30 November 2012

Festive Scenes

There's a lot of Christmas fun going on in our house right now. 

*David set up the train around the tree.  Christian gets so excited every time the train goes by.

*Daph is my right hand girl for all Christmas activities.  She wants to decorate every square inch of our house.  I'm so pleased with myself for handing off my decorating gene to her.

*Christian's favorite song is 'Away in a Manger.'  He does motions and hums along, people!  It is the most precious thing you've ever seen.  If you see him make a 'rock the baby' motion with his arms, you know he wants you to sing.
who knows what's going on here, but it's funny

*Of course D loves playing with our Playmobil Nativity.  She especially loves it when the nativity characters ride in Santa's sleigh.
the face she makes when I tell her to smile

*Daphne and I went shopping the other day where she picked out a present for Daddy and one for Christian.  She was very concerned about where her present was.  That night we wrapped the gifts and again, poor thing was wondering if she would have any presents. 

*Both kids slept in until until 7:30 this morning, giving me one hour and 15 minutes of peace before the day began.  It was a Christmas miracle. 

27 November 2012

Tree Hunters

Yesterday was the Monday after Thanksgiving, meaning it is officially Christmas and we had to venture out to get ourselves a tree.

Fortunately for us, the weather was beautiful and dry, and we found the perfect tree mere feet into the tree patch. Tree field?  Either way, we didn't have to walk far and David didn't have to carry the tree far once he cut it down.

the face you make when you find The Tree

cutie pies

Our day yesterday was fun and action packed. We:
1) went to the donut store
2) got our milk
3) went to the tree farm
4) came home for Christian's nap
5) went to Red Robin for lunch
6) picked up a few things at Target
7) came home and had a decorating party.

Kind of one of those 'I can't believe this is my life' kind of days as it was so perfect in nature.

And now Daphne is playing with her nativity set and Christian keeps throwing things in the garbage, the house smells and looks like Christmas, we we're settling in for our 'day of rest,' as we have made our Tuesdays.

Perfection indeed. 

24 November 2012


As soon as Daphne was born and named the nicknames for her started rolling off our tongues.  I thought her name would a difficult one to morph into any other name, but it turned out to be quite easy.  Daphers, Dapher-Do, Daphalicious, Daphinator...it's amazing what you can do with the name 'Daphne.'

Christian, on the other hand, has been much harder.  We don't want him to be called Chris, meaning that name was immediately off the table.  Not that we don't like the name Chris, it just seems like once your name gets shortened to another name your full name is never used anymore.  We like the name Christian too much to not let it get used.

(Daphne's nicknames are all fine because it's not like we're going to give up the name 'Daphne' so that we can call her 'Daphalicious' forevermore.)

(Although that would be pretty cool.)

Sometimes, though, the name 'Christian' is just soooo long and difficult to say that you need something a little smoother to use.  It's taken us about a year, but a few little nicknames have started to come out that we really like and are acceptable for anyone to use.

Crok:  David came up with this one fairly soon after he was born.  The 'C' is for Christian, 'RO' for his middle name, and 'K' for our last name.  Crok also gets turned into 'Crockers' quite a bit.

Trout: Christian takes liquid fish oil every day which causes him to smell like fish at times.  David started calling him Trout, and also refers to him in all manner of fishing related terminology.  He's 'the catch of the day,' or 'a fine catch,' etc.  It's a cute little name.

Crish:  Daphne came up with this one.  They were playing in the living room one day when she was trying to get his attention and called him Crish.  I thought it was so cute, especially since she came up with it.  I call him Crish quite a bit.

Mr. Handsome Pants:  I realize this one is actually longer and more challenging than his actual name, but it fits him quite well and sometimes the situations just calls for it.

Nicknames that haven't made the cut are Christ and any other Messiah-like terms. (Much to David's dismay.)

There you have it.  All the names we've come up with and the riveting stories behind each one.   Good stuff.


