Monday, August 30, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

770. no more staples in Jacob's head
771. the minnesota state fair
772. garage sales {the ones that drain your bank acoount -- but not too much, and ones that add to it!}
773. family camp!!!

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, August 27, 2010

flashback friday

the other major Stoll head injury:
Joe's stitches, October 2008
{his hair still doesn't grow in that spot}

Thursday, August 26, 2010

thankful thursday


"This I call to mind and therefore I have hope:
Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."
Lamentations 3.21-23

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a thousand words . . .

"nesting" sisters::wow::
frightening::
crazy::
ouch::
still strong, with or without the staples::
my mom's broken toe::
one cool chick::
classic joe::
Rebekah's new hairstyle::
BFFs::

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

garbage

In case you ever wondered what trash looks like for a family of 7 {nearly 8, but really at this point the baby makes no trash at all, so we can't really count him or her this time around!}, this is it.

Yup, that's all.

And we weren't even gone at all this week. When we're gone it sometimes barely covers the whole bottom. But, on the other hand, then there's that 3rd week in March when we have 3 birthdays and make more trash than this . . . or we decide to do a major garage clean-up . . . or there's Christmas or something. But, on a normal week, this is about all we make . . . thanks to reuse, upcycling, recycling and composting! Not too shabby, I'd say.

In other randomness, Kirb was on campus at Northwestern last night and happened to be driving the van. A student came up to him and asked "Are you the shuttle?" Kirb told him no, but when he was ready to leave about 10 minutes later, and the real shuttle still hadn't arrived he introduced himself to the guy and asked if he wanted a ride and proceeded to drive the student to his off-campus dorm a few miles away . . . what a guy. I guess we're just askin' for that kind of question by driving our big vehicle.

Monday, August 23, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

747. planning underway for next June's big family vacation
748. more than 24 consecutive hours spent with wonderful, wonderful friends
749. nice ER doctors {who remind the injured child of their favorite teacher} who staple your head closed again . . . and the dads who go along so the moms don't have to endure the emotional pain of watching staples go into skulls. YUCK!
750. tummy x-rays showing no more coins in Anna's tummy {we must have missed it on its exit during our week-long, thorough poop checks somehow . . . glad we went to much of that super fun work unnecessarily!}
751. surviving my nearly 9-hour long 8-kid day last week {9 kids if you're counting the one I'm carting around in front of me}
752. Schaeffer Christian Carlson
753. the hours at the front-end of the day, before I start waddling {by the end of the day, I can't do anything to stop the waddle . . . believe me, I've tried}
754. more than 32 weeks down, 8-ish left to go
755. life-long friends
756. sleepovers
757. birthday parties {happy 2nd birthday, sweet Ava!}
758. the anticipation of family camp
759. 3 days until the fair starts!
760. seeing the Elliott's {the circumstances under which we saw them boggle my mind quite a big, but we're thrilled to see them nonetheless!}
761. the laughter of kiddos
762. a trip to the zoo
763. a couple more things to check off on our summer list . . . and a few more extra fun ones to come in the week ahead
764. a safe 400K bike ride for my no-longer-in-his-30's {or even 40's or 50's} father . . . way to go, Dad. You're one of a kind!!
765. the little hint of fall in the air {but only for one day} we had last week
766. contentment
767. a big week for my brother's family::1 new baby, 30 years of life for Jenn, 6 years of marriage for Mr. & Mrs. Carlson {and before next week, 2 years of life for Haddon!}
768. the excitement of kids when given their very own cameras! {thanks, Elliotts!}
769. my grandma {it's her 84th birthday today!}

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Saturday, August 21, 2010

oh, Anna

It started out innocently enough. We were in the basement and I said, "C'mon babe, let's go upstairs and see Daddy."

She answered with "No." {recently she has discovered her will and become a tad defiant}.

So, I said, "Nope, sweetie, it's time to go upstairs."

To which she replied, "Boss a me, Mom!" . . . which, I can translate with much confidence, based on her facial expression and intonation, as: You're not the boss of me, Mom. Oh, sweetie, 1. Yes, actually, I am and 2. we don't say that around here, got it!


Now, the interesting thing is that, although they do have a phrase or two {or ten} that they use that I do not appreciate {they aren't perfect, in case you hadn't realized that fact!} , this, "You're not the boss of me.", is not a phrase that I think I've ever heard one of the "bigs" use around here. So, I'm a tad baffled as to where she picked this one up. Clearly, however, she understands it's " proper" usage and can use it quite accurately in context. So, she has quite a little attitude, but, it would seem, is also pretty smart . . . I'm not sure if I should be annoyed and upset or just plain proud!

Oh well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

flashback friday

Almost exactly 2 years ago today {8.28.08} we welcomed Mr. Haddon Christian Carlson to the world. We love you, big brother, Haddon, my how you've grown!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I'm so very thankful for the safe arrival of our newest nephew. The little man belongs to my brother {Luke} and his wife, Jenn, and is the same little guy whoe gave us a little 33-week scare at the beginning of July, thinking he might make an earlier-than-we'd-like entrance into the world.

Anyway, without further blabbing, I'm excited to introduce you to:

Schaeffer Christian Carlson
{named after Francis Schaeffer}
born on 8.18.10 at 12:02 in the afternoon
{punctual little bugger: born right smack dab in the very center of his due date}
8 pounds 2 ounces
22 inches tall

meeting cousins Anna & Lydia::
yikes! one overly excited aunt::
"meeting" his younger cousin while resting on my belly::
Uncle Kirby & Joe::

Mom, Dad and big brother, Haddon are all doing great and 2 of those 3 are especially grateful that Schaeffer didn't make his debut on the shoulder of I-94 . . . he wiggled his way into the world about 5 minutes after Luke and Jenn arrived at the hospital! Yikes! Luke admitted to speeding on the way there {good choice "little" brother!}

the proud dad and his little guy::

We made a trip out to the hospital to see him {and his parents} last night. He's an adorable little guy, and his parents looked fabulous too {check out Jenn, all dressed -- necklace and all -- looking cute as can be so shortly after having a baby. Honestly!! . . . so rude of her to show up the rest of the female, child-bearing population like that!!}

Dad, Mom & baby::

So, welcome little guy. We're so glad you're here!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

online shopping

If you do much {or any} shopping online, and you haven't heard of Ebates, you really need to check it out! My friend, Sheridan, turned me on to them and I haven't looked back! I don't do tons of online shopping {I don't do tons of shopping in general}, but when I do, I always go through Ebates. Ebates is a site from which to launch your online shopping. Start at ebates.com and then enter the store or product you are shopping for. They will hook you up with coupon codes, free shipping offers and all sorts of good stuff, plus link you right to the actual shopping site and then give you cash back based on the amount of your purchase and the cash-back offer from that particular retailer {lots of them are up to 10% cash back!}. Then every few months they send you a check for whatever amount you have built up. A little fun bonus money . . . who doesn't like that? Anyway, if you are at all interested, check it out here. All you have to do is create an account {that will take approximately 4 seconds of your time} and you're ready to go. Also, each day they have a featured store that is their daily double and if you shop at that particular store on that particular day you get double the cash back.

Also, if you are a diaper user {well, not you personally, but maybe a smallish person who lives at your house} another site that I love is diapers.com. Diapers.com just recently teamed up and has a sister site called soap.com where you can get lots of cleaning and household products as well. So, even if no one in your house wears diapers, they still have some stuff you most likely DO use. I just placed an order today for dishwasher soap {we run our dishwasher every single day -- often twice a day even, so we go through that stuff like crazy}, some bar soap from which I make homemade laundry soap and some diapers too. Their prices are pretty decent and they take coupons {you mail them in ahead of time in big batches even, if you've got lots, and then they automatically credit them to your account when you put that item in your shopping cart. You don't even have to remember that they're there!}. Plus, they have free shipping on any order over $49 and their orders ship with amazing speed. {I placed a diapers order one night after the kids went to bed -- probably 10ish -- and a big box of diapers arrived at my house the next afternoon. Amazing! I've never placed an order that hasn't arrived at my house the very next day. It kinda freaks me out a little, but I won't complain}. Plus they are an ebates site, so not only am I able to use my coupons, get free shipping, save a trip to the store, not have to haul big packages of diapers from my van -- along with all my kids -- get my order next-day and save myself a headache . . . I also get cash back in my ebates account with each order.

Anyway, why all this hype and plugs for ebates and dipaers.com? Well, first of all, I think it could be beneficial to you. And secondly, both sites give referral credit . . . and who doesn't like that? If you sign up at diapers.com or soap.com, they credit my account $5 when you place your first order, plus they'll give you 15% off of your first order too. A win-win if you ask me. {just use the referral code KIRB6444 at checkout on either site or click on the banner on the right side of the blog}. Plus, if you sign up for ebates using the link in that first paragraph, I'll get a credit on my account too. So, thanks!

I've been using both these sites for quite a while now and love them. And I'm usually a skeptic about such things. So, if you are interested, check into it. If not, you've probably already quit reading by now.

Have a great day!

Monday, August 16, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

724. cooler temps with sunshine, a breeze and low humidity . . . how glorious!
725. laughter
726. friends
727. old pictures
728. freshly mowed lawn
729. antibiotics {once again!}
730. tickets that my kids are SO excited about
731. anxiously awaiting the arrival of our nephew {friday, if not sooner!}
732. charlie horse-free nights
733. a delicious tea garden cooler on a hot day {thanks Mom!}
734. thoughtful surprises
735. ticonderoga pencils {especially when you have more than 100 pencils to sharpen}
736. dinner with friends
737. game night with the girls
738. winding down . . . and gearing up
739. boys with fresh haircuts
740. naps
741. continuing the summer task of sorting and purging
742. Snuffy's . . . yummmmm!
742. enough unexpected {surprise} money to cover some unexpected {surprise!} car repairs, lawn mower repairs and some major killer bee extermination in the backyard that all came unexpectedly in the past week. {yup, 7 or 8 stings -- actually bites, not stings, the exterminator told us -- on 3 different people in about a 2-minute span of time. NOT fun! Sorry Horn's!}
743. reading a good book outside on a beautiful day!
744. A/C off, windows open
745. glorious breeze through the open window while sleeping
746. the sound of rain on the roof

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Friday, August 13, 2010

flashback friday

mmmmm::giant pickles on a stick
the fair starts in 13 days
are you going?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

thankful thursday

Today {and, unfortunately, for over a week now} I'm extra thankful for our air conditioning. I got our energy bill a couple days ago and it was nearly double what it had been the month before {but still less than it is in the winter!}. Although not super efficient in our 1920's house, it's way, way better than not having it! And it sure has been hot. I think I heard there's just a couple more days and then we'll get a break. I sure hope that's right. The temps haven't been that unbearable, it's the humidity that is the killer! So, a big thank you to whichever previous owners put out the money to put in the AC {most likely it was LeRoy & Shirlely}. I sure have appreciated it the last couple weeks!
Stay cool!

