Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday Mugs - Chalk

For this week's Monday Mug's chalk theme, I remembered a picture of Kiah at age 5 covered head to toe in sidewalk chalk (Thanks, Aunt Karen) but my computer crashed so I can't access that picture right now.

However, courtesy of my son and daughter-in-law I do have:

Andrew labeled this, "The Pretty Girl and The Doofus."
Andrew's Parents
I'm labeled, "Angers" and Keith is labeled "Whodathunk."
Keith and I used to call each other "Whodathunks" because
we didn't exactly care for each other at first and with all
our differences, "Who'd a thunk we'd ever get together."
Check out other Monday Mugs at Oswald Cuties.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Kiah

Years ago Keith and I took our toddler and baby out to eat. The waitress oohed and ahed over our kids then saucily commented, "Well, you've got your girl and a boy. Now I expect you can give it a rest."

We nodded good-naturedly, not offended, though amazed that a total stranger would offer unsolicited family planning advice.

Before marriage, we'd wanted five children. After having one, we couldn't figure out why people had second children. When we had our girl and boy we seriously contemplated "giving it a rest."

Turns out it was a short rest.

I got pregnant when Andrew was only 12 months old. Not good news. I didn't want kids that close together. I couldn't think of one person I knew with three kids that wasn't scattered.

Keith's parents were not happy. I was not happy. From there I went to frustrated, discouraged, and depressed. Add pregnancy-induced exhaustion and hormones and life wasn't much fun.

The turning point came at the six month mark when an older lady at church picked up on my ambivalence and said, "Oh honey, two kids take up all your time. Three can't take up any more."

That made so much sense to my logical, linear mind that I decided to suck it up, quit complaining and feeling sorry for myself, and trust that God knew what He was doing.

I was blessed with an easy pregnancy, an easy delivery, and a good baby. After a short (for me) four hour labor, we welcomed our first brown-eyed daughter into the world.

I looked at my sweet baby and thought, "How could I have ever not wanted this child?" It was love at first sight and I was smitten, and overwhelmingly thankful for the gift I hadn't been smart enough to know I wanted.

We named her Kiah Marie as Marie is Keith's Mom's name. Since Kiah (rhymes with Leah) was born on the first day of fall that year and we had just moved into a new (to us) house and Keith had started a new job, Keith said he wanted a hopeful name. The baby name book said, "Kiah" means "Season's beginning."

We celebrated Kiah's 21rst birthday last Monday. Again, thankful that we didn't "give it a rest." Thankful for a healthy daughter and the privilege of being her parents. Thankful that she's growing up into a wonderful person and we're very proud of her. Thankful that she's a hard worker, a good student, and a good big sister. Thankful that she has a heart for God and wants to live for Him. So thankful my life is the hands of One who knows all things and when life doesn't go as planned, I don't have to panic or despair. He knows the future and He's promised to see me through.

(Kiah is in black and yellow)

We're into our busy Birthday month - the crew pictured above has one birthday a week for four weeks. Two down, two to go.

Happy Birthday, fun daughter. I love you to the moon and back. Hope you had a fun day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Canning Queen

Guess who's canning salsa?

Well, it's certainly not me.

I'm the one who decided after my last child was born I couldn't take care of seven children AND can. I know many amazing women who handle multiple children, garden, can, etc. etc., but I'm not one of them. Certainly homegrown produce is healthier and tastes better but I decided buying canned fruits and veggies wasn't the end of the world.

So after my oldest daughter, Christina, graduated from college this spring, she came home to live with us and decided canning sounded like fun. It would have been alot more fun if I hadn't gotten rid of all our canning jars when we moved two years ago. (Word to the wise - Hang on to your canning jars. You never know when a spark of domesticity will hit your family)

To our family's delight, she made strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, and peach jam. We had forgotten how good homemade jam tastes. I bought the fruit, pectin and canning jars (sigh!) and she's done most of the work.

