Monday, December 28, 2009

Another odd photo

This is an orange stuck into the exhaust tube of my shop-vac. Once again, my one year old can be thanked for that. If I had turned on my vac with the orange stuck in it, the vacuum probably would have blown up (OK, that's quite dramatic, but it would have died).

She's been very busy lately.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Pen and the Toaster


This is my daughter's work. Really, it's amazing we haven't burned the house down. I was cleaning the toaster. It needs to be done once in a while and I was dumping all the crumbs into the sink. I could hear a strange noise, but I didn't think much of it. As I was putting the toaster back into it's normal place on the counter, I happened to look into the slots and I saw something purple. With the use of a knife and two forks, I was able to dislodge a very melted pen. The pen has been tossed. The toaster is working again, clean and debris-free.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Almost Christmas

Christmas with the kids is always funny and tiring.

*We've had our tree fiasco's, but those are mostly over.
*I've had to re-wrap a few presents thanks to a busy one year old.
*We've attempted driving to look at lights, but that hasn't gone so well. (the kids fight the whole time)
*We've gone caroling to about 10 people.
*We have not done Secret Santa drops like we've done in so many past years.
*My 11 year old is driving me nuts.
*My one year old loves to see the lights on the houses, but her favorite thing to see are the lit up snowmen.
*Because of our location in the world, the weather has been quite mild and the youngest kids have been spending their Christmas break outside riding scooters with no shoes and no coats. It's made caroling very pleasant.
*We hung lights on the house, but they look pretty pathetic as every strand has only half of the lights working.
*I took my two youngest kids to Target early one morning and let them play in the toy aisles for about an hour. My 4 year old son would finish looking down one aisle and ask me if we can move on to the next "island".
*My 6 year old has had to re-write her wish list several times as she keeps loosing it. Good thing it's short and easy to remember what is on it.
*We've had two Secret Santa's visiting our house for over a week now. One of them is feeding our spirit with a piece to a Nativity set each night along with a poem or story to go along with the piece. The other Secret Santa is feeding our taste buds as they have provided us with very tasty treats. I have no idea who is doing either and I don't care to find out (I love not knowing). I just wish I could tell them thank you.
*We are working hard to clean because grandparents will be arriving tomorrow night.
*I'll still have a grocery trip to make tomorrow or Thursday for those last minute things.
*Did I mention my 11 year old is making me crazy? He is. I hope this is a phase that he is going through. My biggest worry is that the phase is called "pre-teen" and it's going to be worse when it becomes a teenage phase.

It's my last Christmas with a one year old. It's sad, but I love how into the Christmas lights my little Peanut is. Watching Christmas through her eyes is really exciting.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Ooo

I must introduce you to the word "Ooo". It's like "boo" but without the "b". It is a short word. Almost like you've been punched in the stomach. Ooo. Got it?

This word is my four year old son's creation. It began who knows how many months ago when he was three years old. It is used constantly. I've had to ban the word from the dinner table. Here is how to use the word, Ooo.

I want a glass of Ooo.
You are an Ooo.
What do you want for Christmas? I want Ooo.
Let's go for a ride in the Ooo.
Rudolf the Red Nosed Ooo, had a very shiny Ooo.
Once there was an Oooman....

The possibilities are endless for this word.

Think back to the Smurf's cartoon. Remember how everything was just Smurfy? It's a lot like that here. Everything is Oooy. Now, my youngest, my 20 month old, is slipping Ooo into her everyday speech. She sings, "A, B, C, D, E, F, Ooo" or "Oh boy, I've got Ooo."

It's funny and annoying at the same time. I don't know where my son got the idea for this word or why it has stuck. I don't even remember how many months it has been going on, but it's been many, many Ooos, I mean, months.


PS, the spell checker doesn't like the Ooo word. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sweetest gift

My six year old daughter want to give everyone a Christmas present. Today she asked if she could give Santa Claus a present. I told he we will leave him some cookies.

"No," she said, "I want to give him a present. I want to give him the scriptures. Then he can read them to his elves and his wife."

I'm smiling big, "I think that is a very sweet gift."

Monday, December 14, 2009

Days go by

I have so much running through my head, but none of it seems interesting enough to blog about.

Let's see:
-Christmas tree is up, lights on the house are up, presents are wrapped and sitting in my closet, Christmas music plays almost constantly from my computer. There is even a touch of snow left on the mountains from the snow storm three weeks ago. Yep, it's Christmas time! The kids are very happy. They have only one week of school left, well, three and a half days to be exact.

-I have a fear of the post office in December. I haven't gone in the last few years. Presents from me to family members are usually late. Well, I discovered the tiny town up the road from me has a post office. I went there today. I didn't have to wait! No line. It was wonderful. As I was driving away, a car passed me. The man in the car tipped his hat at me. I don't think anyone has ever tipped a hat at me. I've only ever seen that in movies.

-I have a one year old with anger management issues. When she can't have what she wants, she grabs anything within reach and throws it and if there is nothing in reach, she will pinch and scratch me. I've got a few bruises on my neck from her pinching and a large scrap on my arm tonight from her angry cat-like claws. Thank goodness I know this is a phase that will eventually pass.

-I bought a floor loom on Craigslist. I'm so excited. Unfortunately, it is in the Dallas area. My good brother picked it up for me and is storing it in his garage. I was hoping my parents could bring it out somehow when they come at Christmas, but I don't think they will. In fact, my mom is pretty upset with me for buying it. Well, I'm excited and my good hubby supports me on this. If they won't bring it next week, I'll go to Dallas and pick it up myself in a few months.

-It has taken over an hour, but the kids are finally in bed and most of them are asleep. We've had a stomach bug going around our house. As of this evening, my four year old son and I were the last healthy people. As of about 15 minutes ago, I'm the last healthy person. Well, it seems to be a fairly short lived illness and we should all be well by Thursday.... Wednesday if we are doing really good.

-I'm walking to Rivendell again. This is a venture I began back in 2006. I made it about halfway and quit. I joke that I got stuck in the bog. The walk is 458 miles. I'm down by three. I need to get working on this. I would like to have it completed by July 1. I would need to walk about 18 miles a week. I can do that. If I do 3 miles six days a week or four miles five days a week, I'll reach my goal with no problems. So far I've done a mile a day. Time to kick things into gear. I'm going to see the elves this time. No bog will bog me down!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Getting ready for Christmas

I past three hundred post with my past entry. How fun. Or maybe how sad. I guess it depends on how you look at it.

And now, the obligatory photo. That is my cell phone, sitting in a sandbox filled with ice water. It went missing last Monday afternoon and I figured it was around the house somewhere. On Tuesday morning, as I was admiring the snow on the mountains I saw my phone at the bottom of the pool. It sat there for about 12 hours, overnight, while it rained, snowed and iced. I let it dry for a week. It isn't working. Thanks to Peanut for that mess.
The Christmas season is turning out to be interesting, but if it wasn't interesting, it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

It has snowed twice in one week here. Long time residents tell me that hasn't happened in years and it probably won't happen again for a long time. That's OK by me. I love seeing the snow on the mountains. Its a nice change from the usual drab brown color that the mountains are. But I'm glad I don't have to deal with snow on the roads.

Our Christmas tree is up and is suffered a bit the first 24 hours it was up. Peanut pulled off many ornaments and managed to break 5. She also pulled the tree over one time. It's a 6 foot plastic tree. It didn't suffer much, but some of the lights and ornaments did. So, after two days, I took off every ornament that wasn't made of felt, cloth or foam. She still pulls them off the tree, but she can't really hurt them. Usually we put presents under the tree as we wrap them or if a friend gives us a present it goes under. Not this year. Nothing will be put under the tree until Christmas eve. Even then we are going to have to watch them closely. Peanut loves to unwrap presents.

We had a pie party with some families we have never had over. That was fun. One of the families had two teenage daughters. They were very nice girls. They sat on the couch and tolerated us fuddy-duddies while we talked about 80's music.

My four year old son has really be loving Tom and Jerry cartoons the last few weeks. I love them too. My brothers, sister and I grew up watching them. So, it's nice. There is nothing worse than your kid loving to watch something over and over that you hate. We can all agree on Tom and Jerry.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Let it Snow!

It doesn't often snow where we live, but it you go 6 miles up the highway, you enter a tiny town at the bottom of the mountains. It snows there! We have some friends who live in the tiny town and they called us this evening and said there was 7 inches of snow.

We grabbed all of our coats, gloves, scarfs, and hats and we headed out. Not half a mile from where they live, there was just rain on the ground and rain falling from the sky. I was thinking, these people are just yanking our chain, there is no snow. 100 feet later, there was snow all over the ground. We had to put our SUV into 4 wheel drive or we would have never been able to enter their neighborhood.

