Sunday, September 23, 2007

Words Heard Around the World

Spoken by: Ms. Anna S

At 6:30 pm, Sunday, Sept 23, 2007


Be afraid people. Be very afraid.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A hypothetical: Would you go?

You are at a birthday party and your cute little girl with blond hair is, for reasons unknown to you, fallen head over heels in puppy love with by a cute little boy whose hair is really messy and in need of some serious attention by a pair of sharp scissors.

This little boy and your little girl spend the whole party together and the blossoming friendship of 5 year olds, though brief, appears to be mutual and sincere on both sides.

The little boy then runs to his parents, pleads anxiously with them about something, appears to receive permission and then runs up to you. He pleadingly and with the biggest brown puppy dog eyes you have ever seen asks if your daughter, whose name he does not actually know...they have only been in puppy love for about 45 minutes and actual names don't seem to matter much under such circumstances, can come to his birthday party which is taking place 2 weeks from this particular day.

His parents then come over to talk to you, wanting to reassure you that neither they not their pleading son are completely insane. They seem friendly, outgoing, a tad embarrassed by their pleading son but overall clearly think he is adorable and would be more than happy to welcome you and your daughter, whose name none of them know, to their home for their son's birthday party. They tell their son that they will send his new, nameless friend an invitation but that she might not be able to come since it is so soon and maybe she already has plans that day. The little boy's enthusiasm is in no way dampened by this gentle warning and he races off to tell your daughter, his nameless new love interest, that she is officially invited to his birthday party.

Would you go?

(Totally hypothetical. Never actually happened. Really.)

A video

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Why we Live Here

Some of you have probably had conversations with Jesse and I during which we stated clearly our undying love and devotion to the state in which we currently reside.

Below you will find a slide show indicating part of the reason why we love it here.

We took the kids over one of the most lovely passes, starts with a K to those of you who are familiar, in our state. We were just a bit early in the season for best Aspen viewing, but it was still a lovely day.

(I cannot remember what post it was and I am too tired to find it to link back, but this one rare photo that includes me confirms my assertion that I cannot appear in a picture without looking like a chubby golem on crack.)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Thanks Mary!

You may recall this post, during which I explained how my genetics justify the fact that I never return anything before the "you can return it for so many days" grace period expires. Please prepare yourself for another genetic justification.

Incidentally, we did return the shirt well before the deadline. We decided to keep the phone and it had absolutely nothing to do with being too lazy to return it. No really. Tonight we got really motivated and decided to return the so called universal power cord only to discover that we had, yet again, waited too long and the 30 days to return it grace period had lapsed. Jesse decided to try anyway, I am not sure what sob story he used, but they actually let him return it.

What was my point?

Oh yes, another genetic justification.

I also lack a thank you note writing gene. I swear I have no intention of being rude or appearing ungrateful. I am in fact VERY thankful for each and every one of my dear family and friends and everything they have done for us. But when it comes to actually writing, addressing, stamping and mailing thank you notes, there appears to be some sort of synaptic gap between my brain and the digits that should actually carry out such functions.

My apologies dear friends and family. Particularly with Isaac's 6th birthday approaching, I will add "Write and mail thank you notes within 1 week of the deed for which you are thankful" to my list of personal goals. In case you are wondering, some of the other goals on that list include:

Go to bed by 11 pm.
Get up at 7 am and work out.
Make sure children bathe semi-daily.
Do not work on weekends or evenings.
Smile at husband and address him by name at least once a day.
Finish crocheting winter blanket for Jesse (started in July).
Get laundry caught up and keep it that way.
Make dinner every night.
Take a shower every day.

The list just goes and on and on.

Why are we talking about this?

Oh yes, Mary sent Anna and the boys a wonderful package. They just love the little treats she included.

While I am seriously lacking in thank you note writing DNA, I am clearly in possession of some powerful blogging genetics. I figure a person should use their God given gifts to the best of their ability, so Mary, please accept the thank you video below and our sincere appreciation for the thoughtful gifts.

Esther told me that you were a bit sad because you will come back in Oct and find Anna talking, having left when she was just starting to utter meaningful verbiage. I taped a little blurb of Anna wearing her new pyjamas while demonstrating her new favorite word, one that she utters without fail anytime a camera appears in front of her.

Monday, September 17, 2007

My Darling Boys

Oh those boys of mine, what characters they are! Below you will find another recording during which I was busily filming Anna and along came one of my utterly darling, sweet, fun loving, goofy boys. In case you do not recall the last time this happened, please refer to this post.

ETA: OH MY GOODNESS!! I just watched the video clip I referenced above. That post was written on July 1st. Has she really changed that much in only 2.5 months?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Aunt Esther will be so Proud

This morning after dressing my little sunshine in one of her oh-so-darling outfits, she sat on her changing table, pointed in the direction of her shoe collection and said, "Shu! Shu!"

"Very good Anna! Those are your shoes! Let's go and see your big brothers now."

I put her down on the floor expecting her to toddle excitedly out of the room the way she usually does in the morning. She loves to find her big brothers and give them the standard Anna good morning. This involves raising both hands over her head, pointing at her brothers and in a very gruff voice yelling, "BA! BA! BA!"

Instead she plopped down on the floor, lifted a foot in the air, looked at me expectantly, looked back at her shoes, looked at me expectantly, looked back at her shoes, etc.

I got the idea and picked out a pair of shoes.

With shoes now in their proper location, she happily toddled out of the room to find her big brothers.


Lest you think this blog was created only as a location for me to discuss the oh-so-cute doings and sayings of my little sunshine, allow me to regale you with this darling tale of Isaac's thoughts on creationism.

Jesse decided to tell the boys the story of Adam and Eve. At the end of the story, Isaac asked Jesse what happened to the snake. While Jesse stumbled around for a toddler appropriate response, Isaac asked, "Did they just call animal control to take the snake away?"

Love to all!

PS Nathan is cute and says cute things too. ;)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

She is learning..

This evening Jesse sat down to read a story to Isaac, part of his assigned school work for the day. I was cleaning in the family room when Anna began sobbing in THE most heart wrenching way. I ran into the living room to rescue my little darling from whatever tragedy had transpired and found her crying, "Owie! Owie! Owie!" while pointing accusingly at her daddy.

Daddy, with a look of utter consternation, informed me that Anna attempted to take the book away and he very firmly told her no.

Anna continued to point at daddy while crying, "Owie! Owie! Owie!"

My poor little sunshine someone call CPS!!!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Fall 2007

The S Family LOVES Autumn weather. Today is the first day during which you could really feel Fall in the air. The air was crisp, cool, clean, just a truly lovely day.

I am also rejoicing as today is the very first time that I have picked Anna up from the church nursery and been greeted by an actual smile. We have been trying desperately to acclimate her gently, staying with her, taking familiar toys, etc. The boys are LOVING their classes but Anna has been less than thrilled. We have thus far ended every service by picking up our sobbing, clinging little darling who then proceeds to punish us for the rest of the day. Frankly, as much as we enjoy attending church and as important as we know it is for us and for the boys, we have not been particularly disciplined with our attendance because it is so heartbreaking to pick Anna up in that condition every week.

But today she greeted me with a hug grin, outstretched arms and a darling little dance. My heart both melted and rejoiced at the sight of my baby girl in such a good mood following her time in the nursery. The first pic you see above is the impish little grin she gave me in the hallway after we left the nursery. Little stinker, she knows just how to push all my buttons.

You should also see a picture of Anna with her handsome daddy and a picture of her feeding Baby Alive. In case you are wondering, the boys rarely every hold still long enough for me to get decent photos of them. The lack of boy and abundance of Anna pictures on this blog is not intentional, just the way things are at the moment, photography-wise.

Anna is my little sunshine. She is in the midst of a language explosion and just loves her new found ability to verbally communicate her wants and needs.

Anna's Words
Iyaac (Isaac)
DADA!! (MUST be spoken as loudly and as gruffly as possible.)
Hap Bir (Happy Birthday)
Happy! (Said whenever she sees a camera.)
Uh oh (She gets TONS of use from this one.)
Nana (Banana or reference to my mom.)
Owie! (Also used quite frequently.)
Och (Watch)
Nah Nah (Night night)
Lo? (Hello?)
Beebee (Baby)
puhpee (Puppy)
Da doo (Thank You)
Uppy (Up please)
Opee (Open Please)

Below is a video of Anna playing ball with Nathan.

Nathan is our little athlete. He is busy, busy, busy all day long and I swear he has grown 6 inches in the last 2 weeks. Those big brown eyes and that darling boyish grin of his manage to melt our hearts each and every time he puts them to good use, which is often. Nathan knows good and well how to work over any unsuspecting soul he encounters. They should put a picture of him next to the definition of puppy dog eyes in the dictionary.

Our little guy is a CHATTER BOX. Oh my Holy Lord can that little boy of mine talk. Some of you may remember a time when we worried incessantly about the fact that by age 2 Nathan had acquired very little in the way of language skills. Esther worked with him for a little while and oh what a job she did. I am not sure if we should pay her double the going rate or ban her from further interaction with our young offspring.

His latest obsession is magic tricks. He gathers a bunch of very specific items and begs, at all hours of the day and night, for one of us to sit and watch him do magic. I will have to take some video of his conjuring, it is utterly adorable.

I am in need of some serious parental advice regarding my sweet Isaac. I think he feels as if he is trapped between being a toddler and being a little boy and he is very frustrated by that feeling. We are very guilty of forgetting that he is now more little boy than toddler, but it is such an ingrained habit to treat him like a toddler.

This weekend we attended a birthday party for his 9 year old cousin. Many of his cousin's school friends attended and it was clear that Isaac felt out of place and intimidated. He so very much wanted to participate, but clearly did not feel confident enough to jump in with the older kids. I am not sure how to help him through this phase of life.

Unfortunately, I have little to no experience with little boys. I can interact with babies, toddlers, preteens and teenagers in my sleep. But the characteristics and needs of the 6 year to 10 year old set are not my area of expertise.

Isaac loves Kindergarten, he loves playing with his action figures, he loves helping me cook, he loves his puppy, he adores playing with his daddy and his little brother. He is the best big brother to his baby sister and would defend her to the death. Isaac is a darling little boy and we want him to grow up happy and well adjusted, but he seems so frequently unhappy and/or frustrated these days. What to do? I am interested and willing to hear advice from all confirmed experts, regardless of whether your expertise comes via degree or life experience.

There you have it, a Fall 2007 summary of the S Family offspring.

2 new recipes added, these are extended family favorites.

Love to all! Have a great week!

Colorado White Bean Chili

This one is terribly popular among my family and friends. VERY easy to assemble, tasty and perfect for a cold winter night. You can keep the ingredients stocked for use anytime you need a quick, easy and tasty meal.

3-4 cooked chicken breasts, boneless and skinless (Use more if you need the soup to go further. Cook them however you want, bake or boil or simmer on stove top. I usually start with frozen because I suck at defrosting. I use large frying pan w/ an inch or two of water, add some onion flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper.)Shred or chop after they are fully cooked.

2 cans navy beans (Enterprising people can cook them from scratch.)

A cup or two of chopped jalapeno peppers (add these to taste after you have some experience with the soup and the strength of flavor you like. Canned peppers are fine or, if you live in close proximity to fresh roasted peppers like I do, roasted peppers are good too.)

2 large cans chicken broth

Onion flakes (I usually add enough to completely coat the top of the liquid in the soup pot.)

Mixed Italian Seasonings (Add to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Serve w/ shredded pepper jack cheese, sour cream and fresh French bread for dipping

Banana Bread

I have had many requests for this one. Perfect for all those bananas that you don't end up eating but hate to toss out. Super easy, comes together in a few minutes. A fabulous warm treat on a chilly day.

Preheat over to 350 degrees

1/2 cup butter (I use light)
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour

Mash banana w/ 1/2 sugar
Cream butter w/ 1/2 sugar
Stir together e/ eggs
Sift baking powder and flour together and add to wet ingredients
Pour into a greased loaf pan

Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour and then increase temp to 400 degrees for another 1/2 hour

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Can't Help Lovin that Man of Mine

Several thoughtful people have inquired about Jesse's health. I just realized that I never followed up on this post. Apologies.

You will be happy to know that the apparent source of the irregular beats was the fact that Jesse was not taking his medication regularly. Yup, you read that correctly. He became a bit lax in the daily timing for this med and it has to be regularly taken at the same time every day to be effective. He started taking it regularly, at the same time everyday and VOILA! His heart is now beating nice and evenly.

PLEASE feel free to very lovingly scold him in your comments. Be kind but firm. We all love him and we know it must be a pain to worry about daily meds like that, but we also don't want OUR hearts skipping beats when his does.

PS Pic of my stylin Anna today in the park, talking on my cell phone.

PPS I HEREBY RENOUNCE ANY AND ALL POSITIVE REVIEWS OF QDOBA! I will NEVER eat at this restaurant again. We just picked up dinner, were in the midst of a lovely family dinner on a lovely late summer evening when I discovered a dead fly in my food.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Recent Events that Irritate

Event #1
I called a glass company, needing a repair of the gaping hole we have acquired in one of our lovely, picture windows. Little boys and rocks, don't you LOVE it? The company informed me that they only repair windows they have installed. I rather curtly informed them that I have no idea who installed our windows and hung up. A few days later I came home to find a piece of paper stuck in our door. It was an add for the previously mentioned glass company.


Event #2
I scheduled another company to come and replace a window well cover that Isaac fell through. I called to find out if we were on the am or pm schedule, wanting to know when I should expect the service person. The voice over the phone informed me that so and so has the appointment book at his desk and I am at my desk, can you leave a voice mail and they will call you back?

What I wanted to say but did not, "Do you think it might be possible for you to haul your self away from your desk, walk over to his desk and look at the damn thing yourself? How big IS your office, anyway?"

What I actually said, "I work from home and I am on the phone constantly. No one will be able to call me back anytime soon and I need to know if I can let my poor dog out. He has been inside all morning. I scheduled service a week ago, can you give me a guess as to when I might expect a service person."

What she said, "They check their mail every few minutes and they will call you back within 10 minutes."

What I wanted to say, "Did you hear one word I just said? Are you hearing impaired as well as incredibly lazy or is it just my imagination? Do you actually WANT people to pay for your service or are you on a personal mission to put your company out of business?"

What I actually said, "You are not helping me at all, I am letting my dog out for a few minutes. If your service guy does not want to come in the yard I can easily call someone else tomorrow."


Event #3
It would seem that the S Family has somehow managed to loose the 5th, yes 5th, vegetable peeler that we have purchased in the last 6 months. I do not understand this utensil and where it can possibly disappear to, but every time we get one in this house, it lasts for about 8 days and then disappears. The boys swear up and down they are not taking them. They tried to blame Anna tonight but that is not likely. Jesse does not know where they are going, I cannot find them and it is driving me CRAZY! We have seriously purchased FIVE in the last 6 months. WHERE ARE THEY??? Esther, are you taking them just to mess with my head?


Event #4
My knee seems to be injured and injured rather severely. The origin of this injury is a complete and total mystery as I have managed to run a grand total of 2 times since school started, the most recent run took place a week ago today. I have been running every day for years without incident and now I have a knee injury that cannot possibly be related to running and for which I have no recollection of anything else that might have caused it. ARG! It hurts, it is really swollen and I was all set to get back to regular work outs now that the school year is in full swing.


Event #5
Many of you know that Jesse and I settled with the insurance company of an at fault driver a while ago. Our insurance company at the time informed us that they would be claiming a piece of that settlement because they paid some of our expenses. Fine. Whatever. Stinks, but what are you going to do? After the settlement was paid, our lawyer tried repeatedly to contact our former insurance company in order to give them their money. They gave him the run around, he never received a bill, a statement or was even able to get anyone on the phone that could find our name in a computer.

Finally he gave up and sent the money to us.

Last week we received a call telling us that our former insurance company has filed a claim against us for that money.


Event #6
You might remember reading, towards the end of
this post, that some rogue felines soiled our lovely, brand new living room couches and the warranty we paid for had not yet been honored. They guaranteed the issue would be resolved by the end of August. What day is it today? Anyone? Does anyone know what day it is? It seems to me that we are now into Sept and ya know? I don't have new cushion covers for my couch.












Monday, September 3, 2007

Time Out!

We are not sure if an unknown to us transgression has prompted Anna's most recent and amusing behavior, but we have our suspicions. Anna has taken to putting herself in time out. We are very proud of Anna's ability to self regulate and we NEVER take advantage of her willingness to sit in time out by telling her to go to time out for no particular reason as a way to entertain guests. Never. Ever.

I have come to the conclusion that Jesse and I, in some sort of cosmic and genetic mix up, lack the gene responsible for a rather necessary life skill. Jesse and I most definitely lack whatever gene a person needs in order to have the ability to return purchased but unwanted items.

As I type this, we have a so called universal computer cord that we bought for my computer that was in fact not so universal, a shirt I bought at Macy's for Jesse that did not fit, and a new phone system that we purchased from Best Buy but decided we did not need, all sitting on our kitchen counter waiting to be returned. The days keep ticking by, bringing us closer and closer to that inevitable hour when the , "you can return it within this many days of purchase" grace period will elapse leaving us stuck with both the unneeded items and the cost of those items.

Is it just us? Does anyone else lack this particular gene? How much would you charge us to do the leg work and return all of this stuff?

Many of you know that Jesse and I purchased a rather large item for Nathan's birthday, changed out minds about it and let it sit in the garage until the grace period lapsed and we ended up stuck with it. We got lucky that time, I managed to sell that item on Craig's List for only $50 less than we paid for it. I don't think we will be that fortunate this time around.

Typing this SHOULD motivate me to return these items, but let's face facts, it's just not gonna happen! Anyone need a universal computer cord? A men's shirt? A phone system? Maybe I can save them and use them as birthday/Christmas presents....