Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chocolate Fever

Hank told me that all little kids should read Chocolate Fever by Robert Kimmel Smith. Hank finished this book in less than a day (four chapters on the hour-long drive down to Silver Lake and the rest later that evening). I mention this only because Hank doesn't love reading like his older sister loves reading (i.e. to the exclusion of almost anything else some days). He likes it well enough, and as his confidence grows in what he's able to read (getting him over his fear of picking up a book longer than, say, a Magic Treehouse Book has been a challenge) he seems to like it even more, but Chocolate Fever was a real breakthrough for him in that it was longer than books he typically reads, the reading level was higher and-- the most important part-- it kept him engaged enough that he wanted to hurry and find time to get back to it.

A winner on all fronts, I would say!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Packer Game!

Last year Joe's aunt was kind enough to enter the Brown County Lottery on our behalf and won us four Packer tickets. They were tickets to a preseason game but still, for someone who had never been to a Packer game in her life, I was excited. Joe and I took the two older kids and we had a fantastic time.

This year Joe's aunt entered the lottery again and was again awarded four tickets. We were about to turn her down because of the new baby but then we discovered that they're regular season game tickets!!!! Oh my goodness, regular season home game tickets priced at face value? I am beyond excited!

I keep staring at the schedule trying to figure out which game we'll be awarded (we'll find out in July). I'm hoping for a later game, like November or December so we can easily leave Baby #4 (she really needs a name, doesn't she!) with my in-laws. One way or another, I am going to that game!

Too bad football season doesn't start for another three and a half months.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Lutheran Humor

So two Saturdays ago (the Saturday before Easter) Hank ran up to Joe with the following realization, "Dad! Tomorrow we can say the 'a' word again!!!!!"

Joe looked at me with an alarmed look on his face.

"Relax," I laughed. "He's talking about the 'a' word in the liturgy, not the 'a' word."

Monday, April 20, 2009

What Gives?

Every day Madeleine and Hank make their beds. They don't particularly love doing it, but it's just as ingrained in their morning routine now as getting dressed and brushing their teeth. But, like getting dressed and brushing their teeth, if they can get away with "forgetting" to do it, well, then they'll be as forgetful as they possibly can.

Now, most days I can easily help remind them, but Sunday mornings are tricky. Between getting myself ready for church, brushing multiple heads of hair and helping Joe finish getting the smaller ones dressed (yes, you read that correctly, Joe is the main one getting the kids ready for church every Sunday allowing me an extra twenty to thirty minutes of sleep. Isn't he sweet?) I just don't have time to check and see if the kids made their beds most Sunday mornings and, sadly, the kids have sort of gotten used to Sunday being a day that they don't have to make their beds (and yes, it drives me NUTS).

Yesterday, after church and lunch, I went out to run a few errands. By the time I got back Madeleine and Elisabeth were playing that they were the Ingalls' girls from Little House on the Prairie and the time frame they had chosen to play was when when the Ingalls family was traveling across the prairie in a covered wagon. Madeleine had neatly set up their beds, like so.

Isn't that nice and neat? I watched them play for awhile, crawl into their beds, pretend to sleep, wake up and then leave their beds to go play. How did they leave their pretend bed? Like this.

I grew somewhat optimistic. Maybe I had been unfairly maligning Madeleine and she really did care about leaving a bed nice and neat. I went upstairs to put away some soap, shampoo and the like hoping that maybe-- maybe-- a neatly made bed would await me upon my arrival upstairs.

And this, my friends, is what greeted me.


Saturday, April 18, 2009

Horseback Riding

Madeleine has had a hard time finding an activity she likes over the years. Honestly, I haven't too much cared if she ever found one; staying home and playing with friends is just as easy as running out to some sort of lesson or another. And growing up I never really took any sorts of lessons. We jut weren't close enough to make a weekly commitment very feasible.

