Friday, December 19, 2008

Can we open them now?

Auntie Nille's presents arrived from Brooklyn yesterday and the boys haven't left them alone since. I did text her to make sure they wouldn't break if the boys hauled them around the house and she assured me that they would have to drop them from a jet plane to cause much damage.

The boys have been carting their gifts around the house playing "fed-ex guys". They deliver them to each other over and over. The funny thing is our packages were delivered in a budget rent-a-truck so I don't know how they knew he was a fed-ex guy. It's not like we get tons of packages. Oh well, they are having fun.

I did catch Tate trying to peek under the wrapping this morning. He had the gift on his lap and was lifting the wrapping paper just enough to look under it. He wasn't able to see anything, but he sure wanted to! (See Mom, it must be genetic!)

(sorry for the crappy picture... I took it with my phone.)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


So, I've decided it's very hard to talk to myself on this blog all the time. I know there are people (besides my mother!) who read this thing... some even every day. Could you do me a favor and leave a comment or even just a smiley face (or a frowny one if you feel the need)? It would help me immensely to know if people care what I have to say or if they just stop by to laugh at me. Thanks!

I would add a cute picture if I could, but Blogger seems to have it in for me today... and a day I actually post!

Friday, December 5, 2008

What is Mary doing on the roof?

Sorry for the bad pictures, but I wanted to post about the nativity set that I now have. It was the same one my baby sis and I had a little girls. There is a manger with real hay on the roof and it even lights up. The great thing about it is all the animals and people are made of plastic, so it is completely kid proof. If only it was dog proof, but I'll get to that in a minute...

My sis and I used to have a great time rearranging all the Christmas characters every year. I can remember us spending hours trying to get it to look right. Should the donkey go here? What about the camels? How can we get the angel to stand out? It has lots of memories for me and so I was glad when Mom handed it down to me for my kids to enjoy. (Sorry Nille... that's the prize for having kids first!)

The boys are fascinated with it. I think partly because I'm not yelling at them to just look at it! Don't touch! like I tend to do with the rest of the Christmas stuff and also because they are movable. Riley of course loves packing the animals around. He has a thing for things with four legs. He's even added a few more mammals to the picture. I found a giraffe and elephant in there yesterday.

He also enjoys looking at the "baby". He always picks up Baby Jesus and wants him put back in his manger. Ri also likes to cart him around the house. Baby Jesus enjoyed a wheelbarrow ride on Wednesday. Unfortunately, Jesus is small and so I have to do a house search for him before I vacuum. There was a bit of a panic yesterday after I vacuumed and realized I couldn't find Him. Luckily I have a canister vacuum and can quickly look through all the dirt and dog hair to see if He was in there. He wasn't but was under the recliner. (Hope all this activity isn't buying me a one way ticket to hell.)

Tate likes to play with the angel and if you have boys, you will know why... she has wings so she can fly! He whips her around the house yelling, "Look out!" at everyone he come close to hitting. i tried to explain to him that angels probably didn't yell Look out! since they were nice and had great manners. His solution: "Look out, please!"

On to why dogs are such a problem with this set... take a look at the difference between Mary and Joseph in the picture below. Want to know why Joseph is sooooo small? Our dog ate both Jesus and Joseph when we were growing up. Mom was able to replace Jesus with a correct sized one, but poor Joseph... not so much.

(Also look at the top picture. Did anyone notice Mary on the roof of the barn?)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Here's a fun post I found on Fresh Picked Whimsy. You're supposed to bold the things you have done.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
.36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

I've done a few things, but would like to be able to cross a few more off of this list.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An ode to Mimi

Mimi moved into our house shortly after Taters was born. "He" came dressed so nicely, not a spot on him and he definitely did not smell bad. He was soft and colorful and lovely to be around. However, after a few months of being around Tate, this was no longer the case. He became a nuisance, a pain, and down-right stinky. He even decided to change his name along the way. After those first few months of living with us, we gave him the nickname of stinky. It was fitting. It was given with love, but with some honesty behind it. About a year into this living arrangement, Tate changed his name to Mimi. No explanation as to why. Maybe it was because he was just starting to talk and didn't want his best friend to be called Stinky, but he's never given us a true reason. Mimi has now lived with us for 3 1/2 years and he is wearing thin. I can see right through him. I no longer find him to be bright and cheerful. He's drab and ugly. I guess if Tate finds him alright to be around, I will let him stay, but seriously, how much longer do I have to put up with this guy?

Monday, November 17, 2008

When did Bert become such a rock star?

