Nov. 2012

Friday, January 25, 2013


My dad LOVES to fish.  He lives on a lake home in Wisconsin where he can fish on a daily basis.   The past year and half our boys have been old enough to fully enjoy the experience, but we hadn't made it up to the lake home during fishing season yet.  When my dad has come to Florida in the past 2 years, we never got around to fishing. 

Almost 3 weeks ago, my parents began their first "snow bird" stay in Florida.  They are renting a beach home that has a beautiful backyard ending right into the Intercoastal waters.  The property includes a pier.  My Dad has been spending the past few weeks preparing for the first fishing trip with the boys.  He went to a tackle shop and "talked shop", desiring to provide a very successful fishing experience for the boys.  

Yesterday, was the big day.  The boys were so excited, packing their backpacks full of "fishing gear" and snacks to munch on. They left for the beach home to fish off the pier at 1:00 p.m. and returned at 6:00 p.m.

It was a very successful experience: 20 fish.  They used live shrimp and the fish were biting immediately once the cast their line.  The boys gave the day a 10!

Today they are filleting the fish.  So far they have said today is a 9. 



Thursday, January 3, 2013

In Tune with Thyself

I have often been amazed at how emotionally aware Eli is with his feelings.  Even in my 30's I have many feelings which usually present themselves as anger.  I struggle name the actual emotion to what I am feeling.  Not Eli, since he has been able to talk well, probably about 2 years old, he has been able to express his actual feelings in words within minutes of acting out or even without action out prior. 

Today Eli says:  "I am feeling selfish Mom." 

(How cool is that, he can name the actual emotion instead of just saying I am mad.  He was happily playing when he said this and there was no assistance from me to name his emotion.) 

Why?:  "Because I don't want to share my new bouncy ball tomorrow with our friends." 

His final thought could use some training.  He decided he better just find a way to not let his friends play with the ball.  He mentioned hiding it or playing with it in their presence and flat out telling them they can't use his ball.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Yes, I knew they were doing this.  Yes ,I allowed it to happen.   They needed a haircut anyway and usually we just take the shears to them.  It served its purpose...the house was quiet for a good hour, they were enjoying their time and they were making some fun memories.  The scary part is that they actually think their new style looks good.

Finished Product...certainly in need of a buzz cut in the next few hours. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Funny Prema Moment

Kyle left the house tonight after dinner to see about an electrical job.  We had eaten chicken curry for dinner and I had put the bones in the garbage can.  Duke laid solemnly between the door Kyle left and the garbage can that held the chicken bones.   Prema came down and saw Duke's lamenting for both things he could not have: his owner's presence and chicken bones.   (I was sitting on the couch and was able watch Prema's private moment with Duke.  It made me chuckle).

Prema felt Dukes head as if checking him for a fever.  (very dramatic repetitive hand movements all around the head).  

Prema signs to Duke:  sick? 

Then Prema leans down and puts her index finger behind her ear and puts her ear close to Dukes stomach.  

Prema signs:  baby moving?  jumping?  soon baby born.  wait.  

Duke gets up and wanders to a new location.  

Later I informed Prema that Duke is a boy and thus won't be having any puppies. 

Friday, November 30, 2012

One Year Old HAM

Kyrie is 1 and quite a ham.  I chalk a lot of her unique (to us) ham moments up to being a girl.   She knows how to use her eyes to get your attention or dismiss her undesirable ways: opening them wide, batting her eye lashes, or closing them tight.   When we are holding her and she wants to communicate, Kyrie leans over and tilts her head to make sure she has our attention and we are speaking face to face.   When Daddy is holding her, Kyrie will often lay her head on his chest.   As most babies she loves to move to the music..always cute.

We get the most laughs lately from watching her eat.  She loves food, particularly meat and bread.   She pounds the food (literally and in terms of quantity).   More than I remember with the boys she is also quite particular about what food she wants to eat since the start of eating solids.  From the moment she sees a food she doesn't particularly like, she shares her complaints with HIGH PITCHED LOUD SCREAMS.   (This high pitched scream is one girl aspect we highly dislike). 


As of yesterday, Kyrie is starting to prefer walking over crawling. She took her first independent steps around 11 months.   I teared up when I saw her take her first steps (its sad in one way to see them growing up so fast before your eyes), but it will be really exciting to see her run the bases in our family baseball games.   Up to this point the boys have held her and run the bases for her.   Her head bounces, legs dangle, and teeth shine through the smile as the boys run her around the "field". 

Besides food, Daddy and Mommy,  Kyrie also loves Prema, Isaac, Eli, Duke and paper.  One of her favorite pastimes is flipping through real paper books and magazines.  She doesn't care for board books because she prefers the feel of the real paper.   She also loves sucking on wet paper towels.   When the other kids and duke are not around Kyrie isn't very happy.  This morning Kyrie woke up at 5:30 a.m. and wasn't ready to go back to bed.  Within 10 minutes of being downstairs Kyrie went to the bottom of the stairs and shouted as loud as she could "Iyaac (Isaac), I-eye (Eli)"   

It has certainly been a fun year to have our little Kyrie in our family.  She is a gift of joy.  

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Ways to Get Rid of "Problems"

Isaac has a knack for finding creative (yet classic) ways to get rid of his "problems".

He strongly dislikes eating tomatoes and other veggies.   How does he solve this problem? So far we have caught him...

Hiding the veggies under the table or chairs in little places. 
Putting the veggies on his siblings' or cousin's plate when no one is looking

We haven't discovered him feeding it to the dog yet, but that doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

Isaac wants his playing field in the backyard completely free of other items besides his cones or bases.  Today there was some dog poop in the area.  How does he solve this problem? We caught him...

Getting a shovel and throwing the dog poop over the fence into the neighbor's yard.  

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Yesterday at our homeschool community class day, the boys partook in a nature hike in search of animals.   They were encouraged to apply their science memory work as they searched: classifying the animals.

Today the boys were eager to collect animals from the backyard.   At the end of the day they had created 3 animal habitats in jars and collected 7 lizards, 1 frog and 1 snail.  Each man made habitat they created is different: 1 has a log, 1 has a handmade ladder and 1 is completely shoved full of grass.  Each animal has a name: Baby William, Tailless Jerry, Redhead Henry, Diamondback Bob, Hannah Mom of William, Rose Mom of Jerry, Mad Robby, Sluggy the Snail, and Croaky the Toad. 

It is important to note that the boys determined that 2 of the lizards were female and moms because they saw them "kissing" the other male lizard. 

On another side note in regards to the lizards, Kyle seized the moment and conversations to make comments common from Cullum men.  

 Eli:  "Mom lets go downstairs and look at the lizards."
Kyle:   "I tried to show mom my lizard last night but she didn't want to see it."
Eli: "Really"

(drop the subject)

A few minutes later another moment for Kyle to seize the moment:

Isaac is sweeping up the bathroom after Eli decided to pull out all of the grass onto the floor so that he could put a wet cotton ball in the jar for the pets' water.

Kyle: "You don't know how to handle your broom.  I know how to handle my broom but mom is not impressed."

Just another peak into our family and life.