Sunday, August 31, 2008

Menus for next week

Gosh, it's menu time again! We ate a LOT of chicken last week. I am kind of tired of chicken. We are going to try something fish this week, and something vegetarian one night.

Monday - Grilled salmon, lemon rice, salad
Tuesday - Marinated baked pork chops, roasted potatoes, frozen veggies
Wednesday - CLASS NIGHT FOR HARRISON - Spaghetti, fruit salad, bread
Thursday - SOUP NIGHT - Chicken wild rice soup, bread, crudites
Friday - Grilled cheese, tomato soup, broccoli

Phew!

Fair Day 08

Today was fair day - every year we go to the Minnesota State Fair with our kids. Here we are by the barns at the southwest corner of the fair, shortly after arriving. This year I really wanted to make sure that we had enough seats for each kid to be able to ride. This turned out to be a very good thing, although not for the reason I was anticipating. I had hoped for a hardcore fair year - meaning that I would get to go into the Creative Activities building, maybe the Merchandise Mart, maybe even the Education building. Read on...Luckily we did visit the livestock barns first. Well, we visited one livestock barn - the pig barn! I always like to see the mama pig and her 1,000 piglets that must nurse at all times. This reminds me of having a newborn baby (and yes, we have brought all three of our children to the fair as little, little babies). Anyway, here is a shot of Roses #2 and #3 looking at a pig. Note that Rose #3 in this picture is still upright...

Fast forward some and she was in fact completely conked out with about 101.5. We walked around, saw some opera singers (you can see a lot at the fair!), ate mini donuts and corn dogs, and then poor old Rose #3 completely lost it and fell asleep.
Between walking around and meeting Uncle Andy, Aunt Tonya and Sam & Maddie at the Giant Slide, I took Roses #1 and #2 to the play farm. It is kind of an exhibit where the kids get an apron, a pail, and they walk through a pretend farm, pretending to feed the chickens, move bales of hay with a tractor, etc. At the end each kid gets to pick a food item. Rose #1 chose Golden Grahams (General Mills is a sponsor!) and Rose #2, bless her unlikely little heart, chose an apple! Anyway, H was waiting for us (with zonked out Rose #3) and he took a picture of this sunflower:
Perhaps riding the giant slide with Rose #3 in the state she was in was not the wisest, but we did ride it - H with Rose #3, me with Rose #2, and Rose #1 all by herself, on these little burlap rug thingies that you use to ride the slide. $2 a pop, per person. We only rode once!
Then we went to the food building to try to find some actual lunch food. We found a spot outside the building, and Rose #3 was very, very fussy. I was glad to escape her to go into the building to get lunch for the girls. When I came out, I sent H in to find lunch for himself, and Rose #3 started crying and pointing to her...you guessed it...tummy. Next thing I know she is vomiting all over the place - all over me, all over her, all over the stroller, and Roses #1 and 2 were looking on in horror. Many, many innocent bystanders hurried out of the way without offering so much as a word of sympathy. One nice man tried to hand me a paper napkin...luckily I had a large quantity of wipes!
In the end, Rose #3 and I left to get the car (she was not too stinky on the bus ride back, luckily), and Roses #1 and 2 stayed with H to burn through the ride coupons we had. Here they are on the ferris wheel:
Another year at the fair, come and gone. Next year will be better, right? I mean, how much worse can it get than Rose #3 puking on you at the Great Minnesota Get-Together??

Saturday, August 30, 2008

One More Picture

Who could resist a shot of Guppy, H and Rose #3 swing dancing?
Not me, that is for DARN sure!!!

A Night at a Wedding

My cousin's daughter Lauren got married today! We were invited to the reception and it was tonight! We had a very nice time. I decided that it is OK for my picture to appear on my own blog, so there are a few of me today. First, here are me and Rose #3. The dress she is wearing is a size 4T (she is 2):Here is Rose #2 smiling her sweet smile. She was in heaven because the dessert table was placed on the balcony, so she could steal away and sneak extra helpings of dessert.

Here is Rose #1 and me. Rose #1 did not care at all about taking a picture with me. All she wanted to do was find her cousin Sammy to dance.

My sister and her husband and baby were there too:

Here is me and Aunt Boo:

And another infrequent character on this blog, the father of the Roses:


I had to include this picture. The reception was at a local dance hall, and the dance instructors came out every 15 minutes or so to teach new dances. Here is the crowd doing the swing (or the salsa, I don't really know). But look very carefully in the middle of the unfocussed people and you will see a little head of dark hair and a pink dress (that's Rose #3!):

We wish Lauren and Ben every happiness. Thanks for inviting us! It is very brave to invite our family anywhere!

