Thursday, July 29, 2010

Manual Labor

Dug a big hole this morning.
Now hopefully someone will put a pond in it.
Think it's deep enough?
(Two year old added for scale--had to bribe him with a cookie to get him to stand in the hole)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Last one!

Well, now we're caught up to about half-way through April...sorry about clogging your inboxes...but weren't you excited when you saw you had 10 new email messages?  Happy Easter!

Bubby in Logo's shoes

I think I blogged about this one.  Bubby snuck out of the house, wearing Logo's shoes, and proceeded to water our gas grill.

Wildlife 123

No clue what this one is, but I'm sure it's cute.
I remembered as I was driving away from the library.  This is one of our older boys (Logo, I think) reading a book to Bubby.  For some reason Bubby just thought it was hilarious!

Truck Ride

Also at Nickelodeon Universe, but not nearly as exciting.

Roller Coaster

During our Spring Break Stay-cation, we went to Nickelodeon Universe at MOA one day.  Code-man and Logo are on there somewhere!


Code-man started learning how to play the recorder in music class this year.

Dance Wrestle

Hmmm...these are interesting names I named these videos.  I think this is where Bubby is dancing and Code-man and Logo are wrestling to Veggie Tales Veggie Rocks.

Trail Sliding

Ha!  I can hear Hubby's phone buzzing as I publish each of these :-)
This one was taken in March while some of the boys were taking a hike.  I think this is the one where they were actually sliding down the trail...some trail, eh?

Ball pit

OK, so I haven't looked at these in a long, long time.  This one says "Ball Pit", so I'm sure it's some cute thing some children of ours did in our ball pit.

Hot Air

I snuck out of the house, and decided to try getting some of these videos uploaded :)

This one is from the Hot Air Affair in February.  Imagine standing in a snowfield with all these colorful balloons filling and lifting off all around you!

Webelos Camp

Some pics from Code-man's Webelos Camp at the end of June:
The boys with their bee bee targets
Code-man shooting
That crazy Cub Master
Code-man, about to go over the edge.
Our camping trip this weekend was a comedy of omissions. We forgot so many things that we "needed"--so many that I can't remember them all (obviously, since I didn't remember them in the first place). You've heard the expression "necessity is the mother of invention"? One of the things we forgot was silverware, so Code-man invented the sporkanif, pictured below.
It's a spoon, it's a fork, it's a's a sporkanif!

On Saturday, we canoed and kayaked down the Brule River.  This was taken during a rest stop, right after Code-man successfully ran a rapid that 3/4 of the canoe crew ended up having to run backwards due to an unfortunate encounter with a rock (the other 1/4 was stranded and had to find her own way down the river).
Saturday evening all of the boys decided to hike along the Amnicon River to take in all of the beautiful waterfalls.

On Sunday, Code-man and Sawblock kayaked a livelier section of the Brule, while Logo, Bubby, and I headed to Lake Superior to play in the waves and dig in the sand.  It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and everyone had a terrific time.  Unfortunately, no one brought the camera with them.

Back to civilization, the boys decided it would be fun to make super-sized water balloons.

I'm pretty sure none of them found animate targets.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Labor Day(s)

I made a cake in honor of the 10th anniversary of my first day of labor yesterday.  You may recall that the mammoth, exhausting ordeal took a whopping 40 hours, from the time I entered the hospital, until little Code-man entered the world.  He had considerably less hair back then.  I'm pretty sure he was worth it (it's not like I can take it back, anyway)...

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Omlet Sandwich

I figured if I was going to type out this recipe to send to Beaver and Chip, I might as well just post it for the rest of y'all, too.  It's a bread-based breakfast casserole, but a bit less labor intensive to put together--you just build sandwiches in your pan and then poor the egg/milk mixture over them.  I got this recipe from a MOPS friend, who says her four children and husband always request this for their birthdays and on holidays.