What will keep the attention of a 20 month old for almost two hours?
Elmo, of course!
We got to go to Elmo and Seseame Street Live down in Bozeman last week, thanks to the in-laws. They bought great tickets... right in the middle and close enough to see everything, but not so close that you had to strain your head up to see on the stage.
The show was almost all music, and yet not a minute was eye-glazingly boring. It was fun to see all the old characters that I loved as a kid, such as Oscar and the Count. The kids of course went crazy for Elmo and Big Bird.
The best part was when they did the hustle. Bert came out in this white, Bee-Gee's inspired suit and proceeded to disco. I would love to know how they are able to dance and sing in those suits without falling on their butts.
Since that night, Riley has been hauling around his Elmo everywhere he goes, even the dirt pile out front. Elmo gets a quick shake off and then it's off to bed with Ri, also. He even hollers for Elmo in the middle of the night if he can't find him.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The pictures I will show his high school girlfriend

The kid knows how to dress. Unfortunately, you can't see the brown sneakers he has on to compliment this ensemble.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Joe is a dirty, dirty boy

Want to know how babies keep their feet feeling so soft and smooth? It's not just because they're babies and come with naturally soft skin... oh, no! They have a secret I am about to disclose.
It's Ped-Egg, of course. You didn't think they stayed baby soft without help did you?

This is what you do for an hour if you want to stay out of Mom's way while she's cleaning the kitchen... give G.I. Joe a bath. He is such a dirty boy!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I just wanted to post a quick note about Halloween. Tate and Riley donned their Buzz and Woody costumes and hit downtown Helena for the annual festivities. We met up with some friends and their kiddos (who went as Tom and Jerry... how adorable). The kids had a blast looking at all the other kiddos and their costumes. (Can you believe there were 3 other Buzz Lightyears. Tate was the cutest on though!) They also enjoyed begging candy off of all the downtown businesses. Tate and Ri never actually send anything... too shy, but their buddies weren't, thankfully.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why children should not be wedding photographers

I was cleaning out the cupboard on my computer table when I ran across the only cd of wedding photos. I remember that we had little disposable cameras on all the tables for people to take pictures of the happenings at our wedding reception. I was teaching at a one-room schoolhouse at that time and had all my students in my wedding. This means there were lots of children at my wedding. They were all so cute, but don't take very good pictures. I have lots and lots of pictures of butts, my cake, and the sky, but very few of anything else. I do like to look at them though. They make me laugh. (I also don't understand why people don't want children at their wedding. You should have seen the good time they had. They even danced. I have great blackmail pictures for when they get older!)

Two guesses what or who this it.

This little girl wastn't actually in my wedding. She was only four at the time, but both her big sisters were, so we had a dress made that matched the junior bridesmaid ones out of leftover material.

I have LOTS of pictures of this lady... much to my dismay. She was the worst parent I've ever had to deal with. Luckily they moved my last year of teaching.

Finally, a pic of me, holding the only beer I had that day.

A back pic of the devil mother.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How not to spend a Sunday at the park

We loaded the kids, picked up several loaves of bread, and headed to the fairgrounds to feed the ducks. We should have known when we saw nobody else around that the ducks and geese were going to be hungry. We didn't even make it out of the car before we were surrounded. The kids did fine in the mix of all those big geese until one decided to give Riley a little peck on the cheek. I guess he looked yummy. The goose only touched his cheek, but it started a bit of a crying jag. Then Tate forgot to throw his bread and a goose got a bit annoyed. The goose grabbed it out of his little fingers and chomped a bit of finger, too. No injuries, but scared him. Bill finished feeding the geese from the safety of the car. When we finished, I had to have Bill shoo the birds from behind us so we could back up. Next time we know to bring more bread only go when other people are around.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A is for...

Today we started learning letters at our house. We started with the letter A because, well because it's the first letter in the alphabet, of course. We read a book about Apples and then we glued letter a's onto a larger A. We also added some apples and even an airplane, just for fun. The only problem with this activity was getting them to stop. They would have glued everything not nailed down if they could.

We then moved onto some large muscle activities. Very important with two toddler boys. We "flew" around the house pretending to be airplanes. I'm sure if the neighbors could look in, they would have wondered what I was on, but it was fun.

We then move to lunch where we had applesauce and "A" sandwiches.

(Please ignore the orange countertops. We're waiting for them to come back into style!)

Of course, Mom got to eat the leftovers... no waste here.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Movie time

How do you and your brother watch movies?

Hooray for Cookies!

I wanted to bake up a batch of chocolate chip cookies today. Unfortunately, I found myself without butter... a bit of a problem when baking cookies. Luckily, I had all the makings for Crisco's fudgy no-bake cookies. These are actually my favorite cookie of all time. They have all my fave ingredients: oatmeal, coconut, chocolate, and peanut butter. Yum!
I remember being in 3rd grade when someone brought these in for snack. I could have eaten 100 of them. They called them beaver dams... I guess because they sort of look like beaver dams. I think they look like something else, but I don't really want my kiddos taking them to school some day and belting out, "Look, I brought piles of shi*! Eat up!"
Anyway, I could never find this recipe until I got a Crisco cookie recipe book in the mail. The recipe was in there. Oh happy day! I have to limit the number of times a year I make these because I could eat the whole batch. Maybe I should rename them The Waist Expander.
Here's the recipe:
1/2 C. butter flavor Crisco
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. cocoa
1/4 t. salt
1/2 C. peanut butter
2 T. corn syrup
1 T. vanilla
2 1/2 C. oats
3/4 C. coconut
1. Combine Crisco, sugar, milk, cocoa and salt in saucepan over med.-high heat. Bring to boil. Boil 2 minutes. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.
2. Stir in peanut butter, corn syrup, and vanilla until well blended. Add oats and coconut. Stir until all are well coated.
3. Drop by spoonful onto wax paper. Cool until firm.
4. Hide from husband and kids so you can eat them all.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I Kissed a Girl

Riley and Anika sittin' in a tree,
Riley decided to tell Anika goodbye with a big wet one this last Saturday. They were soooooo stinkin' cute!
I just noticed he's feeling her up, too.

Monday, October 6, 2008

This was such a beautiful fall weekend that we decided to take the boys for a walk around Spring Meadow Lake. I've lived in this town for 8 years and have only been there once. I'm now mad at myself for not doing this before.

There is a clearly marked trail all the way around the "lake". It's actually a bunch of small ponds, but everything is well maintained. There was a fire that ripped through the area a year ago that did quite a bit of damage, but all the dead, burned trees have been cut down. The regrowth is happening fast.

Tate made it all the way around, and Riley made it almost the whole way. Bill had to carry him toward the end. The boys enjoyed picking up various sticks and leaves. We also found oak tree leaves, a bit of a rarity in this area.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

But I Saw it First!

As I sit here listening to Toy Story in the background, I want to tell you why I was crying this morning.

I set out to visit 9 different garage sales. There weren't many in town, and I only wanted to go to ones that would be worth my time. I combed over the ads and picked my route. I was ready to go at 8:00 promptly. Coffee in hand and a sweater on my back, I hoped in the Explorer and was kid free for the next 90 minutes.

The first one I stopped at decided they weren't going to open until 9:00. I of course got there at 8:10. Not going to wait around for that one.

A few other stops were okay and I was able to find some books for the boys and a new lamp shade for Riley's reading lamp. (Okay, the kid doesn't read yet, but I do!)

Finally, I made it to the one I was looking forward too. Five moms who had cleaned out the kid's rooms... sure to be a gold mine. There were tables upon tables of stuff. Good stuff, but nothing I needed or couldn't live without.

Then it happened. I looked to my right and there it was: a Buzz Lightyear! Only problem is that it was in the hands of some 40 year old yuppy mom who had no idea that my child would so much more appreciate that toy than her snotty-nosed, ungrateful rugrat. (I'm not sure he was a rugrat, but I like to think so.)

After I decided it wouldn't be worth the arrest to wrestle her down and steal it from her, I decided I had had enough rain and sadness. Maybe next time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Christmas Request

"Mom, how about you buy me a pogo stick?"

Friday, September 26, 2008

More Halloween

I found this crow at the Dollar Store. He's nothing fancy, but he looks good on the top of my kitchen cabinets.

This is my Martha Stewart inspired silhouette. She has mice all over her Halloween ad, but I thought crows would be fun, too. I have some mice to put up, but need to find places where Riley won't want to rip them down.

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

It's no secret that I love Halloween. I've made mention of how many boxes of decorations I have squirrelled away in my garage. I can hardly wait for October to come to put them out. In fact, I didn't wait. Most of them are up. I thought I would share a few pictures with you.

I have fall leaves all around the top of my kitchen cabinets. They add a bit of fall color to my house and go great with my retro orange countertops.

I love this candle holder that hangs in my living room. I changed out the usual burgundy candles for some orange ones and then tied on some wired ribbon that has a subtle leaf print.

This skeleton has been in my family for almost 20 years. My mom used to joke that it was the skeleton of my little brother who wouldn't behave... at least I thought she was joking. The bat hotel sign is from the Dollar Store. They had great decorations this year. And, who can go wrong with just a dollar?

