or homemade noodles (there is a fine line between the two and i would call what i ended up making dumplings, and not noodles. but they were fantastic nonetheless – the only thing that all three boys inhaled) from the boomama soup carnival. so i started the pot-o-broth with some additional frozen vegetable cuttings i had stored and continued cleaning the kitchen while the boys ate their breakfast.

after getting dressed, we all headed to michaels. it was a grey morning, but that didn’t stop us from bringing some color inside! i had started clipping strips for the construction-paper-garland (that we all did as kids – but rowan and sawyer don’t remember doing it last year, so it’s new to them!) this morning, and we needed just a few other supplies for more kid-friendly christmas decorations.

i don’t know about other moms with kids who like to make things and like to craft…but i always have an idea in my head about how something will turn out and it just doesn’t turn out quite as i had planned. but i’m learning to let go of this and embrace my kids (very eager and yet oh-so-young) artistic endeavors. for instance…

i planned to make these with the boys:

instead, we ate gumdrops until we were sick worked hard and ended up with these treasures (with a lack of reds and purples. hrmmmm…):

and i bought tinsel-like pipe cleaners to put these up all over the mantels:

and we ended up with:

i’ve let go of my need for a martha-stewartesque decorated home and treasure every little arts and craft that decorates our rooms for any celebration.  i don’t think the boys would enjoy making things if i was a drill-sergeant craft instructor.

after our craft-time (and adam’s nap), rowan helped me roll out and throw in the dumplings to our soup, now simmering with edible vegetables, waiting to be eaten. kenny came home and he gushed over the gumdrop trees and pipe-cleaner contraptions, said the soup was delicious and we all settled in for a long winter’s night.

thank goodness this monday didn’t feel grey all day.


joy in the chaos

   Posted by: admin    in family fun

just before dinner this evening, i stumbled into a time in our family when two out of three children were in diapers, squinty eyes and a  big “CHEESE!” was the sound behind the still photos, and there was an actual, real live BABY in the house.

i can’t believe that time was a full THREE years ago, and when i found myself there, i could hear the warnings of friends and family telling me to “hold on to these days!” and “they grow up way too fast!” although i heard them, took their advice to heart and thought i held on tight and savored those days as best i could (sometimes. sometimes not so much…), the boys all grew up way too fast. here i am with three NON-babies in the house, two of them who read words on a page, who use the bathroom like adults, and who ask incredibly important and complicated questions like, “will i be alive in 100 million years?” and who call me “mom” instead of “mama.”

i was looking for pictures of pilgrim and indian hats we made our first thanksgiving in this house. what i didn’t realize was just how…YOUNG the boys were until i actually found the pictures:

remember how red sawyer’s cheeks would get in the fall and winter? and how stocky he seemed next to rowan?  that big toothy grin rowans always gave to the camera. they’ve both grown taller and slimmer, they speak words that everyone can understand, and….my goodness…who is that BABY:

i just assumed adam was there at the table with us making the hats, yelling for the giraffe-scissors and his own marker for the hat buckle. but look! he can’t even sit up on his own yet!

it’s amazing what time and busy-ness does to your already worn-out mom brain.

when i snapped back into this time zone, with demands of dinner and tired boys fighting over new toys, i couldn’t help but think about the day, years to come, when i’ll be getting dinner ready for only two again and how different the sounds of the house will be then. so i let them continue to fight over the toys without getting involved. i made dinner and laughed at their corny jokes (shhhhh! they think they’re hilarious!), and took them upstairs WITHOUT making them clean up the toy room. 

because they’re only going to keep getting bigger. and louder. and perhaps i’ll look back on pictures of this thanksgiving in three years and wonder why i didn’t stop and savor it more.


advent in our home

   Posted by: admin    in family, family fun, seasons

kenny and i met, married, and baptised our three baby boys in the episcopal church. for the entire time we’ve been a family, we’ve been liturgical. from the grace we say at our table before dinner every evening (from Kitch’s “Anglican Family Prayer Book”) to the books that i cycle in and out during the church and seasonal calendar, our home follows the rhythm of the Church year.

