31 December 2009

He made me cry!

Look what Adam gave me for Christmas -

Adam's calendar gift - Front

A handmade calendar.

With a different picture for every month.

Adam's calendar gift - January
Adam's calendar gift - February

January and February.  This might be the last time I get a paint print of his hands.

Adam's calendar gift - March
March came with a poem.  A poem that made me cry as I tried to read it aloud Christmas morning.

Adam was very happy with himself for being able to make me cry.

And I think it makes the gift extra special.

Adam's calendar gift - Close up of March's poem
"I am an older brother, and a kind person.
I wonder when life will be found on another planet.
I hear songs all around me.
I see life story's unfold.
I want for peace to last forever.
I am an older brother, and a kind person.

I pretend for every game.
I feel the pain of others.
I touch my inner thoughts.
I worry species will end.
I cry when they do end.
I am an older brother, and a kind person.

I understand the problems of our environment.
I say we can fix them all.
I dream when that day will come.
I try to make it come quicker.
I hope others will help.
I am an older brother, and a kind person.


Adam's calendar gift - April

April is really spring-y.

Adam's calendar gift - May

And so was May.

Adam's calendar gift - May's poem close up

And May brought another poem.

Adam's calendar gift - June
Adam's calendar gift - July
June is bright and July is patriotic.
Adam's calendar gift - August
August feels beach-y.  Its a good month to visit the beach.

Adam's calendar gift - SeptemberSeptember brings school and a fall sense poem.

"Fall is orange.
It sounds like busy squirrels.
It tastes like pumpkin pie.
And smells like turkey.
Fall looks like read leaves.
it makes me feel the comfortable chill in the air.


Adam's calendar gift - October

October with a scary monster (or bat) and a happy jack-o-lantern for Halloween.

Adam's calendar gift - NovemberNovember with leaves and a poem about pugs.

flat, faced
currly, tailed, snoring,
somehow they are cute,


Adam's calendar gift - December
December - Christmas tree, gingerbread man, snow and snow man, COMPLETELY feels like December.

All the months really feel like those months.  The colors he chose.

The pictures he chose/drew.

They all feel just right.

The back of the calendar.  I made it big so you can see what he wrote. 
Adam's calendar gift - The back
The goofiness of it is so 'Adam'. 

30 December 2009


We got snow yesterday! It was a surprise snow, which is usually how it happens around here.  The weather forcasters said it was going to rain with perhaps a few flakes thrown in there.

At first it didn't look like it was going to stick . . .

As soon as it started sticking the kids came out of the houses, bundled up and ready for some fun! 

Right to left is Carus and her friend S who was visiting when the snow started, a neighbor friend H and her visiting friend H.

Snowball fights were starting and stopping all day. At first it looked like it was girls against boys.  But before long it became clear that it was a free for all.  One boy (not mine) was overheard saying to another boy "I want to get my sister right in the face."  And the screams he caused attempting to achieve that was heard around the neighborhood.

After long the kids started to team up to build snow forts and snowmen.

It snowed nonstop for about 5 hours and the kids were out for most of it.  I made them come in and thaw out with some hot cocoa (I know, mean mommy) for about 20 minutes halfway through.  They chugged their cocoa as fast as they could and ran back out . . .

The snowball fights continued to break out.  Adam and Carus - I think that blur was a combination of them throwing their snowballs at each other at the same time.

Adam is in the black coat and is going up against L in the grey sweatshirt.

Favorite pic of the day.  Taken about 4:30ish and the sun was pretty much gone so I had to use the flash to get the action.  B is the boy about to throw a snowball at/on L.

This was taken about 3:30 pm when it slowed for a few moments.  It got a bit thicker - I would say we have had 5 inches of snow.  It is already melting and it is so slushy outside right now.

I think it was a very great way to end the year and the end of the kids Winter break (they go back to school Monday). I wish we could get two snow days, but one was nice.

I need to order a rain sleeve for my camera - I was using a grocery bag for a bit to keep it dry, but it was hard to keep it from falling in front of the lens.  Then I was using an umbrella, but it was hard to balance the umbrella and focus the camera at the same time.

26 December 2009

Happy birthday Carus!


Hope you have fun today!  Love you!

We kept the tradition of going to Chuck E Cheese for Carus's birthday party, though this year it was just family.

Next month (and year) we will have a 'friend' party - probably a sleepover.

I know we don't have long until she is too old to go to Chuck E.

We don't get a bday package - we just show up with our group, our gifts, and a cake.  We order some pizza and usually a salad or two and some drinks and then get a ton of tokens.  We hand out the tokens a few at a time, no more than 10, and that way the kids come back to the table every few minutes for a check in, a chance to eat, and rounding up for the opening of presents and singing of happy birthday.

A few more pictures from the party can be found on Flickr.

This picture was edited with my new software (photoshop elements 8).  I think I did okay, it was easy - remove red eyes, little crop, and warmed it up. I have sooooo much to learn yet!

25 December 2009

Merry Christmas 2009!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Hope you have a wonderful day with lots of food, fun, and family!!

Update:  I have uploaded pictures to my Flickr. Go check them out!

17 December 2009

The golden age

We are in the golden age.  When body parts and their functions are funny.

Wait, aren't you suppose to 'outgrow' that humor?

The other day Robert was helping Adam clean out his toys.  He found so many dirty socks it isn't funny.

See I told you my ability to get laundry done in a timely manner had nothing to do with his lack of socks.

While picking up the toys that weren't broken Robert was pointiing out the nerf balls that go to one of Adam's nerf guns that he was to pick up and said, "you have balls there, and there, and there."

To which Carus replied, "Heh, balls." (Boo, writing it out just doesn't do it justice....)

Decorating the Christmas tree later that evening continued the theme.

Me: "Adam, do you want to hang a red ball?"

Adam: "hahahahahahha"

Carus: "I have a lot of green balls to hang."

Don't even get me started on the word 'fart'.

16 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I might be considered biased, but I think my daughter is just gorgeous. 

Participating in Wordless Wednesday, check out the others at that link.

15 December 2009

i ♥ faces - “Pets Only!” Photo Challenge

And of course I had to 'enter' Yoda pug.  Check out the other participants here.

13 December 2009

I'm a little cheesy

Brownie points for the new oven.

Or should I say muffin points?

Either way, the other day I made these apple pie muffins and the oven cooked them BEAUTIFULLY!

They were browned evenly! There were no burnt sides.

No burnt bottoms!

I didn't HAVE to rotate them to cook evenly! I did rotate them because I'm used to that, but I didn't HAVE TO!

So far, the new oven is growing on me.

Oh, and the muffins ~ VERY GOOD.  The recipe can be found here at Tasty Kitchen and the only change I would make would be to add a little cinnamon, apple pie spice, or nutmeg to the muffin batter.  The crumple topping is perfect, the muffin just needs a little work.

10 December 2009

Why do they have to grow so darn fast!

When dropping the kids off at school yesterday morning, as I watched them walk towards the entrance, I notice Carus's socks. 

I shouldn't notice her socks, but I did because her pants were high waters.

And by high waters I mean - almost capris.  There was a good 2-1/2 to 3 inches from shoes to pants.

I swear those pants fit her last week!

Also outgrown this week:
By Carus - About half her shirts.  They are turning into middriff showing shirts.  Not good for a 2nd grader.  Not good for winter.
By Adam - His shirts too.  Not quite middriff showing, but definitely shorter than they should be.
By Adam - Winter coat, well actually he outgrew it last year sometime and since our winters are "normally" mild we just outfitted him with an old coat of Robert's that was too big.  This year, that coat of Robert's - yeah, it fits...

I'm pretty sure someone needs new shoes - probably both, but I'll wait until their toes are sticking out the end.  I give that 2 hours! HA!

09 December 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Favorite picture

I'm participating in Wordless Wednesday. Be sure to head over there for some more great pictures!


I know there are others that are colder.  I'm just saying I'M COLD!!!!

Waiting for the news to start calling this "Artic Blast 2009". 

Maybe I should actually watch the news to see if they are...

Thankfully/unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) there has been no moisture so:

1. No ice/snow/freezing rain
2. Closed roads
3. Making driving hazardous - or more hazardous
4. Closing schools (another one that depends on how you look at it & who you're talking to)
5. Screwing with my Christmas shopping cause I'm a wuss that doesn't drive in snow (little scared, little nervous, little 'if I don't gotta, why should I').

08 December 2009

All by myself

I'm canning all by myself tonight.

I'm canning some homemade chicken stock.

Thank you again Gramma for teaching me to can!!!!

04 December 2009

The tale of two ovens. . .

My old, worn out, possessed oven.

The oven that jumps 300 degrees in 30 seconds.  That had uneven burners and one that didn't work at all.

The one that boiled the pumpkin pie, cook brownies in 15 minutes, and burn anything you don't watch like a hawk.

The one that is a bit of a fire hazard...

The landlord told us to find a new Whirlpool oven and he would get it for us.

So we did.  We looked around and compared prices and found a nice cheap one and gave him a call.

He went down to the appliance store and found a cheaper one.  We had done our research on the internet and apparently the cheapest online is not the absolute cheapest they have. 

The new oven. (Before install)

The delivery guys weren't able to install the oven because it is hardwired to the wall (no plug).  So it had to wait until Robert got home.

When he did get home and pulled out the old to put in the new he found that the old oven wasn't grounded properly.  So basically we could have been shocking the crap out of ourselves for the past 5 years. . . NICE!

Not happy about that one, my kids have used it.

The new oven is in and is grounded properly. YAY Robert!

There is 1 big burner and 3 small ones, and no window in the oven door - two cons for me.  And it's white.  Do you know how hard it is to keep white clean! I don't like sucks!

I've been trying to hold judgement until extensive testing on it has been done and seeing how it performs - or doesn't perform.

I've made a few dinners and made some brownies - the jury is still out.  The night I made the brownies, about 20 minutes after I started them everyone started crowding the kitchen.  Where's the brownies?  I smell them so they must be done.  They took 40 minutes to cook.  People weren't happy about that.  That is just too long to wait for brownies.

27 November 2009


Last week when visiting the in-laws I raided their picture folder.  And by visiting I mean dropping the kids off for a weekend with the grandparents and date night for Robert and I.
 That date night was going shooting.  I like shooting.  It is such a great stress reliever.
 Unfortunately I didn't get to shoot the fun gun (MAC-90 aka AK-47). But I got to shoot Robert's new pistol for the first time.  And David's pistol. 

Anyhoo, back to the story.

I was raiding their picture folder stash and I found some great pictures that I don't have.  And I don't have them because I don't make it a regular habit to raid their picture stash.

That is going to change because it was a nice little trip down memory lane.

There was this one from not that long ago - Beginning of September in fact.

Gramma and Grampa came to watch Adam's practice.

Oh and this one from Easter this year . . .

Then a few years ago.

June 2007

I think that is the Columbia River - might be Willamette...

But the bestest that I found was this one.

Adam in a tux as ring bearer in Gramma Barbara and Grandpa Alan's wedding.  September 2002.

Just barely 4 years old.


And this one.

This guy is cute too.

And look at the little baby he is holding, isn't she a cute little chunky butt?!

Carus and daddy at Gramma and Grandpa's wedding.  Carus was about 8 months old and daddy's little princess.

She still is daddy's little princess.

If you want to see more pictures from Gramma and Grampa's stash, click HERE.

26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a little slide show of our day. Hope everyone had a great day.

25 November 2009


I just totally busted Adam!

I walked up the street a bit to meet the kids walking home so that I could let one of the neighbor kids know that his mom texted me and to say she was running late today so he was going to stay at our house until she gets home.  It is nice having neighbors you can trust and that can help out when something comes up.  I've texted her a few times before too (in fact just last week for a work meeting that ran long) because I was going to be late getting home. 

So I'm walking up the street, while tugging on the dog because he has to smell every single piece of grass and 'mark' every bush 20 times, and I have timed it perfect since Adam and Carus have just turned onto our street.  Carus is in the lead, like usual, and a few yards behind her is Adam.  With his nose buried in a book. 

He isn't supposed to be reading while walking home.  We don't want him to trip or walk out into traffic, or have a stranger walk up to him or something, and it would be nice if he could watch out for Carus with traffic and strangers. But he is repeatedly offending this rule.

I was able to walk up to about a foot in front of him without him noticing.  He wouldn't have noticed me and probably walked right into me if Carus didn't then say something to him. 


In other news - Have a picture. 

Carus will pose...Adam will not...

20 November 2009

Jello Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (and ingredients need to make it) 2 small boxes of Jello in your favorite flavors
1 tub Cool Whip

Prepare and cake mix according to box directions.  Make Jello and pour over cooked cake.  You might need to poke some holes in the cake to help the Jello soak through.  Put cake in fridge to cool and get the Jello to set.  When set, 'frost' with whipped cream.

I usually make Jello cake in a 9 x 13 pan and use two of the same flavor of Jello.  Here I made it I using two cake rounds and 2 different flavors of Jello.  When it was all set I stacked the layers like a regular layer cake using whipped cream between the layers as well as the outside of the cake.

Orange and raspberry layers.  The orange didn't soak up as much as it should have.  I was impatient to get it in the fridge.  It isn't the prettiest, but it was yummy. 

19 November 2009

Happy birthday Robert!

Hope you enjoy your day, and your carne asada!

Dinner, originally uploaded by smiles2have.
And because I love you I won't say how OOOOLLLLLDDDD you are!

18 November 2009

Why today sucks!

I can be a tad forgetful. I know that. My kids know that. Robert knows that. All my friends know that. Everyone knows that. I'm okay with it, and I'm working on it.

