Monthly Archives: January 2012

All Aboard!

This weekend I took the kids on a train ride with my folks.  My dad is great at finding exciting-fun things to do, my mom is great at helping me keep everyone alive doing dad’s exciting-fun things.  So we headed up to where they live, hopped the train and rode it downtown to the new Twins Stadium.  Cassie brought her Thomas the Train and her eyes just lit up when the train started moving.  The boys loved it too.  They sat by Papa and drilled him with questions.  Lexi loved all the “word art” on the bridges and other train cars.

After the train ride we all went to McDonald’s for lunch and ice cream.  It was a pretty fun morning.  I love to travel so it gave me the itch to go somewhere (besides Target and Church).  Then again this was a short trip, another 15 minutes and it probably would have started to resemble our last road trip.


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‘Kipping in Church

I went to pick up Lexi from choir practice last night and I had the twins with me.  We got there early and had some time to kill so we wandered around a bit.  The girls were a bit antsy and started running around.  I reminded them when we are at church we need to be quiet and there is no running in church.  Callie looked at me with her eyes wide and then asked, “What about ‘kipping?” (She leaves off her “s” ‘s…’wimming, ‘chool, ‘kating…).”  I looked at the girls and they were both in a happy mood, not being reckless or wild so I thought God would probably approve of a little happy skipping in his house.  So I officially announced that ‘kipping was allowed at church if you don’t go too fast.  She was fine with that and skipped down the hall with her sister.


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“There’s a Giant Rat in my Room!”

So after school I’m trying to get the kids snack and Josh comes running up from his room screaming, “There’s a giant rat in my room!”  He’s not one to pull practical jokes but we don’t live in New York nor have I ever seen a rat where we live.  I follow him down to his room and he is going on, “It’s in my window and it has a really long tail.”  I’m thinking it must be a mouse and he’s exaggerating.  I go into his room and look at the window and there is nothing there.  Then I go open the blinds and see this:

This was a bit of a surprise considering I was expecting to see a field mouse.  Turns out to be a muskrat.  We live by a pond so there are all kinds of creatures out and about but never been this up-close-and-personal with one of them.

So I went and got the other kids so they could come see the muskrat.  He wrecked or screen and was crawling around between the screen and window.  The bedroom has an egress window and he wasn’t big enough to crawl out.

“We have to save him!”  Callie announced.

Just then the “Wonder Pets” theme song popped into my head…”Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets we’re on our way, to save a baby muskrat and save the day.”

So we found the wonder pets (Linny, Tuck and Ming Ming too.) and I grabbed a board and a towel to rig up something to save our woodland friend. 

I was pretty sure as soon as I put the board down the muskrat would run up it and attack me (I’m a little skittish around “wild” animals) but I knew the kids were watching so I had to be brave.  I slid the board down into the window well and then backed up to take a few photos.

He didn’t move.  I talked to him gently and tried to coax him out with my reassuring words.  What am I doing?  Like a muskrat is going to understand my words of encouragement.  So I left him to figure it out and told the kids to leave him alone so he could get out on his own.  I just pictured one of the kids opening the window from the inside to “free” him into our house.  Now that would be a story.

I told my husband about our little “Wild Kingdom” adventure but he seemed less entertained and more annoyed about the condition of our screen.  I guess it can be frustrating when your house gets wrecked by all your kids and woodland animals.  Anyway, by dinner he was gone (the muskrat, not my husband.)

The girls saw me working on this post and came to look at the pictures, “There’s the hamster!”  Callie said.  Guess I really do need to work on those animal flashcards I dismissed earlier (see Positive Reinforcement).


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Saving your Child’s Artwork

I have a box for each child for their artwork, school papers and special memories, but what am I supposed to do with this?  Lexi created this 3D art form from a game she got for Christmas and various other things.  I told her I would take a picture of it to preserve it forever but she still wants to keep it.  She suggested we keep it in the shed!  I guess we will keep it around for a while and in the meantime encourage painting or drawing or any other art form that fits in a Rubbermaid bin.


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How Was Your Flight?

Not sure which seat is the best on this flight.  At least Snowman isn’t the pilot, looks like he spent a little too much time at the airport bar.


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Room vs. Fort

Yesterday the kids were home from school (grading day or something) so they got to decide what they wanted to do for the afternoon.  Lexi decided to make a fort.  She loves making forts and is really good at it BUT it usually involves hauling everything out of her room downstairs to the playroom, 5 blankets (where did she get 5 blankets?), pillows, Pillow Pets, every stuffed animal she has gotten since birth and MASKING TAPE. 

 “Lexi, I don’t want you using all my masking tape to tape your blankets to the wall for your fort.” Oh wait, that’s what I told her last time she made a fort, and the time before that and the time before…

(I need to get a safe with a retinal scan that holds masking tape, scotch tape and MY scissors in it.)

Back to the fort, she worked on it for quite a while and then came to get me for the unveiling.  It was really cool!  She lined up boxes on the side, draped her blankets, and the best part, added colored Christmas lights along the ceiling.  Looking at her creativity and precision I was curious how it was possible this fort could be so neat, so carefully planned and yet her room looks like a tornado went through it everyday.  Maybe we should move her out of her room and into her fort?  (She has a really nice big window in her room which would be an inspiring place for me to put my writing desk.)  She might be able to keep a 3 x 5 space clean, whereas her room is just sooooooo hard to manage.  However somehow I think “things” (pencil erasers in the shape of hamburgers, a wad of hot pink wax, a stack of tickets held together by a push-pin, a really long piece of orange yarn) would find their way into her fort as well. 

I guess creativity and living in a “creative” environment go hand in hand.  I just wish her creativity could be contained in shelves, closets and drawers!


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Retired Hockey Mom

Saturday was “Hockey Day Minnesota” so there was all kinds of hoopla at the rink and all over the state.  However this past year I retired as a hockey mom.  Johnny was in hockey for 4 years and Lexi was in it for 2 years and we agreed to take them out of hockey this past fall.  Here is a photo of Cassie and Callie before being dragged to one more practice.

Top 10 things I DON”T miss about being a Hockey Mom

10.  Trying to convince child that they love hockey and will enjoy this practice/game

9.  Trying to convince myself child should love hockey and will enjoy this practice/game

8.  Searching for missing _______________ (fill in with any one of the 25 pieces of equipment required to play)

7.  Arriving at practice (20 miles away) without one of ________________  (fill in with any one of the 25 pieces of equipment required to play)

6.  Chasing two-year old twins around the rink, consoling them when they cry after hearing the buzzer (buzzer goes off every 5 minutes)

5.  Retrieving stuffed monkey 2-year-old twin throws over the edge onto the ice (repeat)

4.  Finding 9-year-old literally crawling under the vending machine looking for money

3.  Getting begged for “just one treat” from the concession stand

2.  Managing the aftermath of giving-in to the request for one treat (which was a sucker) two-year-olds with suckers?  what was I thinking?

1.  Hockey?  Oh look there’s a hockey game going on!  Did you see Johnny just scored?  Of course not!

Disclaimer:  I love sports.  I even enjoy watching hockey but with everything else going on and the ages of the kids it is just a big zoo.  Maybe when they get older and if they really love the game I will come out of retirement.  I could also hire someone to be our hockey mom.  I’m sure there are some empty nesters that have been there and survived that would be up for the job.  Hey, outsourcing is in.

Swimming, now there’s a sport.  Suit, goggles, WARM environment.  Maybe that’s next.


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Fun Experiment

Here’s a fun experiment.  Take a hairbrush, preferably one with a curved back, and place it in your sink back side up.  Then crank on the water as high as it will go.  Do this while your mother is in the middle of cooking pancakes.  Her keen senses will alert her to the sound of water splashing much too loudly to be hand-washing and she will come into the bathroom to find your “experiment”.  She will notice the beautiful fountain you have created of spraying water and instead of congratulating you on your ingenious she will shut off the water, pull towels off the hooks and start sopping everything up.  Then her keen senses will alert her to the smell of smoke and she will be reminded of the pancakes she WAS cooking.  She will leave the soaking floor/child and rush to the kitchen to save the pancakes…too late.

Here’s a more fun experiment.  Sit on the couch and read a book while your mom makes breakfast!!


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The Rock-Star Treatment

When Jerad gets home from work the kids all yell “Dad’s home, Dad’s home!” and they run to the door, line up and take turns running and jumping into his arms.  He gets the “Rock Star Treatment” every day he gets hoe from work.  That’s one of the perks of being “Dad”.

Today when I went to pick-up the girls from preschool I got there a little early.  I got to watch the girls leave the music room and walk back to their class, Cassie saw me, waved, jumped up and down and yelled, “Hi mom!  Hi, mom!  That’s my mom!”  I felt like a rock star.  Those are the moments that really do make this whole thing worth it.


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The Birthplace of Jesus

Last night we went to the library and got new books.  I got a bunch of random fact books and encyclopedia type books with lots of pictures hoping to spark some interest in the kids for different things.  We were all downstairs reading when Callie shouted out, “Look, that’s where Jesus was born!”  I was excited that she had made some new connection and that she was actually learing something in Sunday School.  We all looked at the picture she was displaying and started cracking up…it was the Eiffel Tower!

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