Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

The Wieber Family


A Year of Quotations

Do they eat owls in there?

-Liv, age 5, passing by a Hooters restaurant

You know what I’m thinking about Liv? I’m thinking of how much fun you and I will always have hiking together. We’ll come up here and hike all the time.

You know what I’m thinking about, Mom? I’m thinking about shooting animals. Like bears and squirrels. I wonder what they’ll taste like. That’s what I’m thinking about.

-Conversation between Jen and Liv during a hike up tablerock

Daddy’s a junker. So am I. I like junk food. I like dressing up, too.

-Holland, age 4

Girls, let me tell you something: when your mom makes something to eat, it’s so you grow up strong and healthy. When your daddy makes something to eat, it’s because it tastes good. Don’t you forget that.

-Brian, during a breakfast conversation with Liv and Holland.

I think Reesie will have stinky feet, just the same as Liv and me.

-Holland, in response to the question: “What do you think Reese will be like?”

Daddy, why don’t some kids think their parents are cool?

Well, when some kids turn into teenagers, they don’t think their parents are cool anymore.

Dad, I’ll always think you’re cool.

You promise?

I promise.

-Conversation about being cool between Liv and Brian

It’s crazy! We can’t do ANYTHING HE can do!”

-Liv, marveling at God’s greatness

I changed my mind. I don’t want to be a horsey girl anymore. I want to be a girl who takes care of dogs. And a girl who rides giraffes.

-Holland, age 4, about her future career choice(s)

When I grow up, I want to be an inventor first, then a baker.

-Liv, age 6

Look at the lobsters, THEY’RE GORGEOUS!

-Holland, seeing live lobsters at a restaurant, right before Liv told her that they take the lobsters out, make them delicious, then eat them

There are a lot of waitresses here! I saw some with BEARDS!

-Liv, age 5, still needing to learn that the term waitress is reserved for females


-Reese, age 1 month

It’s even more amazing the third time around.

-Jen, about that first glimpse of baby, after the birth of Georgia Reese, girl #3

Awww! She’s so CUTE! I’ll never stop loving her!

-Holland, after meeting Reese for the first time

…And thank you Jesus for making Reese feel so warm and smell so good.

-Holland, praying in her room by herself

Reese is glad she gets to be in our family!

-Liv, after Reese smiles at her

I was trying for a girl.

-Liv, after being asked if she had wanted a brother instead of a sister

I havn’t said anything funny this year.

-Jen, during the writing of the annual Christmas quote letter

I hope I still like to play when I’m a teenager. I think I will, cause you still like to play. Are you a teenager, mom?

-Liv, age 6

…And here is King Harold.

-Liv, meaning King Herod, while explaining the different characters of the Nativity story.

It’s amazing—you’re two souls right now. You are one half of the girls in our family!

-Brian to Jen while pregnant with Reese

Are we going to die, Dad? I’ll be sad if I die, because I’ll never see you!

No, Holland, the bible says that if we die, we’ll be in Heaven someday together….all those who believe in Jesus. We don’t have to be sad about death. If we die, we’ll “sleep” then awake in the Kingdom of Heave,n in the presence of Jesus. The bible says we need to have Faith in Jesus.

-Brian’s conversation with Holland one night when she couldn’t sleep.

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."

-Luke 1:20-33

Wishing you a Merry Christmas,

The Wieber Family

Brian, Jen, Liv, Holland, and Reese

Friday, December 18, 2009


loves last words are mostly red
and linger on and on instead
of vanishing away from thee
a hardened heart with no retreat

And when the words are lastly spoken
and thoughts are left alone to end
the hold that keeps my soul in prison.
My love, My Savior, who bled for sin.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Ship

My first 6 or so years of life were spent in Tacoma, Washington, in an old Farm house alongside a gulch. The gulch was steep and brushy, and the river bed had long dried up thanks in part to an earthquake which evidently disrupted it's ebb and flow. I, along with my brothers and sister, would dash out of the house during play time--past the magenta Rhododendron bushes and the hovering apple trees. Carefully, we'd army crawl underneath the electric fence, around Freckles, past the salt lick, and to the entrance of the gulch.

The entrance was also the start of the escape route the cows used when they saw the butcher van drive to the pasture. Or the Bull van. Both vans were dreaded sites for these small-time cows.

Once there, careful footing was imperative, as we'd follow my oldest brother, John, down the steep slope, slipping and sliding, grasping at ferns and thick grasses along the way, ignoring the cuts from the thick blades. Once at the bottom, we'd run along the rock bed until we reached THE CAVE. The cave was actually a small, cleared spot, perfect for 4 scrawny kids to play and imagine and dream. We'd make plans to haul chairs and sleeping bags--that box of Ritz we saw in the cupboard-- in order to provide some sort of comfort for an overnight stay. We'd pretend to hide there from the wolves and we'd act out our defense plan once they did try to reach us in the dark. Even though these plans were never brought to fruition, I fondly remember those days of escape into dreamland.

It's been a long while since I've dreamt of wolves and caves :o), but now I get a kick out of our kids doing the same.

The girls have a similar place along The greenbelt and River. When the water is low, they clamor across the riverbed rocks to enter the Ship from the shore. They giggle with glee and hop rocks, occasionally getting their socks wet.

Not a care about the socks, though, when they see their beloved Ship: a small, woodsy clearing with a bright canopy of branches dotted with saturated colors of yellow, orange, and green. The girls gear up for their voyage each time they arrive at their special spot, sweeping it to get it ready for launch. They also grab branches to use as rescue sticks, in case anyone has an unfortunate fall into the ocean. They plan to bring a lunchbox packed with snacks the next time they come.

Here's THE SHIP.

Here are the Ship Captains, inviting you to climb aboard.

And here, a weary traveler, awaiting the day she can also captain The Ship.

Happy Dreams to you today!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Little Things

I love my family.

I'm so thankful that God has given me such a fun, strong husband.

I'm grateful for smart, active girls.

I'm happy that we have pillow fights and that on certain days we all sack out on the couches while watching movies, and sometimes sleep there through the night. I love our midnight ice cream runs, and the time we hopped on our long bike train 10:30pm to try to catch the last of the Summer Fireworks at Hawks Stadium. I treasure the memories we have had cheering Brian on during his triathlon races, and the time I got to cross the finish line with Liv at the end of my own race. I fondly remember the year we went to the Fair 4 days in a row. The fountain at The Saturday Market has gotten us wet a few times on purpose, but I like the time when Brian rode us all on our bikes through it, all of us girls screaming, the best. We've had moments of reflection, fun conversation, and even birthday wishes atop Tablerock. We've watched the sun set along the hills together and The girls still talk about the time we all "played" in the shop making wooden kitchen spoons. Saturday Waffle Mornings. Christmas light gazing--especially that one house. Hot chocolate tastes even better in small espresso cups, and ice cream tastes way better when shared straight from the carton. We celebrate every family triumph at our favorite restaurant at the end of Harrison Blvd, affectionately nicknamed "Snickers Pie", and our girls will never be able to eat pancakes without thinking of The Trolley House and the tattoos with skulls that they get afterwards. I treasure the traditional "Daddy's home" shouts of "Who Loves Daddy!" and "Who loves Reese", and "Who loves Liv's stinky feet?" and I smile when I think of all our hands raised.

I could list more, but the point is....It's the little things. The little things are what we will remember for years to come. It's the little things that don't cost much (if anything), and will build memories to last our children's lifetime. It will shape them. It will shape their children. It will shape their children's children.

What are your "little things?"

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Three Blind Dancing Mice

The girls wanted to be the three blind mice for Halloween. With tutus. The girls always add some sort of twist to their costumes. One year, they both dressed as Minnie Mouse--with a pirate patch. The twist is often added as we are heading out the door. This year it was all premeditated. Our friend Christi's mother-in-law lent us the mice costumes. They were so cute. After knocking on the doors of our favorite neighbors, we headed to our favorite eatery in all the world: Highlands Brew Pub, where kids eat free on Halloween. Then we headed down Harrison for trick or treating.

