1. Two Names You Go By: Mommy, Amber
2. Things You Are Wearing Right Now: Jean skirt, Down vest
3. Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment: Central Vac & a massage.
4. Two people who you look up to: My Dad & My Mom
5. Two things you did last night: Went out for some alone time & tucked the kids in.
6. Two things you ate yesterday: Cheesecake & Latte.
7. Two people you last talked to: Trae & my mother in law.
8. Two Things you're doing tomorrow: Having dinner with family @ Mom & Dad's & heading out to the cabin for Fri & Sat.
9. Two longest car rides: Montana & Florida
10. Favorite Holidays : Thanksgiving & Sweetest Day.
11. Favorite Vacations : Cancun & Florida.
12. Last trip: Montana for a family reunion.

Dedicated to Ana & Olive

The Starfish Saver

As I walked along the seashore, this young boy greeted me.
He was tossing stranded starfish back to the deep blue sea.
I said "Tell me why you bother, why you waste your time this way.
There's a million stranded starfish, does it matter, anyway?"
And he said, "It matters to this one. It deserves a chance to grow.
It matters to this one. I can't save them all I know.
But it matters to this one, I'll return it to the sea.
It matters to this one, and it matters to me."
I walked into an orphanage, a young woman greeted me.
She was adopting a little girl, She was excited, I could see.
I said, "Tell me why you bother, why do you waste your time this way.
She's only one of thousands, does it matter anyway?"
And she said, "It matters to this one. She deserves a chance to grow.
It matters to this one. I can't save them all I know.
But it matters to this one, I'll help her be what she can be.
It matters to this one, and it matters to me."
A big shout out to Nate & Marsha for giving Ana & Olive a chance, and to all the other adoptive families who have made it matter. We miss you guys and can't wait to see you at Christmas. Hug the girls for us!

I'm thankful....

  • That we have a functional family that has so much love for each other.
  • For healthy kids.
  • That our propane tank is 70% full.
  • That my husband is willing to work side jobs to pick up my slack during the down season.
  • That I can stay home with my kids, and that either Jason or my Mom is willing to watch them when I work.
  • For warm winter coats/hats/gloves for all the kids.....thanks Grandma!
  • My Mom makes such a great Thanksgiving feast and for everything else she does.
  • For my faith.
  • For my sisters. Nothing quite like a sister.
  • For my nieces.
  • That my husband has a great job.
  • For great friends that have my back;0)
  • For today.

No more Monkeys jumpin' on the bed...

  • First off, yes, I do realize all I do is bulleted posts anymore...

  • Light night after being gone only for about 45 minutes, I got a call from Jason saying Trae fell off the bed and cut his ear...Trae and Archer were both screaming in the background. He said it was bleeding pretty bad. After determining he didn't need stitches, I told him I'd be home as soon as I could....it makes my stomach hurt just looking at it, and it he must be in a decent amount of pain because he didn't sleep well at all and it seems like if he lays on it, it wakes him and we start all over again with the tossing and turning.

  • Archer HATES when I leave, he screamed the entire time even though I fed him right before I left and he was sweet as pie all day. I guess I'll only be leaving him for work, which is few and far between these days. Winter is not a hot season for photographers.

  • Last night I actually put my cart away since I was by myself...I took aim from about 15 feet from the cart corral and shoved it with all my might, hoping for a bulls eye. Well, I missed, and the cart slammed into the metal divider and bounced back towards me. I laughed and said nice....to myself, I found it funny but hoped, ya know,that no one else saw....and then this cute little Mexican Grandpa pipes up and says "Ya almost made it!"
  • I had a chocolate cheesecake and a latte for supper, how posh is that?
  • In my haste to post quickly and get out of the house, I failed to mention that Brookelyn fell asleep with gum in her hair the first time, and did a cartwheel the second time. I tried to get most of it out, but ended up having to cut the little bit that wouldn't come out, even with ice.

  • Annnnd....the award for the Best Pacifier Loser in the Country goes to my husband.


A few things...

  • Brookelyn learned to blow bubbles....and I've had to cut gum out of her hair twice today.
  • Elliot has a "pet" spider named Camo.
  • Momma's off to Walmart....and then to the salon for a shampoo & trim.

I'm sorry, does anyone else hear that annoying buzzing sound?

I just returned home from the doctor...I was up half the night with a massive sinus headache. The doctor convinced me not to gain anymore weight....

When I was expecting Archer, I had some pain that we had originally thought was my gallbladder. Since I've had him it's gotten worse, but in talking with people, I realized that it had to be something else, and asked the doctor about it today, explaining that I had my child 10 weeks ago.

Apparently, I have an "anatomic abnormality" and she has no clue what God was thinking when he gave us a zyphoid process, but it's really stupid because we just don't need it! So what it is (as she hunches over and pushes in at the bottom of her ribcage) when we get pregnant....this is really enlightening!...things move and our belly expands! Of course, we can try to get our belly flat, but we all know it just never goes back to the same. So, then after that schpeel, she tells me I can't keep gaining weight. She tells me that I look like I have a sinus infection, and after a gander at my throat confirms that but tells me 3 times that "it's really not that bad...you know in the old days people got over this stuff on their own..." and gives me a recipe for a nose solution of pickling salt, baking soda, and water. She stands up and bends down and simulates squirting saline spray up her nose with a "booger bulb" Then she sits down and says "just bend over over, kina like this and, ya know squirt it up there (head back) (head forward) and then blow it out....then tip your head back again and then swallow and snort at the same time." Then she snorks again and keeps reiterating the routine. I guess I'll just mention here that yes, she is a dork. I ask her if theres anything I can do for the issue with my stomach because I can't see putting up with it for the rest of my life. She says "well, ya know, don't press on it, and don't gain anymore weight..." It's not like I have this plan to pack on pounds, obviously...."it's just that, don't gain weight...you know." She finally shut up about it.

