Monday, December 31, 2007

New Underwear for the New Year

Please, go HERE and watch every video available (relax, you can even watch with the kids in the room!). But, may just pee your pants laughing!

Friday, December 28, 2007

More Christmas 2007 *updated with video

Christmas eve we went to my sister's house and all of my sibs were there with their spouses and kiddos. Here is the best picture of all of the cousins together (minus the cousin hiding in mah belleh):

I really tried to get the evil red-eye out of their eyes, but my editing couldn't do it. It was mostly from the 6 other people's camera flashes. We were all taking pictures at once in the hopes that someone might possibly get one picture worth keeping! It was going really well until we realized that we were missing NIKLAUS! He slipped in at the last minute and we got some more pictures. At least nobody was crying.

The Greek style food was a hit (with the grownups anyway):

We got to opening presents and had some fun for quite a while playing with the new stuff. My two sons bought their shared godfather (Peter, my bro) a plastic pellet handgun (we spied it in Walmart and the boys bought it themselves). He couldn't wait to try it so he set up the target in the basement right there at the party. Us girls looked on in horror as my two brothers started threatening to shoot each other and wrestling to get the gun away from each other.
I couldn't believe they would do that with the kids just playing all over the place, but they were their kids too, so I guess they were "play fighting" safely (really, they weren't drunk or anything). It was so funny to see those big boys wrestling all over the couch and the kids trying to join in to "help" their dads!

Analise got a beautiful, fairy, butterfly Barbie from her godfather, Rudy. She had been pining for a 2007 Holiday Barbie but she was so much happier that she got this one. It's wings fold and then pop open. It's quite a stunning display.

Color Wonder markers are a beautiful thing too! Here are Anika and Roman sharing Roman's new set:

Thursday, December 27, 2007


It's almost like the media is doing it's darnedest the very DAY after Christmas to find the most depressing, horrible stories it can find. I guess I can't fault the media totally:

Check this out if you have the flu and are going to puke anyway.

We're all doomed.

Okay, I'll post a cheery, Christmas post next. I promise.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Christmas is For Weazy...I mean...Children

Nobody in this house has gotten into the Christmas spirit more than my 7 year old. She has been on her VERY best behavior for about 3 weeks now. She colors about 10 different pictures and does at least 3 projects per day. She pushed so hard for a Christmas tree that I thought she might have a heart attack if I didn't get one soon enough (I figured out that she might think that if we don't have a tree, Santa won't come!). I just got the approval today on my Christmas decorating attempts. It went something like this:

Analise: Mom, I think it's good now. I've got a little bit in my room...I put some decorations in the living room...we've got the tree and the stockings up now. Yup, it's okay now!

Mind you, she's the one who instigated/created MOST of the decorations around here. I kept trying to pull the "but it's not CHRISTMAS yet, it's still ADVENT...we need to learn to WAIT!" deal, but no go.

I love the tree we ended up getting (just this week!). It was perfect for the tiny dining room (yay, sweeping up needles instead of vacuuming them is so much easier!) and it smelled up the whole house so nicely. We couldn't find our star (another panic attack from Weazy) but Mom brought over an angel so we're good now (Santa can come...whew!).

Today, my in-laws came over (I figured it might be kind of nice for them to have Christmas day off to relax before my MIL has to go back to work the next day) today for Christmas. Niklaus shared my pistachios (I didn't even know he liked those things until today) and bonded with my father-in-law while shelling them with him.

We all got what I consider the BEST PRESENTS EVER from them. Woohoo! I can't wait to make use of them (Mari's was attached to a little, stuffed penguin that she loved, so I had to post that picture even though it's a little blurry) My sis-in-law also sent one of those (she never forgets us, she's so sweet), a funny, musical/mechanical cat that sings "Santa Baby" (the girls love that song and you should have seen them light up and look at each other when it started singing!), and also a nice box of pears from Harry & David. YUM! My MIL told me that we're supposed to wait 4 days to eat them but I couldn't resist and just had one. It was perfect...juicy and sweet and still just a tiny bit crisp. Aaaaahhhhhh.

It was a very nice day considering the raging snowstorm outside our windows. We all got very tired after eating that turkey and yummy deserts so Grandma and Grandpa went home shortly after we ate. Grandpa feels much better and seems to pretty much be back to his old self. My MIL impressed the kids with her string of Christmas light-y necklace that she gave it to Trina. I'll have to get a pic of that thing, it's awesome!

Last minute trees are some of the best. The kids did all the decorating (they are getting to be pros!). I got a clear, plastic "table cloth" (walmart craft section) and covered a nice table cloth. In between we put all of the Christmas card pictures we got from everyone so we can "have dinner" with them. It was a fun way to display them and it keeps me and the kids motivated to clean off the table right away after we mess it up with crafts/food!

Weazy is all ready for Santa.
All we need now are the cookies!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stripey Jammies ROCK

He has style. He has confidence. He has a number of adoring fans. He's Niklaus, the famous drummer. Now, CLAP!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

We're Creepy and We're Kooky

I just saw this at The Keeper Of the Monkey House's blog (private). I love it when people don't take themselves too seriously!
I looked all over to find out who these guys are. Does anyone know?
They are a HOOT!


Monday, December 17, 2007

Do You Hear What I Hear?

This article moved me very much. I never knew the history of that song until now.

H/T The Curt Jester

Weekend Activities

Trina had a nice party out in the garage for a couple of her friends (and occasionally her brothers and sisters). They had fun snacks:

They played "Apples to Apples", they goofed around, made hot cocoa, and did some "Carol-oke" ( Weazy calls it. Trina has a karaoke machine and we bought a Christmas Karaoke CD). Trina's best friend, Kara came over earlier this week and I snapped this shot of her bonding with Niklaus. Niklaus calls Kara "my friend". Last year, she was included on his list of friends that he wanted to invite to his birthday party and this year was no different. It helps that Kara has 4 younger brothers and understands them pretty well!

Saturday night, Butch and I actually went on a DATE! We went with Trine (sis) and Matt (bro-in-law) to a Greek restaurant that Butch had done some work on the week before. It was kind of neat to try something different. The feta stuffed, char-broiled peppers were YUM! The meat and sea-food were so-so, the deserts were a little too still frozen, and the green beans (on the side) were yucky, canned and seemed so gross for a nice restaurant. The pita bread and yogurt/spiced dip was good, though. I loved the Greek red wine I tried. We probably won't go there again, but we decided that we should make an effort to try some new place every other month...and we got some good ideas of what we should make for our "big, fat, Greek Christmas" theme on Christmas eve this year. I tried to get a bunch of good pictures of us (to prove to ourselves that we were actually "out"!) but none of the couples ones turned out so I'll post this funny one of Trine and I toasting.

