Sunday, December 21, 2008

Pictures of Us

Girly Fun

I had an appointment with my manicurist the other day. She did a wonderful job didn't she?
Oh, and here she is!

More Narnia

The kids....and Bryan are Narnia fanatics. They read about Narnia every night, they watch "Narnia" (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe) every chance they get and they play Narnia all day long. (I am hoping we get some good Christmas toys so that Zetta and Grady learn to play something else!)

Zetta prefers to play Lucy or sometimes Susan and Grady likes to be Peter, but will play anyone.
A few days ago, as far as I could tell, Grady took the part of the White Witch and I, unknowingly, was supposed to be playing Aslan. I was putting laundry away in their bedroom and he came at me with his dagger drawn and in his best wicked, growly voice said, "I am going to cut you on the hard couch!" Thinking I had not understood him, I asked, "On the what?" To which he replied, "Get on the hard couch and I will cut you!" I know I hurt his feelings, but I could not stop laughing when I realized what he was trying to say. If you've read "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe," the White Witch kills Aslan on the stone table. Grady had set the scene perfectly, but had the vocabulary a little mixed up!

He is such a funny boy. Maybe I'm a language-development nerd, but I love seeing how a 2-year-old develops - the concepts he picks up, the words he mixes up and his blossoming imagination! I wish you all could see him!

Friday, December 19, 2008

O Christmas Tree

We have a Christmas Tree. For those of you who know our history, this is a BIG thing! Bryan and I have been married for 8 years and I don't think we bought a tree until 2 years ago. I've always been a real tree girl, but I settled for this poor $16 fake tree because I would have been on my own purchasing, setting up and decorating a real tree every year. I think we made this poor thing look pretty good this time! Thank you for helping this time, Bryan. Oh, and as you may have noticed, it is on the floor this year, not on the landing above the closet (we have a very small living room and very high ceilings.) We'll see if it is still up in June again this year! Since it's accessible and I'm not pregnant, it had better not be. I think I'll shoot for taking it down 2 weeks after Christmas so we can enjoy it for a while after we get back from Kansas. We'll see. It did provide a little comedy for all of our visitors this past year!


Another full night's sleep! I actually woke this morning and felt rested. I love it! This is probably good night #4 for Merrick. By "good night," I mean at least 7 hours. Don't get me wrong, he's never been a bad sleeper. He's been the, go to bed at 10:00 and wake at 2:30 and 6:30 just to eat and fall right back to sleep baby. So, even though he's had a pretty good schedule, I am still very thankful for the excellent nights of sleeping.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sounds good to me!

Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk while it's still snowing...

Monday, December 8, 2008

The toy gun in the van and the wolves.

This is Bryan posting for the first time in the existence of this blog. I thought I'd relay a couple of funny stories.

Grady has this little toy shot gun that he likes to play with. He likes it so much that, whenever he happens to be thinking of it, he begs us to let him take it with him in the van wherever we go. This is harmless enough (he just holds it on his lap - we don't let him take it into stores or restaurants obviously) so we let him do it. Yesterday evening, Grady was piddling around the house playing and the shotgun popped into his head - he said he wanted it. Meg and I had just settled in to some show on the television, so I just told him he could go out to the van where it still was and get it himself, the van was in the driveway and all the snow was melted, so he should've been able to quickly run out there, open one of the sliding doors, get it, then close the sliding door with the fancy button our van has that closes it and run back in. He made it a few steps out the front door, but it was dark and cold, and he came right back in, saying he was scared and cold. I ridiculed him briefly for saying he was scared, then asked Zetta to go help him.

