Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I. am. not. sleepy.

We spent a long afternoon playing at the park with a group of homeschool friends (there were 10 adults and about 30 kids)!  It was awesome fun and we were there about 4 hours.  On the way home the princess fell asleep unsurprisingly.  When we got home and I laid her down she got mad and wouldn't lay down....she was not tired.  Except...

Monday, July 29, 2013

It's a Wonderful Life!

Yes, I know that's a Christmas movie.  Yes, I know it is technically July.  No, I don't really care.

The weather is so unbelievable here.  We've got the windows open and are sleeping to the sounds of the critters out there.  (Except Saturday night when we were "blessed" by a band at the nearby outdoor bar and had to close the windows cause it was so stinkin loud-but I digress.).  It is just beautiful!

I hadn't taken many pictures last week cause we didn't really do much in the way of photo worthy activity but this weekend by far made up for it.  An afternoon at the pond is one photo op after another....now I have to choose which pictures to share.......hmmmmm  decision decisions.   Some of the great pics are another camera and I'll have to wait till its owner shares them....but I got a few too. :)

It was a bit cold for swimming but swim they must.  Brrrrr!

The Princess skipped the swimming (cause mommy wasn't getting in that cold water) and played on the swing instead.

Swings make such good photo ops. And she LOVES her hat!

Bocce ball.  A takes his turn

M playing some bocce.

G takes his shot.

The princess and I just enjoying the view of the pond and the breeze off the water
 (too bad you miss that in a photo-it was heavenly)

Where better to read Magic Tree House books than in a tree!?!?!

A would fish all day and all night....but they weren't biting.

Practicing his "selfie" skills.
Cooking hotdogs for supper.  YUM!

Playing in the fire (wow am I squinting)

Reading an evening story out on the front porch.  

TWISTER!  'nuff said!

Saturday, July 27, 2013


1. Food must be eaten off fork....even if I smash it in my hand trying to get it on said fork or hold it on fork with hand to get it to mouth.  Exception is eating food off floor before mom can sweep it up.  That can be directly popped into the mouth.

2.  Poop in my underwear or pull-up is fine.  Poop in the potty seat is terrifying.

3.  Dropping food in my lap is BAD!  It must be cleaned up right away...even if that means that all the food I painstakingly got on my fork ends up on the floor.

4.  The car seat is clearly a stage for me to say "Mooooooooommmmmmmmmmyyyyyyyyyy!" at least one million times in a short hour long ride.  No matter how many times mommy replies will I ever answer with any word other than "mommy" or "please."  If mommy gives up and stops responding, I will just get louder.

5.  All girls are nice.  Not all boys are nice.  Especially ones with beards.  Unless they let me pet their beard...then they are cool!

6.  ALL (each and every time) vehicles (of any shape, size, or color) must be Pappy coming to give me a 4-wheeler ride....I must start yelling "wheela ride wheela ride" so he will take me.

7.  I am the seatbelt police.  After I am buckled in I must tell everyone else in the car to "bucka up"  safety first after all.  :)

8.  Freshly made oatmeal is BAD.  But if I let it set on the table for an hour or so then it is just right.

9.  On a related note, I do not want to eat breakfast the moment we get out of bed.  I do, however, want you to MAKE breakfast the moment we get out of bed so I can let it sit on the table and get cold.

10.  Shoes must be worn at all times....it does not matter if they are dirty....it does not matter if they match.  I even like to wear water shoes while swimming in the pond. The one exception....when I am playing in the dirt....then I'll go barefoot.  :)

And a bonus "heard this week"
We ate out at a local restaurant this week.  This is a place where you have a waitress, there is a salad bar and kids eat free on Wednesdays (can you guess which night we were there)....so anyway, during the meal the Prince starts acting sheepish.....this is the conversation that followed....

King: what's up buddy?
Prince: Our waitress is pretty.
Me: Really?  Do you think so?
Prince: Yes but do NOT embarrass me.
King and I: We won't honey (then threaten his brothers within an inch of their lives)
waitress comes back and leaves
Me: Kiddo, you are right....the waitress is pretty.
Prince: (wait for it):  Well, she's prettier than you.  (with all the "tone" he could muster)
King: No she isn't.

Well, at least he still thinks I look good.  HA!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A midwesterner's take on Mexican rice n beans

I don't even know if this is a Mexican dish at all.  But I used the same spices I use in tacos and we call our tacos Mexican so that is what I'm calling it.

I used a recipe I found online (I don't know where) as a starting point and then did my own thing....as I am apt to do pretty much any time I cook.  I also do not measure very well so amounts are all approximate.  :)

Neither do I take pictures of food....although I should have....this would have made a pretty photo tutorial with all the colors in the dish.  Ack.  Whatever.  If you want a photo tutorial you'll have to go elsewhere.  I"m assuming my readers are able to dice onions and boil water.  :)

2 T butter
1/2 onion (or more) diced
3 cloves garlic, finely diced or pressed
2 cups white rice
4 cups water
1 1/2 T cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used 2 cups frozen black beans that I had cooked from dry)
2 cups frozen corn
1 lb hamburger, browned
1 can diced tomatoes with green chilis

In a large skillet with lid, melt butter.  Add onion and cook until translucent, then add the garlic and stir around a bit.  Add rice and cumin and stir to coat rice with spice.  Let brown a couple minutes.  Then add water.  I let it come to a boil before adding the beans and corn.  Cover and simmer till rice is soft and water is mostly absorbed.  Remove lid and add tomatoes.  Stir well before adding cooked hamburger.  and stir again.

Serve with taco toppings.  The first night we ate this with tostitos and forks (I didn't even need the chips).  For lunch the next day I reheated the leftovers and rolled them in tortilla shells burrito style.  Both were excellent.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


Ready set....GO!
ready for his first overnighter at camp!  YAY!

visiting with cousins!!

holding a baby frog

slingshot master

target bow fishing


more target bow fishing

stuffing a travel pillow to have for a long road trip

making my travel pillow

making a travel pillow

baptized at the pond!  

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

pictures, maps, and lamp shades, OH MY!

The front room redo has been slow going! For one thing,  I like working on things as inspiration strikes.  And for another, we have a budget.  Once we got it back together and it was usable, I kinda sat back and waited to see what I thought belonged in there.  And I enjoyed the sitting in there.  The colors are perfection and it is so restful. There is no tv and only lamps so the lighting is not too bright.  The 2 big windows look out onto my front porch (which is sadly boring but I've got ideas brewing) and although the porch itself isn't exciting, my clematis is growing and blooming and there is a pretty blooming tree out there.  Restful.  

So one of the things that the room needed was some personalization.  As a blank slate, it could have been anywhere.  A restful beach house, a massage room, whatever.  There was nothing that made it belong to our family alone.  So I added a photo wall.

The frames are all frames I had lying around the house or got at resale for less than a buck each.  I just painted them all the same color (the wall color) and hung them using Command picture hanging strips.  The Command strips were the most expensive part of this project but  Hello!  NO holes in my new wall thank you very much.

Then for my birthday I got a map.  It's all I wanted.  I picked it out all by myself.  I wanted a big one with muted colors.  I didn't want it to look like a school room map (I already have one of those).  Then I discovered that to buy a nice bulletin board to stick it on was going to cost over $100.  NO WAY!  So I started doing some thinking and planning and had an idea.  Then I had a BETTER idea.  There was an old (read ugly) bulletin board hanging in the boys' room.  It was just full of junk and all mixed up anyway.  So I told them I would buy them each a small bulletin board and I was taking the big one.  Then I covered it with white fabric (an old sheet to be honest) and put my map on it.  I bought wooden push pins and we are tracking all the trips we take across the US as vacations (both as a family and just the King and I).

I do need to work on the edging.  I'm kinda thinking that I'm gonna hot glue jute around them just to create a more defined frame. 

And then there is the lighting.  When we got this house we bought and put in a brand new ceiling fan with lights.  The lights never worked.  After a while I took the stupid things down cause they irritated me since they never worked.  But we love the ceiling fan.   Then we used lamps.  For the longest time we used some old lamps from my mom's attic.  Not ideal but they provided light.  Then I found these at Goodwill.

I love their shape.  But the color was drab and dirty and the shades were too small.  And they needed rewired.  I got the wiring kit at Menards and with only a couple difficulties got them rewired.  Then gave them a couple coats of paint.

   While we were painting the lamps we also painted a couple wooden trays that some Melissa & Doug toys came in.  (you can see it in the picture of my photo wall) Who woulda guessed?  

Now for shades.  I was REALLY struggling.  I found some I liked at Menards....but they were white with ruffles and I was afraid they would look dirty very quickly.  So I waited.

Then I found these at another resale shop.  Ugly huh!  But they are the exact size and shape I was hoping for!  I found my fabric and tore the old shades apart (the were so sun rotted that the fabric powdered in my hands-it was gross).  After stitching the new bold fabric onto the old metal frames, I have perfect lamps for my relaxing room.

Unless there is a level of awesomeness only to be achieved by redoing lampshades again I will never likely repeat this project.  It was kinda a pain in the neck.  But the result was totally worth it....this time.

I sit in there every morning before the kids get up and drink a cup of coffee, read my Bible, and enjoy the quiet stillness of my awesome room.  And then a day in my life begins and I forget what quiet sounds like.  Aaaah, makes the next morning something to look forward to.  :)

Now to convince the King to let me keep working thru the rest of the house.  I have ideas for the boys' bedroom, to finish up our bedroom, to make L's room more "big girl room" and less nursery AND I wanna rip out the rest of these ugly floors and get laminate...oh if we didn't have a budget.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Heard this week...

In a house of small(ish) children you just never know what you are going to overhear or be told.  And this week was a week where it seems everyone had something to say...

1.  At DQ after a ballgame, during a lull in the conversation my mom (!!!!) says "So all the orcs are dead now!"  And the conversation picked up like this was perfectly normal and she was commenting on the weather.  As a side note, she is watching thru the LOTR for the first time and likes to discuss it with the King to make sure she is understanding it all right.  :)

2.   On the way home from an essential oil party I pulled out in front of a semi and a passenger in the car said "Um, that's a semi"  so this statement didn't exactly come out of nowhere since I almost got us all killed however, she said it with the excitement one might say "Um, there's a turtle"  Thankfully, our guardian angels were working overtime and we avoided the accident.

Now on to the kids who are usually the stars in this kind of thing....

M: "Mom, someday when I'm a daddy, I"m going to have 2 sons.  I will name them Frodo and Bilbo"
Me: "Well, I hope your wife is wiser"
(maybe we should watch less Hobbit and LOTR)

and at another time:
the King: "Baby, are you ready to get out of the tub?"
L: "Yes (she always says yes, never yeah", daddy.  Wanky Mangers"  (the g in mangers is a hard G)
the King (to me):  "L has wanky mangers, mommy"
L:  "Yes, look mommy, wanky mangers"

for those who don't translate toddler well wanky mangers equals wrinkly fingers  :)

And on the way home from church:

A: Grandma S is crazy!
Me: She is nice and likes to be a part of things.  You should be nice.
A:  No, mom she is CRAZY just like Aunt H.
Me:  HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA! (dialing my phone to call Aunt H and tell her what A said-He is in TROUBLE!)
G or M:  Aunt H laughs like Nanny.  huhuhuhuhu.
Me:  HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAH!  (it is funny cause I laugh just like them too but the kids don't seem to notice)  :)

And that closes this episode of "heard this week".....I'm sure there will be a chance to write it again.