Monday, January 31, 2011

Cowboy Lunch

Consists of bananas, fritos, and cheese quesadillas. (Hey, it's what was easy and on-hand.)

But it also consists of enameled plates,

cowboy hats,

and blankets to make tents.

Eliana seems to be feeling much better today, but we're not going to go anywhere just yet and risk making anymore of the world sick than we already have.

What do you do on those stuck in the house sort of days?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Afternoon Snapshots

Jesse's been hanging out on the laptop.

Eliana got sick at church (and threw up on her aunt and little friend). Poor girls- all three of them.

Cruz and I have been cuddling and watching Jane Eyre.
(I was so weirded out by Mr. Rochester when I was fourteen, I stopped reading the book midway.  I liked it in my twenties. And now after reading "Why Mr. Rochester is a Creep: A List", I think maybe my first inclination may have been right. But I'm watching it anyway.)

Diego's a Cowboy.

All phone pics.  (I've never had a camera on a phone before... I'm such a dork, I know.)

How was your Sunday?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A Sesquicentennial Kinda Day

Today (and yesterday) were beautiful... like the sun knew that Kansas was celebrating 150 years and decided to shine down on her.

My momma sent the kids a Kansas Day present... sunflower seeds (the eating kind and the planting kind) and some Jayhawk stickers.

They were pretty excited!  Thank you, Momma!

Elisabeth and I celebrated the day by getting a new phone plan for the family.

This is the previous phone I was using... it was a hand-me-down from my sister from a million years ago. One of the little middle school girls at my church made fun of how old this puppy was... that was two years ago.

This is my new phone!  I'm pretty excited (and overwhelmed because I have no idea how to use it... teehee)!

My kids celebrated more traditionally... they colored the Kansas Flag:

Here's Diego's- he was pretty attentive to coloring it correctly.

And Eliana's (She got tired of coloring the field of blue... honestly, I'm surprised she kept at it as long as she did.)

Well, I'm off to figure out how to text... Hope you have a blessed Sunday! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Suzie Homemaker and Me

My dear cousin, Emily and I were talking earlier today about a lot of different things, but one that really has struck a chord with me is my attitude as a homemaker (or domestic engineer, if you prefer that term) towards my husband.  It seems like there's this idea that was impressed upon us in some way that we ought to make our home (and ourselves) the best version of ourselves before our husbands come home.  Things like putting on a dress, pulling off your apron, having a home-cooked meal waiting, and freshening up make-up, come to mind for me.  Emily said she was once advised to light a candle or two and set mood music for her husband before he arrived home.

However, most days I'm doing good if the kids and I are all out of our pj's by the time Jesse walks through the door for lunch.  I often feel inadequate and wonder if he'll even notice that I did 3 loads of laundry (as he walks through the separated dirty clothes that still lie all over the floor in piles), taught my son how to write the letter I, broke up three arguements and actually helped the kids clean-up 2 disasters that they created (when it still looks like WWIII happened in the playroom).

And then there's a part of me that wants to say, "Wait a minute.  Why should I listen to my grandmother's advice to welcome my husband home with relaxing comfort, when I've been working just as hard trying to manage three kids, clean-up, think about food, and be my baby's personal milk barn?" And most of the time, that's the attitude I take.  "Oh good, you're home! Here, hold the baby while I wipe a nose or stir dinner." I mean, why should Jesse have a break that I'm not getting?

Time for conviction. It often happens as I talk things through with Emily that I am able to realize my own wrong attitudes and a need for change.  (She's kind enough to lend a listening ear as I work through what Jesus is trying to say to me.) Yes, I do work hard, but I do have the best job on the face of the earth--being at home with my wonderfully amazing, often hilarious kids.  And it's his job (that I would never-ever want to have to do), his working hard at it, that allows me the ability to stay at home (most of the time) with my kids.  For that, I should be appreciative. And because of the fact that he is working a job that does not allow him to be around the people he loves best all day long, I should make his return to those people something to look forward to... not something to dread.  I can imagine he must have to psyche himself up to walk into the house: "Okay, as soon as I enter, she's going to ask me to change a dirty diaper.... be prepared, be prepared."  I wouldn't want that the second I walked in from a hard day's work... and although I know that there will still be many a day that I fail to make my home what my granny would think appropriate, I want to try harder to make it something she would approve of.

Interestingly enough, we're studying the letter I (Insects) this week. Our Bible concept is: "I am a wise child, so I work hard."  I want to be a wise child (of God) and work hard... work hard to make my husband enjoy his first few moments home (before I ask him to change a dirty diaper).  Because, well, I think the Bible says it best:

"And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ." -Colossians 3

So, with that in mind, Stay-at-Home-Moms (or Domestic Queens), how do you make your home a welcoming place for your husband after a day of work?

(He really is an awesome Papi and a great husband!)

(Note: Today we were going to wait on the porch to greet Papi, since the weather was agreeable.  He beat us home, but the kids were already planning on visiting the porch swing... so we went outside with Papi and the camera instead.  The only way I could get a great smile and laugh out of the kids was to have them say: "Stinky Papi!" *Sigh* What would Granny say?)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I LOVE this Time of the Year

I've been to all 4 Targets in our area in the past 24 hours...I do that this time of the year.

I try to calculate what sorts of clothing my kids are going to need for the next year.  (Sometimes 2 years, if I find really good deals.) And I buy and store away for the next fall and winter.  When sweaters and jeans are $2.50 (not just any jeans- I only buy pants with the adjustable waists... I learned my lesson on that early), I'm ecstatic!  I love sales and they're starting... so, head out and enjoy the sales, ladies (and any gentlemen who read my blog and buy clothes for their kids?)!

Note: Boys' clothing seems to be more plentiful (and cheaper) than girls' clothing this year, but there are bargains for all.

This is Diego's first self-portrait...

He's crying.  Why? It could be because he got in trouble, or it could be because he's been on a Target shopping marathon.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Best Buds

I'll admit it...they often fight like cats and dogs.  And it drives me crazy when they do.

But most of the time. This is how they are.

Sweet, perfectly sweet. I love to listen to their conversations... it cracks me up.  Eliana often repeats everything Diego does.  (Or does exactly the opposite- just depending on her mood.) He takes care of her; she adores him.  They love to play: house, santa claus and reindeer, pirates, Go, Diego, Go! and Alicia, and a million other games. (They think maybe they'd like to get married when they're older... in spite of the fact their parents repeatedly tell them they can't.) They make each other laugh and have inside jokes that Jesse and I don't quite understand. Their love for each other is obvious and that is why we'll have another... at least if things go according to our plan.

Because while the bunny might suffice for today, eventually, he's going to need a best bud of his own.  Everyone should have a best friend... and who better than a sibling?

"What were you saying, Mom?  We didn't hear you because we were in our own world?"

Friday, January 21, 2011

Living Water, Ping, and Friday Favorites

This week we've been studying the letter W and water-- sort of an extension of last week with Octopi and Oceans.  Our Bible Concept was: "Jesus gives my spirit living water to drink."  Some times I wonder how much my kids are able to understand all these spiritual concepts... I mean, hey, the woman at the well had a hard time comprehending and she was an adult and had God Himself explaining it to her." My kids (ages 2 and 4) with only their sleep-deprived mama to explain it to them are at a serious disadvantage here.  Nevertheless, it thrills my heart to watch the smile that spreads over Eliana's face because she remembers the Bible Concept and can quote it to you! To die for, I'm telling you, it nearly makes me cry every time.

It's funny how life works.  Diego was telling Jesse just this morning that if he ever wanted to avoid discipline he could run and hide under the bed. (I love how he tells us his hiding spots, still.) Jesse was trying to explain to Diego that running away from discipline is never a good choice because inevitably, it will bring more trouble.  Flash forward to school time and I pull out this book:

It has been a long time since I've read this; I took it out of my mom's library last night because I needed it for today.  I remembered that I loved it dearly as a child, but couldn't remember much about the story line... only that it was about a duck that lived in a boathouse on a river in China.  Oddly enough, Ping decided to run away from discipline and got into more trouble when he did so. At the end he learns to take the discipline he needs to receive- "SPANK!" (It was definitely written at a different time... PETA probably hates this book.) After reading it again, I've got to say, I love it, love it! and I need to get my own copy to have at the house.

