Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's a New Year? Already?

I've been feeling the pressure from Facebook friends to comment on the coming New Year so to get myself in the mood I went back and read my post from last year. My sentiments regarding looking forward to changing seasons and major events more than the new year still ring true.
Regarding my resolution to-do list:
I did repaint the kiddos room though it needs to be done again. I did not repaint my own. The rock in the driveway was moved and my organizational skills and cleaning motivation have definitely improved. Movies...ahh well, you can't win them all. Actually with the addition of kindergarten homeschooling work into our daily routine the movie watching has diminished.
A lot happens in a year. (Call that the understatement of the year...) There is a little girl crawling around my feet right now who was in my belly at this time last year. There is a Clayton - ayton who happily sings Jingle Bells and no longer wears arm bands at all, who's face is kiss-ably soft once more. There is an Ivan who is four and loves wooden trains and his school work. There is a Hannah who got a violin for Christmas last year and can play a recognizable Jingle Bells and Mary Had a Little Lamb. There is a Erik who still enjoys building houses and is thankful for a wonderful boss to work for and there is me who enjoys her life as a mom but loves mommy-breaks and who finally figured out a sourdough bread recipe that we all enjoy.
I don't think I'll make resolutions this year, they end up to much like to-do lists and I will probably sleep through the changing of the years tonight, unless a little girl I know happens to be hungry.
All that said, for those planning parties and New Year's Eve surprises and kisses, I hope you have a grand time but more than that I pray you do have a wonderful new year!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Tongues

A few weeks ago Ivan stuck out his tongue in jest and I noticed something weird. He had a bald spot. Yes, you read that right, a bald spot, on his tongue. Just off to the side was a very smooth circle on his tongue. I asked if his tongue hurt at all and he said no. I resolved to keep an eye on it and see what happened. I asked him to stick out his tongue the next day and the bald spot was a little smaller and it looked like taste buds where growing back in the middle but on the other side of his tongue there was another little bald spot. So I took to Google and searched (I think I typed in "smooth bald spots on child tongue"). We think he had a case of Geographic Tongue. Apparently it's of no concern but it sometimes happens and "they" don't know why. It's characterized by smooth patches of the tongue that show up in different locations on the tongue but that do grow back. I checked his tongue a few more times and then promptly forgot about it because it didn't bother him at all. Then today, I remembered so I had Ivan stick out his tongue and lo and behold his tongue looks normal. I think I exclaimed, "Why Ivan, your tongue is healed!" To which he replied, "Jesus made me better, he swam from here (pointing to his heart) up to here (his mouth) and made my tongue better."

Made me pause and think of this:

James 3:5-10
Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue is also a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.


Dear Jesus,
Please swim from my heart to my tongue and heal it.
Amen

Friday, December 18, 2009

More Red Shoes


What can I say? I love red shoes. These shoes of mine that Hannah is wearing are actually red but I took the photo with black and white film, which I also love, and colored them in by hand on my really, really (really) old Adobe PhotoShop program. Playing with pictures is not my art-form and I'll probably play with this picture more but this is my first attempt and I'm tired. Please don't click on it and look at it closely because you can really tell that it's colored in poorly.





You clicked, didn't you? : (

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Boots, Red Boots Part II


They came today! The mailman dropped them off this morning...the shipping box was opened but everything was there. Yay for Red Boots!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Boots, Red Boots

I have a wonderful husband and not just because he lets me buy shoes. I've been eye-ing a really fun pair of boots lately and noticed the other day that they were not only on sale but I could also get an extra 20% off my entire order...alas, there are so many other things that the money could go towards and I already have a few pairs of boots. Well, I was drooling over them when Erik came home early for lunch and we had already discussed me running to T-Spot during his lunch break so I jumped up from the computer and ran for it (I wanted as much time as possible to touch all the yarns...) leaving the picture of the boots on the screen. When I pulled myself away from the yarns and came home I was greeted with, "So are you just hoping those boots will order themselves?" I said, " Well no, I was just looking again." Though I will admit to saying it with just the tiniest of sighs. He gave me a big hug and a kiss and said, "oh, go ahead and buy them."
It seriously made my day and I don't think it was just the prospect of new shoes (red boots at that!) but it was just knowing that my husband, known for being a penny pincher a lot of the time, let me spend a little money frivolously because he loves me. He's a keeper. (Ha! As if there was ever any question.)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Chocolate Required

I really need a secret stash of chocolate to eat when the kids go to bed, or maybe gum drops or ice cream...mmm...ice cream. The problem of a "secret stash" is that inherent in the idea is that it is in fact "secret". How do you drag four children to the store and buy something yummy without them inevitably seeing it and asking if they can have some? It's not like they won't remember it; when it comes to yummy edibles children have very long memories. Also inherent in the idea is the idea of "stash". When I think of stash I think of something that will last awhile but alas I have very little, okay, no self control when it comes to yummy edibles so they really don't last all that long. I think maybe it's when the kids are finally in bed I want some "me" time, to do something FUN, something that I enjoy within the perimeters of "you can't leave the house, you can't make too much noise and you need to be able to sleep yourself in a few hours" which surprisingly knocks out quite a few fun activities. Or maybe it's that tiny tickle of "I'm indulging myself" when you bite into chocolate (or gum drops or ice cream but mostly chocolate). I suppose I could take a long bath or drink a cup of tea but I will point out that both of these are enhanced by a little chocolate and all three together I think would be lovely.

You're probably saying by now that I am really close to "requiring" a mommy-break and I would say that you are not wrong in your thinking and that hopefully I will get a little break in the near future and you would say that you hope that too because it's good for any mom to get away every once in awhile and know that there is life outside the house and it is good to have adult interaction and I would agree wholeheartedly and thank you for your concern and on the whole we would have a delightful conversation.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa Claus

Disappointment hangs in the air today around my house concerning Christmas and it's not even December yet. Today my children discovered or rather were told by their loving mother (that would be me) that there is no Santa Claus. Hannah has spent the better part of the day lamenting his lack of existence and wondering aloud why she sees "so many pictures of him if he's not real to our world". We have pretended with them about Santa Claus always very careful, or so I thought, to tell them that we were just pretending but obviously they have overlooked that tiny point until today. I remember my mom reading us a book when we were little about St. Nicholas and I know in my head how "Santa Claus" came to be but trying to explain this to my daughter has only caused more confusion. I am off to search for the actual story of St. Nicholas/Santa Claus to share with my kiddos and hopefully we will have happier faces on the morrow. On the bright side, and oh how bright it is!, Hannah and I had a wonderful conversation about the real meaning of Christmas today while the other kiddos were napping. I think it may be a Merry Christmas after all.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Glorious Sounds

"Everyone sit! It is time to pray! Dear God, thank you for this be-u-tiful day, thank you that we got to go to church and thank you that we get to play our harmonicas, Amen."

Yesterday while I knitted on the couch Ivan and Clayton entertained me with their harmonica playing and Hannah danced. And if it wasn't cute enough to see Clayton puffing in and out on the harmonica while doing a little white boy bounce/dance, every two or three minutes Ivan would shout out, "Everyone sit! It is time to pray!". Then he would sit on the couch with me while Hannah and Clayton found seats on the hearth and Ivan would pray some variation of the above prayer always thanking God that they got to play their harmonicas. After "Amen" was echoed around they got up and played and danced again. This happened not once or twice but about 5 or 6 times, it was a "be-u-tiful" sight.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Papa's Wife

I love to re-read books. It's like seeing an old friend. Sure, nothing in the book has changed but I have changed and so inevitably I'll read a passage that I've read once (or twice or four) times before but this time it will make me pause and think a minute. Erik laughs at me sometimes and asks if it's time to read Mother's Hens again. That's what he calls "Mother Carey's Chickens" by Kate Douglas Wiggin (one of my all time favorites and well worth your time). I find I read this one once or twice a year, though my midwife borrowed it and I haven't gotten it back yet so I'm behind.
Today I picked up "Papa's Wife". The book belonged to my Grandma Dorothy and I think she recommended it when I was in middle school and was searching for something to read on her bookshelves when I spent the night. I think I first loved it because it is about a Swedish family and I have always loved that I have a lot of Swedish in me. It is also about a minister's family with 8 children and they immigrate to America but more importantly it is about faith lived out. There are times that I can't see the words on the page for the tears in my eyes but at the end it leaves me desiring to simply live out my faith, in my life and in my family.
Here is the passage that made me pause this time through the book; I pray this can be said of my faith someday:

"Faith, to Mama, was as simple as the word itself. It was never a matter that had to be weighed, nor did it require spiritual ceremonies to achieve it. She merely believed, and it came to pass. If the day seemed dark and beset by problems, her faith in the goodness of God brightened dull skies and lightened the problems. Many times she beheld, with wonder, the mysterious ways of the Lord, and so never questioned His wisdom. A miracle in the making, she had come to realize, at the time often appeared to be an insurmountable tragedy."
Papa's Wife by Thyra Ferre Bjorn

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Entercontainment


What do you do when your almost 8 month old doesn't want to play in the exersaucer and if you leave her on the floor she heads straight for the dog food or the dog's cone collar? (the dog just had surgery) You try the next best form of containment: the toybox.

Cider Pressing



Some wonderful friends of ours are letting us borrow indefinitely a cider press. We finally got it put together, got some apples and invited the Bailey's over to join in the fun. It was dark and slightly rainy outside so we put a tarp down in the living room and had at it. It was fun to visit with "B" while her husband and mine laughed like little boys with a new toy and sent apples flying through the grinder all the while scheming on how to build a bigger, better press. Oh, those first tastes of freshly pressed cider were ah-maz-ing and left us all wondering where we could scavenge more apples to make more and more and more cider. Here are just a few shots of the fun:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AAAAHHHHH!!!!

I have not and will never read the Twilight series and quite frankly I'm tired of hearing of them. Yesterday I was searching Ravelry for a fingerless mitten pattern and found one I liked but was really tempted to keep searching after I read the pattern was named after and designed from some worn in the new movie "New Moon". I seriously want to scream, "No!" every time I hear of another grown woman giggling that she is reading these books. That is all I will say on the subject because I don't need to waste any more of my time on them.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Of Chairs and Tables.


I noticed the other day while cleaning the church that I have a few obsessive compulsive tendencies. Not the disorder by any means and none of these tendencies are to relieve anxiety, I just like the order that it brings. These tendencies are mostly related to chairs and tables. I like order and pattern when it comes to chairs and tables. I straighten up the Sunday School classrooms after I vacuum them and I found myself stacking the extra chairs by color, or in patterns of color; for example the first stack of four chairs would have a yellow chair on the bottom and three blue chairs on top, the next stack of four chairs would have a blue chair on bottom then a yellow chair and then two blue chairs on top of that and so on, creating a fun visual. When I straighten up the fellowship hall I try to arrange the chairs at the tables so that each chair is perfectly spaced along the side and that all the chairs are the same distance away from the table. When I clean my dining room at home I attempt to do the same. It bugs me when chairs are all askew. I don't remember the start of this tendency and I have fond memories of arranging the little plastic colored chairs into patterns. Well, maybe not fond exact time and space memories but just a feeling of "I have always liked to do this."
So if you happen to visit our church sometime and you notice that there is pattern to the plastic chairs in the classrooms you now know who arranged them this way and I will have to question your sanity if this is something you notice when you visit other churches.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's You

At the request of Jessie MacInnis, and thanks to Marie Norbie, here is my latest song.
Chorus is verses one and four from the hymn "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty"

video


Inspired by 2 Samuel 7 and Dr. David Martin's sermons.

Even dreams that are honoring to God don't always happen the way we think they will and I wish all the time that I could know how things are suppose to happen but God responds by showing me more of who He is and what his heart is and that is always so much better than an itinerary or bullet-ed schedule of events. How can I respond any other way but by bowing and praising his name?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

By Faith We Understand

My dad sent this to me the other day on Facebook (of all places) and I really liked it so he gave me permission to post it here. He wrote it last spring.

By Faith We Understand
By Pastor Cliff Horr

A common perception, at times even among followers of Christ, seems to be that faith and understanding are somehow exclusive or in some way contradictory. In discussions of origins and forensic science there can seem to be almost an unspoken agreement that facts and faith exist in different spheres or on separate planes. How often has it been said, rightly, “I believe the Bible is true,” or “I believe the story of Noah and the Ark.” We have told our children that they are to believe that “God created the heavens and the earth in six literal 24 hr. days.” This is valid but may be intellectually and even Biblically unsatisfying. Scripture challenges us to more closely associate Faith and Fact, Belief and Knowledge, with the simple statement: “By faith we understand [know] that the universe was formed at God’s command”.
C.S. Lewis, in “Mere Christianity”, made the wonderfully simple point that

Ninety-nine per cent of the things [we] believe are believed on authority. Every historical statement in the world is believed on authority. None of us has seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Armada. None
of us could prove them by pure logic as you prove a thing in mathematics. We believe them simply because people who did see them have left writings that tell us about them: in fact, on authority. A man who jibbed at authority in other things as some people do in religion would have to be content to know nothing all his life.

We are always forced to believe facts based on the trustworthiness of our sources.
At the same time we are confronted with the constant challenge of gathering and understanding information: facts. It is here that the Bible gives us an interesting challenge: it is “By faith that we understand…”
First, without apologies, faith always precedes true understanding. It is most natural and obvious and necessary that children begin by believing what we tell them until they arrive at understanding for themselves. “Faith comes through hearing…” Faith never comes through “believing”, that is nonsense. Understanding, however, is always grounded in faith.
Second, yes, we are commended to faith: “Believe on the Lord Jesus.” “…these are written that you might believe.” Scripturally, faith is, without apology, greater than reason or knowledge. The gulf between, however, if there must be one, is not large. Rather, that distance must be treated as somewhat temporary. We are specifically commanded not to simply “believe” certain things, but to “understand” or “know” them.
Peter does not say we are to believe that Scripture is in fact that which “men spoke from God”, but that we must “understand”, or “know” it: “Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation…”(2nd Peter 1:20) We are commanded to be convinced of Scripture’s historical accuracy and reliability, not simply to believe it.
Again, Peter, speaking by the Spirit, doesn’t tell us to “believe” that scoffers will come in the last days, (which takes no faith at all for we have lived to see it fulfilled). He tells us we must understand these things. In the same context, we do not simply take the history of the flood by faith, which is good; we go on to “know” all we can of that earth-shattering event. Yes, I believe the Biblical record, but I have looked and read and dug in the dirt and now I know. My faith began the study, my study only confirms and increases my faith. I no longer only say I believe the story of Noah and the worldwide cataclysm, I do, I’m also beginning to understand the event. Do I believe God created the heavens and the earth in six literal 24-hour days? I’ve believed this since I was a child. Now, as I read and study facts, I know it to have been so.
I no longer only believe the Bible is God’s Word, I have come to know it to be so, and I can prove it by facts: Manuscripts, fulfilled prophecy, archeology, transformed lives. I find that as I take God at His word I am free to see and begin to understand the world around me, the world as it was and the world that will be. “By faith we understand.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A a Apple, B b Ball, C c Cat and D d Doll...

Our home school curriculum finally arrived and lessons have begun. For those curious as to how I like the "Sing, Spell, Read, Write" ; I LOVE IT! We are working through the kindergarten level and Ivan is keeping pace with Hannah. He loves to sit down and learn his letters right along with her, though he's not quite there on auditory discrimination.
"Hey Ivan, does envelope start with D?"
"Yeah."
"Are you sure? Does eh sound like D?"
"Yeah".
But he's 3 1/2 and we're working on it. Hannah and Ivan can both sing the phonics song all the way through without the music; they sang it for me when we were at Starbucks the other day. Even Clayton is trying to sing along with the song. His favorite is A A Apple. During the same Starbucks trip he was "singing" AAA!!! AAA!!! Apple juice!!! B! B! Ball! quite loudly. He got warm apple juice while Hannah and Ivan got hot chocolate, I think this is what prompted the spontaneous outburst of song by the other two.
We are learning two letters a week. We learn a new letter on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays we review the letter and make little mini books with words that start with the letter and Fridays are devoted to crafts and the bible lessons from "A is for Adam" by Ken Ham.
Math and Science are worked on periodically during the day but not formally just yet and so far both kiddos are loving all of it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mmmm....Coffee

I started drinking coffee when I was in 6th grade. Not every day of course, only on Sundays. I was the youngest person in my Sunday School class by two years and the rest of my class drank coffee. Church coffee. The kind made in the plug-in urn, made too strong with cheap beans and only powdered creamer and sugar packets to temper the taste. I hated it but I wanted to be cool. I have since decided I am okay with being a dork but I do love coffee, and because of this wonderful introduction to the addiction of the bean I can now drink almost any coffee, black if I need to.
In high school we had an open campus and there was a neat little coffee shop just down the street, we also had a few great teachers who "allowed" us a break to run and grab a coffee. The price back into class was one for them too. Mostly this was in yearbook class and we had to prove we had our work mostly done, and I'm sure many of our photo captions are the direct by-product of caffeine induced creativeness.
I used to hold to the idea that decaff coffee is not really coffee. It needs the caffeine to be legit. I have since blurred this line and drink decaff. Some of the time. During each of my pregnancies I cut back to one cup of coffee on Wednesdays and Sundays. Wednesdays because we have our Mom's group and when all the other moms are standing around with a steaming cup of joe I bend to the unspoken peer pressure and fill up a cup and Sundays because what can I say, I have this thing for church coffee. Well, actually the church has an espresso machine and I'm usually helping run it. Lately I've been drinking it more often and I've tried my darnedest to cut back but alas the spirit is willing but...okay, the spirit is not so willing. There is something so comforting in the smooth rich, creaminess of a good cup of coffee, a comfort not found in tea or cider or even hot chocolate. I've even tried Teeccino, which is an herbal based caffeine free coffee alternative but there's nothing quite like the real thing. A month or so ago I decided that I'd switch to decaff so that my body wasn't dependent upon the caffeine. I bought one bag of decaff and one of regular and slowly mixed them together in my morning cup, upping the decaff every day until my morning cup was solely decaff and my body hadn't noticed the difference. Beautiful plan until we ran out of decaff and I really wanted coffee. Thus I am back where I started and need to go buy more decaff and try again.
And now that my cup is empty this morning I must get to work.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Truth in Advertising

I have this deep love for floor plans. I think it started when I was in second or third grade when the neighbor girls and I would draw chalk houses in the cul-de-sac. They were basically floor plans drawn in chalk. Anyone looking out a window would have seen piles of dress-up clothes lying "randomly" on the pavement and not the latest fashions carefully put away in our chalk house closets. These are fond memories of mine.
In high school I played with the idea of becoming an architect and was one of the only girls to take Engineering Related. I still love drawing floor plans and looking at floor plans. Recently I found a great website www.antiquehome.org that has floor plans from the 1890's up until the 1970's, mostly of kit homes. My favorite are the 1930's-1940's. Where else can you find a house that has 1300 square feet and 4 bedrooms?! But while I was browsing through these wonderful plans I started reading the advertisements on the page. Here are a few of the quotes:

"There is something void in the being of a man who has the care neither of a home nor a family. Within the walls of his selfish fancy he may boast of his freedom and life of ease, but he is a prisoner indeed who knows not the joys of conjugal companionship, and the care and responsibility of home, perhaps in the class of The Kimberley."


"The care of a family means responsibility and responsibility in turn creates power. Just as it is more economical to own a home in The Rosedale class than it is to pay rent, just so it is more economical for a man to support a family than to deny himself the breadth of vision which comes as the result of a happy union and happy home life."

"Large houses have caused thousands of industrious women to become prematurely old. The day for large, pretentious homes is rapidly passing, and the practice of economy in small, convenient homes like The Royal is becoming the joyful duty of housewives. It is not the size of a home that makes it attractive, but the care with which it is kept."

"Nothing so stimulates and elevates a man as for his life companion to believe in him, and in no other way can a man show his appreciation of such confidence and trust as in the earnest endeavor to build her a home of her own. Any woman who has tact, forethought, and patience with her husband need not despair of owning eventually just such a home as The Hamilton."

I love these quotes! You don't hear stuff like this anymore, in general and especially not in advertising! I was blown away by the little truths that are in these statements and even more so because it was advertising, meaning the general populace must have agreed because they did buy these houses and these plans!





Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Black and Whites






I have this thing for "real" pictures. I love taking pictures and hearing the click and hearing the film wind when you're all done. I love taking the film to get it developed and the anticipation of wondering if any pictures will turn out. Sure I like my digital camera and the ability to cheaply take a multitude of pictures but there's just something about real film. About two years ago I bought an old Nikon on E-bay, turns out the auto focus on those has this problem of going out and Nikon will fix it for free if you send it in. I called Nikon and got everything ready to send in and what do you know, it's been sitting in my cupboard for a year and a half. The other day when I was cleaning out said cupboard I pulled it out and re-attached the lens and the strap and loaded a roll of black and white film and then sat and very patiently tried to focus manually while at the same time capturing my ever-active children. Friday I took the roll down to Fred Meyer and today I picked it up. I'm very pleased with some of the pictures. Here are a few of my favorites. My other favorites are on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Organization Part 2

Not too long ago I posted about organization, here is the continuance of my reluctant but thankful slide into it. Reluctant, because well, every time I hear the word "budget" or "schedule" I want to run and hide. Sorry, it's a gut reaction. I'm still finding though that planning ahead and having a schedule really helps out. My latest "find" is the meal schedule. The last two weeks we have sat down as a family for Saturday dinner and planned out the next week's meals. The kids like helping come up with ideas though Ivan seems to want oatmeal for every meal. It's flexible enough to switch around a few days and helps me figure out what I need to do each day to be ready for the next. I know many of you are rolling your eyes and saying, "I could have told you that!" but I'm finding that by working out these scheduling things naturally by myself they seem to stick a little better. I'm a slow developer, what can I say.
On a homeschooling note, I'm still waiting for Hannah's homeschooling material to get here, it was back-ordered everywhere I tried to order it. So we've been working on numbers and math and including her violin practice in the school-work category. Ivan has been working on a Brain Quest Pre-K workbook and absolutely loves it, he begs every day to be allowed to do his school work. Hannah would rather draw and color but after lunch while Clayton and Mod are asleep we work a little. So far it's going better than I imagined, I must be learning patience.
Someday I may be fully converted to a scheduled way of life and I await the day that my gut doesn't turn at the mention of the such words.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Momma!

Yesterday when I went into my bedroom with a load of laundry I heard, "Momma, Momma, Momma!" And I came out slightly cross to ask, "What?!" (We've had many discussions on not constantly saying momma when they want something.) and they all looked at me like, "What are you talking about, we are watching Rockadoodle and can't be bothered." Then later Ivan went outside and a few minutes later Hannah went out and was yelling for him because she didn't know where he was; I came out too and heard, "Momma!" from what sounded like the driveway area and I yelled for Ivan to come back into the grass. We then heard giggling from under the chair on the porch, he was hiding. And yet again, the front door was open and the kids had been freely going in and out when I noticed that Hannah and Ivan were on the floor in the living room and not trusting Clayton in the front yard by himself and hearing a distant, "Momma!" I got up from the computer put my cup in the kitchen and walked immediately to the front door and called Clayton in only to turn around and see them all looking at me with blank looks. Finally while Clayton and Mod were in nap-land, Hannah, Ivan and I were laying on a blanket in the front yard reading when I heard "Momma!" again followed by some weird cackling noises and realized that all day I had been tricked by a bird. Our neighbors are bird-sitting a parrot who's favorite word is "Momma" and my children probably think I'm crazy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just Like Us

Today for lunch we had biscuits. Simply because we were out of bread and they were easy. Lately I've had trouble coming up with lunch and dinner ideas but that's a whole other post. But while I was making said biscuits my mind was wandering, as it is often prone to do and I started wondering: (are you ready for these deep thoughts?) How come in tabloids whenever a celebrity is not wearing their wedding ring it automatically means "trouble in paradise"? These same tabloids also claim that stars are just like us; which would lead me to believe that they forgot to put their ring back on after making biscuits, or painting, or changing a really disgusting diaper. Sounds more plausible than "We're going through a rough patch and even though I don't want to talk about it, I'm going to take my wedding ring off and go out in public." Well, almost plausible, do they make biscuits or change really disgusting diapers?

Generic Art

The Plate of Inspiration

I went dumpster diving...well recycling bin diving at the post office the other day and came home with a stack of fall catalogs such as LL Bean, American Girl Doll, various clothing & bedding catalogs and Pier One. Whilst browsing through the Pier One catalog I came across a plate that I liked. Well, I liked everything about it except the fact that it was a plate and since I had a random canvas in my craft closet and acrylic craft paints at my disposal I thought I would attempt art once again. I'm really happy with the way it turned out and I think I'll hang it in my bedroom.
Hannah also, in a fit of inspiration, tried her hand at a similar one and let Ivan choose the colors for her.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dandelion Wine

When Erik and I got married I was given a cookbook that had a recipe for dandelion wine in it. I have always wanted to try this recipe and so this year I did. A few months ago the kiddos and I spent an afternoon picking dandelions from our neighbors yard and I spent a few more hours plucking all the blossoms to make the wine. It has been sitting on my counter fermenting and tonight I screwed up my courage and popped the cork. Bleck! No thank you! We're not much on drinking wine in general though I don't mind an occasional glass but this wine...not so much. I re-corked the bottle, put Mod in the front pack and walked over to our neighbor's house to share with her. She had made me promise I'd let her try it. The look on her face was priceless and she kept on apologizing for not liking it all! She described it as, "you know when you put on too much perfume and the vapors get in your mouth? But not a good perfume, a really, really cheap one." I just laughed and told her that is was okay, I didn't really have high hopes for it but I'd always wanted to try it. Now I'm looking forward to pouring the rest of it down the drain and reclaiming the counter space the bottles have been taking up, small as that space may be.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not for the Weak Stomached

Tonight I got to witness the table-saw battle wound and not only witness it but re-dress it and take pictures. I got the old bandage off and went to grab the camera but it gave me the "change the batteries" note so Erik had to wait while I dug out some new batteries. My bandaging job will work but is by no means professional, I couldn't figure out the applicator for the tube gauze/dressing thing but it's covered and it's clean. I almost started this post with "Tonight I got to play nurse"...but thought that might be TMI : ) Here for the curious, in all it's glory(?), is his wound.

