just the facts, ma'am

Shiny badge supplied by the ever gracious Pecadillo. Authoritative attitude supplied by the ever ambitious Calvin.


learning disabled, but handsome

Here is my darling brother, LD. Contrary to popular belief, LD does NOT stand for Lunch and Dinner (he hasn't always been so svelte), Lunge and Destroy (he used to be quite a violent toddler) or Learning Disabled (hmm, no comment). It stands for Little David...which isn't really accurate either, come to think of it. I guess "Little" just means "younger than the other 56 Davids in our family".

Anyway, I'm going to move on to the pictures now. He'll hate that I posted these, but I bet he'll get over it. And for all interested young ladies, he's single, but you'll have to pass family inspection.


bossy shoes

So, I got new running shoes a while ago. I ordered them from Amazon, and upon first look was very happy with the new version of my old shoes - see how nice they look?

However, on closer inspection, I was quite surprised to receive such a personalized pair of very bossy shoes...lacking a comma of course, but can you really expect proper punctuation from a pair of shoes?

Why am I posting this?

Because Mo goed. Or went. Actually, Mo is goING. Today marks Day 25 of my exercise streak. I'm very excited about it. I know it's not much - just 20 minutes of walking or jogging each day (at wildly varying speeds depending on how I'm feeling), but I'm loving it and am glad to see movement in my life towards consistency.

It started as a commitment to 21 days of exercise, thank you Ben Franklin. I joined a group of other cloth diapering moms online (yes, I realize this is weird) who were doing the same thing. It was REALLY hard a few of the days, but I ended up loving it. So much so, that I kept going! I'm now on Day 3 of my second time around, this time with my mom.

Here's to more MoGo.


the downside of rejecting the bumper bonnet

Our friends John and Lisa have quite the funny blog, and recently they posted some odd products for children that were pretty humorous.

Anyway, I don't have plans to adorn my children's feet with the remains of Chewie, and am only occasionally tempted to use any sort of cage in my parenting. However, I must admit that the first thought that popped into my head when I saw the Bumper Bonnet was, "Hey! Maybe that could keep Cal from looking like an abused child all the time!"

Cut to some recent photographic evidence...

First, he was accidentally "nudged" into a cabinet during dinner rush one night. That is how you end up with such perfectly straight bruising. Nice, huh?

Not more than 12 hours later, Cal was a pillow fight victim (if you can be a victim in something you instigated) that ended with his eye meeting the edge of our coffee table. This resulted not just in bruising, but bleeding as well.

I don't have pictures of the MOST recent injury, which was another (I think this is the twelfth?) split lip. There was more blood than I have ever seen come out of one of my children. I'm trying to act like it never happened. I hope that Cal is remembering that it's not a great idea to stand on the arm of the couch when you have a 104.5 degree fever.

Anyway, after thinking about this lovely, ultra-cool Bumper Bonnet, I realized that maybe I will appreciate these head injuries as an explanation for things that Cal does. Or wears. Perhaps things like this?

um, wow.

Bet your sister-in-law can't make things like this.

Seriously. Did you see the earring?

It's too funny.


a sad, sad day

Okay, anyone who comes here just for Maggie and Calvin stuff, leave now. This is a completely self-centered post, with no cute pictures of the kids. No cute stories either. Just a sad story and disturbing images.

As you probably remember, I recently posted a picture of my feet and Calvin's feet in our lovely, one-of-a-kind (two-of-a-kind?) hand-knit Annie Grook socks. Those socks are literally my favorite socks in the entire universe. They might even be my favorite article of clothing. When I am sad, I put these socks on to help me feel happier...that's how good they are. Other than myself, Annie Grook is probably most aware of my love for them as I went through a period where I constantly bothered her, trying to score more hand-knit socks for myself. I finally came to the realization that these were going to be the only socks I got for awhile, and resigned myself to wearing another pair of sub-standard socks while these were in the wash. Anyway, the point is, I REALLY like these socks.

So, imagine my dismay when I saw this...


