Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat...

We had a great Halloween day. The oldest girls didn't have school due to the end of the quarter, not Halloween becoming a national holiday. That may be the next major change in the country depending on who becomes our new President! :) DD3 had her costume parade and harvest party at preschool and the rest of the family got to go. What a treat seeing 45 four year olds so proud of their costumes. We got to see our neighborhood friends as they were going trick or treating then we went on a hay rack ride around the neighborhood with around 30 kids (ages 1-14) and adults. The weather was beautiful, the kids were well behaved, and Chocolate. Papa and Grandma came to our house to see the kids as we weren't sure if we could make it to theirs without some type of meltdown.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A+ for education...

This was dd1 and dd2 kindergarten teacher. The award is so neat as she is a wonderful person and teacher. She goes above and beyond in everything she does. She challenges each student, she has control in her classroom and welcomes the entire family to be part of the first year of school An example of the relationship she forms with her students is dd2, in first grade now, has to get "Mrs. Paulsen hugs" every day. She sets the bar very high and this is only her 3rd year of teaching. We've always known she is awesome, now the whole world does! :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Here's some pics of my bbb (beautiful baby boy!). I know I'm prejudiced, but hey, pictures don't lie. :)

What were you doing 9 years ago?

October 28, 1999. My due date. I worked a short shift (dr's orders!), stopped at DQ for blizzards for Paperman and I then came home. We ate our ice cream (pumpkin pie for me and choc chip cookie dough for him) outside at the picnic table as it was a picture perfect fall day. We decided to go for a ride to see a friends' house he was building, back a long gravel (bumpy) lane. I guess it was bumpy enough...after we got home Paperman went hunting out back and I made supper of chicken breasts, green beans and apple crisp. Then I sat down to watch tv (I thought I remembered what show....). I felt a 'pop'. hmmm...then I thought I peed my pants, a little. (sorry) Nothing else felt different so I waited for Paperman to come back, about 1/2 hour later. He was telling me about his hunt and I kind of listened....then I told him, I think my water may have broke. So we ate supper (I paid for that later), finished packing some last minute things and headed to the hospital. On the way my contractions started. They continued to pick up but I was only feeling things in my back, nothing like I had imagined. I was around 3 cm when we got to the hospital. We got checked in, the contractions worsened, still only in my back....(from this point forward, for any of my children's births, if I say "contraction" it means BACK LABOR. I've had 4 kids, and not a single "regular" contraction....oh the things we miss out on.) I was the normal, stars in my eyes, first time Mom thinking I wanted to do a non medicated birth. That lasted a while, but I wasn't progressing much (around 6 cm at 1 am) and the only thing I was saying was "help me, help me...". I got an epidural and 20 minutes later I said I needed to push...they didn't believe me, but I did. So I pushed for about an hour and the dr came to check on me. She said she could use a vacuum to get her out now, or I could push for another 2 hours....(she had a c-section to do!). Fire up that vacuum! At 3:45 am on October 29, 1999 DD1 was born. Paperman is an awesome birth coach and maybe could become a doula if times get tough! In fact, I kept him on for the next 3 births. :) He got to call our parents, who didn't even know we were at the hospital, to tell them the news. My Dad was the first to meet DD1 as he stopped on his way to work a few hours after she was born. We brought her home on Halloween, a beautiful 80 degree day. Such a fitting beginning. I love you dd1, thank you for being part of my life and our family. You'll always be my #1 baby.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bye Bye Betsy

Yep, we name lots of things around here. Even trucks. Paperman has owned "Betsy" (a 1987 ford f150) since 1988. That's half of his life. It was the first vehicle he purchased. It was what he was driving when we met. Betsy had served him well. Her speedometer was broken, wipers didn't work consistantly and she was rusty, but she still ran well. Until a year ago Paperman drove her back and forth to work on a regular basis to save miles on the "good" truck. After I did some wheelin and dealin' (mostly dealin' as we sold her for 1/2 of our starting price) she went to a teenage boy who does a lot of 'coon hunting. Perfect. The girls yelled "Bye Betsy" as they drove away. The best part of it all (besides the extra parking spot!) was when Paperman walked up to me and said "Here's your money." Gotta love him. My money. Is that grocery money for the next 3 weeks? Is that pedicure and shopping money? More than likely it will go into the general fund (as everything does). But I do hope for it to be Christmas money as we dislike greatly writing the check in January to pay the piper for November and December! That got me thinking, what can we sell next October??

4 little pumpkins

I assume most families do this as they head to the pumpkin patch... pick out pumpkins based on birth order of the children (add parents if they get pumpkins too). Ours worked out that way this year anyway. The kids had been asking for a week to carve them, and I wanted it done, but needed a chunk of time that I was feeling pretty caught up with things to make a mess of the kitchen! That was hard to find. So Sunday morning I promised they would be done before bedtime. Forward to 7 pm, finally, pumpkin carving time. This was not the best judgement on my part as we had spent the afternoon outside at a Halloween party (45 degrees and 30 mph winds!) then came home and worked in the yard (mowing and raking up locust tree pods). This tends to wear most anyone out, especially kids that have been up later than usual 2 nights in a row. I wasn't going to break my promise OR miss out on the first time Paperman was around for pumpkin carving. I usually use this as an activity to pass the time when he's gone. It's amazing how his presence can make any activity go more smoothly. Anyway, the kids did great cleaning out their pumpkins, ds really got into the whole process and we've got some cute decorations for the front step! Happy Halloween week!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Walk a mile in their shoes

I know, they don't make the fashion week runways. I know, some people think they are UGLY. But I also know, they look cute on kids and some adults can pull them off too. They are also perfect for our summers. They go from the garden to the pool to the neighbors lake all with just a toss in the washer! They keep my kids' feet clean and safe. Toddlers can put them on themselves and they get to express their individuality by picking their colors and/or decorations. are my girls' crocs. Aside from size, you can easily pick out whose is whose if you know my girls. They tell the story. They write the book. I was sentimental hanging them on the shoe rack thinking of where those crocs took us this summer. How they probably will be too small in the spring. How I let dd3 pick orange thinking ds could wear them when he's 3 or 4, but the dog chewed them, and I'm still glad she picked orange. It's not her favorite color, but there's not many people with orange crocs, and there's not too many 4 year olds like dd3 either. :) She did have a butterfly and ladybug decoration, but they fell off. DD2, pink mary janes with flip flops. If only she had ballet slippers and a big heart, just like hers, stuck on there too. DD1, black with a football helmet. That's her story, throw in a softball, a book, her desire to learn and help and there you go. My girls (and their shoes).

It's THAT time of year again...

The furnace had been set on 66 and was running. This gets Paperman's goat as his yearly goal is to NOT have to fill the propane tank. He works hard getting the woodpile ready to keep his family warm and toasty all winter long and running the furnace is not part of that plan. So today started the 5-6 month process of fill the cart, bring the cart to the garage, feed the fire, feed the fire, feed the fire, fill the cart.... It does add work, it does add dust and a bark trail from the garage to the wood burner and I'm sure somewhere it does add to global warming. But, it also adds to MY warming, and it hardly costs us any money. I love being able to control how warm my house is and not thinking about having to pay for it next month. It's just one more way that Paperman takes care of us and provides for us. Thanks to my hunter/gatherer Paperman! (the picture is proof, that I do keep the home fires burning....)

mom & co.: Flammable when dumb . . .

CAUTION- the below post is rated R for strong language, but is extremely funny. Reminded me of something I would do and made me laugh out loud! So skip it, or click on it, read it and enjoy.

mom & co.: Flammable when dumb . . .

Reaching the limit....

I think the tire swing was close to reaching it's load limit, but not the kids. They could have hung around for much more bouncing, running, digging, climbing and haunting, but it was time for lunch! We took our family and 3 of dd1's friends to the pumpkin farm for some birthday agritainment. (for those unfamiliar with that term, basically, fun on the farm or how some farmers supplement their income....) It's 10 days until her official birthday, but with no school and no work for Paperman, it worked for us. We had beautiful weather, exhausted kids and dd1 said it was just what she wanted, so the day goes down as a success. Happy almost birthday!(dd3 was not crying in the photo, just saying something like "pumpkin farm" that gave her that look of ahhhhhh!)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wii are ready to play!