Then she asks where she should fax the script...(I'm going to do the nose solution, but if it doesn't help, then I'll get the antibiotic)...and I tell her Walmart. She then realizes I had a reaction to Amoxicillin once, so she finds a different drug (Zithromax) and I ask if I can take that while nursing. (yes) Then she asks me what pharmacy. I had thought we went over that, but tell her again. Then she explains the classes of drugs to me and how my drug is safe in pregnancy and nursing.....and asks me if I'm pregnant now. Are you kidding? Do you listen to anything I'm saying? And do you feel the need to tell 14 times that I shouldn't gain anymore weight because people have to repeat things 30 times before you catch on?...


At the cabin.

  • This morning I got all the kids dressed, as I had to get out the door for a chiro appointment. Trae picked out his own pants, and insisted we change out of the ones I previously dressed him in before we could leave. When we got done with my appointment and I was loading the kids back up in the van, I noticed his hat was missing. I remembered putting in his sleeve, and when I checked it out, it was like he had a club on his arm! He didn't even care....
  • Archer slept for 7! hours the other night..whoohoo! He's been eating once each night, at around 1-2am and sleeping awesome the rest of the night.
  • It's starting to be one of those days...at this point I really want to send all my kids to bed and take a hot bath. sigh.
  • Elliot came home sick from school today...he didn't seem sick at all, but now he just said he's "sicker" and probably won't be able to go tomorrow. Makes me think something else is going on. He has this kid, Braiden, in his class that is constantly asking him for things and when Elliot tells him no, he says he's "gonna kick him in the nuts then." I think I'm going to have to call...Braiden asked for Elliot's compass last week (it's pinned on his coat) and Elliot of course said no. (oh, and did I mention that everytime he says no, the kid tells him he "collects" whatever it is he's asking for?) Well, it was stolen this week.
  • ****we talked some more and he admitted that some other kids broke his snowman (his best friend & Braiden included) and Braiden called him a loser and said he was going to beat him up on the bus. He is assigned a seat with Braiden on the bus. I'll be calling tomorrow. I hate playing Momma Bear, but I also hate when punky kids get away with harassing other kids because they're considered "problem" kids. That's what they said last year about Braiden, "yeah, he's a problem..." like I should be okay with it then.

I loved his lashes in this photo...

Trae spent hours taking hard wood floor scraps out of the box and placing them in the wood box.

Archer either did this....

...or this.
All 3 had fun with the radios.

Thought he was the stuff with 2 walkie talkies hanging off his diaper!

100 things about me, take 2.

I wonder how my life has changed since the last time I did this...so I'm doing this list, and then I'll compare them. Here goes.
1. I hate snow. I hate driving in snow. I hate playing in snow. Period.
2. I love black licorice. Bear with me while I get into this...
3. I over think things. A LOT. If I have a conversation with someone, it plays over and over in my head. I think about what I said and wonder if I sounded stupid. I replay what they said and wonder if they like me. I think about their body language and try to figure it out.
4. I am very un-guarded. UN-GAUD!!...what is that from? I remember hearing it when I was growing up...I will spill my life's story if you want to hear it.
5. However, I keep things back that I feel aren't accepted.
6. For instance, I eat at McDonald's sometimes.
7. I am so afraid of doing the parenting thing wrong. I feel like everyone is critiquing me. If I spank them, what will people think? If I don't?
8. I worry about what people think to much.
9. Some days I don't do anything.
10. If you ever came to my house without calling, I'd be mortified.
11. If you call ahead, it will be spotless.
12. I am a people person.
13. I wish I could afford to go to a Yoga class.
14. I wish Brookelyn could be a ballerina.
15. I love to dance.
16. I feel really stupid when I do.
17. I love this blog....and all my other blogs. It's a huge release for me.
18. I always wonder...Do I post to much? Do people think all I do is sit on my computer?)...some days, yes.)
19. I think it'd be great to travel abroad with our family....but, my husband is not such a romantic, and we couldn't afford it anyway.
20. If I hadn't gotten married right away, I'd have wanted to live in a studio apartment in New York or a flat in England.
21. Obviously I wouldn't trade my life for anything...it's incredible.
22. I always wanted to be a Mom.
23. Sometimes, I entertain daydreams about another daughter...but I know we have plenty to support.
24. We are done over-populating the earth....for those of you who were wondering.
25. I don't particularly enjoy combing Brookelyn's hair...funny thing, at our playdate the other day some of the other Mom's agreed, funny.... I thought "good Mom's" loved combing their daughters hair.
26. I would love to have a beach house someday. I have the scheme all laid out in my head already.
27. If I ever have one, I'm going to practice Yoga on the beach.
28. I love to prove my strength...show up the guys if I can. When we were building our house, my and my sister carried trusses 2 at a time because the guys were carrying 1 at a time.
29. I'm glad that I wasn't the girl that was friends with all the guys, but none of them dated because she was to butch.
30. There are people that have hurt me long ago, and although I've forgiven them, I have no use for them now.
31. I don't believe in faking it, ever. You get the real me, all the time.
32. I can't pee if I think someone can hear me.
33. We haven't really come up with a good name for our "private parts" here. Usually it's "peepee" for both females and males. When I was little it was weiner and beaver, and I can't say it without blushing.
34. If I ever get the massage I've been intending to get, I'm pretty sure I'm going to sob through it. Why? I have no idea.
35. I still feel like if I talk first after someone farts, I ate it. Or if I walk through it, that it's coating my lungs and clinging to my clothes.
36. I'd prefer people think I don't ever fart, or go # 2..but we all know that's just not feasible.
37. When I was little, I never understood what "pull my finger" meant. We haven't taught this to our kids yet. Okay, I'm done dwelling on flatulence now.
38. I wonder how different life would be if I didn't have a cell phone or the Internet.
39. I get a little obsessed over checking my e-mail/voicemail/missed calls/comments.
40. I am terrified of heights.
41. I hate moving big things. I always feel like something is going to get dropped on my toes.
42. I worry about Brookelyn. You know how the really outgoing kids are the ones that get Cancer and stuff? I worry about that.
43. I hope god knows that I'm not strong enough to make it through losing any of my kids.
44. I'm afraid to die because I don't want to miss out on my kids growing up.
45. I wonder who'll show up at my funeral.
46. I feel like just writing this could make it happen...you know how when someone dies and just recently they said something like they were living on borrowed time and then they die..... like that.
47. I have to go get Elliot from school, he's feeling sick...I actually considered leaving Brookelyn and Trae here to run get him because they just fell asleep. The school is only 1 mile away. Of course I'm taking them...I called my Mom and she said I had to.
48. I wish I was a better writer.
49. I wish I could sew.
50. I'd love to sell little one of a kind baby clothes on Etsy.com
51. I hate, hate, HATE it when people copy me.
52. I've been snorting when I laugh...what is up with that? I'm thinking the extra weight?
53. I really don't like animals....I downplay how much I don't like them by a lot.
54. It's because I have to wash my hands if I touch them or I can't stop thinking about it. And it seems like animals know, because they all like to rub on me.
55. I love to have the last word.
56. I am great at arguing....because I only argue about it if I know I'm right, and I don't stop until you know I'm right.
57. I hate when people beat around the bush instead of coming right out and saying what they mean.
58. I also hate when people try to disguise an insult with a joke.
59. It doesn't make me feel better when people tell me I look great for just having a baby. In other words, if I hadn't just had a baby, then I'd be really fat. Same thing with...you've had 4 kids....
60. I hate when people watch what I eat, comment on how much I eat, compliment me on what I don't eat....thanks anyway.
61. I always feel big compared to my sisters. I'm the amazon sister.
62. I wish I had front loading washer/dryer.
63. I've been dehydrated a lot lately. My hands wrinkle in the shower.
64. I wouldn't ever try sushi. Not even once. I know I won't like it.
65. I wish I could rock climb everyday.
66. I haven't read a book in so long.
67. I don't believe in not doing your best.
68. I'm afraid of the economy right now.
69. Boy, 31 more things....I love red & green & orange.
70. I wish I had more free time.
71. Someday, I want to ride a mechanical bull.
72. I hate sci-fi...books/movies/etc.
73. I love Italian food.
74. I am one of the people who thinks their kids are the cutest in the whole world.
75. I wonder if there are people who think my kids are homely.
76. It seems like people think I have it all together...I assure you, I don't.
77. Stepford-wife types....frustrate me.
78. I don't like action flicks.
79. Racism infuriates me...or when people insinuate I'm a racist, that too.
80. I never know what to say at funerals.
81. I don't understand suicide...it's pointless.
82. I talk a lot.
83. I wish I could afford to have laser hair removal on all my hairy parts.
84. I am too vain.
85. I hate rejection.
86. I love pumpkin shakes from Culver's.
87. I intend to be remembered.
88. I am intrigued with people.
89. I read blogs of people I don't even know....you know, one of those.
90. I wish time and money weren't an issue.
91. I love peonies.
92. I hope to do a garden next summer.
93. I wish life would slow down.
94. I'm going to play in the rain as soon as summer comes.
95. I hate when people take bad pictures on purpose and then post them to humiliate people.
96. I want to go to a Gambler's game this season.
97. I hate being lied to.
98. I'd love to be on a trap shooting league someday.
99. I love to make lists.
100. I don't really feel like anyone has my back...if anything difficult happened, I think I'd be on my own.


Risky Business


Especially when Brookelyn's gone, he plays momma's boy. It seems like it should be an easy habit to break, yeeaaah, not so much.

  • So, I've been having this pain that feels like someone is pushing the little bone thingy at the bottom of my ribcage back towards my, well, back. Originally when I was still pregnant, the Dr. said it was probably my gall bladder....but from what I'm hearing, gallbladder pain is intense and feels like a heart attack. Not what I'm experiencing at all. It is worse when I'm hungry....I woke up with it feeling like I have something stuck in my throat down where that bone is. I have a chiro adjustment on Monday, so I'm going to have him feel that bone, since it seems to veer off to the left. Anyone have any other ideas on what it might be?

  • Jason has one more night of work on the tile job he did and it has allowed us to fill our propane tank 70% which is really awesome.

  • Trae has escalated from just roughly fingering through my hair to winding his fingers up to my head until it's tight and then yanking it straight out. I'm finding a connection between it and the migraines I get about 3 times a week.

  • Elliot was telling me how his foot really hurt this morning. He didn't know why...kept bringing it up....showed me how "blue and black" it was (it wasn't) and then it dawned on me that he wanted to stay home...

  • BTW...if you have little boys, you shouldn't ever pee in the dark. Your butt gets wet sometimes....

  • We are headed up to my parents cabin tonight for opening day tomorrow, hence the reason Elliot wanted to stay home today. Smart kid. To be fair, Brookelyn went last night with Mom and Dad, poor Elliot never really gets to stay at Grandma's because he has school.

