Friday, October 30, 2009

Spread Thin

I feel pulled in every direction these days! And I'm afraid my patience is wearing a little thin. Hoping I will find some time to re-group and re-charge!

Last night we had a blast at the zoo - we met Andrew downtown and he went with us and had dinner with us before we took him back to work. The boys chose to be clowns and it was pretty cute:

I'm planning to do a lot of cleaning this weekend that has fallen by the way side. And I'm going to make a big batch of chili, caramel apples, and hopefully something with pumpkin! Looking forward to a family weekend of fun! Off to make pizza for our movie night!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


The boys are so funny to listen to - they have such interesting conversations. :) And not much slips by them...I was on the phone and mentioned to the person I was talking to that I was stopping for coffee because I hadn't had any today and this is what I heard:

P: Hey Calv, Mom didn't have her coffee today so that's why we are stopping here.
C: Ohhh.

We were talking about what they want to be when they grow up:

C: I'm going to be a doctor.
Me: What kind of doctor?
C: Um...a fixin' doctor. I'll fix bones and legs and things. I want to be a fixin' doctor.
Me: That sounds great! You will be helping people.
C: Yeah.
Me: P, what would you like to be?
P: A daddy.
Me: (melting) That's great. Do you know that when you are a daddy that I will be a grandma to your kids?
P: Oh.
Me: Do you want to be anything else?
P: No, just a daddy.
C: I want to be a police officer and help people when there is a fire.
Me: Not a doctor?
C: No, a police officer! I'll be a police officer and a doctor.
Me: Do you want to be a daddy?
C: No, I will save the daddy and kids from the fire.
Me: Sounds good. (Smiling from ear to ear and laughing!)

The days of choosing careers will come soon enough. It's fun to hear them dreaming...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Few Pictures

These are in no particular order - just a few pictures from our fun week. More to come!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Telegram

If you cannot find me STOP please look harder STOP I'm buried beneath the stacks of stuff STOP working my way out STOP If you do not see me by tonight STOP start searching in earnest STOP I likely have fallen in STOP

Yes, progress is being made. Toys and books are nearly done although you wouldn't know it by the room. :) And yes, pictures from vacation will come soon - I promise! I'm trying to use these hours that I have to tackle the many projects around here - one at a time. :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Tidbit

Some things are just interesting:

- There are 1 or fewer people in the US named Alaina F (my last name). We have information on both names, but chances are low that someone has this combination of names.

- There are 1 or fewer people in the U.S. named Alaina J (my maiden name). We have information on both names, but chances are low that someone has this combination of names.

Nice to know my very existence is doubtful. :) Also good to know that no one will be confused with me since I am the one or fewer. :) Maybe I didn't want to know... All I can say is, "I EXIST!"

- Chances are high that there will be a more meaningful post at some point this week...chances are low that it will be today. :)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We had a great week at the cabin but I am completely exhausted and drained. :) My wonderful husband worked very hard all week and is giving me the day off tomorrow. I'm looking forward to a little quiet time. :) And we have a fun church cookout planned for tomorrow night which also means that I will hopefully see my brother who is home for fall break.

The cabin was wonderful. The boys were overall very good and it was so good to have time with them without the stress of normal life. We enjoyed having friends stay with us and visiting with friends in the area. We also got to spend some time with my sister! All in all, I would definitely go back. And (of course!) I have pictures which I will get around to posting soon. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My other boys were nothing like this third one. He was a proficient walker well before his first birthday, he mastered the stairs around the time he turned one, and now he climbs on, in, and out of everything. The child is unstoppable - a houdini of sorts. :) We strap him in his highchair and he stands up; we turn our backs for a second while he is playing and we find him standing in the middle of the kitchen table. The train table is his own personal dance floor and nothing stops him for getting where he wants. We watch him like a hawk, we put gates and barriers up and yet, we still find ourselves slightly terrified. He recently decided to climb on his stroller and we caught it on camera - he might be a little proud of himself - what do you think? :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday!

