Thursday, July 12, 2007

pets and the law

I had a truly random thought this morning. I was unloading my dishwashing and thinking of what I'll be fixing for a lunch social today when somehow my mind switched to pets and the law.

When we first moved to Virginia, we checked to see if we are zoned to have chickens. We discovered some interesting things. First, we are not zoned for chickens. Then, we also found out that according to city law, only two types of pets are allowed in our zoned area, dogs and cats. That means people who keep fish, turtles, guinea pigs, hamsters, or birds are all breaking the law. That means the pet stores in the area are selling illegal animals.

Ridiculous, isn't it. Who was dumb enough to write that law? Still, it is the law and I want to follow the law. Can I get a pet fish and feel good in my heart knowing that I'm "breaking" the law by having one? Of course this law is not upheld by law officials. Most of them probably have pet fish. No police officer is going to my neighbor's house and arresting them because they have a fish tank, but still, a part of my conscious tickles because their goldfish are "illegal" pets.

Well, like I said, a random thought and one that I shouldn't worry about. Since my husband and I can't agree on pets, we'll not be getting one anytime soon. They only thing we do agree on is a fish and chickens. So, until we move to our dream home on some land, the pets will wait.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Mountains can grow!

Did you know that mountains grow? There aren't many in eastern Virginia, but one grew in my house. It was the ugly, stinky laundry mountain! Ahh! It took all day to work my way through it and I've still got some on the line outside drying in the last sun rays of the day, but the mountain has been crushed and the baskets are empty... for now.

It has been a hot, muggy day, and I'm glad. I love the way the sun shines and glistens on the pool. Our pool is on it's last summer and I will miss the way it sparkles in the sun shine.

I will be making a trip to visit family soon. My "To Do" list is a mile long and I'll probably end up doing a lot of scrambling on Friday. Even still, my social calendar is full and I'm glad. Tomorrow we are picking up a friend to come over to play. His mom sleeps all day because of her midnight job. His dad doesn't drive and he is going to summer school in the mornings. Can you imagine a more boring way to spend the summer? So, he is coming over tomorrow and we will all swim and the boys will all play X-Box and do all those great things that a kid should do in the summer. On the second Thursday of the month is the church ladies Lunch Bunch. During the summer, because of my pool and my lack of transportation, the Lunch Bunch is at my house. Usually there is just three of us, but I have a feeling this week's will be very busy. It will be fun to have all the ladies over to visit.

Tonight is family night. It really can be fun, when the kids are in a good mood. I'm making a cake for afterwards and I can smell it in the oven. Oooo, nothing like the smell of goodies cooking. It took us about six weeks, but we learned all the apostles' names. When my husband asked what we should memorize next, I suggested a scripture. I'm not sure which one yet, I'll have to find a good one later.

Have a lovely evening.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Today my boys and I made bread. We had a good time and made a very big mess.

First we measured out the water, then we did the sugar. The sugar was the first mess. I was out of sugar in the sugar container, so I added some from the sugar bag. The bag slipped and I ended up dumping a good amount of sugar onto the counter and down the side of the oven. (I'll be pulling that out and cleaning it soon). Next after that mess was the dried milk. I had my 9 year old work on that. It wasn't going to be hard, pour the dry milk into the measuring cup and pour the cup into the bowl. A lot of dry milk ended up on the floor and table. All was well until we got to the flour and oil. The oil measuring cup got knocked to the floor and oil ended up on the floor. The flour is always a mess and we ended up with some on the floor too, but we had less flour mess than anything else. Get that spoon and mix, mix, mix! Get your hands into it and mix, mix, mix.

After measuring and mixing, we kneaded the dough. It was almost a chant I did to keep them going "Knead that dough, knead that dough!" My nine year old enjoyed it, but didn't knead well. The seven year old didn't like getting his hands messy and didn't have the stregnth to really get into it. He just kind of rolled it around. So, the dough got kneaded and brushed in oil before being put back into the bowl to rise. Guess what happens next. The kids run off to watch a movie and mom is left with the mess.

Do you remember that little story of the mother hen who makes the bread? That is what today is like. Who will help me make the bread? I will, I will! (Bread and mess is made.) Who will help me clean the mess? (hear nothing but silence and crickets chirping?) Who will help me eat this bread? I will, I will!

The bread turned out very good and was very tasty. We are having the missionaries from our church over tonight for dinner. I don't know what I'm going to feed them as a meal, but we will have fresh, homemade bread for dinner. Some butter and honey with it and, mmm! It will be good.

The recipie was actually pretty easy and I would be willing to try it again. I'm not sure about the helpers, though.... Actually, I want them to do it again. It is a good lesson on reading instructions and reading measurements. Next time, though, no running off when clean up time comes. My lesson is learned.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th of July

It is such a wonderful day. I love Independence Day. I love what we celebrate and I am grateful to celebrate such a holiday. Thanks to the founding fathers for their inspiration and determination in forming this country. I'm lucky enough to live in Virginia and not too far away from Jamestown, where early Americans came to live and worship. Thanks to the good soldiers who defend this blessed nation.

We have some traditions in our family for the 4th.
First we start the morning with the "Fireman's Breakfast". This started for my husband in his youth. In his tiny town, on the 4th, the firemen in the town get up very early, head out to the town park and start the grills. They cook up eggs, bacon, pancakes, and sausage. When breakfast is cooked, the sirens at the firehouse are blown, calling all in town to the park for breakfast. You gather your family, and stand in line in the early morning Arizona heat. Laughter and chatter abound as friends greet each other. The firemen pile up your plate with food and you find a spot at one of the long picnic tables. Then you feast upon a wonderful breakfast. Well, we can't be there in his little home town, but we have taken the tradition to our own. We cook all the fixings in our house and enjoy the good food.

After breakfast and clean up is play time. Do what you want time. I cross stitched this morning. I'm working on a Christmas stocking for my youngest. My husband started his smoker and is smoking two chickens in the backyard. I vacuumed the pool and before lunch, dear hubby and the kids all jumped in and took a swim. We ate a light lunch and then hubby went up for a nap. The boys played X-Box and my sweet three year old daughter has been playing with her girls. They are here Polly Pocket princess dolls. They have been having quite the adventure today.

Soon, friends will start to arrive for our annual BBQ and pool party. We are going to swim, cook, eat and have fun. When it starts to get dark, we'll head out to see the fireworks. There are two places to go, the ocean front and a large park on a hill, which is unfortunatly named Mt. Trashmore. It should be a great afternoon and evening. I've made cookies, a shoe fly pie, jell-o, and macaroni salad.

The only thing I need to remember is the sun block. I got a nasty sunburn a few days ago and don't want to add to it. Happy and safe Fourth of July! God Bless America!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

More joy

It was such a pretty day here. The sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot or sticky. My husband took the older boys with him when he went to church so I had about 2 hours with just the little ones to get ready. The baby was tired and I sat and held him until he fell asleep. It didn't take long. There is really nothing sweeter than holding a sleeping baby. I admit, sometimes it is a nuisance when you have a lot to do and the baby won't sleep unless you hold them, but most of the time, I have tried hard to treasure holding my sleeping babies. It doesn't last long. It has been a long time since I held my nine year old in my lap while he slept. I love to take pictures of sleeping babies too. They sleep in the funniest ways sometimes.

Other joys:
I love my clothes line. I've only had it for about six weeks, but I love to go out and hang clothes. It is relaxing and I like the way sheets move in a breeze. It looks peaceful.

Sitting together as a family, eating brownies. Sweet brownies, chocolate around the children's mouth and sharing a treat while talking together.

Having my hair "fixed" by my three year old daughter. My hair is long and wavy. She likes to wet it down with a spray bottle and brush it. It makes my hair very frizzy, but who cares? I'm not trying to impress anyone, but we have fun as she fixes my hair.

Braids. I love braids, but my daughter does not so much. She is patient with me and lets me braid her hair sometimes, like today.

Growing up in hot Texas, I lived summers with fans going all the time. Every room had a fan it it. I love the feel of fans blowing cool air on me. From early spring to late fall, I love to sleep with a fan on. Only in the cold winter do I not use a fan.

Well, I think that is all for today's joys. There are so many more, but there isn't time or room to list all of them everyday.