about 10 months ago, we stopped worshipping on sundays in our episcopal, liturgical church and found ourselves in a church at the opposite end of the worship spectrum: contemporary and non-liturgical. it was probably a “God-thing” that we returned a second week and have been returning each sunday since (as we never found ourselves returning to the contemporary services we were trying out at the time we left the Episcopal Church): the pastor invited all the children to the front and gave them each a Bible and told them that without them, our church wouldn’t be there. that struck a chord in our minds: this church loved our children. not only because they are “the future” but because Jesus loves them, and instructs us to love them (even when they’re not our own).

but that’s not the point of this post.

even though we worship in a non-liturgical church now (and love this new church, by the way…), we still celebrate our liturgical family life. everyone can celebrate and find enrichment in their spiritual lives by following the liturgical calendar (even if they sing Casting Crowns songs on Sunday mornings instead of reciting the Eucharist from the Book of Common Prayer!).

and here we are in autumn, nearing the beginning of the church calendar: the time in which we prepare our hearts for our Messiah. we have already begun planning our advent observance. a few weeks ago, i ordered a book written by the authors of our spelling/reading curriculum called Advent Foretold along with instructions on building your own Advent Banner to be used with the daily readings. my sewing machine will get a workout this november!

i love st. nicholas day, and we plan to celebrate that the same way we have in years past.

along with our Advent Banner and daily readings, we’ll light our candles on our Advent wreath every Sunday in Advent(that was a wedding gift…well used over the past 8 years!).

i love looking back on these posts from the past few years, seeing the advent and christmas memories we’ve been making as a family. i’m excited for this year’s observance and celebrations! i know it’s merely autumn, but there’s lots to do to get ready for the season of getting ready!


Geneva, the Donkey

   Posted by: admin    in Uncategorized

so we got ourselves a donkey this weekend. meet Geneva:

donkeys protect sheep extremely well, and we found one on craigslist last week, being sold by a retired sheep farmer. she’s the sweetest, most gentle thing. however, she really knows how to BELLOW and put her foot down so you cannot move her. she’s strong and for the first day or so, was very afraid and missed her previous owner. but for the past two days, she’s been in the pasture the whole day, following the sheep around….and yelling for them when she looks up from grazing and can’t find them right away.

the sheep were quite accepting of her. violet (the big brown fuzzy one on the left) stares at her for long periods of time and runs from her when she tries to sniff her.

it’s been quite interesting watching the relationships form between them – protector and protected.


a season…

   Posted by: admin    in general

i find myself in a season with this blog….i haven’t written more than a few posts over the past few months! oh, i remember the days when i’d write a post a day for weeks on end. and it’s not that i’m short on material as i have daily blog posts i could be writing that my boys provide to me in forms of phrases, games they make up, picture they draw, inventions they think up..

i am, however, short on energy to dedicate here. when i started this blog, my 6-year-old was only 13 months old! he wasn’t even talking and barely walking and my 5-year-old was in utero. so my “kids” were in bed way earlier than me. these days, i have to rise way too early in order to have time to myself since i’m going to bed just after the boys (at 9:00!). they’re getting older, and we’re entering that next “tiring” stage of parenting: we’re not walking zombie-parents like we were in the newborn days of zero sleep. we’re also not walking around following a toddler all day long, keeping him from dangerous steps, lower-level cabinets and from eating all the cat food. no, it’s definitely a new phase in parenting. three boys between the ages of 3 and 6 requires stamina to answer 100 questions a day (and ones that you have never asked yourself so you’re not prepared with the answer), provide food on a near-constant basis AND have energy (intravenous-caffeine work wonders!) to drive them to soccer games, swimming at the Y or all the grocery shopping trips you need to keep them all fed!

by 7:00 pm, i’m done with the day. it’s a lot of energy just to have a conversation with my husband…and no offense, but he’s much more important. :)

i’ve blogged for 5 whole years now, and i’m certainly not ready to give it up. but this season of very few blog posts is in full swing, and i wanted to just pop in and say… don’t go too far away! i’ll see you next month …or next week. whenever the caffeine is still kicking at 8:00 pm.