I am a God-loving, husband-adoring, mybabyboys-hugging, mind-reeling, photo-taking, life-documenting, yummyfood-cooking, garden-planting, country-living girl. Writing about life, with boys, in the sticks...
this is life... with boys... in the country...

Monday, May 31, 2010

From This Weekend…

Like I said on Friday, this was going to be a busy weekend for us (relatively speaking, because we really never do anything). 

On Friday morning, Matt and Gage left for a 3-D bow shoot in Washington and had a BLAST.  Unfortunately I don’t have pictures from their adventure because I wasn’t there, and because Matt only took a film camera… yes, they still develop film.  I can’t wait to get these pictures developed to see what was on the roll, as it has pics from about 7 years ago!  Anyway, they had an awesome time, camping in the car, shooting all day Friday and Saturday, stomping around in the rain with shorts on, hanging out with Papa, Boe, Bart and other bow-shoot regulars.  I think we’ve started something here… Gage is quite addicted to shooting his bow… tonight, he asked me if he could shoot a bird.  I said no. 

Back to this weekend…  My mom got to our house around one and then….. drum roll…

My new camera was delivered!  YEAH!!! 

We spent ALL day Saturday shopping and now Kaden is properly dressed in clothes, rather than sporting his jammies all day.  You’d think I’d have ample clothes for him seeing as he has 2 older brothers, but the seasons are off for their sizes.  But now, he has awesome duds like this little jacket to keep him warm… in JUNE…. 

thru May 31, 2010 287

We finally got a break in the rain Saturday afternoon and Cooper decided it was time to ride down the driveway all the way to the lodge.  With a few stumbles into the hay on the way…

thru May 31, 2010 021Without DootDoo around to show him up, he really played up the ‘big boy’ status.  

thru May 31, 2010 023 thru May 31, 2010 027 thru May 31, 2010 030 And because of this gal, my mom, the rest of our weekend adventures were possible, too…

thru May 31, 2010 079 Matt and Gage concluded their 300 mile round trip outing by pulling back in our driveway at 7pm Saturday night.  Gage was so hyped up from the man trip he could hardly stand it. 

The next 300 mile-round trip started Sunday morning at 9am, as Matt, me and Kaden headed out to Astoria for a wedding Matt was in.  First stop once there… crossing over a wooded pier to get to…

thru May 31, 2010 087 The Rogue Public House.  A welcomed site.  thru May 31, 2010 088 The view from our table one direction…. thru May 31, 2010 090 And the view from our table in the other direction…  I’m not a beer drinker, but I can certainly appreciate how COOL their bottles are.  thru May 31, 2010 104

After I had my first experience with eating Kobe beef, and learning that I don’t like my burgers cooked only Medium Raw, we set out to find the church.  Matt changed in the back of the Pilot and with Kaden asleep, I did this for two hours while the bridal party had their pictures taken…   thru May 31, 2010 116 Actually, I read the owner’s manual for my camera and taking pictures of my feet was only half the fun.  The other was listening to the radio while I waited…. resulting in a dead battery for our car.  So, after a short, sweet, ceremony (during which Kaden was GREAT and hummed the entire time the violinist was playing), we had to borrow jumper cables from some neighbors in order to make it to the reception (well, and home of course…)

thru May 31, 2010 142 Kaden only wanted to cuddle during the reception so I didn’t get to take many photos.  But, I did manage to visit with the photographer, which was cool.  He liked my camera… :)  That made my day (as did the above photo). 

We left the reception around 8 only to find out that the way we came into Astoria was closed, so we had to take a route through SeaSide and along 26W.  SO SCARY.  I would have rather been in labor for those 3 hours than do that drive.  It was dark and rainy and we were so tired.  Thankfully Kaden slept the whole way and THANKFULLY we got home safely around 11:30pm.

And while we were gone, my mom took the boys to the Portland Zoo where Gage realized how TERRIFYING dinosaurs are.  Hopefully I’ll get my hands on some pictures of him hiding behind Grammie in that exhibit. 

thru May 31, 2010 158 These boys missed each other and needed some reconnecting time…

thru May 31, 2010 222 And lets throw in a little learning time… as Gage figured out how to read and write, Cat, Bat, Rat, Sat, Mat.  I told you we had a busy weekend!

thru May 31, 2010 259

These boys missed each other, too, and REALLY needed to get reconnected…   thru May 31, 2010 316 Random, I know…. but this rain is really making my gardens purty!

thru May 31, 2010 318 And Monday night, we had another break in the rain and got right outside after naps.  The boys are loving this new found fun time of riding their bikes down the driveway…

thru May 31, 2010 325 (We still can’t trust Cooper to use his breaks wisely…)

thru May 31, 2010 327 thru May 31, 2010 330 You’d never know it from this face, but Cooper was having a serious attitude problem…. he was back and forth between elated and seriously ticked off. 