We look funny because we were trying for a "we are very used to fine dining and cosmopolitan living" pose hahahaha! We were sitting next to a cool picture of an old, Greek, street scene. The restaurant itself is pretty classy and nicely decorated but it was rather loud. I was expecting something cheesy with icky carpet and some cliche' Greek mandolin music in the background but there wasn't any of that.
I think it was the too rich food or maybe the yogurt dip, but I didn't feel very well when we got home and I think I may have gotten a touch of food poisoning. It may have been that the baby didn't like Greek food? Although, we all ate the same things and Trine did say that Matt felt a little sick too, so it may have just affected us for some reason. I guess that's the risk you take when you go out somewhere to eat! It was worth it! We had a nice time and the kids babysat themselves and didn't have any major blowups or fights (that I know of). They got Niklaus and Mariela to sleep just fine and had some of Trina's friends over to goof around with.

We were going to go get a tree tonight (Sunday) after Mass, but we decided that will be Monday's project (and decorating) instead. Sometime this week we plan to hit the MOA to see the decorations and to get some last minute presents. We'll see how that goes!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Worst Vestment Contest

This is super funny! Go there to vote for your "favorite". My kids really loved "toxic waste" but my pick was the "hippy(16)" submitted by Thorny.


Today was the day!

I think it's been 6 months since I last baked something in my oven.
Here is the old panel that beeped and cursed me out every day for the past six months:

When I called the company the first time, they told me that I must have "cleaned it wrong" and moisture got behind the panel. You can see from those pictures that there is no moisture damage but the little connectors are kind of "burnt out". In my not-very-trained-for-electronics opinion, this was just a manufacturing defect (otherwise, why would it break after only a few years?).

Here is the new, still working after 10, whole minutes panel that will probably (knowing my luck with appliances) poop out in about 3 years or less:

But, for TODAY, I'm jumping up and down, giving my appliance repair guy (Clayton's Appliance Repair Monticello: 763-295-5122* Zimmerman: 763-856-3936) high fives, and thanking GOD for an appliance that does what it's supposed to do. I have much happiness in my heart on this fine, Tuesday afternoon (300 smackaroonies later! At Christmas time that is a stretch, but it's my present to ME because what the heck can you bake at this time of year without an oven??? I looked up the part online and really, THAT took up most of the moolah. Clayton was a very ethical repairman and had a very fair price for his service. I highly recommend him!)

Here is how I'm re-breaking in my "new" oven:

I just got a call from my mother-in-law that my father-in-law felt cold and had low blood pressure after his daily walk this morning and never felt quite right after that. He told my mom-in-law that yes, they should go to the hospital (which is scary to my MIL because he would normally NOT prefer to go to the hospital). He's in intensive care right now for observation. He has a huge history of heart problems (bi-pass surgery, pacemaker) and is quite fragile health-wise (but very hearty, spirit wise!). Please say a prayer for him? I think I'll send some TURKEY DINNER (WOOOOHOOOOO!) with Butch when he goes to visit him tonight!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

First Friday

There's not much left of this First Friday, but say a prayer for the unborn, the suffering, the needy, the babies who might not make it into this world , alive.

Please pray now:

*Prayer for Advent

God of Life,
We rejoice in the promise of your coming.

You have sent your Son, born in Bethlehem.
He is the Prince of Peace, and
The one in whose name all oppression shall cease.

May we welcome his coming each day
And prepare for his coming at the end of time.
May we build a culture that welcomes him
By welcoming every child, born and unborn.

We pray through the same Christ our Lord. Amen

*From the Priests for Life website

Random Facts. Nothing to See Here. Keep Clicking Away. Move Along. Do Not Read (Unless You Are Extremely Bored)

Well, I got zapped by Ironic Catholic in the comments section of my previous post.

Okay, I'll bite:

Rules: Each tagged person must post 8 random facts or habits about themselves on their blog. At the end of the post, choose 8 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment telling them that they are tagged and to read your blog. Have fun!

1. I bite my nails (still). In my defense, I do it when I'm reading and don't really realize I'm doing it. I read a LOT.

2. I have reddish-brown hair and I really used to love the color until I went and made a HUGE mistake by trying to cover the gray at my temples and now my hair is a stupid reddish-blackish-brownish-yuckish color. "16 washes" my sweet patooty!

3. My oven still doesn't work (but I did get a call from the repairman's wife who told me that the reason the part took so long to order was that they actually had to MANUFACTURE it. It should be fixed by next week. It hasn't worked since about June or July.

4. I hate it when anyone is in the kitchen while I'm cooking. I'd love to be one of those mamas who lets their children learn all kinds of wonderful lessons in the process of cooking dinner or baking bread from scratch. I'm not. I don't have the luxury of any space in my kitchen...and they are MESSY!

5. I don't have a special devotion to Mary. I know this is a biggie, but I just don't believe any of the apparitions really happened. Yes, even the "approved" ones. Please don't hate me. I don't think that people who DO have a devotion to Mary are in any way lesser because of it, I just don't have any belief in it. Do I believe that Mary could come to a someone/group of someones and give special messages? YES! (They are nice stories. My children know them all.) I believe it COULD happen, I just don't happen to believe it did. I honor all of the Marian feast days, name my children after Mary, love her deeply for saying "Yes", honor her as the Queen of Heaven, teach my children the Rosary and pray it with them, teach them all about her, etc...maybe I wish she would come to "visit" me. Maybe then I'd go for the apparitions and stuff? Man, it feels like I'm "coming out" or something. I have a funny feeling this one won't rest for a while!

6. I can install light fixtures.

7. I often forget that I need to be the "tooth fairy" and made up a story that "you must have been awake! The TF doesn't come when you are awake and in your room!" then sneak it in when they are eating breakfast.

8. I want to go see "The Golden Compass" (but I probably won't). Not because it looks like a good movie, but because so many people told me not to go (about 30 emails from different people! By the way, does any Catholic/Christian on the flamin' PLANET NOT KNOW that it's an anti-religion movie based on anti-religion books by NOW?!). It's the rebel in me, I'm sure.

December 8th is my brother, Rudy's birthday. Happy Birthday Rudy (even though I don't think he even knows I have this blog or would ever read it). 8 for the feast day, 8 things about me, 8 friends to bug with a meme on a weekend: Diana, K, Kelly, Antonia, Thorny , Megan, Trine, Anna

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Happy Happy, Joy Joy!

Double Yay!

No matter what the outcome, God saw fit to bless these two wonderful ladies with one more soul. THAT is cause for celebration! Go give congrats!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Magical Age

We sure had a busy day today! Niklaus' birthday was on Friday so we celebrated it today at 4pm. The reason we chose the later time was because I wanted to go to the 1pm Mass at St. Walburga's.

The Mass was lovely and will only get better as time goes on, I'm sure. We saw a number of familiar faces, which was nice.

I can't help but wonder if the reason the Mass developed into the new order of Mass is because of all of the stuff we CAN'T hear? I haven't grown up with the older form and only have attended a handful of those Masses so I wish I knew the reasoning behind all of the inaudible prayer? I know it's easy enough to KNOW what the priest is saying/praying, but it's hard to capture my children's attention when it seems like there's "nothing" going on up there at the altar. We will sit closer next time, but in the meanwhile, it's got me thinking that there should be some kind of "happy medium" for Mass. Some kind of meld of what's good about the older order and the new? I explained (on the way to Mass) some of the reasons why it is different than what they're used to, and some of the reasons why it has changed but my love for this form doesn't quite translate the way I want it too. I very much dislike not knowing what the proper thing to say or do is. Apparently, many people don't know (as evidenced by how many-even the older folks-were looking around, sheepishly for group-guidance on sitting, standing, and kneeling!) or remember "what to DO" at the older form of Mass. I should be encouraged by the fact that my children chose this Mass over the 6pm Mass at our parish. They were both so disgusted by the music last week, that I doubt very much they were able to pray during Mass or concentrate on the miracle of the Eucharist at all! I haven't asked them yet, but I think they would like to go to St. Walburga's again!

After Mass, we went on an emergency trip to Target to purchase party supplies! We weren't able to go out yesterday because of the snowstorm. I don't trust that rear-wheel-drive van in those slippery conditions. We had to hustle to get home in time to set up the party (while Niklaus and Mari took a much needed nap at home with Daddy).

We got ready for the party just in time for guests (my siblings and their families, Mom and Dad, and the three neighbor kids). There were 15 grand kids, 3 extra kids, and 10 adults and it was very nice. Even with all those people in the house, it was very peaceful and sweet. I still wish I had one, big room to fit everyone in!

Here is a video of Niklaus opening presents and a mini-tour of the house with all of the people in it (small main floor!). I have NO room for a Christmas tree and Dad gave me heck tonight for not having one, "No tree for the kids???". I told him that it is Advent, NOT Christmas yet (but really, I'm still trying to figure out just where I'll put the thing!). It may have to be a last minute, front porch kind of deal. Santa will be okay with that, right?

Here is a video of Matty almost smashing the cake completely into his shirt (while the candle was LIT!). He claims it was an accident, but I think it was a secret plot to hog all the frosting for himself. The cake was deeeelicious (even if it was a little smudged)!

My little boy is four now! Four is my favorite age. It's been my favorite ever since my little sister, Anna was four. I distinctly remember thinking that four was my favorite "kid age" back then. I babysat a LOT back then and all of my favorite kids were four. I think it's because it's the age where they can communicate well, but they are still struggling with meaning, which makes everything they say hilariously funny. They are still very sweet and babyish, but are big enough to do most things for themselves. By the time they turn five, they are just a little wiser in the ways of manipulating the grown-ups. But for one, blessed year, they are still four: un-jaded, innocent, silly, laugh-out-loud goofy, crazy kids.

Happy birthday to my big, four-year-old, boy!

He asked me tonight if we could go again to "scrape around in the dark". I sat there COMPLETELY bewildered. I finally figured out that he wanted to go outside to shovel snow like he and I had done last night in the middle of the storm (just to get the bulk of it out of the way of the porch steps). He had so much fun in the snow with me, he wanted to do it again tonight!

(See? Four is AWESOME!)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

For my Local, Minnesota Folks!

If you know me in person, or know where I live, this will pertain to you.

A Tridentine Mass will be at 1pm tomorrow afternoon. Ray from the Stella Borealis Blog was nice enough to post about it when I emailed him the info. It might be a nice time for Mass (the snow will be cleared out, hopefully!). Hope to see you there!

The details here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Morphing the Girls

Just for fun, I went to see what celebrities the generator would turn my girls into:




Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Everyday Bullstuff

A few years ago, a neighbor of mine asked me a question. She was sending her kids to the local, parish school (the one I had attended, by the way) and was confused as to why they were starting to teach this thing called "Everyday Math". It was the first I'd heard of any such thing and decided to check it out. My neighbor was on the education advisory committee for the school at some point and tried to buck the system, but there was NO bucking the system. "When the kids go on to public school in the 7th grade (the parish school is only K-6) they will be learning with the public school children who learned "Everyday Math" so we might as well prepare them for THAT." was the standard line of reasoning she had been given.

Her son was having great trouble with this "new math" and had always excelled at math before. She asked me to take a look at the book and see if I could help him (and her) understand it a little better. Another neighbor (one of my best friends)'s child had recently enrolled in the local public schools and she, too was befuddled by this "new math" so I checked out HER book too.

(This, whole thing is pretty funny since I'm not exactly known for my wonderful math skills. I never learned properly myself (just wasn't that interested in math) and I totally regret that I didn't pay more attention to this day! I think they just wanted an "alternative schooler's" point of view or something like that.)

Even a dummy (in math) like me could see that this program was incredibly STUPID and a waste of time. I sat there absolutely STUNNED that someone would invent such a way to confuse children and NOT teach them the basic facts. The books were SO bad that I could only encourage the parents to fight it with all of their hearts and not give up. I told them to teach their children the way THEY were taught and maybe the kids would "go along to get along" but at least would learn the easier/more efficient/old-fashioned way and have a CHANCE of understanding how math really works in the end.

The whole experience made me REALLY happy that I decided to homeschool, but it made me extremely sad for the parents who don't really feel that they have that option and are forced to capitulate to the school's demands that their children receive a sub-standard education. If the parents went to the teachers (and they did) and demand to know why their child is learning this non-sense, or complain that they find it impossible to help their children with their homework...they were encouraged to "learn the new method themselves" and that was pretty much IT.

I'm all for adapting and learning new things, but RE-LEARNING something that you ALREADY KNOW one, really efficient way is like...

Let's say I am a hairdresser. I've been a hairdresser for 30 years and I'm really good at it. I have lots of repeat customers and new customers who LOVE me and my style. Now, the state recommends that I take a remedial course to learn basic, hairdressing skills in order to keep my license. "No big deal!" I say, figuring that I have the experience and knowledge to do quite well. "Oh, by the way..." says the state, "you'll have to learn the 'new hairdressing' wherein you actually do all of your haircuts with a manicuring scissors instead of a full-size one, you have to do buzz cuts with a nose-hair trimmer instead of that Wahl that you're used to, and you MUST use toothpicks instead of perm rods from now on!". "Gee, that's kinda stupid." I say. "WHAT?" says the state, "These, new methods work just FINE. We have been testing them and teaching them for over 4 months to the new hairdressers-in-training and we are finding that they work. If you rock the boat, or refuse to learn the new methods...well, I'm sorry, but you'll just have your license taken away. End of discussion."

Crazy analogy? Tell me what YOU think after viewing this video I just found on this post at Michelle Malkin:

I watched the WHOLE THING with my mouth on the floor.

There is hope. This is a portion from MM's post:

But don’t give up and don’t give in. While New York City remains wedded to “Everyday Math” (which became the mandated standard in 2003), the state of Texas just voted before Thanksgiving to drop the University of Chicago textbooks for third-graders. School board members lambasted the math program for failing to prepare students for college. It’s an important salvo in the math wars because Texas is one of the biggest markets for school textbooks. As Texas goes, so goes the nation.

God bless Texas!


I think Michelle is the lucky lady! Which book do you want, Michelle? Email your address and choice to laura7550atyahoodotcom and I'll send it off!

(Hey, Megan, what the heck are you doing on the computer so early in the morning????)

I like all of your answers, but I have to say, I think Mrs. Mom had the most correctest answer for number three so I'm going to have to offer her a prize for "honorable mention"! (plus, she lives near me so no postage hahaha!)

