Monday, December 8, 2008

A Budding Problem Solver

Anyone who has siblings know that there are some days when sibling rivalry can get over the top. I had gotten the easel and paper out for Natalia, as Isabella was otherwise occupied. It didn't take long for Isabella to discover and try to take it over. I was coming to Natalia's rescue and trying to make Isabella understand that it was out for Natalia and it was her turn. Isabella quickly offered me a solution.
She asked if she could draw on the other side. I know that it is silly, but it is one of the moments that I have been most proud of her. There was no fighting or complaining, just a simple request to move herself to the other side so that her sister could have her own space.

Here is Isabella hiding under the paper because Natalia wanted a clean sheet and Isabella hadn't finished with her drawing.And for those of you who couldn't tell, this is Larry the cucumber, of course!

Daddy's Co-Pilot in Training

Mark has a great love of flying. He has completed a series of courses and holds a private pilots license. This was the inspiration for Tobias' nursery theme of airplanes. We have a wonderful friend that loves to bless others and she bestowed upon us this wonderful Elmo airplane along with a complete bedroom set of airplanes/helicopters ( that's the bumper, crib sheet, quilt, bed skirt, plus: lamp, rug, wall paper decor strip, wall hangings, valance/curtains, and mobile). Overwhelming in her generosity, we put the crib items out right away. The plane has waited in our room for fear that his sisters would either break it or wear it out before he had a chance to play with it. It has been much coveted at our house.

Tobias is thrilled with sitting on the airplane, but he is really tickled because he found the button that makes the propeller spin and he was able to catch the propeller.

Tobias was moved in front of the plane because he isn't able to keep himself on it, yet. Mommy pushed the button, so he is gleefully watching the propeller again.

I know that this one isn't much different, but I had to included it because it made me laugh. Look at his left hand, he has Joseph from our kids nativity set and is beating the plane with it. I didn't notice when I was taking the picture.


Hanging out together while playing Reader Rabbit. It was so cute that I couldn't resist the camera. They were so absorbed in what they were doing that they didn't even turn around or ask to see the picture. It's a rare moment when they are not fighting over the computer.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Ever wonder where Tobias is while I am blogging on the computer? Well, here is my little boy who was supposed to be sleeping. He has discovered that he can see Mommy if he peers over his crib. He was definitely not happy with me and was letting me know about it. I also was not happy, because I was looking forward to some quiet recounting of our days and I had just lowered his crib last week. Now, I have to lower it again! Have I mentioned how fast these little ones grow up?

Thanksgiving at the In-Laws

As the title states, we spent Thanksgiving with my in-laws. The girls went with my mother-in-law on Monday and spent Tuesday with her. Unfortunately, Isabella woke up on Tuesday and was sick. She slept a good portion of the day and when she woke up she told Mimi (my mother-in-law's nickname) that she hadn't had her cereal. When I called to check on her Tuesday afternoon, she was just sitting down to her bowl of cereal after badgering them about it. We arrived Tuesday evening after taking some time to have a date at Appleby's. Wednesday was spent preparing the house and making pies. I made pie dough for my mother-in-law and didn't know what else to do with myself, so I decided to go ahead and make some fillings to go with them. I made a blueberry pie, a frozen key lime pie, and two of the most delicious pecan pies I have ever laid eyes on. Doesn't my pie look yummy?Irresistible Pecan Pie
(found on
Crust: 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup butter, chilled
4 Tablespoons ice water
Filling: 3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
3/4 cup light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup pecans, finely crushed
1 cup pecans, quartered
1 cup pecan halves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). To make crust: in a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and white sugar. Cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually sprinkle the water over the dry mixture, stirring until dough comes together enough to form a ball. On a floured surface, flatten dough ball with rolling pin. Roll out into a circle that is one inch larger than pie dish. Place pie shell into dish and refrigerate until pie filling is complete.
To make pie filling: In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, light and dark corn syrups, brown sugar, butter, salt and finely crushed pecans. Spread quartered pecans over bottom of pie crust. Pour syrup mixture over top of pecans, then arrange pecan halves on top of pie. Bake in a preheated oven for one hour or until firm; let cool for one hour before serving.
(I did not use the pie crust recipe. I also did not have dark corn syrup so I just used light syrup in it's place and I did not have light brown sugar, so I used dark. The filling was darker than I am used to but still tasted wonderful)
After slaving away on the pie, I had to listen to all of my in-laws tease me about eating it and then tease me more about being afraid of me when I am angry. Oh well... Being the good sport, I stayed quiet and let them tease me all they wanted. They didn't touch the pie, though. We managed to get dinner on the table on Thanksgiving day (and when I say we, I mean mostly my mother-in-law). My poor mother-in-law worked so hard that she disappeared for most of the remainder of the day to sleep off all the strain (she recently had a bad fall and is still recuperating). We all congregated again in the early evening to sample the pies and was it ever worth the wait.
Then guess what we did on Saturday! We took 7 adults and 8 kids to the mall for family portraits. I am soooo glad that is over. We have some nice pictures to show for our hard work and it will have to tide us over because I can't see us forgetting how difficult it was and doing it again next year.
We hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and we are thankful for having you in our lives. For those of you far away, we miss you and hope to see you soon. Please come visit if you have the chance.
Tobias working hard at sleeping in an awkward position while being held by Grandpa (father-in-law). Mark had already repositioned him several times before this picture was taken.

