Monday, December 31, 2007

Deceptively Delicious-Tried and True

I'm realizing that our country is beginning is past the early stages of raising a people on fast food, fat food, and sugar. And how easy is it when a lot of the foods out there are packed with nutritious nothings. I heard just the other day that heart disease is at its all time high where its patients are heavier, and also younger than they have ever been. This is disturbing to me that today's children are at risk of living shorter lives than their parents. So, I look at it as part of my job as their mommy to feed them healthful foods...especially fruits and vegetables. I don't know about you but right around 1 1/2 my children's tastbuds seemed to change toward these foods. They don't seem as tasty to them anymore. So I took the liberty to work around it.

Have you read this book?

I just got done reading through them both and they are WONDERFUL!
I've tried 4 of their recipes and it's true, they work.

One rushed night before Christmas I added an entire 1/2 cup of pureed carrots to a box of Mac-n-Cheese. Watching them devour it was more than satisfying.

The next night I made homemade Tuna Casserole and added a 1/2 cup of Navy beans, once again, they loved well as my Marvelous Husband.

And since then I have added pureed carrots to whole wheat quesidillas and mini pizzas. I made "Green Eggs" for breakfast this morning that included pureed baby spinach. And for lunch I added a 1/2 cup sweet potatoes to homemade Mac-n-Cheese.

Knowing how important all these veggies are for us, I do believe this is the way I will cook until they are out of the house. Don't worry, we always serve a "visible" veggie on their plate with their meal, and if they eat it-double bonus.

Norah Joins Her Sister

Amongst all the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, this happened...Can you see them?

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'll Give You One Guess

It's been 8 nights of waking 2 soaked-through baby girls around 10:00 (right before we go to bed) to change their onesies, pajamas, sleep sacks, AND crib sheet because of their "tummy bug." But tonight...tonight was the night I was waiting for, to walk in and not have to breath through my mouth. We tiptoed in and tiptoed out. Yea!!

But, I'll give you one guess as to what happens, on this 9th night, to these sleeping-through-the-nighters-since-3 1/2-months-old...around 10:30. And why wouldn't it?!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Laugh Cackle Giggle

As a Christmas gift, my Marvelous husband got us a night out on the town, babysitter in all. It included laughing and dinner. For those of you mommys out there, you know that in itself is like Santa leaving a winning lotto ticket in your stocking.

But wait, it gets even better! He got us tickets to the "sold out" presentation of last season's Last Comic Standing winner-Josh Blue.

Somehow we got hooked on that show last year and watched it to the end when we were cheering for Blue.

After a night full of belly laughs we were able to meet Josh and shake hands.

After researching "Laughter" I found this. I'm sure you remember hearing that "Laughter is the Best Medicine." We've all been taught that...but laughter REALLY has enormous amounts of health benefits.

Check this.
A study done in Japan found that laughter helps regulate gene expression to help control type II Diabetes.
And, studies also suggest that laughter positively affects rheumatoid arthritis.
AND, perhaps the biggest discovery is that laughter is now being proven to alleviate some of the lasting effects of heart attacks such as less medication and fewer repeat attacks with humor therapy of just thirty minutes per day.

God knows what he's talking about when he says, "be joyful."

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

From Under the Piles...

...of wrapping paper, empty toy boxes and laundry from the twins' "tummy bug" I come to you to say, "Hi!"

And, that's about it.
Hope to catch up with you all soon.

P.S. I was granted my one Christmas wish. I just didn't think it would get passed to the twins.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful...

...but the fire [in our fireplace] is so delightful
and since we've no place to go [because of the white-outs]
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

It doesn't show signs of stopping [it might-as-well fill the ski hills for our ski trip next week]
so my two boys made some [oreo balls*] for popping
the lights are turned way down low
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

*crush 1 pkg Oreos, mix with 1 pkg softened cream cheese, roll into 2 in. balls, chill 20 mins, dip in melted vanilla almond bark, chill. Who knew about these and didn't tell me???

Friday, December 21, 2007

Project Manager Mommy

I mopped today.

This wasn't like yesterday's mop, where I merely mopped the perimeter of the KIX spill, this was the "seriously-nitty-gritty-sweep" first, after pulling the table and all the chairs out...along with "shaking the rugs," followed by "filling the sink with suds" (scary, I know) and using a little "elbow grease" enabling me to get even the corners to sparkle.

I'm not telling you this to brag, because if you remember I don't mop often...
(Which reminds me, I don't think I clearly clarified my whole mopping situation. You see, I LOVE to mop...along with vacuuming. I just don't do it as often since the twins were born. But, this love for it, I think it has something to do with the process and the finished product. There's something that makes my heart sing about seeing a freshly vacuumed floor with perfectly drawn lines from the wheels along with a shiny kitchen floor (shiny as NOT in ketchup splats and dried shredded mozzarella).

Anyways, I'm telling you this as a precursor for my morning events.

I chuckle as I gather my "keys" to explain this. "Chuckle" because the longer I sit here the crazier I think I am, and the faster my leg is bouncing under this desk..for using this precious time to post instead of doing all that needs to be done before my in-laws are here. This was a change in plans, Christmas was to be at their house tomorrow, but because of the weather, it is now, and tomorrow.

You see, when Mitch's alarm went off at 6 this morning and he wasn't in our room, he had moved to the chair in the livingroom somewhere during the wee hours because he couldn't sleep. I rolled over to shut it off but was left wide-eyed. So after getting ready for the day, getting the babies their bottles, the "big kids" their scrambled eggs, followed by the babies their rice cereal (I haven't shared with you that we started that...I'll post about that later, it's going well.) our first scheduled appointment showed up.

We had the water softener replaced. YEA!!! So as I am walking the man down to his appointed room, introducing myself, and telling him to just hollar if he needs me, our next appointment showed up.

We had our in-wall oven and micro pulled out a couple of days ago and our handy man, Gary, came to cut out a slightly bigger space for the new. As I am talking to him, in walks another "appointment." The crew that was to install the new stuff was here. (What better time to have it done then the days before Christmas, right?)

So as I'm answering questions and directing here and there, I'm holding two babies in my arms, trying to keep Jaclyn from asking each visitor 101 questions while they try to get their work done, and holding Oli back with my leg so he doesn't walk through the many piles of sawdust that are now accumulating on my kitchen was then, that very moment, that I imagined this spotlight of some-sort that started shining down on me as if I was this wonderful "Project Manager Mommy."

So THAT my friends, is why I mopped today. Right after I wiped down the cupboards, countertops, and swept, I MOPPED the many snowy, wet "Big-Man-Shoe-Prints" right out of my house.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thankful Thursday

  1. The MOP that wiped up a dropped bowl of KIX and a sippy cup of cranberry juice that hadn't met its lid yet.
  2. The TOWEL that dried a very wet bathroom floor from 2 rambunctious bathers.
  3. The RAG that cleaned up 2 milk spills at lunch.
  4. The PLUNGER that unplugged 2 of our 3 toilets today.
  5. The WASHING MACHINE that cleaned a very wet crib sheet from 2 overloaded night time diapers.
  6. The KLEENEX that has wiped many drippy noses.

and most importantly...

7. My WONDERFULLY PATIENT and UNDERSTANDING HUSBAND who loves me unconditionally even after hearing about my cell phone (3rd one in less than a year) that vibrated off the kitchen window sill into the sink full of suds.

I wonder what this afternoon has in store for us.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

When NOT to take a 3-year-old Along for the Ride

If you don't want your husband to know you went to...let's say....for example Fleet Farm to quick pick up a Christmas gift for him (even though you said you were going to drop off an overdue library book that you didn't want to continue paying late fees for as it sat on your nightstand, which is the truth but not the main reason to get out of the house)

...don't take your 3 year old along for the ride.

Because, once he asks you, "What took you so long?" and you reply with "I just had to make a quick stop somewhere else" but you refuse to tell him where...

...that's when your darling 3 year old might pipe in with the most excited little voice, "Daddy, I love going to Fleet Farm."

There are No Monsters in Your Room

This is what I woke to at 5 this morning.

(The sound of a humungo elephant J running across our wooden floors to our room as she burst into tears.)
Daddy: "J, Jwhat's wrong?"
J:"There's a monster shaking my bed."
Daddy: "J, honey, there are no such thing as monsters."
J(sobbing): "Yes there are, I just felt it shaking my bed."
Daddy: "No, there are no monsters anywhere, God never made monsters."
J: "He didn't?"
Daddy: "I think what you heard is that [darn] squirrel that thinks it can live in our attic. Remember? I heard it run across the roof last night when I kissed you goodnight."
J: "Oh yea."

After snuggling with daddy, because he is the best snuggler, maybe because Mommy gives a kiss and makes her go right back up to bed so we can both get quality sleep eliminating a heel in my back a sleepless rest of the night, daddy says this...

Daddy: "Ok, go back up to your bed, hon. I'll see you in the morning."

A couple hours later as J and I were feeding the babies their bottles in my bed I asked this...
"J why did you think there was a monster in your room? God never made monsters, remember, they are are just pretend."

J: "But I want God to make monsters so that mean animals [tigers & lions] can eat them so their tummies won't be hungry."

(This comment might have something to do with the Let's-Talk-About-What-Mean-Animals-Eat" conversation we had a couple of days ago. Although, monsters were never mentioned.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just Another Manic Monday...Whoa Whoa!

Almost every Monday my mom, bless her heart, comes over to watch the little ones while I run frantically around town tackling every errand possible from groceries to doctor appointments. Ahhhh...the freedom of getting in and out of the car without strapping 4 seatbelts, covering 4 heads and fingers, and folding and unfolding a 2 ton stroller. Due to the mile long list I wrote last night, my eyes popped open without hesitation at an abnormally early hour this morning.

After rerunning today's events in my head, I knew canceling our fitness center membership a few months ago...because of the child care that just didn't pass as professional in my eyes but that's a whole different post...was going to be an o.k. move.

Who needs to pay to exercise when I can get a month's worth of working out in just 4 Manic Mondays? Here's how I got my workout in today.

"Stretched" as I gave hugs around 4 little pajama bodies before leaving the house by 9.

Ran "Power walked" through the mall to return a gift and search for tall black dress boots for Jaclyn and a Christmas sweater for Oli. (No luck, once again.)

"Jogged" from the car to the entrance of each store and back. Eight stores in all.

Worked on "Deep Muscle Stretching" while holding my phone up to my ear with my shoulder as I ran around gathering last minute Christmas gifts, paid for my items at the checkout, and drove. (woops)

"Walked" through CUB (because I'd look pretty funny running, right?) while loading ingredients for our Cookie Baking Party on Thursday, formula for the next few weeks, and the basics-milk, eggs, etc.

"Lifted" 6 cases of Similac RS (Reflux Sensitive) premixed liquid formula into my cart...then into the car...then into the house. This is 36 quarts of liquid food for the girls. I consider myself a champion weight lifter now.

And, "Practiced Deep Breathing" as I looked at the clock to find I had 30 minutest to run to 3 more stores that were nowhere near eachother. Needless to say, I didn't finish everything today. I'd love to share with you the specfic stores I visited and the items I purchased and didn't purchase, because this is a blog and I enjoy sharing unimportant specifics with people who I don't always know, Marvelous Husband reads this and...well, that would ruin some Christmas surprises for him.

After unloading the groceries to their entitled spot in the kitchen, putting the little ones down for naps and giving kisses and hugs to my mom as she darted out the door to finish her Christmas shopping, I engaged myself into the much needed "Cool Down Segment" of my day by preparing a warm, tasty bowl of my mom's famous chicken vegetable soup. Mmmm.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

All I Want for Christmas...... for Luke's diarrhea to take a hike.

Poor lil' bum..(and little thighs). It's too bad it doesn't take a break at night. Is there a cure-all for this that I don't know about?
Sorry, does this constitute as something that should be left unsaid?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Back to My First Love

Last night I took a break from blogging (gasp!!!) to go back to My First Love.

A scrapbooking comrade of mine joined me after the kids were in bed and here are my finished products, minus the journaling that I need to do today.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What Christmas song am I most like???

I found this over at Petersonpress and thought it was really fun.

If I was a Christmas song I would be "Let it Snow." And this is why...

Maybe you enjoy all of the year's holidays, but there's just something about this time of year… Even if Mother Nature cheats you out of a White Christmas, you know how to make the most of the season — whether with loved ones or strangers you meet along the way.As much as you might like to bundle up and romp outdoors (added by me-I USED to like to do that), you also enjoy kicking back to bask in the glow of the season — or maybe the glow of a dozen strings of lights in your living room (Exactly.) You, more than others, really know how to feel cozy. And for someone who enjoys curling up by a fire (how did you know?), warming a cup of cocoa, or snuggling down with a classic Christmas movie, there's no better theme song. So just remember: If the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and if you've no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Try it out and let me know which song you are.

Thankful Thursday

  1. Aveda's Rosemary Mint line
  2. Tator Tot Hotdish ;)
  3. Sleeping in until 7:30...Wo!
  4. Indoor play gyms during Winter months
  5. I'm going with Kim on this one-a good pea coat, mine is black.
  6. EVOO-for your food and hydrating your body
  7. Giggling babies
  8. When Oli hums to me in the rocking chair
  9. My husband's cold ears after he comes in from outside
  10. Prayer

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mario and Luigi's Quest to Save Lunch

It's one of those bizarre days. I'm talking about the days that you know your husband won't be making his entrance at his usual 4:30-5 timeslot, so you not only work your entire dayshift by yourself, as usual, but then work the nightshift solo too.

So on these "special" days...."special" as in "Everyone will be happy and at ease without daddy if the day is carefully planned out" kind of special....I try and do abnormal things. Some of these abnormalities include: All play and no work when it comes to house cleaning, trips to the our friendly Mega Store after everyone's pm naps, and....Tator Tot Hotdish.

This delectible and Oh-so-Mouthwatering meal is a favorite of mine and the kids too. So, we make a big batch of it when he's gone and eat it for lunch AND dinner.

Without assessing the ingredient situation, I started browning the hamburger but then remembered that our oven went on the brink. Oops, pausing for a nano second. That's ok, I'll make my own, "Simmer version."

As I went to grab some milk, I stood staring. Shoot. No milk. Something that is on our list for the Mega Store this afternoon. Well, heavy whipping cream will work.

After adding the rest of the ingredients I was ready for the Tator Tots. Right? Because we are making Tator Tot Hotdish.



Now, I hope this doesn't change my friendship with all of you. You do realize my circumstances right? Two babies drinking bottles in their carseats while our 3 year old is painting at the counter and our little man is running around pushing his basketball in the baby stroller. And it is one of those weird days, did I mention that?

Well, the hashbrowns that we had crisped up quite nicely and were a perfect stand in for the Tators.

A success! Finished. Let's Eat!

As I was savoring each and every bite of our meal, watching the kids "Mmmmm" through it all...I couldn't help but picture myself as Mario or Luigi running through a little Mommy-world dodging numerous Warios, Troopas, and Bullet Bills.

Well, I saved her y'all...Princess Peach that is.

And our Tator Tot Hotdish.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ok, Who are You?

Alright, whoever you are...Mrs. I-mop-my-floor-EVERY-SINGLE-DAY, you just shattered my contentment of having an imperfect "so fresh and so clean" kitchen.

Please reveal yourself.
(I'd love to have you as a guest host here on 4under3. Us stay at home moms could revel in your glory.)

I'm trying to convince myself that you have no children because we all know the amount of time our pre-kindergarten children require of us. But now I am scratching my head because if you have no children, what is making your floor so dirty?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Mucho Marvelous Yet Again.....

(Written by the Mucho Macho..I mean, Marvelous himself.)
Rarely will I post on this thing people call a "blog"...with make believe friends. (If you can't grill and ski with them, then they are not real.) But today is a special occasion. I am officially into the Fantasy Football semi-finals. The 124 points scored this week is an all-time high for our league and I now have a man-crush on Tom Brady. I won't say how much money I will be awarded because it doesn't matter. I do it for the love of the game. I love a few things outside of Jesus and family. Fantasy Football is one of them....and my wife knows this. Every Sunday after church she tries to let me watch football...but by the end of the second game she ever-so-gently tells me all she has done for me and what I NOW NEED to do for her. I love her!

