Saturday, January 30, 2010

Sweetest Boy

Baby George...not so much a baby anymore:( Whaaaa! He's now officially least in weight than Sis. BG weighs 24 lbs and Sis weighs 23 lbs. He is nicely round and oh so huggy and cuddly. He loves to snuggle and give kisses. He and Sis also love to fight over my lap space. They push each other and say, "MY mommy!". BG loves to lay with his head on your chest and cuddle all into you. He even does this with his brothers. He is by far the most affectionate to his Grandparents/Aunts/etc. Our older kids didn't warm up to anyone but Cam and I until they were older...especially Mr. P who didn't warm up until about a year ago:)
BG LOVES anything with a motor...all boy! He recently found this motorcycle book of Cam's. I can remember Mr. P looking at it when he was little too. BG was naked from the tub and was sitting on the floor contently flipping through the pages...making motorcycle noises. He is the best at the noises. As I'm trying I look over and there he is looking at his favorite book!
BG is a great sleeper (his Sis...not so much) and a GREAT eater! This boy LOVES food. He is usually still shoveling in the food when all the rest of the kids are done eating. And...if he sees anyone with food...he goes over and asks for a bite with his mouth open WIDE...and I do mean WIDE. It cracks everyone up. There is no mistaking what he wants!
Other than all things with motors...BG loves to play with trains/tracks and he loves stuffed animals. I think his Sis has influenced him. He calls it his "baby" and likes to carry one around and kiss it and snuggle it at night. Precious.
I love this sweet baby boy....not so much a baby in age anymore but always a mama's baby:)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Those Boots

All dressed and ready for the day
Nap time would not be complete without boots.

Sis is a serious clothes horse. She got lots of pretty outfits for Christmas and her birthday and she LOVED it. The boys got really bored watching her open gifts. They looked like they felt sorry for her...but she was in heaven...and so was her mama:) On the annoying side though...she changes her clothes about 20 times a day. She ransacks her dresser drawers and pulls everything out. She layers her outfits and comes up with some pretty interesting (ie: can't leave the house in them) combos. Her favorite things are tights, boots and sweaters. She sounds like a little old lady...and that's exactly what some of her get-ups remind me of. Perhaps a little old lady who is color blind...or pattern blind?

First thing in the morning Sis wants "dinner". She means breakfast but calls it dinner. She is VERY persistent!!! The second she is done with "dinner" she wants a tub...again...persistent! Next, is getting dressed. She is the boss! I can give her choices and she'll choose but there is NO WAY I can get her to wear something if she doesn't want to....(at this point my mom is snickering because it's major payback time for me:). The apple apparently did not fall far from this tree. After trying on her gorgeous Christmas dress...20 plus times...and having Sis scream bloody murder and refuse to wear it...I took it back to the store.

Anyway, back to her love of clothes. All outfits MUST include a sweater or sweatshirt or coat and she picks them out. And...sometimes it includes all three! And, maybe a purse and most of the time tights and those lovely hot pink/purple snow boots too. I did buy her a few new pairs of super cute shoes that she is trilled with. I can't take much more of the snow boots. Soon they will be too small...YEAH! I have hidden them for days at a time and all she does is walk around calling to, boots, BOOOOOTS!!!!!!!!! I give up.

On any given day it's about 7:20 by the time she has eaten, bathed and is fully dressed and is then asking to go OUTSIDE or wants to go bye-bye in the car. Sheesh! It's not even light out...which I have to open the blinds and point out to her. No problem...lots of time in the day left to change outfits and turn all her drawers upside down. :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We've been working on our pros vs. cons list of moving to Hawaii
Here goes:

Cam really wants to experience living in another state
the weather
big island has 11 different climates...everything but tundra
experience different culture
practice Aloha spirit
have an adventure
everyone will want to come and visit us
we want friends and family to come and stay with us
we loved Maui
our kids are little
Orthodox church in Kona
great priest and priest's wife at church
great charter schools
only have 2 kids in school
we plan to go tv and video game free
rent and house prices are great

expensive move
might not like it
schools are not the best
we'll miss our family and friends and church
a lot of paperwork to bring your pet
finding a job and then another job when and if we moved back
finding a place to live that's right for us
no Ethiopian community
neurology Dr. for Tuba could be an issue

That's what we've got so far...I'm sure there is more...and we will continue to add to it.

Monday, January 25, 2010

America's Funniest Vidoes

We have a ritual. Every Sunday night we watch what the boys call, "The Funny Shows". It's AFV to most of you. I let the big boys (Tuba, Mr. P and Busy Guy) stay up 30 minutes later to watch with me. We put the babies to bed and then we all get into my big cuddly bed to watch our show. We love it and we crack up laughing. Tuba loves the music track that goes with most of the videos and he will get out of bed and dance. Then on commercial he says, "more, more" until it comes back on. The other two boys LOVE the video games. Not my favorite part but the kids love it and play along. Cam will occasional come in and watch with us. He always laughs and remarks that Mr. P sounds just like me. First of all he doesn't stop talking the whole show;) I have to constantly remind him to hush so we can hear. He's doing a running commentary, making comments, and asking questions. Cam would say that it's just like watching a movie with me! HA! It's especially funny because Mr. P and Busy Guy make comments like, "OUCH, that's NOT funny, WHAT? NO helmet, THAT'S dangerous, WHAT were they thinking?, OH, MY WORD". They sound like a bunch of little mothers. :) Our favorite videos are of the animals doing silly things or of babies. We get to snuggle and laugh and it's a nice way to end the weekend.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Feeling Good

Dare I say this...dare I type it...this quarter is going MUCH better than the last. Cam's schedule is slightly better...meaning he is home more. And that my friend means my life is easier and better. :) Yes, he is still having to work the weekends...but he is off tomorrow...a rare Saturday off. We are having an open house so the 7 of us will go find something fun to do while our realtor shows our house (probably all our neighbors will come to be nosy;).

I think I can see the light at the end of this tunnel...this long tunnel of grad school. I'm getting excited for it to be over and it's feeling like I can make it (at least at this minute in time). I know I'm not the student but I am everything else when Cam is gone so much with classes, clinicals and his regular job too. He will be done at the end of Aug. So, it's still pretty far off but I can feel the downward Yeah!

We have been talking about all the changes next Fall will bring. We have been seriously discussing a big move. BIG!!! We are talking about moving to Hawaii, the Big Island. Yes, I'm serious! And, YES, we know it's expensive. That is the first thing everyone says when they hear of our plans.

Well, there are many things that led to this idea....and we have been prayerfully considering the idea as well as researching all the pros and cons. Of course spending time there and then coming home to 42 degrees and raining spurred our interest. Cam has wanted to move somewhere BADLY for many years. He comes up with some crazy and as far as I'm concerned some places I never want to live...can you say, St. Cloud, MN? thank you. No offense for anyone who lives there;). Cam always says how he does not want to get to the end of his life and know that he lived in the same area his whole life. I don't want to move away from our loved ones. The weather where we live isn't my favorite but it's the people that keep me here. But...I would be willing to move somewhere like Hawaii...for a couple of years. I think that I'd want to come back to our home state...but who knows? Neither of us will know unless we move and try living somewhere else? So, we are reading Affordable Living and So You Think You Want To Move To Hawaii and making our pros and cons list.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I Have A Dream

We had such a nice time celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. On our last library visit I checked out some books about MLK. I want the kids to understand who MLK was and what his message did for our country.

I got really nervous as I sat down to read one of the books. I have never discussed with the boys about segregation. I was reading to Mr. P and Busy Guy ages 6 and 3. It's not that I avoided the topic but this was the first time they have seemed old enough and the opportunity presented itself. Part of me wanted to never tell them. I know, unrealistic...but, their happy innocence is so precious. As far as they know and are concerned, skin color doesn't matter and never has.

As I began reading the story I wondered if I should paraphrase or skip some of it. Before I could decide what to do Mr. P piped up with, "Mom, Mr. Weber (the librarian) read to us today about MLK and do you know that some terrible men shot and killed him!". I love Mr. Weber! Mr. P is always coming home on library day and telling me about the wonderful books and lessons Mr. Weber has read/told them that day.

And so I read, without skipping any parts. As I came to the part of the book telling of the "white only" signs I could barely read it outloud. I glanced over at Mr. P whose face was twisted all up and looked in pain. He knew already and was shocked that such a thing ever happened. I read the whole book which detailed MLK's life. I added lots of little bits of my own and we had lots of discussion afterwards. It was hard though. I never want my children to experience racism. I do however want them to stand up for what is right....always! I want them to learn about men like MLK and women like Rosa Parks who were brave. These people made the world a better place and their legacy lives on.

Busy Guy was especially taken with the story. He kept saying, "Martin Luther King, he preached peace, he turned the world upside down!". It made a big impact on him. Busy Guy had never made any comments about the color of his skin. He knows he's from Ethiopia, he knows we are his family but so far he had never made any reference that he noticed skin color. Well, the next morning he was talking to Cam about MLK and the book we read. He said to Cam, "Daddy, I'm black". Cam smiled and replied, "yes, and I'm white and you're my son". It was so sweet as I listened from another room. Later in the day Busy Guy said to me, "mom, let's read the other books about MLK. Skin color doesn't matter cause we're all friends!".

Tonight we read about MLK again. Busy Guy was poised in bed with his new favorite book. "Mom, he turned the world upside down!". Yes, he sure did.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Picnic Under the Palms

After nap time the little ones and Cam met us at the beach. We had just ordered take-out lunch for a picnic under the trees. We added an order for Cam and sat on the lush grass over looking the ocean.

By the end of the trip the boys were re-applying their own sunblock.
I love this photo. There was such a nice breeze blowing. The kids and I really love the orange guava juice.
Cam looks funny...just chewing his yummy lunch. Every day we ordered pulled pork quesadillas, mini burgers with caramelized onions, Gorgonzola cheese, aoli sauce on taro buns. Delicious!
Another chance to swing in the hammock with my precious babies. Singing and swaying in the breeze.
The boys were all laying on the grass after lunch.
Baby George and Mr. P were all snuggled up.

We had the most amazing trip. Thank you so very much to Make A Wish Foundation for making Tuba's dreams come true...and for letting us come along too. We could never have given Tuba this trip and we will cherish it for the rest of our lives. I think it was the best 5 days of our lives:)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Last Full Day

Whaaaa! This trip was going by so fast. We woke up early as usual on our last full day in Maui. The boys were in LOVE with room service so that's what we did for breakfast. We planned to fully dedicate ourselves to enjoying every minute of the day.

Tuba chillin' and looking at the day to come.

One last day at the pool. I had a bad burn on my back (even though I wore SPF 70...but I did spend about 9 hours a day at the pool) so my tank top came in handy.

My cuties laughing it up.
Good Morning Maui!
I think the relaxation of this vacation was so good for all of us. The warm sun, air and the beauty surrounding us was so soothing. I haven't felt so happy in a long time. I guess the rest of us felt the same too....kissing bunch we are!Kissy kiss....
Smoochy smooch...
Pucker up...kissin' you to...
Me too....kisssin' you...

I loved snuggling my babes in the warm sunshine.
Time for the wee ones to go nap with Dad and for us three to head down to the beach....

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Luau Night

MAW scheduled for us to see The Old Lahaina Luau. We got dressed up and drove into Lahaina to see it. We had the concierge snap our photo for us. After the photos Busy Guy informed me that he stuck his tongue out for the pictures. And...yes he did!

Waiting for our car to be brought up from the valet. They look so cute!

We arrived early for the Luau and enjoyed the beautiful gardens. We were given the great MAW VIP service at the Luau. Wonderful people work at this Luau! Sweet Baby George holding his flower. Each guest was given a flower to wear behind the ear.

Mr. P sporting his "single" side flower and a big smile.
With my babies. Sis looked so cute that the tourists were all lining up to take her picture!
Isn't this the cutest picture of Tuba. I'm sending a copy along with our thank you card to Old Lahaina Luau

Mr. hip daddy and his flower....and his grown out I'm on vacation beard:)

The view was amazing from the Luau grounds. We walked around listening to a Hawaiian band play and gazing at the boats in the ocean. The sunset was gorgeous.

