Monday, November 29, 2010


Jonah, in his most chipper weather-forcaster voice:

"Thursday will be cloudy with a chance of showers. Friday and Saturday mostly sunny with highs in the low 50's. Sunday is colder with a good chance of snow! Right now it's 99 degrees in Holland, 23 in Lint, and 56 degrees in Grand Rabbits. In space today, Saturn is blue! Uranus, as usual, is rotating on it's side. Sirius is in the sky tonight."

Can you tell we listen to Michigan Public Radio? Jonah can take a weather report and run with it...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Around Here Lately...

Busy! We're quite busy around here these days...

I've found that my oldest child is becoming quite the adept helper these days.

I'm training my slave-labor, you know. Just like my parents trained me...

I mean, that is why we have kids, right?

At least, I always thought...

He loves it! Today he put apples through the corer/slicer machine for apple pie, all by himself! I've been calling him my "gopher" because he's been so good at doing little tasks for me all the time.

Yesterday, he helped me with his Daddy's birthday cake. Let's just say he needs some practice in measurement... we ended up with a fallen cake and runny icing.

So it was a little ugly...

...but it was edible.

Evan, on the other hand, is working hard to catch up to his brother. He spent the whole day today practicing his newest trick.

He even fussed at me to put him down so that he could work on it. That kid was on a mission. By this evening, he was staying up on all fours for quite a while and scooting backwards at an alarming rate. He's 4 1/2 months old!!! We're in for it, I think...

In other news, Nathan's parents arrived for their customary Thanksgiving visit.

Evan got to meet his Oma and Opa for the first time!

He's been all little unsure of these new people, and clinging to Mommy and Daddy as much as possible. I'm sure he'll warm up to them quickly...

Jonah, however, takes absolutely no warming and dives right in to soaking up all the extra attention.

His favorite pastime is terrorizing his Opa. They have lots of fun together.

I'm feeling distinctly in need of some sleep, as I've been dealing with Evan's teething woes at night (told you he's in a hurry!) and working at getting food ready. My house is not clean (grr!) but we'll have food and good company and a great many thanks to be given to God. And I'll be even more thankful for some good sleep... Which I'm going to go get started on right now...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sweatin' With the Baby

In today's episode of Sweatin' with the Baby I'm going to show you all how
I keep my dimply diaper butt in such faaaaabulous shape!

With only a frillion manic repetions of this proven program,
YOU TOO can look this good!


All right then! Let's go!

I like to start with this exercise I call "Swimmy".

To start, hold your arms and legs off the floor and balance on your chest.

And then paddle! Kick your legs!

Keep those arms up! Kick, kick, kick! I wanna see those arms IN THE AIR!

Don't stop now!


Now come into your resting position.


Contemplate your river of drool.

Keep breathing.


Aaaaaand, set up for pushups!





And rest.


Until next time, Grasshopper.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Do They Know What Month It Is?

Look what I found!

Two black silkie hens sat together on a nest and hatched out two cute little chicks.

In November.

Not sure what they were thinking there, but at least they can co-operate on the mothering duties and maybe the chicks will have a chance at survival, Lord willing. We'll see...

Usually the silkie chicks are all black and gray, but this time, one is yellow with gray markings.

Must be the milkman's baby.

Celebrity Morning

Yeah, yeah, it's all cute and all...

...where's my cigar?

Um. A little cold here.

Oh great. Here comes that hand again.

The things I have to endure to keep these people entertained.

Oh, Mom, don't be ridiculous.
Of course I'm not going hunting.

Can I go play, now?

I've got a lot to do, you know.

What's a guy gotta do to get some service around here?!?

If anyone asks... I'll be in my bed.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thoughts on a Curve

"What should I blog about?" I asked Evan. Because he's always good for a conversation. Except when he's sleeping.

"Eeehhh. Guh gggkkkgoo. Aaaoooooo eehhhh." he authoritatively answered.

So there is that.

~I'm daily astounded by how fast he's growing. It didn't seem to go this fast when Jonah was this age. I feel like I'm always getting out the next size of clothing for him, or dressing him in something that's too small today, though I'm sure it just fit yesterday. (Which... while I'm glad to be able to just get out the next box, it's also a little hard to manage. I only keep enough clothing to fit in one storage bin per size, so I try to stay on top of sorting out the excess and excessively worn. I've been given clothes at an alarming rate lately, and I'm grateful, but it's getting hard to keep up with.)

~It's really amazing what are counted accomplishments to these little people. Evan succeeds in getting a toy to his mouth and Jonah discovers that 5+0+0+0 still equals five? We celebrate.

~And the frustrations are magnified proportionally as well. Not being able to grab your elusive toes? Not getting your way all the time? Being set down on the floor insead of carried? Having only two chapters read to you instead of five? Explosive.

~I am praying for some patience in dealing with the increasingly-complex needs and training of a kid who thinks himself to be more of an adult every day. Where did this attitude come from? This bull-dogging persistence? The desire to understand everything all at once and simultaneous conviction the he knows it all already? I tend to get so frustrated and short with him and then I realize that that attitude? Is myself in the mirror. Ugh. Then I feel a little sick, wonder how i can fix it, and then snap at him again five minutes later. Jonah has been intense and high-maintenance since the day he was born and it only seems to increase as he gets older.

~Companionship. That's the flip-side. A precocious five-year-old makes a good little buddy. We do barn chores together every night as we chatter and look for stars and constellations in the clear, cold, night's sky. We race every chore all day-- laundry, dishwasher, floor pickup... All I have to say is, "I'm gonna beat you!" and the game's on. He's more and more getting to the stage of boyhood where he intends to be a man and sees no obstacles to that goal.

~I do hope that someday I'll be able to think in a straight line again.

~Last night, for the first time in weeks and weeks and maybe even months, Evan slept more than three hours at a time. In fact, he slept for SIX. And so did I. And it was wonderful. See, last week I took him to see my trusty chiropractor. In three minutes flat, she fixed up his neck, and just like that, he's more content and sleeping better. I heart my chiropractor. In fact, I think I want a bumpersticker to that effect. I don't know how I'd survive parenthood without her.

~I wish I had a housekeeper. I wish I could just focus on the fun parts. I wish I could get more things done, yet slow down just a little. Sometimes I wish I could paint, or play the piano, but I've got my country's 500th anniversary to plan, my wedding to arrange, my wife to murder and Guilder to frame for it; I'm swamped. (Kidding! Name that movie.)

~Then I go kiss some cheeks and I don't wish anything anymore.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This is how we went out to do barn chores tonight:

Usually, Nathan and Evan hang out in the house while Jonah and I do chores together in the evening. Tonight, Nathan wasn't home, and Evan was refusing to take a nap, so I bundled him up, strapped him on and out we went. (I did wear a jacket, too...)

Normally when I do this, Evan cries when I sit down to milk because he doesn't like me sitting still, but this time he just did this the whole time:

It was kinda cute, I gotta say.


Jonah discovered shaving cream.

Actually, it's that gel stuff. But anyway.

He calls it shaving jello.

Then he read the can and pronounced the 'g' like in "goat". Yeah, why don't they spell that right, huh? Gel and jello. Huh.

Anyway. He's cute!

Mom used to give us shaving cream to play with in the tub when we were little. One time she took the blades out of some old razors and let us play shaving. Not sure how wise that was from a never-ever-play-with-razors-teaching-standpoint, but she did. Dad came in and had a coronary when he saw us with razors.

It was funny. I remember Mom laughing, and Dad was relieved, but kinda mad, I think.

I'm not sure if that was before or after I sat under the kitchen table with a razor and sliced my bottom lip open...

Story Telling

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Recently, we've heard of some violent break-ins around here. In our little rural area, a few is a lot. Of course, there's crime everywhere, but around here this kind of thing is rare. While I am not at all worried about it happening to us (wow, something I actually don't have anxiety about...) and we trust God to take care of us, we also know that preparation is never a bad thing. So since today was a beautiful day, and we had to go in that direction anyway, we decided to make a little side trip to a friend's shooting range for some target practice.

Now, even though I will say that everyone should know how to use a gun, and I come from a family of hunters, I, um, don't know much of anything about guns and the firing thereof. I remember going shooting a few times as a kid, but I always found it noisy, vaguely frightening and excessively tedious, so I eventually started looking for excuses. The guys are going to the gravel pits to shoot after Thanskgiving dinner? I, uh... have to, uh... help with the dishes. Yes, I'd rather do that than stand around with my fingers in my ears at the gravel pit. (Hey, I can see you rolling your eyes! Yeah, you, certain members of my family and circle of friends! You don't think I can see you, but I can.)

Yes, it's true. I found shooting to be boring, so I didn't do it.

Here's another confession: I never took a hunter's safety class. There. I said it.

I just always put it off, and... forgot... and... didn't... go. Oh, the class started last week? Oh, darn. Missed it again. Oh well, there's always next year.

Nathan and I have both agreed for, well, years, that I should be familiar with the guns we have in the house. But we don't have a nearby place to shoot (okay, so 20 minutes over to our friend's range isn't that far... but we're busy...) so it just hasn't happened.

But today we finally went and did it.

And you know, I discovered what I needed to motivate me to learn to shoot. Because it's a lot different when I have my strong, sweet husband to put his arms around me and show me how to hold the gun and patiently instruct me on how to use it properly. I admit that the extra attention is kinda... nice. Oh sure, all those years I had Grandpa, Dad, uncles. Not the same. This is almost... well... fun.

And when it turned out that he was quite impressed with my aim (and inch or so from the center of the target at 70 yards), well that helped. He was gracious about it, but next time I'll make sure to aim a little less carefully. Wouldn't want to show him up, or anything. Or worse, have him send me out hunting.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chaos Follows the Bomb

In my last post, I detailed the condition of my kitchen. That was Saturday. This is Monday, and it's pretty much still like that, except I've run the dishwasher. And picked a turkey and started it into stock (but haven't finished it, mind you.). And made a pot of soup.

Sunday was busy. I did clean and vacuum the living room in the afternoon (and I usually can't be bothered to do any more than the absolute necessities on a Sunday) because otherwise my head might explode. But the kitchen only got dishwasher duty.

Today we left for town right after breakfast and then came home after lunchtime and promptly went outside for the entire afternoon. It was a beautiful day and I have lots to get done out there, and it's easier not to see the kitchen if I'm outside.

I came in and made supper, which we ate, and I nursed the baby, and then toasted my tooshie by the woodstove for a few minutes. (Still ignoring the kitchen... and now the living room was also a moshpit) So as I was just motivating myself to get outside to do the milking, there was a knock at the door. It was a neighboring Amish girl, asking if I would mix cake frosting for her. Enough to fill an ice cream bucket. I've done it for her before-- the Amish like the way an electric mixer makes the frosting so nice and fluffy (not to mention considerably easier than by hand!).

Now I know very well that people only stop by when the house is a mess. But seriously? Someone wanted to use my kitchen at the very exact moment of it's messiest ever? I felt a little faint. (To say nothing of the fact that every time I drop in at an Amish person's house, it's spick'n'span, even in the midst of some giant project like canning a vat of soup, or something.) And then there was the typical evening chaos-- I went out to get the milking and feeding done (Amish Girl and her brother waited in the messy living room) and when I came in, Evan was squalling. It was 8:00 and he had gotten up from his nap at 5, so he was beyond exhausted. Nathan was valiantly holding his ground. So I had this bucket of milk to take care of, and I couldn't even find a place to set it down. I cleared off a counter for Amish Girl to start measuring frosting ingredients into the mixing bowl while I filtered the milk and promptly spilled some all over the floor when I went to pour Jonah his customary cup of warm and fresh.

I pretty much just had to grin and bear it, keep it real, etc. This is me, sometimes I'm a slob, this is my house, often it's a mess. Now lets spatter frosting all over it, too. (Sweet Amish Girl cleaned up and washed the dishes that we used, though, so that helped!)

Life is too short to spend it all cleaning.