Tuesday, February 19, 2008

My mom...

This past Sunday was the 10 year anniversary of the day my dear mother died. I wanted to put up a slideshow of some pictures I have of her and it took a while to get some slides and prints scanned in to the computer. I wish so badly that I had more pictures of her... I know I have had some get lost in my travels and some were taken with other peoples cameras... I just hope someday to be able to get a proper album of her life put together. I am at a loss for words to describe my feelings. My heart aches. I miss her so much. I was only 18 years old - I feel like I was robbed. Sometimes, even through my faith and belief in eternal families, I get so angry that she was taken so early. I have had to go through so many milestones that girls should get to share with their mothers all by myself... a wedding, pregnancy and childbirth, marriage, raising children. In some ways the past 10 years have flown by, but, at the same time, 10 years is SO long. I know she is with me always and I have felt comforted knowing that, but it doesn't replace having someone to talk to when I am having a bad day. So, I guess with that said, I want to put up this slideshow of some random pictures to help us remember and know the most wonderful woman I have ever known... a true friend, wonderful wife, and amazing mother... My mom.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Listen to your heartbeat and dance

The title of this post comes from the inside of a Dove chocolate piece. Each of them have little sayings on the inside of them and I got this one on two of my pieces today... I won't say how many I actually ate to have two of the same, but boy were they good! I think they saying has a nice message. To me it says to be happy, find the good, and enjoy life. It's nice. I used to love to go dancing so reading that (while getting to enjoy a silky smooth piece of chocolate) put a smile on my face.
So, as much as I love chocolate, James does love it more - and, a VERY close second to him is our little Kate... in fact, I am thinking they may be closer to a tie. The other day (and almost this exact same scenario has happened before) we gave Kate a treat - I'm not sure why we still say treat... in our house they are more like staples - anyhow, we gave her a treat and when she saw it she got a kinda creepy smile (almost like that freaky guy in the Lord of the Rings movies - the creature who finds the ring), pulled it close with a death grip and said, " I LOVE CHOCOLATE!"

We just have to laugh now. It's constant. She is asked what her favorite food is and she replies that it is chocolate. Donuts - chocolate, Milk - chocolate, Everything - chocolate. She even asked for chocolate on her noodles the other day instead of spaghetti sauce. Hrmmm... She's not addicted, is she???

Now we come to this morning... the munchkins got their usual boxes of chocolate from James and me. Since Kate is in afternoon kindergarten she had several hours to enjoy her goodies. She had been playing in the living room (I was in the kitchen - where her chocolates happened to be) and she came in and said, "I want to eat a chocolate from my heart"... almost as soon as that was out of her mouth she continued and said, "I mean... a FEW chocolates!"

I can't finish a Valentine's Day post without putting up a picture of a special Valentine's treat Caleb made for us this year... He did this for James and me a couple of days ago... Such a sweetheart - always thinking of others.

PB&J hearts with Dad & Mom spelled out with crust

He's gone... just so you know...

Last night Calvin (our pup) got a new home. The allergies and lack of dog-friendly space just made him impossible to keep. I'm just writing this so y'all know that we no longer have the sweet little guy. We loved him, but he is with a family who seem PERFECT for him. We're really glad that it worked out as it did. In the meantime, though tears were shed when he left, Caleb seems just fine. He got to go pick out his own laptop last night (the reward we thought of in the beginning - should've just stuck with that) and he LOVES it... he can't wait to play games and write stories and do homework on it. So, it all worked out... I just don't think we'll be bringing up the dog much for fear of dragging sad memories back to the surface.
Setting up Caleb's awesome new laptop - lucky guy!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

FLORIDA - here she comes!!!

Well, at least part of her that is... And a major part at that. Yes, our wonderful little girl decided to give her beautiful, flowing, bottom-length hair to Locks of Love (we need to mail the hair to FL). She is "going to help a sick kid." We've been planning on doing the deed for a few weeks now. Last night, after the boys all had their turns, Kathryn stood on the bench and gave up one of the things she loves the most - her princess hair. I'm proud of her. I'm sure she'll do it again too. Oh, and she LOVES it! She's had about 7 or 8 haircuts already (3ish inches each time), but until recently we never really thought about it all being chopped like that. I must say, as we washed it last night I remember why I love fresh cut hair... it feels so silky and healthy... hers is so light and flippy. It's great. Anyhow, she thought we were silly for taking so many pictures (close to 90 pics of the whole ordeal - is that overboard???)... I'm glad we did though - here are a few.
Before the cut...
She's so excited!!!
About 1 foot cut off

Moment of truth...

Maybe I'm partial, but I think her hair will help make a beautiful hair piece.

The haircut.

She LOVED using the blow dryer!!!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Turf Wars

Who would have thought that Benjamin would have been a twin? I mean, he was born more than eight months ago and you would have thought we would have known about any multiples... It is becoming clear however, that Benjamin’s twin spirit currently inhabits a dog named Calvin. Let me illustrate this point through a list of similarities:

1. Both whine and cry when they are not being played with or held.
2. Both want Jennifer to hold them, constantly.
3. Both like to chew on dog toys.

Calvin got this toy that Ben NEVER plays with, so we decided he could have it...


Suddenly (for the first time) Ben has a real interest in that rubber ducky. Is our little guy having some jealousy issues?!?
This has resulted in a series of fights over dog bones and rubber ducks in which both Calvin and Benjamin will take the toy, chew on it and the other will steal it away, thus precipitating a turf war over the object. There have been about a dozen instances, so far, in which Benjamin will crawl away with a dog toy, laughing, only to find himself tackled from behind or the toy snatched out of his hand by Calvin. Often, Ben tries to keep this toy out of Calvin’s reach by holding it away from him, but this only works for so long… then the process is repeated. (I am beginning to think that Benjamin is the aggressor here.)

Here is Ben scooting over and taking a look into Calvin's bed and finding a toy he wants...

... Benjamin continues to reach for the toy and makes sure the dog knows he has it by bringing it out of the dog's bed...

As soon as Ben starts scooting away Calvin comes and reclaims his spot on the bed... AND his toy... "Don't mess with my stuff, Baby!"...

Let's go back to the scooting away picture... Here is Benjamin... take a close look at his right fist... The whole bit before was a ploy to get the Calvin's bone without getting caught... what a sneak!

4. Both want to lay in Calvin’s bed. (This is funny because, after about ten minutes of being home for the first time, we got Calvin’s bed out. Ben immediately went over to investigate it. Calvin must have known it was his, because he went to Ben and put his nose on Ben’s face and nudged him off of the bed. As soon as Ben was off of the bed, Calvin laid down, put his head on the floor, and stared at Ben, as if to say “Try that again, Bucky…” Oh, yes, Benjamin has tried it again and again and again.
5. Both need constant supervision so as not to destroy the house or injure themselves.
6. Both move with surprising speed when intent on destructive behavior.
7. Both need to be potty-trained (I think that Calvin will achieve this first though.)
8. Both like to drink baby bottles.
9. Both like to eat dog food.
10. Both like to eat baby food.
11. Both need locked up at night (one in an open air cage (a.k.a. crib), the other in a room). (This is so that we can sleep without worrying what they will do to themselves or their surroundings.)
12. Both cry at night to get attention (come to think of it, they do that during all hours of the day…) So I suppose this one really is, Both wake us up at night to achieve their nefarious ends.
13. Both need constant correction from their determined, bull-headed, intentionally destructive behaviors.
14. Both require bathing on a regular basis.
15. Both crawl on all fours.
16. Both sit when you offer them a treat.
17. Both are teething.
18. Both like to bite everything they encounter because they are teething.
19. Both enjoy fighting with each other…
20. Both are extremely cute.

This list could go on and on. It is clear that they are starting to appreciate each other and I am sure that they will soon form a loose confederacy with the objective of terrorizing the rest of us and destroying the home. They are both adorable and make great playmates. While Benjamin, initially, was not a huge Calvin fan, they seem to have reached an arrangement where at least tolerate each other, if not their aggressive actions. When Calvin was purchased, we certainly did not anticipate producing a twin terror. What a happy edition!