THE END

I have run out of room. My blog is finished.
You can now find me at
Too Many To Count Two

lanamarieblog.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

snow day!!




well, technically "inclimate weather day" since we have no snow, just ice...but we'll happily take it.

Teachers and students around the metroplex are rejoicing today at their unexpected bonus holiday. Maybe we'll go to the dollar show this afternoon :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

world's worst tooth fairy

There are many parenting things that I love to do with my kiddos. I love to read stories with them. I love to take them to the zoo, library, park. I love to go swimming with them, to make cookies, to curl up on the couch and watch a movie. I like to play games and go for walks and even to work on projects. I don't mind trips to the dentist or grocery store and usually I enjoy going to church with them. There are a few things I don't love. I don't love driving cross country, I don't love throw up duty, and I don't love going to the school cafeteria for lunch. The kids, however, love for me to come have lunch at school . I don't know why. I sit there and they talk to their friends, but there you have it, they love it and I don't. I always go at least once a year, usually more. Today was a lunch day. It was a guilt lunch day.

Last night H, who is at best our worst go-to-bedder, was having trouble going to bed. She kept coming in my room complaining about the light, or the temperature, or her cheek hurt when she poked it like this, or her tooth hurt. I kept sending her back. Finally she said she just couldn't sleep with a wiggly tooth so I told her to get a wash cloth, hop in bed and wiggle away. Some time later she came back with a tooth in her hand. Great! Now you can sleep.
Well, she went to sleep...and so did the Tooth Fairy. Our TF is the most delinquent, unreliable, awful fairy you could ever have the misfortune of meeting. She rarely comes the first night, doesn't work in bad weather, holidays, on the Sabbath, during summer solstice and sometimes for no apparent reason.

This morning H came to the kitchen while I was making french toast and scrambled eggs (see I'm not a total loser mom) and complained about the TF. Finally I said, "H she's not real, it's me, go get a buck out of my purse." I was expecting her to shrug and run for the money...I thought she knew. Instead her little face crumbled and she started to cry. Then I said (brilliantly) "It's like the EB..." What!?!?! I was interrupted, then she wailed "the EB's not real either! You've been lying to me all these years!!'
let me interrupt this story to say that last Easter she told me she knew EB wasn't real, because it didn't make sense, blah, blah, blah. And I said yes but it's fun so don't tell Lu and Brother, so I thought we were clear on that. Turns out no, or she forgot, or I'm delusional or something.

I hugged her and shhed her and promised to go have lunch with her and please don't tell.

So after play group, Lu and I headed to McD and brought the guilty meals to share at lunch. It wasn't too awful. They changed the way they do it and now there is a table for parents and kids to sit at, instead of with the whole class, and H came along with two of her friends. They mostly chatted, I mostly sat and listened, Lu had fun. At the end H reminded me to stick a dollar under her pillow and we were done. Phew.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the good, the bad, keeping it real

Another Sabbath day, drawing to a close...and it can not come quick enough today. Not that's it been an awful day, just not great either. Like every day there is good and bad.

so the good:
  • Mom posted on her blog. I like to read the mission stories. Here they are, little missionaries in Belgium! Fun. I am excited for them.
  • J spoke in church today. She did a good job (she had a good talk writer :) )
  • RS lesson was good.
  • My SS class was attentive and asked questions that had something to do with the lesson, they were fun.
  • Had a fun little chat w/ Michelle and Nikko waiting for class to start.
  • Angel food cake for dessert tonight.
  • Someone came to look at the house.
  • D is almost a quarter of the way done with her pregnancy. Cute Calan and his mom and dad sat in front of us and it made me think of her and then I realized, hey it's been almost 10 weeks! Wow!
  • I have a new book to start reading tonight that I am excited about...unless I decide to save it for the plane next week (nah, that won't happen)
  • Yesterday we found some floor plans that are much closer to 300,000 than 400,000 that we like and this makes me very happy!
  • no one is sick
  • it's not raining

The Bad:

  • Lucy was the biggest wiggle worm in sacrament, this is the second week in a row. For a while she was doing well and now this, I don't know what happened.
  • the microphone was buzzing and very annoying.
  • The kids fought in the car on the way home, over dumb stuff.
  • I wasn't as prepared as I wanted to be for my lesson (although it still went well, thankfully)
  • now the kids are outside, hitting each other with sticks (maybe that belongs on the good list, they are outside and all seem agreeable to being hit so who am I to stop them?)
  • Beloved has a meeting and will miss dinner again :(




weekend

It was a party weekend. Last night J went to a Sweet 16 at the Hyatt in the Stockyards. She had a very fun time. They had dancing and food and cake. The girls all looked so pretty in their formal wear:) While she was there S was off playing laser tag with Kelly and Kerry and then the three of them also went to a birthday party. Meanwhile the littles had a new baby sitter, Kirsten. She did awesome. H stayed up late to "help" (which she enjoyed) and Kirsten got Brother and Lu to bed just fine. While they were all otherwise occupied Beloved and I went downtown. Our downtown is lovely and we always enjoy walking around. It was brisk out so we didn't linger. We went to see Paul Blart, Mall Cop, which I hoped would be funny. It was kind of funny. But not $17. worth. If you went to the dollar show, maybe. If you got it at RedBox and 5 people watched for 20 cents a piece, then it would be worth it.

