Did have a nice encouraging post on motherhood brewing but I had to skip it in lieu of a comment on this Miss California controversy. In the pageant, she was asked about her beliefs on gay marriage by Perez Hilton. She answered the question honestly and he exploded. I just heard him on the Today show and he actually said that people should leave their politics at the door of the pageant and be relevant to all Americans, blah blah blah blah. I was in shock. If you don't want to hear a political answer or someone's personal opinion on a politically-charged topic, don't ask a political question. What he was saying was so incredibly moronic...if you are too much of a baby to handle the truth, D-O-N-'T A-S-K. What a little brat...get over it! It's YOUR fault this whole thing happened!



1 Sing, choirs of new Jerusalem,
your sweetest notes employ,
your sweetest notes employ
the paschal victory to hymn
in songs of holy joy,
in songs of holy joy,
in songs of holy joy!

2 For Judah's Lion burst his chains
and crushed the serpent's head,
and crushed the serpent's head;
Christ cries aloud through death's domains
to wake the imprisoned dead,
to wake the imprisoned dead,
to wake the imprisoned dead.

3 Triumphant in his glory now
to him all power is given,
to him all power is given;
to him in one communion bow
all saints in earth and heaven,
all saints in earth and heaven,
all saints in earth and heaven.

4 All glory to the Father be,
all glory to the Son,
all glory to the Son,
all glory to the Spirit be
while endless ages run,
while endless ages run,
while endless ages run.

Happy Easter!


Right of Conscience in Medicine - Sign Petition

Please go to www.freedom2care.org and click on the top where it says “Patients-comment here” to help us in this fight. This will lead you through a process where you can register your disagreement with the proposed changes.


Menu Planning for April

So as I mentioned in my last menu planning post, I have been focusing on meals that can be prepared in advance of dinnertime. And I have to say: it's working so well! We are all so much happier and very well-fed. It helps with my sanity, makes for a much more fun and free afternoon and enables us all to eat together. The Buffalo Chicken Lasagna that I made last month was fabulous and so was the Baked Spaghetti (the latter is going to be a repeat for April). The Farmhouse Chicken was a huge hit - you should make it, your family will thank you!

The only "problem" is that I have had to be more creative and organized with my recipes and I don't really mind that one bit! Right now I'm working on a way to compile all the "winners" into a notebook or some other other printable format so that I can access the hard copies easily and I'm going to try to plan one month's worth of recipes at a time, taking a cue from Simple Mom's recent post on this topic (love this blog!). I didn't really use any of her recipes but I used her idea to plan a theme for each day.

M0ndays - pasta
Tuesdays - soup, salad, and/or sandwiches
Wednesdays - stir fry
Thursdays - crock pot or casserole
Sunday - easy

So today, I printed off a blank calendar for the month of April and started filling it in. I used the cookbook Southern Living Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites as my main source for this month and found more than enough recipes to fill in every spot! Unfortunately, most of these recipes are not online but if they pass the test, I'm going to add them to my file. And if you're nice, I might just figure out a way to upload the finished product to this blog! My own cookbook of sorts...fun!

So here is a sampling of what's on the menu -

Cheddar-Bacon twice baked potatoes (can be frozen!), salad
Mexican Chicken Soup (didn't get around to making it last month but it sounds fabulous!)
Chicken Spaghetti Bake
Sloppy Joe Squares, roasted carrots
Butternut Squash & Bacon Soup
Tuna Noodle Casserole
Ham & Swiss Muffins (double the recipe, freeze half), fruit
Cheeseburger meatloaf, asparagus
Asian Chicken Stirfry
Cauliflower Soup (I made this last month and forgot to mention it...it was a huge hit. Elliot loved it and so did the friends we shared it with!)

To make things easier, I sometimes make the dish vegetarian and omit the meat. Like tonight I made a delicious taco casserole (from the same cookbook) and used black beans instead of ground beef and honestly, you couldn't even tell! Ryan loved it and didn't even notice that the meat was missing. Charlie thought it was too spicy but Elliot ate more it than I did. Anyway, you really can do this on dishes like this where meat is just one ingredient. I always add a bit of olive oil, though, just to add some yummy fat.

I also never measure spices. I just add some and taste, add some and taste. That saves a lot of time and means less mess to clean up. I've never had a problem doing this.

For all of the recipes above, the prep work will be done in advance and just baked or warmed at dinnertime.



Politcs, The Environment & Such

As I mentioned in this post a few weeks ago, I'm really curious about why non-black Christians would vote for Obama. Seriously, I've been wanting to know. And I've been trying to find out. I've come across some black Obama supporters and honestly, I think that they have a different perspective. Their excitement over his rise to power, at least in the cases of the folks I've talked to, really did overpower any other reasons. And I'm fine with that (or at least mostly fine with it...as fine as I can be, I guess...). At least it's a reason. Anyway, here is an excerpt from the online exchange I had recently with an avid Obama supporter:

THEM: In terms of liking Obama....Well first I have to say that race never entered into it for me. I only mention that because you asked why a "white Christian" would vote for him. The color of his skin wasn't an issue for me either way, BUT once he was elected, I allowed my kids to stay home from school to watch his inauguration because I felt like it was so significant historically to watch a non-white become President.I have been impressed with Obama (his blunder last night aside) from the first time I saw him speak, I think it was in 2004. I agree with his position and ideas on the environment. I LOVE his stance on disabilities (http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/DisabilityPlanFactSheet.pdf). I am comfortable with his plan to get us out of the Iraq tar-baby that Bush-Cheney got us into, not to mention the end of Guantanamo. The big question most people have is about abortion. Honestly, I do NOT think most so-called pro-life politicians are going to do a thing to lower abortion rates. It hasn't happened yet, and frankly, if they did overturn Roe v Wade, they would have nothing to campaign on. I think they know that, and I think they will never really act to turn back that clock. I feel like a better anti-abortion strategy is to work toward incentives to NOT need an abortion. Sex education. Adoption credits. Things like that. So basically, abortion is a non-issue for me politically. Anyway, that's a brief synopsis of my thoughts on it! :)

ME: Thanks for enlightening me as to your position. I don't care either way about the race issue either, I only mentioned it because it was def. a factor in this election. And the only Christians that I heard give a reason for their choice happened to be black and honestly, I thought their perspective was skewed.I am def. impressed with him...speakers and leaders like him do not come around very often. So I agree with you on that for sure.I most disagree with his socialist philosophy and economic plans. This is what really scares me more than anything else, honestly. What he says and does is so contrary to the ideals on which our country was founded and looking at history, socialism does not work. People are not motivated by their own innate goodness and any philosophies or way of life that depends on humans consistently doing the right thing just for the right things' sake will undoubtedly fail. And my experience with socialized medicine (military health care) has just proved that all the more in my mind.I do agree with you about the abortion thing and it is really a card that people like to throw down as a mandate to vote Republican BUT that being said, he does seem to me to be on a campaign against the sanctity of life in general: ending stem cell ban, lifting the ban on overseas funding of abortion, and trying to void the Health Workers' 'Conscience' Rule, just to name a few (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/27/AR2009022701104.html, http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2009/03/07/obama-to-end-stem-cell-ban-monday.html, http://www.foxnews.com/politics/first100days/2009/01/23/obama-lift-ban-overseas-abortion-funding/). I could never support anyone who did those things, ever...and that's also why I can't really be a Libertarian. :) And just for fun, I say the same thing about Democrats and the environment that you say about Republicans and abortion. I think the environment is the Democrat's abortion and I don't see either party really making a difference. As an aside, I do care about the environment and really try to do my part...

What do I say to that argument? Weak. Basically, she was overpowered by his charisma. That's how I take it anyway.

So I'm still on my quest for answers but this proves to me even more that people just fell in love with Obama and voted for him. Amazing.

Anyway, the environment. I do care about it and we in the Moody house are trying to do our part...

My kids are really messy eaters. Both of them. So in lieu of giving baths after every meal or using an entire package of wipes or 15 paper towels, I use one washcloth per day, per kid. I have a special set of washcloths that are used for this purpose and they aren't used for anything else. This is quite a major waste savings and I'm proud of it! I just tossed the old washcloths into the rag bin in the garage and bought new ones today. This is only my second set of kitchen washcloths since becoming a mother so I think I'm doing pretty good. And this is really an easy way to reduce and reuse...

More on this later.

ps: I don't think everyone who voted for Obama is off their rocker, I promise. If someone told me that they voted for Obama because they wanted "change" I would accept that answer. I don't agree, but I would accept it as legit. Just FYI.


