P365 – Day 52 (Sleepy children?)

In keeping with Tim’s comments from yesterday’s blog about bedtimes, I thought I would post some pictures of the children tucked sweetly into their beds.


I’m not sure Daniel really looks very sleepy. Got a little carried away with the chapstick there, kiddo.

Daniel and David had their lights out (flashlights don’t count, right?) so they were close to sleep. Maybe. We won’t go into what time it was. Definitely past “bed time.”

david in bed

David looks WAY too awake and cheerful for someone who is supposed to be ASLEEP!

Of course, look what happened when Adam drifted off to sleep in that pretty little garden.

So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Genesis 2:21

Yikes! Didn’t he have a few surprises coming. Now I doubt the boys need to worry about this sort of thing happening again but there are other scriptures that talk about sleeping.

Proverbs 6:9-11

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?

A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest
and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

sarah in bed

This girl is NOT a sluggard – we have pictures of her cleaning!

rachel's reading in bed

Turn the light off and go to bed, girlie!

Of course, as an ever hungry 13 year old, Joshua hopes this Proverb will prove true in our house.

Proverbs 29:13
Do not love sleep or you will grow poor;
stay awake and you will have food to spare.


Would someone please feed this growing, hulking teenager! Oh, wait, I think he’s chewing on a piece of leftover piece of pizza in this picture. Never mind, that should hold him for 15 minutes or so.

Tim, who has been up since ‘oh dark thirty,’ was still working when I took these “sleeping” shots. He looked a bit bleary eyed and focused and asked to be excused from the photo shoot. He was the only one of the bunch who really WANTED to be asleep.

“Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people.”
[Obscure Movie Quote - can you name this movie?]

Or perhaps Tim was just afraid his ‘shaggy’ look would be too much for the cameras. Sorry, Hon, maybe tomorrow you’ll get that haircut.

Again – we did lots of other things today (including school, a luncheon with some Bible study ladies, an eye appointment for Rachel, chores, church activities for some of the family, and a power walk this evening for me) but none of them were captured on film so they end up in this P.S. section. Such is life on the blog.


Share or follow

Related posts:

P365 – Day 51 (Sarah Cleans)

Sometimes you have long hours in which to think up creative and witty blogs. Other times life intrudes (the nerve) and you actually have to make meals, do dishes, and teach school. Sigh. This was one of those days. The entire day went by with nary a picture taken. Gasp. It looked like Tuesday would come to a close with no picture in sight.

Thankfully Sarah stepped forward and did something note (or photo) worthy. Finally some inspiration for today’s blog.

sarah and the wipes

Yes, it was bedtime and she was supposed to be tucked away under covers but we can overlook a great deal when there are disinfective wipes in hand.

Sarah has taken great ownership of the kids’ upstairs bathroom. This is the second or third time I’ve found her cleaning it – WITHOUT BEING ASKED. Really, this is unheard of among my children. They are wonderful helpers but there is usually prodding, money or candy involved in some way shape or form.

Here Sarah works away straightening up the counter. Must have those cups in a proper line.

cups in line

Her entire day was made when I came by and offered to let her wash the mirror. Ah, it’s a privilege to bring such joy to my children. “Gasp! I can clean the mirror LIKE THAT?” she said as I boosted her up onto the countertop with paper towel and Windex in hand. It did make me pause, just a bit, to wonder what OTHER ways she was cleaning the mirror. But there was no time for reflection it was time to scrub.

sarah's mirror

There’s something so sweet about a little one helping with chores around the house (especially in her purple pajamas). Look how she lives out the verses in Proverbs 31:

She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.

You are an inspiration to us all, Sarah.

Later on Tim took the boys off for some sit ups and push ups instructions (those Army days are never too far away). It also would have made for a great blog but I was settled under the covers with my BSF lesson in hand and couldn’t be budged. Next time.


Share or follow

Related posts:

Birthday Cakes throughout the Years

I am NOT a cake decorator. Both my mother and my mother in law have studied cake decorating and made beautiful cakes over the years. My mil worked for a caterer for several years and is an extremely talented baker. She made our wedding cake – I should say cakes since there were NINE of them in all (each a different flavor, of course) – and did a fabulous (and delicious) job.

wedding cake

This picture doesn’t do the cakes justice as they were gorgeous. Mom E., I STILL like the dark green leaves!

With this much raw skill in the family, it’s a shame that I am such a poor cake decorator myself. One time my mother in law came and presented a cake decorating class for my Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. Where was I? Working in the Moppets department. I missed the entire thing. Sigh.

david 1 year old

David’s one year old birthday cake. That year everyone got their own little, individual cakes.

messy eater 1

messy eater 2

A neat and tidy eater that made us all proud. “Somebody get me a washcloth and hurry!”