Our day had many places to be. E, G and H had a primary activity. J had a seminary activity at the Stake Center, I took down a car load of girls and Carol drove them back. They had fun. It's always a kick to drive them anywhere and to listen to their silliness! Also Renaldo had to be weighed so Beloved did that, and he needed food so I did that. Then Beloved taught karate, H went and Brother skipped to play at C's house, where he had a most wonderful time!

Friday dinner ( daddy was working)

Friday night S and J went to Garrett's to a Laurel/Priest age party. It was their second weekend in a row and the girls had a really fun time. They played pool and wii and ping pong and watched movies. Many of the girls brought food. I was glad they could go.

Beloved has been working late late late, like until midnight many nights this week. As a result I ended up missing book club :( I heard they had a good time and a lively discussion. I guess I can't complain, having a job is a good thing, and OT is a good thing.
I bought these delicious berries at Sam's club on Friday. They were so tasty and sweet that we ate them all and I went back for 4 more lbs on Saturday.

Friday, January 23, 2009

time for the weekly rambling

I say it was so fun, or it was very fun (for variety) a lot. It's genetic. When we were little we would write in our journals together at the kitchen table every Sunday...or when ever the muse struck mom, I'm not sure. Every week Alec would write the same thing.
"I went to Ronnie's. It was fun."
"We played outside. It was fun."
"I rode my bike. It was fun."
It cracked us up then, cracks me up now. Seems like it was just yesterday...and like a million years ago. Time is a funny thing How we spend it is really everything. It shows what is important to us, what we value, who we love. Everyone has the same amount of time:right now. That's it. No one knows if they'll be here tomorrow and yesterday is spent.

When Anna was a senior her bestest friend Charmela's family moved down below (that's Lancaster talk for LA), she wanted to finish her senior year so she lived with Anna and familia during the school week and went home to her family for weekends. It was 'really fun'. I didn't live at home then but I know everyone enjoyed having her there and it was like getting another sister. Our two families are still close, and Anna and Charmela are still best friends :) Anyway, Charmela has two younger sisters. One of them, Ciara, is on her second year living in Africa and working in the peace corps. She has a blog, and writes very interesting posts about life there, and the differences she sees. Including the differences of how time is viewed. Her last post about teaching and lack of resources really touched me. Not too long ago she wrote about the 2 year commitment she made and how that big chunk of time discourages some from serving. I think she's making good use of her time. I often think about how I use the time I have been given. Sometimes I use it well and do good stuff, and parent presently and worship attentively, and study and read and cook and clean and help and laugh. Sometimes I waste it and then I am sad. It is difficult to not squander time.

In just a little over a week we are flying to MD to go house hunting. We are flying up on a Sunday, which frankly makes me nervous. Flying makes me a little nervous always but throw in the Sabbath when I should be at church and...whew! More nervous. I know that statistically it is safe. Safer than driving and many other things that we don't give a second thought to. I know this, but still i feel a little nervous about it. How that big old hunk of metal gets off the ground and stays there is beyond me and is nothing short of a miracle...and I can easily picture it not. Then we had the Hudson water landing which turned out well...but still geese??? That is enough to cause a problem? So with an imminent opportunity for death just around the corner it's made me even more aware of how I am spending my time this last week. I've taken an extra chance to read a story, or sit on the edge of the bed talking with one of the kids when I could. I've done my visiting teaching, and made sure I read the scriptures every night. I have been trying to be more kind, to help others when I can...conclusion: I would probably be a better person if I always thought I only had two weeks left to live :)
Really, I know we'll be fine. Just like I know I won't choke to death while getting my teeth cleaned and I know sword fish won't saw down a bridge while I am driving over it. Nothing a little Valium or therapy won't help I am sure :)

Last night I wanted to go to HFPE. S had one car at work, Beloved had the other at work. I had none and work trumps me leaving to do something fun so instead I spent my time watching a Hallmark movie, (very dumb and sappy as always), helping H with math homework, making apple dumplings. It was good, but I am sad I missed HFPE.