Looks like I'll have to pose more of a challenge next time I decide to have a contest!

Too Easy (The Contest!)

This morning, as I was writing out the kid's assignments for the week, I told them that they didn't have to do their regular English assignments. I told them that we were going to work on something different.

Me: You are going to do a theme.

Trina: What? Are you SERIOUS?

Matty: YAY!

Matty got out his notebook and started right in (Which is weird because he usually does his work in order and math is first. Plus, he HATES writing.)

Me: Wait just a minute! You are to do an outline today. Refine the outline tomorrow. On Thursday you will write it all out and I'll correct it. On Friday you will write it out, neatly, and read it to Daddy.

Here's what Matty wrote (in about 10 minutes...totally skipping my schedule. I wish I could have scanned his actual handwriting. Trina edited it and they both handed it to me, giggling):

"What I want for Christmas is a Red Rider bb gun with a compass in the stock and this thing which tells time. I think everyone should have a Red Rider bb gun and I also don't think a football is a very good gift."

1. What was the title of this theme?
2. What movie did we watch the night before?
Bonus question (no prize):
3. Why are my kids so weird?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Because I Like Free Stuff...

...I'm having a CONTEST!!!!!!

Later today/tonight, I'm going to post something.
You'll have to guess the correct answer.
If you get it right (and you are the first to answer...and you are NOT a family member), you'll get your choice:
1. A brand new, paperback copy of A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'engle.
2. A brand new, paperback copy of Captain Underpants and the Big, Bad Battle of the Bionic Booger Boy (part 2: The Revenge of the Ridiculous Robo-Boogers)
3. Captain Underpants and the Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People.

By posting the prizes first, I hope that you only enter if you want one of these books...but just for fun-you can answer if you don't,too! I just won't post your answer until after the winner/wanter of the prize is announced. I overbought, thinking I didn't have these yet so my mistake will be your benefit!

Also, if you have some...uh...difficulties with these titles, please, don't tell me about it. I LOVE Captain Underpants, and you can't change my mind (the books were the gateway for Matty's reading abilities and love for reading, so I can't knock them!). This is just supposed to be for fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

On The Ledge

This has been a WEIRD Thanksgiving! We didn't get to go to my brother's house because Bocker and Mari were coughing and feverish so we just stayed home and had Thanksgiving dinner here with all of us (we need a bigger table, Mari had to sit in an extra chair off to the side. It's pretty bad when you need a "kid's table" for everyday meals!).

Now, Butch and I are BOTH sick. I sneezed about 2 boxes worth of tissues in the last two days and have a headache and a fever now. BUT, through it all, work HAD to be done so here's what I got done this weekend (in between sneezes)...

1. We changed the girls out of their bunk beds (Trina couldn't even sit up on the bottom bunk!) and cleared 3 TALL KITCHEN GARBAGE BAGS worth of actual garbage out of their room (junk that had worked it's way under and around the big bunk bed). I took off the closet, bi-fold doors because there is no room to open them and now they have a nice, neat, clean, EMPTY room to relax in. I had to sort Analise's clothes too (she gets most of the hand-me-downs from other people and deals from the store I work at).

2. I moved a dresser from the boy's room downstairs to hold the mittens, scarves, hats, etc. in the entryway. THAT project led to me cleaning their room again and re-organizing some of their toys to make more room for them to play a little in their room (only 1 garbage bag worth of garbage from THAT room).

3. I inherited a table/sewing machine from my grandma so I decided to move a couple of bookshelves and make a "sewing space" in my dining room. This project involved sorting books also and much dusting (and cleaning the living room...the toys have been sorted and, along with the doll house, have been moved into the classroom so Mari and Niklaus have easier access to them.

4. Trine got a free playset (big, plastic thing with slide) from the lady she gave her two cats to so she brought it over here and I set it up in the basement. Our neighbor also was getting rid of an old couch and easy chair so Butch made room in the garage for those (it's set up like a living room again! TV, surround sound, insulated and heated!) until either Anna needs them, or we finish the basement.

5. I cleaned the theme (spring/summer) from the ledge above the front door (I climb in through the window that's accessible from the kid's rooms above the porch) and changed it to a Christmas theme.

I am trying to simplify EVERYTHING in this house and get rid of ALL things that are useless or junk to make room for actual people but it's hard for me to stop once I get started. Butch calls this "nesting" but I call it "I can't stand living in FILTH". You know how once you get started on one, teeny, little project, you notice how much other stuff has to be done? Yeah. That's what happened this weekend. Hey, it's not so bad, I got a TON of dusting done and I got my walls painted FINALLY in the living room! I'll do a video tour when everything is all done. I promise I won't open drawers or cabinets to show you how obsessive I can get...I also won't do closeups of the bathroom floors...with all of this organizing this weekend, I sorta skipped the necessary bathroom cleanings. I'll get to it. Someday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

I was feeling a little sorry for myself as three of the kids are down for the count (croupy cough, fevers, headaches) and we may not get to enjoy Thanksgiving festivities.


Then I read about this and I can't think about much else.

Butch is home from out of town, we get the next few days off to do some organizing and getting healthy again. We get time with each other.

We are all HERE. We are all alive. We may not be 100 percent healthy, but we are generally healthy and well.

Hug your babies! Whisper a prayer for ALL of our brothers and sisters that can't this weekend.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Niklaus' Big Day!

I have a cousin who married a man named Kenny. He is from a big family in our home town and is a great man. I loved him from even before he and my cousin were married because he would joke with us little girls all the time and didn't seem to notice that we were mere kids. We used to tease him because he is "x" number of years older than our cousin by joking with him about needing a cane, a walker, having gray hairs, etc. and he would always play along. We (Trine and I) would always be recruited to be "servers" at the reception of our cousins because we were younger and had no lives, basically. We served at Kenny's wedding and followed their lives as they went on to have 3, stunningly beautiful children, and serve our hometown parish and community in many, wonderful ways. They (their whole family) are such humble, sweet, caring's funny we're related haha!
Anyway, Kenny's family was raised on a farm just outside of town that has an unusual feature...a round barn! I never knew about it (which is silly, since I must have seen it hundreds of times in my life) until I saw him a couple of months ago when we were at the grocery store, getting flowers to give to Anna at the airport (all of the kids were with us and Trine was in the store when I saw Kenny in the parking lot). He told me that he was trying to get into the fields to bring in the beans but that it was too wet. When I realized, with those words, that he still farmed the land a little, (his parents moved off the farm just a few years ago and it's been empty but Ken still works a few of the fields around the farm just to keep it up. His real job is in the U.S. postal service for a neighboring town.) I got very excited because Bocker has been wanting to ride in a tractor for the LONGEST time and he'd been seeing combines everywhere. He can describe for you all of the details of harvesting corn and knows what most farm equipment is called by seeing just a picture of if. I don't know why he is so fascinated by that stuff, but I suppose it's in his blood a little (both of our families farmed in past generations)? Anyway, Ken said he'd be happy to have Bocker see him harvesting and maybe get a ride when the time came. The time came!