So today is my husband's birthday...and we are out of town. If you are facebook friends with him - will you please go wish him a happy birthday! It's kind of a big one - 3-5 but don't tell him I told you! :) He is the love of my life and an awesome dad. I'm so blessed to be married to him!

Happy Birthday, Andrew!

We wish we could be with you to celebrate! Hope it's a great day and we'll see you soon!

All our love, Alaina & the boys

Monday, October 19, 2009


Last week, my sisters and I met up for an evening. We live in various areas of the state so we met at the most central location for all of us - we each drove at least an hour. We had such a blast! We ate too much food, celebrated two birthdays, laughed until our stomachs hurt, and enjoyed one another. I hope it won't be long before we make another trek for dinner some night. It was the highlight of the week! I love having sisters!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


We are headed off for a week of vacation. Andrew needs to put in hours at work, the boys are on fall break, and I could use a break from the norm. So, the boys and I head out after church today! We will be joined by some friends and my sister. We are staying in a cabin up north at a state park which looks very nice! I'm planning to just enjoy the outdoors, play with the kids, visit with friends, read, and sleep. Sounds wonderful to me! The weather is supposed to be nicer then it has been though still a little chilly - nothing some hot chocolate and a fire won't fix. I'll have a few posts scheduled to post here throughout this week and there will definitely be new posts and recipes up at The Cooks Next Door. I hope you have a wonderful week!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Those Days

Today has been one of those days. You know, the day were nothing seems to go right. I am weary and overwhelmed and I might have even shed a few tears - please don't tell. Parenthood sometimes stretches you beyond what you feel you can possibly handle. Sometimes it requires decisions that punish you as much as them - you know, taking away privileges like getting together with friends.

The boys and I leave in just a couple of days to go away for the week and I think we need that time to work on some character, to spend time together, and to start fresh when we come back. It will be good for all of us - although we will miss Andrew a TON.

I love them with all of my heart. And tomorrow is a new day.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good Morning

One of my sweet boys woke me up this morning by rubbing my back and saying, "I love you, Mommy. You are a pwecious gwirl (translate: precious girl)." I can think of nothing sweeter. It was the best way to wake up! And then Andrew made me a latte before heading to work. I think I'm ready for the day. I feel incredibly blessed and loved this morning!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tips, Please!

If you've been reading here for any length of time, than you know that I struggle with organization. I love it. I want it. I work towards it. I get rid of things. And yet, I never seem to achieve it. Simplicity and minimalism is what I really want - my family isn't quite on the same page. And, well, who can blame them? I have a kitchen full of things that probably wouldn't fall under the simple and minimalistic plan but they would definitely be exempt. :)

So, the point of this post? Please, PLEASE (!), I beg you, give me one or two of your most effective organizational tips - it can be pantry, laundry, kitchen, bedrooms, cleaning, clothes...whatever. Just something that works for you and helps keep your household (or a portion) of your household running well.

My current most effective organizational thing - canvas bins w/handles that hold (and hide) the toys. The boys are awesome about sorting all the blocks into one, cars into another etc. It's definitely working - in fact, I need to pick up a couple more!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Imaginations at Work

The boys came up with some creative cameras this weekend and have been enjoying them ever since. Totally made us laugh!

Patrick was taking this photo with his "camera"... (And he just saw this pictures and told me that he was taking that picture with Daddy.)

See the barn with the toilet paper stuck in it? Yep, that's one of the cameras - the one Patrick used for the photo above. :)

The boys taking pictures of Andrew taking their picture.

Humoring us and letting us take a cute one of them!

They were so funny. They lined their stuffed animals up on the steps and I heard them instructing the animals to sit still and smile. Wonder where they have heard that?! :) Whenever I hear them quoting me, it makes me all the more careful about what I say... :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Quick One

Just a couple of quick notes today:

- There is a giveaway going on over at The Cooks Next Door - Go Enter!!! :)

- Andrew and I haven't had a decent night's sleep in about 2 weeks due to teething. It's taking it's toil - I was asleep by 9 last night not feeling very well.

- I have a new job - scheduled to start in February. It's exactly what I wanted and I'm absolutely thrilled! I will continue to work 1 day a week and it won't be Fridays!

- We decided to take a break from our annual Christmas Open House this year. I'm sad and little relieved.

- Pumpkin Cheesecake is delicious and I made some yesterday.

- The weather is awful (cold & rainy) and I only want to eat soup. :)

- I'm taking the boys on vacation by myself in a week and a half or so Andrew can get in extra time at work. We've had it scheduled for a couple of months now and a friend and her three boys are joining me. We are staying close to my sister and another friend of ours! I'm excited!

- We have two wedding the next two Friday nights, one outdoors. I'm debating what to wear...

- I'm seriously needing to de-junk again (still and always) - will it ever end?

So there you have it, things in a nutshell.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Celebration Saturday!

We had a great weekend! It was a little cold and rainy but that certainly did not dampen our celebration! :) We were originally scheduled to camp with our church from Friday to Saturday but the weather cancelled that plan. So, we took the boys to the organic csa farm were my cousin has been working. It was wonderful. The boys ran around and played with the dog and cats. They saw the chickens, the pigs, and the calves. And the bonus was seeing new baby chicks - a first on their farm. A chicken had laid eggs and sat on them and therefore they had escaped the fate of most eggs on the farm - the baby chicks were adorable!

Saturday was distribution day for the farm so people were coming to get their vegetable shares. Patrick wanted to know if we could buy some carrots - he loves them! :) Right before we left, we were so blessed to be given carrots, beets, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, kale, garlic, green onions, okra, acorn squash, butternut squash, eggplant, and radishes. We also picked some raspberries and bought a few dozen farm eggs. It was such a great day and we loved seeing Leslie!

After we left, we went to a locally famous restaurant called Ivanhoe's. We enjoyed lunch there - although the real reason to go there is their 100 sundae and 100 milkshake choices. Yes, we had that, too. :)

Here are a few pictures from our fun weekend!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Something New...

The past 3 1/2 months, my friend Heather and I have been working on a new blog (yes, I've hinted at something new in the works!). It's a blog about all things cooking and also includes a lot of baking and some entertaining. We are thoroughly enjoying planning, writing, and cooking for it. So today we are launching our brand-new blog and we hope you enjoy!

Feel free to check out The Cooks Next Door (we will soon be .com but for now we are .wordpress). We are still working out a few kinks but we hope you find inspiration and delicious recipes. Let us know what you think! And there will definitely be an awesome giveaway over there this week! :)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Family Day - 3 Years!

Today we celebrate three years of being a family. On October 4, 2006, a judge in Kazakstan granted our petition to adopt Calvin & Patrick. We could not have been happier. It was a difficult and emotional journey that culminated in the greatest gift. We are so happy that God chose to grow our family through adoption. We are changed - our hearts, lives, perspectives, and goals.



2009 - To Be Posted Soon :)

We've had a fun weekend celebrating our family day - a post coming about it! We love all of our sons more than words could ever, ever express. We feel amazingly, undeservingly blessed by the Lord.

Thursday, October 01, 2009


We had a great afternoon and evening with friends - why, oh, why don't entertain more? It doesn't have to be fancy, the house doesn't have to be perfect, and I don't have to be rested (we will NEVER have people if we wait for that! :)). It was fun and spontaneous and I definitely needed it!

Also, I survived having my cavity filled and seven sealants cleaned out and replaced. 2 hours. 2 hours, people. I was very numb for at least 3 hours which I did not like. The last time I was numb was for my wisdom teeth and that's been at least 12 years ago and before that, it was for another oral surgery related to my orthodontics. I was awake for both of those - I guess I was destined for dentistry. :) I probably should stop chewing ice so that I won't end up with a lot more dental work...yeah, probably not going to happen. I've tried.

Anyway, if you have anything you would like me to write about or questions for me, feel free to ask. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and a lot uninspired and so you end up with posts about cavities. Wow, how did I get to this point? :) Feel free to stop reading at any time... :) No wait, I'll come up with something...eventually... :)