Getting Ready for Bed

On Friday night the Roses were so cute getting ready for bed, I had to snap a few shots. Rose #2 loves the new toothpaste, which is Aquafresh, mainly because the pump thingy is easy to use. This is a lot of toothpaste!Rose #3 thinks in all seriousness that she can swim. Here she is laying down in the bathtub. Don't worry - by the time the water got a bit deeper I had her sitting up:
Here she was laughing at her immense talent for swimming:
One of my favorite things that Rose #3 does these days is say her own name. She can't say it very well - it ends up coming out like Shosie. It is amazing to think that two years ago she was just a little baby who could barely do anything but nurse, sleep and cry, and now she can say her very own name.

Friday, August 29, 2008

School Open Houses

Last night was the night of the double open house - Rose #1 at her school and Rose #2 at her school. Different schools! Rose #1's teacher is new to her school and seems very nice. We are super excited for Rose #1 to start first grade. Rose #1 has her own locker and already left a note in a friend's locker! Rose #1 looked at her locker and said, "what is that, Mom?" I said, "well, it is a place for your jacket and backpack," and she said, "No, I mean those holes!" I guess I never thought much about why a locker really needs air vents.

Rose #2's teacher is also new to her school. She used to be a special education teacher and decided to take on 4-year-old science kindergarteners for a change! We loved Rose #1's 4-year-old kindergarten teacher, and we are hoping that the new gal will be as effective for Rose #2. Rose #2 takes everything in stride - of course I am going to school, of course everything will be fine. This is in contrast to Rose #1, BTW.

Rose #3 was along for the ride, as usual. Her time will come!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

An outdoor Saturday

The kids played outside with the neighbor kids, all day long, on Saturday. I mean, all day long. The only time they came in was - lunch, a forced visit to the doctor (Rose #3 has a sinus infection, got amoxicillin, blah blah blah) and a very, very brief dinner.

They played Star Wars, and run around the yard, and probably eight other games that I was not privy to. And at the end of the evening, our neighbors two houses down made a fire in their new fire pit. Here are some pictures of the tired players.

Rose #3 with very nice neighbor girl Krista, who dressed her in a sweatshirt:
Rose #1, smushing her face into a tennis racket:
Rose #2, striking a pose, as usual:
I couldn't get a good shot with the fire, so you mjust have to take my word for it - the kids were sitting around a firepit!



Rose #3 was MAAAAAD

Rose #3 did not eat her dinner tonight. So, her daddy told her she could not play outside with the neighbor kids. Oh, was she ever MAD. Rose #3 understands exactly what is being said to her, and she knew just what she did wrong. But she still could not bring herself to eat her chicken and her broccoli!

Friday, August 22, 2008

School Year Update

We got our school news today!

Rose #2 will be going to a.m. 4-year-old kindergarten. This is good news for the bus. She can take the bus in the morning and the 4-year-old kindergarten bus will bring her right to the door after school. After Rose #3's trials with the bus last year, this is a relief. I am very excited for her to start 4-year-old kindergarten.

Rose #1 is starting first grade. We found out her teacher's name - Ms. Swenson - and also that her friend ever since the baby room at daycare, Anders, will be in her class too. We are very excited for her to start her new school.

Rose #3 is very, very mad that she is not starting school. I am thinking about a preschool-type group at our nearby recreation center. It is 3 days/week, 2 hours/day, but she would at least start getting used to school. I wish you could see Rose #3 cry when she is mad. Her mouth opens so wide, it looks like it might become unhinged and the top half fall off!!

Friday Night Menus

Well, we did really well with our menu plan last week. I fell off the wagon one night - Thursday night - when we unexpectedly got invited to our neighbors' house for their dog's birthday cake. (Yes, a Hannah Montana ice cream cake for Sienna the dog.) Rather than spaghetti with homemade sauce we had grilled cheese. That's OK.

Here is next week's menu:

Saturday - Pasta with Sausage and Peppers (p. 71, Silver Palate), bread, salad (double and bring dinner to Mary's family this week)
Sunday - Bombay Chicken Legs, Rice, Broccoli
Monday - MND (Thanks Guppy and Poppy!!)
Tuesday - Chicken Provencal, Egg Noodles, Fruit salad
Wednesday - Breakfast dinner
Thursday - Crock pot chicken, frozen veggies
Friday - Pork chops, citrus glazed carrots, bread

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Silent auction for a good cause!

