Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Someone Thinks He Is a Seamtress

Can you call a boy a seamstress? What is the proper term for a male who likes to see? I honestly don't know and will have to go look it up when I'm finished writing.

Phineas loves all parts of the sewing process. Cutting, pinning, sewing, he likes it all. And he especially loves to take pins out of things you've just pinned and run through the house with them.

So far today he has been here.

And here.

And here.

He has also managed to knock off my box of pins and spill them all over the floor.

It is much harder to sew with an interested cat than an interested child!

In case you're wondering, today's project is a sleepover bag for Eliza Claire. I'm sure with all the help I'm getting, and all the other stuff I need to get done, I won't finish it today.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, January 28, 2013

What My Window Sill is Telling Me

It seems, unbeknownst to me, that I like to grow things. Who knew? Guess it is time to think about growing things outside instead of just by the kitchen sink.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Lint Fairy

About once a week I find evidence that the Lint Fairy has visited. She is such an awesome
fairy. She randomly visits and cleans the lint filter on my dryer.
I don't know why she does this but I do know she enjoys it immensely as I have caught a glimpse once or twice.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Charlotte had her palette expander placed today. She hates it! She wishes it could come out, now!

Honestly, for all of the complaining she is doing great. Every few minutes she slurps really loudly. I know that will go away in a few days.

Two kids with palette expanders down, two to go...

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone


After school Ruby pitched a fit. It started because she needed to do her reading and I asked her to bring her book downstairs. She wanted to read upstairs. It quickly elevated and The Wrath of Ruby visited for 45 minutes.

Anyway, we were running late to pick up Rehm. He got in the car.

Rehm: Why were you late?

Me: Don't ask!

Rehm: Oh, was there some "Shakespeare?"

Me: Yes, most definitely, Shakespeare.

He cracks me up! Luckily, "Shakespeare" went over the girls' head and did not lead to more drama.

Ruby, calmed down in time to be her sunny, happy self for Wednesday night dinner and programming at church. Unfortunately she missed choir.

Hoping the rest of you had a Shakespeare free evening.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Feeling Old

On the way to Rehm's basketball game this morning Rehm and I were listening to the radio and talk. I told him I had fun last night at an 80s sing-a-long I went to with several of my friends.

Me: Rehm, can you believe they didn't play any Madonna last night?

Rehm: (complete silence)

Me: do you even know who Madonna is?

Rehm: Let me guess, someone who is really old but still famous.

Me: Wow, thanks for making me feel old.

Rehm: Oh, wait. Didn't she preform at the Super Bowl?

At least he had actually heard of her. I'm thinking we will be listening to some Madonna at our house this afternoon.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, January 18, 2013

What now?

Ruby wanted to try growing pumpkins, even though it was the wrong time of year.

We started with cutting open a pumpkin and filling it with dirt. We had several spouts but the cold weather kept killing them.

She found a stray seed and brought it inside to plant in one of my kitchen window pots.

Now we have this nice pumpkin vine and I'm wondering what we do with it now. I'm considering repotting in a milk jug and hoping to move it outside in about a month. I'm completely clueless on pumpkin growing.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Parenting on Display

Let me set the scene for you.  Wednesdays are a very busy day.  The girls come home from school and have an hour to have snack and get homework done before we leave for choir.  We pick Rehm up from school and arrive at church, 30 minutes away, about 10 minutes late for choir.  Following choir we have church dinner and then Bible Study for me and mid-week programming for the kids.  It is a busy day.  There is no good way to do it.  And no way to skip it because all four kids love choir and their respective programming.

Today, when we were leaving the house I had to insist that Ruby bring a coat.  Not, wear it, just bring it.  She didn't want to but I knew she would need it before we got home as the lows are in the upper 20s this week.  She was not happy.  We get to choir and all the kids hop out of the car.  Ruby left her coat in the car.  I wasn't surprised since she didn't want to bring it with her in the first place. 

When I picked Ruby up from choir the first thing she asked is, "where's my coat?"  I asked if she brought it to choir.  She said she didn't.  I replied, "well, that means it is in the car."  She lost it!  According to her I was supposed to have known she wanted me to bring it in, even though she did not ask me to.  Then she insisted that we go immediately to the car to get it.

Of course, if I had brought the coat in we could have just as easily had a fit because I was supposed to know she wanted it left in the car.  You just never know what Ruby will be personally offended by at any given moment.

I had four hungry kids and food on the table waiting for all of them.  I explained that it wasn't a choice to get the coat right then but I would be happy to walk with her to get it after dinner. 

