Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I Kiss better than I cook

I have a sign in my kitchen hanging above my pantry that reads "I Kiss better than I cook". I am not offended by this sign at all. I actually had it custom made. When Mark first saw it hanging up he read it and said, "that is true".
If you know me, you know that I do not like to cook. The whole kitchen area is a drag to me. I can actually feel the walls and ceiling closing in on me when I step in there. The lights dim, the air is stuffy and anxiety takes control of my mind and body. To add to my problem, I am a mother and wife, so I spend about 90% of my day in the kitchen. I am also a clean freak. Another reason why preparing meals is so hard for me. So many dirty bowls, knives, cutting boards, pots, pans, spoons... Someone help! My brain hurts just thinking about it. It is hard for me to prepare a meal from start to finish without cleaning up after every step. Thus, my time in the "dungeon" is increased. To which cries from the galley come, "mom I'm hungry", "mom play with me", "mom how do I go to Lego.com". Oh the insanity!
For the last 8 years now, and counting, Mark's job has required him to travel on a weekly basis. This means that he leaves on Monday and comes home on Friday. So I as a wife and mother have only had to cook for myself and then children during the week. Then the "picky eating" stage sets in with the children, like all children and you have two choices. First choice is to continue to make a variety of meals and make your children eat them or else. The second choice is to cater to their whims, make what they will eat and have a nice dinner together. You with your food, them with theirs. I have chosen the latter. This decision has greatly added to my disagreement with the kitchen. When you cater, you don't get practice in the kitchen. I can cook. I just don't like to because it takes too much time.
I have chosen to cater, but secretly hope that some day my children will come around to trying and liking new things. I would like to offer a piece of advice. When you make a decision, don't secretly hope for it to go the other way. I will be working out the catering decision I made in therapy in the future I am sure. Or will I?
I present to you Alison eating Chicken Enchiladas! Not only did she eat an entire serving, she liked it! And had seconds!
Okay, so her face doesn't look like she likes it, but trust me, she does! She cleaned her plate except for the 2 pinto beans she refused to try. Baby steps.
Being the second child she looks up to her older brother. So she decided long ago to follow his eating habits. I have noticed over the last 6 months that she was growing tired of those same 4 things for dinner. In the last week she has tried and likes ham, potato cheese casserole, corned beef, carrots, enchiladas, tri tip, Italian cream cheese chicken, pork spare ribs and a few other things I can't remember. I have been making John take a bite as well. He compiles, but won't take more than a bite.
Could this be the beginning of the end of my disagreement with the kitchen? Too early to say just yet. Time will tell. As for now, I am accepting of the fact that I enjoy food. And I really enjoy food that has been prepared by someone else.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bedtime is for...

Sleeping! At least that is what I as the mom think. However with the sun staying up longer these days, my little ones are disagreeing.
Two nights ago John came downstairs about 20 minutes after I had left his room and proudly announced that he had pulled a tooth! Wonderful, is it the one that has been loose since October and dangles around in his mouth, disgusting the heck out of his parents, you may ask? Of course not! It is a different one that has been loose for about a month. The one from October is still in his mouth and he refuses to pull it. He wants it to fall out on it's own.
This evening Alison was trying to learn how to snap her fingers. This got the whole family snapping. Again, 20 minutes after I left John's room, who should arrive downstairs? John, who has taught himself how to snap! Wonderful! But what happened to going to sleep?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tulips with the Edson Family

The Tulips finally bloomed, so we had to go back of course. This time we went with our dear friends, the Edsons. The kids had fun playing with each other and looking at the flowers. It was a warm day and the ground was dry. What more could you ask for?
Alison looking cute!

The Whole Gang!

Alison, Jennifer, Kaylee, John, Spencer, Kelli with Aubree, and Jake

This is why I go every year.

Spencer, John and Jake loving on Aubree

Monday, April 20, 2009

I chose to be a mom?

It is Monday morning and time to wake up and get ready for school. John had an exciting weekend with his Birthday and Birthday party. So of course getting ready for school without playing with toys first was not on his agenda. I went in to tell him to put the toys down and get dressed. To which he looked me in the eye ( a first) and firmly told me, "You are always ruining my life!"

This at 7 years old! What am I going to hear at 12 or 14 years old? I choose to be a mom right? Heaven only knows that I never talked back to my mom. I always did what was asked of me. At least that is how I remember it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Lego Birthday Party

John decided this year to have a Lego themed birthday party. So I put my thinking cap on and came up with a pretty good party, if I do say so myself. I went to Lego.com and made a poster. My friend Mark McBride helped me turn it into an invitation with his photoshop program. I also printed up stickers to put in the gift bags. Since John's birthday is so close to Easter, I was able to find mini Lego sets in the Easter isle at the store and those went into the gift bags as well. John was able to invite four friends. We kept the party to one hour and it went really well. We had the party in the morning (10:30 am to 11:30 am) so that John would not have so much anxiety that day waiting for the guests to arrive.

One of the games was guess how many Lego candies are in the jar. Alison and I made this "basket" out of Legos for the boys to put their guesses in.

The cake. John really wanted it to be red. The best I could do was pink. So 9:30 at night, with the party the next morning, I called my neighbors to borrow more powdered sugar. And blue it was. The boys all loved it! They thought it looked just like a Lego.

The "ice breaker" activity was a Lego connect the dot picture which they could then color.

