Sunday, December 28, 2008

Turkey dinner anyone?

There is actually a flock of wild turkeys that live around my parents house. They are huge and really funny when they fly. (I didn't know they turkeys flew I guess). They look like they are crashing when they fly up into a tree. Camden really likes animals, but can't quite figure out how to classify these strange looking things. Birds to him are little. He keeps meowing at them.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A dream come true

We have been commenting that for the 13 years Andrew has come to Milton-Freewater at Christmas time he has always wanted lots of snow. We have had a little some times, but like in Portland, nothing like this year. The sledding up in the wheat field has been great. The pictures are fun:

Camden is a boy after his mothers heart, cold is not good. He doesn't like his gloves on, immediately pulls them off, then screams. Sledding hasn't been a long or very fun activity for him. We gave it a good try.
Except for Camden everyone has had a great time. We keep telling our kids that they need to enjoy and remember this-

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How God decorates for Christmas

I thought this tree was so pretty:

These sunflowers look pretty funny too:

Merry White Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A good dad makes his kids birthday cake

I already wrote about Hudson's birthday, but since I'm stuck here in the snow I have time to do more! (aren't you happy!) I'm down at my Dad's office answering phones (I'm quite the receptionist) so I uploaded a couple more pictures. Because of the snow there was no school last Tuesday on Hudson's birthday which turned out great because our whole family was able to go to JJ Jump together which is exactly what Hudson wanted to do for his birthday. The only glitch in his day was he planned on bringing Transformer cupcakes to school on his birthday, which of course didn't happen. I did have a couple of tutoring students come that afternoon, so during that time Daddy came to the rescue and made Hudson a Transformer cake. It was great. Here it is:

I'm not sure the picture does it justice... It was so funny- he stuck one of Hudson's transformers in it, then part of a transformer package, then tried to make flames (?) out of a green frosting tube and chocolate chips. It was really funny. The great thing was that Hudson LOVED it. Andrew and I just laughed as Hudson talked about how great it was. And what is more funny is he wasn't impressed AT ALL with the fish cake that I made for his party. Here is what it looked like:

What Hudson will remember is that his dad made him a transformer cake. My kids are so blessed to have such a great dad! (cake decorating skills are not required to be a good dad :) )

And just for fun here is a picture of the kids at JJ Jump. What a fun birthday!

This may make you tired.

My parents roof is flat, super cool when it is nice weather because they have a deck up there that has an amazing view. The quantity of snow we have in M-F right now however made us a touch nervous with the roof though. Fortunately Tennille and I married well because our industrious husbands went up there and took care of it. We are even more fortunate because Nathan captured the whole thing on video and made this movie. It is only one minute long, be warned you might be motivated to go out and scoop snow. Or you might be more motivated to go get a cup of hot chocolate and sit by the fire. Whatever sounds good to you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Boys Birthday Party

Our family is currently in Eastern Oregon, snowed in, and so I'll take this opportunity to catch up on some blog posts. This is when we had Hudson and Camden's birthday party. We did a combined fish party, complete with a fishing game and a fish race with real fish!

Come on little fish, get to the end!

Careful how close you get!

Gramma Arlene did the fishing game, and the kids LOVED it!

Squirt bottles and fish...what could be better!

The boys each had their own cake.

And then one big Happy Birthday cake.

Thanks to everyone who helped the boys celebrate their 2nd and 5th birthdays!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Dear Hudson~

F-I-V-E! as in, a handful! When I had you I didn't know if I knew what to do with a boy, so God gave me a little person that to quote your grandma is "all boy."

Hudson you have so many different sides. You are completely boy in everything you do, and are also so sweet. You are affectionate and very quick to tell us how much you love us. Two different times today I have gotten tears in my eyes because you have said in a sweet sincere little voice, "thanks for all the presents mom, this was the best day ever." The first time you said this was only at 9:30 this morning, but it had already been the best day ever. You are also really tough, willing to wrestle almost to the death and your tackle can take me down. You have almost endless energy that finally runs out at bedtime where most nights you fall asleep with a book on your head. Your curious about everything and love to try out new things, but you also have times, often when it is not even new, that you decide your going to be shy and timid.

This fall you started going to preschool and you have loved it. (except for the 7 minute drive there, more on that in a minute) You don't really tell me much about it, when I ask who you play with you say, "everyone." When I ask what you do you say, "lots of stuff." When I ask who your friends are you say, "all the boys, and almost all the girls, just not the one who cries." (note to girls in the future who want to date you: don't be too emotional.) After your sister who shares in great detail every event of her whole day, this lack of information left me with a little apprehension when it came to conference time (preschool conferences do seem funny). I couldn't have been more pleased with you after the conference though. You do a good job on all your "work" in school and have lots of friends (turns out your everyone" description was right) and aside from occasionally talking too much (genetic problem) your behavior is great.

The thing that makes you crazy, and has since this summer, is riding in the car. We must have traveled too much this summer, because you have not tolerance for car rides. Some mornings you don't even want to go to school because you can't handle the thought of being in the car for so long. Sitting still that long is evidently just cruel and unusual torture for you. We're hoping that you grow out of this soon, specifically by Saturday when we are driving to Milton-Freewater. Because then we have to drive back home on Tuesday, then to Salem on Wednesday, then back to M-F on Thursday and then back home I don't know when. I can't imagine what we have done to make you not like to travel...

I love when you pray because you start every sentence with "I just bless..." even if it is not a person. Each night at dinner you pray, "I just bless that we'll have a great day." It is so darn cute there is no way I'm correcting it.

Today has been a great day for our family. It was a snow day so although you didn't get to bring the transformer cupcakes to school that you had been planning, our whole family went to JJ Jump together and then out to lunch. It was a perfect day for you. We had a birthday party for you and Camden on Saturday night, and after talking about your birthday party for the last 11 months, I think you loved it.

We had a fish party, complete with a fish race. Planning a party for you is tricky because you have been thinking and planning your birthday party for the last 11 months. One week this summer I started a blog post, that I never finished with all the comments you made over a one week period of time about your birthday. Since I never finished the post, here is what I wrote down:
5/29-Reminds me that he is going to have his birthday party at the Helm's house (where Andrew's tennis team had their end of the year party-in an outdoor pool) and he is inviting all the boys on the Barlow tennis team.

6/1-"I'm going to have my birthday party at the church retreat and invite all the kids from there."

6/3-"Mom, I'm going to have a dinosaur birthday because dinosaurs are my favorite animal."

6/4-Spends 45 minutes circling almost everything in an Oriental Trading catalog that he wants to use for this birthday party.

6/4- Has me write a list of all the people he is inviting to his birthday, then tapes it to the tree in our front yard.

6/5- "For my next birthday after the next Pirate birthday I'm going to have my birthday at the zoo. Because the zoo is WARM THERE" (he says really excitedly). (I just said "okay," didn't want to burst his bubble by telling him it was rarely warm at the Portland Zoo, especially in the middle of December.)

6/5- (at WinCo) "I want to buy these chips for my birthday!"

6/5- "What I want for my birthday is Legos with lots of guys and a skateboard, and that's all. Plus some other stuff I'll tell you later."

6/5- "I'm going to use the baseball bat for my pinata-ia, and I'm going first because it is my birthday."

6/6- "At my party I'm going to have one pinata-ia for... how old's Ainsley? (seven) yeah, one for 7 year-olders, and one for 4 year-olders and one for Seth and one for Colin, and one for me and mine is first."

6/6- "At my birthday I'm the only one who can run, nobody else."

6/6- "We're going to hide the treasure under my bed and then at my party I'll know where it is and I'll get there first."

Hopefully your party lived up to your expectations.

5 years ago tonight when I had just had you I could have never guessed how much I would love you and how wonderful it would be to have a little boy. You have exceeded all my expectations.

Happy 5th birthday Hudson. I love you.

(you can start planning your 6th birthday party now.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Who says my life isn't a party?

We play party games around here all day long. Mad Gab to be specific. Have you played this game before? You repeat some random words over and over until you and your teammates figure out an actual phrase that sounds like the random words. For example (actually off a cereal box) "Folk is Son's Cool" say it over and over until you figure out it says, "Focus on School."

Living with Camden right now is like a non-stop game of Mad Gab. He tells you something and you need to either do what he is telling you, or if it is just a comment, he wants you to repeat it back to him. And he KNOWS if you really understand what he said and are repeating it correctly or if your faking it by saying some random words that sound about right. This morning it took me all of breakfast before I finally let him down out of his high chair so he could show me what he was saying because all I could get was, "A icky house is on a flying flea." No matter how many times I said it I couldn't figure it out.

Can you figure it out? The flying is what threw me off- Turns out it was, "A Mickey mouse on the Christmas Tree."

Party games at the Pate house 24/7.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

In case you thought I was kidding, here is more proof.

You think I'm exaggerating when I have told you over and over how much Camden likes balls right? All we got him for his birthday was balls and hoops. (as if there aren't already enough in this house)So he opened his presents and played for a bit, then we sat down at the table to sing to him and have cupcakes.

You know what happened don't you.

He was good with the song and even blowing out the candle. But he couldn't be bothered with eating his cupcake, just licked a little frosting and then was "ALLDONEALLDONEALLDONE" because he wanted to get down and play with his new balls and hoop more.

Maybe we should do the cake before the presents at his birthday party this Saturday.

He is also cracking me up because he likes to bring me paper and a pen and tells me to draw "ba-ket-ball" and then "fut-ball" then "hoop" over and over, in that order. Just seeing my pathetic drawings on paper make him happy. This is one funny kid.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Good Consumer

We interrupt our regularly scheduled broadcast of random kid stories for this thought provoking video. I promise I'll get back to happy little kid stories next time.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The way to a (little) man's heart

Food of course.

Even as young as almost five. I have two examples.

I came home from the store last week and Hudson started rummaging through the bags and found a bag of chex mix (I usually don't buy that, but it was on sale and my parents were coming) Hudson saw it, let out a audible gasp, and ran over and hugged my leg for a good solid minute. He then looked up and said, "your the best mommy ever."

I was cooking the other day and Hudson was completely engrossed playing with tinker toys. The kind of play where kids mumble to themselves and the roof could come crashing down around them but they are so involved they would never notice. Evidently some smells can take them out of this play trance because all of a sudden as I had meatballs frying on the stove Hudson suddenly stops and looks up. He says, "that smells soooooooo good." I said, "yes it does." Then he says in a breathy voice, "mom, I just love you so much."

So all I have to do to qualify for mother of the year in Hudson's eyes is feed him well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Camden

Dear Camden,

I just put you to bed as a one year old for the last time. I can't believe my baby is two. I have to write a birthday post to you when your in bed, because heaven only knows the chaos that would ensue if I tried to sit down and write at the computer when you are awake.

Speaking of bed, when we put you to bed we sing Jesus Loves Me. Most of the time it is really cute because you are learning to sing along, rather than just sing "ball, ball, ball" over and over with the song. But sometimes if you don't want to go to bed, as we are heading there you start yelling, "NO JESUS, NO JESUS" over and over. We're hoping there is not long term theological implications for you because of this.

Back when you were turning one, we thought we knew you. But this year, from one to two, we have really gotten to know you. As you are learning to talk, we are learning more and more about what is going on in that little head of yours. You talk SO MUCH. Way more than your siblings did at this age, which considering how much they talk now is enough to make us wonder if we are going to have to do something like have a timer at dinner to give everyone an allotment of talking time. This is one very chatty household. (and I know I have pointed it out before, but genetically you and your siblings are pretty much pre-destined to talk quite a bit.) Just this last month you have started telling us what to do, today in the car you told me, "too hot mommy, turn off." And when we sit down to eat dinner you are quick to tell us, "Cut it daddy, cut it daddy" over and over until it is done to your satisfaction.

You can count to thirteen all by yourself and you really surprised us a couple of months ago when you started joining in with Ainsley and Hudson saying the books of the old testament as they were memorizing them. The best part is when I was having you repeat them and we got to Ecclesiastes and unlike all the rest where you just repeated the word to the best of your ability, you paused and then said, "no." Not going to try that one. Your favorite to say is Ruth, or "Rooff" as you say it.

Your ultimate way of showing affection is giving a high-five. Although you call it "high-pife" and you have to hit someones hand about ten times in a row when they leave our house. You are sweet and cuddly and so friendly to other people. You are always willing to be held and cuddled by just about anyone. I wasn't even shocked this weekend when you willingly just hopped up on Santa's lap and didn't even blink an eye that we were putting on on the lap of a strangly dressed man that you had never seen before.

It is amazing that I'm almost to the end of this letter and I haven't mentioned balls yet. I thought Hudson loved balls, but you my little friend are crazy about balls. You don't play with any toys, all you do is kick and throw balls. If daddy is watching a basketball game you will sit up by him and become absolutely engrossed, (I'm just going to take a minute right now to pray for your future wife) as soon as a commercial comes on though, you hop down and do something else until the game is back on. I love the way you say basketball, it is "ba ket- ball," really fast.

You are so smart, funny, and cute. No matter how big you get I hope I never forget the feeling of you snuggling into my neck. I love when I'm carrying you and you are cold and you fold up your hands and put your chin down on your chest as you squeeze in tight to me. I love when you have something that you don't want someone to take away that you lay down on the floor on top of the prized object. I love how you say "hi" to people and objects constantly in this cute little sing song voice. "Hi punkin', hi meow cat, hi Ainsley, hi Hudson..." I love that whenever we are standing in line in the store now and you see candy you yell "trick-or-treat" over and over. I love how brave and tough of a little kid you are (although I know that will lead us to the ER quite a few times in the future). I love how you and Hudson are starting to play together and how you want to do whatever he is doing. I love how you adore Ainsley. I love how active and busy you are even if it means you keep me really active and busy.

I know God has great things planned for you little boy. I love you. Happy second birthday.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The joys of DEQ

So all three of our cars tags expire this month. Fun. I started with taking the van (I still have a hard time swallowing the fact that I personally am the driver of a mini-van...then I open the side doors with the remote so my little kids can get in and out all on their own and I'm more okay with it.) The van passes. Great. Next up the truck. We bought the truck off craigslist this summer (I love craigslist) so we could quite borrowing our friends trucks to carry stuff around. It is a real beauty- but the point was a cheap truck. We got that.

