Friday, November 14, 2008


Here I am, doing laundry, and trying lately to think only about my children's good qualities (see the "In a million words or less..." from my recent post) and all I can say is that one of my children was very lucky to have been safely at school today. I was on my 4th load of the day and as I was pulling clothes out of the washer to put into the dryer I notice a big blue ink mark on a pair of D's pants. Okay, so he got ink on his pants at school and I didn't see it to treat it before washing... no big deal. Then out comes my nice white jacket - INK MARKS! OKAY, WHO HAD THE PEN IN THEIR POCKET?! Well, there in J's church pants, still in the closed pocket, the blue pen and so much ink soaked in that I did something I never do - I threw the pants away. I then spent the next hour or so spraying hair spray and Shout on D's pants and my jacket, and I scrubbed until my arm was tired. (Hair spray actually works quite well on ink marks, as long as it's not a ton of ink, FYI.) After the initial shock and anger wore off, I realized that the real lucky part was that the ink only got on a couple of things. It was a big load and it could've been so much worse. I know because I have experienced this before, only it was a load of whites and there was ink on every single item. So today I'm thankful for hairspray, and that my children go to school!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful for a good daughter!

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With Thanksgiving coming we naturally reflect on those things we are most thankful for in our lives. On that note... one of N's teachers this year gave the parents a homework assignment. She wanted to get to know her students quickly and wanted help from the people that know them best. The assignment was titled “In a million words or less...” (And this has inspired me to do the same for each of my children - so those will be coming soon!) Here's what I turned in:

I’ve been thinking about this assignment since Na handed it to me that first week of school. I wondered how I could describe my daughter adequately. I decided to brainstorm a little in order to come up with some words that might help paint a picture of her. I know I can use a million words, but if I had to choose only one word it would be “good”. She is simply, good. Now I will expand on that. Here are some of the other words that came to mind in describing her (and in no particular order): responsible, organized, quiet, obedient, helpful, honorable, moral, musical, creative, funny, witty, respectful, sensitive, thoughtful, conscientious, daughter, sister, friend, beautiful – inside and out….
Ever since she was a little girl she did things at her own speed. We used to laugh when we would ask her to hurry and she would say “okay”. Then she would go the same speed as before. She was also very aware of doing her best in just about everything she tried. She is still that way – very careful. She is a great daughter and older sister. She is our oldest daughter. She has an older brother, D, who is in 8th grade, and 4 younger siblings – 1 brother and 3 sisters. She has stepped up to the challenges that come naturally with the role of older sister. She enjoys and is good at babysitting her younger siblings. I can depend on her to do what she is asked and without complaining. She often notices things that need to be done around the house and then will do them without being asked. She has been known to clean the whole kitchen just because it needed to be done. And she’ll clean the bathroom any time I ask her. She says she likes it. I really enjoy that quality in her! She’s a wonderful helper and enjoys being part of a team, whatever that might be – around the house with chores or on the soccer field.
Na has a great sense of what is right and good. She is our child that we trust with the TV remote. I will explain. We try to change the channel when inappropriate commercials pop up in the middle of a show we are watching as a family. Sometimes when her dad and I need to leave the room, we hand the remote to Na. She seems to know when to change the channel way before anyone else notices anything wrong.
She enjoys music. She took piano lessons for a couple of years. She started the viola in 5th grade through the elementary school. She used to enjoy singing when she was little, and she has a nice voice. Unfortunately she has become too self-conscious about it. Now she only sings in groups or in her own room (or shower :).
She is creative. She loves to write and uses words very well to express herself. I loved it when she got to the age when she started to get my jokes. Not too long after that she started coming up with her own. She likes drawing stick figures. It amazes me the detail that she can get into a stick figure’s expressions and movements. She will create whole scenes using these simple drawings. It fascinates me.
We learned early on that the way to correct or discipline Na was vastly different than what we did with her older brother. When D misbehaved, the consequences needed to be pretty strict in order to help him change his behavior. With Na, all we had to do was to look at her sternly and she would start to cry. She is still very sensitive to correction – maybe it’s because she is already trying so hard to be good and do what is right. She is good at obeying. She listens and tries to improve. Because of her we learned right away that we couldn’t rely on past experience in raising children. They are all so different. And on that note, we have sure loved having her as a daughter and getting to know her. I hope this will be helpful as you are getting to know her over the course of this year.
P.S. Thanks for this assignment. It has been fun and challenging to try to put into words what I think of my daughter. It makes me want to do this assignment for the rest of my children, just for fun. Not only has it made me stop and think hard about who she is, but it has made me appreciate her more and recognize all that she contributes to our family. She is a good one!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Something about Halloween gets me really excited. I think because I love to dress up and pretend to be someone or something else. Plus I had a mom that would make really cool costumes for us as kids. I decided at the beginning of October that I wasn't going to put so much effort into the kids' costumes this year, like I usually do. It seems I try to say that every year then I still go all out with the costumes. I can't help it - I love halloween. So here are all the kids in their costumes. The Joker was the most time consuming. I had to make just about everything. Where do you find crazy purple pants and coat, and green vest? I also researched a little online on how to do the hair and make up.

A friend of mine asked what my kids were dressing up as this year. When I said I had three witches, she responded with, "yeah, but what are they going to be for halloween?" :) Ha Ha!

The kids in J's class said things like, "wow, you look like a real scarecrow!" He even played the part! The scarecrow is one of my all time favorite costumes - and fairly easy to make.

A couple more little witches. They loved getting to wear make-up!

Here's my cowardly lion.
Here they all are (with a neighbor friend from across the street) just before going out trick-or-treating. Looking good and ready for tons of candy - which we now have covering the kitchen countertop.
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Pumpkin Carving

K is fascinated by the "stuff" inside the pumpkin. She is my one girl (at this age) that wasn't afraid of it and wanted to do it herself.

K shows off her pumpkin that her dad helped her carve. I would show a picture of her dad in the middle of carving but I promised him that I wouldn't put a picture of him in every post. So I have to wait until I do a few more posts before he can be seen again!

E pretty much did her own by herself. This is the first year that she didn't need help. Well, I helped a little with the mouth. I can't believe my years of carving for my kids are almost over.

Ni did her own, too. Look at the concentration. She pulls her lips in when she concentrates just like me.

J works on his own design. He is usually very creative with the pumpkin faces.
Na took the longest to get her done. She takes her time with everything. We've always said she only has one speed.

D carved his, then didn't like it, so he kept carving until it ended up looking a little bit like a monkey.

Here are our final creations...

...and again without the flash...

...and again with the kids holding their own. We actually had the lights off but I kept the flash on my camera on. I think it's funny so see what faces they were making in the dark knowing I was going to take the picture. Ni's expression kills me :)
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