Friday, January 30, 2009

Old Retired Couple







Jimmer retired this TIRED couple yesterday.

They were 2 sizes too small, but he still wanted to wear them all the time. They could not be retired until he had a sufficient replacement.

(One of his replacement loafers is viewable in this photo.)

This is what a kindergarten homeschooler might be found doing after he's finished with his work and his siblings are still working on their more intensive studies.

Of all the building blocks, Lincoln Logs, Legos, and Playmobil sets that are stuffing our toy cabinets...he chooses to build with a couple decks of playing cards.

Simplicity is quite nice!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Greg and Julie Alexander's marriage ministry was featured on San Antonio's FOX News the other day. What a great opportunity to have this broadcast on mainstream television.

Check it out with this link. Scroll down to click on "Discovering the Covenant of Love" (from 01-28-09).

Also check out their websites: The Alexander House and Covenant of Love Marriage Ministry

Julie is recovering well from her heart attack (bisected artery) last November. She didn't undergo surgery since tests showed that her heart was repairing itself! Thanks for your prayers.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

I see...icy!

Icy berries

Icy leaf duo

Icy leaf.

(Couldn't quite capture his) Icy breath

Icy pea a clump

I see another icy leaf.

Icy hoops goal

We now have a freezer full of ice shapes to show Dad when he gets home!

At least the ice isn't as thick as it was a couple of years ago...
(Jan '07)

...when we had 27 inch icicles hanging from our deck!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Random Picture Challenge

Four Little Men & Girly Twins posted a Random Picture Challege. She asked us to post the 30th picture in our August '07 folder. I couldn't imagine what my 30th picture (or ANY picture in that folder) would have been, so I looked.

Here's it is. Now you all know why I call this blog Four Little Monkeys!

Jimmer, my then four year old fourth child...and fourth little monkey pressing his four little limbs up the door jamb.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Making butter

After I read this post by Kris from At Home Science, I realized that it had been far too long since the kids and I had made butter.

Out came the heavy whipping cream and mason jar. I poured the cream into the jar until it was about half full, twisted on the lid, walked outside where the kids (and some friends) were playing, and handed it off to them to do the work.

Jimmer was the first volunteer.

Then a neighbor buddy wanted in on it.

Jimmer, the opportunist, readily handed over the jar...

...and took up arms with his friend's Nerf gun.

This little guy's sister also wanted in on the action.

Mary Kate had her chance after the others' arms tired out. With her dramatic flair, she added some twisting and dancing along with her shimmy shimmy shaking.

It took about 15 minutes (with the short-armed people shaking) to get it to start forming a solid mass. Seeing the transformation begin helped regain the kids' shaking momentum to finish the job. All of them wanted to shake it again so they could be the one holding it while the butter changed from an almost silent shake to a more solid thump. They stopped to watch the magic happen a few times, and thought that it was pretty cool for it to turn from a thick liquid, to thicker liquid, to a runny-ish solid, to a cottage cheese-like consistency, to finally separating into both a solid (butter) and liquid (buttermilk).

I poured off the buttermilk into a smaller jar, added some Kosher salt to the butter, shook it up again, then let the kids have a taste. Yum.

Good thing the butter was sufficiently yellow colored or else the kids would have wanted me to boil carrots to add color--like Ma (of Little House on the Prairie books) made it in the wintertime.

They're now enjoying their dinner of soup and salad...along with their homemade butter on bread.

End notes:
**Mikey and Kathleen missed the butter action since they were in the house finishing their math.
**Kathleen got her chipped teeth bonded today. They look good and straight but are a little sloped. Back in for some grinding soon!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Basketball and Chips :: Not a good combo

Isn't her smile sweet?

Look at those nice straight teeth.

Remember, this is our little athlete.

Normally, I think basketball and chips (with dip) go really well together. Today, I proclaim I don't like the combination of basketball and these kind of chips.

She got hit by the basketball. There's a small chip on one tooth and a bigger chip on the other.

Kathleen had perfect little buckies for only about 2-1/2 years. Makes me wonder what other injuries I have to look forward to. (At least she had her nice front teeth longer than I had my engagement ring--that I lost.) For the record, Kathleen has had two staples in her head and now two chipped front teeth. Her record is still better than Jimmer's.

I'll use this opportunity to add one of Kristin's original ideas--Flashback Friday. I just wish I didn't have this occasion to share these particular pictures.

Kathleen was the first to lose her front teeth. (BTW--She lost one of them the same way she just chipped her new ones--playing basketball.) Mary Kate lost hers about 6 months later...just as Kathleen's were finally emerging.