This is not okay. I was having a bad evening, and went to put these on for comfort, and this hole is what I saw. I actually started to cry a couple of times because it was so sad. My sister-in-law spent a LOT of time making these, and now they are very sad.

I debated whether or not to blog about this, because Annie Grook has her plate full...overflowingly full...with knitting projects, and I don't want to pressure her too much. However, it really is just too sad to not post. :( Poor socks. Poor feet. Okay, I feel a little better now that I have shared my sorrow. Thanks for mourning with me.


maggie gets a job, earns some money, goes to wal-mart and buys two dollies

The title kind of sums it up, but Mags worked very diligently to help Boppa with a project recently and earned some cash. Little Miss Ramsey gave some to God and some to a gift and then took what was left, along with allowance (for feeding Newman) that she'd been saving up, and went to Wal-mart on a mission. She was looking for the most dolly that $5 could buy, and here's what she got...with 18 cents change too!

Just in case you were wondering, the bigger baby is Mollie and the little baby is Mary. Somehow, despite the size difference, these babies are twins.


how to train for a pretend marathon

Apparently, pretending to be Dada makes it way more fun when he's gone for Preview Weekend. Here are the kids "running" on the treadmill. For any interested parties, Cal calls the treadmill "DA DA!!!", which I think is hilarious.

Looks like pretend training is way more fun than the real thing.


the long overdue pictures

Okay, we've already established that I am not the greatest sister-in-law. I am about to prove this further...

My sweet daughter is 5 years, 1 month and 5 days old today. That is a nice, creative way to say that I am 35 days late in posting these pictures. If it makes you feel any better, Annie Grook, I am some 200+ days late in posting Disneyland pictures, not to mention zillions of other pics, quotes and stories that I want to share. I really do have good intentions...and then, well, the road to an empty blog is paved with good intentions.

So on to the pictures...first up, Maggie's face of knowing delight as she showed off her birthday sweater. As she opened it, she nodded and said, "Annie Grook let ME pick the yarn this year. Oh yeah, AND the sweater!".

Here she is , getting comfy, telling us about something or other...

All settled in , and very happy with her new pink sweater!

Thank you, Annie Grook! She loves the sweater, and it's perfect. She'll wear it all the time, I'm sure. She is really happy that it looks nice with her Valentines socks from this year...oh, wait, that's another picture I'm late in posting. Dang it! Hey, Calvin has them on in the picture I posted right before this...does that count?

why cold weather can be enjoyed...or tolerated, at least

Honestly, I really don't like cold weather...and cold weather starts at about 65 degrees for me. But today I remembered one of my coping strategies...wool socks! They make all the difference. And when they are custom made for your feets by Annie Grook...well, if you haven't experienced it, you can't really understand it, but it's a very good thing.

By the way, in case you wondered, yes, it's very hard to get Calvin to stand still squished in between your knees for a picture like this. There is much whining, writhing and screaming involved.


warning! men at work!

calvin's five steps to being a (future) man at work when it comes to wet fuzzi bunz...

Step one - open the pail. Well, open the pail lid. Pay no attention to whether or not the pail is actually attached to the lid. That is just an unnecessary detail.

Step two - place the wet fuzzi bunz into the pail, or the place that the pail usually is.

Step three - shut the lid.

Step four - REALLY shut the lid. At this point you may be tempted to wonder if this would be easier if the pail was actually there, but just dismiss that thought and push harder...use your entire body if necessary.

Step five - run through the house looking for more work that needs some IRS...listen to my dad's sermon if you don't know what IRS is. Oh, and pants remain optional until your mom catches you.


...with a mind like a diamond

This is the fruit of Maggie's first solo note writing endeavor. I think it is excellent and darling. For those who don't get to hear Mags chit-chatting, this is actually a perfect application of phonics - there is no "r" in "from". She was working on it very busily during Ian Lugg's sermon that night and was quite proud of her accomplishment when she gave it to me. She said she had missed me that day (she had spent part of it with some friends) and wanted to write me a letter. I will be treasuring this indefinitely.