Homeschooling

Let the fun begin! Today I finally committed and bought homeschooling material for Hannah. On advice from my mother-in-law we are going with "Sing, Spell, Read and Write". Everything I've read about it seems like it's right up my alley and I also really trust my MIL's advice. Plus Hannah loves to sing! Sounds like a good fit for us. I upgraded the shipping so I'm hoping it's here within a week or so and we'll start. I'm looking forward to this. Check back in a a few weeks and I'll let you know what I think.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Busy Weekend






Oh my, where do I start?! Here's a sort of play-by-play of our busy yet relaxing and fun-filled weekend.
Friday: My Birthday! I'm now 26 years of age. It's odd to have passed the half-way mark from 20 to 30 and other than feeling odd about this I haven't spent too much time contemplating this; I'm afraid if I did I would feel old. For my birthday Erik bought me a scale ruler ( I really am excited, it will make drawing floor plans and elevation drawings so much easier!) and a massage. He surprised me with the massage. Thursday night he told me that he had something for me to do on Friday morning. My parents where still here so they watched the kiddos and he drove me over to "Sea Essence Massage". It was very nice and relaxing.
Then we spent all afternoon packing up to go camping and headed to LL "Stub" Stewart State park to meet Erik's parents. It was a nice little camp ground. We got the tent set up and then left the kiddos with grandparents while we headed out to dinner for my birthday. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory. Neither of us had been there before but we really enjoyed it and the food was yummy. We hadn't heard from Erik's parents so we assumed the kiddos were behaving and made a quick stop at Old Navy so I could spend some of my birthday money.
Saturday: We left 3 of the kiddos with grandparents again while we headed into Banks to pick peaches. The farm where we picked them was really nice in allowing us to use their cooler to store the peaches until Sun. morning so that they wouldn't be over ripe by the time we got them home. BJ and Ashley and little Bellalisa showed up at the campsite not long after we got back from picking peaches and we spent a relaxing day of just hanging out, though it did rain off and on and every time most everyone would run to the RV. Jon and I just sat through the rain. I knit for awhile but it was hard to knit with wet yarn and needles (good thing it was synthetic yarn!).
Sunday: Woke up, packed up and headed back to Bays Farms to pick up our peaches. We also picked another 25 pounds or so of peaches and 10 or 15 pounds of nectarines. We made it home and I started canning while Erik unloaded everything from camping. I got 42 jars of peaches done yesterday and have about as many more to do. I'm waiting till after lunch and Hannah's violin lessons today.
The kiddos enjoyed camping and I think we'd all like to do it again, but we do need to invest in sleeping bags for the kiddos and maybe an air mattress or some camping pads. We had tons of blankets with us this time. They worked but they take up lots of room in the packing.
I also talked to Liz about ideas for homeschooling Hannah. She suggested a very laid back approach. She did a program called "sing, spell, read, write" and then just worked on shapes and numbers from books she picked up randomly. This is along the lines of what I was thinking. She said that's what she did with all four of her kids and that her experience has been that if you make learning fun and not strenuous the first couple years that kids "catch up" just fine in everything else by the time they hit second grade and they want to learn. I'm actually excited to get started now instead of feeling so overwhelmed. But first things first, I must clear my kitchen of peaches.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Really?

You know how it is when you watch a movie and the holes in the plot are so large you could drive a semi through them? Then there are movies that you watch a few times and slowly the ridiculousness starts to emerge, even when it is a fairy tale. Don't get me wrong, I love fairy tales, and I love a lot of the old Disney movies. A few weekends ago I found a VHS of Beauty and the Beast at a garage sale and I think it might officially be Hannah's new favorite movie and as such it has been watched whenever it's her turn to pick out a movie. I love this movie too but lately I've started to wonder about a few things...
*When the prince is turned into a beast he is given the rose that will bloom until his 21st birthday and then in the song "Be Our Guest" Lumiere sings that "ten years we've been rusting...". So the prince was 11 years old when he turned the old lady/enchantress away? Where were his parents? Why was he mostly alone in the castle without any advisers or the King or Queen? And he's the Prince, what's he doing answering his own door anyway?
* How did the villagers not know about the Castle or how had they not heard any rumors of a castle or a beast? It's only been ten years...if the castle is close enough that they can walk there while singing "kill the beast" wouldn't this have been the royalty that ruled them? Wouldn't they wonder what happened? If not where are the subjects of said Prince...How is he even really a prince with no subjects and only a castle full of servants?
*Maybe it's just me...but when you fall in love with someone don't you at some point think of procreating with them? The subject is certainly touched upon when Gaston is asking Belle to marry him, he talks about having 6 or 7 strapping young boys... and I just don't see Belle having a little litter of beasts, and she was obviously surprised when he turned into a Prince...did she honestly think that it would work out...she read a lot of fairy stories about princes in disguise...do you think maybe she was hoping deep down inside that this was like the fairy-tales she read? But if she was hoping it was like the stories she read, why didn't she try different ways of breaking the spell...is there some sort of unspoken rule that you can't talk about the spell, she knew the castle was enchanted...?
I know...I'll probably get comments saying, "wow...you know it's just a movie right?" "you've obviously thought way too much about this" etc. So I apologize but my mind really must find ways to occupy itself when I've seen the same movie a dozen times but my kids want to snuggle with me while they watch it...what's a mom to do?

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Acting Bug

Last night Erik gave me the night off and I was able to catch "Bullshot Crummond" at the Coaster Theatre. I loved it. It was a great show and I knew quite a few of the cast members. It was also the Talk Back Thursday where they have a question and answer session with the cast and crew afterward. Last night's Talk Back was neat as they also had one of the authors there. I worked concessions so I got in for free. After the question and answer I went to say Hi to Bill (who played Bullshot Crummond) and he said he knew I was there because he heard me laughing. Craig Shepard made sure to fill me in on next years season, mentioning that there are three musicals planned and that next Christmas they are doing "My Fair Lady". Ahh...that would be amazing. There are a lot of "if"s but it gives me an entire year to convince Erik that we can survive me being in another show.
I've spent many hours pondering why I love acting with such a passion and after these many said hours this is what I've come up with: I just love it. I love being on stage, I love affecting and playing with people's emotions. I love telling stories. I love making people laugh and cry. I love being something I'm not.
Sometimes I try for a noble line of thinking, "I'm doing this because this story needs to be told." But then I've been in a few shows where I'm not sure the story really needs to be told but we tell it anyway. I often end up discouraged when I really sit down and ponder this passion of mine because I want to express myself this way, I want to keep acting and I really really love it but I'm not sure how. I would love to perform in church or for churches but I've been discouraged by the lack of "non-cheesy" female or one or two performer christian scripts and I don't feel adequate to the task of writing my own.
I hate to admit it but this is the one area in my life where I wonder what it would be like if I wasn't married or if we didn't have any kiddos. I hate when these thoughts arise because I wouldn't trade any of my life for any role in any play but I haven't figured out the balance of being able to do both in this season of my life.
I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, who even though he doesn't understand the passion in the slightest, supports me with minimal grumbling and I love him all the more for it. I don't even think I fully understand this passion of mine to perform...why is it so strong that I want to cry sometimes? Why do I get so frustrated with everything when I'm not able to? Why does my stomach knot up with excitement at the thought of another acting opportunity? Sometimes I do just cry, "God why this burning passion? How can you use this?" I have so many questions and I'm not very good at patiently waiting for answers.
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to let my heart bleed all over the page this morning...
If any one knows of a good monologue or script that they want to send my way, please do.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Mini Bikers

Tonight is a momentous night and as usual I forgot to get pictures. Hannah and Ivan both rode their bikes without training wheels. Ivan is not sure he likes it all that much but Hannah is loving it. She's always been my cautious one and yet the training wheels came off and she took off like nobody's business! She has a little trouble getting going but once she's going it's quite impressive. We borrowed our neighbor's expanse of grass and tried it out there and then we borrowed their expanse of asphalt and tried it there. Ivan had a few spectacular falls with minimal scrapes and Hannah for the most part stayed upright, only twice running into Clayton's parked tricycle. They came home a tired sweaty group of kiddos and now we are attempting bed time.

Home Sweet Home

My blogging has been sporadic as of late mostly due to the fact that my mind has been taken over by thoughts of floor plans and house building and property. I've wanted to blog about these things but I don't know how much to say. We are in the beginning stages of hopefully purchasing property from friends and then building our own house. Having property, as in a few acres, and building our own house in this general area has been a dream of ours for awhile now and seeing the beginnings of a possible dream come true is very very exciting for us. We are trying to finish up the last few projects in this house to get it ready to sell and then figuring out what needs to happen when to make this all happen. We have a lot of things we still have to figure out, like what we'll do and where we'll live while we are building, if we can "hire" Erik to build our house so that he can take a little bit off work to get our house built faster or just built. It would be hard to work construction all day and then come "home" to build some more.
I've always enjoyed drawing floor plans so drawing a floor plan that we will actually build and live in is so much fun. We have drawn up a really simple plan that we could possibly expand at a later date. We've also been reading a book called "Little House on A Small Planet" that has some really good ideas in it (as well as some strange ones). I think the strangest by far is the idea of "role playing" with your artistic impression of what home means to you.
Erik woke up the other morning and commented, "I hate dreaming in floor plans." Glad I'm not the only one!
P.S. Anyone want to buy our house?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Queen Mod's Crown

My sisters visited last week on their way up from California and Mindy once again (to the enjoyment of my kiddos) filled my living room with balloon creations. Mod's hat, I think, was slightly taller than she is and every once in a while she'd spot the balloons above her forehead and spend a few minutes going cross-eyed while trying to get a better look. Mindy has definitely improved in her balloon art and my children ran around with spiders and sharks and swords with sword belts and fishes on fishing hooks and skate boarders etc. I also begged her to bring her balloons to MOB last Wednesday and she willing did and entertained the masses of children while all of us very grateful mothers chatted and drank coffee and laughed over some of the new make-up products in the Avon catalog. (They have press on eye-shadow now! You just peel this already perfectly shaded, shaped thing off a sheet and press it on your eyelid and rub and then remove the back and wah-la...perfect eyeshadow...I'm still skeptical.)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

More Duct Tape



While I was being wrapped in duct tape Hannah decided she needed a duct tape skirt. I promised I would make her one and then forgot. She reminded me the other day and this is what we came up with. She can't move very fast and it's not all that comfortable but it's a duct tape skirt, what do you expect?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Me & Myself


Being wrapped in duct tape is an interesting experience. Being cut out of it and then studying the form (your own form) is even crazier still. That being said, I am now very excited to own a dress form to make my own clothes on. I tried making a shirt/tank top thing the other day and it was difficult trying to pin and alter it when I was wearing it. I think this is why I never really like most of the clothes I make for myself, they never turn out quite right.
When I first saw it I had a momentary shock of wondering if I was really "that big" but the longer I look at the dress form the more comfortable I am with my own body shape. I can make the excuses that I've had four children and the most recent one only 4 1/2 months ago and I am hoping to lose more of the baby weight but excuses aside, I'm still comfortable in my own skin. And I think most of the shock came from just seeing a life-size replica of myself. That's just odd.
Thank you Maggie for your duct tape wrapping skills.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The $6 Band

I discovered this morning that we were out of eggs. I borrowed one from our kind neighbors to make pancakes and then later we journeyed to Fred Meyer. Hannah and Ivan willingly went into Playland and Clayton, Mod and I started our adventure shopping. We hit the produce area first and then made a pit stop at Starbucks for a "London Fog Latte", which is basically earl grey tea made with steamed milk and some type of sweetener. I have a hard time paying the same price for tea that I do a latte but as I haven't been able to re-create this wonderful drink at home I fork over the money on occasion (like the occasion of grocery shopping). Clayton was a happy camper in the cart and Mod was fabulously distracted sucking on her fist while riding in the front pack facing out and smiling at every stranger, or should I say "new friend". We finished our necessity shopping and then I headed to the toy section. I am in the habit of bypassing the toy section but today I was interested in wasting more of my hour time limit. So I stopped and I looked and I ended up spending $6. It was money well spent though. I got Hannah a Kazoo, Ivan received a wooden train whistle, Clayton is now the proud owner of a green harmonica and I was entertained all the way home by the songs of Hannah and Ivan on their respective instruments with an occasional spattering of harmonica by Clayton. I would have to say this tops the list of the best things to buy for $6...the London Fog Latte goes in the best things you can buy for under $4 list.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Boy Hats




Here are a few of the hats I've made recently. Erik had to catch Ivan and hold him up against the tree so I could take a picture and I had to chase Clayton down to get a picture of his.

Mommy Break Weekend

Every once in awhile it's nice to get a break. This weekend was one of those nice times. Erik took the older three kiddos with him to his parent's house and Mod and I got the weekend to ourselves. I wouldn't exactly say that my weekend was relaxing as I cleaned a lot and worked on some sewing and knitting/crocheting projects and watched a girl movie or two but it was nice to be able to do what I wanted when I wanted.
Saturday morning Mod and I went out for coffee and then walked down to the beach. It was nice to stroll down the sidewalk with only one child strapped to the front of me without dragging, coaxing, pushing, pulling and bribing 3 others to keep up or slow down. I also took the recycling to Cart'm and did some browsing and shopping there. Ahh, my love for Cart'm. This time I found 2 windows for 5 dollars each that will be perfect for the playhouse I will eventually build for the kiddos. Couldn't pass those up. Erik swears he will never let me go to Cart'm again especially now that they've expanded their re-sale area...I don't think he'll actually ever ban me completely, he just mostly rolls his eyes.
I got the living room clean and swept, the kitchen floor scrubbed (yes, on my hands and knees) and the high-chair scraped of gross-ness. I hate to admit to my cleaning shortcomings but there were layers upon layers of dried on food on the high-chair, it was really yucky.
Once my cleaning projects were out of the way I pretended that I was able to draw; that didn't go so well so I sewed. I plan on posting pictures of some of my latest projects, once I can get someone to help me with a little photo shoot. I don't seem to be talented at holding the camera out and taking a picture of myself. I've even tried the whole take the picture in the mirror and I think I must be too picky. So my friends you will just have to wait.
Erik and the kiddos got home yesterday afternoon and it is oh so good to see them.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today

I find it amusing that when we were at the park today all the swings were taken. We were the only ones there.
The kiddos are now all playing nicely in their room and I fell asleep nursing Mod.
I still don't know what to make for dinner but that's nothing new.
I'm looking forward to the weekend. Looks like a nice long mommy-break. Well almost.
That is all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Routines

Erik sometimes wishes I was more organized. Not with things but with routines. This is a point of contention. I hate to nickel and dime things, with budgets and with time. At least that's what I've argued. I'm liking though the morning routine that we've started.
When I started jogging and doing pilates in the morning I made myself get up and do it. I had arguments with myself in the morning: "Do this." "I don't want to." "If you make it a habit it will get easier." "I don't care if it gets easier, I don't want to get up." "You're tired already of post baby belly jiggle, do something about it." "Okay, fine. You win. I'm getting up."
It's been about 4 or 5 weeks and I still argue with myself but now it goes like this: "Are you going to run this morning before pilates?" "No." "You'll miss it if you don't, you always feel better after you do." "True. Okay, fine. You win."
It's become routine. Get up at between 5:45 and 6:15am. Feed Mod. Get dressed. Read my Bible. Jog around the block. Stop at Rolana's for pilates. Jog home. Eat breakfast. Enjoy a cup of coffee and usually a quick check on Facebook (yes I'm addicted) while kiddos are finishing their breakfast. Put Clayton down for a nap at 8 or 8:30am.
I find it makes the morning go relatively smoothly. Erik really likes it because I'm usually in a good mood by the time I get home, even if I wasn't when I left; though waking up in a bad mood isn't as frequent either.
We also have a routine for the evening when we put the kids to bed. Now if we can slowly work up to having more of a routine during the day I think it will help when we come to home schooling Hannah.
I'm slowly coming around to a scheduled way of living and I think it helps that I know (and repeat often to myself) "I am the mother and I can, if I so choose, throw the entire schedule out the window for a day". I like that flexability.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tea Parties and Stomach Aches

On Saturday Hannah and I went to La Tea Da's for a belated birthday present/celebration. I've been wanting to take her for awhile so I decided her birthday would be a good time. The day before her birthday was the Dairy parade in Tillamook and I did not want to wade through that for a tea party. The next weekend was the 4th of July so we ended up going the 11th. I didn't tell her about it until Sat. morning. It was just Hannah and I and we dressed up and she wore a princess crown. She had peppermint tea and I had creamy earl grey and we ordered a "High Tea" . It was very good and I was so proud of Hannah for trying everything we were served. She even ate the lettuce leaf garnish! (She said she liked that the best, go figure!). But she ate too much and complained of a stomach ache all the way home so she's not sure if she had fun or not.
We layed around the rest of the day, Hannah wasn't feeling well and Erik was exhausted from getting up early and going fishing (and getting seasick). Sunday was a really long day. It was strange, it wasn't a bad day it just seemed to drag. Hannah then woke up a few times last night saying she didn't feel well. Then this morning Erik got home from the gym and said he didn't feel well. He tried to go to work but came right back home. He's now laying in bed. I really hope that we aren't in for a round of sickness! I think we might have a resting day today and up our intake of echineaca and vitmain c. I hope all you and yours are well.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mod's Hat




I really like making hats. I might have to someday start giving them away or selling them because you can only wear so many hats. But for now I'm working on making hats for my kiddos. I've made Hannah's and Ivan's and now Mod's. I don't have pictures of Ivan's yet, the camera died this morning and I need to charge the batteries. I got a few of Mod in her hat before it died though. This hat is crocheted instead of knitted. I discovered that I like crocheting just as much as knitting.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Little House on the Prairie Dress



Here is Hannah's Birthday present. I mentioned it a week ago or so but didn't want to post pictures until I got one of her in it. She actually likes it and says it's "really comfortable and I like it cause it goes almost over my feet."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hannah's Cake


I'm sort of proud of this one. For her birthday cake Hannah asked for a white cake with three pink flowers with green stems, green grass and a black spotted cow. I had many ideas for getting a cow on her cake but ended up searching out black frosting and free-handing it. It was fun to make, it'll be a shame to eat it...almost, we ate the corners when I was rounding it to fit on the oval platter and it was yummy!

