Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card 2010!

So I printed Christmas cards again this year and I was so annoyed with the print quality of our picture. I can't quite figure out what happened. If you know me I just had to redo it and post it somewhere! This is what it was "suppose" to look like! Merry Christmas!

And here is our 2010, "Life According to Ben and Kate" section.

Discovering Kate playing in the bathroom sink... Karen: "What am I going to do with you?" Kate: "You're going to keep me. I'm your best person. Your best kid." (12.20.10)

Karen: "Stop picking your nose." Kate: "But I love to pick my nose." Karen: "It's gross." Kate: (in a voice of defeat) "Thats what my teacher said too."

Attempting to convince Kate to let me braid her hair: Karen: "It will be so pretty. Like a braided pony's tail." Kate: "Well, I am not a horse!"

Karen: "You have skids in your underwear. We need to change them." Kate: While taking them off and seeing for herself...."I didn't do it. Really. It was Ben. I promise." Her eyes were so wide open and she truly, truly believed what she was saying! And even better...Ben looked on with a puzzled face and said, "I don't think I did that?!"

Preface: David's stepmom's nickname is Nana. His dad's is Boo. Kate: While running away from Ben, "Nana. Nana. Boo. Boo. You can't get me."

Karen: "Wash your hands Kate." Kate: "I didn't pee." Karen: "Whenever you touch your private parts you need to wash your hands." Kate: "I don't have private parts." Karen: "You don't have a penis, but you still have private parts" (she has two brothers).
Kate: "I have a penis. I have lots of them!" (as she lifts her foot in my direction and curls her toes) It was priceless!

While playing and lifting an object in the air, Kate: "Up, up and in the way!"

After going #2 (in a very, very excited tone) Kate declared: "My bum made a carrot in there!"

Kate: "When I grow up, I am going to be somebody! A baseball hitter."

Kate was not feeling well and laying on the couch, Karen: "Do you want to watch Mulan?" Kate: (in a very upset tone) "NO, only daddy mows the lawn!"

While driving by a water fountain, Kate: "Look its a water mountain."

While waiting for the elevator at the Doctor's office, Kate: "Which alligator we going to ride?"

After seeing me nurse Jacob for the first time, Kate: "Why you letting him eat you?"

After breaking the news to Ben that it was too late to read lots of books before bed...Ben: "I just wish one thing was perfect in my life." (12.22.10)

Karen: "Who's Mrs. Rider?" Ben: "The insistent principal." (Assistant Principal)

David: "I'm going to be working at night this week and sleeping during the day." Ben: "Oh cool. You are like nocturnal now."

Shortly after saying a family prayer: Ben: "Why did you pray for her?" Karen: "Well, she is a teenager now and sometimes teenagers need extra help choosing the right." Ben: "Oh, does she listen to strange music and have strange friends? That's choosing Satan's side."

Ben: "Don't bug daddy Kate. He's studying. Don't you want him to win his test?"

Ben: "Who designed our house?" Karen: "I have no idea Ben." Ben: "An architect. I am going to be an architect when I get bigger. Then when you get old, I will build you a house and let you live in it."

With his head to Jacob's chest, Ben:"I wish I had a heartoscope!"

Karen: "What color eyes do you think your brother will have?" Kate: "Brown" Ben: "No Kate. They will be blue and then turn to brown. Its called metamorphosis."

While driving to Gettysburg and crossing into Pennsylvania, Ben: "Do they have lots of pencils here?"

Friday, December 10, 2010


For Thanksgiving this year, we were fortunate enough to be able to travel to Oklahoma and Missouri to be with our family and friends for the holiday. We flew into Oklahoma City and enjoyed the 80 degree weather! We first spent a few days with Boo (David's dad) and Nana in Lawton. Ben and Kate enjoyed the royal treatment that Nana always provides. While in Oklahoma, we also spent a day in Edmond visiting old friends. It was so good to see everyone. Although a year and a half has gone by, Ben and Kate jumped right back into their old friendships like no time had elapsed. We will always treasure the lasting friendships we made in Oklahoma. I truly felt like I was "home."

During our quick drive-by, we were happy to see that our old house is being well taken care of. And of course we checked in on Rob and Di's as well.....moving to opposite coasts has made me realize how much I enjoyed living next to them. While driving through traffic one night, David and I knew for sure we were no longer in Baltimore when I spotted this.

From Oklahoma, we drove onto Branson, Missouri, to enjoy Thanksgiving with the majority of David's family. Along with Randy and Jerry, we met up with Michael, Jae, Crissy and their families. We welcomed the incredible Thanksgiving buffet and laughed as we watched Ben's excitement as he got 6 different plates. Of course, most consisted only of one triangle of a PB&J sandwich.

