Calvin's third place?

posted by SKH

Tonight Maggie (with the help of her mom) hosted a Gingerbread House Making Party for half a dozen or so friends. That meant it was time for Calvin and I to see what it was like somewhere else.

The "somewhere else" we chose to check on was Starbucks. I took Maggie to Starbucks on our first date when she was around ten months old so it was about time for Calvin and I to go anyway. After charming the baristas for a sticker, the Calvinator pounded his very own chocolate milk while I sipped (perhaps somewhat ironically) a Gingerbread Latte. Together we enjoyed a cranberry/white chocolate cookie.

I'm not sure Calvin is ready to call Starbucks his third place, but that's primarily because he doesn't even have a "second" place since he's only one year old. It may also be because he isn't speaking yet.

And for everyone interested, no gingerbread was harmed in the house-making party. Instead they used graham crackers glued to small orange juice boxes.


first wheels

posted by SKH

It is a big day in a man's life when he gets his first set of wheels. We celebrated Calvin's birthday on Monday night (though he turned 1 on Thanksgiving day), and thanks to Grandma Higgins he is cruising like never before.


fun in the snow

posted by SKH

We woke up this morning to a gorgeous 12 inches of snow on the ground and an even more glamorous Snow Day. After a hot breakfast and a pot of coffee, Maggie and I headed outside for some fun.

There are two parts to the following video. In Part 1, I throw snowballs at Mo from across the driveway. She's standing at the front door, with the front door wide open mind you, and I accidentally threw one into the house. (Note Maggie making a slide on a mound of dirt as well as the huge snowman we made earlier.)

In Part 2 of the video, Mo and I decided it was time for our cat, Newman, to join in the fun. Apparently, it was more fun for us than him.


germination celebration

posted by SKH

Mo has been very busy lately organizing our house, actually, she's been organizing and P-touching our entire lives. Anyway, she's been a bit too busy to blog so I'm pinch posting.

A long time ago we began working on our yard. You may remember Mo's post on roto tilling and my post on cultivating man. Though it was without fanfare, we did finally finish installing the sprinklers, cleaning up and leveling the yard, and then seeding and fertilizing on October 5th. Germination took a bit over a week and now we've got growing grass!

Here's a picture of our front yard I took this afternoon. The gray skies make a perfect backdrop for the new greenery.
The dirt closest to the driveway will eventually be a plant bed so don't be alarmed that it is grass bare. And though there certainly is much more grass propagation to come, there is already much grass celebration.


she can be taught

Not that there was any doubt about that.

Mostly in an attempt to burn up some of Maggie's under-used brain power, energy and attention (all were beginning to be misdirected into various forms of mild troublemaking), we began a tiny bit of homeschooling this month. Maggie has been loving the Phonics Museum program and asks multiple times a day if it is "cool time". Her favorite parts would definitely be any time we get to use glitter glue and getting to show off her homework at dinner.

Last night we went to Olive Garden where the adults enjoyed the never-ending pasta bowl and Mags got a "kid pizza". She wasn't able to finish all of her meal, so she got to bring it home in a little box. When everyone else began to write their names on their boxes, she was very excited to realize that the two letters she has learned so far are the first two letters in her name, which resulted in her first marking of food territory...

bernie ebbers is not my uncle

Ok, this really has nothing to do with our kids, but it's too weird to not post it.

While this is very old news, I still think it's funny. When my Uncle Herbert and Aunt Stuffy came to visit a couple years ago (hmm, when are you coming back?), they brought this article from Time Magazine that included the following picture of Bernard Ebbers, perpetrator of just a little bit of fraud...

Why is this funny?

Because this is my uncle...

But really, they are not the same person. I promise. A criminal mastermind would never show this much love to a stuffed monkey...

calvin is clean + shiny

emmett hanson is hungry!

Maggie begged to feed Emmett his bottle after Tuesday night's staff meeting and Katie was gracious enough to trust her sweet baby to a rookie four-year-old feeder. Mags did a great job, as evidenced by these photos...


zacchaeus was a flat-packed, affordable swedish man

About a month ago we got a "Wee Sing Bible Songs" cd for Maggie. I had the tape when I was growing up and really liked it. I am now beginning to see that because of my great affection for the songs, I probably drove my mother crazy. Mags has enjoyed singing a lot of the songs, and gets really excited when it is one that she sings at Sunday "cool". One of her favorites is the one about Zacchaeus...here's a little sample of how she sings it :

He cwimbed up in a sit-uh-more twee,
cause da Lord he wanted to see.
And as da Sav-or passed that way,
He look up in da twee,
and he said, "ZIKEA! You come down!
For I going to your house today."

Hopefully Zacchaeus' wife knew that you don't have to be rich, just smart.

maggie's ever-growing wisdom

Maggie recently started in Awana. She is VERY proud to be a Cubbie, and every night asks if tomorrow is "wana day". (Side note - this question always makes me a little sad - since we live in Washington, tomorrow is never "wana day" for me.) Mags has been a successful memorizer so far - it took us all of about two minutes to teach her the Cubbie motto and first verse. Anyway, this post really is just so that I can brag. Maggie (in her first day as a Cubbie, no less) got herself some very special recognition on one of my favorite blogs. For those of you who haven't seen this masterpiece, maintained by Jesse Martin, you really should check out all the other quotes - pretty funny.

In case you are wondering, there is an explanation (of sorts) that goes with Maggie's quote...but it's funnier just to leave it without one.


curse-killing through roto-tilling

Some of you may know that before Calvin's birth, I was not sure if I wanted to get an epidural as I had during my labor with Maggie. I don't really know what motivated my being unsure...I'm going to guess that a hormone enhanced fear of man played a large role. I also was wondering if maybe it was wrong to try to avoid the pain of the curse in that circumstance. Anyway, after a few hours of labor, I finally listened to my very reasonable, wise husband and got the epidural. And boy was I glad. (Now, if you are wondering what this story has to do with roto-tilling...or even curse-killing, hang on, I'm almost there.)

When we got home from the hospital, a brand new issue of Credenda/Agenda was waiting for me to devour. In that issue was this article, which has come to be my favorite, by far, from C/A - which is saying a lot. I finally understood, very clearly, what Sean had been saying to me throughout the epidural decision. While God is the one that cursed the process of childbearing, that curse is still a bad thing, a result of sin. We are not to take sin, or it's results, as good or acceptable things, but things to be fought against, whenever possible. (I am not saying that every laboring woman needs to get an epidural...it is the principle, not the specific application that is important.)

As the article talks about, the dirt is another arena for men to fight sin and it's results. My husband has been curse-killing this way for a long time. Here is almost-4-year-old Sean (and Annie Grook) showing off one of his very first weapons - his very own little roto-tiller.

Sean's dad was faithful to teach him diligence in taking dominion...

Recently Sean has had more than enough opportunity to apply this diligence...we have been getting ready to plant a new lawn, and it has been a lot of work. Among other things, he has tilled for approximately twelve hours (still a few more to go), and for two of the twelve he was gracious enough to include Calvin. In case you have never done it, carrying a twenty-three pound baby, who insists on leaning as far as he can to the left, in a backpack while doing ANYTHING for more than about fifteen minutes is quite challenging.

Cal is checking on his dad's progress here...

Posing for the camera - I love the similiarities between Sean tilling at four and at thirty-two. And look at that baby!

Okay, I have to include just one more - look at that little face. How could I resist? I do have to say that his little face was not this clean when he was finished.


calvin's addiction begins

What is our son hugging and kissing in this picture? Is it a new toy? Some sort of delicious treat for babies? I can't really make it out...and is that a beaming look of pride on my husband's face?

Oh, good, Calvin moved his arm so we can see the object of such great affection. Wait...these cell phone cameras aren't very clear...that can't be what it looks like.

Well, look at that, it is what it looks like. I guess the male Starbucks gene is a strong one.


on demand : maggie's birthday, part 3

And now to finish the series, we move on to Red Robin for lunch and home for cake.

At Red Robin Mags enjoyed licking a substantial amount of honey mustard off of fries while cuddling up to Aunt Nancy. Later on some of the waiters and waitresses came and sang Happy Birthday very loudly...she liked that too.

Back in January Maggie had found a magazine I had with lots of different birthday cakes in it and had selected a cake for Calvin's birthday (ten months ahead) and one for hers as well (seven months ahead). She was absolutely sure that she wanted a Lollipop Garden Cake. I was absolutely sure there was no way she would eat carrot cake. So, we revised it a little - it was chocolate with green-tinted vanilla frosting. Here is my (sad) attempt to recreate her dream cake. She really liked it, and that's all that really matters for a birthday cake. (If you are wondering why there are two cakes, at our house you get your very own miniature version of whatever cake or pie you want for your birthday.)

Here is the birthday girl blowing out her candles...the end.

on demand : maggie's birthday, part 2

Maggie has been content riding her tricycle like a maniac around our house and driveway for the past year or so, but recently started asking when she could have a real bike with training wheels. She had been watching the Greens ride their bikes and thought they were really cool. We told her that she could have a bike when she turned six - partly because that's when Sean got a bike and partly because we thought she'd be too chicken to actually ride one. We were all pretty surprised when with just a little encouragement and direction from Boppa, a couple weeks before her birthday she was riding one of the Greens bikes with absolutely no fear. So, we decided to move the bike up a couple of years.

After we reminded her that we had said she had to wait until she was six for a bike, she opened up a package from Boppa and GG that had a bike helmet (with a lovely cat decal on it, no less), handlebar streamers and a basket. Our sweet child was so excited about the accessories, she didn't even mind that there was no bike to use them with. As GG and Sean snuck out to capture the moment, I told her that I had left her gift from Sean and I on the front step. Here is the big moment!

Then she wanted to check it all out and touch everything. Here she seems to be performing a safety inspection...

Once she got her hew-meht on and we attached the basket and streamers, she was off and riding. She would stop occasionally to check on her basket-passenger, a nice little zebra.

Calvin, of course, was fascinated by the whole thing and wanted to get down to ride with her.

He loved it when she'd yell while riding as fast as she could, as evidenced by this picture.

on demand : maggie's birthday, part 1

Yikes! You better give my sister-in-law what she wants...from instant messaging her yesterday, I've come to realize that my life is in danger if I do not post some birthday pictures RIGHT NOW. So, to keep my children from being motherless, we will begin now with a crazy amount of presents.

Aunt Nancy came for Maggie's birthday this year and gave her this doll. While Maggie loves the doll, she seems to love it's shoes the most and walks around with them on her hands...she even sings a song to "her kids" about how they should wear shoes on their hands.

Uncle Herbert and Aunt Stuffy sent two dvd's for Mags which she is dying to watch - The Velveteen Rabbit and Veggie Tales. I used to say that our kids would never watch Veggie Tales...I also used to say that we'd never have Elmo stuff, and we probably have around 15 Elmo things - some of which I actually purchased. I am, however, holding fast to the ban on Barney.

Grandma sent lots of fun stuff - a cute sweater, an elephant card, animal books, a set of magnetic princess paper dolls and the most recent publication in her series of Maggie books, "Maggie Remembers Grandpa Higgins". Maggie was sure to show everyone all the pictures of her and Grandpa, telling us how she remembered each one - even when she was three months old.

Bop and Geet (this is what Maggie is calling Boppa and GG right now) not only gave accessories for Maggie's bike, but her very own real set of golf clubs (pink, of course). The picture cracks me up. Maggie has a tendency to close her eyes when she thinks your photography involves a flash ("it too bwight!"), so I'm always telling her to open her eyes and look at me, and recently that has produced the face pictured here. It is also impossible to get my dad to look at the camera, so the two of them together always end up looking funny.

Without any further delay, here is Maggie showing off her gifts from Annie Grook. Not only did she get a birthday sweater, but birthday t-shirts and jeans to match!

Here is a better picture of the sweater...


sneak peak : maggie's birthday

Just a couple pictures that Sean took yesterday...

Here Maggie is rejoicing in her "hew-meht" on her new bike!

Calvin is watching Maggie with some jealousy. He has already been struggling with a burning desire to run like Maggie, and now she has her own set of wheels and can move really fast! But Annie Grook saved the day by sending a cool knitted ball (the ultimate combination of siblings - baseball-Sean and Knitting-Brooke?).


feeding brother

posted by SKH

It is always nice to have a little help around the house.


not quite, but that baby does

Sean just sent me this ad that Jesse Martin, our super-photographer friend, recently made for his design business. I obviously had to share it with everyone.