Charlie is 3?

Dear Charlie,

Are you really THREE YEARS OLD? I just can't believe how quickly the time has passed. But I also can't really remember my life before you joined it. I have loved watching you grow and change and I am so thankful for every single day that I get to spend with you!

In honor of this your third birthday, I want you to know my three favorite things about you:

1. I just love how big your heart is. You love me, Elliot and your Daddy so much. "Mommy, I love you all your heart" is something I am privileged to hear quite often and don't worry, I know what you mean. :) It melts my heart each and every time I hear it. You get so excited to see Daddy and you constantly ask me where he is and what he is doing, even though I know that you already know the answers. And Elliot: wow, you have sure opened your heart to him and have done such an amazing job of sharing your parents. We are so proud of you!

Just a quick story: one day a few weeks ago, when I was writing thank-you notes for Elliot's birthday presents, you picked up a card and pretended to dictate a letter. It went like this: "Dear Mommy and Daddy, I love you 22. Love, Charlie" That was precious!

2. I love how much you talk. You make us laugh so hard by saying the most hilarious things! Too bad I didn't take everyone's advice and write them down to include here...that would have been a real treat. Anyway, you also say some words in a really funny way, "thank you" ("tang tu") is a great example. We hope that you never stop saying it.

3. I love having you as my constant companion. I am rarely lonely now that you are a little person. You love reading and learning with me, and we always have lots to talk about it. You also notice the things I do around the house and are always very curious about and appreciative of anything I sew or make. Thank you for that.
You really enjoy life and that is what makes you so special and such a pleasure so share experiences with (remember the night we went to the circus--picture is below--and before I could stop you, right there in Mellow Mushroom, you drew a "clown nose" on your face with my red pen). The smallest of things puts a huge grin on your face and your appreciation for life is contagious. You have a real gift.

So precious boy, on this your third birthday, we hope you know how deeply you are loved. We are so privileged to be your parents!



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Obama to End Stem Cell Ban Monday


I'm not a single-issue voter, I promise...

...but I would really be interested to hear from Christians who voted for Obama...inquiring minds want to know: why? how? What about him and his agenda does not violate your conscience? I just don't understand.

As if I needed one more reason to be confused by the Christian Obama supporters...

