Monday, November 30, 2009

Big Dog prepares for Advent

Big Dog loves numbers. So it only makes sense that he loves our new Advent calendar cabinet. He loves opening and closing the doors. Yesterday I told him that each day we will open one compartment and there will be treats in the compartments for them. I guess Big Dog couldn't wait. He showed me a compartment this morning. Guess what was in the compartment....

a half eaten piece of broccoli. Yummy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009



This is our Jesse tree. I have had the hardest time with our child made ornaments and readings. But, we are just going to go ahead with what we have on Tuesday. It's our first year so if we even get through it I'll be impressed.

This is our first year doing an Advent wreath. We said a very nice set of prayers from a Ave Maria Press book entitled Blessings For God's People by Thomas G. Simons. The children were very interested in what was going on. (Sorry the picture quality is so poor.)
After we were done with our prayers. Rooster wanted to blow out the candle. Which was ok with us. We have three children 5 and under. The idea of letting the candle burn for an extended period of time isn't really comforting:)

GH had to get a closer look.

Nurse Rooster makes the rounds

Rooster was a diligent little nurse. She took the boys temperatures at least a dozen times today.

Pine cone activities

Since we were sick today we missed a lot of great stuff: Mass, another Thanksgiving at the ranch (that everyone made it to), city tree lighting, and Santa Clause. We just have had the worst luck this year:( Anyway, sorry for my pity party....onto the activities.

I saw a cute idea in Roosters school newsletter. We looked at our pine cones. We noticed that they were spread out. Then we put pine cones into a bowl of water and placed a small bowl on top of the pine cones to keep them submerged.

About 20 minutes later we pulled them out of the water and noticed that they were now closed. The school newsletter says that in this is the way pine cones protect their seeds.
We made some pine cone bird feeders. Please ignore my messy counters. I was still working on my Jesse tree stuff. Advent sort of snuck up on me.

Even GH got in on the activity.

Rooster was the only one that made the reindeer. I thought it was a bit advanced for the boys.

Dysfunctional Thanksgiving ;)

We had Thanksgiving with my mom at the park. How weird are we? I'd like to say this is unusual for us....but its not. But on the bright side, after a two hour car ride the kids really loved running around the park.

This is the same tornado slide I clobbered myself on when I was a kid. It resulted in a heated argument between my parents. Aww memories:) Luckily, Rooster is more graceful than I was:D
Rooster helped GH down the slide several times. I have a video of GH going on the slide by himself. If I have time I will post it later.

The kids all seemed happy to enjoy the bounty of pizza, and bread sticks.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Big Dog is a....

semi-professional race car driver

and amateur tattoo artist.

Todays Outdoor Adventures

Rooster found some pieces of grass on her hand that made a K. We were all pretty impressed with this find;)

The other day I moved the little basketball hoop to the backyard. The kids really like having it next to daddies hoop.
I brought out the little tee pee. Then we gathered enough rocks and sticks to make an impressive fire:)

Rooster had to use force to keep her brothers from getting into the fire. A big sisters work is never done.

Rooster decided we needed to make s'mores.

Then it was time for stories around the campfire. Rooster made shadow puppets on the tee pee.


After we got home from the ranch and tree farm we watched the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. The kids loved it!

Oh Christmas Tree

We got a private tour of the Christmas tree farm John and Crys work at. We searched high and low for the perfect tree.

All the trees seemed big to GH. So I think he would have been happy taking any of them home:)
I think Big Dog was thinking "Posed pictures are so lame Mom."

Eventually we found the tree of our dreams. Here is Crys modeling it for us.

GH by the tree we chose.

GH trying to make a get away on John's 4-wheeler.

Time to cut that sucker down. Somewhere a hippie is crying. And thats the only thing that makes me happy about having a real tree:D
Cousin Presto posed for a few pictures.

Thanks John!!!

Thanksgiving at the Ranch -- Part One

I didn't get many pictures of the Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday. But, I did manage to get one of Big Dog enjoying cookies.....

and another picture of Big Dog enjoying pie.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What book puts the "bored" in board book?

GH's board book review.

Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell - GH gives it two thumbs up.
On the Beach - GH loves this book. Two thumbs up.
Baby Animals by Usborne - This book puts the bored in board book. GH gives two thumbs down.
Feathers by Claire Clark- GH loves birds. This kindermusik book is awesome. Two thumbs up.
Spot's Thanksgiving - GH enjoyed this book but it didn't keep his attention for long. One thumb up.
Count with Dora! by Phoebe Beinstein - This book gets two thumbs up.
I Play for Nebraska by Ted Mandell - GH enjoyed the colorful pictures. Two thumbs up.
Painting with Picasso by Julie Merberg and Suzanne Bober - GH gives one thumb up.

Big Dog

Big Dog has been trying to write his name. I think it's getting more legible. But, I am his mother so I might not be the most objective. His B looks like a T. But, the rest r, e, t, and t look good to me.

