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Sunday, November 29, 2009

After Thanksgiving

Leanna, in her stained Thanksgiving dress
Aunt Laura and Timothy, resting

My Dad holding the Mincemeat pie. It didn';t come out quite right though, too watery. Ah well, a first attempt, and I had to use concentrated mincemeat as the store was out of the jarred kind. Plus I didn't get rum, I had to substitute apple juice.

I don't know how Tom and I got a kid that likes Pumpkin pie! Yuck!

We had our own Thanksgiving dinner and afterwards the kids and I went next door to visit for a bit. My Mom and sister were then heading over to see Aunt Cindy and Betsy at Aunt Delorce's house. I had to get Leanna ready for her sleepover and since everyone couldn't go, I felt my place was with my family. So after a short visit, we quickly got Leanna ready for her sleepover with her friend Marlena. It went quite well-the next day they went to Bounce U, Friendly's for dinner, and had their nails done! Wow. I never had a sleepover party like that!

Still more Thanksgiving preparations

Filling patties, frying
Tom making his filling patties. He craves the taste of the filling patties in his memory. Every year we try, but just can't seem to get it exactly right.

Pumpkin gingerbread, I included this picture because you can see the little Jacob hand reaching for it, which I could barely keep off the bread! He kept asking for "kini bread" meaning Zucchini bread because that's what he thought it was.

This is Timothy's creation, it's what he made while I made the cranberry bread. It consists of cranberries, eggshells, and water.

Making Cranberry bread

The cranberries are such a nice splash of color

Leanna took of picture of the stirring

Pretty Cranberry bread loaf

Tom putting Jacob to sleep

Orange gratings

On a whim, I decided to try making cranberry bread this year. Timothy wanted to help, but he ended up "making his own."When I cut into the cranberries, I discovered that they're actually quite pretty. Kind of a butterfly pattern. Leanna helped me chop them. She was actually quite helpful the past few days.
I had Tom put Jacob to sleep, which made it much easier to get the breads made. In addtion to the cranberry bread, I made my (now) tradditional Pumpkin Gingerbread, which Justin proclaims to be the best in the world! and apple Crisp (for me it wouldn't be Thanksgiving or Christmas without it!) and I also attempted a mincemeat pie for my Dad. Plus making mashed potatoes for Tom's filling patties because it was supposed to sit overnight. He said he didn't know how to make mashed potatoes and walked away when I tried to it was left to me. It was a busy busy day!

Thanksgiving Preparations

A cookie-scented candle, for ambiance as we worked.
The day before Thanksgiving Leanna and Justin did most of this chalk mural in the backyard.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving Preparations

Justin's glue-bathed turkey

The Thanksgiving banner:

Timothy drew a tree and leaves and a pumpkin. Justin contributed his turkey he colored, cut out, and pasted together. Leanna did the writting and made pilgrims and Indians, some pumpkins, the Mayflower, and her turkeys.
We read a thanksgiving story that Leanna acted out as I read.

Pre-holiday fun

The younger two got bored with holiday preparations and hung out in the cabinet.

Some hearts, a horse, and a donkey that Justin made for me, just because.

Excersize not as helpful for weight loss as was thought

An article from Time Magazine about Exercise not being as effective a weight loss strategy as we think. (Read it before making up your mind).

Quotes that sum it up:

"The basic problem is that while it's true that exercise burns calories and that you must burn calories to lose weight, exercise has another effect: it can stimulate hunger. That causes us to eat more, which in turn can negate the weight-loss benefits we just accrued. Exercise, in other words, isn't necessarily helping us lose weight. It may even be making it harder."

"Whether because exercise made them hungry or because they wanted to reward themselves (or both), most of the women who exercised ate more than they did before they started the experiment. Or they compensated in another way, by moving around a lot less than usual after they got home. "

"Many people assume that weight is mostly a matter of willpower — that we can learn both to exercise and to avoid muffins and Gatorade. A few of us can, but evolution did not build us to do this for very long. In 2000 the journal Psychological Bulletin published a paper by psychologists Mark Muraven and Roy Baumeister in which they observed that self-control is like a muscle: it weakens each day after you use it. If you force yourself to jog for an hour, your self-regulatory capacity is proportionately enfeebled. Rather than lunching on a salad, you'll be more likely to opt for pizza.
Some of us can will ourselves to overcome our basic psychology, but most of us won't be very successful. "The most powerful determinant of your dietary intake is your energy expenditure," says Steven Gortmaker, who heads Harvard's Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity. "If you're more physically active, you're going to get hungry and eat more."

