Monday, December 17, 2012

a PE curiosity

I was standing in a local elementary school gym for an event recently.  On the wall were the usual posters on might find in a school gym:  the food pyramid, pictures of kids exercising, sports teams and such.

One poster had a list of locomotive movement: leaping, walking, running, climbing, etc.

That all makes sense.  Until I got further down that list and saw "karaoke" listed.

Is karaoke a form of exercise?  I never knew

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stories By Molly

This is my new blog, dedicated to my story writing.  I'll post stories that I'm working on.  Most of them are works in progress.  See the side bar of the blog for the various stories available to read.

Please visit: Stories by Molly

All these stories are original works of fiction.  Currently, there are three stories posted.

Joia and the Guild is a fantasy story for children and young adults.  It is a work in progress but I'm very pleased with it.

Untitled Story: Paul and Nora is an adult fiction chick lit.  Adult fiction meaning that it is not a children's book as most of my stories are.  I've never written adult fiction before and I'm finding it challenging.  It's a chick lit.   :)  Work in progress...

Doctor Who fanfic: Merry and the Doctor.  My kids got me hooked on Doctor Who.  I've seen all the modern series that is 6 1/2 seasons long.  I'm also working my way through the Classic Doctor Who and I've seen Doctors #1, 4, 5, 7, and 8.  Of the classic Doctors, Eight is my favorite and is the feature Doctor of my story.  It's a fun, easy reading bit of fan fiction.  This story is complete.

I have plans to include other stories that I'm working on.  I would appreciate any comments, good or bad.  Find some spelling errors?  Let me know. I edit my work, but sometimes you just can't spot the mistakes in your own writing.  Thanks for reading!

Thursday, December 06, 2012

The Ultimate in Laziness: Part 2

I hope the irony of the last post was not completely lost. (I didn't even bother to capitalize the few words I typed.)

I've been meaning to blog about this for a while, but I haven't.  I've been too lazy.

Yesterday my sister and I were discussing our laziness.  Now truthfully, she is about the 3rd least lazy person I know.  The only two who come before her in unlaziness is my mother and my gran. So, my sister is not a lazy person, but she is feeling like she is and I'm feeling like I am.

I told my sister about a recent display of laziness I have begun to show:  the microwave.  The microwave is the most lazy way to cook something.  Turn it on and within seconds or minutes, the food is nuked and ready to eat.  How do you make cooking with the microwave lazier?  I'll tell you:

When I need to microwave something for one minute, I don't put in the 6 and the 0 to make sixty.  I push the 6 twice.  Why bother moving my finger from the 6 to the 0 when I can just do 66?  If the food needs 30 seconds, I do 33.  That way I don't have to move my finger to the zero.

That is the ultimate in lazy.

The Ultimate in Laziness

too lazy to blog about the microwave

Monday, December 03, 2012

The weirdest Christmas list you will ever see

My 14 year old son's Christmas wish list:

-Badgers, lots and lots of badgers
-Fluffy bunnies from Money Python
-Toasted wafer nuggets
-A large duck-billed saber tooth platypus
-Tinkle and Sprinkle bed sheets
-Ol' Crusty McPete's "fishin' pole"
-Stonehelm's battle gear
-Banana Bond's "Bunch o' Bananas"
-Dalek poo
-The Doctor's excess earwax
-Rory's 5th Gravestone
-The 11th Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver
-Stevie Wonder
-MC Hammer pants
-The Hulk's deodorant
-Thor's power foot powder
-Zeus's beard comb
-The strange bug in Chewbacca's fur

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An exercise in creativity

I haven't written much in the last few months.  Honestly, I don't feel like I have anything of any interest to say.

No guarantees on this either. :)

Several weeks ago I discovered a company that produces high quality audio productions.  I purchased my first story from them.  It's a great story, lots of fun, and has excellent voice acting.  If it didn't cost so much, I would have bought a lot more by now.

I've listened to the story a dozen times now.  The complete story runs about four hours.  Tonight, I had to drive the kids to scouts.  We listened to the audio story on the drive there and home.  We got through an hour of the story.

While it was going, the kids were totally silent.  They were listening as the story progressed.  It's not an audio book.  No one is reading a story to us, it is an audio play.  Like the old time radio productions.  You listen to the characters talk, hear the sound effects and your mind has to fill in all the visual pictures.  It's brilliant! 

I've asked my hubby for more of these audio productions for Christmas.  I think there needs to be more of this kind of stuff on the radio or made available to kids.  In a world that is filled with visual stimulation, this is an exercise in imagination.

Like I said, the story is good and the acting is first class, but you still have to use your imagination to make sense of the story.  My kids were completely spell-bound tonight.  We're going to have to run some long errands this week so they can finish hearing the story.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The room that is not a playroom

Between my five children, there are three bedrooms to play in.  So why is it they take all their toys, blankets, pillows and things out of their bedroom and put it into my laundry room?

The laundry room is also a bit of a storage room since we have no garage for those extra buckets of stuff.  The room is tight, dark, messy and a little stinky.  Why do they play in there?

When I go in to do the laundry and I can't even get to the door because of the tent city that has been placed in front of it. Once I have removed the tent city, I must carefully pick my way through into the room.  I bend down and start throwing blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, baby dolls, books, art supplies, and action figures out of the door and into the living room.  Finally I can reach the laundry.

It's not unusual for me to be rotating laundry and find toys, shoes and stuffed animals that accidentally got thrown into the wash.

I just want to shout: "You have your own room!  Leave me my space!"  And I do shout it.

On a similar rant, we have a trampoline and there are five beds for the kids in the house.  Why are they jumping on the couch?  Even after the 200 millionth time in the span of 14 years of motherhood that I have yelled at them to stop jumping on the couch, they still do it.  I just got a new slipcover for the couch.  It covers the seven years of abuse it has received at the hands of my children.  Every time they jump on the couch, the slipcover slips off and I re-tuck that thing in several times a day.

Just stay off the sofa!  Go to the trampoline!

This is a good humor rant, but a rant none-the-less.  :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Old ladies and irony

A bit of irony to brighten our day:  In the mail we received a packet of papers telling us we should donate to their cause to save trees.  (See the picture below.)  Yes, that is seven sheets of paper to tell us to save the trees. 

This next picture is small, but I'll describe it.  My son brought this home from school.  It has pictures of scary things you might find on halloween: bat, cat, owl, ghost, goblin, bones, wizards, and trick or treating.  However, the scariest thing of all is the first picture: OLD LADY!