But Madeleine has dabbled. She tried ballet. Gymnastics. And most recently ice-skating and horseback riding. The ice-skating she still enjoys, but the horseback riding she loves. She can be in the middle of the most fun game imaginable with her block friends and when I tell her it's time to leave for her riding lesson she immediately says good-bye and runs in to prepare herself. She wants to get to the stables early each week because she wants to learn more than just how to ride a horse, she wants to learn how to care for them also.

This is not an activity that is going to fall by the wayside anytime soon.

Madeleine cleaning out one of her favorite horses' hooves with a hoof pick.

Receiving help with adjusting her stirrups.

Brushing Caramello after her ride.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Random Stuff

Our phone works again. Whew. I never realized how many people only had our home phone number and not our cell phone numbers. On the bright side, though, voicemail was able to screen out the 8 gazillion calls we received Monday and Tuesday telling us who to vote for and I never had to listen to the robo calls.

Holy week was wonderful. Each year I am more and more thankful for such a wonderful church, church family and the family and friends we have and who share in our Easter Sunday festivities with us. My house hasn't recovered yet and physically I'm exhausted, but I am so thankful for all our Holy Week services, for a joyful Easter service and breakfast after and for everyone who celebrated at our home with us later that day.

The forecast predicts that we might hit the sixties by the end of the week. Horrah!

Still waiting on a renovation versus moving verdict. I wish our builder would hurry and call back. If we're going the addition route I want to hurry up and start!

Really having trouble deciding on a name for our new daughter. Joe and I just aren't reaching a consensus and while we still have lots of time I wish we had a shorter short list. I feel as if I scour our family trees in vain one more time that I just might scream.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Computers for All

The other day I signed Madeleine up for her first email account*. I had been meaning to for awhile; it provides a good opportunity for her to practice typing and improve her spelling, writing and the formation of a proper letter (well, a proper e-letter, as it is, I guess).

After getting it all set up and sending out a few test emails I sat her down in front of my Mac, showed her where to go, told her what her password was, etc., etc. and walked her through checking her account for the first time. She was giddy with excitement to see two unread messages in her box and promptly read them and replied. After finishing with her task she set the computer to the side, folded her arms, looked at me and said, "Well Mom, I guess I'll need my own computer now."

Keep dreamin', kid.

*For obvious reasons I am not going to post it on my blog, but if you want to email Madeleine feel free to email me and ask for her address.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Wonky Phone

Something is wrong with our home phone. It's not working. See the problem?

I've yet to bite the bullet and spend the requisite number of minutes on hold with SBC, press the right buttons, talk to their automated phone service and then, ultimately, schedule a service call, and many of you may have noticed this if you've tried calling us over the past few days.

It's annoying but, for now, call my cell. Sooner or later I'll deal with this. I promise.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

No More Diapers

For more than eight and a half years someone in our home as been wearing diapers at any given moment and even, at times, more than two someones (those time frames were fleeting, thankfully). The point is, I've been changing these disgusting things for a loooong time. Eight and a half years is a really, really long time to go without having a break from changing diapers, trust me.

I am happy to report that the chain has been broken. We now have not one single, solitary child in our home wearing diapers. Yes, yes, I know it's only a temporary reprieve but hey, I'll take it.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Baby is a...

On my mom's side of the family we have always joked about the abundance of girls. My mom's mom was one of three girls, my mom was one of three girls, my mom had a girl and my mom's sister had three girls. Yes, yes, I know the male determines the sex, so this wealth of girls is just a fluke.

Well, today we added to the fluke. I have two girls and one boy and, in about four more months our ultrasound today revealed that we will have another girl!

I can't really say I had too much of a preference one way or another, so I'm just excited to know, and now for you all to know.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Maternity Clothes

I have squeezed into my last pair of non-maternity pants for the foreseeable future. I tried the whole rubber-band-your-jeans-trick as long as I could. It's time to admit defeat and make the transition to maternity clothes.

Man, I hate maternity clothes.