We painted pictures of Ping, after we were done reading. (Eliana got out the black for the water again... must take her to see the blue ocean this summer.  My momma is right, the Arkansas River is not the place to learn about the color of water.) Diego was getting frustrated that his blue wasn't dark enough... he wanted to have a night time sky.  So, he learned how to mix blue with purple to make it a bit darker.  Then he was upset that you couldn't see the trees in the skyline, so he learned to paint black over that to create shadows.  By that time, Eliana had been done for a while, but when she saw that we were using black for shadowy trees, she decided she needed to do the same. Of course!

I need to find painter's smocks for the kids, I've decided. She always ends up with paint all over her clothes.  Something to start looking for, I guess!

Have a great weekend all... and if you'd like to, take a closer look at my Friday favorites, here!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Remember a while back when I said that I liked to do all my laundry one day a week and then be laundry free the rest of the week? 

These are my stacks of clothes needing to be put away at the end of my "laundry day"-minus one load and all of Jesse's shirts which get put on hangers.  It's becoming more and more difficult to get it all done in one day, and even if I do, it's usually not put away in drawers for another day or two.  On the up-side, it's really easy for my kids to find pj's at night.

My mom's favorite book as a child is now my kids' favorite.  Mr. Bear Squash-You-All-Flat.  If you like Far Side cartoons, then you'll probably like this book because it was also Gary Larson's favorite book as a child.

My kids' creation tonight. I went  to the grocery store by myself (hooray!) and returned to this.  I thought it had a great shape so I let them keep it up (and made them clean up the rest of their "creative" mess).

My mom made this for my sister when she played the Croc in Peter Pan (when she was about 10).  My kids recently discovered it and absolutely love it!  It is pretty great.... and now you know why costumes at halloween are such a big deal in my home.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Well, we finally have gotten back into school.  (We haven't done school in a little over 2 months, I'm embarrassed to say.) So, while the rest of the world had snow days this week, we were snowed into school.  It's been good for us.

Giving Diego 2 months off from school apparently has somehow enabled him to blend letter sounds into words with much more ease... I'm not sure if that's because he's older now and it just clicks for him or if he's seen enough Word World in the past two months that he now understands.  Either way, I'll take it.  But he's no dumby and is not going to work any harder than necessary.  Why spell the word "dot" by listening to the sounds in the word when he can easily locate it on the other page and just see how it is spelled? Whatever works.  It was the end of the school day and I wasn't going to argue with him and drag the day out any longer.

This week we've been learning about Octopi. "Even the octopus praises the Lord." We've been learning about Psalms and how David wrote many of them and that unlike animals, humans have a choice whether or not they will praise God.  We've been practicing praise songs and discovering so many amazing facts about these incredible creatures. For instance, did you know the  huge Giant Pacific Octopus can squeeze itself through a crevice the size of a quarter?  Isn't God amazing that He can think of creating such a huge variety of incredible creatures?

Our ocean creatures collage -we had fun going through old National Geographics for this!

In the mean time we've been working away on painting.  It seems that if I pull the watercolors out to do an art project they'll work on it longer than they will if I pull out the crayons.  I decided that if I worked on one of my own, that I could teach the kids some techniques without taking over their work... and plus, it's just plain fun!  We traced our hands with our thumbs folded under to create our eight-legged creatures. We also used Crayola Marker and Watercolor Paper... which we discovered is not really suited for watercolors.

Here's Diego's Octopus- he painted longer than any of us, he wants his to be just so.  I like it that he tries so hard to do his best while painting.

Here's Eliana's... I always wonder if she'll go through a goth phase when she's older, her paintings are always so dark. Anyone have any suggestions on how to get a 2-year-olds paintings to be a bit brighter?

Here's my little guy... I tried to show Eliana how to paint water, but of course she chose to use browns.

And just for fun... have you guys seen Dan Hillier's stuff? It's pretty curious stuff!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warm Fuzzies on a Cold Day

This little man gives me warm fuzzies.

Or should I say: "Not so little man"?

He weighed 13 lb. 6 oz. at his 2 month appointment.

Good grief... he's over half of what Eliana weighs.  And she'll be 3 next month.

We broke out the 3-6 month clothes today.

I thought (as I was putting on his bigger clothes): "He's going to swim in this."

He didn't. It was a nice, snug fit.

It's been too cold out for the kids to play, but the birds have finally discovered our house (a year later).

And we all enjoy sitting at the window watching the action of these birds.

And then there was this guy.  I'm not sure whether to feel sorry or amazed... maybe I should be both.

Back to this cutie... Don't grow up too fast, little Cruz!