Zetta went outside with him and all seemed well and then she came back a minute or so later... without him. Meg and I obviously noticed he wasn't with her so we sent her back outside to see what the problem was and tell/help him to get inside. She came back a minute or so later and said... "Daddy... he says he wants you." Arghh... so I get up and go outside. He's stranded, just hanging out in the mini van, side door wide open... looking a bit aloof, and maybe like he had cried a little bit - not full on meltdown, but genuinely concerned about something. He proceeds to tell me that he's afraid of the wolves outside. He does have a bit of an imagination, so it didn't surprise me that he came up with something like that, particularly since he was outside alone in the cold and dark (except for the van light that is). So, I tell him there are no wolves to be scared of... and then tell him that even if there were he'd be good to go because he has his shotgun to shoot them with. At this his face - without words - says... "Listen dude, I know enough to know this chinky little plastic toy shotgun isn't gonna do anything against a pack of real wolves, so why don't you just..." - you get the point.

So, Grady and I head back in. I tell Meg he said he was afraid to get out of the van because of the wolves. Grady tells her he was afraid and that he cried because of the wolves. All the while, a devilish little grin is taking form on Zetta's face... and as soon as Grady spits out that he cried because he was afraid of the wolves, Zetta starts jumping up and down and laughing (not so much in a devious, demonic way... more a ornery, mischievous way) and saying... "I told him there were wolves outside when I went out to help him. Ha-ha!" She was totally proud of the fact that she A) got him to believe there were actually wolves outside B) that belief caused him to be paralyzed with fear and strand himself in the car and C) that she left him out there all alone once she had made it far enough out there to ensure that he successfully got to his gun. All of this - Zetta's devious role in the whole episode - was lost on Grady, he was just glad to be inside and away from the wolves.

Also, I'm pretty sure wolves being the animal of choice resulted from the fact that Zetta had watched The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe earlier that day. The wolves are the evil White Witch's secret police.

To end the whole story, I told Zetta - for the Nth time, I've lost count - that Grady will actually be bigger and stronger than her some day, so she better watch out.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I just noticed that two of my children are shooting people in the group picture at church.....hmm....maybe we should work on that, Bryan!

Reformation Day Celebration

The Whole Group at the Reformation Day Celebration
Merrick the Carrot
Zetta the Cowgirl
Grady the Soldier
(complete with wings and stripes, compliments of "Uncle Allen", the Marine)

October Fun

The kids before heading off to "Trick-or Treat Street" at the Jr. High

We have had so much fun dressing up in our costumes this last week. We started off the fun by attending Trick-or-Treat Street, hosted by the local 4-H group. Zetta then had a Halloween party at school, followed by a visit to Judy and Allen's on Halloween evening and then a Reformation Day party at our church. The kids, including Merrick, had a blast in costume. Oh, and Merrick dressed as a cow for his first appearance (Thanks, Aunt Carrie!) and a carrot for his second, thanks to our friend Judy, who made that costume just for him.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Spinach is not a popular thing at our house, but boots are! I was thinking about getting the kids boots for Christmas this year, but when we decided to make them a cowboy and cowgirl for Halloween, they got their presents a bit early. They have them on every second they can. Here they are in their jammies....and boots. (I told Z to hold her nightgown up a little so we could see her boots in the picture and Grady followed suit. He's a riot!) Grady is now going to be a soldier, but I think the cowboy boots are still going to be used.

Not a Hit

I sat my crazy kids down to watch some TV while I was making lunch the other day. I don't usually make them watch TV, but it was an attempt to get them to stop fighting and be quiet for a while. (It worked pretty well.) Amazingly, they both agreed on the show they wanted to watch: Popeye! I figured that this was the perfect time to introduce a new food. (Wouldn't you think the same?) Grady can't watch more than about a minute of TV at a time (both a blessing and a curse) so he was in the kitchen in no time. I presented this beautiful can of spinach to him as his vegetable for the meal. He was a bit skeptical. I didn't give up, though. When I showed it to Zetta, she was so excited to be eating like Popeye! A short time later, lunch was ready and both kids were perched at the table ready to eat. Grady still skeptical and Zetta as excited as she's ever been to eat lunch. When I presented them their plates of Mac-n-Cheese and Popeye Spinach, Zetta's excitement faded. She was trying her hardest not to be rude, but I could see she was uncomfortable with something. So I asked her what was wrong, to which she replied, "What is that green stuff?"

I told her it was yummy spinach just like Popeye eats and she said, "But why does it look disgusting?"