They got asked multiple times to sing "Three Blind Mice". They obliged, belting it out with their squeaky voices. The girls were thrilled that Reese also got to join in the fun.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tutu Cute!

The last several weeks have been a complete blur for me. After Reese was born, I went in to have surgery to repair 2 hernias--one that I got while pregnant with Holland, and one from carrying Reese. It has taken a longer time to feel better than I had expected, but my recovery was made possible by my wonderful husband. He not only sacrificed his back to sleep on the couch with me for 5 days straight, he also got up in the middle of the night to feed Reese during the first couple of nights, and then for weeks to hand her to me since I couldn't lift her chunky self :o), but he also set his alarm clock so that I wouldn't miss my pain meds. He made the painful times memorable and fun for us all. One of our funniest times during my recovery was a certain 6-year-old girl pulling out her book of 500+ tattoos and tattooing us all. Four weeks later, I have finally removed the last ones from Liv and Holland. The temporary tattoos turned out to be not-so-temporary after fact, they looked so real, I have already picked out my next one.

So, now, I am playing "catch-up" with all the latest pictures. This batch was taken in October.
My sweet friend Wendi made the girls the cutest little tutus to celebrate the birth of Reese. It was such a fun, indulgent surprise. She also screen-printed tees for the girls to wear with their tutus. As you can see, Reesie was shocked to get such a beautiful gift.

Here she is saying, "For me? You shouldn't have!"

True to Reese's nature, she can't contain the smiles.

Reesie also discovered that although tutus look appetizing, the texture leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

Thank you, Wendi, for spoiling our girls! And congratulations on the birth of your new little guy, Christian Edward. We can't wait to meet him!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Bible

The bible is one of God's greatest love gifts to you.
It is the world's greatest literary treasure. It is the
foundation of the church and your faith. But there is
always the danger that you may forget how personally
God wants to give it specifically to you. He desires
you to use it daily as your spiritual food, your personal
prayer resource, and your weapon for spiritual conquest.
-Wesley L. Duewel (1916- )

Friday, October 30, 2009


Here is Liv enjoying some cuddle time with Reese. 

The jump from having 1 child, to 2 was very challenging.  I suspect it is partly because our first child was still a toddler in the midst of refinement.  What am I talking about?  Does the refinement ever end?  Whatever the case, the jump from 2 to 3 children has been much smoother.  I am sure it is because I now have 2 very capable helpers, as Liv is 6 years older than Reese, and Holland is 4 years older.  Reese is quick to smile at each of the girls and loves hearing their voices!  

One day as I was cooking, Reese was fussing a little.  I asked Liv to peek and see if Reese had a messy diaper.  "Yep!  There's POO!"  Ok, I'll get to it in a minute.  But before I knew it, Liv was instructing Holland to grab a diaper and some wipes, while she started stripping Reese down to her diaper.  Holland responded with such speed and grave dedication.  It seriously brought tears to my eyes: both girls rushing around, taking care of their baby sis.  

And really, Reese looks rather content and well taken care of, yes?  

I just had to include this shot, as it proves that Liv gets so much done in one sitting by using her feet.  I have seen her do this a dozen times while constructing projects, but it's the first time I have ever gotten a photographed record.  (see her laying out the clean diaper with her foot? She also uses these monkey feet of hers to anchor the duct tape roll so that both hands are able to dispense. ha ha!)  In this picture, Holland is packaging up the dirty diaper into a nice, compact bundle of trash.

I am happy and blessed to have such cheerful helpers.  And Reese is so blessed to have such caring sisters.  

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Liv's Climb to 6

Now We Are Six - A.A. Milne

When I was one
I had just begun
When I was two
I was nearly new
When I was three
I was hardly me
When I was four
I was not much more
When I was five
I was just alive
But now I am six,
I'm as clever as clever;
so I think I'll be six now
for ever and ever

Our first born is 6-years-old now, as of October 14th! I remember receiving age-6 clothes for Liv when she was first born. I thought it was ages away. Now I laugh at myself, for the years literally flew by.

