Sunday, November 23, 2008

So clean he squeaks (or should I say screams)!

In the bath today I gave #3 his squirt of soap and told him to go ahead and wash his body. He stood, rubbed the soap in all the right places, then put his foot up on the side of the tub and proceeded to wash his leg and foot. Even between his toes!
So cute, I just had to share!

I've been busy

You, my faithful blog audience, don't hear from me much because I spend the evening hours working on crafting projects.
  • There's the unfinished quilt I gave my mother for Christmas which still needs quilting.
  • The baby quilt for a family member for Christmas this year.
  • And a new advent calendar for our family which needs to be done by December 1st.
To that long list I also need to make 2 stockings for the little boys that match the fabric/look of the rest of the family's, I'm hoping to get the box of fabric that my mom used to make the originals this week when I'm helping her move/celebrating Thanksgiving with them.

That's why I'm too busy to post.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

While I was on the phone the other day I put #4 in his highchair for a little snack so I wouldn't have to hold him anymore. I came in the other room to check my email and heard him fuss a little. A moment later I went back to the dining room to find this! So cute. So tired. Sadly I had to wake him up to put him in the car for a trip to town. Luckily for both of us he took a good nap later that afternoon.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Argentina Lifestyle

Polo Director &"Russo"


Where is one to begin. As most of you know, I am not a big fan of blogging, furthermore, took a little criticism from my last post, so I remain a little gun shy. With that said, I am currently residing in Buenos Aires, Argentina for 30 days, and have very few outlets to discuss what I am going through both personally and professionally. Therefore, I write this as much for me, as for you.

To begin, what an amazing place! They say BA is the Paris of South America and I have no reason to believe anything different. I will be in Paris in January, therefore should be able to establish a fair assessment. The food is amazing, approximately 1/2 Italian, the other native. Art, wine, friendliness, infrastructure, is really amazing. I encourage all to put BA on a list of global places to visit.

I am here to attend the Palermo season, or "Polo Season". We have a team playing in the Argentine Open, which is the greatest polo venue on the earth today. The best players, horses, and of course tournament is held annually in Argentina on the historical fields where the game has been played for centuries. It is somewhat of a gladiator atmosphere, as the fans are passionate both about the sport and it's players. I will say that the more I am around the game, it is truly the sport of kings. Dangerous as people die every yearAdd Image in games. The only way to adequately describe the game is hitting a golf ball while riding a horse 30 MPH, with somebody else trying to knock you off. The ball is the size of a softball, except it is harder than a hockey puck. I have gained a new found appreciation for the men and women that play the game. An additional note, EVERY man that rides is a master horseman. They do things on the back of the sAdd Imageteeds I have ever seen before. Leaning, reaching, standing, pulling, nothing short of greatness. One of the greatest Polo Players in the world plays for us, his nickname is "Russo", a 10 goaler, that plays the globe. His 4 brothers, also some of the worlds best are the sons of the greatest player the game has ever seen. The father played in 28 straight Argentine Opens, a feet that will never be broken.

I played polo for the first time a couple of days ago. Reflecting back, it was one of those experiences that one can only appreciate looking back. A once in a lifetime experience. It had been many years since my last ride, nearly ten, and it showed. I was very uneasy. The pony's, as they are called here, are special breeds. Bred of a hybrid Thoroughbred and quarter horse, they are athletes themselves. They are so highly trained, yet want to run and play the game as they are bred to do. To put the value in perspective of the horse, the horse pictured above earned $1,000,000 US Dollars for playing in the open. Anyhow, I was able to eventually walk the horse, carry a mallet, swing and hit the ball all at the same time. I was embarrassed to say the least for such poor performance, although, our polo pro said I had a natural gift for the game due to my time spent on the golf course. He told me I had the best backhand motion of any new player he had seen. I think he was full of s*** (edited by stacy later, this is a family-friendly site), but he maintains honesty. None the less, I am falling in love with the game, and plan on playing more. Good thing that life insurance policy is up to date:)

Business is being effected by the global crunch although we keep pushing through. I can not get into any details due to proprietary information, although I will say I enjoy the work, have huge responsibility, and live daily with pressure. I closed a deal at the end of last week which is a feat in todays market.

Our team plays La Dolfina, the #1 team in the world today. It has a 40 goal handi-cap, which essentially means they have 4 Tiger Woods playing on the same team. We are 38 goals, and anything can happen. We will see how it unfolds.

I miss the family terribly. This will be the first Thanksgiving away in 31 years. I have been trying to compartmentalize this, and hope for the best this week. Thursday will bring many memories, definitely a couple of bottles if wine, and maybe a few tears. As you all know, when you take something away for a while, your realize just how important it is to you.

I better wrap this up as I don't want to bore you all. My best to everyone, and thanks for all of the support. I will make an effort to post at least once more on the trip.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"I love being part of a big family"

Always a lot of food at a family gathering. This was breaky the first your own omelets, cooked by Uncle K.

The N family got together last weekend to celebrate Christmas. Every time I've told someone that I've gotten a surprised look but it is a tradition we have had for about 11 years. This year we all met in Sunriver, OR for a wonderful weekend together. Grammie and Grandpa rented a house that would hold all 27 of us including 16 kids, 14 under the age of 9! Let's just say it was LOUD and a little crazy at times. I took K with me. Not only is K a great help as a nanny but she is also my niece (step-daughter to my half-brother). It worked out perfectly that I got someone to ride with me and a little extra help holding #4 at the end of the trip while I was trying to pack and she got to go early and didn't have to scrunch into her parent's car.

I spent the ENTIRE day Thursday doing laundry, packing, organizing, and working at getting the house tidy. When #1 got home from the bus we loaded up and headed to Corvallis to pick up K. We got a little later start then I was hoping for with a stop at the school and the store to pick up forgotten work and a snack. But we made good time, getting dinner in Lebanon and getting over the mountain without much traffic. It was dark of course and I am a pretty slow driver in the dark but I was happy with our time over to Sunriver. And the kids did AWESOME!

Friday was just a great relaxing, playing, being together kind of day. M and I went on a nice walk and I got a haircut from my sis. The kids played and played! I was worried about #3, he doesn't quite fit in with the older set of boys in the family. We're not game players much so he doesn't have a lot of skill with video games so his turns are short and he spent a lot of the day trying to play with the older boys. He was exhausted by the of the day and slept until 9AM the next morning.
Saturday was our Christmas. After breakfast was done and cleaned up and everyone ready (which actually takes awhile for such a group) we gathered the kids and let them open presents. Everyone was thrilled with their gifts from Grammie and Grandpa.

#1 and #2 got Nintendo DS game systems which were top on their Christmas lists. The looks on their faces were priceless! #3 got the great "clipo" sets of bristle blocks that interlock. He thought they were great and #4 got a really fun toddler basketball hoop. He loves putting the ball in and watching what the toy's a hit! Each kid also draws a kid for the cousins exchange. The kids were all excited about their new toys and we let them loose to go play so the adults could open gifts. Grammie got all of us girls a fun cookbook, beautiful bracelet and a reusable shopping bag all supporting breast cancer in remembrance of Great Grandma H's passing this year. And we watch Grammie and Grandpa open gifts from all of us kids.

Saturday afternoon the men took the kids to the park while us girls had a baby shower for Cousin S who is due in March. We had such a nice quiet time giving her some adorable cloths and visiting.

and Grandpa had bought matching outfits for all the kids 16 and under so we got them all dressed and had a little photo shoot. All the kids by themselves, all the boys/all the girls, and all the kids with Grandpa. Afterward we spent the rest of the afternoon getting Christmas dinner ready and having a great evening visiting and being together.

Sunday was pack up and get back home day. We had to be out of the house by 10:30 and everyone had more to pack than they had brought. A couple more pictures and we were done.

K and I had a relatively quiet ride home. We stopped in Bend for another DS game for each of the kids and in Sisters for gas and McDonald's. I really wanted to stop at the quilt store but I was too tired to enjoy myself so I skipped it.

When I got home the house was tidy and clean but COLD. #3, my constant helper, carried kindling in for me and we got a fire going and a simple breaky for dinner. Everyone was in bed early, including me. #4 had slept horribly on the trip. My normal response to waking in the middle of the night is to let him figure it out on his own (I check him to make sure nothing is actually wrong), if he's up in the middle of the night to play it won't be with me. But on a trip like this there was another family on the other side of the wall (and down the hall, and everywhere really) so I couldn't just let him fuss. So we were up A LOT and up for the day SO EARLY. By the time we got home Sunday evening I was so tired I went to bed by 9!

