Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Happy Happy!!!

First, I got to spend some very special time with Amy and Ruth Ann and Amy's mom today. That was great.

Second, my mom is on the airplane as we speak. She will be here this afternoon and for almost 2 weeks to watch my kids while Joel and I are in Las Vegas.

Third, my friend Shannon is coming on Sunday to visit. I haven't seen her in a few months.
Fourth, I have exercised and done my Bible study 8 days in a row. Even when I'm really tired.

Can you see my cup is running over?

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday's Tip

When the kids, over the course of a week couple of days, keep mentioning a banana even though you know you haven't had bananas in a week couple of days, GET UP RIGHT AWAY and investigate.

'Nuff said.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

More things I finished

Happy Earth Day! I'm so glad I got to work outside today and enjoy God's earth.

Yesterday turned out to be a really productive day. Along with the quilt I also planted a bunch of plants from my neighbor, babysat 3 extra kids for a few hours, and traded bunches of toys out for the kids.

Then today was church. I left the kids in class during two services so I could attend service one and then garden in my plot at church. I weeded, added some plants from my neighbor, watered, checked up on the ones I planted last week, and then mulched. The bed is probably 6 feet by 20 feet. It's the length of two parking spaces, so whatever that is. I had to enlist help with the mulch because I used 5 bags and it could have taken another 3. I asked some middle school girls to help me and though they don't like to get their hands dirty they helped me anyway.

After church as I was getting home someone knocked on the door and asked if they could take our old fence material that's out in the gutter. I said "sure! but it's so old and nasty- it's not really good for much. Matter of fact, I have a bunch of extra, new, fence material in the garage. Why don't you take that as well?"

They were so blown away by the offer of (10) bags of concrete, (8) fence posts, and (4) 16' fence rails. They were very grateful and said any time I wanted some work done around the house they'd be happy to help me in return. I was happy because I didn't have to arrange for someone to take it to the Habitat for Humanity Restore. I have a feeling they won't be back for the old fence stuff, but that's okay. I have faith it will go away somehow.

I left just enough material for Joel to finish off the fence. It's so close to being done! I'm really looking forward to parking in my space in the garage again.

Later in the afternoon I went out and worked on painting my garden border some more. It's been a work in progress for about a year, and it will hopefully look good when done. I only have one more color to paint, but I need more supplies. Since all my veggies are now planted in the wildflower/veggie bed it's looking really filled in and nice.

Speaking of which I have got to put out the tomato guards tonight. So signing off!

EDIT: Made and installed the tomato guards.

What's a tomato guard?
When you plant tomatos you have to be careful of cutworms. They will just eat the tomato plant at the base and there you go. Done.

So what my neighbor taught me is a countermeasure. Take a 2 liter bottle, or a juice bottle, or gatorade. It should be about 5-6 inches in diameter and clear plastic. Each bottle will make two tomato guards. Cut off the top and bottom so you have a long tube, and then cut the tube in half the short way so you have two short tubes (4-5 inches high). Bury that halfway into the soil, 2 inches above and 2 inches below, and put the tomato plant in the middle. This worked well for me last year. It took me about 5 minutes just now to make 4.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

I Finished It!

Today I made a blanket. It's not particularly special, or exceedingly pretty, but I finished it.

Almost 8 years ago Joel and I registered for linens. Since Joel grew up in Alaska, some of the requirements were:
a down comforter
flannel sheets

Now down comforters most often come in white, and then you buy a duvet cover to protect it or the rumor is some people just leave them white and are clean or something.

We bought a flannel duvet cover cause I thought they were required.

We hated the duvet cover. The blanket didn't stay put inside, and it was wrinkly, and a big pain to take on and off, and not only that, it was not even a good duvet cover. The fastenings at the top were regular shirt buttons (1 cm) and just right along the top. It was bad.

So we eventually just left the duvet cover in the closet and used the down comforter by itself.

We were given lots of quilts and blankets from Grandma Linda when she moved. One was very old and torn up. It was Joel's "soccer quilt." We had to throw it out eventually because it was so torn up. There were huge rips and tears in it.

