Thursday, December 4, 2008



Usually Brooke helps herself out of her crib and I find her playing with Elias and Emma. Today I was surprised to hear her crying. This is what I found. It was pretty dark in her room so I guess she got confused on what side of bed to get out of. And less you think I'm a horrible mom, the camera happened to be sitting onto of the kid's dresser so she didn't get left in her predicament too long.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Today it was easily picked up

It was a mild mess day

I'm not sure I'm going to keep taking pictures of these. She usually gets a spanking for the offense, but then I turn around and take a picture and tell her to smile. That smile just melts my heart. Thankfully she hasn't figured it out and still gets the deer in the headlight look when I find her at the crime scene.

Today while Alex was making lunch Brooke was supposedly playing contentedly stacking jars in the pantry closet. But then he looked down and Brooke had found an unopened bottle of mustard. She had quickly managed to take off the cap, peel off the seal and cover herself in mustard. Alex commented that she was sitting right next to him and managed to make a mess. She doesn't have to be out of your sight to creat a mess. Yesterday she was sitting as my feet while I was folding laundry. I looked down and was just in time to save my tub full of detergent from being dumped on the floor. A little while later she was at my side while I was putting the laundry away. I looked down and found her with a tube of lotion about to squirt it all over the carpet. I'm telling you, you have to be quick with her.


Sleeping at the feet of the Bear
This is what I found the other night as I checked on the kids before turning in myself. I'm not sure why the bear got such a royal treatment but I think he needs to find a new guard that doesn't fall asleep on the job. I'm wondering how Brooke's pink blanket got out of her crib and into Elias's bed. I'm assuming the same culprit also brought the toy gun because I'm pretty sure Elias knows better than to bring toys to bed.
And side note: the kids have learned that if they sleep on top of thier covers then they don't have to make thier beds in the morning. This works because we live in southern California. It does have it's advantages.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


We're Done!

Technically graduation is not until May but today was Alex's last seminary class. The summer of 2002 we moved from Kansas City to Los Angeles so Alex could attend seminary. We thought it would be 3 or 4 years, however, God had a different time table and now 6 1/2 years later we have our husband and dad back.

So what's next? Only the Lord knows for now. Our current plans are to stay where we're at. Alex would like to devote the time he's been giving to classes to get more involved at church and gain more experience. He's in no rush to take over the great pastoral responsibilites of a whole church. But if you know of a church in need of a pastor, I know of a really great candidate.
But for now, we are done with this and I couldn't be happier!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Elias had to dress up as an Indian or a pilgrim for his Thanksgiving feast party. I took a large white t-shirt and stained it with tea. The head band is old pantyhose with two feathers tied in the back. The tomahawk is card board with tinfoil for the blade. Not very fancy, but very impressive to a 6 year old. Emma was very excited to get in on the action and join the party.
And now I'm free. This is the first year I've been so tied to a school schedule. I didn't realize how much of a break this week would feel like without Elias in school. Normally Mondays are one of our homeschool days, but today I got to dicate my own agenda. I'm hoping for a clean and picked up house, laundry done and put away, and some quality family time by the end of the week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Warning: Brooke is not in the room!!!!!

So what is she doing? This is not a repeat picture, the other one was a cupcake. I cried, but go ahead you can laugh, my husband did, only becuase he wasn't home and hadn't been the one to deal with the numerous messes that day.

My other two kids never got into this much trouble. I realize now I must have had it good because they never, and I do mean never, climbed out of thier crib. They waited for me to get them up in the morning and in the afternoon after naps. And my other two never saw chairs as tools to get something out of reach. The kitchen counter was a safe place.
Last week I awoke to a quiet house and thought all were asleep in their beds. When I walked into the living room I found Brooke sitting on the balcony enjoying the sunrise. Thankfully that incident occured with no mess to clean up. Last Sunday, however, we put Brooke down for a nap and lined up several toys for the older two to play with and took a much needed nap. An hour later we discovered Brooke had not stayed in her crib and had been running free. The older two didn't think to come and tell us and ignored her while she ran amok. The pepper grinder had been taken apart and pepper corns strewn all over the floor. Elias and Emma's pencil boxes filled with crayons, glue, pencils, and scissors were everywhere. Thier piggy banks and my coin jar were spilled all over the kitchen floor. The electric pencil sharpener had been emptied out and lead shavings smeared all over the kitchen table. And all of these things had been buried with the baskets of toys she dumped everywhere.
If things are quiet and Brooke is not in the same room we quickly go looking for the mess: a dumped out puzzle, a soap covered bathroom floor, crayon marks on the sliding glass door, a turned on burner. I almost posted this yesterday but didn't get time. I'm glad I didn't because this afternoon my neighbor knocked on my door returning one of my credit cards. Earlier in the day I had found Brooke playing with my wallet and thought everything looked intact. However, she must have gotten away with the credit card and thrown it over the balcony (we've seen her throw many things overboard). If we and she survive these toddler years it will be by God's grace.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dress up time

Storming the Castle

The kids received a package last week with these fun goodies. Just as we were finishing up lunch the doorbell rang and it was the postman. The kids were so excited to see their names on the package. They loved their castle and costumes, so much so they forgot to ask to eat the candy that was also included. Elias has been using his sword to protect his princesses from dragons. Brook has been using her wand to fight her brother and Emma walks around with her wand trying to say "bippity boppity boop".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Oh my Emma Lou

Her real name is Emma Louise but she often hears the phrase "Oh my Emma Lou" as she crawls on my lap for some cuddles. She has a new hair do that I had been wanting for quite a while. Everytime I take her to the shop to get it cut the lady always tells me it's too thin to cut short and have it curl under. Well, while I was taking nap one day Emma decide to take matters into her own hands. So what she started her Dad eventually finsished. Yep, that's right. This lovely hairdo is her thanks to her Dad. And the bangs are straight, even though the picture doesn't look like it.

I need to journal more about my kids because I know these treasured memories will fade a little as time goes by. Emma is my child that would share her last piece of candy with you. She loves puzzles and organzing things. I have found her at the grocery store straightening the cans. I have yet to fully utalize this quality at home. If you ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, she consistently says a mommy. The other day we were shopping and she asked to buy this baby outfit that she thought was so cute. This was before we had told the kids I was pregnant, so I asked her why we should buy it. I'll save it for when I have a baby in my tummy was her response.

After telling the kids about my pregnancy Emma often rubs my tummy. She asked once if the baby could feel her rubbing my tummy.

Her latest craze is standing on her head. It's been at least a month since this fetish started and she's gotten quite good. It stated with her balancing against the couch upside down watching TV, but she's really strengthened her stomach muscles and has become quite the gymnist.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Feeling much better!!! I got 12 loads of laundry done between yesterday and today. It had been 3 weeks. All of it is put away except my clothes. I still need to reorganize the maternity clothes, "big" clothes" and the ones I won't need for another 6 months or so, but that will be a job for another day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I have an excuse...

I don't usually air my dirty laundry but there is a reason why we are living out of laundry baskets trying to decide which is dirty and which got cleaned two weeks ago. There's really a good reason, actually a tiny reason....

I'm pregnant!!!
That's the exciting reason. The unexciting reason is that morning sickness seems to be a little worse this time. But I'm about 15 weeks pregnant and so hopefully this season too shall pass. I'm looking forward to the burst of energy that usually comes my second trimester. I'm going to need it to put this home back together.
Oh, and I'll answer the two questions I'm hearing alot lately. No, it wasn't an accident. The due date is April 20.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

School Days

C is for Cap

Today Elias and his classmates learned the letter C. To help them remember they all got to wear caps to school.

They are also learning about the states and each chid has a state that they (mom) has to research. It's really hard to find facts that are interesting to Kindergarteners and yet still drawable. Elias got to present what he learned about Pennylvania and to help the kids remember he passed out hershy kisses to everyone. His hand is covering it up, but Elias did a really good job drawing a ground hog and his shadow.
Fun facts about Pennsylvania:
1. Hershey kisses are made in Hershey, Pennsylvania
2. Lots of Christmas trees are grown in PA
3. The ground hog appears on Punxsutawney, PA
4. The Liberty Bell - this realy meant nothing to a bunch of kindergarteners but I couldn't find anything better.
So our next state is Tennessee. Do you know any interesting facts about that state? You'll save me some homework.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More Sayings

More Sayings Again

1. It must be election season. I heard the kids talking in the back of the car about Rock Bomma and John McBain. They had nice things to say about both them. "If you need help call Rock Bomm or John McBain". I think we had the TV on too much when he we pulled it out of the closet for the olympics.

2. Emma: "I need to go to school with Elias so I can help him."

3. Emma: "Can I have a lollipop, just in case."

Mom: Just in case of what?

Emma: Oh, I mean just because.

4. Emma doesn't really understand the difference between a video and a TV show. Case in point.

Emma: I'm going to turn off this TV show so I can save it for when Elias comes home from school. He really likes this one.

5. Brook: Mommy

This does not refer to her loving nurturing parent. It means "I want" and she uses it with myself, Alex and Emma. With Elias it's lala.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Brooke's Hair

Oh, that Hair

This plus a runny nose is just gross.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Pro's and Con's

of living in California

Con: Running the AC on September 16

Pro: Being able to go swimming after Elias comes home from school. (By the way, I expected Elias to come home completely worn out from a busy day at school. But despite all the wiggling his teacher is complaining about, Elias still comes home very hyper and needing to release alot of energy.

I don't know if this is a pro or con, it's just a part of life living in California. I have heard several comments from teacher and mom during recess that the balls keep flying over the fence into the Earl lot. It finally dawned on me what they meant when I saw a sign in the school parking lot. "Cast and Crew may not park in this parking lot". Apparantly the church/school that Elias is attending is next door to where they film "My Name is Earl." I have never seen this show before but if you see it this year and there are some kids yelling in the back ground listen for Elias.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Missing Brother

First Day of School

Yesterday was the day. My little boy started school. I wondered if I would be one of the moms wiping away the tears, but mostly I was excited for him and excited for the time I would have with just the girls. At one point this afternoon Emma asked me if I missed Elias. "Yes," I said, "do you miss him?" "NO," she replied. Now that's sisterly kindness. This morning, however, I couldn't tell who was more excited, Elias or Emma. They were both up 1 1/2 hours earlier than normal. Elias couldn't sit still and Emma couldn't stop asking questions about Elias's school. At breakfast this morning Emma prayed that Elias would have a good day at school. It's a moment that I will always treasure.

Isn't that the biggest back pack you've seen for a kindergartner? Because he's and all day kindergartner California law requires they have naps. They have mats to lay on but they are suppose to bring a towel to lay on to make is a little more comfy. I bought a nice big plush towel and then realized it was going to be stored in his backpack. And because he's and all day schooler he needs to bring his lunch, so Elias has this nice big three pocket backpack. When I was in his classroom I noticed a majority of the kindergartners had roller backpacks. This is some hardcore kindergartnering we are doing.

I'm excited about this school year. I get the benefit of homeschooling and yet Elias will still be in a classroom. He will be in school Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday and then Monday and Thursdays I get to home school him, not just homework, but a full day of school work. I'm excited to be so involved but to also have a break and let someone else do the curriculum planning. It's a small class as you can see, 7 Kindergartners and 5 1st graders, and his teachers are so wonderful. I'm very excited to see how Elias grows this year as I'm sure it will be a stretching experience for him and me.

Tomorrow is a home school day. Elias isn't home yet from school today but I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of my syllabus for tomorrow. We'll see how it goes. I'm excited about doing school with him, but uncertain how to keep occupied an 18 month old who has already started a fire
in our kitchen and created more messes then my other two combined. I'm envisioning lots of playpen time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


In our home - We like our sweets!!!

Our neighbor dropped off a plate of cupcakes the other day. One little piggie had two without asking. I am partially to blame, I did leave them in full sight on the kitchen table. My question, however, is why did she decided to wear them.

My husband has been talking alot about funnel cakes lately. I'm not sure where this has come from. In our 7 years of marriage we have never purchased a funnel cake. We have often walked by a funnel cake stand and come close to buying one, but then sticker shock sets in and we keep on walking.

The other day Alex tells me he's found a recipe for funnel cake on the internet and he's going to try it. I then start asking some questions and find out he's only had a funnel cake once in his whole life. I don't know if you can tell but he's using an old ketchup bottle to dispense the batter. It turned out pretty well, but I'm still finding powder sugar in little crevices.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Food, Flight and Family

The best place to eat a burger

There is an In-N-Out Burger right by the LA airport. The planes literally land right across the street.

If you're an awesome photographer like my sis-n-law you can get some really cool pictures. Click here to see.

Family Fun

Cousins, Cousins, Cousins

We were invaded by a swarm of cousins and we loved every minute of it. And this time no one had to sleep in the shower. Great fun was had by all.

The key to taking 9 kids and only 4 adults to the beach - count often. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 - yep we got them all. Well, except for once, but thankfully the wondering child had gone inland instead of the other direction.

And just for the record this is only 9 out of the 21 grandkids on Alex's side. It's quite a loud occasion when we get all together.

Just a few other pics of having fun with the cousins.

She looks surprised but it was quickly followed by a giant grin. The girl is a fish and loves the water.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Summer Days

Another Day at the Beach

I would really much prefer to live closer to family, but since we don't I'm glad it's close to the beach. It's so much fun.

Would you like a little sand
with your sandwich.


Don't ask me, I just took the picture,

but apparantly she doesn't mind sand in the mouth.

And then a little peace and quiet for mom and dad.


This is What Happens...

when a close eye is not kept on Brooke. Evidently she turned on the back burner starting a little fire and tons of smoke. Thankfully it was Alex who found the flames and calmly extinguished the fire because I'm pretty sure I would have panicked. Good news though, I get a new dishrack. The old one was getting a little small for our growing family. And just for the record I don't usually keep the rack on the stove top, I just needed some extra counter space today.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Personal Best

A New Record For Me
I had my week's laundry (just clothes) all washed, dried, folded and put away by 9:30 am. Yep, you read that right 9:30 AM. This is my personal best record. To qualify, however, I had it all sorted and ready to go yesterday when I found out that the laundry room in our apartment complex was closed for repairs. So first thing this morning my laundry was ready to go. I climbed out of bed and in my pajamas (I'm sure no one could tell) walked down the short sidewalk to our laundry room and got an early start (truth be told I only got myself out of bed at 7 today). It also helped that my husband was home and was feeding the kids breakfast while I was folding the first batch. And thankfully the two older kiddo's are big enought to fold the entire white load and put them away. Although, I have often longed for the day when I don't have to go down the outside stairs, down the sidewalk and through the parking lot to do launry, I do enjoy being able to wash 3 loads at a time. It sure does speed things along. So really it wasn't just my personal record it was a group effort. I'm not trying to gloat, although, I have a very sinful heart so I'm sure there is that selfish motivation, but I'm again trying to monument that not all days end in a flop. There are days when things run smoothly and I get to enjoy the fact that my plans hadn't battled against God's plans.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

More Please

One of Those Days

Every once in a while one of these kind of days happen. It's been a joy to be a mom today and I'm documenting it so I'll remember the good times. Somehow my mind remembers the tougher days, but let this be a monument that there are good days. The kids were by far not perfect (although this picture was the first shot in the series), but they were better behaved than normal.

Silly Things I'm Thankful For

1. The swimming pool in our apartment complex and for how well the kids sleep after a long evening swim.

2. A son who can sweep the kitchen floor (I hate that chore for some reason).

3. Fruit loops (I'm sure a bowl of fruit loops has got to be less calories than a bowl of ice cream)

4. Fixed plumbing in the apartment complex laundry room, clean laundry soon to follow.

5. Air Conditioning!!! (And a gracious husband who after seeing the electric bill still lets me run the air conditioner)

6. Days like today :)

This is Elias and Emma mimicing their silly Grandma and Grandpa with Elise.