"In short, it's what you eat, not how hard you try to work it off, that matters more in losing weight. You should exercise to improve your health, but be warned: fiery spurts of vigorous exercise could lead to weight gain. I love how exercise makes me feel, but tomorrow I might skip the VersaClimber — and skip the blueberry bar that is my usual postexercise reward. Read more:,8599,1914857-4,00.html#ixzz0YDy8PpPQ

I think the reasonable conclusion should have been that incorporating exercise into your life naturally would be the way to use exercise for weight loss. If the research makes it clear that short burst of exercise that leave you tired and hungry don't work well; why not study the effects of little efforts that still use your muscles but don't exhaust you or stimulate your appetite? (what comes to mind is the way kids get exercise) It also should have addressed the emotional reasons for overeating, which obviously thwart weight loss as well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Turning into parents/normal family

There are lessons to be learned by observing family dynamics during the holidays.

I like this part,"Siegel tells the story of a well-known social worker and family therapist who always asked new students to write an essay about a normal family. Inevitably, students would approach her privately and confide that they did not know a normal family. So she began simply asking students to raise their hands if they came from a normal family.
Nobody ever did."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


*It's heart attack day! We caught Jacob was scooping out peanut butter and eating it! Thankfully no signs of a problem yet, it'll probably show in his skin later though.

*I had an email from Bernard, the elf from the North Pole, so we were checking if the kids are on the naughty or nice list. It said Leanna needs to help around the house more (YES!), Justin also needs to help around the house and to wash behind his ears (He started yelling, you never told me to wash behind my ears! How can I do that if you never told me!), and Timothy was nice last month but needs to wash between his toes (he took this info in stride though, just smiling because he's on the nice list).

*Jacob used the potty all by himself twice last week!

*Leanna's sleeping at a friend's house on Thanksgiving night, she's really excited about this. (It makes me really happy too, it's validates my views on the problems at school last year!)

*The Black Friday traddtion is still in limbo, it depends on whether or not we get paid this week. Regardless, it will be greatly scaled down. But I am really really hoping to go, I look forward to it every year.

*I had a date with Timothy last night. We went to the library and had a quick stop at the gas station for chocolate covered pretzels (works perfectly, they're 3 for a dollar!). We played I Spy the whole way there and back. That was his favorite thing, I asked him. And he was so cute at the library, he sat in the chair and read himself a book, outloud. In his little tiny Timothy voice! Timothy chose a book on spiders and a book on elephants to take home. He had to give the librarian my card and put all the books up on the counter. Timothy is much easier to take to the library. While I still have to remind him not to run and to whisper, I don't have to remind him of these things every other second (which I do with Justin).

*The last time we went to the library at night I took only Justin, thinking it would be good practice for him and it'd be easy since it was only Justin with me. No one to bother him or to talk to. But I was proven wrong, as he just cannot help himself. Even when he wasn't talking, he was making noises! And when I told him he could spin once only in the Mork and Mindy style chairs in the kid section (I LOVED those chairs myself when I was a kid!) he ran over spun once and almost knocked into another chair. I told him, alright, you're done now, you might bang into things. So he had to try one more time, cause he's Justin, and guess what? He loudly banged into another chair. And as I turned around before I could even utter more than his name, the frizzy haired librarian came running back yelling at him. I was mortified! We quickly left in shame.

*Hopefully we'll be baking tomorrow. I have plans, big plans. We'll see though, because in recent years I am better at coming up with ideas than I am with following through!

Monday, November 23, 2009

My e-card from Leanna

"hi mommy happy thanks giving"
I saved the picture and copied the words from the ecard Leanna sent me. Very cute. She chose this picture because she knew I like horses.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Food stuff

Recent food stuff.......blackberry popsicles because sometimes they won't eat the food, sometimes they'll drink it, but so far they'll always eat it if it's a popsicle. But I have strawberries and a bit of banna in there too. No more for a while though, my blender died, I had to borrow my sister's just to finish making them........the harvest cake is actually a strawberry cake mix that I made partly just to get rid of it, with homemade iceing dyed orange. It was supposed to look like a pumpkin......but I had three little boys bumping my arm as I did it and the iceing wasn't cooperating. So it's a pumpkin still on the vine, a very long curly vine......and bannanas with some of the homemade iceing drizzled on for Jacob, since he couldn't eat the cake-no cake mix is safe for him.