Monday, August 9, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

704. celebrating the beginning of a marriage with a wonderful couple!
705. central air!
706. how Anna asks me "Dat coo, Mom?" after nearly everything she tells me {if you need a translation, it is "Is that cool, Mom?" -- I must often say, "That's cool, Anna.", or something along those lines and she's picked it up}
707. fun crafting
708. the ever-increasing action going on in my belly
709. the bigger kids enjoying being able to feel and get excited about #708
710. less than 10 weeks to go {theoretically, at least} until we get to meet our newest little bundle
711. reading/hearing words that articulate deep feelings and thoughts that you've never had the words to express::for one example, spend the 5 minutes it takes to watch this video. I have wonderful girlfriends that I am so thankful for! I've read a couple books by Kelly Corrigan and love her honesty and realness. "Lift" articulated so well many, many feelings and thoughts I've had as a mother. {thanks Jennifer for turning me on to her in the first place!}
712. saturday morning trip to the farmer's market
713. yet another summer sleepover
714. sincere compliments
715. friends who listen to my complaints
716. generous people
717. water when you're thirsty
718. important reminders right when you need them
719. kid's eat free at IKEA
720. flip flops that still fit my extra-swollen pregnant feet
721. a few fun things to look forward to in the week ahead
722. a successful lemonade stand {completely with street musician . . . Jacob played the trumpet for customers and general passers-by}
723. crossing a few more things off our summer list

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Saturday, August 7, 2010

It takes all kinds . . .

I love to people-watch. The variety of people in the world -- heck, just in my neighborhood -- is amazing to me. Some so very much like me and some very, very much not!
  • We took the family to The Mall of America {or "The Mall of The Merica", as Joe calls it} the other day and I saw at least 4 or 5 heads full of really bad 80's hair. What's with that? Please tell me that's not coming back!
  • I was watching Rebekah at swim practice yesterday morning {while also working on a little project}. Now, in the vicinity of the outdoor pool at 9 am there isn't the variety of people that there is at, say, 3 in the afternoon. You've got the swim team kids at practice, a few lifeguards in red suits and a half dozen or so lap-swimmers {the pool isn't open for general, fun, playful swimming in the morning -- only lap swim, swim team practice and water aerobics}. If it's a water aerobics day, you can add to that about 20 ladies {I'm not being sexist here, it's just quite rare that you find a man in a water-X class} in sunglasses. Occassionaly, there's a swim team parent or two {like me!} watching practice in shorts and a t-shirt, often looking like they maybe brought their kiddo to practice straight from bed {I often fit in this category!}. Practice starts at 8:30. So, as I sit in my chair yesterday morning watching my little fish in the water, out walks a surprise: an overly-perfumed woman in a bikini with a pink bag with "Victoria's Secret" written on it in big letters made from sparkly silver sequins. Now, most lap swimmers wear one piece Speedo-type suits {or if you're a guy, usually tight-fitting trunks}, a swim cap and goggles. There are a few exceptions, but 99% of the adults you see in the pool in the morning hours are pretty much "in uniform". So, this lady didn't quite fit the mold. {I'm reminded of the Sesame Street jingle, "One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong."}. I thought she was going to get in the pool and start swimming laps, so I watched and waited . . . Turned out she just wanted to "lay out" {at 9 am?} and work on her tan and read the newspaper. You see plenty of that at the Y, but not usually at such an early hour!

Friday, August 6, 2010

flashback friday

my favorite bright-eyed, wacky-haired little mister being held by my favorite handsome big mister::

Thursday, August 5, 2010

thankful thursday

Today I'm thankful for boring. Mundane. Normal.