I hope our house sells. It's lost a little sparkle since we first got it ready to show, tomorrow we need to sparkle it up again. No one is looking. I understand. It's a scary time to buy. I don't even want to think about what will happen if it gets to be summer and we haven't sold and we close on a house in the east and have two payments. Did that once, don't want to go there again.

I don't know what we should buy there either. We know what we'd like. That's easy. We know what we'd like to spend. Now to reconcile that in a way that is wise, and livable and long term profitable and resellable and short term survivable. When we bought this house we had five kids and planned on more and planned on living here forever so bought big enough for friends and kids, and in laws and grand kids to come and visit and stay and play. Big enough for a big dog, a trampoline, a pool, a horse, some four wheelers, whatever. And it's Texas so we could afford it. Well, it's pricey and has been a stretch at times but mostly it's worked out well.
Now we are back down to 5 and soon (in a couple of years that I know will fly by) be down to only 3 as S and J go to college (BTW, S has decided she wants to be a nurse anesthetist~ which I am very excited about, and even after she found out what she has to do to get there she is still excited about the idea. She is certainly capable.) So do we want a lot of space? Or do we want a much more modest home? I don't want to have to work, especially full time, if we choose for me to that's fine, I don't want to be forced to though just to afford a big house. Plus my present job, of substituting from time to time pays diddly. Lucy and I went to the bank today to deposit the $218.42 I made since Christmas. Whoo Hoo. I did make some and used it to buy some presents before Christmas. And now I made enough to send J to EFY, after I get paid again in Feb. The deposit I made today will pay for half of EFY. It's very spendy but ToTalLY worth it. D and S both got to go~ two years each. J hasn't been yet so I really hope she'll be the lucky lottery winner. I am glad to have made that. Now I can't work next week or the one after that. Next week because Beloved has a hectic week and can't carpool so S has no car and has to take mine. Hopefully we can fix hers soon cuz two is kind of a hardship (the pioneers would shed a tear on my behalf I am sure), the week after that cuz we're gone.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to getting a few days here and there soon so I can finance the next extra fun thing that comes up.

Enough from me, Brother wants to practice riding his two wheeler and needs my help.

cowboys and ponies

Today is western day at school. It's annual stock show and rodeo time in Fort Worth . We've never been..and might not make it this year but I've heard it's super fun :)
Lucy had some birthday money. She was very excited to go and pick something to buy. She chose the pony amusement park. The ferris wheel spins and plays music. There is a roller coaster, bumper cars, a theater and an ice cream shop. It's very fun :)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Friend Party

Early this morning Lucy bounced into my room, ready to be four, and ready to get everything set for her party. She filled the cute whale cups we got for her friends with chocolate kisses while I baked cupcakes.
A lot of thought was given to who she wanted to invite. I didn't want to invite the whole sunbeam class (14 kids) or everyone we knew. A few friends is better for a four year old birthday. Emmie, Austin and "other G" were on the list for sure, they are her best friends and spend time together each week as we baby sit for each other and the moms take turns working.
Then she wanted to invite P, who is our neighbor and they are recently good little friends. He is almost 3, but since he comes from the McBrainy family he doesn't have trouble keeping up:)
Also Ruby and Emma made the list. Then I cut it off. There were several other sunbeam friends she wanted to invite but this seemed like a good number to me.

We played pin the tail on the donkey and doggie doggie where's your bone. Also ring around the rosies, animal charades and general running around and playing with toys and stuff!






The kids had fishie fruit snacks to decorate their little ocean cupcakes with and capri suns to drink.




(recylced 4 candle from last night)









We ended with some dancing to the little pony sing along that Lucy got as a present. Very fun!!







the most fun elephant game!

After dinner the missionaries stopped by. They took a turn at catching butterflies. Elder Ingalls thought his ninja skills might help...but no :)

Elder White caught a few!
S gave it several shots.


but the best of all is Millie, faithful canine companion and expert butterfly catcher!

Family Party

some presents
a yummy ice cream cake


and thank you hugs!!

The perfect Birthday

Lucy has been looking forward to her birthday for months. She was particularly excited. Yesterday afternoon presents arrived from Nana and Abba. Elephun and Swim to Me Puppy. Two things she had hopped to get. The afternoon was spent happily playing with them.

It was MLK day so everyone was home. We ran a few errands but were mostly home. For FHE that night we had planned on celebrating Lucy Ballerina (as she likes to call herself) with a dinner out, followed by gifts and cake. Once daddy was home and it was dinner time she didn't want to go. She wanted to take a bath with her puppy and play with her toys and eat cake and forget about dinner. The other kids were disappointed but we mostly followed her wishes. We did get pizza and salad from Joe's and ate that. She bathed and the dog swam:) Then jammied up and enjoyed the rest of the night playing with her new toys and her brother and sisters. I think she thought it was perfect!



this curly cutie is!!


guess who is 4?


nope, not this soon to be great grandpa...although many moons ago!
wasn't he cute :) I guess he got a fishing pole for a present and a pink cake, and four candles; doesn't get better than that :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

girl scout cookie season :)

nuff said!

edit: we don't sell them, we just eat them :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

yet...

my children all go to public school, I went to public school, my parents are both teachers, I am a teacher yet....I secretly think home schooling is a better way. I don't do it because I love for the kids to leave the house and go to school and there are good things about it but deep down I think it's not the best way.

