Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Rest in Peace, Davy Jones

The Beatles are down to two members of it's original four.  And now, the Monkees has lost it's first and youngest member, Davy Jones.

Watching the Monkees will never be the same.

Love ya Davy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A little bit of joy

* I love that the sun is rising earlier and earlier each day.  It's not dark when I wake up anymore.

* Nothing says Spring is around the corner like bright yellow daffodils starting to bloom.

* I've been going through a very difficult ordeal for me personally - detoxing my body of sugar.  I'm a total sugar addict.  I love it, but it was getting out of hand.  It was the only thing I was eating anymore.  I've been going without all sugars (natural included) for a week, with the exception of last Saturday.  And even then, it was a very small amount of sugar compared to what my normal was before.  Last week was terrible.  I was not pleasant.  This week has been totally different.  I'm not craving sugar any more.  It is so completely wonderful!!!  I will have sugar again on Thursday. We have guests coming for dinner and I plan on making and eating dessert.

* Yesterday was so warm, I opened the back door for a little fresh air while I cleaned the kitchen and cooked dinner.

* Hearing my 6 year old read.  It's slow and it's hard, but he is reading!  We have Hooked on Phonics and he is going through all the books in the kindergarten level and he is so proud of the stickers he gets to put on his chart as he reads each book.

* I'm learning the Dewey Decimal System and the Universal Classification System!  I have to say that I'm finding that the Universal Classification System is easier to learn.

That's just a little of the joy I've been feeling this week.  It is easy to feel this way when Spring seems to be right around the corner.  I hope the rest of the week is just as good.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Planning our garden

Our family has tried every year over the last many years to plant a garden of some sort or other.  Some years it's been nothing more than a few herbs in planters and one year we did a large garden in the yard that produced about 100 mini carrots.  The last few years, as we lived in the desert, our garden options were limited, but we found a way to have a garden among all the rocks.  We used large storage tubs filled with soil. 

This year we live in such a wonderful area.  The owners of the home have planted gardens in previous years and the space for them are still in the yard.  We cleaned two of the garden plots and have one more to clean out before it will be ready.

But oh are we excited!  The Hubby has purchased seeds for cucumbers, green beans, pumpkin, and more.  I'm working on the herbs.  I'm going to do chives, basil, parsley, dill, lavender, angelica, rosemary, mint, spearmint, chamomile, and more.  I'm very, very excited to try all these herbs.

My garden will probably just end up being a bunch of black planter pots, but I have dreams of doing something like this:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

An active imagination

When I was a kid (and teen), I would spend hours in my room, creating an amazing world of fun, romance and adventure in my imagination.  During the spring months, before it got too hot and miserable to play outside, I would jump on the trampoline, all the while, imagining myself as a character in my favorite TV shows or movies.  I didn’t replace any current character, I was a new one, and so brought new adventures. 
One of my favorite books, ever.
One example is for a summer, I was rather obsessed with the movie The NeverEnding Story.  I made myself a new character.  I was Krista (an actual character from the book, but never in the movie.)  I was friends with Bastian and Atreyu.  The three of us went on many adventures.  We had quests to hunt for important stolen artifacts, rescue some poor Fantasian from an evil captor, or deliver a special gift to the Child-Like Empress.  The beams of wood that lined the flower garden in our front yard became narrow trees that crossed a canyon over a raging river.  The two trees on the side of our house became a forest with creatures fair and foul.  Bastian, Atreyu and I helped each other, ran together, and laughed together.  It was a great time.

I still have an active imagination.  It helps me to write stories and tell new ones to the kids.  You should have heart the story I told the three youngest kids the other night.  It was a beauty.
Off on an adventure through Fantasia!
My children are so different from me, though.  My oldest daughter is easily bored.  She wants to be entertained.  Thankfully she isn’t a TV-watcher or a computer game player.  The other day, she was quite bored.  Nothing I had suggested interested her.  I finally told her to go outside in our huge, wonderful backyard and play.  The day was warm and sunny.  No coat was needed to be outside. 

