Tuesday, December 30, 2008

To: Anna From: God

When I was little there was a family that lived down our street that had a little boy. This little guy had huge brown eyes. I remember my mom asking him, "Where did you get such big brown eyes?" He replied, "Sears.".

This morning I told Anna I liked her toes. I said they were pretty cute toes, too. Then I asked her where she got such cute toes. Anna said, "From God."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Celebrations

We had a super duper Christmas. Lots of fun, many memories and laughs. It started with Christmas Eve. We have a birthday party for Baby Jesus. What's a birthday party without cupcakes? We spent a few minutes in the afternoon decorating birthday cupcakes.




After supper Matthew read the Christmas story from the book of Luke and then a children's story about the first Christmas. Then Anna, being the youngest, got to hold the Baby Jesus from the manger scene as we all sang Happy Birthday.

After an evening of gifts around the Christmas tree...


we watched the Christmas Story, the one with Ralphie...Matthew had been waiting 9 years, since we found out Isaiah was going to be a little boy, to give his little boy a real Red Rider. Christmas Eve, during the movie his waiting ended...Christmas Day we opened stockings and then went to my mom and dad's for the day. We all had a fun time of gifts and food. My mom made the most amazing meal that day. Thanks, Grammy.


Opening hand painted ornaments that Grammy secretly did with the kids one day so they could give to us during Christmas.
My mom and grandma made a sock monkey for Anna.

Isaiah and Anna made recipe cards for Grammy. Anna did a recipe for blueberry pie and Isaiah did one of his own creations Po-tacos. It's where you get all the fixings for tacos and pile it on a baked potato. It's actually really good.
We gave my sister a toaster but how fun is that to open so we spiced it with a little mystery. First she opened blueberry jam. She was thankful but understandably a bit confused with a jar of jam. Later, when she opened gift #2 she was even more confused when she opened a wrapped package of Lender's bagels. She was a very gracious recipient. She laughed and said she was probably THE only person that received bagels for Christmas.

Isaiah had a keyboard unit in music class this fall and LOVED it. Auntie Sally thought he should continue the skill. She thinks he'll receive a Julliard scholarship one day. I personally feel she may be a bit biased but, we'll see...

Gramps and Papa putting the Nascar racetrack together. Gramps and Isaiah are the champion racers for sure.


We are so thankful for the fun of the last week and are the most thankful for God's gift of His most precious Son, Jesus. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Three's a Charm?

I am bravely claiming Anna is now potty-trained for the third time. I do hope this is it.

Also, I have a bone to pick with all those folks out there who say girls are easier to train than boys.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

You Think YOUR Job is Tough?

video

My dad periodically sends me emails he receives from friends at work. This is the one he sent me this morning. All I can say is - give that brick toter a raise.

He'll need it for the chiropractor's bill that is sure to follow.

Ouch.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Afterthought

Dear Self,

Just because you have a headache after Thanksgiving supper is no reason to forget to label the FoodSaver bags with their contents.

You see 2 1/2 weeks later you'll want to have some leftovers. You'll open the freezer door and think which one of these frozen, hard as rock bags has our Thanksgiving leftovers? You won't know. You won't be able to tell. Surprisingly, raw frozen chicken thighs look very, very similar to a frozen bag of turkey, potatoes, gravy and dressing. You never would have guessed this to be so. It's true.

Next time, suck it up and get the Sharpie.

Sincerely,
Self

Sunday, December 14, 2008

December Fun at Gramps' and Grammy's

We needed a break. Matthew and I have been working pretty long hours on stuff for the company and we needed a "downtime" day. Grammy has been working hard on the same stuff but that is a long, long story that probably won't get told. Suffice to say we wanted to hang out and do nothin'.

Grammy said we should come on over. Grammy had some secret stuff she needed to work on with Isaiah and Anna so Matthew and I went out for a couple hours and knocked off some items from our Christmas "to-do" list. Can I just say shopping is much easier when it only involves adults, in case you weren't aware.

When the secret items were accomplished Grammy made some cookies with Isaiah and Anna.

I'm assuming that Gramps and Auntie Sally played with Isaiah and Anna while Grammy was most likely cleaning up the frosting, sprinkles, cookie crumb and M&Ms explosion that quite possibly occurred in the kitchen. This is just a guess of course.

Thanks Mom, Dad and Sal for a very fun day. You have no idea what a nice break it was. We really enjoyed our day with you guys and feel blessed to have been able to hang out and laugh.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Not What I Meant

The steps going downstairs are wood. If one is wearing socks it can be slippery. This is the reason I like Anna to hang on to the railing if she is going up or down.

The other day Anna had her hands full with items she wanted to bring downstairs. She had a lightsaber (not a real one), a plastic plate, toy truck and one other thing I can't remember. This meant her hands were full and she couldn't grab the railing.

As we were about to walk down the steps I said, "Anna, you will have to hang on to something when you go down the steps."

Anna said, "Mama, I am hanging on to sumpin'."



ps "lightsaber" is not in the spellcheck, I think we should let Mr.Lucas know

Refreshing

Isaiah goes to a public school. Nothing private about it. Yesterday was his concert at school. This was the title of the concert, "A Christmas Celebration". Can you believe it? They actually referenced Christmas!

There are only three grades at his school kindergarten, first and second. Each grade sang four songs. Each grade sang at least one song that actually mentioned the REAL reason for the season. It was absolutely wonderful. The kindergartners sang a song entitled Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine. The first graders sang, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and the second graders sang In a Manger. Nobody was pretending that Christmas has nothing to do with Jesus' birth. I was amazed and impressed and very thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanks a Bunch....... of grapes

Dear Matthew,

I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate you, a whole bunch.

Because......

Even though the hair lady yesterday asked if I wanted "red" highlights, I said sure only to discover she was putting red throughout my hair which made my hair and previous highlights a lovely purple/fuchsia color...

(This then made me cry on the way to Anna's preschool to pick her up and explain to all the other mamas at school that I in fact did NOT ask for purple hair and that I was not considering joining a punk rock band...)

Even though I called your cell and and the shop crying and trying not to sound like someone was in a car accident...

Even though I have to waste two and half hours of our Saturday morning while the hair lady fixes the purple/fuchsia mistake....

Even though I've been wearing my winter hat so nobody sees the horrible purple-ness of my hair and trying not to cry every time I walk into the bathroom....

You, Matthew, still said, "It's okay, I still think you're beautiful and you know what? I heard the popular color for fall this year is purple."

Thank you!
Love,
me

Colonial Dinner

Yesterday Isaiah's school concluded the big 2nd grade social studies unit on Colonial times. They've been learning all kinds of neat things about the Pilgrims in particular. His school has an annual celebration that grandparents attend. The 2nd graders are allowed to invite two grandparents to the Colonial Dinner. My mom and dad were scheduled to go but at the last minute my grandma was able to come from Milwaukee to celebrate Thanksgiving with us. This means my mom and grandma were the lucky ducks ate a traditional turkey dinner with Isaiah at lunchtime yesterday.
Great-Grammy and Isaiah. Notice the neat Pilgrim hat Isaiah made.

Great-Grammy, Grammy and Isaiah, awaiting the Thanksgiving feast that the amazing lunch ladies put together.
Isaiah with the best 2nd grade teacher ever, Mrs.F.

After the dinner an elderly lady, 80 years old, got up to speak of the earlier times in America. I believe she was speaking more of the early 20th century America versus Pilgrim times. This lady was apparently a teacher in a one-room school and was speaking on the importance of women's aprons, at the time. Isaiah knows that my grandma is 87 years old and he did the math. Isaiah figured that Great-Grammy was 7 years old when the speaker was born. In his 2nd grade mind I believe he thought the speaker to be telling of her personal experience with Colonial times. This lead to the question he asked my grandma.

"Great-Grammy, does this mean YOU were a Pilgrim, too?"

