Friday, February 29, 2008

Signs of Spring?

This weekend STL is supposed to be spring-like, only to snow on Monday and head back into the 30's. Errrr. However, in celebration of great weather today, the Mohr's headed to the zoo! Here's some favorite pics from our outing!

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Lame title today, but thanks to my brilliant friends at the McGill household, I have discovered my google reader. It's saving me oodles (and I don't use that phrase lightly)of time. If you are like the blogger formally known as Katie-clicks-a-lot, you spend a significant amount of time clicking on each and every blog on your link list. This is fine except that on any given day, there's only a small handful that have anything new on their blog. Not anymore, friends! Instead of clicking on every single blog link on my lists every time I simply go straight to my google reader where I've subscribed to all my blogs. If there's anything new, that blog title will be in bold and I can just spend time reading what's new instead of clicking my night away. It's revolutionized my "freetime".

And speaking of blog technology, have you noticed that when blogs have the word verification code in order to comment that the codes are becoming longer and longer? Sometimes the code is longer than my comment! Yikes! There's no spam getting through that security! I mean, I feel like I'm writing an essay in a foreign language just to say that something was cute or funny. Anyway, not a big deal, just an observation.

And just to keep the peeps happy, here's a pic of E-beast with a new hairdo he was sporting this morning.

If you look at the natural flair combined with the refrigerator magnets, it looks like the Big Dipper! =)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Charlie!

Much Veggie Tales fun was had on Saturday as we all celebrated Ms. Charlotte turning two. Lisa was oh-so-creative with her theme, I must say! The kids decorated cucumbers, the cake was Bob the tomato and each kid got a 'pea' cupcake. They all had a great time!

Well, maybe not just the kids...

Eliot's favorite part of the day:

and as a result:

The cupcake coma.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Time flies?

I have officially been home longer with Eliot than the time I spent there! I can't believe it!! Feb. 26 makes this time at home one day longer! That feels pretty amazing! Which also makes this the longest stretch that Russ has been with our chocolate chip by far!

(snow day fun!)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Update on Cancun!

Yeah, it's a golf and spa resort. This picture stirs happy feelings, especially on a day like today when STL has been pounded with ice over the last several days and Russ is gone for a few days with the band. Nothing sounds or looks better to me than a getaway with my crazy spouse of ten years. I don't have a total for this month yet, but in the first two months I've earned 475 points toward the trip. I need either 1800, 2500 or 3500 in order for us to go. (the lower two amounts include a buy-in amount) The good news is that I have 6 more months to keep points accumulating. I’m on track this month to add another 375. There is a possibility of making it 575 if I bust it. Which leads me to create a “Leap Day” special.

It’s simple really. It’s the old-fashioned BOGO (Buy one, Get one). (I'm not sure there's anything old-fashioned about a 'bogo'. I can't really see Laura Ingalls Wilder running over the grassy knoll yelling "Pa! It's BOGO time at Nelly's store!") I digress. Here it is: Buy one Arbonne item at regular price and get an additional item of equal or lesser value free. Yep. I want to go to Cancun and you might need face wash. Let’s work together on this. by Friday the 29th if you want to take advantage of this! Think big, people.

However, if I hit 575 this month, I may need to implement and commit to a work-out schedule in order to allow myself to wear a swimsuit. Oh brother. Don’t worry though, I promise to keep those pics off the blog…

Friday, February 22, 2008

TTLY (This time last year)

I feel like this should be a regular segment: This Time Last Year. I like to revisit my time in Guate pre-blog so that I have another record of it. So, here's a quick peek into our time last year. By this time in 07, I'd been in Guate for 3 months and was hoping to hear good news any day! After spending 5 weeks with us, Russ had to return home to get back to regular life. At our Bed and Breakfast, Casa Ovalle in Antigua we met new friends Christine and Jonathan, went to a real mall in the city for the first time, started hanging out more with some lady named Sharon and her daughter Bella, visited the Guatemala City zoo, and our first coffee plantation. We also spent our Valentines with each other minus Dad. That should be enough catch up for this post!! There probably won't be too many more of these posts since I started blogging in March.

My B&B housemates!! I miss these girls and their kiddos!

This was a picture in front of Tommy Hilfiger. I didn't buy much that day but couldn't get over how normal the mall was. I hadn't been to 'normal' in 3 months. Little things like waxed floors and a food court brought a surprising amount of comfort.

Our trip to the zoo! They had exotic animals like racoons, guinea pigs, ducks and turtles.

Going on a field trip to the coffee plantation with Christine and Jonathan. Christine and I got the giggles because every time the guide tried to give his shpeel, Eliot would start making his lips do the raspberry sound. It was new for him and quite fun.

and Valentine's Day 2007!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Couple of strength

I don't want to share their story, I will allow their blog to do that but I had to post about our friends Deb and Josh. They are new parents and are on a journey that requires more strength, patience, and faith than most people have. I encourage you to do two things: first, visit their blog on a regular basis which should lead you to my second: pray for them.

I truly can not imagine the many life changes all happening to them at once. I can't say enough how I admire this couple and their outlook on a situation that might cause most people to complain and get angry but instead, their blog is full of praises to God. They've left an impression on those around them in a time of crisis that honors the Lord. So, please visit their blog and shower them with encouragement and prayers! It's a link off my blog: The Lauers

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Presidents Day?

Yikes!!! What's happened to me? My commitment to blogging has tapered off, but not on purpose! I'll fill you in after I give you a little eliot fix. After all, isn't that what this is for?

*I think I've begun to see the start of the little monster that I've created. On a regular basis, I put things in E's pockets or his hood to see what he'll do. He typically just pulls them out or ignores them completely. The other night I was on the floor of his room cleaning up before bed and he was making his "tickle tickle" sound while tickling my neck. Then he stopped and came around to see my face, while grinning quite mischeiviously. It took me a minute but I figured out that he'd hid a puzzle piece in my hoodie. Little turkey.

*We have a Memory game that features pics of his favorite cartoon characters, the Backyardigans. Just to see what would happen I pulled out one of each card and set it in front of him. Then I gave him one that matched them. He studied it carefully and then grabbed the match and handed it to me! Brilliance!!! We repeated the same thing and he correctly matched the cards 8 times!!

*Eliot has decided that walking on your tip-toes is a better way of getting from point a to point b. We're hoping it's just a stage.

*We've been trying to catch a picture of it, but Eliot has started standing like Russ on purpose. Every once in awhile, probably more often than he realized, Russ will stand with his arms crossed leaning against the pillar that separates our living room from our dining room. Typically it's when he's in the middle of a task but takes a second to watch something on the television. Three times now, Eliot has gotten up from his chair to lean against the pillar with his little arms crossed while watching cartoons. It kills us.

*Eliot has a new job around the house and he loves it!!! See below:

I read this idea in a magazine and loved it! You remove the middle sections from the swiffer pole and put them to work! Eliot absolutely loves it!

Speaking of new jobs, that's where I've been. A week and a half ago, I started subbing full-time at a school I used to work at years ago. They were in need of a permanent sub and we could use a boost in our finances while things gear back up to where they were pre-guate. It's a blessing in terms of providing for our finances but it's been really hard for me. I hate leaving Eliot (who's at home with Russ since he also works from home) each day and I'm not ready to go back to teaching. I will go back someday when all our children are in school but it's not for me right now. It's only until June so I'm just hunkering down and doing it. It's definitely an adventure so far! My list of experiences over the last 7 school days include second grade, fourth grade, fifth and sixth grade, 7/8 self-contained special edu, and music for grades 5-8. Um...yikes. If I ever was needing a practice on any behavior management skills, this is it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Family Pics

Back in December while everyone was here for Eliot's baptism, we took the opportunity to get our pictures taken while we were all together. We had less than a 24 hour window when everyone was here and it was raining that whole time! We got stuck inside for the pics but we still have them! That's whats important, huh? Here's a few!

Everyone on Eliot's family tree! What a blessing to have them all together!

Russ' Family

Katie's family

Eliot's cousin Josh!

This captures the theme of the weekend: Eliot's grandparents laughing at/with each other.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Satisfied Arbonne Client

Yes, Eliot loves his Arbonne vitamins! It's a powder that you pour into water to make punch! And yes, I'm exploiting his cuteness in order to talk about Arbonne! =) I'm thinking of making it a reoccurring bit. Can you picture it? Eliot displaying all kinds of Arbonne products? Hmmm. Not sure Russ would go for it.

Okay, seriously, the kids (ages 2-6) vitamins are on an internet special this month. They're 20% off online and then I'm offering an additional 35% off. They retail at $22, then down to $17.60 with the special, then down to $11.44. Email me in you want to try it with your kids! And in light of the newest "everything-you-use-with/on/around-your-kids-is-harmful" buzz, I'm also offering the Arbonne Baby line at 35% off. It is guaranteed to be pure, safe, and beneficial. Check it out at and then email me. (pretzels and sleepy boy in video not included.)

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A genius?

Okay, so I'm a tad biased but look at this:

uh....please join with me in recognizing that my son wrote his name. It clearly says "El". Now, understandably, his 'e' needs a little work but I mean, come on. He's brilliant. Maybe it's all the playdough he's been eating...

And to you that disagree on this great feat of my 20-month old, we say...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What is this world coming to?

While at the Arbonne conference a few weekends ago, a speaker named Tom Barrett (great speaker/author, btw) gave an interesting insight. He was going through the generations and mentioned what he called "the gamers". About this generation he said they have 1-200 friends that they'll never meet thanks to the internet. "Nerds!" I thought. and then caught myself wondering if the Wheelers had heard anything on their adoption case, and how the Moore's transition home is going, and if Laura has started her Arbonne business, etc.

The 'gotcha' factor here is that I've never met these people yet I keep up with their lives as if we're old friends. I laugh at their stories, I cry with their pain. I forget that I've never actually met them. When watching videos on their blogs, their voices sound wrong because I have a different one in my head for each of them. I'm one of them. I'm one of the people out there with friends I'll never meet. Is that weird to anyone else?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

First Family Vacation (last January)

Keep in mind that I came home after 8 months in Guate with over 5000 pics, so...I have a few you haven't seen! I also hadn't started my blog until March so there's still January and February pics to document.

The weekend before Russ left Guate to come home we took a quick trip to Lake Atitlan. We hadn't seen much of the Guatemalan countryside so decided to go for it! We took a shuttle van up to the Lake and stayed in a bed and breakfast called Casa Del Mundo. It was ridiculously cheap! From the shuttle we had to take a boat to the hotel. This was E's first boat ride!Here's the pics from our first family vacation last January:

We asked a group of Mayan women to take our picture on the boat. I'm 99% sure they'd never used a camera before and spoke a different dialect than your average spanish, so we're lucky to have what we got!

We tried to go for a swim, but eliot was not having the cold water!

Eliot slept on me for over an hour in the hammock over the lake in the sunshine. The most perfect moment in time.

Russ' first ride in a tuk-tuk, my preferred mode of transport.

It was a fantastic trip, even though it was just an overnighter. It was a little disconcerting to consider Antigua "home" as we were returning from the lake. But we focused more on cherishing our last few days together.