But still, being a tad forgetful does not mean I will forget every single thing that I'm told.

Things I will easily forget:

  • Birthdays of new acquaintances. I'll need to know you at least 2 years before I can faithfully remember your birthday.
  • Addresses (unless I have lived there recently)
  • Phone numbers. I use to be able to recall phone numbers for tons of people and even multiple numbers for some. Now if I lose my cell phone, and the address book in it, I'm screwed...
  • Names of the people I hung out with in high school. I remember the people, the names - not so much.
  • Appointments made for myself. I don't usually forget the kids appointments.
  • To return phone calls. This is a toss-up. Sometimes I will remember to return a call no problem, other times I'll remember like 3 weeks later.
  • Sending out birthday cards - I'm working on this one, but have YET to succeed in it. Most times I am sending them out AFTER the birthday.
  • Grocery items that I did not put on the grocery list
  • To use a coupon

  • That you are coming over to my house, especially ESPECIALLY if it is to watch my kids, take me somewhere, or happens to be for a birthday/holiday function hosted at my house. And I do not need 50 calls in the span of an hour to remind me that you're coming over to my house and will be there in an hour or at a previously determined time.
  • What you are getting one of the kids or Robert as a gift. Returning accidentally doubled-up on items isn't fun so I try to avoid it. Also, the wish lists I give out DO NOT contain anything I've decided to buy because of the trying to avoid accidentally doubling up on gifts.
  • Olives. Thanks to telling people I don't need olives for the party/dinner and still being brought olives, I will never ever again forget to have olives in my pantry.
Other things that ruin the day - okay, most of these have been building and building and today have just become too much...

That I am not going to get any credit again. I just know it. I'm not doing anything big, but I know I will not get any credit at all for what I am doing.

Inviting yourself to the party I'm throwing through someone else.

Not asking if I had plans with my kids for the weekend before ANNOUNCING that you have plans with MY KIDS! And I can't complain. For years and years when the kids where younger I wanted needed to be able to get a break from being a mom and couldn't get it - and now, I can't make any plans with my kids w/o consulting everyone else. But I can't complain because I'm getting a break.

I found out today I'm missing an item for dinner tomorrow, and instead of calling someone up and asking for help I am going to go to the store for that one item. Why? Because I am tired of being treated like I can't do anything right. If I call someone up to ask for that ONE STUPID FREAKING ITEM it will encourage the treating me like I'm incompetent. If I say I don't need you to bring anything to dinner for Pete's sake DO NOT ASK 20,000,000 MORE TIMES! (Even if I actually do need you to bring something. I don't want to be incompetent, and I really don't want to be treated like I am.)

Having the ability to go for a date night, and not having anything to do. And having to always come up with date night plans just to have EVERY SINGLE idea shot down.

Asking someone to go do something with me to be told no and then to be told moments or days later that they are going to do the suggested activity with someone else. Am I not good enough?

Note: I have exaggerated for dramatic effect, unfortunately I don't need to exaggerate much...

17 November 2009

I just realized

I'm one of those . . . people

I use ... WAY TOO much!

I'm sorry....I will try to cut back...

11 November 2009

09 November 2009

They home yet?

Yoda waiting for Adam and Carus last week. Seriously, at 2:45 he got up off his doggy bed under my desk, climbed up on the cat tree and sat there watching for the kids. (They get in between 2:55 and 3:05.)

And as soon as he saw them coming down the street he hopped down to wait at the top of the stairs for them to come in.
He also waits for Robert and will quietly follow him around once he is home until he gets his hello loves. Timmy joins him in waiting for Robert.

05 November 2009

If you could go back in time...

If you could go back in time, your personal time, what would you do?

What would you tell your past self? What would you change?

Although I've had heartache and headaches and stresses, I don't think I would change any of it. It made me who I am, and I like me (for the most part). I don't know if I could have changed anything, I am a believer in fate and destiny, to a point.

I would, however, give myself a better camera. And maybe a break from the kids. Nope, no maybe about it - I would give me a break from the kids.

These were taken with a film camera and I had to adjust the exposure like crazy - stupid flash!

Oldies, but goodies - from 2002

They just don't do the kids justice. They were cute babies. Really, really cute! And this camera couldn't focus worth crap! I edited with free online editing software.

Oldies, but goodies - from 2002 How did they grow up so fast!?!?! Seriously, Adam is only 2 inches shorter than me! Carus has hair and no more cute little baby fat rolls. Oh, you should have seen Adam's fat rolls, he was a chunky monkey!

Oldies, but goodies - from 2002 She looks so sweet and innocent...ppppptttthhh, yea right.

Oldies, but goodies - from 2002

But it still makes me want another baby.

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