Friday, December 3, 2010

'tis the season

On Wednesday night coming home from church Anna asked me what day it was. (Wednesday, December 1st, of course.) Nope. Correct answer was, "The first day of Honda". I assumed that she meant Hanukkah, so I asked what she knew about it. "Well, they had oil and burned lights for a lot of days." Who did? "The Judases."

Historical clarification is in order.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Disco Clarks, meet Kung Fu Clarks:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful for forgetfulness

One good one for each kiddo...

Anna: Driving home from Ft. Wayne this morning, Anna noticed a flea market. Inquiring minds want to know, "Mom, do they sell midgets at the flea market?" It was nothing short of a miracle that my first response was to clarify if she meant "gadgets". She did. Max Anders would be proud of my translation skills.

McKenna: I took the kids this afternoon down to Riley for the family tours of the new Simon Family Tower. It is nothing short of amazing. It will take some getting used to, though, because it is SO different than our current set up. Anyway...we were riding down from the 9th floor to the main level and had a long walk through the corridors to get back to the coat rack (and more importantly, to the kids, the snacks). The elevator's occupants were: myself, Anna, McKenna, Samuel, and the CEO of Riley. I knew who he was and am hopeful that he does not know who I am. I am thankful that I forgot my clarian ID. McKenna pipes up (in random McKenna fashion) to Mr. CEO, "Guess what I had for lunch?" I know what she had for lunch so I know this is going nowhere good. He plays along. "What did you have for lunch?" McKenna is frank. "My mom gave me one slice of an apple." Seriously? I work on the unit with kids who have feeing issues. I am supposed to know something about nutrition and what kids ought to eat. He looked at me quizzically. All I could do was truthfully admit that she did in fact have a very large breakfast. I stopped there. I figured the more I talked the worse it would get. But it was a very long walk back to the snacks. Which Mr. CEO watched my children devour. Great.

Samuel: OK, he gets 2. He's a funny kid. First, he announced recently that he wants to move to Canada. Why, you may ask? Well, because "I like the sound of the common loon and I think they have more common loons in Canada than Indiana." Our study of birds is paying off more than I thought. Second, we've been going back and forth between underwear and pull ups at night for him. The other morning he headed to the bathroom, unzipped his jammies and exclaimed, "I forgot I was wearing underwear!" Even knowing the context it was a very funny thing to hear. Alright, he gets 3. But they're all short. Samuel has taken to calling the Simon Family Tower something different. He calls it "The Tower of Doom". Perhaps that's a name that shouldn't stick. Not so good for a children's hospital!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting back on the wagon

Well. I'm still here. Likely the only one, but that's OK.

How do I recap the past 9 weeks? With great gaps, I'm sure.

The highlights include...

We started in with the Iron Sharpening Iron homeschool co-op. Love. It. Sam and McKenna are doing the traditional style preschool and kindergarten classes. Anna is taking PE (she says, play and exercise) and ballet.

The girls ran in the elementary cross country race sponsored by Noblesville's cross country team. It was good fun for everyone, including McKenna. I know that actions speak louder than words and pictures are worth 1,000 words, but I promise, she did have fun. They each ran a half mile and did very well for their kindergarten and first grade divisions. McKenna came in at 4:07 and Anna ran 3:35.

We spent a rainy fall day at a local elk farm. Seeing elk. Feeding deer. Spending time.

We made a long overdue trip to Alabama. While we were there Chris and I decided it was time to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We did so in some fine NCAA football style and watched Alabama roll over Florida. It was when they were still ranked first and looked every bit as good as their ranking. It was an absolutely perfect day and night. Now I can be a real fan since I've been to a home game!

On the way home we spent a day in Nashville. I always love driving through, so it was fun to stop. We continued the kids' history lessons at the replica of the Parthenon. We had been reading about ancient civilizations and our timing could not have been more perfect. Have I mentioned that I love homeschooling. We are definitely a work in progress, but I love the opportunities it has already afforded our family.

We've played in the leaves. Lots of leaves. Lots of leafy clothes through the wash... (I cannot figure out how not to have this underlined. The button is missing...)

Anna turned 7 last month. That's hard to get my mind around. She is such a sweet girl. I love that she still likes to hold my hand when we walk though the store. She's a snuggler. Loves to snuggle on the couch and doesn't leave Chris' lap when he's home. She regularly finds her mistakes in her schoolwork before being corrected. She loves to learn. Asks fabulous questions. Loves babies. And the show Animal Cops. She's turned her daddy's world upside down and declared herself an Auburn fan. She's definitely sporting the missing teeth look very well. This year she wanted a donut cake. Thanks to Dunkin Donuts, she got one. And we have listened to nothing but TobyMac since 10/22.