Since last Christmas the girls have been asking for a Wii. They've seen it on tv, played it at their cousins house and heard about ALL THEIR FRIENDS having them at school. We found this to be the perfect chance for a lesson in "save for what you want". They jumped right in for the challenge. Birthday gift cards, tooth fairy money, garage sale proceeds, unexpected dollars from all went in the pot. They did a great job and saved over $200. We kicked in the remainder and an extra wiimote. I offered supper to my 15 year old nephew if he would come set it up. What a lifesaver as I didn't have to try to figure it out and ruin the fun with my impatience and limited electronic knowledge! Thanks Curtis! The timing is perfect with the cooler weather on its way and my wish for a Wii Fit for Christmas. ;) Everyone had a turn tonight and from the initial reviews- we all had fun.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

It's the little victories....

Today was one of those hang out Mommy days with the exception of a quick trip to town. We had two things to get done. 1. Head check- DD1 and DD3 both have head lice in their classrooms. Bummer. I have gotten over the stigma of it all (as I've seen it cross all social and economic boundaries), but I know not everyone has. But girls, girls with long hair and sensitive scalps live in this household. Nightmare. I've been itchy ever since I've read the notices. We need to pull out the tea tree oil and start the daily checks. My Mom did it today as Paperman was working. 2. Target trip. DD2 is attending a birthday party tomorrow and DD1 is having a birthday party on Monday, we needed supplies. We were home for a late lunch and naps then we broke out the puffy paint and made trick or treat bags. The girls did a great job being creative. After all that fun was over we were ready to head outside. Dd3 has just learned to ride her bike on the rocks so she wanted to make it to the end of the driveway (lane would be a much better way to describe our approx. 1/10 mile entry from the road). I was up for the challenge so I said sure. Her sisters were in especially helpful moods too. So off we went. Here comes the little victory part- DD1 OFFERED to push DD3 and help her make it to the top of the hill and the whole time dd2 stood at the top saying "I know you can, I know you can, I KNOW YOU CAN!". DD2 had a smile so bright at the end of it all we should have had sunscreen on. Ahhh. My kids rock.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hangin' with the girls...

DD3 had her friend and neighbor over today for a "play date". She was so excited. Most of the time we just say, "Coming to our house." but today she kept asking, "Is this a play date?" Sure. DD3 is in love with building tents, forts, and tying things up (she'll make a leash for her puppies out of anything...). So we made a tent ( I didn't want her to tie Ellie up!). The girls had fun in it...ate goldfish and marshmallows, played with trolls, decorated it with clothespins, and went in and out, in and out....

Then ds woke up, much to Ellie's delight as she had been waiting her whole visit to "see him!" This was much to DD3's dismay as that meant she had to pick up trolls and he wanted to tear down the tent, that was until he got IN the tent. He thought that was so cool, especially when the girls would play with him. For anyone that may feel the least bit sorry for this little boy in the house with 3 sisters, don't. He hasn't had his toenails painted or waited in line for a bathroom, yet. But he has had his hair done and been the lucky recipient of much of their (and their friends') love and attention. Now I need to go hide the fingernail polish...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My daughter, My Friend?????

Question mark? Why a question mark. Until today, please don't take this wrong, I had never thought about my daughters being my friends. I have thought about being THEIR friend, but that goes a bit against my parenting philosophy, I strive to be their MOM (for now). But, I can't wait for them to be my friend and to be theirs. I have the potential of getting 3 bright, beautiful, funny, creative and fun friends in a not too far off future and I can't wait. As long as I don't screw this Mom thing up.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tucker, Tom, Ted, Taylor, Crawler.....