I thought the worst thing that could happen is it not passing, but while I'm sitting there the lady is walking around it with a stick that has a mirror on the bottom looking underneath it, then she calls over someone else, and then someone else. At this point (after it only taking 2 minutes this morning for the van) I know something is wrong. I immediately go to the most rational possibility... there must be a bomb underneath, that is why they are looking with the mirror. Quickly talk myself out of that because it is ridiculous. So I go to the next most rational possibility. The truck that we thought we legitimately purchased actually was stolen, (who would steal a '91 Chevy and then sell it for $800?... but that is what I'm thinking) and now they are going to arrest me right there and some social worker is going to come and take my child because he is with me in the car. I start thinking that at least it is only Camden with me, and he is too young to have any memory if he is taken into protective custody and will probably think it is interesting if a police car shows up (I told you I was being COMPLETELY RATIONAL at this point.)

But I'm supposed to pick Hudson up from preschool in 35 minutes, what will happen to him? I get out my cell phone to start calling people and freaking out to have someone go get Hudson... in 35 minutes, only to determine that my cell phone is dead. So now I'm a felon of a mother who can't even remember to charge her stupid cell phone, I'm going to have to use my one phone call at the police station to get Hudson picked up. My mind is going in great places.

At this moment the interesting DEQ lady comes to the window and tells me, "Well, it actually passes the emissions test, but the truck doesn't have a catalytic converter so that makes it an automatic FAIL." So I ask, "What does the catalytic converter do?" She explains something about it making it produce less pollution. I say, "but it passed without it, so why does it need it?" And then typical government, "Because that is just the requirement."

Okay- so our truck that we drive a couple times a month to drop off yard debris and already passes the emissions requirement needs to have work done on it just for the requirement. Guess how much it will cost to have it put on there... $350! (at least we have the greatest mechanic ever in Randy Kosrow). You just gotta love the government. I guess at least I'm not in jail because I was driving a stolen car.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day-the story with 2 punchlines

Dinner conversation tonight:

Ainsley: So tomorrow is Veteran's Day. That is why there is no school.

Hudson: What is Veteran's Day?

(conversation explaining Veteran's Day)

Ainsley: Do we know any Veterans?

Daddy: Yes, Grandad was in the Navy and Grandpa was in the Army.

Mommy: And you remember Uncle Larry right? He spent his whole career in the Navy. (now he is onto career #2 as a WA State Rep.) For part of the time he was the Captain on a battleship called the USS Iowa. It is a big deal.

Hudson: Is that ship a big one?

Mommy: Yes, I got to go on it while he was captain. It was so cool.

Hudson: Too bad he's not a girl so I could marry him.

Mommy: (laughing) Because it is so cool that he was on a big ship?

Hudson: Yeah, 'cause then I could be a pirate.

Edited to add: My Aunt Lois told me that my Uncle Byron is also a vet- somehow I missed that in the family history. He was in Vietnam for a tour. That means all three of the boys in my dad's family were in the service. I've thought today about what it would be like when my boys are older and if they will consider the military. When I told Hudson about Uncle Byron he wanted to know if he still had a gun. If Hudson could enlist today he would.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

A fun party- catching up

So I have been behind it getting pictures off my camera. So behind, in fact, that these pictures are from September. They were too fun to not post just because they weren't current.

You would think the best part of this party was the pool- it was so fun, the edge looks like it drops off and it has an amazing view.
The rock wall slide was also a fun addition.
But the best thing (especially for Hudson) was that they have one of the two original bat mobiles from the TV show. Hudson was so amazed.
Posted by PicasaThey also have this touring bus that is from Yellowstone Park- evidently it was from before it was a National Park because it only says Yellowstone Park on the side. Cool stuff.

When we left Hudson said, "I want to come back to this place and have my birthday party here." I'm afraid they don't rent out their house sweetheart.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Soccer 2008

Today is Ainsley's last soccer game. This ends our first season of more than one child in an activity at a time. It was fun, but did make for busy Saturdays. We are pretty happy to get our weekends back.
TThis was Hudson's first year playing soccer and Ainsley's third. It was amazing to see the difference in how Ainsley has progressed and so fun to watch four -year-olds try to play soccer. After Hudson's first game he was on cloud nine because he had scored three goals. On the way home he wanted to call everyone he could think of to tell them about it. When we ran out of people he said, "Remember that Great-Grandma who is in Heaven now?" Yes. "Do we have her number?"
As much fun as they had playing, I still think their favorite part is the snacks at the end!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 7, 2008

We've had better weeks...