Another field trip was to a local farm and pumpkin patch with the co-op. The kids had a great time and after working all night before hand, I can proudly say that I stayed awake the whole time! (I guess adjusting to the whole night shift thing can be another milestone in the last couple months.)

A friend and I took our kids and a friend to the Indianapolis Symphony for the first time as well. It was pure joy for me to watch my girls as their faces lit up at the start of the first piece. They were loving it. We also took the kids to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument downtown. All 8 of us squeezed into the itsy bitsy elevator for the rides up and down.

To celebrate the girls' birthdays this fall we invited a couple of their friends to go ice skating with us. They all did remarkably well. McKenna ended up with a massive bruise on her elbow and upper arm, but we avoided the ER. Success!

Samuel continues to delight me with his take on life. He tends to use the largest word in his vocabulary to describe mundane things. He came outside today to ask me to help him snap his pants after his latest trip to the bathroom. I encouraged him to do it himself. He fiddled with the snap, looked up at me and said with pure desperation, "I just don't fink I'll ever get the hang of dis..."

McKenna. So sweet. I found her sitting on the steps tonight well after her appointed bed time. She wanted me to snuggle with her a while to help her fall asleep. I climbed up onto her top bunk and asked her why she couldn't sleep. She didn't know. I asked, "Did you have your eyes closed?" "No, not exactly," she replied. "Were you trying to read in the dark again?" (prolonged pause) "Rats. You got me." It might have been the pile of a dozen books that gave it away...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Brains and braun: the whole package

We're studying creation right now for school. It's been fun to spend the last couple of weeks breaking it down with the kids. When I was reviewing the material with them one day I asked Samuel, "What had God not yet created after day 5?" Tricky question with the wording and all...I knew that...I wanted to see if he could think through what I was asking. Without missing a beat he said, "day 6". I've been had. Again.

Sam's also taken to creating a new version of croquet. Using an 8# shot and a sledgehammer on concrete.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Using a different mirror

I was thrilled a few days back to get Samuel out of bed...well, my parents' bed where he'd been snuggled up watching morning cartoons. He looked so little surrounded by the bed covers and pillows. I scooped him up and said, "I love you, little man." He eagerly wrapped his arms around me and said, "I love you, big mama."

What? Big Mama? Me?

Apparently that's not exactly what he meant. "You're not fat all over, mama. Just on the sides."

Good for a thousand laughs and counting.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And with pictures!

Samuel had his first shiner recently. You can't tell from this picture, but he sported it proudly. He looked in the mirror early on and said, "Oh, it was purple yesterday and now it's blue". I told him to expect other colors and that it would get back to normal in a few days. He thought lots of colors was going to be pretty cool!

Some months ago I promised the kids that if I got a job I would take them to see Toby Mac in concert this summer. I got the job. We saw the show. The kids and I trekked to South Bend to attend the World Pulse Festival, or at least the last quarter of it. The kids made the best of a sticky (due to the heat) situation and bounced their little legs wiggly on the bounce houses in the Kids' Zone. By the time they were done there, Amy Grant was finishing up her 90's set (serious de ja vu for me) and we headed over for the main event. During the show it was determined that

1. Anna enjoys a concert in true Kinnaman fashion. Mostly sitting, a little clapping, and a blank look. She later verbalized that it was "awesome."

2. McKenna is a better dancer than I could ever hope to be. She volunteered to teach me to dance but I think she's already determined me a lost cause. At one point I tried to dance like she was and appropriately, Toby said at that moment, "Stop!" McKenna thought it was because I was dancing. I don't remember the real reason he addressed the crowd like this. Perhaps she was right...

3. A concert is a great place to throw a tantrum. It was super hot and Samuel was probably a little out of his league in terms of endurance requirements for the day. He wavered between having a great time and flailing on the ground having a fit. Due to the loud music, he bothered no one. I hardly even noticed.

Anna is now missing a top tooth. Her smile is adorable, her lisp minimal. She is counting the days until she gets to go to co-op for ballet and PE. (Side note: She called PE "PC" earlier in the summer when we were shopping for new running shoes. When she realized that the correct terminology was "PE" she informed me that it should stand for "play and exercise" instead of "physical education".)

McKenna has new running shoes and thinks they're pretty great. She's confident that she won't come in last in her kindergarten half mile race this fall. :) We've had the it-doesn't-matter-what-place-you-finish-if-you-try-your-best conversation and she thinks that finishing last is OK, but these shoes will ensure that she doesn't. She is reading (er, "guessing the words") very well, even though she claims that she can't read.

