Joys of Photo Editing
Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I had one simple goal at the church Fall Festival tonight: To get one good picture of all three kids together, in the same shot. Didn't happen. Check out the first three photos below. Cute, right? Only because I cropped out the one kid who happened to look normal. The last three pictures are the originals. Click to enlarge and have yourself a good laugh at the futility of my goal. (And the looks on their faces are pretty funny too.)

Then and Now
Monday, October 29, 2007

Cake at One Year: Icing Beard

Cake at Four Years: Icing Goatee

Best Buds Then

Best Buds Now

Happy Fourth Birthday Dylan!

Tip O' the Day: We joined the "Chuck E Cheese Club" online (oh the things parents find themselves doing!), and got a great coupon for a large pizza, four drinks, and forty tokens for less than $20 bucks. If you must endure a trip to visit Chuck E, I highly recommend at least using a coupon. That big rat is money hungry.

Don't You Roll Your Eyes at Me.
Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dylan has perfected the "eye roll".

I noticed it today when we had lunch with a family from church. They have a little girl who is three, and she wanted to give Dylan a hug goodbye. First he jumped under a table to avoid the hug. Then when I made him come out, he stood stiff with his arms at his side, eyes rolling to the heavens while she gave him a squeeze.

I hope he learns sooner than I did to use the eye-roll with discretion. I'm sure I won't like it being used against me any more than my mom did!

Mini-Van Musical
Thursday, October 25, 2007

Lauryn, Dylan and I were in the van headed to pick up Ryan from school. I had been driving about five minutes when it hit me we that we were all three singing different songs. Each quite loudly. Top volume in fact. I'm sure we all just started out humming and slowly built up our decibel level trying to hear ourselves over each other. It was really funny when I tuned in and realized this awful cacophony of sound was happening all around me!

Dylan was singing some made up tune that sounded like it needed a banjo accompaniment. Lauryn was singing a variety of "mmmmm", "ooooh" and "ahhhs" with an occasional "Bubba, Bubba, Bubba" thrown in, and a little chorus that included the words "oh man". I was singing "Your Name"by Paul Baloche, a song I've had stuck in my head for an inordinate amount of time.

When I realized what we were doing, I stopped singing and just started watching Dylan and Lauryn in the rear view mirror. They kept right on gazing out the window and singing until we arrived at the school. They did, however, take the volume down a bit when they didn't have to compete with loud-mouth mom.

Shoe Mountain
Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I asked the boys to please straighten up their shoes and make them look neat. Upon checking their work this is what I found:

Maybe they interpreted "Make them look neat" as "Make them look cool", instead of the intended "Make them look tidy." They were quite proud of their teetering creation. It was a good opportunity to purge their closet of shoes that don't fit them anymore. (Or, aren't fit to wear.)

Birthday Wishes from Lubbock
Monday, October 22, 2007

We wish we could have been there for your birthday dinner tonight!
We love you!

Telling on Mommy
Sunday, October 21, 2007

While Mo was here watching the kids this weekend, she got out the vacuum cleaner to clean up a messy project they had done together. When Ryan saw the vacuum he said, "Who's coming over?"

I honestly do vacuum more often than just when we have guests! (Now, if she would have started to dust, that would have been a totally appropriate question.)


...both with my husband, and with the landscape of New Mexico.

Click here if you care to see more pictures of our trip to Ruidoso, NM.

Takin' a Little Trip
Thursday, October 18, 2007

Jonathan and I are headed to Ruidoso, NM until Saturday. The kids will have a fun-filled three days in Lubbock with their Grandma, who flew in from Tulsa today. Let's hope it's as fun-filled for her as it is for them!

Super Anti-Bacterial Power Scrubbing Magic Oxy Bubbling Cleaner?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What is your "cleaning routine?"

I tend to stick with the basic products: Bleach, Comet, Formula 409, Pledge, and Windex. I might occasionally use Soft Scrub. Beyond that, the amount of products in the cleaning aisle at the store overwhelms and confuses me.

I've tried several different "specialized" cleaning products, but always return to the old faithful ones my mom and grandma used. (Oh, I do also buy Clorox Disinfectant Wipes. A must have bathroom product with two little boys!)

So any recommendations? Any miracle products out there I should be purchasing? Or do you use the same couple of products house-wide like I do? Share your secrets! (And I've seen some of your immaculate houses, so I expect a comment. You know who you are.)

Fine Dining
Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Conversation between Dylan and I as we ran errands this morning:

"Hey Dylan, you wanna eat at a restaurant for lunch today instead of going back home?"

"Yeah! Yay!"

"Okay, I think one McDonald's has $1.50 Happy Meals on Tuesday....we'll drive by and see."

" [big sigh] Mommy....McDonald's is NOT a restaurant."

(I sort of agree with him about that, but technically it IS a fast food restaurant.)

"Yes it is Dylan. McDonald's is a restaurant."

"Nope. It's not."

"Yes. It is."

"Are you sure Mommy? Who told you?"

"No one told me Dylan. I just know. Everywhere that you eat food is a restaurant."

"Oh. [deliberate pause] So home is a restaurant?"

At this point in the conversation, I'm not sure if he's mocking me. I don't think I ever convinced him that McDonald's qualifies as a "restaurant." I suppose he prefers a place with tablecloths, and waitresses who tell him how cute he is.

For local readers: I was wrong about the Happy Meals being $1.50 at McDonald's on Tuesdays. It's the Kids Meals at Burger King (at least in Lubbock), so that's where we ate. Dylan didn't offer his opinion on whether or not it qualified as a restaurant!

Feelin' My Age (and a few more thoughts)
Monday, October 15, 2007


Good for a Chuckle
Friday, October 12, 2007

"Life with a five year old."

Vruumm Vruumm

Ryan was playing with play-doh today, and after working for a few minutes on a sculpture said, "Look Mommy! It looks like your vacuum cleaner!"

I was so proud.

Not so much of the fact that he sculpted something that did actually look a bit like a vacuum cleaner...but rather, proud of myself that a vacuum cleaner is something he is familiar enough with to pull from his memory. I don't demonstrate domesticity in front of my kids very often (house-keeping in particular), so it's good to know it's just often enough that it's making at least a slight impression.

Future Paternal Plans
Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Mommy! Look! A tractor! I LOVE tractors."

"That is a cool tractor, Dylan. Maybe when you grow up, you'll be a farmer and get to drive a big tractor like that one."

[with much passion] "NO Mommy! I'm not going to be a farmer! [Thoughtful pause, and change to quiet, determined tone ] I'm going to be a Daddy. A daddy and a man."

Happy First Birthday to Nephew Connor
Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Connor turned a year old on October 6th. Happy Birthday to the cutest one year old I know! I also hear that he is walking all over the place like a pro. (But I'm still patiently awaiting video evidence to verify this claim. Hint, hint.)

Hee Haw

My beloved laptop has returned. I can now rejoin the rest of you communicating in the year 2007.

Several times when I was without my computer, I thought "I'll post a blog about that when I get my computer back...." Here are the only two stories that managed to take root in my brain:

1. On the eve of my leaving to visit Japan, I overheard Ryan say to Dylan:

"I think Japan is going to be kinda funny."


"I don't know....but I think they speak Spanish or something."

2. A few days ago, my three year old Dylan sweetly crawled up in the recliner beside me, snuggled in, and looked right in my eyes and said:

"You stink."

Stunned, I asked, "What did you say?"

He calmly replied, "You smell like a donkey."

Then he laughed hysterically. I should have taken this opportunity to tell him it's not nice to tease people like that (if he was indeed teasing), but I was unable to control my laughter/bewilderment enough to teach that lesson. The things that come out of his mouth amaze me. I know they learn by example, but I'm quite certain he's never heard me or his dad tell anyone they smell like a donkey.

"Mo" (grandma) is coming to babysit next week while Jonathan and I take a short trip to Ruidoso, NM to attend a conference with our church leadership. I need to remember to tell Dylan to please not tell his grandmother she smells like a barnyard animal.

Still without a computer. (sigh)
Friday, October 5, 2007

Our laptop has been mailed off for repair. I'm blogging via my
husband's data phone, and I'm rather annoyed by this teeny little

I miss my computer. Email is one of my primary modes of communication
with both friends and family. (A small house + three children =
difficulty making phone calls.)

I'm anxious to return to my emailing, blogging, picture sending ways.
However, since being forced into a technology-free exsistence, I have
been amazingly industrious around the house! Turns out the time I
spend online everyday can be spent instead rearranging bookshelves or
cleaning out the kitchen junk drawer. (Who knew I had six boxes of
birthday candles?)

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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