Friday, December 24, 2010

Note to Self

Photo courtesy of

NOTE TO SELF #531:  The next time you hear "Mommy, mommy.... mommmmmy" coming through the baby monitor at 3:52am, pressing the snooze button on the alarm clock will be futile.

Friday, December 17, 2010

She's an Absolute Angel

Yesterday was Emily's Preschool Christmas Program.  She was an angel...  no, really.

The program was really cute... wish I could include some video of the program, but I want to respect the privacy of the others kids and their parents.  I'll hold onto them for the archives!

I have to say, my favorite part of the program (aside from Emily) was the beautiful little angel that delivered the news to Joseph that his soon to be wife was going to have a baby... she scratched her Holy Hiney all the way across the stage and back!  Too cute.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

You Don't Look Like Mommy

Yesterday was cold.  REAL cold.  I still had my hood up as I was buckling Em in her car seat.

"Mom!  You don't look like Mommy with your hood up."

"Really?  Who DO I look like?"


Do you feel the love?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Snow Day!

Today, the school district I work for was closed due to ice on the roads and drifting snow.

photo courtesy of

After picking her up at Grandma and Papa's house to head home, we slowed down for a snow plow that was coming towards us.  She was impressed by the size of the big yellow truck that was cleaning off the roads.

Not more than 10 minutes later, we spotted another big yellow truck.  "Mommy!  Another ice cream truck!"

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lesson Learned

This is how things went down this morning...

"Mommy, can I watch a show?"

While I'm sitting across from her putting my socks on, I respond with, "Not right now.  When we're all done getting ready and are just sitting around looking at each other...maybe."

My fatal mistake?  I glanced up at her to make sure she's listening!  But oh, no!  Then, eye contact was made...

"Mommy... we're looking at each other...."

Did I mention my kid takes things literally?

IN OTHER NEWS:  While getting ready to brush our teeth, the aforementioned kid started to put her hands under the running water.  I kindly reminded her that we needed to brush our teeth, not play in the water.  Her response?  "Mo-ommmmm, I have to wash my hand!  It has bottom steam on it!"  

Then, by ALL means, PLEASE do!

Monday, December 06, 2010

The Little Drummer Girl

photo by JD at

For supper tonight, Em got a chicken leg. 

"What's this?" she asked. 

When I told her it was a drumstick, her inner rock star broke loose and she attempted to drum with it.

Yeah, she's a bit literal...

Thank goodness she didn't get 2 chicken legs or we would have had to get the mosh pit rolling!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

What more could a girl want?

There's nothing like a giant wad of bubble wrap to make a girl's day!

Looks like we can cancel Christmas this year.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"I'm not, tired.  But I'm not tired!  Mo-ommmmm, I'm REALLY not tired."

....time lapse 5 minutes...


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Trick-or-Treat night was a family affair again this year.  My (Jenni's) dad's birthday was a few days before our town's trick-or-treat night so we invited the family over for the festivities and had a birthday dinner together after handing out our goodies.  Thanks to Aunt Shell for taking pictures!  We're glad she's a shutterbug or we wouldn't have pictures of a lot of our family events.  I usually get so busy with child-wrangling that I forget I have a camera along for the ride.

Emily's cousins, Abby and Ben, came over to walk the neighborhood with her.  There's nothing like following a butterfly, Sleeping Beauty and a skunk around town while they're collecting the goods!

Monday, November 29, 2010


As we were leaving the doctor's this morning, Em shouts, "Look!  Eagles!"

I clarified that they were geese.

She responded, "I like their barks!"

.... Gifted class here we come!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Halloween Prep

I can't believe I just found Halloween pictures that we haven't posted here yet!  I'm just a few days late...

Grandma came over a couple of weeks prior to Halloween to help us decorate our pumpkins.  I decided to go a bit against the grain this year and not carve them.  I saw a few ideas in a magazine (maybe Better Homes and Gardens?) and ran with them.

With the aide of a hot glue gun and some odd and end craft supplies we had a decent run at some unique pumpkins this year!


Emily modeling her pumpkin....


DADDY'S PUMPKIN... we "decorated" it so it would fit in 
but he could modify it later if he wanted in on the action!

Just goes to prove we shouldn't decorate pumpkins under the influence...
of PMS.   :-)

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Some more pictures for you!

May 14, 2010 - "Slip Me Some Skin"

May 21, 2010 - "Asleep at the Wheel"

June 5, 2010 - "Hot Tamale"

July 19, 2010 - "VBS - Part 1"

July 20, 2010 - "Doodlebug"

August 2, 2010 - "Check, Check, Check-Up"

A Gift of Love for Mother

My mom found this in a stack of clippings that my grandma had saved... it seemed fitting for some pictures I took earlier this fall.


Has there ever been a mother
Who has not received the gift
Of a bunch of wilted dandelions
Clutched in a chubby fist?

She exclaims, "O my, how pretty!
I'll get a vase real quick."
Then proudly she accepts the gift
That Love has stooped to pick.

For days each time she passes
The vase of drooping weeds,
A smile will light her features
And her heart again is pleased.

When she cannot keep them any more,
She's as careful as can be;
She discards them very carefully
When her little one can't see.

For Love is such a special gift
Though offered as withered flowers;
And when mother's days are filled with Love,
They gleam with happy hours.

-Dorothy Smith
1984, Warner Press, Inc.

Hand-selected by Emily... from Grandma's flower bed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The "V" Word

Em was very confused by the political ads on TV tonight...

"John Kasich sat on Invacare's board as a director and signed off on jobs being outsourced and sent to China and Mexico...."

Apparently, "China" and "Va-gina" sound very similar to my 4-year old!

"Mom!  They used that 'quiet word' (then whispers the "V" word to me) on that 'mercial!"

Monday, October 25, 2010

"Oh My Gosh"

Sorry... have to share another one tonight...

It's almost 7pm and Emily was just telling me that she hoped her Daddy would get here soon.

I had to break the bad news to her and let her know that Daddy's car broke down on his way home tonight and he's going to have to stay at Aunt Shell and Aunt Laura's tonight and come home tomorrow.  I wasn't sure what to expect, but given the experiences of the day, I was predicting some tears and a potential meltdown.

Instead, she put her hands up to her cheeks and said, "Oh my gosh.  I don't know what he's gonna do, I sure his car doesn't get broke down again!  I have to go make my dad a card."

And off she ran to her room where I could hear her telling "her kids" (the imaginary friends in her room) that her Daddy's car broke down and he would be back tomorrow but not to worry.  She told them she was going to make him a card so he would feel better.

Here's her letter:

It says:

Dear Daddy,

Your car not broke down again.  Dear Daddy

And just for kicks... this is what I saw in my rear view mirror on the way home tonight...

Apparently she found her bike helmet in the seat beside her and felt my driving wasn't safe enough...  Or, maybe she was thinking of Grandma's driving styles....

Would You Please Stop Singing?

On the way to Grandma's this morning, Em and I were singing our homemade "Days of the Week Song".  Partway through the song she asked,

"Would you please stop singing?  You're making me REALLY sick."

Thankfully, I know a secret... she meant to ask me to stop singing because she was singing loudly and it was making her throat hurt since she has a cold!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Hurry, hurry, hurry!

Last week Em, Grandma and I were riding towards a yellow light on the highway and from the carseat in the back I hear, "Hurry, hurry, hurry -- before it turns red!"

I looked in bewilderment toward the passenger seat and asked my mom, "Where in the world did that come from?"

Grandma confessed that the darling kid in the backseat just might have overheard her tell Grandpa that a time or two!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

I'm a hottie!

While out to eat last night, Emily crawled across my chair to get out.
"Mommy your seat's hot!"

Without thinking, I said, "Well, I must have a hot butt then."

Before I knew it, there were 2 little hands grabbing my royal rumpous saying, "Can I feel it?!"

Note to self #421: Think before I speak, but especially when we're out in public!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Over the course of the last couple of years, Em has garnered a fear of quite a few things:
  • Loud noises
  • Automatic flushing toilets
  • Car washes
  • Flies
  • Spiders
  • Dirt
  • Hot water  (great combination, huh?)
  • Automatic hand dryers (blowers... she loves the automatic towel dispensers!)
  • ...feel free to add to the list if you're remembering something I'm not! 
And, over the last couple of weeks, Em has tackled a few of her fears.  When we went camping and visited the Cincinnati Zoo, she had a complete meltdown in one of the restrooms because she had to go potty, but was terrified of the automatic toilets.  She would NOT even trust me enough to hold my hand over the sensor while she went. 