Well, he doesn't officially have a name, and he's not going to stay, but those are some of the ideas got thrown around tonight. For reference we'll just call him Mr. Turtle. The big girls were riding their bikes and going to get the mail tonight when dd2 came in to tell me "There's a turtle on the road!" I was thinking the size of my hand (ended up the size of my THUMB) so I grabbed a bucket, gloves and Brady and out we went. He was not moving except for his tail, a little. He was covered in dried mud and just didn't look well. We brought him back to the house and put a little water, some rocks, grapes and dead flies in the bucket. (Franklin likes flies, we thought he would too) Pretty soon he was sticking his head way out and hiding whenever he would get attention. When I told Paperman about him he asked if it was a snapper, I said I don't know, he said does he have a pointed nose, yep. "He's a snapper and he'll bite your finger off!" As I'm looking at Thumbkin I was thinking "How?" Then I explained how small he was and I think Paperman felt there was less imminent danger at that point. I'm thinking it's illegal or something to take a turtle from the wild. Please don't turn us in, believe me, we don't need another critter in this house any time soon. He'll be going back to the wild as soon as he's well! (We had a toad earlier in the day, but he has since been returned to his original habitat of the front porch.)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Our newest addition...

How's that title to get all you naysayers going? (HA! I knew they weren't done. It's officially fall now, when will we hear? DS needs a brother, he really does. They still have one empty seat in that van of theirs, wonder when they'll fill that up?)

His name is Joe. As in Scarecrow Joe. Every scarecrow we've ever had has been named the same. Tradition or lack of originality, I guess. In years past we've went to Michael's and picked out just the right one, to sit in the rain and fade and look too shabby to put up next year. Attempting to be frugal, creative and find something for us to do this weekend, I went to the Internet searching for instructions. I found a fun website It's a fun how-to website, with videos for those of us that learn by seeing not just reading. Then I went to the phone and called my parents. Not that they have a lot of old shabby clothes lying around waiting for some use, but hey, my Dad's a farmer, even though he lives on 1/10 of an acre. Once a farmer, always a farmer. He grows tomatoes now instead of cows and corn! And he has overalls. The girls did a great job stuffing Joe with leaves and drawing his face. We ran into trouble as everyone wanted to do his eyes, so we "drew sharpies". Paperman and I decided the eyes would be black, nose blue, and mouth green. Then the girls picked a lid, whoever got that color, drew that facial feature. Tears avoided. Joe is now placed on a bale of straw, with pumpkins and mums at his feet at the end of our driveway. He's also covered in cayenne pepper. Zoey would love to chew him up, but the cayenne worked to keep her our of our flowers this summer and we're hoping it will prolong Joe's life. Something I realized, this scarecrow, though wearing my Dad's clothing (except for the hat and kerchief), looks NOTHING like my dad. Maybe the clothes don't really make the man after all.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Odd but true...

Did you know?

Paperman and I both went to 1A schools (about 80 miles apart) that have football uniforms that are white with red lettering? (I know that because they were both featured on Friday night lights)

We both attended college for 1 year at a state school then transferred someplace else for "roughly" another year. (We're poster children for attending a community college, get your aa then figure out what you want to be when you grow up!!)

We both saw Bon Jovi and 38 Special in concert, though he was a freshman in college and I was in 8th grade.

In high school, Paperman wrestled, and BEAT the older boy who used to pick on me on the bus! Now, he works with his brother.

How you like those apples??? Just 4 more little known facts that prove we were destined to be together.

4 kids and a pumpkin....

Did I mention I LOVE fall? Leaves, our anniversary, dd1 birthday, pumpkin blizzards, Halloween parties, chili, hayrides, bonfires, sweatshirt weather, football....what's not to love.

