Friday, May 29, 2009


I get them back tomorrow.
And then I'll get all the stories to go with these pictures. I do hear that the girls beat the boys at taking turns on the creeper things.

And it will be the end of silence and the return of my heart.

Thank you grandma and grandpa for all of your help.
TODAY however, the brood is hanging with the Dukes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Alida's first. I think she did quite well with Matti by her side.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Breakfast With Daddy

She knows if she gets up early, there is a reward.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Little Overwhelmed

The moving walkway threw them a little last fall at the aquarium in Gatlinburg,

but it was the only amazing part of that trip.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday, May 24, 2009

And Now Presenting

The organization of our video files.

We're a bit late on this one from last fall.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thank You--Now Get Out

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls from your mom.

A little Bacon Salt from your brother.

And kids made happy by their daddy.

Flowers from co-workers, well wishes from the kids' teachers, cards, e-mails.
Thank you all.
What else could a re-couping woman ask for?

For everyone to go away for a week?
Well that sounds like a lovely idea.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I'm Just Here to Observe

Grandma arrived last week to provide some relief to Patric, who has proved he can do it himself, but really how much fun is that?

Because while each minute is new and different, it can get tedious all at the same time.

This day the table and chairs were a robot. Nicholas usually dictates. And yes, those are the girls' Christmas pajamas.

There was the trip to the park that wouldn't have happened without grandma. The girls are getting more and more brave.

And then there was this. I am completely unclear how this was accomplished but surely grandma had something to do with it.

And girls playing to catch together in the yard?!

Thank you grandma for helping stand guard and feed these people this week.
What are you putting in their food? I didn't know they were still capable of taking a nap.

Monday, May 18, 2009

On My Camera

Proof: He can get them out of the house dressed and pretty happy.

Proof: He knows what they'll eat--tomato soup.

Proof: He does know how to clean up.

Proof: They'll fight in the tub no matter what

Proof: Elaine is just cool.

Proof: Alida is skeptical.

Thank you daddy-o. I love knowing that they are in good, caring hands when I skip out of the house for a couple days. And you are so smart not to take any incriminating pictures.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It's All On This Guy

For a few days.
He can do it. He trains soldiers. He drives a race car. He comes in and lights up their world.

Wish him well and forgive light posting.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It May Appear As If

We are all disinterested in each other except to fight sometimes.

But we have our moments.

Monday, May 11, 2009

10 Mother's Days

Mother's Day 2000: I was ignorant. I made sure I went to church so that when I called my mom later in the day, we could talk about it.

Mother's Day 2001: I was hopeful. We had decided to start a family. I went to church smiling at all of the mothers, just knowing I would be joining their club soon.

Mother's Day 2002: I was prayerful. We had put this in His hands. We made it through church.

Mother's Day 2003: I was angry. Why was every single woman in this church 8 months pregnant?

Mother's Day 2004: I had a plan. He would go to Iraq next year; I would go make a baby. We hoped God was on board with that plan because that was what we were going to do.

Mother's Day 2005: I was scared. God had agreed. When the mothers are honored, do you stand up in church when you're newly pregnant? No. No, my husband is in Iraq, it'll look funny.

Mother's Day 2006: I was exhausted. I had two five month old baby boys. It didn't even dawn on me that this was my first Mother's Day as a mother. We went to church because the nursery would take them for an hour and a half.

Mother's Day 2007: I was shocked. And I spent that morning in church trying to de-emphasize my six-months-pregnant-with-twins belly because I remembered wanting to whack those women back in 2003.

Mother's Day 2008: It was a repeat of 2006, I think. But I can't quite remember.

Mother's Day 2009: He had drill for National Guard. It rained. After breathing a sigh that no one threw up on the way to church, Alida puked as we pulled into the parking stall. The boys climbed around the van as I changed Alida into clean clothes because we've learned to pack them. My back was out of the car getting wet in the rain. Nicholas was trying to open the umbrella in the van. I drug everyone out into the rain and the boys insisted on holding the umbrella--at their level. So I held two girls' hands and shuffled horizontally and about three feet over the ground under the boys' umbrella. We stumbled and lost a shoe and the boys' pants were soaked and Elaine fell behind and got wet. And as we neared the door to the church, the man opening it remarked that he wished he had his camera because that was the most wonderful Mother's Day picture he could imagine.

