Tag Archives: Abraham


21 Mar

Today we have a handful of pictures, one for every goofy child of ours:


His signature dish, “Potatoes and Forks” was preferable to his earlier attempts at raising a tuber, calling out “Ball!” and tossing it at the nearest sibling.


If Curly Girl: The Handbook ever comes out with a new revised edition, Cele will be writing a chapter titled “DIY Styling Products: The Curling and Coloring Properties of Squash Soup.”


During school yesterday he made an character-defining decision.  Abe decided to become a “pencil ear.”  I always wanted to pull that off, but I think he has what it takes.


When you wear your everyday shoes to make a backyard swamp during recess then you’re left with the ever-stunning dress shoe, slipper sock, swimming truck trio later in the day.


The kid loves swimming.  I love the kid.


Come, Mr. Tally Man

14 Mar

While my parents were visiting we decided to utilize the Gramma Green Thumb to get a science project growing.   It is no secret that we need my mother’s expertise if we plan to have even the most meager of gardens, so, the boys, Mom and I set off on a botany field trip.

The excitement upon entering the seed aisles of the local nursery was almost enough to cause spontaneous germination.  The boys were pretty happy to be there, too.  I just drove the van.  The budding gardeners scanned the colorful seed packets, picked their favorites, and then let Gramma Jan help them make final decisions based on what would sprout quickly, and do well in our climate.

Abe was a disappointed to find out bananas didn’t fit the criteria.



The Post Only a Package Sniffing Dog Could Love

21 Sep

Today’s installment of Things I Love may seem obvious as first, but there’s something dwelling beneath the surface here.  We recently got a package from my sister, and while everyone loves receiving a package in the mail, that isn’t my topic.  Take a deep breath and enjoy.

Things I Love:  The Smell of My Sister’s House.

You know how everyone has their own smell?  Of course you do, that’s not just my own weird overly sensitive thing?  Right?

I thought so.  Okay, back to the pleasant mail delivery.

As the packing tape released it’s final squeaks and cardboard dust particles spread across the kitchen floor the first hints of  the Nebraskans’ cozy split-level reached our noses.  The box – which was filled with birthday gifts, old maternity clothes (NOT to wear, but to cut into a memory quilt for the no-longer-in-utero children that were once hidden under it’s voluminous , yet taut fabric,) and some baby things – was also teeming with Stacy Scent.

It’s dark and figgy and savory and warm and wraps itself around you like a hug that reaches right up through your nostrils.  In a delightful way, of course.  The contents of that package all bore the mark of their origin and the boys and I spent a good portion of the day squishing our faces in for a quick hit of their family’s presence.

Simeon has been aware of his aunt’s odorous ambiance for several years now.  Once, after she sent me some maternity clothing that could be worn without shame or vice I threw on some capris and a tank straight from the box.  The first thing a barely 3-yr-old Simeon said to me was, “I like your green pants and your yellow shirt.”  While I applauded his knowledge of colors, and questioned my own fashion sense, he gave me a big leg hug and then continued his sensory observation with, “Oh!  You smell just like Aunt Stacy!”  The remainder of the day he stayed close at hand, or leg, as the case may be, for frequent sniffs of his beloved aunt’s pants.

I know exactly how he feels.  I sometimes buy “her scent” of body wash in hopes of catching a whiff of my sister on those days when I need a little moral support.  The bonus side-effect is that lathering up also gets a few extra hugs out of the kids.

This nose-worthy accomplishment doesn’t belong solely to Simeon, though.  Abraham used it just the other day.  I was helping him tie his new-to-him fall shoes (Note to self:  teach your children to tie their own shoes.  Soon.  Now.) when I mentioned that I couldn’t recall what generous party had bestowed them on us.  Abe didn’t hesitate.  He picked up the remaining shoe, stuck his nose deep in its footy cavern, inhaled loudly and made his judgment, “It doesn’t smell like Owen and Joe.  It smells like Nathan.”

So there you have it folks.  Whether we have highly sensitive olfactory nerves, or my sister and her household just smell really, really good we may never know.  But then again, maybe you don’t want to know.  Maybe you wish that you could erase what you already know.

Wow, I’m not at all sorry that I wrote this post.

By the way, could you please forget that I implied that I think you smell?

A nose by any other name would smell as sweet.


17 Sep

While I could hardly say that our oldest and youngest children were quiet this week, it was the three in the center that provided that most memorable noise, er, I mean, quotes:

“I think I know why they call it recess, because we don’t get to play, we have to solve problems.”
Thomas, analyzing the new Sibling Squabble Reduction Rule that allows the boys to earn a  sticker for every day they make it through morning recess time without coming in to report a fight or unfairness.

“Races are only for cars, not for people.”
Abraham, struggling to catch up with the Brothers in the middle of mile 11 of the Children’s Marathon.  Mile 10 was brought to us by a very pitiful, “I don’t like The Mile. ”

“Oh no.  I can’t see at all in the dark!”
Abraham, prior to his first optometrist appointment when I explained to him that the doctor was going to check his eyes to make sure he could see okay.

“Can we go sledding?”
Thomas, recess on the first 55-degree day of the school year.

“Wesha bleda floply blooo da.”
Abraham, who attains language skills by watching the Twins.
“Abe, you should stop speaking Spanish.   I’m probably the only one who understands it.” 
Thomas, who attains language skills by watching Imaginext in Frenchuguese.

“I know”
“Oh no”
“No, no.”
Cecilia, who attains language skills by watching her mother.  Although Thomas is the one who taught her to spell.

Abers the Babers

7 Sep

Abraham is four today.  Four.  It’s been a struggle to teach him this number, mostly because he never knew he was three.  I’m not sure how we let this happen, but we were extra vigilant in our efforts to establish age-awareness this year around.

Here he is the day he came home from the hospital.

Don’t even get me started on how much I miss his newborn squishiness and those adorable puckered lips.  I’m a reminiscing mess around my children’s birthdays, and that makes the first part of September an emotional trifecta.

Abe had some specific requests for his fourth birthday.  He wanted, and I quote, “a hundred and a bundred of Imaginext and a hundred and a bundred of Planet Heroes.”  He also hoped to acquire, “the girl dragon that is just like the boy dragon only with fuzzy hair” and “the other ship that we don’t have that has things like this (arms stretched out) and like this (arms over head) and like this (arms together.)”

We’re pretty fluent in Aberese around here, so we managed to put together a birthday list for the Grandmas.  We must have done okay because there was bouncing and rejoicing, and phrases like, “I always wanted this,” and “this is even better than I said it would be!”

You know, that’s exactly how I feel about him, too.

Happy Birthday, Abe.  May you have a hundred and a bundred of more.

My life would be easier if . . .

28 Jul

. . . Peter knew his head extended above his eyes.

. . . Simeon didn’t drink my coffee.  Or Jerry’s.

. . . Abers looked less cute when he admitted to washing my cell phone, locking Jerry out of the house, stabbing his baby brother in the eye with an action figures’ sword, spraying room freshener in our bedroom, and tying knots in my necklaces.   All in the past 24 hours.

. . . Mo Willems wrote a new book every day.

. . . marbles had never been invented.

. . . the Bible were in alphabetical order.

. . . my sister lived next door.

. . . Thomas had never heard either the Grand Rapids Lip Dub or Weird Al.

. . . all seven of the people in this house wore exactly the same socks.

Welcome to our extremely humble abode.

. . . our boys had never learned to use scissors and tape.

. . . our boys had never shown an interest in Interior Decorating.

. . . if I could blog in the shower.  Don’t worry, that technology seems a ways off.  Although, maybe that’s what Abe was working on with my phone.

Use Your Imagination (but for Mom’s sake, not too much)

8 Jul

While at my parents’ house a scene unfolded that I desperately wanted to share with you.  So, I rushed to my camera to grab a picture so you all could enjoy the moment as much as I did.  But alas, the battery icon flashed and then the whole thing went black.  No picture.  Only memories.

So, instead I had my Mom take this photo of their patio. And together, you and I can reconstruct the moment.  Are you ready?  Okay.  Here we go.

Here’s the scene.  Mom and Dad’s patio.  Notice that window in the center?  That’s my Mom and Dad’s bathroom.  Their only bathroom, but I suppose that’s another story.  It’s a beautiful June day – no heat, no mosquitos, no rain and so the windows are all open.

Now, see the little ladder under that window?  It’s an old splinter-in-the-toe three-step model.  We’ve had it forever.  I don’t know why it sits there, maybe for instances just like the one I’m about to describe.

Okay, here’s where you have to put your imaginations to work.  Imagine that in the center of the patio is a folding table where the five big boys are coloring Star Wars pictures.  They’ve been at it for a while because Gramma Jan set up an incentive system to promote coloring within the lines.  When they have completed a picture they may bring it to her for analysis.  If the picture has no colored wax escaping its borders the artist earns two stickers.  For those pictures where the crayon is contained for the most part, but could have used a little more fine motor attention – one sticker.  And those who rushed to bring a picture for grading without completing all sections, or scribbling are sent back to try again.  It is serious business.

All this occurs as we were trying to prep Mom and Dad’s house for a surprise party and 38 guests, so time is of the essence.  Mom just got to a point in her delegation and accomplishments where she feels it is okay to leave us all to our own demise devises and shower.

So, now you’re up to speed.  Do you have everyone in their places?  Boys at the table coloring.  Mom behind the window attempting to shower.  Ladder innocently taking up it’s space in the universe.


Owen gets up from the table, freshly colored artwork in hand, and goes over to the ladder, climbs up two steps and says,  “Gramma Jan?  Excuse me, Gramma Jan?  Are you in there?”

And instead of ignoring him, which I’m certain is what any of the rest of us would have done, Mom replies, “Yes, Owen?”

“Gramma Jan, how many stickers for this picture?”

Then my mother, who’s patience I did not inherit, peaked through the curtains and said something like, “Um, just a second Owen, I need to get my glasses back on.  Can you hold it a little closer?”

“Is it worth two stickers, Gramma Jan?  Is it?”

Mom, still undaunted by her probable nakedness or the trivial nature of the request, goes on to analyze the picture while holding the curtains around her face like some medieval wimple.

But then Abraham came to the rescue, and brought this whole ridiculous scene to a close with the following advice, “Owen, you can just go in there.  The door’s not locked.”

Still Life Sports Photography

26 Apr

I’m afraid our sons have inherited my athletic deficiencies.  Jerry might try to tell you its his fault, but I’ve seen him bowl.

I’ve always been scared to death of balls.  Specifically, those that come flying towards me.  I don’t think I’ve caught a single thing, outside of a cold, in my entire life.  Sure, there was some volleyball in Jr. High and High School.  They put me in to serve, and if they could have made a substitution mid-play they would have.  Balls should be traveling away from my face.  Always.

Maybe Jerry’s on to something with this whole bowling bit.

On Easter our boys were playing outside with their first cousin once removed.  They were no match for his speed, ball handling, and maneuvering.  So, Thomas asked for another ball so he and Abe could play their own game.  A much more mild mannered game.  Scroll down very, very slowly through these pictures you can see them in action.

 At this rate I could probably join them.  That is, if I got a face mask and some knee pads.

A Day in the Life of a Three-Year-Old

10 Apr

This morning Pastor Sherrill said in the sermon that Abraham was dead.  And despite the fact that that our son sat up and said, “No, I’m not.  I’m right here!” his day really took nose dive.

This afternoon he stamped his nose red while cleaning up the Christmas stamps.  I don’t think Rudolph bargained for the face scrub this momma reindeer demanded.

This evening eating in the sunroom was too shiny,  his cheese was too big and then too small, and his peas were making him nervous.

But don’t worry, before he went to bed he said, “Next time we eat, I won’t ‘plain.  ‘kay?”

‘Kay, Abe.  But you’re still not allowed to read this book anymore.