Friday, December 11, 2009

Little sister logic

"I guess you're not going to learn Spanish then, if you won't repeat what I said..."

"I guess it's just too hard for me. Oh, well."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

And I thought the cheese stood alone

"What letter does your name start with?" I asked Lindsay at dinner last night.

"S," she replied, chomping dramatically into her grilled (girl) cheese sandwich.

"Well," I said, "Our last name starts with S. But what does Lindsay start with?"

"Cheese!" she replied.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Serving up tragedy

Several years ago, Mudda bought Lauren an aromatherapy bear for Christmas. Lauren was probably about 3 at the time, and loved that her snuggly bear smelled nice and was warm. Years passed, and it ended up in a trunk in our sun porch. The same sun porch we're currently reorganizing as a playroom where the family Wii will live.

Bear-y surfaced. Lindsay fell instantly in love.

I thought, oh! I bet she'll love him if I make him all warm and scented. I plucked him up, and put him in the microwave for a minute.

Lindsay sobbed, "You are turning my bear into DINNER!"

"Oh no!" I interjected.

"First he is a lovey and now he is going to be food." Giant tears splashed down her face.

I looked from her crying face, to the turnstile of the microwave, spinning round and round with Bear-y on it. I opened the door, grabbed Bear-y out, and handed him to Lindsay.

"See, he is ok!" I said.

She sniffed.

"He's warm now, right?"

She felt him, looking a little confused, she nodded.

"And he smells nice?"

"Yes." She said. "Don't do that again."

Saturday, November 28, 2009

What I want for Christmas (and it's not teeth)

It is practically a car payment for this attachment. Our Kitchen Aid itself was probably about the same price when we bought it 10 years ago. It makes our sandwich bread weekly - even despite the hiatus while our kitchen was being worked on, more of our baked goods were homemade than not this year. I'm pretty proud of that. The baking station has already seen several batches of biscuits and a couple of pie crusts prepared on it in the couple of weeks we've been back to business.

This attachment, exclusive from Williams Sonoma, makes macaroni noodles, fusilli, and spaghetti. I'll admit it - pasta is a standby meal in our house. A box of macaroni noodles makes two meals worth of mac 'n' cheese and stowed in my freezer is quicker than delivery. I can't even imagine how much better it would be with Fresh Homemade Pasta.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tantrum Season

When you hang out with a 3 1/2 year old person, things are volatile. Especially if you're doing stuff that doesn't directly benefit that 3 1/2 year old person, like say, going to older sister's Thanksgiving play and feast at school.

Lindsay was great for the short, 4-act play. She even managed to sit patiently while every other table in the classroom was dismissed to get the snack - the yellow table was last. She navigated the line, retrieved her snack, and sat proudly next to big sister eating.

It should've occurred to me when snack was finished, and the teacher began playing a number game with the second graders that this was a fast track ticket to boredom for our heroine. She began playing on the map of the United States carpet behind where Lauren sits, running from East coast to West, and back again. When I asked her to sit, she refused. The second time she refused, I said we would have to leave if she couldn't sit. She began to protest loudly, so I slung my bag on my shoulder, whispered to Lauren, "See you outside after dismissal," and ran out the nearest door with the little person secured like a sack of flour at my hip. A caterwauling, kicking sack of flour. Of course, I was 3 doors away from the dismissal door, so I set Lindsay down and said, as calmly as I could muster, "Are you ready to listen?"

"No." she shouted.

"Ok, then I will have to carry you again." I made my way over with a kicking and screaming Lindsay. When we arrived, I sat her down between my ankles, holding her firmly so that she couldn't run off, as she screamed.

"Wow." Kimberly said. "Good party?"

"It was good." I replied thoughtfully, "but a little too long."

"I can see that."

"You just never know when it will be too long."

Kimberly nodded. "You just never know," she repeated.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Me: Will you say hi to my grandmother on the phone?
Lindsay: Mom (putting her hand up), I can't. Rockstars don't talk on the phone.
Me (talking into the phone): Sorry, Mimi. Lindsay won't say hi.

Lauren: There's this thing that bugs do.
Me: What's that?
Lauren: Well, with people we call it marrying. But with bugs it's called mating. You know what else?
Me (cringing inwardly): What else?
Lauren: Bugs can't mate with their mama bugs, just like I can't marry my mama.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I guess it's better than 'I saw it on TV'

"Mom, come meet our new ladybug!"

"Oh, you found a ladybug? How old is it?"

"It is 12 years old," Lauren replied, as she counted its spots. "And it is yellow."

"Cool. A yellow ladybug."

"I am just glad it is not white."


"Because white ladybugs are cursed."

"They are?"

"Yes. I read it in a book."

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Master Negotiator

"So, we wanted to know if we swept off the steps and the front porch, will we earn a quarter?" Lauren asked.

I closed my eyes, thinking about this. "You each want a quarter?"

Lauren nodded.

"Well...ok. I suppose it is worth 50 cents..."

Lindsay piped up, "Actually, I want four dollars."

I laughed.

Lauren added. "Wow. I didn't think to ask for four dollars..."

Lindsay said nothing and continued to stare at me earnestly.

"I'm going with 50 cents..."

"Ok," Lauren said happily.

Lindsay scowled and picked up her broom. Glancing over her shoulder, she muttered, "I'm going with four dollars."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Of course my first post in forever is about poop

After months of "She'll do it when she's ready" to reading every potty preparation resource on the Internets, to knock down drag out fights to get this little person to at least try to go potty, Lindsay decided it was worth going for the promise of toys. Little miss thing has been in dry "pantalettes" for the entire day.

I was beginning to sweat sending my daughter to college in Princess Pull-Ups.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Omnious milestones

Here's Lindsay having her post vaccination treat - a strawberry frosted donut with rainbow sprinkles. She felt the Ming Ming sticker didn't match up with her pain and suffering, and hey, I can always go for an iced coffee.

At 3 years old, Lindsay weighs 26 pounds and is 35 inches tall. The doctor tells me that is just shy of the 10th percentile for both height and weight. She stubbornly refused to speak to or in front of the doc, he had to go out of the room to observe her language skills (which are considerable) and laughed when the answer to all his questions was "when she feels like it" (eg, Does she use the potty? When she feels like it. Does she eat well? When she feels like it.) The nurse batted an eye at "She doesn't drink milk" (why are they so obsessed with milk?), but the doctor did not. He also diagnosed the angry itchy patch inside her elbow as eczema, which was a relief because we thought it might be ringworm and it just won't go away. It was doing better for a while with tea tree oil, but now it isn't. He recommended hydrocortizone cream, which also seems for crap.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Simple questions, weird answers

"Good morning, Lindsay!"

She replied through her thumb, nestled in between the stretched stitches of Hatty and The New Color Wonder, "Mornin', Mom."

"How did you sleep?"

"Like a pig."

Stifling a laugh, I asked, "A pig?"

She snored loudly, snorted, and then replied with a laugh, "Yeah, like a pig."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Not a toddler anymore

Here's my big girl:
Lindsay, April 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

What I'm good at

"Don't you have a very big stroller?" Lindsay asked.

"No, grown-ups don't get to ride in strollers, but it's okay because I am a very good walker."

"No. You are a very good pusher."

I laughed, "I am a good pusher?"

"Yeah, you push my stroller good."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Epiphany's Earth Day

I'm in a bit of a mood right now. Linds just threw up her breakfast, which was oatmeal and orange juice which I have to say has to have the foulest smell and most disgusting texture of anything that could come out of a person. And? This was INSIDE the couch. Who sits inside a couch? Lindsay. Also? If you have Method products while they may kill ants, they absolutely don't touch something that stinks. I sprinkled some lavendar essential oil but really it is just adding to the awful smell.

Oh, and? Small child who dropped my hairbrush in the potty (the only reason I can fathom why the hairbrush and now MY HAIR smell like pee), Mama says, "grr".

Yesterday, I had to take the Mazda to the dealer to have one of my airbags replaced. It was not functioning properly, but did not deploy. It meant I had to leave my car most of the day, but since it was a warrantee repair, I was rented a free car from Enterprise. The well-dressed young man (they really have a very snazzy staff there) picked me up, helped me move my two car seats, and entertained Lindsay while I installed them. He was entirely smitten with Lindsay, who in typical Lindsay fashion refused to speak with him and would only shake her head. It went something like this:

"It's nice to meet you, Lindsay. You can call me "E". "

Lindsay shook her head.

"Can you shake my hand?"

Lindsay shook her head.

"Are you excited to ride in my silver car with your Mommy?"

Lindsay shook her head.

When we got to the office, things remained terse.

"Do you want to get the white car," he pointed, "Or that big black one?"

Lindsay shook her head.

I completed the paperwork to rent the white Corolla. E vacuumed it and moved the carseats into it for me. As I installed Lindsay's seat, he said, "Well, it was nice meeting you, Lindsay - I hope I see you later. Will you wave goodbye?"

Lindsay shook her head.

Things didn't improve when I returned with both girls later.

"Hey, Lindsay. Welcome back! Can I get a wave?"

Lindsay shook her head.

"Is that your sister?"

Lindsay shook her head.

"Would you like a little rubber car? I have one for your sister..."

Lindsay shook her head.

"Alright, well. Maybe another time."

Her face crumpled and lower lip began to quiver. Suddenly, she was shrieking, and of course, poor E felt terrible. He tried to hand her the car, but she only would agree for him to give me the car and she took it from me, still sniffling. Despite this, E drove me back to the dealership and offered to keep the kids in the car with him while I ran into to sign the paperwork and pick up my keys. When I returned, Lindsay threw her car at E, and Lauren was kicking the back of his chair. I found out later that they were playing keep away with the rubber cars, this was after Lauren erupted into tears that he took her car away, and when I put Lindsay into her seat in my car, she asked, "Is E coming with us?"

Poor E.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A very long week

Alec was out of town last week, and that always makes for a long week.

My dishwasher was broken. Which isn't a big deal unless you bake 3 loaves of bread and a batch of bagels, and then it's a huge pain in the ass. But y'know that hubs came home, took it apart and fixed, I can just push that button and my dishes come out clean and hot.

I have a paper due next week, which, unfortunately will mean another week of only 144 character updates from me. I'm not terribly stressed about the paper. I keep having little bursts of inspiration - yesterday during class, I managed to outline it a bit, and I wrote another piece of it during the sermon at church today. Once I have time to sit down and weave these bits together, it should be fine.

Lindsay started Mommy & Me at a new preschool. Lindsay never wants to do what anyone else is doing, so it is instead of this nice bonding time where we sing songs, me singing songs and chasing Linds around trying to get her to sit still for two freaking minutes while every other kid in the room is doing exactly what they are supposed to with their mommies holding little babies in their laps. There was a 10 minute "I don't want to have a snack tantrum". I'm hoping this preschool will work for her for the fall, but so far it is just making me want to pull out my hair.

I was approached today to speak about the things I'm doing with our food, and I am feeling sort of anxious about the idea. I feel like the things I'm doing now are good and work for me and my family, but the thought of it framed like "this is how to do it" seems jarringly wrong to me. I have to think about it some more.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Preacher, Mountain Lion

"Rosa Parks was a mountain lion." Lauren announced during supper.

"Oh? How was Rosa Parks a mountain lion?"

"Mountain lions 'fight the fight for what is right'," she chanted.

"So, you don't agree with the book that Rosa wouldn't get up because she was
tired?" [One of the statements her reading book made was that some people
think Rosa didn't get out of her seat because she was too tired.]

"She was tired! She was tired of racism. She couldn't stand it anymore, so she
wouldn't stand up."

I replied, "That makes a lot of sense."

"Martin Luther King was a mountain lion," she continued. "He 'fights the fight
for what is right'. And he was a preacher."


"He had a dream about black people having the same things as white people..."

"Yep." I said. "Martin Luther King thought everyone should have the same rights."

"Well. Everyone SHOULD have the same rights." She rolled her eyes.


"Pastor Seth is a mountain lion."


"He fights the fight for people who weren't born here because he thinks that
everyone should have the same rights. He 'fights the fight for what is right'."

"Mmm hmm."

"Except on Sunday."


"On Sunday, he is preaching."

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I posted last week about being frustrated my washing machine has a broken part. It turns out last week also saw a shelf in my brand-spanking-new (well, Mudda bought it for me in August) refrigerator, and the keyfob for my car. The shelf and keyfob were not more than a hassle, really. Remember when we used to use a key to get into a car? Well, I had to use my key. I'd not noticed until now that there's only one keyed entry on the car - the driver's side - and not into the passenger door or the trunk, as I recall on my vehicles made before 1990.