A New Treat

Tobias is extremely aware of food and will make a bee line for it any time that he sees something that might possible be food. So it wasn't any surprise to see him demanding to share in Mark's snack. Air popped popcorn with no salt or butter. I prefer mine with aforementioned improvements, but much to Tobias' delight, Mark was eating it unadulterated. Mark trying to find a kernel with a big pillowy top.
"Oh, hi Mommy. Do you see me eating this with Daddy?" Mmmm...yummy!"

" Okay, Daddy stop teasing me and give me the popcorn already!"
(disclaimer - all hulls were removed prior to feeding to baby)

Operation Christmas Child - Top Secret

To provide Christmas gifts to children who otherwise would not receive a gift, thus showing God's love for that child and christian love for others.
Isabella Cameron, gift preparation
Natalia Cameron, gift preparation
Christi Cameron, photo recon

Supplies to utilize:

Shoe box, wrapping paper, tooth brushes, tooth paste, soap, combs, hair accessories, candy, baby doll, hand crocheted doll blankets

Proceed with the package to Taney Street

Enter the facility fronting as an Open Bible Church. Leave package with the annonymous operative that will be stationed there. Leave with a smile.

( you may have noticed the matching clothes, they are both wearing last years dresses. We had to add pants to Natalia's because the 18 month dress no longer covers her 3T tall body. It is amazing how much they grow!)

Playful Daddy

We are so thankful for having Mark back from all of his traveling. Here are two of my favorite pics from some silly time with Daddy.
Tobias and Natalia made quite the armful and are equally delighted in this new experience.
Daddy and Tobias were both cracking up over sharing the pacifier.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mommy's Little Man

I have been trying for several days now to get a picture of Tobias in push up position. This is a new trick of his and it reminds me of a picture of my brother stuck in a push up position screaming while my mother took a picture. Tobias is quite agile and does not get stuck, which makes it even more difficult to get a picture of this new feat. Here is the closest photo I've gotten.
The other obstacle I face in achieving the perfect picture is that, Tobias is now very aware of his surroundings and anything electronic. So, I can no longer sneak up on him or casually grab the camera. If I do manage to have the camera available, the beep preceeding the picture often does me in as in the next picture.

Title - Too Slow Mom
On a side note, the pants that went with this outfit, although perfect in length, are much to large around for Tobias and this was not the first time in the day that he literally crawled right out of his pants.

Grandpa and Tobias

Nothing warms my heart more than seeing the effects of my children on other people. Grandpa, who was once very gruff and at times overbearing, just can't resist his grandchildren. He spent a good deal of time following Natalia around Joey's arcade games(a local pizza place that we have been patronizing since I was at least Isabella's age). By the time the pizza had come, there was a stool at the front of every video game, much easier than carting the same stool around to each game. When we got home and Tobias was put on the floor with some toys, Grandpa couldn't stay in his chair. He got down on the floor with a big grin and started playing with Tobias. I ran for my camera...