To this I had to laugh and told both of them that they had to take one bite to see if they liked it. They did so without even being forced, however I think that will be the last bite of canned spinach any of us will ever eat! (Mine went into the trash, too.) Oh well, at least I tried.


Zetta's school participated in a fund raising Trike-a-Thon to support pediatric cancer research at the St. Jude's Children's Research Center. She took this very seriously, as you can see. She really wanted to "win" so she could help sick kids. I had to explain that no one was going to actually win, since it wasn't a race, but that she just had to keep riding and do her best. She didn't really get that it wasn't a race, but she and her classmates had fun anyway.

Can you see that her front tire was as flat as a pancake? I didn't notice it until about half way through the event! Sorry, Z.

Oh, and yes, this is at her preschool. She goes to school in the country, on the farm of one of her teachers, so you can see Ms. Beth's house and yard in the background....oh and maybe a little bit of Kansas off in the distance (that's for all of you who like to get those jabs in when you drive out here from your big city homes)!

Aunt Suzy's Wedding

So, people keep asking to see pictures of Aunt Suzy's wedding. The truth is, I think my hands were a little full that weekend because this is the only picture I took (other than a matching one with some serious red-eye)! I snapped this one at the end of the reception at Suzy's request. If anyone has any they want to share, please let me know! The kids looked very cute and Suzy and Ryan were definitely a handsome looking couple.

What a Sweetie

Grady came after me with this spatula the other day when I was changing Merrick's diaper. His current toys of choice are kitchen utensils. He usually has a pretend purpose for whatever he has in hand. Any guesses at what this one was?

He walked up behind me making a growling noise and scraped this up the back of my head! Then he said, "Sit still like a statue, it just tickles! I give you a haircut, Mommy."

Grady and His Brother

Can you tell that Grady adores his baby "bwudduh"?

Another funny thing...

Zetta says: "Does Barack Obama think he's more powerfuller than God? 'Cuz that is not good."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Things Kids Say

I think my kids are funny! For some reason I have been noticing lately that they say some of the funniest things. Making note of these things is how I get through the day some times. Here are just a few:

-While I was yelling at the big kids to get their shoes on so we could get Z to school on time, Grady came up to me and in his most stressed out manner said, "So much times I don't want to go to school...ezuh, ezuh!" (translation: ever, ever)

-In a disgusted reference to Merrick - "Again? Again he's stinky?"

-Grady has decided to challenge me quite a few times lately. This one in particular echos in my mind. It wasn't so funny at the time, but I'm softening! Grady said, "You not a boss, Mommy! Only big kids is a boss. So we da' boss!" (Let me tell ya' sometimes it does feel that way!)

-Grady code:
ezuh = ever; buzuh = brother; buhjean = Jeanine; buhzert = dessert; luz = love

-Zetta, Grady and Bryan were watching Bear Grylls (Man vs. Wild) climb up out of a rocky canyon in the Badlands of South Dakota and Z says, "Wow! That looks you think he has to double knot his shoes for that?" (Ah, the mind of a preschooler!)

We're Still Here!

OK, I had made it my personal goal to do a post each week. It was a good thought! Sorry I haven't made one in a while. I don't have any pictures to put up right away, but I'll fill you in on what we've been up to.

Let's see:
We left September 23rd to go to Kansas for about a week. Zetta did well as a flower girl and Grady was a great ring bearer in Aunt Suzy's wedding. After the wedding we spent the rest of the time visiting with our families, letting everyone meet Merrick and playing with the cousins. It was a busy time. It is amazing, but aside from meal times, I pretty much don't see my kids when we are back there! I think the trip home was good for all of us. Bryan enjoyed a day of golf and a little time away from work. Also, the post-partum "fog" has seemed to lift from my head. I can now actually plan out my day, remember who I just dialed on the phone (before they answer) and most of the time I can come up with ideas for what to eat for supper.

Since we've returned...hmm....we've tried to rest up and I've done laundry. (Ha!) No, really we've just been getting back in the swing of things at home, taking Zetta to school and playing at home (and still not resting, I'll have to figure out how to work that out pretty soon).