I wanted to capture this evening as it was one I didn't want to forget anytime soon. Temperatures in the low 70's, beautiful piles of leaves, kids playing nicely.... (dd1 was playing basketball with her new ball from her teacher, in the background. DD2 and DD3 were hunting for a new pet bug, digging in a mole run. DS was training to be a NASCAR driver climbing through the window of the little tykes cozy coupe.) I know the kids kind of steal the photo, but check out that pumpkin! We got a picnic table full and then some from Paperman's cousins. Thank you, thank you, thank you! The one in the photo was dd1's pick, no dirty flat spot, sits great, nice stem...what more could you ask for! Maybe Ben and Jen should go into the pumpkin business. I'm also thinking this one could be a great roller. A week or so after Halloween we drag the pumpkins to the edge of the timber at the top of the hill and take turns letting them roll. It's a big contest to see who's goes the farthest, with lots of "do overs" and treats for the deer or our other timber friends.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I love garage sales. I could be one of those people who plan to spend every Friday morning hitting the pavement. I think I have pretty good judgement and try not to buy junk or things we don't need. Yes, the kids do get the occasional 25 cent "have to have it" stuffed animal, but I said try.... My sister was our original garage sale shopper in the family, then she inspired my Mom and I. Paperman swears the car pulls whenever we drive by a sign or a front lawn full of treasures. Mom is now the scout, she goes out early to check out the sales and lets us know what's worth our time, saving a lot of in and outs of the car with 2-4 kids in tow. Today she alerted me that Lisa was having her sale. You might be a die hard garage saler if you know the owners by their first name! :) It so happens that Lisa is in the same size range of my Mom and I and we made out like bandits. Seems that I'm usually picking up things for the kids at sales, but today it was (almost) all about me.
2 piece Ralph Lauren Jammies
2 piece Nordstrom sweat suit
tommy t-shirt
Dress barn sweater
Long sleeve brown t-shirt
1 pair athletic pants
2 tshirts, a turtleneck (new with Von Maur tags) and a book for DD1
Grand total- $16.50
A bit refreshing to have new clothes and not feel guilty on a day the market "plummets" for the (is it 8th??) day in a row...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Living green...

I'm not sure where it came from, I'll blame my kids for this again (sorry sweeties, but this is a good one!), I am trying to do my part to keep this world a healthy one for them. Changes I have made in the last year....recycling glass (I never had a separate container, so I pitched it), cloth diapers, ditching the swiffers for microfiber cloths, using vinegar and baking soda to replace windex, stove top cleaner, etc..., Charlies Soap for laundry (check out their website, if you're interested, I get mine locally, free delivery). Reusable shopping bags, as long as I remember to take them IN the store. I got a clothesline and use it when all the planets align. I think that's about it. Seems like a lot from 10 years ago when I couldn't bring myself to wash out a can, I thought I was too busy!!
There are things I have tried, but reverted back....making my own dish washing soap (baking soda and borax), I got a film, I think it's our water. No bleach. I tried, I really really did...but there are those time when things get stinky or really really dirty and they just need it! Oxyclean does ok, but good old pollutin chlorine, there's no match. Paper napkins, I've looked for cloth, but I'm not willing to shell out the money right now. Maybe we'll use cloth diapers for our dinner napkins when DS is potty trained. (just kidding, you can still come for supper!) I'm hoping to run across a stash at a garage sale someday. Paper towels, I'm working on this one too. Some things just need thrown away and some days the washcloth/dish towel drawer is just plain empty! Water bottles. We have cut down on the plastic ones we buy and use, but recycle the ones we do. The other issue is the #7 plastic, bpa, etc.... Once again, simple economics come to play. I'm thinking stainless steel water bottles for Christmas. With anything, it's a work in progress. Babysteps.

Never forget?

I've always said to myself, as I'm sniffing the top of my baby's head, I'll never forget this. I'll never forget the way (even 14 months later) his head fits right under my chin, like he's been there forever. I'll never forget the way his infectious giggle can turn heads in a crowded store as his sister plays peek a boo to keep him from climbing out of the shopping cart. I'll never forget how angelic he looks when he finally gives into sleep, only to recharge his tired body for the next day of adventure. I'll never forget what a true miracle it is to see his perfect little body, running naked across the living room, doing anything to keep from getting dressed. I'll never forget the way music moves him, stops him in his tracks and makes him boogie. I'll never forget how he gets a cup from the drawer and stands at the water dispenser on the fridge waiting for his turn. I'll never forget how I can say and sign "eat" Are you hungry? and he runs to his high chair to fill his hollow leg. I'll never forget how many times I hear "you got your boy", "he looks just like his daddy" and "look at those eyes". I'll never forget the things we thought were childproofed, but not DS proofed, the air vents (pulls them out), the ottomans (stands on them) the end table (pulls it over), the bathtub (pulls himself in), the toilet (he's obsessed). I'll never forget how 8 years ago, pregnant with DD2, I was to love another baby as much as DD1, but I didn't worry for DD3, or DS as I did learn, with more, love does not divide, it multiplies. Oh, I pray, I never forget.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hello, hello, hello...

Is there anybody out there? If you do happen to stumble upon this blog on occasion, stop and leave me a comment (click on the #comments at the bottom of the post, it should guide you from there). Kind, sweet and full of compliments only please. If only I knew how and was organized enough, I could offer you some type of prize for leaving a comment, but you can just enjoy the fact you made my day! Have a happy one.

Fun with phonics

The scene: reading through dd2's "Friday folder" from school with help from dd3. I was showing her the work her sister had done at school the previous week. A sheet, obviously used to help dd2 continue to read the words she'd been reading for 2 years came up. It featured a picture of a writing utensil, below it dd2 wrote p-e-n. A picture of 3 males, dd2 wrote m-e-n. So on and so on. As dd3 is seeming to be in the "wanting to learn to read and spell stages" I was having her "help" me read the words by looking at the picture and sounding out the first letter of the word. Pen. Men. Next, a picture of the poultry that might say "Kentucky fried" above it.... word starts with an H - dd3 answer- of course, it's a H-i-c-k-e-n! I did one of those "look the other way and shake until tears roll down your cheeks" and said- "well, yes, good, but another word might be a hen." If you don't see the utmost humor with the above post, that's OK. Paperman just grinned politely as I was retelling the story, nearly falling off my chair. So then I called my sister, at least SHE laughed, nearly as hard as I did. Maybe you did have to be there.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Yellow tape

If you see our property surrounded by yellow (do not cross) tape, do not worry. It's just the health department doing a quarantine on our household for germs that just won't leave us alone! Go as far away as you can and come back in a week. We thought we were safe. Thought the worst was over. Thought we could have a weekend together as a family (it's only been a month!). Nope. Not happening. Paperman came home today in the middle of the day. I was excited for about 4 seconds (thinking they didn't need him at work and our weekend started early), he's sick. DD1 has very high confidence that her good health will continue. I'll go with her on that. We have her sleeping in the garage and bathing in rubbing alcohol. Just kidding. Get better soon Paperman, we love you and miss you when you can't go places with us!

Look what I can do!

DS's newest trick- balancing a spoon on his head. Now this boy could really go places. When we finished up supper Wednesday night he was sitting in his high chair making the biggest mess possible while I was loading dishes in the dishwasher. He started saying "ahhhhh???" After he got my attention I said "Where's the spoon?" He would smile very big and grab it....and start the whole thing over. He must have his Daddy's talent, as Paperman can balance a spoon on his nose, and has taught that trick to each of his daughters. Ask to see it sometime. Along with the spoon balancing, DS's climbing skills have improved this week, to my dismay. His current escapades include the dining room chairs and the ottomans, he climbs up, then stands up, then I run! We are almost 9 years into this parenting thing and no stitches, how's that to jinx us. My prediction the other day was that ds would have them before he's 5- a bet I would clearly love to lose.

Hey Mickey...

Oh Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind Hey Mickey!!!! I'm not sure what you'll be more surprised at, that DD2 had this song to do her Poms routine to or I knew the singer, without looking it up on the internet. Toni Basil. The year was 1982, I was in 4th grade! In my research ( didn't know what year it was) I did see that it is one of the biggest cheerleading songs out there. The other age groups of girls danced to My Boyfriend's back and Let's hear it for the boy....oh the golden oldies. I guess it also makes ME an oldie. DD2 is a cheerleader at heart and can hardly stand still watching cheerleaders or just thinking about it. It's great fun for me watch her do things I stumbled around at in my youthful days. She ruled that 50 yard line tonight!