Updating things on the site, including the kids’ bio pages. Look how tiny! For the new updated photo and answers, peek here.

Rachael with her felt cookie, 2012

My name is Rachael, but you can call me Rae.

Age: 4

Favorite Toy: “My Stephanie Lego car. Daddy put it together for me for my birthday. My girl drives with her friend.”

Favorite Book: “Hmm… aha! Princess Collection.”

Favorite Food: “Penguin crackers. But, cucumbers too.”

Best Friends: “Dora and Boots.”

“When I grow up… I want to be a horse rider.”

When somebody tickles me, it … always makes me laugh.”

[Summer Break] Day 1: Good beginnings

[Summer Break] Day 1: Good beginnings

Don’t let the title fool you. I’d be completely overshooting myself if I claimed that I was going to write a post each day for Summer Vacation. HA. Dream on.

Regardless, today IS day one, and so far not much past what I expected. Olivia’s needing work on her attitude and already has lost her electronic privileges for the rest of the day. Welcome, Summer. Welcome.

We’re also starting our new Summer Check Lists and went over how the NEW (and improved, of course) allowances will work. I got the idea from  a blog called 71 Toes, which is a modified version of the plan in this book – and of course Pinterest led me there! So anyway, they pay their kids their age, ie child is 10, so he/she gets $10 a week. We, however, cannot afford $21 a week in payout to the kids! (9 + 7 + 4 + 1 = 21) Eesh! We’ve made our own changes to make it work for our family and I’ll share more on that when we have some more experience under our belts with the method and how it’s holding up.

In other news, we saw two birds out the window this afternoon, “being cute”. The first thing I noticed were the brilliant colors on the darker bird’s shoulders. After a quick Google search and upon entering our bird’s characteristics, we discovered the one bird was a Red-winged Blackbird.

red-winged blackbird illustration

The illustration really does not do the bird justice, the wing color is outstanding – makes it easy to spot, too. What we couldn’t understand, was what the bird was doing. He’d fly out into the field and then come back to a bird that sat on the fence post. He did this three different times. It almost looked like he was bringing her food. But the other bird, the one on the post, looked NOTHING like the Blackbird – I didn’t think birds of different kinds [ETA: GENERA, plural for genus. GO GOOGLE!] would mate. [ETA: From what I’ve read, it looks like closely related birds of the same family and genus can mate and create hybrids.]

So we took some pictures, watched them for a few minutes and I sat down to post while the kids ran around doing their normal craziness. It wasn’t until I went to find a better photo of the Red-winged Blackbird, and to figure out if there was maybe a slight visible difference between sexes, that I stumbled on these two photos further down the page:

Just a LITTLE different, wouldn’t you say?! The kids are now convinced that the brown bird (also known as, the Red-winged Blackbird FEMALE bird) is a mama and that the daddy must be bringing her food because she’s so tired with all those egg-babies in her tummy. Sure! Why not! Needless to say, we’ll definitely be doing more of this this summer.

The kids then turned their bird-watching into some Naturalist Playdoh molding:

Duncan, as you can clearly see, was VERY particular. He wanted his bird photographed from the top, the front, the back, AND the side. He was proud of his details. Rachael started making snakes, then the kids claimed they MUST be worms for the birds to eat. She wasn’t too into that idea.

More chaos tomorrow.

The baker’s dozen

The baker’s dozen


At any given time during my day with four children, I’m doing (about) a dozen things at once. So this morning, as I’m making a dozen bagel-egg-cheese-ham breakfast sandwiches for the freezer, I’m also busy texting Cam and entertaining the whining children. (Me: Just ask Duncan to help you make your bed, honey. I’ve got to stay by the eggs. Rae: BUT I DON’T WANT A BOY TOUCHING MY BED! Maybe we should enforce this idea for assistance in later years? Ugh.)

So, Cam’s texting me about this plant we have in the front flower bed – you know, the ONE PLANT that decided it wasn’t an annual anymore and just burst into enthusiastic perennial status. All on its lonesome. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOWER BED. Really annoying. If its little friends had decided to join him, I wouldn’t be too upset. But it just keeps growing and growing becoming a larger and larger mass RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE. I just need to start stating, outside and out loud, “I do NOT want anything to be symmetrical, matching, or aesthetically pleasing in any way shape or form.”

“Testing me are you, hmm? THE OPPOSITE, DONE, WILL BE. Yeesssssss,” says Nature.  (Or Yoda, take your pick.)