Friday, November 20, 2009

How Mince Meat Became Meatless

I was wondering about what exactly is in mince meat pie. I was thinking about it because my paternal grandmother used to make it at holidays. I remember not liking it, but it was always there, so it became one of my holiday associations. I might like it as an adult, who knows? Anyway, I ran across this article and thought it was interesting.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Petco Field Trip

Group Shot
Everyone petting a guinea pig

Monday we had our first homeschool field trip. We could have gone to others if we had a working car/driving Mommy. But without the working car, the second is impossible. This trip we could take a bus to. So for us this was an all afternoon event. It was a small group, and all the kids except one were somewhat quiet. Until the reptile section. Justin particularly enjoyed that one. The ferrets were popular also. Since we arrived early, the kids visited Santa in the mall, just to tell him what they wanted, not for a picture. $14.00 just for a single 4x67! They were each given a stuffed bear in pajamas, holding it's own stuffed reindeer. Jacob and Leanna particularly like this. When we got off the bus a woman walked up to me and handed me $10.00 and said, "this is for the children." Just out of nowhere, and I was so caught off guard that I accepted it, thanking her of course. I actually had no money at all, so that was really nice and it worked out well. I was able to get the kids drinks afterwards, which was nice because we were going from one appointment to the next that day, with no time to stop at home in between.

Waiting to begin......

I had my orientation at the Phoebe home this week. It was an hour and a half of walking around and learning their policies. I have a packet of information to go through and circle answers for and I will have to repeat that every year I'm there. Volunteers mainly take residents to appointments (haircuts, Bingo, inside doctor visits, therapy, etc.) or help with activities, act as a Companion/visitor, Library assistant (some sites), Distribute water, Deliver mail, Receptionist (some sites), Office helper, or as a Tour guide She said she'll probably have us just go around visiting different floors and maybe help with some activties. But we can't start volunteering there until the ban on young people visiting is lifted.Now not even their junior volunteers can go because of the swine flu. It's to protect the elderly there, they have to get word from the state when the ban can be lifted.
So far I'm really impressed with the place. Since it's such a large place I was worried they might be very corporate. But they said they are very life friendly-full of plants and birds, fish, cats, and a rabbit. They stressed ways to deal with people so that you aren't frustrating or belittling them, and so that you remember to give them their privacy since this is their home now. They have murals painted all over. Decorations and birthday lists and pictures of events all over the walls. In the alzheimer's floor they have shaddow boxes outside each door, so the residents and their visitors can remember who they used to be before the disease. That floor is painted in green-chosen because it's a soothing color, and has lots of pictures of a time that would be the resident's childhood. It just seemed really sweet and though the staff truly cares about the work they do. And she said they have a lot of volunteers who have been there for many years, some over twenty! To me that says that they are happy there and it's a good place to be. I'm looking forward to this, I think it will be a good experience for us!

Today in School

Leanna, happy that she's finally getting the place values stuff right. Here's an example of where having money really can help with homeschooling. I was trying to get through to her and we were sitting there over and over trying to get this material done. And at night I was looking up new ways to teach it. Nothing seemed to be working. I mentioned it to my Mom by chance, and she said, "Oh! We have place values stuff at work!" And a night or two later she brought me the packet. We tried it once, and then had to wait for my Mom to take it back and laminate it (or else in our house it would have been toast!) and it was amazing how fast Lfeanna learned the material that way. All the books say that money has nothing to do with homeschooling sucess. I'd say that's generally true, but I think this demonstrates one way that it can make a difference. I would not have gone out looking for something I could buy to help, we just don't have the money now. In this case it made the difference though. It's nice to have options when you get stuck!
Leanna's journals, she writes in them nearly every day. Though some days it's a story, some days it's a poem or a song, or a cheer. It ought to be interesting to see the evaluator read through those. The L.I.W. biography I'm currently reading, then Leanna will too.
This is Leanna doing the place values today. I have no clue why it was necesary to wear a baby blanket over her head while doing it, but it was.

Justin and Timothy were at work, hammering away at some wood their Dad gave them. They even try to put crayons and markers behind their ears, like Daddy.

Since people often wonder what we're doing in school, this is today's stuff. We also read two Chameleon books, Timothy joined us for those. I read one, Leanna did the other. We broke for Curious George (I'm amazed by how much information Justin picks up from that show!) Later we'll read another chapter of Little House on the Prairie. Leanna also did more of the booklet from the pet store(quizzes on animal care, mazes, and coloring, etc.) We're planning a notebook/lapbook Frog project, we've been looking at techniques. We might do a bit more later on. We mainly work in the afternoons. Today is a shorter day because of Brownies, we stop a little earlier to make her supper beforehand and for her to be ready in time. Tonight she will be making pumpkin pie for the church they use, to show their appreciation.

Popular culture ruining good names?

I like this post on a parent loving a name but being afraid to use it because it's the name of a character in a currently popular movie/tv show. It's discussing Twilight, which is funny, I may be kind of strange, but I've always liked Jasper. And for me, Esme' reminds me of J.D. Salinger's short story, To Esme' with Love and Squalor. (that's the author of the Catcher in the Rye.)

I happen to like the name Ariel, but wouldn't use it because of the movie (although I've only heard the name because of the movie!). Hmmmmm.....maybe that's part of the reason I like the name Lorelei? (Still hoping for another girl so I can use that name!!)

Entertaining conversation?

I just thought I'd add this for those of you who are beginning to wonder if the conversations at my house are normal.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I think I needed to see this....

A good reminder, for me: sleep to suceed


This is a technique for compliling information for display and as a visually pleasing way to record what you have learned. I just found info on lapbooking and notebooking (they're closely related). The cool part is that I was actually trying to do this on my own, just not as fancy. Now that I found a name and style for this technique, I can go farther with it, and it means I shouldn't have a problem with it being accepted by an evaluator at the end of the year! Less for me to worry about, woohoo! Lapbooking and notebooking are forms of scrapbooking but educational! You see why I am excited. For an explanation, go here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Before I forget

I keep meaning to post that Justin wants a snuggie blanket for Christmas! LOL! He's serious. If the commercial comes on the kids start singing with it. When I said I was going to post that Leanna said "I want one too! A pink one. With princesses!" It cracks me up. I guess they look cozy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Little Storyteller

Justin was telling a story to Leanna, who was writing it down. But she kept wanting to change the story to fit what she thought was proper, which would have completely changed the story. So I picked up the camera and taped him telling the story, so it could come out in his own way.

Justin likes to tell me stories in the morning. He'll crawl in bed and lay there telling me a story. He just volunteers this! I would not have expected this from him, it was a pleasant surprise to learn he is a storyteller.

Cranberry Drink

I saw this page in Woman's Day Magazine, and it looked really good. Although I'm generally not a huge fan of sour things, I do love cranberry sauce on holidays, so I decided to give it a try.
I added about two bananas (mine were going bad so three bananas minus the bad parts) Jacob liked it, and at first Justin did too. Everyone said it was too sour. If you add more bananas though it should cut the sourness. And the recipe didn't give exact amounts, so you could always add less cranberries. I really liked it, and it was a nice change from our usual strawberry banana.

Cooking blog

I ran across an interesting blog, for those of you interested in food or cooking.

How to Cook Like Your Grandmother

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Expectations of help

An article on expectations of help. Basically a male author talks about how he and his wife were surprised to find that her relatives, who lived close and had seemed so excited to meet the baby suddenly dropped off the face of the earth shortly after the child's birth. They had expected a little more-maybe a phone call to ask how they or the baby was, offers for a cooked meal here and there or occasional babysitting. The author's mother in law stayed with them for the first three months though until she had to go back home (far away). They don't ask for help because they feel it'd be a sign of weakness and the wife's family never offers any. Miscommunication occurs and hurt feelings are on both sides. Eventually they reconcile with regular unsolicited calls for babysitting and even a spa package donated for the couple! Wow.

Here's a link to the article, "The Incredible Disappearing Family" and here's a link to the comments.

