Saturday, January 30, 2010

We're working on it...

We've been working on potty training for what seems like forever.  I'm not really the "potty boot camp" kind of mom, so we've been taking it slow.  We had a few days of concentrated "trying."  Now, I just keep it on our radar, give rewards, remind, praise, watch movies about the potty, read books about the potty, talk about all her friends who wear "big girl panties," etc.

...and this morning she WOKE UP DRY!!!  The past few days, she has been taking herself to the potty (without cues from mom) most of the time.  Dare I hope?  Could we be close?

Happy New Year!!!

Since I finally took the pictures off my camera, I have a few catch-up posts to do.  This is how we brought in the New Year...okay, we didn't quite make it to midnight, but we celebrated none the less.  JM, at least it's still January...

Wii Golf...

Thanks for hosting, Hollinger family!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Up for discussion...

1.  Anyone read the Twilight series?  Is it really worth all the hype?  I have had NO desire to read them...vampires?  really?  However, they seem to keep popping up on blogs, in conversations, etc.  So, I want to know.  Are you hooked?  Are they cheesy?  pg rated?  well written?  worth my time?

2.    Those of you who know me, know I am an avid scrapbooker.  I do one large 12x15 album of our family events each year (ending with the Christmas card pictures you send us).  I also do other books for special events (a special vacation, baby books for the girls, etc).  I am strongly considering going to mostly digital scrapbooks.  I love the hands-on of traditional scrapbooking, but I think the digital version will be easier to store, easier to take places to show, cheaper, and faster. I plan to continue with traditional scrapbooks for the girls with events that are specific to them.  I want to be able to add mementoes to them and write in my own handwriting.   So, my question is....Have you tried any sites for digital scrapbooking that you would recommend?  I am looking for something with more options than say, Shutterfly.  I've made albums there, and they are fine.  I am looking for something where I am not locked into set templates.  I want to add as many pictures as I want, where I want them, in the sizes I want.  I want to put text where I want it, etc.  Basicly, I want the freedom to scrapbook like I always have, I just want it to be digital.  Any suggestions?  Has anyone tried the digital albums with Creative Memories?

Tiny Talk Tuesday

While reading the story of Jairus and his sick little daughter...

A:  "They didn't have an ambulance."


Patrick and Adeline playing hide and seek...

A:  1, 2, 3, ..........10!!!  Ready or not, here I come!!!  Are you in the closet?  Nooooo.  Are you under the table?  Noooo...  (daddy gives a running commentary of where he's looking so she won't get bored, so that's how she plays too).  Are you under the bench?  Nooooo....  Are you under here?  (as she bends down to look under our entertainment center....about two inches of space under there).  precious.

Me:  Adeline, you are going to be three soon.  You need to keep practicing peeing in the potty.  You are going to be a big girl like Amelie, and Violet, and Anna.  You need to stay dry so you can wear big girl panties like them.

A:  and wear big girl panties like mommy?

Me:  Yes, like mommy.

A:  and like Linus?

Me:  No, Linus is a boy.  He doesn't wear panties, but he is learning to use the potty like you.

A:  Like Mrs. Salada?

Me:  uh huh

A:  and Mr. Salada wears big girl panties.

Me:  trying not to lose all sense of composure....  No, Mr. Salada is a man.  He wears underwear.

Head to Mary's for more Tiny Talkers.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What I've been reading...

The Cricket on the Hearth by Charles Dickens was my book club's January pick.  If you can get through the first 3/4 of the book, than the last 1/4 is worth the read. 

Crazy Love by Francis Chan has been gaining popularity in Christian circles.  I read about it on several blogs, and then a friend recommended it.  Patrick read it first and thought I would like it.  I did.  It was a wake up call to the fact that God loves me more than I could ask or imagine, and I do not live my life each day as though I believe that.

I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen last weekend. I'm not sure if I want to recommend this one. I heard about it from several people, but it has gotten mixed reviews among those I know who've read it. I was captivated by the story, which centers around the traveling (train) circus of the 20th century. Life in the circus was shady at best and dark at worst. There are a few R rated scenes, and sometimes I came away from reading just feeling "dirty." Overall, it drew me in, it was quick, and the writing quality is above average.

Never Give In (The Extraordinary Character of Winston Churchill) was December's book club selection. This book is not one I would recommend because of the poor writing. Our group agreed that it made us want to read more about the life of Churchill, but this book was redundant at times and lacking in detail in others.

You should read this one.  Porn Nation is Michael Leahy's story of overcoming an addicion to pornography.  An addiction that ultimately cost him everything...his marriage, his relationship with his sons, his job, money, and most of his friends.  He shares about his recovery and sheds light on how dangerous and slowly addicting porn can be.  With our kids now using the internet before they even know how to write, it is something we need to be educated about.  This is a great story of redemption.  Oh, and he is an excellant writer.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gift giver extraordinaire

My dad has evolved as a gift giver over the years.  When we were kids, he would ask "What did you get?!?" as we opened each gift.  We knew our gifts were technically from him and mom, but we also knew he didn't do any of the shopping.  I wonder how many dads DO participate in the buying of Barbies and bigwheels, Cabbage Patch dolls and cradles.

