Monday, March 29, 2010


This past week, Tyler popped out his two bottom teeth without incident. Yesterday he was a bit cranky, and I just so happened to peer into his mouth to see some really swollen top gums. His top two teeth are right there ready to come out and it looks really painful. Poor guy. That explains why he hasn't slept well the last two nights. Thank God for baby Tylen0l!

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Franch Post?

I totally fell off the Franch wagon. I think I ran out of inspiration (though I think I still have a few stories). Also, I would someday aspire to write my favorite Franch story of all time, but alas, I don't know if you all will find it as amusing as I. If you are in need of a laugh, you can read one of my other favorite Franch stories: The Tragic Frozen Steer Incident. I have a friend who is an actual farmer and she writes about her farm here. Reading her posts made me remember a funny story from back when Jeff and I were dating. We had spent the entire morning helping some people get their calves branded, de-horned, and castrated. Gross, but did you know that castration can be accomplished by a tiny little green rubber band? Fascinating stuff, I tell you. But don't stop reading here! I won't give you any more details, I promise. Anyhow, we spent the morning doing things that stink very much. Burning hide, blood, dirt, smoke...all those smells mingled together and coated us all with a layer of ripe-smelling filth. We lost track of time and soon I realized I had to go to work. I kissed Jeff goodbye, hopped in my lovely gold station wagon, and drove to work. **Here's a piece of trivia for you: I used to work at a store called the Cowboy and the Lady, that sold Native American jewelry and a whole lot of knicknacks at the Mesa Mall. Everything was always 50% off, and when customers would bring up that pesky little fact I was told to say 'Well, this is our special spring sale' or 'its our weekend special' or whatever. Also, a cute little old couple names Rex and June used to come in every couple months and spend a few hundred bucks. They also once shoplifted something and brought it back a few days later. They thought it would be really funny to see if they could get away with it. However, that has nothing to do with this post and is nothing more than me rambling.** I drove myself to straight to work. Sitting behind the counter, I kept smelling the most rank smell. It was just nasty. I was unsure of what it was, but it was persistent. It wasn't long before I realized that the foul odor was me. Lucky for me I was working alone, since I smelled like the south end of a north-bound mule. I'm sure I scared off a few customers that day.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pictures O' Fun!

Here are a few pictures from our weekend. The weather got up to 70 degrees! It was just glorious. Jeff sat outside studying atomic bonding and the modulus of elasticity for his Materials Science class (sounds awesome, right?), and the rest of us played in the dirt. Well, Tyler mostly watched, while attempting to consume clumps of grass and a stray leaf here and there. Jeff took a homework break to build me my first little raised bed. Hooray!! I planted rhubarb in there. Can I tell you how excited I am?!!!!! I LOVE rhubarb and it is very hard to find around these parts. Jeff also dusted off his bike and tuned it up for spring. Tyler showed himself to be a true Groves, as he was incredibly fascinated with the mechanical parts of the bike. Inside his head, I am sure he was thinking 'Oooh, look, someday I will take that sucker apart and redesign it more efficiently! Personally, I think I would make the frame out of unobtainium, and the spokes out of 4-0-2 Stainless Steal, with a tolerance of .0001". That should just about do it.' And speaking of Tyler, let me show you a picture of extreme, absolute deliciousness, and I am not taking about the avocado that is smeared all over his face (although avocados are pretty darn good).......

Tyler is not interested in baby food at all. When I discovered he likes actual texture in his food (really? Rice paste is not cutting it for you??), he has been doing a lot better with solid foods. He likes to feed himself, which as you know means smearing 2/3 of the food on his tray over any and every available surface.

Monday, March 22, 2010


The other day the kids were playing outside, which means they were fairly dirty. I made smoothies for their snack and decided to keep the mess outside. So, they sat just outside the window and I handed their smoothies through the window. They thought that was pretty cool and whatever got spilled was outside.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sentimental Hat

This is a hat I made for James from one of Grandpa's flannel shirts. I have enough left to make one for Tyler too, but I have to figure out how to scale down the pattern to make one in his size. Do you like my professional background?? Smudged walls and orange carpet. Awesome!! Someday, I'll paint that wall to match the rest of the living room.....

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Sometimes words are not enough. Oh, where do I begin? How could I possibly be able to convey the joy I felt inside when our neighbor brought over such a lovely specimen for my children to drag (lovingly, of course) around the yard. Such a lovely thing is only worthy of the finest waste receptacle, an honored place in the most pristine of landfills. Thanks, neighbor, thanks.

**So, our neighbor has had this carcass of a parrot hanging in his yard since we've lived here. It didn't always look this way. It used to be a yard ornament worthy enough to grace Jimmy Buffett's yacht or something. (That is, if you believe yard ornaments are worthy of gracing anything...) But I digress. Over time, and many a snow storm, this parrot has withered away, leaving his plumage somewhat discolored, mangled, and...well.....ugly. However, this parrot, known as 'Bud's Parrot,' has captured the interest of my children. When the parrot disappeared a few weeks ago, Katie was a bit miffed. She asked me repeatedly 'Where'sssssss Bud'sssss Paaaaarrot?' Try explaining to a two-year-old that the parrot went for an overdue visit to the city dump. She wasn't buyin'. Then, a few days later, our neighbor Bud came to the side fence to say 'hello.' When a mention was made of the missing parrot, he immediately darted back to his house (where I am fairly certain he fished it out of the trash), and came back with the parrot. He immediately gave it to Katie, saying 'You can have it!' and looking at me with an evil grin. So now, I am the proud owner of a parrot carcass. I immediately pronounced him an 'outside' toy, and am currently biding my time til I can sneak him into the trash can where he belongs. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tis the Season...

...for spending hours outside, finding worms, fuzzy caterpillars and mud puddles, eating grass, digging holes, making forts or shelters as James calls them,** and collecting 'hay' (grass) for the cows (that we don't have, by the way). It is supposed to reach 70 degrees tomorrow! (Make a special note of Katie's caterpillar-wrangling accessories :)

**James is recently obsessed with the documentary Alone in the Wilderness, about the guy who made a cabin from scratch, with just hand tools, and lived in the Alaskan wilderness for 30 years. Yes, he is only four, but he is now trying to emulate all the techniques he has seen on the show. Like licking his finger and holding it up to check the wind's direction, and chipping the bark off a tree branch with his shovel. OK, and maybe he did try to chop down our tree with his shovel, but that didn't go over too well.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Slow Down!!

Dear Tyler,

This is your mother. Please slow down. You are growing up too fast! I am not ready for you to pull yourself up to standing, like you did twice this morning. I am not ready for you to get teeth, two of which I noticed are just starting to peek out this morning. Neither am I ready for you to crawl, which I think you are going to do any day now. You are my baby, and while I do not want you to live in my basement til you are 30, I do want you to stay little for a while longer. Can I get a little cooperation? Please???? Please?????????????


Your Mama

Monday, March 15, 2010

Random Story From My Childhood....

