Friday, October 31, 2008

Story Time

Happy Halloween!

Last night Bill got Ike's costume ready for today. He hemmed the pants and dressed Ike up to make sure everything fit.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Count Your Blessings

Think you've got it hard? Here's some perspective:

This will make you kiss those chubby cheeks you've been blessed with a few more times a day. Make wiping bums a delightful task. And will make you cry as you've never cried before. IF you dare watch the slideshow, you will go away loving your kids a thousand times more than you ever did before. Here's to adding MORE depth to what is already the deepest love you could ever know.

Funny Boy

Thursday afternoon is our designated "Costco Day." It takes a little planning and prep so today I took a load out to the car (diaperbag, purse, returns, etc.) before packing up the little ones. When I came back in from taking out a load, Ike heard me come in. "Hi, Daddy!" he said before he saw who really came in the door. When he saw it was me, he looked confused. "You're not Daddy. You're just a girl!"

JUST a girl???

Isaac has recently learned that he has two names.

"What's your name?" asks the farmer-like man at the pumpkin patch.

"Isaac Paddamo," Ike announces proudly.


Ike saying the Pledge of Allegiance for Daddy:

" . . . With libety and justice fo all. BE SEATED!"

Fall Traditions

We have a little tradition around here in the fall. We go to the pumpkin patch, find the perfect pumpkins, then come home and roast the seeds! Every year we've had Isaac we've done this and every year the anticipation of "pumpkin patch day" grows greater! This year, young Ike had a ball (especially since this year we went with all the local cousins/third cousins(?).

Pumpkin Patch Day seems to be a grand launch to the holiday season! From here on out we'll be looking forward to all the wonderful things that the last couple months of the year bring!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds:

Place seeds on large cookie sheet. Drizzle with EVOO (about one to two tbsps) and mix the seeds until all the seeds are covered with the oil. Sprinkle with seasoning salt or sea salt and roast in the oven at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Raise heat to 350 degrees and roast for 12-15 minutes longer.

We ate all our pumpkins seeds so fast that I don't have a picture. I do, however, have another batch in the oven right now. I'll post a picture when they come out (if I can get to them before Ike does) and hopefully a picture will entice you into making them yourself! They are truly worth getting your hands gooey!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Favorite Fella

Ike and his pumpkin. We cut it open and baked the seeds! He LOVES the seeds.
Ike doing his school paper.

Trains and Tape

I gave Ike a roll of "sticky tape" while I sat down to read a magazine this afternoon. Here's what happened. (By the way, pants are WAY overrated!)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gifts from Grandma

So here I go again talking about my love of antiques, but this piece is a little extra special.
My Grandma moved back to California today. She's downsizing to a considerably smaller home and didn't have room for her china cabinet. I am the lucky recipient of the cabinet and am still in a bit of shock. Having the extra storage space is really nice. I put all my china in it along with displaying her delicate, pink wedding china. The linens tuck nicely away in the drawer below.

Roasted Chicken with Rosemary

From the Taste of Home cookbook:
1/2 cup butter
4 tbsps minced fresh rosemary or 2 tbsps dried rosemary, crushed
2 tbsps chopped fresh parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 roasting chicken (5-6 lbs)
9 small red potatoes, halved lengthwise
2 medium onions, quartered
1) In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in the seasonings. Place chicken on a rack in a roasting pan; tie drumsticks together with kitchen string.
2) Spoon half butter mixture over chickn. Place potatoes, carrots and onions around chicken. Drizzle remaining butter mixture over vegetables.
3) Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1-1/2 hours, basting ever 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 30-60 minutes longer or a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees and vegetables are tender, basting occasionally.
4) Cover with foil and let stand for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hay Ride Faces

We Love Fall!

Kate loved the goat the best!
Ike loved the pool full of beans (?) the best!

So serious!
Falling down the haystack!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

She Eats Anything

Ike and his Trains

This is what you'll find Ike doing at any given point in the day . . .

Elasti-Girl does the splits

Kate has been trying so hard to crawl, but it's a lot harder than one might think! However, all her trying has resulted in all sorts of new tricks! So funny.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grandma Spoiling

Grandma Linda got sidetracked at the mall and therefore Ike scored a new fall wardrobe! Thanks, Grandma!

