Thursday, December 11, 2008

Celebrity book signing

Kate Gosseling did a book signing at our store last night. She said it was the biggest turn out she's EVER had! It was fun AND very exhausting for everyone.

**Look for me to walk right past at about 3:55. Whoops!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Hillmans!

Here's our e-card for 2008. I hope you enjoy it!

Peace be with you,
Jesse & Rachel, Ambrose, Alex, and Athan Paul

Friday, November 7, 2008

You know you're a mom when: find yourself daydreaming about a minivan (pictured above).

I'd like to daydream about this VW, but I think it's only available in Europe. Isn't it cute?!:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Leaves are for playing in!

We raked leaves in the backyard for the sole purpose of jumping in the pile & throwing them all around! Oh yeah, and burying each other under them--that was fun.

Monday, November 3, 2008

If only...

It reads: "You have erned A Week in new york! (smiley face)

On Saturday, Ambrose told me that this letter had arrived for me in the mail. He's so sweet.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Question of the day

"Mommy? Do you ever feel sorry that you have to take care of 3, well 4 really, boys every day?"


I had to answer him as honestly as I could, it's my duty as his Mother. I told him "I am NEVER sorry, or sad that I have to take care of my boys. I love you all so much and wouldn't want it any other way. I ever feel tired and need a break? Sure. Everyone needs a break sometimes from their job."

"Yeah, I understand that." -Ambrose

I hope he walked away knowing that I have no regrets when it comes to taking care of my FOUR boys. More than anything, I want my children to always know they are a valued part of my life, something I didn't have growing up.

FYI: This question didn't come up during an 'exhausted mommy moment', it was COMPLETELY out of the blue during a wonderful day we were having.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween's not complete without a candy thief...

Awww...Athan, why are you in the corner?

Because Alex ratted him out!
(His stash was under the couch!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

The Blue M&M, Buzz Lightyear (for the 4th year in a row!), and firefighter hope you had a fun Halloween.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Best friends are we, my brother and me

Last night's bunkbed conversation in the dark (I was listening on the steps):

Athan: Alex, I is scared of the dark. Will you protect me?

Alex: Yes. I will protect you.

Athan: Good. Cuz last night I did see a monster in mommy and daddy's room and it was really big and scary.

Alex: You did?

Athan: Yes.

Alex: Well, I will protect you.

Athan: Fanks (Thanks).

Alex: You're welcome.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Straight to my heart

"You is my best mama." -Athan

He's been saying this to me all week whenever I do something for him or he's just feeling lovey. Melts my heart every time.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kitty...or little lion?

To put into perspective how big our cat REALLY is Gus next to our 3 year old.

Friday, September 26, 2008


Today I celebrate 29 years of life.
10,585 days lived. I feel blessed to have each and every one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Glad I was listening

When I picked Ambrose up from school, his hand was bloody where he somehow stabbed his palm with a pencil. I asked him what his teacher said after it happened...

"She told me to go in the bathroom and wash my hands with soap & water. But I told her that soap will lower my white blood cell count!"

I would have loved to have seen her face when she heard his response :)

Another one...
"You want to try my glasses on, kid?"
-Athan to Alex in the backseat of the car, referring to the Harry Potter glasses he was wearing.

Friday, September 19, 2008


The boys LOVE going to the library. Lately, Ambrose & Alex have been getting comic books--specifically Batman or Superman, but sometimes Garfield. Athan does puppet shows for us while we're reading our books--the puppets usually end up eating the stage, which makes his brothers laugh like crazy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ninja Class

This is the ninja headquarters. It's guarded at all times.

Ambrose (the instructor)

Alexander (the muscle)

Athan (the negotiator)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vaccines for the whole family!

It's sort of a long story, and some of you may have heard it already, so I'll just sum it up in 1 sentence:

We awoke to a bat flying in our bedroom and per the Gov't Health Dept., we are all going through the rabies vaccination process because there's no real way to tell if a bat has bitten you when you're sleeping and no way to know if the bat had rabies unless you physically have the bat tested.

So...we have to head to the E.R. (the only place that administers it) a total of 5 different times over 3 weeks. We have had #1-3, so only 2 more to go!! The boys have been such good sports about the whole thing--probably because they know they'll get a sparkle band-aid & candy!

Ambrose taking his turn to entertain us while we wait in a tiny E.R. room
*photo courtesy of Alex

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Angry Ambrose quotes

When Ambrose gets mad, it's entertaining to see the ways & words he comes up with to inform you. Here are 2 JUST from today (he gets angry a lot):

Ambrose (in a very sweet voice): Mommy, what day is it today?

Me: It's Thursday today.

Ambrose (in a low growl): Well...I HATE Thursdays. (storms off)

(Ambrose has stormed off after being told he needs to clean his room. He returns a few minutes later with the book Jesse and I gave him for Kindergarten Graduation)

Ambrose (in the sweet voice): Mommy, what do these last 3 words say? (pointing to the handwritten inscription on the inside cover)

Me: It says "We love you"

Ambrose (in the grumpy growl): Too bad that's not true!! (storms off again)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

We might be song writers...or not

The boys and I were feeling tired of the same old "baby songs" (Ambrose says), so we made our own "Twinkle, twinkle" rendition:

Twinkle, twinkle little car
Can you drive us very far?
Across the roads watch our for toads.
And when it's clear look our for deer.
Twinkle, twinkle little car
Can you drive us very far?

Also...I received this compliment from Ambrose after I drew a picture of an alien car for our song-- "Wow, mom, you draw pretty good for a woman."

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New backyard fun...thanks to Daddy

Jesse not only assembled the swing set (thanks Dad & Jan!) last weekend,
he also made the boys a tepee!

Friday, August 8, 2008

What a silly group of people...we belong together

Last night was the annual company picnic for Jesse. It was loads of fun and the only regret we have is not taking video of Alex driving the go karts--he was a natural.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Reliving the white dress

Friday night. My wedding dress. Folding laundry. Doing dishes. Checking email. Is that so bizarre?

EXPLANATION: We had a midnight release party for Breaking Dawn at Barnes & Noble (the 4th book of the Twilight Series). In this book Bella and Edward are to be married, so I decided I would take my wedding dress out of the box after 9 years and wear it to the party as Bella. It was a lot of fun and I'm just pleased to say that I can wear my wedding dress after 9 years of marriage and 3 children.The store was packed. We sold 500+ copies that night.

Highlight of the evening: Meeting Taylor Lautner who plays Jacob Black in the upcoming Twilight movie (Dec. 12)! He's super sweet & stayed to sign everyone's books (until 2:30am).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Farm day observations

Every Tuesday we head to the CSA farm to pick up our vegetables. This week we were able to pick a quart each of cherry tomatoes & beans in addition to our 2 bags of yummy veggies. The boys and I headed out to the fields and picked our share--only to eat them ALL before we got home ;) It's wonderful to have my children eat handfuls of food that THEY just picked.

On the way home, Ambrose let me in on his observation for the day:
"So I guess there are 2 kinds of grocery stores, a fresh one (the farm) and a not-so-fresh one (the regular store). I like the farm best because you get the food right when it's picked--there are no trucks, stores, boxes, or lots of people touching it before you get it."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Glad I was Listening" --to Jesse

"It would be so easy to publish books if it wasn't for authors."

-Jesse's comment upon arriving home after a hard day (apparently) in the publishing industry

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

It's game time!

Friday at 5:30pm we got a call from my sister telling us she had a regular customer in who happened to have 4 free tickets to that night's 7pm Whitecaps game. We had already been trying to come up with something fun to do with the kids that didn't take a lot of energy and this seemed to be the answer. We jumped in the car & headed to the restaurant to pick up a to-go pizza & the tickets. It was a great night out.

We all had a great time eating snow cones, cotton candy, and taking pictures of the baseball players.

Best quote of the evening comes from Alex. Right in the middle of the game he turns to me with a sad face and asks, "Mom, didn't you bring ANY books for us to read?"

The view from our seats. (Photo courtesy of Alex)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Fresh Ink

My sister & I got matching tattoos this week, except that hers is pink & mine is orange (no picture of us together yet, sorry). I'm so happy with the way it turned out.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Remembering Andrew Widman (1978-2008)

For the past day, my wife and I have been walking around the house, bleary eyed, mourning for our friend, Officer Andrew Widman, who died earlier this morning after being shot responding to a domestic dispute in Ft. Myers, FL.

I met Andy on my first day of class at seminary in September 2001. I remember sitting down next to him—at that time he had long, hippy-like hair and I thought he looked like the type that knew his Latin.

In October 2001, my mom died after a long struggle with MS. It was Andy’s encouragement that ultimately kept me in school. I remember sitting in Andy’s kitchen talking things through. At the time, I wanted to run from school but he really grounded me. At least for me, a close relationship was forged on that day.

Over the next two and a half years, he would be my closest friend on campus. Only rarely did a day go by that we did not see or talk with each other. Both our families left school in 2003, and as a result our contact was less frequent, limited to the occasional phone call, email, and Christmas card. I still counted him as one of my very closest friends, the kind of person that will forever fill a spot in your life. I hope I get the opportunity to someday share with his kids just how special he was.

Andy was a huge film buff and had a sharp eye for up-and-coming actors and directors. I remember watching some of my favorite movies after getting his recommendations. He and I (along with our wives) probably watched 50 movies together during the years we lived close to each other. Now that I think back, I remember watching a lot of “cop movies” together, Heat, Die Hard (I think), and others. Andy hated The French Connection, a story of crooked cops. It seems appropriate now, perhaps a foreshadowing of the great police officer he would become later in life.

Andy introduced me to kimchi; countless books; The Lobster Trap (a local dive with free pool and cheap beer on Tuesdays); good Thai food; the game Axis & Allies. I could go on and on and on with the many happy memories that come to mind.

To me, he was the epitome of what a Christian should be. He had a deep love for all people and took his faith seriously. He let the Bible be what it was; he did not try to tame it or, though it may be convenient, fit it into a nice, tight theological system. He had a profound influence on my own faith.

O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our brother Andy. We thank you for giving him to Susanna, his family, and to us, his friends, to know and to love as a companion. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with Andy; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

—Jesse Hillman

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A favorite moment

Sometimes Paulie crawls into bed with me when Jesse leaves for work. We snuggle and then he falls back asleep for a little while longer. It's after this short slumber that one of my favorite moments occurs. Here's a glimpse of what it's like to wake up to those big green eyes.

Monday, July 7, 2008

New toys for the road trip

We bought the boys each an iPod Shuffle before shuffling off (sorry) to Ohio last weekend. We loaded up numerous kid songs, along with Nickel Creek & the Beetles and then showed them how to use the iPods. It was the quietest road trip EVER!

Here are a few shots with them before we opened them:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A complex relationship

"Want to play?"


Monday, June 23, 2008

Glad I was listening

The 3 amigos are riding in the backseat of the car (Alex is in the middle). Athan and Ambrose roll their windows down when Athan turns to Alex and says, "Alex, roll your window down!"

Alex replies, "I not have one window."

Athan demands, "Then open your mouth!"

So Alex rode for a while with his mouth wide open.

**UPDATE for the last post: Ambrose lost BOTH teeth on the same day (June 16)!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Rites of passage for Ambrose

Kindergarten graduation -- Class of 2020

First loose teeth (2 of them!)

(the 1st big tooth coming through!)