  • I was watching America's Next Top Model on YouTube last night....I love seeing the photographs...totally makes me not want to eat Twinkies....or anything, really. ( I don't even eat Twinkies, but if i did, I'd stop.)

  • I really want to find time to start exercising again, ahem, make time I meant.


I found these hilarious. Now I'm going to Mom's to bake cookies!


APPLICATION FOR PERMISSION TO DATE MY DAUGHTER NOTE: This application will be incomplete and rejected unless accompanied by a complete financial statement, job history, lineage, and current medical report from your doctor.NAME_____________________________________ DATE OF BIRTH_____________HEIGHT__________ _ WEIGHT____________ IQ__________ GPA_____________ SOCIAL SECURITY _________________ DRIVERS LICENSE ________________BOY SCOUT RANK AND BADGES__________________________________________HOME ADDRESS_______________________ CITY/STATE___________ ZIP______Do you have parents?___Yes ___NoIs one male and the other female? ___Yes ___NoIf No, explain: _____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Number of years they have been married ______________________________If less than your age, explain ____________________________________________________________________ACCESSORIESSECTION:2A. Do you own or have access to a van? __Yes __NoB. A truck with oversized tires? __Yes __NoC. A waterbed?__Yes __NoD. A pickup with a mattress in the back? __Yes __NoE. A tattoo?__Yes __NoF. Do you have an earring, nose ring, tounge/nipple peircing, or a belly button ring?__Yes __No (IF YOU ANSWERED 'YES' TO ANY OF THE ABOVE, DISCONTINUE APPLICATIONAND LEAVE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY.I SUGGEST RUNNING.)ESSAY SECTION: In 50 words or less, what does 'LATE' mean to you? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________In 50 words or less, what does 'DON'T TOUCH MY DAUGHTER' mean to you? ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________In 50 words or less, what does 'ABSTINENCE' mean to you? _______________________________ _______________________________ ______________________________________________________________REFERENCES SECTION:Church you attend ___________________________________________________ How often you attend ________________________________________________When would be the best time to interview your: Father? _____________ Mother?_____________ Pastor? _____________SHORT-ANSWER SECTION:Answer by filling in the blank. Please answer freely all answers are confidential.A: If I were shot, the last place I would want shot would be: ______________________________________________________________B: If I were beaten, the last bone I would want broken is my: ______________________________________________________________C: A woman's place is in the: ______________________________________________________________D: The one thing I hope this application does not ask me about is: ______________________________________________________________E. What do you want to be IF you grow up? _______________________________ ______________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________F: When I meet a girl, the thing I always notice about her first is: ______________________________________________________________G: What is the current going rate of a hotel room? __________________________I SWEAR THAT ALL INFORMATION SUPPLIED ABOVE IS TRUE AND CORRECT TOTHE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE UNDER PENALTY OF DEATH, DISMEMBERMENT,NATIVE AMERICAN ANT TORTURE, ELECTROCUTION, CHINESE WATER TORTURE and RED HOT POKERS_________________________________________________________ Applicant's Signature (that means sign your name, moron!)_______________________________ ________________________________ Mother's signature Father's Signature ______________________________ Pastor/Preist/Rabbi/Bishop______________________________ State Representative/Congressman_____________________________Notary Public(Their stamp goes here ) Thank you for your interest, and it had better be genuine and non-sexual.Please allow fourteen to sixteen years for processing. You will be contacted in writing if you are approved. Please do not try to call or write. If your application is rejected, you will be notified by two gentleman wearing white ties carrying violin cases. (You might watch your back)To prepare yourself, start studying Daddy's Rules for Dating.Rule One: If you pull into my driveway and honk you'd better be delivering a package, because you're sure not picking any thing up.Rule Two: You do not touch my daughter in front of me. You may glance at her so long as you do not peer at anything below her neck. If you cannot keep your eyes or hands off of my daughter's body, I will remove them. Rule Three: I am aware that it is considered fashionable for boys of your age to wear their trousers so loosely that they appear to be falling off their hips. Please don't take this as an insult, but you and all of your friends are complete idiots. Still, I want to be fair and open minded about this issue, so I propose this compromise: You may come to the door with your underwear showing and your pants ten sizes too big, and I will not object. However, in order to ensure that your clothes do not, in fact come off during the course of your date with my daughter, I will take my electric nail gun and fasten your trousers securely in place to your waist. Rule Four: I'm sure you've been told that in today's world sex without utilizing a 'Barrier method' of some kind can kill you. Let me elaborate, when it comes to sex, I am the barrier, and I will kill you. Rule Five: It is usually understood that in order for us to get to know each other, we should talk about sports, politics, and other issues of the day. Please do not do this. The only information I require from you is an indication of when you expect to have my daughter safely back at my house, and the only word I need from you on this subject is: 'early.'Rule Six: I have no doubt you are a popular fellow, with many opportunities to date other girls. This is fine with me as long as it is okay with my daughter. Otherwise, once you have gone out with my little girl, you will continue to date no one but her until she is finished with you. If you make her cry, I will make you cry. Rule Seven: As you stand in my front hallway, waiting for my daughter to appear, and more than an hour goes by, do not sigh and fidget. If you want to be on time for the movie, you should not be dating. My daughter is putting on her makeup, a process than can take longer than painting the Golden Gate Bridge. Instead of just standing there, why don't you do something useful, like changing the oil in my car? Rule Eight: The following places are not appropriate for a date with my daughter: Places where there are beds, sofas, or anything softer than a wooden stool, places where there is darkness, places where there is dancing, holding hands, or happiness. Places where the ambient temperature is warm enough to induce my daughter to wear shorts, tank tops, midriff T-shirts, or anything other than overalls, a sweater, and a goose down parka - zipped up to her throat. Movies with strong romantic or sexual themes are to be avoided; movies that feature chain saws are okay. Hockey games are okay...Old folks homes are better. Rule Nine: Do not lie to me. I may appear to be a potbellied, balding, middle-aged, dimwitted has-been. But on issues relating to my daughter, I am the all-knowing, merciless god of your universe. If I ask you where you are going and with whom, you have one chance to tell me the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have a shotgun, a shovel, and five acres behind the house. Do not trifle with me. Rule Ten: Be afraid. Be very afraid. It takes very little for me to mistake the sound of your car in the driveway for a chopper coming in over a rice paddy near Hanoi When my Agent Orange starts acting up, the voices in my head frequently tell me to clean the guns as I wait for you to bring my daughter home. As soon as you pull into the driveway you should exit the car with both hands in plain sight . Speak the perimeter password, announce in a clear voice that you have brought my daughter home safely and early then return to your car - there is no need for you to come inside. The camouflaged face at the window is mine


....ever shampoo a mattress? I did all the furniture and the area rug, but tomorrow we're going to the cabin, so it's a perfect time to shampoo our mattress. I'm worried about getting it to wet and growing mold. Suggestions...?

Looking Back.

I'm sitting here being emotional because I went back and read my blog from when I was awaiting Archers arrival and through his birth. Oh great, my playlist is playing "I Loved Her First." Anyway, I can't believe how tiny he was, and this post especially cracked me up!

I also found what I wrote the very day before Archer came interesting....read here.
Oh, and this post here, posted a mere 6 hours before we became a family of 6.

Seems like just yesterday, and an eternity. I am glad that I have this blog to go back and explore my thoughts and feeling and se what my kidos were up to at certain points in their lives.

I bought "Mommy Journals" for Elliot and Brookelyn when I was expecting her. They didn't have them when I had Trae, and I didn't write in them mich anyway. For some reason, I can write better and faster on a keyboard, so i've started another blog Letters From Mommy so that someday, my kids can read the entries.

I was just thinking the other day about how overwhelmed this mommy of 4 can be, and I mean I was so overwhelmed. Still loved the kids to death, but felt like I couln't continue dealing with all of them by myself. Then one day, I woke up and felt totally different about it. I realized that I was doing to much to soon for to many people. When I decided to let some things go a little, little things, not baths or feedings or anything like that, I felt so happy. The kids were making me laugh and it felt so good. I've always had an urgent outlook on life. I was always in a hurry whether I needed to be or not. So i've taken the time to slow down and realized that life happens whether or not you take the time to revel in it, so I figure there's no time like now to start paying close attention. That way when my kids are grown (in a heartbeat, it seems) I'll have vived memories of them. Maybe that's why I get into photography so much, because I am so afraid that I won't remember these moments. Ah well, sometimes I don't realize how deep I'll get until I've gone there...I guess you get what comes out!

Tis' good for me to reminisce.



So I totally stole this from
Renee, but it looked fun!

1. Who was your FIRST prom date? Never went to prom...
2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love? Yes, I'm married to him...
3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink? Beer...I always took the last drops out of my Dad's can way back when...like when I was 3.
4. What was your FIRST job? Aside from babysitting, I did telemarketing for my Dad's window company.
5. What was your FIRST car? A Buick LeSabre with no power steering.
6. Who was the FIRST person to text you today?I haven't gotten any texts today...
7. Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning? Archer, because he was in the swing and had slept there soundly for 4 hours. I did that whole panicky "what if he died in his sleep thing that mom's (well at least me and my mom) so. He was okay, of course.
8. Who was your FIRST grade teacher? Mr. Arken's. He threw my baby once when I spelled my name wrong and screamed "you can't write with a doll in your hands. I don't to see you holding that for the rest of the day!" He crushed me, and I worried about my "baby" for the rest of the day. My Mom babysat him when I went to school from then on out.
9. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane? I flew in my Mom's tummy, aside from that it was when I was 18 and we went to Florida for my graduation gift.
10. Who was your FIRST best friend and are you still friends with them? Laura, and she's a friend on facebook, but we don't get together or anything.
11. What was your FIRST sport played? Ring Around the Rosy...?
12. Where was your FIRST sleep over? 4th grade at Michelle's house, I think.
13. Who was the FIRST person you talked to today? I suppose I told Jason goodbye, but I don't really remember it. On the phone, Marsha.
14. Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time? Misty's
15. What was the FIRST thing you did this morning? Shut off my alarm.
16. What was the FIRST concert you ever went to? REO Speedwagon
17. FIRST tattoo or piercing?My mom got my ears pierced when I was 6 months, nothing since, I hate needles.
18. FIRST foreign country you went to? Mexico on my honeymoon.
19. What was your FIRST run in with the law? I got pulled over for speeding in a school zone the day school let out for Christmas break. I got warning...good thing to, the cops wife worked for my Dad...j/k. By the time I got home, my aunt had already called my Mom and tattled. She happened to drive by...my Mom was all like "So how was your day....?" I knew she knew.
20. When was your FIRST detention? Senior year. My Dad pulled us out of school, but since it was an assembly day, it was unexcused. My Dad told the principal that it was his fault, maybe he should sit it, but of course I ended up doing the time. Lame.
21. What was the FIRST state you lived in? Wisconsin, born & raised.
22. Who was the FIRST person to break your heart? Hmm, you all know him, so we'll keep him anonymous....
23. Who was your FIRST roommate? Never had a "roomate" I had a husband.
24. Where did you go on your FIRST limo ride? Only been in a Limo when I'm photographing a wedding.
They passed this new "thing" in our county that you can't talk on your cell phone while driving. If you do and you're caught, it's a $75 fine, plus court costs. Lovely. I know I shouldn't do it anyway, but now if I do it could cost me money I don't have. Guess I'll have to obey the law on this....!

***I just read in the news that with court costs it will cost the violater $217.50!

Update on Jason...and Archer.

I guess I assumed wrong, and it turned out to be a migraine. He's back to work today and feeling better.

On the upside, Archer slept in his swing from 3:30-7:30 this morning. He seems to do fine laying down until he eats and then he keeps stirring, so I assume it's the reflux and he just can't sleep soundly. Neither can I, so I put him in the swing....please don't tell me this is bad or I'll get less sleep than I'm currently getting.

I'm gearing up for opening day, I love to be at the cabin watching for a big buck to run across the field. It's even better to see my Dad blast it....(sorry all you animal lovers) although I'd rather eat doe meat, buck meat is sooo strong. So we'll be headed up to the cabin Friday night, and then next week we'll be there for thanksgiving unless they fill their tags opening day, then it will be at Mom and Dad's house.

We are working on making plans to be in Elk Mound for a week around Christmas time. If Jason has work, that is...I would love to get together somewhere with all the kids and meet the Mom's I only know through their blog, and other people I haven't seen in a long while. If you wish to meet up, let me know so I can get ahold of you with the exact time/date...my in-laws have no Internet connection, so it will have to be by phone....and I'm trying not to think about being disconnected for a whole week!



Today was rough. Archer seemed to be in pain again this afternoon. The Zantac seems to be helping a lot though, and yesterday I took him in for an adjustment at the chiro again. His butt crack veers to the right a little, so we're going to continue to adjust him until it's straight. Also, at every diaper change, I am holding him upside down for about 5-10 seconds....and he loves it. (BTW, the chiro recommended this....not something I came up with on my own) He was screaming tonight and I changed him and hung him upside down and he stopped crying immediately. Maybe he can't cry upside down...! He stopped for a few minutes afterward, and I'm hoping we're going to keep seeing improvement. He goes from really happy and easy going, to screaming in pain just like that. I just wish I knew for sure what the deal was so I could help him. Poor baby.

****Jason just called from his side job to tell me he's been puking for the last 1/2 hour and is on his way home. He had a really bad headache...I'd like to know how to keep all the kids from getting it. I'm just dreading everyone having the flu...and meeting is supposed to be here tomorrow, and I hate to cancel because we did that 2 weeks ago. We'll see.


Cutie Pie.

What's wrong with this picture?***

Trae found the Nuk he lost last week and was really happy to be reunited with it.

Trae loves lemons!...side note: Anya doesn't even flinch when she eats lemons...
I suppose I'll try to form a coherent sentence here, but it's probably going to some out as one big run-on....

Poor Archer took some abuse from his siblings these last few days. Trae decided to "share" some gummy candy corn and I didn't catch on until Trae said to me "bite!" and pointed at Archer. I ran over to him and he had an entire candy corn in his mouth. needless to say, we had a discussion about not feeding the baby, and we watch VERY closely now.

Tonight Archer was kicking on his back on the floor, and Brookelyn was walking towards me talking, but she seemed to acknowledge that Archer was there. She walked up, and it seemed almost like a dream, stepped right on his little belly. I pushed her back, and sort of yelled...I was shocked that she stepped on him. He started screaming, and she got this look of disbelief on her face like she couldn't believe she'd just done it either and burst into tears. I calmed down and explained in nicer terms that she cannot step on him and she could've really hurt him. He wouldn't stop crying, and she burst into tears. She cried so hard she almost threw up, and he calmed down after about 5 minutes. I could tell she really felt bad when she came and just kept kissing and loving on him. I finally asked if she wanted to hold him and she of course said yes. Poor kid.(s)
***To my credit, these were all mated in my drawer, so maybe my husband mated them...anyway, I put one on, then the boot on that foot, and then the other. My Mom asked me why I was wearing two different socks, and I said I wasn't, and then I looked down and saw that they were clearly the same ones because they had the little guy on them...and then I looked at the band and laughed pretty good....always good to laugh at yourself. Oh, and sorry for laughing at you Dan, way back when...I guess even the best of us have mismatched socks sometimes! I'm glad I didn't take my boots off at the play date.
The play date was really fun today...Trae is (slowly) learning to share.


Senior Year of High School.....

1. Did you date someone from your school? No
2. Did you marry someone from your high school? No
3. Did you car pool to School? No
4. What kind of car did you have? Nissan Altima
5. What kind of car do you have now? Chrysler T&C MiniVan
6. It's Friday night...where are you (then)? With Jason
7. It is Friday night...where are you (now)? Home
8. What kind of job did you have in high school? Telemarketing, Dietary Aide, Vanity
9. What kind of job do you have now? Mom, Photographer
10. Were you a party animal? No
11. Were you considered a flirt do you think? No
12. Were you in band, orchestra or choir? Choir
13. Were you a nerd? No.
14. Did you get suspended or expelled? No
15. Can you sing the fight song? No
16. Where did you sit during lunch? Cafeteria .
18. What was your school's full name? Clintonville High School
19. When did you graduate? 2001
20. What was your school mascot? A Truck
21. If you could go back and do it again, would you? No thanks...
22. Did you have fun at Prom? Didn't go.
23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with? Um...n/a?
24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion? Yes

FYI...# 17 was missing when I got it....


Matchin' Jams



Archer hit a new milestone today. Today he did something he's never done before. today, he did a great job at this new feat. Today, he pooped all up his back. Literally up in between his shoulder blades. I think I know why we had a trying day yesterday. Not that he didn't go at all yesterday, we've never not gone...but apparently he didn't go enough and got all backed up. It was a mess. Suffice it to say that by the time it was all said and done, the kid, his clothes, and mommy's comforter all needed to be washed.
Brookelyn spent the night at Mom's again to keep her company (Dad's hunting in SD) and also to help get ready for meeting.

My Mom was telling me that at some point she hurt Erica (I can't remember what actually happened and Brookelyn won't tell me now) but my Mom told her to say she was sorry. Apparently she rolled onto the floor and made some sort of gibberish sound, and my Mom repeated that she had to tell Erica sorry. Brookelyn stated that she did say sorry, and my Mom said, "I didn't hear it..." and Brookelyn said "that's because I said it in Spanish!"

Then on the way home from meeting, Elliot and Brookelyn started fighting about something and she pinched him. He screamed "No hitting Brookewyn, that's on your chore chart and you can't hit!" Jason especially had a good laugh. So far, the charts are working reasonably well, it's just getting down what the chores are and reminding the a million times that if they don't do everything on the list, they don't get to pick a treat. The hardest ones are the no hitting/fighting, and that's mainly why we implemented them, but it never hurts to have them take responsibility for their own plate and dirty laundry.

Trae is into "helping" lately and it's so adorable to hear him say it. It comes out pretty clear "hewp?" I am starting to get into the swing of things with 4 kids and instead of feeling really overwhelmed, I am feeling incredibly blessed. The kids crack me up several hundred times a day and I'm learning to slow down, which is a good thing. I've been in hurry all my life, whether I really need to be or not. So when my little boy asks to "hewp" with the laundry, I pause and lift him to press the button on the dryer and kiss his little forehead before putting him back down. The look of pride on his face when I thank him for helping is so worth the extra time.

After a bit of a dry spell, I'm off to shoot a wedding tomorrow. I'm really hoping archer doesn't cause a ruckus for the babysitter. Luckily it happens to be Grandma, so I'm not to worried.


Hello to all....

...see that little counter on my side bar? That number changes roughly 100 times each day. Meaning there are that many people reading this blog. Now, I wanted to direct your attention to the "followers" I have only 1....and I know she doesn't have time to visit 100 times everyday, so if you read this blog and want to become a follower, please do! Oh, and leave a comment once in awhile....I appreciate comments. Not that no followers and no comments would make me give this up, but I might go private or something....I'd love to know who actually reads this.

Show the Love!!!!


If a picture can paint 1000 words.....

Here, Trae had just bitten Elliot. Elliot was crying for obvious reasons, Trae was crying because I told him no.

Here, they're both stiil doing lip-ups.
Here, I pulled some rad dork move and made them all laugh.

oops! I did it again....

Sacked out after the mall.

I love these...she was a cop, and then he stole her glasses! I love her gun.....

Trae licks my parents' mantle....and the floor pad thingy at the mall.

Wrestle Mania 2008. I love how Trae sits in the middle reading the "Green Magazine" so obliviously.
*Insert Jason's deleted grundy picture here....I had to help them with that one!

Elliot usually loves to hold Anya...but since there was a TV, he wasn't impressed. Look at her veg. Later that night, Elliot got out of the van half asleep, and for some reason went and laid his head in the clean laundry on the couch.

snuggle time.


2 month stats:

The cute little prince himself.

His new "thing"
Can anyone guess what this is? I thought at first that it was a reaction to his vaccinations....but it's a self inflicted hickey!

12lbs 11oz (75%)
23 inches (50%)

I explained the fussiness situation to the doctor, and he said it could be acid reflux. If he continues to be fussy or it gets worse, I can get a script for Zantac. He's been really great the last few days, sleeping for 4 hour stretches, so I think maybe he had a growth spurt and that's what the fussing was all about.

Bullet Proof

  • We went last night after gospel meting to get "chore charts" for the kids. Responsibility charts, really. Our first stop was Barnes & Noble. They had 1 wooden/magnetic chart for $19.99 and I figured the magnets would be lost in no time, and we needed 2. I did buy a "Family Calendar" so we can have a game plan and everyone (Jason and I, that is) will know what's up and when. I decided I never want to hear "chore chart" again. Because, well, this is why: "Chore charts! yeah, I wanna do chores. I can do the outside work, and Brookewyn can do the dishes. Boys do outside jobs, girls do inside jobs.(we had a conversation about how there are women who build houses and men who clean houses, Daddy of course sat and laughed, but kept his mouth shut) Do they have chore charts? How come we aren't getting CHORE CHARTS!!!? Chore charts, chore charts!! We're gettin' chore charts! Do you think this store will have chore charts? Brookewyn, how come you don't want chore charts? Oh, I like chore charts, they're cool! Oh, yeah, this is a cool chore chart! Hi, (to the check out lady) we're gettin' chore charts and we're gonna do chores! We finally found some at Office Max. Chores. Charts. Chore charts, chore charts, chore charts, yea for chore charts!!
  • By the way, Brookelyn was against the chore charts all along. We asked her why she didn't want a chore chart and she said simply, "because, I don't want to do chores."
  • We are going to implement some behavior things into the charts, hence "responsibility" chart. Like: no hitting, listening the first time, no fighting, manners, etc.
  • Hopefully within the next 2 months or so, I'll be enrolling in an online photography course, as we'll (hopefully) have the means to pay my tuition. Obviously not ideal for everyone, but for me it's perfect because I can go to school without "going to school" and I don't have to have child care or drive anywhere and I'll receive a diploma, which will rock. Here is a link for anyone interested The Photography Institute.
  • Archer puked in Brookelyn's mouth this morning.
  • Archer also has his 2 month check up this morning so I will post stats later. By the way, anyone know where the time went? 2 months already. Wow.
  • Oh, and I plan to join Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep soon. I got a very heartfelt letter from a mom who used the organization and feel it's something I need to at least try.



I had a terrible dream last night that I was shooting this really upscale wedding with Deb. She was doing video (which she never does in real life) and I was doing photography. What I didn't get, we didn't have....

So I am sitting enjoying the wedding, a lavish outdoor affair with 12 couples, and all of the sudden it dawns on me that I've forgotten my job and haven't gotten any of the processional. I jumped up and started shooting, and figure I'll grab the shots I need of the processional during the recessional and Deb would never know. (she would, I guarantee it)

Then, I realize that I'm shooting with Brookelyn's Disney Princess camera. No Flash. No Diffuser. 5 mega pixel. No zoom. Crap. What am I doing here. I decide at this point I'm quitting, I'd be done anyway. I locate my camera at this point and figure I'll get it and try to make up for some of this mess and I don't have batteries for my flash, an dmy camera battery dies as soon as I turn it on. Conveniently, I forgot my spare at home along in the charger. At this point I wake up in a cold sweat, and thankfully realize it's a dream.

I hate dreams that are so real they make your gut drop at least 4 times the next day before you realize it never happened.


1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket 2. Your significant other? upsatirs 3. Your hair? ponytail 4. Your mother? Julie 5. Your father? Scott 6. Your favorite thing? Children 7. Your family? perfect 8. Your favorite drink? iced tea 9. Your dream/goal? content 10. The room you're in? basement (parents) 11.Your fear? loss 12. Where do you want to be in 6years? still happy 13. Where were you last night? movies 14. What you're not? male 15. Muffins? lemon poppyseed 16. One of your wish list items? massage 17. Where you grew up? Bear Creek
18. The last thing you did? checked e-mail 19. What are you wearing? jeans/sweat shirt 20. Your TV? n/a 21. Time? 7:15pm 22. Your computer? green 23. Your life? full 24. Your mood? nostalgic 25. Missing someone? Anya Bug 26. Your car? mini van 27. Something you're not wearing? shoes 28. Favorite Store? Old Navy 29. Your summer? hot 30. Your favorite color? Deep Red 31. When is the last time you laughed? Today
32. Last time you cried? Yesterday 33. Who will/would re-post this? Sam 34. If you could speak to someone no longer with us who would it be? ancestors


Family Time

Me, rockin' my shades*

The kids are all ready for winter...

Mr. Traeman

Brooka being a lady.

We took the kids out tonight to see Wall-E. Cute movie.
Before hand we stopped at Culver's for a quick supper. The place was packed and there was no where to sit except a table for 2. Brookelyn and I shared a seat and Archer was on my lap, and Jason and the other 2 boys shared the other seat. There were also no high chairs left.

Right next to us was a women, all alone, sitting in a booth made for at least 5 people. She was reading You Are What You Eat, and slurping pop. She sat there alone for over half an hour, looking around at us and the people standing up to eat and then went back to her reading, feet propped up on the bench across from her....so lady like. Needless to say, I was irritated, as she looked at us at least 3 times almost like she was gloating that she had an entire bench seat to herself and another entire bench to prop her legs on. Oh, and endless refills on her pop. Finally, a Culver's employee explained that she'd been there for quite awhile, and since she wasn't eating and they had people standing, that they would like to ask if she could leave and open up that spot for someone else. She said all innocent and shy like, that she was about to do just that, as she noticed that poor family (us) and just wasn't paying attention. Okeydokey lady, you noticed alright. So she packed up her things (and probably refilled her pop) and headed out to read in her car. And her spot was filled by a single man. Nice. I would so post a picture of her (and him), but I forgot my camera at home.

Also, at the mall today, I took the kids to the play area. This lady asked how old Archer was, and I told her only 7 weeks. "Can I hold him?"
"Uh, I'm just about to feed him.."
"oh, you are? I need my fix..."
So I fed him and explained the "situation" to Nikki and we packed the kids up pronto and left. People are weird.
*Uh, no.....I didn't buy em'
Daddy comes home today!!!!

We're hitting the mall while we wait;0)


Can't get it out of my head...

So, I came across a blog yesterday Bring the Rain that I just can't get out of my head. It tells the story of a family that lost their baby girl, and if your interested in anymore of the story, you can go read it for yourself. It's an amazing story, and they have amazing pictures taken during and after Audrey's death by a non-profit organization called Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep. The photos are amazing, and it inspired me to check into the foundation and see if I could donate my time to grieving families. When I first heard about the foundation awhile back , I told a fellow photographer there was absolutely no way I could ever do it. After reading Audrey's story and the stories of other families on their website, I thought that maybe if people have to lose their children, then I could somehow diminish their pain by photographing the most tender and sacred moments with their child.

I'm still processing this, and would love to hear opinions and experiences if you have them. I'd love to make a difference for someone, I'm just not sure I have the strength.


A Picture Post.

I've been wanting this picture for so long. He finally held it long enough!


Trae's favorite hat.

My happy guy yesterday actually vegging on the floor...

A Trae sized fit....

Guess Who? Trae gets into markers almost everyday and typically is very proud of himself. I know you're thinking I should put them UP then, and I do....just to have Elliot and Brookelyn get them back out and usually I don't catch it until he proudly shows me his masterpiece. Creativity abounds in our house.
Oh, and here is where I would have posted the pheasant hunting pictures of my Dad and Brookelyn from this morning...but, well, my Dad doesn't want to be included in this blog, ever...I did post it and my caption was going to be "this is me disobeying my Dad...."but I had a change of heart.
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