Thursday, January 29, 2009

We're halfway there!

To the end of basketball season, I mean.
Tonight the Trojans beat a conference foe, Kingsland, for the second time. Yeah, Trojans!
The kids and I stayed home as it's hard to do away games on a school night. Let me back up a bit... It's hard to do games with a wiggly 15-mo-old. Period.
Tonight we got to listen to it on the radio. I felt like we were gathering for a "Fireside Chat." Though I'm sure FDR's addresses didn't cause his listeners to break out in a sweat like I did during that game.
A "good game" to me is when Jaker's team is winning by 20. It's good! I can sit back and enjoy it. I smile. I like it. *(see below)

Lead changes, being behind with 5 seconds to go, one point victory margins?
That is not good. It is tense, nerve-racking and blood-pressure altering.

Tomorrow is my favorite coach's big day. 36! I distinctly remember celebrating 26 with him in our rental house in Sand Creek. Ahh, the memories. I've got a surprise under my hat and will share it after the fact so nothing sneaks back to him. :)
Have a wonderful weekend.

*When my heart is not involved, I admit I like a close game, but when my husband is coaching or the Packers are involved... please see the above definition of "good game."

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Our little man's newest obsession is hiding. He is hilarious.
He climbs into small spaces and waits, wiggling with excitement until you acknowledge that you have found him.
Then he shouts, "He-Yo!" (hello) and giggles.
OH, he giggles.

These are my very favorite parts of the day. :)
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Monday, January 26, 2009

The Reason We Are Here

Sometimes it's still hard being in a new community. We visited Chetek this past weekend and it still feels like home. It's comfortable. We know most everyone we ran into on a "big hug" level. :)

Today I was reminded in a tangible way of why we are here. For family. For relationships. To brighten the day of a great-grandma with a short drop-in visit. I hope he remembers the love in her eyes. I know I always will.

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Promised Photos

Tonight I am finally dumping photos onto the computer that I took prior to Christmas! Aye yi yi!! No excuses. Just haven't done it. So here is my wonderful family- like a month ago. :)

There is a reason Jaker is hiding behind the little man in this photo. He has led three of our four kids astray and soon after I took this for HIS sake, I threw the camera at him and stripped my baby of that purple filth. :) Go Pack.

Noodle's ELEVENTH birthday party. The sledding crew! Yes, my 63-yr-old dad was one of the sledders (With Bella in the back left).

Lanman and one of his very favorite toys thanks to Auntie Cori and Uncle Jonathan! The kids (OK, and Jake and I) put him in the bed of the truck and zoom him to and fro. He squeals with delight and says, "Mo, Mo, Mo."

One of my top five "heart-warmers" as a mom is watching my kids read. When they are reading to a younger sibling I turn to mush. I caught Doodle reading his assigned story to Lanman during homework time one day. Melts a mama's heart!!

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Trembling with excitement!

The Dahls are headed north early tomorrow morning to spend a weekend with dear friends. It looks to be a busy two days, filled with visits here, there and everywhere and we are giddy over each stop. Our food contributions are prepared, and packed in a cooler in the van. The kids' clothes are packed tight. The camera and books, diaper bag and doughnuts from grandpa are ready to go by the back door. I even loosened the laces of the kids' shoes and have them lined up and ready to go!

The coach is at a far away game and left hopeful for a victory. I'm eagerly watching the ten o'clock news to see the score. Our departure time is set for 6:15 (In hopes we actually roll out at 6:30...) and I set out THREE coffee mugs- My usual two and one for Jaker as 5:30 will come quickly for him I'm afraid. *** They WON!!! Just saw the score!! ***

I know I am terribly behind on photo updates. I aim to post pictures early next week. The pics of Lanman are sure to just be a blur as he is in turbo tornado mode lately. Digging in plants he never blinked an eye at before. Unloading the DVD tower. Reaching above his head for handfuls of pencils to poke his eyes out with... (I jest.) Who needs to work out? My gym membership has huge brown eyes and a devilish grin.

The big kiddos brought home perfect report cards today. All three of em'! There was a lot of hugging and happy dancing at the Dahl house. What a great privledge I have to be their mama. Then reality set back in and I yelled out task after task until they begged to go to bed. But hey, they're going to play all weekend and see paragraph one... We're almost ready to go!

Which reminds me that I need to pack up to head out. Have a fabulously freezing weekend, Midwest friends. Californians? Alabamans? I don't even want to hear about it! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Books that we love...

I love reading to the kids, but as Jaker has stolen the boys away for the past couple of years with the Redwall series (Praise the Lord they are caught up! I am so glad they love these books, but am up to my ears listening to the names of woodland warriors!), I have been busy reading to Miss Bella.

The summer of 2005 as we spent our days in the Jackson area for a month we read The Moffats books (There are 4 or five directly about the Moffat family and a couple more by Eleanor Estes that are similar-- Ginger Pye and Pinky Pye). They were wonderful family stories of a simpler time. Innocent, funny, adventure-filled and endearing. :)

Bella and I then read the Little House series and topped it off with a trip to Walnut Grove and the Wilder Pageant with my mom and sister last summer. A classic series that I knew I would love reading with my daughter. (My mother firmly instilled this in me!)

I toyed with starting Anne of Green Gables with her, but my mom gave her Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace for Christmas. We fell in love after the first chapter. Very reminiscent of the Moffats this series is full of imagination and innocence. We can't wait to read the next book (which rumor has it will appear round about a certain little girl's birthday...). If your looking for a good read-aloud book, see if your library has these wonderful books! :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Grrrr... Frustrations!

So why is it that every Tuesday night our digital signal for NBC is gone. Zero. Ziltch.
I e-mailed the station last week about it on Wednesday morning and the station engineer wrote right back and told me to call him... except everything seemed fine then. I was convinced it was the cold weather.

Tonight? Nada. I rescanned and the channel doesn't even come in well enough to come up on the auto scan. This was the first and strongest channel we ever got... and suddenly. Nothing.

Cable isn't a necessity in our lives. We watch little more than football (and lots of it), 24 and Biggest Loser. Oh, and Sesame Street.

Tonight? Grr.
I'm tempted to call for hook-up in the morning.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

We will praise You in the cold!

Well, like most of the Midwest the weather outside is frightful and I am thankful to be cozied up inside with my entire family. Having a husband that teaches has many perks. One is snow days or "freezing" days as the case may be. These days are like a weekend, only better because they are unexpected and unscheduled. Just lots of down time and relaxing. :)

Noodle is officially eleven. He is growing up before our very eyes. We are so blessed to be his parents and excited to watch him morph into a young man. :) He recently found out he is to be Abraham Lincoln in the upcoming fifth grade musical, "American Dream." He needs to quote the Gettysburg Address and has a vocal solo. You can be sure to see photos here soon. (Any tips on fashioning a beard?)

Doodle is counting the days until he plays basketball at halftime of Jake's game. Only one day to go! When we got word that school was cancelled today I suggested baking cookies.
Doodle said, "No. I can't eat cookies today. I've got a game tomorrow." :) He takes his playing seriously. Doodle and I made foccacia bread instead. He's a great sous chef.

Bella and I have King's Corners and Crazy 8's under our belt and are now in the midst of "Kit Kittredge" the movie . She helped make white chili for lunch and is a huge helper in the kitchen, as long as I hold the reigns. :)

Lanman took a tumble into a corner last night and nearly split his forehead open. He was terribly sad. I would ask him every now and again, "Lanman, are you OK?" To which he would shake his head "no" and look up at me with those big ol' browns. Poor little fella.

I am thankful for the sun today. Thankful for the unexpected together-time the cold weather afforded us. Thankful for the warm home we have and the for the food in the pantry and freezer.
I'm off to finish the movie with my girlie now. Stay warm, one and all!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Weekend highlights

What a great weekend!

I know it's not over yet. With the Season Premiere of "24" on tonight, there is still a lot that could happen. :) Jake and I were introduced to "24" right before the last season that aired, season 6. My sis gave Jake the first couple seasons for Christmas that year on DVD and by the end of break we had finished them. His birthday is at the end of January, and we got and watched seasons 3 and 4 within the next few weeks. Season 5 also was gobbled up and we finished season 6 (DVRed) just in time to watch season 7... which didn't happen. Until tonight!! In the whole "Three kids/Four kids" debate one of my pleas was... If you'd let me name it Bauer if it's a boy, then I think we could have a fourth. :) We REALLY like the show.

Mom and Dad came this direction Friday night and met us at Jake's game. WHICH THEY WON! Whoo Hoo! Against a very good and long-running conference rival. Ahh, it was wonderful! We are headed into another three-game week.

