Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

(not-so) Green eggs and a our little man

Isaac is learning some important "guy things", like giving "five" and eating eggs by the fistful. Notice in the middle when I tried to get him to say "Dada" and he says "mama". 

We don't buy soda pop. Maren bought some 7-up for our sick girls last week, though, and picked up a "diet" soda, too. Apparently Brinley had asked for some of it and Maren must have explained that little girls don't drink "diet" drinks. Then, we received a 2-liter bottle of A&W rootbeer from some friends as part of a Christmas treat. I opened it and gave some to the girls as we were eating some late dinner (after some shopping). Maren walked in and began to poor herself a small drink. Then: 
Brinley: "Mommy, are you still on a diet?" (in a sweet and reminding sort of tone)
Maren: a smile at me
Brinley: "Mommy, don't you want some of your diet pop?"
Maren: giggles with a guilty look on her face
Brinley: "Mommy are you not still on a diet?" 
Little stinker! 

I have to add that Lainie and Brinley sang a duet in Sacrament on Sunday. They did great. Lainie, of course, sang out beautifully. Brinley began the song, then kind of looked around, and almost walked away, before joining back in for the last few lines. They sang "Fairest little Jesus child" (not sure if that's the real title). 

We leave for Idaho soon. We are so excited to see our family! After I explained who all we would be seeing on our trip, Alaina proclaimed (this morning) "This will be the best Christmas of my life!!" See you soon! 

Friday, December 12, 2008

The wisemen brought gold, and ...Frankenmuth (?), and myrrh. 

Frankenmuth is the German Christmas town 30 minutes north of us. They have the (as they claim) largest Christmas store in the world. I think it must be. They have it divided into zones so you don't get lost. 

Brinley now loves to pretend that our couch is the train on the "Polar Insprect." 

As I write down a few updates here the girls are watching "My Little Pony" the movie. So here I am. 

We are missing our ward's Christmas party right now. Alaina kicked-off the vomiting last night at midnight and Brinley joined in at 5:30 tonight. Why does Brinley always have to do whatever Lainie does. Anyway, I'm sure Santa is grateful that we spared his beard and lap of any early christmas treats...if you know what I mean. Hopefully they will both feel better by Sunday. They are supposed to sing a duet in Sacrament meeting for our ward christmas program. 

Isaac began officially crawling this week. He had to pass several time trials before I could make the public statement. He trained very hard and we are so proud of him for sticking with it. Maren is now trying to baby-proof any decorations below our knees. 

Maren and I went on a fun date last weekend. As a residency we have a new moonlighting position as the team physicians for a semi-pro (like minor leagues) hockey team. They are the Flint Generals. It was a blast. Free tickets to the game with great seats (and the best date) and I still got paid to do it.  I had to send two spectators with nasty injuries from two stray hockey pucks to the hospital, and treat one home team player for a bruised nerve. Not a bad deal. We became fans in one night. To those whose names we drew for christmas, we hope you all like hockey jerseys. :)

We send you all our most heartfelt Merry Christmas wishes. We are so blessed and grateful to have such wonderful friends and family.  
The Higbees
Putting up Christmas decorations is more than worth the while and the work and the mess when you see the excitement on little faces. The girls were asking for 3 days to put up the nativity scenes. The most anticipated moment is the placing of the baby Jesus in the nativity scene, and we have to keep close track of whose turn it is from year to year. We thought we'd have the girls explain the story of the first Christmas as they put up each piece this year. It was really fun! 

Monday, December 1, 2008

Our guest for Thanksgiving: Old Man Winter

Happy Thanksgiving to all! After a snowy Turkey Bowl football game with a surprisingly large group of fellow ward members we had a very delicious and filling dinner at Ryan and Judy Leonard's home with several other families. I think I counted 13 children there. The Leonards are brave. Someone brought macaroni and cheese (a local tradition) and, of course, that was more than okay with our girls! It went so smoothly and we had a great time. Wish I could say the same about our preparations to get there. I went to grab my shirt from the dryer as we were leaving, and found that a pen had exploded in the dryer and left ink all over an entire load of clothes. Maren quickly went to work spot spraying with Spray and Wash, and placing those clothes to soak in water. As she did that I loaded the 3 kids into the car and got the 2 pies and a super good raspberry fruit salad (Judy introduced us to) that Maren made for our contribution.  Isaac was upset at that point so I went back to see if I could quiet him down. I had left that yummy raspberry salad  on the middle console in the front. Suddenly I saw movement in my peripheral vision and quickly grabbed the pan, saving it from toppling upside down (it was on its side when I caught it). Just as I was thinking that my quick reflexes had saved the day  a third of the surface of the raspberries and jell-o separated off and slid down in a sweet red avalanche of disaster onto the leather seat, continuing its trail of stickiness down to the carpeted floor of our Honda Pilot. I quickly shut the door and cursed the dessert for not holding it together under pressure.  Then, I grabbed towels from the laundry room (where Maren was still working away). I think she suspected I was having some difficulty based on my growls and moans. As I cleaned the red goop off the carpet, I heard Lainie mumble something under her breath. "What was that Lainie?" I asked.  She hesitantly replied, "Oh, I was just saying to myself that I don't think that was a good place to put that." Not the comforting words I had hoped for, but it made me smile for a moment in spite of myself and my misfortune. When Maren finished and we were on the road we began discussing the chain of events that had delayed our departure, and as happens, realized how humorous it all was. It's funny how we get so caught up in all the details of the Holidays, like whether or not the raspberry fruit salad has a complete covering of raspberry. Thank goodness for those moments we have to take a step away from the details and enjoy the spirit of it all. We have so much to be grateful for!
Below are some pictures of putting up our tree Nov. 29th. We bought a cheap 15$ tree from Home Depot since we are going to be in Idaho for Christmas. We were proud of our tree, until we got it home and realized it had a 30 degree curve in it and it wasn't really shaped like a christmas tree. Well, at least we haven't found any squirrels living in it. Oh, and Isaac was not dressed like Rudolph for the occasion. His orange nose appears to be storing carotene for the winter. I figure he's gonna have great vision. Below are also a few pictures from our backyard Dec. 1st with 5-6 inches of snow. Every school district around us, except for Lainie's,  called it a snow day. What dedication! 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Ikester

Last week was our yearly Orthopedic In-training exam. It's a large standardized test for all the orthopedic residents in the nation and we are all ranked by percentile. It always brings with it a small amount of stress and anxiety. One afternoon just before the test I was in that state and studying when I began to notice a little face appearing and disappearing from around the edge of my laptop screen. Isaac was getting a kick out of himself and his little act. He would hide, and then appear suddenly (and often with new food on his cheeks and chin) with a smile on his face. I guess he could see his dad needed a light moment. Thanks little buddy.

Just some going ons...

I called on Brinley to say the prayer two days ago. She thanked Heavenly Father for her day, and for the food, and told him that she loved her daddy, and mommy, and big sista and little baby brotha and asked that none of us tattletale (I'm trying to quit but Maren does it all the time) and then asked for his help in eating her good food (dinner). Just a little history - she had missed her "treat" 2 nights in a row after not wanting to eat her veggies first. She was so proud of herself for enlisting the assistance of the Omnipotent in earning a halloween candy before bedtime. Maren and I exchanged that amused parent look and went on with our dinner-eating. A few minutes later I noticed that Brinley still wasn't eating her dinner, but was watching our entry way. I asked what the delay was. "But I don't see him, yet, daddy," was her reply. "See who?" (and then I realized) "Heavenly Father, daddy, I don't see him yet. Where is he?" ...I have to pause and say that at the time it was a sweet moment, and a good opportunity to teach, but now in sharing the experience I appreciate it so much more. I suppose those moments where I think I am doing such a good job as a dad, like instructing my little one on the nature of God and his methods of answering our prayers, it is really that sweet child that has taught me the definition of pure faith. Anyway, I didn't want to get all wordsy or make a futile attempt at being insightful, I am just thankful to be a dad.

Lainie sang her solo in Sacrament meeting today. As she sat up there during the opening of the meeting she repeatedly made eye contact with me and gave me here full on smile and wink. It was so obvious and everyone kept looking at me to see if I was seeing it. I was sitting there with a full bullfrog in my throat, hardly able to breathe (I was so nervous FOR her) .  I felt like I was going to be singing. And then she got up to the podium and looked at me (Maren was seated behind her with the primary) and sang the first line of the song to here daddy with that wonderful smile. She sang it out clearly and perfectly, absolutely nothing more beautiful to daddy's ears! Again, I'm so lucky to be a dad (and grateful that Lainie inherited Maren's musical abilities)

Isaac bit my finger today and poked me in the eye. Ha! He really is a little boy. He thought both were pretty funny, too. He gives us "five" now and enjoys clapping his hands, has started a little scoot thing (taking his time with mobility like his sisters), playing peek-a-boo, and of course still bounces or rocks constantly. He's a joy to be around unless he's hungry (and then it's more of a duty thing).

Other hi-lights from the week: It snowed here today, and it's supposed to snow more tonight. I'm hoping for one more good day this november because two days ago I started mowing the lawn for one last time (maybe more to pick up the 7 tons of leaves dispersed over every inch of our grass and flower beds) and it started raining so I have a half mown lawn. Looks real good. I was asked to stand in as Kylan Peterson (Danette) conferred the Aaronic priesthood on his son, Keion. Keion is a great kid, and it's good to have him in our young men's program. Danette was called into the young women's presidency and I laughed that this is the fourth YW presidency I've seen called since I began serving in the young men's here. Oh, and yesterday I had a few friends over for a little Madden Football afternoon. Maren even made cinnamon rolls for us so we could get our controllers all sticky :) they were yummy!

Maren has got me helping with a neat new little craft project - a little thing she learned from Sara Pullins, a good friend here and wife to one of our current ortho interns (Micah). I shouldn't have bragged to her about all the sewing I do in the operating room. It's bad enough that I'm the blogger in this relationship, but now I'm making crafts, too?! Sorry, I better go, I gotta go find where I put my man card.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

John Williams: An Acapella Tribute

I just found this fun link on a friend's facebook. If you want to listen to it you will have to turn off the music on the right side of the screen. Enjoy! -M

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Two Princesses and their handsome prince ....SKUNK?!

 In keeping with tradition our girls decided to attend our ward Halloween party as...(bet you could never guess)...princesses. Lainie went as a beautiful wood-fairy princess, and Brinley as the more traditional Cinderella. They were both stunning to their father (and their mother did a wonderful job on their hair and accessories) despite my anxieties over them wearing makeup. I had tried to convince Maren that Isaac should go as the girls' prince charming, but turns out she purchased a costume for him last halloween while he was yet in the womb. I was skeptical of it, until I put it on him. He made the most handsome SKUNK I've seen. It was so funny to see him, because the outfit is bulky, hot, round, and has a hat that covers his entire head, but he absolutely loved it. He squealed with delight as I put it on, did his rocking-out excited spasm deal after I was done, and was content in it for the next 4 or 5 hours until I took it off. He never even acted like he was going to pull off the hat. The rest of our family just sat and laughed at him (actually WITH him) for the night. I hope he is always such a good sport. We took a few pictures before the party. They are a little blurry but at least show the outfits. 
One of the mothers in the ward, who has a son that is in Lainie's primary class, approached me during the party. She told me that her son tells her often that he would really like to marry Lainie when he is older, but is frustrated because Lainie tells him that she is going to marry her little brother. Funny how that makes me feel so good for now,  isn't it?! I hope she at least always feels like her brother is a decent guy :)
After the party, I was tucking the girls in (hi-light of my days) when Brinley asked my why I didn't dress like her "Handsome Prince Charming".  Rather than break the news to her that her dad is neither handsome nor charming, I told her that I just didn't have a costume. She answered that she was going to make me a costume. She said, "and I will put pictures on it of princes, and ....horses .... and ... BASKETBALLS! .... and ... SHOES! ... and ... JACKETS! ... and ... BALLS! ... and... ROLLERCOASTERS!" Apparently she has overheard Maren claiming that I really like jackets and shoes. I was so impressed at her thoughtfulness about things her Daddy likes. I can't wait to wear my Prince Charming outfit. 
Maren is not pictured here (as usual she was snapping all the photos) but she made a pretty stunning black cat. I have not, in the past, considered myself to be a "cat-person," but I gotta say....well...maybe I should just leave it at that :)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Recent videos continued

