Friday, December 14, 2007

Ride em' Cowboy!

Finally...a photo with all three of them at the same time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

To Dream is to Live!

The first 1/4 of my life is probably over. The second 1/4 of my life will be consumed with raising kids. The last 1/4 of my life I will be rather old. This leaves the third 1/4 of my life- I must be really productive during this time in order to fulfill the list below. The Today Show had a broadcast on how women often fulfill their dreams in their's to that!

Things I Want to Do Before Heaven...

- do a huge zipline high above the ground like the one in Dubrovnik, Croatia over the water (as seen on The Amazing Race) or in the Austrian Alps (like Matt Lauer did on the Today Show)

- grape stomping

- white water rafting

- visit New York City for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, look at the decorated Christmas windows, and visit the Today Show

- be in the audience of a game show, preferably the Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune

- take classes in design and color

- be in the audience of a talk show, preferably Oprah, Ellen, Leno, or Letterman

- skydiving

- safari in Africa

- visit Paris (oh, what the heck, I might as well see the rest of Europe too!)

- take a trip around the world

- visit a factory to see how they make something that I like (ie. chocolate, crayons, poptarts)

- laser hair removal

- take a photography class

- hot air balloon ride

- live in a foreign country

- go on a cruise

If anyone would like to contribute to the Helping Dana Fulfill Her Dreams Fund, donate at the following link...

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why I Hate Winter

1. most all of us sick at the same time

2. most all of us sick for extended amounts of time

3. most all of us sick again...and again...and again

4. getting out the door with three small children in warm clothes, sock, shoes, coat, hat,
gloves, the favorite toy of the day (x 3), and sippee cups. Oh wait...don't forget the
diaper bag (and the baby)!

5. cold weather

6. cold car

7. gets dark really early

8. it's too cold to use our sunroom/playroom unless we want to experience #4 listed above
minus the diaper bag.

The only thing I like about winter is I got a new coat. It's purple. I love purple.

(taken just after Ryan called his mom and groaned "All four of my girls are sick!")

She Strikes Again!

(in all fairness to Anna, I should mention that both incidents were accidents- this one occurred while I was on the floor changing Abby's diaper. Anna accidentally tripped while wearing her tap shoes and they ended up scraping against Abby's face. Poor Abby- she was even sick on top of everything)

Saturday, December 1, 2007


Suspect Apprehended.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

America's Most Wanted

(Victim describes attacker)

WANTED...little girl, brown curly hair, brown eyes, about 30 pounds, about 35 inches tall. Often goes by "Big Sister". The victim says the attacker occasionally sucked her thumb before the attack. May be premeditated. Could be armed. Let's get this one off of the streets.

*BIG REWARD (given in Teddy Grahams)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We're Home

duh! did he even need a test?

We have returned! Refreshed and with many many new memories. Here are a sampling...

* going to Metropolis, IL- home of Superman. We took our first trip photo there of Ryan as Superman and I as Wonderwoman (as if that isn't an accurate potrayal! ha ha). Seconds later our digital camera met it's death on the gas station pavement. Uh oh! Dana said, "I'm just glad I didn't do it (after the computer incidents and all)!" Forunately for us, the friends we were visiting gave us one of their extra digital cameras! What great friends and such wonderful providence!

* nightly hot tub visits atop mountains - no additional words (or photos) necessary

* luxurious...and not so luxurious accomodations. The first cabin we stayed in was with friends who had just gotten married. Her parents rented out a party cabin for them for a week at $1,000 a night! This included 11 bedrooms, 4 indoor levels, 4 level deck, elevator, movie theater room, hot tubs (yes, plural), sauna, pinball machine, pool table, hammock, big comfy beds, and more! Then we went to our cabin, which would have been very nice IF... (1) we had not just come from the "castle on a mountaintop" (2) we were not paying for it ourselves and (3) we were not expecting it to be like what we were told we were getting. Our private (and I emphasize private) cabin in the mountains turned out to be in a residential neighborhood (still in the mountains) but with neighbors on ALL sides! And I am not talking about distant neighbors! Upon talking to the manager, we were informed that all people have different definitions of the word "private"! Hmph! Do not give your business to Black Bear Lodging.

* Sunset on a historical tour and trail in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park

* homemade beef jerky

* to die for mashed potatoes and brocolli with beer cheese from a local brewery

* Ryan and I playing laser tag. He won like 1500 to 600 or something ridiculous. I blame the endless hours of video gaming- it helps your hand eye coordination! If we had a diaper changing relay, I know I would win.

* getting $350 worth of FREE tickets to a GoKart place and attempting to go THREE times without success...thus coming home with all 150 tickets!

* hiking to Grotto Falls in the National Park. We wondered at the fact that only 6 years ago, we climbed Mt. St. Helens and now we were huffing and puffing on a 2.4 mile hike!

* many hours spent in a Scrapbook Clearance Store where the ENTIRE store was 50% off! Yes, angels were singing overhead. Don't feel too sorry for Ryan- he was rediscovering comic books at a local bookstore.

* teaching a drunk guy how to play a variation of Scrabble called Speed Scrabble at our friends

wedding reception. That game didn't last too long.

* visiting a local museum where we got to be in our own video game, experience an earthquake, and felt water as cold as the ocean was the night the Titanic sank. 28 degrees. We put our hands in it. I lasted 14 seconds and Ryan lasted 12 seconds. Yes, I do think three labors has helped my endurance level! Though I guess 14 seconds wouldn't have helped me too much back then!

* and SO many more! What fun and what experiences we have when we are together! We are so glad the Lord has chosen us for each other. 6 years well celebrated!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Am I Dreaming...?

Ryan and I are going out of town and will be childless for 6 days!!! Am I dreaming...? Amazingly,'s really happening. Hmm..maybe we just might 'forget' to come home.

We get to celebrate our anniversary (#6) while hiking, lounging, and playing, or doing anything we want at any little whim. Ahh...bliss!

I'll post gorgeous photos of waterfalls, fall foliage, and us having a good time when we get back.

Tennessee, here we come!

P.S. For those of you who are wondering, don't worry...we left the kids with plenty of food and water! :)

P.S.S. Before you pick up the phone to alert all necessary authorities...Ryan's mom and dad (aka Grandma and Pecka) are outdoing themselves as grandparents and as parents and taking all three of our girls while we get away!

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Priceless memories

What a joy they are! Having two girls so close together is not without its challenges, but it is not without its rewards either! Anna and Naomi have such a precious relationship. They are so close. When one is without the other, they are always asking where their sister is. So far, adding Abby to the mix doesn't seem to be a problem. They lovingly refer to her as "Baby Abby" and also ask where she is when she is not in the room with us. Hopefully she will be just one more sister added into the Hug-Fest.

"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." Deuteronomy 30:19-20

Thank you Lord for enabling us to follow You and choose life! Thank you for the relationship between Anna and Naomi that You have so lovingly knitted together. It brings such overwhelming joy to our lives.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A Word From Tara

Hi! This is Tara. I'm one of Dana's younger sisters.
And I'm Emma. Dana's other younger sister.
Today we had a little (funny) insident. Anna wanted practacly every book in the whole house read to her. So she asked Emma to read them to her. Whenever Emma would finish one book Anna would run over to the diper changing table (Dana keeps some of the books under it)and grab a new one. Then she said "I want to read Jesus book!" So Emma started to read the book when Anna suddenly wanted to sing the B-I-B-L-E song. So we sang it. Them Emma read half of the next page(only because Anna wanted to sing the song again). So we sang it again. Then Emma read a little more than half of the next page. And guess what happened next. .....YES! Anna wanted to sing the song again so we sang it one last time and just ended the book! Once that was over Anna grabbed a book called TAILS. So Emma read the book with no interution until she read one page that had a skunck. It said to skratch and sniff. So Emma did. And it smelled like some kind of rotten stew with a bottle of bad smelling stinky calogne with rotten purple tomatos.(if you want to know what it really smells like you can either buy the book or make the concocstion yourself.) Emma wanted me to smell it so she brought it over to the couch where I was sitting and skratched it and shuved it in my face so could smell it. And I did. It smelled so horible. So I jumped off of the couch and ran into the kichen asking, "Can I get a cup of water? Thanks!" And before Dana could answer I was at the sink with two cups in my hand(Emma needed water too.) coughing and gaging. I came back to the room took a gulp of water I started gaging again but this time it was with water and Dana was laughing hysterically in the background.

