Wednesday, October 31, 2007

It is a new generation, folks...

Yesterday I bundled the kids into the car; heading off to do some errands. The following conversation ensued (and to my chagrin, I am NOT making this up):
Jonathan: Mommy, where are we going?
Me: We're going to do some errands. We'll make some copies at OfficeMax, go to the bank, and then get our groceries at Vons.
Jonathan: *pause* Mommy, I need Starbucks. Let's go get coffee drinks at Starbucks.
When I was a kid, I vaguely remember it being soda that held such appeal. Coffee was interesting, but it was clearly a drink for grownups. Apparently that isn't the case anymore!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Dyson vacuum, anyone?

Pink Dyson Vaccuum Giveaway by the Domestic Diva

I first heard the praises of the Dyson vacuum sung here. Shannon is generally a reasonable (and slightly nutty and very funny) mom, and I couldn't imagine her spending $400 on a vacuum cleaner...but she did and she didn't regret it.

Well, I did it. I bought a Dyson. Your glowing feedback convinced me. And I hope you were right, because I had to sell one of the children to pay for it.

(Joke! That's a joke!)

. . .

And then I turned it on.

Oh-for-the-love-of-all-that-is-good-and-HEPA-filtered, now I get it.
Thus began my covetousness. I want a Dyson vacuum cleaner. My house is just as dirty as Shannon's, I'm sure of it! Since I don't have $400 to spend on one, someone should give me one. Q.E.D., obviously.

Well, someone is giving one away! And you should all go enter the contest here, although I hope that none of you win it (because, of course, I want to!) :)

Also, today is the LAST DAY TO ENTER (I know, I came to this party a little late). So check it out now!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


I wrote this about a week ago and forgot to actually post it. So when it says "today", please read "last week". :)


If we hold up a palm and say “high five, Thomas!” he’ll put his hand up and pat ours. Jonathan thinks this is wonderful.

Jonathan has taken to quoting books, sometimes appropriately and sometimes, not so much. Yesterday he matter-of-factly informed me “Mommy, you’re very old and sick” (a quote from “I’ll love you forever”).

Today when Thomas woke up from his nap, Jonathan was still asleep. This doesn’t happen often, so we made the most of it! We snuggled down on my bed and played tickle and patticake for awhile. Then Thomas got the hiccups. He’d hiccup, and then I’d say “hiccup!” and he’d chortle and grin until I laughed with him, then hiccup again, and we’d start over. For some reason he thinks “hiccup” is the funniest word in the English language. And I think that my son’s giggles are the most wonderful, mirth-inducing sound I’ve ever heard.

Warning: politics! :)

I'm curious what you guys think of Wayne Grudem's endorsement of Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate. You can read his reasons here:

I found this article quite convincing, and some digging into Romney's positions has made me seriously consider him my choice for the nomination. Many people (and many in the media) are saying that Romney can't win because he won't get the Evangelical vote. What do you think? Should he?

Friday, October 26, 2007

Advanced mathematics

Veronica always has thoughtful things to say. The fact that she has three children and still finds time to both think, and then type, has always amazed me...more so after I switched from one child to two. But here, ah, here she spills her secret. :)
I don’t know how you mothers of only one child do it. One child is too much. Three children are not nearly so many.
Go read the rest!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Right or left brain? (UPDATED)

I have to admit that this has me stymied. As hard as I have tried (and I have given myself a headache in the attempt!) I cannot see the dancer turning any way but clockwise...but supposedly that means that I'm right-brain dominant. And right-brain dominant I have never been.

Can anyone explain this strange moving picture? And how anyone could see it turning counter-clockwise? And why I'm supposedly "fantasy-based" and good at "spatial perception" (ha!) and an "impetuous risk-taker"? I'm so confused.

Gabe can see it going both ways, but only if he sort of looks at it from the corner of his vision. After he said that, I tried it...

turns out that if I look straight at it, I see her going clockwise. But if I look elsewhere and see her in my peripheral vision, she's going counter-clockwise.

I don't know what that says about me. :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

The story of a nutshell

"This guy, he was born, then he was bleeding and needed a band aid, and then he was alive again!"
Jonathan, age 2.5

It's practically theivery

Last week I found one of the best Grocery Game steals ever:

3 boxes of cold cereal, which retail for $3.89 EACH...

for $1.

The checker stumbled a bit over her words as she said "And Ms. Moothart your total, $1...and you've saved...well. 91%."

Heeheehee. :)

(Just to clarify: I bought the cereal separately from the rest of my shopping trip because I thought they were out and asked for a rain check. It turned out they still had some, but they were in a special display elsewhere in the store. So I went through the checkout line again.)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Learning to crawl

in pictures! This is for you, Mom. :)

SB 777 - you may want to write the governor

You may not have heard about the passage and signing of legislative bill SB777. Governor Schwarzenegger signed it last Saturday and it was largely ignored by the major news outlets.

SB777 is meant to be an anti-discrimination law, specifically targeted at public school campuses. The concern (which I share) is that in the name of not discriminating against LGTB people, this law creates a situation of reverse discrimination against all who do not agree with the politically correct position on this issue. There are some who fear that this law would allow harassment suits to be brought against parents or students who simply voice the opinion that having "two mommies" isn't a good idea.

Another worrisome aspect of the new legislation is the change in the definition of "sex" to that of "gender" as "sex, and includes a person's gender identity and gender related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth." (See 210.7 in the bill.) Some worry that this eliminates protections, for example, for girls in a female locker room. What is to prevent a peeping tom declaring himself "female" and waltzing in?

I dislike some of the histrionic reactions that are floating around the web on "christian right" websites. Still, I believe this bill is definitely cause for concern. Read it here and decide for yourself.

It is easy to email the governor, if you are also concerned.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My helper

Jonathan decided he wanted to be my helper today. So all morning I would periodically find something taken out of my hands with the firm statement "this is a Jonathan job". :) He helped me take out the trash, put a new bag in the trashcan, sweep the floors, pick up toys, and wipe up sticky messes. He was so pleased with himself!

I'm quite pleased with him, too.

Time to baby-proof the house!

Re-baby-proof, that is. We're mostly safe, I think, but I want to walk through again and be sure that I'm not missing something that is safe for toddlers but not babies.

Why, you ask?

Because Thomas is crawling! Yay Thomas! We're so proud of you!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sausage and Pepper Sandwich

We had these for dinner tonight and they were amazing. Better than what you'd pay $10.99 for in a restaurant, and we fed our family for less than $6.

Sausage and Pepper Sandwich

2 medium spicy Italian sausages
1 T. oil
1 green pepper, thinly sliced
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
jack cheese, sliced
sourdough hoagie rolls

Cook sausages, covered, in a skillet with about 1/4 cup of water over medium heat. When the water boils away, take the lid off and add the oil. Let the sausages brown and crisp, then slice and set aside. Empty any residual oil in the skillet, then add a small amount of olive oil. Saute onions for a few minutes, then add peppers. Cover and cook until just tender. Meanwhile slice hoagie rolls and place under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes. Cover with sliced cheese and return to broiler for 1-2 minutes. Remove from broiler. Place on plates and top with sliced sausages and peppers/onions.

The sausage, peppers, onions, and rolls all came from Henry's Marketplace, one of my favorite places to shop. :) They have consistently good produce, their bakery is superb, and they have wonderful meats (they make their own sausages and I like them better than anything else I've had). Plus you can get bulk spices there for a fraction of the usual cost.

No, they are not paying me for this promotion. ;)

This is a good week to try them out, though, because they have peppers on sale 3 for $1, both green and red! The sausages are also on sale for $2.99/lb, which is hard to beat.

Monday, October 15, 2007

I finished reading Madeleine L'Engle's "Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage" today. It is a beautiful book; a lovely chronicle of a well-lived marriage. It draws you into their story and at the same time makes you want to live your own story to the fullest. I want to be able to look back, at the end of my marriage, and say with Madeleine that "I wouldn't have missed a minute of it, not any of it."

Reading this now was a challenge, and made me cry more than once. Much of the story takes place woven through their experience in the hospital as Hugh is being treated for, and eventually dying of, cancer. Reading it brought me back to the hospital with Mom, being afraid, not knowing what to expect or how to pray. And it made me confront the fact that some day I may face a hospitalization with my husband. Someday I may have to say good bye. Someday it may be me saying that "it is hard to let go beloved flesh".

I earnestly ask God to give Gabe and I a long, full life together. But I know that no matter how long that life is, at some point one of us will go to heaven first. My marriage vows are "until we are parted by death" and the very vow reminds me that this will, indeed, happen.

I don't want it to happen.

When it does, I hope that we can walk that road with the kind of dignity and faith and love that is evident in Madeleine and Hugh's story. I want to spend my life, my marriage, becoming the sort of faithful, faith-filled partners who can say good bye with sorrow and yet let go gently. I want to live each day, each year that I am given with Gabe, with gratitude, mindful of the gift that is it.

Rainy day

The sky is grey and rain sprinkles down just often enough to make me think twice about heading out for a walk. We are all still in our pajamas - warm and comfortable and snuggly. After breakfast we read stories. And stories and stories and more stories. Thomas even gets in on the action with a board book of his own, although he is more interested in chewing the edges than listening to the story. Who needs to turn pages, anyway, when you can eat the book instead?

Thomas takes a nap, Jonathan has a quiet time and I get to spend some time praying and reading. Then more reading with Jonathan, and a snack, before Thomas wakes up.

With Thomas awake and fed, the three of us sit around the piano while I practice. Jonathan lies underneath the bench and depresses the pedal at random moments. Thomas tries to eat the piano leg and then tries to pull himself up (unsuccessfully) to his great frustration. So ends the rehearsal!

Lunch and hot chocolate (what better on a rainy day!) and Jonathan plays with his cars and Thomas sits on my lap while I blog. :)

At some I know I need to do some chores and laundry. But so far, this morning has been exactly right. Sometimes you just need to put everything on hold and snuggle, and read, and make music, and enjoy each other.

The sounds of our house

Thomas: Rarararararah!!!! Rararrrrr! Rararm! Gggg!

Me: Oh Jonathan, you spilled hot chocolate on your pajamas!
Jonathan: Yes, well, that happens sometimes.

Thomas: Rarrrgurgle!
Jonathan: Thomas, row your boat gently down the patticake bakers man!

Me: *finishes singing a song*
Jonathan: What shall we sing next?
(This one will go on forever, particularly if we're in the car!)

Thomas: aaahhh!!!!!
Jonathan: Thomas, say "Mommy, I dropped my bottle."
Thomas: aaaaaaahhhh!!!!!
Jonathan: Thomas, say "Mommy, I want more food please."

Jonathan (singing): A B C D next time won't you sing with me?
Jonathan: (singing): hm, and hm, hm, and hm, flowing hmhmmm...

Thomas: *giggles* gurgle *giggle*

Jonathan: Mommy, I want to do doey.
Me: I don't know that word. You want to do "doey"?
Jonathan: *giggles* I'm just joking!

Jonathan: Mommy, who loves you?
Me: I don't know, why loves me?
Jonathan: Jesus loves you! because he died on the cross and then was alive again!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sewing success!

Made all the sweeter by being unexpected. :)

This is my "practice" bag. All the material was from the clearance section at JoAnn Fabrics, because I didn't want to spend a bunch of money on something I was pretty sure I'd ruin. :) But it got closer and closer to completion, and it wasn't ruined yet, so I started to dream about having a very pretty bag at the end.

What do you think?

I'm pleased with the result. And I definitely learned a lot. There is a lot about sewing that you just have to learn with your hands, I think. I can sit and stare at a pattern and at fabric and think and think and think about it, but it isn't until I actually pin and sew that I realize "oops, that didn't work, and now I know what I ought to have done!" All my mistakes this time were fixable, but I spent an awful lot of time fixing them. And then thinking some more. :)

My next projects are (hopefully!) going to be Christmas gifts. My next attempt is going to have some added "features" like pockets. I'm pretty sure I've learned enough from this one to be able to do it well. And the fabrics I've chosen are so pretty, I can't wait to get started!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Being oldest

We had our first major instance of oldest child frustration today. I had put both boys in the kitchen sinks to give them baths and then let them play in the water while I cooked dinner. This worked well for awhile, but Thomas kept trying to either steal the water faucet, or turn it off, not to mention grab whatever Jonathan had in his hand. Jonathan cycled through an impressive repertoire of "please share, Thomas", and "it's my turn, Thomas", and "no, no, Thomas" but to no avail. Finally he sighed deeply, turned the water off himself, and announced "we're all done, Thomas."

I could hardly get them out and dried off, I was laughing so hard.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Sacred Marriage

Jessica loaned me a book a few weeks ago: "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas. The most important thing I've learned from it?

I have a truly amazing husband.

Just about every example of what spouses ought to be striving toward made me think two things:

1) Am I doing this? I should be doing this!
2) Gabe already does this.

I noticed this most in the chapter on serving our spouses. You know what? Gabe does this well. And consistently, which is more than I can say for myself.

So I have some new goals. And a whole new level of appreciation for the man I married.

Technology geek

This morning Jonathan asked to listen to music on the computer. When Gabe went over to help him turn it on, he found that Jonathan had already done nearly everything. He had turned on the computer, opened the zippered cd case and removed a cd (Glenn Gould!), and then opened the dvd tray and inserted the cd into the computer. All by himself. The only thing he hasn't mastered, evidently, is using the mouse to click on the "itunes" icon.

Technology holds a real fascination for Jonathan. Gabe thinks that it may be because it is such a direct cause/effect relationship: push this button and lights turn on, push that button and a tray comes out, push this key and the whole computer shuts down. Whatever the reason, he is becoming very good at it, mostly without being specifically taught. In fact, he taught me which button on the keyboard puts the computer to sleep! He's also very good at using the digital camera, and loves to click through the photos we've taken.

I wonder how much technology is good for him. I don't want him growing up into a preteen (or younger!) who thinks that life begins and ends at the computer screen, and so part of me thinks that two years old is far too young to begin the technology love affair! Still, I can't find anything specific that I think I ought to be doing differently right now.

What do you think, dear readers? How do you handle technology with your own little ones?

Friday, October 05, 2007

That darling second son of mine

said "mama" today. Ok, so it was more like "mamamamama" but still. Jonathan had told me, twice previously, that Thomas had said "mama", but this is the first time I heard it. Yay Thomas!

Hymns and praise songs

I've seen the first part of this before, but the second part was new to me. And the beginning makes me laugh to the point of tears every time anyway. :) Hat tip to StandFirm.

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended a large church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

"Well," said the farmer, "It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise songs instead of hymns."

"Praise songs," said his wife, "What are those?"

"Oh, they're okay. They're sort of like hymns, only different," said the farmer.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife.

The farmer said, "It's like this - If I were to say to you: ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,' well that would be a hymn. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you:

‘Martha Martha, Martha,
the cows, the big cows, the brown cows,
the black cows, the white cows,
the black and white cows,
the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn,
are in the corn, are in the corn,
are in the corn, the CORN, CORN, CORN,'

Then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well, that would be a praise song."

Coincidentally, the same week, a young businessman from the city who normally attended a church with contemporary-style worship was in the old farmer's town on business. He visited the farmer's small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

"Well," said the young man, "it was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs." ?

"Hymns," said his wife, "what are those?"

"Oh, they're okay. They're sort of like regular songs, only different," said the young man.

"Well, what's the difference?" asked his wife.

The young man said, "It's like this - If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,' well that would be a regular song. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you:

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry.
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, inimitable, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain;
There in their heads is no shadow of sense,
Hearkenest they in God's sun or his rain,
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broken free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn have chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn.
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn.

Then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four and do a key change on the last verse, well that would be a hymn."

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Mei Tai baby carrier!

I made this myself! It cost about $20 in fabric and thread. It also took quite a lot of hours, but I think that most of that was because I'm just not very good with spatial thinking. It makes my brain hurt and I think very slowly. But I did it, and it works, and I'm ridiculously proud of myself. :)

Toddler perspective

Follow-up: "why?"

Wow, what a helpful bunch of people you guys are! Thank you very much for all the thoughtful (as well as funny!) advice.

After some thought (and conversation with Gabe) I've decided to try two things.

If the "why" question comes after a direct instruction, I'm going to respond with "you may ask that question after you obey." I fully expect this to be followed by "why?" but I can just repeat the phrase until he does it. And then answer. I think having a set phrase may help Jonathan understand - just as the words never vary, neither does the expected action.

If, however, he just has a case of the "whys" in general, once I get tired of them I'll just use "why not?"

We'll see how it goes!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WFMW - Backwards Day! (#2)

Because I have lots and lots of questions. But I'll limit myself to two. I think. :)

Does anyone have a good way to keep kitchen washcloths from souring? And, once they have soured, is there any way to get them "un-sour"? I've washed and washed and washed and hung them to dry for DAYS on the line, but they still retain that sick-sour smell.

Sadly, I'm having this trouble with my new washcloths, the ones that I bought about a month ago because I gave up on my old ones. :(

I do have a little air-dry rack where I hang them when they are wet but not in use. I thought that would help but it doesn't seem to be doing the trick.


As always, go visit Shannon! :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

WFMW - Backwards Day!

I'm recycling a post from last week because I really want more feedback on the question. Hope those of you who have read it before don't mind! :)

Jonathan, please come here.
Because we need to get you dressed.
Because we're going for a walk.
Because I thought you'd like to go for a walk.
I have no idea. Never mind.

A few minutes later:
I thought we were going for a walk?
We were, but you didn't want to put your clothes on.

I'm doing my best to stay patient, but this really is rather taxing. Because this is not an isolated incident - this is my life right now. All day. If he is awake, he is asking me "why?"

Some of the questions are legitimate and have real answers. Some are silly. Some are stalling tactics. Sometimes I think it is just his default word when he can't think of anything to say but must say something anyway.

Does anyone have good ideas for coping with this?

And since I'm sure all my readers are just bursting with good information regarding any number of things, please go visit Shannon and help her readers out!

Monday, October 01, 2007


This morning Thomas took a nap and Jonathan had a quiet time at the same time. I took a shower and had a long conversation with God - showers are the best for that because it is quiet.

Anyway, one of the things we talked about was the fact that I've been feeling ill-equipped to mother more children...I feel like I'm barely hanging on with the two I have and I'm very afraid of not being a good mom if I have more kids. So I told God this and said "so if you want me to have more kids, then please, you'll need to help me be more patient and less selfish." (How I hate besetting sins. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever kill those two.)

But maybe I will, with his help.

The rest of the day I felt like I'd taken off a pair of dark glasses that I didn't know I was wearing. I saw my children with fresh eyes and was overwhelmed with how very much I love them and how glad I am that they are mine. I held Thomas and basked in the sweetness of his smile, and I held him and was grateful that his tears meant that he wanted me. I enjoyed Jonathan's energy and excitement as we played "baseball, Mommy, baseball!" (he held the bat and I tried to hit it with the ball) and snuggled him close when he asked for a "big hug an' a big kiss" at nap time.

I looked at my children today and I saw them as the precious, perfect, irreplaceable gifts that they are. I looked at them and considered another child and dreamed of another little person who could smile at me and cry for me and hold on tight.

I'm not ready for another baby yet. But with God's help I think perhaps I'll get there.

Next time,

this is how I want to have my baby. Only I think I'd stay home and show her off instead of heading to the hospital. Wouldn't that be awesome?!