Saturday, November 1, 2008

i could not make these things up

when i was putting greta to bed tonight we were doing our nightly prayers. it was the usual, "pray for my owies and maja's owies", "pray for all my friends," then greta stopped to ask, "mom, where do Jesus and all the angels live?" here is the rest of our conversation:

me - where do you think they live?
greta- the circus?
me- (composing myself since i wanted to laugh outloud) no- they don't live in the circus, do you have any other ideas?
greta- in town?
me- no, they don't live in town.
greta- do they live with the lions?
me- (again holding back laughter) no, do you want me to tell you where they live?
greta- whisper it in my ear.
(to which i whispered- they live in heaven).
greta- mom, can we go there someday?
me- yes, greta, we can go there someday, but not until we're very old.
greta- and calla, she will come with us too.

this little conversation ranged in emotions for me. i was hiding my laughter in the beginning and then sitting there praying silent prayers that my girls grow old. i just sit here in disbelief at how much i love my girls and my family. we have been S-I-C-K around here (think being up all night long throwing up Xs 3 nights = not fun!) and even though being housebound with sickies is not all that fun, i love the sickies i'm housebound with.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


on tuesday afternoon calla was napping and greta and i were hanging out in the bathroom. she was putting all of her bath toys in the tub and playing teacher. we were chatting and then all of a sudden it got very quiet. (sidenote-i was sitting next to her, but when i say sitting i mean i was on the toilet so i was not able to see what she was doing). i quickly got up to see greta standing in the tub with two bloody lines on her chin. yes, she got the razor & yes, she tried to shave. she stopped as soon as the blade touched her sweet little face and she realized it did not feel that good. she said she wanted to shave like daddy. it is a very minor injury and today we took off the bandaids (b/c it's picture day) and there are two faint lines. we have talked a lot about how daddies shave b/c they have beards, but that girls/mommies don't need to shave b/c they don't have hair on their faces. i have thought recently we might need to watch out for scissors b/c greta & her friends might want to cut their hair, but never did i think she would try to least not until junior high when she thinks it's cool.

moral of the story- keep your razors very extremely high (or in a cupboard they don't have access to) so your kids can't reach them!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

proud mama

yesterday was an exciting day in our house...probably not that exciting to anyone else, but exciting for us none-the-less. after months of "working" on letters with greta (identifying them in books, trying to write them, etc) and her having absolutely no interest (which i will admit was very frustrating to me) she wrote her name! she was coloring on the coffee table with her friend and i wrote out their names on each piece of paper. after a few minutes i asked greta what she was drawing, to which she responded, "i'm writing my name silly!" and there you have it...her name, complete with an E that has about 10 lines coming out of it, an upside down G and all. we've already dated the piece of paper and put it in the baby book...this is one for the records!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

more greta speak...

after a 2 day hiatus greta speak is back! tonight greta said, "tor ta- do you know what that means? tor ta- it means 'i'm ready.' seriously...where is this coming from!?!?!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Greta Speak

a few nights ago greta started talking in a new sort of language. we will call it greta speak. it's basically a variety of sounds that resemble toddler babble. after a few hours of talking like this this she started saying, "mom, do you know what E means? E, e, e- do you know what that means?" to which i said, "no, what does that mean?" and greta replied with, "it means you can E-eat anything that you want." i think she said this b/c all she wants to eat lately is candy corn!

later that night when she was going to bed she started sounding out K and then said, "kai, kai- do you know what that means?" again, i said "no, i don't know what the means," to which she replied with, "it means- i think the train is coming." (sidenote-we have a train that runs basically in our backyard).

we have no idea where this came from, but i LOVE the vivid imagination and just wonder what else goes on in that head of hers!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

our summer at a glance- Part 1

we started the summer the day after mike finished his first year of grad school. we hopped on a plane and were off to minnesota for a wedding in wisconsin (brian & "big" greta), a trip in the middle to chicago & a wedding on the other end (ben & emily). we then spent some time at home, hanging out with friends and making the most of what's around us. then back to pilgrim pines to spend more time with family...the rest will come later when we download our remaining photos! :) this is just a glimpse of all of's hard to get a full summer into one blog update!

the growing applequist & johnson families

cousins reunited at last!

good friends sneaking in a little time together...

bathing beauties already?

couldn't be cuter!

are we allowed to set them up already? (calla & emmett mckernan)
calla on the ride back...we made it all the way to the car, then she woke up!

calla's first pigtails

from the back.

greta showing off her "ballet" moves

happy birthday carolyn (greta, carolyn & jakob carlson)

a baby shower for amy...congrat on new baby holly!
another move...if we move again before mike is out of school i think i might go crazy

we've had lots of lazy backyard days with friends

birthday parties

new hampshire with grandma j

lovin' the pilgrim pines lake

our true water baby...calla could not get enough

aunt beth turned greta into fancy nancy!

more time with greta's favorite cousin (no offense linnea!)

mike snuck a mountain climb into the summer too (i wish there were some pictures of him, he climbed the tallest of the sisters mountains).

that is the first half of our summer (we get a long one-mike doesn't start school until sept. 29th)...the rest we've yet to download from our camera. missing from the photos above are our 4th of july trip to maggie's cabin just outside mt. rainer. we had a fabulous time with maggie, her future husband brian & her mom. also missing is the trip i took with carolyn poterek and the girls to cascades camp to stay with becky morhweis (poterek). the girls loved playing together and it was a fabulous get-away.

Monday, August 25, 2008

calla the klepto

last week i was getting things organized when i noticed a new (but very used) doll in our house. i figured greta's friend had left it when she was over playing at our house. i asked greta about it. the conversation went as follows:

me- "greta, is this emma's doll?"
greta- "no."
me- "who's doll is it?"
greta- "it's the toy stores."
me- "you mean you took it from the toy store?"
greta- "no, CALLA took it from the toy store."
me- "you can't take things from the store, you buy things from the store."
greta- "silly calla."

so here i am imagining calla just walking out of the store with one of the display/play dolls in tow, assuming that now greta thinks it's okay to take things. turns out that my dad had taken the girls to the toy store and was so caught up in the fact that greta had taken money from us (she took money from our change bin-which she then would not use b/c she felt guilty and quickly returned it to it's rightful place when she got home) that he didn't notice that calla walked out of the store with a "new" doll (when i asked my dad about it he laughed and said, "i thought the doll was hers!"). in the end we returned the doll to the toy store and i asked that they give a little "lecture" to calla about why we do not steal (a lecture that was really meant for greta to hear). hopefully this is it for the girls. i think at least greta learned that it's wrong to take things. it's like the time i stole a piece of gum and my mom made me return it to the store. lesson learned!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

just a tease...

pilgrim pines 2008: greta (3 1/2), calla (1 1/2), maja (3 3/4) & linnea (11 mos)
outfits compliments of aunt beth & ice cream compliments of grandma & papa j case you think we dropped off the face of the planet, we didn't. we have just been really very extremely busy (any charlie & lola fans out there?). and maybe, just maybe, we've been a bit lazy about downloading our pictures (if only you knew how long it takes!). so we stole a picture from grandpa j and we are currently getting the pictures going so this week...i promise...they are coming!

ps...calla has a shoe fetish, which explains why she is the only one wearing shoes!

Monday, July 21, 2008

swim lessons! more than 5 people are checking in on our blog...even more reason to keep everyone updated on life! today we started swim lessons for greta. i was thinking i would be joining her in the pool but when we registered for classes i was told that she would be in the water by herself with the instructor. greta does pretty well in these situations, but i thought to ask a friend to join us which ended up being a great idea. the first thing greta said when i told her we were taking lessons and explained i wouldn't be in the water with her was, "can maja, or emery, or emma come to class with me?" (sidenote - i love that everything still involves always makes me smile). since maja lives in chicago that wasn't going to work so we asked emery and the lessons were a hit! greta was grinning ear-to-ear the entire time. she loved it! turns out our practice in the tub seems to be paying off...most of what they taught the kids was the same as the bubbles we blow and floating we do during bathtime. keep in mind, this is day one, but at least she started being excited to go back again tomorrow.

greta getting the water on her head, "it's a shower!"

now it's emery's turn for a "shower"- notice greta is waiting her turn! :)

and here are at least a few pictures of the summer! several of my good friends from high school got together a few weekends ago. a few live in portland, one in texas, one just moved to idaho and one in hawaii (there are others who weren't there, but we were thinking of them!). i'm stealing my friend sarah's pictures to post on the blog. it's amazing that now we have so many kids between all of us! how life changes!

all the friends, moms & kiddos

this is the best shot of all the kids we could get...

since i haven't posted any pictures of my girls they are, enjoying summer! more to come...

Monday, July 14, 2008

daily prayers

mike started to write a post about our blog being a "dead end" (no links to other blogs, which was brought to his attention by his blog hopping sister - these are his words, not mine - beth) and while that is true, i think i'll fix that. it's been a long time and it was time for a new lay out and while we have plenty of pictures, they are not downloaded yet so for now you get a story (you, the 5 people who probably still check this blog- beth, grandma j, lisa, ingrid, and chris).

for the past few nights when we've put greta to bed she has asked during her prayers who we are praying to. "who are you talking to?", "where is God?", "is He here?", "what's He saying?". we have answered saying that Jesus is in our hearts and all around us. so tonight she said, "you mean he's in my heart, like in my tummy?" she then started patting her tummy, got a huge smile on her face and said, "i think i feel something in there!" what a sweet thing for a little girl to start to wonder about God and be so excited about the joy of Him.

the only other big thing around here is that calla has finally figured out the difference between hello and good bye. she finally started waving good bye, where before she would only wave for hello. it was really funny that it took her so long to get that one down. she is a riot! she broke a molar last week, which explains her understandably rotten attitude the few weeks prior. we are enjoying the sweet, lively calla who has returned to us...with all her dance moves still intact! someday we'll post a video of our dancing diva.

pictures are coming...keep checking back, i promise they'll be up sometime soon!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

little miss 'tude

today was a first.  greta has been-dare we say it-an easy toddler/pre-schooler.  she likes to play independently, play with others, loves to just sit and "read" her books, is curious about life, and in general has been very easy to raise.  i knew the day would come when she would start throwing out some phrases, but i couldn't believe what i heard this morning-and i don't understand how parents don't just laugh at their kids.  

greta wanted to wear a skirt today, but since we still have 50 degree weather (ugh!) i told her she had to wear leggings underneath, she had no choice. she wanted to wear cropped leggings, not an option, or no leggings at all, again, not an option.  after a bit of this: "i don't want to wear leggings," i got this: "it's not my choice, it's your choice."  okay-then wear your leggings. what do you say to a 3 year old when she says this: "it's not my fault, it's your fault."  this one had me laughing out-loud, but i had to turn around in hopes that greta wouldn't see.  and then there was something about being fair.  and maybe something about needing to do it right now.  other than the fault comment (maybe she picked this up from a friend or school?), she was just throwing back at me all the things we say to her.  i held firm that she must wear her leggings and made sure she understood that is not the way she talks to her mom and dad, or anybody for that matter.  but i couldn't help but get a good laugh, and every time i think about it i just smile & laugh some more.  kids-they make life entertaining!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

this face

how could you not love this face? even when she is throwing a tantrum and flailing herself all over, i still love this face. when she is fake crying b/c she hears someone else crying, i still love this face. when she is hitting & pushing b/c she is the second child and needs to fight for her rights, i still love this face. when she decides to dig up dirt everywhere she goes, even in the house, i still love this face. and when she goes to sleep at night and looks like the most peaceful, perfect thing ever...i love this face.

and don't forget this face. the fiercely independent girl who makes me smile every morning when she comes down the stairs with her blankie in hand-i love this face. when she is "helping" me cook in the kitchen and makes a big huge mess, i still love this face. when she is hoarding all her toys b/c she doesn't want to share them or doesn't like the way her friends are playing with them, i still love this face. when she is whining b/c she wants to watch more tv or eat another treat and is mad i say no, i still love this face. and when she hugs me and says, "i love you mommy. i'm a sweet girl," i melt and just love this face.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

congrats to mags

so my dear friend maggie morris got engaged a few weeks ago and we couldn't be more excited for her! we have had the privilege of spending some time with brian since moving out here and he is wonderful...such a great guy. is my picture for today- maggie with her ring. i also was lucky enough to see her right after they got engaged-it's so exciting and we can't wait to celebrate with them in december...or whenever they set the date! :)

Monday, June 2, 2008

two days later...

...another picture of the "day." so a day to me means every two days, what's the difference?

greta does not really love having her picture taken. she was SO filthy one day i mentioned to mike that we needed to take a picture of her to document her dirty shirt. when mike pulled out the camera, greta was on the floor like this, blocking her face and wanted nothing to do with it...which made us want to take the picture even more. we tried. really hard. it didn't happen.

this is the closest we got to a picture (we probably took 15)...and you can't even tell how dirty her shirt was. it was filthy!!! good thing for stain remover and bleach (have i never mentioned how anal i am about getting out stains on kid's clothes? oh, that is another blog story for another day. i'll post some before & after pictures of how i work my magic...i also have the messiest eaters ever so the problem starts there).

