Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Some things about me. just me.

As many of you can imagine, things aren't about me very often. And they haven't been for a while. And...I like it that way (most of the time:).
So I occasionally want to post about something that is on my mind or something that I'm passionate about and I don't b/c 1) I don't post often 2) I'm not as interesting as my children 3) Because the main purpose of this blog is to keep people connected to us, especially the kids. BUT...I don't have the time or desire to start an all about Laura blog so I guess you are occasionally going to have to put up with an all about me post!!!!
That being said, I better get started because I have like ten posts that I need to fit into one!!

1) First, I always want to post about cooking and recipes. Yes, the kids make cooking difficult at times, mostly the girls, but we adapt and somehow we manage to rarely eat out. I love the days when Kevin takes all the kids upstairs and I get to cook by myself. It is amazing how much faster I am without distractions and less frazzled by the time I get my creation to the table! I am going to brave a piece of meat that I have always been intimitated by (and never want to buy:), filet mignon, for one of our holiday dinners. I will have to let you know how it goes!!!

Now I know I should have used a bigger bowl! I was whipping cream:)

Here is my Grandma's fudge recipe for all of you thinking Christmas goodies!
1 lb. Hershey bar
2 c. semi choc. chips
1 lg jar marshmellow cream
3 c. chopped pecans
41/2 c. sugar
1 lg. can evap. milk
3 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon vanilla
Pinch of salt

Mix sugar and milk together in a large roasting pot. Stirring constantly bring to a roiling boil and keep stirring for 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Hershey and choc. chips till melted then add marshmellow cream stir till smooth. Add in the rest of ingredients and mix well. Spoon out onto parchment paper or wax paper.P.S. I break up Hershey bar, open c. chips, marshmellow cream, butter and vanilla and measure nuts all ahead of time because once you get it off the heat you need to move fast. It’s also very helpful to have two people spooning it out. Be careful not to scorch the sugar and milk.

2) Books!!! Oh Reading 'for fun' why have I denied you for so long!?!? Hummm....could it be because I was forced to read for so long and then went straight into baby bonanza during college and then started a business in the middle of the craziness......yes I think so!!!!! But the reading drought is over and I am hooked. Here are some books 'for fun' that I highly reccommend. By the way, Kevin and I had a really neat night last week....we both just picked up our books after we got the kids in bed and sat down on the couch and just read.....never turned on the tv and didn't miss it. Then we both completed our books within minutes of each other! How's that for good timing?? Anyway, we both just read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins(a three book series) and it was fabulous.

3) Parenting. This is my full-time, non-stop, super exhausting, always challenging, but very rewarding job. For me, it is the purpose of my life right now. I have an opportunity to influence these four precious souls more than anyone else and if one of our kids decides to love the world instead of God when they are grown, I will be heart broken and crushed. So I am giving it my all and messing up plenty a long the way. But I am pleading to God for more wisdom and patience and endurance and begging Him to forgive me for constantly failing. Parenting is the most humbling experience I have ever had. I feel like I continuely need my own 'little talk'!! I do want to share a book that has greatly impacted the way we strive to parent, Shepparding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp, I wish I would have read when we firsted started this adventure. I just bought two on Amazon for twelve bucks, I am giving them away right and left in hopes that other people will read it and be blessed from it as we have.

4) P90X. Okay I have been wanting to share my experience and opinion on this program for a year and it's pretty ironic that I talking about when I haven't done it months, but oh well! I mentioned in a post last fall that Kevin and I were doing the program and I've had several people ask about it. The program is 12 weeks long and you work out 6 days a week for an hour to an hour and half. A diet is also included which basically consisted of shedding weight the first month with lowfat protein and then they start adding in more carbs the second month and by the third you are eating tons of carbs. Anyway, that's how your are supposed to do it!!!! We did the diet for one week:) We did the program for a solid six weeks and then off and on for two weeks. Then I decided to just do it once or twice a week from then on and I haven't done it lately but hope to start again in January. So what did we think? Kevin hated it because it took up our entire down time (8pm-10pm) in the evenings. It takes a few minutes to set up the weights and pull up bar and we used a mat to protect our carpet and then you have to shower afterwards so it was nearly a two hour ordeal. We did decide the second month that we would stop at one hour even if that meant stopping in the middle of the workout (we would just skip forward to the cool down) and that helped. But to me the results were worth the effort. I was having trouble loosing the last ten pounds of baby weight (it had been 10 months) and I was able to loose that ten pounds in about 4 to 5 weeks with out changing my diet much. And Kevin used to have planters fasciitis (foot trouble:) and after all the stretching during the program it went away. And I loved the endurance that I gained back. I hated feeling like I couldn't go climb a mountain to to say (not that I could climb a very big one:)! I want to always feel like I can go for a hike with my dad in Colorado and keep up or go for a mile run without having to walk. And by the end of the six weeks I could do two real chin-ups by myself which is a good feeling ya know! So is the program killer.........oh yes most definetely......but it gets the job done!!

