Monday, November 24, 2008


Here's what's happening at our house:

Helen colors voraciously. She gets crayons out 2 or 3 times a day. Thank goodness for washable Crayola crayons!

Owen puts on concerts and leads worship. His microphone is the cat-shaped toilet paper holder made by Jason's grandpa. We borrowed that idea from a cousin.

Jack chills out. He is beginning to grab everything. He grabs my shirt when I'm changing his diaper. He grabs toys to chew on them. He grabbed the cat, and I put a stop to that.
We got our hands on a giant length of packing paper. It stretched all the way across the basement floor. It was a great place to run.

Owen plays Blue's Clues. Here's his handy-dandy notebook and his handy-dandy crayon. He even hops into his "thinkin' chair" when he has all of his clues.

Helen feeds her baby most nutritious lunches.
The cat complies. They have since stuffed her into a small cabinet and said she was going night-night. Daddy put a stop to that.

Helen chats to Grandma on an old cell phone they use as a toy.And these are a bunch of baby hats I made out of old t-shirts and an old jumper of Helen's. They were a lot of fun. They're on their way here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Backyard Citrus

The satsuma trees are loaded again this year, and the ripening fruit is getting sweeter every day! Satsumas in the fall are our climate's peace offering for the grueling summer heat.
Helen loves them so much, she can eat at least two in one sitting. She peels them herself. Here she made sound effects as she threw the peels onto the ground.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Lessons in Chivalry

Fortunately, Owen has a little time before going on his first date.
Do you ever wake up early when the birds begin to chirp, and just wish you could roll back time for some more sleep? I am never ready to get up, and sometimes wish I could tuck the sun back in bed, below the horizon. I felt like that the other morning. But then I looked out the window.
The morning sun was so beautiful. I don't remember if it coaxed me out of my morning fog, but it sure improved my attitude.

Here's another thing that improves my attitude:
Jason's friend and Atmore's only coffee roaster, Mr. Joel, found a new espresso (not "expresso" Why does that bug me so much when it gets mispronounced?) machine at Goodwill. It took up space at his house for a while, and he never used it, so he gave it to us. We bought some of his espresso blend, and mornings never tasted so good.

Fortunately for our family, the kids like mornings. A house full of grumpy people in the morning would be less than ideal. Owen's first words are usually, "It's morning time!!! My tummy hurts. Mommy, make oatmeal!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Helen Turns Two

Once upon a time, Helen was born. Fleeting moments later, she turned 2. Our little chickie-doodle is fast becoming a big girl.

She wakes up talking. She says lots of phrases--adjective, noun (Owen's football shirt!)--and is beginning to say more sentences--noun, verb, predicate adjective (Jack is funny!)

When upset with him, she refers to her older brother as Owen Darrell. (Pronounced Own DARE!!)

She is super ticklish and has a great belly laugh.

She uses the potty, although not totally trained yet. She wakes up dry in the morning. She will bring a diaper and wipes to me when she wants to be changed.

She is highly opinionated about her clothes and shoes.

She has sparkly brown eyes.

She loves to help Mommy, and, actually she is a help. She puts my shoes away and throws trash in the wastebasket.

She mothers Owen. She springs forward to do things I ask of him, like laying out new clothes for him, including fresh underwear and shoes and socks.

We had a party for her, combined with a birthday celebration for my mother in law and an early Thanksgiving feast with Jason's immediate family.

Here's her lamb cake. It was destined. Family tradition speaks. No gum drop flowers this time, I didn't have enough time or energy. The candy was for energizing all my nephews and my niece.

Here are the little munchkins at the feasting. They had their own table, complete with tablecloth--and place cards! I love place cards.
Here's the big table, after the meal, and after the de-wheating by Leslie. The wheat stalks obstructed the view. I was too busy to get a before picture. We ate by candlelight. A few of the tealights wimped out after dinner was served, but no one complained. Helen called the cake her sheep cake--BAA!!
But she wouldn't bite off the nose. She loved all her presents, especially the food. Big surprise. She was not excited about being pulled away from her new play food to go get her tricycle from mom and dad. In fact, I think her exact words were, "I NO LIKE-IT!!!"
The next morning was her actual birthday, and her feathers were back in place again.
And for a snack, she and her brother got to eat lamb cake (with milk!) on their new $5 yard sale find.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Cracks and Crevices


Last night I was baking snickerdoodles in the kitchen, and Jack was hanging out in his door jumper. He started fussing, so I asked Jason to please take care of him. I was absorbed in rolling cookie dough balls in cinnamon sugar, and so I was taken aback when Jason promptly came to me with the baby--still in the door jumper! He shoved him in my arms, and said, "Take Jack and go to the other end of the house, NOW!"

An uncharacteristic command--I quickly heeded.

The first thought that flashed through my mind was reptilian in nature. All I could picture was Jason getting the gun and blasting a hole in my floor.

I was right--it was a snake! A baby snake, but still, a snake!! In my own house!! I screamed inside my head, since the older kids were in bed.

The door that leads to the garage has a huge gap between it and the threshold. This problem could be fixed by a new threshold, but the problem is the door itself. It's an interior door, and really, very inadequate for insulating purposes.

Logic flees in the presence of fear. Jason said the snake was cold, and was coming in where it was warm. I said I didn't care, I wanted a new door tomorrow, snakes have snake buddies. I might have gotten a little bossy about it. Jason tried to grin, laugh and cheer me up about it, but I gave him my best hairy eyeball.

So, bless the man's heart, we are getting a new door today. He hired a friend to pick one up and install it this afternoon.*

Later that evening, Jason told me not to take any more baths in our tub.


"I found a crack in it."

"As in, a crack in the paint? Or a crack in the tub?" (We painted the original blue tub with tub and tile paint.)

"As in, a crack in the tub. So don't take any more baths until I figure out how to fix that."


*I must add that Jason is fully capable of changing a door. He just doesn't have time right now, since it is harvest season.