Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

lunchtime conversation

Caleb: "Mom I am sooo hungry!"
Mom: "Ok honey; I am making lunch right now"
Mom:" Hmm.... what should I do with this chicken?"
Caleb: "I don't know - Just don't serve it to me!"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Nathan Reading

We *love* that Hooked on Phonics kit Grampa Paul bought us when David was young. Nathan is going through it now and, yet again, it's worth its weight in gold.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas program

Yesterday they boys had their annual Christmas program at Oak Grove Church. I think they hate being on stage. Nathan held the star over his face so to not be seen. Caleb did not sing and neither did David. I think Caleb made his eyes blink 300 times. His coping mechanism. I think he figured if he couldn't stick his head in the sand and pretend he was an ostrich, then that was the next best thing. They sure looked cute though.Good times.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nathan chooses happy

Happy is a choice you make.
I tell my kids this often.  It is advice I frequently need to remember and apply myself.

This morning out of the blue, while making pancakes, Nathan says:
"I don't even have my drivers license yet! But I'm still happy."

Good to know. Since he is four years old and it will be a long time before he gets his drivers license.Glad he is happy.:-)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas tree

This was about 10 minutes after Nathan came up behind Caleb and tried to steady himself on Caleb, who was standing on the loveseat armrest reaching for the top branches. Needless to say the 2 boys both fell right into the tree. Never a dull moment. We picked the pine needles out of Nathan's shirt and head. Caleb shook it off even though he landed on the bottom. The tree wobbled but stayed standing.

Never a dull moment.

Gosh, I wish we would've gotten that on video. We would've won America's Funniest Home Videos for sure.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Gingerbread Houses!

I love our local library.  Every year they hold this gingerbread workshop for kids up to 10 years old. Free!

A great family memory and delicious too.

We get a whole plateful of creative adventure and great one on one time with the boys.

I am sad to say that this is Davids last year as he ages out of the event at 10 years old.  Where does the time go?

Once again I hear Pastor Bartz singing: "You're gonna miss this..."

Friday, December 2, 2011

Red Lobster

Our family feasted at the Red Lobster!

We had the boys try:
shrimp scampi
crab legs
deep fried shrimp
and seafood linguini

David, my seafood lover, said more than once:
"This place ROCKS!"

We enjoyed looking at the lobsters while we waited and we enjoyed eating them too!

It was entertaining watching the boys use the crab claw crackers.

Before the end of our meal, we had a women at a nearby table come over.  She told us that she was impressed by the boys' behavior and appreciated sitting next to them.

What a way to make a mom and dad proud.

Good memory......

Monday, November 28, 2011

Nathan tells me why he obeys

Mom, you know why I listen to you?


One of my Bible verses say to obey your mom and dad.  So I do.

You are a smart boy, Nathan.

Yup, I sure am!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Letters my kids have written

David is in 5th grade and his school is getting harder for him now. Gone are the days where he can do some half effort to get a good grade. Oh no, now it is actually work and thought and planing. Much to his dismay, this teacher is strict, present and aware and he is not allowed to slack off.

Recently, his English class required him to write a few essays and letters. I was pleased to see him use some recently taught persuasive writing to good use. He wrote a letter to my former employer,First Choice Dental Group, requesting them to donate toothbrushes and toothpaste to Operation Christmas Child. He was careful to mention how this would not only benefit David, the children who receive the gifts, but also how it would benefit First Choice Dental Group.

He needed to plan the letter, write and revise the letter, then send it off by himself. Much to his delight he received a response of 4 dozen toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes.

Caleb's writing is a bit different. He is a child who doesn't need people. When he is bored he goes off and "entertains" himself. He makes alot of "experiments". I will have to watch this child very closely - he is the kind who will set the house on fire to "see what happens".
(Mom B did you give John the mother's curse? - 'cuz it isn't fair to me, if you did.)

I was looking for a recipe in my recipe book and low and behold I find Caleb's writing.
It was titled:

Bored Killer
What you will need:
A cup of ice cubes


I had to laugh not only had he made this concoction but had put it in the recipe book for later.

Later that day we wrote Santa letters. I noticed after his letter on the very bottom he added:
I have been good.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Costume Party, Carving Pumpkins, and Trick or Treat

Here are the boys doing falls festivities.

Pumpkin carving:
David carved an angry bird, Caleb carved a cyclops, and Nahtan carved a bat.

Dressing up for Halloween:
David is the spy from Star Wars. (Uncle Matt made this mask and Aunt Amy made the cloak)
Caleb is a night ninja - although all night he was asked if he was a pirate.
Nathan is Scorpio (Uncle Matt made this costume for Zach)

Nathan had so many dress up costumes to choose from.
Here is a picture of a costume party that Nathan went to as Batman.
I didn't take the other older boys.
It was nice to spend some one on one time with my last preschooler.
Nathan was so excited to go with no brothers and really enjoyed some littler kid games at Asher's house. Asher is a good friend for Nathan, very sweet little man.

This year while out trick or treating with the boys, I was really struck by the fact that time is going by rapidly.

David is almost too old to trick or treat.
Nathan is learning to read.
Caleb is loosing his baby teeth on a rapid schedule. The tooth fairy is broke and the dentist says Caleb will need braces by the look of things :(

At the preschool party I was sitting back realizing that I was the oldest mom there.
I was the mom who had the oldest kids. I really miss the train table play time from days gone by. When did that happen?

I am on to the soccer mom stage of life. (though none of my boys play soccer)
Driving them to swimming, guitar lessons,playdates and Awana. It is a struggle to stop and smell the flowers in this stage of life.

Maybe I need to put the flowers I want to smell, in the van!?!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nathan's Heart Update Nov 2011

Yet another Echo cardiogram and Pediatric Cardiology appointment.
Nathan's level has shown no change. No ventricle damage either.
We take him again in 6 more months.

The UW Children's Hospital has hired their own Pediatric Cardiology Surgeon.
This is good news.

We continue to appeal to the Great Physician for complete healing. (we hope you do too!)
But I will take this news with a happy heart.

Now we can move on to the holidays.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My mama told me there would be days like these...


I can't believe I am saying it: but I miss when the kids were younger.

I know I have been living for these days.
My kids can all get their own seatbelts on. 2 of the 3 can read, all 3 can do their own bathroom business. Yes, I do sleep more now. (when the sleep pee er isn't in action. )

But I honestly miss the: "Mama, play trains with me?"
Today it is fighting, fighting, fighting.

I think:"geez, this unkindness is unnerving to me." Am I going to regret staying home to invest in these kids? Because they are acting just like all the others, and it isn't just today. It is like I never spend any time telling them the things of the Lord. There are words that stir up anger, selfish, selfish, and more selfishness and laziness too. Usually my daily reading in Proverbs in an encouragement to me. Lately, it has been a mirror of all the things my kids are doing to discourage me. Perhaps I am expecting a return on my investment too soon? Maybe. Today I can honestly say I am beginning to think that a paycheck might just have been a better thing.

Top it off by music lessons - nothing spells fun like an untuned instrument, horribly played. Insert Eyeroll.

I stepped in dog doo too. Because I was cleaning it up! Not the children who promised me over and over that they would care for this dog! GRRRRRRR.

Probably it has more to do with the fact that I had to throw out my skinny jeans yesterday. (I was in denial. ) Maybe it is winter? The hot water heater giving us a warning of : "Hey I am not going to help you anymore?" Or just maybe it is because I feel and look old.

Nope, pretty sure it is them.

I know we all have days like these. If you don't and I am mislead - don't tell me.
I am going to have my own temper tantrum, put myself in time out and get over it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Call Scooby doo - we have a mystery to solve

I think it is funny how 3 boys who look alike, and come from the same parents, can be so radically different.

David is cerebral. A real thinker. A natural leader. A talker and lover of the spotlight. Not a very good independent problem solver.

Caleb is an independent problem solver to the core. Don't tell me, don't show me just go away. I'll figure it out if you stop yapping in my ear! He is happy to play alone. He is much more physical and he speaks very little. We often have to ask him to use words. He is a slob at eating! (no wonder why Maddie sits by him under the table - manna from heaven!)

Nathan is my organised son. What a great one to end on! He puts away the laundry - where it belongs. He sorts things in an orderly fashion. He knows where everything belongs. He hates when anything is wet or stained or spilled, etc.

Well here is the mystery. Nathan and I head upstairs to retrieve clothes for the day. We open the drawer of underware and socks that belong to him. Inside the drawer is a pair of underware that are sopping wet. Not just damp, oh no we are talking ringing wet. Drip drip. Oh Gross! What in the world? We are both taken by surprise by this. Upon further investigation we discover that the ENTIRE drawer is wet. No it wasn't a leaky roof. This wetness had a distinct smell of urine. Old urine.

Nathan is quick to tell me that this was not something that he did! Clearly not, yesterday he put away all the clean underware for all the kids. So it wasn't this way before bed last night?!? Hmmmmmmmm.

Now I look a little to my left and I see it. Evidence. Evidence that a middle of the night visitor came to the dresser. This visitor was the infamous sleepwalker/sleep pee er. This kind of visitor has come before. But, it has been some time since it's/his/hers last visit.

So we take the entire drawer and dump it into the wash machine. Add soap and bleach. We clean out the entire drawer itself. Then we go back to investigate the crime scene.

The dresser is pretty close to the same location as the bathroom in our house.
Just 1 floor above. So it would be safe to assume that if you were sleeping and needed to relieve yourself, that you may indeed walk to this spot. Forgetting of course that you are upstairs and not downstairs. Then take care of business and return to your comfy warm bed.

So it seems that just maybe we have a dresser sleep peeing mystery to solve. I have my suspicions. Do you?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Caleb and his amazing memory

Caleb is one of those kids who remembers things easily.
I am often surprised by his ability in this area.
I say "You remember that?" Then I think - wow, I need to be careful what I say - Very careful!
Often it is Caleb who finds the latest missing object in the house. He just remembers where he saw it last. That must be nice. It should serve him well in the future.

Capitalizing on this fact, here is a clip of Caleb reciting Psalm 23. The whole Psalm. He knows the meaning too. Ask him next time you see him, what it means.

After getting this on film it was time to get ready for bed. Caleb was brushing his teeth and says: "Mom, look my cup overflows" It was so funny.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hooked on phonics take 3

Here is Nathan reading his first Hooked on Phonics story.
He is 4 years and 1 month - smart as a whip. (not that I'm partial)

He really just wants to be included in the big boy club. He notices that he is the only kid who can't read in this house and he is very determined to remedy that as soon as possible.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dad shares his new toy

John bought a Honda scooter. Nathan is hooked on the rides. He and John are having some special times together on this new toy.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Call first because...

Trespassers will be shot!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A boy and his dog

It is moments like this that you think:"ok, maybe we will keep the dog."

Caleb likes to be alone and he is the boy in this house who has really bonded with the dog.
She adores him. She loves his stinky socks/shoes best. He doesn't mind her puppy ways. They are good together. She is lucky to have Caleb and he is lucky to have her.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nathan turns 4!!!!!!!

Some days he acts like he is 8, some days he acts like he is 2. But he turned 4 on September 8.

He is all about Star Wars right now. So this new blanket is a Clone Wars blanket throw for his bed. He was all smiles. He was easy to please.

Nathan's primary play things are dress up super hero clothes. He is rarely just Nathan. When he comes downstairs he is usually dressed as General Grievous or Batman or Captain America.

He is always running around with swords or light sabers or shields and Thor's hammer.

There is forever a pretend battle waged at our house.

It is hard to believe our youngest is 4. He is learning how to read now. He puts his seat belt on all by himself. I never thought this day would come when I could just say: "boys put your shoes on and get in the van"

Now when I do that, I don't have to do anything but coral the dog and start the engine. Weird.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Take me out to the ball game

The first day of school - we didn't go. Of course we didn't go any other day either, we home school. So in honor of everyone else being in class (we started 2 weeks before public schools) we took the day off to see the Brewers.

John and I took our 3 boys and 2 other buddies. David picked his cousin Zach and Caleb picked his best buddy John Patrick. It was the first major league baseball game for all 5 boys. What a fun time. We got to see 2 back to back home runs. We saw Bernie the Brewer slide down the slide and of course the sausage race. They really liked the sausage race.

What a great memory. (for us old folks and for those boys)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Caleb's digestive system

Not the best lighting in this picture but focus on Caleb's shirt.

For a few weeks now we have been studying the digestive system. Caleb has really taken an interest in the placement of the organs and their functions. At the time of this photo we have studied the esophagus, stomach, gall bladder, pancreas, spleen, and small intestine. (now we have added the liver, and the large intestine)

Next to Caleb you can see the white tracing of Caleb in paper taped to the closet wall. This paper Caleb has served as our puzzle to place the organs in the correct locations. He is standing next to it in his newly drawn shirt.

For a project he asked to use a white undershirt to draw his digestive system. I did not help him 1 bit on this project. He got the shirt, the markers and began to drawn his digestive system on this white shirt. I was helping Nathan with his Hooked on Phonics and when I came back in the room this shirt is what he had done. I about fell over.

It is difficult to see, but the pancreas is drawn in yellow in the correct spot and he drew it just as the book has it done (looks like a corn on the cob) . The spleen and gallbladder are correctly placed as well as all the other organs. He will proudly tell you what each one does and what types of food it will help you digest. He will also tell you:"Mom, doesn't have a gallbladder anymore so she shouldn't eat too much fat or McDonald's."

Caleb's shirt also has the heart drawn to illustrate both red and blue blood flow. We studied the heart first because of Nathan's heart valve dysfunction.

The only regret I have is that he drew it in washable markers. It is a work of art!

Amazing to get a picture of just what he retained from our science classes so far this year.

Good job Caleb.

Friday, September 23, 2011

It is so hard to be the 3rd child

So Nathan has really turned up the naughty lately.
But everyone else in the world is charmed by his sweet personality.
The librarian always comments how she adores him (but she calls him Caleb).
"What nice manners he has."She says.

Several of my friends, and the ladies at church are fooled too. But not his family -Nope.
Just a minute ago Nathan was throwing a fit about having to go to the bathroom.
David says: "Mom, I think we had 1 too many kids." (He was trying to take an English test)

I smile inside and think - hmmm

It makes me think about just how people react when they see me with 3 kids.
(Wow you sure have your hands full - oh my you must be busy - oh look at all your helpers etc)

Funny to me too, that they can't seem to remember which one of my kids is which. They do look alike, I give you that but really they are 2 -4 years apart. I didn't name them close either. I could have called them Brett,Brad, and Brice for goodness sake.

Today I got a birthday card in the mail for Caleb (Nathan's birthday is in September, Caleb's is in April)I think the card is for Nathan, but was sent addressed to Caleb.

Seriously people I only have 3 kids - nothing com paired to how many I could have had.

Sometimes I do feel like we had 1 too many kids. There are also days I think we had 3 too many kids. Then there are days I think we should have 3 more kids. Today, I just wish we had the same number of kids but 2 clones of me to match.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Awana and Sesame Street Nostalgia

Over the years, Jenny and I have been very diligent about taking pictures and video of our kids on a regular basis - at least once a month.

I was digging through all of these today while working on something and ran across this 2005 footage of David, his cousin Zach, and good friend Naomi. We were all on our way to an Awana night and the kids broke into song, as was typical for those 30 minute rides. I happened to have the video camera with me that night and (if I must say so myself) did a pretty good job pointing the camera at the rear-view mirror while Jenny drove.

The result was a classic video of a memory that I hope never fades.

David is the blonde in the car seat. Caleb is next to him in the rear-facing infant carrier. Zach and Naomi are in the back. Nathan wasn't born yet.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Playing Monopoly

This is a video of David teaching Nathan how to play Monopoly. It has a little twist at the end.

David is such a great big brother.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The picture on the birthing suite

The day Caleb was born seems like yesterday. Right outside the door of my birthing suite was a picture of a wheat field and 3 short-haired mischievous boys overlooking the field with intent to have some fun. I remember laughing on the inside about the print. I had one of those rare moments when you realize - hey that means something to me!

It was clear from the picture that in a few short moments that field would never be the same. It was also clear from the look on the boys' profiles that in a few short moments they were going to be the ones who rearranged that field.

At the time I only had 2 sons. But here we are, a few years later with 3 short-haired boys of our own.

Fast forward now 'til last week.

It is VERY hot and I am driving to Janesville for some errands.

I pass field after field and that picture comes to mind.

Much to my boys' annoyance I insist we go home change into jeans and go back for that picture.

(Did I mention we have no air conditioning in our van and it is a heat index over 100 degrees.)

Here is the final product:

I will have this print made and hang it outside my bedroom door.

My birthing suite days are over. smile.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

my 3 tough guys

Mom B. take a look at David's tilted head and facial expression on the 1st picture. It reminds me of John in a picture you gave us from a family reunion when John was a middle schooler.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Nathan Dialogue This Morning

Nathan: (In pajamas) Dad, can you get me some clothes?

Dad: you go.

Nathan: Not these clothes. These were the clothes I was saving for when I go to Saturn.

Dad: Oh, I see. Well they haven't even built the spaceship that will take us to Saturn yet, so it will be a long time before we fly there.

Nathan: (Putting on clothes) OK. Well, me and you will need to put on our capes then, and fly into space. Then we can help them build the spaceship! We just need the pieces.

Dad: Yep, sounds good. We just need the pieces.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nathan hits a home run at Tball

Here is a clip of Nathan hitting a homerun at Tball last week.
When you are the last batter you get to run all the bases. He just loves to play Tball.

Monday, July 18, 2011

sleepover with the cousins

Just a cute picture of the sleepover with cousins Zach and Sam.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Lake Emily

Our weekend trip to Lake Emily with Karen, Zach and Sam, our boys and Maddie.

The stuff is overwhelming. How did Rosalie do it? I can't imagine all the packing of stuff for more children. Geez!

John took the younger boys for a boat ride and Caleb caught a fish.

I stayed at the playground with the older kids. That was a bit weird. I should've had a book. I had to be there, but I didn't have to actively help anyone with stairs or slides or swings. I started to get bored and sleepy. 'Could've been because we got up so early.

The cousins were early risers - like 4:55 am early. I heard them giggling and foraging thru the screen tent for food, which woke up Maddie. Oh well. I'll sleep when I am dead.

The weather was great until Sunday AM. A storm front came in and we had to break down the camp site earlier than expected and in a bit more of a rush than desired. We got all the tents down before the rain hit - just barely. Whew. Our food stuff got wet and our camping dishes but those are a lot easier to deal with than a wet tent.

For the first time since we have camped at Lake Emily, there were open campsites on a weekend. The ranger thought it was due to the economy. 7 Sites were unoccupied. I was amazed. It was great weather - perfect for camping.

I would sure like to have a Rosalie/Art Baierl family reunion there - hint hint. Anyone game for an August or September weekend? I'll do the leg work - but you have to fly in - and show up with your suit. We have 3 tents that can hold a total of 15 or so.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Caleb in the Ambulance

Here is a picture of Caleb riding to Meriter Hospital in the ambulance.

If you look closely you can see the ice packs in the back of his head.

At baseball last night his feet slipped out from under him on wet concrete. He fell backwards hitting his head and back with full force. I was lucky to watch in complete horror. I expected blood everywhere.

He rang his bell pretty good. I held him for a bit until he calmed down, checked for broken bones, bleeding, and made sure he could talk and move his fingers and toes. Then we got all the other kids loaded up and headed to urgent care to get him checked out for any internal trauma.

We were on route to the hospital when he began to cry about the pain in his head (no kidding!) and then his eyelids got pink and droopy. A few minutes later there was lots of vomit.

We were on hold with urgent care since loading the kids in the van, but once he vomited we hung up and dialed 911. We knew at minimum he had a concussion, but became alarmed once he had 3 head trauma symptoms. We met an ambulance about 8 miles outside of Evansville where Caleb was then transported to the ER for a CT scan.

John drove the van with David and Nathan and I rode in the ambulance with Caleb. It was very hard to keep him awake. He was so brave thru the whole thing. The CT scan was a scary ordeal for him but he only asked to hold my hand thru it all. The technicians allowed me to come in with a lead vest and I was able to be near him holding his hand thru the CT Scan. His eyes got VERY wide when the red lasers moved over his face. I had to reassure him that the lasers where not the ones used on a gun.

We got the CT results around 11:30 PM. No internal bleeding or skull fractures. We were then allowed to give him medicine and let him fall asleep. It was a scary ordeal for him and me!

We got home around 12:30 AM and I was instructed to awaken him every 2 hours to check on him. No easy task. He is ok.

He has a headache and a bump on the head but is acting normally today.

Pretty scary, but considering what could have been, we are blessed to have just a concussion.


Monday, July 4, 2011

What seems to be the problem, officer?

This Sheriff's Deputy happens to be a friend of the family (the kids love him) and was part of this year's 4th of July parade. After the parade, he met up with us and we got this awesome shot of him and Nathan.

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Friday, July 1, 2011

The writing on the table

Quick post:

We drive to Lake Leota Park to have the boys ride their bikes over the skateboarding ramps. After a few thrills and spills we sit on the picnic table for refreshments.

I hear the following observations regarding the graffiti on the table.

David says: "boy this kid needs to learn how to spell! He has written here: _____(boy name) licks _____ (girl name). I mean doesn't he know how to spell like or what? It is L I K E for goodness sake. Ha Ha Ha Ha he wrote lick by mistake!"

(I doubt it was a mistake, but I grin at the innocence of it)

Not to be outdone Caleb pipes up: "Yes and over here someone spelled flag wrong. They forgot the L. Geez, learn how to spell people."

(I smile - sheltered from the world for a little while longer.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A tribute to David's 10 years

So many of you have told me that time goes by so fast
- you were right.

Monday, June 20, 2011

David turns Double Digits!

So today at 6:53 AM John and I have officially parented for a decade. David turned 10 today and I thought it would be fitting to review his last 10 birthdays. I hope you enjoy the slide show of all the birthdays of yesterdays gone by.

I am already hearing Pastor Bartz words in my ear : "you're gonna miss this... you're gonna want this back."

It has been our privilege to call David: son.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Caleb's First Baseball Game This Season

Caleb was at bat twice in his first game of the 2011 season. Both times he got a base hit off the first pitch. This is video of his first at bat. We're very proud of him!
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Sunday, June 5, 2011


How can you have summer in Wisconsin without Brats?

Here we are at Bratfest in Madison. A day of friends, family, brats, sunburn and Kayaking.

Much to Caleb and Nathan's dissapointment, you had to be 7 yars old to kayak.

David did very well. Good thing he got out when he did because a few minutes later we saw a boy capsize (twice!) That would have freaked him out! I heard every mom on the shore gasp when he flipped over.