Friday, September 28, 2007

Why I now hate the rain!

I miss the rain. It does not rain here. I am permanently dehydrated here. Our humidity hovers around 15% (according to my weather clock). It's dry. Very dry.

Except... twice a year. We get a bit of rain in the spring and in the fall. A bit. A few days of rain. I mean a day in the spring and one in the fall of glorious all-day rain.

I love the rain. It cheers my soul.

I should say, it used to. Before we moved up here on the hill. There are two reasons the rain is no longer welcome.

1. dirt road + rain = mud

2. nasty, nasty bugs that love the moisture, come out in droves, and move into my houseThese are the biggest offenders. Millipedes. Ugh! They are about 2" long and they look like worms. Last year, the laundry room was their home away from home. Now, they seem to like my upstairs better. Why? Nicer lighting? More space to spread out? Better reaction from the mama? I don't know, but they creep me out. Big time!!!!
Exterminator comes on Thursday. Couldn't be bribed to come sooner. Pray for me!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Freezer update...

I guess it wasn't too bad before... Now, it's just full of more food. Not sure where we're going to put the 1/2 beef we want to order.



Oh no! Stupid Dave Ramsey!!!!

It's happened. We knew it would. We knew what we would do when it happened. Well, it's happened and we can't do what we planned, thanks to dumb ol' Financial Peace. Grrrrr...

Our neighbor has put his extra lot up for sale. It sits between his property and ours. Understand that if someone builds there, we'll have actual neighbors. Right now, the only neighbors within shouting distance are across an unimproved road off the front end of our property. This is the only house we can see from inside our house and it's only if we look out the front window.

Didn't think I'd get used to no neighbors so quickly. I have.

Our plan was to buy that lot when/if he put it up for sale. Hmmmm... Now, we refuse to take on any debt and we don't have the cash to buy it. What's a girl to do? Pray. Pray that the new neighbors (who may never actually materialize) don't have kids. (It's such gamble that they'd be friendly, well-behaved, and any of my kids' ages.) Oh, and pray that they don't mind living next to us who have 4 littles and are excruciating slow at outdoor beautification projects.

Love the full moon. Especially during sunrise...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Grandpa's got a road...

Here is the beautiful road that grandpa built on their property. Grandpa hauled up the culvert. Jason and Lou hauled up the skid steer. A neighbor brought his very big tractor and together they moved earth. The culvert is in place, the rocks are in place, and now one can drive across the stream to the other side of the property without a wet ride on the four-wheeler!
Brennen's favorite place in the entire world! On the four-wheeler with grandpa!

Yeah, it rained... Doesn't bother the 10 year old one bit.

As long as he can run the skid steer- all is good. Mom's yelling at dad to yell at Rhys to put that bucket back down before he tips that thing over...

Four months old? How can it be?

It does not seem possible that my baby boy is already four months old. On one hand, it seems like we just brought him home. On the other, he is so busy, happy, and loud, seems as though he's been here forever!

At his 4 month check, he impressed the doctor with his smiles, his squealing, and his massive size! He's down to the 100th percentile on weight. Too funny! He showed off his strength and charm and as an extra blessing to the mama, he didn't cry at all with his immunizations. How lucky am I?
(As a side note: I slipped Brennen's Hep.A immunization into that visit as well. Wasn't planned. Didn't tell George. Treated him to a piece of gum while the nurse poked him. He didn't cry either. He merely proclaimed, "Hey! That hurt!" Whew! Lucky mama!)

Here's Ole in the "big boy bath." Seems he's outgrown the sink bathtub. (boo hoo) Wendy assures me that laying him flat in the bath with a bit of water in the bottom is easy, fast, and fun. Turns out- she's correct! (Who knew that a mama of 6- almost 7- kiddos would know how to bathe them! LOL!) He loves the bath. He particularly loves to turn his head and drink the soapy water.

First day of co-op... (Or why I am so far behind...)

Well, I don't know how I survived these first few weeks last year. Co-op, our schooling, and MOPS all start at about the same time. It's exhausting! (and to think, last year I was busy gestating...)

Here's a photo of our 1st day (last Monday). Next May, our last day of co-op photo will look so very different. Buddha baby there will be all grown up.