Forget ghosts and goblins!  Watch out for the old lady!!  AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

costumes, sister-talk and socks

I haven't written much here this month.  Don't know why... haven't taken the time, don't feel like there is much worth sharing, busy with other things, etc.  It's all true.

Today is Halloween!  My kids are quite excited.  This year we have Shaggy (from Scooby Doo), Captain James T. Kirk, a hippy, Bumblebee (Transformers, you know) and a pretty pink ballerina.  They are excited for tonight. 

According to the weather map, we were in the Hurricane Sandy that passed through the east coast this weekend.  We had more than 24 hours of non-stop rain and some wind, but amazingly we never lost power.  Loosing power doesn't require a huge storm here.  A simple breeze can knock a branch loose in this forest we live in and kill a power line.  The kids' schools were closed for Monday and Tuesday as was my husband's work.  We had a lovely four day weekend.  We watched movies, played games, BBQed hamburgers, and of course some of those household chores like cleaning and laundry.  Yesterday morning, I spent the entire morning in my pajamas, listened to quiet music and read some e-book stories.  I also spent an hour and a half talking on the phone to my sister.  We talked about everything - kids, houses, cleaning, money woes, music, weather, stories, movies, movie stars, talking in British accents, and my falling on the stairs twice in one week. 

Yes, I've fallen on the stairs twice in one week.  My sisters reaction? "For crying out loud, Molly!  Get some non-slip socks!"

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Colors of Fall

Today I raked the yard of it's leaves and made a HUGE pile for the kids to play in.  I realized that my two youngest have never jumped in piles of leaves before and it's been four years since the other kids had the joy of jumping into mounds of leaves.

A tree in our yard. The yellows and oranges are spectacular!

On the drive to church:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

2nd Improv Performance

Tonight we had our second performance with our teen improv group.  The last couple of weeks have been difficult for our group.  I started a job and have been gone for the last three rehearsals.  We had a number of kids say they wouldn't be able to come or that they might not be able to come. 

At 10 minutes before the performance, we had 3 of our teen actors there.  Thankfully, more showed up and in the end, we had 8 performers.  For half of them, it was their first performance with our group.

They did awesome.  We had about 25 audience members (half parents, half not), so it was a small group, but that's OK. 

We played nine games: Film, theater, TV Styles, Instant Replay, 60 second movie, A&E Biography, Forward/Reverse, Two Headed Conversation, Moving Bodies, Living Props, and one more, but I can't remember right now.  I had not seen them perform Forward/Reverse or Moving Bodies before.  They did great!

A couple of problems: During one of the games, two of the actors had their backs to about half of the audience.  They didn't always speak loud enough.  A couple of times, they would curl up in a ball or lay flat on the floor and then talk towards the floor which made it difficult to hear them.

A couple of the games went really, really well and others not so much.  It's all good.  During the film, theater, TV style game, one of the suggestions was Grey's Anatomy.  I don't think the performers had ever seen it before, but one of them starts pointing to his stomach and said, "See my liver?  This is my anatomy."  Good laughs from that one.

We had two kids from the audience as volunteers for the moving bodies.  They actually had to move the actors.  They actors spoke, but they couldn't move unless the volunteers moved them.  It worked quite well.

One problem my little actors have is carrying out a scene.  Even though it is improv, there still needs to be a beginning, a middle and something of a conclusion.  They don't do that.  Sometimes they don't even go with the scene suggestion.  Perhaps we need to practice storytelling - beginning, middle, end...

I think we recruited another kid for the group.  Half of the kids in the group are huge Doctor Who fans.  When this audience member discovered that, she was hooked.  I look forward to her joining us in a few weeks.

We held the performance at the local library in one of the community meeting rooms.  It turned out to be a very good location.  So, overall, it was a great night of funny teens being very funny.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Good Bye Bix Tex

I've said before that even though I haven't lived in Texas in many, many years, I still call Texas home.  I've never met another group of people more fiercely proud of their state than Texans.

So, when on Friday I heard about Big Tex catching on fire and being completely destroyed at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas, I mourned.

Big Tex has been in the Dallas skyline since 1952.  Our family went to the state fair every October.  During the day, no matter where you were in the fair, you could hear the deep, booming voice of Big Tex saying, "Howdy!"

Now, he is gone.  However, this being Texas, you can be sure that Big Tex will return.  The fairground officials have promised us a bigger and better Big Tex.  I'm glad he will be back. 

This is what I wrote on Facebook when I found out about Big Tex's tragedy:

"I couldn't believe it. I called up my husband. He said, "WHO?" I about hung up on him when he said that. How can you not know Big Tex? It's like a little part (or big part) of Texas has died. I can't imagine the Dallas fairground skyline without him. He was there, year round waving at you as you drive by. Poor Tex. May his replacement be as grand and Big-As-Texas as they come."

I haven't been to the fair in years, but I might just have to make a special trip next October to see the new Big Tex. This Texan gal wants to say Howdy!
This is how I remember him as a kid.

Friday, October 19, 2012

stinky washing machine

My down stairs was starting to smell funny.  OK, not starting too, it DID smell funny.  I could tell it was coming from the laundry room, but I wasn't entirely sure what was causing the smell.  Yesterday I cleaned that room out.  Threw out a lot of stuff and organized the rest, but found nothing that was causing the smell.  The floor was dry and there was nothing dead hiding behind the machine.

While I was cleaning, I had some laundry going in the machine.  When it was time to switch, I opened the washing machine up and WHEW!  The smell make me cough.  Thanks to Google, I have taken care of my stinky machine.

I ran the machine again, empty of clothes and put in about six cups of bleach.  The next load of laundry I did, I added several cups of vinegar.  Today the smell is gone and I can sit in the downstairs area without coughing.

Humidity, got to love it! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Going to the grocery store

Going to the grocery store.  Some people hate it, but I don't.  I don't mind going at all.  It's just paying high amounts of money at the end that I hate.

I think the ways that stores deal with the baskets (buggies) in the parking lot is always interesting.  Yeah, I know, if I find grocery baskets interesting, I need some help in my life. :) 

One store I go to has those return basket areas all over the parking lot.  No matter where you park, you aren't more than 4 parking spaces away from a return spot, making it very easy to put the basket in a safe location.

Another store I go to only has two basket return spots in their entire parking lot.  I never end up near one.  I either walk it back to the store front or sometimes leave it in the parking lot.  I hate doing that, but my kids sitting alone in a hot car is worth more than the time it takes to wheel the basket back up to the store.

