Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Elijah turned 8!

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I cannot believe this boy is 8 years old!  We celebrated his birthday (which was the 29th) with lots of laughter, food, family, and of course, creme brulee.

My big 8 year old - showing off his newest gap.

Here is Eli with the AT AT he built.  This was by far the most complicated LEGO set he's ever done. He did a fantastic job on it, and was very proud.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas from our family to yours.  May the joy of the birth of Jesus overwhelm you this holiday and into the new year!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


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Chris is teaching this semester - an upper level statistics course containing a lot of actuarial content.  His least favorite teaching task is grading.  This semester, he has 103 students, and his final consisted of 13 questions - you do the math.  Watching him grade is always interesting.  Daniel's physical stance in this picture represents Chris' internal stance.

I do not like finals week, even now.  Take a look at the piles and piles and piles of tests.  He uses 4 forms of the final, each printed on a different colored paper.  No word on how his students are doing so far.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pressure Cooking

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My mom used to pressure can a lot of things when I was a child, and that canner and the noise it would make would scare me to death.  I have gotten past much of that, and have been using a pressure canner for a few years to can things.  Tonight, I am finally experimenting with pressure cooking food - a beef roast.  At 15 pounds, we are hearing some crazy noises.  Not as bad as the when I was small, but loud.  My kids didn't even bat an eye, and all asked me to lift them up so they could see what was going on with the vent valve and the dial.  I explained what I had put inside of the chamber and asked Eli what was causing the valve to stay up - he almost immediately responded, "Pressure!  The steam is creating pressure."  Smart boy.

I hope this works out - I didn't thaw my roast in time, so I'm hoping this will method will correct for lack of cooking time using my normal methods.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Creativity and Imitation

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Daniel is the child I have observed most closely transitioning through his stages.  That may seem a little odd, but due to the very close spacing of the first three, I felt like I was in survival mode much of the time.  I missed a lot.  Since Daniel is almost 3 years younger than Isaac, and the other kids are off at school, or in Isaac's case, very independent, Daniel is who I hang out with now.

He has always been a creative child, evident in how he talks and the things he points out.  But recently he entered a stage which I absolutely love!  And no, it is sadly not the "potty train by yourself so mom doesn't have to do anything" stage.  Still waiting on that one.  He has started constructing pretend scenarios and scripting his attendees.  We've seen pretend play in him for quite a while, but this is definitely something different.  Here is an example:

The Ogre, T-rex, and triceratops were placed in this configuration.  He set up their chairs around the box, his "table."  So far today, he has offered them scrambled eggs, and most recently he asked them if they wanted to play Tokyo.  Daniel watches Chris and the big kids play a game called King of Tokyo, and it must have left a huge impression on him.  He is using a handful of variable sided dice as eggs, by the way.  Purple eggs.  I love it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BIG Tree

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Our friend Linda gave us her old tree this year.  Our previous tree looked like it needed to eat a few cheeseburgers, so it was a welcome addition to our house.  This one is taller, and much, much bigger.  The kids absolutely love it, and I am very thankful for the gift.

Here are some pictures of our decorating fun.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lost Tooth

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Sophie's first tooth has been loose for a while.  She's not the kind of person who tolerates such things, so this tooth has been causing a little bit of drama around here.  I tried pulling it out one day - it was so loose that it bent completely forward, but she shrieked and I really didn't feel like it was worth it, so I told her to deal with it on her own.

Yesterday, she asked me for an apple.  I handed her a giant red delicious about the size of her head.  She complained that I didn't cut it into pieces for her.  Oh child, I know exactly what I'm doing.  So she heads off to eat the apple.  I rub my hands together like an evil genius.  Soon, there will be no more complaining and whining about how the tooth is hurting when she eats yogurt.  Seriously.

So she comes back up about 10 minutes later and tells me she can't finish the apple, it's too big.  I look in her mouth, and the tooth is GONE!!!  I asked her where it was...she produces an utterly horrified look and bursts into tears.  Plan backfire.  So now I have drama because the tooth is out!

I inspected the apple - no tooth.  We searched her clothing, the couch where she was sitting, the floor - no tooth.  So, Sophie literally lost her first tooth.  It's gone.  I'm just glad it's out.  Hopefully the one beside it will wait a little while to loosen up.

She is in a much better mood about the situation, so here's her showing off her gap - you can already see the adult tooth coming up behind.  Donations for our orthodontia fund are always gladly accepted.