Monday, December 30, 2013

Date night

It seemed that the Littles needed some one on one time with Mom and Dad.  I figured a date night was in order, so suggested that one of us have dinner with one, then we would swap and have dessert with the other, in order to pay for only one outing.  When Jeffry returned from work this afternoon, he said that even our CRV with all wheel drive was slipping on the roads, so we needed to take a rain check, or go somewhere nearby.

Margaret was questioned on her dinner preference first; "Margaret, what would you like for dinner?"
"You just had an orange.  What would you like for a meal?"
Finally, she decided on pizza, and I went to question Jack.
"Spaghetti and meatballs.  But no sauce."

I went downstairs and announced to Jeffry; "The good news is that they can both get what they want at one restaurant which is nearby.  The bad news is that it's Olive Garden." (We ate there a lot when my parents first returned from Africa.)So, off we went.

The host greeted us with; "Table for four?"
"We're all eating, but we're going to split up, so two tables of two."
"Next to one another?"
"Preferably not, it's date night."

I'm sure they were a bit confused, but very happy to accommodate us.  I was seated with Margaret who bounced on her seat, crawled under the table and ate the chicken from my soup with her fingers. Jeffry and Jack's server was impressed with our plan and searched the restaurant for Margaret and I so she'd know where to deliver Jack when we were done with our entrees.  At least one staff who was not directly involved with us caught on to the unusual family and wondered if we were "speed parenting".  Shortly after Jack was walked over to me and Margaret was escorted to Jeffry, both kids needed to use the bathroom, one right after the other.

Overall, it was a lot of fun.  Probably more because we felt like we'd gotten parenting right tonight, and it was fun throwing the staff at Olive Garden for a loop.

Now to give our lovely young lady an evening out ......

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Sunday, December 8th, we played hookey from church.  Instead, we sang along with some songs on YouTube.  We also talked about how plants need sunlight, soil/food and water and how humans need those things too in Jesus, as He's the light of the world, etc.  We talked about the Christmas story including the Magi.  I asked Margaret if the Magi had GPS.  She said they didn't.  Leesha suggested they had OnStar.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Zig Zag

Poor Maggie.

She enjoys playing on a website called However, when she gets to Z, the video completely freaks her out. I was working away at my computer and hearing her do her thing on Cara's computer to my left. Then the video starts and she says something like "I don't like the zig zag girl." I said "What?" and look over. Maggie is not there! She is now on my right side, hiding from this video. Poor kid. She had to have me click on the next thing to advance the program. She wouldn't approach the computer!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween 2013

the Ninja and the Princess


camera fail (trying to take a picture of Jack, but camera facing the wrong way)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Found this in Jack's backpack yesterday...

Monday, October 14, 2013


In 3 weeks of her Pre-K program, Margaret has learned to spell "Margaret" - forwards and backwards.  She's also learned several short songs which she sings again and again.  They're cute the first few times ....

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Dad, there's no such word as "mens".

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

cappy cop

Jack, stop being a cappy cop.

... said Margaret when Jack made the same face she was making.

Monday, September 23, 2013


mom: Finish your breakfast, Mags...

Maggie: But when I eat it makes my tooth wiggle and it makes my body feel like turkey!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Jack and Leesha

Leesha went to a party with a friend in late July.  She got dressed up in my old banquet dress.  Jack was in the basement while she was getting ready, and came up to tell me something.  When he got to the top of the stairs, he stopped short and said; "Wow, Leesha, you look beautiful."  Just as innocent as can be.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Corn Flakes

"Maggie, what kind of cereal do you want?"


Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Maggie has made up a new word.

These raisins taste ungreatly.

  1. ungreat·ly  

    not good in any manner or degree.
    having a wicked or evil character; morally reprehensible: Thereis no such thing as a bad boy.
    of poor or inferior quality; defective; deficient: a bad diamond; abad spark plug.
    inadequate or below standard; not satisfactory for use: badheating; 
    Living conditions in some areas are very bad.
    inaccurate, incorrect, or faulty: a bad guess.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Warp speed ahead with Star Wars Legos

Some time ago:
Jack: "Live long and responsibility!" as he made a "Spock hand".

When I arrived home before Jeffry and the Littles this afternoon, there was a package waiting at the door.  I presumed it was the Star Wars Lego set Grandma Holly and Grandpa Steve had sent to Jack.  Quickly, I pulled out some post-its and made a short duty based scavenger hunt ...
Jack, put your shoes away, go get your blanket and pajamas, put your pajamas in the bathroom, go choose your books, look under your bed ....  Once he found the box, we all spent a little bit of time assembling the amazing new toys that he just loves.

Not wanting to leave Margaret out, I grabbed a puzzle we had in hiding and made her do similar chores to find hers.  She too was thrilled with the Disney Princess puzzle.

Kids were happy, kids had time with mom and dad after a busy day.  All is well.

Later this afternoon, as I'm stretching:
Margaret: "Mom, you didn't put Yoda on!"
Mom: ?
Margaret trots over to where I'm stretching and pulls out a Yoga DVD.  I hadn't put YOGA on.

Just a little Star Wars struck around here....

Friday, August 2, 2013


Maggie: "I have a square of them"

Translation: I have four of them.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Pinch Night- Blog It!

Jack: Dad, you have to blog this: Maggie said "It's as black as pinch night."

Dad: I think the fact that you said "blog this" is what I need to blog.

upholding an ancient tradition

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Maggie was telling me about church this morning.  At one point, she said; "I was so happy I almost burped in my pants."

"Burped in your pants?  How do you do that?"


Sunday, June 30, 2013

It went something like this

I woke up at 8 this morning and realized we all needed to get moving in order to leave for church around 8.45.  I got out of bed and called to the Littles; "Time to get up and moving sweethearts."

From Jack's room: silence.

From Maggie's room; "Mama, Jack is not a sweetheart.  I'm a sweetheart.  He's a son and I'm a sweetheart."

Friday, June 28, 2013

Didn't even break her momentum

The general gist of a conversation on the road this morning ...
Maggie is singing in her seat; "Da da de ..... Mom, what are those lines going across the street?  De Do ...."
Mom: "Those are power lines Margaret, they carry electricity."
Maggie: "Dom da dee ... okay mom ... doo dum...."

Sunday, June 23, 2013


"This is like World Storm I... instead of World War I!" - Jack Willis.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013


Dad: Sorry.
Jack: Why did you say that?
Dad: I just tooted and it's stinky.
Jack: Indeed. But I can hold my breath for a long time.

Lost at Half Price Books

Maggie has received a good deal of praise for the calm common sense she exhibited in her adventures at the Comic Convention (see Lost at the Comic Convention for that story).

However, it seems she might be trying that trick again, seeing how her actions benefited her before.

We were at Half Price Books. While shopping in these stores, our modus operandi is to use one of the Children's Area tables as a base of operation. From there family members are free to wander from one section, always returning to this base to check in. This is how we ALWAYS shop at HPB.

But, somehow Maggie got lost again.

From my point of view, over by the front end of the store, I overhear a staff member asking someone something like- "Your name is Maggie and you can't find your mom?" almost immediately followed by Cara saying "Maggie, what are you doing?"

What I think happened was Maggie was ready to get some more praise for being so clever. All she needed to do was go find someone with a name-tag. If she were really lost, all she would need to do is call out for mom. But they way we do our shopping and the size of the store, it's very unlikely she would actually get lost there.

toy horses

Maggie: Mom, can I bring my toy horses?
Mom: Sure.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Lost at the Comic Convention

Jack, Maggie and I met the Jankovich's for the spring comic convention. We also met Mike D there. This is becoming a tradition and I like that.

At one point Maggie got lost. Most of the time she was in my arms. Occasionally, I'd let her roam and she'd stay close. Or we'd quickly find her with one of our frequent kid-audits. One time we discovered she wasn't in sight. She was not here. She was lost. Jankoviches took off in search of her, Jack and I started to retrace our steps. There she was sitting in a chair talking with a lady, completely calm. Just patiently waiting to be found. The lady said Maggie approached her and said "I think I'm lost". Maggie sought this particular lady because she had a name-tag. Mom's training is- if you're lost, find someone with a name-tag or a mom (with other kids). That's exactly what Maggie did. The whole thing lasted for maybe 3 minutes.

Here are some pictures from the con...

At the MN State Fairgrounds
the Ghostbusters had Stark Industries gear
with Batgirl
Maggie holding her own against the competition for action figures

Sunday, May 19, 2013

For Grandma

In the van ...
Maggie; "When Jesus takes me up to Heaven, I'll choose right by Grandma."

As Maggie collects several items with handles, she tells me she's going on a trip.  I say; "My, you've got a lot of ika there."  ("ika" means "stuff" in Amharic, and has just been incorporated into regular Sorley vernacular.)

Maggie: "I"m going to an ika place; it's a store called ika."


This morning, Maggie was reading Nausicaa books with a blue-ish dress and a goofy owl winter hat. Add a squirrel and there you have it...

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

What's in a name?

Jeffry took the tag off of a new shirt, and gave it to Maggie.  She went outside and put it on the stroller, then informed Jeffry; "The tag is safely on the stroller where no birds can come by and scover it up."

Mom: "Maggie wash your hands and then we can read a couple of books."
Maggie: "Why a couple?"
"How many were you thinking?"
"I don't think we have that many."
"Wubbit four?"

There is a girl in his class that Jack has mentioned several times.  We're not sure if her name is Dinah, Diana, Donna or Dana.  Jeffry asked about her tonight, and we started going through the list of names.  Jeffry then suggested it may be a whole harem of girls.  From the other room, we heard Jack's "Ha ha!"

On a more serious note, this morning at Read and Run (Storytime and free gym at a nearby Library/Community Center), a handicapped boy was there who we'd not seen previously.  Maggie had trouble with this.  First, she stared, so I talked to her reminding her that Jesus loves him and that we need to love and be kind to him too, and that she shouldn't stare.  Then she clung to me the remainder of the time, even crying.  What are you to do in a situation like that?  I kept trying to reassure her that he was fine, that we needed to be friendly, that we shouldn't stare .... Yet, she seemed terrified.  I stuck it out, just holding her the whole time.  I didn't know if I should leave due to her reaction, or so as not to make the boy and those with him feel badly, as though they hadn't noted that the gym was sparsely populated already.....  Such a challenge...

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Princess Leia shirt

that's what she calls it



Tuesday, April 9, 2013


The Littles got in BIG TROUBLE the other day for taking the little garden lights out of our next door neighbors yard.  We made them write apologies and deliver those along with the lights to her door.

Maggie, feeling she hadn't done quite enough with her picture, asked how to spell "sorry"  Here's what she wrote as I spelled it out for her ....


"R."  "I don't know how to do "R."  "Look at the alphabet on the door." (Maggie proceeds to sing or at least say the whole alphabet until she locates the "R", then slowly copies it down.  Twice.


"SORRY" by Maggie, age 3 years, 9 months.

Monday, April 8, 2013


Jack reading to Maggie, Maggie playing with Jack's hair.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Black Sheep

Jack was wondering how warm it was outside, so he stepped out the door.  Upon his return to the table, he reported that it was; "as warm as a 3 minute baked pie."

Margaret is into recasting characters from movies or shows.  She'll have 4 bears and name them "Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy", etc.  This afternoon, she was casting us in Star Wars.  "Daddy is Darth Vader, I'm Leia, and you're a zombie."  (Huh?)

One of her mispronunciations: "suvvy" = fuzzy.

Discman fail

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Time Out

for her critters until Maggie is done with her school work. Tears were shed.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter at Sorley's


Grandma reads Hans Christian Andersen (unedited). The kids were not scarred.

Crazy photo time just before we left.

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