I am very thankful Grandma has a wonderful sense of humor as she was laughing when she told me what Isaiah said.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Special Gift

The kids had their Christmas photos taken on Saturday. Anna gets to wear one of her special necklaces and bracelets when there's a big photo shoot day. She chose one of her cross necklaces to wear. Anna knows that this jewelry is all gifts from family members for being born or to remember her dedication day.

When she saw this particular cross necklace she said, "OOOH, is that one from God?"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Early Christmas Fun

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Hummingbird Nest

My dad forwarded me an email with information about a mama hummingbird and her two little eggs. Apparently the photographer captured some early moments in a hummingbird's life; from egg, hatching, growth and the leaving of the nest. Here is the website from where the photos originated and it has all the information about the photographer and the dates the photos were taken. Also there are a few more photos on the website than what I posted here. Very neat.


Monday, November 17, 2008

Diligent

We've had our little goldfish now since July.

Isaiah asked me tonight, for the first time, if I've fed Fred the Fish. I'm thinking he may not be ready for me to hand over the fish caretaking reins quite yet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

She's Innocent...

Isaiah used some of his birthday money to buy a toy car he's had his eye on for awhile. He took it to school which means it needed to endure a backpack transport on the bus. Very dangerous.

Yesterday I noticed the car on the coffee table. Both side view mirrors have been broken/snapped/ripped off, the front bumper is missing a piece from the left side and the spoiler is cracked. I'm very certain that the majority of the dings and dents happened while traveling to and from school. Isaiah was warned this was a possibility, however, he took the chance.

I also happen to know that one of the side view mirrors had actually survived. I was a little surprised to see that now both were gone. I asked Isaiah if he took the car to school a second time and he said he had not. I then asked where the other mirror went. He was as shocked as I to discover both mirrors gone. Anna has a tendency to "play" with Isaiah's toys when nobody is looking. We both looked to Anna for some answers.

Mama: Anna, did you play with Isaiah's car?

Anna: (shocked I would ask such a thing) No, Mama. Well, hmmm, I don't think I did.

Mama: Well, have you noticed the two missing mirrors on Isaiah's car?

Anna: (still shocked) No?!?

Mama: It looks like both mirrors are gone now. How do suppose this could have happened?

Anna: (posing in Winnie-the-Pooh's think, think, think pose) Hmmm. I know! Maybe someone just grabbed the car and well, maybe someone accidentally threw it up?

Mama: Do you know who would have done that?

Anna: (shocked would be an understatement at this point) No! It wasn't me... maybe it was... (looked at the dog as if it was Matilda's fault, then realized it wasn't very credible)... Isaiah?

Isaiah: mmhmm, yeah, sure Anna.

Meanwhile, Matthew was busting a gut on the recliner trying not to let Anna see or hear him laughing hysterically. I'm sure she's innocent.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chiquita

I received the following information regarding bananas in an email sent to me by my mom.

BANANAS - very interesting A professor at CCNY for a physiological psych class told his class about bananas. He said the expression 'going bananas' is from the effects of bananas on the brain. Read on:

This is interesting.After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.

Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school ( England ) were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers: One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and chips. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a 'cooling' fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand , for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Smoking &Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

Strokes: According to research in The New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, 'A banana a day keeps the doctor away!'PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS

PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time!

I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit !!!


This is what I read while eating our dessert this evening. Know what we had for dessert? The banana cream pie I made yesterday afternoon. Also, I made two loaves of banana bread today. Weird.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

...if it wasn't screwed on...

After lunch today Anna and I ran to Wal-Mart. I had to get snowpants for Isaiah and cool-whip. What a list. I decided to wear a winter stocking cap on our ventures since I didn't do my hair today and it was pretty cold. I would say we left the house at about 12:30.

It's now 6:58pm. I am about to tuck in my babies for bed. I just realized the stocking cap is STILL. ON. MY. HEAD. What in the world?

The Freedom of Choice Act

Jen at one life...One God wrote a post much better than I could attempt. Please take the time to read what Jen wrote and watch the video below. I think it's about 30 seconds in length. There is a Fight the FOCA button on the left in which you can use to sign the petition against this act. Thank you.


