Fall Weekend 2015

October 20, 2014 § Leave a comment

We did all kinds of fun fall things this weekend. Here are a few photos from yesterday.


Eldyn: 2 Years + 10 Months

October 14, 2014 § Leave a comment


BFF: Just in time for planning his first-ever kid party, Eldyn has started picking out “favorite” friends at daycare. It should come as no surprise to hear that his favorite is never the same person twice. He has so far listed every kid in his class (and each teacher) at least once. It’s bittersweet because forever, his best friend at daycare used to be “Hiram.” But really, striking out on his own can only be a good thing.

Headaches: I love it when kids can tell you what’s wrong with them and Eldyn’s to this point. Sort of. At least he knows about headaches. When he had an ear infection, he said he had a headache in his ear. When I asked him to put his coat on, he told me I gave him a headache in his tummy.

I Dress Myself: Going, going, almost gone are the days of efficiently finding something cute for Eldyn to wear and getting him ready in five minutes or less. He’s increasingly interested in doing this himself. I must admit, the pride he takes in his appearance and accomplishment makes it worth it although I am now officially losing the battle against all-sportswear-all-the-time.

1 Year + 10 Months

10 Months


He Said/He Said: The Difference Between Boys and Girls

October 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

There’s a whole new level of side-conversation starting to happen between Hiram and Eldyn now. They discuss, disagree, make plans.

Here’s a conversation I heard over the weekend:

Eldyn: I’m a sister.

Hiram: Did you know that sisters are girls?

Eldyn: Um-hmmm.

Hiram: You want to be a girl?

Eldyn: Um-hmmm.

Hiram: Are you sure? Girls can’t use urinals.

Canoe Song

October 9, 2014 § 1 Comment

It’s been a little while since I posted a video of the boys singing. Can’t have that!

Grandma Barrows – here’s a taste of what is to come if you can make it to church with us this weekend. Although they won’t be singing Okey Dokey Brothers on Sunday.

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Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

October 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

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The bad thing about reading 4-6 books at one time is that you feel like you aren’t making progress for a very long time. The good thing about reading 4-6 books at the same time is that when you start to finish them, you finish a whole bunch of books all in a span of a week or two. Bam, bam, bam. Bam, bam, bam! That is why I am writing yet another review, this time on Haruki Murakami’s book Kafka on the Shore.

I know I’ve said this before but Haruki Murakami is my go-to author when I need my brain to get more creative. Or said in another way, when I need my brain to take a chill pill. Luckily for me, Murakami has what seems like an endless repertoire of books so I am never without something to read when I need it.

With each passing book, I’m less surprised although less surprised is still pretty surprised. He uses some of the same tactics over and over — things like characters in solitude, strange sex scenes, weird violence and not-human characters that are creepy yet pivotal to the plot. But, somehow this doesn’t bug me. Even though it happens over and over. It’s what I sign up for, I guess.

<pause for awkward introspection>

The things that set this book apart from his others were 1) A protagonist who I cared a little less about than usual and 2) The use of a very accessible and engaging opening scene. Man, I wanted to know more. And man, I was frustrated to realize that given the author, I probably never would. (TBD if my predication came true, no spoilers here!)

A note on raunchy – Although I love his books, I have a hard time recommending them to my friends. There are scenes in each of his books that stick with you and then pop into your head when you think about recommending it to your mom.  But, I know the scenes are just part of the deal. They sneak up on you and then you’re reading them and then you’re not. I wouldn’t want them to not be there. But then again, that would make it a lot easier to fully endorse. So read it. But only because you want to. Not because I told you to.

Hiram: 5 Years + 4 Months

October 6, 2014 § 1 Comment


Kindergarten, Check: Hiram makes amazing progress each week and I am so proud of him for tackling new things and working hard to make friends. It’s especially fun to see the things that capture his imagination, like the class caterpillars (a.k.a. butterflies) and A/BBB patterns.

Art: It was time to officially get rid of his nap on the weekends and focus on getting him to bed earlier. This means he needs to keep himself busy for one hour of “quiet time” on the weekends, which has not been a problem. Hiram has turned into an art machine. 8 to 10 unique masterpieces in one hour. I wonder if that makes Megan Moore jealous.

Coach Hiram: Once Hiram learns something new, his first instinct is to teach it to us. I love this! The new things I’ve learned since Hiram started kindergarten include games, rules and how to spell words in the “at family” (hat, cat, pat, mat). He also taught Giki how to draw a robot.

4 Years + 4 Months

3 Years + 4 Months

2 Years + 4 Months

1 Year + 4 Months

Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand

October 2, 2014 § Leave a comment

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I find it difficult to get myself to read something that I know is going to be sad. Or hard. One thing that happened when I had kids was that I gave myself permission to not read things like that in my free time. I know that might be shallow or the easy way out but it’s just for now. Just for when I am lucky to find 20 priceless minutes to read each day and don’t want to spend them being sad.

Despite this rule I still do sometimes read sad or hard things, especially when I’m motivated to participate in my family reunion’s book discussion. That’s why I read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this book was funny. Not off-the-wall funny (that would have been completely inappropriate) but spoon-full-of-sugar funny and for that I am thankful. I enjoyed reading this book. And. This book was sad and hard.

In addition to being funny, this book stood out to me for its vivid imagery. Almost immediately I was right there, despite being a person who (thank the Lord) has never experienced the atrocities described. I read through these pages with a gaping open mouth, horrified by the things I learned about being a POW in Japan.

It was also interesting to compare this story with the one I heard when my husband and I took a tour of Hiroshima while I was studying in Japan. Talk about different perspectives on the exact same event. That realization alone was worth it.

If I’m ever asked to give feedback on this book, (which we all know I won’t be so I’ll just offer it up to you since you’re a captive audience) I’d say this book was way too long. It just kept going. And going.

Yes, there were parts that were just too long because they were depressing. But you know the tone a writer takes when they’re concluding? You know? The tone where the writing gets lighter and things start getting summarized and loose ends get wrapped up? Well, this book took that tone with 100 pages left to go. I kept thinking I was going to run into the appendix or works cited but that never happened. There was no appendix. It was just concluding that whole time.

I think this book is one to read. Especially if you’re looking for something that will help you appreciate the Veterans in your life. Just couple it with something light. Either that or read it fast and maybe even skip the end. Although who actually does that?


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