However, a couple of weeks ago, Em faced that fear and has used at least 2 "scary" potties since then... and then comes out victorious and tells everyone she meets how brave she was.  That was a fun story to explain to all my colleagues at the local high school homecoming game!

Sunday, Emily tackled another fear.  For about a year and a half, she has built up a fear of car washes.  Whenever I've needed to run through one, I've always asked her (without pressuring her) if she wants to give it a shot and then answer has always been "No, they're scary."  Imagine my surprise when I asked her again on Sunday and out of the blue she said she wanted to try it! 


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Leaf Angels!

Due to the lack of a rake, we found an old broom in the garage this afternoon and swept some leaves from the back yard into a big pile.... yeehaw!

But we also learned in the process that you have to watch out for scary critters in the leaf piles.  Look out!

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Em's First "Camping" Trip

Last week was our 10-year wedding anniversary.  We planned an inexpensive week-long visit to the Lake Hill Campground.  We packed up my kayak, our bikes, a tent and our miscellaneous camping gear... propane tanks, pie irons, fishing poles, DVDs, laptops... (what?)

The beginning of the week was a little rainy, but we love sitting on porches and watching and listening to the rain.  It was a perfect beginning to our week.

Emily lost Tooth #2 on Sunday night.  We predicted this might happen and made arrangements for the Tooth Fairy to visit our cabin.  Sorry... for the life of me I could NOT get a picture of her new smile.  She would not cooperate and kept making all kinds of goofy faces.  I managed a couple of good pictures of her tonsils though!

A few days in, we decided to take a road trip to the Cincinnati Zoo.  Our membership to the Columbus Zoo gave us 50% off admission and we enjoyed a great afternoon of walking through the botanical gardens and experiencing "The Cat House" where the big cats are kept.  (The only down-side is that the big cat house smells like a big cat house.)

Emily's favorite part of the zoo was the playground.  There was evidence of some giant creatures on that playground...

The Giant Tortoise

Giant Spiders

...that captured a giant Emily.

Later, back at the campground, Emily got to spend several days playing outside.  She had a little trouble adapting to the uneven ground and unfamiliar territory.  Em hasn't had much opportunity to roam free and trip over tree roots and fall off of porches.  She made up lost time last week.  On day 1, she tripped into the fire ring (empty and unlit!) but still managed to bruise her thighs and scuff up her hands a little.  (It's a wonder she didn't lose more teeth on this fall!)  On day 2, Emily fell off the front edge of porch and landed in the hostas.  She ended up with a little road rash mark on her side and gained a healthy fear of the front edge of the porch.  Other than that, she learned fairly quickly to watch where she was going instead of walking into and tripping over things.

Initially, I thought the cabins were going to be further apart.  They were fairly close, but didn't bother us a bit because we were the only ones there all week except for a few random people at the back of the campground and our friends that joined us on Saturday night and they got to stay right next door to us.

There was a "rail to trail" path just across the road from the campground.  I had good intentions of riding this with Emily but we just went exploring and took a walk on it early in the week.  Because of the hills, I would have had to load our bikes on the SUV and haul them down the hill to the level bike path and then haul them back up the big hill to the cabin afterwards.  It was a little too much work for the timeframe we had... but next time, we WILL do this!

Em loved playing on the playground at Lake Hill.  We met the owners' 7-year old grandson and played with him toward the middle of the week and then didn't see him again after that.  Emily wanted to play on the playground rain or shine, but we agreed on "shine".  I wish she'd have had a playmate most of the time because I just didn't have it in me to chase her all over.  Swinging is my cup of tea.  She climbed a fairly high rock wall all by herself and the only thing I didn't let her do by herself was the rope wall/ladder in the picture below... maybe when she's a bit more coordinated and won't end up hanging by her ankles if left to her own devices.

The campground has its own 5 acre lake which was perfect for kayaking.  I was able to take the kayak out 2 different afternoons while Em napped and Tom stayed back enjoyed catching up on a few TV series on DVD.. rustic style (on his laptop).  On my first kayak trip, I just explored the lake and enjoyed the peace and quiet.  I took my fishing pole with me the second time and though I got a few nibbles, I didn't catch anything.  I did find a couple of downed trees in the water that had become good sunning spots for about a dozen turtles and I found quite a few shells along the beach and some really large ones that I brought back for Emily.

