Monday, November 30, 2009

Hooting and Hollering Freak Out

Can you hear that?
Can you hear the Mister and I whooping it up like a bunch of rowdy frat boys?
Wanna know why?

My Mister works in sales. He works his a** off to support our family. We don't live in the lap of luxury, but we certainly meet our needs. We (the children and I) are so very blessed to have him as the head of our home.

In these past few quarters, the Mister's hard work has come to fruition. For quite a time, he was ranked #1 out of the 327 sales reps in his division. As for now, he is coming in at a shiny #3.

So a while back, his company announced a new sales incentive contest, entitled:

Run Thru The Warehouse!

The top 7 reps in Cliff's division get to go.

And come next weekend, guess what the Mister and I are gonna be doing!?!

Running through a warehouse
with a flatbed,
grabbing as much loot as we can in the alloted time!!!!

And that's not all! The Mister and I are flown to Cleveland for this for three days and two nights. We get to stay in a fancy-schmancy hotel with a big fancy bathtub and an endless supply of hot water. I will get to sleep in. I won't have to prepare a single meal or wash a single dish for the entire time.

The Mister and I have never been anywhere, just the two of us, away from the family, for more than 1 night. We have never flown somewhere together. Truth be told, I'm a nervous wreck about the prospect of having to fly away (I hate flying), but I know that we'll be fine and the kids will be in good hands.

My dear, wonderful Mother Jimmy and her BFF, the awesome Grandma Sandy are going to bunk down at our home to watch the crew, with my brother providing late afternoon and dinnertime assistance.

We are beyond thankful for this amazing blessing. As you can imagine, with a family of seven and one wage-earner, many things (like a new laptop or computer to replace my still-defunct one), are just flat outside of our budget. And when we do have extra room in the budget, it usually ends up alloted to things like the childrens' violin/piano/dance. I'm not complaining at all, because those are choices that we joyfully make. But to be given an opportunity to get a new computer or two for our homeschool, or to replace my fritzing-out microwave, or to maybe even score a treadmill to help me lower my bloodpressure (ha ha!), well, it is the most spectacular blessing to us.

Now do you hear that noise? Those grunting/shlumping/panting/groaning sounds? That's the Mister, outside in the garage, working out and training for the Run Through the Warehouse.

He's determined
to become a
lean,
mean,
flatbed-pushing
machine.


Tomorrow, I'm going to load up all the children on a sled, attach it to our dolly, and have the Mister run sprints up and down the street.

He just doesn't know it yet.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holiday Kick Off



What better way to kick off the holidays than a parade?

Last weekend, Hatfield and Atticus were in our local Christmas parade with their dance troups. So Cliff and I packed up all the little ones, grabbed Jimmy and met our friends downtown to watch the fun.




Unlike previous years when the weather was so cold we didn't attend, this year we found ourselves completely overdressed

and underprepared for the bright sunlight that blinded us for the majority of the parade.

Miles and Keenan were quite happy to sit with the crew and collect all the candy passed out by people in the parade. We were sitting right at the start of the parade, which was brilliant because no one had run out of candy by that time.


Here is one of my super cute BFF's, Melanie. Don't you love her vintage coat? I have major vintage coat envy. Apparently all the vintage ladies were teeny tiny like Melanie with cute teeny tiny shoulders, because it sure did not fit my linebacker shoulders, lol.


It looks fabulous, Melly!

The parade put us all in a MAJOR holiday spirit, and we were so very happy to celebrate Thanksgiving at Jimmy and Boppa's this year.

We have SO many reasons to be Thankful this year.
Reasons like:
A Jimmy to Cuddle With/div>


Brothers who are Best Buddies


The Most AWESOME Big Sister

Baby Locs(More on that later)

I cannot begin to describe just how FULL and JOYFUL my heart felt when my ENTIRE family sat around that Thanksgiving feast.







We may have our trying times,

but I will ALWAYS give the greatest thanks for the miracle of my family coming together once and for all.