Health Workers' 'Conscience' Rule Set to Be Voided
By Rob Stein

Washington Post Staff WriterSaturday, February 28, 2009; A01

The Obama administration's move to rescind broad new job protections for health workers who refuse to provide care they find objectionable triggered an immediate political storm yesterday, underscoring the difficulties the president faces in his effort to find common ground on anything related to the explosive issue of abortion.
The administration's plans, revealed quietly with a terse posting on a federal Web site, unleashed a flood of heated reaction, with supporters praising the proposal as a crucial victory for women's health and reproductive rights, and opponents condemning it as a devastating setback for freedom of religion.
Perhaps most tellingly, the move drew deep disappointment from some conservatives who have been hopeful about working with the administration to try to defuse the debate on abortion, long one of the most divisive political issues.
"This is going to be a political hit for the administration," said Joel Hunter, senior pastor of the Northland Church in Longwood, Fla., whom Obama recently named to his Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. "This will be one of those things that kind of says, 'I knew it. They talk about common ground, but really what they want is their own way.' "
Administration officials stressed that the proposal will be subject to 30 days of public comment, which could result in a compromise. They said they remain committed to seeking a middle ground but acknowledged that will not always be possible.
"We recognize we are not going to be able to agree on every issue," said an administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the process has just begun. "But there remains a substantive area of common ground, and we continue to believe we can make progress and will make progress."
The announcement capped a week when anger among conservatives was already running high because of the ambitious progressive agenda outlined in the administration's proposed $3.6 trillion budget.
The debate centers on a Bush administration regulation, enacted in December, that cuts off federal funding for thousands of state and local governments, hospitals, health plans, clinics and other entities if they do not accommodate doctors, nurses, pharmacists or other employees who refuse to participate in care they feel violates their personal, moral or religious beliefs.
The rule was sought by conservative groups that argued that workers were increasingly being fired, disciplined or penalized in other ways for trying to exercise their "right of conscience."
Women's health advocates, family-planning proponents, abortion rights activists and others condemned the regulation, saying it created a major obstacle to providing many health services, including family planning and infertility treatment, and possibly a wide range of scientific research. After reviewing the regulation, newly appointed officials at the Health and Human Services Department agreed.
"We've been concerned that the way the Bush rule is written, it could make it harder for women to get the care they need," said an HHS official who spoke on the condition of anonymity for the same reason. "It is worded so vaguely that some have argued it could limit family-planning counseling and even potentially blood transfusions and end-of-life care."
An array of family-planning groups and others praised the move.
"The Obama administration is taking the right step forward to rescind this misguided rule," said Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), who has introduced legislation to overturn the regulation.
But the Family Research Council, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and others condemned it.
"It is open season to again discriminate against health-care professionals," said David Stevens, head of the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. "Our Founding Fathers, who bled and died to guarantee our religious freedom, are turning over in their graves."
The announcement -- which follows an administration decision to lift restrictions on federal funding of international family-planning groups that perform abortions or provide abortion information -- was also disappointing to some who have been working more closely with the administration on reducing the number of abortions.
"I think what was in place was as good as one could find in terms of seeking and securing common ground," said the Rev. Frank Page, the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention and another member of Obama's faith council. "It's a matter of respect. I felt like what was in place was that middle ground of common respect."
Administration officials stressed that the president remains committed to protecting the rights of health-care workers who do not want to participate in abortions; such rights have been guaranteed for decades by several federal laws.
"We recognize and understand that some providers have objections to providing abortions. We want to ensure that current law protects them," the HHS official said. "But the Bush rule goes beyond current law and seems to have upset the balance."
The administration is open to a new rule that would be more focused on abortion, the official said, adding, "We believe that this is a complex issue that requires a thoughtful process where all voices are heard."
Some predicted that the administration will produce a narrower regulation that protects workers who object to abortion but ensures access to other types of care.
"If the president kept in place the conscience clause in regard to abortion but reversed it in regard to birth control, most Americans would agree that's common ground," said Rachel Laser of the group Third Way, which is working to find compromise approaches to a number of contentious issues.
But Page noted that some health-care workers consider certain forms of birth control, such as the morning-after emergency contraception pill, to be the moral equivalent of abortion.
"If they choose not to be part of the distribution of that, that should be their conscience and their right," Page said.While some family-planning groups acknowledged privately that they might consider a compromise, others said they are doubtful that any regulation is needed.
"Our general feeling is this was an area that does not cry out for further clarification," said Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center. "I would be skeptical."


Menu Planning

Yep, I'm doing this again. Everyone keeps asking me about this, I think it's really the only reason why anyone ever reads my blog. Hah!

But now I have a new goal in menu planning: cook things that can be almost completely prepared before 3pm. Cooking dinner at dinner time just isn't working for me anymore. It's just too chaotic and everyone is grumpy. And Elliot is into *everything* now which makes it all the worse. So for the past few weeks, I've been gathering recipes and trying new things, trying to perfect this new strategy. And I might add that a rice cooker, a crockpot and a freezer full of lean, organic frozen veggies meat helps a lot!

So far I've made:
Tacos / taco salad - I prepared the meat, beans and rice around lunchtime

Buffalo Chicken Lasagna - (my favorite crockpotting lady was on Good Morning America!) I used a little less wing sauce because I wanted the kids to eat it too and I omitted the peppers (Ryan hates them)

Poppyseed Chicken (our family recipe)

Sweet Potato Enchiladas - I turned this into casserole, layering the tortillas instead of rolling them up like traditional tortillas

Baked Spaghetti - YUM

And I'm planning to make the following in the next few weeks:
Mexican Chicken Soup
Farmhouse Chicken
Mexican Lasagna
Crockpot Layered Dinner - This will make Ryan happy
Lasagna - I want to try adding the eggs and all the veggies like she did

I'm telling you: this really, REALLY works. I have been a much happier person since implementing this new strategy and as a result, everyone else is happier too. And very well-fed, I might add.

Oh, and ps: Elliot is walking! He started taking steps here and there a few weeks ago but in the past few days, he started walking more than crawling and walks first when he wants to get somewhere. It's so weird! Don't have any pictures to prove it yet, but here are a couple more recent shots...and I made the shirts!

pss - No snow in Savannah and I was quite happy. Living in Charlottesville for 3 years cured me of ever wanting to be around snow again. Really


Baby Elliot is 1!

