Friday, April 30, 2010

The Bug Story (A Creepy Story)

I just finally finished a photo project that I had sucessfully put off for over a year. :)  In the process I came across an old photo that reminded me of this story.  And since this is a blog of our family's journey, I thought why not share this little tale from when we were "waiting" for T. :)

Let me set the scene.  It was July and I was about 2 months pregnant with T.  It was 2 o'clock in the morning and I had just come back from one of my many treks to the facilities.  As I was snuggling back down under the covers I felt a little scratch on my leg (the back of my thigh to be exact). 

You can totally see where this is going from the title, but here's how it all went down. 

So, my first thought is that I just have a little rough spot on my leg--no big deal.  I reach down to touch it and I'm quite surprised to feel something hard.  It felt like a piece of mulch, really.  Then I think, "Mulch?  How would I get mulch on my leg in the middle of the night?  Oh, no!  It's NOT mulch!  It must be a bug!!!!" 

At this point I panic.  This does not feel like a "normal" bug.  I do what any crazed girl would do--I grabbed J's arm and started whisper screaming (in a moment of sanity, not wanting to wake M up from the room next door), "There's a bug in my pants! There's a bug in my pants!"

J thought I was dreaming and kept telling me that I just needed to take a deep breath.   During all of this I had not let go of my death-grip on the "mulch-bug" through my pants.  So while holding on tight to that with one hand, I scurried out my pants and ran into my closet. 

J still thought it was just my imagination, but he humored me and looked for the bug.  Not expecting to find anything, he took a step back when he actually saw it and then said that he could see why I might be a little freaked out.  He thankfully disposed of the bug. 

I was afraid to ask, but had to know.  What was it?  I said, "Please, just tell me that it wasn't some strange looking bug with long legs and long antennas, you know, the kind that are the lenth of it's body."  He described it as more of a beetle--like a Japanese beetle.  Okay, a Japanese beetle I can handle.  I wouldn't choose to have it in my pj's, but it's familiar.

Then he asked me the crazy question of would I like my pants back to put them on?  Would I like my pants with the squished bug parts back?  Um, no. :)

In the morning I made the unfortunate mistake of looking in the trash can.  And there "it" was.  Okay, it was most definitely NOTHING like a Japanese beetle.  It was indeed just like the bug I didn't want to see.  It was so weird in fact, that I overcame my fear and had to document it.

Here was my nemesis that summer night that made me check the bathroom floor for months (It would be a cool bug to see outside, but not in my pj's.  It still makes me quiver.)...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dinosaur and Volcano Week

Last week was dinosaur and volcano week.  Here are a few pictures from the week.

We had dinosaur hair almost every day.  T is sporting a Dino-mohawk (and a crazy face). ;)  M is showcasing her 9 Dino horns.

Dinosaur PJ's were also a hit.  We have 3 pairs that are size 3T--so they are just a little small on M and a little too big for T. :)

We also made a lot of volcanoes.  We started the week with 2 diet soda and mentos explosions.  That was REALLY fun! We also made playdough volcanoes and filled them with baking soda and vinegar.  And one day we made "lava juice" and they had fun overfilling cups to make "lava" go down the dirt hills in the backyard. 

Fun week. :)  Now onto Bird Week...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cause Wear :)

I ordered some new t-shirts today from Compassion.  And they were on sale!

Favorite one:  Global Food Crisis Tee that says "Please" in Ahmaric.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Our Favorite Pancake Recipe

My kids LOVE pancakes!  We have pancakes almost every Saturday and Sunday.  J uses the "just-add-water" mixes.  He frequently adds chocolate chips and makes shapes to order.  Some of my favorites:  goat heads, snakes and his perfected Mickey Mouse head. :)

I'm not always so sure how healthy pancakes are, but I recently came across this recipe in the January issue of Health Magazine and we LOVE them.  They almost taste like cake.  And they're made with oats and whole-wheat flour--seriously, does it get any better? :)

Here's the YUMMY recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes.