The reason for Calvin's happiness in the picture? Testosterone, apparently. He had just escaped all the girls that had been playing with him at Ichthus to hang with the men (Jonathan Sarr, one of his favorite men, is holding him). For those of you that haven't seen Calvin do this in person, he makes loud grunting noises when he sees men that he knows - it's like he's calling to them, "Hey! I am one of you! Come get me! These girls are boring!".

Jesse, we'll be looking for the check in the mail - Calvin's college fund thanks you.


maggie and calvin hit the shelves

Sean and The Intern were at Paper Zone the other day (which I find kind of funny in and of itself), and while they were shopping they came across these two die-cut alphabet sets, apparently named after our kids. Kind of weird. I think Calvin's is a little girly for the manly baby-reformer that he is.


big blog bulletin

Well, I've decided this can't wait any longer. I have about a million other things that I should be doing instead of posting this, but who cares. It's not even a post regarding our kids, which is the actual (often unfulfilled) purpose of this blog, but I'm too excited to keep it to myself. It's a post on my blog about my blog. Pretty exciting.

Things here at hobbsandbean are generally pretty low key. When I first started the blog, I expected visits from Sean, grandparents, aunts, uncles and various other relatives. I'm pretty sure that is what would have happened if Sean hadn't posted about hobbsandbean, but since he did, I have gotten a surprising amount of visitors. Sean also set me up with Sitemeter so I could see where my visitors were and how they got to me. I hardly ever check it, but I recently did, and here are a couple things I learned...
  • Most hobbsandbean visitors come from tohuvabohu. Clyde, Leila and Ben + Melissa also pass along a lot of visitors from their blogs.
  • hobbsandbean has been visited through a few Google searches, including...
(Okay, now we're at the really cool part.)

The other thing I saw at Sitemeter was that I was getting visitors from Pecadillo. For those of you not in the know, Pecadillo is an old friend of ours and quite the comical and popular blogger. We here at the Higgins Casa are big fans. In fact, it was an extremely momentus occasion when tohuvabohu became a Gold Star Blog in Pecadillo's blogroll. I was very curious to see how I was getting visitors from his site. I would have been really excited to just to have been linked to in a post or comment or something, but it was even better than that!


And I'm not just on the blogroll in some regular old category, I have my own! (Mrs. Turk, you better not start blogging. I like my special status.)

Well, that is the big blog bulletin. Hope you are as excited as I am.


how maggie starts a race

"Ready on your market, go!"

(overheard before she thundered down the deck in her yellow fleece horsey-hat, floral jammie bottoms and leopard-print tank top)


a post for dada

For my stinkin' awesome husband, all alone at Camp Gilead (as alone as you can be with almost two hundred students and summer staff). We miss you!

And as tk would say, "Preach it, Preacha!"


a couple of pictures to keep you around

I am aware that I haven't posted in a really long time - sorry! I have a big stack of pictures here and I'll try to get going again, but these two were already on my computer, so I thought I'd post them so you won't stop checking the blog.


cowgirl or movie star, you decide

Here is the picture that Sean referred to a few posts ago.

You may notice that the outfit doesn't exactly match the description he gave. That is probably due to the fact that Maggie generally changes dress-up outfits every few minutes, and no one can really keep up with that. As you can see, we have a daughter with a very active imagination and a flair for the dramatic. I think here she had moved on from "playing winter" to riding her horse to her "fah-ncee" party. The hat is a "heh-met" (in case she falls off) and she insists on wearing the sunglasses upside-down. Note the lovely plastic bracelet - she enjoys accessorizing. And while you can't see it in this picture, I'm pretty sure she's wearing her "princess shoes" - plastic heels with lavender feathery stuff all over them.

breakfast prayer

As Maggie was praying before breakfast yesterday, Calvin started making some pretty serious grunting sounds. Here is the resulting prayer...

Dear God,

Help this day to be...(insert grunting noises)...

CAAAAL-VIN! Don't poop while we're praying!

Help this day to be good.

Help my aah-tude to be good.

Help Calvin not to poo so much so we don't have to have ANOTHER diaper change.

Thank you for this food.



