So two guys and their dead friend in an office chair can hail a cab.

A special thanks to my Aunt Sharon who came and helped me clean my house from top to bottom today so I could relax and write in my blog tonight. She is such a blessing to me and my family and the kids adore having her close by these days.

The title of this blog came from a David Letterman sketch which is definitely worth a look-see. It is an example of the humor in my life after a long, strenuous day that keeps me pretty sane and in generally good spirits. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnI3CDo7YB8

Just in time for baby number 4 to get here (11 weeks away) my children have taken a step to make my life MUCH easier. For the past 2 months or so they all play together very well for long periods of time. They will spend 2 hours up in their bedrooms playing away with only the occasional fight or mishap that I have to get involved in. Usually Evan and Julia just fought non-stop and Harrison was too little to join in. Now they all play together and even prefer I don’t interrupt. I just keep the baby monitors on and listen in. I can usually count on an hour a day to get things done where they are just off doing their own things. It has been BRILLIANT! It makes having them all so close together really pay off.

My children love to sing together and fight over which song to play on the CD player or in the car. All three sing the songs in tone deaf harmony at the top of their lungs. I need to get it on video. It’s just hard to video them while driving down the road. One of their favorite songs is “Jesus Loves the Little Children”, a song I despise. So far my children do not notice a difference at all between them and their friends of other skin colors. I LOVE their innocence to that whole issue. Evan has a friend at church named Denzel. He thinks Denzel is so funny because he says something like, “Underpants to the rescue”, on Sundays to crack Evan up. Evan talks about how funny Denzel’s underpants talk is all week long and looks forward to hearing it again each week. He talks about who Denzel is as a person without regard for skin color, and Julia is the same way with the kids she comes into contact with. It is not like they won’t notice some day, but why point it out when it is such an issue of intense pain and conflict. I just want them to grow up to see and love people as God does and not how I do or society does. To bring it back to my initial point, that is why I cringe when I hear them sing “Jesus loves the little children”. The words go like this, “Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. . . “ I think to myself, “Now, didn’t we just cover the fact that Jesus loves all of the children? What does their skin color have to do with the song?” My kids don’t need to be told that Jesus loves black kids. It doesn’t occur them that He wouldn’t, and I don’t want to broach the subject yet. They have asked before what the color parts mean, and I just say Jesus has lots of favorite colors just like you do. . . it’s the best I can come up with yet. I dread the day that I have to go into more detail than that. Thanks to society on every side of the issue I know that day is coming sooner rather than later. It’s a petty thing, I know, but it still bugs me.

Evan:

For a couple of months Evan had an unceasing obsession with death this winter. He wanted to talk about it all of the time. This is the second time he has gone through such a phase. I knew it had reached a new low when he informed his 4 year old friend Courtney that her 2 dogs would, in fact, die, and her poor mother, Sharon, had to spend the next several minutes consoling and reasoning through this fact with her traumatized daughter. We had a LONG talk on the way home about informing others of their loved ones eventual death without first running it by me.

That reminds me of the LONG talk Evan and I had to have about calling his baby brother “Harry Butt”. . . and ESPECIALLY at church. I can actually blame his father for that one. . . It’s a long story. (Harrison was named after my Grandfather, Harry. Harry is a nickname of Harrison’s.)

Is nearly finished with kindergarten reading. I haven’t decided what to do next. 4 years old seems too young to push into first grade reading.

Has started doing kindergarten math, science, writing and spelling. I spend an hour a day working on these subjects with him while Harrison and Julia nap. He likes it so I go with it.

Julia:

Will be 3 on April 25th.

Is obsessed with dressing herself and changing her clothes. She changes her clothes 4 to 6 times a day. It almost NEVER matches and often involved two different colored sox and sandals or clashing tennis shoes. When we have to go somewhere I feel she needs to NOT look like Punky Brewster I know I have a big fight on my hands. . . usually I just let her pick. It isn’t worth the fight and people seem to understand without me having to say a word.

Knows her telephone number and address.

REALLY likes princess stuff. She wants to have a princess birthday party and wants princess everything, especially Disney princess, which is strange because she didn’t see her first Disney princess movie (Cinderella) until last week. She was scared of it within the first 10 minutes. I am not a fan of the princess stuff and if it weren’t for my mom I would be trying to cool her heals on it. My mom thinks I should just let her do her thing with it and leave her alone. . . so far I am heeding her advice.

Her favorite colors are pink and purple.

Has the CUTEST, most spunky personality. She has so many thoughts and opinions and some of them really crack us up.

Really likes to talk on the phone.

Harrison:

Is 21 months old.

Around 20 months started speaking regularly in full sentences and even paragraphs. For example, I can say to him, “Harrison, go find some raisins to eat.” He will wonder off and come back with a bag of raisins from the pantry and say, “I found some raisins, Mommy”. It amazes me because he gets the pronoun right, changes the tense of the verb and puts so many words together. . . There are lots of benefits to having constant chattering of slightly older siblings around you all day long.

Sometimes bites his toys when he is mad at them.

Has decided he has a temper.

Has entered the mischievous terrible twos in the past month. . .Fortunately Julia is on her way out of them.

Is learning his colors and can tell you all of the shapes except for a rectangle. He can’t distinguish it from a square or an oval yet.

He can count to 13 (as seen in the video) though he will usually skip one along the way.

Can sing his abc’s through S and then it gets sketchy. Knows many of the letter sounds as well, though that is just from listening to Evan learn. I haven’t started teaching him to identify letters. I just haven’t taken the time yet.

Can sing about 20 songs or more nearly word for word.

His latest, self invented, trick is to have people give him 5 when his hands are filthy. I usually don’t have time to warn the poor sap who falls for his trick before it’s too late.

Evan reads to Harrison for the first time.
Julia’s new “big girl” bed.

Julia’s bedroom with new bed.

The princess blanket I made for Julia as a compromise so I wouldn’t have to get her UGLY disney princess sheets and comforter.

Large piece of the triple bunk beds Stephen is building for the boys. (Has clamps on it in the picture.)

Evan asked in the car today, “Mommy, can I rip my pants”? “No, abosulutetly not”, I say. We got out to go shopping, got back in and moved on to the next store where we get out to find Evan looking like this. . . I made him wear these pants for the rest of the day. He was rather unhappy about it. They were slit clear down to his ankle by the end of the day. After the intial shock and horror that he had ripped his pants on purpose after I told him not to and that I was going to have take him shopping like that, I found it rather funny.

It was a beautful, warm day in February, and I thought Evan should get some fresh air despite his 103 fever.

Julia is using chopsticks for the first time at a Chinese New Year festival with Grandma and Grandpa Ringsmuth in February.

Why not sleep standing up?

An example of some of Julia’s artwork as of late. She likes to pretend she is writing words. She can draw some shapes like hearts, circles and triangles.

This is our homemade monster truck garage. Not pretty but the kids dug it.

Weekly story time at the library. (Evan is the one with his finger in his mouth, Harrison is at the front with the yellow shirt and Julia is next to him in the maroon shirt and white pants with flowers.)

This time mommy is sick. . .

Evan’s giraff, height chart, art project he was so proud of.

Harrison likes to wonder around the house with this “Bob the Builder” potty seat. I continually have to chase him down for it.

Harrison really likes sticker art projects.

Anything with stickers.

He thinks he is on a safari.

Why not sleep with a hat on your head?

(She still clings onto that tag on her crib comforter when she sleeps.)

Spaghetti bath.

The three stools daddy built for them to reach the sink and the potty.

Dinosaur center art project. This STRETCHED the limit of my art abilities. They are going to pass me up soon.

Sweet, innocent Julia put this Ken and Barbie on our bed in our spots. (None of her dolls wear any clothes.)

Sometimes it even snows in Georgia. (More proof of global warming)

And my kids loved it.

4 boys gathered around watching Julia play video games.

Harrison likes to cuddle with this Bob the Builder figure and Thomas the train along with his blanket and paci when he sleeps.

My guitar heros.

Julia and Evan at the Georgia Aquarium last weekend. Had to take the picture with a cell phone, unfortunately.

Harrison at the Georgia Aquarium.

These videos are of Harrison taken at about 20 months old.

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