Isaiah's Party

We had a fun, jam-packed weekend celebrating Isaiah. Here are some photos.





We know a sign guy, so this is what the kids woke up to on Friday.











Can't forget Yoda.














They were pretty shocked to find Star Wars "people" in their living room.




















Don't let the pose fool you, Isaiah was thoroughly enjoying himself.











Matthew did eventually share with Isaiah. It took a few minutes, but he did it. Nice job, Papa.













Isaiah had some friends over for lunch and fun. No place to hang the pinata so, Matthew just held it. Good thing he's tall and it was a "pull-string" not a "whack 'er open" type of pinata.













Later on Gramps, Grammy and Auntie Sally came over to help continue the fun.


















Anna was excited that Auntie Sally's card played a Star Wars song. She's about to flash a thumbs up. Isaiah was thrilled.










Trying out the new shtuff.










Thursday, November 6, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday, Isaiah!

Tuesday November 7th, 2000, I became a mama for the first time. My best little boy was born on election day during a very, yucky, snow storm. First storm of the season. I was up at 4am ready to head to the hospital. I was scheduled for a c-section. Long story. Matthew and I could hardly stand it, we were so excited.

We knew we were having a boy. Matthew was going to pick our baby's name. We had it narrowed down to two; Issac Alexander or Isaiah Matthew. Matthew told me on the way to the hospital he chose Isaiah Matthew.

I still remember the drive to the hospital. As we passed the little building where folks in that township vote, we both realized that in our excitement to have our baby we forgot to vote. We should have cast absentee ballots but weren't thinking. The polling locations weren't open at the time we needed to go to the hospital so we just hoped we didn't mess up the election. We didn't, in case you were wondering.

Isaiah has been such a fun boy to have. We love him so very much. Isaiah is the best big brother in the whole world. Anna even says so. He is kind, compassionate, tender, funny and loves the outdoors. He tries very hard at school and enjoys reading and being read to. I enjoy my special talks with him and he doesn't mind if I sing to him when it's my turn to tuck him in at night. Matthew and I are very proud of our buddy.

Isaiah, we hope you have a very excellent birthday celebration day. You only get to turn 8 once, so have lots of fun. I am so glad you are choosing tacos and apple pie for your special supper tomorrow and Subway for your supper tonight. You have wonderful taste. I love you!










my baby boy at 21mos.





















Isaiah, 3yrs. old




















a big 2nd grader

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trick or Treat

Our trick-or-treat day adventures are as followed. Anna and I went to her school for her teacher's conference. It's nice to know she saves ALL her "pistol-ness" for home. Mrs.K. was completely shocked over the antics my favorite, little Anna pulls at home. I suppose this is a good thing.





After Isaiah got off the bus we went down to my mom and dad's house to meet up with Matthew and the Germans. We had some pizza for supper and the Germans got to have their cream soda. They love cream soda!


(Manfred and Marcus)




Marcus and my dad.

(note: the American, my dad, is the one with the beer, not the German)


Then we got the kiddos into their costumes. Isaiah was going as a pirate and Anna, Spiderman. Only my three-year-old girl would choose to be Spiderman. The costume Anna wore was actually Matthew's when he was a little guy.

My cousin and her family stopped over as we were getting ready. Pirates must have been a big thing. Her oldest chose to be a pirate as well. We didn't even know.

(Grace-pirate, Josie-yellow M&M, Isaiah-pirate and Anna-Spiderman)

Anna with her face painted up "sort of like" Spiderman.

Manfred and my dad. My dad had more fun with Marcus and Manfred...

After we walked around Mom and Dad's neighborhood Isaiah and Anna were able to have a sleepover at Gramps and Grammy's. The next morning, the kids were up and painting like there was no tomorrow. Although Isaiah's pirate goatee was washed off during his shower the night before, it somehow reappeared during the painting activity.







I have no idea where the fascination comes from...





The Germans


We had some wonderful visitors with us last week. Marcus and Manfred are two very talented sign makers from Bavaria. Matthew met them while attending various international sign conventions over the years. They are two of the nicest folks I've gotten to know in a long time.

The Germans, as we lovingly referred to Marcus and Manfred, had been on vacation since the end of September. They flew back to Germany November 1st. We were able to host them their last week of vacation as they were in Canada and other locations during the previous weeks.We packed in more fun in 10 days than we do in months usually.

Matthew had them canoeing the St. Croix River, traveling up to Duluth to tour an outdoor supply company's facilities, going to the Mall of America, trick or treating and watching how Matthew does what he does at work all day. I believe their favorite activity was going shining at night with Matthew in the truck, however. Surprisingly, Marcus and Manfred have a company truck for their shop - it's a Dodge. Seriously. These two guys from Bavaria drive a Dodge. I didn't even know Europe had pick-up trucks over there. They assured me they have a large enough light and will be bringing the redneck, evening pastime of shining to Bavaria. (they listen to country music too, by the way - crazy)

We also spent some time with my folks and sister while Marcus and Manfred were here. We all went on a train ride from Osceola to Dresser, WI and walked around an old train depot. We had cookouts with real American food - steak and twice baked potatoes. We also enjoyed some lamburgers, cheeseburgers and apple pie. Had to let them try all that good U.S. of A. food.

Isaiah and Anna loved having Marcus and Manfred with us as well. Anna got to swing for a good 45 minutes straight one day while Manfred just pushed and listened to her sing. Isaiah enjoyed his bike ride with Manfred and playing a video game with the Germans as well. Isaiah and Anna have become proficient in saying "guten tag" and "guten nacht".

We're hoping the Germans are able to come back in January or February to ice fish and go snomobiling. They are very excited about being able to do and were amazed at the ice shanty choices available to us. Marcus kept laughing at the ridiculousness of the ammenities available. I'm hoping too my sister emails Manfred...... ooooohhh I'm in so much trouble for blogging about that. Sorry Sal, had to be said. ooohh that's gonna hurt.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Double Take


As I was opening my bottle of beer this morning.... ha, I was making beer bread, justsoyaknow, I had to look twice at the bottle cap.

The beer was one of the New Glarus (WI) Brewing Company beers. On the top of the cap is a picture of Wisconsin and in bold letters encircling the state I read what I thought said, "Drink Responsibly". You know, don't drink and drive and all that jazz. Well, as I looked at the cap again I realized it said, "Drink Indigenous". I thought that was clever.

Okay, that's it. Go about your blog reading.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Dear Carla,

Here is a link to a wonderful page that will explain the process of egg laying and where the egg comes from.

I was going to post the information on the blog but thought it may be just too much information for some. I was going to explain it myself but then, again, thought it may be too much information. The page does a much better job explaining than I ever could anyhow.

www.afn.org/~poultry/egghen.htm

I saw Henrietta lay that big double yolker. It was really neat. I never saw the actual laying of an egg before. Very cool.

Work From Home Days...

A few weeks ago Matthew decided he'd work from home once in awhile. We put together a nice desk for him downstairs, got a cordless phone and he hooked up some gizmo to the computer upstairs so he can use the internet downstairs. It's nice to have him home sometimes.

This is what I walked into on one of his "work from home" days... watching Dora, no doubt.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Update #2



I thought I'd update you all on my mom. Once in awhile somebody asks me about Mom so....here we go.

As you can see she has no problem gallivanting up north for week and fishing for hours on end in the boat with Dad. This is good.

Mom did have a check-up recently to go over the residual affects of the Bell's Palsy. Her good eye is actually the one causing a bit of concern. If I understood correctly the good eye was over working and, as a result, started to get a little droopy. This happens sometimes. The doctor said as long as it doesn't get worse and interfere with her vision, there is nothing that needs to be done. If, however, it does start to droop into her line of sight then my mom gets to go in for reconstructive surgery. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I'd say that about my mom. Ha!

Thank you all for your prayers. We appreciate them. Mom is doing great and one can't even tell she ever had that goofy virus in the first place. She healed very, very fast. Yeah!