Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sleepy Time

We play a little game with our kids at bed time.  Ben and I give each child an imaginary "sleepy cookie" to send them off to dream land.  It's a silly little thing that sometimes morphs into a game.  We've doled out "sleepy salads", "sleepy tuna fish sandwiches" and "sleepy pizza".

Tonight we had a new request.  Our two-year-old would not lay down until she had received her nightly allotment of "sleepy mashed potatoes."

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Anniversary :-)

Nine years ago today I married my high school sweetheart.  Happy Anniversary Benjie!

We have big plans for this evening ;-).  We will go to the Zoolights and then out for East Indian food.  The three oldest kids are sleeping over at my sister's and the littlest Inkling will tag along with Mommy and Daddy.

It will be a great day!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas Gifts

Today was just about the perfect winter day.  Not too cold.  Snow in the morning.  The kids spent the day enjoying some much-loved Christmas gifts. 

This afternoon I took the boys out sledding on the little hill behind our house.  Our three eldest children received sleds and helmets for Christmas.  The boys have already been out a couple times with their new sleds this week.  They had a ball sliding down the hill and trudging back up this afternoon.  (They also discovered that the incline along the side of the house is a pretty sweet sliding spot.)  The weather for sledding was absolutely ideal and Mommy had a great time too!

Ben and I gave the children a little CD player and several Focus on the Family radio dramas for Christmas.  Our eldest son, in particular, loves listening to the CDs.  He set up a mini "radio theatre" in his bedroom, complete with chairs for the audience.  The kids have been listening to the Chronicles of Narnia in their new "theatre".

I think this was one of the first Christmases Ben and I didn't feel overwhelmed by gifts.  (Thank you, family!  We really appreciate you all.)  Our kids received some great things:  passes to the zoo and Heritage Park, sleds and skates, clothes, books, a few toys (none requiring batteries!), a small DVD player and some movies.  We gave our children the aforementioned CDs and a few new costumes for their dress-up box. Our kids were definitely blessed but Christmas wasn't over the top. 

We are very, very thankful!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

And Now I Feel Awful

We had some friends over for supper this evening.  They have two busy toddlers of their own, and combined with our four, the house was full of energy!  At one point in the evening my friend paused to show me her one-year-old daughter's cheeks.

"I felt so, so awful," related my friend, "I took my little girl out sledding on one of those really cold days.  We weren't out long...maybe 20 minutes...but when we came back inside her cheeks were bright red. They're still kind of reddish-purple now and my MIL (who is a nurse) says it is frostbite.  I know she's right, deep down I know, it really is frostbite..."

My heart sunk down to my boots.  I looked at my eight-month-old's cheeks.  They've been a weird reddish-purple colour the past few days. And I've wondered...ever since that really cold day I bundled him up to walk to his brother's school...the day his cheeks got really red.  Could he have frostbite too?

And just like my friend, I knew, deep down in my heart, that frostbite was the answer. 

I now feel awful.  Horribly awful.  My poor baby's cheeks are in even worse shape than my friend's.  They don't seem to hurt him, and I don't believe there is anything I can do to treat them.  Time will heal the damage eventually, I hope.  We'll always have to be vigilant with our son when it's cold out.

And even though our eldest son's school is right across the street, I have resolved that on really cold days we will now drive the van!

Friday, December 26, 2008

O Holy Night

The congregation stood in reverent silence.  The gentle glow of candlelight warmed the sanctuary as our pastor shared a Christmas message of hope.  

(Our children fidgeted and squirmed.)

The pastor continued to speak.  He spoke and spoke.  He spoke some more.  My husband and I tried to keep small fingers away from flickering candles.  The potential for singed eyebrows alarmed me.

"... at times," our pastor intoned, "We tend to live fraudulent lives..."

Our five-year-old grinned and loudly responded, "Well, at least we don't live flatulent lives!"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Merry Christmas to all our family and friends!  We hope you have a wonderful holiday season.  

Love, hugs and prayers,

Ben, Lindsay and the Inklings :-)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Menu Plan Monday
December 22, 2008

The Christmas week has arrived!  Here is my menu plan for the upcoming week:

Monday:  Coconut chicken (from the freezer), whole grain rice, asian salad
Tuesday:  Southwest roll-ups, green salad
Christmas Eve:  Seafood medley, linguine, caesar salad
Christmas Day: (brunch) Banana pancake snowmen, sausage, fruit salad, (dinner with my parents)
Friday:  Leftovers
Saturday:  Potato minestrone, homemade bread
Sunday:  Clean out the fridge!

This weekend I did a bit of holiday baking.  I love baking Christmas cookies but this year I cut back dramatically.  The kids and I made three (yummy) recipes:

Gingerbread men
Peanut butter rosebuds

The next few days we'll be staying close to home, cleaning the house, visiting with family and friends, and staying warm.  We're all set! Christmas here we come! 

For other great holiday menus, check out Menu Plan Monday at Org Junkie.   

Sunday, December 21, 2008


This song never fails to send my boys into hysterics.  Enjoy!

The Mom Song from Northland Video on Vimeo

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

My husband works in an office of geeks.  One of the guys (a bachelor) volunteered the following gem the other day...

Ben: Hey!  You look great!  You showered, you shaved...

Adam:  Yeah.  I even did my laundry.

Ben:  Whoa!  What happened?

Adam:  Well, honestly?  I did my laundry using a Tide pen and a bottle of Febreeze. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Silliness

Yes, We Changed Our Minds (Again)

We officially applied for our second-born son to attend kindergarten next fall.  (No, this was not our original plan.)  I think it is for the best, though.  At the end of the day practicality and convenience have won out.  

Our son will turn five next November.  He will be only four years old for the first two months of school.  We had planned to hold him back a year, but the truth is, he's a bright and gregarious little guy.  I think he'll do just fine in kindergarten next fall.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I am incredibly thankful for our family's good health these past months. Last year it seemed we were sick all fall and winter. (Admittedly, my memory may be coloured by last year's pregnancy fog.) This time around we've hardly caught more than the sniffles. Praise God!

I was worried our four-year-old, in particular, might be sick a lot this year. He seems to have a weaker immune system than his siblings. Whenever a cold goes through the family he catches the worst of it. Last winter the poor guy had a perpetually runny nose and several ear infections. I was a bit worried this fall because I figured our four-year-old would bring home all sorts of germs when he started preschool. I'm pleased to report this hasn't been the case! Our little guy had one cold with a nasty cough a couple weeks ago, but it cleared up quite quickly.

Why have we been so healthy? I don't know for certain but I have a few theories...

We moved to a new house this summer. (I don't know if our house has anything to do with anything.) Maybe our family is healthier because we're not living in such close quarters? Maybe we share fewer germs now that we have separate bathrooms?

The kids are napping more than ever before. Last year our eldest son attended jr. kindergarten for two hours every afternoon. He's a kid who needs a great deal of sleep but on school days he wouldn't get a nap. As well, the other children had their naps cut short every afternoon as we dashed to the preschool. (Oh, the tantrums!) This year our kindergartener has actually reverted back to napping on the days he is home. All the kids sleep for about two hours every afternoon. (Those are two hours of peaceful bliss!)

I am no longer volunteering at the YMCA. Last year I taught a preschool music class each week. Our (then) three-year-old attended the class with me and the other children played in the babysitting room. I am convinced the kids picked up tons of bugs from the Y. Though I have a great deal of respect for the Y's volunteer programs, it was always difficult to find last-minute teaching subs if the kids were sick. Many volunteer moms simply brought their sick kids into the babysitting room. There were no other options. I really enjoyed teaching the music class, however, I am very thankful the kids no longer visit the Y.

All that to say, I am grateful for our family's good health. It is not something we take for granted. Cold and flu season can feel like a marathon (especially come February...) and I will happily accept every healthy day God sends us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Randomness

I feel like Christmas is rapidly sneaking up on me!  I can't believe the big day is only one week away.  The weather has been very cold and snowy here in Calgary, so it certainly feels Christmas-y outside.

Here are some of the random thoughts buzzing through my head this week:
  • I love checking the mail box at this time of year.  We received a lovely stack of cards today, and I especially enjoy when people enclose pictures with their cards.  Also, I'm thankful to have finally sent out our family's Christmas cards earlier this week!
  • I am officially finished my Christmas shopping.  (I suppose this isn't exactly something to brag about as Christmas is only one week away.)  I hope to get everything wrapped later tonight.
  • The kids and I made gingerbread cookies yesterday afternoon. My three "helpers" were incredibly cute. In particular, our four-year-old has decided he wants to be a chef when he grows up and he wore a white apron and hat for most of the day.  I also hadn't realized how many cookie cutters our family has amassed over the years.  (I think many have newly resurfaced since our move.) The kids had great fun making some rather creative gingerbread cookies.  (A stegosaurus is totally festive, right?)
  • I'm hoping to finish the rest of my Christmas baking within the next couple of days.
  • We'll be attending our five-year-old's school concert tonight.  I'm very much looking forward to it.
  • The roads are awfully slippery out there.  We took our van in for its winter check-up yesterday and were surprised to discover it needed new brakes.  I'm definitely thankful for the brakes (but less thankful for the unexpected bill).
  • This past weekend nearly did me in.  My outgoing husband kept inviting people over! Don't get me wrong, I love welcoming people into our home and I enjoy visiting with friends.  My introverted self just can't keep up!  It's taken until today for me to feel back to normal.  I imagine next weekend will be much the same, so I'm attempting to finished all my Christmas preparations before then.

Monday, December 15, 2008

You Know It's Still Freaky Cold When...

... you reach into your bag only to discover your diaper wipes have frozen into a solid block of ice. (That's when you vow to never again leave the diaper bag out in the van overnight.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

You Know It's Freaky Cold When...

... the doors to your minivan freeze shut when the vehicle is parked inside the garage. 

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Candy Cane

Our five-year-old son brought the following poem home from kindergarten yesterday.  (This is a small example of the many reasons why I'm thankful he attends a Christian school.)

Look at a candy cane,
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me!
White for my Savior,
Who's sinless and pure!
"J" is for Jesus,
My Lord that's for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see ---
Jesus, my shepherd,
Is coming for me!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Hey!  Don't touch the Christmas tree!"

"We weren't touching the tree.  We were touching the decorations."

Thursday, December 11, 2008


My husband is a geek.  The guys who work for him?  Uber-geeks.  Ben's office is most certainly the epicenter of all geekiness.  The place reeks of it.  (Or maybe that's just the week-old pizza...)

Check out the office water cooler.  (Yes, those are hard drive magnets taped to the side of the bottle.)  Hey, times are tough after all.  Kudos to Adam for dreaming up a way to keep the company afloat.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grammar Geek

Do you care about grammar?  Would you like to write more effectively? Check out The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words

(And there was much rejoicing.)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Budding Scientist

This afternoon our five-year-old announced he planned to discover the substance of the Milky Way Galaxy.  When I questioned how he would go about making such a discovery he replied:

"I'm not really sure, Mommy, but I'll definitely have to use my orange play dough to do it."

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Menu Plan Monday
December 8, 2008

When I feel stressed I clean the house.  Clutter makes me anxious.  I organize and purge and wash and vacuum whenever life goes topsy-turvy.  An orderly home helps me feel in control.

I guess I feel a bit anxious about the upcoming week.  Instead of writing my menu plan I've spent the past hour re-organizing the kitchen pantry. (Seeing all those neat and tidy stacks of canned goods brings me great pleasure.)  

Working through mindless tasks is actually very therapeutic, though. As I tidied my pantry, I thought about buying groceries and mentally planned our meals for the next week.  I now have a fairly clear picture of my menu plan!

Here's my proposed menu for the upcoming week:

Monday:  No cooking!  (Supper with my parents)
Tuesday:  Holiday tortellini soup, grapes, multigrain bread
Wednesday:  Leftovers
Thursday:  Beef taco skillet, corn, sliced avocado
Friday:  Veggie frittata, fruit salad, whole wheat toast  
Saturday:  Leftovers
Sunday:  No cooking!  (Supper with Ben's parents)

If you enjoy reading about recipes and meal planning, check out Menu Plan Monday hosted by Org Junkie.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Mail Call

I handed a letter to our four-year-old son as we stepped out the door. "Here you go, Buddy," I said, "You put this in the slot when we get to the mailbox."

He studied the stamp in the corner of the envelope.  "Mommy?" he asked, "Is this a picture of Grandma?"

Our son thought for a moment longer and then continued, "Mommy?  Is this a picture of Grandma when she was a mailman?"

I laughed and replied, "No silly.  That's a picture of the queen."

"Oh!" he exclaimed as understanding dawned, "Is this a picture of the queen when she was a mailman?"

Friday, December 05, 2008

Kindergarten Comedy

"What do you call a mouse's language?"

"Squeak speak!"

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thought for the Day

Putting pajamas on an uncooperative toddler is like trying to wrestle an octopus.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

I Am Slowly Going Crazy...

I have listened to this approximately three billion times today.  

Our four-year-old even created an original dance to go along with the song.  It involved a lot of bum wiggling (mostly in his older brother's face).  Appropriately enough, our son named his move the "Backwards Ninja". 

Monday, December 01, 2008

Creative Problem Solving

I am seriously considering buying our children a toy lawnmower for Christmas.

You know the huge soccer field behind our house?  When one of the kids starts driving me bonkers I'll hand him the lawnmower.  

(He can come back when he's finished mowing the field.)