Dear Elliot,

Happy Birthday to you! I can't believe that you are ONE already...the time has passed so quickly (I heard it would, but I didn't imagine it would be quite this fast). Last year at this time we still lived in Augusta and were completely stressed out about selling our house. I was still working and Charlie was not yet two. We knew it was going to be a crazy few months but that didn't stop us from being so excited to meet you! We just couldn't wait for your arrival and we have adored you since the first moment we saw you. Anyway, you are a big boy now and you are definitely coming into your own. You love balls, trucks, cars, playing outside in the sandbox and anything that Charlie is doing or playing with at any given moment. You also love wrestling with your Daddy and Charlie. Whenever they are sitting on the floor or anywhere even remotely accessible to you, you just dive on them, laughing and screaming, over and over again. It is really precious to watch. Speaking of Charlie: you love him. I think he might even be your favorite person! Y'all play all day long and don't really know what to do without each other. Oh yes, you fight and get on each other's nerves but more than anything, you are best buddies and constant companions. If you are both awake, you are together. And I love that. You are a big-time climber. You can climb up our stairs, up the slide in the backyard, on top of the toy boxes in the playroom, and out of your highchair onto the table (!), among other things. You can say (or have said in the past): "Mamama," "Dadada," "ball," "Tyke," "hi," and "that." And you finally like to eat (whew!) but no baby food, thank-you-very-much. Only the real stuff for you. You love spaghettios, goldfish, fruity cheerios, carrots, bread, macaroni and cheese, chicken nuggets, french fries, peaches, broccoli casserole, crackers, bananas, yogurt, smoothies and, of all, things, the cauliflower soup I made earlier in the week. And now we can add cupcakes to the list, since you ate TWO of the ones I made for your birthday and then screamed for more.

You are adorably chubby but not tall. Not even on the growth charts, actually. We are going to try to figure out why but in the meantime, you are really cute (rather be short than ugly, I always say!). Everywhere we go, people talk to you, coo at you and tell me how adorable you are, with your blond hair (sorry about the bad bang trim, by the way; you can thank your Daddy for that) and big blue eyes. You actually look just like my Mom, "Bubbles." It's funny: you look more like her than any of her children! We think it's kinda eerie.

You are also starting to have a little bit of a temper. We think Big Brother Charlie may be helping with that. When you want something, you just grit your teeth and scream. Sometimes you even try to bite whatever or whoever is close by. We can't have that so in the next few months (years!) we'll be trying to help you deal with frustration. In the meantime, you will surely be keeping us on our toes.

We love you so very much, more than you can even know. And we are so thankful that God blessed us with you. We wouldn't know what to do without you and you were the perfect addition to our family. We are looking forward to watching you grow up and celebrating many more birthdays with you...just don't rush it, OK?

Love, Mommy


THE Best Snack

Today I roasted carrots from my last farm box. Delicious. I've been eating them all day. Make some and use this recipe.


Four Years Ago

These pictures were taken four years ago when we were in D.C. with Jill and Josh, attending the inauguration of President Bush. It was an amazing experience and a very happy day. And that's all I'll say (cute rhyme, huh?).

God Bless America, Land that I love. Stand beside her, and guide her Thru the night with a light from above. From the mountains, to the prairies, To the oceans, white with foam God bless America, My home sweet home.


These past few weeks...

...have been quite trying. We've been sick. Sick. Haven't been to church or any other functions in two weeks. It all started two weeks ago when Elliot started sniffling. It went downhill from there as he continued to get sicker and sicker with what I thought was the worst cold ever. After a full week of suffering for him and a week-end where I was sure he was dehydrated and almost going to the hospital in the middle of the night, I took him to the dr. And he had RSV. Thankfully no wheezing so he wasn't in any real danger but he has been miserable (and consequently, if I'm honest, so have the rest of us). And then two days after the diagnosis, Ryan comes home with some kind of stomach virus (his third time puking this month) and passed it on to me and probably Elliot (although I couldn't tell for sure if he actually had the stomach flu since he had been coughing to the point of throwing up for days). Charlie somehow seemed to escape it although that could have been because he threw up the week before--in a restaurant of all places--and was whiny for a day or so afterwards (confusing timeline, I know. It's all running together in my mind).

So anyway, I've been doing a lot of reading, thinking, and planning. Planning all the projects I'm going to complete once I'm finished with our 2008 Photo book (something I've been working on this month on Shutterfly), which I'd hoped would be completed by now but the aforementioned weeks of sickness have slowed me down.

I've been reading --
When People Are Big & God is Small -- great book, why would be a post of it's own
Stitched In Time -- So many projects, so little time; first up: The Family Tree project
The Creative Family -- checkout author Amanda Soule's blog if you get a chance but lookout: she's not a Southern-SuperChristian-preppy-diva. This crunchy green mamma from Maine is the kinda spiritual that makes us nervous and the kind of "in the trenches" mom who inspires us; will be making many of her projects as well

And it's almost time to decorate for Valentine's Day! I love this holiday. Not the super commercialized cheesy romance side of it but the fun side: kids exchanging cards, thinking about why you love people and the excuse to add some seasonal items to our decor. :) And since we've been in isolation for 2 weeks, I'm in the mood for a party. So if you live around here, put Feb. 7th on your calendar--First Annual Moody Family Valentine's Day Party. And bring a glue stick, 'cause we'll be crafting! E-Vite coming soon.

Hopefully I'll be able to actually work on and then post pictures of some of my planned projects. If I can ever figure out how to work my new sewing and embroidery machine, that is! And now I'm off to order a few of the birds I've been eyeing on Etsy.

PS - Do you like my new look?!



I hope I've mentioned Etsy on this blog before. I really can't say enough about Etsy. I think I'm obsessed. It's a bigger time-suck for me than Facebook. I had a sick baby so I stayed home from church yesterday and after organizing the pantry, butler's pantry/office area and the downstairs linen closet (go me - I love organizing in January!), I spent about 5 hours on Etsy (just to defend myself: I did play Charlie's new Thomas board game and memory with him for quite awhile too).

Anyway, I found some amazing things. And some amazing things that I just know I could make, if I can get my new sewing and monogramming machine up and running (a Christmas gift from Ryan).

Here are some of my favorite finds -

Adorable Hearts
Stuffed Letters
Stuffed Numbers
All of these Valentine's Day birds
Amazing necklace (and actually, I love all of this seller's stuff)
Felted Acorns
Amazing hair piece (too bad I already had my wedding)

The list could go on and on...

To see for yourself, just checkout the featured items from their blog. And while you're at it, find something to buy, support handmade stuff, stay-at-home moms. You know you have at least one random gift to purchase or something!


It was a Great Day, Mommy

That's what Charlie said to me as I was putting him into his crib for his nap. Aaah. What more could I want? It has been a good day. Not a perfect day: I've gritted my teeth a few times, trying to choke back the annoyed and angry words that were trying to escape; one child has already been bathed, I've had to wash 2 sets of sheets (long story) and one little precious baby is nursing a bad cold but still - a good day. This is one of those days that I want to remember when my kids are grown, when the floor is no longer littered with smashed cheerios and plastic Dollar Tree soldiers (those hurt when you step on them, by the way).

We are getting back into our regular routine, which is so good. Charlie and I both love, appreciate and crave order. And Elliot doesn't mind either, so long as plenty of Charlie is involved. :) We started the day out with breakfast (after the bathing and sheet issues were resolved) and reading time. Elliot then took a nap and I got out the playdough for Charlie, while I worked on something new I'm doing this year: a 2008 Moody Family Yearbook. I'm making it on Shutterfly and hopefully the end product will be an "Our Year in Pictures" album for us to keep. Hopefully we'll rack up an entire shelf of these over the years...

We then piled into the car for a nice long walk with Fef all over Isle of Hope. I loved the exercise, Charlie loved the boats, Elliot loved the fresh air and we all loved the company. After lunch Charlie practiced his ABCs with his fun fridge toy while I did the dishes and then we started something new: reading "big boy" books on the playroom couch. Today we started one of the chapter books in the Frog & Toad series. I think Charlie followed most of it and just doing this made me excited about the thought of having older kids: books I actually like, bike rides, roller-blading, soccer. Maybe the day-to-day jobs of this motherhood thing is not just about wiping noses and bottoms.

A picture from our walk...


We had a fabulous Christmas!

And hope you did too!
ps - If you need me, I'll be digging out of all the mess we've made over the past few weeks!