When it comes to birthday cakes I try to outsource this job as often as possible. With five children, however, this can get quite expensive. Thankfully my children’s grandmother is as kind and generous as she is talented and we’ve received some beautiful birthday cakes over the years. Last year she even made Tim’s birthday cake. I know some people would be upset that their mother in law made their husband’s cake (boundary issues and all of that) but I was more than thrilled. She makes the BEST Black Forest cake that is truly Tim’s favorite cake ever. What a great birthday present!

two year old david

Age 2 – David obviously remembers the chocolate cake fiasco from last year’s birthday party and is a bit wary. Where is that washcloth?

daniel helps david 2

Thankfully Daniel is right there to help.

There are times, however, when a girl needs to step up to the plate (so to speak) and make the birthday cake for her own child. Or at least find a decent cake at the grocery store – whatever it takes. Today was one of those days!

david is 3

I don’t know what to say here. Looks like a panCAKE to me. He’s one excited three year old.

blow it out 3

Whew, I wasn’t sure he’d be able to actually blow this one out. Good job, little guy.

Rachel, Daniel, Sarah and I set out for the store to buy the perfect cake for David. Hmmm. We came up with less than spectacular options. The cakes were either totally bland looking (not much to excite a 6 year old there) or expensive (you want HOW much for some flour, sugar and eggs?). There were some impressive cakes in the display book but, um, that doesn’t really work when you’re a ‘last minute’ kind of mother. You have to plan ahead if you’re going to get something fancy like that. Also, I’m sure those are way too expensive (boy, that is some NICE colored frosting there – how much did that cost me?).

david is four

David is four! Oreos and licorice cover a multitude of inadequacies in the cake decorating department.

daniel david 4

Notice Daniel is, once again, right there to “help” when needed.

In a fit of “I can DO IT Myself-itis” I rejected all the cakes behind the counter and led the children to the baking supplies aisle. There are certain people who should never say “I can do this better/just as cheaply/prettier/fill in blank” – at least not without a laugh track playing in the background. I am normally not this optimistic (or cheap) but something about those plastic looking cakes filled me with a renewed sense of baking confidence. No doubt it was all the high fructose corn syrup in the air – addles the brain.

race car cake

race car 2

David is 5!! He had a race car birthday party complete with a race track birthday cake. Note the excessive sprinkles and crumbled Oreos that cover most of the cake.

Armed with a cake mix, a can of frosting, a box of pudding, a tube of decorator icing, and a fancy candle (and this is home-made how??) we set out to make David a birthday cake worthy of his lofty six years.

A friend from my homeschooling e-mail loop shared a cake recipe from the Confessions of a Pioneer Woman website. The entry is called the best chocolate cake ever and she includes beautiful, crisp pictures of each step of the recipe. She is obviously a talented photographer as well as a witty writer. I haven’t tried out her recipe but it looks divine.

I was inspired by her descriptive blog and decided to copy her technique. [As if this blog wasn't long enough already.]

This is the creation of David’s birthday cake for 2007.

The humble ingredients.


The first cake, top cut off to create a level surface, ready for filling.

first cake

The chocolate pudding filling with a little cookie help to give it some added crunch (and up the chocolate factor).

pudding oncookiespudding

The top layer is on.

top layer is on

The frosting choice of the day.


And on it goes.

frosting on

Almost done – starting to look pretty.

getting pretty

Now for some real decorating – how easy can you get? No bags to mess with. Just change the frosting tip (included with the can) and off you go. Ah, this is the life.

blue icing

My attempt at “stars.”


Add a little writing and we’re almost there. Thank you, Betty Crocker.

david's cake top

Add some candles, a little bit of red, white and blue sprinkles and we are all set.

cake is done

Everyone gave this cake a big thumbs up rating. David left one bite on his plate and told us all he didn’t want to eat too much, as he was going to “try and be healthy.” Good job, Buddy! Way to be healthy. We won’t count the samples, the spoon from the cake batter, the ‘practice’ cookie with pudding, and the frosting spatula that found its way into your mouth.

Happy Birthday, David!

Being a true son of his mother, David has been more than happy to extend his birthday from Friday on through the weekend. He called it his birthday all day today; after all, we hadn’t had the cake yet and cake equals party in his mind. He even managed to finagle permission to sleep on the floor from his father (“since it’s my birthday, Daddy.”). He’s obviously learned from the best about stretching celebrations out. Lol!