Tuesday, November 24, 2009

9 Years

Nine years ago,
in a teeny tiny wedding chapel in Seattle proper, the Mister and I exchanged wedding vows.

In doing so,
not only a husband and wife unionship were created,


a FAMILY was created as well.

Miss Hatfield was so adorable that day

in her little red velvet jumper and hat.

It's been a Grand time,

these years with the Mister and Hatfield,

growing our family (by four!),

and always loving one another.

I am blessed beyond meausre.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Breathe In, Breathe Out, Breathe In, Breathe Out

I spent the majority of my week trapped in an aggravating situation with an increasingly defiant child (this is the other child than the one from last week, so at least the boys take turns raising cain in the house, right?)

This child had a moment where he did not feel like being nice to siblings. That's okay. I put him in Time In with Mommy in the kitchen. Normally we sit for a bit, and then when the child is a bit more approacable, we discuss the situation, talk about what we could do differently next time and apologize.

Only this time, this child decided 1) they weren't going to talk about it. 2) they weren't going to apologize, and 3) they weren't going to look at Mommy or answer a single question she asked.

All righty then. I just let the child be, figuring that sooner or later they would come around.

Only that day, the child didn't. No amount of quietly asking, quietly coaching (if you only would answer Mommy and apologize for your actions, you could play outside) or reminding them of their impending reality (if you are going to choose not to answer, then you are choosing to spend a lot of quality time here at the kitchen table.)

Nope, this child decided that the kitchen table was going to be his new best friend, and Mommy could pound salt.

Daddy came home. Now, the Mister and I are both well aware of the fact that since the Mister is 1) the man and 2) a spanker and 3) louder than Mommy, this child would probably answer Mommy once Daddy became involved.

But here's the deal with Mommy: the boys need to learn to respect and answer Mommy on their own accord, out of respect and the fact that children respect Mommy. Because I'm not a spanker, I find yelling just falls on deaf ears and glazed eyes, and if God forbid the Mister were to someday pass away and I was left alone with the children, well, I wouldn't have my "behave or else Daddy will deal with you" card.

So we decided that Daddy would remain uninvolved beyond saying, Son, you need to respect your Mother and answer her. In our family, children always answer Mommy.
But the entire next day passes with this child happily choosing to sit at his new BFF, aka the kitchen table. Occassionally I lectured (because just like Marta said, it does make you feel better while you lecture), but for the most part, I would just ask nicely every now and again if they would like to answer Mommy.

Silence.

Great.

I even called our homestudy adoption social worker to discuss the situation with her.

Note to self: Do not call a childless woman who has never adopted a child and is two years younger than your youngest sibling to ask for parenting advice. It will be a Huge-O Waste-O of Time-O.

Finally, out of sheer frustration, I asked if they would like me to not answer them. Because if they do not answer Mommy, why should Mommy answer them?

That question got them thinking. And then next time they asked to get up to use the bathroom, I sat down next to them. "What if Mommy told you, I'm not going to answer you because you won't answer me?"

Big eyes. "I wouldn't like that."

"Of course you wouldn't. And Mommy doesn't like it when you don't answer her. But Mommy loves all of her children, and so for Mommy, it makes Mommy happy to answer all of her children when they ask her a question. So yes, you can go to the bathroom."

Feeling that maybe I had a breakthrough there, I felt confident that my beautiful son would return and want to resume our conversation.

Wrong-O.

Finally that night at bedtime, while snuggling him into bed and giving him a kiss good-night, I asked (again) why he doesn't answer Mommy.

"Because I don't want to."

Ahhhh, okay. "Why don't you want to?"

Pause. "Because I don't like to answer Mommy."

At that moment in time I had two thoughts:

Great! He finally answered.

and

He doesn't want to? He doesn't like to? What the heck do I do with that?

I was so tired and exhausted and frustrated that I couldn't think straight. I thought about perhaps going out and piercing my nose or streaking my hair purple just like I had in college, to remind myself that I was once young and fun and had a life outside parenting defiant little boogers. I thought about calling up Jill and hitting the nearest establishment serving hardcore Margaritas, but poor Jill is in Haiti living her own Haiti adoption process hell.

So I packed up Hattie and we went to Barnes and Noble. We drank Peppermint Hot Chocolate, did Holiday Mad Libs in the cafe, and planned out the next 5 Nancy Drew books that we would want to read next (by reading the backs of all of them, no less.)

While there, I picked up this book about defiance. It's not an adoption book, but I've read and looked at a ton of those and really didn't find anything that quite fit what I thought we were going through.

Although I'm not a fan of the gimmicky title of the book, after looking through it, I found that it was exactly what we were looking for. Plus it gives an actual plan of action with scenarios, which I like, because I often find it difficult to take theory into action, especially in the heat of a frustrating moment. I took that book in my hot little hands and ran home to the Mister, and he and I worked on the first few chapters until Midnight.

So yesterday morning, I woke up and took this little child in my lap in a quiet room. I explained to him in a very quiet voice that I loved him a lot, and I understand that he doesn't want to answer me. But that not answering is not good. He is a child, and all children must answer Mommy.

I went on to say that Mommy always answers her children. It makes her happy to. It makes Mommy very happy when her children answer her.

And that I understand it is not fun to answer Mommy, and that he won't always want to, but that sometimes, we have to do things we don't want to. But that as a kid, it's just part of the job.

And to my amazement (and great relief), he nodded and said, "Okay Mommy, I will reponn (answer) you."

Now you think I would have been able to figure this all out on my own, without the help of a book. But the truth is I've never had a child who would rather sit at a table for three freakin' days than answer me.

And by the end of day 2, I was fried worse than a piece of extra crispy chicken from KFC (and I'm a vegetarian, for pete's sake!)

So this child hopped down from my lap and proceeded to have his best day in a long time. Yesterday he was a smiley, happy, joyous child. And it was nice.

Actually, it was a wonderful day. All of my children were in high spirits. It was a rainy day and Hatfield decided to introduce both High School Musical I and II to her little brothers. Who instantly loved and wanted to watch it over and over and over again.

So we all danced around the family room
and sang "We're All in This Together."
Or something like that ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Feeling Thankful

Last night I was stricken with a horrible headache and incredibly nauesous stomach, which have yet to subside. It hurts to even move my head or neck, and I feel queasy each time I have to move. Is this a stomach bug or a migraine? I can't tell.


Cliff is working at a Packer Game Concession booth this safternoon, so we can receive a reduced rate on our family fee at the Suzuki Music Academy. I'm alone with the kids, and I have to drive Hattie in Packer traffic to her drop-off location, 3 blocks from Lambeau Field (ha!)

I was sort of having a little pity party for myself, but then I recalled noticing some gals on Facebook writing something that they are thankful for, each day until Thanksgiving. What a great idea! Sounds like a great remedy to counteract my poor attitude.

So for today, I am thankful for the wonderful people and opportunities that have made their way into Hatfield's life. Daily, I pray for my children, often that prayer includes bringing loving, kind, inspiring people into their lives.

Yesterday, Hatfield competed in her first Baroque Piano Festival at a local college. Her teacher, Mrs. Sandy, is a gentle, loving woman who has high expectations and an encouraging spirit about her. She is gifted at helping each child put their fears aside and their best foot forward.

At the end of the day, Hatfield and I went to the Festival's Honor Recital. The children who played were amazing, as were the pieces they played. Mrs. Sandy gave Hatfield a huge hug and lots of positive feedback and encouragement for next year. Hatfield took all the music in, and she is feeling very inspired to grow in her piano skills.

Today is Hatfield's Big Packer Day. She is so terribly excited. We have been so blessed to have her dance instructors. Friendly and fun, yet very strict and disciplined.

I watched the rehearsal on Wednesday night at the Don Hutson Center. Wow! Amazing how they pull all those kids together into one amazingly unified routine.




At one point, many of the kids began getting restless and dragging a bit. Barb, the studio owner, gave the kids a boot camp-ish pep talk.

She told them that she knows how hard this is. How tiring it is. How heavy those flags feel by the second time around the field. But that they have to persevere. They have to keep moving. They have to fulfill their duties and not let the team down, no exceptions.. That they would have to look inside of themselves to do their very best, because she knew that everyone could do it.

As a parent, I was so relieved to hear this. So often I think many leaders, teachers, coaches, bosses, etc. go too easy on our kids. We focus so much on the "feel good" that we lose focus on duty and the sense of pride that comes from doing one's asolute best. Once we were going to sign Hatfield up for a soccer league, only to find out that they didn't keep score, that everyone was given a chance to score each game, and that everyone got a trophy at the end of the year. They didn't want any hurt feelings.

What good is that? How are those kids going to handle college or the real world? How are they going to handle it when they realize all those parents, coaches and teachers lied?

Okay, so where was I? A post about being thankful?

Whoops.

Today, I am so thankful for the wonderful adults and mentors who have come in Hatfield's life. Who recognize her as her own beautiful person and who encourage and inspire her to do her best, dream big and go after those dreams despite the fear of failing. Who are firm and kind, who provide a safe place to land when she stumbles, and who provide a reassuring hug when they encourage her to press on. We are so very blessed, and I am so very thankful.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Always learning

Even though I have had three biological children of my own, I am finding that parenting adopted children is nothing like parenting biological children in many, if not most, regards. Despite all the reading, classes, preparation, etc. and despite the 11 years I had put in the parenting department before they came home, there are some things that nothing can really prepare you for.

I'm always hesitant to share a lot on my blog. A lot of people in my "real" life read my blog, and I do feel concerned that things I could share on here could somehow intentionally create judgment of my children.

Adoption parenting has, and continues to be, a crash course in many departments for myself.

Wednesday night I found myself in a situation in which I drew upon information I read in another blog, and it helped me tremendously. So that was my catalyst in deciding to share some of these "harder" times with others. Maybe what I'll write may help someone else one day.

One of my sons was having a very difficult day on Wednesday. He was defiant and obstinate at school, and when I questioned him about it on the way home, he both refused to look at me or answer me.

Now, in our home, with our boys, we are "easing" into many expected rules and behavior. I don't want to overwhelm them with too much, so we focus on the "large" issues and then as we conquer those we add on new expectations and duties as the boys can handle them.

But two of the steadfast rules we have in our home are that when Mommy and Daddy are talking to you, you look at them. And when Mommy and Daddy ask you a question (we will use Kreyole to help communication), you answer them.

Now, both boys are fully able to function within and fulfill both rules. So it's not asking too much of either of them. And when they don't do this, they are "choosing" not to as a means of acting out, showing disrespect, etc.

So on Wednesday, this child chose not to look at me and not to answer. I don't feel time outs are a productive environment for either boy (when they are alienated physically from the family, it seems to amplify their "me versus the world" mentality and promotes worse behavior. So I give "time ins" where they hang out on a chair by Mommy in the kitchen, until they are ready to both look at me and discuss the issue at hand.

To my full surpise, this child became *very* phsyically agitated. He refused to sit, tried to kick the chair over, stand on the chair, and bite me when I got close to him.

Now, I know that this type of tantrum happens. I've read about others experiences with it, but this was a complete shock to me, because this has not yet happened in our home with this child.

Finally, he chose to sit quietly. I finished making dinner while he cooled down. I figured he would better answer and comply with a full belly, so I nicely asked him to please sit at the table for dinner.

He refused.

I asked a number of times, nicely. I served the other children. But after 30 minutes, it was beyond obvious that he was being defiant by choice. So I informed him that if he was not going to choose to eat, he was going to choose to go to bed. I informed him that he had 3 more minutes to choose to sit down. I told him it was his last chance.

He still chose not to eat.

Now, I am a Polish woman married to a Guamanian man. Family meal time is central to our lives. Sending a child to bed without supper just about kills me. But being inconsistent kills me even more deeply.

So, with a deep breath, I announced that we were going upstairs to go to bed. I took the child by the hand and began walking towards the stairs.

This child went animal balistic. I have never seen anything like it in my 11 years of parenting. He scratched, clawed, and tried to bite me. He would noodle out, and I would go to pick him up. 3 times I was not quick enough and his foot got me square in the face.

I have NEVER been kicked by a child of mine. Well, maybe an attempt by a tantrumming 18 month old, but never by a child of this age.

I finally got the child to his room and into his bed. I left the room and went to sit down in my room. My heart was racing and the muscles in my forearms were literally balled up by the stress of having to hold onto him. I had tears of anger in my eyes. And I had no idea what to do. Suddenly, my mind turned to something I had read.

Maybe a year ago I read a blog post by an adopting mama whose son (the same age as mine) had a major, physical tantrum in a public place, which was a horrible experience for her. They got home and she took him in their rocking chair and rocked him. She cried and rocked him. She cried and told him she loved him.

At that moment, sitting on my bed, I felt zero love. Zero compassion. Zero anything except exhaustion and adrenaline (is it even possible to feel both at once?) This little child had been testing me constantly as of late and I just felt like with this horrible experience, I.was.done. for that night. All I wanted to do was have my husband come home and to flee the house.

But that post stuck in my mind. And I prayed. And I knew that even though I didn't even want to be in the same home with this little boy at that moment, I had to go to him.

So I did the thing that I wanted to do least at that moment. I went to him.

I picked him up. Held him. Told him I loved him. A lot. Told him I would always love him. No matter what. Told him that it was NOT okay to hit, kick and bite Mama. Ever. Never. But that I loved him no matter what. Always. That I was his Mama. He is my son. I told him that he is a precious, perfect child of Jesus. And that Jesus loves him.

I gave him a hug, gave him a kiss, and put him back in his bed.

And then it was time for me to take Hattie to dance, and for the Mister to take over in the parenting department.

Two days later and things are better. My son has been more regulated the past 2 days. With the Mister's aid, he apologized to me for kicking me. He seemed truly sorry and worried. That's a good sign.

But this adoption parenting is a crash course in learning compassion and learning love when I don't feel like either. Truth be told, it was SO hard for me to be compassionate at that time. I certainly did not feel it. I certainly did not feel the love. But sometimes it's just the act of being obedient to the idea. Acting loving. Acting compassionate. Doing the thing we least feel like doing, but at the time when it is most important to do it. It's not easy, and it's not fun, and it's not "feel good" by any stretch of the imagination. And more often than not, I'm reminded of my sinful nature and the grace God extends to me, lovingly, time and time again.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ever wonder how

Brussel Sprouts grow?

This is a Brussel Sprout plant.
Brussel Sprouts have long been on our list of favorite vegetables. But I had no idea how they grew, until I planted them. Even during the first year I planted them, I kept looking at the top of the plant, seeing nothing, thinking that I somehow grew duds.

But then, one day, upon closer examination, there they were.

Those yummy little sprouts grow up on the stalk. They are a wonderful, cold-weather plant and are ripe in late fall.


Isn't God amazing?

So many seeds,

so many amazingly wonderful plants,

so much delicious, perfect, natural, whole nutrition.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Packer Country


We live in Die-Hard Football Country.

I grew up a mere block away from Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers. Football was a constant part of our lives. When the Packers had open practice, we would ride our bikes down to the practice field to wait for practice to end. Then the Packer players would sign our football cards and ride our bikes across the street and back to the Lambeau Field locker rooms, while we kids would run along next to them on our bikes, carrying their helmets.

On Sunday home games, our driveway was packed with cars of friends and family attending the games. We kids would play outside and knew everytime the Packers scored because the entire neighborhood would be enveloped with the deafening roar of cheering fans.

Actually, the Packers stunk for most of my childhood (of course, they rocked it when I moved away for college.) But that mattered not to our city's residents. Fair-weathered we are not. Even those freezing cold, blizzard stricken games would be sold out, each and every time, without fail. It was often those games that I accompanied my own father to those games. We had season tickets on the 50 yard line, just 2 rows under the press box.. We would stand up and watch re-plays on the tvs that lined the litte press box walls. That was back in the day when Lambeau Field was just a round arena of corrugated metal painted Packer Green. Unassuming. Nothing fancy. The focus was strictly the game that went on inside.

When I was 18 and leaving for college, I couldn't wait to get the heck out of Packers country. I was so tired of living in a city where football took up 75% of the nightly local news during football season, and 50% of the airtime during off-season. All because safe and boring little Green Bay had nothing else to report. I was anxious to spread my wings and get a taste of the real world and "real" news.

Well, Tacoma was certainly a taste of that real world. Murders, muggings, drugs, roaming gangs were the reports I read about on a daily basis. And later,we continued that reality in Milwaukee, where the Sunday news reports weren't about play-by-play football recaps, but instead typically about the 3 or so shootings that took place in the last 36 hours.

By 2006, 13 years after I left Green Bay for the first time, I returned again to make Green Bay my home, as a wife and mother of three children. This time, I welcomed the Packer-laden news. Bring on the safe and tidy and boring and neverending Packer news. I'll take it.

Now, truth be told, we are not a huge football family. I have a lot of pride in our team and our city, but I couldn't tell you the season's win/loss record (or even the name of the coach.) I don't own a football sweatshirt, and neither do my kids, but just by growing up in this town, they have become fans by osmosis--you simply can't escape the Packers.

This week though, we are like the thousands of other Green Bay families in that the talk of our house is this upcoming home football game. Why our sudden interest? Because Hatfield gets to perform on Lambeau Field with her dance troupe during the Halftime Show!

It's rare to see Hattie this excited, and it's fun to see how pumped up she and all of her teammates are. I asked her if she is going to be nervous performing in front of 60,000 + people, but she replied, "No. I would only be nervous if it's going to be on tv (it's not), because then we'd be performing in front of the whole world."

I still smile at her comment. I would have made the identical comment as a child (well, not about the not being nervous part--I would have been terrifed. But when I was a kid, I assumed the whole world watched the Packers too.) When you are a little kid and you grow up in Green Bay, you really do think the Packers are the center of the universe.

Is it the most enlightened way of thinking? Certainly not. But after living here and living elsewhere, I am at peace with her way of thinking. She has the rest of her life to be exposed to the hard reality of the real world. For now, Green Bay is the only universe she knows, and here in this die-hard football country, The Packers are the center of it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Fresh Air

Last week all 7 of us were afflicted with a horrible bronchial flu which put everyone zonked out in bed and miserable for at least 3 days. The week, to put it succinctly, sucked. Big time. Lord help me if I have to say "Cough into your elbow sleeve," "Wipe your nose with a tissue and not with your shirt collar" or "Wash your hands!" one more time.

I don't know if it was because I was run down and not particularly myself, or if the boys were just "off" because they were sick or recovering, but my goodness gracious! I can't remember us every having such a tough go of it all. By Friday I was so wholly irritated and frustrated that I didn't know if I could make it one more day stuck inside the house with two cranky little boys who were testing me at every turn and three other children with major cases of cabin fever.

Fortunately, Saturday came and we were blessed with Fabulous Weather: Sunny and in the upper 60's! I can't ever remember weather like that this late in November. I was so thankful because it gave the Mister and I the chance to finish all of our neglected yard work. Normally I love doing yard work and jump at the chance to be out there, working away in my gardens. But this summer and fall, with the boys' homecomings, the yard work definitely took the back burner and it showed.