Omlet Sandwich

1 loaf Engish muffin bread or cottage bread
1 pkg thinly sliced ham
1/2 lb sliced swiss cheese
1/2 lb sliced cheddar cheese
8 eggs
3 c. milk
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1-1.5 cups crushed corn flakes or rice krispies
1/4 c. melted butter

Grease a 9x13 pan.  Cover the bottom of the pan with bread.  Then cover the bread with a layer of sliced swiss cheese, then ham, then sliced cheddar cheese.  Top with another layer of bread on top as if to make a sandwich.  Blend together eggs, milk, mustard, and salt.  Pour over the top and refrigerate overnight.  Before baking, melt butter and stir into the cereal.  Sprinkle evenly over the top.  Bake at 350 for 1 hour, making sure the middle is cooked.  Cover with foil if it starts getting too brown on top.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Falling in Love

 I heard More Like Falling in Love by Jason Gray on the radio as we were driving home from church on Sunday.  It surely wasn't the first time I had heard the song, but in that moment, it was as if it was the first time, and it touched me in a new way.  I posted the video if you'd like to listen (if you read my blog via email or on Facebook, you'll have to go to my blog ( to view the video).

Do you remember what it felt like to fall in love?  That breathless, almost aching, thrilling, head over heels falling feeling, that always thinking about and wanting to spend time with the object of your affection?  I do.  But over the years, I have to admit, the excitement has faded.  Sawblock and I have been married for almost 15 years now, and we've become...comfortable.  Don't get me wrong, I love him more now than when we were in that falling stage, and he still can make my heart beat a little faster, but we know that each of us is in this for the long haul, and, as a result, I think we take each other for granted a little bit.  There are so many other things (including three little things named Code-man, Logo, and Bubby) competing for our time and attention, and we've become complacent in our courtship of each other.

As I listened to the song, I realized that that's exactly how I've been feeling in my relationship with God lately: complacent, comfortable, familiar, stagnant.  It's a knowing in my mind, in a reserved, stand-off way, rather than a knowing in my heart, in a personal, experiential way.  There are so many other things competing for my time and attention, that I've been taking God for granted, and I haven't been paying attention to God's wooing.  And that's exactly what I need: to be swept off my feet, falling in love, losing my heart again to the One who pursues me.

I think many of us need this reminder, that it's not about religion, it's about relationship.

"...I need more than a truth to believe.  I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes.  To sweep me off my feet, it's gotta be more like falling in love than something to believe in.  More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance..."

More Like Falling in Love by Jason Gray

Give me rules, I will break them
Show me lines, I will cross them
I need more than a truth to believe
I need a truth that lives, moves, and breathes
To sweep me off my feet, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

Give me words, I’ll misuse them
Obligations, I’ll misplace them
‘Cause all religion ever made of me
Was just a sinner with a stone tied to my feet
It never set me free, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

Deeper and deeper
It was love that made me a believer
In more than a name, a faith, a creed
Falling in love with Jesus brought the change in me, it’s gotta be

More like falling in love than something to believe in
More like losing my heart than giving my allegiance
Caught up, called out, come take a look at me now
It’s like I’m falling, oh
It’s like I’m falling in love

Jason Gray - More like falling in love

Have you heard this song yet? BOLO (that's be on the lookout, and now that I've typed it out, why should I even bother with the abbreviation?) for my thoughts, coming soon :)

BTW, if you read my blog via email or Facebook, you'll have to go to my blog ( to view the video.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Bubby's teeth

Wow, four posts in two days!  Don't get used to it, folks :-)

So I just got back from taking Bubby to the dentist.  You may recall that just before his first birthday one of his front teeth started chipping away until there was a huge omega-shaped hole in his tooth--his tooth, what was left of it, looked like tiny little fangs hanging down.  Called the dentist, and they basically said it happens all the time, there's nothing they can do, you're an over-reacting, hysterical mother but we still like you (they didn't say that, but I know they were thinking it), but I insisted that this was no normal baby tooth chip, and managed to get our dentist to agree to see him.  Dr. H took one look and said, I'm going to refer you across the river (to the pediatric dentist).  So Dr. H's office manager gets on the phone with the pediatric dentist's office, and they said the same thing, that it happens all the time and there was nothing they could do.  She finally convinced them to see Bubby.  The dentist took one look and started grimacing and making serious sounding noises (that's right--I'm not an hysterical, over-reacting mother, at least in this case, I wasn't).  Dr. M patched the tooth and told me it was a stop-gap measure that would hopefully last long enough so that Bubby would be old enough that we wouldn't have to give the poor kid general anesthesia to put in a better patch.  Dr. M. also said that he couldn't tell whether or not the nerve was dead, but if it was, we might have to pull the tooth.

Fast forward almost 2 years...we've been seeing the dentist every 6 months to check on the patch, and it's been holding up well.  Bubby had his first X-rays today, and the hygienist did a little mini-cleaning.  He did so well!  And today, Dr. M. discovered an abscess above Bubby's tooth, which means the nerve is dead, and it's infected (and now it makes sense to me why Bubby has felt warm to me every time I've picked him up in the last week or so).  Really there was nothing that we could have done to prevent this from happening, and it's amazing that it took this long, but now my poor little Bubby needs to have a pulp treatment, so that hopefully we can save the tooth. That's right--my not quite 3 year old is going to have to have a procedure similar, but not quite as complicated (according to Dr. M) as a root canal.  Yikes! Why are we going to so much trouble to save a tooth that's going to fall out in a few years anyway?  Because the baby tooth acts as kind of a place-holder for the permanent teeth, and it's so much better to have that tooth stay in until the permanent tooth is ready. 

So he's scheduled for a cleaning at the end of July (the 27th, I think), during which they're going to do what they can to prepare him mentally for the pulp treatment on August 17.  Ah, poor Bubby!  It's not all bad news, though: we got a free toothbrush, 2 sample-sized toothpastes, 3 sample-sized flosses, and a little pull-back truck out of the deal :)


It's been a busy summer so far, and I haven't been able to blog very much, so I thought some of you might be wondering what's going on around here.

The garden is doing well.  We've been eating sugar snap peas right off the plants for about 3 weeks now, and we just froze about 2 gallons of green beans for later eating.  Some of the corn is taller than Code-man--we're hoping to get enough corn to freeze some of that, too.  The watermelons (yes, we're trying watermelons again--maybe someday we'll get to eat one that we grew) are starting to flower and the zucchinis have flowers as well--there may even be a baby zucchini out there--they kind of hide, so they're hard to see if you're not right there looking and moving leaves out of the way.  Hubby tells me that the pumpkin plants are blooming as well.  I planted them in a sunny part of our back yard this year, so that they couldn't overtake all of the other plants in the garden enclosure, and as a result, I don't keep as close an eye on them.  I suppose that's good, as they grow slowly and it's much more exciting to go out and find that you have a 5" pumpkin already than it is to just see it grow microscopically each day. 

The tomatoes just got put in the ground.  I got a late start this year, planting about a month after I planted last year (I know, crazy, right?), and I hadn't started the tomatoes because last year when I started them indoors they all died before it was warm enough to plant outside, and I had to start over.  So this year, I thought I'd just plant the seeds directly in the ground, but when it came time to do it, the seeds seemed too small and vulnerable to just plant out there.  I didn't get around to even starting my seeds indoors until about 2 weeks later, and now, about a month later, they're finally in the ground.  I'm kind of disappointed about that, because I was hoping to be able to can some diced tomatoes for chili and tomato sauce for pizza and spaghetti this year.  I guess I'll just have to wait and see if there's enough time for my plants to produce any tomatoes.

My flowers are growing, too.  The zinnias are blooming, and I just got my first ever snap dragon bloom.  Unfortunately, a lot of the zinnias got baked while we were out of town--they're in window boxes on the front of the house and the house faces west, which makes it very hot out there in the afternoon and evening.  My hanging baskets aren't doing the best either.  I started 3 different kinds of daisy-like plants this spring, but I don't think they'll be big enough to bloom this year.  We need to get digging on our pond and waterfall so I have someplace to put them.  And it's definitely time to dig up the front flower beds, divide, and replant.  It's a jungle out there.

A mama bird built her nest on top of one of the support columns for the roof over the place where our some-assembly-required porch will go someday.  This is right outside our bedroom window, and I can see it from where I type.  I was very worried about this mama bird and her choice of nesting sites.  There's only about a 5.5" x 3" area, and in fact, the first nest she built fell down.  She rebuilt, laid eggs, and the babies have hatched, so we've been hearing little voices clambering for food, and little beaks open wide when mama flies back to the nest with some tasty morsel.  I think there are 4, but there are at least 3 babies, and I find myself wondering how that mama bird knows which chick to give the next bug to.  I know I had a hard time remembering which side to start on when I was nursing my babies, and that was only one at a time!  Maybe mama birds don't get as sleep deprived.

We've already raised and released one monarch caterpillar, Rocky, who actually turned out to be a boy (for once our gender guess at the larval stage proved correct in the adult stage).  Now we've invited Victor II to be our guest until metamorphosis.  I'm a little cloudy on the correct naming of this little guy, because Victor I turned out to be Victoria...or was it the other way around?  Anyway, since the first Victor wasn't really Victor, shouldn't this be Victor I?   But then we have to differentiate somehow...and what if this Victor turns out to be Victoria?

So far this summer, pretty much all we've done (besides watching the garden, the birds, and the caterpillars) is swim lessons.  I really don't know what happens to the rest of the day.  We get home, get our stuff put away and then it's lunch time.  Then suddenly it's nap time and then daddy's home.  It's very disconcerting.   We have one more camping trip planned this summer, and the boys are heading out for their 4(?)th annual Boundary Waters trip later.  Hubby has surprised me with a trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary, so I have that to look forward to as well. 

It blows my mind that the summer break is already half over.  I remember when I was a kid, the summers seemed to stretch on forever and I was almost always anxious to get back to school by the end of the summer.  Now, it seems to be just flying by.  I always think that summer is going to be slower, more relaxed, but it never is--there's just so much to squeeze into such a (relatively) short period of time.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Our camera appears to have stopped working (grrr), but here are some pics from before that happened:
Here are the boys drying off after playing in the pool at Code-man's School's Out Sleepover. 
That's Blake, Code-man, Derek, Connor, Ryan, Cole and Logo, all refusing to look at me.
Code-man kayaking in the pool.  I'm not sure why he decided to use a noodle as his paddle or why his Dad is about to knock him over the head with his real paddle.

Logo and Bubby kayaking in the pool


The other day, someone I like a lot said to me, "a woman's work is never done," while the two of us were finishing cleaning up after supper.  It's one of those throw-away statements that people say without really thinking about, but you know me: I think about everything.  It is true that in our family, generally the woman (me) does more of the cleaning, cooking, and caring for children, while the man (Hubby) does more of the outdoor and repair-type chores, but in our case, the division of labor is more about what each of us is good at and what we enjoy (or, should I say, what we tolerate versus chores we despise), and what we have time for than it is about stereotypical gender roles.  In our house, Hubby is responsible for cleaning bathtubs (a chore I hate) and mopping, while I've been known to clear drains, clean out gutters, wash cars, and fix a broken toy or two from time to time.  I resent the implication that women should be the ones doing the cooking and cleaning, while our men sit on the couch flipping channels.  I resent the attitude, that apparently still exists, that gives men a free pass on all things household because they're the breadwinners (which is no longer even true in many cases).

Usually I have no problem with this attitude, because, as I said, in our house, it's not an issue, each of us doing what we can to keep our household running, somewhat clean, and in good repair, but sometimes... sometimes I come across someone who expects me to behave differently: someone who expects me to be doing "women's work," while my husband and sons sit by doing nothing.  And that makes me mad.  Because while I choose to do what is needed for my family, and often that includes doing the work that has been traditionally done by women, I don't want anyone telling me that I have to do it, or expecting me to do it because it's my womanly duty.  And I don't want anyone teaching my boys, by word or by example, that there are some tasks that only women should and can do.
2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. ...
4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; 8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:2, 4-8
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