5) Decorating the play room! I have this blank canvas and we are planning on turning into something special for the kids this spring. Any ideas????

I really want to do a toy storage unit with a padded bench in the middle down this long wall. But I'm having trouble deciding whether or not to paint the angled wall btw. the regular wall and ceiling....does that make sense?? I am leaning towards yes to make the room look taller....but then it leaves us with one small strip of unpainted ceiling, so then I've thought about doing a different color on the ceiling and angled walls. But also don't know what color to do! I hate primary colors and it has to be gender nuetral....so I'm thinking light lime green or something in the aque family? Any other suggestions??
My mom found this great little table and chairs at a garage sale and I think I am going to paint the whole thing expresso and then make cushions in a fun fabric for the stools. The covers I am envisioning will have elastic around the bottom to secure under the lip of the stools and will be washable!!
This little nook is going to be the art area and the new home for the table and chairs. I'm thinking the reading area will be where the table currently is. As for the nook, I am going to have to put down some sort of rug down I think because I want the boys to be able to paint occationally. I am going to do a little curtain in the window....have no idea what kind..!! And here's my idea for the art supply storage or should I say Pottery Barn's idea:)See the big pink pockets!! I want to do those in fun fabric to match the stools and label them for all the art stuff. I want one down each wall in the nook with a way to display their art above it! Any ideas on how to display their art? Any other ideas on the playroom? Furniture, colors, storage, wall art????? Some cute wall vinyls???

That's all for now folks.......I don't want to be in the spot light too long!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Because I promised...

Have your ever seen a cuter Buzz and Woody?!? The girls are enjoying their first suckers with our friend April.

We just got home from Thankmas in Montana and we are trying to get back in the swing of things. Kallie decided to climb out of her crib 12 times last night so I am dealing with that while Kevin is away on business. Fun.Fun. Suitcases are still full and I haven't even done one load of laundry. I am feeling swamped!!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Yikes! I'm back!

Getting ready for Kindergarten with some help from Mommy:)

Our handsome little cheeseball.
Klaire is giving baby bear kisses.
Kallie is 'sleeping' with her babies.
And people ask me if they are identical!

Best buds.
Klaire our little dare devil wanting to ride with Landon.
Super hero Liam kept everyone safe when we went to brunch at little Ave's house. I'm ready to ride mom!!
Kallie and Klaire couldn't get enough of this!
Watch out people. No really he doesn't turn to the left very well!!!!

Costume pics coming soon!! October has been a crazy month!! Kevin has been gone A LOT and I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off even more than normal! But the kids are great. Hilarious and darling as always.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Our little Goobers

(picture from June)

I have a few funny stories that I need to share before I forget them!!!

Last week I bought Liam and Landon some new underwear, boxer briefs, thinking they would maybe be more comfy than their briefs. So they were excited to try them (I love that they get excited over the smallest things, its' so fun) and Liam was particularly excited when I mentioned they would reduce wedgies. So he was wearing them for the first time and after a couple hours he says to me (as he is fixing a wedgie), "Mom these underwear aren't working, you are going to have to get some more." I said, "Well, all underwear give wedgies, I just thought these would be a little better." His eyes widen. I knew he had big news to announce. "Nope mom. Not all underwear. I KNOW that God's underwear NEVER give him a wedgie."

Now a little story that shows how much work I have cut out for me when it comes to taming the girls!! It was time for Klaire to get her jammies on and instead she was ignoring me and being a little toot to Kallie so I said, "Klaire, come to mommy or you are going to get a spank-spank." She looks at me, smiles, sticks her booty out, spanks herself, says, "pank-pank", and turns to keep 'playing' with Kallie. Well, she did end up with a real 'pank-pank' but I was so tickled I could hardly discipline her:)

We have decided that our kids are going to have some of the most creative (or strange!:) future aspirations EVER! Landon has wanted to be so many things, but the most memorable are 'Noodle Maker' and 'Poop Teacher' (he liked to coach Liam) but now I would like to announce that he has decided to be a 'Doggy costume maker' and a 'Science Experiment Teacher'.....we, especially Dad, is hoping for the ladder!!!! You should see some of the things he has tried to tape onto Minnie:)

I don't really have a particular funny story for Kallie at the moment. She is SO funny though. Both her and Klaire have the funniest facial expressions. They are very dramatic....surprise surprise....and they love to get all of us giggling at them. Kallie gets kinda shy around people so unfortunately most people don't get to see what a little turkey she is.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What's going on in Staplesville

A lot. Which is why I'm a little behind on the blog:) And I don't have much time to post right now so I'm going to brief:) Or at least try:)
Some things we are up to......
-Softball for Kevin. 3rd season this year. Church team, he is coaching. He is enjoying it very much.
-Beth Moore Bible study. For me:) First one and I'm enjoying it very much. Even the homework!
-Hosting a small group on Wednesdays at our place. I love cooking for others!
-Bunco for me once a month and poker group for Kevin....we are on a loosing streak currently!!
-School school school. Remembering lunches, picture day, nightly homework, show and tell, dress up days, ahhhhh so much to remember!!
-Book Club for me. Shocker for those of you who know me well. But I am getting into reading and find it more enjoyable than straining my eyes and neck in front of my computer!! Which is another reason the blog is at the bottom of my to-do list):
-Church plant. Most of the stuff we are involved in is with our church community, Venture. We have been attending and helping out with the church plant since earlier this year.
Oh and the most important thing we have been up to...........

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tear-free Start!

We have a first grader. AHHHH!!! That is so crazy! Let me tell ya this back to school was sooooo much easier than last year. Mommy didn't cry. Landon was a pro at getting around the school and we are so excited about his teacher. The first day he said that it wasn't quite as fun as he was expecting, but yesterday he said that first grade was even better than kindergarten. So he is settling into the transition from basically playing all day to getting down to business really well thus far. And he and Margo and Kiran all got different teachers):
Liam starts back to 2-day preschool next week. And the girls aren't going anywhere yet! We probably won't send them until they are three.
Where is your nose?Where are your toes?Where is your hair?Where is your ear?Klaire pretending to sleep in Liam's bed.Kallie is our shoe girl. I can never find my shoes!!I know it's not much curl, but I adore it and play with those curls all the time!Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Cowboy without his hat...

Is like a Yodel without 'ay-hee-hoo'!!!!!!! Not a Toy Story fanatic??? Well then you may want to brush up on your Toy Story characters before you talk to Liam about his birthday! Actually his birthday wasn't all Toy Story, but his favorite present was 'Woody'. And Woody talks when you pull his string and he has several cute phrases like the one above. Liam didn't set him down for literally 48 hours. It was the only gift we got him because we were taking him and Landon to the circus, and boy are we glad we didn't get him anything else.

Woody has not only been his favorite new toy, but he replaced 'Blankie' at night. Which is a GINORMOUS thing in Liam's world. Blankie has been with him since birth and Liam has cuddled Blankie (or as he calls it....humm humming blankie:) and sucked his thumb with Blankie from before his first birthday. In fact, we had to cut the blanket into four pieces just so that I could wash it consistently. Blankie has been on every trip with us except for one! We forgot him and so we had to cut a piece off one of the girls' blankets! Blankie has comforted Liam through countless nights and naps and we believe it is one of the main reasons that Liam never once since he was about six months old cried when we laid him in his bed. We have enjoyed cuddling Liam while he cuddled Blankie and we have enjoyed watching him be calmed and so saying goodbye to Blankie is difficult. I have shed some serious tears over it and I am again as I type. Our Liam is growing up. It is a mark of a new chapter. A major new chapter for mommy.....

I remember when we wrapped him Blankie...

I remember when he couldn't decide which Blankie he wanted the most....

I remember when Blankie read stories with us...

But I will also remember Woody:)
I saw this cake in a magazine a few months ago and tucked it away in mind hoping that Liam would be happy with a motorcycle cake this year. And sure enough he was delighted with the idea. It was SO EASY. Two boxs cake mix, two cans chocolate frosting, coco puffs, chocolate doughnut holes, big pretzels, fruit roll-ups, green licorice, and a toy motorcycle and you're good to go.

Now I wish I still had some of this cake......chocolate is the best after a good cry!! I am going to be a wreck when the girls get to this age too:)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I am....

Not doing For Keeps Design anymore. I know, not a very exciting change:) But for me, it's a big change.

Sarah and I started For Keeps right after I had Liam and opened for business September of 2007. We were super pumped and full of passion and optimism (and had more disposable time:). Now we are thrilled to be done with the money pit!! We believe that we had a great product but we just couldn't compete with our competitors pricing and website traffic. So we are both sad that it didn't end with us selling our booming business to Hallmark, but at the same time relieved to be saying 'adios' to the responsibility and stress. We learned SO MUCH throughout the process. We learned about strengths and weaknesses that we never knew we had.....I learned that I suck at writing and Sarah learned she could design when I forced her too!! We also learned what SEO stands for, how to file taxes for an LLC, learned what a comptroller is, how to run the administration side of a website, we learned about adwords, Xcart, the difference btw digital and press printing ($ is about it:), what EIN stands for, we learned the ins and outs of merchant services/credit card processing, and the list goes on and on. And I couldn't have asked for a better business partner either. She is an amazing business woman and friend.

Thanks for the journey Sarah!

Oh and by the way....we are selling our website. If you or someone you know is interested in an online retail store please contact me at lauramstaples@gmail.com for more details.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Growing and Changing.

As you can imagine, we do a lot of growing and changing around here. I haven't posted about what the kids are really up to lately so I thought I share a few things.

First, this how much hair the girls have now.....ahhh enough for a real ponytail. I don't whether to smile or cry.

The girls are amusing us quite a bit lately with their interactions with us and each other. In this picture, Klaire is trying to get Kallie to stay put for the picture! Which is funny because this is the first time Klaire has ever held still for a picture when I wanted her to!
The girls are wanting to be very independent with certain things. Like feeding themselves for example, they want to use spoons and forks all the time now and get frustrated when we try to help them. Kallie is now taking f-o-r-e-v-e-r to eat. She really does not want to be helped. I didn't think we could have another slow eater, but looks like Liam has some competition coming:) Hopefully he will snap out of it soon like Landon did at about four and half.

This picture below is a bit deceiving. They would actually much prefer to be riding this alone! They have just as many moments of loving each other as being jealous of each other. Trust me. Just this morning, Kallie saw me bending down to kiss Klaire's booboo and so she immediately stopped what she was doing and came over and sneakily tried to maneuver Klaire out of my attention and then when Klaire decided to go do something else, Kallie looked me straight in the face (like looky here mom, don't look at her) and proceeded to give me many hugs and kisses!

The girls are also talking a lot at home. They don't do it much when we are out and Klaire likes to talk more than Kallie, but Kallie is also quicker to sign for something. They have so many words now I have lost track of them, but my favorite thing to hear them say is probably 'daddy'. Something about little girls and their daddies:)

Liam is turning four this coming weekend): He is probably the one that I have the hardest time watching change for reasons that are hard to describe. He is just my little teddy bear and if you have ever spent much time around him you probably understand. Landon is a first born child to a 'T' with way too much brain in that head of his and so he is never lacking attention and the girls, well they get plenty too, so Liam is the one who will be off playing in his own world when all of a sudden he will come up and grab your hand and say, "I really like you. I'm glad God made you for me." Oh my heart. So anyway, I know now after watching Landon the last couple years, how quickly the innocence turns into knowledge and the comments and questions are still cute, but they just aren't the same. So I'm holding on....

Anyway, Liam wants to go to the circus so we are going to take him and Landon at the end of this month. I hope they like clowns more than me:)

I let Liam push the gas on the four-wheeler. Bad idea. We about popped a wheelie and I had to literally yank his hand off of it before we had a collision with the mountain! But the next time he was timid, so I guess it wasn't such a horrible idea!Then there is 'L-dog' or 'what?' is his new nickname! He wants to know everything that Kevin and I are talking about so if he doesn't hear a whole comment he will say, "What?" or "What we're you saying?" Anyway, he is really enjoying his summer off, don't get me wrong he misses Margo and Kiran like crazy, but summer has its bonuses too:) He is getting to stay up later and watch more shows and play the Wii and sleep in and enjoy leisurely breakfasts and spend more time his family. So he tells me that summer is pretty great too. He and Liam are thick as thieves lately. Liam used to be lost with out Landon, but now Landon seems just as lost as Liam when they are apart...which isn't often! But I have noticed a slight increase in the argueing btw the two of them since school let out, but we expected that.

We had two goals for Landon this summer: - To ride his bike with out training wheels - And to learn to swim

And we were nervous about being frustrated with him on both goals b/c he let us know that he did not really want to do either. So right after school got out, I decided that he was going to ride his bike everyday until he got the hang of it. Kevin predicted it would take at least six weeks and I thought a couple, but he did it on one week and loved (almost) every minute of it. He is so proud of his achievement and now we are working on pushing off and getting started with out help b/c that's the hardest part. He has stopping down thankfully!

And we put him and Liam in swim lessons that went for four days in a row for two weeks. The first day Landon was behind on floating on his back and by the end he was jumping off a diving board. Watching him 'get it' was AMAZING. He is a little fish. We have to tell him to calm down all the time when we go swimming now. I taught him how to dive and he didn't even hesitate, just did it. His swim teacher was so proud of him too and Landon has been asking to move up to the next class. We'll see!! Mommy and Daddy might be able to take it from here:)

He is also being a terrific big brother. He has a lot of responsibility and handles it so well. Below is pic of him with the girls reading them a book.

That all for now folks! Stay tuned for a post about my latest big change.