Monday, December 29, 2008

Learning to Count

Yesterday Luke was sitting up to the dinner table, and began counting.

It went like this:

One (holding 1 finger up), two (holding 2 fingers up), three (holding 3 fingers up), four (holding 4 fingers up), six (holding 5 fingers up)....then, eight, nine ten, fourteen, twelve, eleven....etc.

(OK, I can't remember the exact order of the counting process, but I do remember it was just a bit off!)

After he finished, I held up five fingers (this was the one I did remember him skipping) and said, "How many fingers am I holding up Luke?"

He looked at me for a moment, studied my fingers, then replied, "A lot!"

P.S. Yes we had Christmas and loved it. I have much to catch up on and will be posting lots of pictures soon!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Life's Lessons Learned

This week, Luke learned an important lesson while at the grocery store with me. We were in the produce section, and I looked up to see him, jalapeno in hand and a smirk on his face.

Two things happened simultaneously.

One was the words, No, Luke! Don't!, coming from my mouth.
The other was Luke taking a great big bite out of the jalapeno.

He looked at me with a big smile and a look of triumph, thinking he had just had a little morsel of green pepper. However, moments later, that smile turned to horror as his mouth started to burn.

He started screaming, tears running down his cheeks. He was so distressed, he couldn't figure out what to do with the remaining pieces of pepper in his mouth. He couldn't swallow them, and couldn't manage to spit them out.

I quickly rummaged through my purse, searching for anything that might lessen the burn. I came up with a piece of gum. I have no idea if gum does ANYTHING to stop the burning sensation which follows eating a jalapeno (which by the way is sheer torture if you ask me....people actually eat those things on purpose?!)

Luke took the piece of gum, hastily chewing, chunks of jalapeno mixing in with the gum. Moments later, he had swallowed the gum...chunks and all. Throughout this time he continued crying and screaming and panicing! I'm pretty sure he thought the burn might never go away. But, I am happy to report, the burning did subside, and hopefully Luke won't be helping himself to any more produce at the grocery store.

I guess sometimes you have to learn things the hard way!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Joy and Sorrow

Today has been a day filled with emotions....nervousness, joy, frustration, pride, sadness, worry.

I felt nervous for Scott as he went to basketball tryouts.

Brek said, "You were nervous for Scott?!"

I guess it must be a mom thing. If he makes it, I will be excited for him. If he doesn't make it, I will be sad with him. But whatever the outcome, life will go on and we will find happiness.

I felt joy as I watched my little Ben toddle around the house, giving me random kisses. Ben is growing so quickly and delights me. He is full of life and personality. He loves to laugh, and when I say he gives me kisses, it is the open-mouth variety. He simply opens his mouth and leans in!

I felt proud as I watched my boys perform their piano pieces tonight at a recital. It's the good kind of pride...the kind where you see someone work so hard, and you're proud of what they have accomplished.

I felt frustrated with whining, and kids not listening. Please tell me I am not the only one who experiences this on a daily basis!

And most of all, I have felt sadness and heart ache for my friend Lana and her family who received bad news today on Emma's condition.

I have worried about little Emma, and the toll this trial is taking on her mom and dad. Jeff and Lana learned today that Emma is going to need a bone marrow transplant. She has developed some sort of chromosomal defect due to the leukemia (this is quite rare), and therefore, will be undergoing a bone marrow transplant.

Lana will post an update on Emma's condition with more details here.

My dear heart is aching for you. How I wish I could do SOMETHING! I feel helpless.

Please pray for them!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Messy, messy!

When I gave Ben the bowl and spoon, I was thinking it would perhaps save me some time if he fed himself.

I'm pretty sure the time I saved was spent cleaning him up.

Good thing he's so cute!

Friday, December 5, 2008

I love a good tree!

The day after Thanksgiving has become the day when all Pillings dress warm and head for the hills in hopes of finding the perfect Christmas tree. It has become tradition. The kids run around--exploring, playing games, riding four wheelers, etc. There is a huge fire built to warm cold hands and feet. This is typically where I can be found, as I am usually holding a baby or unstable toddler.

This year was unusually cold, thanks to the wind. However, this year also produced some beautiful Christmas trees!

On the way home, the kids unthawed while watching a movie. Nothing like modern conveniences to keep your kids quiet. They become zombies...notice the vacant expressions.

The next day was spent decorating. Would you be surprised if I told you it took a good 3 hours to string the lights on our tree?! Our tree is a good 14 feet tall, you know! Our house is now sparkly and Christmasy! I love it!


Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, but here is a quick recap.

The morning began with a 4 mile run, which I enjoyed because it wasn't 5 am. But on the other hand, I did miss my running buddies.

Then home to shower and begin preparing food....rolls, salad, pies.

The kids helped some, then headed out to play. Luke and Maddy stuck around for a while to help me make the rolls. They liked trying to form the rolls, and they especially liked trying to sneak tastes of the dough (yuck!) The boys headed out to play football with a few friends.

When they caught wind that it was pie making time, they all appeared. Chocolate pie with snickers, chocolate pie with butterfinger, and chocolate pie with reeses. These were their requests. Other people had been assigned to make the more traditional desserts, but who can have Thanksgiving without chocolate pie?! My kids like to help because they get to sneak many tastes of chocolate pudding, whip cream, and candy bars.

Then off to Grandma and Grandpa Burtenshaw's house for dinner. This is where I would insert a picture of the delicious feast....beef medallions, smoked turkey, mashed potatoes (nobody makes them like my dad), rolls, stuffing, etc. Delish!! I would also insert a picture of my family and all the fun we had....IF.....I had taken any pictures! Alas, my camara sat unused throughout the remainder of the day. So, you will just have to take my word for it!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Vacation Recap is officially crazy! I'm thinking it would be nice if the month of December had 6 weeks in it as opposed to the traditional 4. Anyway, here are a few pictures of our trip (which is pretty much old news by now.) Better late than never, right?!

Brek and I went to the island of St. Kitts. It was beautiful. It wasn't the hottest time of the year, but it was still warm. The wind was always blowing, but it was nothing like Idaho wind, or South Dakota wind! It was actually enjoyable....a warm ocean breeze.

We enjoyed snorkeling both on the island of St. Kitts and the island of Nevus. It wasn't the greatest snorkeling, due to ocean waves. The calmer the water, the clearer the view. But we still had fun exploring around. Brek and Brian were disappointed in their hopes of catching a large fish to cook over an open fire on the beach. They were armed with spear guns, and ready to go, but the large fish must have been in hiding. They must have caught wind that we were in town! They did, however, take the life of several smaller fish and some crabs.

This is a picture of the awesome car we drove around. And I do mean AWESOME! Check it out! You gotta love a miniature pink car. Driving around in this car was about the equivalent of driving around in a golf cart. We had some good laughs over our hot transportation! But I will say this got GREAT gas mileage!

The island of Nevus is a small island right by St. Kitts. We took a ferry to the island and spent a day there. It is basically a dormant volcano with houses built around it.

I had to snap a photo of Brian as he reminded me a bit of the Titanic.

Brek and I had such a great time together. It was so good to enjoy him with no distractions. No cell phones, no work, no responsibilities! It was great!