So mom I just wanted you to know. I get it now. Thanks.

Happy Mothering Day

My peonies are so wet they've all dove for the support of the ground if the pelting rain hasn't simply torn them apart. I will continue to explain to the children that flowers in the ground are my favorite kind, so please stop stripping the daisies and daylillies and aster and all other manner of flowers out of the flower beds and bringing them in a pile to the back door please.

We certainly had our moments yesterday.

Some good and some bad.

Some goofy.

But I'll choose to remember that we had a good time eating peanut butter sandwiches and stealing chips off the counter and welcoming daddy home (in the early afternoon!) and spending our time mostly on top of each other in a big Stuber ball.

And thank you for my Mother's Day gift Patric.
It was just what I needed.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Quiet And Why We Don't Necessarily Endorse It

Alida's favorite new pajamas. She fights getting out of these every time she wears them.
We've flat out given up trying to get the boys to nap on the weekends. If you walk into daycare on any given day of the week during nap time, you'll find them sleeping so hard there is drool soaking their cots and fabric prints so deep on their faces they look like scars. If you try to peek in on a boy napping at our house on the weekend, you'll likely find him on top of his nightstand getting ready to leap but not before screaming at his brother to put down the Iron Man because he was, you know, going to play with that right after his acrobatics.
So we gave up. Now we demand quiet and turn on a movie. If that doesn't work, they are turned outside to work it out for themselves.
Saturday we watched a movie. Elaine refused to nap as well. So the intimate group of five (he got the joy of a weekend home last weekend) of us hunkered in the living room to watch a movie while Alida snored upstairs. (She's had a bit of a nose thing going on lately.) Eventually Benjamin disappears, but he's quiet. So we watch our movie for the few more minutes we know we'll have quiet, too tired to investigate where he went off to. All we know is he is being quiet, and that is the only rule at the moment.
Eventually Benjamin reappears at the bottom of the stairs with a smile. I could have sworn I heard a toddler mouth-breathing somewhere in the stairwell, but really I hear kids all the time in my head. It is hard to differentiate the truth from my mental illness at this point. But here she comes, Alida peaks around the corner with a giant smile.
"I got my sister up from her nap," Benjamin announces with a flourish of hands presenting this darling child now standing in our quiet living room.
"Ben. How did Alida get out of her crib?"
"I got my sister up from her nap!"
Oh bother.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Remember When?

Remember when we had that one weekend with no rain this Spring?
Yeah, that one.

This entertained us that day.
At first Elaine just plunked herself down in the middle and they looked like they were playing some funny game.
And then we realized that she was passively obstructing a project of some sort.

Well then she just gave up passive.

And if you look real close, you'll see that Nicholas is celebrating backward day. Even his underwear...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Look What I Found

Below. I didn't even know I had a photobucket account...

I think Not


Certainly not in their eating habits.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Rest of the Story

And why they look so darn happy up there.

Monday, May 4, 2009

The Sunday Inning: Days Like This

Saturday we made a trip to Hobby Lobby. That's it. The End.
And then Patric and I got to go out on our quarterly date Saturday night. We like to pretend we get out once a month, but who are we kidding?
So we came home, got to bed, and about 2 hours later this guy arrives in our room.
He's throwing up. A lot.
From 2 to 5 we traded holding a bucket for this little man and having him fitfully sleep between us. Sometime in the early morning, he finally got to sleep. That was about when Benjamin came looking for him. So we're up. Nicholas too, not being one to miss anything. And he suddenly feels all better. The picture above is from 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon when he finally just crashed in a literal ball.

With this going on around him because we were all in fine moods yesterday. Clothing was optional and attire was casual. Ben didn't make it out of his pajamas; Alida made it all the way out; and you can't see that Elaine has her brother's swimming suit on in this picture.

It was a muddle through it kind of day.
The rain will apparently never stop here.
Patric is out playing army again this week.
And, we may just wind up having mud play in the backyard by Wednesday if we get too on top of each other in the house. It couldn't be any more messy than giving them chocolate so they'll stay in their chairs for five minutes while you clean up the dishes.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Being Benjamin's Entertainment

"Hey. Take a picture me."
"Let me see that."

"Hey. Take a picture me."
"Let me see that."

"Hey. Take a picture me."
"Let me see that."

"Hey. Take a picture me."
"Let me see that."

Digital cameras are so awesome.