Picture taken summer 2006
If you click on the picture, you can see that little corner of Kathleen's front tooth coming in. That's the part that chipped off that tooth.

By November, Mikey had lost both of his...and Kathleen's were fully visible.

So, if you're wondering what to do when a tooth gets chipped (but isn't bleeding), here's what the on-call dentist advised: 1) Rub fluoride toothpaste on the chipped areas as this desensitizes the tooth a bit. 2) Take one dose of ibuprofen once a day for 3 days--not for pain but for inflammation. If there's inflammation around the nerve, it can cause further damage. 3) Make sure not to use the teeth to bite directly down on anything for 10 days. 4) Call the regular dentist first thing on Monday.

Of course all of these types of accidents seem to happen on Friday afternoons...or after hours. Why is that?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two Rich Ladies, the Secret Service, & a Robber

While I was making lunch today, the kids ran upstairs and secretively got busy scheming and dressing up. They all raided their dress-up stashes and came out looking like this.

Among Kathleen's get up are her First Communion dress (underneath the red one) and a old doily on her head.

After the girls decided to be old fashioned rich ladies, the boys decided to be their robbers.

It was all going quite well, until... the last minute, Mikey decided to be the rich ladies' (not so) secret service protector.

Jimmer pleaded, "No Mikey, because then there would be three good guys against one bad guy."

Mikey insisted, Jimmer resisted...then refused to dress up.

Jimmer wasn't very happy about it...

...and said Mikey ruined his whole play.

Jimmer then fired Mikey and went back into the house.

He's okay. He was only upset for a couple of minutes because when he came in and looked at the pictures of himself crying, he laughed and thought they were funny!

Then off he was again to see if Mikey wanted to play with his Playmobil toys.

Friday, January 16, 2009


Ta-dah! It's finally out. His third tooth.

I'm not sure what it is but when those upper big teeth come in, kids start seeming so grown up. =( Because Jimmer's our youngest, it's more like =...(

Please don't ask what kind of distasteful noises we had to make to get this "real" smile.

Otherwise, I might have ended up with this canned mug.

or this pose...

or this...

Sometimes parents have to lower themselves (or rise to the occasion?) to get the job done.

It's humbling.

Poetry Friday

Karen Edmisten is hosting Poetry Friday today, so I thought I'd add a poem our kids think is funny and are working on memorizing. It's a bit silly.

Strictly Germ-proof
by Arthur Guiterman

The Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gamboled up;
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing undisguised;--
It wasn't Disinfected and it wasn't Sterilized.

They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of Disease;
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd degrees;
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished Hope
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated soap.

In sulphurated hydrogen they steeped its wiggly ears;
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of hard-boiled shears;
They donned their rubber mittens and they took it by the hand
And elected it a member of the Fumigated Band.

There's not a Micrococcus in the garden where they play;
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic Cup--
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic Pup.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My Weekly Gift

I've become quite fond of Tuesday afternoons. At about 12:55 PM things get a bit calmer around here. The three older kids trot (sometimes run) down the street to piano lessons. I have a two hour gift of "alone time" every Tuesday afternoon with my little Jimmer (a.k.a. Chimpy Boy, Jim-bop-a-loo-bop, Jimmy, Changa--short for Chimpychanga).

Jimmer usually chooses something he'd like to do with me for those two hours when he is king of the house. Today he wanted me to watch him ride the Green Machine in the street.

I get lots of these smiles.

(Check out that front tooth that's just about ready to come out.)

Sometimes I just like to watch him play...

...and admire his little swirly cowlick

...and the scar above his right eye from where he had 12 stitches.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mary Kate's Heaven

This is what I'm listening to right now. Joe is reading a religious book with the kids while they're eating a snack before bed. Before Joe got too far in reading, though, Mary Kate offered this vision...

"I think this happens when you die."

"You go into this dark place, then you enter a small hut that's a chapel. It has three benches and fits only about six people."

"There are thousands of candles, but there's one really big candle that never goes out. You light a candle for yourself."

"When all of your sins are removed, then you get blown away. When you wake up, you're in heaven."

"When you get up to heaven, it's like this big festival."

There you have it. The vision of heaven from our eight year old.

A little angel in the making.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

One Hat, Two Hats...

One hat

Two hats

Big hat

New hat

This one has dangly fly things.

This one you'd wear while you're mountaining.

This one you'd don if you see the Big Five.

This one you'd wear if it's sunny outside.

Our kids love hats on their heads, indeed.
They love to wear them whenever the need.
They've collected a globally interesting medley.
Good thing we have many fun hats at the ready!