We bundled up and played in the snow. Unfortunately, our youngest son had on sandals. I didn't see until it was too late. Thankfully our friends had some kid boots (that were about 3 sizes to big) and some thick socks. He walked funny, but he was happy as could be and I think he had more fun than anyone else out in the snow. Peanut was not sure what to think about it at first, but she decided she really liked it. Her shoes weren't the best for snow either and her feet got cold quickly.

We built a snowman, had hot chocolate and hot chicken noodle soup for dinner. We stayed for about 2 hours. When we left, there was several inches of snow on our SUV. About 4 miles from our house, the snow was gone and we were just on wet roads with a light sprinkle of rain. I was kind of sad. I want to go back to that tiny town and see snow falling silently outside of my window.

Thanks to our friends, we had a wonderful time!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happenings

Things have been so busy lately. I feel like I'm falling behind in so many things, but for the most part, I'm happy. Well, not happy to be falling behind or loosing my mind, but just over all happy.

We had a lovely Thanksgiving.

My one year old is crazy. I can't describe her. She is sweet, she is a pill, she is busy, she is smart, she is into everything.

We put up our Christmas tree today. I put together the tree and put on the lights. I let the kids decorate. It's not too bad. Now that my older boys can reach the higher places on the tree, the ornaments are a little more spread out, not just on the bottom half.

My oldest son brought his cello home for the long weekend. We enjoyed hearing him play and practice.

I crochet another snood, it's light purple. I'm having so much fun. I've started another. This one I've begun will be white. My mother-in-law helped me through a new snood pattern. The problem was, I didn't look at the fact I would need an enormous hood and just crochet with my normal hook. Instead of a snood, I ended up with a cute little beanie for my one year old. Well, the snood didn't work out, but I learned a few new terms in reading crochet patterns, and I reviewed a couple of stitches I hadn't done in a while. It's all good. I'll have to get pictures up later.

I can't remember things anymore. I forget a lot almost as soon as I think of it. I carry a pen and paper with me most of the time, but by the time I get out my paper and pen, I've forgotten whatever it was I was thinking about. It's been frustrating. (See, i just thought of something else I wanted to write, but it's gone from my mind before I could type a new sentence.) Oh well, I'm turning out all the lights except the Christmas tree and I'll be enjoying it's colorful glow soon. Happy Holidays.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a day it's been. I really should be cooking. Nothing except two pies are done yet. Instead, I'm holding a sleeping baby through her morning nap because she woke up too early. Hmmm, what's more important on this thanksgiving day? Cooking or holding my baby. I think I'll be sitting here for a while and love her. Lunch can wait. Shhhh.

(whisper)
Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting ready for the week

So much to do, so little desire to do it all.

But, there are two very important things that need to be done this week:

Clean daughter's room. It's a mess and Grandpa and Grandma will be staying in it this weekend.

Thaw some turkey!
Now, I've had quite a few people tell me lately that I don't post enough pictures, and if I did, they would enjoy my blog more. OK, here you go... It's my son at the end of the day on his birthday. So much fun with friends, cakes, presents, and playing that he just got tuckered out.
He is in his new alien shirt. Shhh, happy birthday little buddy.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Busy, busy

The kids are squabbling, the house is a mess, the husband has had a constant migraine for about 2 weeks. Can I just hide under the table for a while?

While all those things are true, life isn't too bad right now. I went to the post office today to mail off my 10 pages of manuscript to the interested publisher. Yesterday I spent most of the day rewriting the second half of my book. I just didn't like the way it flowed and it needed a little something. My mom provided me with a really fun idea, I added it in, and I really like the way it is turning out. I just hope the publisher likes it too.

My in-laws are coming for Thanksgiving. We are very excited. They haven't seen the kids since the summer and Peanut seems to change and grow each week. We hope we can get Peanut to sing for the grandparents.

Things are busy as always. We've been working on Boy Scouts with one son and Cub Scouts with another... I finally bought pants for my youngest son (he has been wearing shorts even in the chilly weather) but pants for that boy are tricky. He has no rear end to speak of. Nothing to hold up those pants. I accidentally got him a size 3T. They fit perfectly in the waist and for now they are a perfect length, but if he grows even a tiny bit, those pants are going to become highwaters. The other pair I got was a size 4T. They are a great length, but they fall off his skinny body when he runs around the house. I guess I'll be sewing those up a bit.

There is always something going on. Life is never dull here.... Oh, next post, remind me to tell you the haircutting story.... :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Way!

At the beginning of October, I sent in a query to four publishers for my book I had finished. The info I had about each one said a reply can be expected anywhere from 2-4 months. I was thinking today how I could start hearing from publishers soon. I expected they would all be rejection letters. That sounds bad... I expected to be rejected, not because I don't have faith in what I wrote, but because I never heard of anyone getting accepted right away.

Today I checked my mail and saw one of my self addressed stamped envelopes. I was excited, my first reply on my book. It was a form letter and at quick glance it said "we will no longer respond to unsolicited submissions" hardly surprising, but then I realized they responded to mine, so I read more closely, "we will no longer respond to unsolicited submissions UNLESS interested in publishing."

NO WAY! They are interested!

Now I need to get 10 pages of my manuscript ready. This is in no way an acceptance letter, but it better than I could have hoped for. Now, if I send in my 10 pages and they do not like it, I will never hear from them again. If they are interested, they will contact me. This could take up to four months.

This is so great! My idea intrigued them, lets just hope my story does too.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Christmas snood

So, I've been learning to crochet and for my first project I decided I didn't want a scarf or a blanket, I wanted a snood! I'm totally crazy for these now. With the help of my friend JoAnne, I've finished crocheting my Christmas snood. I still need to put the elastic on it that will make it wearable, but the crochet is done!

What do you think?

(OK, I just realized this isn't the finished picture, but it looks like this, only with a few more rows along the top)

I'll get a picture of me wearing it next. Watch out!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Birthday time

This week we had two birthdays in our family. One was on Tuesday and the other is today! Happy Birthday kids. It's hard to believe how fast they have grown, how big they have grown, how mature they are becoming, and how funny they are.

Yesterday was the party with friends. We had 4 girls and 2 boys come to the party. It felt like about twice that many and the girls made enough noise for about 100 kids. They were really fun and I enjoyed having them for a couple of hours. We played pin the nose on the clown, Twister, and they played dress up in my daughter's room and out back in the sand box. The boys played in my son's room most of the time. We ate hot dogs, chips and cupcakes. Is there anything better for birthday parties?

Now, we have a birthday break. The next birthday for our family is in April. Thank goodness. I think I'm birthday-ed out for the moment.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I'm so snoody!

Over the weekend, at the Faire, I discovered the joys of a snood! I bought one because I thought it was so elegant looking, but I have found it to be quite practical.

What is a snood you might ask? Here is a picture of one:

Yes, technically it's a hair net. But, the snood has been around for centuries. It was last most popular during the 1940's. My snood is black and beautifully crochet. I love how it keeps my hair out of my face. I feel so pretty when I wear it, too.

A friend is teaching me to crochet and I found a snood pattern. So, I'm making a Christmas snood! It is red, white, and green. I love it, but I've come to a part in the pattern I don't understand, so I'm going to have to get together with my friend so she can show me what to do next. When I have it finished, I'll post a picture.

Yes folks, I'm a snoody snood lover!

picture credit to knotsindeed.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meet me at the Faire!

I've sat down to write several times recently, but I always get distracted. From the sounds coming from the kitchen (where Peanut is) I'll probably be getting distracted again. haha!

First of all, today is my youngest son's birthday. He is 4! I can't believe it. He has grown and changed so much this past year. He has become a sweet boy. He still has his moments, but really who doesn't have their moments. He has the sweetest laugh. He loves to play "spider" and his active imagination has created his friends, Jayden and Caden. He loves to help me cook and I'm sure he will be helping me later when I make his cake.

This past weekend was the local Renaissance Faire. I love that kind of stuff. I love to see the local artist show their work, I LOVE the costumes and the music. I got to see one Scottish dance. I have an idea of my own crafting that I could try and sell. I'm going to work on that for the next year. Maybe I can sell them next year at the faire.

Things have been so busy lately. I got to hear my oldest sons orchestra play last week and I'll hear them again at the beginning of December. My second son has started piano lessons. The younger kids always keep me very busy.

I've been so distracted so many times since sitting down to type, I can't remember what I wanted to say anymore. Oh well. Today, besides being a birthday, we have several errands to run and food to cook and a very special cake to bake.

Off to be busy!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Shoes make me late

I'm one of those people who are early to everything. I never like to arrive late to anything and perfer to be there 10 - 15 minutes before anything begins. I've always been this way. I have continued to be this way until baby #5 came along. She is 19 months old now and I can not get out the door on time for anything. I am always rushing out the door and usually yelling at my kids to get out the door too.

There are many factors which is making this so, but I think the number one reason I'm having a hard time getting out the door on time are kids shoes. We can never find shoes. I can't press them enough that when they take off their shoes to put them in their room, in their closet. The closets are always empty of shoes. We have to go on a shoe hunt for 2-3 kids every time we go out.

There are other things that make it hard to get out the door with the kids, but the missing shoes is the biggest obstical. I'm going to have to get a shoe basket and put it right next to the front door again. Something needs to be done about the shoes.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Lights

I'm not ready for Christmas and I don't want to put up the Christmas decorations just yet, but can I have Christmas lights up in the house without all the other decorations?

I love Christmas lights.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Weekend recovery

What a fun weekend. What a mess it left for me today. I knew the bug guy would be coming this morning at 10:30. My boys room was a disaster. Not only were there a great many books, clothes and stuffed animals all over the floor, there was a crushed popcorn ball, a dead half eaten apple, and several smashed peanuts. I didn't need the bug man to see that!

I cleaned all evidence of popcorn, peanuts, and apples from the floor of their room.

I've noticed an interesting thing about my kids. None of them are very neat, but considering their parents, I can't expect Mr. Clean for a child. With all the candy they got from Halloween, I've noticed that each child gets rid of their candy trash in different ways. Let me explain:

Son #1 - 11 years old (going on 15) - his candy trash is all over his desk and the floor. None is in the trash can that is sitting next to his desk.

Son #2 - 9 years old - Candy trash into the trash can! Hooray!

Daughter #1 - 5 years old - Candy trash goes right back into her bucket of candy. It isn't thrown away, but it isn't laying all over the floor either.

Son #3 - 3 years old - Some goes into the trash, some goes on the floor, some goes back into his bucket. There is potiential for good here, with a little work, he could be like son #2.

Daughter #2 -19 months old as of tomorrow - She can't open most of the candy and surprisingly, she doesn't each much of it. She will take a bite and be done, so I find trash and candy all over the floor.

Well, it's time to clean more before dinner preperations begin.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Annual October Activity

Materials needed:
4 pumpkins
5 children
4 pens
sheets of paper for all
table
cookie tray
1 large butcher knife
2 small knives
3 spoons
1 ice cream scoop
1 power drill
2 drill bits
Halloween music

Activity:
1. Obtain pumpkins and place on table.
2. Let the children gather around the table and argue whose pumpkin is whose.
3. Hand out each child a sheet of paper, but only have enough pens for 4 out of the 5 kids. Let the art and fight ensue.
4. Upon everyone reaching a decision about their jack-o-lantern design, draw the face on the pumpkin. Watch out that the 18 month old doesn't get a hold of a pen, she will draw her own scribbles on the pumpkin. Ooops, too late.
5. Mom and Dad are the only ones allowed to use the knives. Mom cuts off the lids of each pumpkin. Three year old will provide the sound effects of the pumpkin getting cut. Ugg, ooof, aaahhhh.
6. Now, let each child reach into the pumpkin and pull out the innards. New sound effects are heard: ewww, blech, blah. Use the spoons or ice cream scoop to get out as much as possible. Mom will finish getting out the hard to get stringy insides.
7. Watch Mom and Dad carve the faces. There's one eye, there's two eyes, there is the mouth. Let small children stick their arms into the mouth of the jack-o-lantern. "Ahh, it's eating me!"
8. Watch Dad use the power drill to create a crown around one pumpkin and hair on another pumpkin. See the cute little pumpkin curls left by the drill bit.
9. When all is done, try to clean the mess. Try.
10. Now, turn off all the lights.
11. Turn on several lights so Mom can get some candles and matches.
12. Turn off the lights.
13. Mom turns the lights back on so she can see herself lighting candles and not get burned. Put the lids back on the pumpkins and turn the lights off.
14. Ooo and ahhh over the creepy faces glowing from the table.

Success! Four very different faces glowing from the designs of four very different kids.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The cloud and the sun

A black cloud seems to sit over our house and van right now.

Still, we are doing what we can to get the sunshine to peek through. Service has become a big part of our lives. Working together can be rewarding. Snuggling the baby is always sweet. Trying to laugh and make more time for each other.

Yet, despite all this, things that have never gone wrong before are going wrong. It's odd how when you are trying so hard to do your best, things that have never happened before are coming at you left and right.

The cloud and the sunshine seems to alternate day to day, minute to minute of which is out in front. One day, I hope the sun wins.

Thank goodness for cool weather! It's 57 degrees and I LOVE it!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thirds

Third time's the charm.
Trilogies.
Go down for the third time.
The third degree.
The third wheel.

There are a lot of phrases that have to do with "threes". Our dryer went out several months ago. I called the repairman's office. The receptionist recognized my name since I had called them two weeks previous because of my oven. When I told her the dryer was out, she replied, "These things come in threes."

Oh no! Don't tell me that. Well, she was right. The dishwasher has quit too. OK, no more appliances can go out, we've got our three - oven, dryer, dishwasher.

Saturday the SUV started having problems. The dashboard went out, completely. It's hard to drive when the speedometer doesn't work. Neither do the radio or the a/c. I could live without those two things if it were for the fact that when the dashboard went out, the heater kicked on and is now stuck on. I'm sorry, but in southern New Mexico, it's still warm. I don't need the heater, yet. This is the third problem with the SUV in two weeks - flat tires, bad muffler and now dead dashboard. That's three, no more problems with the SUV are allowed to happen.

Gosh, I sure hope there aren't many phrases about the numbers four or five.... I could be in big trouble.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Bottle Incident

We were sitting in the chapel at church, enjoying the service as much as we can with 5 little kids. One of my children wanted a pen to draw with. I picked up my bag and set it in my lap. Immediately, I feel a very cold wetness on my lap. At the same moment, my husband points to the floor and whispers, "Oh no!"

I look on the floor and huge puddle of milk is soaking into the carpet. I pull out the offending bottle from my bag. The lid wasn't screwed on all the way. My wallet is soaked. My cell phone is soaked. My checkbook is soaked. Next I pull out a size 5 diaper, open it up completely and then laid it down over the milk. I put my foot onto the diaper and pressed hard. Hubby leans over and whispers, "It's very absorbent." Thank goodness it was. We didn't leave too much of a mess behind us.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October music

In the Hall of the Mountain King

Night on Bald Mountain

Anything on the organ by Bach

The perfect soundtrack for this most spooky month.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Adventures of Peanut

The Microwave!

Yesterday I found in the microwave:
2 apples, one of them was half eaten
a bottle of children's Tylenol
a tube of antibiotic cream
a one cup metal measuring cup
5 napkins

Standing at the microwave was Peanut. She had pushed a chair up to the counter and was pushing all the buttons on the microwave. Thank goodness she didn't find the start button. The last thing I want to do right now is replace a microwave.

Monday, October 12, 2009

crazy week

This week's schedule:
Monday
2:40 pick up kids from bus stop
3:00 - meet with someone about a temp job for myself
after dinner FHE
run to grocery store
Highway is closed due to filming

Tuesday
7:30 am - parent/teacher conference for 3rd grader
Clean house like crazy
laundry
2:40 - bus
5:00 - dryer repair guy comes
6:30 - Cooking club - Fondue at my house!
Highway closed due to filming

Wednesday
clean, laundry...
1:30 pick up 2 kids from school
2:20 dentist appointment
Highway closed due to filming - it will be horrendous to get to the dentist
7:00 - Cub/Boy Scouts

Thursday
9:15 - 18 month well baby check up - can you believe it?
11:00 - RS meeting at my house
2:40 - bus
3:15 - parent/teacher conference for kindergartner
4:45 - pick up son from science club meeting
At least the freeway is opened
not sure where cleaning will come in
send out weekly newsletter

Friday - so far it is open! I'm sure something will come up though, it always does.
2:40 - bus
clean/laundry... always

Saturday
Highway closed again, but evenings now
pot luck in nearby state
5:45 - kids Halloween party - I don't even have costumes yet!

This all might not be so bad if the highway wasn't closed most of the time due to a film being done on our highway. I'm not happy with Hollywood this month.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Photo-less

My one year old took my camera, put it in the bathroom sink, and turned on the faucet. I won't be taking pictures anytime soon.

How did she get up to the sink? She pushed a chair up there, of course.

How can someone so little be so destructive?

Monday, September 28, 2009

ready but not quite

This is one of the projects I have been up to lately. I finished my manuscript for my book several months ago. I've been working on for around 2 years. I finally got the courage to try and send out query letters to publishers. I have the query letter written, the synopsis written and the self addressed stamped envelopes ready. Yet, they still sit on my kitchen counter. WHY? I ran out of money to buy stamps. As soon as October 1st comes around, I'll buy stamps and send out my letters.
Completed manuscript, all 83 pages.

Three query letters - ready to go, they just need stamps!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Blogging Break

I'm taking a blogging break. Except for my weaving blog, Inkle and Weave, I'm not writing much right now.

Instead, I'm working on many other projects around and about the house.

See you later, alligator.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Rio Street

Our street that we must travel on everyday to leave the neighborhood floods badly when there is a rain storm.

Poor city planning!

We have nicknamed our street Rio Hatter. Hatter isn't the real name of the street, but I do my best to keep some things private and of course, Rio is Spanish for 'river' (Spanish is, I think, the official language of this city, even though it is in America).

Last Friday, Rio Hatter flooded many cars, including several city trucks that came to help those cars that were stuck in the flooded street. This evening, as I headed out for an alone trip to the grocery store for milk, Hubby and I noticed all the lightning in the area. "Watch out for Rio Hatter," he warned me.

It rained in town while I was out, but thankfully it didn't rain on Hatter Dr, yet. I was able to get out, get milk, and return home on a dry street. I'm home.... NOW it can rain!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

simple joys

Through my children, I see the world in a different light. My small children are exploring the world, discovering how it works and how they themselves work in the world. I watch them learn to jump. I watch them search through the rocks in the yard. I watch them feel water as it rushes over their hands while the bath tub fills up. I'm reminded how much there is to learn.

I am tickled by the simple joys they seem to find. Things that I don't think about at all, but are there in the world to be explored and enjoyed.

This afternoon, I pulled the couch away from the wall so I could vacuum under it. The two small children who are at home found this to be a delightful change (the moved couch, not the fact that I was cleaning behind it). They giggled as they ran laps around the couch. Tickled by the experience. Moving the couch is nothing in my life and means work to me, but they thought it the funnest thing they had done all day.

It doesn't rain here very often, but when it does my children run out into it. They love to feel the cold water splash on their arms and faces. They put on their swimsuits and run up and down the sidewalk. How wonderful to be free to run like that, feeling the rain, and laughing.

My oldest daughter had a shirt with green sequins on the front. One afternoon, she found if she stood in front of the glass door, the light would hit her shirt and send green sparkles all over the wall and ceiling. She danced and danced in the light. My youngest son would jump along the walls and try to catch the sparkles in his hand. My one year old would stand there and look at the green lights moving along the side of the wall. She was enchanted by it.

Simple joys that I have forgotten about and are re-discovering through my children. Now it is time for the joy of the nap.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Birthday Fun

My birthday was on Friday. It was a lovely day for me. I went to Albuquerque and Santa Fe for the weekend. It took the combined work of many people to make the weekend nice.

First there is my Hubby for letting me go away for two nights to hang with some great friends.

Second there is "Miss H", a lady friend from church. She babysat my two youngest kids during the day so I could leave by 11:00 am for ALB.

Third there is "Miss S" a neighbor and another friend from church. She made sure my two elementary age kids got off the bus and home safely.

Then, there is Hubby again who took the responsibility of caring for all the kids while I was away. The older kids helped and I'm glad they did.

To make my son's weekend a little more fun, "Miss R" let him go to her house Friday night and roast marshmallows over the stove.

Last of all were my two good friends from Virginia who traveled so close to my home (for a business conference) on my birthday weekend and invited me to come and spend the weekend with them. We had fun talking, shopping for turquoise jewelry, eating great Mexican food, and walking all over the historic district.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

scarf

Check out my weaving blog - Inkle and Weave for some pictures of my first real weaving project. It's a scarf and I love the way it turned out.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

More from Jaws of Steel


It is almost impossible to find a pencil with an eraser in this house. Of course, if the kids would put the pencils away when they were done with them instead of leaving them out for Peanut to find, we wouldn't have that problem.
Jaws of Steel hard a work.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Jelly update

The jelly set and it tastes good. One thing I was worried about was prickles getting through the straining process. So far, we've eaten jelly with no prickles.

My second batch was quite rushed when I made it. It turned out the color of honey instead of the pretty orange and when I took it out of the boiling pot at the end, it was still liquidy. I was disappointed, but decided that syrup wasn't a bad thing. However, after a day of sitting, it seemed to be setting. So I packed them away on the pantry shelf and will let them be for a few weeks. We might have jelly after all.

School is going well for the kids. Somedays at home with the two littles is great, other days it is really rough. Today Peanut is having a rough day. She has a cold, didn't get much sleep last night and has fussed all her awake time today.

Things aren't going so great with the house sale. They want us to scrape all the paint downstairs and re-paint. We just did that right before we listed the house! I'm not paying someone, again, to re-paint. This whole thing is ridiculous and it is getting worse and worse. Every time we hear from the buyer's agent, they want more done. If we could afford to do it all, we would have done it while we lived there. No idea how this is going to turn out.

Well, it's lunch and laundry time! See ya around.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prickly Pear Jelly

A neighbor down the street has a nicely landscaped yard filled with cactus. My kids have to pass it each day walking to and from the bus stop. They call it Cactus Alley. Earlier in the week, we notice their prickly pear cacti were dropping huge fruits. So last evening, Hubby and I went to meet the neighbors and ask them if they would let us have some of the fruit if they weren't going to use it. The said take what you want, so we did.

Hubby had a leather glove and a grocery sack. He picked a lot of fruit, about 8 pounds of it. We came home and I started to read about making jelly from the fruit. Hubby, meanwhile, started to pull the needles from his fingers where they went though the gloves.

I don't do jelly much, in fact, I've only done it once. I don't keep the supplies around to can things on a moment's notice. After some research, I had simple step-by-step instructions. With the use of tongs, I washed the fruit, cut them into quarters and boiled the fruit. I ran to the store for cheesecloth, lids, and pectin. I had about 6 jars without lids that were in good use condition. Last night before going to bed, I drained the juice though a strainer and ended up with a lot of beautiful orange juice.

Draining the fruit. It isn't pretty once it's been boiled and mashed.




The most beautiful orange I've ever seen. I'm always amazed at the colors in nature.


This morning, with instruction in hand, I made the jelly. I'm never sure if it works. I guess every one who makes jelly has the same worry. I'll know tomorrow by 11:00 am if the jelly set or not. If not, I guess we'll have prickly pear syrup. Isn't it a gorgeous color?



I was able to get 8 cups of juice out of those fruits. My recipe only used 2 1/2 cups and I got enough to fill 3 of the 8 quart jelly jars. I'll be doing two more batches. I need a lot more jars! I want some small jars. If this works, I want to be able to give some away as gifts. There is no way we'll be able to eat all the jelly we'll be able to make from this batch of juice. Watch out, friends, you might get a jar of Molly-made Prickly Pear Jelly for Christmas!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Overheard

This evening on the way to Sam's Club to get milk with my 3 year old son.

Son: Mom, I ate the air!
Me: You ate the air? What did it taste like?
Son: Pepperonis!

On the way home from Sam's Club:

Son: We lost the house.
Me: We did? Where is it?
Son: (very sad) I don't know
Me: Don't worry, we'll find the house, I know the way home.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lovely Quote

The more I learn about CS Lewis and read his works, the more I like him.

CS Lewis said, "The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. "

CS Lewis had insight to the world unlike many others. On days like today, when I'm stuggling to figure out what to do with a pre-teen, I'm glad to read this quote.

what to say?

I started a long post about the kids and school and decided it wasn't very interesting. They are doing well in school and as for the two little ones I have at home, it has been fun to get to know them a little better.

The weekend was busy, but fun for the most part. We are doing what we can to sell the house, but it isn't going well. I don't quite know how it will all work out. The scary thing is, it may not work out.

We've had some rain the last few days. I love that, but it makes it hard to dry clothes out on the line. The dryer is still broken.

Hmmmm, yeah, this has been most uninteresting. Isn't it lovely to have uninteresting days?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wallet appeal

What is it about wallets that attracts small children? All of my kids have at one point during their one year old time when they have loved to get a hold of my wallet and empty it's contents.

My fourth son managed to loose my drivers licence for a few weeks when he was little. Peanut has joined the list of wallet attackers. Every chance she gets, she opens it up and pulls out the drivers licence, the library card, Sam's Club, health insurance cards, any business cards I keep, and if I have any, money. The also likes to pull out the little pictures I keep in my wallet.

I find the contents of my wallet strewn all over the floor. This last time I had to do a little digging for my drivers licence. She let it slide under the couch.

I need a kid proof wallet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

keeping busy with everyday stuff

Things are staying very busy. Life is sending Hubby and I on an unpleasant roller coaster, but in the every day mundane things of life, I try to stay positive and do my very best to stay afloat of the housework.

Our family motto has been for years, "It never rains, but it pours". I know a pretty depressing motto. This week reminded me of why that has been our motto in the past. I'm not going to go over any of the difficult things here. I want to focus on the more positive and funny things that are going on.

Peanut is amazing in every sense of the word. Her vocabulary is so sweet and funny. Her word for food is "cookie". When she is hungry, she asks for a cookie. She says milk and cheese. She loves babies and says baby over and over. Thanks to Baby Einstein, she uses sign language as well as words. Sometimes she just uses the signs when she can't say the word. A few days ago, she brought me some of her sister's stickers. "Barbie," Peanut announced and she was quite right. The were Barbie stickers.

The dryer went out. No idea why. It still tumbles the clothes, but the heating element must be out, so cloths stay wet, even after tumbling around in the dryer for hours on end. Money is gone for the month, so I've been making very good use of our clothes line. Thank goodness we put up a clothes line and thank goodness it was the dryer that quit working and not the washer.

Today was day 2 of school. It is going well, so far. My 5 year old daughter got to go meet her teacher today and see her classroom. Actual class for her doesn't begin until Thursday. She was happy to see a friend from church in her class. She isn't very happy about going to school, but after seeing the classroom today, seeing her friend, and meeting her teacher, I think she is a little more assured of what is going on and will be ready for her first day on Thursday.

Come 8:05 Thursday morning, this mom will be doing the Happy Back to School Dance! I'll have just two children at home and I'm really looking forward to the time I'll have with my three year old. I think he really needs some one on one time and he never gets it with three older siblings and a younger sister who is mischievous and takes a good deal of looking after.

Some things in life sure ain't fair right now (pardon the bad grammar), but I'm so happy for the chaotic, mundane day to day things that keep me normal.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Drilling a Straight Hole

This has got to be the best instructions for drilling a hole that I have ever seen.

Click Here

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Healthy Gravy?

In July, my sister-in-law announced she had a healthy biscuits and gravy recipe. I started to worry. See, in the southern states, like the one I grew up in, love their biscuits and gravy. Don't mess with biscuits and gravy! I wondered how in the world she managed to make it healthy. As long as it wasn't made from soy or tofu, I'd give it a go.

In the end, all she used was the Low Fat Bisquick. The gravy had pieces of ground sausage floating in it. It was great. If lower fat biscits make it healthy, I'm all for it! Someone pass the gravy please, I've got some reduced fat biscuits here that need to be smothered!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cooking with my 3 year old

My youngest son, who is three, has been my big helper in the kitchen lately. He seems so left out of everything that goes on in this house. The older boys play computer or Wii together or get to go to the pool together. But the three year old gets left out. I have been inviting him to help me in the kitchen and he is happy to come in and help.

In the last week, we have made cookies, breads and cake together. He holds the measuring cups and dumps the ingredients into the bowl. He loves to mix with a spoon and use a hand held mixer with my help.

What is funny about the whole thing, though, is the way he does all of this.
This will be hard to write, but I hope I can make the words and ideas clear. I will give him a measuring cup filled with flour. He takes the cup and dumps it into the bowl. As he does this he makes a sound. It is his idea of the sound the cup of flour would make if it were alive and being poured into a bowl. So it is a sound like someone just punched you in the stomach.

Every ingredient poured into the bowl is given a similar sound by my son. Then, when I give him a spoon to mix with, he stabs the ingredients in the bowl and says he destroyed it. Then, each swipe of the spoon in the bowl has the stomach-punched sound.

It is really pretty funny. I love how the food takes on a personality while he cooks. He has the most wonderful laugh. I hear it a lot while he helps me. He is a funny kid.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hair raising!


My daughter playing around at the Air and Space Museum.

We all had a go at sticking our faces over this air machine, but it was especially funny to see my 5 year old's hair.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Random Thought

Opposites may attract, but they will have a hard time deciding where to go on vacation.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

weaving

I'm going to start a blog page to cronicle my weaving projects. There isn't there much yet, but I'm working on a few things and taking pictures. I have great ideas and great plans and I hope I can make them come together into a neat photo/instructional blog.

Inkle and Weave
http://mollylooms.blogspot.com/

the weekend

It's a lazy Saturday. Well, as lazy at things can be here. There is always so much going on.

Peanut has continued to be trouble. Her new favorite activity is to push a chair around the kitchen and dining room. Then, she climbs up on the chair, and plays with whatever interests her - light switches, the drawer of silverware, anything she can reach on the counter and the refrigerator water dispenser. She is everywhere and into everything! I'll be amazed, really, if she survives toddlerhood without some major incident.

She is talking more and speaking in full sentences sometimes. Her newest favorite word is "cookie". It is very clear and plain when she says it. "I want a cookie," is often heard from her pretty voice when she is playing around in the kitchen. Cookie doesn't mean simply cookie. It is a general word for most food and drink. So, if you hear her say, "I want a cookie," you must see what she is pointing at to know what food item she is after.

My older boys have been enjoying watching the old Ghostbusters movies this week. Fine with me, I like them too, but my youngest son, who is 3, doesn't like them at all. He will hide out in his room and play with his toys during the entire movie. When the movie ends, he comes out and plays in the living room.

School starts in one week for my kids! Actually, my 6th grader will go to school for one day this coming Wednesday. The 6th graders get to go for a day before the "upperclassmen" arrive. They get to know the school. Guess what - I still haven't bought school supplies! What is even worse, I still haven't registered my daughter for Kindergarten yet!!! I've been putting it off. I don't want her to go. I want her to stay home with me. I'm so selfish. Also, the school hasn't been opened at all this summer for me to go and register her. They office will be open this coming week and I'll go do it.

I'm starting the process of applying for school myself. I've been talking for years and years and have said over and over I'm going to do this, but I think now is the time. I wouldn't be able to start until next fall, unfortunately, but really, Peanut is still to little for me to do much school work. She wouldn't let me get anything done if I tried it now. So, in October, I'm going to go take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and submit my score and applications to the two schools I would be happy to attend their program. We'll see, we'll see. I've got a whole year and who knows what can happen during that time.

Hmmm, what else. Kids, house, cleaning, kids, weaving, cleaning more, tons of laundry, lightning storms every evening, more kids and more cleaning. Yep, the usual.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

rename

I think I'm going to rename Peanut. Her new name is going to be Peanut Trouble Big-Mess Surname! This girl is trouble! She spends her days making trouble and messes. I can't keep up with her.

This morning alone, she dumped a bowl's worth of corn flakes on the table, opened the container of lentils with her jaws of steel, got a hold of a pen and drew all over some church papers as well as all over herself. She pulled a chair up to the refridgerater, climbed up and started pushing the water dispenser which poured water all over the kitchen floor. She has jumped on the couch, fallen off the couch, jumped on her mattress and rolled off of it (don't worry, the mattress sits on the floor). She woke up her dad and her brother this morning by going into their rooms and chatting with them. All of this with the normal playing of toys. It's nine in the morning and she has been quite busy.

Yep, I think a name change is order. Good thing she's been so cute about it all.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Ideas

I get big ideas once in a while. OK, I get big ideas pretty often.

I have the idea to write a young adult series of books.
I have an idea to write an chick flick novel.
I have an idea to weave great things - decorate my house in them, use them to make clothes, and to sell them.
I have an idea to build several looms by myself.
I have the idea to cross stitch my youngest child's stocking.
I have the idea to grow a really nice garden and can the harvest.

There are many more big ideas. Many, many more.

I never have a lack of ideas. What I do have is a lack of ability to do most things. It's frustrating sometimes, but I guess as long as the ideas keep coming, one day I'll be able to make one of them a reality. And that is a nice idea.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Less than picturesque

On Monday I took my 5 squirmy children to have pictures taken. I hadn't done that since kid #4 was 10 months old. We picked out some nice clothes. They all had on t-shirts, but they were red, white, and blue and it was the first time all the boys had worn their shirts, so they looked nice.

The photographer produced something of a miracle. She managed to capture a few pictures where Peanut was not crying. Peanut love to have her picture taken and squeals with delight when she sees the camera. Not so for the photographer who she didn't know and was trying to make her sit when she didn't want to sit. Peanut cried most of the entire time.

My oldest son was the most cooperative, but he messed up a few otherwise nice photos because his fixed smile turned into something more like a painful grimace. My second son was good and mostly cooperative. Princess daughter refused to smile. She will not smile for anyone who asks her to, even me. The neat thing about her, though, is even if she isn't smiling she has a pixie like face that is really quite pretty when it is pouting. I call it her mysterious model face. My youngest son was really quite good and if you can get him to do a real smile, it is one of the cutest little smiles you will see.

So, between all their personalities, we ended up with a couple of really nice looking pictures.

But, between you and me, with the way the little ones act and the cost of the pictures, I won't be doing this again anytime soon. But, it has been almost 2 years since the last photo session. Perhaps in 2 years I will have forgotten the pain of family photos and be ready to try it again. Maybe....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Helpful girl

My Peanut is 15 months old now, almost 16 months old. The time is flying by. She can be so sweet. She is really starting to talk to us now and has a small vocabulary of "real" words, but she can speak an entire language I'm unfamiliar with. It is so funny to listen to her talk. She speaks her language with intensity. Each word is very deliberate. I just wish I understood Peanut Gibberish. I would absolutely love to know what she talks about.

She has become quite helpful. Or rather, she tries hard to be very helpful. When it is time to set the table, she wants to help, so I'll give her some cups. Sometimes she will put them on the table. Often she will wander off with them. She loves to help me with the laundry. She will hand me clothes to fold. Most of the time, however, she will hand me armloads of clothes I've already folded. She can undo an entire stack in one movement. When the laundry is done being folded, she wants to help put it away. She will grab and armload of laundry and walk off with it. I have later found stacks of half-way folded clothes in the hall closet and/or in the drier. The other day she wanted to take the wet diaper I had just changed her out of to the trash. She did it.

Saturday, at the store, she help unload the cart and would put cans onto the checkout counter. The cashier wasn't moving fast enough and after Peanut had put the last can on the counter, she began to take them off and put them back into the basket.

I love how eager she is to be helpful. It's tough because she really can't help much and I end up cleaning more because of her helpfulness, but I'm not going to squash it. She will become very unhelpful on her own soon enough, when those tough threes hit.

Friday, July 24, 2009

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Monday, July 20, 2009

We are the Champions?

My three year old loves the song, "We are the Champions". He sings it all day long. The problem is, he only know about two lines of the chorus. He is very creative with his singing this song. He makes up his own lyrics.
It started out sounding like this:
No time for ya ya
'Cause we are the bo bo!

Sometimes you will hear him sing:
No time for tickle
'Cause we are the baby

Today I heard all through lunch:
No time for fingers
'Cause we are the hot dogs

No, it makes no sense at all. He just adds whatever words, real or nonsense, that he likes. I have got this song suck in my head all the time now, too.

AAAAAHHHHH!
Now, I must sing:
No time for blogging
'Cause I've got some laundry
TO DO!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cake Contest

It all began in 1979. My brother and I were little, 2 and 4 years old. Mom made a cake for the 4th of July. She took a picture of her cake with us standing next to it. She did it again the next year and then, the Independence Day cake was put to rest, until about 6 years ago.

My brother, who was in the picture with me in 1979, and his wife decided to make their own Independence day cake. The next year they had a contest with each other for the 4th of July. They did this every year. The winner got fame and glory (among the family), the looser had to do the "Carlton Dance". If you don't know what that is, go to YouTube.com, and type in Carlton dance. It is from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

OK, this year, the contest was opened to the entire family and, since we were all together for a big reunion, the cake contest was huge. Secrecy was the word.

On July 4th, we pulled out the cake pans, the icing tips and the Patriotic music. There was lots of laughter and in the end, we had 5 amazing cakes, but only one winner.

This is my sister-in-law's cake. We were all quite intimidated by it. It looked like it could be from a cake shop. It had a flag topper on the cake, but somehow, I didn't get a good picture of it. It was really beautiful!


This was my entry. Cake balls!!!


My sister's cake. It is her depiction of the Revolutionary War, complete with food coloring gore. The little mangled people were made from Fondant.


President Obama, captured in cake. It was pretty amazing to watch her and my brother put this thing together.


My mom's entry - a John Deer tractor.

So, which one won? Take a guess... ready? The Revolutionary War cake! It was very popular among the kids. (I voted for it too). My cake? Well, it received one vote and that was from my good hubby. Oddly, my cake tied for last place with cake #6 - there was no cake #6! My dad, the wise guy, put that vote in.

So, everyone, except for my sister and her husband, did the Carlton Dance! It was great fun. Now I've got to start thinking, what can I do next year? Hmmm, maybe a bust of George Washington.... stay tuned next year to hear how the Annual 4th of July Cake Contest turns out.

Monday, July 13, 2009

unwillingly back

Well, I drove home on Saturday. It was 12 hours in the van with just me and the kids. The DVD player has died. We had no movie entertainment to help pass the hours. What we did have was Harry Potter book 7 on CD to listen to. That was great, for me, but it did nothing to help Peanut, who was trapped in her car seat all day long. She made sure to let me know how much she didn't like that arrangement.

I started in East Texas and drove a long, long straight road. I watched the green grass and tall beautiful trees pass. The trees became smaller as I went further west. Soon, there were mesas and green bushes. Hours later there was orange dirt and scrub. Finally we arrived home to the land of tumbleweeds. I miss the green.

I had a much longer post typed up, but it was sad and depressing and I try to avoide that here as much as possible, so I erased it. The truth is, I didn't want to come home.

I've been quite depressed since returning. I miss the green. I miss my family.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Leaving on a funny note

I'll be going on vacation for a couple of weeks. I'm really looking forward to it.

Still, no matter what is going on, my kids keep me hopping.

Yesterday, Peanut was very busy. I didn't find this out until later, but she climbed up on the chair at Hubby's laptop. She popped off about half of the keys. It's incredible what she can do. She also got a hold of a pen and drew on my arms while I was working on paying bills.

Just a little while ago I went into my bedroom and it smelled very strongly of air freshener. I found my 5 year old daughter and three year old son in the master bathroom. They were using the Oust to clean the mirror. I was ready to pass out when I walked in there. I took the Oust and the Oust-soaked washcloth away from them. Well, the bathroom smells fresh and will smell fresh for a long time.

Have a Happy 4th of July all.
Thanks to all of the service men and women who serve and have served our country.
God Bless America.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

searching for inspiration

I've thought of all sorts of random thoughts lately, but now I can't remember them. Like my brain, they have gone missing.

About six years ago, I had several talks on tape. They were all by Mary Ellen Edmunds. She is a great speaker. She is funny, truthful, inspiring, and down-to-Earth. She makes me laugh. I don't have any idea where those tapes are now since we've made two moves in six years and it really doesn't matter because I don't have a tape player anymore.

I was thinking recently how much I enjoyed her talks. So, I looked her up on the Internet. I found one of her talks I could listen to in the form of an MP3 and all her other talks were there and available for me to read. I've sure enjoyed catching up with her talks.

One story has stuck with me for many years. She told a story about a friend who was sitting in sacrament meeting and the young man doing one of the sacrament prayers kept messing up a big and he had to say it three or four times before he got it. The friend said how grateful she was to hear it that many times because she wasn't ready to listen the first two times it was said. I liked that idea. It isn't easy with small kids and I find myself most of the time doing my best to keep them quiet or still during the prayers. Still, every week I think of that story and if they kids cooperate, I work very hard to listen well the first time because I might not be lucky enough that week to hear it twice. I don't know if I've said anything that makes sense, but it works for me and I guess that is what is most important.

Another talk I enjoy listening to, because I have it on CD, is called "Teaching Your Children to Fly" and it's by Marilee Brown Boyack. It's another funny talk, but it is about the importance of teaching children skills and chores so they can grow up to be independent adults. I love this! In the immediate moment, it's good because I have helpers in cleaning and caring for the house - I'm teaching them house care, right? In the long term it is great because they will go out into the world and be prepared to care for themselves and not need me constantly. When you have the skills, you are much happier, even when the skill is laundry and clean clothes.

My boys don't believe me as I try to teach them table manners and body hygiene that this isn't for my benefit. While it makes me happy to have them use good manners and not stink, a day will come then they will try to be impressing a girl and these things will make her happy.

So, I search for inspiration. Searching for ways to make me a happy, better person and my children happy and better people. While I see the good in it, I'm having a hard time convincing my kids that it is good for them too... They scoff at the chore list and and get angry and moody about doing them, but I know that their cleaning the house is good for their future. :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

topsy turvy

I don't understand:
When the wife takes all the kids to visit family for a week and leaves hubby at home because he has to work that we (friends and neighbors) feel the need to make sure and check on the husband and make sure he is eating decent meals.

BUT
When the husband goes away for some business trip and leaves the wife behind with all the kids do we (friends and neighbors) not give it a single thought and usually end up saying, "Oh, your husband was gone for a week? I had no idea."

Same amount of time, wife alone with the kids in both scenarios, and hubby alone with himself and free. So, we take care of the poor man who is free of all parenting responsibilities and we feed him, but the wife with all the kids is completely forgotten.

Why is that?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

life imitates art or is it the other way around?

You remember the 80's commercial:
The traffic (beep, beep), the boss (roar, rah, roar), the kids (whaaa!), the dog (woof, woof)! I can't take it anymore! Calgon, take me away!