It's so cute hearing her discuss canning recipes with our friends. She made salsa Sunday and tried applesauce tonight. She loves the "ping" of a sealed jar and the stash of canned goodies on a basement shelf.

Thanks Christina for all your hard work. We appreciate it and hope it's not just a phase. Just think, next summer, we won't have to buy canning jars.

Don't be fooled by Erica of the pretty eyes, messy room, and mismatched clothes. She snuck in this picture at the last minute but she did not help.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fun Friends

Last weekend: Wanted to take the girls camping or hiking or both. Rained so we didn't go.

Today: Wanted to go camping or hiking or both. Drats! Rained again early this morning so everything is wet. Gloomy skies, cool weather.

Tempted to put raincoats and rubber boots on everyone and go anyway. Summer in Northern Wisconsin doesn't last long enough. I'm not ready for cold weather yet.

I need something to cheer me up.
Thought this would do the trick.

Cheerful, loyal, patient, affectionate...
I'm feeling better already.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Erica's Sisters

My girls amuse themselves by taking
pictures of each other. Erica captured
these pictures of her younger sisters.



(I'm not sure I like this one.
It makes her look too grown up)

Though they have their share of squabbles,
I enjoy that for the most part, all things
considered, they enjoy each other. Keith
and I desired that they not only be close
in age but that they also be close in heart.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Repeat Performance

Years ago a nice family with three boys lived next door to Keith's parents. These boys shared our grandparents. One son was Christina's age, one was Andrew's age, and the littlest was Erica's buddy.

This is one of our favorite pictures taken when they were 3

Our friends moved away when Erica was six and except for two very short visits and exchanging Christmas cards there hasn't been much contact over the years. So last month we were tickled to have them visit for two days. Now that they're 18, for kicks and giggles we did an re-enactment.

"It takes a long time to grow an old friend."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Summer Review

This weeks Monday Mug's Theme is Summer Review.
Since Summer starts with "S", I went with an "S" Theme.

(Andrew and Rachel got married 5/22/10)

Six Sisters and One Son

(Village Creek Horse Camp)

Seasonal Fun
(I went canoeing with five of my daughters
and our church's youth group)



(Road Trip to Oregon)



Seeing Friends

(Erica's Baptism)

Saying Good-bye
(My nephew Isaac spent two months with us)


I didn't realize how much we packed into this summer until I looked through these pictures. It's already cooling down up here so our summer might officially be over. I'm still hoping for just one more beach day.

To see other Monday Mugs or to link up, visit Heather's blog, Oswald Cuties

Friday, September 3, 2010

Low-Tech Carpet Cleaning

These two golden big boys generate a lot of dustballs. The left dog sheds twice as much as the cheerful fellow on the right.

I obsess a bit when company comes trying to get all the dog hair off our floors. I finally realized that if people have dogs, they'll understand. If they don't have dogs, even one hair is too many.

But still, I don't like when the dining room carpet gets matted with dog hair. Vacuuming won't pick it up. Brushing with a dog brush helps a bit. Even a dog comb still leaves dog hair. I've tried everything I can think of and the colors still look faded.

Never let it be said that I don't give credit where credit is due. Keith, who rarely vacuums or sweeps, discovered that if he drags his foot firmly across carpet, dog hair comes up. It is the coolest thing ever.

At first I wore winter boots, but the dog hair matted into the shoe tread and wouldn't come off. So now I usually wear tennis shoes.

The good news is this really works to get dog hair up. The bad news is I can get this much hair everyday. Sigh!

These pictures don't show a huge dramatic difference, but in real life foot dragging helps my carpets look presentable. I really like it when the carpet hasn't been dragged for awhile and I get a nice big pile of dog hair. My family accuses me of being OCD about dog hair but I could have worse quirks.

I don't know if this works with all kinds of dog hair, but it works well with Golden Retriever hair. This may not be the most exciting blog post you'll ever read, but if you have long-haired dogs who shed a lot, you'll thank me.