Samuel is ornery. No doubt about it. He was, for the second night in a row being quite the pill at bedtime tonight. He knew that he had ignored and disobeyed me. He knew what that brought last night. As he got into his pajamas tonight he told me, "You are the nicest and best mommy. Nicer than the other kid's moms. Nicer than all the kids' moms." Nice comment, for sure. I will remember it always. Half because he then admitted that he said it because he thought it would want to hear it and it would get him out of trouble. Suddenly, bedtime seems like a small issue!

Monday, August 2, 2010

He might as well be a limo driver

Samuel loves his red tricycle. He's got to be close to putting a hundred miles on those tires this summer. Recently he discovered that he can peddle it standing up. I mentioned to him that if he was going to ride like that he ought to wear his helmet. He replied, "Don't worry, Mom. I'm a professional" and peddled off.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


...I've run a proverbial nursing marathon then this must the "sprint" (if there's any left) to the finish. From this vantage point the past 26 miles weren't as hard as I thought they would be. Next week I'll reflect and likely think they were harder than they really were.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another hodgepodge of things to remember

According to my sweet son, I am "cuter than a baby baboon". I smile every time I think about him saying that.

We took the kids to the NCAA Final Four team practices and college All Star game last week. It was a beautiful day in Indy and we made some fun memories. The kids didn't care so much about the basketball, just that it was at Lucas Oil Stadium. Funniest thing of the day was when McKenna was watching the game and a Hershey's player drove the lane and hit a lay up with the Reece's players not playing much defense. With binoculars at her eyes she yells, "Don't they know how to block?!" The kids were also thrilled to be able to try Steak 'n Shake's new tropical punch kool-aid milkshakes. I tasted one. They taste just like the name sounds.

Anna is nearing the end of her kindergarten year at our (still unnamed) homeschool. I realized today that I have subconsciously been stretching this out as long as I can. She could have met all of her required days a couple of weeks ago. I'm just hanging onto the fact that my oldest is still IN kindergarten and hasn't yet completed it.

Perhaps most remarkably, we were able to get a good picture of the kids together, each child separately, and our whole family on Easter. No, that's not the remarkable part, though in itself it really is. The most remarkable part is that EACH of those was obtained on the first try. I never thought the day would come...

48 Capstone hours done, 64 to go. Graduation is one month away.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What a fantastic day...a Mommy-date with the kids at Starbucks (hooray for free pastry day! and dark cherry mochas!), a day of fun and learning at the Children's Museum (without losing any children, even for a minute!), the girls' class at the library (and one on one reading about trucks and spiderman with Samuel), playtime in the yard (the wagon and super-fun swing are fixed!), almost an hour of reading to the kiddos (about Ruby Bridges followed by Little House on the Prairie)...

This week's quotables:

Anna playing with her dolls this week asking them which one wanted to do the "dusting and brooming"

McKenna asked me if the reason for my success in the wii fit games was "because of all my weight".

Samuel sang an original song to me in the car on the way to the museum. (He does this a lot, usually to 'sing me to sleep' during the middle of the day.) He sang "I love you, I love you, you love us so much, you love us so much, you love Jesus too, you love Jesus too, I love you, I love you". Of course I asked him to sing it again. The second rendition had completely different lyrics. "Please be nice all day, don't be upset with me, I love you, I love you".

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Couldn't make this up

In a random moment while getting ready for bed Samuel announced, "I'm going to change my socks every day 'til Jesus comes back." Oh, these kiddos make me smile...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I love when Samuel speaks...

In a recent prayer Samuel was "thankful for Kansas", essentially so that they could keep all the tornados.

When I mentioned at home that our cohort lost a classmate after last semester Samuel sat quietly. Then he asked me if we looked everywhere for her.

In the spirit of the Olympics and having fun with the new wii game we taught Samuel how to ski jump with the balance board. He told my mom about it but it went more like, "I did the new game and I was a snowball but not every time". We had to fill in the gap. When the mii character falls off of the jump it tumbles down the hill and forms a large snowball around the person. After some practice Samuel was able to go from snowball to successful.

Samuel still tells me almost every day that we're best buddies.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Vitual hide and seek

Mom? Mom! MOMMY! MOMMMMMEEEEEEE!! Where arrrrrrre you?

Since my last post McKenna turned 5, we managed to make it through finals and a miserable retail schedule, celebrated a wonderful Christmas, Samuel turned 4, 24 started again, and I started my last semester of nursing school.

I'm not feeling very witty because I'm still in resume writing mode. Ugh.

I should document, though, that one of my favorite parts of Christmas was when Samuel made me an ornament that said, "Hallelujah! I love you! I hope you don't get in a tornado. Love, Samuel"

Countdown to graduation...Three months and 6 days