Not our yard, but I like the
idea that this chair
transported its owner to
this forest.
“What do I do outside?”  she asked me.  PLAY!  Create a world, go have an adventure.  She looked outside and said all I see is a chair.  True.  We have a chair outside in the yard.  I looked out at the chair.  It’s not just a chair, you know.  It’s a magical chair, left here on accident by some elves.  If you sit in it, you will be transported to another world.  She looked at me dubiously.  OK, how about this, you pretend to be Cinderella.  I will pretend to be your wicked step-mother.  You can sweep the floors, wash the floors, fold all the laundry and clean your room.  Daughter quickly went outside and played for a long, long time.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Thankful for ryhmes

We try to teach our children to be reverent when saying prayers.  Of course, being kids, this doesn't always work out, but I would have to say that most of the time, they are pretty good about reverence.

Well, tonight was different.  Peanut had a series of things to say in her prayer over the dinner food that had all of us laughing.  I was trying so hard not to laugh I was afraid I would pop a blood vessel in my neck.  First, Peanut said something to the effect of "Thankful for the food.  Bless that can poke out Peanut's eyes." Yes, she referred to herself in the first person (saying her own name, of course, not 'Peanut'.)  Hubby remembers her saying this as poke out and I thought she said pop out, but either way it was a shock to hear her say it during the prayer.

After she said that, I heard two of the kids start to giggle.  Peanut's prayer went on and she said "linner" instead of "dinner" and upon realizing what she had said, she went on to pray, "Thankful for linner dinner, they rhyme!"  At this point several other people started to suppress laughs and that set everyone off.  Peanut couldn't end that prayer fast enough.  And instead of anyone saying Amen at the end of the prayer, we all burst out laughing. 

I think Penaut needs a break from saying the prayers over the dinner food.  We can't have silly irreverence every night. Oh well, what is one night of laughing through the prayer?  We'll work on that reverence again tomorrow night.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Librarian philosophy musings

So I'm in my second semester of librarian school.  I'm really enjoying it.  Doing a school in Scotland, I had hoped to hear the lovely accents of my professors, but since everything is done online through chats and forums, I haven't heard a single Scottish accent!  In fact, last semester, one of my professors was Greek.  She had her on campus lectures recorded for us to watch.  Cool accent.

Anyway, this semester is all about classification.  There is a lot more philosophy than I imagined, but the question that librarians have been facing since library's began in ancient times is "What shelf do I put this book on?"  Perhaps the ancient librarians asked themselves, "What room do I put this scroll in?"

A book about Cat Worship in Ancient Egypt.  What shelf do you put it on?  Does it belong in the animal/cat section of the library?  Does it belong in the religious/worship section of the library?  Does it belong with books about Ancient Egypt?  You only have one book.  Where do you put it?

I think now-a-days the placement of the book isn't quite as critical as it was in the past.  That statement might be enough to get me kicked out of library school, but hear me out.  With computers and technology, the different topics a book offers can be cross-indexed.  If you look up on the computer a book about cats, you will see a cat grooming book as well as Egyptian cats in the list.  The more keywords you enter, the more specific your results.  You don't have to go to the shelf and search through every book on cats in the library to find one about Egypt. 

Technology is great!

Every time I start to talk about school to my husband, his eye glaze over with boredom.  I can sense your eyes have glazed over too.  Fine, I'll stop talking.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I have never been known for my excellent spelling skills.  Just ask my poor Mother.  Aside from being my Mom and helping study spelling by giving me practice tests at home, she was also my teacher for 3, 4, and 5th grades (when I attended her awesome private school).

I have to say, I've gotten better over the years.  I write constantly and I guess it has helped.  Still, there are a few words that I just cannot get.  No matter how many time I write them I never spell them correctly.  Thank goodness for spell check on the computer!

AHHHH!  Now that I'm trying to spell the words I always misspell, I can't spell them at all.  I'm doing them correctly.  Wouldn't you know....  However, one word I can never spell right is 'embarrassed'.  I always do that word wrong.  How embarrassing....

Guess what! It's raining today.  I love the rain.  When I dropped off Peanut at preschool today, she ran up to her teacher and said, "I like when it rains."  Ah yes, a girl after my own heart.

Monday, February 13, 2012

W-MOM - The Morning News

Good morning!  It’s 7:15 am and it’s time for the W-MOM morning news show.  This show is being brought to you by Breakfast Cereal.  Yes, it’s Breakfast Cereal, the favorite breakfast of ours and so many families across America.

                We love breakfast
                We love cereal
                Pour in the milk and hear it crunch
                We promise that you’ll like it
                We promise that you’ll eat it
                So go to the store and buy a bunch

First we’ll take a look at this morning’s traffic.  Everything was quiet this morning until about 6:30 when the first of the morning commuters started getting up.  By the time Husband left for work, all five children were up and the commute through the house started picking up to its usual frantic pace as everyone started searching for shoes, backpacks, and homework folders.  Keep an eye out for traffic jams in the bathroom and be careful leaving your bedroom and going into the hall for the preschooler who seems to be running through the house in nothing but her underwear.

Today’s weather calls for sunshine, but right now it’s partially cloudy with a temperature of 14 degrees.  Make sure you take those coats when you head outside.  It’s cold out there.

This week is an exciting week as tomorrow is Valentine’s day.  Children across the household have planned and prepared in their own special way for the day’s festivities.  We go out live now to our Valentine’s correspondence, Daughter, to hear about some of the planned activities.

                “Thank you Mom.  Tomorrow my class is going to have a party.  I got a box of Princess valentine cards from the store.  I wrote the name of each friend on the card, wrote my name in the ‘From’ space and I closed the card with a heart sticker.  We will be trading cards in our class and having cookies.”

Thank you Daughter for that breaking news story. 

Also in this week’s busy schedule is the 100th day of school celebrations.  Children are encouraged and some are even assigned to bring one hundred of something to school.   This assignment can be a daunting task for parents, but it need not be a cause for extra stress.  This Mom has done many 100th Day celebrations over the years and has some tips for stressed out parents.  You might have heard about gluing 100 pennies to a poster board, but I will tell you that doesn’t work.  No matter how good you glue is, pennies are not going too stayed glued to a flexible poster board.  So what else is there to do? Here are some other good ideas: 100 stickers on a sheet of paper, 100 pieces of paper from the shredder machine waste pile and for those last-last minute ideas, grab a box of toothpicks.  All of these ideas are simple and economical.

We’ve just had a breaking story in the traffic center, it seems that the Kindergartener was making a left turn out of his bed room and ran right smack into the preschooler who was sitting on the floor in her underwear playing with dolls.  Big sister is on the scene to help pick up the scattered dolls and hand the preschooler a t-shirt to put on.  Kindergartener is reporting minor injuries on his knee from his fall onto the floor.  Be wary of traffic in the hallway, it is a bit slow right now.

Up next we have an idea story – school lunches.  Do those two words make your hair stand on end?  Dread lunch time no longer as we share a story filled with tears, laughter and information.

School lunches brought to you by Silverware, the leading brand name in silverware.  Silverware is perfect for spreading peanut butter on bread and makes packing those pesky school lunches a little easier.  Don’t forget to pick up your own package of Silverware.

Hey Moms! Does the thought of making school lunches everyday cause you to break out in a cold sweat?  One mom felt this way, so she set out to find ways to make school lunches fun, nutritious and eco-friendly.

                “I make five lunches every day for my children. I was getting bored with peanut butter sandwiches, chips and snack cakes. Plus I was using a lot of plastic baggies.  I decided to do a little Internet research.  I found some really great websites and blogs that showed pictures of the cutest lunches ever.  Instead of plastic baggies, they used silicone cups to hold the food in cute lunch boxes.  They filled the lunches with colorful pasta salad, fruit slices and they cut the children’s sandwiches into shapes with cookie cutters. 
                “I was inspired!  Searching the Internet a little more I found those great silicone cups for sale.  Four cups for $12.95? That seems pricy.  I guess I’ll just keep using the baggies.  I tried cutting my children’s sandwiches into fun shapes, but it was leaving a lot of scraps that were perfectly good food.  I felt more wasteful than ever.  I tried colorful pasta salad, but the kids didn’t like it.  All they wanted were their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips and snack cake.  Well, I tried.”

This great idea segment was brought to you by Silverware.  Show your kids you care, use Silverware!

