Thankfully Ridley's namesake was a bit more mature. Granted, he wasn't a puppy. Poor Lyle. He is our neighbor's dog. He comes over often to "play" with Ridley. Sometimes he just stands their and yawns, really.

P.S. That is Joseph providing the soundtrack.

Ridley… Play the man (a guest post by Mike)

Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man;
we shall this day light such a candle,
by God's grace, in England,
as I trust shall never be put out.

These are the words Hugh Latimer said to Nicholas Ridley as they went to be burned at the stake. These men were church reformers in England who were executed when Queen Mary took the throne. No doubt you realize by now that Nicholas Ridley is our dog's namesake.

Now Latimer's advice to 'play the man' was no doubt good advice. In a matter of three short words was saying 'Be strong, and take courage in the strength of the Lord.' Real men do this, of course. But the phrase, "play the man", and many others like it, can bring with it all kinds of assumptions about what it means to not play the man. Could Latimer have, alternatively, said "Don't be a woman" and meant the same thing? My guess is that many of us assume that to be the case. All kinds of jokes stem from this assumption, like SNL's Hans and Franz saying "don't be a girly man". I found another example recently in a blog. One man was commended for being a strong man, but he then associated not being a man with activities like "knitting and scrap-booking".

These jokes, and the attitudes behind them, damage women, the church, and society as a whole. These attitudes are both inside the church and outside the church. They assume that to not play the man is to act like a woman. But that is not so.
Rather, to not play the man is to act like a child, to be immature. "Don't be a woman" is not an alternative phrase to "play the man". What if there were women going to their death that day with Ridley and Latimer? We should say the same thing to women today that Latimer would have said to them… "Sister, Play the Woman".

(hn)owman making

Well, you see who did most of the work, but he certainly had "help." This was the eight inches of snow we got two days after the temperature hit 75 degrees. St. Louis is so wierd. It actually snowed for about 3 hours today too, but no accumulation. The temp rose out of the twenties over the weekend and we went out without coats! You never know what is going to feel good to you.
Watch out for yellow snow.
The face? I made a orange chicken dish a few days prior - those are potatoe eyes, an orange mouth, and carrot nose. I was just going to throw it out....

"Beagle" Watching

It just so happens that the Missouri and Might Mississippi rivers are a hot spot for Bald Eagle migration. This is our second year to go see them and it was just as breath taking. In this picture, however, you are looking at pelicans. That's right - also a hot spot for pelicans. Wierd, but still pretty cool to watch. The black dot in the upper right corner is a pelican in flight - the underside of their wings is black. Can you see Olivia's "noclars"? She thinks she is looking for "beagles." I think she figured out what the eagles were, but I'm not sure that she ever knew they were not called beagles.
Cruddy picture. We really should have taken our 35mm, but then it would have been a year before I got the pictures developed. Those two black dots on the ice? Beagles.

I think if you click on the next two pictures and enlarge them, you should be able to see more black dots in the trees - also beagles.


This was the day we brought Ridley home - and a reminder that Joseph is still a part of our family despite the fact that all the posts recently have highlighted his sister. She has pretty much doubled in size (Ridley that is), if not more. But I think she will still only be a medium-sized dog. For all intents and purposes she is house trained - pottywise. However, between she and Joseph I feel like I am living with a family of beavers.
(Don't mind Joe's "high waters.")

Tandem Licking

The real reason we did all this.

Clabber Girls

(You should recognize Annika by now.)
Remeber "Serge"? She is always a part of our baking bonanzas. She is an accomplished pastry chef.
Sometimes I wonder why I even bother putting a bow in her hair... By the way, she put the sprinkles on, then picked them all off before eating the cookie.
Well, this was our attempt at making valentines for the ones we love. I don't understand why they lost interest so fast. Glue, heart doilies, coffee filters, markers - doesn't that scream fun? Annika's mom posted pictures of our event on her blog too and I told her - to look at the pictures you would never know of the skipped naps, the sugar highs, the lunches refused, the fits pitched, one miserable kid from a raw bum, and a howling dog who had just pooped on the porch! Arts and craps (I mean crafts) with children is not all it's cracked up to be.

Happy Birthday Aunt Yisa

We're Back (In Black)

Olivia just really hasn't been a typical two-year-old in respect to mischieviousness. We have gates up, but she rarely goes where she isn't supposed to. She's never tried to cut her hair or empty bottles of liquids in inappropriate places. She is quite fearless, but not so much adventurous. This past weekend we stayed at a friend's home while Mike put polyurithane on our downstairs floors. We were getting ready for a wedding (Mike wasn't home yet) and I left Olivia in the bathroom while I went to put Joseph down. I remember thinking she was awfully quiet, but she had been looking at books, so I didn't think much of it at the time. I came back to this. She had finished her mascara - even put the wand back in the tube and placed it back in the bag. She says, "Yook! Yotion!" That is - my tinted moisturizer. In my attempts to communicate to her that what she had done was wrong (while choking back a laugh and a bit of pride at her creativity - I have been hoping she would pick up interest in arts and crafts), I held my compact up in front of her so she could see the damage. Judging from the look on her face...I think she felt the same sort of pride.

(Hope to be catching up from the last month and a half - stay tuned.)

A picture or a thousand words?

We'll go with the thousand words since I don't have a picture.
Waking Olivia up from her nap today was one of my all time favorite parenting moments. She had obviously either not gone to sleep right away or been awake for a while because there was evidence of out of bed activity.

Evidence #1 The hymnal that sits on her book shelf was laying open in the floor. (Apparently she was doing a little church during naptime.)
Evidence #2 She had her great, great grandmother's gold sequene purse and her furry kitty cat purse in bed with her. (Apparently it was a Christmas Eve or Easter type service.)
Evidence #3 Her black felt hat with attached scarf ties for the ears (that I found at a flea market) was lying in the floor.
Evidence #4 Her socks were off and her shoes were back on.
Evidence #5 ALL of her big girl panties were in bed with her.
Evidence #6 One pair was around her ankles - Nice work!

Getting the camera would have ruined it. I have smiled about it all afternoon.
(Aunt Sleesa, she must have been dreaming about you because she immediately started talking about you cutting her hair.)

Bad News

Well, sorry, but we still have no camera cord. The second one arrived today and it is still the wrong one. Hazard of having such tech savvy friends - too many cords around the house. I think we'll just go buy another one but probably not until Monday. Sorry to disappoint.

I know it isn't as fun without the pictures, but I can give a few updates. We have finished painting all the downstairs walls (still working on trim) and it looks pretty good. Mike laid hard wood in the entryway today and started sanding the floors.

Olivia went to story time at the public library for the first time this week. We now have a new look - it's the library story time look and it's called the "This is kind of dumb and these people are wierd" look. The guy singing and reading the stories...well, that's all I'll say about him. And the parents, well I can't say anything about them because my friend Karen was one of them. Truthfully, I think Olivia was really just taking it all in (she is such an observer and internal processor like her mother). Next week I imagine she will be crying like the rest of the kids and I will be trying to convince her that it is fun. Then, by about the third week I think she will be enjoying it. (We've signed up to go every have to sign up because even if there is no waiting list you have to sign up...because you have to sign up. That's the way it is at the library - they are very serious there about their Toddler Story Time.)

Ridley the dog seems to be fitting in just fine around here. Mike is still taking all the night time responsibilities, though she is almost making it through the night - unlike our children half of the time. She has almost doubled her size, but we're still not sure how big she will be. I walked her with the kids in the double jogger today at the park and it went pretty well. Not smooth, but nobody got runover and she slept for a good two hours afterward - so that was a success I think.

Mike is off celebrating a friend's birthday and I just got a new cookbook in the mail (for early Valentines). I think I will go read. Hope to have pictures soon. It has been a whole month - you won't believe how big Joseph is getting. I think the last pictures I posted of him he was sick and sad. More soon...


Ridley. She is an Australian Shepherd/Black Lab mix. We have entered a whole new world - the World of Dog People. My parents got a dog last year..they also got really wierd. :)

Sorry, I still don't have my camera cord. Hope to have it soon and get back to posting.