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup 1% low-fat buttermilk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk

Soak oats in buttermilk in a small bowl for 15 minutes.

Combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon in a medium bowl.

Whisk eggs together with egg whites in a small bowl, and stir in milk.

 Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour about 1/2 cup batter per pancake onto hot skillet, and cook 2 minutes or until tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Flip and cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Cook remaining batter in batches.

Enjoy! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday Funnies #9: Horse Bibs

We live near a few horse farms.  The horses are usually covered with a coat or blanket (not sure what they're technically called).  When T and I were driving home the other day he said, "Those horses wearing bibs, Mama.  Must be hungry.  They're wearing bibs."  Quite a notion!

 [Checking out a bib-free calf in PA during Easter.]

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April Sweet Birthday

We hosted our second Sweet Birthday ( party today at Hudson River Housing.  So much fun.  My kids totally love the facepainting and tattoos (their favorites are snakes on their cheeks.  Why?  I have no idea. :)).  Oh, and the goody bags.  And, of course, cupcakes--with lollipops on top! 

Hudson River Housing provides transitional/temporary housing for people who are homeless due to either financial reasons or because of domestic abuse.  Today we found out a little more about what some of the other needs are there.  They can always use our gently used clothing and toys--love having a place where I know that the things we can no longer use will be needed.

It was really cool to be there with my friends and some of my neighbors today.  Looking forward to next month!

[M is looking a little serious, but the playdough table gets a ton of action. :) ]

[T admiring his car tattoo.]

Friday, April 16, 2010

Growing up with M

Our little M is our spirited, passionate first-born who keeps us our toes and "on our knees."  And she is a very deep thinker.

I work on Thursday nights after J comes home from work.  J and M have been reading the Disney Princess stories together and last night they had a pretty fascinating conversation that J thought was so cool that he actually wrote it down.  They're reading Alladin right now.

Thought I would share a little part of her 4-year-old thoughts...

"Daddy, why were the bad people [Jafar] made bad?"

"What do you mean?"

"They don't have a choice.  They can't choose to be good.  The person who wrote the story made them bad.  If the person who wrote the story is good, why did they make some of the people in the story bad?"

"Because they wanted you to learn the difference between good and bad and they wanted you to choose to be like the good people and not like the bad."

"I'm glad that I was born into a good family.  You and Mommy already chose to be good and so now you're teaching me to be good.  But if I had been born in a bad family they would teach me to be bad, so I'm glad I was born in a good family.  I'm glad I have a special family."


Super cool to hear her call us special.  But, seriously, she's thinking about the author of the story making choices about who they write about.  And the whole thing is a very deep theological question!  Crazy!  But love it!  Sure do have a lot to learn about life and God as we grow up with little M...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Treasure Hunt

Following up on our Fruits of the Spirit (Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control) Week we had a "Golden Rule" Day today.  I made the "Golden Rule" the "treasure" at the end of hunt.  M was so excited.  Here was the plan...

1. Play a Please/Thank-you Manners Game (patience with turn-taking)
2. Throw the dirty towels and a laundry basket down the steps (goodness in helping with chores)
3. Give the cats treats (gentleness)
4. Paint a picture for Daddy with new watercolors (love)
5. Make PB&J lunches together (kindness in helping each other)
6. Relax on bean bag chairs up in the tree house while having a popsicle and listening to nature (peace)

7. Swing (joy)

8. Cotton Ball blowing contest in the garage (self-control--you know, controlling how hard to blow is like controlling your temper or frustration, etc. :))

9. Find the hidden treasure box with a Bible and the golden rule tucked inside (faithfulness as we read the Bible--John 13:34.)

