Saturday, May 31, 2008


A Few Recent Favorites

Brooke loves all animals. I wish I could get her expressions on camera. But even when we do it doesn't quite capture it.She has the best facial expresions.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

It Worked

The Peer Pressure Worked

She finally did it! Sarah has a blog. And the winner is....

bennett babble

And just for the record, I wish my sister lived close by. These pictures are from thier visit last summer.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

House Guests !!!

Where do 15 people sleep in a 2 bedroom apartment?

Alex's brother(not pictured), his wife, their 7 children and one of her nephew's came for a visit these last few days. It was super fun. But now that they've left the house seems very quiet and suddenly very roomy.

I wasn't quite sure where everyone was going to sleep in our little 2 bedroom apartment, not to mention if we were breaking any California fire code laws, but we all manged to sleep quite comfortably. Here's how we did it. First, in the kids bedroom: one in crib, one in the top bunk, two on the botton bunk and three on the floor. Second, in the living room: Michael and Lindy on the futon, and 1 child on the recliner. Third, in our bedroom: Alex and I in our bed, 2 little boys on floor. Fourth, in the bathroom: Brooke in the shower.
Please don't call social services. It wasn't my idea, and it took some time for me to warm up to the idea. But it really worked quite well. Because we have two bathrooms, it was an extra place that we could do without and it was one of the most quiet places.
So come for a visit. We promise we won't make you sleep in the shower, but we're sure we can fit you in.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vacation part 3

My Little Fishes

This little fishy loved the water and has no fear. The other two at this age didn't like water in their face and after one dunk completely under they were extremely cautious. Not this one, she comes up smiling and wants more. We had to keep very close eyes on her. At one point she climbed in the hot tub herself without our knowledge. I looked over and her little head was peeking over the edge smiling at us.

The one year old stage is my favorite. They are soooo cute and just enough independent to make it helpful (most of the time).

Somehow I didn't get any pictures of Elias's awesome canon balls. But we did get a little bit of a souvenir. **Warning** Did you know that five days of living in a swimming pool can cause a very severe ear infection? Apparently constant swimming and not drying the ear out wears down all the ear wax and makes the ear canal all pruney (kind of like what your hands look like after washing the mound of Thanksgiving dishes). My poor 5 year old has a horrible case of swimmer's ear. He is usually my tough cookie, but after 48 hours of treatment he is still crying from the pain.

The warm up.

Vacation part 2

Going and Coming

It was about 55 miles to the hotel we booked, which in LA is about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. I had planned it that we would leave just as Brooke needed a nap. But as you can tell the wrong group took a nap. It reminds me of Proverbs 16: 9 "The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." Brooke fell asleep just 15 minutes before we arrived and promptly woke up when the car stopped. I started to get a little panicky knowing that little nap would be just enought to cause her to not sleep again but surely not be enough to have a semi reasonable 1 year old the rest of the evening. She proved herself to be a typical 3rd child and rolled with the punches. And as long as I kept doling out the graham crackers she was fine.

On the way home we stopped for lunch at a German restaurant my husband had been eyeing. I meant to take a picture of all of us with our German food but (because of our pb&j breakfast at our 4 star no complimentary breakfast hotel) I was so hungry by the time the food arrived that I only had one thing on my mind. And thus we have a picture in front of the restaurant. The decor in the restaurant was the strangest thing though. It had typical German decorations of steins and mugs and German plates on the walls, but there was also this very feminine flowery wallpaper. It was an odd site that took me a few minutes to realize what was wrong with the picture. But the food was very yummy. But really I haven't had too many meals since I've been married that I didn't like if I didn't have to cook it. And there were enough left overs that I didn't have to cook supper either. It was a perfect end to a vacation.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Vacation Part 1

3 Star vs. 4 Star

Last week we decided to have a little family vacation before Alex started working again. We got on the internet and found the cheapest hotel with a swimming pool and just camped out there for a few days. By eating pb&j all week I ended up being able to save enough money on not eating out and was awarded by my husband with another night in a hotel. The first three nights we stayed in a nice Comfort Inn but for the last night my husband found an awesome deal on a 4 star hotel. I was very excited as we were driving to this fancy hotel, but after checking in we decided that the difference between 3 star and 4 star is that with 4 star you get many more ammenities but you get to pay for all of them after you check in.


3 star: parked 15 feet away from our door

4 star: paid $18 to park in the parking garage across the street


3 star: kids learned not to be sluggards and helped carried in all the bags

4 star: had to tip the bell hop to bring our luggage up


3 star: free continental breakfast which included waffles and eggs

4 star: could have continental breakfast (pastry, fruit, juice and coffee) brought to room for only $15/person


3 star: heated swimming pool with jacuzzi

4 star: bigger pool, but not quite as warm - no jacuzzi


3 star: free wireless in room

4 star: free wireless only in the lobby nine floors below our room; in the room there was a charge for using the wired hookup


3 star: almost 100 channels, but really the 10 home shopping networks don't count

4 star: about 50 channels


3 star: free medium size fridge - no complaints except it didn't keep my ben & jerry's cold and I ended up drinking my splurge

4 star: fee for key to mini-bar, however, room was stocked with a tray full of snacks and water bottles. Just before we dived in I saw the price list for each item and quickly put it all out of reach of little kids who don't understand that paying $4.50 for a bottle of water and $6 for a handfull of jelly belly's is just ridiculas.

The bed

3 star: I wanted to steal the pillows. My husband reminded me that was stealing. Duh, that's what I said, "I want to steal these pillows"

4 star: luxurious and in my mind worth the 4 stars. In my sheltered life I have never been to a hotel that provided bathrobes. I reminded myself that the bathrobe had been throughly cleaned since someone else's naked body had been in it. My husband laughed at me as I lounged in the oh so comfy bed with the hotel provided bathrobe and pronounced the hotel 4 star worthy. It helped that the kids were fast asleep at this point and I was in my luxurious sheets with no kids crawling on me. It was quiet and I was comfy.

It's become a little game of our family to guess the color of the comforters of the bed before we get to the hotel. It's silly I know, but it does add to the excitement. In anticipation of our 4 star experience I had scoured the hotel's website to see what we were in for. One thing I had noticed and worried a little about was the picture of the white bed spread. Most of our meals had been eaten in our hotel room up to this point so I was a little worried at what kind of damage we were going to do. Turns out you can get peanut butter out of a white comforter using just some baby wipes. (And I'm sure the bell hop thought we were quite the odd family when he followed us into the room with our bags and heard the kids all scream, "Mommy won, she guessed the right color of the bed." Little do they know I cheated and looked ahead.)

Before and After

This was the view from the 10th floor of our 4 star hotel.
It was a fun and relaxing time. So glad we took the time out. I'll post more pictures in the days to come.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Day at the Zoo

Ok, really they were having fun.

The kids were not excited about turning away from the animals and looking at the camera. I know I'm a cruel mom.

I'm not sure which the kids were more excited about the animals or the playground.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


This is the Picture

Last night at Awana it was bring your mommy to Cubbies night. It was fun having Emma sit on my lap and finally understand all the songs and stories she was coming home with. During the story time the teacher was using a powerpoint presentation to show all the things you do with your mommy. One of the things he mentioned was prayer and this is the picture he showed. Emma yelled out the first thing that came to her mind, "She's naked." Everyone laughed and the teacher tried to recover saying that she was praying in the bathtub. By then my face was already red and I was trying to give a quick lesson to my daughter that we don't shout out things during lesson time. A lesson I'm sure to repeat because after all she is my daughter. But what was the teacher thinking? I googled "girl praying", which is where I found this exact image he used. There were tons of other pictures he could have used. And I'm sure tonight during baths my 4 year old will question why we don't pray in the bathtub. Maybe we should, but I'm sure we won't be taking any pictures of it.