We are leaving tomorrow to drive to Ohio (the title of this post is how Maggie refers to that state). I have a large mountain of tasks to accomplish before we leave, but since I probably won't be posting while we are gone, I thought I'd take a few breaks today and try to get some pictures up.

Maggie also wanted me to show EVERYONE where we will be staying on the way to Grandma's house. It's actually just a Ramada Inn in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, but check out Buccaneer Bay, located inside the hotel. Maggie has been yelling excitedly to everyone we talk to that we are going to the "slide pool!!!!!!".

If you think of us, pray that Calvin decides to be kind to us during the drive. He's a little unpredictable, so we don't know if we'll have happy baby or one that is really mad and screaming. If he gets too mad, maybe Maggie can intimidate him into stopping by giving this look...


racing maggie

posted by SKH

Yesterday I came home to find Maggie "playing winter." She was wearing bright yellow mittens, a bright yellow beanie, a golden "fa'ncee" dress, and sunglasses to protect her eyes from glare. I did take a picture and maybe Mo will post it later.

But today's getup required a short video. Wearing her new flip-flops, her sunglasses, her wedding dress, and her "puke hat" (that is, the hat she wears when she's not feeling well), she told me about her upcoming horse race.


cutting trim with calvin

posted by SKH

Our house is one large construction site. If you come for a visit you are likely to hear hammers hammering, drills drilling, and saws sawing. Tonight we noticed that Calvin was particularly fascinated by the chop saw as Boppa cut trim for one of the closets.


calvin's first solids

posted by SKH

I realize that for some of you this might be extremely boring, but here is the first (of hopefully many more) video for hobbsandbean.


How to get all those cute pictures for yourself

posted by SKH

Hello from the Void!

I promised my wife (and various long distance family members) that I would contribute a brief post on how to get all these great pictures from hobbsandbean onto their own computers. Those of you who already know how to do this can feel free to skip the rest of this article.

Place your cursor/arrow over the picture you want. In almost every case the arrow will turn into a hand. This indicates that you are not yet currently viewing the biggest version of that particular picture.

Click once on the picture you want and it will open a window with the biggest version available. Now that you are viewing the biggest version you should "right-click" (*use the right button instead of the left button on your mouse) and select the option: "Save Picture As..."

This will open a box that allows you to choose the folder on your computer where you would like to save the picture (most of you will simply choose "My Pictures"). You may also rename the picture if you desire so that you can easily find it at a later time.

Some of the earliest pictures (from January 2006) do not have a bigger version. In other words, what you see on the hobbsandbean page is the biggest it gets. Your cursor will remain an arrow (and not turn into a hand) when you place it over pictures that do not have a bigger version available. You can still save these pictures to your computer with the right-click method mentioned above, just without the additional step of opening the bigger version first.



I just got an e-mail from my sister-in-law regarding her newest published knitting pattern. While some of you may not care about knitting, you'll probably like the featured model.


dr. vold + anne

These are from my check-up with our obstetrician, Dr. Vold (Calvin was 7 weeks old). Dr. Vold and Anne (his assistant) were very kind to a very cranky me through nine months of vomiting, discomfort, and a lot of hormones. They were probably almost as glad as I was that Calvin is now an outside baby.

And Calvin was very glad to spit up on Dr. Vold.

maggie's friends

Maggie is on my lap, helping me write this post...

Maggie's very best friends are the Green children. Connor (pronounced "Con-NERT" by Maggie), Noah, Esther and Lydia. Before Christmas Jen (the Green mama) was taking the three older kids to some sort of Christmas activity at Warm Beach (actually not-so-warm) and kindly invited Maggie to go along with them.

Here they are, having a fun and blurry time. Maggie says, "Mrs. Green took pictures of us, and she said 'say cheese' and we did!", and "That's Con-NERT in the blue jacket".

Mags rarely gets candy, so she thought the candy cane was one of the best parts.

Con-NERT is going to marry Maggie someday...Maggie is sure of it. She tells us all the time.

I'm not sure what that is behind the kids...why does a Christmas tree need freaky lips? Maggie says it's just a talking tree.

Maggie thought the pony was really neat but did not want any part in riding it. She says the pony was too big for her.

Looks like everyone had a great time.