A new location

March 9, 2009

I have finally gotten fed up with tryng to deal with photos on WordPress, so Puppy Dog Tails is moving!  Check out all the new posts, including Christopher’s 5th birthday, at our new address:


Hope to see you there!


This is what we say to Will whenever he’s being silly, so I thought it was an appropriate title for this post about a couple of funny things Will has said in the last 24 hours.  Last night, Will was playing on the floor and talking to himself, and we heard him say, “I will call you ‘stupid’!”  Stupid is not a word that is allowed in our house (except that Mommy and Grandpa forget sometimes), so Noel intervened and the conversation went like this:

Noel:  Will, what did you say?!?

Will (deer in headlights look):  Something else.

Noel:  No, what did you say?

Will:  Just me.

Noel:  Will, tell me the truth.  What did you say?

Will:  Nothing.

I think Noel finally got the truth out of him, but I wouldn’t know for sure because I had to leave the room with my shoulders shaking with laughter.  (So much for the lessons of BSF that day about not tolerating sin.  I know it was a lie, but the “something else” just got me!)

And overheard in the backseat today after picking up the boys from school:

Christopher:  Will, what did you learn about today?

Will:  Nothing.

Christopher:  You learned about nothing?

Will:  I learned about snack.

That’s my little academic!  🙂

Happy 3rd birthday, Will!

February 3, 2009

A week ago, we celebrated Will’s third birthday.  On Friday, he opened his gifts from us and from Aunt Amanda and Uncle Brian.  After playing for awhile, we went to dinner at Chuck E. Cheese and came home to have cupcakes.  On Saturday (his actual birthday) we had a great Finding Nemo-themed party with lots of friends, grandparents, Aunt Laura and Caroline.  Before his party, Will threw a fit because he didn’t want to be three.  He kept saying he just wanted to be two.  But once all his friends got here, he had a great time.  We decorated fish coloring sheets, played “Fish, fish, shark” (a new take on Duck, Duck, Goose), played Pin the Arm on the Octopus (Daddy drew a great octopus poster!), and fished for goldfish snacks.  And, of course, there was cake and presents and lots of chaos!  Christopher seemed to enjoy the whole birthday scene even more than Will–he was ecstatic, and with good reason . . . most of Will’s gifts are also very fun for Christopher!  Here are some photos from Will’s party:








A few recent happenings . . .

In those unstructured days between Christmas and starting back to school, Christopher started making to-do lists.  (Yep, he’s my son!)  I’ve been told that next year in kindergarten he will be doing some writing and sounding out words himself, so I try not to help him much when he is trying to spell things.  Plus, it is entertaining to see what he comes up with!  He is a good little speller!  Here is one of his to-do lists.  I helped him with the word “play” and he got his leapster to see how to spell that.  “Sooker” is soccer, and “lay with Will” refers to laying down with Will in their new play tent.  It’s harder to see the one he wrote in green, but my favorite on that list is “put up the Christmas chreey.”


Will has been doing some writing of his own–he can actually write his name now!  He doesn’t usually write the letters next to each other, but he will write each letter somewhere on the page.  I’ll try to get photo evidence soon.  He also likes to count, just like this every time:  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 12 13 14 14 14.   A few days ago in the car, Christopher and I were going over some addition facts.  Will listened carefully as Christopher did 1+1, 2+2, 3+3, 4+4 and 5+5.  Then I started challenging Christopher with 2+3, and then 3+4 really stumped him.  Out of nowhere, Will yelled, “7!”  I know it must have been a total fluke, but he sounded like a genius!  The boy can’t count to 9, but he knows 3+4=7!  🙂

On Tuesday, I watched parts of the inauguration with Christopher.  I remember Reagan becoming president when I was about his age, and I hope Christopher will have a memory of this week’s events.  I tried to explain to him a little bit about racism and why the election of President Obama is significant in our history.  I also gave him a little lesson in democracy and why we need to be thankful for the peaceful transfer of power in our country.

Before we watched the oath, I explained that Obama was going to promise to do the best job he can as our president.  Christopher thoughtfully asked, “Is God going to help him?”  It was as if he could sense the weight that this man was about to take on, and that it was not something man could do alone.  I explained that God always helps those who ask Him, and that we can pray for Obama that he will ask God for help and wisdom.  As Pres. Obama finished taking the oath, Christopher excitedly said, “He asked God to help him!”  I tried to explain that it is tradition to say that, and how I hoped he meant it.  It made me want Christopher to remain naive forever–to not understand racism, to only know democracy, to not suspect hypocrisy–sometimes the characteristics of childlike-ness are so beautiful.

We had a great Christmas this year!  Here’s everything we did, not because you care about the details, but because five years from now, when I get around to scrapbooking Christmas 2008, this is where I’ll come for the info . . .

Some pre-Christmas festivities . . . I took the kids to the mall to see Santa with our friends Mollie and Emily.  Will wanted nothing to do with the man, which was not a surprise.  Christopher enjoyed sitting on his lap and telling him that he wanted an astronaut costume and a Samson costume (which Christopher had seen while running errands with me at the Christian bookstore).  Santa looked a little confused.  We also had fun Christmas caroling in the neighborhood with some of our friends.  My friend Jennifer and I used to go caroling with our parents and their friends, and it was great to bring the tradition to the next generation! Also, Christopher sang with the other 4-year-olds in his preschool Christmas program.  (He is standing in the middle of the back row in the photo below.)  He loved having Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Granddad, Nana, and Uncle Jamie there to cheer him on!


The night of December 23, we decided to let Will start sleeping in his big boy bed in Christopher’s room.  We had gotten the bunk bed mattresses the previous weekend, and Christopher was so eager to have Will in his room.  In general, the transition went well.  Will has only ventured out of his bed a couple of times (that we know of).  For the first few nights, Will was scared of his bed and Christopher had to sleep in the bottom bunk with him.  But now Christopher has returned to the top bunk and they are doing great!  Here are photos of the boys that night in their Christmas pj’s and in their bunk bed:


On Christmas Eve day, we had our family Christmas at home.  We had a play tent for the boys by the Christmas tree with their stockings and then opened gifts.  Later in the afternoon, Noel had to go to work for awhile, and the boys and I decorated Christmas cookies.  Noel finished at work just in time to meet us for the Christmas Eve service at Grandma and Grandpa’s church, and then we went to their house for dinner.


On Christmas morning, we went to Nana and Granddad’s house to celebrate with them, Mam-ma, Uncle Kevin, Aunt Laura, Uncle Garland and Caroline.  The boys had fun opening more gifts, “helping” Caroline figure out all her new toys, and having Christmas dinner.


That afternoon, Aunt Amanda and Uncle Brian arrived.  We celebrated with them, Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Jamie on the day after Christmas.  More gifts, more food, and lots of fun!  Later in the day, we sang Christmas carols together with Grandma on the piano, Uncle Jamie on the cello, and Christopher and Will blowing the heck out of two recorders.  When Grandpa got his trumpet, things got really out of control!  I’ll spare you the video.  Hopefully the boys will learn to play real instruments soon and put us out of our recorder misery.


We enjoyed having time with Aunt Amanda, Uncle Brian and Uncle Jamie while they were in Arkansas.  We saw the lights on the square, celebrated Aunt Amanda’s 30th birthday, and played endless hours with legos, usually while wearing the astronaut and/or Samson costumes.  Will was a little scared of Uncle Brian, which made for many funny moments.  (Maybe not funny to Will, but someday he’ll look back on it and have a great laugh!)  We’re glad we got to spend time with all our wonderful family!


Happy 2009!

December 31, 2008

A Christmas post is coming soon, but in the meantime, I thought I’d look back at my favorite moments of 2008.  Here they are, in no particular order:

1.  The boys’ birthday parties–a construction party for Will’s 2nd birthday and a race car party for Christopher’s 4th birthday.  We always have such a great time!

2.  Watching Christopher progress from writing his name (barely legible in March) to figuring out how to spell and writing entire pages of “to do” lists.

3.  Hearing Will’s vocabulary grow and seeing him develop into our little chatterbox who loves to talk and sing.

4.  Watching Will and Christopher’s friendship grow as they play together more closely.

5.  Watching Christopher learn to read and seeing the new world it opens up for him.

6.  Our family trip to Salt Lake City in July and Noel’s and my 10 year anniversary.

7.  Seeing both boys grow in their understanding of God and His Word, and hearing their sweet prayers.

8.  The look on Christopher’s face when we told him we are having a baby, and the look of sheer joy the day we told him it is a baby sister!  (I think I already know what my favorite moment of 2009 will be!)

9.  Watching Christopher ride a bike for the first time.

10.  Laughing at how Will likes to run almost everywhere he goes–usually trying to keep up with Christopher!

A Little Confusion

December 19, 2008

Today Will and I had a conversation that revealed a little bit of Christmas confusion . . .

Mommy:  Will, what is Christmas about?

Will:  Me!  (This is his answer to most questions these days.  Egocentrism at its best.)

Mommy:  No, Will.  Who was born at Christmas?

Will:  Moses!

Third time was a charm, and I got him to acknowledge that Jesus was born at Christmas.  Later, I found him putting the characters from the nativity set in the “ark.”  Time to review Luke 2 a few more times!

It might be time to change the title of my blog.  (But not the address, that would be too much trouble.)  We are having a baby girl!  I know there was roughly a 50/50 chance of this happening, but after two boys, it seemed like a long shot.  We are so excited!  When I told Christopher, he literally jumped up and down and couldn’t stop hugging me.  I was picking the boys up from school, and he couldn’t want to run to Will’s classroom to tell him.  Unfortunately, Will was waking up from his nap, and after telling him about 10 times that we are having a baby sister, Christopher still didn’t get the response he was looking for.

We plan to name her Sarah Katherine and call her Sarah Kate.  It is kind of funny, since Christopher suggested the name Sarah back at the beginning of May (months before this pregnancy).  He and Will will make wonderful big brothers to their baby sister.  We can’t wait to meet her!  In the meantime, here are some photos from the ultrasound:


This is a 4D image of Sarah Kate’s face, with her hand next to her right cheek.  I have no idea what that weird blob is next to her left cheek.  And, yes, I was warned by the ultrasound tech that they are supposed to look a little freaky at this stage.


This is our beautiful little girl’s profile and tummy!


Yes, I am showing you my daughter’s private parts.  Please don’t tell her.

We seem to have a new dinner time routine.  The other night, Will started instructing all of us to put our hands in our lap and “pat pat pat pat” . . . all you Little Einsteins fans will recognize this as the sequence that causes “Rocket” to blast off.  When we all followed Will’s instructions, he then told us to raise our hands in the air and yell “blast off!”  (Again, from the video.)  We all three followed his commands, and the look on his face was priceless!  The poor second child (soon to be middle child) hardly ever gets to give orders that are obeyed.  You could tell he was loving every minute of it.  And ever since, whenever the four of us are gathered around the table, Will leads us all in at least two rounds of blasting off.

Will is also cracking us up with his interesting pronunciations.  He still has trouble with specific starting sounds . . . “cupcakes” are “pupcakes” and “lunch” is “munch.”  He calls Chick-fil-a “Chick-a-pay.”  And he has picked up an accent somewhere that causes him to pronounce “dad” like “dah-yad.”  It’s like a southern accent on steriods, which is bizarre, because I don’t think Noel or I have much of an accent.

Will amazed me today by writing some letters.  The boys were putting in their usual hour at the coloring table, and when I looked at Will’s picture, he had written H’s and P’s on it.  I thought maybe it was by accident, so asked him to write some H’s for me, and this is what he did:


Last weekend, Noel and I travelled to North Carolina to the wedding of one of my college roommates.  While we were in Asheville, we toured the Biltmore with all of its bizillion Christmas trees.  I had never been, and I thought it was just a big house.  Boy, was I wrong!  That thing is a castle!  It was incredible, but I was pretty tired after traipsing all over its five floors!  Noel took this amazing photo:


Today the boys and I decorated our first-ever gingerbread house.  The kids had a blast!  They were very deliberate about what they did, even if you can’t really see it in the finished product.  Christopher also used a gumdrop to put a “shooter” on the front of the house.  I asked what the shooter was for, and he said that of course, you have to have a shooter to get the bad guys.  That’s life with two boys!


Silver Dollar City

November 21, 2008

Last weekend, we took an overnight trip to Branson with Grandma and Grandpa to see the Christmas lights at Silver Dollar City.  One word summarizes the trip very well:  FREEZING.  A cold front moved through as we were driving to Branson, and while we were thankful the rain ended as we arrived, it was so cold!  Friday night we enjoyed the lights and saw a Frosty the Snowman show, the Living Nativity and the light parade.  On Saturday, we went back to ride the kids’ favorite rides.  They shut down the rides at 35 degrees, and it was 36, so we got to experience Silver Dollar City at the coldest possible temperature.  Of course, it was nice and windy, so it felt much colder than that.  It was amazing how the kids couldn’t care less about the weather–they were so excited!!  Grandma and Grandpa enjoyed watching the glee on the kids’ faces and wedging themselves into the kiddie rides with them.  Here are some photos: