Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Picture of the Day: Squirted

Sorry there haven't been any real blog posts lately, just a couple of pictures of the day. We're off tomorrow to visit my family in west Texas for several days. Hopefully we'll have a great time. One thing is for sure, though. It is going to be HOT! Try to stay cool, everyone. Even if you have to resort to squirting each other down with a hose!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Picture of the Day: Girl with the Ballerina Dress

I love this picture of Elizabeth. I'm trying some new techniques with post processing my photos and I kind of like this desaturated look.

It took me a while to put my finger on it, but I finally realized why this photo struck me so much. It reminds me of the Vermeer painting, the Girl with a Pearl Earring. My book club read a great book in which the author created a fictitious life story for the girl in that painting. A movie was also made based on the book starring Colin Firth and Scarlett Johansson. I recommend both. But, being the book lover that I am, I think you should read the book first and watch the movie second. But, that's just my opinion. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This mouth...

... is going to cost us a fortune!

The orthodontia has begun.

Jonathan's dentist recently recommended that we take him to an orthodontist for a consultation. I don't know if you can tell in the photo, but Jonathan has an under bite. It's not as noticeable since his bottom front teeth fell out. I always knew orthodontia would be in his future. But, I thought that the orthodontist would tell me that it would be far in the future. He's too young to do anything now, he needs his permanent teeth first, etc.

I was wrong.

He needs two appliances, expanders on the top and the bottom, plus an extra contraption to push his top teeth forward. Not only does he have an underbite, but his teeth are very crowded and there is no room for the big teeth to come in. We have to act now because if we didn't they would have to pull permanent teeth in the future. Yikes!

What really surprised me though was the price tag. It's costing us more than my four years of braces cost my parents. And, he'll probably still need braces when he gets older.

This is just one more reason to be thankful that Elizabeth stopped sucking her thumb. Maybe she can avoid some of this. But, with the history of orthodontia in my family, probably not.

I need to find room for another line item in our budget: orthodontia.

Friday, July 18, 2008


That's Elizabeth's word for the wrestling/tickling/jumping/pillow fighting/rolling on the floor/craziness that the kids do with their daddy. Elizabeth says, "Daddy, can we tuggle?" and off they go. They clear a big space on the living room floor and then all four of them get after it. Even the dog jumps in sometimes.

It's a blur of motion, very noisy and apparently, lots of fun. I wouldn't know, I make a point of just being an observer of the chaos.

Um, Eric? (squeals and laughter) I think you need to help the baby. (yelling and grunts) Eric? Can you hear me? (no response, more squeals) ERIC! GRAB THE BABY!

OK, sometimes I do freak out a bit and cringe and hide my eyes, but somehow no one has gotten hurt yet. And, despite the look on Eric's face, he's actually enjoying himself.

He would never pass up an opportunity for a good tuggle.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Something happened today that hasn't happened in a long time. Something wonderful and exciting. It was nothing monumental, but something simple that makes me feel good and that indicates that my homemaking is improving, even if slowly. My revelations and habit changes really are making a difference.

So, do you want to know what happened that made me so ecstatic that I literally yelled out, "Woohoo!!"?

Drum roll please...

I got an entire load of laundry hung up on hangers and put away in the appropriate closets while it was still warm!

Isn't that awesome!?!

Yes, you may applaud.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I take that back...

I don't know when I'll get a decent post done. I'm still wading through laundry from our vacation and Jonathan and Elizabeth started both swimming lessons and vacation bible school this week. I'm in taxi mode. The days are zooming by.

Oh, and one other thing is stealing my time and attention. Flickr. I'm becoming obsessed with it. I'm slowly uploading all my favorite pictures and figuring out all the cool things I can do with it and, of course, checking out some amazing photography by people who actually know what they are doing. It's as addicting as blogging! I think I need to set the timer when I sit down at the computer. When it goes off I must. get. off. the. computer. Really. It's getting ridiculous.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Back from vacation

We're back from vacation and we had a wonderful time! I love vacations that are refreshing and relaxing and that's exactly what this one was. But, I'm eyeball deep in photos that I am photoshopping and hopefully I'll have some ready soon to post. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More learning about me

There's something about having a third child that has really forced me to do some soul searching and figure out who I am and how I operate. I'm not a natural homemaker. I seem to create clutter everywhere I go and I'm content being surrounded by it. It really doesn't bother me if things are somewhat messy (that is until someone is going to come over to our house!).

But, since Gustin was born, the tolerable amount of clutter has turned into an intolerable mess that is completely unwieldy. I just can't seem to keep up with even the basics of housekeeping. I've been forced to my knees over this issue and through prayer and much soul searching, I've been blessed with some insights about myself. The first was that I am not a multi-tasker. This realization led to some changes with how I do things that are really helping.

A second realization came quickly after this first one. This time I learned that I am a perfectionist. I know that statement seems to contradict everything I said in my first paragraph, so let me explain.

My perfectionism manifests itself in a several of different ways. For instance, I love following the rules, task lists, organization systems and schedules. I also like to do tasks, but only if I can do them thoroughly, completely and the right way. The "but" in the previous statement is what leads to much of the chaos and clutter in my home. If I don't think I have time to start and finish a task correctly, then I just won't start at all. I'd rather something not be done then for it to be done incorrectly or incompletely. And, if it's not perfectly complete, then I can't check it off my task list. With three young children in the house, I rarely have the time to complete an entire task so I either don't start one or start and never get finished. By the end of the day, nothing is marked off my task list.

I've tried all kinds of different schedules and task lists to help me be more productive. Finally, I've come up with a system that works for me. I call it a micro list. Instead of writing down a big task like "clean the kitchen", I write down each component of the task, such as: unload the dishwasher, load the dishwasher, wipe off the table, wipe down the counters, etc. This way the tasks are broken up into 5-10 minute chunks that I can start, finish, and mark off the list before a small person interrupts me. I get such a feeling of accomplishment. I can focus. I get things done. I start tasks because I know I can get them done thoroughly and correctly. I'm slowly becoming a decent homemaker!

I hope this isn't the end of the realizations about myself that God will bless me with. I've come a long way in recent weeks, but the is still so much farther to go. I can't wait to see what I'm going to learn about myself next!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Picture of the Day: Running by the Pond

We're off on our family vacation to Garner State Park tomorrow. There's no internet there so I won't be in the blogosphere for the next week or so. I'm scheduling some posts in advance, though, in case anyone wants to check in while we're gone.

Here's a picture of my sweet girl for your Sunday.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

My turn!

Blair did it. Then, Shannon did it. Now it's my turn.

It's been about a year since I cut my hair last. I was soooo overdue. But, it's so hard to find the time/energy/money to get it done. Know what I mean? Maybe after my kids are grown I'll actually do something more with my hair on a daily basis than just pull it back in a pony tail. Then it won't seem like such a waste to spend money on a cute haircut.

Here's the before. Sorry about the bad self-portraits. You can only see half my head!

And the after...
I feel lighter and younger! I need to do this more often! But, I won't be spending 30 minutes styling my hair like the stylist did. There is no way that I can do to myself what she did to my hair. It only took 4 or 5 different hair products, a couple brushes and combs, a hair dryer and a flat iron. Oh yeah, and years of experience. But, I'm glad that I got out of my box and did something different!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Aunt Colleen

My first niece, Carley Kay, has made her debut! We met her a few days ago and, of course, she is positively beautiful. I could easily have stared at her little face, hands and feet for hours. She hardly cried while we were there and she sleeps so much better than my babies ever did. I think Carley naps and sleeps at night better than Gustin does (and that's no exaggeration!)

Here's a shot of Carley with her mother, Jamie, who is Eric's sister.

When Jonathan was born, Eric's sister and his brother's wife teased me that they were now part of the Aunt Club and I wasn't allowed to be a member. Well, six years later I am finally a part of the Aunt Club and it's awesome! It's only second to being in the Mommy Club.

Welcome to the world, Carley! Welcome to the Mommy Club, Jamie! We love you both!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Birthday, Elizabeth

My little girl is now four years old. At sometime she stopped being a toddler and is now a full fledged little girl and somehow I didn't notice. Now I have a long-legged, articulate, smart little girl who is rapidly losing all signs of babyhood. She loves pretending to be a princess, wearing dresses and playing Star Wars and cars with her brother.

And, she's even stopped sucking her thumb. On her own. For anyone who knows Elizabeth, you know how amazing that is. She sucked her thumb for hours everyday and for half the night. She would suck either thumb, switching between the right and the left, whichever one was most available at the time, while the other one played with her belly button.

But, a week and a half ago we painted her fingernails. She told me, without any prompting from me, that she can't suck her thumb when there is nail polish on it because that would be yucky. And, she hasn't. I'm amazed and I'm almost sad to see the thumb sucking go. It was such a constant thing in her life, but I don't know if I even have a good picture of her doing it. My little girl is growing up!

I love you my sweet girl! You help me so much with you baby brother and patiently wait your turn for my attention. You are imaginative, beautiful, sweet and your precious smile lights up a room. Please don't grow up too fast.