Wednesday, December 19, 2012


I don't really think the following would technically qualify as an "adventure" per se, but I thought I was clever with the title.

So let's just go with it.



I thought I'd post another Advent activity from the past few weeks. Again... we really don't follow much of a specific plan... other than trying to make sure we are talking a lot about Jesus, having fun, and usually consuming some chocolate.

You know... the key essentials to life.

We typically light our advent candles and read from the Bible too... but we are working with some pretty short non-existent attention spans and I try to keep open flames out of reach under normal circumstances.

Anyway, a few nights back, we read from Luke 2 about the shepherds who came to visit the baby Jesus. The kids were unfamiliar with the shepherd role, as it is not too common place in our culture these days. It was fun to talk a little bit about shepherds, sheep, and ultimately the Good Shepherd.

Then things got silly.

Brent proceeded to show them the way that shepherds sometimes carried their sheep.

They thought it was awesome.

After carting them around on his shoulders for a bit he'd fling them on the couch and they'd kick their legs and "bleat" for him to pick them up again.

Lola did not so much enjoy this Advent activity.

She's more of a goat than a sheep anyway.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Arduous journey

We went on a walk the other night.

We walk in our neighborhood from time to time, but this evening's walk was an improvised Advent activity as we read about Mary and Joseph making the long journey to Bethlehem.

As I mentioned... I can make pizza about Jesus... so making a walk around our neighborhood about an arduous journey to a stable with a very pregnant lady on a donkey is a piece of cake:

A loop around our neighborhood with 3 kids = arduous
Stable = playground
Very pregnant lady = me
Donkey = bad dog
And no, I didn't ride the dog... but she is a stubborn piece of work and quite comparable to a donkey I'm sure.

Anyway, Chilli bean provided much comic relief along our "arduous" journey.

See this?
I know not what it is. But it's probably something electric that you are not supposed to touch.

And this is of course why I turned around to see Chilli sitting upon it...

... announcing that she was going pee pee in the potty.


Because she tried to potty in our neighbors yard is a slow walker, she eventually was carried on daddy's shoulders for a while. However, she made it exceptionally challenging for Brent to walk.

I mean, sight is so over-rated.

See... I told you it was an arduous journey.


Sunday, December 9, 2012


We have been attempting to keep our focus on celebrating the story of Jesus this Advent season.

As you can imagine, we fail pretty regularly.

But being the super organized planner errrrr... being the awesome mom ummm... possessing the ability to somehow connect pizza to Jesus, we have definitely had some success celebrating the fast approaching birthday of Christ.

As you can imagine, not being a planner makes it challenging to conduct organized daily activities to celebrate the days and weeks of Advent, but thanks to some new perspective regarding this special season, we are definitely off to a more focused start.

I thought I might share a few of the things we have done so far in coming posts, but please, please, please know my heart is not to in any way brag or boast. Just because we have managed to conduct a few simple activities for 8 consecutive days in no way makes us more holy, more worthy or even more cool.

For years I have lived in a place of feeling inadequate about how our family doesn't do things right, or good enough, or with enough spiritual emphasis. I read too many blogs that make me feel little and condemned by the craftiness and creativity of others... I hope my blog is never such a place. Instead, I hope it is a place where you can come and feel encouraged that there is another goobery, flaky, hot-mess-of-a-wife-and-mother out there who can totally empathize with you and the fact that your son just dropped his pants and peed on the floral landscaping right in front of the large sanctuary windows during second service worship. Or, that your daughter may have in fact completely lost her mind over her inability to zip up her fleece. Or that you just arrived at the Target returns desk only to find that instead of the shirt and candle you were bringing back, you instead have in your bag: a sippy cup, a baby sock and two stuffed monkeys dressed in doll clothes and pipe-cleaner crowns.

Not that I would know about any of these things specifically. Ahem.

You and I both need to find a way to stop living in that place of feeling condemned by some expectation or burden that we should never place on ourselves anyway. Living like there is something we have to do in order to receive God's favor is just a flat out lie. Jesus did it all and I'm done with believing that I have earned more favor or more of his love because I made sugar cookies shaped like angels with my kids for Christmas.

Can I get an amen?!

We started our Avent celebration with an idea stolen from the Feminina Blog. The grandmother in this family hosts their children and grandchildren each Sunday for a festive Sabbath dinner. On the first Sunday of Advent, they light the candle, have a devotion shared by her pastor husband, and then she gives each of the 15 or so grandchildren a gift of Christmas PJs.