Another store makes you pay a quarter for a basket and you must take the basket back to the store's door to get your quarter back.  We are all cheapskates, so it works.  Never is a basket to be found sitting in the parking lot.  It's a small parking lot, so it isn't too inconvenient, but I still don't like having to do that with my 4 year old in tow.

I remember a day when grocery stores hired baggers.  They bagged the food for you - not the cashier.  They pushed the basket with your groceries out to your car and loaded it all into your car for you.  Some baggers accepted tips, others did not.  Now, if there is a bagger, he puts your stuff into a plastic sack while chatting about school or co-workers to the cashier.  As soon as your last purchase is in the sack, he walks off, never offering to help.

To be honest though, if a grocery store has a self-checkout area, I use it and by-pass the cashier and bagger all together, never giving them the opportunity to help me out.

Customer service - I guess it goes two ways.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Time with a four year old

Time is tricky to learn.  I don't just mean learning to tell time on a clock, but learning about time in all of its forms.

As an adult, I don't really remember a time before I understood time.  I remember that by the time I was six or seven, I could read a clock (days before digital clocks were widespread) and I remember being very proud of using big phrases like "day before yesterday."

However, having had small children for the last 13 years, I see things through their eyes and watch as they learn to communicate thoughts and ideas through words.  Time is a difficult concept for a young child.

Anything that happened in the past to my 4 year old, whether it was yesterday, last week or last year, is always called "last night" by her.  So she will say to me, "Remember last night when we were in New Mexico and we dumped all the toys in the living room?"  That was 10 months ago.  "Remember last night when I turned four and we had a rainbow cake?"  (six months ago)

My favorite from my four year old is, "When I was a little girl...."

I told her that tonight the teenagers are coming over for improv night.  She says to me, "Tonight is today!"  When we make the treat that will be served after improv practice is over, she will ask for some and I'll tell her that it is for tonight and she will say, "but tonight is today!" and then she can't understand why she can't have a treat at that moment.

An hour can pass like a minute and a minute can feel like an hour. She loves to read the clock, but just doesn't understand why when the little hand is on the seven and the big hand is on the two is it not 7:02?

My youngest son's birthday is the next in our family, but it isn't until November.  Peanut keeps asking if it is his birthday yet.  Why not?  It's the next one!  How do you explain minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years to a four year old?  You really can't.  It is something that she will learn over time....

Time is very, very tricky.

Friday, October 12, 2012


So things here have been a little odd.  In a great way, though.

After 15 years of non-employment, I decided it was time to get a job.  Scary!  I found four potential jobs and I applied for two.  The first one I got an automated email saying that while I was qualified, there were already too many qualified applicants so I wouldn't even be considered.  The second one, the day after I turned in the application, I got an email requesting an interview.

It was a phone interview.  Never done anything quite like it before, but thanks to my mom, whose job is to help people get jobs, she talked me through some of the questions an interviewer might ask and helped me formulate strong answers.  A day or so after the interview, they emailed me and told me they would contact me again when they were ready to proceed with the next step.  After a few weeks of waiting, I went to the HR department and filled out paper work.  I did fingerprints and a drug test.  By that night, I had my work schedule in my email.

I started on Tuesday.  I've worked 3 days now.  I'm excited.  It looks like it will be a nice fit for me.  It is evenings and weekends.  Perfect.  I can be at home with my youngest during the day, and I go to work after the kids get home from school.  Once the training is done, I'll work fairly independently.  I drive around the county, turning lights on and off at the parks for sports teams.  I open and close parks and schools for sports teams and recreational activities.  You don't think about those things until you do them, but those late night baseball games at the city parks, someone has to turn off the lights when they are done and lock up the bathrooms.  That will be me.

The schedule is fairly flexible.  The first night, I was done by 8pm but last night I had to stay at the park until 11pm.  I can take books, my cross stitching, or whatever to keep me busy while I wait for the games to end.  I'm going to know the roads throughout the county very well.  The people I work with are nice people.  The woman I worked with last night had the most wonderful local accent.  I listened as she talked about the "tahrs" on the truck getting flat.

I work again tonight.  Actually, I work for 10 days in a row this week (and next) at all the different parks around the county.  Tonight will be a new park.  I'm excited.  I have a uniform and I drive the county trucks.  I have access codes and keys.  It's a new experience for me, but I'm very happy.

Other than that, things are going along about like normal.  Kids, school, family, house, laundry, dishes, decorating the house for Halloween, and chats with my four year old (which I've been meaning to blog about.  She has the funniest things to say.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

The bored 4 year old

My 4 year old is left at home while her four big siblings go off to school. 

They envy each other.

The four year old wants nothing more than to go to school with her siblings and they want only to be at home.

Everyday after the buses take the kids away, the four year old throws a huge tantrum and for the last two weeks, she does it all day long.  It is really a catch 22.  She is bored and wants some one to play with her.  I would enjoy playing with her and doing more with her if she were happy, but she starts off each day WAY too early and has done quite a bit of crying by 8am at which point, I no longer want to play with her.

I had looked forward to this final year with her.  Just her and me together, but she is making it so difficult to enjoy.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A new line of candles

My children and I present to you: A New Line of Candles!

Inspired by a recent display of candles that included Treehouse Memories and Storm Weather, we present to you our own line of new scents:

Old Books
Indoor Pool
The Bacon Cheeseburger
Teenage Memories
Stuff from the Cracks in the Sofa
School Mascot

Watch out candle world!  As soon as I find a chemical engineer who can achieve our scents, I'll be open for business!

Friday, September 21, 2012

My book needs your help

I have a favor to ask.  My book needs help.  I can't do it alone.   I need others to help me.

There are two ways you can help me and my book.  Neither involves spending money or much time.

#1 - Go to my page on  Near the top of the page is a Facebook thumbs up.  Please click "Like."  Each click of the "Like" button, helps my ratings on Amazon.

#2 - Add my book to your Wish List, if you have one on Amazon.  You never have to purchase it -although you are most certainly welcome too  ;) - but by adding it to your wish list, it helps the ratings.

If you have bought the book and read it, please leave a rating.  You don't need to do a review, just rate it through the stars.

If you don't have an Kindle, there is a way now to purchase the book in paperback form!  It cost $4.99.  It is available through Create Space, an company: .  Click "Like" here, too!

My book also has its own website now, too! Visit the Band Girls home page.  Let me know what you think.

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

2 weeks of the kids new school year - finished

Much is going on, as always, but nothing truly worthy of blogging about. 

The Teenprov group is really going well.  With school starting, we had a few changes in our group.  Two kids can't join us anymore because of other activities.  They've apologized to me, which is very kind, but I totally understand.  You can't do everything.  We also gained 5 new kids, including two boys.  Awesome!

The boys are both very young (10 and 12).  I would prefer them with the younger group than the older one, but they both have sisters in the older group.  The boys are both a little hyper and spent their entire first rehearsal jumping.  With every game they played, they jumped through the entire thing.  I appreciate their enthusiasm.

We have our next performance set up.  October 23!  It isn't easy to find places that will let us hold our performances for free or even a small fee, but I remembered the local library has several meeting rooms and they are available to the community to use for free.  Comedy improv at the local library!

I've got some choices and more possible choices a head of me.  I'm not sure what to do.  School?  Jobs?  Dreams? Personal projects?  Can I do it all?  I might try....  Some decision will need to be made in the next few weeks.  I hope I make the right decision. Not worth blogging about yet.

Well, the days start pretty early now.  I'd better head to bed for the night.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time with Peanut

My four year old is quite the gal.  The four older kids have been back to school for a week and a half now.  At home each day is Peanut and me.

I have many projects to work on around the house along with the daily chores, but Peanut and I take time each day to play, talk and read.  She wants to learn how to read, so we pull out her alphabet cards and go through them.  She knows all her letters, upper and lower case, and the sounds each one makes.  Two days ago, I pulled out the Hooked on Phonics books and gave her the first one. She sounded out the words and read them.  Not all of them, but about half the words in that little book, she read own her own!  I couldn't believe her.

She is smart, but sometimes she is a little too smart.  Several weeks ago, Hubby ordered some pink goggles for her for when they go to the swimming pool.  She was so excited.  The next morning, she got on the computer and pulled up and showed her siblings the goggles Daddy had ordered her.

She got on Amazon!  Good thing that site is password protected or she would be ordering all sorts of things off  the Internet.

Monday, September 10, 2012

My birthday request

Today is my birthday!! (Tuesday, although blogger is saying I published this yesterday.)

That means for dinner, we fondue.  It's been my birthday tradition for about 14 years now.  A cheese and then a chocolate.  Mmmm.

I have a birthday request.  I published a middle school aged book two months ago through's self-publishing called Go Band Go.  I've sold a couple of copies, but not many.  One of the features of selling through Amazon is that I can do promotional days for my book.  This means my book is FREE! 

My request is that you download the book today.  It won't cost you a thing and each time it downloads, it helps my ranking.  You don't have to read the book, but if you do, I would appreciate a customer review on the Amazon site.  To go to my book on the, follow this LINK.

The promotion only runs today after that, it goes back to it's regular price of $2.99.

Thank you for supporting me.

Problems of the world solved... almost

I have great ideas and thoughts while driving around town in my big white van.  I've composed many a blog ideas.  I've thought up great books and stories.  While driving, I've solved all of our family problems, solved world peace and thought up the solution to end hunger.  I think up all these things while driving.

The problem is, once I get home, all these thoughts and ideas are thrown out the window.  I walk into the house and usually the first thing I hear is one of my younger children say, "I'm hungry.  I want a peanut butter sandwich."  Real life returns.

I get frustrated because I' completely forget about all those fantastic ideas I came up with.  Things I wanted to look up on the computer, ways to market my book, ideas for my theater, and important paper I need to sign, call this person... all those great ideas and reminders of things I need to do - GONE!

I need one of those hand held voice recorder gadgets.  Then I could drive, think, solve the mysteries of the universe and record my thoughts for later. 

Friday, September 07, 2012


I haven't blogged about my weaving lately because I haven't done much weaving since we moved.  I've been busy doing school, my improv group, and my kids.  For about six months a project sat on the loom hardly worked on.  I finally decided I was going to finish it.  Once I sat down and worked at it, it only took me a week. 

It's my Scottish clan Robertson's hunting tartan.  I made the regular tartan several years ago, but I love the colors of the hunting tartan.  I'm more into blues and greens.  It is quite long and will be a nice wrap to wear at church and home during the cold months.

For years, since I started weaving, I would see pictures of beautiful weavings with words and pictures inside of them.  I always wondered how they did that.  I read several articles and watched a YouTube video.

Then I would run to my loom and try it.  It was always a disaster and I finally gave up trying.  After finishing my tartan, my loom sat naked and empty.  I began looking up some Christmas patterns and seeing if I could find a fun project for the upcoming holiday season.  Once again, I saw pictures woven into the fabrics.  I watched another YouTube video of a lady weaving little Christmas tree pictures into her fabric.  It started to make sense, so I ran to my loom and began. 

I did it! Christmas trees!
I started to get a little braver and decided to try my hand at letters. 
It is tiny, but there it is: MERRY CHRISTMAS woven right into the red fabric!!!!

Now that I know how, nothing can stop me!!! It figures, that I would finally catch onto the technique in time for my own school to start again.

Monday, September 03, 2012


Grapes - lots and lots of grapes.  This is probably about 30 pounds of grapes.

First you smash them, you smash them, you smash them, smash them, smash them!

Then you drain them, you drain them, you drain them, drain them, drain them... (In pair of never worn tights my daughter out grew.)
Then you can them, you can them, you can them, can them, can them.

Then you eat it, you eat it, you eat it, eat it, eat it!  And it is GOOD!

The performance was great!

The only picture I got from the performance.  Next time, I've really got to get a photographer.

Teenprov! The Performance went very well.  Better than I could have hoped for.  The kids were so very, very funny.  During the first game, one of the girls forgot how to play and kind of messed up the sequence, but if there is one thing these kids have learned it is how to improvise.  The others just moved on and it was all good.
This is an awesome group of teenagers!
I'm going to work on possibly getting a YouTube channel for the group to show their performance.  I video taped most of it, although very badly.  It is hard to be host and camera man at the same time!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Advertising our first performance!

Teenprov! is having it's first performance on September 1st!

Check out Auntie M's website - Teenprov!

The Grapes of Busy

On Monday I had an opportunity to go pick grapes from a nearby farm.  I picked 51 pounds of concord grapes.  I probably would have picked more, but the bees were awful and I'm terrified of bees.  My three youngest kids came with me.

I took my camera, but forgot to get pictures.

Now I've got 51 pounds of grapes to deal with.  Yesterday I made 18 half-pint jars of grape jelly.  That was only using less than 1/4 of the grapes. 

I also picked 16 pounds of apples.  Yesterday I made the most wonderful apple butter!  I made it in the crock pot, so other than peeling apples, the crock pot did the rest of the work for me.  I don't have one of those fancy apple peeler machines, so I peel the apples by hand.  That takes quite a bit of time.  I also made an apple pie.  Mmmm good!

I've got to finish the grapes before I can do more with the apples.  The grapes will go bad faster.

I'll post some pictures of the grapes and my finished products later.

Off to make jelly now!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Teenprov!'s first performance

My teen improv group, which I have named "Teenprov!" will be having their first performance on September 1st.  I'm excited and a little nervous.  We've never done a performance and I'm not quite sure how it is going to go.  It might turn out wonderfully, it might be a bit of a disaster.  I don't know.  However it turns out, I know it is going to be a lot of fun.

My biggest concerns are the fact that the kids can't keep quiet when it is not their turn and that they might not speak up loud enough for anyone to hear them when they are performing.  We've been practicing in my family room and it isn't the same as a stage area.  Oh well, they will figure it out.

It has been so difficult finding a location for us to hold our little performance in.

There is no packing an audience into my living room, so I started searching for a hall of some sort.  Everyone wants money, and lots of it.  I'm doing this for free and the performance will be free.  I don't have the money to pay someone $100 an hour, which is what most places want.

I called local community halls, the parks and rec department and several hotels about their conference rooms.  The local fire station even said they rent out their building for events.  Everyone wants $100 - $200 for the two hours I want the space for.  Yeah, sorry, that's not happening.

I finally called my church and asked.  They had to get permission for us to hold our little show there.  Once it was approved, they told me I could have the gym, but only if some other group doesn't schedule the use of the gym.  I'm thinking, wait a moment!  That is why I called and scheduled the gym for that time, so no one else could.  I don't know... we'll see what happens.

Tomorrow is our final rehearsal before the big show.  It is very exciting!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Comedy with Spock

Have you every imagined what it would be like if Spock (from Star Trek) tried to do stand-up comedy?  What about a comedy sketch?

You just can't, can you?  It would be highly illogical.

I have a Spock that comes to my teenage comdey improv group.  I'll give the group a scenario for their skit that go along the lines of "two pirates trying to order fast food" and my Spock will say, "that is stupid, it would never happen."


I've tried to explain to Spock that it doesn't matter if it can really happen or not, this is theater and we can do anything we want.  It's all make believe.

Spock doesn't get it.

Now when Spock tells me that the comdey scene is highly illogical, I just say, "Don't argue with the Host!"

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Green is Changing

Back in April, I was delighted to see the winter trees turn green with spring blossoms.  Leaves that are the amazing lime green color that only spring can produce.

In June and July the leaves have turned into their deep summer green.

Now, it is mid August and the summer green is fading and being replaced with yellows and reds.  I didn't expect it to change so early.  I figured there was another month of summer green.  Now as I drive through the neighborhood, I look into the trees and see hints of yellow coloring.  The forest is taking on a new color and I'm delighted to watch the changed.

Ever since we arrived here in January, I've been excited for fall.  I love autumn.  I can't wait to see the transformation of the forest as a new season approaches.  I know I will miss the green of summer, but the bare forest in the winter makes the spring lime green and summer deep green all the more wonderful.

Fall, I am ready for you!  I can't wait to bake with pumpkin and light apple scented candles.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

goings on...

This weekend I made 8 more quarts of pickles and 3 pints of salsa from our homegrown tomatoes.

Kind of cool, all this canning.  I don't like salsa, but my husband does, so it's good!

I haven't had any deep thoughts lately, but I did something this weekend I haven't done in a very long time - I applied for a job.  Part of me really wants the job, but part of me does not.  I guess that could be a normal reaction.  I was thinking today how it would be nice to go see my grandmother in the fall, but then I realized that if I get a job, I won't be doing that.

The job is a park guide.  From what I can tell, it would be working in a local historical building giving tours and such.  Pretty awesome!  I would enjoy a job like that. 

Who knows what will happen.  I'll just wait and see.

I finished a book last week: "Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates" by Mary Mapes Dodge.  I had heard so many great things about this classic story.  Honestly I have to say, I didn't enjoy it.  Some of the story was fun and much of it was tedious.  The language is old.  It's not at all difficult to understand, but certainly an old way of speaking.  The children in the story are just all a little too perfectly well-mannered.  Well, whether I liked it or not, I can cross off another classic children's literature off my list of books to read.

Now I'm reading the 5th book from the "How to Train Your Dragon" series.  It is nothing profound and certainly not what great classic literature is made from, but it's fun and funny.  It's light hearted and silly.  Maybe I'll go back and read the first four books from the series. LOL

I've been working on a cross stitch this last week, and while I do I've been watching "All Creatures Great and Small."  My mom use to watch that on PBS back in the 80's and I would sometimes watch it with her.  It is really a nice show and I've been enjoying it a lot.  I listened to one of the books on tape when I was going to junior college (many years ago.)

Friday, August 10, 2012

The magic word is no longer "please"

Today, the Hubby was pouring some cereal for Peanut.  She asked him, "Daddy, what's the password?"

Hubby answered, "Please."

"No Dad.  What's the password to the computer?"

Oh my.  What this little 4 year old thinks.  The scary thing is, if we were to tell her the password, she would remember it and start to sound it out trying to spell it.  Sometimes she's a little too smart for her britches.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

more cucumbers!!!

I went out to work in the garden with my husband last night and we found many more large cucumbers!!!  Looks like it's time to pickle more.  The biggest problem is, I don't want to buy more Mason jars.  I've already bought at least a hundred this year!

Still, I love being able to grow food, can it, store it and feel a conection with my generations of grandmothers in earlier American times.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Mmm, Jammy Dodgers

Jammy Dodgers are yummy little cookies from England.  I guess they call them biscuits.  At my oldest son's request for the English biscuit, I found a recipe and gave it a go.  They should have a plum jam or seedless raspberry jam, but I don't have either, so I used homemade (by me) blueberry jam.


Friday, August 03, 2012

Pickling Pickles

Here is a photo journal of my pickling my latest batch of home grown cucumbers.

I've got everything ready: Cucumbers, garlic, freshly sanitized jars, and a cutting board. 

Oh yes, I just remembered I need dill too.  Good thing I've got my awesome herb garden in the front yard, complete with dill.
In preparation I also get my salt/vinegar solution ready.  It's 2 quarts water, 2 quarts vinegar and 1/2 cup of canning salt.  It needs to be brought to a boil and the salt needs to dissolve.  This will happen while I'm chopping cucumbers and stuffing the jars.
Also to prepare, I've got the lids to the jars in hot water.  They will seal better now.
Once the jars are ready, they will need to go into a boiling water bath.  I have found the best way for me to do this is outdoors.  The grill can get much hotter than my stove top.  This is the only way I can get this huge pot of water to boil in a reasonable amount of time.  Time to light up the grill!
Next I chop away.  Today my kids are watching Scooby Doo.  I can see the TV from where I sit, so while chopping at the cucumbers, I watch Scooby Doo, too.  Each jar gets a sprig of dill, a clove of peeled garlic and as many cucumber slices as I can stuff into it.
After each jar is stuffed to the max with cucumbers, I fill the jars with the hot salt/vinegar solution.  I put the lids on and screw them tightly on.  Next the jars go into the hot water bath out on the grill.  I can only do 4-5 jars at a time.
When they are done, I take them out and get the next batch in.  It takes me about 2 1/2 hours, but when it is all done, I've got lots of future pickles.  They'll need several weeks sitting in their solution, dilling and pickling, but when they are done..... mmmmm!
Today's batch yielded 10 quarts of pickles.  Honestly, I don't know how many quarts of pickles I've put up this year, although I'd guess about 80 quarts. Yes, 80 jars of pickles!  We've eaten 2 or 3 and I've given away 2 jars.  This is a freezer, that is not currently being used as a freezer, so it sat empty in our house.  Then, as we started to pickle and all those pickles needed a home, I stuck them into our unused freezer.

The small jars have green beans in them.  My hubby likes dilled green beans.  The jars that have a red tint to them are dilled green beans with hot pepper.  He likes them spicy!  I think we are pretty set on pickles for a while.  Good thing they are so very, very yummy.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

The 4 year old photographer

The other day, while we were at the park, I let my six year old use the camera and take some pictures.  See two posts previous for some of his pictures.

When he was done taking pictures, the 4 year old got hold of the camera and added her own photographic art:

One of my sons and myself playing a game of chess in the shade of the slides.

Tired hiking

I took the kids on a little hike today.  It was in a forested area, so even though it was hot and humid, it wasn't too bad because we were always in the shade.  I brought a portable water cooler with ice water in it, so we always had something cold to drink.  It was an easy trail to walk, well cared for and not too long.

Despite all the positives, my youngest complained most of the time.  She was tired, she wanted to go home, her shoes were going to fall off (they weren't), she needed a rest, she needed a drink....

However, there was a part of the walk that had rocks that the kids could climb on.  BAM!  Suddenly she had energy to spare as she climbed up a cliff side and posed for pictures from the top.  She found another way back down and climbed up and down the rocks a number of times.

However, when we were done on the rocks and walking back to the van, she was quite tired and told me so over and over and over.  Despite this whining, she did great.  They all do.  I love that I can take them on little adventures like this and I don't have to push a stroller or carry a toddler.  Life is very good.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The world of a six year old - in pictures

Pictures by my 6 year old.  These are really quite good.  They are very artistic.  They make you think about the way the world looks to a six year old.  Insightful, inspiring....

To kill a plant

I never knew that mint plants came in so many flavors.  There is mint, spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint, candy mint and more.  I bought a candy mint and fell in love with it's smell.  It wasn't the best looking mint plant, but I couldn't resist the smell.  I kept it on the back patio with my other potted plants.  It did fine, but not too healthy.  I watered it good and stuck it on the front porch.  The candy mint was very happy there and it became nice and green.

Then we had that dumb heat wave and power outage (which for us included water outage.)  The plants did not get watered.  The candy mint fried in the sun and died.  I put it back on the back porch and left it there.  It was a black bit of plant.  Sad and dead.  I couldn't throw it out.  So, it sat for several weeks, dead as a doornail on the back porch.  It sat through several rain storms.

This weekend, I noticed a little shoot of green was coming up from the candy mint plant.  I figured it was a weed that had managed to plant itself into the pot.  I picked up the pot and looked at the little plant.  It looked like the candy mint.  I gingerly touched its leaves and smelt my finger - mint!  The candy mint came back to life!

It is now in my house, sitting in a cool, but sunny place and it is growing again.  I pruned away most of the dead plant and the candy mint is once again growing.  I won't kill it again.  I promise.
The dead candy mint and the tiny sprout of new green mint.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who ya rootin' for?

My kids and I just watched a bit of the soccer games from the summer Olympics.  We saw the Spain vs Japan and the Mexico vs S. Korea.  I cheered for them all.  Every time one team got near the goal, I cheered them on.  Every miss on the goal, I groaned.  When it comes to games involving teams other than USA, I just cheer them all on.

Oddly, in both the games I watched, none of the teams scored while I was watching.  Maybe I had better not watch the USA game.  They might not score......

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chair Survey Results

Well, here are the personality results of the amazing chair survey.  Does the description fit you?

Straight back kitchen chair:         
You are used to dealing with tough situations.  You follow the rules and you are strict, but fair.  Your friends and coworkers respect your ability to make decisions.  But like kitchen chairs, you also bring people together for good food.

Folding chair:    
You are adaptable.  At work, co-workers look to you during company changes because you always keep a cool head.  At home you are fun and always trying new things.  You bring people together and are a great host/hostess.  People feel relaxed and at-ease when they are with you.

Chair without a back:     
You don’t follow the rules.  Always looking for the alternative, you are creative and innovative.  Supervisors go to you when a new solution is needed for a problem.  You are not confined.  You never have your back against the wall and can see in all directions.  At home you are always looking for new projects that allow your creative juices to flow.

Big squishy arm chair:    
You are kind, friendly and welcoming like a comfortable sofa.  Co-workers and friends come to you when they need a friend.  You are a good listener and can give level-headed advice.  However, you will not be taken advantage of.  The big comfy armchair is also like a throne and you are like royalty.  You are respected and revered.

Rolling computer chair: 
You are a logical thinker with a flair for fun.  A problem solver, you are heavily relied on at work.  You can be depended on.  At home your logical side keeps the finances in order while the fun rolling side is great at rolling with the punches and seeing the cup of life half full.

Amazing, isn't it?  Any idea who might have done the exhaustive and creative research for this incredibly accurate survey?  It's me!  Yes, I know, I'm good!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Chair Personality Survey

A new survey has come out from Mrs. Golightly's Sitting University.  It is a personality survey based on your chair preference.

Are you:

A straight back kitchen chair
A chair without a back
A big squishy arm chair
A folding chair
A rolling computer chair

This is quite the interesting survey and one I'm sure you will find to be most enlightening.

Tell me in the comments, who are you?

Monday, July 16, 2012

My teen improv group

Back in April or May, I started an improv group for the local teens.  It has been a lot of fun and we've had eight kids coming regularly.  We've played a bunch of games, but I'm starting to see their favorites and what they do best in.

They are a funny group of kids.  They are all sci-fi geeks and I say that in the most loving way possible.  They love Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who.  They are fans of The Muppet's, Lord of the Rings and Weird Al. 

In addition to doing improv, I'm going to introduce doing some sketches.  I'm writing one now called "An outer space survival guide."  We will draw on funny cliches and situations from their favorite sci-fi shows.

Recently we tried a new game.  It has no name that I know of, but you could best describe it like a biography show.  We choose a famous character, like Han Solo from Star Wars.  The kids have to create their own character and how they are related to Han.  They take turns coming to center stage with me.  I'm the interviewer. 

Me:  Welcome, may I have your name please?
Teen:  My name is Papa Lapa Shapa Lapa Ding Dong.
Me: Welcome Mr. Ding Dong.  Tell me, how do you know Han Solo?
Teen:  He use to come to my dance studio.  I taught him how to dance the cha cha.
Me:  Really?  Is Mr. Solo a good dancer?
Teen:  He is now. 

and it just goes on from there.  That little conversation was based on one of the characters one of the teens did.  I loved the name the kid used and he says it very fast, so it's really funny.  Each time we meet they get more and more creative.  They are also getting louder and louder as their excitement grows.  Someone get me some ear plugs!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Need a Logo?

Does your company need a logo?  My husband has created a number of professional and individualized logos for various companies. 

Hubby's for hire!  If your company needs a logo, contact him and he will create a logo to your specifications.

He is very good.  He created my Auntie M's Children's Theater logo, see on the right side of the blog.  If you are interested in having him create a logo for your company, leave a comment and I'll have him contact you.  His rates are very reasonable.  Check out some examples of his work:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My first book

This is a digital world!  I wasn't going to wait any longer for a 19th century process when the 21st century is at my fingertips.

Very few publishing companies publish more than a few books a year and even fewer of those traditional books are from first-time authors.  The publishing world is a near impossible world to break into.  I've been trying for several years, but all I got was the standard form letter saying, "Thank you for your interest, but we are not looking for anything new at this time (or we are not the right publisher for your work).  Best of luck."

A few months ago, I read an article about a woman who published her first book through Amazon's Kindle online publishing.  Within a year, her book had sold over 600,000 times!  A movie company was looking to buy the rights to the book.  All of that and not a single traditional paper book was printed.  Last month I read another article about an author who had published a couple of books the traditional way, but was completely frustrated by the process that the publishing company goes through.  The author lost all rights to the publicity of her book and the publishers took a considerable chunk of the profits.  This author switched to Amazon and love it.  The author retains all control of the publicity and can even set the price of their book.

I knew this was the way for me to go.  Two weeks ago, I took the step and published my first book through Amazon.  I'm very proud of this.  It is a middle school aged fiction for girls.  So far, I've sold three copies! I bought one, of course, my grandmother and my aunt. Thanks family for your support! Check it out: Go Band Go!

"Moriah, Eva and Kathy are best friends and starting the seventh grade. Moriah and Kathy play the flute and Eva plays the trumpet in the school pep band that performs at all of the school’s football games. With such great friends Moriah is sure that this year will be fantastic.

Then, Moriah’s parents announce they are going to adopt a baby from China and Moriah is worried that the baby might turn out to be as annoying as her brother, Michael. On the first day of seventh grade, Moriah forgets to take her flute to school, finds out she has the dreaded Mrs. Talbot for her history teacher, and Walter, the weirdest kid at school wants to talk to Moriah in alien languages. When she gets to her first football game, Moriah realizes she knows absolutely nothing about football. And when all the band’s mouthpieces go missing, Moriah is on the lookout for the thief.

Moriah is going to need Eva and Kathy to help her get through the seventh grade and she begins to see that her friends will need her too."

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is the price OK?

You know the routine when paying for something at a store:  If you use a card of any kind, you have to answer 3-5 questions before the purchase transaction is done.

"Your total is $37.84"

slide card

"Enter pin"


"Do you want cash back?"


"Is $37.84 OK?"

To me, this is the kicker.  I just want to yell at the machine NO!  No it is not OK that I'm paying over $3 for a gallon of milk.  No it is not OK that the loaf of bread is $1.20.  No it is not OK that I can fit $37 worth of food into one little grocery sack.  No, $37.84 is too high.  Can you lower the price a bit?

Instead of yelling "NO!" at the machine, I punch the 'yes' button and get my receipt. 

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Our corner of insanity

Can I just say that life has been a little on the crazy side recently?

Let me go back a bit:

June 21-23 - Hubby is in the hospital with stomach pains that ended up with one procedure and gall bladder removal surgery.  I spent most of my time during those days at the hospital with the Hubby.  One of our children's birthdays fell during that weekend.  Needless to say, it wasn't the ideal birthday for that child  (or perhaps it was as mom and dad weren't around that day and the kids were able to do whatever they wanted all day long.)

June 24 - 29 - Hubby is home, but hurting.  I'm not a great nurse, but I try to make sure he is as comfortable as he can be.  Lots of ice packs and heating pads.  I try to do normal stuff around the house.  The kids hang out and play.

June 29 - At 11:30pm, the power is knocked out.  A storm is starting.  Two of the kids are asleep and the rest of us go to the back door to watch the storm.  It is an awesome storm to watch.  The wind blew like we've never seen before.  Trees were swaying like flowers in a breeze.  My potted plants all fell over.  The lightning and thunder were constant and it even rained a bit.  The storm lasted for a good half hour before the wind finally slowed down.  We went to bed.  No power.  It was pretty warm in the house.

Saturday, June 30 - We got up early and surveyed the damage done to the house and yard.  The house suffered none.  The yard had some downed tree limbs and our corn garden was flattened. We were one of the lucky ones.  Several friends had trees fall on their homes and sheds.  We cleaned the limbs out of our yard, did our best to stand the corn back up and save it, and gathered all the trash that blew in.  Our water is from a well in our yard.  Sadly, when the electricity goes out, so does the well's pump.  So, we had no water.  Temperatures were in the hundreds.  It was hot, we were sticky, and had no way to cool down or wash off.  I made a couple of trips to a nearby gas station for 5 bags of ice.  We had to save our fridge/freezer food.  I built up a fire in the fire pit (extra hot) and we cooked lunch and dinner over the fire.