The second game was a Lego Build Off. Each boy received a bag of Legos that Mark put together. They all had items to make a car, air plane and/or any thing else they could imagine. After explaining that they could build whatever they wanted we set the timer for 10 minutes. Mark was the judge. It was a tough job, but a winner was picked. The third game was pin the Lego Mars Mission guy next to the Lego Mars Mission Rover. Another poster I printed up off of Lego.com and took to the local printer to have blown up. They boys all had a lot of fun!

Happy Birthday John!

"The Muscle Crew"
Cory, John, Jake, Blake, and Jon

Friday, April 17, 2009

John Turns 7

Happy Birthday to our John! It is hard to believe that he used to be this little.

John 1 years old.

We woke John up with breakfast in bed.

He received many wonderful presents. He had to wait until after school to open them all. He was excited to put the Lego sets together.

John chose Red Robin for dinner. The kids love the staff singing "Happy Birthday" to them. They love the fact that they get balloons and an ice cream sundae! He really was happy, but would not smile for the camera.

Happy Birthday John. We love you very much. You bring so much joy to our family. We love your smile, sense of humor and abundant energy. We love your desire to learn new things. You are a wonderful person and we are glad you are our son.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Easter came and went. The bunny comes to our house Friday night. We have made a deal with him to come on Friday night so that we can remember the true meaning of Easter on Sunday. He does not mind this because he has to hop allover, no fancy sleigh! The kids were real excited to see what the bunny would bring them. So excited in fact that John woke up at 5 am! That was an early Easter morning. I went to his room to see his basket and then told him he could play in his room or go back to bed. He just wanted to go downstairs and find eggs. When I said no and he could not wake up Alison he decided he was hungry for breakfast. I told him to eat some of the candy in his basket. By 6:30 am Mark was downstairs with him giving him breakfast. Alison woke up around 7 am and the hunt was over by 8 am.
Alison in her Sunday best. We bought her new "high heel" shoes. She feels so grown up.
Finding eggs!

Found one!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Girlfriends Night

Tonight was opening night of the Hannah Montana movie. A group of us took our girls to see the movie. The girls were so excited! Alison wore her new skirt to be like Hannah. Everyone that saw her complimented her and she loved it! The girls loved the movie! We were at the 7:30 pm show and it was packed! There was singing, dancing, cheering and laughter all around. Such fun times. I cherish these moments that Alison wants to me to go with her to the movies.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sisters in Seattle

My sister Tanya is attending Culinary School. She competed in the Western Regional Competition this weekend in Seattle. I asked my dear husband if I could go to see her for a few days and he said yes. He even used points to get me a room in the same hotel as Tanya. It was so nice to spend time with my sister. I unfortunately did not make it out of the house as early as I had planned (laundry, school lunches, notes to teachers, after school arrangements for kids), so I missed seeing her team compete. But we did get to spend time together! I arrived in Seattle around 2 pm. Her team was just finishing and heading back to the hotel. I was able to make reservations for us to eat at 6 pm at the Sky View Restaurant atop the Space Needle. This was her first time in Seattle and my first time eating in the restaurant. It actually rotates! It takes 45 minutes to make a complete rotation. It was a beautiful, clear day in Seattle. Really, you could not have asked for better weather. We enjoyed wonderful food and conversation. I had Kobe Beef for the first time and she had the equivalent to Kobe Beef in Pork. Lucky life for those cows and pigs, except when it came time for us to eat. Anyways, after dinner we went up a floor to the observation deck. It was a beautiful sunset and no wind.

Me in the restaurant.

Chef Tanya in the restaurant.

Sisters on the observation deck.

The Space Needle at night. We took these pictures of each other laying on our back on the sidewalk! I have turned my blog into a book, a family journal. So now I am even more excited about entries to the blog. When I learned that I could for sure go to visit Tanya in Seattle I was so excited! No kids, no responsibility and fun times with my sister for 2 days! I instantly thought of the title for this post and told Mark. He just laughed at me. We visited the gift shop at the Space Needle before heading back to the hotel. We decided that it would be fun to have matching shirts for Pike's Market Place the next day. So.....

I present to you Sisters in Seattle!

Here we are in front of the famous "throwing fish" stand.

Of course a trip for mom would not be complete without souvenirs for the kids. John is loving Lego's right now, so this was the obvious gift for him. He put it together and set it up for me to take the picture. I have been wanting to get Alison one of these petticoat skirts for awhile now. I decided to splurge on her gift and bought it for her. Lets face it, I will never make it. She loves to twirl around in it and wear it whenever she can. My only rule was that she can not wear it to school. Bummer, she would be the cutest girl there. I had a wonderful time with Tanya and I love her so much. I am thankful for my loving husband for letting me go have fun and taking care of the kids for 2 days.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Tulip Fields

We had beautiful 70 degree sunshine so today was the right day for the Tulip Festival. Unfortunately the flowers are not in bloom yet. We have Artic Storm 2008 to thank for that! They have extended the festival by 2 weeks this year because of the storm in December. We are going to try to go back to see the flowers in bloom. We still had a nice day together. The kids had fun pumping the water for the "Ducky Races". They actually wanted to pose for me this year, so I took them up on their offer. They had a few more vintage tractors this year as well. We even got to see them drive them! That was really great to see old steam engines working and watch how they had to be driven. Thank heaven for modern technology!

Alison pumping away.

John using all his body weight.

Just ducky.

This planter box was one of three that had flowers in bloom.

My sweetie!