One of my favorite worship songs right now is Blessed Be Your Name. I've thought about it quite a bit this week. It is sometimes much easier to sing Blessed be Your name when "the streams of abundance flow" and were in the "land that is plentiful." This week I got to focus on still singing it even when it seems more like "the road marked with suffering" and "the darkness closes in." All the little things we dealt with this week are hardly suffering when compared with what many people are dealing with. Still, they are not fun. What is good is having the opportunity to trust God regardless of what is going on, and bless His name whatever comes our way.

And now I'll go ahead and use the Internet to complain to about our week. 1. The renter that is in our Gresham house (we didn't sell it when we moved, we thought it was the bottom of the market at that time *HAHA* and so we would keep it a year or so and sell when the market recovered a bit) lost his job so they are having trouble paying rent. (he is a sheet rocker/mud worker- not the best time for construction work)
2. My refrigerator quit working- still under warranty fortunately- but the company can't find one of their service people to come and fix it so we are now on day 6 without it.
3. Two days after finding out our house renters deal, the renter we have in the condo (before Ainsley was born we decided a great college plan would be to buy a rental for each child...good plan... but we've never made it past the one... how far will one condo rental go with three kids tuition?) called and told us he was in financial trouble and couldn't pay rent and would move out in the next week or two. Great. The good thing is he has lived there for 6 years. The bad thing is he is a single guy that is not what you would call a great housekeeper. So it's going to take a bit to have it ready to rent again. Hopefully we can find someone soon.
4. Last night for some reason I lost my voice. (I'm not sick really) Good times parenting without a voice. Just a little thing that makes for a long day.
Anyway- thanks for letting me vent Internet.
I'll just keep singing (in my head, without a voice) Every blessing you pour out I'll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, Blessed be the Name of the Lord, Blessed be your glorious name.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A mother's dream

Hudson from the backseat of the car:

(why do my kids think about what they are going to be when they grow up when we are driving somewhere?)

"When I grow up I'm going to be a football player, and be in a band, and play the drums with the band, and play basketball, (pause) and be a pirate."

In junior high when he says "why do I have to learn algebra, I'm never going to use it?" what am I going to say when his career plans are to be a pirate athlete that plays the drums?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

And some you lose.

My guy lost, way back in the primaries. McCain...never my guy. Palin... my girl lost. Four years ago it was way more fun when my guy won, and Lydia was born!

But the thing is, I am glad that in the country I live a black man can be elected president. My vote would have probably gone for him if it wasn't for the fact he promised Planned Parenthood the first thing he will do in office is sign FOCA. And if it wasn't for Supreme Court nominations. Oh, and I don't really agree with his health care plan, or his economic plan, or his foreign policy... But if the most liberal democratic senator had to win, I'm glad it was him.

He is the president of the country that I live in and love. So I will now spend the next four years praying for him and his advisers. And I will focus on the fact that although this is a great country and I am blessed to live here, It is not my true home.

P.S. (do you do "p.s." in blogs?) As Eric said last night (we watched election returns, and the Saturday Night Live special taped from the night before with them while eating fondue. The fondue was by far the best part.) maybe the Republicans will spend the next 2 to 4 years finding their soul. Let's hope so.

Friday, October 31, 2008

So Lame

So evidently we've been too busy (or lazy) doing things to actually post anything about what we've been doing. But this afternoon I have to dump all the pictures off my camera so I have room for Halloween pictures. Consequently I might actually post some of the fun things we have done... soccer, apple orchard, pumpkin patch (2 times as a family) plus another pumpkin patch field trip, and I don't even know what else is lurking on there.

Two things to hold you over until (or if) I post the above (plus tonight's Halloween stuff):

1. A story- I'm always talking about my silly kids. Today it is a story about me. Ainsley came in our room last night at 3:20 unhappily almost yelling, "It is 3 stinkin' 20 and the baby is screaming, can't you do something about that?" (who taught her to put the word "stinkin' " in the middle of sentences anyway??? Thank goodness we send her to public school so we can blame them for that sort of thing :) ) As I was stumbling into his room this is the thought process that was going on in my head, "three twenty. What time does that mean it is? If it is 3:20 what time is it? (as if I was in some other time zone and trying to calculate the "real" time.) 3:20. (Now holding the baby) walk back out to the family room and stare at the clock. Three twenty, so it that too early to get up and just be up, or do I need to try and get him to go back to bed? Oh my gosh.(the fog is starting to clear).. it is only 3:20! Camden, it is only three stinking twenty, you have to go back to sleep!"

2. And a Halloween/political cartoon. Sorry to my democratic friends/relatives. I get to post this today, but don't worry, sadly you are going to get to gloat big time on Tuesday. :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Object of Worship

I couldn't help but giggle tonight as I was putting Camden to bed. He goes EVERYWHERE with a ball.He goes to bed EVERY night with a ball. ALL he plays with are balls. If he doesn't have a ball, he will throw something else. Whenever he sees anything that is a circle he says it is a ball. He is even fascinated by the little tiny ball that is on the side of his carseat, you know the one that has to be in the green part not the red part to show the seat is in properly? It drives him crazy that he can't get that ball.
So as he is laying down and I am rubbing his back and singing to him (a new routine...Heather I'm not just dropping and running out the door anymore!) I was singing Jesus Loves Me and Camden started to join in. But he didn't know any words, he just sang ball, ball, ball, ball, over and over for the whole song with me. Right now he is definitely breaking "Thou shall have no other gods before you." Balls are holy to Camden.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Turns out he's a Locavore

Hudson: Mom, I know how they get milk in the grocery store!

Me: You do?

Hudson: Yeah, they have cows in the back and so they just milk them and then put it right in the jugs for us to buy.

Me: Uhhhh... no, the cows are on the farm, remember when we saw (smelled) them near the cheese factory in Tillamook?

Hudson: Yeah.

Me: So they have the cows there, they milk them and then send it in trucks to the stores.

Hudson: Oh, that is too bad. It would be easier if they were just in the back of the store.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My children keep finding ways to make me hyperventelate

Ainsley walked in the door from school about an hour ago and announced, "I learned the way to make babies!"

Me- speechless.

She continued, "Mr. Coburn didn't teach us though, Marissa did."

Me- Wh..What?

"See mom," (holding up her sweatshirt folded tightly into a little ball) "If you tuck the hood in and fold the arms over then roll it up you can turn it into a little baby." (which she then cuddles)

Thanks so much for that, I had SIX little boys at my house for a few hours today(my own 2 plus four more-no other parents though) so I just didn't have anything to really get my heart pumping yet.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Not yet...

Ainsley came home from school today SO EXCITED because her bus driver gives out 2 $5 gift certificates each Friday to the two kids who have followed bus rules best that week. (I don't remember ever having a bus driver like that!) This was the first week of the give-a-way and she was the lucky recipient of a $5 Cold Stone gift card. She told Hudson, "so buddy, I'm taking you to Cold Stone to get ice cream for a special time for you and me!" ("aaawwww" moment) Hudson said, "But do you know how to drive the car?"

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Still MORE Hudson...

For a pre-school project (he is so proud that he has homework!) Hudson had to make a petal and decorate it with things that are his favorites and a picture. As we were filling it out I asked him his favorite color. He said, "All of them in the whole world EXCEPT pink and purple."

And another one:

I was in brushing my teeth and Hudson came in and said, "are these my teeth that already fell out?" (pointing to his teeth- Ainsley is in that stage where every tooth in her mouth is pretty much wiggly, and consequently hurts so there is LOTS of drama and talking about teeth falling out.) I told him, "no, your teeth will fall out in a year or two, you still have your baby teeth." He said, "No, these are not called baby teeth. They are just short teeth." I guess when you are 4 and a half baby is pretty much the worst thing you can be called!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

With this one post I may eliminate any social life we (or the Strandbergs) will ever have again...

What do you think 4 adults, out on a Saturday night, without their kids would be doing? Want to know what we were doing with Eric and Cyndi at 10pm this last Saturday?

I can't believe I'm going to tell you.

We were wandering around Walgreens, trying to figure out the best way to use a $10 off $40 purchase coupon with their rebates to get the most stuff for free. As I was walking back down the aisle, after searching out the correct size and kind of mouthwash to qualify for a rebate and Andrew and Eric were looking at their free chocolate, I did inform them that I felt I had a moral obligation to blog about this episode. After all, I'm always writing about the nutty things my kids do, it is only fair. I don't even want to tell you how much time we spent doing this....but gosh darn it, with enough plotting there had to be a way that Walgreen's would pay us to take their toothpaste and nail polish!

In the interest of not having you think we are totally insane I need you to know that we did play tennis and then go out to dinner before this little escapade. This is just the exciting stuff we do to end our evenings.

I'm expecting a rush of invitations to hang out with us....

hmmm... why isn't the phone ringing???

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lots from Hudson lately

We were looking through Ainsley's book order, I told Ainsley and Hudson that they both could pick out a book. I love kids books, I suggested one about the Solar System that had great pictures, Flat Stanley, and a three pack of books by E.B. White (Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little and The Trumpet Swan). Hudson wanted Captain Underpants, Pokemon, and Sponge Bob. (Thanks so much for these options Scholastic) When I vetoed all of them he said, "But it is fine if you think there is inappropriate stuff in them, I just won't let yooouuuu (lots of emphasis) read them."