Saturday, May 31, 2008

a picture a day...

...i'm realizing i'm not so good at keeping up with a blog, so i'm going to try to post a picture a day to just give a glimpse of life. i have a feeling i won't make it every day, but at least it's easier than trying to "catch up".'s picture is of the shirt i made for maja. i have been in some children's boutiques this year and every time i see a cute shirt i can't help but think, "i could make that," so i did! greta has one too (her shirt is the reverse fabrics of majas)...maybe someday i will take orders, but for now this is it!

now picture a cute little 3 1/2 year old wearing it! can't wait to give it to maja in person when we're at her house in a few weeks!

Monday, May 12, 2008


i have said i would post this recipe forever, so here it that i'm back to the land of blogging. although i do think i jinxed myself when i wrote that i am the only one who hasn't been sick b/c of course the next day- i'm sick!

Pulled Pork Tacos (adapted from Real Simple)- they are delicious and super easy!

3ish (plus or minus) boneless pork shoulder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1 c apricot preserves
1/2 c bbq sauce
1 red onion (decent size) chopped

1- rub the pork with the mix of cumin, salt & pepper
2- put the rubbed pork in a crock pot on low (or dutch oven at 250)
3- pour the apricot preserves, bbq sauce & onion over the pork and coat, turning the pork
4- let sit in crock pot for about 4 hours, pull pork and then let soak in juices for another hour or so (i left it for 3 hrs b/c that was how long it took us to eat!)
5- serve with tortillas, black beans, cheese, avocado, sour cream- whatever your poison. i added tortilla chips & mike's mom cole slaw (a bag of slaw with some miracle whip, sugar, dash of white vinegar, chopped apple, raisins & a little pineapple- it was a great touch to the meal!)

there you go- super simple & everyone has asked for the recipe...enjoy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

read at your own risk

there is the cutest children's store in portland. i adore it. it's called posh & it's just that- posh. the thing i love about the store is that they started selling products made by local moms. it's since expanded and they have a variety of high end things...many of which are now out of my-husband-is-a-grad-student budget (aka- i shouldn't spend loan money buying anything that can be called "cute"). they do have a great sale though. so i was online looking on their website, trying to figure out when they have their sale...only to stumble upon something called "girlfriends pick-me-up breast lift tape". they describe it like this: We all know sometimes it's about the perks in life. So, if gravity's got you down, don't fret. Say goodbye to breast lift surgery and hello to two inches of gravity defying pick-up. what they also have on their website is a picture of two with the tape and one with out...but did you read that right- they have the BOOBS for the world to see!!! i was so shocked when i was on their website & then i started laughing b/c i couldn't believe that they actually had the picture, but then i thought- should a website with children's products also have nudity? it does demonstrate how the product works very well, but don't you think they could have done that with a t-shirt over the model? am i just that big of a prude that i care? I found myself thinking- what if a teenage boy was on the website or looking over his mom's shoulder while she was on the website-is that okay? i'm curious if anyone else cares about the nudity...if you want to see it, you can go to their website here & find it for yourself (since mike told me i'm not allowed to post anything that would link someone to nudity- and like i said earlier ***at your own risk***):

ps...i still think the store is adorable and would tell anyone in the portland area to check it out!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

we're back...

if only i had kept a diary of all our illnesses from this winter. it would look a little something like this (you'll notice that i've been the "healthy" one, which means i've been the care taker, which is even more tiring than being sick!):

jan. 1- greta throws up
jan. 2- calla throws up
jan. 3- mike throws up
jan. 4- sarah throws her hands up in the air b/c she is covered in throw up!
jan. 5- calla spikes a fever and is covered in a rash
jan. 6- greta has an ear infection
jan. 7- mike has shingles
jan. 8- sarah faints of exhaustion from tending to the ill

we made the maybe-not-so-wise choice to get kaiser for our insurance out here. good, cheap insurance...a LONG drive to get to a provider. a drive i'm all too familiar with this year. so this week when greta woke up with gunky, crusty eyes i decided that we were going to just use natural products. i went to the co-op, bought some similasan eye drops and called it good. the only problem is that it wasn't good. it took DAYS for her pink eyes to get better (days of being basically home, which is not that fun for a 3 year old), which then made me feel like a bad mom b/c i didn't just take her to the doctor in the first place. i didn't want to make the drive. i just didn't feel like driving an hour each way, paying a $30 co-pay, having the dr tell me that she has pink eye or conjunctivis, whatever you want to call it, and then paying another $10 for the prescription. i just didn't feel like it. i know that pink eye runs it's course in time and i have used similasan drops in the past for myself and they have worked just fine, but after 3 days of greta having gunky eyes and no fun (and knowing the eye drops from the dr would have worked in one day), i felt bad. should i feel bad? she's fine now, we went to the park, went for a walk with friends, had some of her friends over to play this afternoon, but i still feel bad. i'm just using the excuse that on wednesday morning (the day after greta woke up with gunky eyes) calla woke up and threw up on me. yes, on me. so in reality i would have been a bad mom if i had taken a throwing up baby on a long drive, made her wait in the dr. office and then made her take another long drive home. so really, if you look at it that way, i'm a good mom.

Friday, April 11, 2008

She did it!

It has happened folks...we got our first steps yesterday from Calla! She has taken a few in the past week, but they were more the falling-forward-and-happening-to-move-her-feet-at-the-same-time steps. Yesterday it was real steps, followed by looking up at us and proceeding to laugh because she knew she did something special. We are excited for walking but she is so feisty...I can only imagine the trouble she will get herself into! And so it begins...

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

busy, busy bees

i know it has been a month since my last did that much time go by already!?!?! we have been quite the busy people these past several weeks. ever since calla's birthday it seems we just keep going (insert energizer bunny...going & going & going & going...), but i have to say that it's all been pretty stinking fun!

happy birthday calla! (at our party in oregon)

having a small cake celebration in california...with the cute shirt from carolyn...thanks carolyn!

march 13th brough a visit from annalea, which was fun all around. it was right in the midst of mike studying for finals and annalea was awesome at making that time enjoyable and helping me run the errands i had been putting off for far too long! and our girls love annalea...they are getting spoiled seeing her so often.

now if we'd only taken a picture outside of the car!

annalea headed home on the 17th and paul joined us on the 18th. greta was thrilled to see uncle paul and calla quickly caught on to what a fun uncle he is. before paul's arrival greta had a laundry list of things they needed to do, "garden, go to the libraray, go to the toy store, go to the park..." and i'm pretty sure paul did all of it with her (and with calla in tow).

greta showing paul how to drive!

paul showing greta how to be a duck? chicken? paul, what were you guys doing?

paul left on the 20th and we headed to california the following day. we drove down for mike's cousin peter's wedding and stayed for easter with the extended family. greta of course was thrilled to be with her cousin maja & it's wonderful seeing them pick right back up where they left off...just sad saying good bye thinking they won't see each other the next day in chicago. overall it was a great time, just too quick! we also snuck in a visit with inger, joel, tyler & had been 3 years since i'd seen inger...way too long!

beth & krysta teaching maja and greta how to get down
a decent family's so hard to get everyone looking and smiling!

calla learned how to stand (and i think this might be my favorite picture of her...she looks so sweet)

the girls opening their easter egg hunt finds...look at the cute baskets...good work grandma j!

we got a good goofy family shot!

"belly boppers"- this is a game mike & beth played growing up and it's hilarious...i think every kid should play this game

we finished off mike's spring break with some visits to portland and then mindi arrived on april 3rd and we also had a fabulous time! we went shopping, hit up vineyards, she entertained the girls and won their hearts (mom, i want mindi to get me out of the car)...another missed friend around here. the saddest part is that we didn't take one picture together or with the time mindi, next time!

ingrid arrives tomorrow with kaia and lola for a quick trip (which greta already has mapped out our plans, including the "outside park" - not sure what the "inside park" is - and the toy store...maybe that is what she considers the inside park since we go there to play (best toy store ever) and not buy), then a birthday party this weekend for one of greta's friends in is a busy season around here.

sometimes i wonder if this is just what life is...busy? and other times i think it's just seasons because lord knows there were times this winter when it felt like we were hardly doing anything (and hardly knowing anyone...which i'm realizing just changes in time). but we are thankful & enjoy the busy times. mike has a much better schedule this term, which means more time as a family, which we have needed. today we went to the park after dinner...we're headed for 70s this weekend so you know we'll be out enjoying it!

here are some other shots of life around here...

greta and jakob carlson...we went to meet jake's new sister camilla

baby camilla (because everyone loves to see a picture of a new baby)

our little helper...someone has discovered the dishwasher

greta tending to the garden (her new favorite hobby)

all that activity makes for two tired girls!