By 9a.m. I had the children outside,breathing in the fresh air, basking in the sunshine and pulling up weeds and dead plants in one of our larger vegetable beds. The kids made it a game, turning it into a race and making up a song to go along. The singing is in large part to Keenan and Miles. Those two boys are always singing and making up songs about things, and their singing enthusiasm has spread through all of our children.

I will never understand parents who do not give their children chores or assign them household tasks. Beyond the fact that work teaches the children responsibility and obedience, helps them develop a sense of duty, a sense of service, a sense of familial teamwork and contibrution, etc. and prepares them for the "real" world, it also greatly contributes to the successful running of a home (which otherwise might not run that successfully at all.)

My 5 little worker bees had pulled that entire bed clean and deposited it all in our compost bin within 20 minutes flat. Had I done it myself, it would have taken me well over 2 hours just for that bed alone. Throughout the morning, in between playtimes, I had the children help me out with the other garden beds, and they were able to get ALL of them done in less time it would have taken myself to finish just that first one.

While the kids alternated between playtime and worktime, I managed to spade 4 of our garden plots. The Mister mowed and raked up the lawn, and spread the mulched leaves over my spade beds. I was nearly giddy at the sight, knowing that under those huge snow drifts that will blanket my garden in less than a month's time, all those beautiful leaf and grass nutrients will be decaying and enriching our garden soil.

By the time we tumbled inside the house for dinner last night, we had 5 happy, dirty, grass-stained kids who ate huge plates of food and then readily jumped into bubble baths before they fell quickly asleep.

And you know how the weekend got even better? Today we woke up to the same weather, and after a great service at church, we were able to do it all over again. The remaining garden beds are spade and mulched. The Mister not only climbed up on the roof to replace our chimney cap, he de-gunked, hosed down and repaired all of the roof gutters.

All the kids were tuckered out and asleep early tonight. Tomorrow is a new day and a start to a new week, which has to be better than last week. At the very least we'll be able to get out of the house to school and other activities. And really, anything is better than 7 cranky, sick people cooped up in a house and coughing all over each other, right?

Here's to a happy, healthy week!
Blessings,
Sarah

Friday, November 06, 2009

We are What We Eat

And unfortunately, it's not a pretty picture.



The Mister and I watched Food, Inc. last night. It is an absolutely fabulous, mind-blowing movie that everyone must see. Must. See.

Find the movie info here.

Watch it. Watch it. Watch it. It's time for us to end our ignorance, if not for our own health, for the health of our children.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Boo!

The Mister found his zen as a Used Car Salesman.


Mommy's Little Puppy


Miles is a Cool Blue Jellyfish


Keenan is a Lean, Mean Green Dinosaur


Atticus, well, if you squint, you might be able to spot him through all that excellent camo


and Hatfield was our didn't-fall-once-the-entire-route Rockin' Roller Derby Girl!




We joined our good friends The P. Family for some trick-or-treating in their neck of the woods. 8 kids, 2.3 million pieces of candy and 12 sets (including the parents)majorly tired feet/legs could possibly spell a recipe for disaster, but the kids all behaved perfectly and everyone had a great time. Thanks for hosting us, Josh and Mel and family! We love you guys!


Not only was this the boys' first year of Trick or Treating, it was also their first time carving pumpkins. I was a bit worried going into it, as Keenan does NOT like anything sticky or stringy clinging to his hands.


Obviously, I worried over nothing. The kids LOVED it. Keenan had great fun pretending he was a monster.

The pumpkin guts brought out the Mad Scientists in Atticus, Hatfield and Miles.


Little Po kept track of whose tops were whose (and she'd let you know if you were wrong!)

The finished results:

Hatfield's one-of-a-kind Kitty Creation

Atticus and the Mister's Bat-Pumpkin!

Miles' Monster Mouth Man

Keenan's Creepy Crawly Concoction

Paloma's Perfect Pumpkin aka If Tim Burton were a pumpkin. . . .