Friday, April 30, 2010

Knead A Massaage?

Tonight Shawn said he brought the projector home so we could get a DVD to watch, OR maybe we should go get a massage. I picked that one. We put the kids to bed (mostly) and went off for massages. This is only about the 3rd massage I've had in my life, and I always wonder why I don't get one more often. Anyway, I'm feeling quite relaxed now. It was a great way to end the day. So in honor of my happy state, todays picture will be of the 2 of us in Hawaii.
Now if only I could figure out how to feel nice and relaxed like this (or like in the photo) all the time.

P.S. Despite my decision to give up on house cleaning, the house did get cleaned up today thanks to Shawn (with some help from the kids.) That was a nice end to the day, too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Remind Me of the Date, Please

I'm pretty sure that today's date is April 29th, but you wouldn't know it by looking outside. It appears to be February. No signs of global warming here! I have a lot of words to say about all of the snow and cold, but they are all bad words, so I guess I will keep them to myself. I will have to look for inspiration elsewhere.
The snow may be doing damage outside, but I have my own little destructive force at work, inside. I literally just ran to get the phone after changing his diaper and he managed to empty an entire, just barely opened package of wipes.I had to put them in a different box because I couldn't get them to fit back in.
And here he is on the door of the dishwasher carefully removing all of the utensils and throwing them on the floor one at a time. I don't know if it's more frustrating that I had just put them in, or if I'm glad that they were dirty and needed to be washed anyway.

I don't have photos of the tupperware pulled out of the cupboards, or the toys pulled out of the closet and off of the shelves, etc., etc. Plus all of the other kids messes. I am very reluctantly coming to the realization that my house may never, ever be clean again. It is a battle I'm tired of fighting, especially since I am always losing it. It is beyond possible for me to keep up anymore. I need a serious attitude adjustment or at least some warmth and sunshine so I can sit outside and ignore the mess in here!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ballet Recital #1

This is Samantha after her performance in the ballet version of The Wizard of Oz put on by CBT. They have been working long and hard on this and I think we are all glad to have it over with.Getting all of her appropriate congratulations.
Amelia couldn't wait to give Samantha her flowers.
And in a couple of weeks we'll have the next version of ballet recital. We can hardly wait.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Maybe I'll Move to Australia

Tonight, since I'm a little fed up with my kids and feel a little like this:
and since I'm a little fed up with my inability to get my house picked up, and feel a little like this:

and since I've heard there may be snow with this next storm, which makes me feel like doing this:
and since I will probably still have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days - even in Australia, I guess I'll just go to bed and dream about this:
and hope that tomorrow I can be a nicer person.

Monday, April 26, 2010


All 3 of my school age kids can now ride their bikes to school! (At least when the weather is nice.) I still need to accompany my kindergartner, but she thinks its really cool to be like the big kids. And Duffy didn't want to be left out of the bike pictures, so here's one of her, though she still gets to ride in the trailer when we all go out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hammock Fun

One of the things that we Stringhams love to do when the weather gets a little nicer, is to hang out outside - either sitting on the porch or on the lawn, or maybe favorite of all, is to relax in a hammock. The past several nice days, Shawn has set up what the kids refer to as our "outside living room": one nice big hammock that can hold 2 or 3 or 4 of us, plus two hammock chairs. We literally spend hours out there. (Anytime Jonas can find the time, he hangs up the hammock and sits outside to read. I don't blame him - that's got to be one of the best ways in the world to pass the time.)
Peter and Amelia

Peter absolutely loves swinging in the chairs. He giggles until he can hardly breathe.
Peter and Samantha

He took turns swinging with just about everyone.
Shawn and Jonas

You have to look closely to see Peter hanging out on Shawn's legs in this one.

Amelia and Samantha trying to time their swings so as to either crash or not crash. It was hard to tell which. Either way, they were having fun. And any activity we can find that everyone enjoys, is a good one.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Taking Risks

There are risks when we leave our children home without a babysitter. When we do this, we never know what we will find when we get home - whether the whole place will be a disaster or whether any of them will be asleep, and especially where they will be asleep. This is what we found tonight:
Amelia was asleep on the couch but moved herself to the floor shortly after we came in.
Three - yes three, kids asleep on our bed. (I'm sure Amelia got tired of fighting for space and left.)

An empty bag of marshmallows left on my bedroom floor, and nothing cleaned up.All sorts of rules were broken here. I'm not sure what they were thinking. I can't imagine that 9:00 church is going to be all that fun. This scenario can only mean that no one got to bed on time. I guess we'll be having a little chat about this after church.
It was fun to be out, but sometimes I have to wonder if it was worth it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Unfortunately, it is not the chocolatey goodness that you may be thinking of. This Fudge is Jonas' class guinea pig. The kids have been looking forward to this all week. To be honest, I prefer their zhu zhu pets, but this is only for a weekend every few months. Better to let them feel like they have a pet for 3 days than to actually get one! (The dog is way more than enough.)Peter has been very funny with him. He crawls up to the cage and calls out to him or yells at him and gets very excited.