My mom has always laughed at how, at a very young age, I loved to sit and rock in our wooden rocking chair. Apparently an affinity for rhythmic induced hypnosis runs in the family. Isaac is cuckoo for rocking, and he doesn't need to be in the chair, either. He is just as content to go into a violent rocking frenzy while sitting on the floor, in someone's arms (beware of head-butts), or my favorite, sitting in his booster seat while eating. When that one happens he  almost tips the entire chair over and usually ends up with food in his eye. He has taken my skills to a whole new level, and I must say, I am proud of him. 

Recent family videos

Isn't video such a great invention. I just had the hankerin' to show a little bit more of Isaac's personality. He keeps US laughing and we are so blessed to have him for 8 months now. Since the blog won't allow several videos in the same posting I may have to create a few posts to share these photos

Monday, September 22, 2008


Fall is arriving here in Michigan.  It is beautiful to see the variety of trees as their leaves change color.  There are bright reds and yellows appearing daily.   There is a crisp feeling in the air.  Last weekend we participated in some fall celebrations, both applicious.  On Friday we went with some friends to Fenton Applefest.  It is like a fair with rides, cotton candy, apple-filled treats and games.  The girls and Dan played a gun-shooting game together and won.  The girls faces expressed great joy and pride as they each picked out a stuffed unicorn.  Brinley described hers as cuddly and "unicorny".  (Only appropriate, I guess)  On Saturday we were invited to a friend's family's home where they had apple trees.  They let us gather apples (yummy macintosh) and we watched and helped (a little) as they made apple cider, apple crisp, and applesauce.  They even let us take some of it home.  What a treat!!!  It was so fun for the girls to pick the fruit and watch it transform (or smash) into foods that we love to buy and eat.    Yesterday for Sunday dinner we had applecider and slushy pink applesauce with roast beef and bread on the side---- and oh yeah, applecrisp for dessert.  Lainie took great pride in the applecrisp made only from the apples she carefully picked and gathered.  By the way, has anyone heard of an apple called Mutsu.  It is DELICIOUS!  One of my new favorites.  In honor of our weekend and the upcoming presidential elections I am posting a gadget at the bottom of the blog where you can vote on your favorite apple.  I know it is difficult to choose one, but see how you compare to the majority of fellow bloggers. -M

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

First Day of Kindergarten

I'm experiencing technical difficulties with my page here. I guess the trouble is I lack technical abilities. So I will forego the descriptions of each picture and just say that Lainie was the most beautiful and excited kindergartner I've seen. She just completely owned that first day, and she had that look on her face from the moment she woke up. Glowing! I was able to get the morning off to take her with Maren, Brin, and Isaac. Maren and I felt almost silly hanging around after class began. (They allowed the parents to stay awhile for a sort of transition period) It was obvious that some of the children needed that time, but Alaina seemed to be in her element from the moment she sat down at the magna doodle table. In fact, Maren and I walked over to her a few times to say goodbye, and she just responded with a curt "bye" and that was it, back to making friends and doodling. I guess maybe that "transition" time was as much (or more) for the parents than some of those new little students. We were finally able to pull ourselves out the front door (Brin wondered why we were leaving Lainie behind) and make that long two block journey home. Maren and I were both taking long, deep breaths all the way. I definitely understood why she had to push back tears, she was losing her wonderful little friend and helper for half a day, five days a week. Lainie is easy to miss, for sure. I felt silly, though,  that I found myself also wiping the "burn" from my own eyes. I just had this image on repeat in my mind. It was of our little two year old Lainiebugs right after we moved into our new house. The neighbor kids were all congregating on our front yard to see who the new guys were. Alaina was basquing in her newfound popularity and then, out of nowhere, the thought came to her and she felt it important to share with her crowd. "That's my daddy, he is my prince charming!" The image still fills my heart to the brim with warm and fuzzy stuff (the neighbor kids weren't quite sure how to respond).  That image kept running through my mind, with one other thought. Was this the beginning of the end of all that sweet and innocent daddy loving. I know they are, but why do those days have to be numbered?? 
Ok, enough pouting, Lainie is the focus, not her poor dad. The truth is, I know she will always love me and be my sweet little girl, because that's just who she is. I love her soul! And she will be such a great kindergartner. Her mother has prepared her well! Below are pictures of her first day and some of her first day on the bus, too (the next day).  



Monday, September 1, 2008

We had some fun with the normally barely tolerable chore of family pictures this summer. It's so rare to have the whole family together on either side, and we were lucky enough to be together with everyone on both sides. First, for Kari's wedding with the Higbees, and then at the Beckstead Manor in Pocatello. Mom (Kristen) did such a great job of planning and coordinating it all. Dad (Rob) wasn't so sure about the green couch the photographer brought, but I think it looks great. Dad has been really interested in competitive shooting recently, and introduced us all to tactical shotgun shooting during our stay. We had to get the guns and have some theme pictures while we had the attention of the photographer.

The first thing Lainie did was get fresh mud from the pond on her clean pants. There was alot of bustle and an emergency tide stain pen was produced. 10 minutes later she had duck doo-doo on her pants. Wow, I was amazed.
I just wish we had videos of the adults trying to get the kids to smile (I'm sure I was the worst) . They are all smiles when they are doing what they want and then we dress them up and tell them to be still and stay clean and we expect them to keep on a smiley face. Oh well, they did a great job.

I've finally posted a video

Isaac is a lucky man to have two such affectionate sisters. They love to make him giggle. It's no wonder he is such a sweet mannered kiddo. 

Friday, August 22, 2008


(I wrote this blog a week ago, but better late than never)

I know Maren posted for Brinley's B-day last week and I'm so excited. This is now a joint venture and I'll see if I can just kind of fade into the background and have her take over with her more creative nature. I just found these recent photos that Maren took, though, and wanted to add them. I often just have to sit back in awe of this little girl and her spunkiness. How could one little girl get away with so much mischeviousness? She knows exactly what looks to give her daddy when she wants a little leniency (or a lot).  She does it all with giggles and her patented wrinkled-nose ear to ear grin and sparkly big brown eyes.  So many times I've walked in at 11:30 PM with the lights on and a slew of books piled around her while Lainie tries to sleep and she'll look at me with that smile, and ask, "ARE YOU MAD AT ME, DADDY?" (giggles) Well, I was...

She is a sweet, caring little sqirt, too. She was genuinely worried about me when we recently returned from vacation in Idaho. I was on call the following day and she kept asking Maren "where is my daddy?" When Maren explained I was at the hospital she became worried and asked over and over what was wrong with daddy. We had to remind her that I worked at the hospital :) Another thing I love about Brinley is her forgiving heart. She is always so quick to say "it's ok!" when accepting an apology from her older sister, even when she is in the middle of showing distress. She loves Lainie dearly. She is her older sister's little shadow and her echo, too. She brings such personality to our family and we couldn't imagine life without her. Thank Heaven for our little firecracker!