Baking Soda -- fun fact

I read in the book A Nickle's Worth of Skim Milk that during the Depression they used baking soda for toothpaste. Sound gross? Well, my doctor (being the brilliant man that he is) also suggested we throw out the flouride toothpaste and brush with straight baking soda. Well, we tried it! It tastes terrible! And it makes your teeth feel like pearls! So shiny! So smooth! So . . . clean!

Be brave! Try it! And tell me what you think!

Pro Choice

I have a confession to make. I am pro choice. That being said, I believe you should have the choice to either take care of your child or give it to someone whose open arms are waiting to be filled. This is the only choice one should have to make. Children, being the most precious life of all, should not be murdered because "mommy dearest" is cold and self-centered.

By the way, what sort of person would choose to abort babies for a living?

Anyway, the God of Abraham is the God who gave us free will . . . and the God who gave us the Ten Commandments (I believe the sixth commandment tells us to not murder).

My sister is in the process of adopting two dear ones. Their "birth moms" made bad choices, but still gave them life. They have filled up my sister and brother-in-laws arms. Those babies very lives have resulted in making two very wonderful people's hearts overflow with love. Thank goodness for life!

And that's all I have to say about that . . . for now anyway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Corn Chowder

I make this soup a lot when the weather gets cold or gloomy. A couple days I added a fresh butternut squash puree to it and it was delicious. I'm not a squash fan, but this way I couldn't even taste it:)

Corn Chowder

1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup butter
2-1/2 cups water
1 can corn
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup butternut squash puree
2 cups milk
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
minced fresh parsley or 1 tbsp dried

1) In a Dutch oven, saute onion in butter until tender. Add the water, corn and potatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 16-20 minutes. Reduce to low heat.

2) Stir in the milk, salt and pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley.

Yield: 8 servings

Isaac watching You Tube

Ike wanted to look at pictures of animals so after a while we found all sorts of pictures of kittens, puppies, killer whales, dolphins, etc. But what Ike liked best was the panda. Ike watched the "Sneezing Panda" video over and over again. Go look at it. It's funny.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

For Grandma Linda

Note to self: Don't let there be bows on dresses during a photo taking session. It's a major distraction!

Childhood Enthusiasm

I just don't know what to do with myself when my little friends are asleep, Mr. Wonderful is working, and the house is so quiet . . . except for the slight ticking of the ceiling fan (it hasn't worked quite the same since the dinosaur incident a ways back). My house is NEVER quiet during the day time. Ike alone makes noise comparable to that of five boys and Kate's calls aren't frequent, yet are still quite loud and demanding. The other day, however, I determined this isn't just noise, but childhood enthusiasm!

I LOVE childhood enthusiasm! It's one of the rarest and most precious gifts. We don't hold it for very long and those who get to truly witness and appreciate it are indeed the most blessed people in the world! Mommies get to witness this enthusiasm first hand. Although sometimes we are quick to pass it off as just noise and not as music to our ears that it really is.

The other day I quickly made my morning coffee, jumped into my favorite blue chair in the dining room (it was out of place due to a much needed carpet cleaning), and snuggled under a blanket. You see, when Wyatt arrives in the morning that's when the enthusiasm for the day reaches it's peak and it's a sheer joy to listen too . . . and watch:)

I love my position in the chair. I can see them clearly, but I am slightly out of their sight. If they saw me watching, they might not be quite as vocal and creative.

It doesn't take long before the pillows are off the couch. ALL the trains are dumped on the floor. And the train track is rapidly assembled. Their merry little voices begin to rise with glee and soon enough the older of the two decides to somersault off the couch! The little one follows. They are boulders falling down the mountain!

BONK! The little one doesn't quite make his somersault so the older comes over with a kiss on the head and the expectation of making everything right. It works! They try again, and again, and again. Little one needs more practice.

I sip my coffee and smile.

Pretty soon the pillows become tunnels, mountains, bridges, caves . . . whatever their little imaginations decide. They see me watching and look to see if I'm going to scold them for taking the pillows off the couch (I usually do).

"Wyatt do that!" the older one defends himself quickly.

"Did you do that too?" I ask.

"Yes." he can't fib.

"Oh. It looks like fun." I say.

"UH, HUH!" the volume rises and they think they'll push the limits.

The older attempts to take flight off the couch and crashes with a loud THUD. The little one tries to get up on the couch to follow, but can't get up fast enough before I call a stop to the jumping on or off of the couch. He toddles away to try something else.

They play and talk and make up stories and sing songs. Secretly, I wish they'd let me play too. It just looks like so much fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Kat Tales

My sister is in the process of adopting a little boy (who turns one today!) and she brought him over here for a little visit. Little Kat watched intently as Evan crawled all over the place. So last night she tried to put what she observed into action, but kept getting up on her hands and feet with her little bum high in the air. I don't know, maybe she isn't trying to crawl at all. Maybe she's just doing a little stress relieving yoga. She does a mean "downward facing dog"!

Kate watched little Isaac eat a churro while they both sat in the cart at Costco. She eyed his churro for a while and finally decided to lean way over and eat it from the other end. She sucked away at it as fast as she could -- it was that good! We've been holding out on the good stuff! (Isaac was not amused.)

Kate is eight months old today!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mayberry Sunday

This past Sunday, Bill and I sat in the very last row at church. It's an outsider's post really, but I'm a people watcher so I have to say that I enjoy the view from back there.

I adore the elderly couple that greets everyone at the door with a smile, a greeting, and a bulliten. They come into the service after it starts to make sure any late-comers get a greeting. They are divinely sweet and every week, you can count on them to wear matching outfits. This particular Sunday they chose angelic white cable knit sweaters, matching heads of short gray hair, and black slacks. I tend to think that all the thought they put into their attire means that they really look forward to Sunday. I smile as they come into the service as they help each other with each and every move. They are frail and he uses a cane to help him walk on a hurt foot. They hobble to their seats -- the same two seats every week. Of course they are remarkably thoughtful so they choose the seats closest to the door so they won't disturb the service. They snuggle into their seats and sit for the rest of the service. I lean in a little closer to my Bill and my heart sighs. What a beautiful picture of pure love they are.

When the music starts, I look over to the elderly women sitting up a few rows from us. There is a group of them that always sit together. I watch them turn down their hearing aids. Again I'm sitting there like a smiling fool. They just make my heart happy with how they don't ever complain or scowl (or maybe that's because I can only see the back of their heads, but whatever). They just enjoy the service . . . low volume style.

The lady sitting down from us is dressed up from head to toe. She has a lovely brown hat and suit on. Her style makes me think of Mayberry and Aunt Bea. I bet she has a fresh baked apple pie waiting to be eaten after a hearty Sunday meal.

The music plays on, and I can't help but notice the "joyful noise" coming from somewhere in the service. I won't be specific. That would be rude, but I smile on as she keeps singing "joyfully" off key. And yet, I wonder how the man standing next to her keeps a straight face. But alas! He isn't rude either. I almost wish they'd crank up the music pastor's microphone to drown her out, but hey! That would rude. Sheesh! I don't sing well either . . .

By now you are probably wondering if I do anything but people watch. In the back row, no. That's all I do. I should sit closer to not have so many distractions. People are far too interesting.

As the pastor starts preaching, I snuggle in close to my Bill. I can't help but listen to every word . . . he is that good! I get convicted and challenged. But that's another blog story for some other time.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Breast Cancer Prevention

Take your vitamin D and primrose oil to help prevent breast cancer. . . at least that's what my doc tells me. Do your research. I've done mine and you better believe I take both. Also I've looked into iodine deficiencies (as they run in my family). When deficient in iodine, serious diseases may occur . . . like fibrocystic breasts, hyper or hypothyroidism, and many more. Read some books on the subject. It's good for you:)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ike's Insight

"Where did Grandpa Roger's hair go?" I ask during an extensive hair conversation with my four-year-old.

"It fell off his head and went on his face." Ike explained with cute little hand gestures. (Grandpa Roger has a goatee.)


"You've made my heart sad by being naughty," I told Ike.

Learning recently where our hearts are (due to the pledge of allegiance), he came over and kissed my heart. "I kiss your heart and make it happy," he said with a smile.


A few minutes after being tucked into bed, Ike tip-toed out of bed to find me.

"Mommy, " he said seriously with his eyes wide for emphasis, "I smell bad guys in my room!"

Nice try there big guy!

Puree Away

I've been working on making baby food the past couple of nights and so far everything has tempted little Miss Kate's taste buds. However, she is not very picky so this makes my job easy.

Tonight she had fresh pineapple, banana, and flaxseed puree and gobbled it up! Last night I made spinach, carrots, and brown rice and also pureed some fresh blueberries and oatmeal. We'll see what we'll create tomorrow!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Here I Go Again . . .

My family is known for our high regards for natural medicine. We would choose a natural remedy (if the option is available) before we take a drug. It's who we are and what we do. Go ahead and roll your eyes and start judging us:) We are used to it and quite frankly . . . we don't care what anyone else thinks. Again, it's who we are and what we do.

Now with that in mind, we do have quite a bit of respect for conventional medicine. We have seen firsthand the intense pain prior to death. When the organs start giving way to cancer and start shutting down we've heard the heartbreaking moans of pain. We were all for any sort of pain medicine to make our dear Dad more comfortable as his body prepared itself for his ascension to heaven. I myself opted out of natural childbirth when I could no longer take the burning sensation contractions made in my abdomen. And you better believe I smiled quite happily as I delivered my babies:) Anyway, to make my point clear, I myself have no judgements or opinions on what choices you make as far as medicine goes. It's your body, do what is best for YOU. I am just glad that we have options!

Now with that in mind, our doc recommended a book called Breakthrough by Suzanne Somers (he's well aware of my family's desire for natural medicine before conventional so he always has book suggestions, articles copied for us to read, and he stays on top of the latest natural medicine studies -- not just for us though, he has many "natural-minded" patients). Before you think "what could an actress have to say about medicine?" Well, it's her interviewing many doctors and the discussions are VERY interesting and educational (if you are into all the natural medicine or want to learn more). If you aren't interested, go on your merry way. Who am I to tell you what to do?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Bum Genius

Okay. I am only on my first week of using cloth diapers, but I am going to admit that it isn't hard at all! I bought the Bum Genius diapers which is an "all-in-one" diaper so there aren't any plastic covers at all. The diapers have held up REALLY well so far (not even a week yet though). We haven't had any leaks during the day or at night! And as for the "genius" part of the name, I think it has something to do with the fact that the diaper will fit from birth and expands to toddler size. Amazing! I'll still be using the disposables for when we are out and about though.

Thanks, Heidi, for doing all the cloth diaper research and for the recommendation!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Much Love Can a Mother's Heart Hold?

Not long after Ike was born we took him out to Costco -- a weekly if not bi-weekly trip for us. While meandering through the store a beautiful woman casually came up to us and asked if she could peek in the carseat. Of course, we were the usual proud parents and we were more than happy to show her our new gift.

She had a good, long look and sighed sadly, "I can't have any more."

Just having experienced the beginning of the deep, endless love that comes with motherhood, I was sad for her. "How many do you have?" I asked.

"Six," she shrugged.

I looked up and across the aisle. And sure enough, there was her cart filled and surrounded with six shiny and smiling faces and a husband waiting patiently.

So with that in mind, I ask: How much love can one heart hold? However, I think I already know the answer. A mother's heart can hold an infinite amount of love. Bringing new life into the world is indescribable. It would be difficult to put into words just how amazing it is to watch your child grow and feel your heart expand and expand.

I think of the Costco woman often. How great a blessing to get to experience the years of pitter-patter six children would create! How amazing to hear "I love you" from six little voices! Imagine all the hugs and kisses! I wonder what kind of blissful chaos Christmas would be! No matter how many children the good Lord blesses us with, it's our delight to rejoice in ALL the goodness and joy children bring to a home! So whether you have one child or twenty-one, I hope you are enjoying the constant party children add to a home (don't forget to also enjoy those three a.m. teething parties!).