Thursday, August 27, 2009

Free Stuff Friday

Diane Moore hosts a radio show weekdays from 1-2pm on 800AM KPDQ where she takes calls from parents asking for advice. This friday, every caller who asks a question gets a free gift. (The show is still pretty new so there are not many who call in yet... your chance of receiving a free something is pretty high.)

Imagine the possibilities... Books! Dinners Out! Trips to Disneyland! One Million Dollars! (we can dream...)

So think up a parenting question today, write it down on your kitchen white-board so you remember your question (and to help you remember to actually listen to the show).

Yesterday I called in because my son seems to have set up an idol in his heart. I asked her how I should guide him through the process of reinstating GOD to His rightful place in his heart, rather than the television. Her answer was helpful. Today she answered the question from another caller: "My two-and-a-half year old is playing games with me at naptime. How should I deal with the power struggle?" (I reworded the question to be concise, in case you were listening today...) Don't you wish you heard her answer to THAT ONE?!

As I was listening today, I thought tomorrow I might ask the question, "How do you talk your highly competitive son down from a frustrated tyrade when he does not score even one point while playing basketball with his older (taller, stronger) brother?"

Does that get your creative question-asking juices flowing?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pretty Obtuse for this Blog

Never have I been more entertained reading a recipe than I have by this one. I first heard of it (and saw the succulent pictures) on Ming's blog. Ming is my sister. She is not Chinese. Her name is actually Megan Nichole. And yes, the "H" belongs there. Of course it does. Our folks spelled my name Jenne with an "E" at the end - not a"Y" or "IE" like all the other Jenny's out there. So, why NOT put an "H" in Nicole?!

And the name "Ming" came into being by way of my children. Davis called her Meenie for the longest time. Pretty silly, since she doesn't have a "meanie" bone in her body. And Jackson tried to call her Meenie, but it always came out "Mingy" which was a huge hit with all the family when shortened to the Asian form, "Ming."

Even her husband calls her Ming. What percentage of the time do you refer to your beloved wife as "Megan," Okie? Dare I explain his nickname?

Last week, Weston called her "Megan" and we all stopped for a moment and wondered where on earth he heard that from. Like it is a dirty word or something. No worries. We corrected him: "Her name is Ming, sweetie."

Anyway, go enjoy the Ginger Steak Salad.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Story Hour

I have just found gold!! It is a website of free audio downloads... all are lovely children's stories! It is called The Story Home. There seems to be a nice mix of stories for both girls and boys.

I have downloaded a few so far:

The Frog Prince

The Steadfast Tin Soldier

George Washington's Shoes

The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

M&Ms and Sheep

I needed to borrow my Dad's Expedition for a couple of days while our van was in the repair shop. They are out of town so I took the liberty. I grabbed the keys from their kitchen counter and grabbed from a Costco-sized bag THE BIGGEST HANDFUL of M&Ms I could. Not being able to drive their unfamiliar big rig with only one hand, I looked for some place to set my copious number of candy-coated chocolates. Finding nothing ideal, I carefully placed them on the center consul and slowly, ever-so-slowly, drove off. Though my pile was large, I really did not want to lose even one.

Then I took my first turn and two started sliding. Risking life and limb (its a curvy driveway), I quickly placed my hand over the two rouge fellows in a protective move. Silly, I thought. I have so many. What's one or two less?

Then I took my second turn. And I lost one between the consul and my seat. Looking beside me, I could just see him peeking his little orange face up at me. I reached for him...but alas he disappeared into the crumbly, dusty place that is classic of a car's crevice. I mourned a moment (really, I did) and then I thought of the parable of the lost sheep. And I understood a little more about why the shepherd would leave his ninety-nine sheep in search of the lost one.
If I can mourn an M&M, how much more would He mourn an image-bearer?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cultus 2009

Another wonderful Cultus memory has been logged on the fingerprints of our family. This year was by far the most usual trip, as we went without my parents or my sister and her family. I have never gone without my folks. Though we missed them all dearly, we had an amazing time. It was incredible to experience Cultus all on our own. So,little five-year-old Jackson tried his hand at skiing. And he did great. He would get all geared up for it, all the equipment on, wanting so badly to keep up with big brother. And then just as the boat is pulling the rope taunt, you can hear him say, "Uh, I want to do this later. I will do it today, but just not now." And that is the point were we would say, "Here we go, sweetie! Hit it!" And he would hang on for dear life. When he was done he was beyond proud of himself.

And Davis promised Grandpa (who was not with us, remember) that he would "ski every day." And he kept to his word. He took that promise incredibly seriously. What is more, he decided that "the red skis" (smallest size, tied together, rope handle connected to them) were no longer for him. He was intent on mastering "the grey ones" that are significantly bigger and not tied together. Its a big jump to go to these ones. I was impressed by his tenacity and courage. I think he was too.
This is the only picture it seems I snapped of Baby D. He is army-crawling now, so I set up this play yard with a blanket below him and canopy above. He was pretty content. And when he wasn't, there were a number of arms holding him (thank you Pam, Dean et al!).

Dad let us take his boat up (another HUGE first) and Ryan was a master. He drove the truck and trailer like he had been doing it for years. He pulled up to buoys and docks like a super-cool dude. Just look at him. He is so groovy.

Though I would have preferred to be asleep, I did catch a sunrise one morning on my way to the outhouse.

And to keep the record straight, sleep was a bit elusive. But the baby was not the problem. He slept every camping night for 12 hours straight. Not a single night waking. Weston, on the other hand, was his regular self and woke up randomly several times each night. Jackson woke once to a full bladder and couldn't fall asleep again in the "big boy tent." He traded places with Ryan and slept much better that night. And yes, the two older boys slept in their own tent. I still can't believe they were willing to do that. Don't tell them this, but I would NEVER have slept in a tent without my parents. Not even into high school.

Our last day camping (the day we broke camp) it rained all day long. The kids hardly noticed and just played right through it. Fun to the last drop!

See you next year, Cultus!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Don't Ask

We have a walk-in pantry that houses just about everything under the sun from our thrice-used China dishes to a well-used child's magic set. This "pantry" is the place I toss things when I don't have a place, and a few food items here and there. The shelves are already full, so every new addition goes on the floor. You can imagine how well-organized it is. I usually have to step over a stack of paper plates, TV trays, and a breadmaker to access the playdough. After our Family Easter Gathering the room held the empty plastic Easter eggs that all the kids had hunted for (each egg at one time held two whole M&Ms). I think those eggs found their way up to the attic where they belong sometime late in June.

The impetus for cleaning out the floor of the pantry is usually one of two things:

1. I can't actually reach any of the shelves anymore, or
2. embarassment.

It is a good thing I have long arms and that I am not easily embarrassed because I don't re-organize this pantry often. But the good thing about this pantry (besides storing homeless items) is that it affords us some good photo opportunities for Weston.

I call this shot:
I Fwine-num! Em-em-ems!
If you look closely, you can see that every single egg has been pulled from its basket and opened. You see he has four eggs left in front of him to open and move to the "opened eggs" location. He is methodical, is he not? Perhaps he will enjoy organizing my pantry someday. He eventually found One Single M&M. He was ecstatic, yelling, "I fwine-em! I fwine-num em-em-em!"

And this one I call
Don't Ask
Yes. I know he is n*ked. No, I did not remember that I had not finished dressing him that morning. Oh well. Welcome to "four kids and a part-time job."

Diamond Lake Fun!

Diamond Lake this year was a blast! We stayed longer than I have ever stayed, with fewer people that I have ever experienced. It was pretty much just our crazy family of six, plus Grandma and Grandpa Glover. We rode bikes, got dirty, swam, got dusty, roasted marshmellows (or as jackson calls it, "marshed some mellows"), got sticky, fished, got stinky, bathed, got filthy... etc., etc., etc.
The real bonus for me is the fact that I slept!! Do you remember last year?? I do.
Thank you, Doug and MaryAnn, for a wonderful trip together. Thanks for letting us hog your time all to ourselves. And thanks for cooking for us, and for watching the baby while we played.