10. Enjoy a Hershey Bar together (Example of the Golden Rule--If I had been a part of a treasure hunt all morning I would want it to end with a sweet treat, so here's a sweet treat for you. :))

It was pretty fun--we did a lot of different things.  But it makes me laugh because while I had the best of intentions, things definitely did not go how I had planned.  Like during the Manners board game, T (who typically really likes this game) kept throwing all of the pieces off of the board.  While throwing the laundry down the steps, T got hit by the basket.  When we went out into the garage to paint, poor T fell off of the only step and hit his head.  While chilling outside we didn't hear any birds, just a lawn mower. :)  And the Hershey Bar, wow, it was everywhere! :)

But all of this stuff is good. :)  I have definitely been in need of a refresher course myself. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Number

Our April Number is...

For a little girl between 0-15 months.
(And number 22 for siblings with the same age parameters.)

Yay!  That means that since we have been on the list in late February (just a little over a month ago) at least 11 little people from Hannah's Hope in Ethiopia have been placed with their forever families.  Pretty cool...

Monday, April 12, 2010


Still waiting for our new monthy numbers, but in the meantime, thought I would share my latest project. ;) 

I've searched high and low for a way to make the kid/guest bathroom a little cuter for my little people.  I love neutrals, but I think that my kids might like something a bit brighter. :)

So, I recently noticed that Hobby Lobby had matching scrapbook paper and fabric.  AND that the patterns were perfect for both boys and girls.

So I started with this little owl...

And then made this chain of owls...

And then made these giant owls for our plain white curtain...

And ended with these old frames that I had...

And all for only $5.00!  :)

The Cabin

J and I are both from central PA.  We went to high school together so our families live about 20 minutes apart.  When we go "home" for holidays or just to visit, we usually also go to the "cabin" that J's family built. 

When we were dating the "cabin" was an old trailer with sinking floors, mice and snakes.  Everyone (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents) slept on cots on the screened-in "porch." 

But they have recently rebuilt the "cabin" to be this huge 8-bedroom beautiful house that is 9 feet off of the ground (because of frequent floods).  It has a gourmet kitchen, a laundry room and 3 full baths.  It has 3 decks and 2 fireplaces (one inside and one outside on the lower deck).  I'm not sure that I would actually call it a "cabin."

But, the cabin is on a island on a creek.  There is no bridge.  This is how we get there...

Yep, we park the van, unload all of our stuff into the back of the "deuce" and cross the creek.  Not your everyday vehichle, for sure!  (The water is usually not quite this high.)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday Funnies #8: You Smell Like...

Sometimes after T gets a good (and always needed) bath I smell his sweet little head.  And then he says, "Mommy.  You.  Smell.  Like.  A dog."  What?  I smell like a dog?  That's not very nice--but you know what they say, out of the mouths of babes! 

But then I get it--I don't smell terrible--I'm smelling him like a dog would sniff him.  Funny kid. :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

While We Wait...

I've been trying to figure out a way to visually display our wait.  So this week we went to Hobby Lobby to get supplies for our project.  Here's the mostly finished result...

We started as Number 52 in late Feb.  Then in March our new number was 48.  Hopefully on Monday we'll get our April number!  Can't wait to turn over more tags!  (There sure are a lot, huh?  I didn't realize how "big" 52 was--I only bought enough ribbon for one row.) :)

We're also starting to keep a journal for sister while we wait for her--you know, just stuff about what we're doing and thinking about until she joins us. :)

Easter Pictures

Our little people all dressed up for Easter in PA... :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Love Day

We are doing "Fruits of the Spirits" Week(s).  Yesterday was Love Day.  We were listening to this song and I totally have it stuck in my head. :)

We were talking with M last night about all of the people who love her and all of the people we love.  Then we asked her if we have to love people who are mean.  She said the logical answer, "No! Because they're mean to us!"  So we had a cool conversation about showing them love anyway, because we love Jesus, but first he loved us even when we were pretty ugly to him. (Isaiah 64:6, 1 John 4:19).  :)

We're also singing this song around here this week--it's kind of cheesy but already T is singing half of the words.  :)