Saturday, October 31, 2009

What happens when Grampa watches the kids?

Our family is very fortunate to have very involved Grandparents. When I asked Grammie and Grampa if they could help out with childcare this past week, both eagerly volunteered. Grampa had all three kids on Thursday. When he asked me what he could do with them, I suggested getting Cooper a haircut. I didn't think he would take me up on the offer but figured no harm in asking. Dad seemed eager for the challenge and when I got home Cooper with the shaggy hair was replaced by a handsome little boy.

The girls said Cooper did fine during his time in the chair, but this picture that Grampa shared seems to tell a different story.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Farmer Day

Windsor Christian Academy celebrates the harvest every year with a "Farmer's Day". The girls enjoyed putting together their favorite "cowgirl" outfits to wear for the day.

Grace was so happy with finally get to participate in Farmer's Day at the "big school".

Mommy Time

I'll admit I had some selfish motivation for signing the girls up for Awana. Sure the main reason I wanted them to participate was for them to learn more about Jesus Christ and strengthen their knowledge of Him. The secondary (selfish) reason was a little Mommy time. I figured that Jason would most likely stay home with Cooper on Awana nights since Cooper is too little to participate and he would normally be asleep before Awana even gets finished. That meant that on Wednesday nights, I could drop the girls off at 6:30 and I would be free until I needed to pick them up at 8pm.
I envisioned going to Starbucks, grabbing a table, and sitting there reading a book, knitting a scarf, writing a list, or doing anything else that I wanted. I thought about shopping in Montgomery Village and not having to listen to "Are we done yet?" or "Can I have this?". I was sure it was going to be 1.5 hours of bliss.
Then reality set in. Last week when I took the girls I realized I was nervous to leave them at Awana by themselves. I new in my head that they were fine. I knew they would have fun and be safe, but in my heart I was worried. What if Grace got scared and Mommy wasn't there to comfort her? Would they know to get Emma Jo? What if Emma Jo didn't know anyone in her group and she felt lost and alone?
I did leave them and headed out to Montgomery Village. After struggling with the number of cars going so fast on the winding roads in the pitch dark, I finally got to Montgomery Village and realized J. Jill was closing in 5 minutes. So much for that option. With the stores closing it made me realize how late it was at night (7pm!) which made me think I needed to get back to my girls. So I went to a Starbucks, got some coffee to go and headed back to Awanas. I parked where I could see all activity into and out of the gym. I turned on my light and enjoyed my coffee and book from the comfort of my car.

This week was much better. I was calm and collected as I drove the kids to Awana. Not as rushed and frantic as last week. I got them there on time and got everyone to their assigned groups. It felt great when one of the leaders greeted Grace by name, took her hand, and escorted her to their group. That reassured me that someone was looking out for her and taking care of her in my absence.
Then I headed to the nearest Starbucks. I got some coffee, secured a table and worked diligently on my Fantasy Football lineup, read my book, and started on Christmas wishlists. I did notice myself checking my watch every 5 minutes to see if it was time to go gather up my girls. Finally around 7:25 I headed back. I didn't want to be late. I reached the parking lot at 7:30. So, like last week, I parked close, turned on my light, listened to the radio as I worked on Grace's new scarf.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Earlier this week, Grammie and Grampa brought pumpkins to our house.

First the boys had to unload them from the truck and set them up in the driveway.

Then we had to arrange the pumpkins so that all of the names were showing.

Then the kids had to inspect and climb on the display.
Finally we had the kids pose for a group shot.
Last picture of the night was Cooper and Grampa saying "Good-bye". Can you tell these two adore each other?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Great Pumpkin Harvest

As usual, on Sunday we had dinner at Grammie and Grampa's house. The special treat this week was the pumpkins! They were ready to be harvested and on display.
Most of the pumpkins were "too heaby" according to Cooper, but this one was just right.
Grace made a big show of picking and carrying her pumpkin.
Grampa had already spend a lot of time and effort to display most of the pumpkins in front of the newest "old truck", but Cooper helped add the finishing touches.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Last night the family was sitting around the kitchen table playing Apples to Apples (which is very fun by the way). Cooper was occupying himself playing with the discard pile. I heard him toot a couple of times but he denied the accusation. Then, out of the blue, Cooper got out of his chair, walked around the table to Jason and said "Papa I stinky, I stinky". Jason checked and Cooper sure was stinky! The entire family had a good laugh at how Cooper let us know he needed his diaper changed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family Game Night

Now that the rains have started and we are no longer watching TV on school nights, we have been finding things for the family to do together inside the house in the evenings. Tonight the activity was Lincoln Logs. I think Jason enjoyed it as much as the kids. I even heard him instructing Emma Jo on how to build an energy efficient house.


Last night I took the girls to their first Awana meeting. Awana is a cool club that young people can attend where they learn God's word in a fun and exciting way. Last night was the annual Family Pizza Night and B.A.R.F. night, so I got to stay and walk through the program with the Grace (Emma Jo went with her age group on her own).
There are three age groups for Awana, Cubbies (PreSchool), Sparks (K-2nd), T&T (3rd-6th). The Awana night is divided into three sections, Games, Large Group and Small Group. Games is just what you would think. Everyone in that age group meets in the Gym and plays games. The Sparks played Dodge Ball (and really enjoyed trying to get the leaders). The T&Ts played kickball (and Emma Jo's team won!).
During Large Group everyone in that age group meets in the Chapel and sings songs and learns a Bible lesson. Last nights lesson involved a colorful bracelet which can be an aid to help spread the message of Christianity. The leader explained what each of the colors represented, gave a Bible verse to support it and then passed out bracelets to each of the children.
This was also where Grace found out what B.A.R.F. night is. It stands for Bring A Real Friend. Since Katrina brought Grace, they each got $20 Awana Dollars! Next week is "Store Night" where the kids get to buy prizes with the Awana Bucks they have earned.
The last part of the evening was Small Groups. During this time the kids go over their workbooks and practice their verses and activities. Successful memorization of a verse or completion of an activity earns them Awana Bucks and jewels or patches for their vest or shirt. Emma Jo ended the night with $31 Awana Bucks because she completed two activities.
They talked about the night all the way home and then had to share each of the details with Daddy. The only concern I have is the time. My kids are pretty well trained to go to bed at 8pm and get up at 6:30am every day. Last night we didn't get to bed until 8:30 and the kids didn't fall asleep until 9. We'll see how today goes...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Visit from Oregon & Rain

This morning I'm sitting here in my quiet family room listening to the rain. It is coming down pretty hard out there and I love it! It has been quite some time since we had rain here. We definitely need the rain here in Northern California, but the timing might not be the best since Jason still has about 40% of his ranches waiting to be picked. It is supposed to last just 24 hours, so hopefully the grapes will weather the storm and still be in good shape to pick later this week.
Now it is time for me to buy warm clothes and jackets for the kids and pull my winter stuff out from its summertime hiding place.

Yesterday morning, before the rain, Joe and Bette headed back to Oregon. They came down over the weekend to watch the girls play soccer. The kids were so excited to see them and Cooper was disappointed when we got home from school last night that they were gone. I think the grandparents were amazed to see how big each of the children has gotten since our last visit.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Cutie Patotie?

This morning as I got Cooper out of his crib I called him my Little Cutie Patotie. He indignantly told me he was not a Cutie Patotie, he is a "Big Boy". I asked him if he could be both a big boy and a cutie patotie and he responded that "Booper a Big Boy!".

I can't hardly believe how much I love that little boy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

More Soccer

Jason had to pick this morning and Emma Jo has been home sick since Thursday, so I took the little kids to soccer this morning by myself.
We were a little early since I never can tell how long it will take to get 2 or 3 kids out of the house. While we waited for the early game to finish, Grace and Cooper entertained themselves on the playground.

Cooper, our little monkey, has to do everything that Grace does, so he was swinging on the bar at the top of the slide.

The Royal Pixies did a great job today. Grace was paying attention to the game and kicked the ball whenever she had a chance.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Harvest Fair

Today was Grace's first official Field Trip. Her Kindergarten class when to the Sonoma County Harvest Fair. She has been looking forward to her first field trip since school started and has been counting down the days all week. I took the day off work so that we could spend it together.

Grace fed carrots to a horse, milked a plastic cow, and hugged Clo, the most famous cow in Sonoma County.

We learned about cows and what it means to chew the cud. We saw giant award winning pumpkins (605 lbs!) and navigated a hay maze.

One of the biggest things Grace was looking forward to was a "fair lunch". She eagerly ate her entire Giant Corn Dog. Then we fed leaves to a goat (they think they are chips!), and hunted for eggs in a huge pile of straw.

Our last stop before we left was the "Barnyard Scramble". There played pumpkin bowling (Grace knocked down 6 pins!), had a potato sack race and did somersaults. I'm not sure what we were supposed to do with the plastic animals in the red barn, but Gracie chose to throw them out of the window (don't worry I made her pick them up and put them away).
There wasn't as much to do at this year's Harvest Fair, but we still had a good time spending some Mommy-Gracie time with no other siblings.