Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Repercussions of a Princess Party

Warning: If you take your son to a girl's
princess party,there may be some repercussions.

Exhibit A...
The Crown.

Exhibit B...
The Ring.

Exhibit C...
The Necklaces.

Exhibit D...
A three-year-old boy playing with My Little Ponies
and looking a whole lot like a princess.

Well, I guess Chloe has quite the little playmate now.

On a side note, I have noticed Dad's been encouraging Cooper to wrestle with Gabe quite a bit lately.
I think not.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Wrestling Champion

Yesterday Gabe participated in his second wrestling tournament, the Little Viking Wrestling Tournament, and he is now officially a champion!
He wrestled three other Kindergartners, round-robin, and got first place!
And, two of his wins were pins!
Here he is getting his first pin...

You should have seen the grin on his face when the referee raised Gabe's arm up in the air to signify that he had won the match. I didn't capture it with the camera because I was just too excited for him to think about taking a photo.

This win comes off of a very different showing at the Alburnett Tournament last weekend. That was Gabe's very first official tournament and he was not prepared. He was wrestling kids who were both in kindergarten and first grade, and who had all been wrestling for at least two years. And since it was in the early morning, {we had to leave home shortly after 6 a.m} Gabe was very tired.

All excuses aside, Gabe's loss came down to one element he captured in words himself when talking to Jason and I...'I really wasn't trying very hard.'
And that was obvious. Gabe seriously went out on the mat for his last match and pretty much laid on his back for the other wrestler to pin him with no fight. He was just ready for popcorn, which he asked us for right after losing his match.
Because of this lack of effort, Gabe took fourth place in that tournament.

Jason and I have questioned whether five years old is perhaps too young to be involved in competitive, one-on-one sports. After all, trying to explain effort and drive to a five-year-old is walking a thin line. But we gave it a try and had a talk with Gabe, explaining to him that if he had tried his hardest and gotten fourth place, mom and dad would be thrilled. But to see him go out there and just give up was not what we wanted for him. We don't want to raise kids who feel they have to win all the time, because let's face it, you're just not going to win all the time. But we do want to raise kids with heart, kids who don't give up. We just want to raise kids who always give it their best, exhibit good sportsmanship and who can in turn be proud of their efforts.
I really think Gabe took our talk to heart because all week he's been talking about how he's ready to try his hardest, not give up and give it his best.

So, with his first loss came motivation for his first win.
And, I have to say, Gabe was also really motivated by that first place trophy he knew was up for grabs, which he did win with a lot of hard work...

And here's our little Champ on the podium, looking right at mom's camera with a big smile {good job Gabe!}

Just seeing the pride Gabe had in knowing he tried his best and his efforts paid off almost made me cry. I am so proud of our little wrestler!
And Gabe really couldn't have had more fun.
Last night when we were tucking him into bed, Gabe said to me, "Mom, I really like to wrestle." And after all, liking what you're spending your time doing is pretty important. Otherwise, why do it?

Just one more related story I have to add...
After the tournament, I asked Gabe what he liked best about the wrestling meet.
He said, "winning the trophy."
No big surprise there.
But then he added, "And, seeing Kinzley."
Gabe's 'friend' Kinzley was at the tournament with her friend's family watching her friend's cousin wrestle {did you catch all that?!?}
But, if you ask Gabe, she was just there to see him.
Kinzley came and sat by Gabe and if seeing those two together isn't the epitome of puppy love, I don't know what is!

Here's a photo of them together after Christmas Eve.
They always happen to end up together...

{Shawna: Oh my goodness, we are seriously in trouble with those two. They were sitting by each other telling Gabe's other friend, Ethan, how they were boyfriend and girlfriend, while at the same time both were blushing.}

So, I'm thinking for Gabe, girls, especially this certain girl, is defintely right up there with winning a trophy.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Matilda Jane

I love Matilda Jane dresses.
I'm not quite sure how I happened to come to know of this brand, since it isn't sold in stores around these parts. They are sold at 'trunk shows' hosted at parties, similar to how you'd have a jewelry party or Tupperware party.
However I did find these dresses doesn't really matter.
The point is, I love them, and they're way too expensive.
I was looking on ebay thinking maybe I could snag one for Chloe, but they're selling for at least....

*drum roll please*

... $75!

Yup, I'm talking $75 a dress, for a little girl's dress!
As much as I love clothes, I can't justify $75 for a dress Chloe would grow out of in a matter of months, especially since I'm not married to a doctor.
But I can still look.
And who knows, maybe I'll get a 1/2 price deal on ebay someday...or more like a 1/3 price deal.
Just look at this Matilda Jane Slip Knot dress.
Seriously, isn't it cute, and wouldn't Chloe look so cute in it...

I like that it's girly and different and a bit reminiscent of Little House on the Prairie.
On second thought, I just happen to know someone who is an excellent seamstress {definitely not me} and could make Chloe a replica.
There's a idea!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pregnancy Update: 13 Weeks

I've been hesitating to do another pregnancy update. I don't like to complain, and definitely don't like to whine, and with the way I've been feeling I didn't think I could write about my pregnancy without doing both.
But many have been asking, so here's your update.
I am 13 weeks pregnant, and still feeling so sick. I went to the doctor two weeks ago and he prescribed me an anti- nausea medicine that, amazingly enough, my records showed I hadn't tried before. And for the first few days I thought it was actually working. I thought, this is the miracle drug I've been waiting for!
But now I know it must have been a fluke, because I've been sick...I mean, throwing-up sick....for the past 3 days and the pills have not made a dent in the nausea.
This pregnancy has been so strange. With the others, there was a start date to my sickness and then an end date. But with this pregnancy, I'll have three bad days, a couple good days, and then four more bad days. I keep getting my hopes up that the nausea is finally behind me, and then it starts all over again.
Needless to say, I'm getting slightly tired of this. I'm tired of being sick! And tired of taking care of three kids and a house full of chores while I'm sick.
I know this too shall pass, but isn't it about time to pass already?
So there, I'm done whining and complaining for now. I wish I had better news to report at 13 weeks pregnant, but unfortunately I don't
In related news, I have to share a story.
I was in the bathtub the other day and Cooper came in to see me. He's always visited me in the bathtub, since he knew how to walk and talk anyway. I think he knows I'm a captive audience while in the tub, and he takes the opportunity to have conversations with me while I'm not distracted by anything else. And I do love our conversations. Cooper says the funniest and the sweetest things.
On this particular day, in the middle of us talking, I got really nauseated and had to stop talking for a minute.
Cooper asked me, "What's wrong mom?"
I managed to reply, "Mom's feeling sick Coop."
To which, Coop says, "I wish that baby would stop making your tummy hurt!"
In the midst of the nausea, that made me smile.
It was simply said, from a three-year-old.
To put things into perspective, I just have to remind myself that I am so blessed to be able to have my own babies. God has placed me in a realm of knowing so many women who can't get pregnant, or who have a hard time conceiving.
I have absolutely nothing to complain about in the scheme of things.
I am thankful that God is giving us a large family and I know I can endure a little morning sickness {make that, all day sickness} so that I can hold another little baby in my arms.
Through this sickness, I am blessed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lost Photo

I was organizing some of the thousands...yes, thousands...of photos I have of the kids, and came across one of Coop that I didn't remember editing.
It's from this photo session I had with Cooper in the fall.

I really like this photo of Coop.
To me, it captures the great sensitivity that he has, the kind of sensitivity that is beyond the years of a three-year-old.
Just looking at his eyes and expression in this photo makes me appreciate the great little man he is.
I definitely think the Lord gave Cooper a special gift of compassion and understanding that even at age three is evident.
This photo reminds me of that special gift.
I just wanted to share it, since I neglected to before.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chloe's First Haircut

Being my first little girl, I have been apprehensive to give Chloe a haircut.
But at 20 months old, her hair was starting to get a little out of control. She has her daddy's fine straight hair, which just doesn't look polished if you don't spend a lot of time on it. And let's face it, I don't have a lot of time to spend on her hair most days.
So, I decided to take the plunge on Friday and get Chloe a haircut.
I took her to the place I took the boys when they were babies. They are all set up for kid's cuts and have movies for the kids to watch & snacks to eat during the haircut to distract them.
Chloe didn't know about this whole haircut idea at first. She fussed a little when I set her up on the horse. {Instead of a chair, they have a horse and a swing for the kids to sit on, similar to those you'd see at a playground.}
But once she got her cup of animal crackers to eat and Barney was playing on the tv, she was perfectly content.
I thought I'd better document this event by sharing the before and after photos.

Here's the before...

And, the after...

{Notice that out of all of the photos, Chloe isn't looking at the camera in one of them. Not one. This girl has had her picture taken so many times, she doesn't even pay attention to me anymore!}

I absolutely love how Chloe's hair turned out. It's a cute little bob, all one length, and it lays down so nicely, unlike before. The only downfall is now she looks even more like a big girl, which by the way, she's been saying all the time lately.
'I a Big Girl,' Chloe says in a really high-pitched voice, at least a billion times a day.
I guess there's no more babies around our house, except the one in mom's tummy ;)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Stir 'Crazy'

Stir crazy is the title of this post...
emphasis on the 'crazy.'
Another day of no school due to extremely low temperatures translates into another day with all the kids home, and another day overhearing strange conversations like the one the boys were having this morning...

Cooper, talking to Gabe: Oh no Spiderman. We gotta get outta here!
Gabe, talking to Cooper: You're right Cooper. Let's go!
Cooper: I'm not Cooper, I'm Superman. Remember!?!
Gabe: Oh, yeah. I mean, you're right Superman. Let's go!
Cooper: Oh no, my bottom's on fire!
Gabe: Don't worry Superman, I'll use my spiderwebs to get some water and put out the flames.
{Gabe proceeds to make some pretty strange sound effects, apparently in following through with the action described above.}
Cooper: Ahhh. That feels much better. But now there's a hole in my suit.
Gabe {in a very serious tone}: That is not cool!
{Then both boys burst into hysterical laughter.}

What can I least they have active imaginations.
I'm just afraid Chloe has learned too much the past few days.
She's spent a lot of time yielding the boys' Star Wars light saber, and she's learned a lot of new noises simulating bodily functions.
So much for my feminine little girl.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Bitter Cold

The current temperature reading is...

*drumroll please*

-17 degrees.

The weather forecast says it really feels like -30 degrees.

So, you could say it's a bit cold here.
{Yes Chris, this is your chance to again be thankful about not living in Iowa ;) Maybe you miss the snow a bit, but at least you don't have to experience this cold, right?!?}

Our Durango is definitely feeling this cold weather.
It needed this...

Yup, it was completely dead and unwilling to start.
And, so was our Jeep.
{Good thing school was canceled today, because my car pooling service would have left a few preschoolers stranded.}
We consider ourselves to have two very reliable vehicles, so Jason was shocked that neither of them would start this morning.
It doesn't help matters any that we have yet to build our garage, so our vehicles were sitting out in the elements all night.
I guess vehicles like to be out in the cold about as much as people do.
Anyway, I think that's our cue to stay inside today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Snow Dog

As much as I like snow,
there may be someone in our family who likes it even more...

Yes, our Saint Bernard, Samson, is definitely a snow dog.
He's always loved the snow.
I remember being entertained for hours watching him play in the snow when he was a pup. As soon as he was let outside, Samson would run as fast as he could, burying his head in the snow as he ran. Then he'd lift his head up and his face would be covered with the white stuff.
With all that hair, the snow just sticks to his fur.
And I guess you can tell by looking at his face that, at age 8, he has not outgrown his snow play tendencies.
Needless to say, the boys {& Chloe, once she wants to} always have a playmate when they go outside to play in the snow.

Monday, January 12, 2009

If I could fast forward...

I would describe myself as fairly optimistic.
I don't like to complain too much and I like to look on the bright side.
I also would describe myself as someone with a high tolerance for pain.
After all, I did have three babies, one of them being a 10 pound baby, and never once utilized drugs or an epidural during labor.
But something I'm not so optimistic about, and really feel the pain of, is being pregnant.
I have made it no secret that I greatly dislike being pregnant.
I would say that I hate being pregnant, but hate is such a strong and irreversible word that I choose to use dislike.
If I could fast forward through the nine months of pregnancy and go straight to holding that baby, I would probably choose to do so.
Knowing my pregnancy history should leave no question as to why I feel this way about being pregnant. After all, who likes having constant nausea and fairly constant vomiting for nine straight months {like I had with Gabe.} Yes, Cooper and Chloe's pregnancies were better than my first, but I still had a good five straight months of fairly regular nausea. And with every pregnancies I have experienced constant second and third trimester back pain, and an overall lack of energy. I really think I could sleep for most of the day if allowed. Unfortunately, three kids don't tend to allow that sort of thing to occur.
So for those of you who just love being pregnant, how awesome that must be! I wish I did and have actually prayed I would, but to no avail. It doesn't look like I'll ever be one of those happily pregnant women. Instead, I'm one of those women who are happy to be pregnant because of the result it yields, but also happy to have to over with.
You may ask why I've chose to go through this four times since I dislike it so much?!?
What can I say, but that we love kids!
That's the only reason for it.
So, I'm now 11 weeks pregnant.
Only 29 to go.
Now why does that sound like such a BIG number!?!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Snow is Back!

Of course, i've mentioned before how much I love snow. So, needless to say, I was thrilled that we got a new snow covering over the past 24 hours that left us with at least 5 inches of snow.
The boys were thrilled too, as this new snow is oh so fun to play in!
Gabe had a blast.
Cooper still has a tendency to get really cold, so we have to bundle him up so much that he can't move, see, etc. But he still had a good time.
Here' s some snow photos I captured this morning...
First there's Coop, and as I was saying, he is overly bundled up, causing him to have to tilt his head up to see me. Still he's sporting a grin.

I took several of Gabe, because he lasted outside longer than Coop. Coop thought the fire inside was more appealing, and I can't say I blamed it. Baby, it's cold outside...

Thanks to our unfinished landscaping, we have 'mountains' of dirt from where our basement was dug. Gabe is able to snowboard, sled, and even jump of these mountains...

Friday, January 9, 2009


One of the songs that I could listen to over and over again is "Umbrella."
I have it in my playlist as performed originally by Rhianna, and I also have Mandy Moore's version. I love both versions for different reasons.
I happened to do a search of the song on YouTube and found another AWESOME version of the song. It's performed by a man named Coffey Anderson, who is a Christian, and it's called the Christ Remix.
Click here to bring up the video.
I love the words, and I love this guy's enthusiasm.
What an awesome praise to God!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Wrong Bus

I was at home this afternoon, trying to get a few things done before starting to think about what I should make for supper. The phone rings and it's Valerie, a friend and the mom of Gabe's best friend, Brayden.
It is all set up that Gabe is going to ride home with Brayden on the bus after school and then they'll head to the Roughriders hockey game...TOMORROW.
Trouble is, the boys thought it was today, hence Valerie's phone call.
"Gabe's at our house," Valerie says, laughing. "Apparently they thought the hockey game was tonight."
Now neither Valerie nor I sent notes to school with the boys saying Gabe was to ride the bus home with Brayden today. And since the school makes such a big deal that you need a note for EVERYTHING, I find it odd that Gabe was able to board the wrong bus without so much as a question.
But, alas, everything is fine, and we have a funny story to remember.
I guess the trial run went well, and we'll try it again tomorrow night.

My eyes are up here

If you've been pregnant, then maybe you'll understand what I'm about to explain.
Or, maybe this just happens to me.
Could be, strange things seem to just happen to me sometimes.
Anyway, for some reason, as soon as people find out I'm pregnant, they start having a hard time maintaining eye contact. Instead, their eyes are constantly wandering down to my stomach.
For example, at church last night, this just kept happening...
'I heard congratulations is in order!' said while staring at my stomach.
'How have you been feeling?' said while staring at my stomach.
'How far along are you?' again, said while staring at my stomach.
Maybe I do it too, stare at a pregnant woman's stomach while talking to her.
But I really don't think so.
After Jason got home last night, I shared this oddity with him.
His theory is that they're looking to see if I'm showing yet, and wondering why I'm not.
Acceptable theory, except that it accounts for a glance, not a stare.
The staring honestly does not annoy me, it just intrigues me.
So, does this just happen to me, or did it happen to you too?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Let there be music

I thought it was about time I added some music to the blog, since I do love music. I have hesitated to do this because, for those of you who are living in the dark ages and still use dial-up internet, it could possibly slow down access to our page. If this happens, it should help to go down to the playlist, located on the bottom right hand side of the page, and press the pause button. If all else fails, please let me know in the comments section if the playlist is disturbing your connection to our page.
I have a tendency to get stuck on a song and listen to it over and over again. This has happened since I was a little girl. {Did I mention I love music!}
So I've included some of my song obsessions from the past {don't worry, no New Kids on the Block}, and from the present too.
Some are even songs I've sung in church, like Barlow Girl's 'You Led Me,' and 'You Are Good,' by Point of Grace. Many of the songs have good harmony, because that's what I like to sing.
The playlist includes mostly Christian music, with a few thrown in that are not {you gotta love Coldplay.} You won't find any's just not for me. The first song, "More Than You'll Ever Know," by Watermark, does have a bit of a 'twang' in parts. That's all I can handle.
But all are songs I enjoy, and I hope you like them too!

Coop in a Backpack

Cooper is a little guy.
He is three and a half and weighs just over 30 pounds.
He still wears some 2T clothes and he'll be four in June.
His legs are long enough that he has to wear 3T size pants, but the adjustable waist is always cinched to the tightest position.
He's just a little guy.
So when Cooper saw Jason's Swiss Army camping backpack laying on the floor, he decided he'd get in it.
Now I'm not talking about a hiking backpack that kids are suppose to ride in...we have one of those too. I'm talking about a backpack an adult wears and puts a change of clothes and some other miscellaneous supplies in.
We laughed at first, thinking there's no way he'd fit in there.
But sure enough, Coop got in, Jason zipped him up and only his little head was sticking out.
Here's the evidence...