(updated on Monday at 3:07p. To all my REAL blogging friends-With you, my days amongst little people are a tad bit spicier. I guess my husband doesn't understand the "quiet ramblings of the mind," yet. But he does know who the Blockbuster football players are. Booyah!)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday Morning Mental Note



Never try to skip the shortened morning naps before church when dealing with babies built on a firm "Babywise" foundation. No matter how great of a job they are doing playing on the floor...their lack of a shortened morning nap before church WILL catch up with them. This causing two very, very, very tired, sad, and tear stained babies along with a quite loud and crazy house during the "exiting portion" of the morning.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Our Little Snow Bunny

Since Mitch and I have been married we've shared the love of downhill skiing together....well, when I wasn't pregnant we went together. Which now that I think of it has only been 2 winters of our 4 years together. And, ever since J was born we have longed for the day we could take our children skiing with us.

Today was that day!

With size 3 Spyder socks, toe clips and a youth ski harness in hand, J and daddy hit the slopes. I wanted to go soooo bad, but didn't think the chalet would be a toddler/infant-friendly place for 4 hours. We didn't really know what to expect...and both knew that no expectations going into it would be the best. Well, she had a blast and wants to go back. Yea!

(She was "out" 2 minutes into the ride home while holding a half eaten granola bar in one hand.)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Egg Nog without the Egg

We only have this in the frig for Mitch...but J kept asking to try a sip. Being a non-egg nog drinker, I tried to convince her that it was "Oh-so-nasty"....if you remember that from a previous post of mine. I guess her 'buds' beg to differ. This is now a new favorite of Julia's.

Trial and Error

In case you're wondering how much fun is involved in bundling up
4 children under 3.2 and going outside together to make fabulous memories in the snow......there's none!

(J turning her back on me with her arms crossed)

(Oli begging me to unwrap the blue tape from the mitten that is covering his "favorite thumb."

(Geneva and Layla had just as much spirit as their older siblings.) gah....

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Thankful Thursday

  1. The beauty of a serious downpouring of snow
  2. Heated Seats
  3. My MOPs girls
  4. In knowing that there will be a day when someone will want to watch all 4 of our children at the same time
  5. Balmex
  6. Rocking chairs and snuggly babies
  7. That Jaclyn and Oliver love to play together every minute they can
  8. A good haircut
  9. Christmas choirs
  10. My hard-shoveling husband

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ring Around the Rosy

We have 2 poles in our basement...

that the kids LOVE twirling around....

(notice our little "ear fettish" girl?)

...we all fall down!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

My husband is Mucho Marvelous

Yesterday was "My husband is Mucho Marvelous" Monday. Now, don't get me wrong, my husband is mucho marvelous every day, all day long, like yours I'm sure. Well...except on those days when he is slightly marvelous...without the mucho.

You know, like when we're in bed and he rolls over, pulling my covers out from being so neatly tucked in at my foot of the bed. Or, when he gets over zealous while filling the dishwasher, craming dishes above and beyond the load limit causing the "spinner thing" to never make a full turn the entire 2 hours and 18 minutes that it is running. Which leaves every dish in need of a second cycle. But that's not what I came to say. I came to you to talk about My Mucho Marvelous Husband.

Yesterday we had a big date. My mom came to watch the kids over night while we went out frolicking around like fools-in-love.

After a much needed marvelous 1-on-1 adult conversation during our drive to the cities that included how great he thought I was as a mother (go ahead, say it..."awwww.")...we walked around the MOA looking for a couple pre-Christmas gifts for ourselves. Oh I miss that place!!! And tell me the truth. How many of you out there have this same problem I have, which I NEVER had in college. Who feels like you would be ridding your family of bare necessities like food in their tummy if you bought YOURSELF something? I mean, a $20 dark olive vest is not a 4 letter word, right? Well, I have this problem with spending money on myself when I am by myself...BUT, if my husband is with and gives me the's like Christmas morning. I love that he wanted to take me shopping. Isn't he so marvelous!

Then we met some friends of ours at a cute, overcrowded restaurant in Dinkytown for a little pregame supper before the "Goph's" kicked NDSU nearly back home. It was a marvelous yet bittersweet win for us 4 since we're all big fans of the Bison's starting point guard Ben Woodside who grew up in a neighboring town of ours.

All in all, the day was a blast. We felt like we were single again...married but pre-children that is. But ohhhh did it feel good to get home and check on 4 little pumpkins who were fast asleep, digging my nose in 4 little cheeks and giving 4 little good night kisses. Mmmmmmm!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Have you met Nictoria?

I love the imagination of a child. As I was cleaning up the kitchen after supper tonight, Jaclyn sat at the island and shared with me some bits and pieces about her new "friend," Nictoria.

I found out that "Nictoria" is a 5 year old little girl..."no wait, 6 years old. She just had her birthday. She's growing very big." Some things she likes to do is go to Sunday School and go to the doctor. When she goes to the doctor, though, she doesn't get shots. Nictoria has a dog and her name is-Nictoria. Imagine that! "Jaclyn," I asked, "why haven't I met this friend of yours?" "She's never been to our house, Mommy. She stays at her own home with her mommy and daddy. But she's going to come over real soon. And she has a brother, just one brother. Did you know that her favorite color is red? It is."

"Ok mommy, you finish, I'll go get my jammies on, and we'll talk more about Nictoria, Ok?"

Ok hon. (Oh, I could just chew her up.)

Body Massage-for Free!

What is it about...Sunday afternoons in comfy pants, a big ol' pot of chili, watching the Vikings win, and frequent cat naps on the couch with my all the little babes sleep...that makes me feel like I got a full day's worth of a body massage-for free?!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

A few of my favorite things...