Saturday brought basketball practice for both of the boys and Noodle's friend birthday party. He had nine boys over after practice for sledding, a big taco lunch and a little Madden football. He really enjoyed it. We had plans for the evening that Mom and Dad were planning to keep the kids for, but they got postponed, so we got to relax as a Fam with Creamery pizza. Yum. A little canasta, which I could hardly keep my eyes open for, closed the evening.

Which brings us to today. Church, a trip to LC to do just a smidge of shopping and lunch with Mom and Dad before they headed east- that was our day in a nutshell. A little football (wouldn't be the Dahl house without it!) and now Jake is off to school to make sub plans for tomorrow.
We get to spend the day together (with the little Man) as we head to Rochester for a routine check-up. I love spending my days with my man. :)

Bella would like me to report that she has a new digital camera and will post photos soon. Which is more than her mother can say lately. I'm going to get on that soon, though. Really.
Have a fabulous week!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Quirky's greatest moment

When the older three kids were a bit younger, I kept a journal of all the funny little things they said.
Like the time Noodle was three and her ran up to me, abruptly stopped and prodded a chubby little finger into the skin under his tongue. Poking there he said, "This feels like chicken." Then turned and left as quickly as he flew in. :)

Those are memories I want forever.

As the kids have gotten older, however, the number of entries has waned. I still try to write them down, but they say fewer and fewer funny things. Or maybe it's that now they KNOW (or THINK) they're funny... Which makes them not as funny. :)

Doodle, the one we can count on most to still not realize how funny he is, brought down the house last night. At nine he is as funny and quirky with his mannerisms as when he was 3 and I just shake my head. Only my Doodle.

Over Christmas break I mentioned that I was thinking of giving him a trim-- Just the back and sides. His hair is coarse and the top seems to grow slower than the rest, so he looks shaggy pretty quickly. He quickly said, "NO! You can cut the sides, but I like the back long." Though I don't remember the details I must have outlined that this was NOT going to happen as No trim was better than a Mullet.

So last night- More than a week removed from our convo-- He walks in, plops his bag down and pronounces, " I love Mullets."

Throughout the evening he was heard singing, "I love bananas, coconuts and mullets!"

Oh, Doodle, say it ain't so.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Personality Emerging

Our little Lanman has a funny side to him-- he's a little tease and he KNOWS when he's being funny.
Yesterday I was laboring over bills at the laptop on the couch and there was a bowl with peanuts and M & M's in the coffee table ahead of me. He toddled over, looked in the bowl, snagged a couple and popped them in his mouth as quick as could be. I saw this all out of the corner of my eye, but looked up at him and asked, " Lanman, did you sneak a treat?"

To which he pursed his lips tight, smiled and shook his head "no."

I said, "Lanman, show me your mouth. Say AHHH!"

Again, "no." Grinning.

"Lanman Jon. Show Mommy what's in your mouth. "

Two shuffles backward. AWAY from mommy's reach.
Quickest mouth-opening in the west.
Mouth clamped shut again and grin remains in place.
Turns and toddles away fast.
(Rest assured, the M &M and peanut both went down safely. All is well.)

For the love of garage sales **UPDATED**

I must start this post with a confession: I love garage sales. The thrill of the hunt, the bargains to be found, and quite frankly the money that is saved! Two dear, dear friends and I have made a annual trip to a nearby suburb to bring home vans-ful of treasures, most of which is like new. Most of what my kids wear is from these jaunts. To them "Woodbury" is some fine, far-off boutique that 75% of their clothes magically appears from each May. :) One year I figured out the savings of Old Navy ticket prices to what I bought each item for- like I said- practically brand new! It was HUNDREDS of dollars.

All that being said, I have posted a banner on the side over there to the right that describes a measure the federal government would like to take- in the interest of keeping our children safe- to stop the resale of children's toys and clothing. I understand that the lead in toys can be very dangerous to kids and don't want to belittle what families have gone through who have faced tragedy as a result of lead.

I DO, however, see buying used clothing as a very cost effective and earth-friendly way of caring for my family! This is generations old! Who hasn't worn hand-me-downs? We are a one income family, and I, for one, can attest that going out to buy brand new clothing would rock us financially.