Another one was a quilt on its way to being in very bad condition. Most of the top was just fraying and disintegrating. It was sad because I think it's handmade, and it was still warm.

About a year ago I decided to use the old quilt as a base for a new quilt, and put the duvet cover around it and sew it on. I didn't for a long time. I tried to hide the old quilt so it wouldn't get used because of its bad condition but it crept back into normal use.

Today I finally sewed them together. It was pretty easy, just being straight lines and all, and I have Grandma Linda's sewing machine, so that part wasn't hard.


When Joel gets back with the camera I will post some pictures of the finished product. I think it will work perfectly for a living room quilt.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Sick

We trucked over to playgroup at the park. All morning Emlyn had been saying "my tummy hurts. I think I'm going to throw up." But she hadn't yet, and I never can tell with her whether she's being overdramatic or not.

We walked to the playscape. Emmy said "I'm gonna throw up." I said "go over to the grass and do it." She did. We waited till another member of our group got there, told them the bad news, and now we're back at home. Emmy is proudly proclaiming that she's sick, that when people are sick they get to do whatever they want, including watching lots of TV, and that she gets to sit on the blanket.

What a fun day this will be,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Poor Son

At Ladies' Bible Class today, during lunch, one of the caretakers came up and asked me if Denali was staying for lunch, as they couldn't find his food.

Oh, you mean the lunch box he brought wasn't immediately identifiable as his? Maybe because it is a pink heart lunchbox with three Disney princesses on it? Maybe that's why!

Oh, they thought that one was the girl's lunch. Well I just can't see why! Maybe cause it's pink!

That's right. I am too lazy to go buy my son a manly Spiderman or Bob the Builder lunchbox. We have TWO pink princess lunchboxes. Which means they are never both being used by Emlyn at the same time.

At what age do I NEED to buy him a manly lunchbox?

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well, still 158.

I was going to announce that for the next 30 days I'm going to exercise every single day without fail, with God's help.

Then I was thinking maybe I should do my Bible study every day for 30 days too. Or instead. But I already exercised today, so I think it will be too.

I didn't get up early enough to do it before the kids got up, but I will work my quiet time in too. 30 days, here I come.

I believe I will be starting two new habits here, and this is a good thing. At least 30 minutes of exercise and at least 20 minutes of Bible study. So, Day 1.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Quote

I was reading this, and this quote jumped out at me:

One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy. --Elisabeth Elliott

Lord, help me know which things should not be on my list. Amen.

Camping with Kids

Briana asked me about camping with babies. I have a few moments and thought I'd address it (I'm so on top of things today! It IS a better day than yesterday!).

First, camping with babies and (small) kids is completely different from camping without kids. There are no leisurely hikes in complete silence, or late-night chats, or clean tents.

On the other hand, you are passing on the joys of the outdoors to the kids, so that's a good thing.

We first took Emlyn when she was 9 mos old. She cried the whole time and wanted me to hold her. We brought along a playpen and booster seat high chair and walking toy and they were completely unnecessary. It rained a lot, and I was frazzled. She and I only lasted one night. We carted all that junk back home, never to bring it again on a camping trip.

The next time we took her it was a different story. We didn't have all that other stuff, we just had a tent and food and the outdoors. She was about 18 mos old and she loved it. She wore a cute hat and climbed everywhere and it was great.

There is not much sleeping. My children sleep worse in a tent because it is a very different environment. It takes about an hour of me in the tent with them helping them fall asleep. They want to wander around and explore the tent, not sleep in it. Eventually they will go to sleep, though it might be after you have fallen asleep. After you wake up you can go back out by the campfire and talk with the other adults or you can just stay asleep. One of mine wakes up at the crack of dawn and the other one sleeps much later with daddy in the tent.

The tent is not clean. There are dirty diapers (hopefully in a trash bag [ you need lots of trash bags] ) and dirty shoes and dirty clothes and they insist on crawling on your neat clean sleeping bag. We have strict rules about no shoes in the tent but there is always dirt.

We always try to have a rest time in the middle of the day but it never works very well. If you have a small baby you will likely be hanging out a lot while they nap. Not as many hikes unless they like being carried in a Kelty backpack. When you do hike, and the kids are walking, they will be tired, hot, cranky, and fall down a lot. You will end up carrying even 4 year olds back to the campground.

But they love it! They really do! They love the lack of rules and restrictions, they love the bugs and the plants and the water and the trees and the animals! They love the smores and the snacks and the ice from the ice chest. They will remember all their lives how fun it was. I believe if you start early enough it will be more natural for them.

We first took Denali when he was 4 mos old. It was hard, but great. And we have never regretted taking our kids camping.

Baby stuff to bring:
sunscreen
hats
2-3 big quilts to sit on
food
20-30 trash bags, big and small
2-3 towels
lots of baby wipes
sling or bjorn or carrying device

Briana, I hope that helped a little bit. Let me know if you have more questions.

Yesterday was not a good day.

Today will be better?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Flowers and Clouds



Today we walked to the post office. I pulled the kids and the mail in the wagon. It's about a 1/2 mile walk there and back. The clouds were dripping rain, just a bit, and it was breezy and cool. It was perfect. I thought about a family I know of, where the children rarely go outside at all. I also thought about a study I read that Vitamin D deficiency is on the rise in the United States because people are not getting even their 15 minutes a day outside. The grandparents worry that the kids don't get enough fresh air. I am proud to say that our kids play outside a lot. I am always trying to improve on it by letting them out more often, but it's so nice to breathe the fresh air, to collect pine cones and dandelions, to count the flowers and play with chalk.

We also go camping 3-5 times a year. We get dirty and hike and smell and cook out and swim. We're going two different places here in the next few weeks, in addition to the trip to Nevada. We took Denali when he was only 4 mos old. Yes, it was more difficult, but the kids love it even more than I do. Camping trips bring the most vivid memories for me when I was a kid. Pitching a tent inside a redwood tree, hiking along a ridge, wading in a creek.

Even though I am a city girl, and my kids live in suburbia, I like to think we are raising people who will love and respect the outdoors.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Tuesday's Hero Is...

Amy!

Thanks Amy for teaching me how to make bread. It's here baking and smells so yummy! I know I will be eating a couple slices as soon as they come out.

I officially graduated from Physical Therapy today. I am hoping that this ten year struggle with my back will be over now. I am so thankful to Ben and his associates for teaching me how to take care of my own problems and fix my body.

It's quiet time and I need some quiet.

Monday, April 09, 2007

A Special Thank You

Thank you to Grandma Linda for such beautiful art supplies!

I don't know if I have mentioned this on my blog, but all Emlyn needs to be happy is a steady supply of colored pencils, crayons, and markers, and a whole bunch of blank paper. If we throw a little painting in there as well, and a smattering of stickers, she's just over-the-top excited. This gal would do art all day long.

I am excited to be raising an artist, and I hope that I can help her keep interested in it. The metallic pencils, colored pencils, and crayons will help her along in that regard.

And hopefully someday Denali will have more than a shadow of interest in art as well.

Climbing

I have been dreaming about our trip to Red Rocks, Nevada. It's coming up soon! We are leaving the kiddos here with my mom on May 2, and we'll be gone until May 9. Red Rocks is a great climbing place near Las Vegas. Last night my dream was about trying to find out luggage in a huge airport that didn't make sense. Then it morphed into something completely different...

Joel went to the REI garage sale on Saturday morning. Evidently REI will give you a full refund on many things if you want to return them, even if they're well-used. Then they have a "garage sale," where members can come and buy the items at a discount. Joel bought me a new pair of climbing shoes, which I was initially disappointed about because they did not have velcro and I really wanted velcro.

Let me tell you these shoes are NICE. We paid $27 for a $120 pair of shoes. I think they had literally been worn once or twice. The have something called "onyx rubber" that is very nice. They don't hurt my toes and the have great edges and I like them a lot.

So after the sleet and cold temps that we had this weekend the sun came out on Easter afternoon Joel started saying "we could be climbing! it's not that cold!" I said "find us a babysitter and I'll come with you." We asked Joel's dad and he came over to babysit.