#1 spent the next 2 days home from school with a cold that she'd narrowly missed getting from her brothers but must have hit her after a couple of days with the cousins. Hopefully we've missed everything else the cousins far 2 of them have the chicken pox and one has strep throat. We'll see how lucky I can get.

But I do know that we are blessed to be part of a large, loving family. It was a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Just as the kids and I were settling down for a relaxing evening and K had left for the night, the power flickered, went out, flickered again and went out completely. #1 had been sent to her room for her poor attitude, but once she found herself in the dark she was allowed back out. I made my way, with #4 on my hip, to the laundry room where I'd plugged in my new flashlight. The kids and I found candles and lit them on the mantle. I also filled my oil lamp and sat that in the kitchen. With as many candles I could safely put out I tried to figure out what we could do to fill the time before bedtime. I decided that a nest in my room would be the best place to sleep. That way when anyone woke in the night they wouldn't call for me, we'd be together with the flashlight. Gathering blankets, pillows and pjs took up all the time we needed it to. (Plus, a trouble I'm having with my mama cat is that she's using my bed as her litter box...and did so right as we started our nest building I had to change my own bed in the process. In case you're wondering I've talked to the vet about it and working on fixing the problem.) #4 got his bottle and went down. After that everyone else got a couple of chapters of our book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by flashlight and tucked into their nests.

Luckily the power came back as I was working on a scrapbook gift. I'm grateful for the quiet moments and a little adventure for the kids but I'm especially grateful that the power came back for the freezer full of meat and an alarm in the morning so we can get to the bus on time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

3 Little Loaves

With no Mr. Wiedz at home this week and no K today I was worried the kids and I would go crazy. I started out the morning with a baking project.

Each of #1, #2, and #3 got their own bowl and own ingredients (I measured everything out for them, of course) and they mixed and floured and kneaded. #1 even helped #3 get his dough kneaded so it wasn't all sticky...a great helping sissy, she is!

They drizzled a little oil in their bowls, sat the dough in and turned it over so it was coated, covered the bowl with a towel and sat them on the stove to raise.

Then they played...well...and together! I can't even keep up with everything they did. There was dress up and blocks and a nest or two. I was able to get laundry going, relax a little and take care of some items on my LONG and never ending to-do list.

Back to the bread.

The kids punched down their dough and shaped the dough for their pans. They were really into the punching. Each of them commented on how perfect their bread would be because they were doing the best job ever making it!

Of course the bread had to raise again. And the kids played again. And we had lunch. Then the bread could go into the oven.

During quiet time the bread was finished and smelled great! #1 came out of her room and asked what was smelling so good!

Good job, kids!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Saturday: Duck Game

The announcer at the Duck's stadium has a saying every game..."IT NEVER RAINS AT AUTZEN STADIUM!" Well, I decided he's never rains up there in the box at the top of the stadium where he sits!

The rest of us...we got WET!

Mr. Wiedz and I got to go to the game, the last one before Mr. Wiedz leaves for Argentina. We were lucky that K was willing to rearrange her schedule and not sleep in that day and could come watch the kids! It was fun to spend the day together.

We left home and drove straight to Eugene and walked the LONG walk to the stadium. We sat in the pre-game area and had some lunch and took in the pre-game energy. JUST before game time we put all our layers back on and headed out to the stadium. The above picture was taken during the first quarter when the sun actually came out and a beautiful full rainbow arched above the stadium. The sun was short-lived though and it started raining during half time. By the start of the 3rd quarter it was pouring! We stayed a little bit longer then went back to the pre-game area which was turned into a dry place to watch the game. We stood in there for awhile then left and went to the Steelhead Brewery for dinner. After dinner we headed back home.

Glad I got to go the game...even wet!

A little creativity...

#1 and I went to a paint-your-own-pottery-place and made some birthday presents. I took this picture of her hard at work!

Actually, she painted it fast and furious. But she did have a lot of fun!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Back on the treadmill

I took this picture on September 30th. The treadmill had been sitting, ignored in the middle of our living room/hallway area. I was tired of it so I moved around some furniture in the dining room and set the treadmill up in there. I have my memory verses, my prayer list and my walk/run program.

The intention was to get right on and work out everyday. The walk/run program I am using (more below on that) goes by took me the entire month of October to progress 3 weeks into the program. So I haven't been as committed as I wanted to be.

The picture would be a little different if I took another one today. The treadmill is quite dusty but not from lack of use. I have now completed 4 days into week 4 on my walk/run plan and have worked out everyday except Sunday in the past 3 weeks!

My friend, Stacy, blogged about her use of the American Running Associations 12 Week Walk/Run Program while she was living in England. At the end of training with this program had she not only lost some pounds she was working to lose she was also able to complete a 5K run! Never having been a runner myself I tried running a few months ago when we inherited the treadmill. Although I was able to do a little running back then I wasn't ever able to get to the enjoyment part. At this stage of the walk/run program I actually enjoy the running and try to bargain with myself to keep running instead of doing the walking part of each days workout.

I'll report back in another couple of weeks to let you know how its going but right now it feels great to be on the treadmill again!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A new look for November...can you believe it is November already...

...and the 5th of November to boot!

I want to say we haven't done much lately. It sure feels like we've just been hanging out. But I guess there is also always something going on...why else would I be so tired (I'm NOT pregnant)!

Mr. Wiedz returned from his New York trip in the middle of the night before Halloween. On Halloween #1 and #2 went to school like normal while #3 and #4 had their normal day. Mr. Wiedz and I went out to lunch and grocery shopping (thank you, K). After school we quickly got all the kids dressed in their outfits and headed to town. #1 was Gabriella from High School Musical. #2 was a ninja. #3 was Superman. And #4 was a lion, although he wouldn't keep his hood on and looked like a baby in a brown suit. One of the small towns we frequent does a trick or treat thing hosted by the chamber of commerce in a school gym. You follow the line past a row of trunks organized by a local church; play a game, get a piece of candy. Then the line goes into the school and into the gym. Walk through the decorated gym passing tables decorated and manned by the different businesses and get candy along with business cards and offers for the parents. About 1/2 hour later we were picking up a pizza for dinner and driving home. Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa D for meeting us and K for going with us.

We trick or treated to our neighbors while the pizza was cooking then spent a quiet evening watching Halloween cartoons on TV and going to bed.

#2 had a wrestling tournament on Saturday morning. The whole family packed in to the gym at the high school that hosts the wrestling camp and mat club #2 attends. He was SO cute and went out and wrestled 6 or 7 times. He started to get a little tired and he wrestled some pretty good kids (one was about 6 inches bigger) so he was ready to be done before the actual tournament but I thought he'd done a GREAT job and we left. We had McDonald's for lunch and headed home to watch the college football game. A very relaxing family day.

Sunday after church we headed up North to attend a family get together of Mr. Wiedz's family. We had a great time with them. Grandma Great had just returned from a cruise so we got some nice stories and pictures to look at. Cousin P and his girlfriend had a baby in September so we got to see and hold her.

After our family time there we headed to Grammie and Grandpa N and had dinner with them.

Monday was normal...I had a doctor's appointment in the morning but had to be back in time to take #2 to school. When I took him to school I picked up #1 and took her back to town with me to run a couple of errands. We had to go to the post office and get my passport stuff taken care of. Then we went to a paint-your-own-pottery place. #1 painted a couple of birthday presents for birthdays she has coming up and I painted a bowl. I'm wanting someday to paint myself a complete set of dishes...we're in a bowl shortage around here so I thought I'd start there. We got done in town in time to pick up #2 then headed home for a evening of dinner and getting people to get along. Mr. Wiedz took #2 and #3 to wrestling practice while K and I got #1 and #4 cuddled, bathed, read to and in bed.

Tuesday, Mr. Wiedz spent another day in town while I worked on laundry and kept the boys entertained. #2 wasn't feeling well and mostly spend the day resting on the couch and watching TV. The nice thing about a day like that means he wasn't running around torturing his brother. I watched the election results only long enough to find out who they declared the winner then I fell asleep.

Today, although #2 still wasn't feeling well, I was still the helper in his classroom. I spent the morning in #1's class and the afternoon helping in #2's class since I couldn't find any other parent to do it and couldn't leave the teacher out to dry...K was able to handle it all, #2 just laid around again today. He should be full of spit and vinegar tomorrow.

Well, you're updated!

Thanks to #2 for being my model for my new banner!