All I know is that poor Fudge gets so completely manhandled that I am sure he can't wait to get back to the relative peace and quiet of the classroom.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Art Night

Tonight was Art Night at William Penn. All of the kids had artwork on display and each grade did a short performance. It was an absolute mad house. Had it been less so, I may have taken pictures of Amelia and Samantha with their artwork. As it was, I could barely keep track of my kids, let alone get them to stand still in one place while all of their friends were around, so these will have to suffice.

It was a nice idea and event involving a silent auction and raffle tickets to raise money for the arts program, but I think there was a bigger turnout than they had expected. It didn't take long before Shawn volunteered to take all the little kids home. (Bless him.)

Sometimes You Get What You Pay For

There were lots of kids out playing in the yard tonight. Lots of frisbees, balls and swinging bats. I had asked Jonas to keep an eye on Peter. This is what I found. Peter underneath an overturned laundry basket, with a couple of balls to play with.
Understandably, this was "for his own protection." I'm not really sure what the neighbors thought. (We're well beyond making any good impressions around here, though, so I guess I shouldn't care.)
The funniest part was that Peter didn't mind at all. In fact, he really liked it, and didn't want me to rescue him.
Clearly, we still need to work on some babysitting skills around here, but at least he was happy and safe.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My 1 Year Olds: A Study

People are always asking me which of my other kids Peter looks like. To be honest, I'm not really sure. I definitely see some of Jonas, and maybe Amelia's smile, and Duffy's big blue eyes. These are photos of each of my kids on their first birthdays. What do you think?
Jonas: August 31, 1999

Samantha: February 6, 2002

Amelia: March 29, 2005

Megan: June 20, 2007

Peter: March 31, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Can't Stop Yawning

Just too tired to blog anything else, so here are a few pictures from Hawaii.

Wishing I were still there.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Want A Cool New Hairdo? Try An EEG

Have I ever mentioned that I love Primary Children's Hospital? Because I do. I have now had the opportunity to take 3 of my children there for various testing procedures. They always do such a great job. (It doesn't make me feel much better though, as my child looks at me wondering why I don't rescue them from the torture.) Today we had the opportunity to take Peter in for an EEG. (After the events of this night that prompted us to call the paramedics, and his repeat performance the next day at the doctor's office, our pediatrician decided to get him checked out just to be sure everything was OK.)
They put 27(?) electrodes all over his head. (He didn't like that so much.) And then wrapped his head in gauze so he looked like he had serious head trauma.
We all survived the fun relatively unscathed- except for Peter's hair. This is just after they had made an attempt to wipe all the goo out. He was pretty mad at that point, so they ended up leaving a bit of it in.
But after a little time in his car seat and playing outside, it just got better and better.
When the kids got home from school, they all asked me what I had done to Peter's hair. Looks pretty good, doesn't it?
They were all a little disappointed when I washed it before we went out to dinner tonight. But now I know, if you want a hair product with staying power, try some electrode gel!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


This is what happened on our family walk/ride/scooter today. Amelia took off on her own. I love it when my kids learn to ride their bikes. It is so freeing somehow - for child and parents. Woohoo!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Passing of the Torch

The time has come (and is probably overdue), for the older kids around here to start learning some important life skills. Today, Jonas was enrolled in Lawn Mowing 101. As you can see, Shawn is thrilled to be passing on this particular skill.And here, you can see progress being made. Shawn really wanted to make sure his rows were nice and straight, so he kept a close eye on him.
According to Merrillee Boyak (author of "The Parenting Breakthrough", and a concept that I strongly believe in,) it takes an average of 8 "training" sessions for a child to learn a skill sufficiently. So we have about 7 more training sessions and then we can sit back and enjoy the ride, right?
Samantha is a couple of training sessions into learning how to do the laundry, as well. So, now I'm wondering, what other jobs can Shawn and I get rid of?

Coming back from vacation and being thrown full-force into real life is more than I was ready for. I'll see if I can get back to the daily post and get back on track, but really, I wish I were still in Hawaii. Maybe I'll even get some vacation photos posted.

Friday, April 9, 2010


Imagine our disappointment to find that this was only the 2nd largest Hawaiian shirt in the world. (Kind of like the time we stopped to see the world's largest frying pan on a family vacation, only to find out it was out for repairs and so the world's 2nd largest frying pan was on display.)

Disappointment didn't last long, though, because we are in Maui after all.
May have to take a little vacation from the daily blog as well. We'll see how it goes.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Water Baby

This little guy loves to take baths and showers. As soon as he hears the water turn on, he takes off as fast as his little hands and knees can carry him, to find the source. Generally, even if the water was not initially for him, it becomes his anyway.He sits down and then starts slapping both of his hands on the water, and splashes and splashes to his heart's content. He is not phased by the water in his eyes and on his face. Pretty much the entire bathroom ends up wet, as do I.
He's pretty happy hanging out in the water and is a little put out when it's time to get out.
This whole love of water is great for when swimming lesson time rolls around, but does pose a little bit of a safety issue, because there is no fear of water here.
But I prefer a kid who loves to take a bath to one who hates it. This way is a whole lot easier.