Lindsay had a nap, and awoke grumpy. I was carrying Linds under an arm, kicking and screaming, along with her shoes. I had my denim jacket with my keys in the pocket under my other arm. I realized I had to set Lindsay, still screaming down, to get the keys out of my pocket. I did, picked her up and went to unlock the door with the key. Somehow I managed to set off the panic system, so the horn began beeping and all the lights flashing. Without a working keyfob, there's no way to turn it off.

Beep beep beep, honked the car as I unlocked the doors. Beep beep beep, as I put Lindsay into her carseat, no longer kicking and screaming, but with wide eyes. Beep beep beep. Beep beep beep. I started the car. Beep beep beep. Locked and unlocked. Beep beep beep. I stepped away from the car and called the service center. Beep beep beep. There's no off switch. Beep beep beep. "Maybe it will work over the phone if you call your husband?" Beep beep beep. Neighbors have begun gathering in my driveway, making their own suggestions of Alfredo who replaces watch batteries. But now it is 3:15 and I am late to get Lauren. "Can I drive the car with it going off?" I asked the mechanic impatiently. "You will probably get pulled over." He replied. "Well, I can live with that," I replied.

"They'll hear ya comin'," my neighbor Ed added helpfully.

As it turned out, the horn stopped beeping once the car was in drive, and as long as you didn't open or close a door, or put the car into park, the car was silent. Of course, I had to open the door to let Lauren in, and a small crowd gathered to see why some maniac mom was honking her horn and flashing her lights. Beep beep beep. I rolled down the window, "My car is broken, so sorry," I shouted at the staring crowd who nodded sadly in reply. Beep beep beep. "It's been doing this for a half hour now," I added. Beep beep beep.

I drove the car to the dealership. My new friend Stu the mechanic gave my girls each a package of cookies, replaced the batteries in my fob, and set us off on our merry way within 30 minutes, all for no charge.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Signs of the apocalypse

I am the Queen of the Mommy Driveby. My youngest child is often shoe-less (who knew so many people were offended by tiny bare feet?) and coatless.

Today, not one, but TWO people complimented my parenting.

People? The world is ending. Take cover!

I stopped to get a cup of coffee as I was leaving the grocery store. Linds was in the cart, parked a couple feet behind me. A woman, decked out in jogging gear was behind me in line. I turned to check on Lindsay, and she said, "Your daughter doesn't know her name."

I thought, um, no she doesn't know you. But instead said, "Lindsay is feeling shy today," and smiled goodbye, as I headed to put some milk in my coffee.

An older Asian man approached me, "You are an excellent mother!"

I must've looked shocked. "Thank you." I said, uncomfortably.

"I heard you talking to your daughter before," he said, "It is so smart you are teaching her not to talk to strangers!"

"Oh. Thanks," I replied. "Have a nice day!" I quickly put the lid on my coffee and we headed to the car. Linds and I discussed the groceries as I loaded them in. She wanted a strawberry and some crackers. I handed her the strawberry, which she quickly de-stemmed, and tucked the box of crackers under my arm as I buckled her into her car seat. Then I opened the box and handed to her.

"Wow, you really need an extra arm, don't you?"

I looked up at the woman getting out of her car opposite mine.

"Oh, ha ha." I replied.

"Unloading groceries, getting the kid in the seat, and giving her a snack at the same time."

"An extra arm would be really great!" I agreed. "Have a good day!" I said quickly running the shopping cart to its corrale.

Seriously. If you have a storm cellar, you might want to head down there now...

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sounds from Chez Stoll

*crashing sound of Lindsay taking the drawer of markers out of Lauren's plastic storage drawers*

*Lauren running in from the dining room* "Linds, are you OK?"

"Yep. Got the markers."

"Cool! Come on, SuperLindsay!"

"I want to be a Superpony..."

"Alright, come on, SuperponyLindsay, let's go color!"


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Learning things with Lindsay

Today we made our weekly trek to Target. It was ostensibly to get paper which I ran out of in the middle of helping Alec with 4 months' worth of expense reports, maple syrup, and apple juice. Lauren let me know if I was going to Target, she'd finished the "Ivy and Bean" book I'd bought her there, and if they have more, she'd like another one (or Captain Underpants...though she was sure I'd gotten those at the church thrift shop, and we discovered I'd gotten one that she hadn't read...ooh!).

Lindsay and I have been working on a couple of things - letters and potty. She's not vaguely interested in either. Yesterday, she managed to go about 2 hours (from an hour before dinner time until bath time) wearing and not peeing on Elmo underpants, but insisted on her Dora pull-ups this morning (ah well). While perusing the "young children's educational" section, she chose a book called "Dora and the Different Colored Easter Eggs" which teaches colors in English and Spanish. Unfortunately, I only know how to pronounce the primary colors in Spanish. Luckily, the very helpful Target staff was willing to help out (talk about a full service operation!)

And speaking of learning things, I found this note after Lindsay and I took a nap yesterday:

"I am allone downstairs. Please come and see me when you wake up!"

It was written very neatly on an unlined notecard in pencil. Although there was a mispelled word (though it might be that she combined "all" and "alone"), the capitalization and punctuation were both correct...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just kidding

Apparently I just have to write that I might be on hiatus and then I suddenly have a lot to say.

Last night was Ash Wednesday, so we were at church. Lauren found out that the pastors' kids were playing in the nursery during the service, so since I was singing in choir and Linds was going there anyway, I dropped her off there.

"Hey, Olivia is here."

"Of course she is."

"Mom, did you know that Pastor Patty is Olivia's mom?"

"Actually Olivia has two moms."

"Oh!" she said. "I have two dads."

"Um. No, you don't."

"Yeah," she said thoughtfully, "Alec is my dad, but God is also my father."

"Oh...huh. I guess I hadn't thought of that," I said.


Lindsay sang the Not Perfect song at Lauren.

"I'm not perfect," replied Lauren. "But you're not perfect either, Lindsay."

"I AM PERFECT," she shouted.

"No, you're not," Lauren sang.


"No, Lindsay, the only perfect person is Jesus." Lauren explained.


Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I bought a book at the beginning of the school year with activities in it geared toward the first grader. As with so many things, I had good intentions. A way to feed Lauren's intellectual curiosity. The book had remained until yesterday on the shelf in the downstairs bathroom.

We were sitting together at the dining room table, she with pencil and homework package. Every week they receive this - a list of spelling words with spelling exercises and a few pages of to drill whatever math skill they're working on. I sat reviewing my philosophy essays, writing things like Anselm: God is something that which nothing greater can be conceived.

"What's in the 'Everything Your First Grader Should Know' book?"

"Lessons about different subjects."

"Can we do one?" She set down her pencil. "I only have one more sentence and one more page of math."

"Sure." I retrieved the book. "What subject? Oh, how about Art?"

"Really?! Art is in there? That's so cool!"

We read about color and looked at a painting by Monet next to another by Whistler, and at the end of the lesson, the assignment was to draw something twice - first in bright, vibrant colors and then in dark, somber colors.

She probably spent an hour working on these two. We talked about which one she liked better, though I think you can probably tell by the grinning sun...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

For the time capsule

"Com'on Wa-Ren lets pway I spy. I say, 'I spy wid my widdle eye...somsing...bwue.' Wa-Ren! How come you not guessin'? I sayed 'I spy wid my widdle eye...' Wa-Ren!!! I SPY WID MY WIDDLE EYE!!!"

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Secret mucus

Wow, that's even a double entendre.

Lindsay has been announcing all day, "Yellow cheese has a secret!" I'm telling the Internet - the secret is cheese. I have no idea what that means.

Lauren brought home a book today about the common cold. She did an impressive job reading about viruses and bacteria. One of the ways your body heals itself is by producing extra mucus. Lauren asked, "What's mucus?" "Snot." I replied. She looked utterly horrified and disgusted. I think if the next sentence in the book hadn't been about ushering germs out your nose via the extra mucus, she wouldn't have believed me.

Friday, January 30, 2009


In memory of Shannon the Cat Stoll, April 1997-January 2009

I hope that there is a kitty Heaven with a warm radiator for little Shannon to hide behind.

She had the highest-pitched meow of any cat I've ever known. She sounded like a kitten, even as a full-grown cat.

She hated being picked up. And she would not sit on your lap. You could pet her but only if you sat really still and didn't pursue her if she jumped down.

She was wary of any non-catfood offered to her, except tuna. She would eat meat, but only if you weren't looking directly at her.

In every place we lived except our current house, her favorite place was the top of the cabinets. In our house, her favorite place was inside the box spring of our bed.

Monday, January 26, 2009


"Lindsay peed."

I sigh. I am sick, dragging. Ordinarily that last half hour between dinner and bed is stressful anyway. They had been upstairs all of 3 minutes, sent up there to take off their clothes to get ready for a bath.

"Alright Lauren, stop being a tattletale." I croak. "Linds, where did you pee?"

Linds leads me into Lauren's room.


She points timidly.

She peed in the open humidifier. She found herself in the middle of her sister's room, having to pee, and went in the nearest thing approximating a pot. It was sort of adorable. I mean, other than having to clean it up.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Life according to Lindsay

"You see with your eyes..."


"And taste with your mouth..."


"Yeah! Does food go in your ear?"


"Where does food go?"

"In my mouth..."

"That's because you taste with your mouth..."

"Oh ok..."

"And what do you sniff with?"



"I snip with scissors. But only with paper."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


"And," she continued angrily, as bitterly as a peppy little 6-year-old can muster, her brow furrowed and lower lip quivering, "we didn't even get recess!"

"No?" I glanced up at her in the rear view mirror.

"No. We had to watch the Obama thing."

"Oh, you watched President Obama's inauguration? How was it?"

She folded her arms in front of her chest, "Not worth missing recess."

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


"After everything that has happened, this must have truly seemed like a gift from God..."

I was uncomfortable when this was suggested to me. Maybe that is just part of my ongoing struggle of anticipating perfection. I certainly couldn't have imagined standing in the locale of the picture below just a year before. On January 11, 2008, things were very different. A year later we found ourselves celebrating Lauren and Lindsay's baptism together, not in the perfect glow of every member of my family that I wanted there. But certainly embraced by our church family, surrounded by loving friends, and the best was getting to celebrate with my sister.

In our church, baptisms happen during the regular service so that our congregation can welcome and pledge their support. The parents read a letter they've written:

Dear Lauren and Lindsay,

Daddy and I are so excited for both of you. We know that you will both achieve things in your lives that we can barely imagine today. You will grow up to be wonderful women in part because of the love that binds us together as a family, you together as sisters, and the faith that we are coming to learn about together. Today is a signpost on your path, on your journey of faith. It is a day, as you have heard, that God says “yes” to you, as He always has. It is also a day your family – those who are related to you by blood - your church family - those who are your family in Christ – get to embrace you as their own.

Lauren Elisabeth, Daddy and I sometimes wonder whether we are guiding you in your faith journey or you are guiding us. Your faith is so deep and your love for Jesus is so strong that it heartens us that we have our church family to support us in guiding you. There are times when your understanding is much more profound than mine or Daddy’s. It continually amazes and inspires us. We stand by amazed at night when you read the bible to your little sister and then explain the moral of each story to her. Your nickname around the house – Pastor Lauren – was not given lightly. We are looking forward to see your faith grow as you do, and Daddy and I will always do our best to encourage you to keep learning and asking questions. You will achieve great things with Jesus as your friend and guide.

Lindsay Alexandra, you entered this world kicking and screaming. You are tenacious, demanding and determined, but you know what you want with enviable clarity. We know you’re not old enough yet to understand what’s going on today and that your faith is only beginning to take seed. You get to see so much that goes on here because of the things Mom, Lauren, and Daddy do, and as you get older you will find your own way – which no doubt will be different from your sister’s. Although you may be Lauren’s little sister, you are never in her shadow. You will find your own path, and you will learn to turn to Jesus for guidance and strength in your everyday challenges even as you shout defiantly at whatever obstacle has the misfortune of finding itself in your way.

Today is an important day for you as well as for us as a family. Your baptism marks just the beginning of your faith journey, of God saying “Yes” to you, and our church family opening their hearts to you. You have Mom and Daddy to rely upon, each other, our family, and our church as we all our journeys separately and together in learning, knowing, and striving to be more like Jesus in our lives and relationships. We all love you very much.

Love always,

Mom and Daddy

With Daddy, waiting for the big moment

Pastor Seth and Lauren

Pastor Seth and Lindsay

I look really happy here

Jules singing

Jules sang for the girls to end our portion of the service. Jules has an amazing voice, and the song she chose was "Blessed Be Your Name", which was just perfect. I didn't manage to make it through without crying after all, and thankfully a friend handed me some tissues...

Me, a little teary-eyed but very happy

Lindsay and Lauren with Pastors Seth and Stephanie

Pastor Seth and Lauren

Pastor Seth's sermon was about why Jesus and his followers cared so much about baptism. She is listening intently.

Lauren got to sing a solo during our time of prayer it was: "Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me". She sang it perfectly FOUR TIMES with Brian playing the piano.

We returned Chez Stoll for brunch with Karen and Chris. Jessie, Nick, and Amina joined us later for brunch.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dance Party

So full

My heart is very full right now and I have so many things to write and remember, but work is calling my name. I thought I'd leave you with some too funny conversations between Lindsay and Auntie Jules...

"What's that?" Lindsay asked pointing at Jules' pierced lip.

"A decoration..."

"A decoration!" She exclaimed. "It's not Christmas! The Christmas tree is in the basement with the decorations!"


Jules made a fish face at Linds.

"Make the fish face!"

Jules smirked.

"Hey! Be a fish and kiss me! Put on your fish horn!"

"My what? Horn?!"

Jules, singing : "Shake your booty..."

Lindsay, wiggling and shaking her head back and forth...

Jules, still singing, "Yeah, yeah!"

Lindsay, parroting, "Yeah, yeah!"

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

Snippets from my day

Lauren and Lindsay's baptism is on Sunday. They got early presents from Grampie. As you can see, Lauren thought the charm, an angel, was just about the coolest thing ever. "Because I am Grampie's angel."
Linds got her very own bible. She was also excited and made Lauren read it to her, of course. Here she is, posing, and refusing to eat her supper...
Today's project...honey whole wheat bagels. You can see I am getting better at consistency in size and shape.
This was yesterday's project, yogurt. Aren't the individual containers cute? This batch is plain, made with 2% milk:

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Adventures in babysitting

I didn't properly explain what I meant yesterday. In the middle of our date, which included some great Mexican food, margaritas, and a movie (albeit not a great one), we bought dishwasher soap. Even the loosest meaning of date for me doesn't include a trip to Target, particularly not while buzzed because it is quite possibly the brightest place on earth. If I'd tweeted, "On date, buying soap" perhaps I would've conveyed the silliness...

I took my friend Cassandra up on her offer to watch the girls. I'm really so blessed that I have the opportunity to meet such great young people through my church, because otherwise, I would not have had the chance to meet Cass, who besides being willing to watch my kids has been my purveyor of The Twilight Series. Yes, I have read two 500 page novels in two days. Yes, I agreed to read two more 500 page novels by Sunday. Go read them, you'll understand.

Cass and Lauren have a pretty great rapport from Sunday School. When Lauren heard that Cass was going to watch her, she began counting down the hours. Lindsay also likes Cassandra, but apparently, her desire to dominate was a bit too great. As Cass tucked the girls into Lauren's bed, Lindsay demanded, " go clean the house now!"

Cass blinked.

"Vacuum is downstairs. Clean up the dishes. Okay?"

Cass quietly slipped downstairs.

Sometime around 11 PM, Cass decided she should wash the dishes in the sink. Lindsay had apparently told her that we didn't (wouldn't?) feed her supper, so she'd served her some of the homemade applesauce from the refrigerator. At that moment, the power went out. Although I always make sure to leave our Mini Maglites on the knewls in the summer when our power goes out almost daily, I hadn't done that. Nor had I pointed out where the candles are. So poor Cass stood in the dark, wondering if she was starring in her own version of I Know What You Did Last Summer until the power came back on.

Amazingly, she has offered to return. With more Twilight books. Ahh. Life is complete.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Date night

This struck me as funny on Saturday night. Of course, I'd had 2 margaritas with dinner. Maybe it was just that I was uncomfortable being a bit buzzed walking around the very brightly lit Target to buy soap for the dishwasher before we went to catch a movie at the theater next door.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

The way we spent the final moments of 2008

Chris, finally got the guitar. Can't we play now?!

Neil and Joy entertain Lindsay and Rebecca while Rockband is played. Alec is singing, Ross plays bass, Karen plays guitar, and I'm on the drums...

Lindsay, Ross, Lauren and Lars

Karen, rocking it.