Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Today . . .

We are all still in our pajamas, even though it is a school day.

All three bathrooms will be cleaned. The dogs will get baths.

No Christmas presents are wrapped, but many have been purchased. I tend to procrastinate and am worried the young pup will chew on them as she tends to chew on everything now.

The young pup will not get anything to eat after 6 tonight. She's having surgery tomorrow and will be greatly spoiled upon return to our home.

The kids are all eating dry Cheerios and drinking gatorade, while watching cartoons.

I am drinking a 2nd cup of coffee and will likely have a 3rd. It's been a long week with little sleep.

I miss my sister.

My eldest informed me yesterday that she wishes her Grandma Charlene would 'visit more often'. So do I.

There are many things I wish I'd stuck with or learned as a kid - piano and sewing to name just 2.

My current crochet project is a good way to avoid all other tasks. It's going slow and I'm not sure I like it, but I will finish it anyway.

I'm grateful for my "sister-friends" who willingly fill-in the role of family. You know who you are and you are much loved!

I've had a baby gift sitting on the office table since October. I will add a Christmas gift for the big sister and finally send it this week. Good thing it was purchased for baby to wear in the spring. Did I mention that I tend to procrastinate?

Usually Elliott and I have a Wednesday post-gymnastics coffee date at Coffee Connection. I'm craving the raspberry white chocolate scone and latte I missed today.

The middle child cried last night when she learned that she wouldn't be going to school today. I discovered it was because she'd be missing out on the ice cream sandwich treat at the end of rehearsal for the church Christmas program. I'll be buying ice cream sandwiches.

The oldest gets very loving while sick with the stomach flu. It's challenging to hold someone who smells so badly that close! But I'm a mom and so I do it anyway.

The youngest has six girlfriends. One is actually a real person, the rest are fictional characters. Well, except Taylor Swift but I'm not sure he realizes that she's real.

Friday, December 3, 2010

And the Oscar goes to . . .

There are two aspiring actresses in our home. Delaney and Jillian take part in any opportunity they can to be on stage. Most recently, the acted in Prairie Fire Theater's "Cinderella." Prairie Fire sends 2 adults to the school to put together a show in one week's time. Auditions are held on Monday (all kids are cast in the show). The students rehearse after school Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 3:30 to 8 pm. On Friday, they have a dress rehearsal afer school followed by the performance that evening. It's an amazing and fun (and exhausting!) experience! They are already looking forward to the next show! Delaney was cast as one of Cinderelly's mice, complete with a speaking part. Jillian's character was described as the 'cutest, sweetest, most adorable' of the entire show - a pumpkin! I recorded most of the performance, and if I ever manage to figure out my editing software (help Adam!) maybe I'll share it with you! For now, here are a few snapshots from after the show. Look at those gigantic smiles - think they had any fun???

Delaney is the far left, bottom row

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Buzz Lightyear

To infinity and beyond!

Beautiful Butterfly

Fortune Teller
(made by g'ma charlene)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Princess H

Harper has been part of our family for 2 months now and she is 4 months old already! Bailey has adjusted to having a little sister; although she's not always in the mood for Harper's shenanigans. Frankly, neither am I -- she has left her mark on my dining room table and chairs! But the kids love her oodles and I never have to argue with them to take her out or feed her.


I must really love this kid . . . because I do NOT want to be a hockey mom! But look at that face - how could I deny him something that makes him shine like that?!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

first day of school

A beautiful, funny, smart 3rd grader!!!

A sassy, brilliant, fun 2nd grader!!!

All 3 off to school for the first time!

An excited, energetic, cute preschooler!

On his way!!! Elliott was so very ready for this day, although a bit disappointed the girls got to ride the school bus and he just had to go with mom. A giant squeezy goodbye hug and he was busy with playdough and didn't give me a second glance as I left the room. I'm so very proud of his independence and confidence!

Friday, August 20, 2010


Meet the newest addition to our family! Harper Stella Elton came home on August 19th. According to Delaney, she's just the cutest little puppy you'll ever lay eyes on!!! Elliott says she's a ton of fun and Jillian says she's a bundle of joy! Bailey isn't so sure about Harper, but we're hoping she'll get over and play and teach her to be a good dog.

Friday, August 13, 2010

welcome neighbors!

A new family has moved in next door . . . atleast the kids have, we've yet to see any parents! We assume these are triplets that have lost their mama. They were first spotted on Wednesday morning (when this photo was taken) grazing in the overgrown lot next door. The kids and I were able to tiptoe onto the deck and watch them -- and they watched us. I even managed to sneak back in for my camera. We spotted them again this morning in the same spot - just on the other side of our fence. One was snuggled up cozily resting in the long grass, while the other two munched on their breakfast. Eventually, they began to wander behind our fence and up into the neighbors lawn on their way to the street. But this mama had to protect them and sent them running off into the woods.

Monday, July 12, 2010

simply seven

Today our brilliant, funny, generous, sweet, amazing daughter turned '7'. She celebrated each and every minute of it -- in fact, she celebrated several hours yesterday as well! For her birthday this year, Jillian opted not for the traditional party with lots of guests and as many presents . . . but for a special day spent with her very best friend. I was blessed to be included by default - afterall, two 7 year olds can't get to the Mall of America on their own! We stormed Build A Bear, where after much searching Allisen and Jillian found just the right fuzzy buddies to make their very own. Followed by a bit of shopping (Claire's and American Girl Doll of course!), to be topped off with dinner at the Rain Forest Cafe. And if that wasn't enough fun, the girls spent many hours playing at home and were even allowed to stay up until Jillian's birthday. They thought it extremely funny that daddy went to bed before they did. True to her generous and caring nature, Miss Jillian included her big sister in all the playtime and even in the sleepover -- making space for her in the bedroom too! It is simply in her heart to make others happy in any way she can!

On the day of her actual birthday, we made a special trip to Buffalo Books for a Raspberry Lemonade frosty and to spend a little of her birthday cash. She has had her eye on 'Ox', the green Ugli doll pictured above/middle. From there, Jillian was given a little salon treatment with a haircut and painted nails! Lunch was her choice - McDonald's. Back home to play and finally to soccer practice, where her team sang "Happy Birthday" and Jillian passed out treats to all. One last hurrah before bed - angel food birthday cake with yellow frosting, sprinkles and star candles!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

first and last


Last day of 1st grade!

1st day of 1st grade!

The most noticeable difference in both girls from the first to last day of school this year is their front teeth! Delaney's were missing at the start of the year, and Jillian's are missing at the end of the year! We are so excited to have a carefree summer - after the piano and swimming lessons and soccer games of course! The girls are most excited to join Elliott at story time tomorrow! We've also got plans to visit the Peppermint Twist in Delano, pack picnic lunches and go to the beach (a lot!), a family reunion in SW MN, a long trip to Denver, Zoo Camp, Cheer and Tumble camp, and VBS too! I am certainly blessed to be able to stay at home with my kids and enjoy all of this time with them. Someone may need to remind me of that once in a while because I'm sure that all this time together may sometimes be 'too much'!!!

first and last

Last day of 2nd grade!

1st day of 2nd grade!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

small town fun

We are very blessed to have a locally owned Bookstore / Coffee Shop on our quaint mainstreet. Elliott and I frequently attend their Friday afternoon story time, arriving early to enjoy a treat, of course!

Elliott showing off his 'Cup of Fun' prepared by Bobbi, complete with song!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


As I was getting things ready for a garage sale, I sorted through the game cabinets (yes, there are 2!) trying to find somethings we no longer played. I thought the girls had likely outgrown the game Pretty Pretty Princess, so it went into the stack of items to be priced. Silly me -- what was I thinking??? Elliott discovered this treasure and immediately set it up to play. So play it we did - day after day of games of spinning to find out what piece of jewelry we would put on next. Such is the life of the little brother of two sisters.