Sunday, July 1- I spent a terribly hot night in the lower half of the house.  I felt so icky.  We went to church, quite sticky and my hair was a mess.  I pulled it up into a bun and hoped no one would look at me (or smell me) too closely.  Everyone at church had had their power out for a while.  Some of them got power immediately, some on Saturday and some while we were at church, their power came back.  Some of us weren't so lucky.  One of our friends invited us to their house that evening so we could shower.  Ooo, it felt so good.  Unfortunately, we went back home to a hot, sticky house.

During the weekend, I fixed all of our meals over a fire in cast iron pans and dutch ovens.  I did dishes outside in a couple of tubs of water.  I even tried to wash some clothes, but my tubs weren't deep enough and without a washboard of some sort, they didn't get very clean.  But I tried and I was very proud of myself.

Monday, July 2 - I was HOT!  After finding out the boys scout camp had been canceled due to the power outage (ironic, no?) I packed up the kids and we left for my sister's home in Illinois.  Poor Hubby had to stay home in the heat.  His job was to keep our plants as alive as possible and be here when the power came back on to take care of the house. 

I drove for 15 hours!!!!!  I've never driven that long before.  My previous record was 13 hours, but 15???  I will not be setting a goal to break that record.  It is too freaking long.  My kids were awesome in the van for the 15 hours.  The drive is actually 13 hours, provided you don't stop for gas or bathroom breaks.  Well, we had at least 4 bathroom breaks, two gas stops, and two food stops.  All of Virginia, West Virginia and parts of Kentucky had power outages too.  It was hard to find a working gas station.

July 3 - At 1 in the morning (my time, midnight my sister's time)  I pulled into the driveway of my sister's home.  I was so tired, but the kids, who had been sleeping in the van the previous 3 hours weren't as tired as I was.  It took a while to get them all settled down and asleep. 

July 3-5 - Hung out with my sister and had a wonderful time.  We hadn't seen each other in 2 years.  It was great fun.  I could type a super duper long post about my visit with her.  As this post is already reaching an epic length, I'll not tell about my stay in Illinois.  A call from Hubby told me power came back on in the late afternoon of July 3.

July 6 - Drove back.  This time, we made 2 bathroom/gas breaks and one short food break.  We ate our meals in the van as I drove.  It took 14 hours.  I got back at 11:36pm.  What a long, long, long day.  My two youngest fought a lot, but really, the kids were all amazing considering the amount of time we spent driving.  I came home to 25 more quarts and 20 more pints of pickles and dilly beans.  Hubby was incredibly busy on the 4th of July.

July 7 - TODAY!  Unpacked.  Cleaned my kids room.  What a project!  Also, had a date with Hubby, who is feeling much better.  Hopefully, the crazy unexpected semi-crisis's are over and we can enjoy the rest of summer the way it is meant to be enjoyed - watching The Monkees!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Annual 4th of July Cake Contest

The annual family cake decorating contest!

This year I got to be with my sister during the competition.  We rocked it!

Remember the Alamo!!

The Land of Lincoln

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lots and lots of cucumbers

We've had a great harvest of cucumbers from the garden. 

I have never made pickles before, but the reason we grew cucumbers is so we could have pickles!

I read up on a few recipes, bought a 12 pack of quart sized jars, some dill, some garlic, a large box of salt, and a lot of vinegar.

With my husband's help, it took us four pots, three burners, and several hours to do the job.  Most of the cucumbers were cut into spears, but there are some that were sliced.  You can see in the picture below the jar in the middle was sliced.  On Father's Day, we made 12 quarts and 3 pints of pickles. 

Yesterday I made 10 more quarts of pickles and another 2 quarts of dilly beans (pickeled green beans.)  We've got A LOT of canned pickles.  The recipe said to wait three weeks to try them.  I'm thinking on the 4th of July we'll bust out a jar of pickles and see how they taste. 

I hope they are good because we've got 24 quarts of the stuff!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A little bit crazy

This week got a little crazy.  Hopefully, all returns to normal next week....  we shall see.

I took pictures of my pickles that I made last Sunday, but I haven't uploaded them to the computer yet.

The kids are having a good summer.  They've played a lot on the trampoline, lots of Wii and computer games, watched movies and all those good things.  This coming week starts the several weeks of camps that various kids are involved in.

My improv group is going very well.  I'm actually doing two.  One is for a group of teenagers.  They are funny, loud, and very creative.  The other group is for kids ages 7-12.  I've got three or four kids coming to that along with my four kids.  It's been a lot of fun.

My house has been neglected for the last three days.  The kids have done a pretty good job of cleaning and working, but there is still some serious cleaning that I need to do.  Off to do that....

Monday, June 18, 2012

The Fruits of our Garden

Over the weekend, we harvested some of our garden.  There is more still growing!

This weekend's harvest included:  more peas, green beans, 6 small potatoes, 4 rhubarb stalks, lemon mint, borage flowers and leaves, and a bunch of cucumbers.

I wanted to make rhubarb jelly.  I've never done that before!  I had a hard time finding a simple rhubarb only recipe, but finally managed to come up with one and I got started.  It wasn't difficult at all and I ended up with one jar of naturally beautiful red jelly.

The stalks, already a beautiful red.

After boiling the chopped stalks, pectin and lots of sugar, I hung the mixture in cheese cloth and let it drip into the jelly jar.  In this picture, it had already filled up the jelly jar, but was still dripping some jelly, so I filled up a little Tupperware and we've been eating that.

The jelly jar got canned properly and here it is:

Don't you just love the color??  The mixture in the cheese cloth, we took out and kept.  It's the consistency of chutney and so yummy on crackers.  Who knew rhubarb could be so good.  (Of course, with two cups of sugar mixed in, how could it not be good?)

Coming next:  Pickles, lots and lots of pickles!

Friday, June 15, 2012

When the kids get hold of the camera

Photos taken by my kids.  This first one is one of the boys holding a balloon.  Thanks to the joys of a paint program, they enhanced the picture.

A science fair project:  What would happen to your nose if you didn't have snot?  Balloon #1 got a daily application of "snot", balloon #2 got snot every other day and balloon #3 received snot only once. 

Do you want to know what happens to those balloons?  Here you see balloon #1 after 10 days or so of daily snot application:

Day 10 of balloon #3 after getting only one snot application.  It isn't pretty:

This is what we get when Peanut gets a hold of the camera.  A picture of birthday decorations and her pre-school workbook.

There you go.  Random photos from my camera.  Kids are so entertaining!