They road quite a ways along the road (this was a first) and only had one near tragedy, had Cooper not been wearing his helmet.  He crashed and actually cracked the plastic on it.  Not sure how it happened, considering I was running next to him in an effort to avoid this.  Hmm.  But, anyway, being him, he got right back up and kept riding.  

thru May 31, 2010 341

Wow.  The end. 

Friday, May 28, 2010

From Today…

We’re gearing up for a busy weekend, which in the land of never-doing-anything-out-of-the-ordinary (which is the land that we live in), this weekend will be crazy with all the comings and goings and driving here and there… so it was nice to just spend today around here actually enjoying some sun. 

And since I feel tired just thinking about this weekend, I’m too tired to think of anything fun to write about.  Here’s some eye candy from from today…

thru May 27, 2010 094 Naptime for Kadey Kade, while the boys played with Mimi at the lodge…

thru May 27, 2010 129 A side effect of having a little brother with finger nails that need trimming…

thru May 27, 2010 148 This is how they ‘help’ me make dinner… they bother entertain Kaden…

thru May 27, 2010 150 As it does everyday, the fun begins when Daddy gets home… and no, you’re not seeing things… Matt’s only has one wheel.  More posts to come on that... 

thru May 27, 2010 182 Cooper’s first time venturing off the patio on his bicycle…

thru May 27, 2010 018 thru May 27, 2010 026 thru May 27, 2010 065 Okay, so those last three were the eye candy… I am shocked everyday by HOW insanely much I love this nugget.  What a precious little soul he is. 

Our weekend begins tomorrow… so have a good one!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Super Sloppy Joes

   thru May 22, 2010 006

I tend to think that Rachel Ray’s recipes are a bit lacking in the flavor-department.  Not that they taste bad by any means (well, one pumpkin pasta recipe of hers REALLY tasted bad) but they just need a little tweaking… a little of this and a little more of that to suit our fancy. 

But not this recipe.  We LOVE it, just as it is… with a side of crispy, restaurant style French fries. 

And who doesn’t love a quick, easy, flavorful, inexpensive, one skillet meal that even the kiddos like?


1 Tbls. olive oil

1 1/4 pounds ground beef (or turkey or venison)

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tsp steak seasoning blend (We use Montreal)

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 Tbls. red wine vinegar

1 Tbls. Worcestershire sauce

2 cups tomato sauce (I usually just use a 15oz can)

2 Tbls. tomato paste

4 crusty rolls (kaiser), split, toasted, and lightly (or heavily) buttered 


Heat a large skillet over med-high heat.  Add oil and beef to the pan, spreading it around the pan to break it up.  Combine brown sugar and steak seasoning.  Drain fat from skillet (if there is any) when meat is still cooking (pink is still seen) and then add the brown sugar/steak seasoning mix to the meat. 

When the meat has browned, add onion and red pepper.  Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes or so, until tender-crisp. 

Add vinegar, stirring briefly to reduce, and then add Worcestershire, tomato sauce and paste, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook Sloppy Joe mixture 5 minutes longer. 

Serve on rolls, either open faced or as a messy, messy sandwich. 

Makes about 4 servings, depending on your appetite!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Comfy, Cozy Nests…

I have no clue how this started, but both Gage and Cooper feel the need to make ‘comfy, cozy nests’ to sit in.  They do it in their beds in the morning, on the living room floor to watch TV from within, or on the floor in their bedrooms… I don’t know if it makes them really feel ‘comfy cozy’ or if it reminds them of the dinosaurs they are both obsessed with…  thru May 25, 2010 043They feel the need to completely surround themselves with every pillow, blanket and stuffed animal they can find in the general area (and sometimes from other rooms, too), plus water cups, books and favorite toys.  

thru May 25, 2010 046 

The term ‘Comfy Cozy Nest’ came from Cooper… and if you could hear him say it with his little lisp… so stinkin’ cute.  It makes me want to smooch him every timethru May 25, 2010 021 thru May 25, 2010 029  Gage’s of course has to be way bigger than Coopers… thru May 25, 2010 033 thru May 25, 2010 041thru May 25, 2010 042

Okay, I have to admit… I’ve snuggled into one of these Comfy Cozy Nests before and sure, I may have fallen asleep for a few minutes … all warm and cozy with the big pillows, surrounded by over-sized elephants, bears, and dogs and hand-made afghans… but really, why are they so drawn to these things?? Goofy kids. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Time with Dad…

Seems like the rain decides to give us a break by the time Matt gets home in the evening, so I’m able to usher these boys outside with him for awhile… something we ALL need.