I like most of the commenters, am jealous! Even in the situation the author describes, it seems as though they have more help than most people do. And they were still struggling. But maybe both are working demanding jobs? Multiple jobs? Who knows, maybe they just have more trouble during the early years and will have few problems with an older child. Everyone has a different situation. Does it make you a bad parent if it takes a while to adjust? The author really got slammed for this article because people felt he was whiny with absolutely no reason for it. Suck it up, they said! Many said they had it harder and managed and didn't expect any help. (my favorite was the woman who cooked a Christmas meal for her husband and in laws the day after giving birth. They let her do that) Some suggested if they found it that hard they shouldn't procreate. Many pointed out that parents have no business expecting help from anyone at any time. And others said you should either hire help or find other parents to exchange babysitting and favors with.
I take issue with this modern ideal of complete self-sufficiency. Although you may be granted a pass if you can afford to pay for help, otherwise, depend on no one, ever. I think it's ridiculous to assume that parenting, one of the weightiest responsibilities people have, should be performed from birth to self sufficiency by only two people. (This attitude rears it's head in discussions about absent grandparents as well.) Do people not realize that it's not only the parents that benefit from having other people involved in raising a family? Children benefit from having more loving individuals in their lives, more varied experiences, and differing values that they are exposed to, and of course they benefit by having less stressed parents. The people helping the family benefit from their relationships with the children and with their grateful parents. And it's nice to feel useful. Society benefits because happy loved and loving children make better citizens. For most of time, in most of the world, people lived with extended family or in communities where everyone helped with child rearing. And even back a few generations ago, although grandparents may not have still lived with their grandchildren, parents still had more support from the community-from their neighbors and churches and organizations. Today we isolate ourselves and say parents must bear that incredible task alone. If you need help you are either weak or inept or have an "entitlement mentality."
I don't think parents should expect people to help in certain ways or at certain times, but a general expectation that relatives who live close Will help in whatever ways they are able, when they are able......I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I believe that's how child rearing was meant to occur, for the benefit of all. People, particularly family, SHOULD help each other. The author mentions that eventually they realize that they were forgetting that the relatives also worked all week long, and their weekends were precious to them also and that others might not be aware they could use some free time....they were wrapped up in a bubble of new parenting and sleep deprivation and they weren't seeing things clearly. They were selfish too. That happens. Doesn't make them bad people. It' just makes me sad that so many people are so quick to judge (and judge so harshly); and condemn parents for wanting what's been normal for most of time. As one commenter said, " I've always found it incredibly sad that modern society in America has stopped expecting its people to really invest in the nurturing and care of a new family."

I also like this comment:
Wow, what a bunch of jackasses. I agree, the writer's tone is a bit over-the-top, and 3 months worth of help is nothing to complain about. But, seriously, what is wrong with you people? Why shouldn't we reasonably expect or hope for certain things from our family, especially when we generally have a good relationship with them? Not because of entitlement per se, but just because family *should* do things for each other. My family does things for me; I do things for them that aren't convenient.

And I'm so sick of the "you chose to have the kid" attitude. Believe it or not, even in this age of chemical birth control, not all couples *choose* to have kids, or, I should say, *plan* their children. Sometimes kids just happen, and some of us happen to believe that kids are a *natural* part of family life, not something that you *get* after you've got your career, house and SUV (or Prius, whatever) all in line. I think that the "you chose it" attitude is a huge part of the hostility on here: "Why should anyone have to clean up anyone else's mess?" It sounds like half the people on here have rotten parents who can't be bothered, and now they've clearly picked up the attitude. *sigh* No wonder why our world sucks. Most of you accuse the author of an entitlement attitude, but your own attitudes scream, "I'm entitled to not have to worry about anyone but myself, EVER!"

You can't always plan out every detail of your life, and often not even the big stuff. People expect that responsible people should plan just the right moment to have children, if they do. And if they have more than one, then you should plan out the spacing of them beforehand as well. Your car and your house and your perfect job should be in place commenter even said since parents have about seven months to prepare beforehand, they should arrange for all help before birth. As though everyone knows exactly what their baby will be like and what they will be like as parents, as though you know what your thresholds will be! That is something you don't find out until afterwards!!!

Just very sad, in my opinion. Anyone else have any thoughts on this?

Explaining How we made butter

Making our own butter

We made butter as part of our Little House studies. The boys LOVED it, Leanna barely tasted it and exclaimed "Yuck!" Surprisingly easy to do and it's really neat to see the liquid turn into solid. This way isn't 100% natural, as that would involve using fresh milk from an animal and culturing it. We used heavy whipping cream.

A butter churn is a mechanical device used to agitate milk cream until it becomes butter. Churning the cream brings its fat globules together and causes them to clump into lumps of butter, leaving a liquid called butter milk.
The physical phenomenon which occurs is called phase inversion - the inner phase and outer phase of an emulsion exchange places: oil in water emulsion (cream) becomes water in oil emulsion (butter).
Many configurations of churns were used throughout history. The end-over-end churn stands about 4 feet (1.2 m) high and swings on a central axle. The "barrel churn" was similar but rolled on its long axis. The plunger-type is harder work than the end-over-end or barrel churn. A plunger or dasher has to be moved vigorously up and down by hand.
The upright plunge or dash churn is the earliest kind of churn. There is evidence that this type was in use by C. 600 AD[1]. The barrel churn was one of the agricultural innovations of 18th century Europe[2].

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Justin finally got his first dental checkup this week. We had several false starts with that. The dentist Leanna's been to doesn't see kids until they are four years old (despite all modern parenting magazines recommending kids begin going at age one). He refused to even get in the chair or open his mouth and the dentist was just not willing to work with him at all and was kind of mean. He waited a minute, then said, bring him back when he'll open his mouth. So when I mentioned this at Justin's doctor checkup, they recommended the dental van. I was told they're very good with kids and would probably let him look at all the equipment first and talk to him about what they were going to do first. So I made an appt. to go when they were at Central school and we walked there and got in, and the lady said, well if he's that afraid, maybe he should go to the clinic. They're really really good with kids. But call today, as soon as you get home!! They're very hard to get in, so call RIGHT AWAY! I said, yes ma'am! And went home and called. Well it took two months, but I finally got a call back from the dental clinic to set up an appt. They're very busy, they said usually they're overbooked.
I am so happy, as far as I'm concerned it was worth the wait. This is the first time I can remember really liking medical professionals. They were so nice, and so patient and good with Justin. It was no big deal at all that four people came along into the room with Justin. They brought back some chairs for us! They talked to all of us and showed Justin every tool and told him what they were going to do before doing it. He was so nervous at first that when they put the chair back, he stayed stiffly sitting up in the seat. I had to gently lay him down because he wouldn't do it. After that he was ok though.
He has to come back in January unfortunately and they said they'll use nitrous oxide (spelling?) which is what they used to call laughing gas, to calm him down when they work on him. They didn't want to start anything on the first visit in case he would expect bad stuff to happen every visit then. They were just so friendly. Two people came to gawk at us though, they were amazed to see so many people in the room, and commented that they would never have known that there were so many kids there. The dentist and hygienist both said they were so well behaved and complimented me on my children. It is so nice to hear that!!
Also this week and last at the Phoebe home staff members complimented me on my nice family. Anyway, I wanted to be sure to mention a positive experience with medical professionals, for years now, almost every experience has been bad/horrible/insulting, particularly at that hospital. If I have time I will write them a letter to say so, I believe in letting people know when you recieve superior service. In person I did compliment the dentist and she clutched her chest and said, "Aawww! Thank you!" It made me feel good to make someone else feel good too!

Lovin the internet

On a homeschool blog I ran across this mention of a song I sang way back in elementary school Dona Nobis Pacem by W. A. Mozart and haven't heard since. I liked it and I still remember the words to this day. I've sung it to all my children and never expected to hear it anywhere again. But there it was, on you tube!
For a version without words, click here.
For a version sung by a choir, click here.
I think it's best sung as a round.

There's that evil genius again!

When asked why he keeps smacking people's heinies, Justin replied (quite seriously), "Well, God made me that way!"

Sometimes I wish they weren't quite so smart!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009


This picture shows the bonnet Leanna wore for Halloween, worn by me many many years ago. My paternal grandmother believed that every young girl should have a bonnet. I believe this was during the famous Little House on the Prairie show period still, so praire stuff was still quite popular. This is the grandmother I associate Holly Hobby stuff with as well. She bought me a Holly Hobbie doll and things with her on them. I am still fond of Holly Hobbie/praire things for this reason (others too, but this gives them a sentimental pull).
I'm actually not sure what you call this type of picture-it's not a shadow box, it's in a regular picture frame. Anyway, both pictures are with my sister Laura. (Maybe my Mom can offer a date or approximate age for me?)
(I loved that shiny pink jacket!)
EDIT: And that's a strawberry shortcake doll in my hands!!

Just recording things

One day I'm sure I'll hear, "You never spent any time with me!" or "You never
let me do anything!" Especially if the social climate stays the way it is currently, where everyone is so sure there's no way anyone could emotionally care for more than 2.1 children. So sometimes I take pictures of things, just to record the fact that they do indeed do many things with me and with each other. I actually don't find it particularly difficult to have special moments with each one regularly. It comes naturally.
Here's a picture of Timothy mashing bannanas for bananna muffins, and then later Justin stirring the batter for apple muffins. 24 muffins and this morning only three were left! (And Leanna and Tom won't eat muffins! )