She proceeded to cry, yell and generally be mad at me.  By this time we were in the fellowship hall filled with other diners.  She started hitting me with a stuffed bunny she had with her just to make sure I really understood how upset she was with me.  I took the bunny away.  Of course, that made her madder.  She refused to eat.  She yelled while hiding under my chair.  She decided to eat a little bit but didn't like the way it was plated.  And on, and on, and on. 

All this time, we are sitting at a table with my Mother and Father in law and surrounded by many people.  My parenting was very much on display.  It was embarrassing and I felt like everyone in the room was staring at me and judging my fitness as a parent.  I know my perception and reality were not in sync.  But there is nothing like a misbehaving kid to make you feel like the whole world is judging you.

I remained firm in my expectations and weathered the Wrath of Ruby.  Finally, she had earned the privilege of having her bunny back and had met the requirements for me to walk her to the car for her coat.  She berated me on the way to the car for not being able to read her mind and know she wanted me to bring her coat.  I explained that we had had a miscommunication but she was not excepting any responsibility for the fiasco that had transpired. 

Once we retrieved the coat we had about two minutes of happy, tranquil Ruby.  Then I said something, I don't even remember what, that got her started again. 

At this point she was upset that I was going to Bible Study.  She told me I did too much and I needed to quit something so I would be home more nights.  I explained that my Bible Study takes place while she is at What-A-Wednesday.  It didn't matter.  I needed to quit something!

We get back in the building and she insists that I have to take her bunny to Bible Study with me.  Yes, the bunny that she got mad at me for taking away from her a half an hour earlier.  Now she could only survive the evening if it went with me.

We went to the restroom before taking her to class.  In the restroom, she informed me that I needed to stop embarrassing her!  All I had done all evening was embarrass her. 

I was very happy to drop her off at her class and told her teachers that I hope her behavior was much better for them than it had been for me.  Of course, she was an angel for them and her happy sunny self when we picked her up. 

Parenting this child sure is a tiring, full-time job.  She is worth every minute of it.  And, deep down I would not change her one tiny bit.  She is perfect and she is Ruby. 

 All my classmates loved that bunny joined us for study tonight.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

One Man's Trash...

Is another's treasure.

This morning on the way to drop off kids at school, I spotted a wooden box sitting out with someone's trash about a half a block from my house. It looked rustic and interesting. I thought if it was still there when I came home I might have to check it out.

I tried to talk myself out of going to get a closer look. But, I had something to mail and Pearl needed a walk so she would go potty. She is such a princess, she won't leave the patio if the grass is wet. It just so happened that the house with the box was the same direction as the mailbox.

As we passed the house I continued to try to talk myself out of the box. I mean what is the proper etiquette for taking someone's trash? Now, it's not like I was going through anyone's trash cans or bags. This was in plain sight and obviously part of their trash as it was sitting right up against a bag of trash.

Do you knock on the door and ask if they mind if you take their trash? Do you just grab it and go? I mean seriously, how awkward. I decided to grab and go.

Of course, I was walking so I had to carry it home. Nothing says trash re-homer quite like walking down the street with a wooden box, two dogs and a bag of poop.

I love it. I need to clean it a bit. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it. My husband is going to roll his eyes and shake his head when he asks where it came from.

Am I the only one that checks out other people's trash and occasionally comes home with a piece?

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

*the picture by the garbage cans is staged outside my house, even I'm not crazy enough to stand and take pictures of garbage outside someone else's house. You have to draw the line somewhere!

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Sweet Moment Ruined

Yesterday I had a very sweet moment in church. Ruby was sitting on my lap and Charlotte was leaning against me. We were all three snuggled close together listening to the choir.

Unfortunately the moment was ruined for me when I thought, "I hope neither girl has lice!" I got past it and went back to enjoying the moment.

Our last, knock on wood, experience with the frustrating, nasty, little creatures was about a year ago. I still find myself frequently checking hair and having thoughts like yesterday. It is amazing just how traumatic the experience is.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Breakfast with my Maniacs

This school year I started making real breakfast for the kids each morning. No more instant grits, pop tarts or bowls of cereal.

Each morning the girls all race to get dressed to be the first one down to help me cook. All three can now make scrambled eggs without any help.

Can I just say, my six year old should not be big enough to work at the stove without a step stool! Oh my goodness, when did she get do big?

They seem to be enjoying their bigger, more filling breakfasts and it just seems to start our day off on a positive note.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Taking Christmas Card Photos in January

It seems that I'm a bit behind.  I normally shoot our Christmas card photo over Thanksgiving.  This year I was in NC visiting my parents and the rest of the family was in TX.  Thus, the photo shoot did not happen.  By the time I got home from my trip, I decided that the cards would just have to wait until after the holidays.  This is not the first time I have taken this approach so I knew it would all be OK. 

This afternoon we headed out to the perfect place to take our pictures.  One of my subjects was acting like the tween he is and was not cooperating.  Apparently he is much to cool for family photographs.  My wonderful husband lost all patience with him and for a few minutes I thought we were not going to get decent picture.  Of course, this was about the time that I realized I didn't have the white balance set appropriately on my camera and needed to completely re-shoot.

Doesn't he look positively thrilled?

In the end, everyone cooperated.  No one was physically harmed. And, only a few people gave us dirty looks. 

We celebrated a mostly successful photo shoot with a yummy dinner of Tex-Mex.

Yes, I realize I was a bit vague on the details.  You'll just have to wait until you see the card. 


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Our New Friends have Names

Billy the goat. Bob the duck. Gnomey-Joe the mushroom.

Gnomey-Joe was originally named Gnomeo. Eliza Claire came up with that from the movie Gnomeo and Juliet. Since it was blue, it had to come from the Gnomeo house not the Juliet house.

Charlotte came home and wanted to name the mushroom Joe. Because "then we would have Billy Bob Joe, and that is just funny!"

The compromise was Billy Bob Gnomey-Joe. I think the names fit them.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

New Backyard Friends

The dogs aren't too sure about about them yet. Baron is especially scared of the goat.

Names will be forthcoming as we get to know their personalities.

Jenn- Posted from my phone

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Twins being twins

The girls wanted to snuggle last night. I think they were just trying together out of going to sleep.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Hanging out at the Orthodontist

Charlotte is having her band fitting for her palette expander. Two weeks until it is placed.

She seems to be hard to fit. We are on our second tech and they still haven't found the right size. Currently they are both working in tandem trying to get the proper fit. Charlotte is being a trooper. A half hour later they are done. Now for another round of impressions.

And, we are done.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Getting ready for Valentine's Day

A couple of weeks ago I bought fabric to make Valentine's Day napkins for the kids' lunch boxes.

Yes, I know I'm crazy. Yes, I know a paper towel would be sufficient. Yes, I'm sure there are better things I could do with my time. But, I enjoy making them season specific cloth napkins and they seem to like having them.

None of our choices were very middle school boy friendly. I joked with Rehm that I thought they would be perfect for his lunch. He was not amused.

This week I found the perfect thing for his lunchbox for the next month.

I did have to make them just a tiny bit more appropriate for the upcoming holiday and added this little detail.

I wonder what he'll think of these.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Monday, January 07, 2013

Back at School After Break

Ah, the differences in personality.

Ruby: Mommy!  Today we got brand new crayons and markers at school!

Eliza Claire:  We didn't get nuffin new today.  (Read in an Eeyore voice).

I cracked up and Eliza Claire got mad at me and accused me of laughing at her.  She did not  appreciate the humor of the situation.

I guess I should just be happy that Ruby found something to be happy about and wasn't pitching a fit because her favorite crayons were no longer in her school box. 

I pray extra hard for all of the teachers this week.  I know it has to be a very rough week after the kids have had two whole weeks to get out of the school routine.  We are so blessed to have such amazing teachers.


Sunday, January 06, 2013


Charlotte has discovered that she can roll her own hair and wake up with curls whenever she wants to.

Last night she rolled her hair and Ruby's and put Eliza Claire's in a bun so they would all have curls this morning.

Ruby woke up with not a single curler still in her hair, and thus stick straight hair. Eliza Claire's hair was still wet so she had no curls. Charlotte was in tears because she had waves on one side and tight curls on the other.

Of course they were trying to leave the house for early church.

Charlotte and Ruby were not happy. Eliza Claire was unphased by the results.

Charlotte decided a pony tail would make hers acceptable.

Ruby needed curls. She left the house with hot rollers in her hair and instructions on when to take them out. I have no idea if she ended up with curls or not or what they looked like. But she wasn't pitching a fit any more so hopefully the results didn't start a new one.

Ah, life with girls

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Honey: The Faceless Dog

All three girls received American Girl dogs for Christmas. Sometime last night Pearl found Charlotte's dog, Honey, and ate her face off. Charlotte is traumatized but a new Honey has been ordered and will arrive shortly. I offered to try to make and sew on a new face for Honey. Charlotte didn't like the idea of having a Frankenhoney.

Ruby's dog Sugar

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Friday, January 04, 2013

My Poor Husband

Michael is watching the Aggie game with me. My most recent comment was about how Stoops' sweatshirt makes him look like a random fan that wondered down to the sidelines and grabbed a headset. He doesn't look like a coach at all.

My comment prior to that was about not liking the helmet shields. I understand their purpose but if they are going to wear them they need to be antireflective so I can still actually see the players' faces instead of just the glare of the lights.

I've also complained about all the celebrating and showboating after any halfway decent play. It bugs the crap out of me. This is a team sport, not a "look how great I am sport." Granted this is as much a player coaching issue as a TV issue. If the stations didn't show it they wouldn't do it.