Today could not have started out better. I'm sitting here thinking about how many of my favorite things have been a part of this beautiful morning and it's only 9:34am. First, it's Saturday, which means that my babes doesn't have to get up early to go to work-Extra cuddle time. (Favorite #1 of the day.) Love it!! Then we all...babes and I along with Jaclyn and Oli...snuggled while we fed the twins in our bed. (Favorite #2) As daddy started getting out the traditional breakfast ingredients for Saturday mornings-eggs, hash, toast, oj- I got this really crazy idea to go out for breakfast...all of us! Mitch was game so we drove to the bottom of our hill to the friendly Old Country Buffet for omelets and waffles marking off another "first as a full family" excursion. Everyone was well as the bacon, mushroom, and tomato omelet that Fernando perfected for me. (Favorite #3) As Jaclyn and I were getting our milk and OJ the cutest little old grandma and grandpa were watching us. We began to walk back to our seats and they stopped us to talk to Jaclyn. They were adorable! Adorable! I love conversations with the "experienced life learners," don't you? (Favorite #4) Then, as if the morning wasn't good enough, I look outside and snow is falling like a bad first time skiier on a bunny hill. (Favorite #5) "Look!" I said. It is so beautiful...and still is so beautiful since it hasn't let up even the slightest. If I was writing this tonight before bed I would be adding a trip to a drive-thru nativity scene at the local Christian college(Favorite #6) and a date on the couch with my babes watching Die Hard-Live Free or Die Hard. (Favorite #7). Even though there were no "Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels, Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles," my day has been fantastic with a few of my very own favorite things.

Friday, November 30, 2007


I have always known that TV and children just don't mix. And at our house, we rarely have the TV on when the kids are awake. There is an occasional "Little Einsteins" or "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" show on in the morning but our main TV is downstairs and we are upstairs most of the day. Jaclyn watched her first cartoon at our house when she was 17 months old...right when Oliver came along. And even then she wasn't really interested in it. But, at our last MOM's meeting our speaker talked about the dangers of TV....the I-bet-you'll-think-twice-about-watching-your-child-sit-in-front-of-your-TV kind of dangers. Did you know that your child's brain waves are moving just as fast in front of the TV as they would be if he/she was staring at a blank wall? Oh my gosh! No wonder some kids are ready to spin circles after sitting in front of the tube!

So after hearing this I took matters into my own hands. I'm happy to say that we have been TV-free for the past 2 days. ...and no one really cares.

Here are some more stats on Television and the Family.

  • Children under the age of 9 are not cognitively and emotionally prepared to handle watching the evening news.

  • By the time a child is 18 years old, he/she will have viewed 200,000+ acts of violence.

  • Advertisers spend on average $700 million per year individually on sales pitches to children.

  • More than 60% of the commercials are for cereal, candy, and toys. (Meat, milk products, bread, juice make up only 4% of ads shown during "childhood viewing time.")

  • Children who do NOT have TVs in their bedrooms do better in school.

  • Kids who watch 25 hours of TV per week show increases in agressive behavior, childhood obesity, and sleep distrubances.

  • The average child in America spends FIVE hours per day watching TV and playing video/computer games.

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines for Parents: Television and the Family; Selling Out America's Children, David Walsh, PhD.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Two Good to be True!

These girls...I tell ya, I just want to chew on them all day long. They are at such a wonderful stage. The babbling, smiling, giggling....they are so fun and I love them "more than all the stars in the sky" as Julia would say.

Little Sister Hazel
Very Ticklish
About 1.5 lbs lighter

The drooler (as you can see)
Wakes up first in the morning
Cut her first tooth

Like Jaclyn, she wants nothing to do with cuddling before naps and bedtime.

Big Sister Norah
Making noise most of the time
Will laugh if you just look at her
No teeth yet
Same length as her sister
Wakes up babbling in their crib
Like Oli, she loves to snuggle before naps and bedtime. She'll "sing" as I hum to her.

Thankful Thursday

1. Eucerin
2. Listening to my husband's calming voice as he gets Oliver out of bed in the morning. (Oli needs some convincing sometimes that even if he has to make a pit stop at the changing table, he'll still get breakfast.)
3. The smell of a baby's breath
4. Inspirational speakers who talk about "How to give your kids more by giving them less"
5. The sound of silence
6. Slippers
7. The glisten of white lights on a Christmas tree at night
8. Little hands. (When is the last time you just looked at your little one's fingers and hands in action? cute!)
9. Orange juice-Country style..the thicker the better
10. Beth Moore.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A blast I might say...

Yesterday was a busy day! The kids and I drove down to spend the day with a friend from college who lives an hour away. They live on the cutest little amish farm that they bought and gutted a couple of summers ago. I feel like I can take a deep breath when we're at her house...their driveway is like a mile long, they have horses, no indoor plumbing. Just kidding about the indoor plumbing, but it is a very peaceful place. She's a friend that I ran cross country with who is now married and has a 2 1/2 year old daughter. The kids had a great time and the mommies did too. We enjoyed catching up, playing with the kids, and sewing my tie-up curtains for my scrapbooking room. She is a great seamstress...and sews the cutest little vintage outfits for her daughter...the kind that should be sold for top dollar. Anyways, here is what the day looked like in a shorter-than-long version.

