Merry Christmas

Here is our Christmas Picture that did NOT make it in our Christmas Cards (Our heads were cut off when I picked up the pictures from Wal-mart).

Our Christmas Tree (and Jonah). Jonah and his daddy picked this out. We are so glad that we get to leave it up until Christmas Day this year. In the past it always came down several days before so it wouldn't be huge mess when we returned from a 2 week visit to Illinois.

Look at the ice from our recent ice storm! (Its pretty but a lot of poeple lost a lot of trees due to this storm. We were fortunate.)

The Good, the Bad and the Incredibly Inconvenient

(of moving into our new house)

So after living in Illinois for over three months we have finally moved into our own house. We appreciated the generosity of my parents for letting us stay at their house while Jake job hunted and then house hunted, but are glad to be "on our own" again. Here is what is happening:
We live right across the street from a little park. We haven't got to play there too much due to the rain, snow and cold temps, but we're enjoying the idea of it at least.

We have really nice neighbors right next door. They have grown children our age and we don't mind at all that they are a little parental towards us!

We have this great bar/island in our kitchen. Its a great place for Jonah to keep busy. He'll sit and color, help me bake, play with play dough and do other various activities. I love the easy clean-up and we can "hang-out" in the kitchen together and both "get stuff done."

We have three bathrooms! Although that means I have 3 to clean its still nice after sharing one at my parent's house!

We live really close to a shopping center that has everything I need: Wal-mart, Walgreens, Aldi's, Deals, our bank and Jonah has even seen a doctor that I really like there!

Hmmmm...the bad. I think the bad is the basic stuff that comes with buying an almost thirty year old house: you keep finding things to fix! So far we need to think about fixing/replacing:
roof ( in five years?? We're not sure)

water heater and furnace (both are old but still in working order. They are however covered by the home warranty that our seller's purchased so we are praying that they break in the next 12 months!)

our shower- I found a crack in the floor when I was cleaning it. Unfortunalty, the home inspector missed it (It is NOT covered by our warranty)

our gutter needs to be reattached or something of the sort.

our front door is VERY drafty because the molding around it hasn't been finished

our doorbell (no DING)

Its COLD here! We visited Arkansas for the weekend and couldn't believe how warm it was! Jonah was so excited not to have to wear a coat (so were we).

Speaking of cold, due to the ice storm that we had we just yesterday got internet service and a home phone. They are still not working so well...

We haven't found a church yet and we're not have much fun anymore looking for one. Its very hard for Jonah to visit a new class each week.

And, the worse part is, we are still friendless (def.- without friends). I find myself talking to people in line at Aldi's a lot more than I used to!!!

Here's our new place:

Come and see us!

A Battle (not to be fought)

Recently Jonah has showed a strong aversion to clothes. He would rather stay in his pajamas all day. Actually, that is not exactly true, he is willing to change out of the pajamas that he slept in into a pair of clean pjs in the morning. But yesterday, after threatening to take away all of his stuffed animals, we had a bath when he woke up. I had to pretty much throw him in and bribe him with shaving cream because he also rencently has decided to dislike baths and showers(and most foods, socks, coats, and flannel sheets). Obviously, most things are a battle for us and the clothing battle is one that I chose not to fight. Jake chooses to fight it on Sundays while I am perfectly willing to let him wear Scooby Do to church (instead we wear it UNDER a plain boring shirt with stripes or something that is "not his favorite"). After our bath yesterday he dressed himself. He hasn't quite got the hang of putting his head in first. Don't forget to notice his pants (on backwards). At least he got dressed! Amen to that!


Smarter than Sand

I like to joke that the difference between my family and Jake's is that at my house you sit around and watch a lot of TV and at Jake's house you do five projects at once while 3 conversations are going on around you. Our houses are different and I appreciate the relaxing atmosphere at my parent's house but also the productivity that can occur at my in-laws (not that I can't relax there or that we never get anything done here, but if I was going to generalize...).

So Jonah and I left the Disney channel to go down south to spend some time with his grandma and grandpa last month. Project Number 1 was get sand for Jonah to play in at their house. And a sandbox. So we went to Wal-mart and after a little work we got a big kiddie pool (on clearance for $1) tied into the back of the truck. We then drove to the gravel pit and asked for a little sand. Jonah and I walked back to the sand pile while his grandma drove the truck onto the scale and after being weighed drove back to the sand pile. A very nice man shoveled it into to our pool until we said "stop." Then, here is where the smart part comes in, we ALL got into the truck (not the nice man, just Jonah, myself, and my mother-in-law) and pull on the scale to be WEIGHED. As we were driving away Cathy says, "Hmmmm, that was $5 dollars, I thought when I called a few weeks ago they said it would be about that much for a whole load." WHOOPS!!! I bet they didn't calculate Jonah and I when they were giving her a quote on how much it would cost to buy sand for her new patio!

Once we got the "sand pool" off the truck (it took some effort, ramps, and a little digging) Jonah loved it, so I guess it was worth the cost of a few more pounds of sand!

A Series of Searches

Some say that moving is a "new start" but what they really mean is that it is a lot of searching! I am happy to say that Jake has completed the "job search" (he will be joining the marketing team at Decatur Electronics) and we have moved on to the "house search." It isn't going as quickly as we would like (but not as slow as the job search, amen!). Our realtor did inform us today that we currently hold the record for the most offers she has written on different houses for one couple. She has only been a realtor for a couple years but we did sign offer NUMBER #3 today. (Houses #1 and #2 did not work out, long stories). We hope that House #3 is "it" (but I won't post pictures or anything until they sign on the dotted line because at this rate we could be looking at house #4 tomorrow...). So then we can move on to the "church search" and the "second vehicle search" and the "doctor(s) search"...

We'll Never Learn

I have two updates since my most recent post concerning Jonah and the way that he interprets adult speech.

One- He was talking to my mom and she stopped to enter the bathroom. He started to follow her in and she asked him to wait OUTSIDE. He broke out into tears and said "But Daddy said I can't go outside."

Two- Today Jonah was trying to get down from his seat without eating any of his lunch (which is typical). So, I don't know what I was thinking but said, "Are you going to eat lunch or run around like a crazy man?" He very seriously answered, "Run around like a crazy man", like I was really giving him options and that was what he was choosing!

Literal Translation

As adults we understand the need to interrupt some things that are said, read, or seen on tv to mean something other than what was actually said. We also understand (for the most part) sarcasm and metaphors and the like. One of my favorite examples is from when I taught pre-school and we were making guacamole. I told my 4 year old student to "pop that baby out of there" referring to the pit of the avocado. I'm not sure what literary term "baby" is actually being used as in that sentence, but I do know that the little girl was very confused and looked under the table for a baby.

Now Jonah too takes things literally. At our going away party he was screaming very loudly in play and I, without thinking, said "if you are going to scream, go in the other room." Jonah took this too well (I should have know something was up) because he walked a whole 10 steps to the kitchen (which opened right up to the family room where we were all sitting) and continued to scream in fun. I asked for that.

Recently Jonah was entertaining us at the dining room table and began to "zerbert" and spit all over his food and ours. My dad calmly said, "Jonah, we don't spit at the dinner table." Jonah anxiously asked in return, "where do we spit?"


Currently Jonah's only cousins are my brother and sister-in-law's two dogs. Just like siblings, they appear very different in personalities. Vesta is big and sweet. Harley is a small hyper Boston Terrier. Jonah isn't around dogs too often and is always a little fearful at first. But he looked forward to Harley and Vesta's (and his aunt and uncle's) visit. He kept his distance at first but soon was begging to hold a leash (usually Vesta's) and take them on a walk.

He was sad to see them go and coped by pretending to be one of them. He chose to be Harley, even though she frightened him the most, I think he picked her because he can relate most to her. My brother was constantly watching the door, cleaning up after her, and telling her to calm down and be quiet. That's exactly what I do with Jonah, so having a Boston Terrier must be lot like raising a three year old!

So our "doggie day" this week consisted of a leash (a rope tied to his belt loop), several walks where we barked and pretended to eat grass (but it was pretend grass since we took our walks in the basement), catching pretend bones, and be whistled for. Woof Woof!

You Got to Move It, Move It

(title inspired by Jonah's favorite movie theme song)

We packed up, rented a big truck, and moved to Illinois a couple of weeks ago. Jonah was a big help and loved riding in the truck with Daddy. Now Jonah can spot a Penske truck from a couple of blocks away!

We are so glad to finally be here without too many mishaps. Our truck ended up not working well and had to be replaced, fortunatly we realized that before we loaded up more than the dryer. And then we had to wait several hours for them to bring us a new one (I guess it takes some time to tow a 26 foot truck from Joplin). But that was no battle for our 16 friends who showed up to pack us up, they had all of our junk loaded in two hours!

And we are now safely settled in my parents house and our things are in Stanbery Storage (my parent's garage). Jonah and I are trying to keep busy while Jake continues the job hunt!

We can we reached at our old cell phone number so give us a call (we won't make you move our stuff)!