It was a mile hike in, and still probably 50 degrees out. Pretty cold! But we had a good couple of hours climbing. I completed one climb which should not have been hard but it was, and Joel did two climbs. Then we hiked out in the dark and came home and warmed up in the hot tub. It was a great time even if just a couple hours long.

Today my goal is to find out how much money we have, go grocery shopping, and clean the house. Emlyn is off school so we'll be at home as much as possible.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Gardening and Sudafed

Sudafed makes me manic. Today I took one so that I wouldn't feel so yucky from allergies. I couldn't take allergy meds because I'm going to be tested on the 16th and so I can't take any till then. Anyway it's made me all jittery and crazy.

For example, after talking to my gardening neighbor I decided that even though it's 36 degrees outside that I wanted our whole family to come with me to the outdoor garden center we frequent. Did I mention it's 36 degrees and raining?

We picked up:
Black Knight Butterfly Bush- can be up to 8 feet tall and attracts butterflies. Drought resistant.
Louis Philippe Antique Rose- to replace the rosebush we had to move because it turned out to be a climber. It will go in a bed with 6 other rosebushes.
Yucca Pallida- native to North Texas. To replace the cactus the kids kept knocking over. Drought resistant.
Lantana hybrid "rose glow"- to replace the lantana that died over the winter. Lantana is extremely easy to grow and drought resistant. Also attracts butterflies.
One more butterfly bush- to go to church.

I didn't realize when I bought it how big the butterfly bushes get. So we had to rework the plans for them. I'm excited though. I planted all the ones for our house (it's cold outside!) and now I'm going to take the other butterfly bush and a cactus to church tonight (it's cold there too).

I'm still a little jittery but not as bad. I would try to rest but I don't think it would work. Tonight we're going to Easter service at church.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Finally! Bluebonnet Pictures!

Well I finally got these posted. After trying to do only one I discovered that it would work with one, but five is just too many for Blogger to handle this week. I don't know. Anyway here they are. Remember I'm not too good at this stuff so they are not professional quality. Drum roll...


Just the flowers...


Look how beautiful!


Not necessarily beautiful but cute anyway...



Pigs' Feet


A few weeks ago, Kathryn blogged about how she bought some pigs' feet and put them in her pantry and how long it took her husband to notice them. I immediately jumped on the bandwagon like the good girl that I am and bought some pigs' feet. In a jar. I took them and put them on the snack shelf in our pantry, with the Lay's Stax and beef jerky and all the yumminess my husband eats on a semi-daily basis. I even artfully leaned the beef jerky against them.

Days passed, and the pigs' feet went unremarked by Joel. The food all around it was eaten, and yet still not the pigs' feet. So I left them there, despairing that he was never going to notice, or that he had noticed and I had not been around to comment on it.

After 14 days and 21 hours he finally noticed them. I forget exactly what he said, but it was something like "pigs' feet? Who likes pigs' feet around here?" I laughed and explained it to him, but he really hadn't noticed for two weeks. Amazing.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spring Concert

Some highlights from Emlyn's school concert today:
a 2 year old pulling his pants and underwear down because he had to go potty;
lots of cute songs; and
all of the siblings watching and clapping along.

Weigh-In Wednesday

157 again- not really sure how I can gain/lose 3 pounds over and over but that's where I seem to be.

Tired and tired.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bluebonnets

Well the pressure is on for bluebonnet pictures. Both Angela and Mandi managed to post theirs, so here goes with another try!

Not so much. Doesn't seem to like me three days in a row. Shows up with "the page was reset." I might have to contact technical support...

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Ghetto Carpet Cleaning

Evidently if you have enough spills on your carpet eventually you will have cleaned the whole carpet with some sort of cleanser/stain guard. I really can tell the places that have been cleaned over the past 4 years. Now I need to figure out how to tell them where to spill.

"Please take your sippy cup over to quadrant 7- it's not been cleaned yet."

Really- I'm almost one quarter of the way through our living room floor.