I have been subbing this school year, and I have been reminded again all the things that I think are not ideal about our public school system. First and foremost it is not about the teachers. Most teachers are wonderful, caring, idealist people who want to make a difference in their students minds and lives (some aren't but I don't think that is the majority of the problem) It's just a herculean task in an institutional setting.

Here's what I don't love.
In no particular order.

standing in line quietly. The most important thing. Put a bubble in your mouth and don't talk in the hall. Don't talk at lunch, don't talk to your neighbor. Quiet. I completely understand the necessity of it. If 20 kids are talking and one teacher is trying to teach no one can hear. And if 100 first graders are allowed to walk through the halls to lunch without a bubble in their mouths it would sounds like 100 elephants and every other grade would be distracted. I know this...but I don't like it.

Moving from one thing to another to cover the lesson plan and everything that is on the test. So quickly that some kids never get it, some kids get it but can't stay to think about it long enough for it sink in, or if you are really bright you get it but never mind being interested because we have to move on.

Conversely and at the same time, bright kids finish their assignment and then have to sit "quietly" while they wait for the others. Do you know how much waiting there is in a classroom?
Wait for the roll. Wait for recess. Wait while the slower kids finish. Clean up and wait for the next topic. Wait.

Some kids cry and misbehave and get a lot of attention, that they need, at the expense of the other "good" kids. Who also need it.

..and then we get to high school. And kids drink in class. And throw up on the bus because they have morning sickness. And talk in language that would shock a sailor. And many can't read, or don't read..and really what's the difference then? And. And. And.

I am 100% confident that Brother, for example, has not learned anything new in his two years of school. He can read. He could almost read when he started and learned quickly...while they were still on the letter "F" or something. He learned because we read every day. And he reads. And he is read to. And this has gone on since he was listening in utero. At school this year they are learning to add and subtract and what numbers are bigger than others (like 5 or 7). At home he multiplies, and wonders about infinity, and what is bigger than it. And velocity and volume and weight and how fast the earth spins and how many half cups of sugar to use if he wants to make a double batch of cookies. He knows about government because he listens to his dad, and geography because we have a globe, and history because of books and movies and talking. And the same thing goes for his sisters. S was actually home schooled for part of middle school, and it was such a delight to have her home...but oh how I worried: was I covering enough, was I missing something. I couldn't take the pressure. It was worry for naught, when she went back to school she was ahead for the next two years. You can learn SO MUCh MOre when you have one on one attention, even if it's broken up between laundry and crying babies, and shopping trips, and life.
I am confident that the children learn more at home and take it to school to share, than they learn at school. I am grateful mine have both..and feel sad for those who don't. Too many kids don't have homes where learning happens, in a good way.

Oh and one more thing. School takes so much time there is none left for extra talents to develop. Piano, art, sports, cooking, French, knitting, whatever.

...the kids all do well at school, and like it, and have friends...they complain and beg to stay home, but once they are there like it, I've seen them and they are happy. Yet I am randomly and out of the blue hit with angst over our educational choices from time to time. Does everyone agonize like that? Probably.

snippets

Poor H. She has wanted to take microwaveable food to school for lunch. She asked, specifically for cup of soup. Well I remembered to buy some and she took it on Tuesday. Lunch went well. She was happy. Wednesday morning she asked me to pack it again. This time while she was taking it out of the microwave she tipped her cup and it spilled down her hand and she got a huge burn and that blistered and everything :( She was very sad. She came to my classroom and sat with us for a while. The 1st graders were very concerned and sympathetic. She did go back to class and is feeling fine now, although the blisters are still there. Also we're back to sandwiches for lunch.

It's been so COLD!

The other night Josh, Anthony, Miguel, Rebecca, S and J went laser tagging and to sonic. They had a most wonderful time. Later that evening J and I were standing in the kitchen and she said "was that a date?"
"I don't know, did you guys think it was?"
"well, I don't want it to be my first date."
"okay, well it doesn't have to be"
"why couldn't I do that when I was 15 then?"

pause for some pondering,
this is always a tricky issue. What is a date? What isn't?

Finally I told her to be glad that now she is old enough to go on things that might be dates, if everyone agrees, or might be fun hanging out and she doesn't have to worry. This is the kind of dating she is now allowed to do, two or more couples going out to have fun together...the kind that you almost have to wonder is it or isn't it.

Parenting is complex. I know a lot of parents who not only allow but encourage pairing off, single dating when the kids are young. Sadly this really does a disservice to the kids. The older I get, ah-hem, do I sound old and wise?, the more I understand and see the wisdom to Heavenly Father's commandment. The more I see the real freedom that it give and the joy. Many things that young people think are restrictive really buy them so much time, freedom, joy, un baggage ed life experience. I wish they could see it too.

My goodness, this morning J and I were watching the news as they talked with some of the survivors of the "water landing" in the Hudson yesterday, and some of the boat captains who helped rescue them. What a scary thing. I am so glad they are all fine. What really touched me was the courage so many showed in helping others. The accounts of the calm and the looking out for one another. There are so many good people in this world, trying to do what's right, trying to live honorable, helpful, courage filled lives. It brought tears to my eyes, the beauty of it. It gives me hope. Some times the world and our future looks grim, but then I remember all the goodness out there, all the people trying to make a difference, being good and just. How wonderful!

Made a yummy soup the other night. It was a Paula Deen recipe. I like her, I used to find her annoying cuz she's kind of loud and occasionally even obnoxious but she makes great food, she's a great mom, a self made business woman, and I think someone I would like in real life, she's down to earth and real ...and I love that she's not a skinny Minnie.

Yesterday little P taught Lucy how to use the mouse. Something we've been working on but she wasn't getting. Now she can play Star Fall by herself :)

Sensei Mike is coming to dinner on Sunday. What should I fix?

This week was my last to drive J to early morning swim practice! Yeah! Next week she'll be back in Seminary and taking gymnastics at school. She'll probably be good at it, she's a natural athlete.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

books are more important than underwear

so, what's it like to live in such a clean house you ask?

Stinks...just kidding, only partly stinks. I love that it looks nice almost all the time and it's easier to pick up. I don't love running around wiping things all day. Someone brushes their teeth and I go wipe the sink and mirror. Someone goes potty, wipe the seat. Someone makes toast, wipe several counters and wash off a knife. Someone ________ fill in the blank, wipe ____________.

I'm subbing three days this week and have to get things spotless at night. Then somehow, even though everyone has been asleep all night in the morning I still have to wake up early, make beds, pick up toys, start of load of laundry, empty and re fill the dishwasher, wipe down the after shower mess, ect. How is that?

Last night brother came out of his room and very exasperatedly said. I can not go to sleep one more night with out a book shelf in my room. Why?
Turns out he hates not having a bunch of books. He can't rest because he reads one, runs to the girls room to borrow another, reads it, repeat.

I told him he'd be fine. Then a few minutes later he came out and said he'd rather empty his underwear drawer and keep books there because books are more important than underwear.

Okay, we'll think about that one. I told him.

This morning I discovered that he indeed did reorganize his drawers~ getting rid of his pesky, space wasting, superfluous under pants and making room for his friends, the books.

Monday, January 12, 2009

just stuff

This past Sunday was YW New Beginnings. S got her personal progress medallion, as did Rebecca and also Sis. Black. It was a nice program and I am very glad that both S and J earned their awards this year. There is a new value: virtue, which was introduced to us last night. I think that is a wonderful addition and much needed. I am sure the girls are pleased that they finished their projects before they had to do one more:)

We had a good weekend. Saturday J and I went shopping, we took Lucy with us and she wasn't a bad shopper so that was nice. Beloved and E and H went to karate.

Saturday night we went to dinner groups. We had a really fun time. I really always do, it's a treat to get out and visit in some one's home. And it's so nice to have all adults there. Coordinating it is a bit of a pain, and here's why. I don't mind trying to make the groups and trying to keep everyone eating with new couples each time (although I am not good at it, and it's hard...this year I have Holly and she's got a great brain for it so I just sit and write down what she figures out :)) I also don't mind making the many phone calls it takes to keep it running and everyone informed. And I don't mind the people who tell me ahead of time that they can't make it on a particular month and I don't mind the emergencies that come up because that is life. I do mind the people who say they will go and then don't without telling anyone. Mostly I mind because I know it's a lot of work to host, at best; and for some it's really out of their comfort zone and they worry and fret so it's really a big deal for them and then when someone can't come it's sad and disappointing. Obviously, since I keep doing it, I think it's worth it but every year I wish that the few who bail out would do a better job of letting their hosts know.

