Monthly Archives: October 2009


Bits and pieces that I want to remember…..

The Boy still loves to give a long story rather than a short answer.  He describes his favorite parts in movies in detail with lots of sound effects.  Very entertaining when he’s recounting the snowball fight in Elf.  He also likes to describe every little part of his Lego creations… “and this part right here is where the driver can see out but nobody can see in and this part blows this gun and it goes <insert boy noise for explosion> and then he can fly <whoosh> but only when these six wheels are folded up but sometimes he only has two wheels like this…” (distract him while he takes a breath or he’ll never stop!!!)
Beans dressed up in her ballerina clothes and gave me an impromptu recital in the kitchen.  Lots of spinning and leaping.  I noticed that she is just now becoming a bit self-conscious about dressing up in play clothes.  Although she is very excited about Halloween and wearing her dog costume. 
She insists on a song every night.  99.9% of the time she requests “Jesus Loves Me”.  While I sing she gives fake yawn and acts as though her eyes are droopy.  By the end of the song she’s sawing some pretty loud logs.  Last night I was in bed before she was and when she asked for her song I told her she had to sing to me instead.  She wouldn’t sing JLM because it’s her favorite song.  She tried to make up a song but ran out of words.  I ended up singing to her.
Chickie is going to wear make-up with her Halloween costume.  We did a practice run this afternoon and she said, “Finally!  I’m old enough to wear makeup!”  She was bummed to find out it’s only for the one night.  It was scary to see her with her eyes all done up… I can see a glimpse of that teenager in her.  As we were playing with the makeup she wondered if C– would come to the trunk-or-treat tomorrow.  When I asked who that was she said it was a boy that was in her class last year.  Hmmmm… 
She’s always enjoyed books but recently she’s really gotten into them…. she’s found that spark that keeps you up until the last chapter is finished.  I have to keep an eye on her light or she’ll be up devouring a book all night long.  I am so so so glad she’s found the love of reading.
She’s been asked to be in two Advent skits this year.  I’m surprised she agreed – I think she was flattered that she was asked.  In the first bit she plays a granddaughter that asking about the Advent wreath.  She’s more worried about how to use the lighter than she is about saying her lines! 
All three kids sang in church last Sunday.  We did a rehearsal during the Sunday School hour and at that time it was only Beans and her BFF Ms.H.  We had technical difficulties and couldn’t get the sound track to play so the two girls sang their duet a cappella.  I wish I’d had a camera.  Neither one was shy… might have to try a real duet with them.  When it came time to sing their little friend Mr. B– had arrived.  He just stood up there and giggled the entire time.  It was so funny!  The girls weren’t distracted though – they did a great job! 
The older two kiddos had a few more friends so there were 4 of them singing.  Such a somber group.   Ms. A can really sing and she has no problem singing a solo… she just forgets to smile.  The other three (including my two) did not want to be up there.  Actually, I think The Boy could take it or leave it but Chickie hates it.  I guess we can cross ‘rockstar’ off of her list.
Schooling is still plugging along.  I’m finding myself using less and less of the Weaver curriculum.  We’ve been using quite a few workbooks for the basics (reading, language arts, math) and supplementing science, art, music, and history from various websites and Netflix movies.  That has been an unexpected bonus…. Netflix has a bunch of documentaries and my kids love’em.  If it can be played on t.v. or on a computer… they’re hooked.  Wii needs to come up with some educational game and we’d be set. 
We’d love to take the kids to the Smithsonian.  We’re looking at taking some vacation time and planning a trip up to D.C. We’re only a couple of hours away and there’s so much good stuff up there.  I just hate driving in that city.  Next time we’re taking the Metro!  Williamsburg is also on our list of places to check out.  I have a fat little book called “Kids Love the Virginias” and it’s full of great places.  We just need to find the time. 
So that’s it.  Just a few of the things that have been going on and bits about the kids I wanted to be sure to remember.


Fall nesting

Forget ‘spring cleaning’…. after being cooped up all winter all I want to do in the spring time is head outdoors!  Fall is the time for cleaning and organizing.  The house is just nippy enough to keep me moving.  This morning the kids and I walked room by room through the house gathering up the miscellaneous clutter.  Once the general living spaces were cleaned up we each headed to our bedrooms. 

The Boy had the easiest room to clean.  He’s pretty organized most of the time.  He just needs a weekly reminder to straighten up a bit.  Beans requires constant monitoring or she ends up playing with all of her toys.  She’s good at putting things away if you point out each item.  Generally I do the straightening while handing her random items that need to be put away elsewhere.  Chickie had to take two passes on her room.  The first time she just cleared the center of the room and fluffed her blanket.  On closer inspection I notice a bunch of junk piled around the edges of her room.  The second pass resulted in at least two bags of garbage. 

They weren’t the only ones to clean their rooms.  I cleaned mine too.  I had two huge piles for the Goodwill store plus another large tote of spring/summer clothes to store in the basement.  The sweaters came out of hiding as did my winter boots.  I still have some de-cluttering to do but most of the big piles are gone now. 

