merry christmas, moon boots.

not that anybody cares, but i just whipped egg yolks into peaks! haha! my arms are really tired. don't try this at home.

look for the roulade after shabbat tomorrow...(if all goes well)

for susan

i took a plunge this week and tried something completely new. something i had never made, or ever eaten. i made a ricotta and spinach roulade the other night for my family (meaing mom, dad, joe and tom). it went pretty well with the tomato basil soup that has become part of my repertoire. the photograph in the cookbook looked pastry-like and i got to thinking it would be like a croissant. i initially skimmed the ingredients meaning i didn't notice amounts. i thought it would be a flaky bread rolled up with ricotta spread inside, a little like a cinnamon roll. it wasn't. it's very eggy. it has four eggs in it and only 1/3 cup of flour. that said, it was pretty good, very light. it would probably be better still warm from the oven. next time i will put more spinach and garlic in it to counteract the egginess. or try different ingredients. if you're interested i'm more than willing the share the recipe.

as for the book itself, the instructions were very easy to follow. there is a section in the back (with photographs) describing different techniques. i should have consulted this before i tried to whip my egg yolks into peaks. and even though i didn't accomplish said peaks for my roulade, i think it still turned out well. this might be an oneg dish.

here's a website that has a good walk-through of making a roulade, if you're curious:

stay tuned for a new focaccia recipe!


new to me

we played a round of "scattergories" last night with a group of friends. only one round because we then moved onto the nail biting "catch prase". we could play that game all night. but as tom and i were getting ready for bed he revealed his strategy to me. once the letter has been rolled he then puts that letter in each blank to give himself a bit of a head start. then he brainstorms words that start with that letter and looks at the list to see if those words will fit anywhere. can you believe this?! it's a list people, 1,2,3,4,5... and you're supposed to go through it and think about what is best, not come up with whatever and then fit it into a catergory. tom's favorite part of the game is trying to sell his answer to the group. now i know why it's so hard to buy what he's selling: it's not the best answer he could come up with, it's the fastest. he tries to manipulate the situation so his answer works. thankfully most of the time people see through it. i guess the results speak for themselves, though. i won again.


tonight i made two new recipes from 'the illustrated kitchen bible'. i made "hamburgers" and "deep fried potatoes". warning: this is probably not the best post to follow the grinding my own grain eassy.

the burgers were nothing to write home about. i was a little skeptical about it when i saw the egg yolk. they're simple burgers, with said yolk, onions and salt and pepper. i put some extra seasonings in it. the best trick i learned from the burgers was broiling them! it's pretty cold here (not today, technically, since it's 9pm and 59' outside) and not having to go outside to use the grill is a perk. the burgers were juicy but the onions and lack of grill taste made it seem more like meatloaf than a burger. i'll return to the standard beef and seasonings but stick with the broil till it gets warm again. i was pleased to find my broiling pan in the basement and the clean up wasn't terrible.

the potatoes are always a work in progress. i tried the double fried method which means i fried them at 320' for 6 minutes, let them cool and then fried them for 3 minutes at 350'. next time i'll fry them the second time at 375' to get them a little crispier on the outside. they're fried potatoes, so they're pretty tasty. the real trick is adding the seasoning when they're all finished. you can use anything that you would normally put on burgers, a mesquite flavor is best. and the finer the better, it sticks to the fries. currently i have a larger blend that's not as cooperative for seasoning fries. but they're still yummy.

i'll be honest with you, i meant to serve a salad with the burgers, but who really wants to eat leafy greens with their burger? this meal is especially good with a cold coke.


Last night I read "the five fundamental transforamations to our foods and ways of eating". (Is that where the period goes? Susan? Joe?)

"Refining grains extends their shelf life (precisely because they are less nutritious to the pests that compete with us for their calories) and makes them easier to digest by removing the fiber that ordinarily slows the release of their sugars. Also the finer that flour is ground, the more surface area is exposed to digestive enzymes, so the quicker the starches turn to glucose...

"Refined flour is the first fast food...