Thru May 25, 2010, reg's bow 1 038 Their request for what to do is usually always “Ride the Motorcycle” or “Shoot their Bows”.  Bows won this time, because Gage needs to practice. 

Thru May 25, 2010, reg's bow 1 007 He’s going on an over-night trip with Matt this weekend to a bow-shoot up in Washington.  The fun part is that he has no clue… the not so fun part is that he’s going to miss out on time with Grammie.  Last night Matt asked Gage was the FUNNEST thing he could think of to do… Gage quickly replied spend time with Grammie.  Matt was hoping he’d say, “Shoot my bow with you, Dad.”  No luck.  He’ll be excited, though.  He NEEDS to do something ‘big boy’ without Cooper.   

Thru May 25, 2010, reg's bow 1 012 Here’s Bosley…. never too far away.  Though sometimes we wish he WOULD be a little farther away, because he really stinks.  Blame it on the gopher he killed the other day, then cuddled with in his house all night long.  And to think that I USED to cuddle with Bosley in MY bed… sick.  Thru May 25, 2010, reg's bow 1 032 Looking for the arrow Gage shot all.  the. way. up. here…. that kid has got some power behind his bow! Thru May 25, 2010, reg's bow 1 037 This is Cooper being stubborn and Gage looking like he’s got a sly idea… Cooper did NOT want Matt’s help putting his arrow on, but it just wouldn’t shoot how he was trying to do it… backwards. 

Stubbornness runs through his veins…. he is my son, after-all. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

A SAHM Reality Check….

***This blog is already serving its purpose in helping me gain some perspective, and it worked without even having to air my dirty laundry.  I composed the draft of this post shortly after the reality check incident of which it is based, occurred and almost immediately after I did I was SO glad I pressed ‘save’ rather than ‘publish’. 

The first draft was full of ‘whoa-is-me’ and sappy violins… (whining, for those of you who don’t know that one).  I’ve been thinking now, about this post for about a week and the more I think about the reality check the more I find the humor in it!  So, here’s what went down and my new version of the reality check it gave me…   

My moment lasted all but about 1 minute, and here’s how it went. 

I was retrieving the dirty laundry from my closet and emerged from my room, pushing the laundry basket forward with my foot because I was carrying Kaden… we were in  the middle of a day in which he decided that he wanted nothing more than to be pressed against my spit-up soaked shoulder all day.  If he wasn’t there, he was crying.  Except at this present time, he was crying anyway.  I walked from my bedroom through the living room toward the kitchen, shoving along the laundry basket (letting out a little grunt with each push because it was quite full)  and found Gage and Cooper wrestling on the floor over who’s paper airplane was who’s.  I announced to them, very loudly (I had to clear both the volume of their arguing and Kaden’s crying) that I was going to make them lunch.  Immediately my comment was met with lunch requests… Cooper ALWAYS wants chicken nuggets and Gage ALWAYS wants Peanut Butter and Jelly.  These requests continued as I proceeded to walk, but since I always hear them, it was as if the voices were part of my subconscious. And usually I oblige…

but… as I shoved the overflowing laundry basket forward into the laundry room that was littered with dirty shoes and outside clothes strewn about, and grimaced as I untangled Kaden’s little fingers from the tangle of hair at the nap of my neck, and squatted down for the 39th time that day to pick his pacifier up from the floor after he spit it out, and felt the pain shoot up from my right knee as a result of this repetitive action, and felt the dizzying effects of not eating breakfast overtake me as I lunged back up, and the headache split through my forehead from Kaden crying in my ear (or was it from being woken every 3 hours the night before?), and narrowly missing being pegged in the head by a launched paper airplane, and Cooper whining that he wanted fishies with his chicken nuggets,  and dodging around Gage as he ran into the kitchen to retrieve his airplane thus bumping my hip and Kaden’s leg into the counter (in turn making him cry harder) and then actually GETTING pegged in the head by Cooper’s paper airplane, and finally crunching my bare, desperately-needing-a-pedicure foot down onto a Cocoa-Roo that escaped from someone cereal bowl that morning…

Thru April 27, 2010 131 I’d had enough.  The sound of that cereal crunching beneath me was enough to make me snap.  “STOP!” I yelled.  “Just STOP!  Both of your are having whatever I decide you are going to have!  I am NOT your servant!”

They froze.

Even Kaden stopped.

And I froze. I looked from Gage to Cooper, staring hard.  Then, in somewhat of a haze, I scanned my surroundings.  Toys everywhere.  Used burp rags on the floor and draped over the backs and arm wrests of our couches.  Gage in holey sweatpants and Cooper’s hair standing on end and Kaden still in his jammies because he has no long-sleeved clothes in his current size.  Dishes in the sink from breakfast.  Hopeful eBay sales covering the dining room table.  Not a single flat surface space, from our kitchen counters to the TV stand was clear of misplaced things.  The floor needed sweeping.  The carpet needed vacuuming.  The windows needed washing.  That overflowing laundry basket that I began this reality check moment with beckoning for me to deal with it. 

And outside, it was raining.  

Then I closed my eyes and pictured myself at this moment.  Unshowered, no make-up, my hair in a messy, half-falling out pony-tail because of Kaden’s need to grasp it at all times, no bra (why bother when Kaden wants to nurse every 2 hours?), wearing sweatpants and an oversized t-shirt with a soaking wet, from slobber and spit-up, shoulder.   

I felt my face start to quiver and my chest well-up.  And the tears started flowing.  

How did this happen?  I crave ORDER and ORGANIZATION and CLEANLINESS and STUCTURE.  It is by nature who and how I am!  And now, somehow, I have NONE of these things.   

Did I ask for this?  Do I enjoy this?  How can I do this for all the years to come?? 

“Sorry I hit you with my paper airplane, Mama,” Cooper said quietly, beginning to cry himself.Bag 063

***So that is what happened and at the time I was hitting a wall.  Now, I think about it and say to myself… “That’s LIFE! Get over it!  If a messy house and demanding children are the worst of your issues… you’re pretty darn lucky!” 

I also think it is kind of FUNNY, picturing myself like that… I’m not always such a wreck, by the way.  I do usually shower and put on make-up, and I’ve since started wearing a bra again (or at least a shelf-bra-cami)…

And yes, while the messy house bugs me, it has also brought me to the resolution to obey the constant nagging slogan that runs though my brain of ‘JUST DO IT’.  I walk past a pile of something that doesn’t belong there… JUST put it away!  There are dirty dishes in the sink needing to be washed… JUST WASH THEM!  Don’t let it get to the point of being overwhelmed by it.  But, I tell myself, if you are going to do it, do it well and get it done.  Focus on what needs to be done and JUST DO IT. ***

 Thru April 27, 2010 003 

I’ve added these photos because even though I didn’t (obviously) take them at the time of my melt down, I feel like they show a good example of how G&C&K were looking at me when it all went down.  And how they’d be looking at me if I were to read this to them out loud… like they are saying, “Us?  WE are wearing you down? Sorry, mama… but we’re so cute and sweet and there is nothing you’d rather do than stay-at-home and take care of us…”

I feel silly and a little sorry that I experienced the above moment and was so bothered by it. 

I also feel a little silly and VERY sorry that when thinking of scenarios like this, the REALITY CHECK I’ve had can best be summed up by the slogan from the TLC show Jon&Kate Plus 8 pops into my head...

“It may be a crazy life, but it is OUR life…”  So true.  

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Are We Done Yet….

This is how we spent out Saturday.  After venturing out to Portland for some wood for a bow Matt’s making and then to Costco I convinced Matt to stop by Honda to have them check out our car because our heat/air conditioning wasn’t working right ever since those little critters set up residence in the blower motor. 

At first they made it sound like it’d be covered under the warranty, so we were hopeful and agreed to just get it fixed.  

thru May 22, 2010 071 Once the boys got over the fear of the little girl who was already in the play-room, they settled in for the wait… thru May 22, 2010 068The boys were GREAT, thank the Lord, and Kaden was quite the hit amongst all the other joyfully waiting customers (he had one lady practically in tears she was so smitten!). 

The lady helping us assured me that she was trying to have our warranty cover it, but no such luck…

And after 3 hours, one fried transistor, one NEW transistor, and a $200 donation to Honda, we were on the road… 

…with a new clicking sound behind the glove box that was never there before.

And we’re still not sure that the heater works right. 

Are we DONE with this mouse fiasco yet??

“All God’s critters have a place in the choir…”  just NOT in my engine, OKAY??

Friday, May 21, 2010

A Blessing…

What could be better than your child looking at his Bible??Cooper & Bible 009 Cooper & Bible 003 Cooper & Bible 004 Cooper & Bible 006 Cooper & Bible 008

Him doing completely on his own…

I asked Cooper what he was doing and he said in a sweet, quiet, distracted voice… “Reading my Bible…”

“Oh really?'” I said, “That’s great!”  And to that he responded, without looking up from the story of Noah…

“Yeah, just thinkin’ ‘bout God…”