6am- Alarm went off, showered and ready before twins woke up
6:55-Twins up and bottles fed
7:15-Jaclyn up and breakfast started
7:25-Oliver out of his crib and breakfast
7:45-Jaclyn dressed herself with the clothes I set out for her
7:50-Diapers changed and new outfits on for 3 youngest
8:05-Take diaper bag, fabric, baby toys, pack-n-play, bottles, formula, and purse to car. Start car.
8:20-Get all coats, hats, and mittens out and start bundling Oliver, helping Jaclyn
8:25-Put twins in their carseat under cozy Bundle me.
8:30-Change Oliver's diaper...again!
8:35-Start loading big kids in carseats....and then little kids.
8:45-Pull out of driveway and head to a coffee shop for a free coffee (I'm not saying which shop because it wasn't Starbucks and I don't advertise anything but the best. But, it was free..I had to take advantage of it. And, my Starbucks was 15 min's out of the way round trip.)
10:00-Arrive at "Countryville Lane"
Play, talk, play
Eat, talk, play (How yummy does chili and shredded goat cheese with homemade bread and flax oil sound??)
12:30-Set up Oliver's pack-n-play in the bathroom...put him down for nap.
Twins sleep on master bed.
Jaclyn sleeps in spare bed.
Precious playmate sleeps in her bed.
12:45-3-talk, sew, talk, laugh, talk, sew, iron.
3:00 Big kids up and snacks..then out to the barn to see the horses with playmate's daddy.
4:00-twins up and bottles
4:30-Out the driveway beginning our hour trip home....and to finish talking about "silos, animals that bite, round bales, buffalo, and why Jesus wants us to help others."

A blast I might say! ...and a perfect sunset made with shades of orange, blue, yellow, and pink to top it off.

Monday, November 26, 2007

I've lost my Bloggy Mind

Call me an early addict or call it the 4 sips I took of my husband's Iced Venti 1/2 Caf "Oh-so-nasty" Eggnog Latte. (Blahhh!) But I think I've lost my Bloggy Mind. Last night as I was trying to fall eyes felt as if they were being held open with sticky tack. I hate that. All I could think about was a specific blog topic that I needed to write about. More details later.

If you'll hang in there with me...

So, I am new at this whole Blogger World. I don't know all the tips and tricks like some of you veterans. But I do know that I have been thinking a lot more about personal identity on the internet. First I gave all our children an alias and now I am going to change our online address to This will happen tonight at 10pm. Hopefully I'll see you all back here again.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

If you play me a Jennifer Knapp song...

If you play me a Jennifer Knapp song...
I'll think of my friend, Lauren, from college at Northwestern.

As I think about college...
I'll dance happy memories through my head of my days in Moyer 7.

When I think of happy memories with great friends...
I'll laugh out loud about how boisterous and crazy my friend Stace was.

When I reminsce about stellar moments with Stace...
I'll be reminded of our '00 Homecoming Pep Rally.

As I rerun our Pep Rally through my head I'll remember the Goldfish contest and how we thought this was soo funny and entertaining...until we were both nominated to participate.

Then I'll get sick to my stomach and have to pull the car over to eliminate excess food particals that were not digested yet because I'll remember EATING 17 LIVE GOLDFISH AND STILL LOSING THE CONTEST.

...I'll do this...all because you played me a Jennifer Knapp song.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

4 things you might not know about me.

I read this over at All about Us and thought I'd join in.

Four jobs I have had in my life

  1. YMCA staff (anything you can think of, I did it.)
  2. Toddler Teacher in Childcare Center
  3. First grade teacher
  4. Barista at Starbucks

Movies I Would Watch Over and Over

  1. The Notebook
  2. Hitch
  3. Dumb and Dumber
  4. Die Hard-Live Free or Die Hard

TV Shows that I watch

  1. The Bachelor
  2. The Unit
  3. Friday Night Lights
  4. LIVE with Regis and Kelly (Kelly and I would be BEST friends if she lived next door.)

Four Places I have been

  1. Germany
  2. France
  3. Jamaica
  4. Cozumel (Honeymoon!)

Four People who E-mail / Call Me Often

  1. My mom
  2. mom
  3. mom..
  4. do I even need to say it?

Four of My Favorite Foods

  1. Veggie Sandwiches from Brugger's
  2. Breakfast foods (waffles, pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns, you name it.)
  3. Lemon Cream cake from Olive Garden
  4. Salads...the best being Oriental Chicken from Applebee's

Four places I would rather be right now

  1. Skiing in Montana
  2. Relaxing beachside in Jamaica
  3. Shopping
  4. On a Cruise somewhere...I've never been.

Things I am looking forward to this year

  1. every year.
  2. Watching the twins continue to develop their own personalities
  3. Park dates next summer.
  4. My hubby's and my ski trip in January.

Want to play? Consider yourself tagged and please let me know you decided to play!

Happy Birthday Little Brother!!

Today is my little brother Derek's birthday! Well, he's not physically my little brother-standing 6'4"-but he is 3 years younger. I love him d.e.a.r.l.y!!!
Throughout the years he has engraved many wonderful and comical memories in my head. Like the day he, my other younger brother, Shane, and I were all standing in the entryway--bombarding my mom with events from our day at school--as she walked in from work. I think we were 6, 8, and 10...give or take a year. Anyways, I was trying to tell my mom about my 4-H rabbit that I found dead, Shane was trying to tell her why he had to stay in from recess, and then there was little Derek who was trying to get a few words in.
"Mom," he said, "Look!" He opened his mouth to show a huge chunk of his front tooth chipped off. We all stopped and looked at him in a disbelief-kind-of-stare.
"What happened?" she said.
Well, he was playing kickball on the tennis courts at school and ran into a pole, leaving part of his tooth behind. But the funny part, the part that explains where most of our humor came from growing up is when he replied with, "It's o.k. mommy, it will grow back."
Little did he wouldn't. It was his permanent tooth. All in all, everything worked out..and we can laugh about it now. Thanks, D, for being the most generous, gratious, thoughtful, joyful, "Uncle D" that you are. We love you so much!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Everything that we need.

"Dear Jesus,
Thank you for everything that we need. Thank you for Emma and thank you for........
everything that we need, and thank you for our neighbors Emma and Allie. And, thank you for everything....that we need. And thank you for (silence).........everything that we need. Amen!"