Share or follow

Related posts:

P365 – Day 50 (Daniel’s Haircut)

I’m going to try something truly novel this evening – a short Project 365 post. There are lots of other ladies on the Project 365 webring who manage to post a SINGLE picture and include just a line or two (at most a paragraph) for their daily blog.

Of course, I’m not being completely sincere (or honest) since I have a stack of pictures loaded for a different blog. [rubbing hands with glee and chortling] This one, however, is going to be short and sweet. The next one is going to be sweet as well but not so short.

All of the boys in the household (yes, those sweet innocent dears from the previous post who burn Peeps, send Noah flying to the sky, and brandish weapons whenever possible) need hair cuts. Normally I would line them up and do the whole crew in one evening. Stack ‘em, pack ‘em, and chop ‘em??? [That's a botched version of another Obscure Movie Quote "Stack em, pack 'em, and rack 'em". Anyone know that one??]

On to the (short) blog. Somehow all the relaxing and playing we did today took a lot of time and energy so I only managed to cut Daniel’s hair.

kathy and danielhe's smiling

He’s smiling (barely) but I don’t think I’m going to get a nice tip after this cut.

Hopefully the rest of the boys will have their turn tomorrow night. We can’t have these handsome fellas looking shaggy. We had a nice President’s Day. Tim declared “Holiday Hours” and we watched movies, played computer games, blogged, paid bills (okay some things are more fun than others), went grocery shopping, decorated a birthday cake, and so on.


Share or follow

Related posts:


P365 – Day 49 Noah’s Terrible Journey

There is a blessing that comes from growing up with three brothers – you have years of understanding that can only come through experience. Boys = wrestling, fighting, admiration of strange bodily noises and odors, explosions of all kinds, insects, speed based food eating contests, expectoration, wild driving (from tricycles, scooters, and bikes to mopeds, motorcycles and cars) and so on.

I distinctly remember my mother saying (more than once), “If you boys are going to kill each other go downstairs so I can make dinner.”

I have been amazed to hear the strangest things come out of my own mouth.

“In this family we do NOT sit on the top of the bed and spit down into the bottom bunk.”
“No, you may not use a screw driver to cut down a tree.”
“Next time take off your rollerblades before you ride your bike down the driveway.”
No, you may not take apart that chair, I’m sitting on it.”
“How much blood are we talking about?”
“Put your brother’s gun down.”
“Put your brother down.”
“Put me down.”

I could go on but my eye begins to twitch just remembering some of these ‘hearty’ boy encounters. People often talk about their children needing therapy when they grow up – I think it’s mothers of boys who will be lounging on the dr’s leather couch one day. Of course, who needs the doctor, I’d be content just to have some time (uninterrupted, PLEASE!) on a comfy couch. But I digress.

Time ater time I have thanked the Lord for giving me brothers. Without them I would surely think my sons are crazy, sick, abnormal creatures who should be rushed to the doctor. Why would you pop the head off of innocent looking dolls? Why would you sharpen a branch into a pointed weapon and immediately charge upon your beloved brother? Why would you turn a simple chore of putting away silverware into an imaginary duel between knives and forks? Why would you want to send Noah flying to the sky?

Oh, that brings me to Sunday’s post.

For his birthday Joshua bought David an Air Hogs Scream’n Stream’n Rocket from Target. The kids had all sorts of fun going outside and shooting off the rockets. It works great – the rockets fly high into the air.

Boys also = running, screaming, shouting, and shooting. Explosions, again, are always key.

We had a very full Sunday, ending in Bible study at our house. The kids behaved beautifully – they played nicely (and quietly) in the garage while we watched our Love and Respect dvd. Afterwards one family stayed late and joined us for dinner and games. The grownups played cards.

tim wins

Tim humbly points out his winning score.

The girls played upstairs. Joshua set up a huge battlefield for David.

soldiersjoshua's soldiers

At some point in the evening, as the hour grew late and the children squirelly, Joshua and David, in a bond of bizarre brotherhood, decided to study scripture (this being the sabbath and all). The passage they chose was from Genesis 6.

God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

Teaching through illustration and acting is often a very powerful tool and one we encourage in our family. Joshua, being the wise and mature older brother, came up with an idea of how to help David more fully understand these verses in Genesis.

noah's doom

Apparently the practices of these people were even more debased and bloodthirsty then we suspected.

David (no doubt unwillingly) agreed to play the part of some of Noah’s tormentors.

david posed to shoot

Noah, I’m afraid these are terrible times.

noah flies

After such troubles some quiet, peaceful time on an ark full of animals doesn’t sound so bad.


Share or follow

Related posts: