Wednesday, February 23, 2011


How many people do you know who can work until 3am and get up at 6am and cheerfully go to work? Carl, is the only person in the world I know who doesn't actually complain about missing sleep. Not only does he not complain but he is as cheerful as if he got 10 hours of sleep. How does that happen? He even never acts like he's in a hurry and always makes time to do stuff for the kids like find lost marbles under the bed or listen to a long winded lego story (you know the kind the boys tell about whatever creation they've made and how their imagination played out in a particular instance). Carl's attitude is baffling and inspiring! Maybe I'll try to be better.

Monday, October 11, 2010

memories of swimming lessons

Grant and Alex (after locker room shower) waiting for June swimming lesson to begin. Grant holds the family record in wearing goggles (in this painful fashion) for 3 hours straight before getting in the pool.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Alex's contract

Carl's mom gave the kids a typewriter this summer. They used it daily until it ran out of whiteout ribbon. One day Alex handed me a sealed envelope addressed "to Dan" (Alex's newest uncle) and asked if I would put it in the mail. About a week letter he received a reply in the mail which I read and laughed about. After further investigation I was given the information of the original letter which follows:

"Dear Dan, do you want to draw pictures for a book I am going to make, The book is called The kids who were WIZARDS, Thers going to be 5 books, Ther will be 100 75 a book or less, Ther will be pictures of Zombies and stuff, sighn here if you want to do it.

P.s pleas wright back.

from Alex"

Dan's letter of response:

Dear Mr. Alex xxxxxx

I am excited to hear more about this series of books you are planning to write. It sounds like you are planning for considerable success.

After reviewing the terms of the contract you sent me, I have decided to offer my services to the extent that I will illustrate for you the cover of your first novel. Upon completion of this first illustration, we may then begin negotiation for further work.

Please respond with an outline for your first novel so that I may begin work on this project. Also, any other information that will help me understand your vision for this book will be helpful. You may contact me directly or through my secretary, Katie.

Thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to working with you.

Daniel xxxx xxxxxx

To clarify, Dan is an amazing painter currently working on his Masters of art right now. After reading Dan's response I asked Alex without cracking a smile, "so what did you think about the letter?" He responded frownily that he'd ask for Dad's help instead since he wanted the cover and inside illustrations to be done by the same person. What a guy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

sowwy mom

Grant: "Sowwy mom"

Me: "What are you sorry about?" (I couldn't see anything obviously wrong)

Grant: "I put Foxy's cowwar awound my neck...(long pause)...can you help me get it off."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


So my sister Katie was married a while back. Here are some of the pictures from her wedding. Jordan, Alex and Grant taking advantage of some game time when they think mom's not looking.

Grant would not leave Dan's side. He loves the guy.

My dad, uncles and brothers. I found them like this several times during the day in a crcle telling stories as my dad laughed his head off.

Here is Diane Schwartz with my brother Andy. She surprised everyone by showing up to the wedding after traveling over 12 hours to get there. I haven't seen her in probably 12 years.

Here's the quilt I made for Katie. I was cutting off the strings to the matching pillowcases on the way to the wedding. It was a close call.
My Uncle Jeff and Jordan.

Em with the nephews and neice that were there.

My amazing Aunt Steff who decided to run a half marathon the morning of the wedding. Did I mention the wedding was in the morning?

Waiting for the bride and groom.

This is the only group picture I got--oh well!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Schools Out!

I've been dreading summer for the last few months. I love the kids but hate all the fighting and begging to play the computer all day. I changed my attitude just in the nick of time though (from listening to Dr. Laura's book Stop Whining, Start Living book) and started looking forward to summer. I talked to one woman who helped me realize that I don't have to provide the entire summer entertainment. I never really provide great entertainment but just feeling like I should is exhausting. So before school got out we had the kids come up with a personal list of things they would do when they feel bored. We also initiated a summer rule: if you say, "I'm bored" or anything like unto it, you will be given a job to do. So far so good--its been 3 whole days.
One other thing that's hard for me about summer is the lack of schedule. Some people love this I know but I don't work well without some kind of structure. So here's this summers routine. Before playing or doing anything fun you must first:

Clean your room
Do 3 jobs--assigned by mom
Practice piano for 30 minutes
Read 1 hour
Write in your journal (yesterdays topic was "if you were an inventor what would you invent")
Math flashcards/written math drills

New chart made from tiny envelopes I picked up at the dollar store. Each child has a different color strip they place in envelopes when finished

This way we get the house peacefully clean and all the other naggable items have been taken care of.

After the work is done then the kids can play their 15 minutes of computer and use the rest of the day to do whatever they can think of.

The other summer idea that the kids are really excited about is cooking. The three oldest kids each have a day of the week to plan and prepare 3 meals with my help. Its so great to have kids to do at least half of the work.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bridal Shower

It happened a little while ago. But since she's already married I thought I'd better post about Katie's bridal shower before I post about the wedding. My little Katie was there and strangely we didn't get one picture of her. We also didn't get a picture of Cindy and Holly (those girls are so funny).

Mostly we ate and talked but we also played a couple of games (Katie wanted to be sure we didn't play anything too embarrassing). One was a "guess Dan's answers" game. My little Katie made up most of the questions. Here they are a few with answers included:

What is your favorite: Food: Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Activity: Watching March Madness
Flower: Sunflower
Holiday: Independence Day
Tipe of Dog: Australian Shepherd
Pet: Possum
Musical Instrument: None
Tree: Willow Tree
Computer Game: Warcraft
Toy: Dominoes
Bird: Falcon
My sister Katie was pretty stumped. I guess they had never talked much about important subjects like trees, pets, and flowers. We laughed pretty hard about the questions and Dan's silly answers to them.


Jodi with daughter and Katie

really great food--the 7 layer greek dip was amazing

Mom, Andrea and Katie

Katie and friend

Amy and Leigh--had both just lost 20 pounds