Since the weather has been cool for a while, there weren't too many bugs around the campground except for a few daddy long legs.  While Em was playing on the playground one day, I noticed this little booger.  Not sure what he was, but he was bashful.  It took me about 6 tries to get this picture, he kept walking away from me and scooting around the backside of the playset when the camera would focus on him.  Anybody know what this is?

The cabins were quaint, but comfy and had everything we needed.  We had a full-size bed, bunk beds, and a foldout sofa if we needed it.  We had a bathroom, complete with shower and a small kitchenette with microwave and small fridge.  There was a grill and comfy chairs on the front porch and we brought our own camp chairs for in the cabin and around the fire.

There was even a loft above our bedroom with a mattress up there, but I was afraid I wouldn't be awake enough to climb down from there in the middle of the night without ending up hanging from MY ankles.

 Here's our kitchen.  Isn't it lovely?  Don't judge our eating habits... remember we were on vacation!

Here's a quick pict of our tent which Emily loved playing and napping in, but it was too cold at night to hang out there.

Here's a prize picture... my little princess who doesn't like to get dirty was totally digging in the dirt and burying her hands.  The previous day, she did the same thing... in pants that were on backwards.  She also crawled around on her hands and knees and cleaned the slide off with those backwards pants.  I had to laugh when I did post-vacation laundry the other day and had to work on grass stain on the "back" of her knees and the "front" of her pants.  I loved playing in the dirt as a kid and am happy this kid had a chance to do the same. We might just have to weed out dirt pile out back again so she can play in the dirt this spring!

On Saturday afternoon, our friends came down and joined us for the night.  It was great watching the girls play together and catching up with each other again.  We explored the campground together and had to wind up the weekend when the rain started up.

It was nice to be able to get away and celebrate the last 10 years together.  We have been blessed with a happy, healthy marriage and a great family.  As our friend, Matt, said... "Congratulations.  That's longer than most prison sentences!"   Yes.  Yes, it is.  Congratulations, honey... don't call the parole officer just yet, I'm enjoying this prison sentence.


Hey gang... just want to let you know that due to some uninvited spam, I'm having to turn on comment moderating.

I've been getting some junk thrown in on our comments over the last couple of weeks and the number of comments in very poor taste are starting to outnumber the family-friendly comments that are normally left on our site.  I'm convinced these aren't attacks on our site by real people, but by automated bots.  No worries.

Please feel free to continue to post comments on our site... we actually love to hear your feedback!  The only difference you'll see if that I'll be "approving" the comments before the automatically appear on the blog.

Speaking of spam... why is it that every now and then I get a hankering for some real, edible spam?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I've been trying to round up some pictures of the kidlet lately and in trying to do so, have totally skipped posting the big events here!  There will be pictures to follow and more details as well... but here's the important stuff!

- - - - - - - - - - -

Last Friday morning, Sept. 24 - Em's first tooth fell out as a total surprise to us a couple of weeks ago. Found out tonight she has another loose tooth already. Yeah, she's still 4!

Sept. 26, 9pm - Calling the toothfairy to come make trip number 2 tonight. Hope she's still taking calls this late at night.

Sept. 28 - ‎"Mommy, wake up. I hear bagels falling on the roof!"

Sept. 29 - While exploring the outdoors, we had this conversation: 
"Mommy, is this pee?" 
"...Emily! If you think it might be pee, DON'T put your finger in it!!!"

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Good News and Bad News

Mmmmm, chili.

We had a chili dinner last night and I was given the task of taking some of the leftovers home to stick in the freezer.

Soooo... the good news is that I didn't have any trouble freezing the chili last night.

The bad news is that I didn't have to because on the way home I almost missed a stop sign, hit the brake a little harder than I should have and dumped the crockpot (which was sitting on the floor up front). 

Good news... Almost all of the chili ended up on the floor mat.  Em and I had yummy chili smells to enjoy the rest of the way home and it made cleanup a LOT easier.

Bad news... When I got Emily out of the car and started cleaning up, she proceed to enthusiastically march around in our driveway singing, "Oh crap... oh crap... oh crap... oh crap..." 

Good news...  I'm very thankful my regular vocabulary doesn't include too many words worse than "crap".

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Joke telling. Really?

We need to work on Em's joke telling skills.

"Knock, knock."