Big Dog likes to doodle A LOT. His faces never smile. I hope he isn't having a troubled childhood. He is the middle child after all.

Desperate Times

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Big Dog loves to squeeze out ketchup and mustard bottles. So far this week he has "wasted" THREE bottles. I think he views it as art. I know that I have no business questioning his art. But, I can't help it. I view it as a big costly mess. So I bought this 7 pound 3 ounce can of ketchup at Captain Awesome's store. I think it was $3.87 but I got it with a 10% discount. WOOT!

Don't worry Big Dog won't have assess to this much ketchup. I can imagine the damage he could do with it;) The extra ketchup will go in a pitcher in the garage refrigerator.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I made some rosettes tonight. Rooster handed them out as quickly as I made them.

The butterflies were her favorite.

Lefty in training

Going to Mass without a fight:)

I really wasn't looking forward to going to Mass this week. The kids (mostly Rooster) has been fighting me about it. So I told them that we were going to dress up nice and go to Mass. I don't know if it will work next week. But the kids were really excited to go to church this week. They weren't excited to sit for a picture though....

After Mass Rooster ran around the house with a comforter over her head. She insisted that she was Mary. But, she wasn't as forgiving as Mary would be. Every time the boys stepped on her comforter she would get upset with them. I asked her "Do you need a smaller veil like Mary?" Rooster replied "Yes, Mommy one like Mary". So I'm going to try to make her something this week.

Hand prints

We made some clay hand prints the other day. I think they turned out well. The only exception would be the one on the bottom one on the far right. Big Dog had chocolate on his hand when we did his. I don't know where he found chocolate. If I had known there was chocolate I would have eaten it:D

Sunday, November 22, 2009

For Krimsin

Friday, November 20, 2009


He was running around the house showing everyone his belly. He didn't see me coming with the camera. Now everyone can see his cute little belly.


Today was a good day for playing outside and enjoying the fantastic weather, while mom did the yard work.

Socialized Medicine

Wow!!! It didn't take long for the government to start telling us that our current health care has been too good. It won't be long until the private insurers will no longer provide these benefits. It's such a shame.

Report: 20-somethings can go 2 years between Paps
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard, Ap Medical Writer – 2 hrs 17 mins ago
WASHINGTON – First mammograms. Now — in an apparent coincidence — Pap smears.
New guidelines by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists say most women in their 20s can have a Pap smear every two years instead of annually to catch slow-growing cervical cancer.
The change comes amid a separate debate over when regular mammograms to detect breast cancer should begin. The timing of the Pap guidelines is coincidence, said ACOG, which began reviewing its recommendations in late 2007 and published the update Friday in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.
The guidelines also say:
_Routine Paps should start at age 21. Previously, ACOG had urged a first Pap either within three years of first sexual intercourse or at age 21.
_Women 30 and older should wait three years between Paps once they've had three consecutive clear tests. Other national guidelines have long recommended the three-year interval; ACOG had previously backed a two- to three-year wait.
_Women with HIV, other immune-weakening conditions or previous cervical abnormalities may need more frequent screening.
Paps can spot pre-cancerous changes in the cervix in time to prevent invasive cancer, and widespread use has halved cervical cancer rates in the U.S. in recent decades. About 11,270 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and about 4,070 women will die from it, according to American Cancer Society estimates. Half of women diagnosed with cervical cancer have never had a Pap, and another 10 percent haven't had one in five years.
Cervical cancer is caused by certain strains of the extremely common sexually transmitted virus called HPV, for human papillomavirus. There is a new HPV vaccine that should cut cervical cancer in the future; ACOG's guidelines say for now vaccinated women should follow the same Pap guidelines as the unvaccinated.
But the updated guidelines reflect better understanding of HPV. Infection is high among sexually active teens and young adults. Women's bodies very often fight off an HPV infection on their own without lasting harm, although it can take a year or two. The younger the woman, the more likely that HPV is going to be transient.
Moreover, ACOG cited studies showing no increased risk of cancer developing in women in their 20s if they extended Pap screening from every year to every two years.
As for adolescents, ACOG said cervical cancer in teens is rare — one or two cases per million 15- to 19-year-olds — while HPV-caused cervical abnormalities usually go away on their own, and unnecessary treatment increases the girls' risk of premature labor years later.

I find the timing of all of these new reports very interesting.

For Krimsin

I found this cute comic on the blog Black & Right.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Old Trucks

This morning I dug out some of Captain Awesome's childhood toys. The kids had a blast with them.

Rooster decided to make a nest in this sled. She wanted to get a real hen for it. But, I told her I was certain that was against city ordinances. Instead she decided to make a hen and eggs out of dirt clogs.

I moved some things around in the yard. It took a while. But, it actually was a lot easier than what I expected. Now when Captain Awesome plays basketball and misses (which never happens) he wont have to leave the yard to get the ball. Moving the swing set should make it more usable in the winter. So I am happy with the way it turned out:)