I don't deal with traffic, bosses or dogs. Aren't kids enough of a reason for me to cry out to Calgon?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer traditions

What is summer without:
-Playing in water, it doesn't matter how, pool, rain, sprinkler, just play in the water!
-Popsicles
-staying up late to watch a movie
-sleeping in the next morning - ok, with my little ones, this isn't possible for me, but my older boys are getting into the spirit of sleeping in
-the Monkees - since I was about 11, I have watched Monkee reruns during the summer months. It's no different now. School gets out and I put on the Monkees!
-very hot outings
-at least one sunburn
-BBQ's with lots of hot dogs
-a bowl of ice cream
-a campout. It doesn't matter if it is in the backyard, the living room, or the great outdoors, just as long as you set up a tent and sleep in it.
-mosquito bites
-the knot in your stomach when you see the back-to-school sales at Wal-Mart
-playing outside until 8:30 at night
-a visit with the grandparents!

Monday, June 22, 2009

11 years ago

Eleven years ago, the Saturday before Father's Day, I was 39 weeks pregnant and we moved from an apartment to a basement. Early Sunday morning, I went to the hospital because baby decided he was ready, or maybe the move decided for him. We spent the entire Father's Day in the hospital. Nurses were congratulating dear Hubby for becoming a father on Father's Day. It was also the summer solstice. We waited all day long, but baby didn't want to come. Finally early Monday morning, just as the sun was rising over the mountains, our first child made his entrance into the world.

What a long three days those were! Now, eleven years later, we spent the Saturday cleaning and playing, Father's Day was spent hanging out with Hubby, going to church, and having one of Hubby's co-workers over for a BBQ and cheesecake. Today for son's birthday, we will go to the pool to swim and we'll play around the house. We'll light 11 candles for him on a cake.

Father's Day was nice this year. Hubby works with some really nice people, but one gentleman, who has lived a very exciting life due to his line of work, has no family around him here. Health issues bother him once in a while, as those things do, unfortunately, as we get older. We were thinking about him and decided he needed a little family on Father's Day, and we, not having any extended family close by, decided we needed him. As we went to church, we stopped by his house, invited him to dinner that evening and left directions on how to get to our house. It was a great dinner and Hubby enjoyed his co-worker's company. Mr. A, I will call him, has traveled the world in his career. He told us about various places he had visited and by the end, I was having an itch to travel. I must go see Norway now.

Other than the fighting with the kids to do a bit of cleaning on Saturday, it was a great weekend. We are looking forward to a great week. Some trips to the pool, a couple of day trips to see some local sights. Yes, a great week is waiting for us.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

goings on

Summer is the best. It's really fun.

Things have been busy, but fun recently. My two boys got to go to cub scout day camp this past week. They really had fun. I got to go work there for one day and I really enjoyed myself, with a few exceptions.
Exception #1 - Sunburn! Yes, everyday I tell my boys, be sure to put on your sunblock, but do I remember? OH NO! The top of my head hurts so much, I can't brush it. I was told once that if you burn the top of your head too many times, hair will stop growing there. The skin is too damaged for hair to grow. Not a pretty thought, but if it's the gray hair that goes, it's OK.

Exception #2 - 10 year old soccer boy kicked a ball way to hard while playing kickball and the ball hit my right hand, twice! My wrist was swollen Thursday afternoon and all day yesterday. It is still sore today, but it isn't swollen anymore. (I can hear my sister laughing at me right now)

Other than those two things, it was great fun and I hope to volunteer again next year. Really, I do love it.

Church always keeps me busy. This week was Enrichment night and Cannery night. I really like going to the cannery.

Getting ready for hubby's business trip. I'm jealous, he is going to the city my sister lives in/next to. He will be getting to spend his evenings with my sister and her neat family. I want to go!!

Well, while he is gone, we are going to go swimming at the local pool (I'll put sunblock on) and we will probably take a day trip, head west and go see a ghost town! ooooo

Normal house stuff always going on. Well, I'm not sure what is normal anymore... :)

There has been no rain for several weeks now. And yet, the tumbleweeds grow. They grow fast and are a beautiful deep green. We did not invite them into our back yard. They rudely came in, uninvited, and have made themselves at home in between the rocks in the back yard. We pull them out and toss them as quick as we can, but they seem to have invited all their friends over. Hubby and I were talking about how great it would be if tomato plants were like that. If we could just take tomato sees, toss them carelessly into the rocky back yard, never water them, and have them grow like crazy. That would just be great, but oh no, the tomatoes are dieing in the desert sun and the tumbleweeds are just as happy as can be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

my girls

Last night as I was going to tuck my five year old in bed, I found her sitting on her bed with one of the Hooked on Phonics books in her lap. She was sounding out the words! I was so impressed. I had tried to teach her this in the past, but she wasn't catching on, but there she was sounding out "span". I was impressed that she knew the "sp" sound, but then adding the "a" and "n" made it for a three syllable word. It takes time to be able to put those sounds together into one word. I was amazed. This morning she was at it again, trying to figure out the word "shall", but "s"+"ha"+"a"+"l" made a long odd word.

My one year old, is smart too, but in a very mischeivious way. I had put in a Baby Einstein movie and she had been watching it, but I guess she got bored. She opened the DVD player, changed the movies, and started a new one. She made a mess of the DVDs, though. I really don't like it when she gets ahold of the DVDs.

Monday, June 15, 2009

climbing queen

Peanut is 14 months old now. She is the most mischievous of my kids. She really keeps me on my toes. Lately her favorite thing to do is climb up onto the table. If anyone is working there, or playing games there, she climbs on and terrorizes whatever is going on.

She also likes to sit or stand on the edge of the couch arm. This drives me nuts. We have hard concrete tiled floors. I worry about her. Of course, she thinks it is so funny and just laughs and laughs as she lives on the edge. I've gotten to where I keep pillows on the floor next the the arm that she likes to climb on. She has fallen off twice and it hasn't stopped her.

She also likes to take my wallet apart at every opportunity. She's a menace. Good thing she is so gosh-darn cute!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

days

The summer days are going along. My boys spent several weeks with grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, animals and lots of dirt. They had a blast. It's nice having them home again. Things were quieter without them, but not as much laughter was being heard in the house.

Here in the city, free lunch is provided for all the children at various parks. We've tried to hit that as often as we can. The food is good and I don't have to cook or clean dishes! I wanted to do that today, but today was one of those days where you go, go, go and we just didn't make it.

I do a weekly email newsletter for the ladies at church. They really like it and I love doing it, but it does take an hour or two to put it together each week. I did that today.

My interest in looms and weaving is still going strong. I've made two creations on my inkle loom and I'm working on another one. I really like it, but I'm having a hard time making the edges look good. I just don't know what to do about that. I have lots of weaving I want to do, but time isn't always there....

Things have been busy, in a fun way. We are having some issues with our real estate person not getting our house on the market yet. We are also having some car issues with the dealer not honoring their warranty. Some troubles never end.

Oh well, during the day we try to have happy times and play around. Next week is scout camp! I'm going to help out one day. That will be fun. I worry about leaving the three little ones with a baby sitter all day, but I love day camps and I'm excited to go for the day.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Taking a break

I've been spending WAY too much time here at the computer. I play, I read, I research, I watch funny things on youtube. My daughter has only 3 more months at home before school starts. I don't want her to go, I'll miss her so much, but what am I doing during the day? Sitting here.

I'm going to try hard and spend very little time here on the comp. When the baby needs me to sit and hold her, I'm going to read books again. I haven't read any books since we moved here 7 months ago. We have enough books to make the local library jealous. I've read maybe 10% of them, probably less. I'm going to read, I'm going to attempt more exercise, which, I think will happen if I'm not here on my rear end. The local city provides lots of free things for kids, there are parks all over the place, local hiking, museums, weekly craft fairs, and more. We are going to try and get out more and spend less time in the house. Easier said than done since I don't know what summers here are like, but I'm guessing their hot. However, when we are in the house, the kids tend to fight more, and I'm not going to let them play Wii every hour of every day.

This isn't going to be easy. This week, no computer, except necessary church stuff. The rest of the summer, I plan on writing and keeping a journal, probably a lot here in my blog, but I'm going to work very hard to make sure I have plenty to write about. So anyway, this long post is just to say (to myself more than anyone else) that I'm taking a break this week.

PS, I bought a new pedometer. My old one's battery died and it's cheaper to buy a new pedometer than the specialty batteries they require. At the end of the week, I'll let you know my mileage.

Friday, May 29, 2009

building birds

A couple of birds have decided a small wall hanging over the front patio is where they want to build their nest. I'm OK with this, unless they start to attack us like some mockingbirds did last year in a bush near our front door.
See this post to know what I'm talking about.

