Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Past Few Days

Here's a little picture summary of the past few days...which have been SO wonderful. The only bad thing is how quickly they have gone by.

We (Nate) did the turkey again this year. Nate did a great job researching a yummy method/recipe and then getting it thawed and salted and gutted and then stuffed and then carved.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our new church building with a bunch of other couples and their kids.

Nate and Jansen picked out our tree and brought it home yesterday.

Jansen loved this!

Random picture I snapped of Jansen---rare side effects from his sedation have caused him to lose the use of his hands. But we're adapting. :)

Natalie just hasn't been herself the past few days. Maybe an ear infection? Her face says it all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More About the Tooth Extraction

I wanted to post these two pictures from yesterday's tooth extraction. They had Jansen lay on the "Olympic Papoose Board." It just made me laugh because it had this cute little picture on it of a happy smiling baby in his papoose but it's really just a big long board with velcro flaps to completely restrain a child. The website that sells them advertised this: "A struggling, frantic child can be completely immobilized in less than 60 seconds on a Papoose Board." Hilarious. And yes, often necessary.
Jansen did SO good. He was so cooperative and didn't cry or complain ever.
Now here is another funny picture. This was on our way home and the numbness and sedation had not completely worn off yet so he was not quite himself. He couldn't walk on his own and his eyes would cross a little sometimes. So here is his sedated smile. I can hear you laughing out loud right now Mom.
Last night I told him that they took out his "sick" tooth and we looked in the mirror and at the extracted tooth. He didn't care at at all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

What's Missing?

Picture 1

Picture 2

First person to comment on what is missing in Picture 2 will be granted a no-expenses-paid trip to visit us! Act fast!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Called to Serve and Animal Sounds

For some reason both of my kids love the song Called to Serve. Natalie probably loves it just because Jansen does. Click here for Jansen's stirring rendition and a few animal noises and words from Natalie.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yoplaiting Favorites

Alright, I have to admit my heart sunk a teeny tiny bit last night when Jansen said he wanted a "green yogurt." My yogurt. My Yoplait Key Lime Pie yogurt. Not light and not whipped. That is my very favorite flavor and I usually get 2 or 3 just for me when I am grabbing some yogurt for the family. I wish he would have asked for Harvest Peach or Mixed Berry, but he is learning from his mother and went green. I am like any other self-sacrificing mother and of course gave it to him, but I made sure he ate the whole thing! What is your favorite Yoplait?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Renaissance Man

My friend Kami calls Nate a Renaissance man...someone who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields says Wikipedia...and I couldn't agree more. I have a few of my own talents as well (I make a really good chicken noise), but I am lacking in one particular domestic area. Sewing. I regret not taking sewing classes in high school and I got a sewing machine for Christmas last year but I haven't used it yet. Nate has needed a few minor repairs on some of his clothes and keeps politely mentioning it to me, but I never get around to it. And really, I don't know how to fix the things he needs fixed. I haven't even got the sewing machine going let alone produce something or repair something with it!

So last night he took matters into his own hands. He read through the sewing machine manual and eventually got it working. I was upstairs reading when he actually started the sewing and all I could hear were these really loud and fast revving sounds (not like the normal sounds of sewing machine) and then I would hear him laughing. Then I would start laughing from clear upstairs because it cracked me up to hear him laughing to himself as he tried to sew. Here is the tie he fixed:
He said it looks like this because he was afraid of the needle.
I laugh every time I look at it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Little Music Makers

Every Tuesday morning I take the kids down to the church for Music Time. We sing songs, march, move around, use puppets and instruments, read a story, etc. Natalie is wild as can be when we are there---much more interested in exploring and getting into things than participating. That's understandable considering her age, but Jansen often follows her around and copies all her 14 month old antics...while I stand there and do the actions and dancing all by myself. But we still go, and we all have a good time. These pictures are pretty poor, I think I need a new camera. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Itching to Play

A few nights ago I had a dream that I was playing in a basketball game. I have these dreams (where I am playing in a soccer or basketball game) ALL the time. In this particular one I got ejected from the game for "arguing" with the ref. It was totally a misunderstanding and I was actually trying to ask the ref a question but he thought I was mouthing off. I can't believe I am describing this dream to all of you because I don't really like hearing about other people's dreams myself...there are definitely exceptions to that...ANYWAY, I always wake up from these dreams right before I get to go back in the game or something and it absolutely KILLS me! As I lay in bed and realize I am waking up I try desperately to fall back asleep so that I can "play" in my dream. I guess I just miss it all so much.

Luckily we will be playing in a rec basketball league again this year so my wildest dreams can all come true. We are trying to come up with a team name and we each had to submit a few. Here are my submissions: Designated Drivers, Victorious Secret, Thunder Chickens, Screwballers, and the Fighting Chinchillas. I can only take credit for coming up with the Fighting Chinchillas. The others I found online. Victorious Secret is weighing in as the heavy favorite. Anyone have any great team names you'd like to throw my way?

In case the words "Fighting Chinchillas" weren't enough to conjure up thoughts of a tough-as-nails bball team, here's a little something to get your imagination going:
As for Victorious Secret, well I'm not going to go posting pictures of that. You'll just have to come to one of our games and see for yourself.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

I Don't Care How You Do It, As Long As You're Doing It

"I want to do it this way!" he tells me. And that is totally fine with me. Because I am just happy that you are sitting there at all Jansen. Natalie better be easier to potty train. This is getting ridiculous.