P.S.  In case you were curious, we chose the name Christian because we love it (I've loved it since I was in high school, actually), but also because there was a missionary 100 years or so ago on my mom's side of the family who's name was Christian.  We used the name in part to honor him.  Christian's middle name is my maiden name, since there are no more Roth boys to carry it on and it would be terribly tragic if the name just died away. 

22 November 2012

Thankful, Wonderful

Thanksgiving is always a little hit and miss for us, since we usually don't know until the last minute whether or not David will be working.  Today we are thankful that he got the day off.

Our day was peaceful and restful, pretty much exactly how a holiday should be and yet rarely is.  Daphne spent last night with her grandparents, so we got a morning with only one little one.  I was thinking to myself this morning as Christian was playing peacefully by himself while I puttered around the house that life is so much easier with just one, but then I remembered that Daphne was not one to play peacefully by herself, so really, no one should ever make a mother with one child feel like she has it easy with her 'just one.'  'Just one' can be just as challenging as a houseful of children. 

I love Chistian's Thanksgiving photo from last year:

Compared to what he was up to this year:

After C's nap we headed over to Gramma and Papa's for a dinner that, happy for me, I did not cook one iota of.  Such a treat for me.

Christian only ate mashed potatoes, because he is picky like that.  Daphne enjoyed all the food, because she is the opposite of picky, but she especially enjoyed pie.

And because I just love comparison photos, here's Thanksgiving 2011:

With 2012.  Amazing how both of them have very similar expressions, like poor Christian's expectations were dashed as he realized it really isn't going to get any better.   

We came home with enough time to get the tree out for the family room downstairs.  Of course Daphne was thrilled, but Christian's exclamations of "ooohhhhh!" were quite amazing as well. 

It really was a thankful, wonderful day.  

16 November 2012


We're just finally starting to recover from Daylight Savings over here.  It only took Daphne about a week to get back on track, but Christian was starting to think he liked waking up promptly at 6 A.M. and it's taken me awhile to convince him otherwise.  Fortunately the 5 o'clock wake ups only happened a few times.

Christian went back to his doctor so we could tell her that he's had NO REACTION to any of the foods we were reintroducing into his diet.  Can you believe it?  He was obviously sensitive to something, but it appears that his gut is now strong enough to handle it, whatever 'it' was, at least in tiny doses.  We're still gluten-free at our house, although no one has to cook that way for us.  You could say we are making sure our insides are healthy enough to handle any food that comes our way.  Our digestive systems are like steal traps of horror for all our food-related enemies.
food beware

I think Daphne is practically deaf.   Or if it is just the selective hearing of a preschooler, she's doing a great job of making me think she's practically deaf.  That girl says, "huh?" and "what you say?" more times than I think is normal.  The last thing we need is another doctor visit in our lives, so if she could work this issue out on her own that would be good and acceptable. 

David spent last week helping out at a police training in Salem, and instead of him staying at the police academy for the week or commuting from Portland, we all went and stayed in Albany.  David got to work a bunch of overtime (and don't feel badly for him, he was having a lot of fun) and the kids and I got to be entertained by family and friends while he was 'working' so many hours.   I say 'working' because he really was having a very good time. 
the kids pondering a future at Corban Univ.

I just started in on a new book.  It's my favorite kind; a type that I read with the book in one hand and a pen and notebook in the other because there is just so much goodness to take notes on and I want to remember it all. 

It's called Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider.  I'm loving it in part because our month of October became a month so full of things we needed to do that we all made it through a bit shell-shocked.  October is one of our favorite months and I feel like we missed it because of our too-full schedule.  One little tidbit I've taken from the book says, "Your hours and days and weeks reflect your priorities, and so does the space in which you live. As a family you're united for something bigger than each of you seperately, and you are all parts that complete the holistic family unit."

Every time we say 'yes' to something, whether it be to an activity or something we buy, we're saying 'no' to something else.  I buy something, so I just said no to putting that money into our savings for a down payment on a house.  I say we'll go to an event, so I'm saying no to time at home with the family.  It seems like we're saying 'yes' to too many things that aren't reflecting the goals we have for our family and a simplified life...and why are we doing this?  

