Wednesday, December 31, 2008

it fits!

well, we went to pick up joe's tux today for the wedding that he (and lydia too) is in this weekend . . . it all fits, although the fact that you had to try it ALL on before leaving the store turned in to a 20-minute ordeal (with sick baby in tow!) . . . shoes, pants, shirt, vest, tie, coat and the very necessary button extender for his above-average sized neck! anyway, it's all in a bag hanging in the hallway waiting for the big day. joe is also excited to have a tie because now he can "go to work", i hope he's not too bummed when we return it all on sunday! i guess he'll not be able to work until we buy him a tie . . . i think jacob had one when he was about joe's age, i'll have to dig around a little and find it!

poor banana-boo!

amazingly "the banana" turned 9 months old on sunday. where does the time go? she went in for her 9-month check up and we found out she has an ear infection. ahhhh, that's what all the misery has been about the past few days! mystery solved. it's good she had a check up or i probably wouldn't have brought her in. she is sleeping "like a baby" at the moment. thank you antibiotics!

it's always fun to see our pediatrician. she's been with us so long and through so much she's pretty much part of the family. everyone always loves a visit to dr. sackett . . . well, unless it involves shots! she's the best!

well, we're heading "over the river and through the woods" to ring in the new year with some of our very favorite people in the whole world! hope you have a delightful end to your 2008 and that 2009 brings you many blessings and chances to note God's faithfulness in your life!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

my baby boy is growin' up

ever since he could talk joe has always called his curly-haired sister "ruck-ah", but this week he started calling her rebekah! it's pretty cute, but makes me a little sad too!
so, joe has quite a few pronunciation issues, one of which is that he has trouble with t's. he loves all things train (or, shall i say "crain"?) anyway, when kirbs was in chicago for work he saw a thomas book (joe loves thomas!) called "a crack in the track". i'm sure you can imagine the plot . . . it's not too complex. but kirb said he HAD to buy it because he laughed just thinking about joe talking about the book: "please read me a crack in the crack." . . . since those two words sound the same when he says them. anyway, thanks to the great gift from dad, if he tries really, really hard he can kinda get it to sound like it starts with a t instead of a c. silly boy!

jacob's character sketch

Friday, December 26, 2008


anna slept from 10-something to 5-something last night! merry christmas to mom! i'm not sure that she's EVER slept that long in a stretch. i would say it's probably been about a year since i've gotten that many uninterrupted hours of sleep since late-pregnancy and sleep don't blend so well in my history! i'm thinkin' maybe it was all the turkey she had at her gg's house yesterday. you know, natural sedative and all? i'm prayin' it wasn't a fluke and repeats itself tonight! what are the odds of that?

update: anna did not duplicate her stellar night of sleeping . . . arghhh! i will leave it at that and not give you any details. they are not pretty! oh well, at least we know she is capable of it. that means something, right? on a funner (i know it's not a word, but it was what i wanted to convey here!) note, she stood up, completely unassisted, for about 45 seconds yesterday. well, i guess unassisted might not be entirely true. she can't do it unless she is holding on to something. leave her hands empty and she tips right over, put something in them and she's all skill!! it's funny to watch. yesterday her object of choice was the red and blue tupperware shape sorter ball that i'm quite confdient you have ALL played with at some point in your life. am i right? even if you didn't play with it as an actual child, you know you have pulled those yellow handles and dumped out the shapes and then put them all in their correct little holes! am i wrong? nope. you know you've doen it. great job, you know your shapes. i am so proud of you! anyway, anna. standing. holding the shape sorter. VERY cute!! (i just watched her do it, i didn't rush to get my camera, so as it turns out you'll just have to picture it in your sweet little imaginations . . . or stop over and i'll have her do it for you in person).

flashback friday

christmas morning 2005

Thursday, December 25, 2008

a very stoll-y christmas to you!

ok, i tried to condense our wonderful christmas eve into a few pictures and wasn't super successful. but, i did get it down to under a dozen . . . chosen from a good couple hundred, so you really SHOULD be impressed, right?

we had a wonderful day yesterday celebrating the birth of our savior and the preciousness of family being together! the afternoon family service at roseville lutheran was beautiful and meaningful. we had a blast at ama & bopbop's house with a yummy dinner, family and great gifts as a bonus! we were all really tired and had a little trouble mustering enthusiasm to go out in the cold to the 11 o'clock service at church, but were blessed by going: seeing friends, worshipful music, lots of great hugs, wishes of merry christmas, some beautiful candles and a great time of reflection. i told a few people that they got anna's precious baby sounds at no extra charge to add to the feel of the night . . . celebrating the birth of our savior as a precious little babe born to a young virgin. anna chimed in at exactly the right times when it added to the intended meaning of the moment. good job, sweet girl! (she's especially bright i think!)

here's a little visual re-cap of our celebration for ya:

merry christmas . . . stoll style!

just a little excited?? if you know lydia very well at all, you can tell a lot from these pictures . . . as they say: "worth a thousand words!" make that 2,000!

yup, he's in tears! (and was speechless for at least 45 seconds!) he has asked for an ipod for, i think, 3 years now. those amazing grandparents: they outdid themselves and made many wishes come true for their favorite kiddos all in a matter of minutes!

rebekah and kit! so happy!!

the 6 "carlson" cousins: anna, jacob, joe, lydia, rebekah & haddon

now it's anna's turn to open a present: "yumm. you gotta love a delicious gift tag following her supper of ham and potatoes!"

joe asked santa for a mr. potato head and a thomas the tank engine: and we have another winner!! so many happy children . . . (ok, so i know he might not LOOK super happy to you, but trust me, he was!)

haddon's first christmas . . . look how much he's lovin' it: check out that sweet face. chillin' with his wonderful parents luke and jenn!

the 2 newest memebers of our family, molly & kit, with their proud mamma's

the 2008 mother's of the year and their precious babes (alright, there was no official vote or anything, but all the people in the room at the time would have agreed we were the mother's of the year . . . although they might be a little biased.)

ama & bopbop with their newest little grandbaby

praise God for the birth of his Son and reason to celebrate this day!


ok, so i took some stuff out of the dryer just now (i was up before 5 doing laundry: i heard joe crying from upstairs and came down to check on him. in all the commotion of christmas and the late service at church and not being at home . . . yadda, yadda . . . he never got a diaper on under his pj’s — he still wears one to bed — before he went down for the night and, thus, he had peed in his bed and was wet and cold . . . suprising, i know! so, that’s why i was doing laundry at 5 on christmas morning . . . while “the children — and kirb — were nestled all snug in their beds” — well, joe was on the couch with a blanket but i digress . . . when i took the load out of the dryer there were lots of little (very clean) pieces of white tissue-like paper in the dryer. (i find all manner of things in the dryer, since i'm not good at remembering to check pockets and such. yesterday, amazingly, it was a dollar that i found!!! i was so excited . . . it doesn’t take much, i’m a pretty simple girl!) anyway, back to the story . . . after discovering the 5th or 6th piece of this “stuff” i vaguely remembered lydia telling me something about not wiping well and just “putting some toilet paper in my underwear”. i guess that remedies the laziness that would make you rationalize not wiping your butt in an acceptable way! anyhow, mystery solved! nice one, lj! you are nearly 7, i think it's about time you really learned how to wipe your crack without having to stick toilet paper in your undies!
now, i'm fairly certain my kids aren't the only ones to pull stunts like these and so i ask: what antics have your precious little stinkers pulled lately?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


well, it's here: christmas! christmas eve has always been the "big" day for my family and that is how i still think of it. we're just relaxing at home at the moment, but at 3:00 we are going to a family christmas eve service at a church in our neighborhood where the kids go to preschool -- it's our 2nd church "home". then we'll head over to my parents for the carlson christmas celebration and gift opening! then off to the 11:00 candlelight service at central . . . one of my favorite services of the year (i know, i said that about the thanksgiving service. what can i say . . . i love church!). followed by a [mostly likely overly tired, slightly crabby] trip home and then quickly we'll be off to bed. tomorrow we'll head over to my grandma's for yet another celebration. oh yeah, and friday morning (early) i'll be shoppin'!

merry christmas!

merry christmas everyone!
have a wonderful day of celebrating with those who are most special to you!
i have always loved this song and it's message. [this should NOT surprise you, since i am, admittedly, a huge fan of babies!] i thought you might enjoy pondering it a little bit today amidst your celebrating . . . what an amazing gift we received thousands of years ago in the form of a tiny little babe!

this baby
by: steven curtis chapman

well, he cried when he was hungry
did all the things that babies do
he rocked and he napped on his mother’s lap
he wiggled and giggled and cooed
there were the cheers when he took his first step
and the tears when he got his first teeth
almost everything about this little baby
seemed as natural as it could be.

but this baby made the angels sing
and this baby made a new star shine in the sky
this baby had come to change the world.
this baby was God’s own son,
this baby was like no other one
this baby was God with us,
this baby was Jesus.

and this baby grew into a young boy
who learned to read and write and wrestle with dad
there was the climin’ of trees and the scrapin’ of knees
and all the fun that a boy's born to have
he grew taller and some things started changing
like his complexion and the sound of his voice
there was work to be done as a carpenter’s son
and all the neighbors said "he’s such a fine boy"

but this boy made the angels sing.
this boy made a new start shine in the sky
this boy had come to change the world.
this boy was God’s own son,
this boy was like no other one
this boy was God with us.

this boy became a man
and love made him laugh
and death made him cry
with the life that he lived
and the death that he died
he showed us heaven with his hands and his heart
‘cause this man was God’s own son.
this man was like no other one
holy and human right from the start.

this baby made the angels sing.
this baby made a new star shine in the sky
this baby had come to change the world.
this baby was God’s own son,
this baby was like no other one.
this baby was God with us,
this baby was Jesus.
this baby was Jesus,
this baby was Jesus.

merry, merry christmas!
happy birthday Jesus!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

welcome to minnesota!

it's been snowing here ALL day long. when i took the kids to piano this morning i couldn't make it up the hill to my grandma's place. we had to trudge through the snow on foot from the bottom of the hill to get to our lessons. (it reminded me of our days living in woodbury when we couldn't make it up the driveway and had to park at the bottom -- some of you may remember said driveway quite well!!) so, since we arrived home we have just stayed put . . . well, except for kirb who performed his church choir christmas cantada at rosedale today . . . and joe who got picked up a couple hours ago for his turn in the sleepover rotation at my parents! the kids (well, except anna!) played outside in the powder for a long time and got really cold and arrived inside really wet and with rosy cheeks and cold toes! we've been out shovelling at least 4 or 5 times already today . . . hope everyone is staying safe and if you're not in minnesota to enjoy the beauty of the snow . . . bummer for you!

Friday, December 19, 2008

flashback friday

a decade worth of stoll christmas pictures . . . enjoy!

kirby, shana, jacob: 1999
kirby, [pregnant] shana, jacob: 2000

kirby, jacob, [pregnant] shana, rebekah: 2001

rebekah, kirby, jacob, shana, lydia: 2002

kirby, lydia, jacob, shana, rebekah: 2003

kirby, [pregnant] shana, lydia, jacob, rebekah: 2004

jacob, kirby, joe, shana, rebekah, lydia: 2005

jacob, kirby, rebekah, shana, joe, lydia: 2006
kirby, jacob, rebekah, joe, [pregnant] shana, lydia: 2007

kirby, lydia, anna, joe, shana, jacob, rebekah: 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008


a big stoll crew welcome to any new visitors who decided to pop in and see what the blog was all about after reading of it in the stoll christmas letter . . . congrats on making it through the letter! and welcome to the blog. we're so glad you've come to visit! enjoy your time with us, it's a crazy ride!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

green girl

anna was dressed all in green today. even her diaper was green (both figuratively and literally. it was green in color and made of cloth. i'm pretty sure she's not the jealous type though, so that's where the analogy ends . . . no "green with envy" for anna!) i didn't do the green diaper thing on purpose (the color that is, the other "green-ness" was intentional -- you don't do loads and loads of poop-filled laundry accidentally!), but i noticed it when i was changing her and everything was green! i figured you would all probably want to know about it too . . . actually, i realize that you probably DON'T care one way or the other, but i found it was funny and since i get to pick what gets posted i went with it . . . no one is making you read the blog you know. you can quit whenever you want and i won't even know. but if you keep reading you might have to put up with antics like that from me on occassion! it's all up to you!