(Gold star to anyone - other than skh or Kimmy - who knows what the post title is from.)

benaiah vs. david

I have been informed quite a few times that my blog is a little lopsided -more pictures of Calvin, less of Maggie and more stories about Maggie, less of Calvin. I have thought about this quite a bit, and this is my conclusion...it is true, and I don't know why. Maybe I'm trying to stop the unstoppable truth that the first child has more pictures than the subsequent children. (By the way, I'm not even close with Calvin - I think I photographed each hour of Maggie's first year and a half.) Maybe I am just currently enthralled by Calvin's white halo of hair...it's the only angelic thing about him. I don't really know, but here's another story about Maggie to push the blog even further out of balance.
Here is a (sort of) recent piece of Maggie's Sunday School "art"... it is appropriately titled "Benaiah Dot-to-Dot". Apparently the green and orange crayons were available that day. (For those of you not up on your flannelgraphs, Benaiah was David's "mighty man".)

When I asked Maggie what the things were on either side of Benaiah, she told me they were his weapons. I asked her what kind of weapons, and she told me - spears. Then she told me that David "did fighting" also, but he used different weapons than Benaiah. When I asked what his weapons were, her answer was "oh, he used golf clubs".

I'm really not sure what to say about that.


kids in the sprinkler

We've been experiencing some very nice weather here for the past few days, which resulted in some sprinkler play time in our yard.

Here Calvin is avoiding the squishy grass - he got over this aversion quickly, though. Maggie thought the whole thing was great. (Yes, they both own swimsuits, but this was spur of the moment, people!)

Here, apparently, we are experimenting with the sprinkler as a drinking fountain and a hair washing station.

And, of course, anything that Calvin gets involved in has to incorporate a beloved "dodo".

kids in a van

One of my favorites from the cell phone genre - this is from our California trip in February, but I still wanted to post it.

betcha didn't know...

that my Dad was 18 months old when he first met Tom Pennington...

(Ok, I admit that this post is a little bit obscure for most of you. However, if you know Tom Pennington, it should be pretty funny. Or weird.)


what to do while stuck in a jogging stroller

Spend the entire 30 minutes picking lint from between your toes...


look out, sucka!

We have a very nice teller working in the drive-through portion of our bank. Her name is Susan, and she always asks how many little ones I have in the back of the van and sends the appropriate amount of lollipops with my receipt. Last week was the first time I actually let Calvin have his designated lollipop. I haven't in the past because I wasn't sure I could trust him to not rub the wet candy all over his face, hands, shirt and car seat. I also wasn't sure I could trust him to just lick it instead of bite off pieces that he could possibly choke on. Apparently, I was right not to trust him (don't worry, he didn't choke), but he did enjoy the process of eating his first lollipop.


you can tell a man by his bike

Cal was so excited about this motorcycle, we thought he was going to have a seizure. The owner saw Calvin admiring the bike and suggested that he hop on to check it out. Cal loved it.

On another note, here is Sean checking out a different kind of bike. Maggie had proclaimed, "Dada can't ride my bike - he's too big!" Apparently, she was wrong. He actually rode it around the gym for quite a while.


speaking of that...

Tony, since you brought it up, I wanted everyone to see how nice you look in yours as well...

(Yes, I know it's bad photoshopping. I'm no Pyro or Tohu...oh well.)

politically incorrect schooling

Here is Maggie in her (short i) I-I-Indian headdress. She cut out all the feathers by herself...and yes, that is glitter. It's a very glamorous headdress.



For all interested parties, here's what the black eye looks like now...I'm sure this will be very attractive in the yellow and green stage.


blood, bruises and blades

The past twenty-four hours have been one of the more brutal days in my sixteen months of raising one of our very own Future Men. Sean tells me there are many more of these days to come, and that they will be even MORE difficult, but I'm trying not to think about that right now.

The events started last night after one28 as Cal was running through the gym, very excited about all the "dodo" (basketball) playing going on around him. He ended up tripping, and in kind deference to his hands, fell directly on his mouth. This seems to be Cal's favorite way to land, actually. He has already chipped one tooth, bitten his tongue badly a few times and split his lip more times than I can count. So of course, he started bleeding and was quite sad.

Okay, so that's not that bad.

So then this afternoon, after a morning filled with normal falls and bumps, Calvin somehow got Maggie to help him up on to Geet and Bop's bed so he could watch the one part of Mary Poppins that he likes (the dancing chimney sweeps, of course). I saw this, and being a wise mother, told Maggie to make sure he didn't fall off while I went to start lunch. This proved to be a bit too much responsibility than a Mary Poppins obsessed 4 1/2 year old can handle. Anyway, I heard a thump and by the time I got there, Cal had already gotten up, and seemed to be more angry than hurt (more motherly wisdom), so I told him to suck it up and be a man...which he promptly did. It was fifteen minutes later as I was feeding him lunch that I noticed the blood dripping off the back of his head onto his shirt. Here is a shot of his cleaned up head...

I guess this still isn't that bad, but I thought it was plenty for me. Apparently, it wasn't.

About a half hour after I cleaned him up, he and Mags were playing rather frenetically on the couch. Already having been proved as a wise mother today, I said something like, "Don't fall off!" and thought that should cover any sort of trouble. Nope. Calvin promptly fell straight off the couch, eye-first onto the coffee table. By the time I picked him up, the bruise was already starting. He was so sad he didn't even protest my ice application. The pictures don't really do the swelling and color range justice, but here are some different angles to enjoy...

That takes care of the blood and bruises - on to the blades! Sean's hard work is paying off...look at this grass!

The little feet aren't too bad either.

a picture for bop + gg

My parents are in Southern California for a few (2, 3, 4...5?) weeks, taking care of their lovely business, and it is proving to be difficult for our little Magpie. She misses them very much and talks about them constantly. Her major concern is that they won't be home for her birthday...which is in August. She probably doesn't need to be concerned about that, but it's still kind of funny. Anyway, she made this for them...

For those of you not fluent in MaggieArt, what you are seeing here is Bop and Geet's business (the house shaped object) as well as a few renditions of their car as they are driving there. The writing (she got a little help with the spelling) says "ItS FRoM MAGGIE GG Bod", which, when translated, means "This picture is from Maggie, GG and Bop". I thought it was very cute and sweet.

We all miss you, Geet + Bop! Come home soon.


remembering through goats

As most of you probably know, today is the one year anniversary of my father-in-law's death. In Sean's post today, you can read a little about the bittersweet time this is for him as he remembers his Dad. My sister-in-law has a great post as well. However, here at hobbsandbean, we are taking a straight-on happy approach to the memories...through goats.

Let me start with a bit of poetry...

The goat is still dead.
Being a wandering animal and being outside with the weather, gotchyer
was once again rain upon and got wet clear through to the goatee

We turn Gotchyer upside down to dry out but we were afraid that
the vulchers would come and devower poor Gotchyer.

- Dennis Higgins
(shared as originally typed)

For those of you who haven't made the happy acquaintance, here is Gotchyer, the lovely wooden goat, in all his glory.

My father-in-law had a somewhat strange affinity for goats, and I always think of him when I see them. As this anniversary approached, I was quite surprised to see the following photo opportunity present itself...

Yes, that is what it appears to be. Maggie, all dressed up, holding a baby goat...inside of a nice home...at a birthday tea party. This is something I have never seen, and something I know Dad Higgins would have loved.

Here we have an odd hand-off...a five year old birthday girl (in a dress made poofier by multiple tutus) handing my four year old daughter a goat...which I would have thought she'd be afraid of. Nope, she loved it. Maybe that is a strong Dennis Higgins gene that is present in Mags.

Calvin got in on the action too. He had an equal mix of terror and fascination. Terror of the goat's head and fascination with the rest of it. Annie's mom, Rhonda, is helping him be brave. As long as the goat was looking away, things were great.

I love that we have such a personal God who even set up this nice, tangible way for us to remember Dad Higgins.