I call Brian my Mad Scientist, because he is always inventing, always improving things around the house. I am always in awe of his will to make something better. I have a tendency to "make do" and just deal with things being subpar. Brian, on the other hand, can often be seen with a needle in hand, reconstructing fight shorts or gloves to "make them better". Living with an inventor like himself makes for a life that is anything but dull, slightly messy at all times, and an unbelievably fun childhood for our girls. One of his recent projects has been a rock climbing wall. In our backyard. I appreciate how Brian is constantly making ways for our family to share activities together. He also takes the girls 2 nights a week to boxing practice with him...because he wants to include them and spend time with them. They love it.

But I digress...this post is about our new six year old! Perhaps I go on and on about Brian on this post, because Liv and Brian share a love for inventions together. They also talk often about the complexity of electricity, the way a cell phone works, or the unique ways in which certain animals defy evolution. They both excel at Math and can see abstract solutions to household problems. He started a rock climbing wall a few months ago and Liv was out every waking moment helping him finish it up. She hammered and drilled boards and generally kept Brian company out in the yard. We also had help from other family. I give props to our nephews Tristan and Gavin for their tireless contribution, to Uncle Mark who took off work to come meet our new little Reese and on his vacation worked alongside Brian and his boys to get the wall finished, and to Brian's brother Jeff who logged in multiple hours and rock climbing expertise. With the completion of the wall in sight, Liv asked for a climbing party. Brian finished the wall within minutes of her little party. Here she is climbing on the finished wall. Thanks to her awesome dad for creating such a fun home for us!

And here is Holland....her climbing debut. This is a very typical picture of Holland...dressed for fashion, regardless of the activity. :o)

Liv asked me to make her a climbing cake. I do well with "messy" cakes that don't require smooth lines or lots of decorating technique. I piled four layers of cake on top of each other, then 3 mini cakes, stacked like a pyramid, then 2 muffins and 1 mini muffin--all glued together with chocolate frosting. The result was a large chocolate mountain, mounded with white snow (frosting) covering the mountain. Chocolate rocks served as the "holds" .....

....and a couple of toy figurines served as the climber and belayer.

Twizzler candy was used for a rope and harness.

Liv kept asking us why the belayer was sitting on a muffin. :o)

Happy 6th birthday Livvy Loo Hoo!

This picture was taken on the actual eve of her birthday. We went and saw a 3D showing of Ice Age. This is what we call Liv's "Erkel" stance. She is so, so silly.

We have enjoyed the richness of our life since Liv's grand appearance 6 years ago. She has filled our home with generosity, innovativeness, efficiency, energy, motivation, silliness, excitement, and lots and lots of laughter. Oh, and loudness. Those of you who know Liv know that she has only one volume. And the mute button definitely has malfunctioned. :o)

It has been a fun year watching her grow. She is reading books every day, She has changed her mind about being a baker someday and changed it to (surprise, surprise) an inventor. She has created mouse traps, a scooter, purses, recipes, sculptures, etc. The list could go on! Sadly, the bonuses of being her mom and receiving inventions for free are coming to an end. Liv recently informed me that she will no longer be giving projects away for free. If I want one of her projects, I am to come to her office with a handful of pennies. Or 3 quarters, a nickel, and five pennies.

She has mastered the art of the big sister, showering both Holland and Reese with hugs, handmade gifts, and her time. She will often grab a book to read to Holland or Reese, snuggle in bed with Holland if she is scared of the dark, and change Reese's diaper without anyone asking her to. She also memorizes extra verses at Awana's and EVERY time gives the extra candy to Holland. It is because of her example that Holland has learned to enjoy the sweetness of putting others first. What an amazing first child she has become. I am blessed beyond measure to have her in my life.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Holland's 4th Birthday

Our sweet Holland turned 4-years-old in September! This has been such a big year for her.  She went from being the youngest child to the middle child with such grace and stride, surprising us all with her pure love for Reese--no jealousy at all!  She also professed Jesus to be her Lord and Savior.  And she has also informed us of her great career calling:  "to be a girl who takes care of dogs and also a girl who rides giraffes". That's our girl.  I love how the part about riding giraffes is tacked onto the end.  She is very dramatic that way.....she's always been good at adding just the right words to add a big punch to her statements.  For instance, today she told me that I am the best mom she's ever had.  Notice the last 3 words?  Do I break it to her that I'm the only mom she's ever had?  Better not.  

Holland is endlessly compassionate, sweet and charming, remarkably sensitive, and she genuinely appreciates the beauty all around her.  She also is our little daydreamer.   She has been enjoying cooking and baking with me, has learned how to do new watercolor paintings, and has pleaded with me to teach her to read...which I am, and which she really, really loves.  She is also a cheerful and mature little student in her Awana's class and has been great at memorizing her verses.  I also see her reaching out to other kids, making them feel welcome.  What a gift she is to us!  

For Holland's birthday, she wanted to go to the apple orchard, so we met a couple of dear families out there to help Holland celebrate.  Here's a picture of Holland at the apple orchard holding a...dandelion. :o)

Here she is with her friends at the apple orchard, picking....dandelions.  

I love Mary's spirited apple attire.  So cute.

And Liv was so proud of her apple collection. 

I love how Kedrick's lips are the same color as the apples. :o)

I love this shot.  Holland appreciates her cards and pours over each one.  She notices each detail and takes in the uniqueness of each one.  Her friends are interested, too.  

And here is our sunshine girl, Holland.  Happy birthday sweet pie.  

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tofu Carrot Spice Cake

First, I'm not about to tell you that this recipe is a health food. But it is a HUGE amount healthier than the recipe listed on the back of the cake mix box.

Not long ago, I was reading a recipe involving brownie mix, tofu, and water. It was designed to sneak protein into a dessert.

I kept thinking....what about Spice Cake mix, tofu, and carrot juice in place of the water? I was sure the carrot juice would mask the mild, but still present, taste of tofu. I couldn't stop thinking of this recipe and decided to experiment. I was not disappointed! This recipe is AMAZING, and I'm not talking, "yummy-for-tofu amazing", but really, truly amazing and I would bet money you couldn't tell there was tofu in this cake. The original recipe instructed the baker to mix brownie mix with 12 ounces of tofu and a fourth cup of water. I decided to increase the liquid to 1/3 of a cup since carrot juice is slightly more dense than water. Instead of frosting, I mixed powdered sugar with a little bit of milk and spread it over the cake to make a glaze. I didn't want to ruin the healthy benefits of this recipe with high-fat frosting. My recipe is below:

Spice cake mix, any brand
1-12oz. package of soft tofu (generally used for smoothies and sauces, etc.)
1/3 C. carrot juice

Follow the directions on the back of the cake mix box. Add your own ingredients if you would like. (for instance, I thought a cup of grated carrots would make this taste more like a traditional carrot cake!)

Enjoy! Let me know your ideas!

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Furry One

Doctor: Do you have chores at home?

Holland: Nope. 

Mom:  Yes you do, Holland.  Remember--your chore cards?

Holland:  Oh, yes!

Doctor:  So what are some of your chores, Holland?

Holland:  I don't remember!

Mom:  I'll give you a hint:  Who's the furry one at our home?

Holland:  Ah, yes.  Daddy!  

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Pumpquash?  Squakin?  

This is by far the most interesting thing we harvested from our garden this year.  It is my guess that our pumpkin seed had a little fun with our squash seed. 

What would you name this hybrid vegetable?  Or more importantly, how would you treat it? Humanely, we should not treat it any differently than it's cousins.  It's not his fault that he looks so different.  :o) But for tasting purposes, I'm not sure if I should treat it like a pumpkin, and toast the seeds, make pumpkin pie, etc.  Or if I should treat it like a yellow squash and saute it up in a little butter with salt and pepper on top.  Suggestions welcome please!  :o)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Scritch Scritch Scratch...

