Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bob's getting a (bowl) makeover...

Amy & I went to lunch yesterday and, on a whim, stopped at JoAnn's to look for fabric. I struck out on fabric but did find some super cute window clings featuring a crab. Cael is a bit obsessed with crabs since we covered them in science this year! I bought them with zero plans of letting them be put on the front windows.

The kids oooh'd and ahhhh'd and when I came back into the room, they had found a suitable surface for all those clings!

I never would have thought of it, but it sure is cute! Poor Bob seems a bit confused (or overwhelmed) by his new view.

Who wouldn't want to wear the mask?!

Rhys drove Jason and George down to the minor's game in Red Lodge last night. George got to play catcher for the third game in a row. He loved it! Jason is convinced that having enough going on to keep his interest is the key. I have to say, I think he might be right. George is playing great and thoroughly enjoying this season! 

Lou & I took Stinky to his game. He also got to play catcher. He was over the moon! I, on the other hand, was in the dugout with ELEVEN 4-6 year olds. God help me.

Do you see how catcher crouch? I'm in awe of how those kids pop up from that position over and over and over. No way. Never. 

Blogs.... I might not post, but I surely read them!

I'm having six sorts of fits! My google reader is going away and I have been absolutely stumped about how to keep up with the blogs I love without its assistance. Enter feedly. I feel as the clouds have parted and the sun in shining in the world of keeping up with y'all. Best of all, it's on my phone. I think I can breathe now...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Meet Spike

We're in love with my dad's new puppy, Spike. He's an 8 week old English bulldog. 

George snapped this picture. Isn't he yummy?! 

Spike doesn't even have stinky dog breath yet... 
 Best of all, he goes home with Grandpa Tom! All the fun- none of the work.
(By the way, this is not the way to convince children that we do not need a dog. Whoops!)

Pictograph Caves

After snow last week, the lure of a field trip in 70 degree weather was too much! We ditched our spelling and math and joined friends at the pictograph caves. Shockingly, we learned something while we were there! Turns out that despite having been there several times, having the mama read the placards along the path is NOT the same as having a park ranger educate you. Who knew?!

Park rangers also catch baby bull-nosed snakes on the path and they become part of the education. My boys both thought we should bring him home. Kjersten? Notsomuch. 

George. In a tree. 

Are you read for some (flag) football?!

Cael was quite disappointed to learn that the only gear you get in flag football is a t-shirt. He was hoping for pads and a helmet. The coach made up for it a bit by handing out mouth guards at the first practice. The picture above is from practice last week. Our game was snowed out this last weekend. I'll try again tomorrow (it's supposed to be 68*).

I can tell you that, although it's just flag football, Cael was tackled at the first practice. It has remained the highlight of the season so far! He's counting the days years until he can play tackle football!

Playing Fall Ball!

Who knew there was fall baseball too?! Turns out we have a fall baseball league for kids looking to hone their skills in a more casual setting. George was more than willing to play another round this fall. Only five kids from our regular league signed up (the rest were from "town") and of the five kiddos none were from his spring team. No matter. He's having a great time!

George is, again, one of the younger players and I'm guessing one of the only minor ball players. Most of these boys are major ball players and/ or will be this spring for sure!

The eight year old has had some near disasters this fall (he's had both ball and bat to the head) so he's working through a little hesitation. We're trusting by spring, he'll have overcome his nerves and will have improved his skills. If nothing else, by spring we'll have put a few more miles on the van and George will have had an awful lot of fun!

Cael and Ian providing some crowd noise by running a stick up and down the fence rail. Can you imagine that noise? Yup... That's the sound!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Welcome to Kindergarten...

I had forgotten how very much I love having a kindergartener in the house. Stinky loves each and everything about school. He is a particularly joyful child anyhow, but he is truly enthusiastic every morning when it comes time to see what's in his workboxes. It's like Christmas again and again. Ahhhh... if only it were that exciting to the other three!

As delightful as this all might be, I have made a bit of a mistake. I don't usually start my boys until they're six. Being homeschoolers, it's a bit convoluted. Our "grade levels" are really only dictated by things such as Sunday school, Awana, summer camp, and the like... With George & Rhys, six has been a good starting point for kindergarten. When Cael asserted his desire to be in school this year I never did the math on his age or anything else. Oh well. If it doesn't work out , he'll just get to do this super fun year TWICE!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Bountiful Baskets... Organic

For a few years now, we've contributed to boutifulbaskets.org. Each Monday morning, I log on and decide what we'd like to pick up on Saturday. It's delightful! A basket-full of fruits & veggies, cases of fruit, bread, or other goodies. There's even an option for an all organic box. I change our contribution around all the time, because I can't afford to do it all nor do we have the ability to eat all that food each week! This week, I opted for the organic box.

It never fails. When I order the conventional basket, I look longingly at the organics when I pick up. When I order organic, they get something nifty in the conventional.... So, this week, I grabbed my organic and ran. I didn't even peek at the conventionals. And I certainly didn't volunteer and have to handle all that awesomeness! I need to be content with what I'm bringing home!

(photo courtesy of Kjersten)

Today's Box:
Watermelon, carrots, onions, avocados, peppers, bananas, grapes, 
cilantro, green leaf lettuce, plums, and a bag of apples.

As always, my littles are beside themselves when I get home. It's always a surprise and someone is always very happy with what's in the tub! Today's big winner was George. He's been anxiously awaiting the return of apples. He actually kissed me when he saw the apples!  

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Fine... here's my list of oddities. Which, by the way, I do not find odd in the least.

  • I always put my left sock on first, then my right. Then right shoe on. Then my left shoe. There's a reason for this. I hesitate to share, lest you mock me. More than usual, I mean.
  • As of this morning, I have 543 unread e-mails in my inbox. It is my virtual junk drawer.
  • When waiting for something (a stoplight, the phone to ring, etc,...) I will count down, over and over if necessary, trying to time my count right to end when the light changes or the water boils.
  • I wake without an alarm between 5-5:30 every morning. You'd think I'd get more done, being up so early and all...
  • 12:36 is my favorite time. Why? Because 1+2+3=6 or 1x2x3=6 or (this is a bit of a stretch) 12x3=36 (See how I used the 3 twice? That's technically cheating.) I also have an affinity for 10:27.
  • My head is so big I have to buy man hats, but my ears, mouth and nose are so small they have to use pediatric instruments. That's embarrassing. I should take this off the list.
  • I don't like breakfast. More specifically, I don't like breakfast food. I'll eat nothing or leftovers or salad... just not cereal, eggs, pancakes, french toast (blech!)... Bacon, however, is the exception to all rules. 
  • Pens. I'm a pen snob. I throw out cheap pens. If you leave your cheap pen here, I will throw it out. Don't come back for it. It's gone. Same with cheap pencils. We only use one kind. The rest, no matter how cute, are gone. Ask the kids. They know, if they want to keep cute, they'd better hide it!
  • I cry in church. More often than not, anyhow. I'm the leaky sort. I cry a lot. I cry when I'm happy and when I'm sad and when I'm mad. So, I leak a lot. And, I sit in church alone and it's dark-ish. And nobody knows. 
  • Monday is my favorite day of the week. Easter is my favorite celebration. Spring is my favorite season. (see a theme here?) 
Okay, there is enough crazy for your Tuesday. What's your weirdness?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Something's going down in the stable...

Cael says someone's called a meeting in the stable. Everyone's attendance was required- animals included. You can see that even the angel (far right) came down from her perch for this gathering. Must be BIG!

Not everything should be a Jell-O flavor!

On Wednesdays, all the kiddos hang out at AWANA. This means I get to do fun things with my friends. Sometimes we go get iced tea and chat. Other times, we peruse the aisles at Target. Sometimes, we're desperate (the cupboards are empty) and we're forced to grocery shop! But doing the marketing with friends is always more fun. The company is great and we find all sorts of interesting things!

A few weeks ago, Stacy and I discovered this treasure. Candy Cane Jell-O. I do love peppermint. My kiddos do love "candy cans" and we all enjoy pudding so... I took some time to debate the hot pink box and the $.96 price tag. Obviously, I caved to peer pressure. We both agreed to give it a whirl with the younger set, despite the fact that it goes against all that is good & holy in my food-issue-riddled-mind!

I told you the box is hot pink! You'd think that would serve as a deterrent. Nope.

The pudding mixed up a lovely shade of pale pink. I was worried, given the illustration on the box! It was thick and pretty. Alas, no one liked it but Lou and even she only ate a bit. Should have listened to "mommy radar" on this one...

Boys should be pickier.

Rhys wasn't keen on the after dinner mints at the Mexican restaurant up the road. Instead, he opted to spend his own quarter on a handful of pistachios from the vending machine. Ummmm.... duh. Well, he was tickled to find a worm in one of the nuts. Well, after finding another worm in the next nut and then the next and then the next... he finally decided he may have wasted his hard earned $.25. Being 14 years old, he did eat several of the pistachios, and no they weren't the first few before he found the worms... They were the ones he cracked and didn't see a noticeable worm. Gee, some things should bother boys.

(For the record: we did go back and tell the restaurant and tell them about their petting zoo in the making. They didn't care. I feel for the poor unsuspecting folks who get a more than they bargained for with their handful of peanut M&Ms next time... Blech!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Date night...