There are more pictures, but for some reason they aren't wanting to load. I'll try with another post.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The stores are decorating for Christmas!

Who has all their Halloween decorations up already? Me, me, me!
I love docorating for Halloween. I have 7 totes dedicated to Halloween. I'm a bit early getting everything out this year, but wanted to get the fall stuff out and since it is mixed in with Halloween, I thought I would get it all put out in one fell swoop.
The only new decor I'm planning for this year is to do the boys table. I have the perfect candleabra, but need to make a tablecloth for it. Watch for a trip to JoAnn's tonight!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Are you really voting for that person?

Guess what? Political season is here and unless you've been held prisoner in some strange man's basement for the last 6 months, you already knew this.

I've about had my fill of all the mud-slinging and name-calling that a person can take, but the thing that is really getting to me is the assumptions that people make about who I "must" be voting for.

I have one set of friends that make constant put-downs and tell the stupid jokes that have been making the rounds about the candidate I also happen to be voting for. I know that these friends assume I am voting for their candidate and so making these jokes is OK. How wrong they are. I think it is unfair to presume to know how a person is voting just because they are your friends. Just because we hang out, can stand each other, and can carry on conversations together, does not make us the same person.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Where the hell did all this crap come from?

Today I decided to take on our front hall closet. You know the one, the place that everything gets shoved into and you have to quickly open and shut the door hoping that your movement will not topple the the mountains of "stuff" that has been shove in there?

The pile of pots and pans and Tupperware, etc. that was on the top shelf has always frightened me. I've had dutch ovens stacked on top of tiny plates in a Dr. Suessish (Look everybody, I just invented a word!) pile that is only standing by the grace of You Know Who. I managed to pull it all out and get rid of five cake pans. I don't even bake cakes. Why do I have so many cake pans? I also parted with some Pampered Chef baking stones which I guess is a sin according to my mother, but I've had them for six years and never used them once. Time for them to find a new home!

When all was said and done, I had two small piles of mixing bowls and roasting pans, a much more manageable amount.

Now I just hope it stays that way.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Biggest mistake this week

Bill and I made a huge mistake this week. We honestly had good intentions, but I'm afraid those intentions have now backfired. Things have gone from bad to worse at our house and I don't see any improvement in our near future. In fact, this issue has me pulling my hair out and even locking myself in the bathroom just to get away. I don't know of any other way to tell all of you what is going on other than to show you.

Yes, we bought Tate his first movie and it has been playing in our house nearly non-stop for four days. I have seen this damn movie 9 times now. Please, make the madness stop!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I reconnected with an "old" friend from my single days this past week. When I say old, I don't literally mean old... you know what I mean. When we used to hang out, it was to party, ride motorcycles, and basically cause he**. We had a great time together, but lost touch through the years.

It was fun to see that we are leading almost parallel lives. We both have two kids that are 20 months apart (She has girls, I have boys.) We both stay at home to raise our kids while the husbands slave away. (Or don't have to change as many diapers.) And we both are going stir-crazy from lack of adult conversation.

She invited me to meet her and some of her friends to see the movie "The Women". It was a cute film about many of the things that go on with married people.

It was so fun to get together with other moms and not have to wrangle children at the same time. I definitely hope we get to do this more often.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What to say, what to say?

While pondering about what to write this evening, I reflected back on what was happening 7 years ago. I made the mistake of watching a re-run of the 9-11 attacks from the Today Show. I was trying to rock the baby to sleep while bawling my eyes out. It's surprising how quickly one is taken back to the feelings of that day. I then came to my senses and turned it to an old episode of Sex and the City. (doesn't usually make me cry uncontrollably)

I then decided I would write about the local music venue that takes place at a different park around the capital of Montana every Wednesday. We've taken the kids a couple of times this summer, hoping to expose them to new music. The only thing we've been exposing them to at these things though, is all the transients, teen moms, meth heads, and uncontrolled children the town has to offer.

You know all the people you see at the fair and always wonder where they are the rest of the year? They attend these concerts. We've given it a try and I think we will probably pass on these events next year. We'll just take them to Wal-mart if we feel the need to "expose" them to different people.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What do you wear to play?

Today, this is how I caught the boys playing "tools" on Tater's bed. Notice the Tony Hawk get-up and the skewed fireman's helmet. I think the orange boots are a nice touch too.
P.S. The hot pink screwdriver is not mine. It was given to Bill by my dad. I think he was trying to make a point.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Too tired to post today. Maybe if the baby sleeps all night.......