Tonight was Aunt Charity's silent auction for a good cause - the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day Walk. Charity is walking this year. Please visit her personal webpage to make a donation! Katie is also walking. Please donate generously to the cause.

The auction and wine tasting was fun. Here are Uncle Eli and Aunt Brenna and Aunt Brenna's friend staffing the white wine/cheese/popcorn table:
Here are Guppy and Aunt Charity:
Guppy is a beneficiary of the research and the progress that the Susan G. Komen foundation has made. We are so grateful to them and we wholeheartedly support them and the 3 Day. Here is a silent auction attendee examining one of the items in the auction:

Another shot of Aunt Brenna and her girlfriends:

In all it was a successful event and we are excited for Aunt Charity to do the walk. (I got a few things in the auction myself, including a night of babysitting and a party to make steppingstones - mosaic pattern stones for the backyard or garden if we had one.)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Wednesday nights this fall

I want to take a class at the Loft on Wednesday nights this fall.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rose #1: Guest Blogger

Hi. We went swimming today. It was really fun. It was fun because it was at Highland Pool and we went in the deep pool. When Mom wasn't looking I tried to do a front flip. Daddy helped me. I touched the bottom of the pool with my hands. We brought a frisbee and when Rose #2 brought the frisbee over to the deep pool, Daddy threw it and I tried to go get it. And, by the way, I can swim without my life vest.

Me, Gus, Rose #2 and Pierre were trying to build a ship. But we didn't have enough time.

Well, I have the whole week to try to build the ship.

Rose #2 has some things to say: Anyways, I love you and when I got the Frisbee I went in the little pool with Mama for awhile. We played catch. I love you so much I hope you have a great day!

More about the pool from Mom: Rose #1 has a very cute tan line from her swimsuit, even though every time we go swimming we put SPF 50 on her. I did a handstand, and then a front somersault. I had terrible vertigo, thought I was going to throw up, and could barely find the surface of the 5' water.

Yesterday we visited Jill and brought her dinner. The girls love Jill so much, and it was good to see her in good spirits. We brought a couple of dinners for her freezer, which I hope is helpful to them as they prepare to welcome twins into their hearts and their lives.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Kirksville photos

OK, just a few more photos. I can't resist. Here are the kids pretending to paint the same fence that Tom Sawyer convinced his friends to whitewash in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer:
After the long cave trek (at the Mark Twain Cave), we needed an ice cream (my favorite part of this shot is Rose #3 at the end of the row - she is so proud of herself for being a big girl):
Finally, our last night in Kirksville, the kids posed with Grandpa Pete on the merry-go-round:
Phew. That's it for Kirksville shots.

Rolling Down the Hill in Kirksville

Perhaps aptly named, on Friday night in Kirksville we had a picnic at 1,000 Hills State Park. Here is Aunt Heidi and various children rolling down just one of those hills:

video

Love you Aunt Heidi. I couldn't resist posting the video showing you and the kids having so much fun!

Planning Menus

I am obsessed with starting to plan our menus again. Our freezer is getting very low, and this "5:50 p.m., hungry kids, what's for dinner" thing is getting very old.

OK, one short photo insert before I start on planning menus:


H and the Roses climbed on the monkey bars at the park tonight. We had a great time at the Turtle Park. Roses #1 and 2 and I ran an obstacle course. (I won with the best time.) Then the Roses made friends with some preteen girls that were playing at the park and they ran around, playing tag, going down the slide, etc. A gorgeous evening, etc.

Back to menu planning. Here is my plan for this week:

Saturday - Chicken enchiladas (we are going to visit Jill and bring her dinner), broccoli, spanish rice

Sunday - Turkey lasagna, french bread, salad

Monday - MND (thank you Guppy!)

Tuesday - Chicken wild rice casserole, frozen veggies, dinner rolls (I am going to make an extra casserole for Jill for the freezer and one for us)

Wednesday - Turkey burgers, home fries, crudites

Thursday - Spaghetti night

Friday - Make your own pizza night

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bedtime woes

I wish I knew how to fix our bedtime woes. Rose #1 and Rose #3 generally fall asleep pretty quickly, but Rose #2 haaaaaaaaaaaangs on, fussing, pouting, refusing to lay down, etc., etc., etc. Right now I am in the kitchen listening to H deal with her - it's his night to manage bedtime. We switch off every other night. It is not going well. She is 4 years old! Wouldn't you think most of our bedtime struggles would be behind us?

