Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Christmas RUSH

It's not Christmas yet, and already we have celebrated it twice.

I'm not complaining, they were wonderful celebrations with precious family members. I'm looking forward to putting pictures up.

Why I am writing is more for my own focus then anything else. I'm getting all caught up on making sure the presents are wrapped, the girls presentable, me functioning. I've taking little to no time to focus on the true meaning.


It has helped to read the Christmas story to Karis every night. My mom gave us this wonderful

book that has flaps that open and tells the story in a clear, concise manner a four year old loves.

I've read it, almost every night since Thanksgiving.

I've read but not contemplated.

I've read but not listened.

I've read and yelled at Karis not to rip the flaps. Yep, true spirit of Christmas there.

I've rushed through the most amazing story in history because I'm tired, or coughing, or hurting, or impatient, or have presents to wrap.

I'm determined to not rush through the story tonight.

I want to savor the events so long ago.

I want to feel the sacrifice Christ made leaving everything to be born in a manger.

I don't want it to be old hat, something that gets lost behind the hustle and bustle. Though I want to enjoy the hustle and bustle because it means family and friends. Which I love.

I want Him to know that I appreciate the sacrifice He made for me, leaving His home that I'm sure makes our gazillionairs homes look like rubbish, and going through the agony of the Cross for me and everyone else on this planet.

I speak only for myself when I say I can be an ungrateful little pipsqueak.

So this Christmas I say "Thank you Jesus for loving me, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Here's to Humble Pie!

A couple of thoughts have been going through my head today.

First, I'm feeling better.

Not in superb health, but good enough to function.

That is what I ask for this Christmas.

Well, if I could get rid of the cough, my remaining symptom, that would be even better, but still, I'm content. I can sit and listen, smile, observe, and enjoy life. I'm not a huge talker, anyway, so the loss isn't as great as it could be for some of you out there. ;-)

It is teaching me to sympathize with those who are mute all the time. At least I can talk, I just have to be ready to hack at the end of it.

The other thought that is going through my head is what caused my title of humble pie.

Many summers ago(makes me sound slightly Native American, doesn't it?) I spent some time in Europe.

Part of that time was spent in Sweden. I remember distinctly visiting a lady with three little kids.

I look at having three little kids ALOT differently now than I did in my early, kick up your heels and do whatever you very well please, twenties.

Through my eyes I saw a tired looking mom, not very stylish, a kitchen piled high with dishes.

I had never seen plates stacked so high, really.

And then I went to use the bathroom.

I turned up my nose in disgust. I don't remember it being particularly dirty, but what I do remember was about five used diapers just scattered on the floor.

That image stuck with me.

I swore I would never have used diapers lying around.

You know what was on my bathroom floor this morning?


A used diaper.

It hadn't even been folded up and sealed.

Just left where Gabi discarded it before her bath the night before. I hate to admit it, but this wasn't the first time, either.

You know what I thought of?

Yes, that poor mom in Sweden.

Well, and the fact that Gabi's changing table has had more than five used diapers piled up waiting to be put in the garbage. Never stinky ones, mind you. I am very dedicated about putting those in the garage right away. Besides the couple of times I get distracted, but my nose doesn't let that last very long. One of the advantages to a smaller house. :-)

It's taken a few years, and I'm sure there is much more learning to do, but you had better believe I would never turn up my little judgmental nose at that poor, overworked mother today.

I think I'd ask if I could do her dishes for her.

Take the kids out to play.

Wonder if she has had much encouragement lately, or how she is feeling.

But never, never would I judge. :-) Well, I'd try not to. I have this nasty little thing inside of me called the sin nature that tends to creep up and get the better of me.

God has a way of teaching us what He needs to. Like before I moved into this house and saw the little dust lines along the walls.

I remember righteously telling a friend that I would never let that little space between the carpet and the wall, the ones the vacuum can never quite get, fill up with dust.


Can I laugh in my self righteous little face?

The previous owners little dust lines make mine look like a California mud slide.

See, humble pie.

I'm sure God has many more slices yet to feed me.

I'm also sure that He is making a better person out of me for the eating of them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


My girls are playing contentedly on and around our downstairs sectional.

I'm having one of those, "aw... they are so cute" moments.

I'm also having one of those, "I wish I would have listened to my mom when I bought the couch before I was married.

She hesitated when I said it was white.

