Invented Spelling

invented spelling

Oh let me tell you, invented spelling blesses my heart. Always has, always will. When literacy is emerging, seeing a child take hold of language and just write it how it sounds does this teacher of writing much good. But this Momma’s heart? Well, there are no accurate words for how impacting it is to me. I cherish all the attempts to convey thoughts and feelings. My type A first born can often find it hard to “just guess” when it comes to writing, but when he goes for it, without inhibition, I melt. For those of your that don’t speak this language, I will translate:

“I hope you have a great day Mom and I love you and Dad. From Daniel”


I get little nuggets of blessings like this from Daniel frequently, but this little letter from yesterday really sticks with me, for obvious reasons.I’ll keep it forever.

Well, I will keep it forever for those obvious reasons……and the fact we have phallic noses. That will make anyone chuckle, at least a little.

Easter Pictures: Unofficial Winner, 2013

My friend posted her Easter pictures and lamented that they couldn’t get a decent family photo with two toddlers. (I think they all look great in their Easter clothes!)  I did comment though on her blog that as bad as she thought hers were, they were most certainly much better than mine.

I will now provide the evidence:

IMG_6146IMG_6143To top it off, the whole day was incredibly rainy and grey and cold and windy. This serves to show why my hair is so big it might deserve its own zip code. Maybe it could also go to help answer why my boys were so wild and crazy. That and Easter candy (hello sugar rush, cause Mommy never lets them have that much sugar and candy!)

At least they got an indoor egg hunt at church:



Oh wait….. I do have one extremely fabulous picture that Daniel took of me and Thomas at my mom’s:


Yeah, I think I win the unofficial contest of worst family Easter photos.

At least I *did* get one decent image of Grandma and Grandsons:

IMG_6140I’d love to see your attempts to capture your family in their Easter garb. Hopefully they are better than mine. :O)

Kid Wisdom

Yesterday, the weather was nice, and I took advantage of it play outside with the kiddos. Before we began our game of basketball though, I told them I wanted to work out, so they would have to eat their snack and play alone until I was done.

I chose a quick Crossfit WOD that provided some intense movements that would challenge me but be over with quickly, so they wouldn’t have to wait as long. With just 3 rounds for time, I had in about 9 minutes approached the last round and began my final set of 25 hand release push ups. At the close of the push-ups, before heading into the kettlebell movements, I was spent.  When I did the 24th, I released my hands and then just stayed there on the ground, catching some strength before lifting back up and completing the last of the set.

Wesley, in between bites of a banana, lovingly said in a soft  and gentle voice, “Momma, you tired?” I, in between gasps of catching my breath, replied, “Yeah baby, I’m tired,” and then, at the close of those words, I pushed myself back up and prepped to pound out the last push-up. Just as my arms locked out, right before I began to descend, Wesley, in an emergent, what in the world are you thinking type of voice, cried out hastily, “THEN STOP DOING THAT!”

And I did stop, momentarily at least, cause I had to laugh so much.

The Room of Requirement

A few months back, I blasted out the old school jingle for Scramball, which Thomas did not believe was a true song, much less an true item. Let me tell you friends, don’t give me an opportunity to prove you wrong, cause I will, with love of course :0). A quick Google search did not provide enough materials to be sufficient, so I promised to make it obviously apparent, unequivocally noted, that I was right; Scramball does/did exist, even if Thomas, my Sister-in-Law, and my Brother-in-Law had never heard of it or had the exhilarating experience of playing it. The best way towards proof? Conjure up said Scramball.

When I came home with it, Thomas had no other choice but to believe me–and my jingle.  I present to you Scramball, complete with original instructions, circa 1990:

download-1After all, “Scramball is a hot new game; playing ball won’t be the same….” (and yes, I can sing all the words to this song; don’t tempt me)

Thomas shockingly said, “Where did you find it?” to which I immediately replied, “Mom’s of course!” With no hesitation, Thomas proclaimed, “I never should have doubted you. You are the best wife ever and I will never doubt again. Kiss me you beautiful woman!”