Who's there?


Banana who?



On the way to supper, Emily was playing "Steal the blanket" with her daddy.  Em wanted him to steal my blanket.  Daddy says, "Mommy doesn't have a blanket.  What should I do?"

Without missing a beat, Emily shouts, "Rip her clothes off.  Rip her clothes off right now!"

....Oh dear.  Where did she get that from?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Preschool Follow-up

Preschool was a hit.  Em colored smiley faces. She snacked on goldfish crackers.  She played dress-up with "horsie things".  She listened to a story.  She met new friends but doesn't know any of their names.  And, she visited the purple girls' bathroom and stood on the "big" stool to wash her hands.

I think that about wraps up her summary of the day!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


There's a little girl in our house that got to sleep rather late last night because she was so excited about starting preschool that she just couldn't settle into bed. After about 2 hours of wriggling, she finally slowed down enough to succumb to sleep.

When she finally settled in, I pulled out her plain pink backpack (from "Hobbly Blobby") and got to work adding the extra ribbon and "gingerbread" she had helped me pick out so we could pretty it up and make it her own.

This morning, Em met me in the hallway with a big smile on her face and was very chatty and full of questions. When I wrapped up my shower, I peaked in her bedroom and found her stuffing her backpack full of "all things school"... colored pencils, papers, notepads, books, and she was looking for the crayons and markers. She was just sure they wouldn't have everything she needed at preschool and she would have to have stuff to share with all of her new friends. (She takes after her mother.)

She was bummed out when I told her she wouldn't have room for all of that stuff AND the papers she might bring home from preschool... but then after she emptied her backpack, she gave me a giant hug and thanked me for decorating her backpack last night for her. And then... she told me, "Thank you, thank you, thank you! You're the best mom ever!" Aw, shucks.

Morning routines commenced and before long we were taking the obligatory "First Day of School Pictures".

The drop-off at preschool went very well. Hugs, kisses and in a matter of seconds Em was running the 25-yard dash to the teacher who was waiting at the door. See ya later, Alligator. Buh-bye. I'll see ya on the flip side!

(I tried to embed the video of Em heading in to her class... but Google/Blogger/YouTube apparently don't like me right now. So, instead of seeing the video right here in this lovely window, you'll have to click right here and see it on YouTube instead.)

Have fun.

The Best Mom Ever

(....Yeah, I'm holding onto that one!)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Let's Make a Deal!

At supper last night... "But I don't like peanut butter. Is it ok if I just eat 4 bites instead of a couple?"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Emily Improv

The other day, Emily was watching Dora the Explorer (Shouldn't there be a comma in that title?) on TV and was interacting with the show. Somehow, a random cartoon character can always convince Emily to try to say new words and yet she won't say "video" for me.

On this particular day, Dora was taking the kids on an adventure somewhere and was showing that they had two paths they could take -- the red/rojo path and the yellow/amarillo. Dora comes on and says, "Come on, say it with me: Rojo!" and Emily's shouting the word "rojo" in our living room right along with Dora. Next, Dora says, "The Spanish word for yellow is amarillo. Say it with me! Amarillo! {Ah-ma-ree-yo}."

Emily shook her head at Dora and plainly told our television, "I just call it yellow."

There! Take that, Dora! You've been told.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Marathon Naps for the Sickie

Em wasn't feeling well today so I picked her up from my parents' house after lunch. She ended up taking a 4 1/2 hour afternoon nap and didn't wake up until after 6:30pm.

Had me a little worried there.

She was feeling a little better after her looooong nap but still had a sore throat. Her fever seemed to have broken, but then I'm sure she was delirious... she begged me (nearly in tears) to please, please, please let her fold the laundry and then she proceeded to show me what a good laundry folder she was so that I might grant her permission to do the entire basket.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Singin' in the Rain

Nothing like a beautiful rain on a warm summer day... 

 It makes it more fun to collect raindrops

 when you have a beautiful princess umbrella to hang out under

and puddles to jump in.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Gee, thanks...

We just wrapped up our VBS at our church this weekend and my husband was trying to explain to Emily why I wasn't able to spend much one-on-one time with her while I was working on the planning stuff. She's had a blast and couldn't wait to go back each day. He told her to be sure to tell Mommy thanks for VBS. She turned right around and said, "Mommy, thanks for all this BS."
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