I find this nest very interesting. When they first started coming to the spot, they were leaving little brown spots all along the wall. I thought it was pretty gross, because I thought they were leaving little bird droppings. Then, I started to notice the little specks of mud on the ground right under the wall. So, I've been watching these birds. They work in the morning only and they are building on the side of the wall. The nest is made of mud and grass. Now, we live in the desert. It rained last Friday, a week ago, but before then, there had been no rain for 6 months and there has been no rain since. There is no standing water anywhere near by. I'm not sure how they get the mud, but I'm guessing they make it in their little bird tummys and regurgitate it. Kind of a gross thought and a less than sanitary way to build a house, but very ingenious for these little birds in the hot, dry desert.

I've enjoyed watching their nest grow and now it is really starting to look like a nest. I wish these little birds well as they start their family. As long as they don't attack us when we come out of our front door, all will be well with them. I don't know what they are, but they are not mockingbirds, thank goodness....

Friday, May 22, 2009

first time mom...

I'm realizing that "first time mom" applies to more than just having your first baby.

My oldest will be 11 soon. He is a pre-teen. I'm a first time pre-teen mom. I just signed him up for middle school. I just bought the first can of deodorant (although I probably should have done this a while back). I'm buying size 7 shoes. His feet are almost as big as mine. He is only a head shorter than I am. He mumbles when he speaks. He is quick on jokes and come backs. He is starting to babysit his siblings for short periods of time.

Well, some things about him haven't grown up and he is still a kid. Girls are still to be avoided in his mind and not to be made friends with. Mom and Dad are still ok to be seen with. He prefers the company of his family to his friends. He still sits in the sand box with his little brother and fills buckets with sand.

Can he stop growing? Can he turn 11 and never have another birthday? I'm not sure I want him to grow up. Still, I know he will be a fabulous young man. He is smart and will do well in life. Oh, but I don't want him to grow. I'm so torn... I'm such a first time mom.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Just the random everyday of life

I've been meaning to post more on hobbies because I have some funny things to show, but it requires me scanning some pictures from a book and I just haven't taken the time to do it. But, I will share a few pictures of my latest odd hobby, weaving!
This is a tapestry weaving technique that I'm trying. Usually, you sit on the floor with such a frame propped up. I'm not big into sitting on a hard concrete floor for long periods of time. Also, hanging like this, the kids can't get at it as easily. There is a pattern lightly drawn on the warp, or vertical yarn, it is geometric shapes and lines.
Here is a picture of what I just finished. This medieval torture looking device it my attempt to make my own loom. It works well enough. It needs some improvements... This flag thing I'm making turned out looking alright. My hubby refused to comment on it when I showed him the final project. I know it isn't pretty (this view is the back side, by the way) but I am very proud of what I accomplished for a first time.

Ok, on to other things of life!
Only two and a half days of school left!!! My boys are so excited. We have a very busy week.
This is my oldest, bobbing for apples. He really wanted to do this the other day, so the whole family got into it, except for me, I can't get my ears wet, so I've never been able to participate in things like this.

Desert blooms! I'm amazed at the huge number of flower producing plants here in the desert. The colors are amazing, too - red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, dark purple and pink. What is even more amazing that in the 6 months we have lived here, it has not rained. Twice in December it sprinkled, and a few months ago I saw about 10 drops on the sidewalk, but that is it! Desert plants are amazing.

The girls of my family have had a running joke for years about the Bluebird of Happiness. I'm not sure how it all started, but around 10 years ago, I ended up with two of this little glass birds. For the last year I've been having a great time putting these little bluebirds in various places and situations and taking their picture. Well, now, they are ready for summer!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jaws of Steel

Peanut has been teething for several months. We are almost done. She has two teeth to go - the two lower canines. As is such, she has been chomping on everything.

A few weeks ago, I was at the grocery store. I can't sit her in the seat part of the cart because she stands up in the seat. So, I put her in the cart with the groceries. I had just put a new gallon of milk in the cart and as I was walking down the aisle, my 5 year old yells, "Mom, Peanut opened the milk!" Peanut had the lid, with it's seal still attached, in her hand. She had her mouth over the open milk and was trying to get a drink. She had pried that lid right off with those jaws of steel.

At home, she has opened lids to the oatmeal, shortening, and even has gotten a hold of her formula. I've been lucky so far to catch most of these messes before they become huge messes.

Last week I was at Walgreens. I had a few things to get. Again, Peanut was in the basket. I was smarter this time, or so I thought, and put the items in the seat of the cart. While I was looking at something, Peanut stood up, got a box of neosporin and the box of lotion and stuck them in her mouth. By the time we got to the cash register, she had chewed the ends off the boxes and the creams sat at the bottom of the basket. All I could do was hand the cashier the chewed on box and apologize. "Sorry, but I have a teething toddler."

Then, yesterday, the mess that I have been so good to avoid happened. I was working on the computer doing various church related emails and reports when Peanut came up to me. She was holding her bottle and wanted to be held. I picked her up and noticed her entire outfit was wet and she smelled of vinegar. I went into the kitchen, where I found half a gallon of vinegar spilled out all over the floor. She had opened the cupboards, pulled out the vinegar and used those jaws of steel to pry off the lid.

My floor was very clean after I cleaned it all up. Now, I'm must go shopping for baby proof locks to go on several cupboards. We are renting the house and I would rather not do that to someone elses house, but Peanut is into way too much mischief and those jaws of steel are way to powerful.

Friday, May 08, 2009

hobbies

Hobbies are really wonderful things. I've always had a hobby to work on. I started cross stitching when I was seven years old. I still love to do it when I can find the time. One of my favorite ways to pass the time is to put on a great happy movie, sit sideways on the couch with my legs stretched out, and cross stitch.

I had dabbled in other hobbies as well. I did scrapbooks for several years. After my third child was born, I gave up on this one. I have also done beading. I really don't have an eye for this, but I really enjoy it and I've made myself a bracelet for just about every shirt I own.

My Dad has always had interesting hobbies. He has done wood working in many forms, drawing, and right now he makes his own bows and arrows. Dad has an eye for detail and a great deal of patience.

I found, recently, a set of books that were printed in the glorious 70's. It is a set of 24 books on arts and crafts. These are well done and the "guest" they have for each of the hobbies is a professional at this hobby. There are the normal things like sewing, painting, and knitting, but there are things like spinning your own wool, glass blowing, making a wooden flute, smocking, square dancing and cooking exotic foods. I have LOVED looking through these books. I want to do these hobbies! I want to try them all.

The next post or two will show the books and my latest odd hobby.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Doing Hair Dos

Daughter and I have been having fun playing with her hair. We've tried out all sorts of fun hair styles. Her hair is straight as can be and it makes it hard to do some hair styles.

When we took the twisty buns down at the end of the day, this is what we had. It was so cute!

Here is another fun hair style we tried.

Then, this morning, my youngest son woke up with this. What a mess!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tweedle Dum

Silly and creative, isn't he?

Even a little freaky?
He and his brother were dressed like this for their battle. It was funny to see.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Growing up

Peanut is funny. Her best time of the day is after 8:30 pm. She is happy, loves to explore, play with toys, make loud noises with her girly voice, look at books, dance... she is just happy. I usually fall asleep before she does and she'll get where I'm trying to sleep and she'll jump on me. She learned a few days ago that if she rubs her head around on the sofa and then touches somebody, she will shock them. She loves this and thinks it is a great game to do with Daddy. He's a good sport about it and makes a good reaction for her. She keeps us very entertained. The rest of the day she spends screaming, unless Baby Einstein is on, of course.

You would think she is my only kid. Most of the pictures and all of the videos are of her. The other kids just aren't as cute or funny. :)

I will have to say this about my two oldest boys, though. Yesterday after school, they put their pillows on their heads, tied multiple blankets around them like capes, had another pillow for a shield, and grabbed their light sabers. They looked like Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee getting ready to battle. You know the rhyme - "Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee decided to have a battle, for Tweedle Dum said Tweedle Dee had spoiled his nice new rattle." I'm not sure if any rattles were spoiled, but a few blankets and pillow cases were and they are being laundered today. I got a great picture of one of my sons. I'll will post it soon because it was so incredibly funny.

This week and next week I'll be doing school registration. Oldest son will be entering middle school!!! I can't believe it. Next son will be going into third grade, but here, that is a different school. I guess you could call it secondary elementary school. My lovely daughter will be starting Kindergarten. She is soooo excited. Registration begins tomorrow for Kindergartners, but we will do it Friday. On Friday is the 2nd graders track and field day, so we will be going do to watch DS2 run his races. After we watch the races, we will go to the office and begin the registration process. Oh the joy.