also, anna wanted to tell a certain blog reader that she misses you lots! she says that you know who you are and she can't wait until she can see you and "talk" to you in person! see, she's even looking for you? she won't even look at her momma! (ok, that's a little exaggeration, i admit!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

flashback friday

a cute picture of my very favorite person a few years decades ago!

although i never thought him to be known for his fashion sense, that is a pretty cute coat . . . but might possibly have been better on a girl? if it's still around somewhere, i beleve it would be in fashion once again! who knew?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

this 'n that

well, i thought we were through being sick, but it turns out we weren't. oh well! hopefully now the last of it is over! i pray it is.

we've been crazy around here lately: sickness, work, party-ing, cleaning, decorating . . . yikes! i'm hoping things will slow down just a tad soon. i just finished (yesterday) an order for 1,040 greeting cards. it's a corporate order that i do every year. i'm so glad to be finished with it. what i love about making cards is the uniqueness and thought i put into the design of each one, but when you make hundreds of the exact same card it gets a little old . . . but the check that comes along with it is quite nice so i put up with it! now for the next 11 months i can be creative again!

ok, so i couldn't help myself when i bought this shirt (onesie, actually, if we're being technical) for anna. she doesn't need any clothes, and normally i'm pretty good with the self-control in that area but #1 she is completely unBEETable and #2 beets are the only food on earth that i know of that kirbs won't eat. (actually he probably would eat them, but he doesn't like them!) so, when i saw it i couldn't just leave it at the store. as a side note: normally i'm quite bugged by clothes with words on them ("princess", "i'm naughty", "i love my mommy", "cutie", "my brother did it" . . . it all just irritates me). if other people like them, that's fine, but i don't like to put them on my kids, generally. but i digressed from my usual "rule" to get this sweet little shirt for my sweet babe! isn't it cute? and her daddy thought it was quite funny too.

here are a couple of pics of her taking a bath tonight. she is sporting the chapped cheeks look of winter (and the little cold she has isn't helpin' either!). i think she might be on her way to a head full of curls though, like her oldest sister! whattaya think? only time will tell, i guess.

joe has turned a little corner recently. i failed to notice exactly when it happened, but the other day i said to kirbs, "he is so fun and pleasant lately. i just love him!" that's not to say that i didn't love him before, but he has been quite the handfull for the past few months and i didn't always like him a whole bunch. i'm so glad to have turned this corner! what is it they say? 6-month cycles? i'm gonna try and enjoy all 182 days of this one!!! he is funny, polite, hilarious, a great helper, comedic, cute, (relatively) cooperative and, did i mention, quite funny! i'm just trying to enjoy every minute of it. he even cooperated and willingly let me cut his hair (usually i have to literally pin him down while he is contorting his body like mad to try and get away and kicking and screaming. and -- for some reason -- the haircuts never quite come out as nice as i would hope! hmmm, surprising! i wanted to trim him up because he's going to be in heather & roberts wedding in a few weeks and we don't want him to look shaggy when he has that fancy little tux on, now do we? also, he loves "helping" these days. he unloaded the dishwasher for me today and is always "picking up" the living room lately too (which means piling everything from the floor onto the top of the coffee table). also, his manners astound me. we're not rude people, but he is, by far, the most polite member of our family right now. it's pretty endearing . . . alright, i know, enough about him . . . but isn't he cute? oh and just one more sweet thing: his new favorite thing to do is to play with the (many) nativity sets we have out right now. the dialouge he comes up with is great. today the camel and the angel (who he would be sure to tell you is named gabriel) were flying through the kitchen on their way to talk to "go-sef" (joseph) (yup, he calls himself "go-ey" or "go" if you ask him his name. he is very consistent in his mispronunciations) alright, that's it. i promise! picture explainations: so, his outfit for most of last week (whever we were at home) was underwear and this tutu (with the arms NOT in the sleeves, becuase "they itch me!"). then there's one of him playing with the nativity pop-up book with the little carboard characters. he loves it. then there's him trying to escape from kirbs' clutches when we're trying to take a family picture!

yesterday marked the first day evelyn was back at school all day! she had not quite been able to make it all day up until now and either went in late or got picked up early. we are thrilled with this next step of progress. rebekah was excited that she even got to go outside at recess AND go with the class to gym. way to go, ev!

jacob was home sick today and we had such a fun time together. i gave him his spelling test so that he wouldn't have to make it up when he got back to school tomorrow. then he was feeling just fine by lunch time so we went to the y and played basketball together (while joe & anna were in kidstuff). i loved the one-on-one time with him. rebekah was home sick one day last week and that was a great day too. she asked me if she could have a tea party and i said sure so she got joe dressed up (in a button down and khakis . . . she changed him out of the clothes he was wearing which, i guess, were not suited for going to tea!) and she got dressed up and she dressed up elizabeth (her american girl doll) and put a blanket over an upsidedown laundry basket and served tea and mandarin oranges to the 3 of them. it was so sweet and cute. now there is a girl i should have around more often. she basically puts me out of a job. now, if only they were as sweet when they were all together as they are one-(or two, or even three) on-one. but, unfortunatly the minute you put them all together in the same building it becomes a fighting, screaming, hitting mass of angry, moody, crabby chaos. crazy, since they are all such sweet kids? oh, well. enjoy what you can!

ok, i realize this was a way longer-than-average post. thanks for putting up with it! i'm almost done. our family is trying to enjoy each moment of this advent season and reflect on what our God did for us thousands of years ago when he sent a sweet little baby to earth to live and die for me and you. it never ceases to amaze me. thank you Lord for your sacrifice of your precious, precious son for me. and my sons. and my daughters. and my friends and family and each of us here on this earth. your love is amazing!

happy advent, all! enjoy it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


well, i can't even tell you the last time i missed church on a sunday morning. but, alas, today i was too sick (more accurately too tired from the prior nights sickness) to go to church with my family. trust me, you don't want any details. they are not very pleasant!! anyway, i slept for the better part of 3 hours while my family was at church. i am feeling much better now and i'm hopin' to really get some serious amounts of stuff done this week, since all the sickness the past 8 days or so has left me behind on lots of things!
have a great week! i'm prayin' we didn't pass our nasty-ness on to anyone!

Friday, December 5, 2008

flashback friday

stoll kiddos in june of 2004
lydia (2), jacob (5) & rebekah (3)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

poor anna!

sweet anna is wearing her 3rd outfit of the day and napping on her 2nd set of sheets. i wish this tummy bug would go back to wherever it came from and leave us all alone! thankfully it's coming out the backend, not the front . . . if i had to choose, that's the end i'd pick . . . be thankful for the little things, right?

Monday, December 1, 2008

honestly, slow down already!

well, i can't believe it but december is upon us. yikes! i hope you all had a wonderful thanksgiving and found as much to be thankful for as i did . . . and that is TONS! oh the blessings!
we spent thanksgiving "up nort" with kirb's family. the more than 15 hours with 7 people in the van in a 4-day span wasn't the most fun i've had lately, but the time between the long road trips was good (mostly . . . with a hint of sickness from a couple of us, or maybe a few is more accurate). there was lots of energy and noise as 13 kids (11 & under) and 10 adults spent the better part of a few days ALL together. but it made for easy reminders of the things we are grateful for. here's a picture with all 13 of the kiddos and the majority of the adults too. we were ready to eat and happy to be together! kirb's parents are on the far right and beyond that i'm not going to bother telling you who everyone else is:

today i have 2 sick kiddos at home (and one no-too-sick). rebekah had to stay home from school (she was extra bummed because it is evelyn's first day back and she is missing it) since she spent yesterday afternoon and evening kneeling over the toilet! yuck! joe followed in her wake and started this morning . . . not so much over the toilet though, mostly all over the hallway! double yuck! anna is home too (since she has no where else to go) and seems relatively healthy with the exception of the especially gross, stinky mess i found in her diaper this morning! i'm hopin' and prayin' that the rest of us steer clear of it!
well, a happy, thought-filled, reflective, beautiful december (and advent season) to all of you! may the blessings abound in your life (and hopefully a lovely dusting of white fluffiness)!