But no, I loved it, had to have it. Surly moms aren't still always right when you have grown up and are about to be married.

It's uncanny.

They are.

Always right, that is, but don't tell her I said so.

That is why the microfiber I had upstairs is now leather, as she predicted I would like better.

And why I know I will probably get darker furniture down here when I eventually replace this, if it ever happens.

It is also why I hated the vinyl floor I put in. "Yes, Mom, you were right, it was too light, it showed everything."

It might be why I love my wood floor, she said it would be great.

I know.

She was right. :-)

It's why when I look at my hair now, and back at it when it was shorter, I realized that in this, too, she knew. It's looks better long.

I could probably make this a mile long, but needless to say, I'm learning to listen a little more.

I wasn't planning on making this an Ode to my mother, but mom's have a way of creeping up into your life, even when they aren't there. I wonder if my girls are going to have one of these moments in the future.

I hope so.

It will do wonders for my self-esteem.

It's rather disheartening to be wrong so often. :-)

I also wonder if now I have a little bit of this secret "mom power"?

Does it come all at once or does it grow little by little?

Thanks Mom for continuing to tell me what is good for me, even when I don't always listen.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

A little better....

The pain is pretty much gone, praise the LORD. Now if it will just stay away until at least after Christmas.

I'm having a slight problem with insomnia. I had this same thing after Karis was born, and I'm not exactly sure what causes it. Last night was better, but still not great. At least I got more than 2 hours of sleep, which was a blessing.

On the other hand the pain and lack of sleep has had it's benefits. :-) A lack of appetite does have a way of shrinking ones size. :-) Those stubborn last pounds are slowly coming off. Now if I can just keep it that way.

Last night my sisters and I, plus a friend, had the privilege of playing some background music for our church plants Christmas party. It was so fun to see how they have gone from a few people to an autonomous body of believers in the last five years. God has done great things.

Our second church plant has been a special blessing to Dustin and I. One of his highschool friends met up with the pastor of the plant while playing basketball and started attending services. Dustin has witnessed to him over the years so was thrilled when he walked into Verizon last week and the first words out of his mouth were "I got saved last week." Makes me tear up even now as I think of how God works. One waters and another reaps. :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

I broke down...

and made an appointment at Mayo Clinic this morning.

I'm just tired. I'm tired of feeling great for a month then having a couple of days, like today, where I want to jump in a tub of pain medication just to be able to sleep and move like a normal human being.

I hate hearing my four year old say,

"It's ok mommy, I'll take care of you because that is what big girls do."

She shouldn't have to ever even think that. She shouldn't hear an anti smoking commercial on the radio talking about the dangers of smoking for your lungs and turn to me saying, "That's what wrong with your lung, mommy, you've been smoking." It worries her more than I know...

She shouldn't have to eat a frozen pizza at ten thirty in the morning because that is all I have the energy to scrape together...

It is effecting their lives more than I realize.

So... the 29th is the day for my next appointment. I almost got one for Monday, but wasn't quite fast enough getting my records together. A half an hour is a long time up there, I guess. :-)

Pray for me.

Hopefully the pain will go away like it always does, but I'm feeling like a little complaining wimp right now who just wants it all to go away and be better NOW, not later.

So once again pray for me. Pray that the Dr. will either have a new alternative or agree that surgery is the best option. Pray that we will have a peace about the decision. Pray that it will indeed take care of the problem and not just create new ones. Pray that I feel ok for Christmas... So much to do, so may presents yet to get, so little energy or motivation on my part. And Karis is so looking forward to Christmas this year.

Thank you for letting me share this, and thanks for caring...

Friday, December 4, 2009

No quiet time, yet...

As I'm typing this, thinking I should have done my devotions, I'm listening to Steve Green's Hide'Em In your Heart Bible Memory Melodies. My mom gave us these CD's and Dvd's (The styles of the dvd's are clearly late 80's and early 90's, but the content isn't hurt by this) when Karis was born. I LOVE them. Some scripture memory cd's are corny, but he has done such a good job with these. The melodies are catchy, not monotonous, and teach great truths. Plus it is pure Scripture, no add ins. I have apologized more than once to my kids because of these convicting me. And my heart is thrilled when my little one goes around singing, "Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies." or "Hosanna to the King of Kings, Hosanna to the Highest."

What does this have to my devotions? Well, I almost feel like I've had a full dose of the Word just cleaning my basement and checking my e-mail. So, if you want something uplifting for your kiddos to listen to, check these out. You will be blessed, as well.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Sorry, this isn't the best after picture. I gave up on having it perfect. It just isn't happening. So I just snapped the camera, and here it is. Maybe at some point I'll do better, but the Christmas decorating pictures below show different sections a little better.


Just so you are forwarned, these pictures are dreadfully out of order. So don't be confused.

See that awful backsplash, or lack thereof?
My wall before it was finished and orange.
The ceiling it getting there, no nails sticking down like a midevil torture chamber.
No more silly window to the garage. :-) All it did was collect cobwebs.
If we had known how long it was going to take us to get from these pictures to the after ones we probably wouldn't have made that first hole in the wall. Remodeling isn't for the faint of heart, and I think we are the faint of heart. :-)
Glad the floor isn't this anymore.
I can't believe the kitchen used to look like this.
Our steps before they became beautiful. Looking at this makes me want to go up and kiss my upstairs all over the place.

Pictures and more pictures:-)

Even though I have a pile of laundry a mile high in the laundry room calling my name. Even though I probably should be cleaning something or sweeping my floor, I am going to ignore it all and post these pictures.

Aunties are the bestest!

Karis has turned into my big helper. On this particular day she finished washing my dishes, even wiping down the sink. This, after sweeping the floor, dusting, cleaning her room, and generally picking up. I might add that she handed me a duster and told me I could help. I felt like my cleaning skills were really lacking when my four year old tells me it's time to clean. The ceiling fan did get dusted for the first time since being installed, though.
My job was to bake pumpkin pies this year for Thanksgiving. I was reminded of how little I bake when my nose began to catch wifs of pumpkin pie coming from the oven and my first thought was, "wow, that really smells like my pumpkin candle." Yes, I am aware that the candles are supposed to remind us of the sents of our baking not the other way around. What can I say? I prefer lighting a candle anyday to actually having to bake the real thing. I like eating the real thing, just not baking it.
This picture is to redeem myself. I do occasionally spend time cooking. See? Onions, peppers, and garlic. :-) And I'll have to keep cooking it bcause I have yet to find a candle that has this particular smell. :-)
This poor girl desperately wants to play the violin. She pulled this out of our Christmas decorations and started playing it.
Yes, I am still in my p.j.'s, no I haven't combed my hair or even pulled it back, and no I most certainly haven't showered yet, and yes the living room is a mess, BUT, I am swallowing my pride so you can see my orange and semi yellow walls together.
Our smallest decoration. A very little angel.
Our tree. Sorry it is fuzzy. Notice the wall corner behind it? Hard to believe it was once icky nails and exposed 2X4's
You can kind of see my backsplash. The outlets still need covered, but otherwise it is done.

Sorry about the dishes in the sink. My kitchen is hardly ever perfectly clean, so if I waited for it to be you would never see pictures of the finished, well almost, product. And the curtain has yet to be sewn, I might add. I put it up there with the ribbon and safety pins to check out the length. I had the best of intentions to take it right back down and sew it properly, it just hasn't been done yet. :-)
Here is my famous door. Another unfinished project. Maybe I'll leave it that way and call it modern art. :-)
Our stairs. I'll put some before pictures up next to remind us all of how horrible they were for such a long time. Now they are so beautiful. I almost feel like I live in a log cabin when I come up them.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Do you ever have those days when you can't believe what an amazing guy you are married to?

Two days ago I came downstairs to start some laundry - really early in the morning because Gabi has seen fit to wake me up between 5 and 5:30 every morning this week. I turned the light on in the laundry room and discovered that the load I had been about to put in, the load of good clothes, the annoying ones you can't dry but have to hang, obviously my least favorite, was already done and hanging up to dry. That warm, fuzzy feeling that comes when he does something unexpected for me started to creep up from my toes. Then I came out into our family room and noticed that the two HUGE baskets of laundry were folded and just waiting to be put away. The feeling crept a little higher. I also noticed he had emptied all the garbage containers and done a few other little things. I was smiling the rest of the day. Amazing how those things make you feel so loved, huh? And they were all things that, besides the garbage, are things I really should be doing. Dustin has never said, this is your job, you stay at home. But honestly, I feel it is. After all, I do get to stay home. What has been frustrating is that when I'm treating myself I can't get it all done. Sometimes the tears spill out as I look at the laundry that is clean but needs folded and put away. But I can't because I have to sit there. It sounds nice to have to sit there for awhile but it gets beyond frustrating. I'm telling you this so you realize how special it was to find the laundry folded for me by him. See, I got a gem. :-) Marriage to the right one really does just get better and better over the years. Because you see, not only does he help me when I need it, but he understands when I mess up, he never complains when there isn't dinner on the table, or I haven't packed his lunch. Yes, he is a keeper. No he isn't perfect, but that is a good thing since I have all my faults he has to deal with. Now, hopefully things are on the upside for him and he won't have to do my laundry and will get regular meals. :-) Yes, I'm still feeling better. Not perfect, and I have a few semi down days, but I'm better! Thanks for the prayers. Keep them coming.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

conversation on thankfulness

As we drove home tonight I was telling Karis the story of Thanksgiving. That got us on the subject of thankfulness. After we had shared a few things I said,

"I'm thankful that Daddy has a job."


"Because a lot of people have lost their jobs this year."

Short pause.

"How did their jobs get lost? Why couldn't they find them?"

Good question, bet those people are wondering the same thing. :-)

While this conversation made me laugh, I'm so glad it isn't the case with us this year and feel blessed by the way God has taken care of us. He is good!

Monday, November 16, 2009

This and that

Dustin stayed home with the girls while I did some shopping today. That is a rare treat. Usually I am dragging two reluctant girls who are trying to escape me at every turn. Needless to say I never get to brouse and I usually only end up with half of what i came for. Plus I am thoroughly frustrated and determined to never shop with my two little angels turned monsters again. Today that was not the case.

A quick stop at Michales turned up a treasure of fall decorations that were 70% off. I found this wreath and a little candle one, as well. Something that has been on my wish list as my old one is faded and cracking.

My silly and consuming health is so much better than last week as is evidenced by the fact that my bathroom not only got cleaned last night, (and let me tell you it was gross!) but I shopped, cleaned, AND decorated a little today. It is SO nice to feel like my home is coming together again. I keep saying I will put pictures up, but I haven't painted my door yet, and it really does look terrible. Priming has pretty much been ruled out as the paint that I already put on seems to be sticking just fine. That might be a bad move, but at this point all I really care about is that it is finished. :-) Sad, but all too true.

When Karis saw my new purchases she declared the jewel like beads beautiful and told me, "Mommy, I love you, you are the best decorationist." You know, I had no idea the approval of a four year old would mean so much to me, but it made my day. It is fun to be able and share these things with her. We seem to be entering a new phase in our lives.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Weekend Reunion

We headed to the cities for a reunion staying in a hotel near the Mall of America. The girls did relatively well on the drive up, thanks to a dvd player some friends loaned us.

Gabi helped Grandpa bring in the bags. If you can't tell, she could have ridden on it all day.
Grandma and Grandpa had their hands full. I don't think it was a very relaxing weekend for them, but we sure appreciated the help. Especially since Dustin couldn't make it. I don't have a picture of it, but Karis thoroughly enjoyed the pool. I love the look of pure joy that comes on little faces when something delights them. I feel like I've lost that ability to live in the moment completely when something delights me. Too often I enjoy the moment but I'm thinking of all the other things on my mind.
Gabi and I enjoyed the weather by going on a beautiful nature walk with some of my cousins and their kiddos that were around her age. it was a little more difficult than we imagined it to be having to carry a stroller more than we got to use it. Thankfully we had a couple of guys to make it a little easier on us, but still, with the majority of the kids being under two it was a challenge. We stopped to let them throw rocks into a oversized puddle. Gabi could do this all day. The adults stood back and watched, occasionally stepping in when a rock was going the wrong way, catching up on each others lives. All of the sudden I heard a thunk that made me cringe. Only one thing made that sound. A little head hitting a rock. My eyes found the source and discovered that it was my babies little head that was the noise maker. I rushed over as her screams filled the air. Blood was gushing out as only scalp wounds do. And I'm ashamed to admit this, but in the midst of my panic for my baby I inwardly cringed because I had chosen that day of all days to wear white. That though was fleeting, however as I pulled her, blood and all, close to comfort her. Family jumped in to put pressure on the wound which was thankfully close to the hairline. PTL! Her screams soon subsided, and the bleeding soon stopped, but we had a LONG ways back and it was an uphill climb with LOTS of stairs. I thought I was going to die by the time I got to the top and I'm sure we looked like the walking wounded with both of our faces blood spattered and my top COVERED in blood. I was grateful I got in on clearance because I was positive it was ruined. I thought we would be getting stitches, but my mom, a nurse, and my cousin a policeman, assured me they could fix her up with some butterfly tape, etc. I'm glad I have so many cousins because we needed all of them to help us. Some to go to the store, some to patch Gabi up, etc, etc, etc.... :-)
See, it really isn't that bad... just a scraped up nose and a fairly deep cut, but no bone showing, so I guess it wasn't that bad. She is currently fine, and the cut looks great.
Now for the most amazing tip of the weekend, and you probably already knew this, but I didn't. Hydrogen Peroxide takes blood right out of clothes. Out of pretty much anything, actually. My policeman cousin told me this. Yep, bubbles it right out. I saw it with my own eyes. My white shirt, which I foolishly worried about, is white again. You would never know that it had any blood on it at all. So, the next time you get blood on something, don't sweat it, just pull out the H.P. :-)
I've been a little quite on the posting front because it has been a busy week of treatment, but also one that has been a little discouraging. Instead of getting better I was getting worse. Pain, not unlike what took me to the Dr. in the first place, was invading my body and making me want to rush to the nearest hospital and demand they pull my lung out. Not just 20%, the entire thing. Heck, take them both if it meant not having to deal with it any longer. I know, not rational, but I compare it to my state when I am in labor. I don't care how much I wanted to do it naturally, you give me that epidural, and you give it to me NOW! Either that or just put me out of my misery. Ok, so I wasn't in quite as much pain as the ending stages of labor, but it was getting close. If I hadn't thrown out my drugs I would have been downing them.


Today is a new day. I am prayerfully saying that God is doing a work and allowing this treatment to gradually do it's job in my body. The pain is next to nothing. I know getting rid of my wheeze and cough will be gradual, but my hopes are back in place. It worked once. Keep praying that not only will I have the same success again, but this time I can wipe it out. Or rather, God can wipe it out. :-) He has a way of getting our focus on Him, doesn't He? Even if it takes putting something pesky in our lung.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Almost done...

Patched and ready to be painted over....
Karis was a huge help with Kalvyn. He was a little fussy, but she played her part of older cousin very well and kept him entertained. I'm not sure he know what hit him, but at least he was amused. :-)
Some people buy those fancy tool to help them get the edges, me, I just bring in my talented sister, Elle. How many of you know a store bought edger that can produce the perfect edge while holding a baby? If we ever move across the country I will fly her in to help me paint. :-) Thanks Noelle! I will post the after pictures soon. I still need to get the door done. Right now it looks like it has two eyes with bushy eyebrows because I forgot I needed to prime it first. If there is one thing about painting that I dislike it is priming. :-)

My little interior decorator

I think Karis has been watching me move everything around too much this last year. A couple of days ago she decided to try her hand at it.

There used to be a picture of her on the wall beside Gabi. Now, as you can see, there is a big empty space because....

Another space was created by placing these two painted mirrors right here, on two empty nails. Then....
Karis placed her picture, complete with a beaded necklace, in the empty places created by the afore mentioned mirrors. She very excitedly came and got me, explaining her decorating process. What is a mother to do? I guess I will have to somehow fill that empty space on Gabi's wall. :-) I wouldn't want to discourage budding talent.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Taking the time..

Yesterday we had to get out of the house because the floor was drying from my first protective coat. Yes, I finally got it done. You see, I got smart. I did it during nap time so that I still had energy. :-) Should have thought of that in the first place.

God blessed us with another perfect fall day, so it was actually a joy to get out of the house. We stopped at a park where Gabi got pushed down the slide (with a crash landing) by her older sister and knocked flat by someone on a swing she walked under. I had looked up for a split second to check on Karis and she ran right into the swings path. Not seriously hurt, but not a good day in Gabi land. :-) After the park we went to the lake and that was better.

The girls played and I took time to look at God's amazing creation - something I don't do often enough. Whenever I take the time I always am amazed by the time He took into making our world so beautiful... well, not that it took Him much time. :-) Right about now I'm wishing I had His abilities to speak and have everything come into being. My house would have been done six months ago. :-) Do you ever wonder how He picked the colors. Why blue for the sky and water? White for the clouds? Green for the grass and leaves, and then the various colors they change into? Boggles my mind, and that is just colors. We haven't touched people or animals. :-) Good thing we aren't God. Since I'm struggling with just decorating my little house I probably would have made the world all grey! Saves time. Then again, I suppose if you can just speak and it comes into being you have time to be creative. This boggles my mind as well. Anyway, that is why the picture of the sky. Isn't it beautiful?

Karis is drawing a map from the States to Brazil. That way we can find Owen when we go. It looked like a pretty short and easy trip by her calculations, so I'm thinking we may just make that trip tomorrow. :-)
Gabi is helping. Looks more like she is playing baseball to me. :-)
More of that beautiful creation.
I am staining the filling that I put into the holes in the wood so it looks like the other knots. Thankfully their weren't that many. I am a little tired of doing this floor so my patience for this last little bit isn't what it was for the main part. Almost done. I have two coats of protector on and two to go.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Metal mouth

I thought I was done with the braces and retainer stage of my life. Apparently not. For those of you who haven't known me all my life my journey into the world of braces, head gear, retainers, etc. started at age seven. I had a underbite, I guess. All I remember is the fact that if you wear a chin cup long enough in the summertime your chin sweats and it starts to stink. Yes, fond memories. :-) Anyway, I wore my retainers faithfully until I got married. At first I didn't wear them because, well, it's not exactly a romantic thing to get in bed with your new husband and, when he starts to kiss you say, "Um... could you hold that thought for a moment while I take this plastic and metal out of my mouth? Thanks sweetie." And then, for the first four months of being pregnant anything in my mouth besides food makes me gag. So... no retainers for a while longer. And then I just forgot. Unfortunately, five years later, I can tell that my bite is starting to move, and it hurts. That is what really is making me take action, I hate pain. So, last night I put the retainers back in. It felt so weird. I even had crazy dreams that I had this swollen tongue that was stuck out of my mouth and I kept trying to push it back it. Very frustrating, and when I looked in the mirror, yes, I remember looking in the mirror in my dream, how vain is that? But, anyway, I looked like a zombie with their oversized tongue falling out. Also in my dream I owned a store and my appearance was scaring customers away. I was quite distraught about this. :-) Anyway, I managed to wake myself up from this unfortunate dream to find that my top retainer was sticking out of my mouth like my tongue had in my dream. I know, not what you really wanted to hear this fine sunday morning, but as it is the new addition in my life you got to read about it. :-) Here's to hoping our kids don't need braces or retainers.

On a more spiritual note, it has made me realize that no matter how hard we have worked at our relationship with Christ in the past we can't just set it aside for indefinite periods of time and forget about Him. If we do, the relationship, like my teeth, will start to slip. In the long run it is so much easier to stay faithful in the little things. A lot less pain involved. :-)

Friday, October 30, 2009


Dustin took us to the new sculpture park downtown. None of us were in very good moods, so we didn't have the fun we could have, but still, it was nice of him to take his grumpy family downtown. I must say, if I had known they were paying millions of dollars to create this art I would have signed up. I felt that this spider was the most difficult piece in the whole thing. I mean really.... how hard can it be to create that backside of two snowmen?

Don't know exactly what she was looking at, but she was very cute.
My precious family sitting on a man made of letters. Forgot to read the sign, so am not sure of the symbolism. I'm sure there is something deep and meaningful behind it. :-)

Odds and ends

Not only do we have stairs now, we have finished stairs. Well, all but my part of sanding and staining. :-) Which I'm going to try and do this morning. They are beautiful and the guys did a wonderful job. I'll post a before and after picture when I'm done.

We rake....

And after we get a pile of leaves we spread them all out again. You see, if you do this, you not only get to rake everything once, but twice, three times, and then you get really lucky and get to do it all over again the next day. The concept of bagging in our house seems unreasonable to those four and under. If you bag them, you don't have piles like these to jump in. If you look hard you can just see Karis in the middle.
Starting school. I'd love to say we are very diligent at it, but I started right as the construction on our kitchen started, so it has been hit and miss. I'm hoping that will change, but am not too concerned as she is only four. :-)