"Before the roller-milling revolution, wheat was ground between big stone wheels, which could get white flour only so white. That's because while stone grinding removed the bran from the wheat kernel (and therefore the largest portion of the fiber), it couldn't remove the germ, or embryo, which contains volatile oils that are rich in nurtients. The stone wheels merely crushed the germ and released the oil." (107-8)

Pollan goes on to tell us that the germ that was released, but that also gave off a stinky odor and therefore was undesirable, actually contained "protein, folic acid, and other B vitamins; carotenes and other antioxidants; and omega-3 fatty acids." (108)

I wake up the next morning and go with Wyatt downstairs for some breakfast. Downstairs, you question. Yes, downstairs. We spent the night at Tom's parents' house, as we were having our early Christmas celebration. Shannon and Jason came up early so they don't have to come in December when she will be just three or so weeks away from delivering baby #4. I open the pantry and think, cereal. I know, how can I give him cereal after reading that scandalous information? Easy; he doesn't like eggs and we can't afford to give him yogart every morning. (How many yogarts do you know of that are inexpensive and don't have high fructose corn syrup or aspartame in them?) Life cereal looks like a sure bet, a little bit sweet (6 grams of sugar for 3/4 cup, not bad) and it has the guy with the black hat on the front. He kind of looks like a modern-day Moses, except he's a Quaker. The Quaker. Anyway Wyatt ends up eating the equivalent of about two bowls and is happy. Meanwhile I look at the box.

Oh no! What a scam. My eyes have been opened and now I feel like a terrible mother. On the box it states it is "an excellent source of B-vitamins to help convert food into energy". Is this the vitamin B that has been removed because it has been crushed to an unrecognizable state? Am I to believe that my son will have more energy from eating this pre-packaged food? Argh, this is so hard. The ingredient list starts off with whole grain oat flour, then sugar. Does one counteract the other? I'm so confused. Michael Pollan, help me!

Only two hours later I find out that Shannon, my Texan sister-in-law, ground her own wheat not long ago. And she said it wasn't too hard. About a year ago I had a woman ask me if I ground my own flour and I tried to not laugh out loud (and that's hard for me). Grind my own flour? I have indoor plumbing and electricity. Why would I grind my own flour? I wear pants and don't cover my hair, where would I get whole wheat? I have a car and lots of grocery stores, why waste time on making wheat into something edible when it already comes like that in a bag?

My trouble now is that I'm not asking myself those questions any more.

I realize that it will be a long journey before I convert to gluten-free baking. I prefer my bread to be light and moist and less like dehydrated space food. Cookies aren't good for you anyway, why try and mask them with healthy things like gluten-free flour, if there is such a think?

And this is my dilemma: I love to cook. More specifically, I love to bake. There are few things in life that can't be made better with a nice baked goodie. But I'm beginning to wonder, would some more whole grains in my diet kill me? Actually, it would probably help me, and my kids, live longer. And little by little we might notice a difference in our enery levels and overall health. There may even come a time in our lives when we don't have to take strawberry-flavored fish pills to get our Omega-3. Can you imagine?


wyatt william turned 3 this week. we had a bit of a flashback of the week he was born, three years ago tuesday. tom and i spent monday floating the niangua in missouri because the weather was so warm and the simons wanted to see our amazing paddling skills and lauren insisted on watching the kids. what a day. just like november 3rd, 2005, when tom, pop, papo and james went golfing and my water broke.

also, gas is down to under a dollar this week. on november 4th, 2005 the front page said "$2-a-gallon gasoline -- yes, even $2 gasoline -- can be... SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT" and had a big photograph of a gas sign reading "$1.99".

it was a good week; we got to see a lot of family and friends and celebrate little man and what a blessing he is to us. he's been praying a lot for people who are sick or sad and learning what it means to be thankful for what we have. he says a lot of silly things and a lot of brilliant things. some show stoppers from the last month:

-while riding in the car he told us, "i love God all the days of my life."
-he constantly reminds us to not be afraid, "God is on our side."
-when he sees someone crying he'll go up and put his hand on them and say reassuringly, "don't cry, you'll be alright."
-he's figuring out how to put on his shoes and sometimes his socks as well. whenever he tries to put his socks on he asks, "mama, this sock goes on this foot?" i've tried to explain to him that it doesn't matter, but that'll take some time, i think.
-the best: i was cutting his nails the other day (it seems i cut them every week, is that normal?) and i said, "wow, your nails are so long" and he said, "maybe my toes are getting smaller." bu-bum ching! (that's for you maas)

some photos from the night. if you're wanting a bit of video check out halfway through the night he wanted his little bible. i guess he wanted to share something with big cassie.
maasen is one of his favorite people. he feels so safe and happy with her and he always wants to say hi to her.
he was a bit in shock when i brought out the cake and we all sang. ultimately he just wanted the winnie the pooh candle. honestly, i was a little nervous he would have trouble blowing out the candle...i don't know why.
here it is! the fireman set from uncle joe. it came with three men, coats, hoses, water that shoots out, a pole to slide down, and a truck with a big bucket ladder. wowee! another great gift from his euro uncle.
a curious george book about firemen from gigi & papo. (almost as exciting as the bike he got) the book is written " in the style of margret & h.a. rey" so it's not quite the real thing. he doesn't get into trouble, which seems a little contradictory.
before the presents were opened each kid had a hard time resisting the curious george stuffed animal. cassie ended up cuddling it in the end. i think she may have even sung him "all the pretty little horses."
i had to include this photograph. i think this is when wyatt had his little bible out. it sure looks like he has something seriously important to tell cassie. he loves big cassie and always wants her to play with him, no matter what is going on.

*thanks lauren for taking the photos. what a blessing to have them so fast. is your turn around always that quick?


i hope obama reads the papers. there's no such thing as a two state solution. hamas will just want more.

"Israel launches first air strike on Gaza since June" Why?

...The Israeli army said the clashes erupted late Tuesday after its forces uncovered a tunnel in central Gaza that militants planned to use to abduct Israeli soldiers. It said a special army unit headed to the area to destroy the tunnel. One Palestinian was killed in fierce gunbattles that ensued.
Hamas then fired mortars across the Gaza border into southern Israel and Israel answered with the airstrike in the early hours of Wednesday, killing five suspected Palestinian militants, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. The army said the airstrike aimed at the mortar launchers and hit them...
The official said Israel did not intend to break the truce, noting that some 60 mortar have been fired since the cease-fire and Israel has chosen not to respond. -

i suppose now is as good of a time as any to tell you that i'm reading in defense of food by michael pollan. this book comes recommended by my brother joe, so here goes nothing. i'm a little worried about reading it but not because it's a hard academic book. from what i can tell it's full of important information about why the american diet is so screwed up and what we can do to change it.

dr. brooks rice lives with us and he is like a living version of this book. i've learned a lot of valuable things from him in our kitchen talk as we prepare food side-by-side. don't drink cow's milk, the protein is too big for humans to digest. don't drink soy milk, the levels of estrogen are too high. as a matter of fact avoid soy whenever you can (which is usually always) because it is a scavenger so it isn't so good for you anyway. eat vegetables with your protein to help you digest that protein. on and on. and this can be overwhelming when planning meals for a husband and two small children. am i introducing terrible eating habits in my children by feeding them macaroni and cheese? is it realistic to give them fresh organic produce if it means we can't pay our mortgage? (why is that word spelled that way?) (and i'm just kidding about that last one, they eat frozen organic veggies too, ha!)

so consider this the first of many posts focused on food. i guess it's not really the first, but rest assured, it will not be the last. get the book yourself, read through it. i'm sure you'll be shocked by margarine and kellogs cereal and the beef industry. i am.


sukkot, or the feast of tabernacles, is drawing to a close this week. we enjoyed our time in the sukkas, both at adat yeshua as well as in our back yard. it's just one more festival that puts us back in the world of Jesus, like in john 7:2, "But when the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles was near, 3 Jesus' brothers said to him, 'You ought to leave here and go to Judea, so that your disciples may see the miracles you do.'"

we learned a lot during this holiday season and even got to celebrate Hoshana Rabba (where we get our english word "hosannah"), something new in our experience of the high holidays . there's a water libation that they pour out on the altar during sukkot and it is an especially joyful occassion, unlike some of the other festivals that are observed (passover, yom kippur, to name a few). this makes what Jesus said in john 7:38 even more powerful: "Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him." he says this during the feast of tabernacles, sukkot, when the israelites are offering water libations. water. wow. as rabbi says, "that'll preach".

here are some photos from our sukkot adventure. the roof is supposed to be thatch so you can see through to the heavens. since we're gentiles we figure a mesh roof would work for now.

this is our sukka. we tried to spend the night in it, but eventually all slept in our beds. it ended with wyatt repeatedly saying, "i want to sleep in my bed." can you blame him?

he loves reading out of his "special bible" (as he calls it). during sukkot you're supposed to read through the book of deuteronomy. i'm not sure what they're reading, but it's from the old testament at least.

this is the sukka at AY. it's covered since we got a lot of rain this last week.

here are our good lookin' friends. we had supper in the sukka wednesday night, fighting off the cold in order to feed our faces. good bread, cassie. yum.

um, that's us. wyatt was asleep in the car. he made an appearance at the very end of the evening.

allison did the honor of reading from deuteronomy.

we met susan for lunch on thursday and she continued reading from deuteronomy. mima was supposed to join us but she and pop had to make an emergency to trip to mayo. we're thankful that G-d has answered our prayer and they are both on their way home as we "speak". pop should be recovering quickly, but keep praying for him.

wyatt didn't sleep through this meal. they loved looking at all the things hanging around the sukka. i especially loved the pictures of jewish men picking out their willow branches and holding up their lulavs. it's a fun holiday and one that i hope more people observe in the future. it was good enough for Jesus.


go ahead and JUMP! might as well...


potato soup - vegetarian style

6 cups diced potatoes
3 stalks celery, diced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cans chicken broth
4 cups rice milk
6 tablespoons butter, melted
8 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons vegetable recipe mix (knorr)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
dash of pepper

in a large pot bring potatoes, celery and onion to boil in broth. cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. pull out veggies, leaving broth. add milk. in a small bowl combine melted butter and flour. stir into broth/milk over medium heat with whisk. stir until thickened. then stir in reserved vegetables, recipe mix, garlic and pepper.

this turned out the way i wanted it, a bit thicker than the original recipe and now it's all vegetarian, for those requesting it (ahem, susan). serve with cheese, garlic bread and a salad and you've got a nice little meal. (adapted from "ultimate potato soup" by thumper74137)
baked potato soup (ultimate potato soup via, adjusted)

6 cups diced potatoes
3 stalks celery, diced
1 cup chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic*
3 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth, divided
1 cup heavy whipping cream*
3 cups rice milk*
6 tablespoons butter, melted
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large pot, bring potatoes, celery, garlic and onion to a boil in 2 cups of broth (or more*). Cook until potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid.
Combine reserved broth and half-and-half in pot. In a bowl, combine melted butter and flour. Stir into cream-rice milk mixture over medium heat. Stir until thickened. Stir in reserved vegetables, remaining broth, bouillon and pepper. Heat through and serve.

it's this easy. i made minor alterations, as noted with the signature *. enjoy. i did. for those of you wanting the original.
for the record, i did respond to susan's last post. and i commented directly to maas hours after her latest post as well. i think the more you post the more you respond. words of affirmation are important to me.

and i'd like to say to you blogworld: good work on updating your posts. i'm looking forward to having a few more minutes to read the 5 new posts.


look what i found in my garden: if this doesn't get any comments you are in big trouble...

i'm here to say that i have been posting, some good stuff by the way, and no comments are coming in...disappointed. shame on you people. i have better ways to spend my time than entertaining you. don't i?


in case you missed it this summer.


slow and steady wins the race, eh? wyatt's learning what pee-pee feels like. he sat on the toilet a lot today, meaning i read him "the little engine that could" while he peed every minute or two. i've learned that when i wake up in the morning i need to pray for a double portion of patience. i like to think we're making progress. tomorrow we are going to the dollar store to pick out their first toys for potty training. i'm hoping this is a motivator for the little ones.

other than that, it is COLD. i love it. we sometimes leave the front door open, but right now the whole house is closed up because it's supposed to be in the 40's tonight. will we turn on the heat? part of me wants to, but then the other part says, it's only september!

last night after the lesson for the kids (learning about mount gerizim and mount ebal and G-d's blessings and curses) harrison and big cassie went to town with the train set. i merely asked h-man to build a route that went around in the same direction for the train wash and the roundhouse. this is what happened:

herre's the petting zoo, with myriad of animals, as well as the mine shaft:
here's the modern art museum with the weird architecture:
and finally, jed's barn, with letter-block haystacks:
it's pretty brilliant, eh? it lasted till about 11am the next day, when little cassie and noah decided the tracks were more fun as individual pieces. not too surprising. glad i caught it on film. (p.s. uncle joe, send more track)



we're off. day three of potting training. it's a slow start; two kids who really don't mind pooping and peeing in their diapers. but we've had enough. "they" say you can't train a kid till he's ready, but i think if we praise wyatt enough he'll do it. he loves it when we get really excited, and we are stoked about poop in the toilet.

this morning i got cassie up and as i was carrying her into our bathroom wyatt hollered his typical morning hello: MAMA! (it sounds more like 'mameh') so tom jumped out of bed and got him up. there they sat, two little cuties with their bums on their respective toilets. he had already pooped a bit in his diaper but i knew there was more in there. so i told him to push and after some toots it happened! high-5's all around. he finished up so we decided cassie was finished too and when she got up what did we see? pee-pee! success. it's was a good potty morning...till cass hid in the garage while tom was getting ready for work. yup, she's a secret pooper. we'll have to work on that.


two different interpretations of 'row your boat' by the cutest in the house.

and to top it off, the abc's, minus a few letters. you know what he means.


two things:

one) is it hard to read this blog when the font is white and the background is brown? i like the way it looks, but is it user-friendly?

two) have you ever jumped on a trampoline so high you did two flips and three twists? if so then you could win a gold medal. seriously. it's simply called "trampoline". tom, sam, brooks and i watched a lot of this tonight. they wear little white socks and jump 40 feet high. it's definitely better than the equestrian competitions. please, those horses deserve some clover and a break.

and since i'm on the topic of the olympics, what's with usain bolt of jamaica showing off before he finished the race? he's fast, sure, but doesn't he realize that record will be broken next week? he should've finished the race instead of showboating (as some might call it). i'm disappointed.

who am i not disappointed in? the u.s.a. softball team (they're reminding the world why this isn't an olympic sport: no one can touch them); the sand volleyball teams (the women and men are exciting to watch. have you ever run on sand?); and the women's soccer competition, specifically brazil (the u.s. is good but i'm thinking marta is going to show everyone [pay attention, boys] what soccer looks like)

hope you're enjoying the summer games. we're getting a kick out of seeing the best athletes in the world put on a show. it makes me want to go exercise...or go to sleep.

our weekend: a video essay

we spent our weekend with a damsel in distress, baby cass. her runny nose turned into a fever friday and this is what we've been dealing with ever since. the nurse practitioner said aside from a little bit of a red throat she looks healthy. we'll blame it on her canines coming through, although she's never been this miserable before. she's got some serious lungs, but you might not be able to tell in the video because she's winding down at this point. help!!!

(after you watch this you might be wondering how i could just let her cry on the floor. trust me, i tried to hold her and console her. this turned out to be the best thing for both of us. also realize that she had been screaming like this long enough for me to think about getting the camera, and then to acutally get it.)

then she realizes things are going to be okay

and it's life as usual

the adventures are growing...
cassie has now pooped in the bathtub 3, THREE times in the last month. wyatt is on patrol now when we get in the tub and this evening it was a good thing. i'm reading the paper, sitting next to the tub when i hear him say, "oh yeah! cassie's poopin'!" i look over and sure enough, there's globs of poop in the tub under her naked tush. this time was more stinky than gross, so i'm thankful for that. tom and i clean them off, i clean the tub and tom heads off to a meeting while the kids play together. while i'm doing the dishes from dinner i let the toys soak in the sanitized tub with some soap, hoping to salvage our last remaining bath toys. but as i'm rinsing the pan in the kitchen i hear some laughter and then wyatt's broken exclamation, "cassie..." but he trails off and as i rush down the hall i hear a panicked cry from cass. there she is, laying on her back in her pajamas in the tub filled with about two inches of soapy water. awesome. as if cleaning the tub of poop wasn't enough adventure for the evening now i have a fully clothed sudsy daughter. i tell wyatt to "go to your room" (as i was saying it i thought, i can't believe i'm saying this. i guess it was a minor punishment for misleading his little sister to think that playing in the bathroom was alright) and strip her down. she is not thrilled about the impromptu bath in the kitchen sink but i have to make sure there's no soap in her eyes or hair before i put her to bed, as a sort of punishment for climbing in the tub. i think it was more of a relief for her; she no longer had to make decisions on what was smart and what was fun.

is this how it will always be, the two of them together but cassie always pushing the envelope a little more than wyatt? i'm hoping his level-headedness will even out her thrill-seeking. and vice-versa.

and in other bathroom news, i asked wyatt to help me out when i was using the bathroom tonight. all i needed was a few squares of t.p. since tom didn't replace the back-up roll and i used the remaining toilet paper to clean the smears of poop off the tub. this is what i got:

but in cute and clean news, here's wyatt with his arranged-marriage wife, mira jane mcinnes. we're hoping jack and stephanie will stick with the verbal contract we made while mira was still in the womb because this girl came out cuter than any newborn has a right to be. i mean, c'mon, when they're that little they aren't the most attractive creatures. but she was, and is, the cutest little redhead we know. wyatt even talked about stephanie tonight, and asked about "that guy." i can only assume he meant jack. tonight after we prayed for pop wyatt asked me if he could see a pancreas. it took five minutes for me to figure out what he was saying, since it orignally sounded like "pan-is-sus" but i finally figured it out. this is what i plan on showing him. i think it would be more helpful if it was animated, but we'll take what we can get.

we're keeping pop in our prayers, trusting that the surgeon will be guided by Divine hands and that at least half of mike's pancreas will be cancer free and healthy. we're believing that the heart attack last summer was a gift from God to lead the doctors to this problem and that it will be all His glory when pop is able to retire healthy and happy. we love you, pop!


the harvest is coming. these are the first of many 'sweet 100's', aka cherry tomatoes. tom and i enjoyed them, short lived as it was. i'm believing there will be a bountiful crop this summer.

the peppers are another story. my neighbor karen told me when they grew peppers it took longer for them to show up, more of a fall food. i'm encouraged by this news because i go out every day and see my tomatoes and cucumbers growing at warp speed and then the peppers do nothing. even the zucchini are producing more flowers and i think i have two actually growing. she said once the zucchini with those giant leaves start growing they'll really take off.

there's something invigorating about growing food. it puts you in touch with the Lord's design, because i'm not really doing anything. if it doesn't rain every couple of days (which it usually does) then i water them myself. i've fertilized them with 'fish poop' and weeded out the unwanted. other than that God makes the sun shine at the right times and makes the soil healthy. the bugs haven't even been a big trouble, i just spray a little soapy water on the leaves and it seems to keeps them away for a while. i spot a few spiders and ladybugs in the garden and thank God that he's bringing these guys around.

whenever i go out there and see something growing bigger or getting redder i get a little thrill. it's like when wyatt started singing "twinkle twinkle" or cassie started saying "please." it makes me feel like i'm doing something right. and then i get to eat the accomplishment, which is really what i want to do with my kids, but there's a word for that: cannibalism. so i'll slice up my cucumbers and tomatoes and watch the kids run around, instead. it's a good compromise.


wyatt and cass had a hard time posing for their photo shoot, but you get the picture...haha. the boots are too big for cass, and the camo shoes are getting too small for wyatt, but the shirts fit just right. thanks maasen, you rock! hahaha, i am so punny.
i like to think this could run as an advertisement. pretty cassidy and pensive wyatt.


Watch the cucumber.
See how he moves.
Like a lion
chasing a mouse.
Watch the cucumber
oh how smooth his motions...
like butter on a... bald... monkey
Watch the cucumber
all the vegetables
envy their friend
wishing to dance as he.
Dancing cucumber
dancing cucumber
dancing cucumber
dance dance yeah!

zucchini on the right, cucumbers next to them and then crawling up the lattice. some tomatoes in the cages.
green and red peppers in the front, cherry tomatoes and early girl tomatoes and kohl rabi in between.

we're going to have gazpacho and insalata caprese all summer long. come on over.


riddle me this: what kind of animal is this? see poll at right ---> (the polls are not working right now, but what do you think?)
is this animal a:
a) zebra
b) tiger
c) zeber
d) tigra


pictures to come soon...

you heard right, the little cherry tomatoes are poking their green heads out. and the invasive cucumbers are growing everywhere. i'm surprised there wasn't a movie called 'attack of the killer cucumbers.' if nothing else the aliteration is nice. the bugs have not bitten (that i can tell), the squirrels have not pestered, the rabbits have not nibbled. i love having a dog. especially when she's healthy.

we're thanking the Lord for his rain and his sun and his protection from varmints. susan expressed concern that the harvest (from my yard) will come while she's in israel. i think it will start then, but spill over into the rest of summer and early fall. i've gotten bit with the garden bug, it's a friendly green one, with yellow flowers and a veggie smell. i want more land, more soil, more sun, more crops! we'll have to see where we can expand next year. look out, merriam marketplace. 6860 may be opening shop.

and with that said, there is an old man who lives by county line and antioch who sits outside on his driveway with a little table of his produce, ready to sell to anyone who stops. wyatt's not too young for a job, he already drives his dump truck to home depot. look out bob and larry...your time is coming!


she loves the playground.


she's got moves. and he's got his boombox.



here's wyatt playing with bob the builder and wendy. you can hear him say, "i fall down." then he asks them to help him up, and of course they do.
and then there's cassie, trying to walk over the threshold while holding her drink. just a tidbit of life in our home this morning.
things my kids do:

cassie walks now. not all the time but she can if she feels like showing off.

wyatt says "goblessyou" when we sneeze and cough.

she's learning just how loud she can yell. and then wyatt tells her, "too loud, cassie."

he pretends to fall down a lot, laughs and says, "woa, i fall down."

she's figured out that smiling and laughing as people pass her at the grocery store gets their attention.

he wipes off our kisses.

she says "hi" and "buh-bye" and waves.

he's learning to identify the school bus by the sound it makes as it comes down our street each morning.

she's learning how to crawl in dresses and skirts -- with her knees locked and her bum in the air.

he can open the back door to let yuma in when she barks.

she can get her drink off her high chair by herself.

and just as i'm typing this wyatt came up with a stack of blocks and said, "i got you flowers, mama." he's watching his papa's example. aren't they pretty flowers?


it's been one of those weeks where the kids are C-U-T-E. i can't help it. they are really fun.

also, on a parenting note, i've realized , finally, that when they start making bad decisions (throwing toys, playing with the toilet paper, crying incessantly, messing in yuma's water) it's because they are tired. wow. and then the other night tom and i almost go into it about what i don't remember, and then i realized: he's tired (we both probably were), he's making bad decisions. i'm working on a big learning curve, here.

here's the cheeser in her favorite hat. she plays with this hat from aunt ann all the time
she wants to be like her brother. camo shirt, camo shoes. (wyatt never wore white jeans, though)
wyatt counts the omer every night (that we remember) waiting for bible stories after bathtime full on cheese. she's racing towards the camera.