A day in the life of the Camerons

Here is a snapshot view of our lives in one day. We started the day by eating cereal and then watching Super Why. I love the PBS programs. This show has really made Isabella interested in learning words and sounds. An hour doesn't go by now without her telling me that banana starts with b or that toast starts with t. At least we are no longer arguing about salt starting with P and pepper starting with s, phew. Anyway, once their show was over, I got out the shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and began wrapping them. I didn't let the girls help, because I wanted the boxes to look appealing. Instead, I let the girls decorate the inside of the boxes.

Then we packed the boxes with all of the goodies. From there we turned the TV back on for Word World - another favorite PBS show. Next on our schedule was lunch and a little time outside. Our neighbor heard us and came over to play. They were so cute that I couldn't resist taking a picture.

This one is very reminiscent of a picture of me and my neighbor when I was about the same age. Check back because I'll try to add it when I get it from my mom. We came back in shortly after that and our neighbor went home for lunch. Our everday schedule continued with cleaning up and getting dinner ready. A few minutes of mommy being distracted resulted in dish upon dish filled with baby cereal.

Followed by adding baby cereal to the grocery list and cleaning up the mess. Daddy came home and helped me tuck the little ones into bed. Mommy was very thankful for bedtime and a few moments to herself.

"Bowling Balling"

Mark has been traveling quite a bit lately and was asked by Isabella to take the family "bowling balling". She seemed to have forgotten so we went about our schedule, however, a 4 year olds memory is much better than we realized. We managed to make it to the bowling alley and the manager was nice enough to let us use a lane (the lanes were fully booked and there was league) for a quick game. It was Natalia's first trip to the lanes as a bowler. It was far different from my childhood. They now have the capability to raise/lower the bumpers multiple times through out the game. Which meant that Mark and I were able to bowl without bumpers and the bumpers automatically came up when it was the girls turn. (I kind of wish I could have had the bumpers)
Isabella, Natalia and MarkPutting on "special" shoes!Daddy helps Isabella.

Mommy and Natalia

Celebrating! (We are celebrating, too. Mark is back and the only traveling in store is our family Thanksgiving trip)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Study of Isabella

A progression from frown to smile and then to a "I don't want to smile and I'm trying really hard not to" frown


Natalia is definitely 2 and is keeping me on my toes. We've hit a rough patch with potty training, but she has also offered some good laughs lately.

Upon discovering that I had moved the play-yard: You move it! You move it? You move it out my way? I love you for move it out my way. (hugged my leg)

After being putting in time out:
Natalia: You are a bad mommy. You are a bad mommy.
Isabella: No, she's not. She's a good mommy.
Natalia: You in jail, Mommy. You in jail!
Isabella: No, Mommy IS jail.
(luckily I wasn't in the room so I could laugh without having to deal with what was being said about me)
And here are pictures of Natalia with some of Mark's video game equipment:

No Use Crying Over Spilt ... Yogurt?

5 second rule? Who needs that? After trying to do one too many things at the same time while holding Tobias, kerplat! That was the sound of the 32oz yogurt container splattering all over my legs and the floor. We decided to take the opportunity to introduce Tobias to yogurt as we watched him make a mad dash for the spillage. I was going to just let him finger paint since I needed to change his clothes anway. I wasn't concerned about him getting it in his mouth, because I had just cleaned the floors. Daddy took it to a whole other level. (psst - don't worry, he isn't really feeding him the yogurt that touched the floor)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Charming Isabella

Isabella upon a recent visit to the fabric store, which has tinted windows, while standing in line:
*gasp* Perhaps it is raining (which it wasn't)

Do you think someone has been watching too much Winnie the Pooh?

Rip VanWisteria?

The Wisteria is coming!!!

Stop that racket!

Summer Fun

Jumping for joy at the church BBQ

Upon returning home to almost 3 digit temperature: