Thursday, October 30, 2008


When attempting to teach youngsters kickball, it's important to remember that it's not all about winning. In fact, kids this age aren't the least bit concerned with who gets the trophy. Liv, Holland, and Mary had a kickball lesson today. Several times, these sweet gals just decided they were done running bases after only second base, and instead veered off to play in the dirt. Even so, I do think they learned a few things today.

For example:

It's definitely cool to play kickball wearing striped socks.

Base location: Make sure players know where the bases are before the start of the game.

They were taught how to run the bases. (yes, this is something that actually has to be shown)

Remember, this is kickball. Make sure the kids know that:

And even if you miss the ball, apparently it's okay to run around the bases anyway:

Kickball is more fun when you smile (even if you sacrifice speed because of that smile):

Always, ALWAYS cheer and comfort your teammates.

It's polite and considerate to wait your turn.

And the dugout is definitely the most fun part of playing kickball.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Liv the Diligent

I love these pictures of Liv for a couple of different reasons.

1. We were playing outside with Holland, Drew and Sydnie. Instead of playing, Liv wanted to rake leaves. Anyone who knows Liv, knows this is completely normal. 90% of the time, Liv chooses to do chores over play.

2. Here she is....getting dirty and working a dress. And she wouldn't have it any other way.

Another great fact about Liv: She has never asked for a toy for any of her birthdays or Christmas presents. All her requests come in the form of practicality. Last Christmas, her list included, among other interesting items, a noisy toothbrush and a real-live waffle maker. This year, she has casually mentioned her desire for a catalog-reading armchair for her room, and a Culligan water cooler.

Really and truly.

For her birthday, she was gleeful over office supplies, especially duct tape and a whole spool of multi-colored electrical tape. When I took her to the fancy hair place here in town (graebers), she brought our hair-stylist a present: A styrofoam cup with popsicle sticks ducktaped to the sides and an embellished metal fork sitting inside. Practical, yes? Eryn even commented on the fact that if she ever forgot her fork, she could use the one Liv gave her. I didn't tell her that she might want to scrape glue and sequins off it, first. I figured she could learn the hard way.

Liv is very industrious and hard working. Here she is, shaking the leaves off the tree with the rake so that she can also rake them into her growing pile. I had to pry her little hands off the rake in order for her to eat lunch. She really cracks me up. What a fun girl she is and I am so thankful for her!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Chester's gettin' T-bone steak tonight!

HUGE sigh of relief! Our Chesterboy is home!!! He was taken in by a family one street down and treated like royalty for 2 whole days. They have two little boys and they were really disappointed that they couldn't keep him. We are so relieved that he is ok, and that he had a warm place to sleep the last few days. Poor Chester. He really is quite the girly-man. But shhhhh! Don't tell him I said so.


He ran away! We can't find him and I am so worried because he is such a wimp in the cold. I keep hoping he took cover with some family until they can take him in to report him lost. We've scoured the neighborhoods, posted signs, prayed, called the humane society 100 times and talked with our neighbors.

The saddest thing about losing a pet, besides of course the idea that your pet may be suffering, is your kids' reaction. It's been so painful to see our little ones crying and asking questions to try to make sense of his absence:

"Mom, why did Chester leave?"

Did he not like us? Did he want to find another family?

Is he okay?

And this was hardest of all, the sign Liv made to post somewhere:


Back: (shows our house, where Chester ran from)

Hopefully, by the time this is posted, we'll have found Chester. :o(

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Most Important Meal of the Day...

Breakfast! Or so they could all be a marketing scam and I would never know. I'd never know, because I wouldn't care...I LOVE breakfast. I never did understand how people could just "skip" if they had better things to do? Or as if they could just "forget" to eat? How do people just "forget" to eat, anyway? That's another issue, entirely, I suppose. I won't digress.

When we go out to breakfast, I'm super boring and always order the same thing: Eggs Benedict. I love it. I don't even care that there's a whole stick of butter in the sauce. It's so worth it. But when I'm the chef at home, I'm totally outnumbered and surrounded by waffle/pancake/French toast lovers. Don't get me wrong...I love these, too. It's just not my first choice. I have this rule, though, that I am not a made-to-order cook (except for Brian, of course). I feel that the girls are offered a variety each meal, and should be able to find contentment with something on their plate. This rule goes for me, too. So...since the majority of The Wiebers love the pastry-type breakfasts, that's what I generally make. Happily. Mostly, it's Liv and Brian wielding the fancy waffle maker.

Last visit to Papa Snail's house featured Papa and Liv as the in-house chefs. But when it's me, I have found this utterly divine breakfast choice that pleases most eaters, and every eater in The Wieber household:

French Toast Waffles

Yes, that's right. You CAN have French Toast and Waffles. At the same time. Breakfast will never be the same again.

4 eggs
1/2 C. milk
2 T. butter, melted
1 T. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
8-10 whole wheat bread slices

Preheat waffle iron. Spray with a light coating of vegetable spray. In a shallow bowl, combine eggs, milk, melted butter, sugar, and salt. Dip bread slices, one at a time, in egg mixture. Bake in waffle iron 2-3 minutes or until brown. Top with fruit and whipped cream, or warm syrup. Also great with peanut butter! Best of all: to reheat, just pop into toaster!

This recipe was found in my Gooseberry Patch Christmas cookbook.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Here are the guests that came to Liv's party!

Steph, the flapper girl, with Damie, her gangster.

Ok, first, I have no idea why this photo won't rotate. But it won't. Here we have The Lasaters with their sons: Victor the Lone Ranger, and Kedrick, the pirate.

The Jenning's family. Adam was a cow-pie throwing contestant (he found the shirt to prove it!) :O) Red Riding hood, and Mr. Tiger. Sweet Lyla is so cute, she doesn't yet need a costume.

The Cute McCrory Family. Jonie made Jackson's cute cape and mask, and Thea's sweet tutu!

When Greg walked in, he said he was just a guy wearing a cape and trying to be a good sport. What a guy! :o). Suz wore a beautiful dress and mask and Zoe...then we have Spiderman and the Princess!

The Risingers: Darth Vader, Sweet Elliot with his feathers, Dragon Adrian, and Jelly Beans!

The Swannies, on the way to the BSU game with Hawaii. They couldn't stay because they were going to the game to celebrate Scott's birthday! Happy Birthday Scott!

The Wiebers: a cat, The Dread Pirate Roberts, Princess Buttercup, and Queen Liv.

Jan was a GREAT Charlie Chaplin!

Doesn't Troy look like one of those annoying tourists who should be also carrying a camera? :o)

The fun Drake family!

And my cute Farm Boy, Westley. I'd marry him all over again....even with the blond mustache he's sportin' in this photo.

And the Winner's Are........

Here are the winners of Queen Liv's Masquerade Mask Contest:

Winners were picked exclusively by Queen Liv and given a certificate and huge spiral lollipop.

Best Suited to Costume:
Little Mary Drake with her sweet sandy seashell mask.

Most Colorful:
Princess Feyamita with her colorful mask and colorful smile. :o)

Most Creative:
Mr. Eli who spent most of the night carrying the sword of The Dread Pirate Robert.

Best overall Kid Mask:

Adrian the Dragon with his scary teeth and scarier razor nails:
Along with his lollipop and certificate, Adrian also won a singing bird in a cage (not a real one--his parents are relieved I am sure :o)

Best overall Adult Mask:
Darin Darth Vader won Dutch Mafia Bumper stickers, a gangster mustache, and Dutch Brothers Coffee Certificates!

Queen Liv's Masquerade Birthday Party!

All year, Liv has talked about having a costume party. So, for her 5th birthday this year, we put together a really fun masquerade party. Liv thrives in big groups and lots of excitement, so it was really fun to put it all together. The party actually started 3 weeks ago, when Liv went door-to-door handing out her invitations and masks.

The guests were instructed to decorate their masks for the mask contest and to dress in their favorite costume. Liv helped plan the whole event...down to her own queen costume, the cake, the decor, the invitation papers, and even the guest list! She's really sweet....the adults in her life are just as important to her as the kids in her life. This is a huge bonus for Brian and I. :o)

Adrian, trying his hand at the castle pinata. I especially like the vicious look on his face. :o)

Liv, waiting to blow out her candles! Liv REALLY wanted a Queen doll cake for her birthday. I had a barbie with a crown that was given to us by my aunt Judi and cousin Tess. Then, a quick search on ebay yielded this cute masquerade barbie mask. I went into this project, not really knowing how it was going to turn out. I think it turned out better than I even hoped. Best of all, Liv loved it!

Sweet Friends.

Holland couldn't look at Grandma without laughing!

And this is poor party....STILL cleaning up Chelsea's Hawaiian skirt. :o)

And this pic is post party, also. No birthday would be complete without her best bud, Stellan.

Tis the Season...

...of birthday parties, here at our home. This year, the girls' parties were truly suited to the unique girls that they are. Holland's was really fun to plan, as she has been memorizing the verse, "This is the Day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it!" We were really struggling with Holland for awhile because she was having a discontented and grouchy attitude. So, we decided to have her sing or say this verse each morning. It was amazing how much it impacted her little heart. God's word truly is alive! She is happier, more joyful and sweetly content when she remembers that God made this day and she's going to be happy! So, in celebration of this, we had a This is the Day party. She was so excited...the party of close friends was supposed to be at the park..and was, for about 10 minutes. :o)

I love this picture, because it shows Holland running to embrace Mary as soon as she saw that Mary had arrived. Mary returned the gesture. They ran this way from all the way across the park!

Then the wind and the rain and the thunder and the lightning and the outright downpour all blew in at the same time.

Holland was blown underneath the picnic table, Liv burst into tears because our napkins were fluttering away, and the guys all grabbed our picnic gear and we piled into our cars. On the way home, Holland asked in her sweetest voice: "Mommy, did I open my presents?" Here Holland was...strapped into her carseat to go home...after only 10 minutes at her party. And she thought her party was over. She wasn't whining or complaining...only confused at whether or not there was an actual present opening ceremony at her party. That alone, was a miracle...her sweet attitude.

When we reached the shelter of our home, Troy brought out his guitar and lead the kids in song. "This is the Day" was the first song and Holland requested it twice. :o) The kids all sang and played instruments. It was a warm, blessed time with friends and was made even cozier with the storm outside. It reminds me that in this life full of stormy turmoil, we can have joy and peace because we have The Lord. With Him, we always have a safe haven...a cozy place to go. But we won't get that shelter if we don't go to it. Unless we decide to run to Him, we'll get stuck in the rain!


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