Saturday, September 13, 2008

High Aspirations

Ainsley talks about what she will do when she grows up frequently (nurse-and I have another story about that later-but I have to take a picture) and so Hudson also thinks about what he is going to do, because she brings it up all the time.

So Hudson asks me, "Do you have to go to college to be a doctor?"


"Do you have to go to college to be a garbage man?"


"Okay, then I'll be a garbage man."

I said, "Your going to go to college no matter what you do because it is fun, it is just preschool for bigger kids."

He says, "Okay, so I'll go to college and be a doctor, and I'll just be a garbage man on garbage days, what day is that?"

I've heard most people do have 3 to 4 career changes. I wonder how many flip between garbage men and doctors?

Friday, September 12, 2008

I don't know if that is really the definition of terrible.

Preschool is still going great for Hudson. He goes on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday so Thursday and Friday mornings have been a bit traumatic. He doesn't quite understand why Ainsley and Daddy get to go to school every day and he doesn't.

He did come home on Wednesday with a problem. I asked him how school was and he said, "recess was terrible." Recess is all he really tells me about and he loves it so I was thinking that he must have gotten hurt, or someone was mean, you know, something actually terrible. I asked what happened. He said, "They don't let me stay out there long enough, it was terrible."

Thursday, September 4, 2008

A Time Such As This

Living with a Political Studies teacher who is a political junkie makes it impossible for me to not hear lots of political stuff. And for the most part I like it. But I've not been excited at all this year because I don't like John McCain. He beat out my guy Huckabee. Now there is Sarah Palin...I'm a bit conflicted because I think moms should be home with their kids. But...I love her. It is one thing for someone like me who has never been faced with a unplanned pregnancy, a child that is not "perfect" in the eyes of the world, or a daughter facing an unplanned pregnancy to be pro-life. But she is someone who has LIVED pro-life. I watched her on stage last night holding her clearly down-syndrome little boy and thought about how babies lives will be saved because of this family. I read her quote after they introduced their baby a few days after he was born and she said at first she was sad, but now feels blessed that God chose them to have this child. Even if she and McCain don't win the White House, if one baby is saved because of their courage that is much more significant victory.

If you watched her speech last night did you not think her youngest daughter holding the baby, then licking her hand to smooth the baby's hair down was about the cutest thing? One of my favorite things is watching Ainsley or Hudson do something nurturing for their baby brother. It is just precious.

I never thought I'd be excited to watch a Vice-Presidential debate. But watching her take on Biden...(Oct. 2) I think I'm more excited for that than I am for The Office season premier (Sept. 25 in case your wondering). And that is saying something.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

School Days

Here is your traditional back-to-school post. This morning I sent off Ainsley to her first day of 2nd grade. We followed that up with taking Hudson to his first day of preschool. And mom did fine, no tears even, thanks for asking.

There is something so cute about little kids with their backpacks. The thought of all the fresh school supplies in their backpacks makes me so happy. I think school supplies are one of the main reasons I became a teacher. I love new crayons, markers, brand new, sharpened pencils (especially if they are Ticonderoga-they really are the only kind of pencils worth having-I'm a pencil snob) and glue that has yet to get all gunky. It was REALLY hard for me to let Ainsley organize her own pencil box, I really wanted to do it. She really wanted to do it herself. I let her, but it hurt a little.

Ainsley was still okay with me taking her into her class, and even was okay with a picture in her room.

When I went to leave I asked her if there was anything else she needed. She said, "A hug." That is when I almost cried.

When she came home and was unpacking her (mostly uneaten) lunch I asked her if she read the note I had put her in her lunchbox. She said, "mom, about that, I don't really have time to eat lunch because I'm so busy with my friends. So I really don't have time to read notes from you." That was when I was glad I hadn't shed any tears over her leaving for the day.

And Hudson was okay with me taking his picture in his classroom as well, although he couldn't quite bring himself to tear his eyes away from all the stuff and kids in the class to look at the camera for 1/100th of a second.

When we were talking last night about good behavior at school and making good choices he said, "yeah, and I'll even leave my shirt on all day." Your teacher would probably appreciate that.

When he came home he told me, "I made new friends with everyone in the class, but I only know two of the new friends names so far." When we were getting ready for bed tonight he said, "I can't wait for next morning so I can go to school!"

Even though he wasn't going to school, Camden managed to acquire attention this morning as well. I had him in the stroller for both of the school drop offs for containment. He doesn't love that, so he would take off a shoe and throw it on the ground and then yell, "SHWWOOO" really loud so someone would pick up his shoe and talk to him. After the second time of that I just picked up the shoes and put them in the stroller bag. So then he would point to his barefoot and yell "SHWWOOO" again really loud to get attention for the fact that his mother didn't have shoes on him. It was great. (this whole little routine happened at both schools.) Here he is in the paring lot right after leaving Hudson. I put his shoes on and he instantly went to take them off again. Anyone know of a preschool for 20 month olds?