Like I should talk because yesterday morning Nikko called and asked if we wanted to have dinner with them since they had lots of left overs from hosting the night before and I immediately said YES! and we were so excited until we got to church and learned that S would be getting her award that night so we could only stay an hour. Dinner was so good, but I felt so rude leaving early like that. I understand that part of the unspoken agreement when being invited to dinner is that you, the guest, will provide some pleasant conversation and company for a nice amount of time (whatever amount that is). And we did not. BUT we still had so much fun, and were so happy to be invited, and loved the food. Thanks soooo much! And I just have to add that they were so gracious and sweet and made us feel like it was just fine but still I knew and felt bad.

We got wii fit last week. Since we've gotten it hooked up I think it's been running non-stop. Everyone enjoys it a lot. The games are fun and there is an element of competition that we enjoy. There is nothing more fun than seeing your name on the number one spot :) It has it's flaws, which Beloved could catalog for you if you wish, but for the most part I think it's a two thumbs up. Of course you have to be thick skinned. You start by importing your little mii and then you fill in your personal information and then finally you step on the wii platform and it weighs you and rates you. I hopped up and after calculating my little mii puffed up like a cat stuck in a microwave, complete with little "poof" noise. Most insulting. She pants and puffs and huffs and hangs her head after every work out. J's mii on the other hand is a stick. I hope mine will trim up with some work :)

Today I spent some time while everyone else was gone to work and school securing some #1 spots for myself. (one of the benefits of living a life of leisure)




For Christmas I got these new knives. They are awesome. Today I was chopping and was amazed at how easily and neatly they cut!



This morning I went to Target to buy Lucy's birthday present and some other miscellaneous things. While I was there I saw Dinosaur Eggs!! Score. These were the kids very favorite oatmeal and then mysteriously about a year ago I couldn't find it in the stores, any where. And then today, just as unexplainedly there it was again. I bought several boxes, just in case.
And speaking of oatmeal this is odd. The kids have to have oatmeal for breakfast two mornings a week. (that' not the odd part) I am a big believer in it's oaty goodness and frankly was just tired of the complaining so decreed that two mornings they would have it with no tears. And it worked and they eat it. It's yummy and warm and good for your brain and your tummy so this is a good thing. Anyway I used to boil water in my Pyrex 2 cup measure cup and then pour said water into our several bowls and stir and serve. A couple summers ago I was with MSV and she did hers differently, and I have to say better. She puts oatmeal and water together in the bowl and microwaves both and it gets fluffy and creamier than my method so I switched. The problem is sometimes it over bubbles in the bowl and then there is a mess and for some reason I can not predict with any accuracy which bowls will do this. I bought some deep bowls, red and plastic, and while shopping thought "these are deep, they won't bubble over". This morning I made Brother's oatmeal first and low and behold it bubbled over. "how odd I thought", grabbed the next identical bowl, put in one packet of oatmeal and 2/3 cup water (same as before) nuked it for the same amount of time and ...dun dun da! no bubbling over. Why?? It's very vexing and perplexing (can you tell I just read Dr Seuss to brother at bedtime?)
over



Saturday, January 10, 2009

good movie, good book, good rolls

It's funny how things come in sets. For Christmas J and S got Beloved the book "the Last Lecture". It was on his bedside stand and I picked it up to read. I'm not quite done with it but I have enjoyed it so much. He is funny and relatable and wise. Many of the things he talked about really resonate with me. His theme was "reaching childhood goals". In "the alchemist" the premise is that children know their life's ambition or dream but that we forget it, our hero does not forget his dream and in fact it is while on the journey to make it a reality that he becomes "self actualized" if you will, and finds meaning and purpose not only in his life but in the universe. Randy also spoke of the dreams we have as children and the joy and fulfillment it gives us to realize those. They both talk about living in the moment. Right now. Very powerful and similar ideas in the two books. I'm going to have to really ponder on these things.
Last night S and J and I went to the movies. We saw Bride Wars. We loved it. It was not well reviewed but it was funny and cute, predictable but fun anyway. Before that we went out for spring rolls, so yummy and had the best time talking and laughing together. It was a good night :)

completely random

one nice thing about counters that are cleared off...new places to perch while eating chips and salsa.
after reading about the porcine wonder H became obsessed with "pork".


makind salad for dinner.

Friday, January 09, 2009

a wonderful read

Joy is starting book club back up. She sent out an email and I do love to read and used to really enjoy going to book club. The last few years I haven't gone. Too busy? Inconvenient times? Titles I didn't want to read? I don't know why really Anyway when she sent out the invite I thought it would be fun. Gathering and chatting and reading are always good :)

So I got the book, came highly praised and recommended. Yesterday I was finished with some of the Christmas fluff I had been enjoying and turned to it.

Page one: a young shepard boy watches his flocks on the hillside in Spain. I thought: Great, just great. How is this going to be good? thank goodness it's short.
By page three I was hooked.

I really liked it. About a third of the way into it I was at McD with Lu and she was playing and I was reading (a great alternative for an outdoor playground in the winter) and I had to stop and call Joy. Do you know anything about the author? She said she didn't and I didn't but his work was surprising me. He had many ideas that were profound and moved me and caused me to think. Some that were not new to me but surprising in a secular context. Some that were new and interesting.

Of late I had been thinking of happiness and what causes some people to live a life that is truer to their inner desires. What makes one family sell all they have, hop on a boat and sail for a year living and working together, living their dream. Or someone to quit a great job he's had for years and start medical school as an older student because he was called and beckoned and dreamed it. Or .______________(fill in the blank with whatever dream you wish) While others allow circumstance to dictate their path. The path of least resistance and least joy and fulfillment. Why do some people know what they want and see opportunity and others put their heads down and trudge through without seeking?

This book spoke of these things and more. I am anxious to go and hear what others thought and got out of it.

So, Go. Read. Share.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

She's here!


Natalia Zaneth
6lbs 15oz
19 inches long
Born at 2:26

Pictures coming!!

That makes 9 granddaughters and 3 grandsons for my parents!

Welcome to the world little one.

I almost died yesterday

Several weeks ago I was at the dollar tree, I don't remember why but anyway I got some random things as well as whatever I had gone there for (I hope) and got home. One of my random things was some glass cleaner.

So, some days later I went to clean some glass and noticed that the bottle said "with ammonia". Bummer. I thought to myself that I should throw it away ....but I did spend a dollar on it so I cleaned and then put it on the top most shelf on the broom closet so one of the kids wouldn't accidentally get it.
A few weeks after that we were having a family cleaning hour and I saw the bottle in one of the kids hands. Stop! I shouted (never being one to over react :) ) and took the dangerous bottle and gave them a different one and thought to myself I'd better throw this away...but there was that dollar I spent so I put it up and thought we'd be real careful.


Then yesterday I was walking around and picking up before leaving to pick up Lucy at Austin's and grabbed the bottle to give the bathroom mirrors a quick wipe. Then I picked up a few things off the floor and peeked into the potty and adjusted the roll and then thought I'll just wipe down the seat, you know just in case by some miracle someone wants to look at the house, so I gave it a spray and started to wipe and when I lifted the lid I saw it (cue ominous musik) a sprinkle of ajax under the lid, left from the last time the potty was cleaned. And I just wiped with my ammonia infused, stoopid cheap-o brand glass cleaner, rag. Having taken chemistry years ago I knew that the combination of ammonia and bleach was the secret to a deadly Nazi chemical agent (and before that the bad guys of ww1 used it too). I screamed and ran...straight to my computer: where I learned all kinds of scary things. Then I left and called poison control who helpfully told me that was not a good idea and we should evacuate. For how long? and what symptoms should I look for? She didn't know how long and did I see spots in my peripheral vision? Hmmm, maybe. (hypochondriac in action)

We stayed gone an hour. Then came home and opened all the window and turned on the fan and I worried all night...and I sent Millie in to take a test breath (I know, that was mean but she was the closest thing I had to a canary). The good news is we are all alive. The offending bottle is now in the trash (although I would like my dollar back) and my potty is clean.

so warning: do no mix ammonia and bleach (V) and go throw away the cheapy cleaners (windex is ammonia free)

in other less dramatic news my little sister is in labor, right now, last I heard she was at a 4 and had an epidural and things were going well. Crossing my fingers for more good news soon.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

we've having one of these

nope, I'm not pregnant, but Dani is!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!!

I get to be the grandma! :) So excited.

Dani called on Christmas and told us the exciting news. We've been keeping it a secret, while quietly doing the happy dance.

I think it's a girl, a girl is a great way to start a family....or a boy...boys are great too!! Whatever it is he or she will be one lucky little baby. She'll have awesome parents and a whole family that adores him.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

books and bears

Yesterday H brought home a book about Franny K Stein. She told us that all the 4th graders were reading them and that they were always checked out of the library. Then she very nicely read the whole thing to Brother while we ran errands. And he loved it. Every time we got back in the car from whatever we were doing he would chant "Franny, Franny, Franny" until she would read again. It was really very sweet.

Fast forward to today. She got another one, they are a series, and brought it in the car. This time however she held it hostage and he cried. He really wanted to hear it but she wouldn't let him touch it, even though it is well within his reading ability. I told him he should check one out himself when he is done with his Droon book (another series) and then he said 1st graders aren't allowed to check out from the shelves, only the book boxes that are set out for them.