I'm so happy that Julia now loves to pray. This is what our supper prayer sounded like tonight. And her bedtime prayer. Come to think of it, probably our breakfast prayer tomorrow morning, too.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!! Thankful Thursday

1. The bottle of coffee Frappacino that my husband bought for me to pump us up for our 2.5 hour drive at 8:30 this morning.
2. Great conversation with my hubby on our way to Thanksgiving.
3. Hearing Jaclyn ask Oli if she could hold his hand during our ride.
4. Martin's chocolate oatmeal treats that he brought today-they were heaven in my mouth.
5. Watching the 3 cousins (all 3-year-old girls) run around and play together-ALL DAY!
6. Watching Oliver tag along.
7. Watching Oliver haul mini marshmallows around in his matchbox tractor and trailers.
8. A Thanksgiving meal that was divine!!
9. Over 2 hours of belly laughing while playing Apples to Apples, Like Minds, and Blokus.
10. Great conversation with family we don't see often.
11. Watching videos of my husband as a young child at past Thanksgivings.
12. Seeing the snow fall while we were in the car.
13. Making Geneva and Layla laugh while we were changing their diapers.
14.....I could go on and on..but I'll stop here. I hope your Thanksgiving was a great one!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Are you a little confused...

It's the night before Thanksgiving, I've packed everything we would need for the four children for our big trip tomorrow...they're sitting by the door ready for our early exit tomorrow morning, my salad is prepped and ready to be assembled when we arrive, and I really have nothing else to do..except to paint my nails this really cool "Pat on black" what do I do??? I decide to create an alias for each of my children on 4 under 3. So I went back through EVERY. ONE. OF. MY. POSTS and changed each name. Hmmm....I know. But I just wanted to warn those of you who know us outside of "bloggy world" so you don't think that I have completely lost it. (tip to remember: "big sister" twin is Geneva, "little sister" is Layla... Think of it this way...G comes before L in the alphabet.)

Two Cart Train

We did it again. Last night I took the kids shopping by myself, all four this time. The store of choice was Target. Mr. Marvelous was out of town for the night and I was feeling confined to the house after naps so I loaded everyone up and we headed out. It was a quick trip. We found a couple outfits for the little girls & two bottles of fingernail polish (one was my choice and the other was J's), got wonderfully nutritious meals at the food court...ahmm...., and an Iced Venti sweetened Black tea lemonade at Starbucks. Shhhh...don't tell anyone at my Starbucks that I purchased at an independent Starbucks store like Target's. How did we do it this time, you ask? The same as last...I pulled Luke's cart and pushed Norah and Hazel who were in their carseats in the other cart, J walking along side. It was great!
After we got in the car to leave J asked, "Mommy weren't we soooo good!?"
I have no pictures of the event but here is one of our little teething-drooler Hazel.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I have a date with Oprah.

My friend, Ehlan, posted about Julia Roberts being on Oprah yesterday which reminded me that TODAY IS OPRAH'S FAVORITE THINGS show. I can't wait! I have to start brainstorming now of how to keep the 4 kiddos entertained while I indulge in a little Mommy-time with Oprah.

Black Friday

I can honestly say that I have NEVER been shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. Growing up, my family didn't get into Black Friday shopping yours Stace....and since we've been married, well, we've pretty much had babies the entire time, almost, and I never really got the urge to go hit the sales before the sun came up. However, 2 years ago Jaclyn and I had to run to Burnsville for something. I don't remember what it was but I do remember that it was supposed to be a really quick trip there and back. Yea right!!! Our 20 min drive there turned into almost an hour because of the traffic that started about half way there. It was stop and go for about a half hour. Ahhh..I was about pulling my hair out. It was then that I realized that I am best at home the day after Thanksgiving, eating turkey sandwiches and leftover pumpkin pie. My husband on the other hand ventured out last year at 4am. He said Best Buy and Walmart had the biggest lines. You know, the ones that wrap up and down the aisles inside and then end up curling around the store outside... Wow. Regardless of the great deals, like this GPS system by Tomtom that retails for $399 but is on sale for $119 on this special day, I'll be staying home again. Am I the only one that misses out on all this "fun?" What are some things you HAVE to get this Black Friday?

Monday, November 19, 2007

I had to do it....

it was driving. me. crazy!!!! Even after numerous hours spent trying to understand Wigets, CSS, streamline, r:header//slekdrjwelkrje crazy ewrwoerjes, blog-talk I STILL couldn't figure out how to center our Viking picture on our sidebar. I was tired of seeing Julia fall off our picture. So I had to part with my fun polka dots. I hope you'll still visit me. ;)

I'm jumpin' on....

the mommy-of-a-teething-baby bandwagon, that is!
Congratulations, Layla!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

I'm thankful...

1. that Julia and Luke LOVE eachother

2. that Mr. Marvelous has XBOX night with his friends every other Thur.

3. Cranberry Omega-3 Flaxseed cookies

4. for Rachael Ray at 3:00

5. that Luke loves giving kisses

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I conquered a fear today...

...taking the 3 youngest to the doctor all by myself. Yes, Oli, Geneva & Layla have been battling a cold for too long so I took them in this morning. I left Jaclyn across the street at the neighbors to play because I didn't want to infest her with yucky germs from the clinic. I was pretty proud of Oliver. He showed an improvement with the listening skills today. He held on to the double stroller while we walked from the car to the front doors of the well as back to the car. I showered him with compliments and he seemed pretty proud of himself. I felt like he was going to bee line it to the parking lot the entire time...but he refrained. For some reason Jaclyn had an amazing amount of self control when she was Oliver's age and I never worried about that kind of thing (except the one time she wanted to play tag in Marshall Field's shoe department last winter). Then, he was very entertained by the Dora book in the room while we were waiting for the doctor...which helped a lot. The girls were great. You know...they were fed, changed, burped, and amused by their dangling carseat they really had nothing to complain about. So a great trip....except....that ALL THREE have Bronchitis, Oliver the least intense...but he has a slight ear infections on top of it. :(

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'm still in awe of Planetshakers...

I haven't blogged in a couple of days..hours....not because I haven't had time to get to the computer but because when I'm at the computer all I'm doing is listening to Planetshakers. I am still in awe of their music. And I guess Luke likes them too because just now, he walked in pushing his teddy bear (from Karna) in Julia's baby stroller....stopped in front of me, picked up little Teddy, hugged him close with one hand while putting the other hand in the air as if he was "praising Jesus." Oh I wish I had that on video.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Turn on your speakers...check PlanetShakers Out.

You've GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!! Ever since Amy Grant's The Collection CD back in elementary school when I would jam out to El Shaddai...well, as much as you could jam out to that song, I did....I have been accoustically drawn to music. I loved Amy Grant, DC Talk during their "Down with the DC Talk" debut cd, and Petra. Then I took a stray turn down the Country Music road only to turn onto the Hip Hop train for a couple of years and then back to Christian music. Throughout these listening years..I felt I really knew my music. My mom always said, "If you memorized The Bible like you do that music, you would be a walking plethora of knowledge." But now....Where was I when PLANETSHAKERS was recording all their amazing songs? Who of you have heard of this group? I came across this group just today...and was caught stunned with their annointing behind the microphone. My favorite type of music is Praise & Worship, Darlene Zschech/Hillsong & Vineyard being at the top, so this music fits right in. After "Yahooing" them I found they have cds all the way back to 2000-12 in all. (I'm saying this with astonishment.) "Dedicated to the cause of Christ, it is their desire to see this planet impacted by the power of God." Are there any other groups out there that I have missed?

A Stay-at-Home Mom

I like how Jill Savage puts it. "Motherhood is a gift and a season of life to treasure. If you’re a mom, you can stand with dignity, offer no apology for what you do, and say, "I’m a wife and mother. I love my job.""

Jill Savage, author of Professionalizing Motherhood, encourages moms to take pride in their chosen career and share with people that they are in the profession of motherhood. While attending the Hearts at Home conference here in Rochester a couple of months ago, I was refreshed in knowing that this career that Mitch and I have chosen for myself is the perfect place for me right now. Even though some days I feel that I would be much more appreciated in the "professional" workplace, I really do try and cherish each one of my days during this season of my life.

After my weekend with other moms, sitting through great sessions about how to take care of the "Me in Momy"...I was encouraged to rethink my role as a SAHM. I have created a Purpose-Oriented To-Do List for my house. It helps to remind me of the greater impact I have in our house. I hope it does the same for you.

This list reflects not only the tasks that a I as a full-time mom accomplish during the day, but also my reasons for doing them and my long-term goals as a mother.
*Read to Jaclyn, Oli, Geneva & Layla to expand their imagination and comprehension skills.
*Help Luke climb the ladder at the park to develop strong muscles.
*Take Jaclyn & Oliver to the library to expand their knowledge of pumpkins and changing leaves.
*Snuggle with Geneva & Layla to embed a sense of security and love in them.
*Teach Jaclyn how to write her name and use scissors to prepare her for Kindergarten.
*Wash four loads of laundry to take care of my family’s physical needs.
*Prepare breakfast to give my children a nutritional start to the day.
*Clean up the kitchen to take care of the home God has given me.
*Cook dinner to give my family the opportunity to sit, talk and be refreshed.

Rethink what you do and why you do it. The value of being there for our children in simple ways can never be underestimated.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

If I was to be granted 3 wishes....

Today I would wish-

To be able to snap my fingers when I wanted to:

1. unload the dishwasher (However, I don't mind filling it. It's kind of a challenge for me each time I fill it, I like to see if I can organize it so I can fit the most in.)

2. put my make up on and do my hair (Self explanatory)

3. Send out a letter or package to a friend (I think about my friends every day but somewhere between what I'd like to write/send them and a stamped package in the mailbox or at the post gets lost.
What are your 3?

Friday, November 9, 2007

What does a mom do....

This morning I woke up ambitious to make a trip to Walmart, with the children. Not Jaclyn though. She left last night with Grandma Net and Great Grandma to spend a couple of days with them. So after the girls' morning nap, cut short by about a half hour, we ran to a friends house for an hour to play than proceeded on to get some groceries. I knew I had 1 1/2 hours to shop, get home and feed Oliver lunch and have them all down for their 1:00 nap. (Any later than that and the girls come "unglued.") I figured that Walmart would have some sort of contraption that would allow a parent of 3 young children to all ride in the same cart. Wrong. Why? Why wouldn't Sam realize that if he isn't going to offer a child care area inside his store (like Hyvee Barlow) he should make it convenient for parents like me to manuever through the store with my three little ones? We ended up having Oliver sit in one cart, strapped in, along with one of the babies in the big part of the cart in her carseat. Then the other baby did the same in the other cart. Then I pushed Oliver's cart and pulled the second behind me. Talk about a circus walking up and down the aisles. I do have to say that all three children were PERFECT, I guess counteracting the UNPERFECT DOUBLE CART situation.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thankful Thursday

1. The way Luke moves his legs while he dances.

2. "Red Cup" season at Starbuck. (It started today.)

3. Psalms 91:11
"For He shall set His angels charge over you to keep you in all your ways."

4. Grandparents

5. Electric fireplaces during the fall and winter.

6. My friend Stacey's post on Tuesday about "Daddies." (Check it out, it made me laugh out loud)