Monday, September 1, 2008

1968 was a good year

Last month we got to celebrate my parents 40th anniversary, and now this month we got to celebrate Andrew's parents 40th anniversary as well. Our parents weddings were only two weeks apart!

We celebrated by having a party for Jim and Arlene in their new house on Sunday. They invited some of their friends over for dinner. Everyone had a great time.

Our only trauma was when Camden locked himself in a bathroom. Typical. He was rescued by Andrew's lock picking skills pretty quickly. When someone asked him where he learned to pick locks, his response was, "we have to be pretty creative to live on one income."

Happy Anniversary Jim and Arlene!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Conflict Resolution 101

My shower was interrupted by, "Mom, Hudson is taking all the guys." The guys are the little Lego guys, mini-figs Nathan has told us they are called. We only have 4 so these little guys are precious commodities around out house.

I told Ainsley, "figure it out or when I get out the Legos will be put away for the day.

When I went in the playroom they were both sitting nicely playing with Legos. I commented, "good job figuring out how to share the guys."

Hudson says, "Yeah, we just hit each other for a few minutes until we could work it out."

Perhaps someday one of my darlings will be called to Camp David to negotiate Middle East peace talks.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"The Audacity" is what comes to mind.

My day was spent picking Ainsley up from a sleepover, taking her to a dentist appointment, making a quick dinner so we could get her to soccer on time, taking her to soccer practice, and then sitting through soccer practice which started out with a short, but very wet, rain shower that left me cold and wet for the next 55 minutes.

It wasn't a bad day, everything had gone fine and everyone was in a good mood (even if I was wet) so I was surprised as we were in the car she pipes up with, "When I'm a grown-up I'm going to treat me kids way better than you do."

EXCUUUUUSSSSSEEEEE MEEEEE?????? I know that it is developmentally appropriate for children to be self-centered, but PLEEEAAAASE!

I was able to just stay quiet and not react with a less than kind comment for a few seconds. But it did envoke some anger on my part. As I was processing what my response would be she continued, "I'm totally going to let my kids go out on dates with my husband and I and whenever I go to get a pedicure I'm taking them with me."

Uhhh huuuh. My response was, "Whatever you think will work for your family honey. But I think you need to do some thinking about being grateful for what mommy and daddy do for you." That won't be the end of our conversations about gratefulness- evidently we need to do a little group thinking about that.

She then said, "Maybe I just won't take them if it is our anniversary or something."

I'm writing about this on my blog so someday when Ainsley is dropping off her children for me to babysit why she goes out with her husband I can tell her this story. Sometimes it is just the knowledge that someday they will look back and know that I was right that gets me through.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

A Rose by any other name...

I always wanted to own a house on a street with a cute name. The house I grew up on was on Jacquelyn Street. Other than always having to spell it for people I liked the name. Then when Andrew and I bought our first house it was on 32nd Ave. in Milwaukie. Not the address you dream of when you are a word person like me. About a year after we moved to Milwaukie we decided (wisely) that we should move closer to Barlow so we started another house search. The name of the road was really important to me, and we did "move up" in the street name, but only to Eagle Lane. Not amazing, but better than a number I figured.

My plan was that our next house (probably in Damascus) would be on one of the streets there that have some names that I love. Unfortunately we just barely missed a couple of my favorites. Would you believe we are just one street away from Strawberry Lane? I have always loved that one. And my all time favorite is about a 1/4 of a mile, Sunshine Valley Road. How cute is that? But no, we live on Bohna Park.

And tonight the name got a little worse for me. A couple of days ago Ainsley and Hudson went to OMSI with Grandma and Grandad. Hudson was playing with dinosaurs and telling me a little about the dinosaurs he saw at OMSI. You see where I'm going with this don't you? He interrupts his information about the fossils with a light bulb moment. He says, "You know, we need to dig up our yard. There are definitely bones that got there under our grass because it used to be a desert and there are bones down there now. You know mom, because we live on Bone-Ah Park."

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So many fun little time.

Summer is running out and I don't want to think about that. So instead I will give you some fun pictures and stories from summer so we can pretend Andrew didn't go back to work today.
Here is the daddy that we are missing today.

This was at Meredith's farm when we were in Milton-Freewater. Fun that it is next to Hudson Lane. We can go here to take pictures, or to any airport to take pictures of Hudson next to a big sign with his name. This is more picturesque than airport news stands.

An attempt at a group picture. Not the year for that.

Here we are at Wildwood having a picnic with Tennille and the kids. Hudson is still asking when Zech is coming back. Why is Minnesota so far away?

Can you see how wet Camden is? That is thanks to Hudson. When questioned Hudson said, "But he wanted me to do it, he TOLD me so." How exactly?

Summer is (was) good.