Round barns have a very interesting history in the U.S.. There are not very many of the original buildings still standing and I was so happy to get a tour of this fascinating structure. The farm itself is such a cute, neat, little farm and Kenny was so generous with his time to show us everything we (well, ME, since Bocker had only eyes for the combine!) wanted to see. The barn is amazing on the inside with NO trusses and open all the way to the rooftop (you can see the daylight through the top windows). There aren't very good windows so the inside pictures didn't turn out very well, but I took a few pictures of the hooks and pulleys that were originally used to grasp the bunches of hay and stack in the barn. If I had a couple hundred thousand dollars, I'd buy that thing and renovate it for wedding receptions, or get-togethers and maybe turn the house into a gift shop/historical society for the town. In the next picture, if you can click on it and get a closer look, you can see the swampy area and woods beyond the farm through the oddly placed "window" on the right side of the barn. It's in a little wall that connects the barn to a silo.

Kenny had already harvested the fields (he said it would have been hard to combine with Bocker in the tractor since the fan was broken and the dust was pretty intense) so he gave him a ride to his brother's property adjoining the family farm about a half a mile away through the fields. I took the van over to the house to wait for Niklaus and Kenny. When they got out, Niklaus had a thoughtful expression on his face. He was so quiet in front of Kenny and his brother, and an elderly neighbor that had stopped by on his four wheeler (I got video of them chatting because I love the sound of their German accented, farmboy voices!), but when we got in the van, he chatted nonstop about his big ride and had a million questions about the whole thing. He probably will talk about all of this until he gets a chance to see planting in the spring! I know for sure that he will never forget his ride! I'll never forget the few times I got to go in the combine with my Grandpa Rudy. It was a pretty rare privilege because of having so many cousins, so I'll treasure that time alone I had with him.

Being in a tractor makes you feel like you're on top of the world...
According to almost-four-year-old boys...and their thirty-something moms!

Again, This Woman Is A Genius

OH, I know, she's not "perfect". But I think she's hit this one on the nose!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weird Connections

I was looking up Mass times for local churches to see if anyone had a 6pm Mass. I found that St. Martin's in Rogers has one so I am going there tonight. As I was looking up today's saint shortly afterward, I saw that it was St. Martin of Tours (I don't know if St. Martin's Church is named after this particular St. Martin, but I still thought it was cool.). He is the patron of soldiers! I thought that was pretty neat since today is Veterans/Armistice Day!

As I was looking up more info on St. Martin, I saw a funny word used for a kind of monastery:

Who knew?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

By The Grace Of God

...I was able to save this baby." He says. Like Amy wrote...get past the music video and promo and listen to the last few minutes.
It's amazing what one, little word or moment of kindness can do for all of mankind.

"...our dreams can be our worst enemies if our dreams are not aligned with God's will!" -Eduardo Verastegui

We saw Bella tonight. It was very good and I loved the message. A few criticisms I would have are that I didn't like all the shaky camera/extreme closeup action. The whole movie had sort of a strange flow that I would have liked to be a little smoother. I wish they would have stepped away a bit. I did love the interplay between the actors. They seemed like a real family. I believe they said a lot without a ton of dialogue and I loved the "Spanglish" in the whole film. I am happy that I didn't read anyone's review before I went to see it because I'm sure it would have ruined it for me. I'm really happy that it wasn't really a romantic story so much as it was about true love. That's all I'm going to say about it!

Friday, November 09, 2007


As if I needed more convincing that soldiers were admirable, brave, honorable, and...H.O.T.! (Ladies, don't watch this unless your hubs is in town and you have time for a date tonight!)

Pointed out to me by Michelle's soldier hubs, Bill.


Sorry, girl soldiers, it's not the same for you. You do a great job, but don't look as hot in the uniform!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Price of Freedom

Analise and I went out for a special mom and daughter night tonight. Unlike me, my girls LOOOOOOVE shopping so we went to the clothing store I work at and got some things for Analise and Mari. After, we went down the mall and into a Dunn Brothers where we had cocoa, and coffee, and a little snack. Weazy chattered the whole time about all kinds of things and it was a nice time for both of us.

She said that she was really thirsty for some water and noticed that they had bottled water on the wall by the cooler.
"Should I go over there and see how much it is?", she said. She's becoming more aware of the price of things since we try to be frugal and she is learning about how much things cost and the value of things.
"Naw, I'll just go up to the counter and get some ice water.", I said. When I came back she asked, "How much was it?". I told her it was free and you should have seen the look of pleasure on her face. "Wow, REALLY? That's so COOL!".

Could you imagine a conversation like this 20 years ago? Who could have imagined that we would see a day where water was a major monthly purchase (or filters for "purified" water)?

Our purchases for the night: $28
Water: Free
Spending alone time with my 7 year old: Priceless

Katrina, Analise, and Mariela with their new haircuts. I think Analise has a piece of Halloween candy in her mouth. Mari's hair is covered by her "'at" but you can see the curl at the bottom if you look close. I thought cutting off the mullet would make it all straight (that's what happened to Trina's when she was little) but it's even more curly now that the infant fuzz has been snipped off. Analise's is a curly swirl but it sure looks cute and is much easier to brush through. I hope they all grow it long again, but this is how they like it for now.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Working on Finding Work

"Deaf people can do anything, except hear."
I. King Jordan
Gallaudet University

I just found out that one of our good friends (who happens to be hard of hearing) has been laid off from his job of 22 years. He worked in a local cabinet shop and was not ever treated very well by the company. Please, pray for him and his family (wife and one 12 year old son).

He has one of the best work ethics I've ever known. He can do almost ANYTHING, and has helped Butch with every project he's ever done around both of our houses (we used to be neighbors in the town over. His mom and dad moved just down the street from us now so he has an excuse to visit often and will lend a hand no matter WHAT). You couldn't find a nicer person with a better attitude and I think it's a shame that his talent is going to waste. His wife taught me ASL and, even though I am FAR from proficient, we communicate very well and I'm so happy that God put us together over the years. We first lived in the same apartment building but didn't really know each other (I knew they were deaf and we waved to each other all the time, but never really moved in the same circles or had time to stop and say 'hello'). One day, when Trina was only a few weeks old, I saw my cousin with her-helping her move out. It turns out that my cousin is married to her husband's brother (they are sis-in-laws) and I finally got to meet her. I was all bummed out when I found out that they were moving, but my cousin told me, "Laura, don't worry, they are moving RIGHT NEXT DOOR TO YOUR PARENTS!". I always laugh when I think of the irony that two, deaf people moved next to my MOM (known for her talking...even worse than ME).

Anyway, the company our friend worked for has been almost borderline abusive of him and has given him only teeny-micro-puny raises, has gotten his attention by throwing things at him, has talked about him while he is in the room in a bad way, and generally never really tried to understand him or has given him credit for the wonderful person he is. I never heard him complain about it too much. Mostly his wife and other people that work there told me these things but it broke my heart to hear that someone like him could have been treated in any way other than with dignity and respect. He never really had the confidence to change jobs as many people are afraid to hire "handicapped" persons and I think he was just happy with what he had and that he could provide for his family with the job. I think he was WAY under-utilized and underpaid because he is so skilled at almost every project he attempts. He is a perfectionist. He is super social and gets along with everyone. I hope he finds a job soon so this won't be too hard of a winter for them. I know there are a lot of people in the construction business suffering right now and he is having a hard time finding anything around here for work.
Please pray for my sister, too. She still hasn't found anything (or heard back from any interviews) after a month of looking.