Sweet and Sour

My blog is back after a longer than expected break. My break was due not just to busyness but to my lack of "sweet" stories. Sometimes life seems like a list of funny antics about your family that you forget the "sour" moments. Except when sour moments seem to prevail over the sweet ones. And the sour ones aren't quite so fun to share. I want to forget the fact that we sold our house, quit our jobs, and moved back home without a noteworthy plan. It makes me feel even more irresponsible to write all of that down. But, how can we enjoy the sweet ones without the sour ones? Our misfortunes and mistakes are a part of life too, they help to make up our life just as much as the blessings that come our way. So, "Tales of a Stay-At-Home Mom is back, sour moments and all!

What I learned in Sunday School

Jonah's teacher, Miss Claudia (Aunt Claudi) told this story this evening:

"This month we have been talking about Easter. Every week I have had plastic eggs and each week there is something different inside that goes along with the story. This morning I was reviewing the Easter Story but for the first time talked a little bit about the crucifixion. I had a spear in one of the eggs and told the 2 and 3 year olds that the guards poked Jesus to see if He had died. When I was finished with the story I let the kids look inside the eggs. Jonah found the spear and asked if he could "poke" Jesus as he headed over to the felt storyboard".

Right out our front door...

Recently the city has been working on the roads around our house. Over the weekend there was a paver, two rollers and a back hoe parked on the next street over. We drove by it and then had to turn around and then back up to see the equipment again and again. Then we had to take a walk to see them. And had to count their lug nuts. But today OUR road was actually paved. So a big dump truck, a roller and a paver spent most of the day on our street! It was very noisy (which Jonah does't really like) but he endured it to see the action. He kept asking "what are they doing, Mama?" And I would say, "Working on the road." He finally asked if he could help them but wasn't too disappointed when I said that we could just watch!

What's the Weather Channel?

So I must have confused myself with my husband who was going to Florida or my friend who went to California over Spring Break when I packed flip flops and capris for mine and Jonah's trip to Illinois. It was warm in Arkansas when I left is my excuse. My parent's town got 5 inches of blowing snow with a blizzard advisory while we were there and we were snowed in for a day. Jonah wanted his boots and his gloves so he could go play in it and I had to tell him that I was sorry, that I didn't even bring him a coat! Whoops! But the crazy thing is comparing the snow removal process in Central Illinois and to the non exsistant snow removal process in Arkansas. Even the apartment complexs and backroads were clear by the end of the day. And even though the snow had not melted the next morning school buses were up and running!

"Come my Party"

Jonah remided everyone that his 3 year old party was coming up! He told everyone to "come my party!" He had a "bulldozer and dump truck" party. He was so excited about it (I think we started planning it a little too soon!). But he and his friends played in his ball pit and convinced some non parents to pull them around the backyard in his wagon.

He received a bubble sword from his friend Shack (Shack is the gib kid next to Jake. Shack and Jake tried several bubble mixtures before they gave up on the big bubbles.

Here is Jonah and his Dumptruck Cake! He knew how to blow out the candles this time but still needed some help from his friend Jadon.

Jonah loved his Bob the Builder blanket.

Convenient Food

One morning Jonah walked into the bathroom while I was showering, he must have just rolled out of bed. He said, "Orange Juice, Mommy." I said to ask Daddy. A minute later he said, "Cheeseburger, Mommy." I said, "For breakfast?" But before I could really finish my sentence he forcefully said, "Eat it!" I looked through the shampoo suds to see a very tightly wadded blanket that he was holding out to me! What a nutrious breakfast!

The Long Winter

So lately my addiction has been getting out of hand. And like most additions, it seems harmless to me but my husband is quick to tell that it is destroying our marriage. So maybe it’s not all that drastic, I’m just addicted to Little House on the Prairie. Jake says he can’t handle another episode. I think he got burned out from the Little House marathon I did early in the month when I found Season 3 at the library. We watched all 19 episodes in two weeks! He may be burned out, but now I have Little House fever. But since he has banned the videos from our house I’ve taken to reading the series.

The books are easy reads, enjoyable and interesting as Laura Ingalls Wilder describes her life on the prairie during the post civil war years. As I was reading book 6, The Long Winter, our electricity goes out. Now, I ‘m reading about twisting hay to burn to keep them warm since they are out of coal and wood. I’m reading of blizzard after blizzard that keeps the trains away for months. There are descriptions of the process of grinding wheat into flour using a coffee mill to make bread since the stores are out of flour. They ration themselves to one loaf a day for a family of six until spring when the trains can arrive with supplies. As I’m reading about these hardships I say, “how long as the power been out?” because my eyes were hurting from reading by candle light and my nose was beginning to get cold. “A half hour”, Jake says. He then adds, “You would never make it as Laura Ingalls.” So, he is probably right. I am glad that my fascination with her life is not a reality for myself, but that doesn’t mean that I can read about her (or watch, don’t tell Jake!).

Heavy Metal

Jonah decided randomly one day this week that we were going to drum. Not just him, but the two of us. He would take a turn and then he would hand me the sticks for "mommy's turn." I would sing a song that he knew and do my best to stay on beat with some light taps on the big plastic drum. I couldn't get to "E" in the Alphabet Song or "How I wonder what you are" in "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" when he would say "no Mommy, like this" and he would take the drum sticks away and bang loud and fast. That didn't surprise me but the fact that every song became a screaming Heavy Metal song did. Now, I'm not very cultured when it comes to current Heavy Metal Bands or past ones at that, but I think that I can fairly say he looks just like a drummer in training. He must listen to those bands with Jake or maybe its just his almost 3 year old nature (that would be my guess) because he doesn't listen to music that gives mommy a headache when he is with me (when he starts singing like Jennifer Knapp and Chirs Tomlin, we'll know who he's been in the car with) (listening to the radio not to ME singing, that would be a bad thing for him to immitate!).

Black Lagoon Soup

Although I'm a great meal planner when it comes to dinner time, I'm not so good when it comes to lunch. Jake is often sent to work with leftovers and Jonah and I eat whatever we can find- PB & J's, grilled cheese, mac and cheese, eggs and toast...usually simple. As I was driving home one day this week around lunch time I was unable to think of anything simple I had on hand that sounded good to both Jonah and I. Then I remember the leftover rice in the fridge and the homemade chicken stock in the freezer. Chicken and rice soup in no time I thought. Unfortunatly the rice was MIA (in Jake's lunchbox) but I was determined to have soup anyway. It just took a little longer than planned and Jonah was very cranky by the time it was on the table. Because we had recently made green eggs and ham, which he thought was the coolest thing, we decided to color our soup with food coloring. I thought green or pink soup would be nice but we(he) tried ALL of the colors. Now, our soup didn't look too good (to me), but it was the best thrown together recipe I think I've ever made! Recipe follows so give it a try!

Black Lagoon Soup
feeds one hundry mommy and one cranky toddler

1 cup homemade chicken stock or canned broth
1 chicken boullion (or 2 if your toddler wants to put one in too)
1 carrot chopped into small pieces
1 celery stalk chopped into small pieces
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen corn
3 red or golden potatoes peeled and chopped into small pieces
Boil all of above ingredients until veggies are soft. Then add:
several drops (just one or two won't do) of every color of food coloring. Add an ice cube and crackers if desired.

Say Cheese

After a grocery shopping trip this week Jonah was standing on his stool at the counter "playing with those cans (is what he told me has he climbed up." As I put the rest of the groceries away I noticed that he was stacking, unstacking and rearraging the cans. He would say "Soup, here; bean, there." Then he said, "CHEESE!". He was arranging them for a family photo and taking their picture!


Jonah had his first dream last week, at least the first dream that he has talked about. He woke up in the morning talking about Elmo and how he called for Elmo, "Elmo, Elmo, Elmooooo (in a sort of sing song voice)". It turns that either Jonah or Elmo were in the elevator, I'm not sure which one. But I'm pretty sure that what was in the elevator was a picture of Blue's Clues. When asked to tell us about his dream we get this story, "I said Elmo, Elmo, Elmoooo. Elmo in elevator, picture of Blues Clues." That's all I have to go on but the story hasn't changed no matter how often he tells it. We did go to the library the night before his dream and we did ride the elevator. And we have been watching a Blue's Clues video a lot, the one where Steve uses maps to find things and to get places. So maybe the picture was a map? Its very interesting analyzing your almost-three-old's dreams!

Good Samaritan

Today Jonah and I pulled up at Wal-mart and parked directly in front of a cart corral. In the very back of the corral (which looked like the front to Jonah) was the conveted of all carts (at least among the 2 year old crowd)- a cart with a red car on it! You get to "drive" while your mommy shops! But, the corral was SO full, 2 rows of carts. I can do this, I thought. So I unbuckled Jonah but told him to stay in the car as I gave it a try. An old lady laughed at my ambitions as I tried to put all of the carts into a single row. But then, a buff, bald guy in his forties saved the day- he just lifted the cart over the railing and told me to have a good day! And we did, thanks to him!