The time is now 7:40 and it’s time to walk the children out to the bus stop.  The temperature has risen to a balmy 17 degrees.  Burr! It’s cold out this morning.  Make sure those coats are zipped up.  From the house the Pre-schooler has walked out.  She is wearing an unusual ensemble of a pink shirt, purple princess skirt, one sandal and one hot pink flip-flop.  It seems the chilly temperature has deterred her and she is going back into the house. 

It’s 7:43 and the bus is right on schedule.  The kids are on the bus and off to school.  Join us tomorrow right here at W-MOM for our morning show where we will talk about planning dinner by starting the slow cooker at breakfast.  Have a great day everyone!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's that sound?

The other afternoon, I went outside to pick up the mail.  As I started down the driveway, I heard a loud noise.  It sounded like a deep rumbling.  We have trucks driving down our street all the time, but this wasn't a truck.  We don't live near enough to the freeway to hear the constant stream of cars flying down it.  The sound stopped me in my tracks.  I looked around and listened.

Then, I realized what the odd sound was - it was the sound of a strong wind blowing through the trees.  Three years of living without trees has made me forget what the sound of wind in the trees is like.

I can't wait until summer, when the trees are full of leaves and then to hear the wind rush through that.  What a sound it will be.  I love living among trees again.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Top 10 foods eaten in this house

I've got a house full of kids.
Top 10 foods eaten in this house:

1. Peanut Butter Sandwiches (most of these have grape jelly on them, but not all)  Two of my children will not eat most any food I make for dinners.  They end up with pb&j sandwiches.  One son has been known to eat 3 or 4 per meal.

2. Toast with cinnamon/sugar - A favorite snack and dessert among the kids

3. Hot dogs - Everyone loves hot dogs.

4. Crackers - if I don't hide the crackers, the kids have been known to eat an entire box in a matter of minutes.

5. Apples - Yes, we do have some healthy things.  My oldest daughter especially loves apples.  She will eat several a day if you let her.

6. Tortillas - fill 'em with what you like, but we eat a lot of tortillas.

7. Cheese - I've got two sons that refuse to eat cheese.  It's OK, the amount the rest of us eats makes up for what they don't eat.  The Hubby (a cheese lover) and the oldest daughter love blue cheese and stronger flavored cheeses.  I love Parmesan (real, off the block) and mozzarella.  The kids are happy with cheddar.  We all love smoke flavored cheese with smoked Gouda being a family favorite, except for the two weirdos that won't eat cheese.

8. Pizza - we don't have this all the time, but it's a favorite choice among the family.  Everyone has their preferences.  The two boys that don't like cheese, like to eat cheese-less pizzas.  Weird.  The oldest daughter loves the "Hawaiian pizza" with Canadian bacon and pineapple.  I love stuff crust when I can have it and we all are huge fans of pepperoni.  White pizza with Alfredo sauce is also a big hit.

9. Pork - we eat this in so many varieties: chops, loins, ham, bacon, and sausage.  Pork is fixed up in some form or other every week.  I also like Spam when I can't get pork.  Living in Hawaii taught me the many uses for Spam.

10. Cereal - My kids eat a lot of cereal.  Favorites include Marshmallow Mateys, Cocoa Bombs (that's what we call them anyway), and frosted mini wheats.  Some of the kids love Grape Nuts, and Hubby is a fan of Life. 

Can you tell I've got five kids in the house?

Thursday, February 09, 2012


Over the years, I've had a number of hobbies. For the most part, they have remained the same over the course of my life.  I've added a few, like weaving, and some I don't get to do much anymore, but still love to do when I get or take the opportunity.

Cinderella puzzle I did last March
1. Puzzles - I've been doing puzzles as long as I can remember.  When I was a teen, I got my first 1000 piece and set it up on the floor of my room one summer.  I spent hours listening to my radio, sitting on the floor and doing my puzzle.  Last year, I did three or four 1000 piece.  One day I'll have to try a bigger one.

2. Reading - I've always enjoyed reading books of my choice.  I don't like it when people tell me what to read.  For that reason, I've never joined a book club.  I might take some one's recommendation, but I don't like it when someone assigns me a book.  I prefer young adult and classical children's literature.   For my favorite children's literature reading list, click here - Children's Literature.

Peter Pan cross stitch
done by me in 1990
3. Cross stitching - My first cross stitch was when I was seven years old.  It was a little Christmas tree with probably no more than 20 stitches.  I still have it and hang it every year on my Christmas tree.  I've loved cross stitching ever since, but I haven't seriously done any in almost 4 years.  I have got to finish my youngest child's Christmas stocking this year.  She keeps reminding me that I've done the other kids, but not hers.  I've also got a couple of huge projects in the works.  I should pull those out again.

4. Weaving - a fairly new hobby.  It will be three years this March that I discovered the joys of weaving.  I still feel like a beginner.  I don't spend nearly as much time on it as I should to move beyond beginner.  I'm almost done with the project on the loom.  I just need to finish it so I can move on.  I already know what I want to do for the next project.

5.  Watching old movies - yesterday I watched a Bob Hope comedy.  Good stuff.  I love old comedies, especially Doris Day, Cary Grant, and of course the musicals, Singing in the Rain and such.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

buying clothes

I feel like I am constantly buying clothes. 

A couple of kids need new shoes.  Didn't I just buy new shoes?  Oh wait, that was for the two youngest.  Now it's the oldest son and oldest daughter's turn for new shoes.

Get this:  my 13 year old son is 5'9".  That's tall for a 13 year old, but he is going to get taller.  His hands are bigger than my husband's (who is 6'2") and the boy's feet are the same size as Hubby's too.  Whoa!!!  Stop growing kid!

Since the youngest son started school, he is going through pants like crazy and with him, it's not because he is growing a lot.  The little guy seems to be about the same size as always.  He is, however, always putting holes in the knees.  I need to learn to patch his clothes so I don't have to buy more. However, he is at that wonderful age where his size is the biggest in the toddler section and the smallest size in the boys section, giving me two options to shop in.  Yesterday, I went to buy him pants (again) and the cheapest pair of pants in the boys section was $12.  I crossed the aisle to the Toddler section.  I found pants his size on sale for $5.56.  YES!  New pants!

It's not like I'm out buying outfits just for the fun of it, although that would be fun to do sometimes, but, I just feel like I'm constantly buying clothes.  I shouldn't be surprised with 5 growing kids, but for whatever reason, I figured I'd by clothes and shoes at the beginning of the school year and clothes and shoes at the beginning of summer and that would get us through the year.

But NO!  My kids have their own ideas of growing in between those time.  The nerve!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Downstairs colors

So, I took the advice of a certain comment from SLC and turned off the flash of my camera.  I also took the pictures during the day, but that really didn't matter for two of the rooms since there are no windows or natural lighting.  Get ready for a most unusual rainbow of rooms.
Youngest son's room.  It is an odd blue/green on top and a rather ugly brown on the bottom and a white shelf that runs two of the four walls.  This room has no windows and only one small ceiling light.  I really need to buy some lamps for this guy's room.  He won't play in there and I don't blame him.

The two other boy's room.  Yes, it's light purple and dark purple.  It would have been better for the girls to have this room, but it is the largest of the kid bedrooms and so it went to the two largest kids in the house.  They don't do much more than sleep in here anyway.

The downstairs bathroom.  Again, no natural light.  It's a sagey green and it's quite nice.  The stone in the bathroom is white/grey marble looking.  It is the nicest of the three bathrooms in the house.

The main common room downstairs.  It's a bright yellow, but it's nice.  Like our fan?  We've had that since we lived in Hawaii.  It actually looks nicer in person than it does in this pictures.  I got a little too much ceiling in the picture. 

Laundry room.  An unfinished room with our disco ball.  It's a very groovy laundry room.
Well, there you go, a color tour of the house.  Nothing matches, but after the monotony of the last house where the tiled floors, walls and ceiling were the exact same white, this house is kind of fun.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Guessing game

What is this, you may ask?  These are photos taken with a flash.  I'm not a photographer.  Take a guess what these are and how they are all in common:

sage green

a shade of blue

OK, what do you think?  Are you ready?  They are all the colors of the walls in the upstairs of my house.  The living room, dining room and hall are that tannish-brown.  The girl's room is the green.  Really, it's much brighter and more like a lime than sage, but my excellent photography skills made the picture look sage.  The bluish room is the master bedroom and bathroom and the maroon is my loom room.  None of them work together.

Just wait until you see the down stairs colors.  None of them repeat what you see here.

BTW, I did not choose any of these colors, they came with the house, and being a rental, I can't change them, but if I could, I would make more of the house the bluish color.  It's a cool, pleasant color without being overwhelming.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

If music could follow me around....

If you've seen the movie "Sleepless in Seattle," you know the entire show kind of revolves around another old movie - a Cary Grant movie too, but he's another blog entry for another time.

Now, I haven't seen "Sleepless" in a long time and I don't remember anyones names in the movie, so you'll have to excuse my vague descriptions. The two girls in the movie are sitting together watching the Cary Grant movie and the one girl is talking to the other girl "You don't want to be in love, you want to be in love in a movie."

There are days I don't want to live my life, I want to live my life in a movie.  I want a soundtrack!  I want music to play to help express my emotions or add emphasis to what is going on at that particular moment in my life.

So, I was listening to the Narnia: Prince Caspian soundtrack the other day and was listening to a beautiful song called "The Kings and Queens of Narnia."  Oh, such beautiful music!  There is one particular part, and you must go to this YouTube page.  It is just the sound track, nothing else.  The entire song is beautiful, but please listen to 1:06 - 1:35.

click here: The Kings and Queens of Narnia

Did you hear it?  Isn't it just beautiful?  I want to have that music played during some moment in my life.  I want to walk into a scene of my life and have that music playing while I walk.

Ahhh, if only I could have that soundtrack.  I've seen shows where they are talking about movies and they show a scene without the music, like say, Lord of the Rings.  It's just a guy walking across a castle floor.  Yeah, OK, whatever.  Then, they add the music and suddenly, it's not just a guy and it's not just a floor, it's Aragorn becoming the King of the Men of Middle Earth.  The music completely changes how the scene is seen.  A couple on screen aren't just kissing, it's love's true one and only kiss.  You can tell by the music.

How different my life might be if I had a soundtrack.  I think that would be pretty cool.

Two and a half hours

Four days a week, I've got around two and a half hours completely to myself.  Peanut is going to preschool.  She absolutely loves it.

We've only been doing the preschool for a couple of weeks now and she hasn't gone a full four days of school in a row yet, but that's been because of school holidays and bad weather interrupting the schedule.
My problem is what do I do with that time?  I've got a million things I can do, so how do I choose?

Yesterday was a perfect example of my unorganized use of time:

*Get home from dropping Peanut off at school

*Get on computer, check email, read a blog

*Still on computer: check school stuff (Monday was the first day of the new semester)  pull up readings for the week and shrink them down on desktop.  I pull up my school emails and glace through those.  The grade from one of my classes last semester is posted.  I check my grade and read the comments the professor left regarding my paper.

*Call Hubby, tell him my grade

*Work on a new project I'm formulating to eat better, exercise and hopefully loose some weight.  Typed up those ideas and transferred my food diary I've been keeping on a scrap paper into my new system.

*Thought comes across my mind: Wow, I should be spending this time exercising.

*I walk out to the back yard.  The day is beautiful and quite warm for being the last day of January.  I walk to the back fence (our yard is quite large).  I walk back to the house.  I walk to the fence, I jog back to the house.  I'm done.  The ground is mushy from previous rain and very uneven.  I'll just do one of my videos in the house.

(By now I'm down to 40 minutes left before I've got to go.)

*I can't find the video I want.  OK, I'll do the other one.  I put it into the DVD player and turn on the TV.  No sound.  What happened to the speakers?  I mess around with the hundred wires that run behind the TV.  Forget this!  I take it down to my computer.  The computer plays the DVD and I have sound, but why isn't the mouse working on the DVD menu?  I literally bang around on the keyboard for a moment.  Somehow it changes to the workout and I'm set.

*I do the workout.  It's fairly short.  I look at the clock and whoa!  I should be leaving right now to go pick up Peanut! Run out the door and drive to the school.  Peanut's waiting for me.  I get a big hug.

I didn't get the school reading done.  I didn't get the dishes done, laundry rotated, dinner thawing, or anything cleaned. No writing, no weaving, nothing.  Even though I kept busy during all that time, I only accomplished 15 minutes of exercise. 

I really need to get better at organizing this personal time.