I don't know why, but I do know that the goals for our family aren't to live the rat race.  We don't want to end each day exhausted, feeling like we were busy all day and yet accomplishing nothing.  We want our kids to love God and love each other, meaning we need to spend quality time together and quality time with our church family and people who have those same goals.  We want home cooked, nutritious food, meaning there needs to be time for proper grocery shopping, time to be home so the food can be prepared, and time in the summer for berry picking and garden growing and canning and freezing.  And by golly if I don't want a milk cow, meaning we've got to figure out a place to live where she can have some pasture.

Somehow we've got to organize our lives so that our priorities are evident in the way we live and in the house we live in.  I am excited for the challenge, and very excited to finish this book (which I will hopefully get to do before its due date next week).

Well, that was a 4 paragraph rant that kind of came out of left-field.  That's what you get when I read a good book, I guess.  

This weekend we're going to the Beaver game and we have a home group outing for the adults only (happy!!), and then it's Thanksgiving (in which David is working, boo) and then it's Christmas!  Daphne is SO very excited for Christmas this year, and also very excited for her birthday.  She tells everyone, even the UPS man, that they can come to her birthday.  I'm hoping her birthday won't be a let down when she realizes he is actually not invited.

Nor is the furnace repair guy, or the ant killer man, or any of the gals who work at Starbucks.  It's probably good to at least learn a person's first name before we invite them to any intimate family gathering. 

10 November 2012

Let's Talk Politics

How 'bout them elections, hmm?

I've decided that should I become political, I have two strong platforms to stand on that would get me votes no matter what position I happened to be running for.

They would be:

1)  Move Thanksgiving forward (back? I don't understand which is which) two weeks.  So instead of the 4th week of November it would be the 2nd.  Then switch with Veteren's Day.

This would benefit us all, mainly in the form of the Christmas season being two weeks longer.  David wanted to get our basement decorated for Christmas today, which is crazy nonsense, unless Thanksgiving was this week.  Then it would maybe be OK.

And 2), the most important of all, would be to rid the land of Daylight Savings.  I would get the votes from all the mothers of small children for that one reason alone.  Hawaii and Arizona survive without it, and Thailand survives without it (other places too, I'm sure) so I think we could too.

I saw someone share an old Native American quote via Facebook, so naturally this quote is true, that roughly says "only the white man would cut the top off a blanket, sew it to the bottom, and expect the blanket to be longer."

Amen and amen.

Let all the children stop awakening at 5 A.M.  Vote me for ___________ (position yet to be determined). 

that means you, buddy

09 November 2012

Our New Friend Annie and Some Llamas

If you ask enough times, it's possible your grandparents will eventually buy a horse. 

This is Annie.  She is Daphne's new best friend.

Daph likes to walk her, tell her 'whoa,' and give her apples.  She's not too thrilled about riding her.  That will come soon enough, I'm sure. 

Christian likes Annie, too, but his true love is the llamas. 

In this picture you can see his little hands singing 'more,' telling me he wants me to ignore the horse and go back for more llama watching:
David and a llama having a moment
I say try asking YOUR grandparents for a horse.  You never know; all your dreams just may come true. 

06 November 2012

Good Days

The weather has been so perfect lately that we've been spending every spare second outside, soaking up the fresh air and trying to store it in our hearts for the winter ahead. 

Tonight we stayed out until it was too dark to take pictures and until two children were desperate for their supper.

Thank you, Aunt Angie, for winning this wagon in Ohio so that we can ride around in it in Oregon. 

This morning we visited a park in Brownsville that was so alive with color I didn't want to leave.

I could have stayed for hours with coffee and a book and grown-up people, but alas, those children and their stomachs.

Good thing they are so loveable and delightful. And good thing they will happily jump around in leaves just because their mothers tell them it will be fun.

Daphne and Christian played in their play house together for the first time the other day.  First time without an adult up there, I should say, because Christian is now sturdy enough to be in the house all by himself.  They seemed so grown-up.  I love watching them become friends.

sleepy-eyed from naptime

These are indeed good days. 

02 November 2012

Don't Read This Unless You Like Food

I had about an hour before people were coming over and I was standing in the kitchen preparing to make apple dip.  Christian was hanging on my leg crying, and Daphne was sitting at the kitchen table hollering about needing food.

I was searching my recipe books where I keep recipes I've cut out of magazines or have written down from other sources, but the instructions for the apple dip were no place to be found.  My hour was shrinking and my kids were getting louder.

After flipping through my books twice I finally remembered I had posted the recipe in an October 2010 post about some favorite fall recipes we had tried.  The dip was made, Daphne was satisfied with food, and I finally had two free hands to pick up the still crying boy.

To save myself from this scenario ever presenting itself again, I am re-posting the recipe, AND putting it on Pinterest so that it will forever be in my desserts board, AND am writing it down in my recipe book.

It will be the first thing I have ever pinned from myself, so please, feel free to re-pin it and make me feel good about myself. 

Toffee Apple Dip

1) Mix with a hand mixer 8 oz. of cream cheese, 1/2 c of sugar, and 1 t of vanilla.

2) Mix in half a bag of Heath bits.

3) Eat up, because it's de-lish.


And now that I've gone to all this trouble, I have the recipe memorized and will probably never need to look for it again.  Excellent.

On a side note, this is what Christian looks like when David is responsible for hair maintenance after a bath:

01 November 2012

The Halloween Photo Overload of '12

Here is just what you're looking for...zillions of photos of costumed kids. 

This year Daphne wanted to be a crocodile for Trick or Treat Day (as she calls it), but being the uncreative person that I am, I didn't want to figure out how to make a crocodile costume.  Then she decided she wanted to be a pumpkin and that was something I knew we could handle. 

She and I searched Pinterest so that we could get a common visual, and here's what we came up with:

Um, yeah.  Totally cute.  And pretty much a tutu is the answer to everything.

We are cheap when it comes to costumes.  I think coming up with something to make is half the fun.  With Christian, since he doesn't know what's going on, we basically raided the closet and came up with something near and dear to his daddy's heart:

He's a runner, in case that was unclear.  Or as Daphne says, an 'exercise boy.'

Daphne LOVES Trick or Treat Day.  She remembers last year very clearly, meaning for months we have been counting down the sleeps until the big day.  I would say her birthday, Christmas and Trick or Treat Day are all equal for Best Days Ever in her book. 

We have a little tradition of Trick or Treating with some friends, and I think that is most of the fun. 

Our evening consisted of David and Daph managing to squeeze in a little pumpkin carving time.   We've been so busy lately that we hadn't found another time to carve, so I'm glad they were able to fit it in.

There was the face painting portion of the evening, in which Daphne wanted a completely unrelated-to-her-pumpkin-costume design painted onto her face.  Fortunately, she listened to Brooke (because she loves other mothers more than she loves me) and settled for a little butterfly on her cheek.  Like a butterfly just happened to land on the pumpkin.

We had supper of this chili recipe, which is my favorite ever, and the big kids had loads of fun at the kids table in the kitchen.  We could hear lots of joyful screaming coming from that table.

Corralling the kids for a group photo was challenging, so our options of  'good' photos to choose from are small.

I like C and E's eyes
The weather was perfect for a nighttime walk; no rain and not cold enough for coats to cover the costumes.  Our house was about 900 degrees thanks to the wood stove and the fact that I had been baking all afternoon, so getting out into the fresh air was refreshing.
the menfolk

And finally, digging into the loot.

We let Daph eat all the candy she wants after trick or treating, and then overnight the rest of the candy disappears.  It's a lot of sugar in her system at once, but then it all goes away at once too, instead of having little bits in her all the time (like, say, if she got a little bit of candy every day).  I'm always surprised how little she eats when given the opportunity to eat all she wants. 

Christian just kept trying to eat the wrappers.

And that pretty much sums up our 2012 Halloween.  I'm sure this detailed play-by-play of our evening makes you feel like you were right here with us.