Surprise II

I bet you guys all thought that we were done having kids.


Yes, we are expecting another baby the end of December.

I do love me a baby, but I DO NOT love me a pregnancy. Because of that I thought I should explain a few changes to the blog.

First off, you do not have to worry that I'll be posting weekly pictures of my belly because:
  • I have never done that before.
  • I am not a cute pregnant woman. (I gained about 65 lbs with Penelope.)
  • I will be doing my best to ignore the pregnancy, and will probably hardly mention it at all.
Secondly, my house posts will be inconsistent.

I love watching a good "before & after" unravel as much as the next person, and I wish that I had some progress to show you (and me!) everyday, but that's just not possible right now.

I've had enough pregnancies under my belt to know that some weeks I will be a woman on fire, meeting everyone's needs, keeping the house clean, and working on my projects. And some weeks I will be incapable of doing anything other than lie on the couch, blow a few kisses and read.

My house posts will almost certainly reflect that, and in fact, already have :(.

Thirdly, I won't be finding people to do guest posts for awhile.

I really liked the guest posts, but they have become that little extra stress that I would rather not deal with right now.


Sometimes I wish babies came for free, but they don't (and if I'm being honest, that's probably a good thing).

The next six months will be a little slow for me, but the reality is: at the end of it, I'll have forgotten everything I hated, and I'll have another sweet baby to make me laugh, make me cry and make me love.

Wish me luck!


Random Photo Dump (Woo + Kids + Cousins + Aunts)

man woman iPhone instagram
man woman church instagram
smiling running girl instagram
little boy dad instagram
little boy instagram
little boy instagram
baby girl smiling instagram
baby girl smiling instagram

Surprise I

You guys will never believe this, but ...

I actually did some caulking and hole filling in the kitchen!

paneling caulk
My original plan was to make the entire kitchen tight as a dish, and then paint, but I've decided that it will be more fun for me to caulk and then paint sections.

That way I'll get the satisfaction of seeing something painted and done every once in a while.

paneling caulk
Caulk is really amazing to me, it can cover up a dozen ills. I gather that "real" finish work shouldn't use caulk because of the exploits of some of the men we've hired to do work. They clearly have only worked on new houses, and expected everything to be perfectly square.

The guy who built our built-in window seat and closet spent 2 eight hour days doing nothing but trying to get the window seat shelves perfectly level. I could've told him that a) it was impossible, and b) we weren't looking for perfection anyways, but sometimes people just need to learn things on their own.

He also struggled quite a bit trying to get the crown molding around the bows in the living room walls.

We had another guy install the crown molding in the bathroom, and he was very embarrassed when he had to show me a corner that he just couldn't get to line up perfectly. He was also very surprised that I was expecting it.

I think that these kinds of imperfections are a problem for most people, while for me, they are a plus. For some reason, I don't really care for perfectly level, plumb and square houses. They seem to be missing something to me.

What do you guys think. What is it some people see in old houses? And what is it some people see in new ones?


Past Blast: When You're 18 (er, I mean, 64)


little boy on big wheel

Herbie frequently uses the age 18 to describe severe, decrepit, old age as illustrated in this conversation with Ruby.
Ruby: And then I'll be 6!

And then 7!

And then 8! (They giggle.)

Herbie: And then you'll be 18! (They laugh.)

Herbie: When you're 18, you can't walk!

You have to lie in your bed ALL the time!! (lots and lots of laughter).


Where I Wax On about the Good Ole Horse and Buggy Days ...

Ok, this post is going to make all you young whippersnappers roll your eyes. But, it needs to be said. Sometimes I cannot get over how much the world has changed.

That was me in kindergarten. Do you know what I heard about for the first time in kindergarten? Computers.

I heard about them because our school had just gotten one computer for the whole school that year, and it was a very big deal. The computer lived in the principal's office. He used it to do principally sorts of things, but also, kids who were good (me, of course!) were allowed to go up to his office and play a game or two on it.

I played frogger, which was good fun, of course. (Although, one or two games just isn't enough.)

I learned how to type in Jr. High (and one year of high school) on word processors. Does anyone still use those?

We got our first first family computer when I was in high school. I used it mainly to play Solitaire and MineSweeper. I don't think we had the internet.

I got my first email account my freshman year of college (And I was instantly a fan. Why talk or call, when you can write?)

Facebook, YouTube? not until after I was married (and I've only been married 8 years -- can you believe how big they've become?)

I married an early adopter of Apple products, so Woo owned the very first iPod when we got married. It was white and had a dial thing in the middle. Nobody had any idea what it was, but within the next year or two, everyone else had one too.

Remember when I thought the iPad was a stupid idea with an even stupider name, and now I can't live without it?

So now as I sit here among our 2 iPod Touches, 2 iPhones, 1 Android (for programming purposes only), 2 MacBooks, 2 iPads, and have the internet in my pocket all day long, I remember those days when one computer in the entire school was a big deal.

Are you ever amazed at how quickly technology is changing? Or how things that we use everyday didn't even exist a few years ago?


Is it July yet??

This wasn't the best week. I guess we were recovering still from last week. I was originally going to say that Woo and I were the crankiest and tiredest, but towards the end of the week, Linus gave us a run for our money.

Back when the kids first got out of school, Woo sat down with each of the kids to talk about a goal for them to accomplish and a reward. Moses got to go to a candy store and pick out whatever he wanted in return for not sucking his thumb at night or during naps for a week. Ruby gets to go out to lunch with Dad in return for a week of excellent table manners. And Herbie gets to go camping with Dad in return for controlling his temper for a week.

Well, Moses earned his candy and he, Woo and Linus made a special trip to the store to pick it out. Woo let Moses out of the cart, and 2 seconds later his arms were full with whatever was closest.

little boy holding candy aisle instagram
This was Linus when Woo told him he didn't get to get out and pick out treats.

little toddler boy disappointed grocery cart instagram
Woo was able to talk Moses into picking out a giant bag of gummi bears to get the most bang for his buck, and he also picked out a bag of licorice. Most candy Moses has ever had to his name ever. He's been very, very generous sharing it though.

little boy and toddler boy in car seats holding candy instagram
Woo: Moses, we're going to keep the candy in my office so no one else will eat it, but no one can eat it unless you share some with them --even Mom and Dad.

Moses: Dad, what if the bears wake up in the middle of the night and scare you?!

Woo: Are you scared of gummi bears, Moses?

Linus: I do!!
Penelope still doesn't have a real crawl, but she's definitely getting around. The entire first floor is her oyster.

baby girl under table instagram
This is Ruby in her homemade soldier costume. You might not be able to tell that she's wearing a plastic bag as a shirt. That's armor. I think the ad attached to her chest is a shield.

little girl dressed in plastic bag
Woo decided to pursue fame and fortune by making a movie for the town's 4th of July movie contest.

little boys dressed as princess bride fezzik vincini the man in black inigo montoya instagram
Can you tell what it's a parody of?


Past Blast: Moses & the Wind


little boy in suit and briefcase instagram
We finally learned what's triggering Moses' fear of the wind on a walk this week.

Moses (as if having the revelation of a life time): Mom! My hair didn't blow away!

Me: It didn't blow away?

Moses: No! It's stick... it's sticked to my head!

Me: Is that why you've been scared of the wind, Moses?

Moses: Yes, but it didn't blow away! It sticked!

Me: That's great, Moses!

Woo: Moses, you have many years ahead of you before you really have to worry about male pattern baldness.


More Hiding Places

little toddler girl 70s instagram
Under the dinner table at my Grandma's house was another of my favorite spots. My Grandma went all-out setting the table for Sunday dinner. She'd drape a nice table cloth over the table and put out her best dishes.

I liked to sit under the table after I finished eating. It felt like I was in a tent in there, under the table cloth, and I just listened to the chatter and stared at everyone's shoes.

Once a friend of my Uncle's from Toronto came to visit. She was exotic and black, wearing traditional African clothes. I thought she was beautiful, and I was absolutely fascinated by everything about her, from her hair, to her colorful clothes, to her rich voice. As soon as I was done eating, I sat right in front of her under the table so I could stare at her beautiful, long skirt and dainty shoes without being observed.

But the shoes were too tempting for me. I reached out to touch them,

which prompted a comment from her to the other adults at the table.

And that was the end. I was told to run outside, and was never allowed under there again.

Where did you guys like to hide? And was it really secret? Or did the adults in your life only tolerate it?


Families Are Forever

family in escalante state park instagram
(2nd from right)

Tuesday morning we got a call that Dalen, Woo's nephew had died.

First, we cried for Dalen. Then for his mom. And then for his twin brother, who found him.

Then Woo broke the news to the kids:
... But, we believe in the Plan of Salvation and that families can be together forever ...

Linus (smiling brightly): Jesus!
After awhile, Woo decided to drive down and spend a night or two at his sisters' and do anything he could to help her and her kids. I "helped" by keeping my kids out of everyone's way. They really wanted to be involved, though.
Ruby: I want to help!!

Me: What do you want to do to help, Ruby?

Ruby: The laundry. I want to do the laundry.

Herbie: I want to make the lunch.

Ruby: We can make sandwiches for the kids!