Well, as I approached adulthood, perhaps when I was in college, dad started getting us "dad gifts."  One year I got a new set of hubcaps, since my car only had three (you know you're a country girl when...).  Another year it was floor mats for my car.  The first year I lived in my own apartment, he bought me a toolbox with some basic tools (because it drove him CRAZY when he needed to fix something at my house and I couldn't find a screwdriver or wrench).

I guess he was running out of ideas or just wanted to take things to the next level.  One of the first years I was married, he wrapped a pick axe.  The shape was obvious.  I was dumbfounded.  He sat there with a smirk on his face as Patrick and I unwrapped an antique pick axe.  I tried to be appreciative, but I really didn't get it.  Turns out it was his way of giving us a gift card to his favorite restaurant, Tony's Mining Company....and he wanted the pick axe back.  The next year, he made me a birdhouse.  I had to rip open the top of the birdhouse to get my gift (a gift card to The Bluebird Inn).  It didn't take him a long time to make it.  I wasn't supposed to keep it.  It was just a creative way to give his gift.  Well, this has now become a tradition, and dad's gift is one of my favorites to open.  This was my gift this year...

He traced his own feet for a template and then cut them out of scrap wood.  He painted the toes and put them in flip flops.  The writing says, "Happy toes" and the other, "To Lynn, Merry Christmas, GN" (dad's initials).  I'm getting a pedicure!  Thanks for your thoughtfulness and creativity, dad...I LOVE IT!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Breakfast and Homestead Gardens

For the second year in a row, I hosted a breakfast for the women in our church with preschool aged kids and their kids (including the ones who are not preschool aged).  After breakfast, we caravanned to Homestead Gardens, where we enjoyed the train village and did a bit of Christmas shopping.

For some reason, I didn't take any pictures at my house.  Breakfast was again fun and yummy.  I tried a few new recipes, one which is certainly a "make again."

White Chocolate Peppermint Scones
(from Tea Time magazine)

2 cups flour
1/3 cup plus 1 TBSP sugar, divided
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
6 TBSP unsalted butter
3/4 cup white chocolate morsels
1/2 cup peppermint baking chips
3/4 cup chilled buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp peppermint extract

Combine dry ingredients and add butter.  Combine with hands until you make coarse crumbs.  Stir in morsels and peppermint chips. Add wet ingredients.  Mix until dough comes together in moist clumps.  Place in greased scone pans (or just drop like biscuits).  Sprinkle with sugar.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 min.

*NOTE*  I couldn't find peppermint baking chips, so I used white chocolate candy cane Hershey Kisses  instead of them AND the white chocolate morsels (in other words, 1 1/4 cups crushed Kisses).
- I sprinkled the tops with red and green sugar.

PS.  Yes, JM, I know it is JANUARY, but it's MY blog and I'll post when I want to.  ;o)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

A wrestling haiku

(Patrick guest posts...)

Adeline and I were enjoying our nighty wrestling match when the following thought occurred to me, in rhyming haiku, no less.  (Calcaneus is the heel bone.  Two heel bones make calcanei)

Adeline let fly
both of her calcanei
bruising my left eye

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Dear BJ's customer...

It was nice of you to admire my daughters.  Yes, they do both have very blue eyes.  Yes, they are very sweet.  However, after remarking about how adorable Camille is, you really didn't need to look at Adeline and say, "You're pretty too sweetheart, just not NEARLY as pretty as your baby sister."

OH YES HE DID!!!  I know her hair had a bit of post-nap craziness going on but SERIOUSLY you can't say things like that to another human being, especially not a kid!  I am so glad her little two year old self was oblivious to the whole thing.  Unbelievable!  I didn't know exactly how to respond so I just said, "Yes, I have been blessed with TWO beautiful girls."

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Giveaway!!!

***Update*** Congratulations, Mari, YOU WON!
I am so excited to share a giveaway with you to start out your new year.  I have shared before that I love the daily chore schedule at motivated moms (dot) com.  I have been using it for several years, and it is such a help to me in organizing and keeping my house at a respectable level of clean.....most of the time.  Chores are broken into things that are done daily (take meds, make your bed (hee hee), read to your kids) and then other chores listed each day (clean all the glass in the family room, clean the microwave, clean one shelf in the refrigerator).  It only costs $8 and she emails the calendar to you in a pdf file.

Deann from motivated moms has donated a free chore schedule to one of my readers!  Just click on her site and see which schedule you would like ( two weeks each on 1/2 sheet, one week on a full sheet, with daily scriptures added, etc).  Leave me a comment by Saturday at 5pm to enter.  Also, Deann is offering a $1 discount if you use the code, "NEWYEAR" before Jan 14.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The cutest hat EVER!!!

My friend, Kristen, sent hand knit hats for my girls.  They are alpaca wool from the farm where her kids attend preschool.  Even the dyes for the wool are from flowers on the farm.  Seriously.  They are so soft and are the cutest things EVER!  I've been asked several times by complete strangers where I bought them or where they can purchase the pattern.  I feel so posh when I say they are from an alpaca farm in England.  Thank you Kristen for your thoughtfulness.  We love them!