We've witnessed, been somehow part of, or heard about many tragedies or general extra-tough stuff the past few days and are thankful that none of them have directly involved us.
  • A 12-year-old boy that only lives a few blocks from us {although we didn't know him} died in a tragic accident while playing at the park with a friend. The park we always go to. The park that is nearly in our backyard . . . less than a block from our house.
  • A classmate of Lydia's had open heart surgery at Mayo this week.
  • We were supposed to be getting out-of-town company today {Kirb's brother and his family}, but they had to cancel their trip to attend a funeral. A mother of 3, married to a co-worker of Kirby's brother, who died in a tragic car accident this week. {So, if you want a little get-away -- and you consider staying at a house with 7 crazy people a get-away -- come on over! The sheets are clean, the beds are made the floors and bathroom in the basement are all shiny and cleaner than they've been in quite some time! Clean towels are rolled up decoratively and welcomingly in a basket. I was planning to make yummy muffins for breakfast. Lots of fun plans you could take over if you're interested!}
  • My parents couldn't come or go from their house for a while yesterday. The bank a couple blocks from their house in their quiet, "small town" neighborhood in St. Paul was held up. A teller was taken hostage and shots were fired at a police officer. As far as I know, the man still is "at large" {which I have always found to be a funny phrase}.
So, I'm thankful for my routine week. My "bored" kids who think their parents are cruel and unfair to make them do things such as go to bed at a normal hour, not play Wii for hours on end, do a household chore or two here and there and do the equivalent of 10 or 15 minutes of school-ish work each day over the summer. I'm thankful that, although it made me significantly crabby, the worst thing that happened to me yesterday was that a sudden downpour! that came from nowhere while we were driving home from having a little family fun {and checking one more thing off our "summer list"} completely drenching my laundry that was outside "drying." 3 loads of laundry. Most of it folded and in piles on the picnic table next to my clothesline waiting for owners of the clean clothes to take their "stack" to their room and put it away. The work I'd spent nearly my entire day doing! In the grand scheme of things, that's nothing. Nothing at all! The funeral for Carter {the little boy who died less than a block from my house a few days ago, who could have just as easily been one of my kids. Or one of yours.} starts in less than 3 hours and will be taking place at the church about 12 houses down the block from here. Excuse me while I go hug my kids and quit complaining about my wet laundry! Our deepest sympathies, thoughts and prayers are with Carter's family and all who knew and loved him.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

summer list::

I've mentioned it before and some of you were curious, so here's a little more info on our "summer list" tradition. {better late than never, right?}

For the past few years, we sit down as a family near-ish to the beginning of summer and brainstorm our "summer list" for the year. Anything that is spoken will be written down. If Jacob says he would like to "go to the moon" this summer, I'll write it on the list . . . although the chances that we'll take a summer trip to the moon are pretty much nil! Then, as we are looking for ideas of what to do with our days during the summer, we consult our list. Often during our list-making, one idea leads to another which leads to another. Many times we do really fun things that weren't even on the list {like last Saturday when we went to Split Rock Lighthouse and visited Duluth, or the weekend before when we went to the Kelley Farm}. Many things on the list remain undone by summer's end. But, we like having the list to consult from time to time. I try hard to write down dates of things from the list that we've done, so we can remember that, contrary to what the kids often say and think, we do do fun things. Things they wanted to do in the first place!

Here is our list for the Summer of 2010 {click on the pictures to enlarge them so they are big enough to read}::

How do you decide what fun things you will do with your summer? {We do a similar -- although abbreviated version -- for other breaks too::Christmas winter break and spring break, for example}

You'll notice there's still lots of stuff that we haven't done yet this summer that they kids would like to do. Hopefully we'll get around to a bunch more of them in this last month of summer break {we will go to the State Fair, no question about that. It's a given. You just can't go until the 2nd Thursday before Labor Day, so we still have a few more weeks until we even have opportunity to check that one off!} We never intend to do them all, but it's fun to dream big. Also, some of them are givens that we do very often, if not every day::play outside, family walks, etc. I don't even bother writing dates on those usually, but, trust me, they're getting done! So, yup, we do eat supper {which was an item someone wanted added to the list!} . . . most every night even!

Here's to a fun last bit of summer for us . . . and for you. Enjoy!

Monday, August 2, 2010

multitude monday

Here's my continuing Multitude Monday post, which all started a while back, right here.

"One Thousand Gifts":

693. a lady riding an old-school Schwinn on a Sunday morning wearing a really cute skirt
694. overnight rain
695. clean laundry
696. a family day trip
697. these powerful words::
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ
698. the sound of teeny little toddler feet running toward her momma
699. kids super excited about rocks700. good friends
701. cleaning, sorting and PURGING!
702. antibiotics
703. the sleep of a REALLY worn out kiddo

Alrighty, that's it's for now. Tune in next Monday for the next installment.

holy experience

Sunday, August 1, 2010

super dad!

on the boardwalk along Lake Superior::