Yesterday was co-op day #2. I am teaching Middle Grammar (3rd & 4th grade) Tapestry of Grace (mainly history). This year we are covering 1890- present. I love this period in history and I think it's going to be a very fun year of teaching. We have a small class, but 6 of the 8 kiddos are boys. Busy boys.

Cael is spending most of the day with me, although there are plenty of arms to hold him in the nursery. Brennen is in "preschool" and, believe it or not, there is another Brennen in his class. So, we really do call him George. Kjersten is in Lower Grammar and is enamoured with her music teacher. She comes home and plays "music class." It is too precious! Rhys is in my class. Lucky boy. He is thrilled that his karate instructor is teaching PE at co-op this year. Seems those boys cannot expend enough energy without help throughout the day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Really. Not much. In fact, barely visible to the untrained eye. But, we saw it!!!!! Today we had a nice storm come thru. Wind, thunder, lightning, lots of rain, and....SNOW!

Wouldn't you know, we have a outdoor field trip tomorrow. Argh!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

George and the bribe...

Okay. I stole this idea from Family Fun magazine. George has an awful time remembering to wash his hands. Even when reminded, he balks. This is the solution.
Each time he washes his hands, he gets a (little) sticker. Once his hands are covered- he (and the rest of us) get a treat from Dairy Queen. The hands are actually more covered now but it still requires reminders. At least the hands are getting washed!

Who says I'm not spontaneous?!

Well... I say that! So do most who know me.
Having kids has helped me become much more structured. This results in less spontaneity. Not so good for the fun-loving hubby!
Anyhow, Saturday was one of those days... Full of errands, karate, and kiddos. Jason and Lou went to grandma and grandpa's land (about three hours North of here) to drop off the skid steer. The boys and I began our list of things to do... About noon, Jason calls to say that he thinks we should come on up and stay the night up at the land.
(Okay... this is where I immediately go into the "it wasn't on the schedule and I have too much to do" mode.) Thanks to my "Proper Care and Feeding..." refresher course, I know that sometimes, I really could accommodate hubby with a cheerful heart even if it inconveniences me. LOL!
Well, we finished our necessary errands, drove all the way home, threw some clothes in a bag, grabbed some pork chops and milk, and headed out... Two and a half hours later- we were there.
It was great. Very relaxing. I'll do a whole post on why Jason went up to begin with when I get some pictures from Grandma.
(Guess I should listen to Jason more often, eh?)

Who do those kiddos get...

their pudgy hands from? All four of them have the same hands. Their hands are pudgy from birth on... I kept thinking they'd outgrow it. Nope. Now, I've identified where they inherited their paws from, seems the hands are here to stay...Why... grandpa Paul, of course!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


Last night, Jason and I were discussing money matters. Rhys was listening in, so we included him by asking him a few questions about the cost of living. Here's the conversation:

Me: Rhys, how much do you think a house costs to buy?
Rhys: Oh... about $10,000
Me: What about a car?
Rhys: Hmmm... $4000 or $2000 if it's used.
Me: How much is a gallon of gas?
Rhys: Between $2-3. (Gasp! He got that right!)
Me: How much does it cost to fill the van with gas?
Rhys: Well... $3
(brief explanation at this point of how much gasoline my van can hold. Rhys was horrified!)
Dad: How much does it cost to take you to karate?
Rhys; (I kid you not.... says...) Priceless?

I laughed so hard, I cried!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

And we're off and running...

No pictures. I'll do a nice photo shoot tomorrow. Today, it was a matter of just getting going. I am actually optimistic about really "schooling" both kiddos at the same time. It seems to help Rhys concentrate to have another "pupil" sitting next to him.

Right now, he's dragging his feet on finishing his math assignment. Kjersten is done for the day and is busy playing, of all things..., school with Brennen. Too cute.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Beautiful pictures. Gross story.

Pudgy little feet. Aren't they yummy?!

He fell asleep while playing with his buddy in the mirror.
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The pictures above are just for your viewing pleasure. They have nothing to do with the gross story (other than they both include Cael)!

Gross story:

Once upon a time, Audra gave us a Jumparoo. (For those of you without young children- click here to see what that looks like.) Anyhow, once Brennen outgrew it, the Jumparoo took up residence in the garage until we found a family in need of baby entertainment products- Amber's. Once Analise outgrew it, the Jumparoo lived in her basement- waiting... Well, it's been lovingly returned for yet another round of jumping pleasure.

I couldn't remember what the suggested age range was for this thing, so I looked it up on Amazon. After being reassured that Cael is, indeed, big enough, I went on to read customer reviews just for fun. The one that made Jason and I laugh said that they call it the "Pooperoo" as their boys poop every time! Ha ha!

Not funny. Cael managed to poop on the floor today while playing in the Jumparoo. Fortunately, he managed to have it shoot down his pant leg and onto the hardwood floor. I had just moved it off the living room rug this morning. Whew! What a mess! Oh, and don't worry Wendy, it completely missed the seat. Didn't even have to wash that- just him and his clothes and Rhys' socks and the floor... (Wendy is expecting #7 and I think the Jumparoo needs to visit her house next!)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Love, love, love the comments!!!!

If you're a fellow blogger, you know what I am talking about. I type out the gory details of our lives and, yet, readers return. Sometimes, they even leave lovely remarks.

Thank you. It makes it that much more fun to blog when I really think someone might read it! If you ask me a question, I usually e-mail the response directly to you. If I don't know your e-mail, I'll try to answer it in the same comment section.

Thanks Jamie!

With one brief call en route to church this morning, Jamie was able to tell me how to post our daily schedule. So... should you be curious to how this little family organizes its activities and schooling- see the link below!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Wanna guess how this happened?

It's much bigger, uglier, and more purple in person...
No, I wasn't sparring with Rhys. No, Brennen wasn't wielding a bo staff. No, it's not domestic abuse. (Although, some guy hit on me today saying something to the effect that "If my hubby was in jail for hitting me- he was available. " Ummm... Ewwwww...
Nope. This is the result of mama letting Cael latch onto my lip. For most babies, this is not a big deal. For "super suction lips" it's a problem. All you mamas who have nursed- have pity. The kid has quite the latch!

Ready to rumble...

It's a what?

Rhys and I were discussing the neighbor horse that looks like a donkey. Rhys, just a serious as can be, says "It's a honkey." I laughed so hard I about wrecked the car...

(horse+donkey= honkey, don't you know?!?)

A day in the life...

No, you really wouldn't want to see a "day in the life" here... That would involve chaos and messes you cannot imagine... but here's a glimpse of our schedule for the coming year.

I use a schedule based on Managers of Their Homes by Steve & Teri Maxwell. Ideally, we'd have one schedule for the whole week. Instead, we have a different one for each day. That's due to things like TOG co-op, grammar co-op, karate, MOPS... Here's our theoretical schedule. (Keep in mind, we don't actually start schooling until Tuesday. By Wednesday, I may have totally abandoned this and returned to our gloriously unscheduled days of summer.)

Our Schedule. (Got it fixed. Thanks Jamie!)

This is what we'll be studying:

Brennen will listen with the read-alouds. He has his own workbook. That is just so he can "do school" with the big kids. He also has a toy rotation. These are special toys/ activities that he can do during school time- rotating before he gets bored!

Farmer's Market

Jason has a new hobby. Thanks, in part, to my purchase of the food processor! He likes making homemade salsa. And it is awesome! I like the hotter, more garlicky, more oniony version with less cilantro, but I seem to be in the minority. Just as well... Cael didn't seem to appreciate his milk as much following that batch of salsa! Poor baby!

So, the farmer's market is proving to be the best place to get onions, peppers, and such... I just love this guy! He tolerates so much- like wife wielding camera...

Gotta love shave ice at 9am in the morning!

Brennen LOVES Gordon! He's perfectly content (although that seems impossible in his hyperactive 3 year old body) to hold Gordon's hand or sit on his shoulders indefinitely! Sure makes shopping nice for the rest of us!

Chi tu do... (video at the bottom of this post)

(double click the picture above to see Rhys' facial expression. Now, that's determination!)

Our martial arts studio had a picnic for students and their families. It gave the demo team a chance to practice some new things and us a chance to visit with Rhys' friends and their families.

Baby Cael played with my friends, Ranae and Doug. He's such a happy little lump.

Brennen and Jackson- future karate kids! (Who, in their right mind, give a 3 & 4 year old bo staffs?)