Obviously, I did not do the large scale home-cooked family dinner, but we did embrace the idea of a celebration and got the kids excited about a countdown to Jesus' birthday.

We lit the first candle in our Advent centerpiece... a passage from the prophet Isaiah foretelling of the coming King.

Opened a clue from from our advent calendar and went on a treasure hunt for three wrapped PJ gifts hidden in the house.

Put on our jammers and then danced around like crazy animals on the guest bed.

Don't worry, Brent caught her.

And let me tell you, although it was fun... it wasn't perfect. And had I built up any unrealistic expectations for the evening I probably would have been pretty sad when Mr. Jenkins said he didn't like his PJs and refused to wear them.

Which he did.

But it's not about new pajamas. It's about a baby boy born in a manger on Christmas Day.

And we're going to try to learn as much about Him and God's redemptive plan set in place before the foundation of the world was laid.

And if we are not wearing our PJs for that...

Oh well.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Just a quick note to let you know that I am still here... even though I can't seem to blog very often.

Also, in case you were wondering... someone is still not potty trained.

... but she enjoys sitting upon the potty...

... whilst coloring.

Because we multi-task here in the Curl house.

We also like to color on our faces.

Because, sometimes our cheeks get in the way when we are trying to eat markers.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful Turkey

We made a Thankful Turkey this weekend.

Well, some of us did.

Some of us fell asleep on the couch.

What's a Thankful Turkey you ask? 

Great question. 

The extent of my experience with the TT (Thankful Turkey - keep up people) is seeing the pictures people posted on Facebook and determining that if tiny toddlers could make these things, perhaps I had the skills to assist my children in creating one. 

I tucked the idea away to use at some point in the coming week, and wouldn't you know, things got insane-o yesterday and so I decided to reign in the gremlins with a project in hopes of containing the madness to at least a corner of my house.

I cut out some turkey parts, traced some hands, talked about things we are thankful for, let Sassy go wild with the glue, and Bam! Thankful Turkey!

You may have a few questions. Let me address them:
Q: What is the purple thing on the turkey's head?
A: That would be a wig. Because duh, she didn't have any hair to put a bow in. 

Q: What are the blue scribbles on the chest of the turkey?
A: Once again, duh... she's a girl turkey (remember the purple wig, hello?) and she needed a dress. Obviously this is a dress. 

Q: What's with the sign?
A: Yeah... Sassy just thought it would be a nice touch. And frankly, we can all use a bit more love around here... There has been a lot of bickering and fighting lately, so it is nice that at least the Turkey is showing some love. 

Sassy wrote her own list on each finger of her traced hands:

Her list of things she is thankful for is as follows, and was stated in this order:

1. Cats
2. Dogs
3. Maranda (Because I insist that she refer to me using my full name!? What the heck?!)
4. Daddy
5. Eli 
6. Luke (I think she has a crush Michelle!)
7. Charli
8. Chad (her uncle)
9. Gretchen (her aunt)
10. Chip (her cousin)

For those of you reading this who were left off of her list... please do not be offended. We talked about lots of people...she honestly ran out of fingers. 

I hope everyone has a great week celebrating Thanksgiving. We do all have so much to be Thankful for.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Potty time... say it's not so.

Do you think I should mention to her that getting the pee pee in the potty is much more effective when you take off your fleece pants and bear jacket?

Well, technically, I guess the jacket could stay on.

It's really a question of personal preference.

Perhaps the bigger issue is eating strawberries in the bathroom.

We are clearly sanitary people with excellent hygiene.

I think I'm in denial about potty training this child. I wish someone could just take her for a few days and bring her back to me housebroken.

I am not a fan of the potty training.

But it would be nice to only have one in diapers come January.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dirty Fun

It's a good thing I don't have OCD about dirt and filth.

This would be very obvious to you if you came to my home which is far from a pristinely cleaned and organized environment. Of course, you might leave with a bit of a complex considering the state of chaos we live in on a regular basis.

Anyway, we got dirty more than a few times this week, and according to the kiddos... it was well worth it.

I tend to agree.

We visited a local park that is on the river. The water was high this particular day, and the kids were kinda disappointed that they could not walk out on the rocks as they usually do. However, they still managed to get sufficiently dirty and damp.

Sassy made several mud pies and leaf sandwiches.

Chilli mostly sat in the mud pies.

It was a cold, overcast day, but we had the place practically to ourselves and the river was beautiful. 


Sassy had been begging to go to a local donut place - Dutch Monkey - for weeks. After insisting that they consume some eggs and fruit at the house before we loaded up on donuts, we headed over there for "Second Breakfast."

We are clearly related to hobbits.

 I am pretty sure he was asking me if he had wiped his face, "nice and clean?"

Umm. That would be a no.

I too enjoy this place - probably a bit more than I should - and partook of a lovely "Dutch Monkey": A dulche de leche cream-filled, dark chocolate ganache-covered, banana-topped donut delight.

Totally a healthy choice due to the fruit topping, right?

Clearly, I am rational person.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mr. Wolf in da' house!

So much for being on Fi-ya.

Alas, I was unable to sustain the momentum of 2 posts in the same week.

Oh well. It was nice while it lasted.

Did I tell you that my hubby was in Egypt for a couple of weeks?

Did I tell you that he brought an Egyptian home with him?

Well, not exactly.

But, I do currently have a very nice young man from Cairo living in the guest room off of my kitchen.

He truly is the most helpful house guest I could imagine. He loves the kids and they loooooooove him. He always offers to help with anything I am doing and the dude even makes his bed every morning. I mean, bed making is a lost art in this household. It's nice to know that someone in the world knows how to do it.

Maybe he can teach my kids. Maybe he can teach me. 

Mr. Moheb (or Mr. Wolf as Jenkins refers to him - and no, we do not know why) is going to be with us through the end of the month doing some challenge course training with Brent and others in the industry and we are blessed to have him.

Sassy has been particularly, shall we say... creative... this week.

You may recall Purple Kitty Invasion 2012?

Well, this morning she decided to give her purple kitty a make over...

It was a bit of an extreme make over.

She was very thorough.

And she was very proud.

She truly enjoys the art projects. I am however kinda being over run with her prolific creations.

I adore these pipe cleaner flowers... but seriously, I am about to run out of vases.

And, I'm not quite sure if the following technically qualify as art projects, but she makes many things out of copious amounts of Scotch Tape and construction paper.

Lately, she has been making casts for injured people and stuffed animals.

Chilli was the patient today. Note the yellow foot cast.

Sassy is very serious about her doctoring.

Please pay no attention to the pink couch featured in these pictures. You don't say "no" to a free 18 foot sectional from your family - even if it is ugly as sin.

We finished off our weekend with getting together with some friends to watch the Falcon's Game. Chilli bean got up from her nap only to fall back asleep on her daddy for round two of a Sunday afternoon nap.

She is so my girl.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fanny Cat-Pack

Two posts in one week...

I'm on Fi-ya!

Just thought I'd take a quick moment to capture a couple of the weekend highlights.

Sassy had her final herd ball soccer game of the season.

Unfortunately, I am not sure soccer was all Sassy dreamed it would be. Most Saturdays involved some sort of coercion just to get her in her uniform.

And then there were the more public battles on the sidelines to force motivate encourage her to be a team player and get in the game gosh darn-it!

The truth is, I caught her having fun on many occasions... I think she just likes to play on her terms...when it is her idea...when she feels like it. I can't imagine where in the world she could have developed this self-centered attitude?


I only wish she hadn't learned it from me, but I know I do not model a selfless attitude well. I too like to think it is all about me.

It's not an excuse, but pregnancy does seem to be bringing out the worst in me lately. I have really struggled with feeling "entitled" to certain things this go 'round. And although I know there does exist a priority of self-care, after all, there is a little life growing in me that requires I be in good health, and  consequently, I must take care of myself. However, I hate the feelings of entitlement, resentment and bitterness that I find myself wallowing in. And I really hate the trickle down that flows into my relationship with my husband and kids in particular.

Ugh... sin.

It's so nasty.

Speaking of nasty...We took the kids to the pet store tonight.
How's that for a segue? I am a gifted writer am I not?

Actually, this particular store is pretty clean. They mostly have fish and rodents... and a few birds. They have humane society dog adoptions on the weekends and I am not ashamed to tell you that I have used this store as the "poor man's zoo" on many a Saturday afternoon.

This evening Sassy was desperate to hold a hamster. We asked one of the employees if we could hold one and she said, "Sure you can, but I'm just gonna tell you, they are going to bite. It's a fact."