I hope you all are doing well! Hope to hear from you soon.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

For Aunt Gretchen

One pretty picture of Mr. Merrick and one of Zetta's attempt to make him look like he's smiling.

The whole family ready for church.

Aunt Gretchen wants daily pictures of the kids, so we'll play catch-up today. (I don't think I'll be able to do it daily, Gretch, but we'll try to give you a weekly post!)

Photo Shoot

Grady's picture of Zetta

Zetta's picture of Grady

Zetta's shot of Mommy and Merrick

Thursday, September 4, 2008

More Baby Pics

The end of a very long day!

Baby Pics

Labor Day...

...A good day to have a baby! We had Merrick Keith at 8:41 on Sept. 1st, Labor Day. (I thought that was fitting.) He is 20 inches long and weighed in at 8 lbs. 15 3/4 oz. and is a very happy, mellow guy. Everything went very well and we got to come home Tuesday night for a good night's rest.

For some reason, I can't get pictures to load right now, but I'll keep trying and get back with you all soon.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Grady Rides a Bike

Our friends just gave Grady the littlest bike I've ever seen. It is so cute watching him ride (unless you're 9 months pregnant and you end up having to push him around the block when he decides he's too tired and quits pedaling). Zetta got a Princess helmet set for her birthday, so we geared Grady up in Spider Man. I'm glad we did, because he's not that good at steering yet and has flipped off of the curb a few times already. (We'll have to get a pic of him in action soon.)

Zetta Goes to School

Z. had her first day of Preschool this past Tuesday. She loves it! She was a little unsure about it a few days prior, so I showed her some pictures of me in the building and told her about working with kids there, thinking that I could fix her anxiety, which didn't really work at all. She did start to soften a little when I told her they had dress-up clothes.....and when she got there she expected to see them. She came up to me before I left and said, "Mommy, they don't have dress-up clothes.....but that's OK." Her teacher noticed her talking to me about it and was nice enough to go get them out of the storage room for her. The second day there were no problems!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Kids

Oh, maybe you would actually like to see some pictures of the kids! It seems I can never get a pretty picture of both of them at once, so they may provide laughter more often than a tug at the strings of your heart. None-the-less, ENJOY!

Saying goodbye to our good buddy, Luke.

Grady, playing ball in the front yard, of all places! (A few weeks ago, just before jumping on the "Potty Train")

A happy little Z, wet from playing in the runoff from the neighbor's sprinkler.

Out With the Old, In With the New

We had a slightly sad occasion this last month when we sold the 1st vehicle Bryan and I bought as a married couple. We said goodbye to the ol' Rodeo for no reason other than it had too little room to accommodate our growing family. We said hello to the nicest vehicle we've purchased by far.....a minivan. Yes, a Dodge Grand Caravan. It's a beauty and, although I miss our Rodeo still, I am fine in admitting that not only was I excited to buy a more family-friendly automobile, I have also loved every minute of driving I've had in it for the last week and a half! Anyone who wants to try to knock me off of my "I'm proud to drive a minivan" pedestal can just hold your tongue! You will not convince me that a bigger SUV would have been a better option, because it is just not true. Minivans were made for people with kids! This thing has enough room to easily fit my double stroller in the back, it has more than enough seating for a soon-to-be family of 5 w/ friends, the kids can maneuver from front to back without smearing mud all over the middle row of seats, and it has storage compartments in the floor for kid gear/seats that are not in use/those children who choose to not listen to or obey the driver of the car! I love my minivan. Some of you may understand and others of you probably will some day!

Hello to Family and Friends

My husband has been trying to get me to start a blog for a while now, so I thought I'd give it a shot! He thought it would be a good way to share what's going on in our lives with our family and friends and I agree. We don't do a good enough job of calling all of you who live far away and it seems like in the rush of our day-to-day lives we don't always take the time to share with those of you who are close. So, to begin we say hello to all of you and we hope you enjoy reading up on our life no matter how dull or exciting it may be in the moment!