Saturday, December 31, 2011

for 2012...

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.
Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann c.1920

Thursday, November 3, 2011

why ya gotta be so mean?

I knew the day would come.  The little girl giggles and silliness would go sideways in comes mean.  not in my girls.  but other girls.  perhaps these girls have not had "the talk" with their moms.  My girls have.  And we continue to have it.  I refuse to raise "mean girls".  I want independent and assertive girls, but not by meanness.  Luckily (?) the meanness from others is coming in small quantities.  And has happened when I am around - although that almost bothers me MORE - that these young girls are bold & brave enough to be mean in front of me.  And luckily the episodes seem to burst and be done.  I've had some good heart-to-hearts with both girls...trying to help them understand how a true friend treats you and you should treat others.  Gently reminding them to be friendly to everyone, not to leave someone out when possible, and not to talk about someone when they are not around.  Hopefully giving them a soft & safe place to land when they are hurt...Despite my initial reaction is to put those mean little girls in their place...I am pulling up my Big Girl Panties and biting my tongue and taking 3-4 deep breaths and kneeling to their level and explaining that their words/behavior was not appropriate or nice...trying to find out  "the why" behind what they did.  Sometimes easier said than done.  But at the ages of 5 & one, NO ONE, should start their day of school in tears.  I just wish that all parents took the time and patience to teach their daughters the importance of being nice.  And what being a friend entails...but of course, assumes the Moms know these things themselves, right?

On a *happy note*.........My girls have found a great liking of Taylor Swift songs.  And for the most part, her music is okay for their age.  They love "Mean" and lil miss Nea does a *mean* version of it - in fact, she often tells me she sings just like Taylor Swift (yes, if Taylor has a bit of a lisp and is merely 2.5 ft tall....but we got that long blond hair AND she does know the words AND does very similar dance moves as seen in the video The Daddy showed the girls...).

Monday, October 10, 2011

busy autumn

it has been a crazy busy fun fall thus far for all of us.
the girls love school.  adore their teachers.  can't wait to go each morning.  i *heart* not having to fight to get them up & doing and ready to go!  of course, picking out their outfits the night before is very helpful.
although there have been many events and laughter that i'd love to write about...this one is a quick one about teacher conferences.
i am so stinking proud of my girls!
nea is reading 1st grade level (and sometimes harder!) books...she is one of the best readers in her class and knows all her sight words already!  so her teacher is starting her on 1st grade words this week.  she is super excited.  and that girl can draw & color like a pro!  beautiful pictures that are colored intricately for her age.  she is still quiet, although her teacher does finally get a smile out of her!  for as quiet she is during school hours, the words & storied pour (gush!) out of her at pickup.  and she is competitive - she likes to be first in line.  we knew she could be sneaky and it sounds like she is showing some of that in school.  soccer season went very well for her - she learned the fine art of stopping with the ball and letting the other kids run past her then turning and scoring.  the pride on the little girl's face was so awesome!  she is still dancing tap and ballet - and really wanted to add a jazz class.  maybe next year.  she really likes being in the same class as her sister and they are super cute together!  i cannot wait for their christmas recital  - they are dancing to one of my favorite non-traditional songs:  "i want a hippopotamus for christmas...".  and finally, she is monkey-bar-hanging-swinging-spinning fool!  had the blisters on each hand to prove it.  they are nicely healed now and well on the way to being calloused because those monkey bars must be conquered at each recess. 
wren knew all her 1st grade sight words a few weeks ago and we got a note letting us know that her teacher was starting her on the 2nd grade words to keep challenging her.  she is reading very well and loves checking out all sorts of books from the library (she just brought home a book about ancient egypt!).  at conferences her teacher had such good things to say...except wanting her to slow down a bit with her writing.  her teacher is not letting her use the "i'm lefty and it's hard to write well" excuse.  but my favorite thing was a book where they are journaling about what they did on the weekends.  they write a sentence and draw a picture.  she wrote about going to gram & grandpa's.  getting groceries with the daddy.  and more than once she wrote that we went to church and she learned about God.  i love that girl!  i am so proud of her!  wren had a good friend of hers hurt (almost break) her arm and when she showed up at "walking club" with a cast on, wren went over to ask if she was okay and immediately offered to help her get her jacket on and held her good hand the whole time we walked.  she is a good friend!  she is continuing her piano lessons and enjoys practicing and playing each day.  today she had a "group" lesson and i was just walking out of her teacher's home as she was starting her solo.  she was sitting up proud and straight and played loudly, then softly and all from memory.  that girl can play a good "ole macdonald's farm" i tell ya!  she enjoyed soccer this year, but mostly the social aspect.  although she enjoys running and kicking, soccer is not necessarily her best sport.  she is still dancing (ballet & tap) and likes that nea is in class with her.
so there's bit aboout us and what we are up to.  my working is going well...days go fast!  the house is not clean.  the laundry piles up.  and my "fall painting projects" will have to be "summer painting projects" when i will be on sabbatical.  i have been able to get in some volunteering at the girls' school and am able to do "walking club" each morning with them.  it is fun to see them interact with their teachers and classmates and other students.  karl & i have made it to the ISU home games and some have been great.  others not so much.  such is the way of college football.  we are getting ready for halloween...hopefully i'll get some photos posted in a couple weeks of our "jasmine", "flamingo dancer", "ISU fan", and "parrot".  in the mean time you'll just have to try to guess who is going as what.  or who.  or is it whom?  whatever.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

what linnea hears...

so online i saw a list of
"top 10 funniest misheard lyrics:
here is the list 

Elton John -- 'Tiny DanceR'
Misheard: "Hold me closer, Tony Danza."
Real: "Hold me closer, tiny dancer."

Jimi Hendrix -- 'Purple Haze'
Misheard:"S'cuse me while I kiss this guy"
Real: "S'cuse me while I kiss the sky."

Pearl Jam -- 'Glorified'
Misheard: "Horrified virgin on a pelican"
Real: "Glorified version of a pellet gun"

Manfred Mann's Earth Band --'Blinded by the Light'
Misheard: "Wrapped up like a douche"
Real: "Revved up like a deuce"

Van Halen -- 'Panama'
Misheard: "You reach down between my legs... squeeze the seed bag."
Real: "You reach down between my legs... ease the seat back."

Adele -- 'Chasing Pavements'
Misheard: "Should I just keep chasing penguins?"
Real: "Should I just keep chasing pavements?"
Creedence Clearwater Revival -- 'Bad Moon Rising'
Misheard: "There's a bathroom on the right."
Real: "There's a bad moon on the rise."

The National -- 'Mr. November'
Misheard: "I won't f--- her sober."
Real: "I won't f--- us over."

Hall and Oates -- 'Every Time You Go Away'
Misheard: "Every time you go away, take a piece of meat with you."
Real: "Take a piece of me with you."

Eagles -- 'Desperado'
Misheard: "You've been outright offensive for so long now."
Real: "You've been out riding fences for so long now."




Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sunday, August 14, 2011

the help

if you have not read the book,

if you have not seen the movie,

Monday, August 8, 2011

creativity and what not...

i guess it is a done deal.

i registered the kids for school today.
so, i guess linnea is now officially a kindergartner.
oh me oh my. 
(insert sad momma face here)

but she is super-duper excited! and enjoying all the festivities that lead up to that

one of the traditions is getting to make a blanket with auntie kathy.  last year wren chose a black/white animal print and a coordinating purple panda for hers.  linnea's choices were peter pan (with tinkerbell) on one side and barbie on the other.  matching?  not so much.  but totally *her*.

i think she will be "most fashionable" during rest time - and the most comfy, too... indeed!

if you do not watch your children...

...this is where you might find them:

Friday, July 29, 2011

almost ready...


Tuesday, July 26, 2011


i sometimes make lists.
to do.
but lately i have been making a mental list.
a mental list of the stuff we girls still want to do before school starts.
we got school supplies over the weekend.
and each crayon, pencil, marker, eraser and what not are each labeled.
ain't no 1st grader or kindergartner getting on my girls' stuff :)
we made it to a water park last week.
we have done the back-to-school clothes shopping.
we have plans to go to the children's zoo.
we have bought each girl one of the 2 pairs of sneakers needed for school.
we have hair appointments scheduled (i will probably have to have an entire post on this one since it is my girls' "1st hair cut EVER".  no we are not Amish.  or Mennonites.  don't ask.)
and the "go to lunch with daddy" date is sorta scheduled...since we are mostly to his office on haircut day.  that one might even include the pedestrian bridge.  a downtown park and other sundry sites!
but...for the most part we are laying low. 
it really doesn't take much to make my lil honeys happy these days.
they enjoy playing together..."buddy land"..."water buddies"...putting on concerts & shows for me...watching movies together.
so......for that only being a mental list, it sure looks to be written down now, huh?!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

8 years and a-counting...

today is the day that karl & i got married.

eight years ago. 

and it has been a rollercoaster 8 years.

but so very worth each downhill and uphill!

best.  husband.  ever.

best hubs ever.  with the best dog ever.

the fam after the girls' dance recital in june.

the fam at our friends' wedding in april.

smacking and other annoying things...

i'm not a big fan of people who smack when they are chewing gum.  or anthing else for that matter.  but i have made an exception to that annoyance:  linnea chewing her favorite orange gum.  it cracks me up that the smallish piece of trident is overwhelmingly huge in her 5-yr-old mouth.  and she is all smack and spit when she is talking.  because why wouldn't she want to talk with gum in her mouth?  seriously, if this were someone who had not be in my belly for 9 months i would be beyond annoyed.  like making annoyed eyes at them.  but since it is my little linnea, it makes me laugh!  but - she is not allowed to chew gum just any old time.  basically only in the car or at home.  primarily because i don't want her smacking to annoy someone else and her to get their annoyed eyes and me going all mama-bear on them.  i think it is win-win-win for all potentially invovled.  the end.

swimming lessons are painful.  for me.  my girls have taken lessons a couple of times.  we did the once or twice a week lessons and although they love the water and have fun they did not learn much from those lessons.  if anything, they learned bad habits from younger kids who were scared of the water.  sigh.  and so we decided that this summer we would have them take 2 weeks of daily lessons in hopes of getting them to be swimmers.  and when i enrolled the girls i put them in the same class and in a level that i knew was above their actual ability.  luckily there is just one other boy in the class.  he is 7 and does know how to swim somewhat.  the first day i sat on a bench, book in hand attempting to read.  but i could not help but watch as the swim instructor got them each a hip-floaters, had them jump in the deep end and try to paddle to the other far end.  oh my.  i could tell both girls were afraid.  but i was so proud of them - they each paddle, with some help, to the other end!  and then they were shown how to use the kickboards and they kickboarded across the pool!  it was not the greatest swimming.  they won't win any fishy awards.  but they are being brave, stepping out of their comfort zones, and by cracky!  i think they might be able to swim at the end of next week!  and this makes me happy...swimming is a basic survival skill that everyone should know!  today, day 2 of lessons, they worked on backfloating - which wren hates.  but she eventually relaxed and did okay.  then, the instructor let them go down the big slide.  the big slide that my girls have asked to go down every time we go swimming...and today was that day!  wren climbed the stair, sat down and woosh!  down she went...full of giggles!  linnea climbed the stairs and stood up there.  i could tell even from across the pool that she was scared.  that she was not going to slide down on her own.  even when i saw wren hollar some encouragement to her i knew she would not go.  the instructor was saying something to her from where she was in the water.  finally another instructor when up, chatted with linnea and slide down with her.  after that?  she was perfectly comfortable going down by herself. 

and while each morning has been hard for me to watch, and pretend not to be the helicopter mom i can be...but we have all been brave this week.  i have learned to sit back and let them go on their own and beig big and brave themselves.  and the pride they have each had after each lessons is wonderful!  they both admitted to being scared, but that they were glad they stuck with it because it is fun learning to swim.  and each morning they look forward to going!  yeah!  i was worried that they would not want to go after that first day.  and for about 15 minutes i doubted myself for a bit for putting them in a class above their abilities...but, they have made me one proud momma indeed!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


tonight we enjoyed a delish dinner of grilled burgers with fresh toms and onions!  the juiciest watermelon and sweetcorn!  and just because, we had peach/cherry crisp right out of the oven.  i think we all will be in a food induced coma any moment.

but there was a "daddy shows" to watch. tonight it was "american pickers".  and as the girls and the daddy enjoyed the show i did a bit of work organizing an uppercase living order (that was delivered to the wrong house and i had to go search the neighborhood for it...not fun...but it ended well).  the "american pickers" were out-n-about looking for civil war items.  they also got to be part of a civil war re-enactment...

which led to linnea doing her own re-enactment.

a re-enactment of our tv evening.

this is our whole fam enjoying our wednesday evening watching "american pickers".

lemon meringue is wren. 
flynn rider is the daddy. 
the polly pocket with blue streaks is linnea. 
pascal is puddy mcfluffkins.

 and this little pooch is our alice.

oh, and this is me.  the momma.



Monday, July 11, 2011

how can it be the middle of july??!!

we are having a great summer! 
(staying busy and funning = lack of blogging)

i have a big ole list of house projects...that i kept putting off.  i have put them off b/c some would be easier to do with both girls in school.  give myself loads to stay busy with when our youngest is in school this fall.


how can that little teener-tiner be ready for kindergarten??!!

but then a few days ago i was offered a job.  a job that will allow me to take and pick up the girls from school.  will allow me to work 9-2:30pm.  and with the days the girls do not have school, i do not work.  how could i say no?!  and, what's even better?  it isn't even like it's a new NEW job.  it's at the accounting firm where i work during tax season!  so i know everyone.  i know basically what the position entails.  oh, there will be a learning curve as i have not actually done this job in a few years, but i am confident that it will be just fine! 

i am feeling incredibly blessed to be able to have this opportunity!  i will still be home with the girls when they are home!  still be able to attend their extra-curricular activities!  still be able to relish "snow days"...hee hee!  and of course, adding some coin in the bank is great, too!

so, that house project list i mentioned in the beginning?  well, i have amended it.  what i really "have" to do...and what can wait until after football season (because to be perfectly honest, not much gets done on "project lists" b/c of our weekends attending and watching football!)...i am knocking off some of the list this week with the girls at our church's daycamp.

there are many changes for us coming in august...but the changes will still keep one main priority:  my girls and making sure that i am home with them!

Monday, June 27, 2011

summer reading

the girls and i have been spending some time at our local small-town library...the girls are participating in their "summer reading program" and enjoying little prizes along the way.  today was the last day of the june storytime but, unfortunately, we were unable to go.  why?  well, there is a certain young lady who recently turned 5 and is in what i am dubbing her "sassafras stage" (or alternatively "i will never...stage").  i love that little thing to pieces, but her mouth makes my mouth say things i should not.  not proud of that.  or the fact this "stage" could resurface when she is in double digits.  or just stay.  **sigh**

anyhoodles, we have been reading a bunch this summer!  i have enjoyed some of my favorite authors and found a couple new ones to love.  i am finishing up jodi picoult's latest book and have an anita shreve book ready to be read next!  I also like to keep a list of books to checkout...sometime the are magazine recommendations, or a friend's, or on a blog...this following excerpt someone else posted and it makes me want to read the book - just from this paragraph!

what are your recommendations for some summer reading?

we change shape, she continued, we buy low-heeled shoes, we cut off our long hair. We begin to carry in our bags half-eaten rusks, a small tractor, a shred of beloved fabric, a plastic doll. We lose muscle tone, sleep, reason, perspective. Our hearts begin to live outside our bodies. They breath, they eat, they crawl and-look!-they walk, they begin to speak to us. We learn that we sometimes walk an inch at a time, to stop and examine every stick, every stone, every squashed tin along the way. We get used to not going where we were going. We learn to darn, perhaps to cook, to patch the knees of dungarees. We get used to living with a love that suffuses us, suffocates us, blinds us, controls us. We live. We contemplate our bodies, our stretched skin, those threads of silver around our brows, our strangely enlarged feet. We learn to look less in the mirror. We put our dry-clean only clothes in the back of the wardrobe. Eventually, we throw them away. We school ourselves to stop saying 'shit' and 'damn' and learn to say 'my goodness' and 'heavens above'. We give up smoking, we colour our hair, we search the vistas of parks, swimming pools, libraries, cafes for others of our kind. We know each other by our pushchairs, our sleepless gazes, the beakers we carry. We learn how to cool a fever, ease a cough, the four indicators of meningitis, that one must sometimes push a swing for two hours. We buy biscuit cutters, washable pains, aprons, plastic bowls. We no longer tolerate delayed buses, fighting in the street, smoking in restaurants, sex after midnight, inconsistency, laziness, being cold. We contemplate younger women as they pass us in the street, with their cigarettes, their makeup, their tight-seemed dresses, their tiny handbags, their smooth, washed hair, and we turn away, we put down our heads, we keep on pushing the pram up the hill.
Maggie O'Farrell, The Hand That First Held Mine

Friday, June 24, 2011

"cabin fever" or "justin beiber"?

while watching a muppet movie earlier today...the muppet crew of the ship in the movie started to sing a song about having cabin fever.

"cabin fever....ooohh, oh, oh.....we've got cabin fever!"

just after it began i hear the girls both yelling:


(**yup, they call him "justin beaver".  nope, i have not felt the need to correct them.  nope, we do not have any of his cd's.  nope, we will not be getting any of them any time soon.  thankfully!)

and then they were disappointed that justin did not show up. 

i tried to explain "cabin fever" to them but they insisted that the muppets said "justin beiber". 

yup, i am certain there were no muppets saying "justin beiber" since this movie quite possibly was made before he was even born.  but it sure was a good laugh for this momma!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

sad & unnerving

this story is just plain sad.  and unnerving.

and it happened near where we live.  no, not our neighborhood.  not within a stoe's throw.  but close enough that it just sickens me.

the young girl who was assaulted and her brother are basically the ages as my girls.  now, i'd like to say that i would never have let them go to said park alone, but with a view from a window...hard to say.  i "think" i would not let them go there, just the 2 of them.....

i have made comments in the past such as:
"even if we do put in a fence the kids & the dog really won't ever be outside without me there, too."
(this stems from the fact that kids are not safe outside in this day & age, even just riding their bike in front of the house or running throught he sprinkler...yes, when we 3 are outside and I need to go back inside - bathroom, answer phone, get h2o or snack - all of us go in...because....)

"everyone i don't know is a pedophile or kidnapper."
(ice cream van drive?  yup.  any unfamiliar vehicle or person in the area?  yup.  those people who go door-2-door to tell you the end of the world is coming soon, or selling candy bars/books/candles to "better their lives"/earn a scholoarship?  yup.  the older kids scootering/biking/walking who i do not recognize as neighbors?  yup.  why do i say/believe this odd statement?  about 8 years ago i worked somewhere that counsels sex offenders (adult & juvenile) and there was a group therapy that met during one of my shifts each week...i also did transcribing for the not only did i know in general terms why each person - generally men - were there, i also had details because i typed up each psychiatrist visit...and i can tell you that a main characteristic of these offenders was simple:  kindness...they are kind because that is how they groom their victims!  and some of the people looked like regular, good-hearted people...not the greasy-haired, slimeballs that one might have in their me the heebie-jeebies...)

and the fact that the offenders in the horrible incident are reported to be 12 & 13 year old boys?  seriously??  sigh, sad. sad.  sad.  and i am not even going to write about my feelings about the fact that thoughts that these 2 juvenile sex offenders recorded - then tried, unsuccessfully to delete - the assualt.  and, if convicted, may not receive much in the way of punishment (probation is highly likely - in fact the boys are currently not incarcerated but where allowed to go home with strict terms:  no cell phones, no contact with younger children).

so until further notice i will remain hypervigilant when it comes to my daughters.  i am guessing this will not change any time soon.  unfortunate for what that says about the world we live in now, but good for the protection of those precious girls!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

linnea mariann...No. 5 birthday!

Gotta hold on easy as I let you go

Gonna tell you how much I love you

Though you think you already know

I remember I thought you looked like an angel wrapped in pink so soft and warm

You've had me wrapped around your finger since the day you were born

You're beautiful baby from the outside in

Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again

Go on, take on this whole world

But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

When you were in trouble that crooked little smile could melt my heart of stone

Now look at you, I've turned around and you've almost grown

Sometimes you're asleep I whisper "I Love You" in the moonlight at your door

As I walk away, I hear you say, "Daddy Love You More"

You're beautiful baby from the outside in

Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again

Go on, take on this whole world

But to me you know you'll always be, my little girl

Someday, some boy will come and ask me for your hand

But I won't say "yes" to him unless I know, he's the half

That makes you whole, he has a poet's soul, and the heart of a man's man

I know he'll say that he's in love

But between you and me

He won't be good enough

You're beautiful baby from the outside in

Chase your dreams but always know the road that'll lead you home again

Go on, take on this whole world

But to me you know you'll always be,
my little girl