The kids really enjoyed the amusement park, Silver Dollar City. While we were there we met up with my brother Jared and his family who now live in nearby, Springfield. It was fun to see them as well. I was especially glad we took the time to visit their beautiful home.

The highlight of Branson for the kids was definitely the Polar Express train ride. Each of them got their own tickets personally punched by the conductor. While wearing their pajamas, they enjoyed hot chocolate, cookies and a special visit from Santa after we reached the North Pole. Santa even gave them each a bell.

We enjoyed our vacation. It was refreshing to see family and friends. And just as usual, Jacob was a dream through it all! I was indeed Thankful!

6 years!

I am just a tad late getting this post up. Ben turned 6 on November 14th! Where has the time gone? Its seems just like yesterday that he surprised us all and arrived 5 weeks early at a meager 4 pounds! Sometimes, I honestly can't quite remember life without Ben. I am so grateful to be his mother. Here are just a few of the reasons why...

Ben loves school! He gets so excited to go each and every day. On his Kindergarten report card Mrs. Cox wrote, "Ben is a kind and caring student, and he has made a tremendous amount of progress in school this fall. Ben listens and follows directions in class, and he works well with other students." He is so proud of the fact that he has not yet had to move his bee from the green hive to the yellow or red hives at school.

Ben is a great big brother! Kate absolutely adores Ben and for the most part he is very good to her. They hug when he gets off the bus at the end of the day. Ben loves Jacob too. No one can make Jacob laugh quite like Ben can.

Ben is kind, caring, loyal and sensitive! This is one of Ben's greatest attributes. He looks out for his neighbor and especially for me. Ben has always expressed his desire to have lots of brothers and sisters. Recently, however, he told me he had enough. When I asked him why he changed his mind he told me that he didn't want me to have to be sick again.

Ben is obedient! He is a rule follower and is always aiming to please. He knows what is right and what is wrong and he is not afraid to stick up for it.

Ben is clever! He figures things out and comes up with the funniest things. He likes to make deals with me. We enjoy the entertainment that he provides.

For Ben's birthday this year we decided to take a few of his friends to Chucky Cheese. Surprisingly, it was a good experience for all.

And here are just some of my favorite pictures of Ben through the years.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween 2010: The year of Woody, the Frog & the Shark!

Ever since Toy Story 3 came out, Ben has wanted to be Woody for Halloween. We realized (once again) that we weren't in Oklahoma anymore when it became impossible to find any cowboy boots in Maryland. Ben thought about switching to Superman, but decided against it. He had told his friends that he was going to be Woody and he didn't want them to think he had lied to them. So Woody it was! Ben enjoyed his parade at school and loved the trunk or treat party at the church. Since Halloween fell on a Sunday this year, Ben decided not to trick or treat on the Sabbath. He had no shame telling his entire class and their parents at their class party that, "he would not be able to go trick or treating this year. He was going to church instead." He later informed me that he intended to obey ALL of the commandments. I have learned a lot from Ben this past month! I am grateful for my little missionary, his tender spirit, and his strong desire to choose the right!

At first Kate wanted to be Jessie. Ben was going to be Woody after all. But, with a little bit of persuading she was wholeheartedly convinced and proud to be a frog. After all, she is a great hopper and she really can do a great "ribbet." (Oh yeah and mom already had the costume!).

Jacob had two costumes this year. An indoor and an outdoor one. He made one cute little Baby MD and an even cuter shark. These pictures really don't do him justice. I couldn't pass up the $9 old navy shark costume.

And we can't forget about the werewolf pumpkin that David spent hours carving. Too bad we didn't get a picture before it fell out of the car and lost part of its head!

And here are a few random pictures...just because!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"Go make Dinner!"

How can a little package this cute stir up so much trouble?

Very easily and here is my evidence!

A couple of weeks ago Kate decided she wanted to be an artist. She used the new yellow couch as her canvas and a black ink pen as her medium. Fortunately for her mother: #1. Her big brother stopped her before the masterpiece was complete and #2. Her father was wise enough to purchase the "Guardsmen Furniture Protection Plan." Seconds after the disaster, I was scolding Kate in time out. She interrupted my repetitive and very persistent reminders that you "only write on paper" with this command......"Stop talking. Go make dinner!" As you can imagine, she fueled my fire! Fortunately for Kate, the thought didn't enter my mind to wash her mouth out with soap, like Grandma would have done, until it was much too late.

Thank you Mr. Guardsmen for successfully scrubbing my couch for an entire 45 minutes today. Kate quietly watched his every move. The only words that came from her mouth while he was in our home were..."You love me Mom!" I was thankful for the reminder.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

One of These is Not Like the Others!

I took this picture of Kate the other day. This is one of her classic faces. For some reason, it looked really familiar and I couldn't quite put my finger on it until I came across this one of Ben. Do you suppose she learned it from him? I decided not to look through my old scrapbooks in fear they both picked it up from me! Will Jacob pick it up too? Only time will tell.

Jacob is 6 months old already. He weighs in at a whopping 13 pounds, 12 ounces and is 24 inches long. least this boy is on the chart. Well sort of....that's the 3rd and 2nd percentiles. But, you would never know it looking at those chubby, chubby cheeks of his. Jacob is a true joy. We cherish him and feel so blessed to call him ours.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

And she's off!

Little Miss Kate has started preschool! I am not sure there has ever been a little girl more ready for preschool than Kate. She was soooooo excited, she could barely contain herself. She was quite disappointed on the first day when I told her to get in the van....she was determined that she was going to wait for her bus. She informed Jacob that he was not big enough to go to school and made sure to ask him and Ben if they missed her when she returned. I was instructed numerous times to take pictures of her on the first and second they are.

Miss Tracy & Kate

Kate showing her new friends where to find the dinosaurs

Kate and her best friend John

Kate and Mom

Friday, September 3, 2010

He came back!!!!!

In Baltimore they have a gradual entry system for Kindergartners. Last week, they had a "sneak peek" day. For two hours, Ben got to tour his new school, meet his teacher, see his classroom, and go on a mock bus ride with me on his actual route. On Monday, Ben went for an hour with a parent. On Tuesday, he went for half of the day with only half of the class. I had to drop him off and pick him up. On Wednesday, he didn't have school while the other half of his class did their half day.

Thursday was my real test. Full day: 9:20-3:50 with a bus ride to and from school! Ben could tell I was anxious as we walked to the bus stop. He looked at me and said, "Don't worry Mom. I will always come back!" Of course that just melted my heart even more. You can imagine my concern when the bus pulled up and I noticed he had a sub driver! Where was sweet Miss Betty? She was my angel during the mock bus ride. She instantly became Ben's grandma and reassured me she would take extra good care of the Kindergartners. No! How could she miss the first day and who was this dude that ignored my neighbor's plea to take good care of the new kindergartners.

Ben and the "Dude" sub driver!

The doors closed and the bus left. I slowly walked home, resisting my urges to follow the bus to school. I new David would never let me live it down. I could just hear him saying, "You have to let him grow up Karen. He needs the independence." I walked home. Ate two Twinkies in 10 minutes. Debated calling the school. Refrained. Didn't want to be "that" parent. But did he make it to his class? He can't even see out the window when he sits down! I think my neighbor sensed my anxiety. She called me after a few minutes and reassured me Ben had made it to his class. She had called the school and checked with her son Cooper's physical therapist who had met him at the bus. She asked if "Benjamin" had made it too. Thanks to my label (complete with first and last name, room number, teacher's name, bus color and stop number, and my cell phone that I stuck on Ben's back), he could easily confirm Ben had made it as well. Why did I still wonder all day, "Did he really make it?"

Fast forward to 4 PM. David miraculously was home early and got to walk to the bus stop with me. I made him tote the video camera while I used the camera. The bus approaches. Was that Miss Betty? Yeah.... Miss Betty was back! The bus stops. 10 or so kids pile out (including Cooper the other Kindergartner at his stop). The kids stop coming. There is a long, eternal pause. My heart stops. David even puts down the video camera. I start chanting, "Where is Ben?" But after what seemed like an eternity a little body turns the corner and starts prancing down the big steps with a huge smile on his face!

Ben and Miss Betty!

I questioned, "Why did you take so long to get off Ben?" To which he replies, "I just couldn't see, Mom. And Olivia was sad that I had to get off." HE DID COME BACK and I'm pretty sure I didn't take my eyes off of him all night long as he filled me in on every detail of his wonderful day!

Today was much, much less stressful. No Twinkies. And I did learn that a specific school employee is assigned to each bus. They walk on when it arrives (before any kids are let off) and personally take each Kindergartner to their class and return them to the bus at the end of the day. In case you are wondering....yes I did label him again today. What if "Dude" drives him home today? Does Miss Betty know how much she means to me? Thank you Miss Betty!

Ben and Cooper

Jacob was the star attraction at the bus stop. At one point I couldn't even see the stroller!