A pretty cold, gray day today. The power was out for about an hour and it just felt so gloomy inside. We had a fun time playing with Play Dough for a little while. Jansen and Natalie sure have their share of fights, but they keep each other entertained. And for that I am so grateful!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What's Your Liner?

I don't have anything to blog about today that is Jansen/Natalie related so I am forced to turn to this subject: shower curtain liners. I stocked up on some at the dollar store today (so far that is my chosen way of replacing them) but it got me wondering...does anyone out there love the kind of shower curtain liner they buy? I always get the cheapos and they do get yucky fairly quickly, but then I just replace them and I have a perfectly clean new one. Is it worth it to buy a more expensive one? I don't want to have to spray it down weekly or anything like that. Now let's all pray that the kids do something funny or cute later today so that my next blog is not so off-the-wall!!! (Although those are often my favorite ones to read.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tooth Update

It was bound to happen eventually I suppose, but there's a small abscess above Jansen's dead tooth (from a crash in the driveway while playing trucks) and so now we have to have it pulled. We're going to do it in a couple weeks and they'll sedate him and yank away. I guess he'll just have one tooth in front for a few years! At the rate this kid is going it'll be a miracle if he makes it to adulthood.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches

I've been wanting to make these ever since I came across the recipe. I finally had a good reason (baby shower!) and I think they were really yummy. The recipe doesn't make very many, but they are easy to whip up.

Pumpkin Cream Sandwiches

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (found in the spice aisle)

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 375° F.Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in the bowl. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, and egg and beat until combined. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly add the flour mixture to the sugar and butter and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated. Spoon heaping tablespoons (I did heaping teaspoons and it still only made about 20 small sandwiches) of the mixture 2 inches apart onto parchment- or foil-lined baking sheets. Bake until puffed and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Clean the mixer, then, as the cookies bake, beat the cream cheese, heavy cream, and confectioners sugar until smooth and spreadable. Spread the flat sides of half the cooled cookies with the cream mixture. Top with the remaining cookies.

Tip: The cookies can be made up to 3 days in advance and kept in an airtight container. Whip the filling and assemble the sandwiches no more than 2 hours before serving.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Where My Fulfillment Comes From

This post is mostly for myself. I get weighed down easily by hard moments in my days (that almost always involve my children) but the good thing is I usually snap out of it pretty fast when I read things like this:

And while it takes courage to achieve greatness, it takes more courage to find fulfillment in being ordinary. For the joys that last have little relationship to achievement, to standing one step higher on the victory platform. What is the adventure in being ordinary? It is daring to love just for the pleasure of giving it away. It is venturing to give new life and to nurture it to maturity. It is working hard for the pure joy of being tired at the end of the day. It is caring and sharing and giving and loving

-Marilyn Thomsen

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Bedtime and Bribery

Whenever Nate puts Jansen to bed I can usually count on some sort of interesting twist to his regular bedtime routine. I guess last night Jansen really wanted to wear Nate's dress socks to bed.

HERE is a video of Jansen talking to himself before bed. Boring to watch but cute to listen to.

Let me just preface this next thing by saying I have been trying REALLY hard to get the potty training thing down (still). So I have been using some not-so-good methods. Like chocolate bribery.

Jansen: Mom, I'm going to town. I'll see you later.

Me: Okay, see ya.

Jansen: Mom, I'll give you a piece of chocolate if you come to town with me with this school bus.

Me: (mostly just laughing and sighing at myself)

Jansen: Do you understand???


Jansen: Dad, will you sleep in my bed?

Nate: No, I have my own bed to sleep in.

Jansen: You can have a piece of chocolate if you sleep in my bed.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

King's for a Day

Please tell me this week is not over. Please let me wake up tomorrow and get to eat breakfast with my husband. And then he will take the kids for a walk. And then they will nap and he and I can tackle a project that needs to be completed in the house. And then we'll all do something really fun together in the afternoon!

That's kind of how most of this week has been for me. Nate had it off and after spending a couple days shadowing doctors (as we try to make the seemingly impossible decision of what kind of doctor he should be) we got to just spend a lot of time with him.

We finished off the wonderful week with a trip to King's Island. King's Island is an amusement park in Cincinnati that has a great area for kids and lots of insane rides. Nate used to live in Cincinnati and loved King's Island so it was a bit of a walk down memory lane. We knew when we planned the trip that it would mostly be for the kids...and we shouldn't have high hopes of doing all the cool stuff...but Nate did get to go on 3 rides including the Beast which is the longest wooden roller coaster in the world. I have no desire to ride any of those things. I get really scared. Poor little Jansen seems to have inherited my cautious genes and one of our hopes with this trip was to brave him up a bit. It totally worked! When we first arrived he didn't want to do anything, but by the end of the day he had far exceeded our expectations. I was so happy to see him enjoying himself.
I think this is the one ride he DID NOT enjoy. It was so sad to see him crying and asking to get out.
Looking at a crazy ride
Bumper cars are cool!
Funnel cake experience

At the entrance
I ended up pulling Natalie out of this one at the last minute. I was afraid she would flip out and find a way to escape and fall out as they went down the hill part.
I had to convince him to do this one and I am surprised he actually liked it. But I think he did get was your typical log ride with a big splash at the end.

Possibly my favorite part of the day. Natalie kept wandering over to the little game place you can see in the background and there was a little old toothless man working there. When Natalie got close he looked over his shoulder, to his left, to his right, and then he quickly handed Natalie the little orange dog. He did the same for Jansen. It was so sweet.
Jansen's favorite---the big green train

She didn't sleep at all until the last 15 minutes before home. She was just go, go, go all day. She was so filthy.