Zipped in a backpack and as happy as can be.
As far as his size, I'm sure Cooper will have a growth spurt one of these days.
If not, fitting into a backpack could come in handy, right?!?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Chloe's Pout

Chloe is becoming the queen of pouting.
My parents have told me stories which exhibit that I too was a master pouter as a girl, so maybe she's just following in her momma's footsteps.
Anytime Chloe is told no, she does not tend to throw a tantrum, she just quietly pouts.
This happened today when Dad & Cooper were getting ready to go outside to work on the tractor. Chloe's keen sense alerted her that people would soon be heading out the door, so she grabbed her coat and headed to the door herself saying, 'Ready? Bye-bye?'
Once the boys left and she had to stay inside, the lip came out and was stationed in a pouting position for quite a while.
Chloe just sat on the stairs and looked out the window, probably wondering where the guys had gone and why they had left her.
Check out the bottom lip...

Poor Chloe...doesn't that sad face just break your heart?!?
But then again, isn't that the point of get people to feel sorry for you.
Well Chloe, I guess it worked on Mom!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Under the Weather

I had a great day on Friday. I was feeling good, with no morning sickness plaguing my day. I was able to get the Christmas decorations put away, and get some backed up chores done around the house. I went to bed that night thinking maybe the worst was now behind me.
Then, I woke up Saturday morning sick again. Ahhhh!
And again this morning, so sick that I stayed home from church.
I spent the morning praying this is going to end soon, in between trips to the bathroom of course. And I know it will, it's just hard when you're in the midst of it.
So, although I wish this was written for the benefit of Shawna, a friend who told me to tell her the worst parts of pregnancy so that she wouldn't envy my state, unfortunately it's all true. I remain perhaps one of the sickest pregnant women on record.
Well, here's praying for better days!

Friday, January 2, 2009

We Ski

The boys got 'We Ski' for Christmas.
It's a game that you use with the Wii Fit Balance Board, and you actually go through the motions of skiing.
Fun game, but I think Gabe is addicted.
All day long he's asking, 'Can I play We Ski? Pleeeaaassse mom!'
I mean, seriously, just look at him...

He not only has his game face on, but also his ski goggles.
Gabe even chose his attire based on the activity...
The shirt, which says 'ski patrol', and the pants, adorned with skiers and snowboarders.
Addicted...Obsessed...both appropriate words to describe Gabe's feelings towards this game.

It is a fun game though...

And you even get to ride the ski lift...

But just ask Jason if it takes the place of real skiing...
the answer,
of course,

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone! I truly hope yours is off to a good start.

I have to tell you, mine has been a bit rocky.
I woke up this morning feeling so sick, my stomach hurting from all the vomiting of yesterday, and feeling nauseated again today.
And then the vomiting kicked in again.
I was so thankful I felt this terrible on a day Jason was able to be home, because I honestly could barely get out of bed to make the trek to the bathroom, let alone take care of my three children.

So, there I was, stuck in bed feeling so sick and defeated. I do not like to feel helpless and do not like to have to count on others to do the job that I should be doing...taking care of my home, my children, my husband. I feel like since I stay at home, the home is where I work and I need to take care of all things at home. Instead, I have been relying on Jason to pick up my slack, and feeling so guilty. And what a good man he is, never once letting me know that he's exhausted from the extra load he's carrying when I know he has to be.

So, laying in bed, I was praying that God would just take this sick feeling away, but knowing that I should at the same time feel blessed to have sickness for the reason of being pregnant. All the ladies I know who cannot bear children or have had multiple miscarriages remind me of how blessed I am in the midst of this sickness.

Besides prayer, any time I am feeling defeated, I know I also need to pick up my Bible and spend some time in God's Word. Otherwise, self pity can all too easily creep in and I despise self pity.

God always seems to reveal Himself in the ways I need to know Him most when I call out for His help in times of need.

Today was no different.

I turned my Bible to Psalm 16:7-9, 11, which says,
I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body will also rest secure...You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

How this verse reminded me, just when I needed reminded, that we can always cast our cares upon the Lord. We can withstand whatever may come our way because we can walk with Him through the darkness.

I don't have to feel defeated, because I always have victory in the Lord. And although this didn't help my stomach, it did help my state of mind.

So tonight, as I type this again feeling nauseated, I know that the Lord is there to provide strength where I may be weak.
And what an amazing sense of peace that knowledge provides!

I hope you too have the peace of the Lord this New Year's!