The final touch of fall cleaning was to take all of the blankets, quilts and comforters to the laundrymat and get them cleaned.  The kids each have fleece blankets that attract pet hair to the point of looking like their own animals.  It’s impossible to get all of the hair out but they’re all much less furry now.  Beans has a matching quilt and comforter that desperately needed to be cleaned.  We layered those on her bed tonight and they are so snuggly!  My hubby was smart and remembered to grab our comforter too – we just didn’t think to grab the winter duvet cover.  That should fit in our washer/dryer though. 

It feels good to have a straightened up house and fresh blankets to snuggle into tonight.  Tomorrow we’ll work on actual cleaning and of course, more painting… “the never ending caaaabinets…”

'Tis Fall

There is no denying it.  Autumn is here.  Bright colorful leaves are slowly taking over the trees.  Some trees have given up the battle completely and shed their bright yellow leaves onto the crisp green lawn below.  The contrast in colors is amazing.  I love driving around town and seeing all of the colors.  The mountains that surround our little valley are becoming mottled in greens, yellows and oranges.  Sigh….

We went yesterday to pick more apples from The Apple Barn.  All they had left were Rome and Stayman apples.  They’re are slightly tart, crisp and firm.  Great for all types of cooking.  It was so sad to see the hundreds of apples on the ground.  What a waste.  I don’t know if this was unusual for them – as this is the first year they’ve stopped doing school tours – of if they lose this many apples every year.  I would think they could invite the homeless shelter or the food bank to come and pick apples.  The ground was littered with some of the brightest red apples I have ever seen.  We struggled to find any red ones left on the trees.  Most were green with a smattering of red.  In the midst of “Daddy!  Come here!  I found a red one!” we heard “GUYS!  LOOK!  A DEER!”  We all crouched down and peered through the orchard to see a deer happily munching on apples and grass. 

We took our haul back to the barn to have them weighed… 34lbs…  just under a full bushel.  A whopping $13 worth.  It was so much fun to pick fresh fruit.  We need to find some other farms that let us pick strawberries, carrots, beans, squash…  Mmmm… 

The girls have already started into the bags of apples.  I peeled a small mountain of them while my hubby cored and sliced them.  My dear friend, Julia, shared her recipe for crockpot applesauce.  The kids keep peeking through the glass lid on the crockpot – “Is it ready yet?”  We also have a recipe for crockpot applebutter.  We need to start with 8 cups of applesauce.  I think we may have to attempt that in the middle of the night so the applesauce monsters don’t eat up all of our sauce!

This PSA is for you…

Duuuuuude.  Stop right now and back up your computer.  Right. Now.  I’ll wait.

Did you do it? 

Didn’t think so.  You probably told yourself you’d do it later right?  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Folks, I had a close call with the blue screen of death today.  Seriously.  It was touch and go there for a bit and eventually it took just over 3 hours to get back to square one.  I now have the fun job of tweeking everything just-so to make it feel like home again. 

The day started out fine…. I checked my email and had just logged in on FB when my computer popped up with that ever annoying little notice “Your computer needs to be restarted… do it now or I’ll keep popping up to harrass you.”  Fine.  I’ll restart.  Apparently my computer didn’t get that memo… you know…. to actually restart….  I got the blue screen with some lame error code that’s probably just some computer geek’s old junior high locker combination.  I rebooted – several times.  I sweet talked my lovely laptop.  I threatened it.  I might have even stroked the case and whispered something about hurting Mr. Dell Inspiron’s grandma if he didn’t boot up…. I don’t know – it’s all hazy now.  Anyway.  It didn’t work.  (I guess Mr. Dell doesn’t love his grandma very much)

Even Mr. Google was no help.  I had to call in the specialist.  A computer doctor.  “Mah preshusssss baby!  Please!  Help!”  He was calm as he opened up his bag of tricks and pulled out a magic CD that allowed him to pull 50 gig’s worth of documents off of my computer.  Did you read that?  50 as in fif-ty!  (speaking of 50 – happy bday to zanne!) I had no idea I had so much, um, stuff stored on my poor laptop.  No wonder he was run down and exhausted.  Do you know how long it takes to backup that much data (from a corrupted computer)??  About 50 minutes give or take an eternity.  Mr. Doctor was kind enough to remember to grab my internet faves too.  Then he had to wipe the drive.  Hasta la vista random programs with no backup disks.  Adios corrupt operating system.  I hope you rot in jail!  Reloading the 50 gigs took just as long  – 50 long minutes.  But really.  I’m not complaining.  I have mah preshussss baby back.  This computer doctor really is my hero.  I would write an ode to him but I’m not that talented and that’s actually pretty creepy.

So now I have my computer back.  Sort of.  I’m glad it’s alive and all but it’s only a shell of what it used to be.  He doesn’t remember me at all.  I have to remind him that I don’t need all those pesky pop-ups and that I like my coffee with flavored creamer and that I’m used to having my internet favorites in a certain order and now I have to type in the entire web address (oh the horrors!) to my commonly accessed sites.  I know we’ll get back to our comfortable relationship soon enough.  It’s probably a good idea to do some housekeeping and clean out some of those ancient files.  Hmmmm maybe it will even make my laptop lighter…. (yes – i’m only joking about that.  i know it will only be a few grams lighter – i probably won’t even notice the difference.) 

If you love your computer even half as much as I love mine.  Do yourself a favor and buy an external drive and back-up your baby.

One for the history books

I would just like to mark down this date…. my hubby has a sore throat.  He normally has the immune system of an ox.  (or whatever animal never gets sick)  It’s wonderful that germs don’t stand a chance with him.  The Boy has inherited at least 96% of my hubby’s immune system.  He might get sick once a year.  The girls are a little more apt to catch something but they certainly don’t get every little bug that comes around. 

Maybe that has something to do with the hazmat suits that I make them wear….

Last night

I WENT TO A GREAT CONCERT LAST NIGHT!   Ooh, sorry about the yelling…. my ears are still ringing.

A friend of ours blessed us with two tickets to the Skillet concert.  I would call them a Christian heavy metal band.  Maybe they aren’t considered heavy metal but when the heaviest stuff I listen to is Audio Adrenaline…. My hubby prefers the heavy stuff and was happy to discover Skillet.  He was excited to hear that they were coming in concert.  Unfortunately, he didn’t get to go to the concert with me.  Work has scheduled him in North Carolina for the next few days.  Fortunately for me, I have a friend that is a Skillet fan and she was more than willing to go with me.

The concert opened with The Letter Black, followed by Decyfer Down, then Hawk Nelson (or Hottie Nelson as John Cooper of Skillet calls him).  I really enjoyed Hawk Nelson.  The lead singer, John Dunn, is so funny.  And he looks like he’s all of 12 years old.  After the concert the hubby and I tracked down their website and got a kick out of their video clips.  I will have to pick up one or two of their CD’s in the near future.

Around 9:30 Skillet finally took the stage.  We were on the side, 4th row so we had a great view of the band.   Jen Ledger, the drummer, did an awesome drum solo that completely put to shame my efforts of drumming on Rock Band.  John also has a great sense of humor and is a great rocker.  He cracked me up with his intro to their ‘power ballad’.  In true rocker fashion, his voice was getting scratchier and scratchier as the concert continued.  I may have lost count but I believe they did 13 songs – #13 being Monster (great song).  Their encore brought on 3 more songs.  The last song of the night was the only one I was familiar with but I couldn’t tell you the name of it.   

From someone who doesn’t consider herself a heavy rocker…. I give this concert two thumbs up!  For all you rockin’ Phoenicians… The Awake & Alive tour will be in the Celebrity Theater Oct. 22nd.  Be sure to do proper neck stretches before the concert so you don’t strain your neck while head banging!

Wait for it…

I am painting my kitchen cabinets.  There are two banks of cabinets and I’ve tackled one set.  I still need to put one more coat of paint on them and paint the doors.  But even unfinished they’re lookin’ good.  I can’t wait to finish up and put the new hardware on. 

And if you give a mouse a cookie he’s going to ask for a glass of milk…

After the painting is done we’ll need to get new countertops.  One countertop is a butcherblock looking laminate.  The other one is a black speckled marble laminate.  Time for matching tops!! 

And when you give him the milk he’ll probably ask for a straw…

The second bank of cabinets is too long and blocks the 2nd backdoor.  Plus those cabinets are really sink bases and they don’t have real drawers – just fake drawer fronts.  So really…. we need to get a new set of cabinets.

When he’s finished he’ll ask for a napkin.

Since the new cabinets will actually fit in the allotted space we’ll be able to attach them properly.  Which would mean that they would block the only outlet.  Luckily my hubby knows how to move stuff like that.  It will be great to have an outlet that we can actually reach.

Then he will want to look in a mirror to make sure he doesn’t have a milk mustache.

Did I mention that our upper cabinets don’t reach to the ceiling?  There’s an ugly gap that tends to collect clutter.  The plan is to build a 2nd row of cabinets on the tippy top and trim it off with crown moulding. 

When he looks into the mirror he will probably notice that his hair needs a trim.  So he will probably ask for a pair of scissors.

And when we put up the crown moulding we really should finish up the ceiling.  My hubby has been busy patching the leaks and scraping off the stained texture.  We have a fabulous roll of wallpaper to put up.  It’s made to look like an old tin ceiling. 

When he’s finished giving himself a trim, he’ll want a broom to sweep up.

Once the ceiling is looking so pretty we’ll need to address the hole where the kitchen light used to be.  Yes.  Half of our kitchen is in the dark.  While patching the leaks in the attic my hubby got a good look at the wiring running to the kitchen light.  Scary.  So he disconnected it.  He’ll need to run new wiring and then put up a pretty new light to match the new cabinets, countertops and ceiling.

When he’s done he’ll probably want to take a nap.

Once there’s light in the kitchen again we’ll notice that the floor is horrendous.  The great dane puppies had decided that the laminate flooring was tasty and decided to chew a huge hole in the middle of the floor.  (don’t ask how)  Not having the resources at the time we used some laminate tiles to cover the hole (which grew – and was patched, and grew – and was patched a third time). 

Phew.  After all of that we are going to take a nap!!