Finally her nicer side came out and she said she had a headache so she couldn't read out loud to him and he couldn't touch her book but tomorrow morning during early bird readers he could come with her to the library and she would help him ask the librarian for one. This was agreeable to him. 1st graders also aren't allowed to do early bird readers so while she gets to read in the morning he has to sit in the cafeteria and visit with friends, which he doesn't hate. Thankfully. He gets a lot of time to read during the day. He is always one of the first kids done with every assignment and then the plan is to read from your browsing box or from your library book until the other kids are done, or time is up and the class moves on to the next thing. He complains that it's kind of boring to wait on everyone every day and I know he's not exaggerating because I have subbed his class several times and he is done and he does sit and read.

Today Lucy and I stopped by the bookstore on the way home from taking Beloved to the airport. I actually wanted to look for Franny, but they were out. I ended up getting Mercy Watson, by the same author as Despereaux. It is a really cute story (series but we only got one) about a pig that is part of the Watson family. We read it tonight and H and E both liked it and laughed out loud at it. Brother is taking it tomorrow so his teacher can borrow it and read it to the class.

I am glad they both like to read. Today we were talking in the car about how books change people. They leave a little piece of themselves in your mind and your heart and you are changed forever by that knowledge/story/perspective that was brought to life through a book.



Today we got Wii Fit. I am super excited. It'll be fun. We have enjoyed our wii a lot and maybe this will be the key to exercise fun :)

Yesterday everyone went back to school or work and our lives are out of vacation mode. It was our turn to host the kiddos and we did a bear theme for our lesson time. The kids really enjoyed "hibernating" in a cave, and fishing for fish and hunting for berries and hunny as they became bears. We then made little caves out of lunch bags and put our paper bears and their food in the cave. A hit! Lucy was glad to have her friends back and it was a good day.

In other much sadder news while we were buying food and bedding for Renaldo at Russell's Feed we found out that after months of waiting and asking they had hedgehogs again. J REALLY wants one and is now begging away. We are having enough on our plates with moving 5 kids, 2 grown ups and one very large dog and don't want to add a hedgehog, sugar glider, cat or partridge in a pair tree...or cage full of finches. Maybe J needs to be a vet or an exotic animal trainer or something when she grows up, she always wants another pet.

Who needs a mop??

Our faithful dog Millie helping with the chores! video

Beloved did mop again after :)

warm weather...not yet

Our days are chilly now. The kids bundle up in warm coats and gloves to stand outside and wait for the bus. Yesterday there were icicles hanging off the car and the street signs and everywhere. We don't live where the climate is particularly harsh, and thank goodness we don't have months of snow to deal with but it's cold enough to make us long for summer (our favorite season). Especially when the magic of the Christmas season is over and we are left with cold, windy days waiting.

Well, our desk top bit the dust and finally this weekend Beloved had time to go up in the attic (or send J up~ I'm not sure how that came to pass) and hook up Grandma B's computer so we are back up. There is some retrieval to be done but that'll happen so it's fine.

One of the fun things about using her computer is she still had some stuff on it including some folders of old pictures. We spent some time yesterday looking at them and everyone gathered round and enjoyed the 1950 era photos as well as some more recent.

I found these cheery, warm shots....making me wish for summer! My question is how did they take this picture of Grandma B on the beach? Was the camera tied to a kite? Were airplanes invented and was Grandpa in one? and if so why?
Bathing Beauty and her two boys! How fun!! I love summer!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

sunday morning laziness

A Hero doesn't appear until the world really needs one

For our last day of vacation we cleaned out weeds around the pool and did some laundry :) then we headed out to the movies and saw The Tale of Despereaux. It was really cute, different than the book (of course) but cute. I liked the vegetable guy and the happy ending.

J spent the weekend (Friday and Saturday) camping at Enchanted Rock. Where she had a very lovely time. They had to hike it all their water, including for cooking and all. They hiked up the rock after dark to see the stars. She & Emma and Rebecca hiked again before dawn for a second view. I think everyone had fun except for Scott, one of the dads, who hurt his ankle (I hope it's not broken) and had to be carried out :(

Church starts at 1:30 this year. Which means sleeping in Sunday mornings for us. A welcome change.

I don't love the photographs our realtor took. Last night we sent her some of ours, hopefully she'll swap them soon. She used a wide angle lens but her flash caught the edge and left a shadow on many of the pictures, annoying.

Tonight we are making ice cream in our new ice cream maker! I'm excited.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

thought for the night

Freedom doesn't mean doing what you want. Freedom means the ability to make choices that are good for you.
~ Gregory Millman

Friday, January 02, 2009

where did everything go???

30 boxes of books, no kidding, 4 boxes of toys, 10 of clothes and linens, several of photos, many book shelves, boxes of glass things and knickknacks, china cabinet, bed, chairs, etc. All in the garage.

wanna buy it?

laundry room
Brother's other wall

cont.

Game room, you can't see the big tv or the toy closet.
J's bedroom.


the rest of J's room