Grandma Jammies


In the mail today we received jammies for all the kiddos from my mom. The kiddos of course all wanted to try them on. Well, I'm not sure Mod wanted to try them on but she needed to wear them to be in the picture.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1993

Today I found my "portfolio" from third grade. I can't believe I saved it but I did and so here for your amusement (and my embarrassment) are a few gems I found. The above picture is an invention I designed and built, with my dad's help, when we were learning about levers and such. (Also notice the great half side ponytail and the very large glasses I'm sporting.) It is a coin flipper. Yes, a coin flipper. You push a lever which knocks a marble off of it's perch which then rolls down a tube hitting a stick that knocks over another stick that lands on a lever thus tossing the coin into the air. Genius, I know. Not very practical to keep in your pocket for those desperate times when you need to flip a coin but still genius.
And here also is a rap that a friend and I wrote for our "The Farside of the Mountain" book report project. I believe it was video-taped and I'm praying that video never makes youtube. Tara C. I'm begging you, burn the tape. This is not the exact get-up I was wearing but I'm assuming it's close. Lyrics are as follows (and I know you want to try and say them out loud for the full effect, go on, do it):
The Farside Rap:
On the Farside of the Mountain
a good book
you should take a look
at the cover
over and under
on the farside
This book is the most
we don't mean to boast
book you ever read
you can say it in your head
on the farside
on the farside
Sam Gribbley is his name
Alice is his sister
and his falcon Frightful who's taken away
and that's the start of his adventurous day
That's all we're gonna tell you
we won't ruin the surprise
we aren't tellin' lies
you should read this book
open take a look
on the farside
CHECK IT OUT
READ IT!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hannah's Hat



No post for a few days and then two in one day...I've got to work on my timing.
Today was a mostly lazy day and between reading chapters of Little House on the Prairie I knitted. I didn't have the correct weight yarn for the pattern but I decided to use what I had and make it small enough for Hannah. She's always saying I never make her anything and now that I have let's hope she wears it. I like the pattern so it was fun to try it out and I think I may have to get right weight yarn to make one for me.

Mumblings

What to write about? This is the reason that my blogs are so scattered. I'm never quite sure what I want to write about. So here in random order are random things I've been wanting to tell you. (You as in the general form of you and referring to no one in particular but the great anonymous world of blog readers).
* My garden is growing but is plagued with slugs. I set out beer traps the other night and caught 23 slugs. I emptied the jars of their slugs and was hoping the beer would still attract more slugs, but I'm thinking that I need to put new beer in the jars, either that or the slugs took a night off 'cause there were no drowning slugs this morning.
* Hannah turns 5 on Sunday and I'm not sure how I feel about this. Not that I can stop it! It's just weird to have a 5 year old, it seems so much older than 4. I made her a "little house on the prairie" dress with pantaloons and an apron. I haven't yet decided if I made it because she would really like it, or because I really wanted one like it when I was little. She really likes dresses and it's a fight to get her to wear pants so I think I'm on safe ground.
*As much as I really want property someday I realized the other day that I don't want to leave my house I have now. We've been here almost 4 years and I've definitely put down roots. I've been thinking though that I should be focusing on the fact that no matter what this world is not my home and that home is wherever my family is, it's not my stuff or the roof that covers it.
*I've never really thought that much about my age but I've always felt like I'm not old enough to be married for 6 years and have 4 kiddos. But now as I'm approaching 26 I'm suddenly every once in a while noticing how close that is to 30 and I'm feeling old. Not that 26 is old, or even 30, but that I'm not "young" anymore. That probably doesn't make any sense, it's a hard feeling to put into words.
So there you (see definition of "you" above) have it. I must go feed a baby.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Front Porch

This year I've actually started using my front porch. I even knitted a shawl for the intent purpose of wrapping up in it when I sit on my front porch. In the past I've purchased chairs from Cart'M and they've already been in the process of falling apart so they didn't last long on the front porch, outside in the weather. But this time I've been dreaming of a bench, a really cool one with a cushion. So back I went to Cart'M. I found an awesome full-size headboard and built a bench onto it. I finished it today. I even had leftover fabric from the kid's curtains and left over "stuffing" from a chair re-upholstery project. I think the most expensive part was the spray paint. I love spray paint.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Clayton




Last year on June 12th we took our dear son Clayton to a pediatric dermatologist in Portland. At about 4 months of age he got a rash. Turns out it was really bad eczema, more than likely food allergy related. We knew that if we took him to the doctor we would probably be prescribed cortizone and sent home, we really wanted to avoid that and so we tried almost everything else we could think of. I started making our own lotion to put on him so that I would know all the ingredients in it, I made our own laundry soap and washed everything (everything!) in the house in it to find out if it was a topical allergy, as I was still nursing I went on elimination diets and gentle cleanses to see if it was a yeast problem or a food allergy but nothing really helped. He was still red and itchy, especially at night. He wore socks on his hands all of the time to keep him from scratching his skin raw but he still rubbed it raw with the socks on. I went to a Natrupathic Physican to try and get some answers but together we couldn't find anything either. I discovered during all this that I am a comfort eater and I was slowly going mad not being able to eat anything, so we decided to try and wean Clayton to formula, a homemade formula that the NP recommended. Clayton ended up being allergic to many of the ingredients and we weren't sure what to feed him and I was scared of making his rash worse, then he came down with pink eye, strep and thrush all at the same time and really didn't want to eat. We went to a docter then and gave him antibotics. Finally we made an appointment with the Ped. Derm. and went in. He took one look at Clayton and "strongly urged" us to have him admitted to Doernbecher Children's Hospital right away. Clayton was very mal-nourished and showing many signs of edema and protein loss. So we went and ended up spending 5 days there while we tried to get food back in him. He ended up with a feeding tube down his nose and cortizone to keep his eczema down while he regained his weight. When he was born he weighed 9lbs. 2 ozs. and he started gaining weight right away and was a chubby, chubby baby, when we went into DCH he weighed just over 18lbs, this at 10 months of age. After 5 days we came home with all of the equipment to feed him through his feeding tube, the docters expected him to have his feeding tube in for at least a month or until he took all of his food by mouth during the day instead of through a drip all night. He only had his feeding tube in for about a week. Praise the Lord.
Until about 8 months ago Clayton wore arm bands all the time to keep him from scratching, then we started taking them off during the day and only putting them on for naps and bed time. Now he has not worn his arm bands in 6 months.
He still has some food allergies and we're not sure what all of them are but we are slowly introducing food and watching for reactions. He also loves to eat! A lot.
I am still in awe of how good our God is and what he has done. I remember sleepless nights of crying on the floor next to Clayton's bed because I could not help him, or relieve the itch and I didn't know what to do. I am so thankful that I know the God who is a God of healing and who held me even then. I am so blessed. And this year, at this time Clayton is chubby once more. He's full of character and loves to play in the dirt and boss the dog around. If I didn't have the pictures to prove it and the memories I wouldn't believe it was the same boy. Thank you to all that prayed and thank you for your continued prayers, God is good.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pile O' Rock

My once magnificent pile of rock has slowly dwindled to become:

only this big. This is all that is left but it has created this:
and so much more, pathways and rock walls and flowerbeds but this is all I have pictures of so far.
Erik asked me if I wanted more "exercise" for my birthday and said that he could get me another year's membership, meaning another huge pile of rock or dirt to move. I don't know what I would do with it but it is tempting. Of course, I really like having my driveway back.