Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Starfall.com

I just wanted to tell all of you about a learning-to-read website called starfall.com
It is great for kids anywhere from 3 to 7. It's completely free and the kids can do it all on their own or with adult supervision. Emmy has loved it since the day we found it. Give it a try!

starfall.com

Thanks everyone for the support. Joel says I've been in a funk lately- I don't know if that's the case or not, but sometimes this life just wears me down, even when I'm doing my quiet times and excercising. The last couple of days have been slightly better. I need to figure out a schedule for us or something- the kids seem to be aimless in their playing. Denali is not learning to play as well as Emmy did. I don't know if that's because I am less involved in playtime or because he really doesn't want to do anything I suggest- he just wants to follow his sister and she's 2 1/2 years ahead of him in development.

It's so stinkin' hot outside. It's hard to get us all out there and active because of the heat. I start to get braindead from all the a/c air coming through our house all the time.

I need to do some more laundry. I also need to get the cataloguing supplies from church but I really am not motivated to drive a 1/2 hour to get them.

Joel and I desperately need a date.

Sorry, this has been another grumpy post. Let me list 5 great things while I'm here.

1. I got to visit Amy today and the kids played together so well.
2. I read some really good books for 8-12 year old girls that I bought for the church library. It's the Faithgirlz series about Sophie.
3. I'm getting ready for my mother-in-law to come. We're going to finish off the master bedroom and bathroom. Finally there will be no more peach.
4. The campground we checked out this weekend was really nice and fun and we will probably go there for the Fall church camping trip.
5. While there we got to see some good friends that moved a year ago. Their kids are growing up so nicely!
6. My other friend Shannon is about to have baby #2 any day now and I'm so excited for her.
7. Joel washed my car for me the other day.
8. I got to buy my fancy bread the other day and it tastes so good! I think man could live on bread alone if it was Great Harvest Cinnamon Chip bread.
9. I played my violin for the kids last week at VBS and they were really impressed. I'm almost tempted to take it up again.
10. Did I mention Shannon's about to have a baby? Yay!

There. That's a better way to end.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

For once the outside is cooler than the inside this morning. That doesn't happen often in June. We've got the door open to appreciate it.

Kids are still sleeping.

Sorry for the sad post yesterday. Monday just went on and on.

Today will be better.

Especially if I don't eat any candy bars.

Watched a House episode about babies who caught a virus after they were born at the hospital. I am so grateful I never have had a NICU baby or even a major illness with those kiddos. They are in general very healthy.

We put up more holds on the rock wall for Emmy but she still won't put her feet any higher than her own height.

Denali is learning how to jump off of things. He thinks it's great fun.

Cleaned my purse with clorox wipes after reading what nasties women can collect on them from setting them in bathrooms and other yucky places.

Tried to avoid doing any book cataloguing but couldn't help myself.

Our tomato plants are still setting blooms. It's crazy.

All right. I gotta go eat something.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Wow.

It is really SO NICE to have free time again.

I got to go to the gym and work out, at the conclusion of which my dear 4 year old threw an enormous fit.

I get to clean the kitchen so it doesn't smell like puke anymore.

I have time to do all the stinky laundry which has been accumulating over the course of a week.

I have time to play with the darling children who can't even sit together at the table without making me want to scream at them to stop fighting.

Staying home with them is a blessing, right?

They'll be better for it, right?

I don't want a real job because it will be hard to be a mom and a career gal at the same time, right?

So if all of this is true, why do I just want to run away?

Friday, June 23, 2006

Sorry

Sorry about not updating for so long. This week has been VBS and I have been super-busy with that. Every night I go to bed exhausted and every night I wake up exhausted. But I wanted to share this. Last night in the bath Emmy farted and of course bubbles came up. She thought that was hysterical and happened to be able to do it some more. I actually laughed and she told me that every time she made bubbles I should laugh. It was pretty cute.

Now off to VBS preparations!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Texas Thunderstorm

After so many days without rain my heart starts to shrivel up and dry out. Today it poured during my quiet time. As I sit here under a tin roof listening to the rain and thunder, every once in a while being startled by a close lightning strike, my heart starts to "thaw out" and plump back up. Now the rain is backing off a bit. I can hear the individual drops. Water gushing into our rain barrels, which I'm sure were full after five minutes. The doves have started back up with their cooing. The screens are too wet to see through, but earlier in the storm my favorite part was when the lightning lights up the air I could see the individual drops sheeting down instead of streams.

Half an hour after its beginning, the thunderstorm is on to other locales. Our sprinklers look like they're feeling sheepish for even trying to water last night. God does that so much better than we do. I splash out to check the rain gauge; 2 inches since last night at bedtime. Yes, the rain barrels are definitely full. I empty the wagon and stand it up on end so it won't get any more standing water.

This is how Texas is. We mostly act as though it could rain at any time. Car windows are rarely left down, even in the summer. We hardly ever leave things outside that would be ruined by the rain (although our neighbor has no such compunction). In May we were thankful that our cars sleep in the garage at night. No hail damage for us!

As the screens drip dry I see the clouds moving northeast. The darker lower ones creep left in front of the light gray clouds. All the bird have begun their day now, cataloguing their bug search or something similar. My one regret about where we live is that puddles don't collect. The area is too well-drained. Our kids have one puddle at the middle school and that's it. No skipping along the sidewalk to hop in all the puddles.

In Abilene we had the opposite problem. The rain has nowhere to go underground and so the streets and parking lots become rivers. Many times on a walk I would find myself wading in 6 or 8 inch water. It's fun until I try to drive somewhere and the engine floods.

Thank you God for the rain. My heart feels normal again.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Artsy






Yesterday while Denali was still napping Emlyn and I painted the 2 T-shirts that had been left over from her party. I did one for Denali and Emmy did one for a friend of hers. Then I decided to paint the garden duck I had bought. Then while the paints were in the palette, she and I went outside and I painted some of the border for my new flowerbed. I didn't think it was so hot when I was doing artsy things. So that is nice. I think I will paint over the red and blue and keep it purple, yellow, and green.

I am afraid I am acclimatizing to Texas after almost 10 years. I don't know whether I'm happy or sad about it. I would rather move to the cooler West coast, but on the other hand it's nice to not be so miserable in the summer. Last week I was at two houses without a/c, I went to the park or swimming or outside for extended amounts of time almost everyday, and now I don't notice it being so hot. Weird.

Today our expedition will be to McDonalds for playtime with friends.

Tomorrow we are leading an expedition to teach some people how to rock climb.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Loaves and Fishes

Two weeks ago I realized that we really didn't have much money to last until today (yay! it's pay day!). So I inventoried the kitchen pantry and refrigerator to see what we would eat. I rationed it out very specifically.

Then there was a request for food from a church member. I looked at my list and gave away all the food we didn't need to this other family.

As the two weeks have creeped on, I've learned some things.

1. It really is like the feeding of the 5000. At the end of this time, our freezer is still full of food, and we could ALMOST go another week! Some of it was blessed upon us, and we'd get really sick of brisket, but it could be done.

2. We don't eat enough veggies. We still have too many frozen veggies in the freezer. This tells me I need to cook more of them.

3. Cooking at home makes dishes. I've mentioned this before.

4. Cooking at home makes less trash. We've not had all those packages and bags from the restaurants. Our trashcan was less than half full. The weeks before it had been overflowing.

5. We are very blessed. Even when we ran out of milk, I was able to buy some more. And really, we could manage without shopping for a couple more days.

6. We can survive not eating out. We did go to a couple picnics, and ate out maybe 2 lunches, but all in all we did just fine.

Morning

New haircut and hanging out at the reunion.


Always posing for the camera.



The most beautiful mosaic table in Mexico. One day I will have something like this.



Well I got up and did my quiet time. I also set out 6 more edgers in the back. I was surprised to see clouds- hopefully we will get some rain this next week.

Do you have a Gameboy Advance? If so, I have an Incredibles cartridge for you absolutely free.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Papers

Well today I went to the Sprint store and asked for a new set of rebate papers. It was so quick and painless; I wish I had gone 3 weeks ago when I didn't know the papers were missing. I put the rebate stuff in the mail. We will have to wait 6-14 weeks to see if the $50 will be rebated (since we were late and stuff). I hope we eventually get the money back.

This afternoon I filed and filed and filed all the papers that had been making it difficult to find anything. It's amazing how nice everything looks. I got down to about 10 papers that I just didn't want to mess with.

The desks look so nice and clean. If I could get the copier to work we'd really be in business. I have a few things to copy. Also need some $$ so I can get some office supplies for filing.

Maybe I'll take a picture so you can see how pretty it all is...

This post is not about phone papers.

Over the weekend we got to drive up to Killeen for a family reunion. This was from my mom's dad's side of the family. I knew about half the people (there were around 50-75 there). 6 of my mom's siblings were there. Not as many first cousins of mine, but that's not surprising because we are all growing up and moving to far off places.

The drive up was horrendous. Denali screamed a high pitched scream for the full hour. He was tired and hungry because I had unwisely put off lunch until we got there, and in fact was almost inconsolable by our arrival time. Luckily he ate some watermelon and then felt better. It was so out of character for him to do that.

I got to sing about 20 old hymns with some relatives. At our new church we don't do old hymns as much, and we certainly don't sing them a cappella, so it was nice to do that. It meant I had to ignore my kiddos, but luckily Grace and Joel were both there to do kid duty.

After the reunion we went to a church picnic. The brisket there was the best I've ever had. I've never been impressed with brisket, mostly because the cut is usually not good and it gets slimy quickly (I don't eat BBQ sauce). But this brisket was delicious even w/out the sauce. Yum! It got eaten so quickly there wasn't any left for seconds.

Denali loved the bubble machine. Emmy loved being able to take her lawn chair and sit anywhere on the church lawn, even with her friends. Joel and I enjoyed the fellowshipping and worshipping.

Yesterday I got to go to a meeting for summer church camp. It took 2 hours and we unfortunately don't have much of a budget or manpower, so it's going to be hard work. The camp is next week.

Today is another meeting. Yay. I could, technically, have said no, I don't want to do this, but it's all about reading and the children's library here at church and the outreach storytime. If you know me you know it's impossible for me to turn down anything that has to do with reading. So there ya go. They roped me in.

I also really need to go to the gym. I have been like once this entire month. Hopefully I can get it together enough to go before my meeting.

And I really want to hang with Amy. Don't know when that will happen!


Emmy has discovered that she likes omelets. So I think that is what we will have for breakfast.

We haven't eaten out in like 2 weeks. Amazing. I am getting really sick of dishes and cooking.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Things I Have Found While Looking for the #$% Papers

1. Emmy's red shoe
2. Emmy's mermaid
3. Emmy's hairbrush
4. The Sims guidebook (man I love that game)
5. The unopened manual for the previous cell phone
6. Denali's little red car
7. A Dora flashcard
8. Some user manuals to items we don't own anymore
9. Numerous papers that need to be filed somewhere
10. NOT my phone papers!

Still no Papers

I know you are all sick of these papers so I won't go into much detail, but they are still lost.

Hope they are not in the round file.

Too hot again today. Hoping for some rain.

Gonna go trash my brain with mommy TV.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Help Wanted / Thursday Thirteen

Come on guys. You aren't helping me here.

Tell me where the phone papers are!

I know you know.

Just throw out a couple ideas.

====
Thursday Thirteen: Random statements about my life.

1. The dentist went tolerably well. The kids need more help when they brush their teeth- we didn't have any cavities but Emmy's gums were swollen.

2. My house is getting cleaned today by a professional. Someone who cleans houses all the time and really has a handle on how my house needs to be cleaned. ME. That's right, cleaning again! What a surprise!

3. Our tomato plants are doing great. I need to post some more pics of our garden. I know you all care.

4. Today I am getting a massage. I've subscribed to this once a month club because then I actually go once a month and I think it does more for me than the chiropractor did. So that $$ just goes to a massage (and I like it more). Hopefully they won't care that my legs are hairy.

5. I ate oatmeal and hot chocolate for breakfast, and now I'm hot! What a surprise there.

6. The dentist I went to yesterday said I had no cavities and was pretty decent, but then it turned out they are out of network for our insurance. So instead of 100% coverage, we only get 80%. I guess I will be finding a new dentist for myself.

7. I don't know how to clean Joel's Camelbak, but it's getting yucky. I guess I need one of these.

8. Denali went up the stairs, got his toothbrush, and came back down all before I noticed he was gone. Thank God he didn't fall down those stairs.

9. Every two minutes yesterday, for hours on end, I had to say "no" and take Denali off of innumerable things he shouldn't be on. It's like a game or something, except I really do have other things I need to be doing.

10. We have small group at our house tonight. I need to vacuum and sweep and clear off the dining table. There's a sewing project on it currently. The problem is I really want to finish the project.

11. I wish it would rain. It's officially summer here and 95 every day gets old really quickly.

12. I only got up once during the night and it wasn't for too long. I feel better than I have in a week.

13. I haven't been to the gym yet this week. Why am I paying for the membership again?

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Lord, please help my children's attitude adjust in the next 2 hours.

I warned the dentist that they were grouchy, and they said "bring it on!"

So here we go, off to the dentist, with 2 grouchy kids.

Great.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

LOST

Lost-
16 tickets to baseball games. Worth: not much
Rebate forms from Sprint. Worth: $50-150

I am normally not a person who loses things. My brain has imploded though and this is two things in two months. Argh.

Anyone have a message from God telling me where the stuff is?

EDIT: Found the baseball game tickets. In the folder marked "charities who want our money."
The phone stuff is still missing. I don't even know what it looks like.

Monday, June 05, 2006

:)

In the last week we have drastically reduced our eating out. I'm sure this is just temporary, but let me just be happy for a minute. From 5/22 to 5/29 we ate out 10 times! From 5/30 to 6/5 we only ate out twice. Part of the issue with the previous week was that we were in Mexico and it's awfully hard to cook there, but really. 10 times in a week? And this week only twice. It's cheaper and more healthful. Unfortunately it's also much more messy. We are overflowing in our trash and dishes. I have to run the dishwasher every day to keep up. And after last night (paprika chicken, chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and gravy) I think all of my dishes are dirty. Of course last night we had two guests, but still. Maybe I can take some trash to my friend's trash can. They are out of town...

So yeah. Cooking is messy and tiring. But I think it's worth it.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Camping and Ice Chest Junkie


I realized I never talked about our camping trip on here.

We went to Krause Springs, an hour's drive west of Austin. There are springs that run all year long, even in drought, so they have made a spring-fed swimming pool similar to Barton Springs, although smaller. That part is cool. Literally. Low 70's water all year long. Then down at the actual river there is more swimming, although since it's natural, it's not as safe a place for little kids.

They have multiple meadows for improved camping (showers, flushing toilets, etc) and a beautiful butterfly garden.

We had a great time. We went with our church group and joined up on meals. Probably the most annoying thing was the loud group next to us, but have you ever gone camping where there wasn't a loud group? There was a cute little spring right next to our area, so the kids coupld play there all day.

In the heat we gave Denali some ice cubes and created an ice chest junkie. Every two minutes he wanted to open someone's ice chest and steal ice out of there. It was hysterical.

While there we found out that Emmy is indeed still allergic to swimsuits. Our hypothesis is that she is allergic to the latex thread used on the arm holes, borders, etc. This poses a problem. We will either have to search online for some fancy ones without that thread, or I will have to sew our own, or she will have to wear something that is not actually a swimsuit.

I still like camping. We did not get any rain and it was not exceedingly hot either. I will be going back.

Time to serve breakfast.