Is this bad?

So, a little while ago I found Joseph standing at the toilet with his hands wet...chewing. How bad do you think that really is?

Milky Whites

I've been waiting to take a picture of these beauties. I miss seeing my kids' skin. It was thick and balmy (as my mother says) for about 2 1/2 hours today so we put on shorts. (I'll spare you a picture of my white legs.) By the time we made it home from our walk it was raining and the temp had dropped about 10 degrees. P.S. Happy Birthday to Grandpa Tony and a belated one to Aunt Joanie!

Easter Egg "Hunt"

I don't know if you can technically call it a hunt if all the eggs are just strewn about in a large, nearly treeless, bushless, rockless, field, but that seems to be the going trend with neighborhood Easter egg hunts these days. I also don't know if you can technically call it a hunt if you were five minutes late, missed the whole thing and got two eggs from your buddy Annika. Nevertheless...
I have no Easter dress pictures because, well, she didn't have one and it snowed anyway. Maybe next year I will smock her a nice one...who am I kidding, she'll probably be wearing what Lydia Farley wore this year - and look beautiful in it. And maybe she won't have to wear a coat.


This is what made the flood-in fun - fellowship with friends.
This is Olivia's special friend, Florine. They have similar, quietly observant personalities - so they fit well together. And they have similar tastes in excentric clothing - lots of strips and colors and patterns.
Wim, Otto, Olivia, Florine, and Lizzie (Joseph was probably sleeping.)
Wim and O

Puddles 2

Sorry this is dark. This is the road out to the front gate. In the video, this is about where the car was parked. You can see the water forming a little river there by the fence.Same road. No fence! The people in the previous picture were way down by the bend. Sorry this is dark to. Can you see the front entrance - the big wooden posts and cross beam? (Can you also see Wim on the fence?)
Here is the same front entrance! The road we drove in on is in there somewhere.

Puddles 1

If you look at the last post you will see a similar view, but no water in that outer pasture. Here you can begin to see the water pooling.
The pools become a river. The above picture is the view just to the right of this - same land different angle. It was no longer silent - the rush of the water sounded a lot like the distant hum of the highway in the city. Same view, but from the front of the cottage.
Same view on day 4 - no water.
Olivia was a bit of a speed junkie. She was timid with the 4-wheeler at first, but once she tasted the speed and the wind in her piggies she was hooked. See the cow skull on the hood? We found that exploring out in the back pastures.


This is what we came in search of - peace and quiet and fellowship with good friends. I love the city and all the noises that are here, but the silence way out in the woods is nice...and, at times, necessary. Cedar Farm - it is in the family of one of Mike's buddies from seminary.
I think Olivia was in need of the solitude as well. It was pretty chilly out there and she politely denied our invitation to come inside. She just sat there. (I realized later she was filling her pockets with rocks. I kept thinking her jacket was heavy because it was wet.)

Swam out

No, just kidding. But we did wonder at times exactly how we would end up getting home. This is a quick video Mike took about 1/2 through the flood. About 6 more feet of water came after this. Most of the fence you see ended up completely under water. It rose significantly past where you see the car parked.

Obviously we made it home. Once the rain stopped, because we were close to the source of the river, the waters receded quickly - about a foot an hour we figured. The guys kept riding the four-wheeler down to the road and marking the water level (an excuse to ride the four-wheeler I think). Literally, we went to bed with a river running through the pasture behind the house and awoke to a debris filled, ground soaked, but waterless pasture. It was amazing.

Interestingly, the river is actually cresting today - four days after the rainfall. It makes sense. It takes time for all the run-off to fill the river. But I never thought about this. Last we heard they were sand bagging Hwy 44 and all but one lane was closed. If you have The Weather Channel or watch the news, you probably know more of the outcome of the cresting than I do. I have been busy all day doing all the things I had planned to do earlier in the week - and taking a super long walk in the warm, dry sunshine with the kids. (Mike is putting up the bannister.)

More pictures to come.

Flooded in

If anyone is trying to get in touch with us, we are flooded in in St. James. We have occassional, short-lived cell coverage and this is the longest stretch of internet we've been able to keep. The plan is to hike out to dry land in the morning and have someone come get us - we'll see how that goes. We are all fine and we have some incredible pictures. The water has passed all the farm fences. I keep expecting to see the cattle float by, but they have found higher ground.
Just wanted you to know why we aren't returning phone calls. We'll post pictures and the rest of the story soon.

Gardening 101

I was just getting ready to get my camera to take a picture of our first daffodils coming in, when I turned around to find those two little bubs in the bottom of Olivia's treasuring hunting bucket and her grubby little paw on the third and final bud. I kept telling her, "The dead stuff. Pull up the dead stuff." Apparently we need some in class time before we go out into the field next time.

Resistant to change

It was 70+ degrees yesterday. Spring is on the way. We took a walk, played on the playground, worked in the garden, went for a run with Ridley...this was Olivia's attire. She thinks the hat is to keep her hair from blowing - we may be wearing it all summer. I am on the lookout for a visor of some sort. A compromise maybe?

Want some sugar?

No, really, I've got some sugar right here...and a little spinach and carrots.


I am sorry to say (kind of) that I do not have a picture of the following experience. But I feel that you, Joseph's dear family and friends, deserve to hear this story (mostly because it is just too gross not to share). Therefore, heed the warning now - read at your own risk.

So Joseph barfed after lunch yesterday. No big deal. He has done that once before when he had a really runny nose and I figured...well, most of you know why one might throw up when they have a lot of snot, so I will save you that detail. Plus the fact that I might have barfed his lunch too. I think I got a little too much blackstrap molasses in his yogurt and it did taste a little gross. But he seemed fine afterward. My only concern was that he threw up a little more about 20 minutes later - never a good sign when a pattern forms. Nevertheless, he took his nap and seemed fine.

Upon waking he nursed. With the first burp, he sent the first bit of his snack back to the kitchen. In the meantime Olivia is waking up and needing to go to the bathroom. During that he sends back the rest of his snack. Poor guy. He napped again, ate a bit of applesauce for supper and nursed again before bedtime. Everything stayed down AND I had the first full 8 hours straight of sleep I have had since...well, I am certain it had to be during the early part of my pregnancy with Joseph.

So I awoke at 6:30 this morning in a chipper (for me) mood to the sounds of Olivia needing to go potty and Joseph wanting to nurse. All was completed in these departments and we were just wallowing around in the bed - Joseph laying his body across my stomach and his head on my chest, facing me (the positioning is important here). When out of no where, in the black of night, SHAZAM! Wait, sorry that is from The Best Christmas Pagent Ever. But still, out of no where Joseph barfed right in my face! Thankfully (I guess) my hair, eyes, mouth, neck, and pajamas took the brunt of it so it didn't go all over our bed. And thankfully (I guess) it hadn't been consummed for very long because it didn't smell or taste (sorry, but it is true) like...well, you know. It was like looking curiously down the spout of a very powerful water source - say, a fire hydrant. Then someone flips the switch and you're drenched.

Hope that little story gets you through hump day! Just thought you might like to know.

Cheers, Mimi!

Here's a Happy Birthday shout out to the Mimster!

Oui ou non?

Fashion Trends

The Belted Pant Suit.

Vive la differaannz

Here are a couple of long over due house pictures. I would love to put together a set of before and after pictures for the blog at some point, but I just don't know if I will ever have enough time to search through all the electronic picture files and get that organized. This project sure does deserve it though. I wish all the improvements were as easy as a coat of paint - can you believe how nasty those baseboards were? Note the crooked wall outlet - every outlet in our dining room leans to the right???
This is the wall we cut out to join the up and downstairs. You can see the old floors that Mike sanded and refinished and the new entry way he laid. The treads on the stairs have been refinished and we have painted the front part (don't know what you call that) since this picture was taken. All the baseboards are new too. Mike found a local wood mill that makes a lot of trim to match the old stuff. There should be a bannister in between the yahoos in this picture and the camera in another couple of weeks.
This was behind some of the baseboards Mike ripped out in the dining room. I had imagined a million times what the wall paper in this room once looked like (you could tell that there had been wall paper painted over). This is exactly what I had imagined. We also found an old baseball card and a diving card back there.
This is looking out of the front living room into the other foyer. To the left is the second front door. To the right is the dining room.

"Pa-cowurns" and Perspective

Can you name that hymn? A little difficult to make out with a mouth full of popcorn - which, by the way, had I known it would be such a big hit I would have started making it for snack a long time ago. Olivia sings this one a lot - along with Go Tell it on the Mooouuunnntain, the ABC's, God our Father, and Jesus Loves Me. We have been singing Oh, For a Thousand Tongues to Sing to her at bedtime since she was born, but she never sings that one. Maybe that is just for Mom and Dad to sing?? She has been singing Holy, Holy, Holy a lot today for some reason. Maybe because I just happen to be on a horrible mood and need to hear it. My college roommate's parents gave Mike and me a hymnal when we got married. On the inside they reminded us that on our wedding day we had great cause to sing - singing would come eagerly and easily. But there would be times in life when we would not feel like singing. Then more than ever, they reminded us, was when we would need to sing the most - and not just any songs, but the songs of our faith. I didn't know that sometimes it would be our children singing our faith to us.

Still coping

Trying to keep warm with homemade lentil soup and parmesan and tomato muffins. It helped. (Thanks for the "wing it" recipe, Shannon. It came out as good as I remembered yours tasting.)

(By the way, I look at that lamp shade and think, "That is about how I feel most of the time." If Spring doesn't show up or Joseph get all these teeth in soon I might...figure out how to make it through it I guess. Most people do. And who am I to tell the Creator of the seasons when they should come and go?)


I bought these... to help get through this...
I saw my daylillies for a few short hours peeping their heads through the soil...until they were blanketed with this week's 5-8 inches.

Cautiously Optimistic

I think I might frame these baby blues. They are the first pair of "big girl panties" to make it through a day unsoiled. We have been what I like to call "open potty trainers." We're open to it, but not totally commited. Months and months ago, when Olivia first showed interest, we would take her when she asked and occasionally ask her if she wanted to go, but never forced the issue. Maybe it was laziness, maybe it was genius. We'll never know. Last Friday Olivia woke up from her nap and decided she wanted to put on her panties. She has had a couple of liquid accidents, but none of the other variety and none, praise the Lord, on carpet. Sunday was a busy day. All during the course of a morning at worship, she pee-ed on herself once, three times in the potty and pooped once (in the potty). She is well-hydrated I suppose. I was planning to wait until Spring, but if she is ready... And the best part is she can do it entirely by herself (at home). It takes her about 10-15 minutes start to finish, but she is doing it.