Monday, August 11, 2008

Tattoo Parlor

When all else fails, you can pretend to have a tattoo parlor:


The first picture is my favorite since you can see the marker on the bottom of Rose #3's feet. And, in case you are wondering, the marker that I THOUGHT was washable, was, in fact, not exactly all that washable. Alas.
On an unrelated note, I heard about a book called The Lace Reader on MPR. The MPR interview was about how the book broke through the stigma of self-publication and the author sold the work to a major publishing house. I thought the story of how the book became published was fascinating. I would really like to read that book.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Here we are in Kirksville, MO

We are on our annual trek to Kirksville, MO, to visit Grandpa Pete. He is a professor at Truman State University, which is in Kirksville. The kids LOVE our annual trip. Here are some reasons why:
1. Uninterrupted time with mom and dad. Mom and dad like this too.
2. Movies in the car. Our minivan has a DVD player which we do not use except on longer trips. I remember when Ellie pointed to the DVD player in the van and said, Mom, that is used for playing movies! We had not told her what it was; I still do not know to this day how she knew!!
3. Treats. I generally say no, as a rule, automatically, when the kids ask for a treat at the grocery or Target. But on vacation, I usually say "yes." So far we have had: Hubba Bubba, chocolate skittles (yuck), Milk Duds, and Hershey's Kissables.

One required part of the trip to Kirksville is the annual "run around the classroom" excursion. Grandpa Pete teaches on the science faculty, and so we always go to Science Hall. This year we got to go into the venomous reptile lab (no kidding). All children had their strict instructions to keep their hands at their sides and not to touch ANYTHING.

Then we went into an empty classroom. Uncle Jay and I wrote on the blackboard a little bit:


After our trip to campus we went to the Northeast Missouri Conservation department. We took a little walk around the grounds and then went to the interpretive center. This is Grandpa Pete with 6 of his 7 grandchildren (Gus was in the stroller so he couldn't go down by the pond):
The best part of the interpretive center was the bee hive. The bees come into the building through a little tube. It was very cool.
If I wasn't so wiped I would write more. Besides these outings we went to the Kirksville Aquatic Center for swimming, and for a picnic. Tomorrow we are going to Hannibal, MO to see Mark Twain stuff!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ducks

I mentioned in my last post that Guppy and Poppy just returned from Seattle, where they rode the ducks. I did not even know they HAD ducks in Seattle. But yes, they do have ducks in Seattle, and what's more, they have extremely annoying DUCK HONKER TOYS. Guppy and Poppy lined the grandchildren up in a row, tallest to shortest, had them close their eyes, and hung duck honker toys around their necks. 18,000,000 honks later, the duck honker toys were confiscated before bedtime.

Some ideas for retribution:

1. Call up Poppy right before a meditation session and have a grandchild honk the honker toy into the phone. Repeatedly.
2. Call up Guppy right before bed and have a grandchild honk the honker toy...oh, you get the idea.

OK, I only have two ideas, and to be fair, they were really Uncle Andy's.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A Good Weekend

We had a good weekend. On Saturday Ahma and Ahgong took the Roses on an outing, and H and I had time to ourselves. We took advantage of the time and went rollerblading on the Big Rivers trail. Boy is it fun to just leave the house when you want to, without having a big to-do with the kids, grab your rollerblades, and actually EXERCISE for an hour. The way that we do the Big Rivers trail it ends up that the way is UP, and the way back is DOWN. It was beautiful weather and a beautiful rollerblade. After that we went out for lunch at an Italian deli and we sat on their divine back deck. No kids, just us grownups. Boy, was it nice.

On Saturday evening our very good friends stayed for dinner and for a sleepover! We had a great dinner - chicken and steak on the grill - and good conversation. The girls loved being together. Here they are on Sunday at snack time, eating chips. The box, which proves the aphorism that children will always rather play with the box than the thing that came in the box (although in this case it was a large sun umbrella, so it is better that they play with the box) was doubling as a boat. A boat which happened upon a can of Pringles, as it turns out:

Rose #4 was our guest. She is so sweet and polite, and she did not even cram the Pringles in her mouth (unlike the other Roses):

Rose #3, of course, had to cram about 6 Pringles in her mouth before she even could feel at all right about the situation:
Rose #2 really likes her modeling poses. It reminds me a lot of her Aunt Boo, who is also her birthday buddy:
And Rose #1 was hamming it up for the camera. I hope that one of these next few blog posts will be "Rose #1 lost a tooth," because one of the bottom ones is wiggly:
We are also glad that Guppy and Poppy are home from Seattle. They had a great time in Seattle especially at the Pike Place Market.