No, that’s not what he said at all…… but I am sure that was what he was thinking.

Instead, Thomas laughingly said, “Your Mom’s whole house is like one big Room of Requirement!” At this, we both erupted in laughter, for that is certainly true. For you Harry Potter fans, this needs no further explanation. If you’ve yet to experience the brilliance of J.K. Rowling, I’ll fill you in on the details.

See, The Room of Requirement is a place that Harry and others at Hogwarts can go and have their needs met. In one book, it is an open room for practicing spells. In another, it is a place containing a horcrux. And if you don’t know what a horcrux is, I know you don’t care, cause if you did, you would have read the books….or seen the movies….or be cool. Basically, it is a room that is “always equipped for the seeker’s needs.”

So, there you have it. I needed proof of a great game I played in childhood, of which I still remember every word to the jingle, in order to be right and not look crazy, and all I had to do was make a trip back to my Mom’s. Therefore, Mom’s House= The Room of Requirement.

I know, a single example is not enough to stifle your doubts. I will therefore present to you example B:

Recently we’ve had very unseasonably warm weather for the month of December. Our days have been short sleeves and windows open. Nights have been comfortable and barely crisp. Suddenly though, some warm rain came through and cooler air descended upon us. The boys were spending the day with my Mom when the weather was warm, but as the sun set and the rain left, the light attire was not enough and Wesley needed a jacket, although I had not sent him with one, due to all the earlier warmth.

And up comes another opportunity for The Room of Requirement. Mom trotted up the steps into her storage/attic space and reappeared with a coat for sweet Wesley.

download-3This is not any coat either. This is a 34 year old coat that belonged to my brother, Damien, when he was Wesley’s age. This coat is certainly vintage at its true best. Each day Wesley has worn it since, he gets compliments on it. Today, when the pictures above were taken, he got 4. Last week, when he wore it, I took a picture and put it on Instagram. He got a compliment there too from my friend Jen.


So here you have it again: Wesley needs a coat + Mom’s house provides= Room of Requirement

Warmth, compliments, pride for being right, and hours of fun playing Scramball with your kids, your neighbor’s kids, and your niece and nephew……..Sounds like a whole bunch of what I need!

Thanks mom for always saving everything! I will proudly thank you now and likely hate this fact later :o)

“My Brain Say…..”

Wesley has a big habit of using this phrase, “My brain say.” For example, if he is scrounging around inside the pantry and you ask, “Wesley, what are you doing?,” He will reply with “My brain say I am hungry. I need to eat.” He will even state “My brain say I need to watch a movie.” Really cute and sorta savvy, for who can really argue with what his brain?

Sunday, Thomas and I were planning to attend a big event at church, which is a worship event for all ages. There is childcare, but we really wanted to offer to the kids the opportunity to go and experience the music and worship, without having to comprehend and sit still during the adult focused sermon that generally follows worship. Being that the whole service time would be music, we really thought Wesley would want to go, cause he sings EVERYTHING that he hears on the iPod or radio, even if he is truly not familiar with the words. He always gives it a shot, and it can truly do my heart good to hear him singing along. While in the car, I will often put the music in the speakers only in the back so he can hear it best and I am basically without music in the front. I will then savor his sweet little voice carrying a tune.

When given the option of concert or class, Daniel chose class. We expected that one. Wesley, however, chose the same. I suspected that he only said class because Daniel had said it, so Thomas and I followed up, making sure he was understanding his options.

Wesley confidently replied as follows: “I choose class. Cause in church the music is so, so loud and my brain forget the words I sing. And in class, I get goldfish. Momma, you not ever buy me goldfish at home, so my brain say class.”

There you have it. His brain said class…..and apparently his tummy had some influence too.