Busy Guy walked all around me Tuba, Mr. P and I looking at the scenery. There were traditional wood carvers carving items. Tools! Busy Guy's favorite thing. We bought a lovely sea turtle carving.

This is a nice photo of Tuba and I. Cam, Baby George and Mr. P went and sat our our Luau table while we walked around. Tuba's behavior had been VERY bad. I don't want to dwell on it but let me tell you that he can be very naughty...hitting, spitting, times. Cam had enough and took a breather at our table. It helps sometimes to switch off with Tuba...good cop/bad cop:)

The view from our Luau table. It was really easy to see everything. The tables each sat eight. Our table included a nice married couple. I bet they about died when they saw that they were sitting with 5 kids! At first they were kind of quiet but as they realized that the kids wouldn't ruin the show they warmed up and engaged with the kids.
The food was traditional and it was YUMMY! Too many dishes to name but the chicken and Mahi-Mahi were especially good. The kids' favorite part was the dessert tray filled with miniature assortments. Everyone got to try several desserts.
The Luau was beautiful! We had heard that this particular Luau did not have fire dancing. At first we were kind of bummed because Tuba loves fire so much. But, after seeing the show we were so thrilled. Tuba loved the music, the dancing, the drumming...all of it. Hula is so sensual and so enthralling to watch. The whole family had a great time. I highly recommend this Luau if you are going to Maui.
The boys and I were out for an evening walk one night at our resort (Hyatt) and caught the fire dance portion of the Hyatt's Luau. I was very surprised. The show was a much more "Las Vegas" type of show. I'm so glad we got to go to the Old Lahaina Luau.
Also, they had photographers taking family portraits along the sea wall. We of course had one taken and we were given two 5X7's for free. Nice!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Brotherly Love

This was one of my fondest times in Maui. It was during nap time and Tuba, Mr. P and I had the most amazing afternoon together. We had been trying to get a turn in one of the ocean side hammocks. They are always occupied but this day as we approached this beach Mr. P spied an open hammock. We ran to it and practically belly flopped into it before anyone else could get it:) We laid in the shade of the trees gently swinging in the hammock for over an hour. I laid with the boys and we sang songs. Tuba loves to sing and he will snuggle and lay for hours to listen. It was such a precious time. A lady walking past commented that I must be in heaven. Yes, I surely was! It was a great time for the two boys to have some bonding time too. Usually it's Mr. P and Busy Guy who are paired up and playing together all day. This was a special time for my oldest two boys to make great memories together.

Gorgeous views up and down the beach in front of Hyatt.

A family who was leaving and didn't want to try and take their new boogie board home gave it to us. Mr. P had a fabulous time surfing the day away. He really got good on it! Tuba loved watching him....."wheeeeeeee" he would shout at his brother as he came ashore.

I keep talking about the Luau coming up....but I just have SO many pictures that it's taking me forever. I think I could post about a 5 day trip for about 30 days ;) Just kidding...I really will be doing the Luau next. It was so beautiful.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Perfect Day

Ooops...not quite to the Luau day yet.
After Sis opened her gift we headed to breakfast and then of course the pool/ocean. Just another day in Paradise:)
Mr. P is getting good at taking pictures with my camera. that Cam and I can be in photos together.

We spend lots of time kissing.

Time to tell on Cam and I...were are surely getting the "worst parents of the year award" at least in the category of sunblock application! Mr. P got his first sunburn...and it was a BAD one. Right across the bridge of his nose and over his cheeks. NOT GOOD! He is partially responsible too...He is the WORST child to put sunblock on....wiggle, complain, wiggle, pull-back, fuss, whine, repeat!!!

Sand oh glorious sand!

Busy Guy looking rather hip while swimming.

Tuba's favorite thing to do at the kiddy pool was to jump of the steps into the water...over and over and over. He ended up with bruises along his leg from the impact of hitting the water...still didn't stop him.

Mama's recipe for a perfect afternoon. Yum! I could have probably gotten a virgin drink and been just as happy. I loved this drink...not too potent and delicious. I just pretended it has zero calories:)

Happy time to sit and watch our babies playing and snuggle them in between activities.

Sis contemplating her next move....

Okay, tomorrow is Luau day and our big fun day of laying in the hammocks at the beach. Bliss!


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