Friday, February 27, 2009

Remains of the day

The other day I sent the boys outside to play while I cleaned up from "learning time". When I looked at the table I realized all the "things" left behind us as we move through the day. Thought I'd share what I found.

Learning time for #2 is drawing/writing in his "journal-turned-book-about-ogres" and working on a phonics workbook. Learning time for #3 and #4 are projects/activities that need little to no supervision and keep them busy for about 15-20 minutes. This day it was playdough, which left playdough to be picked up for a few hours later.

Playing outside, spring time around here means worms to find. The boys did find one, got a jar and made a house for the it by filling the jar with dirt, grass and leaves. When it was time to go in the worm was returned to its natural habitat and the jar home dumped out on the patio.

#3 found a dead bee and thought it needed a home. He collected pieces of wood and shavings and rocks to create this shelter. He was very protective of it too...whenever #4 came to "help/destroy" he'd freak out. I had to stand guard a number of times to keep the peace.

Lunch time! PB&J, grapes, crackers and lots of crumbs and to keep my sanity, Pepsi for the mama.

An afternoon art session shared by #4 who thought uncapping all the markers and drawing on his hands was great fun. #3 did get a fine piece of swirls done (background).

All the laundry strewn across the bathroom floor in preparation for bathtime. At 3 loads a day, I'm barely keeping up.

Some after bath squeezing, giggling, tickling and "eating" of the sweet neck rolls.

Ahhhh. The final bit of day drained away. Leaving behind bubbles in the bottle. Sweet heads on their pillows and, although not a clean, a happy home.


This little photo exercise was a fun way to stop and look at what we do together during a day. A moment to reflect on our time together before the mundane cleaning, tidying, correcting, straightening, folding, cooking, and doing-it-all-again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Signs of the Season

Another sign of the season over here is the mud on #2's pants and shoes. I wonder where all of it comes from!

I tried really hard to get a picture with the dirt actually flying but my little point and shoot couldn't handle #2's speed!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

He Did It!

#2 has been working for the last couple of weeks at riding his bike without training wheels. Mr. Wiedz has moved them to the highest position and #2 has tried and tried. He got the balance down and even had not problem falling off. The last hurdle was starting by himself.
He decided this past weekend it was time to take them off completely!
He took off around our "loop"...
splashed through some puddles...what a boy!...
and took some spills. After one fall I heard him yell, "SWEET!"

What a big boy!

Monday, February 23, 2009


This post is quite late.

I figured that Valentine's Day (I told you this was late) just needed sugar cookies.

The kids and I got out the trusty Betty Crocker Cooky Book and mixed up a batch.

The kids were excited to be cooking and the cookies were as delicious as I was hoping. I decorated some and delivered them to the neighbors and took all the burned ones to my parents.

Friday, February 20, 2009

#1's lessons

#1 started guitar lessons a couple of weeks ago. A man that goes to our church has a music studio in town.
#1 got her guitar for Christmas and shortly after we took it to church to ask the pastor or Mr. Hayes to tune it for her. Mr. Hayes tried but her guitar is different than what he's used to and he broke a string. Mr. Hall was also at church that day and when I asked him what I needed to do to fix it he told me he'd bring the right strings for us. A couple days later Mr. Hall came to our house, restrung the guitar, tuned it and sang some songs with the kids. It was a great treat and a great way to finish the day.
Once it was obvious that #1 wanted to take lessons and she was ready to put in the practice time I called Mr. Hall's studio and set up a lesson time. She's had a couple weeks worth now and really loves it! She's learning a lot and doing a good job. She does take after her mother and doesn't really do a great job of practicing but I think right now she just knows that it's easy enough and what she's learning doesn't really take a lot of practice. The practice will catch up when there's something to work on.
The boys and I are enjoying the time too. The studio is a couple doors down from the library so we spend the 30 minutes looking at books and then walk back and get her. The only thing I'm needing to work on next is getting dinner done and ready so when we come back right at dinner-time I'm prepared!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Out of the mouth of 5 year olds

#2: "Being a 5-year-old is hard work I think"

me: "yes"

#2: "Being a 5-year-old is harder than being a 4-year-old"

This comes after all day of no DS playing since he's having such a hard time reacting to life like a 5-year-old and this mama is quick to blame the stupid machine that seems to be soaking up all his brains, self-control and patience!

Being 5 is hard!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mr. Wiedz and his "helpers"

Mr. Wiedz has to do regular maintenance on our vacuum. This particular work session included help from all of the boys!

So cute. I had to take a picture.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The tax-stuff goeth

I sent off our tax questionaire to the accountant on the 29th of January! I don't think I've ever sent it to him before April or even May! I was so excited with myself. Can you tell. I took a picture of the envelope!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

felt pizza

Doesn't that look good enough to eat? It is #2 and my pepperoni and sausage pizza we made for #3's birthday.

I let #2 cut the "sauce" and as he did so he informed me that the pieces he cut off were the pepperonis.

I wanted to get nice wool felt from my local quilt shop but I didn't want to make another stop with 3 children into a wonderful store that has so much available to touch so I opted for the felt that my big box store sells. It is actually made from recycled plastic bottles and isn't as thick as the wonderful wool felt but isn't as flimsy as the small sheets that I've used for other projects. I used a yarn and pencil to make a compass to get the biggest circle the fabric would allow, that's how I got the "crust". I used the "crust" to cut the same size circle for the "sauce" and let #2 cut away the sides so that it wasn't the same as the crust and it brought it down in size just enough. I used embroidery floss to stitch on rolled up strips of brown felt for "sausage" and the "pepperonis" #2 cut off the sauce circle. The embroidery floss also doubled as the "cheese".

Grammie N did a blanket stitched the "crust" circles together while #3 napped before his party. I'm so lucky she was here and could do that...there was no way I would have gotten the cake done and the "pizza".

The felt pizza is a great addition to our kitchen. Lots of pizza being served around here!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The 80's Revisited

The other day was 80's day for #1.

Mr. Wiedz told her she looked like I must have looked like back in my elementary years.

I went to the school to take #2 for preschool and saw a lot of kids chose to dress up for 80's day. Some of the outfits were hilarious! The lady who cooks lunch told me her husband asked why their daughter looked like Cindi Lauper!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

the kitchen and a lesson learned

About a month before Christmas I mentioned to Mr. Wiedz that I thought a kitchen would be a great gift idea for #3. He hummed. He paused. He said kitchens were for girls. I told him I didn't think so and that #3 would really get a lot of fun out of it and so would the rest of the kids. The girl who writes at balancingeverything did a great post about her kids' kitchen and linked to lots of do-it-yourself options. I emailed Mr. Wiedz the one I thought looked the easiest and the best for our 4 chefs.

About a week before Christmas Mr. Wiedz told me he didn't have enough time to "get it done right". That with all the snow we were having there wasn't time to get materials nor space to make it. I told him that I didn't like it since I was planning that for #3's Christmas but we could make due and at that point had 2 months to make it for #3's birthday. 2 months is plenty of time. Right?

January sped right along and toward the middle of the month I started asking about the kitchen project again. #3's birthday is the 2nd so it can really sneak up on you.

Finally #3's birthday party was less than a week away. Mr. Wiedz told me he planned on getting supplies on his way home from school on evening. That night I asked if he got the supplies.

"No. Remind me to tell you about that later."

The evening got away from us and I didn't remember until the next morning.

"You were going to tell me about the kitchen supplies last night and we forgot. What's up?"

"I don't have enough time to make the kitchen the way it should be done. We'll have to find something else to get him."

My jaw dropped. I was probably a little emotional for other reasons as well since this news nearly made me cry! I had lined up other gifts from grandparents and aunts to coordinate with the kitchen. #1 was making a cookbook. #2 and I were making a felt pizza. No kitchen to go with these things was disappointing me in a huge way!

I had so many things to say to what he was telling me. I got to work that morning, doing laundry, picking up, doing dishes, taking care of the younger boys. In my head I was telling myself all the things I thought about the kitchen not getting done. All the things I wanted to tell Mr. Wiedz. I nearly went back to him to rehash the topic but I kept it to myself. I admit to a lot of sighing around here that morning. (Next time I'll work on the sighing.)

After what felt like hours I saw Mr. Wiedz drawing and figuring and muttering to himself. When he left the room I looked at the paper he was working on. Plans for a kitchen!

He left for town. Bought the supplies. Came home and during nap time made a kitchen!

We finished it over the next couple evenings after bedtime.

#3 does love his kitchen. Everyone does. We made a chalkboard along the back and it has the day's menu. Kit has had many a delicious meal.

The lesson: "Better to live on the corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 21:9

Monday, February 2, 2009

#3 is 3!

When I was about a week from my due date with #3 I had my bag for the hospital all packed. As I got ready for my 39th week doctor’s appointment I decided that if I brought my bag with me Dr. L would most likely send me home… “see you in a week”, but the theory went that if I left the bag at home, knowing it was Dr. L’s “on-call” day, she’d send me over the hospital to have him. So I left my bag. We dropped #1 off at preschool and Mr. Wiedz, #2 and I went off for my appointment.

Sure enough, “Go on over to the hospital, I be over and I’ll break your water after lunch”! We left the office, got on the phone, went to 7-11 for Mr. Wiedz to pick up some lunch, then got checked into the hospital. I can still remember the look of concern on #2’s face when the admitting people put me in a wheelchair to take me to the labor and delivery floor. Mr. Wiedz had arranged to take #2 to my best friend’s house who would also get #1 after school so after I was taken to my room he and #2 left and I started to get settled.

The next hours were filled with, for me, normal labor. Uncomfortableness, rocking in the rocking chair, walking the hallways, sitting in the bathtub, swaying, and hanging onto Mr. Wiedz.

Like the other times before Mr. Wiedz asked our audience to give us a moment. Later I realized this moment has always ended with me being in transition. When everyone came back to the room I was trying to get back into bed yelling that the baby was coming. The nurse said, no honey, not yet. I said oh yes he is. She said she’d check to see how far I was dilated. Laying oddly in bed she did check and exclaimed oh yes! And his head was born while she took her hand back. The nurse, remember didn’t believe it was time yet, stood there holding #3 in. At this moment the doctor opened the door to check how we were doing. The nurse said, “glad you’re here, could you pull in your cart”. Dr. L had barely enough time to put on her coat (in one picture her hand is still in the sleeve instead of a glove because there wasn’t time to put everything on) and #3 was here!

He was a little bruised from his fast entrance to the world and ran a little fever the evening after he was born (which made us have to stay in the hospital an extra night) but he was perfect. My smallest baby ever at 8 pounds 4 ounces.

When we did get to go home it was a strange transition to 3 kids. #1 and #2 greeted us with attention-seeking behavior the first night we were home by peeing on the bed (on purpose!) but we settled in.

At 3 weeks we were back in the hospital while #3 battled RSV. At the time I think I downplayed the seriousness as my own coping method. We were very fortunate that breathing treatments suggested by Dornbecker doctors were tried (our doctor tried to move us to Dornbecker twice from Corvallis but Dornbecker was too full and turned us away) and worked. That week was so long; the IV’s into small veins, the sweaty, sad cries because he hurt and didn’t feel good, not being able to nurse, the worry, the other kids being tended to but worried too because mom and dad weren’t home. After a week we were sent home with #3 breathing normally and no lasting issues.

#3 was a difficult baby for me. I think I was more in a funk than any other baby. And he is very much a mama’s boy so I felt chained to him and our house. At one point (7 or 8 months old) I even took him to the doctor thinking he had an ear infection because of how much he was crying and screaming. While the doctor did his examination #3 started his screaming. The doctor looked at me and asked if this was the kind of crying that brought us there…yep. He looked at me and just said, “he’s got you figured out mom!” Oh. Thanks.

Now here we are 3 years later. #3 is still screaming as his first method of communication. He’s very sweet though. Definitely the most cuddly of all the kids. We’re saying good-bye to the pacifiers today. #3 loves to clean and tidy things. Helps do almost any chore.

Our family is blessed because of #3.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


For the past 6 years we've had a fixture on our property. It put us in good company of almost all near red-neck country dwellers around us.

Mr. Wiedz's step-grandpa gave us the 1960 Chevy 2 ton pick-up. We could use it as we needed or sell it.

We did use it. It was our barn. We kept the hay in it while we kept the cows. And it stored all the chicken coup stuff when the chicken coup became a wood shed.

The truck wasn't as well loved by others. My dad was chief in asking so politely when it would be gotten rid of. The lady next door, when she was getting ready to sell the house that was built behind it in the photo, wanted it gone before she put the house on the market. The neighbors up the hill have made a couple comments. Oddly enough, the two houses that had to drive by it or look out their living room windows at never said a thing!

A couple of weeks ago Mr. Wiedz put the truck up for sale on Craigs List. And we got a call. The guy came out last weekend and picked it up (plus a bunch of other things from the shed). We were excited since the other option was going to be to pay to have it taken from us.

Since the guy came for it though, we're missing the truck a little. We've looked at it for 6 years. It is missing. I'm sure we'll get used to it though!