Warning: this post contains an image that may make you gag.

...Scritch, Scritch, Scratch...

This morning I heard the unmistakable sound of a.....

gosh I hate to even type it.


Get yourself toGETHER!

...I heard the unmistakable, shiver-inducing, make-my-hair-stand-up, sound of a mouse. I couldn't even stand to be in the the scratching seemed to come from behind the cabinets. In case you didn't know, I detest mice. I think I'd rather have a loose snake in the house, then a mouse.

Liv received a book entitled Mouse Soup for her birthday. In the book, it details the ingredients needed to make the gross delicacy. Brian asked Liv to buy some ingredients at the store so that when we catch it, we can make some soup. She wasn't thrilled. But did you know which ingredients are needed for Mouse Soup? It could come in handy someday. If you ever want to make some, be sure to pick up: 

a nest of bees 
two large stones
a thorn bush
ten crickets
a mouse

Note: the last ingredient is essential for your soup to taste like mouse soup.

When Brian got home, he showed Liv the in's and out's of a mouse trap. Always the inventor, she decided to make her own. Liv's "better" mouse trap is made from a stapler, a jewelry box drawer, plenty of yarn, and a dowel.  The dowel, separate from the other configuration, hangs from the ceiling. When the mouse comes to inspect the stapler, Liv plans on releasing the dowel.  Then, the dowel swings down to hit the stapler (which is preloaded with peanut butter, of course). The stapler then closes on the mouse.  Finally, the mouse falls into the jewelry box and is caught by a cushion of cut up yarn.  I think PETA would be very pleased by the cushion of yarn, but not so pleased by the staple planted in the mouse's skull.

We set 4 traps this evening and quicker than you can say, "let's make mice soup," it was caught. To set your mind at ease, and to not leave you in suspense for too long, we did not make mouse soup. I repeat: no mouse soup.

When we found the mouse near the trap, we all had to look, of course. Mind you, it was caught between the dryer and the wall, so vision was limited.

But Holland, always the animal philanthropist, cooed in her sing-song voice: AaaaH! He's SO CU-UTE! Then Brian scooped it up and Holland got to see it up close. Never one to be undone by a little blood, she asked him very sincerely if she could hold it. Thankfully her request was denied. But all night long, Holland kept asking daddy to pray for that poor mouse.

It's funny how kids can make you suddenly feel guilty for ridding your home of nasty rodents. But not too guilty.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

This Year's Mom of the Year Award Goes To....

My Mom!!!  Last Mom's day, I was able to nominate her for this prestigious award.  I just received news that she won.  

Check out the press video here.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Garden Escape

To capture Summer's beauty perhaps forever, I like to take snapshots. It is my desperate attempt to convince Summer to linger a bit longer.

Here are some of my faves from this Summer:

And the girls. Well they have spent countless hours digging and planting and picking and eating. I am proud to say that during these Summer activities, they have successfully conquered their fear of worms. Worms are no longer a force to be feared, but one to poke and prod and show to anyone within arms reach. The girls each have their own section in the garden. Recently, Liv spent hours transforming her area into her own little paradise. She first confided in me that she was going to ask daddy to build her a structure to put in her garden. Not wanting Brian to have yet another project, I convinced her to use corn stalk husks to create a thatched roof. She did, and enjoyed the results so much that she made her area even more comfortable.

Speaking of husks: Brian used the word husky to describe a red onion today. I am still reeling from that description and wonder if the word husky should be used to describe anything in the kitchen? You can vote in the poll (upper right) to let your opinion be known.

Here are some shots of Liv's Garden Escape:

Notice the canopy of corn husks, sunflowers, and ribbon. The bucket is a very creative table.

The girls pose for a picture. Hee hee ho ha hee!

Your hand is tickling me, Holland! Hee hee. Ha!

Finally. Not sure that Holland even knew what she was doing that made Liv tickle so!

And because Wieber girls are always, always silly, here's another silly picture. As if we need any more proof.

Farewell sweet Summer. Though our visit was short this year, we shall meet again next year!


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