Monday, April 19, 2010

the neighborhood

When we first moved to our neighborhood, it was fairly desserted. Now, there is no shortage of friends and it seems like they all end up in our backyard. I've always said that I want to be the hangout house -- that way I always know where my kids are and what they are up to! This is a challenge for Ryan and me because our family is rather calm and laid-back (and we like things neat and tidy). So an extra six kids makes it a bit crazy, but also extremely fun for our kids. The photo above shows the scene from our backyard yesterday afternoon. Now, if you've been to our house you know that our playset is meant for kids about 5 years old and younger. But this group of 8 kids found plenty of things to do with buckets of water, sand, a very small playhouse (in which they fit 4 children), and short slides and small swings. Although I think children are like stray cats and if you feed them, they'll keep coming back . . . I did bring out the ice cream to loud cheers! Brody is the little boy next to Elliott - he lives right next door. But don't ask me the names of all the other kids, because I can't remember them all! And btw, that is only half of the family - their are 10 kids!
We also managed to play a late round of golf - 9 holes at Wild Marsh on their busiest day ever in the history of the course. Ryan played from the black tees and the kids played from the 150's. I served as caddy and tried to make sure no one got hit with a club or a ball. Pancakes at Perkins at 8 o'clock and the kids were asleep before they hit their pillows.

a funny thing happened. . .

. . . at Dairy Queen - Jillian pulled out her front tooth! She's a brave one, our girl. This is only the third tooth that she's 'lost' and is the second one that she pulled out herself. I'm certain I let each of my baby teeth dangle until they simply couldn't hold on anymore and dropped out on their own!

Grandparents' Day

Jillian lit up when she saw all of her Grandparents in the audience for her program. She proudly showed them her clean desk and many, many art and writing projects. Grandpa Dan and Grandma Sandi even enjoyed a delicious school lunch. Luckily for them, it was turkey dinner - the lunch even the teachers eat! ;) Delaney got to miss a bit of 2nd grade to watch the show, too. And Elliott has been singing those catchy tunes ever since -- "I like candy, it's so dandy, I like (insert your favorite), YUM YUM YUM!" He did not like getting lost in the crowd, but luckily Grandpa Fred came to his rescue and perhaps it was a good lesson learned.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter morning began at 5 am, when Elliott woke me up with 'I'm hungry mommy!' So he had an early breakfast and I thought might go back to sleep, but no such luck. At 6:15, I passed him off to daddy and curled up for an hour of sleep before the hubbub began! The kids raced downstairs to find all those hidden eggs filled with goodies. Two eggs were all Elliott needed and he promplty sat down, opened them up and devoured their contents while his sisters giggled and searched for the rest and their baskets. As you can see, they were more than pleased with all their Easter treats.
Delaney celebrated her First Communion on Easter morning and here she is pictured with Pastor Josh and her brand new bible case. He is Risen Indeed!!!

3 must be the age where each kid decides to be completely uncooperative when having his picture taken. Here's the lastest proof!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

(extended) Family

When you live hours away from your family, you tend to create your very own extended family. Atleast that's what we have done. I have a few 'sisters' that I know I can reach out to if I ever needed anything, that will support me and encourage me, and that will take time for me and my family as if we were their very own. And I hope that they know I will do the same for them - you know who you are!

One such sister is my friend Megan. Although it has only been a few short years since we met, we are extremely close and our kids are as well (we need to work on the husbands . . . )! If you are a reader of my blog, you'll remember that I was Megan's doula during the birth of her 2nd child and was honored to become his Godmother as well. You might also remember that her 1st child, Emmy, is just 1 day older than Elliott, and we celebrated their birthdays with a trip to the bowling alley. In fact, Elliott and Emmy treat each other as sister and brother - complete with bossing each other around and fighting! But the sweet stuff is there too -- hugs and requests to play together. I could continue to ramble on, but really I just wanted to post a couple of pictures I took of my Godson Patrick when he and his sister were with me this week while Megan was serving as a doula for her cousin's labor and delivery. It was a treat for me to spend time with P & E!