Moses: I can make sandwiches! (He just learned last week.)
We settled on making cards for everyone. Ruby put a lot of thought and effort into each one. Herbie kind of petered out halfway through, and Moses insisted on drawing a picture for Dalen himself.

They all had recently seen Dalen when we'd visited one of Woo's sisters last month, and they all liked him.

The kids kept telling me all day, "I don't feel good today, Mom. Because Dalen died."

brothers and sister southern utah instagram
(2nd from left)

All of Woo's 6 other siblings flew or drove in within 24 hrs. Woo's parents also flew in for a week from their mission in Hong Kong, to give mourn with and give comfort to Dalen's family, and to attend the funeral.

Woo spent many hours during the week working on a video tribute that played at the viewings and was sent to family members afterwards.

My grandma lives close to the church the funeral was at, so Penelope and Linus were able to nap at her house, while the rest of us were in the church.

We heard fun stories about Dalen, about his love of tinkering and building and experimenting, of his fun-loving personality, and love of baseball. Woo also really liked this quote that the Bishop gave in his remarks:
The only way to take sorrow out of death is to take love out of life.
After the family dinner, Dalen's twin brother got out the trebuchet (form of catapult) that Dalen had made, and launched candy at the kids.

trebuchet catapult launching candy instagram

Every family also got to take home some of the candles Dalen had made. Thank you, Dalen. You will be missed!


Public Service Announcement

Due to an emergency in the extended family, I will not be posting along my regular schedule for the rest of the week. Thanks for your understanding.


Past Blast: 5 nights camping + 3 little kids=????

8.17.08 -- I've included the entire email of our first camping trip with kids.

little boy and girl camping instagramI felt that everyone was in the mood for a vacation, but then again it could've just been me.

The week before we left, the kids may or may not have worn the same clothes for 4 days in a row.

three kids in car instagram
We started our tour of Missouri with a visit to our land in the Ozarks. We were happy to see that the Rambo Church of Christ is still going strong just down the road from our subdivision, but unfortunately weren't in the area on Sunday to check it out.

Everyone was in good spirits, and Woo and I were apparently a little too optimistic because we set off on a quiet walk down a fire road immediately after zipping Ruby and Herbie up in their tent.

We returned to raucous laughter, a naked Herbie, and an unzipped tent filled with dirt, sticks, leaves, and the rain fly.

dirty toddler instagram
The kids spent the night strapped in their seats in the car.

Getting the kids to sleep continued to be a struggle the entire trip. Couple that with waking up early and less than stellar naps in the car, and you get daily encounters with ornery, whiney, grouchy kids.

Looking back, they were actually pretty good in the mornings, but, boy, they were a pain in the evenings.

baby boy and little boy in tent instagram
One highlight of the trip was going to a Pentecostal meeting in Tightwad, Missouri. Everyone there was super excited to see a young family with kids walk into the room.

I couldn't wipe the smile off my face when 2 men picked up 2 acoustic guitars, 1 man picked up an electric guitar, 1 picked up a bass, 2 women positioned themselves behind microphones behind them and 1 sat down at the piano (over half the congregation).

We were treated to 1/2 hour of hymns from a pretty good country-rock band.

Woo tried to record and shoot video from his pants pocket. Herbie was fascinated by the "violin backpacks" (guitars with shoulder strap). Ruby asked, "Where's the drums?" and Moses fell asleep in the arms of a friendly woman.

Monday was our most peaceful day.

We'd camped in Wallace State Park, which was perfect for little kids. It had a little lake with a well maintained trail and bridges all around it. We walked around it twice watching other kids (none quite as young as ours) fishing and catching worms and frogs.

Ruby and Herbie collected walnuts in their pockets and threw them in the water. Later we drove to Adam-Ondi-Ahman. We ate lunch and napped on blankets in the grass. The weather was perfect, and it was very pleasant.

Since Woo felt that I'd omitted nearly all that was awesome he added a little.

A few other highlights from the trip are:
  • finding fresh corn (harder than you might think for the midwest),
  • ticks, ticks, and more ticks,
  • finding free wifi at every town we passed,
  • allergies,
  • a stinky vehicle,
  • driving fast on windy, hilly country roads,
  • the RLDS temple,
  • Charley's buffet (all you can eat school lunch + thousands of homemade desserts to choose from),
  • nearly empty State Parks with beautiful weather,
  • ticks,
  • nauseating radio stations: "Homeless people walk a lot. They don't have cars or even ... a home.",
  • drafting off diesels to save on gas,
  • slightly falling gas prices.
RLDS temple instagram
Lowlights include:
  • whiney, tired kids,
  • urine in the car,
  • body odor,
  • various and sundry after-effects of Charley's buffet,
  • the amish town (or rather, "best day trip in rural Missouri"...if you're blind, deaf and dumb!),
  • ticks,
  • chiggers,
  • ?-bites,
  • cheap fiberglass tent poles,
  • over-ripe fresh corn,
  • no swimming,
  • Chelsey's inexplicable determination to follow a vacation agenda (for the first two days...),
  • returning to a computer with a fried logic board.
dad and kids in horse drawn wagonSince the highlights out numbered the lowlights, we chose to embark on
another camp out this last Friday. Everything went well except the
sequel to the kids-sleeping-in-tents extravaganza, which ended in a
fantastic Herbie supernova Saturday afternoon and evening.

I had vivid recollections of Keith holding me down and covering my mouth as
I threw tantrums on road trips.

Like father like son.

Hopefully this week things return to normalcy, and I can mow the lawn,
and clean up the yard in the absence of a computer.

We're a lot better at it now, but have you ever gone camping with kids? What are your secrets? Do you remember any great trips as a kid yourself?


Hiding Places

close up little toddler girl 70s instagramOne of the fun things about being a kid is hiding everywhere. All the time.

One of the not fun things is that adults always find you eventually.

I was one of those kids who was most comfortable hiding when people came to visit. I wanted to observe the action, even if I didn't actually want to participate in it, so I'd hide as close to it as possible.

When my grandparents from Wisconsin would come to visit, we'd go to the store. We'd load up on near-beer for them (gag!), and ice cream and ice cream cones for the rest of us. Us kids would be put to bed, and we'd have to listen to everyone else up laughing (mostly my Grandpa), until we finally fell asleep.

One time I had the brilliant plan to hide behind the couch after I was supposed to be in bed. I don't remember how I got there or how the room had been empty enough for me to sneak into position, but I remember sitting silently for a long time, enjoying the conversation.

Well, I obviously wasn't sitting silently enough, because at one point I was startled by the sight of my Dad staring at me from the front of the couch.

His eyebrows were one dark line of fury.

He didn't say a thing, but I got up and walked straight to bed.


This Post is all Over the Place

family canoe on car instagram
Moses is almost always dry at night, but one night he had an accident.

Mom, did you know that my pillow can pee?
Woo asked the kids how they could show love to Mom and Dad. There was a chorus of:
Do chores!
Clean up messes!
Don't make messes!
If you make one, clean it up!
(Can you tell what we get on the kids' backs about?)

And Moses yelled,

If you see a fire, pour water on it!!
I hope you never have to show me love in that way, Moses.

Ruby enjoys being able to change clothes and characters several times a day now. This is one of her dress ups. She called it "boy pioneer."

little girl dressed up as boy pioneer instagram

Penelope had a stinky diaper which led to a conversation between the kids about them all having had stinky diapers at times when they were babies. Some one yelled,
Even Mom had stinky diapers!
Herbie (scoffed): They didn't have diapers when Mom was a baby!
Out of the blue Moses asked me,
Why do we have to do chores?
And then decided to try and answer his own question.
Because Jesus does chores?
I just laughed, but Woo told him, "Yes, probably, Moses."

Each night before the kids go to bed we sing a song. We rotate who picks it from Moses on up. Linus has been yelling out a song suggestion the last few nights, so we decided to let him have his first turn.
Me: Would you like to pick the song, Linus?
Linus: Yes!!!
Me: What song?
Linus: Bike!!!
While the rest of us sang, "I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride my bike ... "
Linus sang,
I DO ... BIKE! I DO ... BIKE!
Timing it so that he sang the word "bike" when the rest of us sang "bicycle."

Moses was telling us about a couple in the neighborhood.
And then their son came.
Their son was a girl!

And BIGGER than their mom!!!
Sounds like quite the son.

Woo's week started out rough: lawyers, indecision about what to do next, injuries ... but things looked up by the end of the week. He finally found a canoe on craigslist.

family canoe car instagram

And he found a fun mountain bike trail that he can start on just blocks from our house.

(We live in that little valley)

At 10 months Penelope was not crawling (don't tell anyone). I blame two things.
  1. She hated being on her stomach for a long, long time. She'd cry and immediately roll over when placed there.
  2. Once I got her comfortable on her stomach, and would arrange something enticing just out of her reach, a "helpful" brother or sister would run and hand it to her within seconds.
This week Woo spent some quality crawl-training time with her, and we now have an army crawl.

baby girl army crawl
And that's our week.


If I Hadn't Vowed

toddler boy funny ears
to only cut hair once a year, I'd shave Liney's head and dress him up as Yoda for Halloween.