When we lived in California, my Dad planted some sort of flower in a pot on the deck. Our house was set against a hill in the woods in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We had a big deck that wrapped around about half the house. We generally kept our dog, Stealth, tied on a long rope at the edge of the deck. That way, he could go on the deck, onto the hill, or cool himself under the porch. But back to this potted plant. The plant was growing pretty fast, and of course we looked forward to seeing it flower outside the dining room window. Yet each day, another leaf would go missing from the plant. When my Dad noticed, he immediately thought that somehow we kids were causing it. I think we were accused of letting the dog mess with it when we took him for a walk. We denied any involvement in the mysterious, daily disappearance of the leaves. I think we were questioned again the next time Dad noticed another leaf gone missing. Again, we vehemently denied any involvement but we were under suspicion nonetheless. Finally, as we were sitting at the breakfast table one morning, the mystery was solved! A fluffy gray squirrel came hopping onto the deck, climbed into the pot, and nibbled off a leaf. We kids were glad to finally have proof that we were not involved in the plant’s demise!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Just about everyone (minus a few spouses and my brother) were able to make it to Grandpa's memorial service. We hadn't all been together since Grandma and Grandpa's 50th in 2002. It was fun to see everyone and catch up a little bit. All five of my cousins (on the Cheyney side) were there, as well as both my Dad's siblings and their spouses. Tyler got to meet his little cousin Maverick, who is just 10 days younger than he is. He also got to ride in the golf cart to get the Penney Farms tour. Grandma got to meet Tyler and Maverick for the first time. I know Grandpa wanted to meet them and I wish he could have. Grandma has been itching for some great-grand-babies for a while now, but so far only myself and one of my cousins have produced any. (hint, hint! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Dare I Say.... spring actually coming? Its been up to...drum roll please.....60 degrees the last two days! We have been taking full advantage of it by going outside, and staying outside, for a good chunk of the day. Yesterday we went to a nice park to play, then came back and played some more outside. Then, after naps, you guessed it! We went outside again. I got to piddle around in my garden and start getting it ready for planting. The kids dug numerous holes and fought over shovels. James found a worm who 'got lost from his family' and found another worm to be his friend. Then he found a grub and smashed it for me. Tyler busied himself trying to eat grass and sticks. He seems to be following in his siblings footsteps of loving the great outdoors. With this new weather I am reminded that it is also the season of muddy clothes. My remedy: strip them down in the garage and plop them right into the shower to wash off those muddy feet. Yes, I am my mother :) But I will take it, mud and all. I am glad spring is on its way!

Monday, March 08, 2010


James asked me the other night if I was still sad about Grandpa. I told him yes. Its hard to explain to a four year old all the feelings associated with death. I have tried to explain to him that although I am sad that Grandpa is gone, I know that Grandpa is happy to be free to his worn out body, and that I will see him again someday. I am glad he doesn't didn't have to suffer any more, or go into a nursing home. When I told him I was sad, James said 'I'm sad too. He was my favorite.' I know he remembers a little of Grandpa, and I know we've told him lots of stories. I told him the other day that he has the same name as Grandpa, he said 'Yeah, I know, you already told me that.' (Like 'duh, Mom!) One of my favorite stories of Grandpa was when I was living with them in college. I wanted to make some wooden snowman ornaments for Christmas. Grandpa was eager to help, even though I was a little leery of him using the table saw. He had just hurt himself a few days earlier, I think while he was tinkering around. But he was determined, and so I diligently traced all my snowmen onto a piece of wood. They were basically blobs with a carrot nose protruding from the side. (to be painted later on) After deciding I didn't have it in me to watch Grandpa cut his finger off, I mean, cut out the snowmen, I went in the house. A few minutes later, he came back in with my snowmen. Only, he had cut off all the noses. Here, he thought I was making apples and so he cut all the stems off for me! :) Another funny thing Grandpa used to do is to smash pop cans with a giant sledgehammer. Even though he had a can crusher on the garage wall, he insisted on smashing the cans with a big ol' sledgehammer. It was funny to watch, Grandpa in his suspenders flattening cans in the garage. Although it was perhaps a bit overzealous, I must admit it was a lot more fun than the can smasher. :)

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Today the temperature went up into the low 50's!! So, we packed the kids up and headed to Five Mile Woods for a nice walk. The kids flitted about from one tree stump to the next, picking up sticks and leaves and petting the moss. James found some ice, exclaiming 'Look! This water is solid!' We really had a good time and it was nice to get out and enjoy some sunshine after the last week and a half.

Here is a picture of the most interesting thing we saw, a deer print in the ice:

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

I'm Back

Rachel, Tyler and I arrived home late Monday night/early Tuesday morning. Grandpa's memorial service went very well and I am sure he would be happy to know that nearly everybody was able to make it. We had a nice time reminiscing about Grandpa, and catching up with each other. (its been about 8 years since we've all been together) Although I will miss Grandpa very much, I know that he is finally free of his old worn-out body and no longer has to suffer (or restrict the number of donuts he eats :) I know I have a lot of wonderful memories of Grandpa, which I just may write about in the next few days, if only for myself. For now, I'll leave you with one of my favorite pictures of Grandpa, with Katie: