Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Piper weighs 70 lbs. She's 5.5 months old. Crazy! She's gaining 4 lbs a week. Wow, that reminds me of one of my pregnancies.....

G has learned to tie her shoes! She's SO insanely proud.

M can spell MOM on the Word Whammer on the fridge. "Yook! I make YOU!" She's very proud too!

A is quite a wonderful dog owner. Piper obviously loves her the best. And why shouldn't she? A spends much of every day rolling on the floor with her, teaching her to lay down, holding the leash when we're out walking and picking up insane amounts of dog poo. She's very good at it.

The history fair

We've spent the last few days working hard on A's display for the local homeschool history fair. She did a display on the Japanese Internment Camps of WWII. This wasn't just a piece of history, but a piece of her family history.

At the fair people walked around and looked at the booths and received a stamp for each time period. One man read A's entire display and then gushed at her at how she was to be commended for doing such a neat display on her family history. That man's my new best friend. He made me totally feel like all our hard work was worth it!

If you'd like to know what the little bits of info say, keep reading. :)

My great-grandpa , George was born in California in 1917. He was raised in Japan by relatives and came back to California in 1935.

My great grandpa is a nisei. He was born in America. His parents are issei. They came to America from Japan.

He couldn’t speak English. He worked as a dishwasher, a strawberry picker and went to school.
He lived in California and started a produce stand with a friend. His friend had a daughter in Japan that he said Grandpa should marry and she was coming on a boat from Japan.

December 7, 1941 The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor,Hawaii. So his friend’s daughter’s boat was sent back to Japan.

Another friend knew a family who were planning to go back to Japan. But the boat didn’t come because of Pearl Harbor’s attack. In January 1942 grandpa was introduced to Matsuye Takusagawa, who couldn’t go back to Japan because the ship didn’t arrive.

February 9, 1942 President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 to make camps for people of Japanese heritage.

The US government set up internment camps in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, North Dakota, New Mexico, Texas, Utah Arizona and Arkansas.

March 1, 1942 Grandpa learned that even though he was an American citizen he would have to go to camp. Between 110,000 and 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to camps.

This is a picture of the sign that told the Japanese they had to go to camps.

Japanese Americans were moved off the West Coast because the US was afraid they would spy for Japan. During the war, 10 people were caught for spying but they were not Japanese.
Before they went to camp, Grandpa owned two grocery stores. He didn’t know how long he would be at camp, so he tried to sell them. But everyone knew he was going to camp, so they didn’t buy it because they could just take it when he was gone.

March 28, 1942 Grandpa and Grandma got married so they could go to camp together.
They could move east of the Rockies or go to camp, but since they didn’t know anyone east of the Rockies they went to camp.

They could only take what they could carry. There other things were put into storage. The things in storage were stolen while they were at the camp.

Grandpa went to Turlock, California Assembly Center with Grandma, her three sisters and her mom. They lived there for 6 months and were bored.

Nisan means head of the family and that’s what they called grandpa.

They lived all together in one 12 by 20 foot room that only had beds. They had to make furniture with scrap lumber or boxes.

Next they were moved to Gila, AZ. Grandpa laid flooring in the barracks. He made model ships for the Navy and camouflage nets for the Army. The women helped cook and serve food. they made 16 dollars a month.

In camps they were asked a two question test: 1. Would you fight for America? 2. Are you against the Japanese emperor? Grandpa said yes to both. But he knew someone who said no, and they were sent back to Japan.

This is a picture of the Gila River, Arizona internment camp.

In the camps they had small rooms, cots and sugar, even though sugar was rationed everywhere else.

This is a picture of the houses they lived in at camp.

Pat Morita, who is an actor from the Karate Kid movies, lived at the Gila River camp, too.

After 2 years in Gila, Grandpa left for Omaha, Nebraska to look for a job. He lived in a YMCA and worked as a carpenter. Then he went to work for a small company, called Oriental Trading Company, making $20 per week. He went and got Grandma from camp and they settled in Omaha.

In Omaha, they had a hard time finding a place to live because they were Japanese.

March 1, 1942 Grandpa learned that even though he was an American citizen he would have to go to camp. Between 110,000 and 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to camps.
In 1988, President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which gave each surviving Japanese American who’d lived in the camps $20,000.

This is my great grandpa and grandma at their 65th wedding anniversary party.

This is my grandpa, dad and great grandpa.
I got the information for this display from the internet and my great grandpa.

Friday, April 25, 2008

She's gifted!

We did errands this morning. We were on the hunt for the supplies we need for A's History Fair display and we went to 5 stores before coming home. It was a long morning.

As we were walking between stores at a strip mall, we noticed one of those cool write on boards advertising a sale at a store we were passing. The sign was written with different colors and since it was down low, it caught M's eye.

She went to the sign and running her finger under one line of words, she said, "Don't go in this store!".

I'm thinkin' she's not going to grow up and be in advertising nor a personal shopper. LOL

Thursday, April 24, 2008


It's raining here and Piper needed to go out. So, the DaddyMan opened the door and let her out.

Then he stood at the door, gazing at the newly installed fence.

"Man, that new fence is AWESOME!"

Me thinks he's tired of walking the dog when it's wet or cold.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Tonight after dinner, the DaddyMan and A were telling me about an encounter with a pesky neighborhood kid. The DaddyMan said he had a few choice things he wanted to tell this child. I told him that I was impressed that he DIDN'T tell the child to take a flying leap or play in traffic. A thought that was very funny.

So, being the godly woman that I am (stop that snorting!), I asked her if Jesus would say such a thing to someone.

"Well, He would if He knew 'em!"

Looks like tomorrow we're steppin' up the Bible learnin' round these parts....

Aack! They're growing too fast!

Piper's growing too fast. She's already outgrown the crate that our full grown dalmatian used. So, I bought the "Extra Large Dog Crate." It's much bigger. So much bigger, in fact, that the two legged animals around her quickly claimed it as a playhouse.

A even went so far as to ask, "Can I sleep in here with her??" Um...no, honey. Parents go to jail for that honey. Sheesh! What are you tryin' to do?? Make me look like a bad mom??

A few minutes later, they decided to be vicious lions in the zoo. Notice M barely needs to duck? Oh yeah, this is the EXTRA large crate.

Several minutes later, it was G's turn to be the animal keeper. She seems rather ecstatic to be in control, don'tcha think?

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dear Grandma

Dear Grandma B,
Thank you for the cool box of goodies. I LOVE all the beads you sent and the NeoPet is lots of fun too.

We all enjoyed eating the taffy too. It is um....chewy. And sticky. I really like it though. Did you know that letting taffy pull out your teeth is less painful than wiggling them yourself?

Thanks again!
Love, A

P.S. Please remind the tooth fairy that she owes me for two teeth. Do I get double when I pull out two in two days?? I think I should.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Another day

At MOPS today, G's teacher did face painting. A managed to find time to 'help' in that room and got her face painted too. I thought it looked really great!

I did not get a picture of the dolphin that A painted on G's face tho. Ooops. Tonight at bedtime I told them to be sure to wash their faces and I gave A instructions on just what to use. When I checked a bit later, I noticed G's dolphin wasn't completely gone. I told her to hold still so I could scrub it off.

She informed me, "I washed it off with my toothbrush. It turned my toothbrush blue."


In other bits o' yumminess today, Grandma B sent a box of goodies. In it was a bag of taffy. A immediately popped one in her mouth and moseyed away. A minute later she was back, holding a bloody kleenex and a molar. Apparently, when she bit into the taffy, it pulled the tooth that was so barely loose I couldn't tell when she tried to show me, right out! She thought that was a far superior way to pull teeth than the old 'wiggle 'em to death' method.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Calgon...take me far far away.....

Yesterday the fence guys came and outlined my yard with pretty cedar posts that they dug deeply into the ground and then filled in with cement. After a day's work, they said they'd be back on Monday to finish up. WhooHOOO!

Today, while walking The Hairy Beast, the neighbor who lives kinda behind us asked if he could show me something. He showed me the pin that marks the corner of his lot. Ideally, that should run in a straight line across the back of my lot. It didn't.

We decided to investigate. We looked up the neighborhood online and found a plat mat of the 'hood with measurements. My handy dandy ever so helpful Lutheran pastor neighbor was a true Godsend. He proceded to spend the next TWO HOURS helping me (okay, um, he did most of the work) dig until we found both of the surveyor's pins on the back corners of my lot.

And....they didn't line up with where my pretty new fence posts were. Aaack!

They didn't line up to the tune of 5 feet into the neighbor's yard on one side and on the other side of the yard, that neighbor was getting about 6 feet of my yard on the outside of the fence. Double aack!

So, I decided to call The DaddyMan. The DaddyMan was of course, in the sticks somewhere and had shoddy cell reception. Since I knew he'd tell me to call the fence guys anyway, I just skipped over the "Inform husband first" step and moved on. (Remind me to tell you sometime how I skipped that step when I learned I was pregnant with G.) The fence guys were here within 30 minutes of my "Houston we have a problem" call. An hour later, they were back with machinery to rip out all but about 10 fence posts.

I'm thinkin' that I will not have a fence by the end of next week. Somehow between this snafu and the rain that's forecasted, I'm going to be walking the Hairy Beast a few more days. Oh well.

Thankfully, before all this went down, we'd done most of school for the day. We'd also bought $200 worth of groceries and managed to put away the perishables, leaving the rest scattered ALL over the kitchen. We had not managed to clean up the house from those two endeavors or lunch. I'm very humbled by the fact that both my new best friend Lutheran pastor neighbor AND the uber kind fence guy got to see my trashed house. (I think it's great that this pastor knows I was baptised and confirmed in his denomination and am now a Baptist.....gosh, he's a good guy. Or maybe he was just lookin' for sermon fodder, since he was supposed to be writing this weeks' sermon and instead he was working on my yard. Whatta nice guy!)

Um yeah, 'cause like, I homeschool and I um, am a housewife and um....my house uh, really doesn't normally look like this.



Apparently, after telling of my children's sins while shopping, I felt the need to take a few days off and deal with them instead of blogging. Or I just got too busy walking the dog, attempting to teach my children a few more things before the end of the school year or watching the fence guys outline my yard. Or I just had really bad PMS and had nothing nice to say. You can decide.

I did finish something. For my ADD self, this is big. And actually...it's not really finished. Just the quilt top is finished. I still need to put all the layers together, baste it and then actually quilt it and bind it and THEN it will be finished. Geez, after realizing how much is left to do, it no longer sounds like I've truly accomplished something great.

It's hard to tell from this one small photo, but this baby's actually twin sized and will fit on M's bed when it's all done. Maybe I'll put up pictures when that happens.

I also made two duvet covers for Carrie's girls. They were fun. I broke out the snap setter to use on them too. The DaddyMan heard me hammering my latest sewing project so he showed up to help and wound up putting a bunch of the snaps on for me. Aaah, we're such a team. Or else he just likes the chance to use a hammer.

We went to see Nim's Island. The DaddyMan called it "a cross between the Swiss Family Robinson and MacGyver". Since I'm too young for MacGyver, I just thought it was a good movie and we all enjoyed it. If you get a big enough thing of popcorn, even M will sit thru a movie.

I really need to buy groceries. I need to buy a lot of groceries which means I should go to the really big store and get everything at once. I'm just not sure if I'm pysched up enough to take my three delightful little shoppers out again after that last shopping trip. Maybe we'll just order delivery until I feel like going. Or live on pancakes with no syrup, since I'm out of syrup too.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Shopping with children

Two days ago, I went to the mall with my children. We perused some stores and stopped at one that has bras I like. Or used to. A couple years they discontinued my favorite and I'm still on the hunt for one to replace it. I'm still upset.

In my quest for the perfect bra, I chatted with a saleslady who's built like me and I took her advice on a new style to try. Then I took two sizes and three children into the dressing room. Someone else entered the room right next to ours. Greaaat.

I disrobed. One of them asked to hold my bra and the next thing I knew, A says loudly, "Hey! Look at my kneepads!".

"Shhhh." I replied

I tried on the first bra and while it lifted the girls up to where they belonged it wasn't right. They felt squished and top heavy. It wasn't pretty.

About then A announced she had on a new hat. "Do you like my party hat??" she asked.

"Shhhhh!" I replied (trying hard not to crack up at how goofy she looked and at how well she'd made my bra fit. No wonder it doesn't hold me up like it should!)

I tried on the next bra. It wasn't pretty at all.

"Hey look! M and I are those twins that are hooked together!"

"Shhhhh.....snort!" Okay, the sight of TWO of my children wearing the cups of my bra as hats was too much. Adding in the left out middle child who's now PROUDLY wearing the first bra I'd tried on.... oh man..... they were killing me.

We didn't buy anything.

Anybody surprised?

So, today, my pride is restored and we ventured to Kohls to use my "30% off everything including sale items coupon". I needed new tennies. I figured buying tennies would be far less humiliating than trying to buy bras had been. A found me some lovely gray and purple Nikes and declared them "the shoe you need!"

The sign above the Nikes said, "Find your Happy Place" and A was convinced that if I bought the gray and purple ones, I'd find my happy place. We laughed about that and how silly advertising is. Then I forgot about it.

About 90 minutes later after looking at everything.in.the.entire.store, we finally got to the checkoutline. I chatted with the lady behind me who started telling me about a great swing for the yard they bought and how she was planning to spend lots of time in it this summer. A told her it could be her happy place. Then she informed her that her mom's happy place involved "fruity drinks with little umbrellas and cherries on a wittle plastic sword."

The lady smiled and said, "Ooh, I wish I lived at your house."

I could only reply, "I wish that's how it was there."

Two shopping days with my children in one week. I really could use a fruity drink about now.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I need a new hobby

Beth thinks my dog seems lazy. You think this is lazy? Or does everyone's dog lay down to eat?
(yes I know, elevated food bowls will be in our future.)

Here she is trying out a new dog bed. If you sit or lay on the floor, you will be sat on. This is cute at 55 lbs (even tho he grunted pretty bad when she laid down!) but I'm thinkin' in another 50 he won't laugh as hard.

Drumroll please......
It's time for.......
an ACTION shot!!
If you look close, you can see, one paw is actually off.the.ground! I think she was mostly hurrying 'cause it was raining and she'd done her deed and wanted to come back in the warm house so she could find a warm spot to curl up and lay down. But that's just a guess.

Monday, April 7, 2008

More fun times!

It's become a bit of a tradition that when all these kids are together, we force them to pile on the couch so we can get a good picture of everyone. (See previous example here.) Announcing, "It's picture time, everybody get on the couch!" usually creates some chaos that looks something like this.

Once everyone's sitting by the right person (or on them, as the case may be), we have to work on proper expressions. This can take several tries.

And then, once in a very rare blue moon..... you actually get a picture of 8 kids between 3 and 12 years who all SIMULTANEOUSLY look at the camera AND smile like normal human beings.

Unlike this child.
(She's hugging her beloved Miss Carrie, the one who loves her more than anyone else apparently. I know this because if I say, "Who loves you??" she will ALWAYS respond with "Miss Carrie!" If I'm lucky, I get second billing.)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Piper in action

Many people have commented about how lazy my dog seems to be. So, I took a video of her just so you can see what she's really like. We call this one"Piper the Ferocious Guard Dog: Doing what she can to keep us Safe."

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Spring has officially sprung! Know how I know?? I went garage salin' today!! I LOVE garage sales!

The first sale was a hit--DVD movies 4 for $10, Hanna Andersson dresses for $5 and other great goodies. Then I went to a big consignment sale near the city and struck out pretty much. I'll skip that one next year.

I came home and showed A that I'd bought them Shrek, which is a movie they've been wanting.

She hugged me and said, "You're my favorite!"

I had to ask, "Wasn't I before??"

She replied, "Are you sure??"

Brat. Next week I'm buyin' her school stuff. :P

I remembered something else funny that happened while Scott and Carrie were here. Captain DaddyMan took Scott flying and Scott took a bunch of pictures. He put them on his laptop in a slideshow and set it to music. I can't remember the song name, but the lyrics are "It's all because of Jesus, I'm alive."


Friday, April 4, 2008

Friends, Food and Fun

Our dear friends Scott and Carrie made the trip to visit us this week. Carrie spoke about 'intimacy' at my mom's group this week and the whole family was able to come for 2 nights. We had so much fun. I mean really, 4 adults, 8 kids and two 50+ pound dogs in 2000 square feet is bound to be fun, don'tcha think?

Carrie's talk was AMAZING! She did a wonderful job and seeing the faces of the women she encouraged was great. Considering we'd been up until almost 2 am that morning, she inspires me that she can function so well on 4 hours of sleep. I was nursing a killer headache and feelin' whiny.

Carrie and I talk on the phone multiple times a week (sometimes multiple times in the same day, thank God for unlimited long distance!). She regularly makes me laugh until I snort and this trip was no different.

Here's a list of: Things that made me laugh REALLY hard the last couple of days.

They got in late the first night and I had to put my girls to bed before they arrived. In the morning, I heard M say something to their youngest son about "gonna marry you". I swear, I'm NOT pushing that on them, but I would probably admit to praying that way. Regularly.

Someone who shall remain unmentioned, left the lid open on the toilet. Piper discovered a new source of fresh cold water and helped herself to a drink. Since Mr. Scott was being a good daddy and entertaining all the children in the middle of the floor, he was an eager target for the dog who needed to lick someone's cheek after getting a drink.

Their oldest daughter is 12. I burped, weakly and she rated it a 5. I told her it wasn't deserving a five, really only more like a 2. "You're right, but since you're feeding me, I figured I should be nice." (Okay, in type that sounds sassy, but she's SO not and it was said with such a fun tone that I cracked up!) And I'm still laughing the their preteen knows where her next meal is comin' from so therefore she needs to be polite.

During Carrie's talk at my mom's group at chuch, she referred to Scott as "My current husband. Er, um.. I mean, my only husband." I laughed really hard at the time (but didn't snort, 'cause she said if I did during her talk she'd mess up) but later that night, when we told Scott about it, the look on HIS face was so stinkin' funny that I laughed about 5 times harder than the first time.

There were a few other things that made me laugh 'til my cheeks hurt as well as my abs (best workout they'd had in MONTHS!) but some I just can't share publicly. It was a truly a great time of fellowship.

As they pulled out of the driveway, poor Gabrielle lamented all our hearts, "We're not going to see them ever again...... until May."

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A measuring stick

Since our puppy's growing kinda fast, I think it's fun to see how big she is next to the children who are also growing waaaay too fast. Here's Piper next to M. More or less, M was worried she'd get licked.

And here you can see that head to rump, Piper and A are about the same.
Stay tuned to see who gets bigger faster. ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Today's great decision

It's April 1st. It's technically spring and it has been for 10 days. God hasn't brought spring to Wisconsin yet tho.

Today I'm doing laundry and making the girls wash their bedding. Which means at some point today I'm going to have to remake all those beds.

Do I put the flannel sheets back on and thereby save myself the hassle of folding them all?

Or do I believe that spring really will show up soon and put on their regular sheets?


Oh and since the day's not complete without a Piper picture, here's Sleeping Beauty enjoying the pile of bedding that needs washed.

Why yes, that is a Pottery Barn quilt she decided to lay on. Apparently it looks more comfortable than the pile of rugs and jeans on the laundry room floor.