Thank you for your prayers and suggestions!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Name That Tune?

She's got such style about the whole thing. I think she might be the next American Idol. She's got the funky hair for it. Although, it's a lot less funky since I just cut off her mullet last week.

You can see it's getting close to bedtime in that video because Bocker gets really wound up and was attacking Katrina while she was filming Mari. He runs all around in his underpants and picks on absolutely everyone until its actually time to go to bed.

Also, take not on how she says, "I want to see". She says it like this, "iwahsee, iwahsee" twice, just like that, every time. She wants to see her picture on the little screen in the back of the camera so soon I barely have time to catch her in her "cheeeeeeeese" poses. At the end of it, I'm trying to get her to say, "I love you" but she thinks I'm counting and keeps saying "two" after I say, "I...". She's VERY advanced! I especially love the way she just ignores Bocker's distractions and keeps on singing her song and riding her horse. She's all set to be a big sister, I can tell already!

She just kept going on and on. I think she might be saying, "Halloween" over and over but it sounded to me like "Purple Rain" which wouldn't make much sense since she's never heard that song (that I know of!). I did watch that movie in the middle of the night one time last week. It was as horrible as the last time I saw it. Prince is SO...well, I'll just let YOU fill in the blank on that deal. I remember it being such a huge thing for Minnesota when he rose to fame. He was/is such a weird duck (very talented guitar player, though) and just an absolute train wreck as an "actor". It was one of the worst movies I think I've ever wasted my time watching.

No...scratch that...Sarah Landon and the Paranormal Hour was the worst movie I've ever gone to a theater to see. I brought Trina for a special mom/daughter night (because it was the only pg playing) and we were the only ones in the whole theater...oh...except for the box elder bugs that were attracted to the warm spot in front of the projector and we saw their shadows crawling across the screen through the whole movie. THAT was the ONLY scary part of this movie, besides the acting. We laughed so hard at the actors attempts to be really dramatic. It was so cheesy, and stupid, and we found out it was supposed to be the "first in a series". Heeheeheehawhawhaw...if there's a "second in the series" it will most likely go STRAIGHT to dvd and not sell ANY copies. The actors were all related to the producers/directors I think, and they looked like they took some weekend acting classes right before filming. They had such robotronic hand gestures and poor delivery, it was worse than a third grade skit. Check the movie out when it comes out on DVD (if you have a free coupon or something), purely for the comedic value!


Well, I guess I officially lost the challenge now. No excuses. I just woke up at 2 am and realized that I didn't officially post for Sunday. Oh well. I was too worn out anyway! We had my sister, Anna and her new boyfriend over for dinner. We just bought half a cow so we were using up our steaks from last year. It was pretty good! No E-Coli or anything! Then we mostly took naps and relaxed. Perfect Sunday, if you ask me. I did get called into work (I struggle to get hours, there are a lot of moms who work there more consistently than me so I grab any hours I can!) from 5-8, which was kind of nice. I love helping people during store hours (I usually stock late at night) and love chatting with people about who they are buying for, what ages their children are, what looks good with what...I especially love it when I see a dad buying for the kids or a grandma or grandpa with the kids. I helped a big, huge dad with sort of a Russian or maybe Polish accent, help buy some things for a 3 year old and a 7 year old (boys) that would be "sent overseas". I wish I could be nosey sometimes and ask more questions of the customers, but they do have to finish their shopping sometime! It's pretty amazing how many international people come to the Outlet Mall and how many different languages and accents I hear when I work there during the day! 20 years ago, you would NEVER have guessed that we would have this much of the world represented on any, given weekend in this little ol' town!

Sunday, November 04, 2007


HA HA! You thought I missed blogging today, didntcha? Well, technically, it is still Saturday because of that silly "daylight savings" thingy! I just got off of work (I worked 8pm-12am and even though I know it really is Sunday, it's still Saturday for ME!) and ate some dark chocolate so I am rarin' to go! I just thought of a fun idea...

What if I advertised just to friends and family that I could be a "bus service" for a wedding night with my 15 passenger van? Wouldn't that be fun for the wedding party? I could cart them around and even offer rides home at a certain time at the end of the party (for an extra fee, of course!) I could even wear chauffeur's gear and put some snacks and drinks in the back of the van. I think it would be fun and a neat way to make a little cash on a weekend. What do you think?

Today we had a very productive day but it was also very busy. I had my nieces overnight and we went to Space Aliens for lunch. I looked in the rear view mirror as I was driving everyone (my five plus my two guests) and had a very nice feeling about seeing them all back there, buckled in, being silly and cute. It's good to have all of your children gathered in one spot, all heading to the same destination, and all in a pretty good mood. Isn't it? Plus, it's so cute to have that big van almost filled up (Butch came with us and I took out the first seat so it's only a 12 passenger right now).

It gives me a nice feeling.

Also, I met my sister in law at Great Clips because she had to get little Johnny's hair cut anyway and I ended up using two of her coupons to get Trina and Weazy's hair cut! They look so very cute with their new dos. I'll have to post a picture tomorrow!

It was a pretty good day.

Friday, November 02, 2007


Okeydokey, so I guess November is "blog posting" month and people are being challenged to post every day in November. No problemo! I've got lots and lots of things to post about. They might be boring to most people, but it will be fun anyway.

So, tonight we are watching Meet The Robinsons with my two nieces, Ani and Lexi. Lexi's birthday was yesterday so I thought it would be fun to have them overnight and they are watching it right now, next to me as I type! My kids liked it in the theater. It was weird, but pretty funny and they made me buy it at Wal-Mart today. It got me out of taking them to Chuck-E-Cheese's but I have a feeling I'll have to use that CEC coupon tomorrow!

I have some political issues I am going to post about, some faith issues, some medical issues, and of course, kid issues (those will be the funnest ones!) so...stand by...

NOT Too Personal!

In my last post's comment box, Lee asked a question:

Hi Laura-

I am so happy that your ultrasound went so well and that everything looks great!

I hope you don't mind my asking, but it's rare (unfortunately!) to have the opportunity to ask this of a woman who has had (almost) six children. You mentioned that you have big babies -- has each been bigger than the last? My last (#2) was 10lbs, 6 oz., and I'm rather worried about the next one. I didn't have gestational diabetes either..
If this is too personal of a question, please ignore!

Again, congrats on the great news about Thomas!


I think I've talked about this before so it's not big deal for me to mention it again!
1. Katrina, born 2 days after (ultrasound predicted) due date (all natural, not induced): 8lbs

2. Matthew, born 2 days before (ultrasound predicted) due date (induced because we thought he was breach...went for ECV a week before but it didn't work so we went to the hosp. for cesarean and wallah, he had turned in the night! So, the doctor said I was HUGE and he would gel me and that's pretty much all it took to get him going...he was born about 6 hours after the second "gelling". Also, a bit unusual but I had a TREMENDOUS amount of amniotic fluid which allowed him to wiggle around so much even though he was): 9lbs 6oz

3. Analise, born about 5 days after (ultrasound predicted) due date (induced for no other reason than it was a good time for everyone, I guess):8lbs 13 oz

4. Niklaus, born ON his (ultrasound predicted) due date! All natural, not induced at all. In fact, I would have liked (at the time) him to have waited a week because I didn't feel "ready" for some, stupid reason. I didn't even have a bag packed for the hospital because I was so convinced he wouldn't come for another week or unless we forced him out!: 10lbs 6oz (it was very hard and the epidural didn't work, I thought I was going to DIE from the pain).

5. Mariela, born one week earlier than her (ultrasound predicted) due date. I was in great fear that she was going to be huger than Niklaus because even though Analise was smaller...I just had it in my head that they were getting progressively larger and I didn't think I'd be able to manage an 11 lb baby! Also, she was born on Feb. 26Th and I was worried about the winter drive to a hospital that was a lot farther away (about 45 minutes) and wanted everything to be "under control". It was by far the best delivery with NO pain! She was only 8lbs 5oz so my fears were unfounded.

She probably would have been only a little over 9lbs if we let her go on her own. My doctor said in the beginning that it seemed like my girls might be smaller and I guess she was right! I have the same doctor this time and I was thinking to myself, "If this is a girl, I'm just going to let her go whenever she wants to." but now that I know it's a boy...and I'm unsure about the date (I think the first ultrasound is the most accurate seeing as how my two, other boys were predicted by ultrasound and were pretty close and dead on!), I don't quite know what I'm going to do about that. I guess pray that I'll be able to make a good decision when it gets a lot closer to that time! I have a few hours when I start going into labor, so I know I'll get to the hospital in time (same hosp. as Mari this time) but I REALLY fear another ten pound baby, no matter HOW much "control" I have over the situation. It was HARD. I'm not going to be brave about that. I'm a total wimp when it comes to birthin' pains! I really am so surprised that I survived Niklaus (the after time was NO picnic and was hard to recover from). I got very depressed because of the discomfort afterwards.

The totally stupid, horrible doctor that delivered him insisted that I must have been diabetic (even though I never had any symptoms and passed the test with flying colors!). When I told my regular doctor (he wasn't on call that weekend...I never forgave him for that!) he just shrugged and kind of laughed it off and said that I just had big babies (he is cronies with stupid doctor and even if he was a little miffed at him for suggesting a missed diagnosis, he didn't show it...after that whole show, I went to a different doctor, the one I have now).

Soooo, from my online research, I see that one can have big babies because of being overweight during pregnancy (if it's not diabetes, that is) or if one has a lot of "big boned" relatives (if ya know what I mean!). I think my boys are bigger because I get bigger due to the fact that the girls make me sicker during pregnancy (especially early) and I don't eat as much. I don't have that particular problem with the boys. So, it could be my fault? I was really trying to watch what I ate this time, but I get sick to my stomach if I don't eat and end up pigging out like usual. I've even felt super hungry (like I'm really starving!) after eating a full meal! The last two months have been so weird this time. I've had moments where I feel like I've been fasting for two days and I've just had a snack! It's almost like I'm a bottomless pit. If I don't eat something when I feel like that, I feel like I'm going to puke! I don't know if it's the baby or me but I'm going to blame the baby, I think! Nothing really satisfies me. I'll eat lots of protein, high fiber, moderate doesn't matter. I still feel hungry. Oh well, I'm glad I'll have time to get back in shape before summer, at least! Meanwhile, I'm just going to sit here getting fatter and fatter until I explode or something. Wanna watch?

Thursday, November 01, 2007


Well, I went to the ultrasound appointment today and EVERYTHING is FINE! NO amniotic bands, NO tumors, NOTHING UNUSUAL...except a little, boy named Thomas who isn't really "little" at all!

I have large babies*. I don't have gestational diabetes...just large babies. Yay. Lucky me. Heehee!

Okay, I knew as soon as I posted it that I would get a lot of "you don't have to do genetic testing..." comments. I already knew that, sillies! My doctor, who is 100% pro-life (including NFP only) told them my age and went along with their recommendation to do the GC. So, I figured it couldn't do any harm and I might learn something. It didn't, and I didn't, but now I do understand a little better how the people at Children's hospital view genetic testing and it's uses. The counselor told me that a lot of people think that they do it to terminate the pregnancy when they find something wrong, but that is NOT AT ALL the case. She said that the testing is by no means 100% accurate and they know that, but it does give them a picture of what they are facing and a better idea of how different problems could be managed. Now, I don't know if she was just saying that because she might have sensed that after 6 pregnancies, it might be what I wanted to hear. Maybe, but I got the impression that they were VERY NON-PRESSURE about further testing, compassionate, and very understanding. I didn't tell her one, single thing about how I felt about testing other than that I didn't do any of the blood marker tests before. That's all! So, I really think that what I saw was what I got. I have to say that the 15 minutes that I was in her office was kind of entertaining and not a horrible thing at all. If I was a first time mother with a family history of genetic birth defects, I would want to know absolutely EVERY thing about what to expect with my baby and that's not a bad thing. I am not, though, so I am so happy to report that any fears I had were completely unfounded and wiped away by this ultrasound. When the doctor came in to review the report and double check the baby, he showed me some things on the ultrasound that might be mistaken for bands. He skimmed over the whole baby and uterus and looked kind of funny, as if to say to himself, "What's this lady doing here, anyway? She has three perfectly healthy children sitting here with her and one perfectly normal baby in there! Get out of here already!".

I am an extremely happy mama today!

*I know that the size of the baby in utero to determine when it will be "due" gets less accurate (by ultrasound) the further along one is...but the baby's bones and structures are now measuring 24 weeks, 6 days. It's going to be really hard when I get to the end of this to determine when to have the baby! I am extremely terrified that this one wants to be the "record breaker" and I am NOT excited to break that record! I would try to induce a week early if I knew exactly when that is...but due to my crazy cycle and weirdness about when he is due...I'm not exactly sure when that is! I already feel HUGE. It's gonna be a LONG 4 months, people!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Conversation I had two weeks ago when I set up my level II ultrasound (which is tomorrow, say a prayer if you could, please?):

Scheduler: Okay, so, you know that this will be a two hour appointment, right?

Me: Oh, okay, I thought it was only about an it still okay that I bring my three, older children?

Scheduler: Oh yes, definitely! Okay now, it's two hours...the first hour will be for "genetic counselling"...

Me: What FOR? I don't really have any genetic issues in my family and I really don't think I need...

Scheduler: Oh, well, we always do "genetic counselling" for women of...

(ready for it?)...


Me: uh, uh, uh

Scheduler: Yes, I see here that you are 35, is that right?

Me: Um, Yeah (still in shock) but I JUST TURNED 35 this week!

Scheduler: Heehee, okay, but we do the "genetic counselling" everyone who is advanced maternal age, which is 35 and over...

Ugh. Not fair. SO not fair.

Monday, October 29, 2007

If I Had A Third Thumb

...I would stick it (along with the other two) firmly in the air for Dan In Real Life.