Happy Halloween (mostly)

Our little pumpkin
Daddy and his girls
Naomi debuts as Snow White

Anna, former princess, converted doctor
Trick or go or not to go, that was the question! We had gone to a Halloween party the night before and everyone was crabby from staying up too late. It was 5:20 pm and we were supposed to be meeting some of the kids from Kid's Club any minute to take them all out for an evening of "Halloween fun" but all of our kiddos were in the process of a meltdown. Anna and Naomi were both supposed to be princesses, but five minutes before leaving, Anna cried and cried, insisting that she did NOT want to be a princess. Is there any particular reason? Had she been traumatized the night before!? Every girl at last night's party was a princess. In fact, we were almost banned from the party since our girls showed up as princesses- I guess princesses don't like to share! I finally concluded, as any mother would, that it, of course, didn't have to do with the dreaded phrase..."terrible twos" but that she must not want to be like everyone else! :) So we got out our 'back-up' costume. Now some might say, "wow, she is really prepared". (she must have been a girl scout). But I will tell you, no, I am definitely fact, those terms generally seem to elude me. But lucky for me, my new addiction, is garage saleing! Now this addiction leads me to many things...generally not always helpful, like when I come home with four books on how to get rid of clutter :) or when I go out for "donuts" and come back two hours later because I took a little detour (just a little one!). But last night, this addiction came in handy. Several weeks ago, my mom, Tara, Emma, and I went out in search of good finds. We stumbled upon a costume sale, where I bought the Beautiful Princess outfit (to go with Naomi's costume) and the Doctor's outfit (for next year). Thus, without knowing it, I stumbled upon preparedness. Fortunate for me! After Anna refused to be a princess, we proposed the idea of the doctor. She immediately liked the idea but after pulling it out- refused to put on the pants. Now, we thought about letting her be a pantsless doctor- after all, the physicians should get a dose of their own medicine, finding out what it is like to have to strip down to a measly gown in a 65 degree room in the middle of winter. But thought that maybe we might be taken in for child endangerment or something. So...we made her put the pants on. At which point, we are thinking, 'is this even worth it? This is supposed to be for THEM" But because we were meeting other kids in several minutes, shoved the pants on her with her, again, crying in protest. Once we got out the doctor kit, though, all was well. with a toddler! We then met our group (10 minutes late as usual) and headed for a church carnival and then went door to door seeking out lots of sugar! They all ended up having a good time- even Abby who was happy to go along for the ride in a backpack carrier. I tried to post more photos for you but for some reason they would not load, so this is all I could get on there. I hope everyone had a good Halloween. We ended up having fun. Lesson for all those with three children two and under (because there is SO many of you!): even when you feel like it is too much work to get out of the house, GO, because you may still have fun. (though there have been many times where it ended up not so good) But, at least on holidays, it is worth the risk!

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Irwin's Circus: The Introduction

Hello...and welcome to the Irwin circus (all two people who will be viewing this, anyway!). I am doing this at Erin's encouragement, so hopefully at least, she, is reading this. An introduction: 4 girls - ages 25 years, 28 months, 17 months, and 5 months, 1 female fido- age unknown (remember...we had kids), & 1 guy- he's not sure how old he actually is. With so many girls in the house, his age just seems to creep up by dog years- so I think that would make him about 175 years old now. A real spring chicken, um or I mean elephant...or something...I've got to keep up with the circus theme you know. Our names in order, Dana, Anna, Naomi, Abigail, Ryan (oops...scratch that) Sadie, and Ryan. And then there is Gideon, our honorary circus member, whom I watch three days a week. He helps level out the hormone levels...too bad Ryan isn't home to enjoy it!

Our update is short: ALL of us girls have been sick for the last week. I am finally feeling better and the others are improving- yeah! That said...I AM NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO WINTER!

That's all for now. For those of you who have hardly EVER seen a picture of my kids since their baby announcements, here they are! To others of you, (Wendy) who have more pictures of my kids on hand than I probably have better ones, but hey, hope you can enjoy these too.