Turns out we had the date wrong and it is this next Sunday, so maybe we will ask again in a week and see what his “brain say” then :O)

Costume Contest

Saturday we went to a community event where there was a costume contest. When I found out money was involved for the winners, I decided I wanted to dress up and give it a shot. Who would be unhappy with winning $100 cash? Certainly not me, and being that I needed a costume for the 5 mile race, I figured it was best to decide upon something to be for the event. Friday, the day before the event, I convinced my mom to go with me to a local crafting store to get the supplies. I needed her because I knew I would need two white boas for my costume, and being that the cheapest I could find were $7.99, I was definitely using a 40% off coupon for the item, but it was only one per purchase, so I needed her to buy one too. Savvy of me, right?

I also was able to grab a few other items I needed and combined them with the red gloves I had gotten the day before at the dollar spot for, yeah that’s right, a whole $1. Add in a white t-shirt from Thomas’s drawer and my trusty hot glue gun, and you have a fantastic Halloween costume in the making:

I cut the sleeves off Thomas’s shirt and reserved one for what would become my hat. I cut the excess off of a red glove and stuffed it with cotton, hot gluing it inside the sleeve from the shirt. It was still a little too floppy, so I added some popsicle sticks on each side for some extra stability. I began hot gluing feathers to the sleeve until it was covered. Next, the boas were hot glued onto the shirt. I keep the shirt on the chair to help me move more quickly with the process. I am not a patient person when it comes to crafts. Unfortunately, those two white boas did not cover as much as I wanted, so I needed another one, which still did not cover everything but I was not investing in more, so I improvised and just did flat feathers from my scapula up in the back of the costume. The white mask was donned with white feathers, and a yellow triangle was cut out of some random sponge like materials that we have for the kids when crafting.

When done with the hot gluing, I slipped on the orange tights (thank you 60% off Halloween sale!) and laced up my converse shoes, and I can honestly say I was impressed with myself. This outfit was fantastic.

I was ready to win.

Turns out, there were some other great costumes there—and I got second. And second place is the first loser, as they say. But at least this first loser went home with $50 cash! My friend Shelley got 3rd and received $25.

We both lost to the cow:

But we were high fiving anyway, cause we were in the top three, which meant we were getting money one way or another.

I was happy with 2nd and $50 but Thomas was a little bitter that I lost to the cow (also known as a neighbor of mine, Nancy). He had some objections to a store bought costume winning first and getting $100.

I’m still content—and I can’t wait to run my race in the costume (minus the mask–totally can’t make that happen for 5 miles). The winning costume there gets something too, but I am not sure exactly what.


Love, The Bakers

Our friend from college, Molly, of Simply M Photography, took some fantastic photos of our family back in March. They adorn our home and also currently serve as the header for our blog. She’s a talented individual, for certain!  Her session was altogether filled with wonderful images.


Card design image from

Today Molly notified me that her friend and designer used our photos as the basis for several mock/sample Christmas cards. They look so cute, even if they are filled with made up names, such as Love The bakers/The Hickmans or from “Thomas, Mary Ann, Lucas, and Mark Andrew” (funny how she randomly got one right in the mix!).

So, since I was told my last blog post a a bit depressing by my husband and “made me tear up” by my sister-in-law, I decided fake Christmas cards might be the perfect lighthearted post to follow.


The Bakers :O)

That Awkward Moment When…

That awkward moment when you volunteer to read Judges 16:16 & 17 on Samson aloud in Sunday School

Because she [Delilah] nagged him [Samson] day after day and pleaded with him until she wore him out, he told her the whole truth….

But you change a word inadvertently and end up saying:

Because she nagged him day after day and pleased him until she wore him out, he told her the whole truth….

Big difference there, big difference.

i ♥ faces: oh so silly

To choose just one silly face photo for my family is so hard. Thomas has only let go of the consistent silly face in photos due to a slight transition into adulthood. Daniel will often strike a goofy face in a quick snapshot, but my sweet Wesley basically lives for the silly face. In fact, to find a photo of him without a goofy expression is the real challenge. He truly is “oh so silly.” So, in light of that, I present to you a silly face, compliments of my second son, and by doing so I have managed to make a post to my blog, which I seem to be challenged at doing as of late.

Be sure to go and check out some other silly faces! I am sure there are tons to enjoy:
Photo Challenge Submission