Saturday, January 31, 2009

Curious to Know Your Thoughts

There is a new law going into effect on the 10th of February about Lead. I know that lead can hurt children but it is interesting to note that this law may have a few more implications than we originally thought. All playthings for children under 11 have to be inspected and pronounced "safe" which I agree with except that I can't stand rising costs.

Children may be impacted by this further for school and public libraries to be disbanded in the future because of the lead and such:

Small businesses will not be able to produce and ship out their products without inspection.

This article on this blog gives a better description and more websites to check out.

What do you think?


Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Addition

Before you start the "yay" and "Congratulations" yelp, I feel the need to state that I am NOT pregnant. We have decided to name him, our new pet turtle, Tuck Greeny VDG. R is SUPER excited to have him. My new pet names for him are Sir Stink-a-lot, Pepe Le Piu, Stinky, or whatever I may feel at the stench of the dear little amphibian (though I may only think them to keep the atmosphere uplifting and cheerful).

He/she seems to be a well behaved sort of turtle and I must admit I enjoy seeing the children play with him. Every five minutes R walks over to the tank to check up on him. We've decided that he can feed and such in a separate tank from the one with rocks (into one with one rock). Now that we have a turtle I am taking ideas on handling the smell; other than cleaning the tank every day.

Somehow this brings me back to my childhood. I remember the list of pets I dreamed about--a monkey, a turtle, a crab, a horse. A monkey seemed so glamorous. Of course, they obviously came with their own hand-cranking music box and they played the little cymbals (I really like Shirley Temple movies--check out "Poor Little Rich Girl").

Then, I remember thinking turtles must be the best. They have their own little cabin they carry on their back, they like water, they can crawl on your bed, they can crawl around the house. Some how I totally missed the fact that both of these wonderful creatures smell sulfurous.

Pictures to come. ;)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

S and R were talking this morning when I woke up. R was happily saying, "S, when we grow up and get married (he explained later that he meant to other people--not to each other) we will live by each other so we can go out of our houses and give each other hugs."

Sometimes (a lot more than some would think) I wish that I lived by our brothers (and sisters and parents) because there are times I would like to give all of them hugs. :)

S also said this morning as I took her to her class and her teacher was on the way, "You can't sit at this table, you're not a teacher." I told her I teach her every day. She was adamant the table was strictly for sunbeams and their teacher. :) Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

The pictures are some old ones from awhile back. Can you imagine them thinking that then?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Sisters in Zion -- Visiting Teaching Message for Sisters in Our Ward

There is a bush a couple of streets from where I live. It would normally have beautiful, lush white blossoms during the warmer months. There is something I really admire about this tree. It is the fact that it is determined to bloom during the winter even if the buds get frozen brown. It really boomed in December, now it is slowing down but never giving up. The leaves are not as brilliantly green as before yet even at subzero (or feeling like) temperatures it is determined to spread joy and beauty.

I feel like the sisters of Relief Society do this very thing. Even if times are difficult or we are in the "winter of life" we still reach out to those around us to spread happiness and love. Our blossoms though sometimes may turn an antiquated brown still bring joy to the beholders. Our acts of service burst through. Yes, there are times when we'd like to burst out and spread more cheer, but we strive to do all we can.

I know the Lord knows each of us and loves us dearly. When we serve one another we are serving him--even if it is just a patient smile to a somewhat mischievous child or a smile-nod to a neighbor. "Everything denotes there is a God." I love Him. I pray that we may reach out to those whom we visit teach and share just a bit of His love for them with them. We will feel an outpouring of love for each of our sisters as we pray for them and seek to be the arms of love reaching out for them (like a hug from our Savior). Our lives will be brighter and our hearts will be feel the extraordinary love of our Heavenly Father for us as well.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Small and Simple

Pleasure me with a moment of gratuitous pondering of the infinite worth of the small and simple things. The plethora and enormity of seemingly insignificant things that surround us on a daily basis slowly mold the way we register the changes and movements in our lives.

I enjoy Mary Engelbreit. Her pictures are pure delight and seem to jump out of the page to greet me. I learned from my mother that calendars are a wonderful resource for wall decoration if one is in a monetarily challenged position and even if one is not. One can imagine that my house has plenty of those pictures greeting me upon every turn (okay, not EVERY turn). One of my favorite sayings upon them is:

There is a choice you have to make in everything you do.
And you must always keep in mind the choice you make, makes you.

So you can imagine my goal of the week--or the next week--starting tomorrow is to recognize the small things in my life that I can change for the better. I won't be listing this list on this blog--it is rather extensive. ;)

Check out the poster:

Little Airplane Productions

Today we went for another round of Little Airplanes Productions for BBC backed 3rd and Bird. I showed the kids the preview on the BBC Ceebies website the night before.