Read this link (More detailed and garage sale-specific) or click on the banner for an overview and let me know what you think. :)

A friend e-mailed me this after a little reseach online. She didn't tell me where she found it, but I'm posting it because it gives me hope. :)

I'm bored at work, so I went to the actual government website ( and started combing through it to see if I could find anything about this. From what I found, it looks as though the rule only applies to toys *manufactured* after Feb 10, so I don't see how this would affect yard sales or consignment sales at all since if you're selling something after the date this goes into effect, then it will already be labelled. And I didn't see anything about clothing (except a few things that could contain lead, like jewelry) included in this at all. This is from the FAQ:If you have a “children’s product” with possible lead content, do you have to have a certificate on November 12, 2008, even though the lead rule is not effective?No. The lead content limits for children’s products do not go into effect until February 10, 2009. As stated above, children’s products manufactured after February 10, 2009 (600 ppm), will need a general conformity certification based on a test of the product or a reasonable testing program for products and children’s products manufactured after August 14, 2009 (300 ppm), will have to be certified based on third-party testing of the product by accredited third party laboratories.Q: Will infants’ crib bedding, blankets, bath textiles, and apparel fall under the heading of “durable product”?A: No. Congress did not define the term “durable,” but it is commonly understood to mean able to exist for a long time without significant deterioration. Cloth/textile items are generally not considered to be durable goods. None of the items Congress specified in section 104 as examples of durable products are items made entirely of cloth, rather they are primarily made from rigid materials (e.g., cribs, toddler beds, high chairs, strollers, bath seats).

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Rejoicing with a Recap

Ahhh... What a wonderful Christmas season it has been. Let me give you a bulleted recap... (photos will have to wait as I am not on my own computer...)

~We celebrated "First Christmas" with my family in Madison at my sister and brother-in-law's house. We intended to leave late on Friday the 19th after Jaker's game. As the weather would have it, a bucketload of snow dumped upon us and both school and the game were cancelled. The roads were clear by mid-morning and we drove to Madison in the sunshine. We had a WoNdErFuL time! Sledding, A huge appetizer buffet, Trivial Pursuit, Canasta... and together time. The kids would interject- AND PRESENTS!!! Auntie Lottie is known to be the "fun present lady" and she did not disappoint. A Ripstick and Fishing Pole were the boys' favorites and Bella and Lanman enjoyed their "Baby Alive" and rocking chair from Grandma and Grandpa .

~ The last day and a half of school flew by! Jaker and the Trojans had a great b-ball game Tuesday the 23rd and went into Christmas break 2-1.

~ Christmas Eve was a wonderful day of together time. We went to the 3:00 church service and came home for a candlelit lasagna dinner and reading of "The Christmas Box." We watched it's a Wonderful Life" and tucked four excited kids into bed.

~ Christmas morning was magically memorable. :) I love the kids' excitement! We got to spend the middle of the day at Jake's Grandma's house. That was a treat. :) We came home, played games, highlighted hair (All three big kids) and relished being home as a family.

~ The 26th brought Jake's sister Janel and two of our nieces to town. We got to go to Rochester and pick them up and later in the day got to see Jamie and her family as well! The kids got to spend a full night and day with their cousins and had a grand ol' time. :) The boys loved playing with their soft-air guns in the hay barn. :) Bella relished in "girl-cousin-time." We enjoyed a wonderful meatball dinner at Grandma and Grandpa's house and more gift exchanging. Grandma Joyce's pj pants were a instant hit.

~ We packed up the van and left right from church Sunday the 28th to meet some friends from Chetek in Eau Claire for an afternoon of swimming, games and visiting. Oh, what fun the kids had-- and Jake and I , as well! Despite the distance, our friendships remain strong and we relish every chance we get to have together. We always leave our times together with the next date PENNED into our planners and anticipation building for that next visit.

~Monday the 29th brought a whirlwind of cleaning to the Dahl house! The tree came down, the bathrooms were scrubbed, the floors, kitchen, bedrooms and every other nook and crannie got a much-needed scrubbing. Ahh, the dust flew and it felt good (to this Mama, anyway!)

~ For many years now we have celebrated the New Year with our very good friends. Tuesday brought them to our house for a few days of fun. :) The kids (all eight of them) have played well in our tight quarters (We look forward to next year when we will have all of the basement to spread out in!), and we've enjoyed food, games, food, shopping (Buddy and Jake), weight lifting (Marti and I)... oh, I may have switched that around. Oh, and more food. They are still here now, in fact, and I type away as we watch "The Dark Knight." It may be the first movie we have watched together that I have stayed entirely awake for! Thanks to the good ol' blog. :)

So there is a synopsis of our holiday. We forge ahead into 2009 as a family who wants to grow in grace, know the Lord and make Him known. We aim to take time to enjoy the simple things in life and appreciate each day we are given.

We wish you a happy, healthy 2009.