My super-cool-most-wonderfulest-awesomest-bestest husband in the whole, stinkin' world made me go out to a movie tonight with my sister. We laughed, we cried. I went into the movie not really knowing what the plot was going to be about (I recommend this for this particular movie) and I was so pleasantly surprised!

All of the characters were wonderfully cast (maybe with the exception of the 15 year old daughter, she was a bit overdone...but so was her character, so maybe that was right) and I love the fact that it all took place in basically one location. No supercrazy camera angles, no gratuitous you-know-what scenes, just a lot of laughs and a couple of good crys without anyone dying or getting in a horrible accident...I hate it when they put a child in danger in movies, it rips my heart out!

There are a couple of suggestive things, but I think I'm going to let my 13 year old see it because it will give her a good view of what it's like to parent willful teen-agers who act superdramatic and don't always listen. It shows a man who is pretty realistic (and I know that Steve Carell is usually so over the top, but I really believed him in this movie) and admits to his mistakes without getting all girly in the end. That's pretty hard to do!

Oh, and Juliette Binoche is, quite possibly, the most beautiful woman in the whole world. She just gets better with age. Dang, she's pretty. That accent is to die for.

I think Dane Cook is crude, disgusting, and a little hard to take but he was just perfect in this role and I ended up liking him a little more after this movie.

Dianne Wiest was also perfectly cast as the understanding, firm, but realistic matriarch of the family without her usual character's trait of being kind of wishy washy or doubtful. She was not trying to outshine all of the other actors and I loved her in this movie.

I really think that if Bella isn't playing yet in your town, you should check out this cute, diversion of a movie and don't be afraid to laugh really hard and get into it. The six other people in the theater were so quiet tonight, that it got me and Anna thinking that we were maybe liking it too much or something...but then we came to the conclusion that other people aren't as animated and fun as we are so it's definitely THEIR problem. If something is funny (even if it's not "realistic" enough for you) you should LAUGH. If something is poignantly sad, you should really cry and not be ashamed about it or afraid it will mess up your makeup.

I just saw Evan Almighty about two weeks ago (we bought it) and we all loved it. My favorite line in that movie was when he was in full Moses mode and he casually asks his quickly-growing-impatient-with-his-antics wife if "we have any unleavened bread?". I just found out that Steve Carell is a life-long Catholic. I don't know anything about his faith life, but he is a REALLY TALENTED actor that is very good at making fun of situations, himself, and NOT at the expense of other people. He shows much humility in his acting which I think is the funniest part of all.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I Lied

Okay, so it only took a day to get everything off of my computer and to start over! That guy is a wiz, I tell you! The only thing I haven't gotten fully restored yet is my beloved "favorites" list! If you could just take a second to say even "hi" in the comments box, then I could get you back into my favorites (especially you who I had to email to get your blog address, could you email it to me know who you are!). I should have just written them down, but I didn't have time and my list was getting kind of HUGE!

Now, whilst I'm re-compiling my list of must-read blogs (I should really investigate one of those "bloglines" things I have heard about)...

We went to the 101 market on Friday (Matty: It's soooo boring there. There's NOTHING to do. Just leave me home alone!!!!!)

We met Katrina and her kids, and my mom and dad.

The kids were sooooo bored:

Mari calls them "kumpins" and she tries to lift EVERY kumpin she sees. She just tries (with a cute grunt) and says, "Nope!" after she can't do it and walks to the next one. I think she really believes that one of these days, she'll actually be able to lift one that is three times bigger than her. I wish I had an ounce of that kind of hope and confidence.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Teeny, Little, Blog Break

Howdy. My computer is going to get a "Fall Cleaning" so it can run faster and smoother (and we can get all of the junk that the kids download OFF of it!). I won't be getting email for a few days (what am I going to do? AhHHHHHHHHHHH!) I have a "computer guy" who is a whiz at this stuff (he's an old, family friend). Butch is going to help him finish his basement in return for his computery services. He and his wife are expecting their first baby in December so, while you are at it, could you say a little prayer for them for a safe delivery and a healthy mom and baby?


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bocker-isms Make My Day

I was cleaning up in the kitchen after lunch on Wednesday and I heard Niklaus down on the floor, below the breakfast bar, making a swooshing sound, out of my sight.

I asked him, "Niklaus, what are you doing down there?".

"Nothin'" He said, "I'm just makin' a 'food angel'.".

Obviously, I hadn't gotten to the sweeping part of the cleaning up process.

Kids are SO weird.

Well, MY kids are...And I think it may be genetic.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Some Things Can't Be Fixed By Duct Tape

The usually crazy, rambunctious, almost four-year-old boy ran up to Mama after his bike ride yelling, "MAMA! Come QUICK! There's a BUTTERFLY OVER HERE!"

Mama ran over to the side of the house where Daddy usually parks his work truck and saw what he was pointing at and jumping up and down about: a monarch butterfly with curled up, faded, useless wings. At first, she thought she could just maybe bend them straight, or wait until they spontaneously healed, or the butterfly could maybe figure out how to fly with them with a little practice. In the meantime, she picked it up with her bare hand (an amazing feat not unnoticed by the boy) and brought it over to the porch until they could figure out what to do.

The little boy crouched and watched the creature flitter and falter for about 5 minutes and wondered if some intervention would be helpful. He tried "feeding" it a leaf.

He tried to see if maybe it would get better by "sucking on a mini-pumpkin" but got really upset when Mama suggested that maybe the butterfly might not be able to do that since it was so weak from trying to fly.

He tried to feed it some jelly on a spoon but the butterfly just got all sticky and then it tried to fly away with broken wings AND sticky feet.

The boy's sisters were desperately trying to help too, but Mama finally had to explain that the butterfly probably came from the grill of Daddy's truck, and even thought his body was still okay, his wings were no good. This kind of butterfly should be on his way to Mexico by now, but with his wings like this, he may not even get to find shelter this night because he can't even fly a foot at a time and he's struggling so much that he will get tired and probably die before the day is done.

It was a really sad time for the little boy (who, incidentally, finds great pleasure in squashing OTHER insects like grasshoppers and beetles). He just couldn't figure out why it wouldn't do any good to just put the butterfly in a bucket and give it some water, leaves, and rocks like you do for caterpillars and toads.

I wish I could say that this story has a happy ending for the butterfly, but it doesn't. The boy finally realized that sometimes there are sad things that happen and we can't fix some problems but life goes on and you can just go in the house for a snack for things to get all better.

He went outside the next morning to look for butterfly, but it was all gone. Maybe it figured out how to fly with it's broken wings? Maybe it died quietly and went blowing in the wind down to the pond and got caught in a tree where it's pretty wings will decorate some birdy's nest next spring? I guess not seeing the dead butterfly was some comfort for him because he didn't seem quite so upset as the day before. He and his mama went for a walk later that day (it was windy so he wanted to walk instead of ride his bike) and they went (along with little sister in Mama's backpack) to visit a neighbor boy who is the same age.

It was a nice day but it was too windy to see any more butterflies...and too late in the year to squish any grasshoppers along the way.