Now I have also commented on how well OU's offensive line is doing at protecting their quarterback and on the need for quicker and better tackling.

And it is only half time. I wonder what else I'll find to comment on before the game is over.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Morning Walk

After breakfast and a trip to the mall to get some wiggles out we went for a nature walk at the Y. I like catching moments when my kids are actually getting along, and there haven't seemed to be many of those in the last few days. I think everyone is ready for school to start back.

Jenn- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Night Time Songs

My girls have always insisted that I sing them a bedtime song.  Strangely enough it is not something Rehm has ever requested.  Rehm was always so happy to go to bed and to sleep that he rarely cared about prolonging the bedtime routine.  Of course now that he is older he will do anything he can to push his bedtime back but he still doesn't request songs.

Charlotte has always requested the same song.  Honestly we've probably been singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star to her since she was a year old.  Every night, it never varies.  It must be Twinkle, Twinkle.  I have modified the words a bit to make it more special.  "You're my diamond in the sky, Twinkle, twinkle little star, How I love just who you are!"

Ruby has had a few songs.  For about six months when she was two, her song was John, Jacob, Jingle, Hiemer, Schmidt.  Then she got stuck on what she refers to as "Doddle, Loos" which is A Bushel and a Peck.  I don't see her changing her pick anytime soon. 

Eliza Claire was stuck on ABC's for a very long time, she specifically likes the Go Fish version which has a bit added to the end.  Then about two years ago, I sang the Oscar Mayer Bologna song one day when making bologna sandwiches for lunch.  All the kids looked at me like I was crazy.  I did what any good parent would and quickly found the original commercial on YouTube and played it for them.  Eliza Claire has asked for "Oscar Mayer" almost every night since.  When I was singing it tonight I wondered if we would ever move on to a more appropriate bedtime song.  For some reason singing about bologna doesn't make me feel all special and loved, but it seems to work for her.

While Rehm has never wanted songs, he did go through a phase where he had a game he played every night.  He was probably 4 or 5 at the time.  When we would tuck him in he would tell us three random words, like ball, fish, and star, and would would have to go back in his room a few minutes later and tell the words back to him.  I guess he was making sure we didn't have early signs of dementia.  Over time it evolved and he started using the same three made up words each night, hee-ya, doo-ah, dub-a-dee.  When asked what the were he told us dub-a-dee was a salty drink.  The others never had a meaning.  He has always been a very unique kid.

It is funny to me how different and special each one of my kids are. 


Wednesday, January 02, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

My parents arrived a few days ago for a visit.  They brought with them some things from my grandmother's house.  Today I was finding places for a couple of them, 2 tobacco sticks and some well-worn flatware.

The tobacco sticks are very rustic and not really pretty at all.  Anyone who sees them will wonder what they are and why in the world I have them in my house. But, they remind me of what at the time I would have said was one of the worst experiences of my life and now look back on with nostalgia and longing.  I hated working in tobacco.  Getting up when it was still dark on a Saturday was just wrong!  It was dirty, and stinky, and sticky, and boring.  Now I think back to those times and find myself missing it and the people who helped out. 

The flatware reminds me of Sunday lunches with the entire family - grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.  I was hand washing it this afternoon.  It felt so familiar to be washing and rinsing and drying these pieces.  Though I did think that to do it properly I should have been using two aluminum dish pans.

That is how my Granny always washed her dishes.  She had a farmhouse sink before it was the latest in kitchen decorating.  She did not find it convenient to wash dishes in.  She always set up two dish pans on the counter, one for washing and one for rinsing and did the dishes there.

On Sundays, someone would wash and a couple of us would dry.  Again, another dreaded chore.  And again, another one I miss.  I stored all the flatware in a flatware box that came with my current everyday flatware.  I have a goal to use it with some frequency.  I'm hoping we will get in the habit of using it at least weekly.

According the Mom the flatware was ordered using box tops off of "something."  She thinks it was cereal because that is the only packaged thing the bought regularly, but she can't believe they bought enough cereal to get all of the flatware.  She remembers helping fill out the order forms when she was a child, probably around the age of 10.

What I have realized with both items, it isn't the actual item that is important.  What is important are the people and memories they evoke.


Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My Goal for 2013

My goal for this new year is to actually get back to blogging regularly.  I have missed it and have no good excuse for why 2012 was not a good blogging year.  I'm sure I had lots of good blogging material.

I hope to go back and catch up on some of the highlights from 2012 so the blog book for that year won't be so dismal.  My kids love reading the blog books so I know for them I have to go back to recording our daily lives.

Bear with me and hopefully I will get back in my blogging grove.