Well, it wasn't really a date. And it wasn't really night. I went to a movie yesterday afternoon with Jason & Rhys. Somehow, the three younger ones went home from church with grandma and grandpa (whoo hoo!) and we were left with some unexpected free time! I've had some gift certificates for the local theater waiting for a happenstance such as this...

A quick search with my not-so-smart phone revealed an afternoon showing of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Off we went: the fourteen year old, the mama and the dad.

(Side note: have you been to a movie lately?! I love previews. I make a concerted effort to be there early as not to miss those previews. I should say used to... Yesterday, we were treated to 30 minutes of advertisements with a few previews mixed in. Actual television commercials. Lots of them. Ugh!)

The movie itself was great. All three of us enjoyed it. It was an odd experience to sit, wedged between these two kindred spirits. It's a bit disconcerting to sit between Jason and his younger self. I watched my eldest child laugh at humor that would have so readily gone over his head so recently.  He followed the plot with its many twists and turns. In short, sitting there he resembled an (gasp!) adult. It was unnerving, but delightful at the same time. I think we may have to do that again soon! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Almost homemade bread...

I should have a really good excuse for not blogging for 8 months. I don't. I should "catch up" all the posts. I'm not going to... I'm am just starting where I am. It's all I can handle these days. Frankly, it might be more than I can stand. Stay tuned...

Last night, I made BBQ ribs in trusty crock-pot. As dinner time neared, I realized we needed bread. I'm not a Minnesota native, but having married into a Midwestern family, I have been taught- dinner needs bread. And truly... ribs deserve bread.

A quick survey of the kitchen and a quicker rundown of my baking skills revealed few options for quick bread. However, I did discover two tubes of Simply Pillsbury Rustic French bread in the fridge. I use those for stromboli, which is a favorite throw together meal around here!

Well, I popped those cans, plopped those bad boys on the cookie sheet and hoped that we'd have bread in 23-28 minutes...

Success!!! You wouldn't mistake it for homemade. Then again, you wouldn't have the mess to clue you in that someone made homemade bread either... The kids loved it and having warm bread on the table to sop up BBQ sauce from the ribs was awesome. What's sad is that my kiddos thought it was the "best meal ever..." Really?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A mere four days ago...

Seriously... flip flops and short sleeves. Now we have many inches of snow and is hovering at zero! Wrong direction, weather man!

Sunday afternoons...

Home from church early on a cold winter day means.... books & breakfast!

Rhys: happily reading a library book instead of finishing his literature homework.

Lou reading to George, although George would claim it's the other way around!

Cael working hard on his umpteenth waffle! (Is it awful that I mix my raw milk with Bisquick to make waffles?!)

Lou & I had to go pick up an Azure delivery. This is at 3pm. Brrrrrr.... It's a good thing we had 60's earlier this week or I'd be hard pressed to believe that spring really is on the way!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

Finally... a great deal on produce! Don't get me wrong, I love Costco for my fruits & veggies when the farmer's market is on hiatus, but... $15 buys a box of grapes and a tub of spinach. That's all. Not a lot of variety for those few dollars...

Introducing, Bountiful Baskets. For a $15 contribution to this co-op, you get a lovely basket of fruits & veggies. Here, it's every other week, but seeing as we have three locations already, perhaps they'll be enough interest to move to weekly!

Today's basket included: Jerusalem artichokes, strawberries, spinach, carrots, squash, cabbage, cantaloupe, bananas, sweet potatoes, mangoes, apples, and little bitty pears!

I'll be honest: before this morning, I'd never heard of Jerusalem artichokes (also called 'sunchokes'). A quick google search shows me that they are similar to parsnips and can be used in place of potatoes.

The goal for us it to use all of these groceries... the ones we love as well as the "unheard" of variety!

For $6.50 (my half of the 20 lbs. citrus box), this is what we found inside! Pummeloes, oranges, minneolas, lemons & limes. I think this will prove very popular here!

Cael was most entertained with the citrus. A full 1/2 hour was spent playing with his "lunch"!

$10 for 5 loaves of tasty bread! We also ordered tortillas and, man, are they dense! I'll bet those go over well with my boys!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Science is so much fun!

Our personal planetarium. Isn't that just cool? The kids drew constellations on the underside of a dollar store umbrella.

Measuring craters made by dropping small household objects into a pile of flour. What great fun!

George and his homemade 3D glasses. Stylin....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fun in the (fake) sun...

My youngest nephew had the audacity to turn two, despite his mother's insistence that he stay a baby... She caved and threw him a lovely party at the water-park.

Cael spent his time in the wave pool- spinning. I have video but blogger won't cooperate...

George launching out of the big-kid slide!

Lou crossing the floating lily pads.

Lou & cousin, Maddi, having a bribe, er... treat for getting out of the water and dressed!