Anyway! [Again.] So, I’m obsessing over this in my head as Cameron is texting me. There’s a sudden lull in the texting and my phone beeps. It’s an email from my dad – I open up the email and the subject is a reply from a subscription email that reads, “Re: [New Post] Challenge Day #3” – aaand cue all the blood to drain from my face. DAY FOUR. I MISSED IT. Enter the baker’s dozen: the blog has always kind of been that random 13th item that you suddenly remember – OH, that one thing that I said I was going to post and not forget! How on earth did I forget?! It’s not like had 12 other things going on all at once!

NO EXCUSES! BLOG FAIL! The blogGods are laughing at me right now.

Days #4 and #5 will post today. AND! Countertop photos! (Nudge-nudge, Gma Cole!)

Challenge Day #3

Challenge Day #3


Day three is “what makes you happy” – good heavens. Talk about a loaded question! There are so many things that make me happy, so many things that are important to my well-being, I wouldn’t even know how to make an entire list or where it would end. But to begin?


If nothing else, that seems like a great start to me.

(And just 14 minutes shy of my deadline, ha!)

Monday Monday…

Monday Monday…

After two days of puke and laundry still coming out of my ears (or literally resting in my upstairs tub in the kids’ bathroom) I’m exhausted. We also painted the laundry room, hung the cabinet, put the bag holders on the wall, and I’m scheduled to spray paint tomorrow before a week of rain. Needless to say: I’m beat.

I kept Facebook up to date and really REALLY don’t want to retype. Here’s how our weekend went:

Status Update #1, Sunday: This is so incredibly depressing. I worked so hard this morning to throw this huge planned activity together for my Primary kids (we’re out of paper for the printer so I thought I was going to have to wing it entirely, but then I found some old scrapbook paper this morning that was a normal size with only one printed side that I could flip and use!) I put all the goodies into my Leprechaun hat – as bad as my Sunday was going – I couldn’t wait to get up in front of those kids! We piled into the car, and started to head out of the neighborhood when Charlotte threw up ALL. OVER. THE. CAR. The seat, the car seat, her dress, her jacket, down the door, on the door handle – LITERALLY. ALL. OVER. We turned around, bathed her in the kitchen sink, grabbed a different dress and jacket, got back in the car, went to church, sat in the foyer. She throws up AGAIN. I caught it IN HER DRESS and practically yelled at Cameron to open the door so I could take her out in the rain. Thinking she was done – I mean SERIOUSLY, where else could anything be stored in that little body? – I tried to comfort her from afar at which point she nearly throws up all over me. Poor Cameron, who has a very weak stomach, was scrambling to help but not get sick at the same time. We sent Duncan to get paper towels, I stripped her naked with a diaper – still in the rain – and walked around the outside of the church to meet the family at the car. We drove home with the windows down because of the awful smell, and I bathed her for the 3RD time this morning. Cameron left about 20 minutes ago to go teach his lesson. FACEPALM. I don’t think St. Patrick’s Day likes me. Ultimately? I’m really bummed that I don’t get to see my Primary kids with this beard and Leprechaun hat. 😦

Status Update #2, Sunday: Wow. *exhales* Rant over.

Status Update #3, after 1am Monday: Ladies and Gentlemen… We have a bug. Just cleaned off a hysterical 4-year-old covered head to toe. Stay far far away…

Status Update #4, about 7am: Ooh, and again this morning. Piled right on the carpet. The large plastic container I gave her last night? “It’s okay, mom, it’s not dirty.” Oh, GOOD! :-/

Status Update #5, again, around 7am: I feel like my cold is rearing its head again. Couldn’t get to sleep last night after Rachael woke me, then when I finally did Cam woke up because of a neighbor’s dog. This is gearing up to be an… interesting… day.

Status Update #6, about 1:30pm: We’re still alive! So far no more projectile incidents. Cleaned the upstairs carpets, painted the laundry room, and trashed the kitchen by emptying the laundry room into it so we could have room to paint, ha! Next up, watching the paint dry, filling the room back in, and then cycling through the new masses of laundry. I need to spray paint my displays but this sky is looking like rain. I guess I could spray and then move them… durnOregon.

Status Update #7, literally five seconds after I posted Update #6: UGH. I had to tempt fate. Good thing the bucket was nearby. She’s now contently watching “the Bob show” (Bob the Builder).

Wow. What a day. Night? Weekend? Afternoon? Wee hours of the morning? Call it what you will… it’s been a long one. Photos tomorrow of the kitchen counters, and hopefully I’ll be starting an apron for my Paparazzi parties! Must must get through laundry though. And spray paint displays before the good ol’ rain is back. Ahh, even when sick and when dealing with sick babies… life just keeps on going…