Tuesday, November 30, 2010


My mother had a brilliant idea this year and invited her children to participate in a cookie exchange. Three of us took her up on it, so for Thanksgiving we each made two types of cookie dough, formed them into four logs each and froze them. Then we traded. I now have eight different types of cookie dough in my freezer.
It rained today. (I know! Can you believe Western Oregon would be getting rain in November? Shocking.) Born and raised a true Oregonian, I did the sensible thing. I bundled the kids into rain boots and coats, and we did our best to get as muddy and cold as possible. This became the perfect opportunity to slice off a few cookies from a roll or two and bake them. Ten minutes later, the kids had on dry socks and we were dunking warm cookies into hot chocolate.
My mother is a genius.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We went for a long walk.

When we moved to Eugene we learned about a place where they have a model of the solar system done to scale. (I think it's 1: 1Billion, but I don't know for sure.) My two younger sisters both went to school here, and they said they had seen it, but were never able to find Pluto, even though they had walked all over the city. They didn't seem to believe it could be done. I took this as a challenge and set out to prove them wrong. Of course I needed photographic evidence. One lovely afternoon, after Isaac got off work, we began our quest. The inner planets were easy. Standing at the sun, you can see these first four, so it was just a matter of getting our grumpy kids to stand still long enough to get a picture.

The Sun
(I don't think you can even see it in this picture, it's so small compared to the sun.)
Earth and its moon
Once we finished the inner planets, it was time to call it a day. We had gotten a late start, the kids were not feeling cooperative, and everybody was hungry. Several weeks later, Isaac suggested we spend Saturday looking for the outer planets and completing our goal. We packed some snacks, grabbed the wagon, and headed out. We parked near Jupiter, which cut off about half a mile from our trek.
In this picture, Lizzy is wondering why the actual planet is missing from its pedestal and why the information plaque is missing. I don't know. It gave me a bad feeling about finding Pluto, though.
Neptune was also missing its planet and information. Now I was really nervous. I really wanted to prove my sisters wrong, but if someone was going around ripping planets off their pedestals, could I really expect Pluto to be safe? It's not even considered a planet anymore!
Well, we walked quite a bit further (a total of about three miles) and we knew we would have to eventually turn around and walk those three miles back to the car, so our resolve was fading a bit. Actually, the children's resolve was fading. Sometimes a mother has to make sacrifices. So when the path suddenly forked and we weren't sure which way to go, we left it entirely and went to McDonald's. After our late lunch, Bear couldn't take it any more, and simply went to sleep.
In order to lay him down in the wagon, Lizzy had to get out, which did not make her happy in the slightest. Lucky for her, she has a nice strong daddy, and she was still riding in style.As we were passing through the park on the way back, we found something very neat. I'm not sure how well you can see it in this picture, but there is a perfect circle of mushrooms around this tree. We were pretty sure it was a fairy circle, so Lizzy and I jumped in it. She says she saw a fairy, too.
So, no. We have not yet found Pluto, but I have not given up. We're pretty sure now, which fork in the path will lead to the last of the planets, and we were ridiculously close when we turned around. We will find it.

Thanksgiving Weekend

We ate a lot of turkey. The grocery store had a deal that we couldn't pass up, so Isaac insisted on cooking a turkey for our family last Sunday. It was a small one, but we still ate it for a good three days. And then we went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving, where there was more very delicious turkey. The day after Thanksgiving, we skipped the shopping frenzy and went back up to Hillsboro to spend the day with Isaac's cousins. Of course we had Turkey for lunch. I must admit that I am not a big fan of turkey, but every time we ate it I really enjoyed it. Maybe it was the excellent company.
On Saturday we officially put turkey behind us and headed off to get a Christmas tree. It didn't take us very long to find the perfect tree, but it did take a bit of effort to keep it from falling on the kids whenever they walked too close. It turns out we needed a new tree stand AND the tree was crooked. This morning Lizzy came stumbling out of her room and walked around the living room looking a little confused. Then she crouched down and looked under the Christmas tree. She kept her head cocked for a few moments and then came to stand right in front of me. "Mom," she said, "it's morning time."
"Yeah. So?" (Her mom is a bit of a grump in the morning.)
"But - it's Christmas..."
So then I had to explain that it wouldn't be Christmas morning for a few more weeks. I think she was disappointed, but also relieved that we hadn't just forgotten.

Our tree

Thursday, November 11, 2010

This is what childhood is all about

But that's just my opinion.

The world according to Lizzy

Please enjoy a random assortments of Lizzy quotes.

-He's only a baby, Mom! Leave him alone!

-I like ladybugs and unicorns, but not so much dolphins, because some dolphins are mean. Did you know that, Mom?

-How could you do this to me?

-Hows about you don't ask me again?

(when asked why she had to grow up):
-Because I want to ride the grown-up rides at the fair.

-We wouldn't want to accidentally look ordinary.

-I pulled open my drawer, and I said to myself, 'I am a princess, and princesses need dresses.'

-Does a banana stay on a rooftop? No! (This was a joke she told me while riding in the car.)

(While acting out the story of Cinderella, the wicked step-mother told her to scrub the toilet.)
-But... I really don't want to.