They told the kids they hadn't seen the movie before, to which they adamantly responded, "YES, we have." No, the continued, they hadn't. My kidlets were so adamant finally they asked, "Where did you see it?" "On the computer," they said. I got a few suspecting glances. LOL, I just wanted to be informed on what they were showing my kids. I thought it was so cute that I wanted to show my kids what they were going to be seeing (at least a glimpse). :)

They told their first story with the picture boards and then they asked questions about differences. They asked S, "What makes us different?" S answered thoughtfully, "Because God asks us to be." I think I must have had a beaming smile on my face. What a dear!

I love my dear ones.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Lately I have been very busy. I got my house cleaned up on Friday, which was a wonder (no smirking). Since then I feel like I have been reeling in circles and my house is once again a disaster area. I blame it on my 3 kidlets, but most likely it is a whole family thing. :)

My hair has not been cut. It is still very long. It did not sell. I am okay with that. I can either save it for when it is longer and then try to sell it or I can cut it and sell it for cheaper. I haven't decided, but I really appreciated your input.

T has been talking up a storm. I think he says Ro oh, for R. I love it. He also says, "wow, wow, wow." Even writing this my eyes scrinch up with endearment for my little 'un. Motherhood is so special to me. For those that don't have these dear ones yet, you will. You'll love them. You'll be so great!

Today we made lunch for the missionaries of the Brooklyn Mission. Ok, I pretty much watched the kids that would let me watch them and Kristin Taylor made the food and Emily and friends made the rest of the food. It was wonderful to see all those wonderful missionaries (many of the ones that helped us move).

The dear 2 year olds had so much energy. They wanted to wrestle, take each other's toys, watch their own movies, etc. I forgot how exciting/exhausting they can be--and yes I have children like that now but a little more able to express themselves. It made me laugh at how they wanted things just their way and if you wanted different you were discluded. Their ideas of staying focused was running in one direction more than 2 seconds. Aren't 2 year olds so delightful?!

I love that little children love high pitched excited voices. Now I understand why children's programming has the borderline annoying voice thing in almost every program--children like it.
I used to think this was talking down to a kid, now I think it is just talking to a kid on their level. It is kind of like bending down to talk to them so you can look them in the eye rather than glaring down at them. They loved to be chased, they love brightly colored objects, they love a bit of competition (but not much), they love to be cuddled (for about 5 seconds) with gales of laughter, and they love to be told they are good at something (really, who doesn't?). Validation is everything to them. I just wanted to let their mommies know, if they are reading this, they are GREAT mommies. You should be very proud of your kidlets.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Birthday

FHE is pictured above

This has been a very exciting couple of days. In anticipation for S's birthday (and because it was going to be freezing on her birthday) we decided to go to Chucklet Cheese's early. We had a great time but we are tiring of the pizza and have decided the next time we go we are going to be eating previous to going so that we can go and just have fun playing games the entire time (and it is much cheaper). As usual, not to break our nightly record, we spilled an entire glass of beverage.

Then today we made had our traditional cereal sundaes (yum). S's favorite cereal was Lucky Charms but she gladly conceded to getting the generic kind (without any complaints--those marshmallows are so tempting). She opened her presents--a Snow White (the Disney character) dress and a bucking bronco game. She immediately put the dress on and wore it straight---for an hour--then changed into her old dresses. :) Ah, well.

We are doing our best to save money these months (which is a delightful challenge). The only thing stopping us from saving money are the parking tickets we get slapped with every other day (the police people here are always on the prowl--and are under the jurisdiction of the NYC Department of Finance--seriously). NYC has made a bundle on us, that much I can tell you. Sometimes we aren't even breaking the law. Oh, so the reason I am telling you this is because I came up with some other great gifts that S loves. I got one of my old makeup compacts and emptied it of remaining makeup as much as possible. Then I put up some old paper on the wall of their room and they made a dinosaur and princess diorama (thus the triceratops). Hopefully the finished diorama will be posted when it is done, which may be awhile. I figured out that is a great thing to do with remaining Christmas wrapping paper that you don't want to save. Keep the tape handy if you have little Ts crawling around.
The scribble on the picture may look like a signature, but it is grass. :) Although that would be an awesome kindergarten signature.

We also made a lovely castle cake, which you can find how to make here. The thing is we didn't have all the supplies and I made it with only one cake mix instead of two and we ran out of frosting in the "crumb frosting" part which is absolutely fine with me--and with the kids. The brown chocolate sprinkles were attempting to make a door way--but it kind of made a mess, just imagine a regal chocolate doorway. We had a fabulous time eating it and instead of waiting a few more minutes for it to chill we ate it right away--yum. Pictures will be posted later. S did her own hair with a little help from R.

S we love you and are so glad you are in our family. You are a ray of sunshine flitting through the house. We love to see you dance, sing, jump, draw, read, write, and everything else you do fabulously. We love to hear you pretending. You are our little princess. Thank you for helping pick up after yourself. Thank you for being so excited about breakfast cereal, drawing, etc. Thank you for helping T be a good boy. Thank you for being you!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fam/T's Room

Soooo, some of you have been asking to see our family room, and yes you Mom. If you come over it is often off limits thanks to my chaos--or as the flylady would put it--the "can't have anyone over syndrome." I sense a smirk and I'll have you know I think it is a real syndrome and not to be lightly laughed at. ;)

My friend did an awesome post on her office. She's a magaziner--which means she works for a magazine (cool huh!). Her's looks way awesomer, but I had to attempt because I was jealous. She posted her magazine post and she stated all the things she has and where she got them. I pretty much don't know where everything came from so I'll do my best. Before I tell you about it however I have to tell you her post is beyond Martha Stewart worthy. Dear Ms. Stewart would fight tooth and nail to get a story like hers (check the friend link). Mine however will fit perfectly in my blog book [self satisfied sniff].

But now you can see it. Ta Da. There is still a little rearranging to be done, but it is basically complete and I am proud. I am not the most organized person and I couldn't stand the book jumble which happens after five minutes of having your children in a room, so I put all the books in the $1.49 baskets you get from your local 99 cents and up store. Toys you get from your local toy store. Frames you get from someone who gives them to you. Modge Podge cool pictures--you can't get--this is a one-of-a-kind thing--sorry. Curtains you get from your old land lady. Books you accumulate from friends, craigslist, freecycle, school, church, and library story times (as well as scholastic book orders). Toys are recycled (not green--as in natural or organic--but from other friends). These are the best toys because you feel great keeping our dumps less dumpy and your children excited about new toys and best of all---they cost you nothing--but friendships are greatly increased. The book cases are an Ikea mom-got-them-for-me special. The crib is a Sears mom-got-it-for-me special. The blankets on the inside of the crib--mom-got-them-for-me special. Soooooo, as you can very plainly see there are many wonderful people we care about and that care for us.

Boy, I never realized how blessed we are in family-ships, friendships, and love. Just so you know this will be an off-limits room to my kids for at least an hour. I love the beauty of a clutter-less floor. Yes, it may be a tornado before the day is through, but at least I have proof that it was once like it is in these pictures, and that gives me hope. :)

Life is good.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


At church, today, T showed everyone his very great vocals with several exhultant DAH's. Unfortunately it was during the middle of Sacrament Meeting and I had to take him out.

He has been gracing us with some great words (that some may not really consider words, but are): uh-oh, mmmmmmm (which he always says at meal time--I must be a great cook). Some other words we are pretty sure he is trying to say are "Hello" and "Amen."

Neither R or S spoke this early (in any way I can remember). I remember R waited until he was older than 2 to start talking. It is amazing to see the differences.

T wanted to go to anyone who stopped to talk to me. It was hilarious. One person took him out of my arms and held him for about five minutes and T wouldn't let me take him. It was hilarious to me and fun for T.

He also loves to sit in his seat (with a seatbelt) and play the piano. He grabs W's trumpet and sings into it. When W starts to take it away to play he cries for another turn (it is sweet).

My kids love to see new people. If I start to talk with anyone almost anywhere they immediately think it's open market to begin an in-depth conversation about almost anything (S especially). It keeps me laughing. S will dominate the entire conversation, especially if it is a loved one like Grandma. Grandma tops the list of most beloved visitors. Right after them, I think it is the missionaries. :)

R has been asking how to spell every word he writes. It is pretty fun. Sometimes he gets the direction he is supposed to write mixed up. In schools here they have stopped teaching spelling and are working on getting kids interesting in writing. I don't know when they start spelling. I love to see any sort of writing however and at present feel no qualms toward it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

snow and stuff

Here are some fun winter images.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Thanks Dad!

Dear Dad:

Thank you for not calling me an ingrate when I was growing up. Thank you for letting my severe ingratitude not smack me in the face until today. When I was cleaning up the overflowed toilet and plunging to save the water reserves I began to recognize how much you did for us. All those times you worked hours and hours on projects around the house--I had no idea what you were doing, but I knew that if I ever had any household problems I could call you in a wink and you'd be there to help me.

Take today for example, R dutifully flushed the toilet and a few minutes later began to call for help to which I walked--will I ever learn--and found an inch of water on the floor (sorry downstairs neighbor). The toilet would not be consoled and wept literally gallons. It wasn't until I turned the knob of waterlessness that the toilet began to stop.

It was then I phoned you--oddly enough I thought I needed to go through my list of "probably should call first people"--but I knew you were the one that would have the solution on the spot.

I think that toilet of mine really holds a grudge. Seriously I think it decided it did not like us from the minute we walked in the house because I am positive I have had to call you at least once every two weeks to ask for advice on what to do. Maybe I am biased but I think it is snobby. After all--it is a 1940's antique, custom built toilet without the $166 toilet lid--maybe that's what it's mad about. Not that I am complaining because it normally does it's job. But I think it gets disgruntled at the quick flushes (that would work on any normal toilet). No, this one demands the actual 10 second flush--and yes, you HAVE to count.

Thank you for giving me correct instructions on plunging. I had no idea but plumbing is really an art. The way one plunges is an art too. I found out from Brent, my bro, the proper way to plunge. You stick it in their at an angle to relieve air and then you do the quick swashes. . . .Sw, sw, sw, sw, sw (abbreviated form of course that would go on for about two pages scrolling and four pages on paper--but to save megapixels and paper in the future I am truncating it). It kind of sounds like a squirrels resting heart rate--unless you really get into it--then it is faster. It is really a pretty good work out.

Forgive me please, for being an absolute ingrate. I didn't realize all that you do. You and Mom make the best team! I hope I can be just like both of you. Thank you for all you did and all you do. :)

Love always,

P.S. For those reading, please forgive any potty-mouth language. I have no excuse--I am not yellow, square, and wear brown pants and have starfish for friends. We do not condone such talk in my house.

The Prospect Park Zoo

Ahh, the giant octopus is going to eaaaaat uuuuuus......
This is how I feel in the morning. I am the one underneath that you can barely see.
That alpaca really liked S. I love the hair. Really does stuff for him/her. :)
Is it just me or does the alpaca in the background look like she/he's puckering her/his lips?


It was the official first day of Primary out of nursery for S. She was really excited. We had the parents drop their children off at nursery as usual and then the kidlets went on a trip to their new classroom where they stayed. It was great. When it came time for them to come into Sharing Time they came in a little early and sat down. It was fun to see how much energy they had and their exuberance (it kept all the leaders on our toes). Imagine 4 little kids in a room filled with kids jumping out of their seats (un-simultaneously) and running around the room gleefully (some running to the microphone to speak). Sometimes they would try to head off the teachers teaching. It was quite a site. S was the ringleader I think--if they have 3-year-old ringleaders. I think their teacher will sleep either very well or very badly tonight. :)

Today in Primary we talked about the Plan of Salvation. It was really wonderful to see the eyes of the children light up with understanding (or not). They got to the point of talking about the Celestial Kingdom and how it is the best of the best places to be. S jumped up and shouted, "Do they have candy?"

Then tonight we decided to watch The Testaments testifying of Jesus Christ. At one point in the movie S opened her arms wide and said, "Jesus is the BEST!"

Yes. Yes he is.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

highway tag

Have you ever run on a busy highway? Well today we (R, S, and I) did. It wasn't like we broke down or anything. It wasn't a gang-entrance-exam, it was just . . . okay an hour-long-stand-still-traffic-problem. Everyone around us was looking absolutely bored of their gourd (as my mother would say).

Sooooo the kids and I got out. S was on the point of hysterics (you know how kids get right before they collapse for their naps). Then I somehow convinced R to come out with me and run around (W was entertaining T inside the warm car). So we played tag and yes--we ran a lot around and around the car. I thought about asking the other people with children in their cars if they wanted their kids to get some exercise with us but as we began to freeze I advised myself otherwise. Oh well, they missed their opportunity to tell people they had played tag on a busy highway. ;)

I think we entertained some of the people that were so bored all the could do was look straight ahead dazedly. Some people got out of their cars to chuckle at us. Of all places I think the people on the road need comic relief.

I forgot to mention because we left the house quickly I wore my high heels. Contrary to common belief, women can run in high heels.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Goals

It is New Year's Eve and here I am. Somehow there are some days when my weaknesses seem to slap me in the face with the realization that I am not nearly what I want to be. But it is okay. I know there is a little time for me to be better and I WILL be better.

I want to be a better, more loving mother and wife.
I want a cleaner home.
I want to be more in shape--run a half marathon (Chelise and Tiff, you are an inspiration).
I want to finish my book--new goal the end of January.
I want to sing better/play piano better.

My kids made a list of their goals here it is:
1. Learn to read by the end of April
2. Sarah start ballet
3. Both learn addition
4. Clean up by by bed time.
5. Start piano lessons.

Additionally I would like the kids to start reading the scriptures (we do the pictures from the Gospel Art Kit--pictures from the scriptures) at night. We can do the picture too if there is time and they can start reading the back.

I can do this. I can do this.