Great. We'll take 2.

I jest.

I mean, if I were a hamster, I'd probably bite my kids too, but I wasn't up for the drama tonight and so I asked about the guinea pigs and was assured that they were not mean-spirited like their evil hamster friends. In fact, I believe she used the word, "sweet."

And sweet they were.

By the way... I wish I had a better picture, but can you see that Sassy has secured purple kitty to her waist via pink ribbon? She wore that cat like a fanny pack for a significant portion of the afternoon.

She is committed to the purple kitty.

She is also wearing purple kitty slipper socks... with her Keens.

To her credit, she is rocking some super cute skinny jeans.

I'm just not sure the stuffed cat head on the front of the socks is really working with the whole outfit.

But then again, who am I to give fashion advice? I once wore a skirt to high school that I decided was a little too long so I just cut it off at the length I desired and wore it with the frayed edge and strings hanging down. I think I may have been wearing tennis shoes with the scraggly skirt... I was quite the trend setter. I'm sure my friend Gina can confirm.

Well... that's all I've got for now. I just figured I should post something in hopes of keeping some bloggy momentum.

We'll see how that works.


Friday, November 2, 2012

'Fess Up Friday

I really wish this blog would just write itself.

I can't seem to find the time lately to record our shenanigans and alas, the posts are few and far between.

I haven't 'Fessed Up in many a Friday, so perhaps I will tonight.
Kira... if you are reading this... this is for you.



First of all. I have very indecisive children.

I honestly didn't know what Sassy was going to commit to until she put on her costume Halloween night. Her plans ranged from Kitty (shocker) to Frog, to Clifford the Dog, to Kangaroo, to Princess, to Fairy, to Fireman... and probably a few others I am forgetting. She finally settled on Magical Fairy Princess.

Mr. Jenkins waffled between a purple kitty and a dinosaur. I found an adorable dinosaur outfit at the second hand store that still had the tags on it and brought that sucker home a few days before Halloween. I was glad he ultimately settled on the dino costume because it was dang cute... however, he was a bit of a Grumpisaurus Rex.

Chilli is still at the stage where I just dress her and she goes with it. She was the kitty this year and girlfriend loved her some Halloween.

Brent took the kids while my large self stayed at home to eat hand out candy and he reported that she worked her cuteness to its full potential. Apparently if a bowl of candy was held down for her, she did not respectfully take a piece or two, but tended to rake large quantities into her bucket. Even though Brent tried to intervene, most people just said, "Oh, let her take what she wants! She's adorable!" Needlness to say, she returned home with the largest bounty of the three of them.

Pumpkin carving was fun...Primarily because I was not involved except to take a few photos.

I am not a fan of the pumpkin guts...

...Or wielding large knives around small children.

Nay, I do not care for it.

Here's the finished product which joined the 3 little pumpkin friends created by the littles earlier in the week.
Notice, I was in charge of the sticker and pipe-cleaner pumplin craft, not the real-deal jack-o-lantern.

Also, I thought I'd share this little gem with you:

Whist attempting to obtain some candy from the bucket, the dog managed to get said bucket stuck upon her head. I have captured here here standing in her shame.

Despite the sugar crash meltdowns...

It was a fun night.


The Racoon.

I saw this posted on facebook and it has made me laugh. It has also made me wonder who seriously had the nerve to go and tie that balloon to the poor thing's paw?!


As you have probably observed in previous posts, Sassy has an incredible imagination. It is one of the many things I love about her. This week the kids reclaimed some pool supplies that I was attempting to organize and put away for the season.

Why I try to do these things while they are around, I'm not sure. Clearly it is about as effective as brushing my teeth while eating oreos.

Anyway... Sassy decided that the inflatables would make excellent "nests." After shrouding the nests with a soft blanket, she then collected some "birds" which were in fact two purple panda bears and a purple kitty. She strapped on some fairy wings and transformed into a beautiful "bird-fairy-mommy" with three babies.

I love her.

She then decided that she needed a beak.

So then of course Chilli Bean needed a beak too.


So, I haven't done this is a while either, but I think we may have a new fashion offender in the making, so let's conclude with the outfit of the week:

As you can clearly see, we have not tired of wearing underwear on our heads. We now prefer to wear multiple pairs on both our head and bum, and we enjoy pulling the whole outfit together with a snappy pair of purple plastic high heels.

Work it guuuuurl.