Friday, October 29, 2010


Katie has her very own distinct 'accent'. Here are some of my favorite 'Katie-isms':

  • Nev-air, ev-air! (never, ever)
  • Dye-pair (diaper)
  • Ty-where (Tyler)
  • My Sistair (James...she can't get it into her head that he is a brother)
  • Daddy's Cowberry hat (cowboy hat)
  • Root Beard
  • Pajammies
  • Supair Dupair (super duper)
  • I'll show you no comprendo!
  • Ho-wee Mack-well! (holy mackerel)
  • You wass-i-cull (rascal)
This morning Katie and James were playing under James' bed. I've been wondering how long it would take them to discover that they fit under there. They were pretending to tuck each other in, and praying with each other. Katie thanked God for the 'suspicious sunshine.' I think she had the word 'suspicious' floating around in her head and figured then was as good a time as any to implement it. :) She also thanked Him for the 'pink slide that we never play on.' Incidentally, they play on that slide all the time.

Yesterday we were at the store and Katie said quite indignantly, "Mom!! James just called me a skidiot!!!" James is getting clever in trying to get around the rules these days. He knows he can't say 'idiot' so he just adds a few letters thinking that that will be OK. He also tries to get away with saying things like 'fard,' and 'button'. However, I think Grandpa Cheyney would be happy to know that James has taken to calling Tyler a little turkey whenever he is being mischievous. :)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

One Down, One To Go

A while back I found this pattern in a book I have, and I decided I just had to make it for the kids for Christmas. Let me tell you, it was a major pain in the booty. It is a fold-and-go doll house, or if you're James, a fold-and-go barn of course! One for Katie is in the works (a very girly version). For more details (like if you are crazy and want to make one yourself...ha, ha...check my craft blog later when I have time to post the details). And speaking of the craft blog that my sister and I have...we have it just to document all the projects we've made, and I think only our mothers read it. OK, and maybe Dad too. Imagine my surprise when I saw one of my projects featured on the awesome Crafty Crow blog!! I was pretty excited to see it, especially since I had submitted it several weeks ago and never heard a word. Click here if you want to see it. Its the sparkly pumpkin.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Muy Bien!!

Jeff has been released from his ten week incarceration in Ohio!! Yippee!! This week, week Numero TEN, will be his last. While there is some disappointment in that he will be unable to finish the job he has worked so hard on, there is also muchos relief that he will be free! So much relief, in fact, that it is apparently making me feel like bursting forth with what poquito espanol I know. I think we need to hold a fiesta in honor of this momentous occasion.

On a side note, when I Googled one of my limited Spanish words (you know, to make sure I was remembering it right and didn't inadvertently post a bad word...) Speedy Gonzales came up. And you know what I learned? He has been banished from the airwaves because he furthers 'ethnic stereotypes.' Seriously! What is this world coming to? Our children can't watch a speedy Mexican mouse, but they can turn on Sesame Street to see Jay-Z (among other celebrities that little kids should be oblivious to) or listen to propagana-laced cartoons pushing flu shots, evolution, extreme environmentalism (like not picking flowers at all because every flower is a creatures home!), etc. OK, total rant there, but its true! And the reason my kids watch little in the way of TV.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Happenings (and a whole lot of pictures!)

(One of James' recent drawings, of he and Tyler's farm)

**Pictures in no particular order, Blogger is giving me fits and I can't get this post formatted nicely***

James' portrait of our family, sans Katie (because he 'didn't want to draw her')

(Detail) I LOVE my hair and James' hair (me on left, James on right, Tyler in the middle)

Our first art lesson project: coffee filter painting with fall colors. James drew himself standing under the tree

Katie gazing at the chickens in Lancaster

He got up there all by himself!! This kid is nuts!!!

My handsome did he get so HUGE??

More James

I love this one! She always has that expression when she says 'I'll show you no comprendo!' (a veggie tales quote)

Tyler is thinking about making his escape

Aunt Sal and the kids

Happy Random Undie Dance!!! What? Don't you dance around with undies on your head?

And here are the latest happenings around these parts:
  • The kids had check-ups today. No surprise, but we have tall children. James is projected to be as tall as Jeff. Even Tyler is taller than average, although still a skinny little thing coming in at a whopping 20 lbs, 4 ounces
  • James and Katie both love to draw, which excites me to no end! Katie has just started drawing people and James likes to make very detailed drawings with lots of people, animals and buildings.
  • James has been eating up a storm!! Tonight he ate roast chicken, a salad, and three big muffins. The other night at my parents he ate two sandwiches and two tubs of applesauce and a 'few' (Mom's words) treats too. ;)
  • We went on an actual date on Saturday. Such a novel idea. We had a great time!! Thanks to Grammy and Chappy for entertaining the kids!
  • We went to Lancaster on Friday for fun. And by we, I mean Mom, the kids and I. After waiting for Jeff to be done in Ohio, and realizing that won't be any time soon, Mom volunteered to come with me. We went to my favorite place for lunch, saw Aunt Sally, I bought two BUSHELS of apples and some fancy sprinkles. Now to make some cookies! And loads of applesauce. We also went into an Amish-run tack shop and got a new piece of leather for my poor decrepit Bible. It needs some serious attention, but I can't bear to get a new one when that one has been with me for so long. James found a horseshoe there, which he was quite happy with. He informed me that he 'liked talking to the Amish guy; he was really nice.'
  • Tyler is busting out teeth left and right (at night, of course!). In the last week, he got a front bottom tooth, and two top molars. Now he is working on the bottom two molars and his other side bottom tooth. Crazy! He got the first four at 8 or 9 months and then nothing since then. I guess he's trying to get them all out at once.
  • Jeffrey is officially sick and tired of eating out after eating approximately 10 meals out a week. Ick!
  • Oh, and how can I forget!! Today is the 12th anniversary of our first blind date, although technically I had met him once before the fact. Someday for posterity I'll write about our first date in its entirety, because it was a doozy. Its a wonder we made it past that. Happy 12 years, Jeff, even if you a) don't read the blog, and b) don't believe in celebrating date-iversaries!!
  • Phew! I think that's it. If you made it to the end then give yourself a big ol' pat on the back!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Every Morning

Well, I take that back. Not every morning, but on the two weekdays Jeff is here, the kids sit at the window and wave when he leaves. Katie gets VERY MIFFED when Jeff forgets to wave, or if she doesn't see him wave. She reminds me of it all day.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fun Project

Over the past few weeks, James and I have been working on this project. I love that he is old enough to start doing fun stuff like this. One night he got to stay up late, and we built the salt dough landscape. After taking the 5 year old's equivalent of eternity to dry, we painted it, made a pond, and varnished it. Now, it is ready for its maiden voyage. It seems sturdy enough that it will last a while and James is quite thrilled with it! He even made 'footprints' with his toy animals while the dough was still wet.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tell Me How You Really Feel

Today James decided that since Katie was playing with his barn, he simple had to have it. RIGHT NOW! (The rule around here is that if you don't want someone else playing with your toys, you need to put them away. If you leave them laying around, they are fair game.) So, I told him that he could have the barn as soon as Katie was done with it. (Incidentally, hearing that will cause any child to feign interest in the toy in question for a lot longer than they originally had in mind just to drive the sibling nuts!) When James realized that he was not going to get the barn RIGHT NOW, he wailed mournfully 'I don't want a sister, at all! I don't like having a sister!!'

He leads such a rough life.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I just realized that I haven't posted anything in a while. My apologies. Since I've last posted, we have taken many a walk in the beautiful fall weather we've been having. One day we walked over to the park, fording the creek on the way. James was thrilled when I pushed Tyler across in the stroller, because it was 'just like a covered wagon crossing!' We have also been reading some of my Grandma Heppner's memoirs. James is particularly enthralled with the story of the dog getting its tongue stuck in the gears of the tractor when Grandpa was the motor to power his wheat grinder. On Saturday, I got to go to a sewing/craft day at our new church. I spent about 5 glorious hours sewing and visiting. I am working on little toy houses for the kids for Christmas, made from fabric and a total pain! But they are going to be awesome. So I got a lot done on James' without any curious eyes. (I'll post pictures when its done.) I also worked on a super-awesome Christmas present for my Mom. Jeff and I watched several really lame documentaries, which is a bummer because I love me a good documentary! (Never, ever watch 'Spellbound,' or 'The Amish Life', unless you also like to watch paint dry.) We then proceeded to watch a very freaky documentary that Jeff picked out about Suicide Bombers and why they are so effective and how much they hate Americans. It was very disturbing, or if you are Jeff, very 'informative and interesting.' Another exciting development is that Jeff has now earned the name 'Bean-Bean' from his Mexican peeps at the restaurant. He calls them his 'frijoles' and his 'homies,' and they call him 'Bean-Bean.' In fact, the owner's daughter even told him he could pass for a Mexican if he got a good tan. Now that is hilarious...totally false, but hilarious!

Well, enough randomness for one day. At least you know we are still alive and kicking. Tomorrow starts week 9 of O-H-I-O, which I am beginning to think of as Purgatory or 'Jeff's Lengthy Incarceration.'

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Garden Recap 2010

Delicious Amarillo Carrot!!

This garden year started with a bang. Remember the notorious skunk incident of 2010?? How could you forget! Yes, I started out trying to evict the pesky ground hogs from the Groundhog Love Shack that is our shed. I ended up accidentally capturing a skunk. This triggered many events, in no particular order: panic, despair, calls to the fish and game department, trusty internet research, more panic and despair, long debates about whether I should try the sheet method recommended by the F & G guy or try and, uh, 'dispatch' it, my brother-in-law requesting front row seats for said event, calls to various pest control operations, Dog the Bounty Hunter showing up to remove the skunk, an unhappy husband at the cost of removing said skunk, and Dog the Bounty Hunter going AWOL with my borrowed trap, which he returned after over a month of incessant calling. We later got rid of our groundhog problem which has been nice! I only found one tomato with teeth marks the entire season. After that saga, it could only get better, right? Things went well this year in the garden. I planted cabbage for the first time, and I got a few heads of cabbage out of it. Next year I will plant it earlier so that all my plants will produce!

The tomatoes and peppers did pretty well this year. I planted orange, yellow, purple, green and of course, red varieties. I have discovered that the Green Zebra tomato is one of my favorite tomatoes ever. I babied a Brandywine plant that didn't want to grow, and it produced one lone, but incredibly delicious, tomato. Violet Jasper? Well, they look cool and taste gross. I won't be planting them again. Now my freezer and cabinets are full of roasted green chiles, pickled peppers, salsa, dried tomatoes, canned tomatoes, frozen tomatoes, and even my very own.....homegrown and homemade ketchup! (I realize making my own ketchup from tomatoes I grew myself puts me in the 'that-lady-needs-to-get-a-life' category, but I really wanted to a) try it, and b) have ketchup that doesn't have a ton of sugar/corn syrup) Its been a fun year of experimenting with new things. I have tried fall planting this year, with kale, cabbage, radishes, and spinach. We'll see how those go. Last year, I grew 117 pounds worth of veggies. This year, my goal was 200 pounds. So far I am at 214 pounds!! (Yes, I weighed everything. And yes, I am sort of nerdy that way) Next year I think I might hope to hit 300 pounds. I better start planning now. That's half the fun!

Stinkin' O-H-I-O

Ohio is officially on my list of four-letter words I never want to hear again. After declaring that his work in Ohio was done, one of the new managers quit. Now he is back to square one, and will have to stay out there several more weeks (or more), til he is able to conduct more interviews, hire and train the next person. Argh, matey! I am not looking forward to it, but if I've done it for eight weeks now, what's a few more, right? Right??? I feel especially bad for the kids. They were so glad that he didn't have to go back, and now Katie is already asking when he is going to come home. That's the first thing she asked him when she was talking to him tonight. James was looking forward to starting AWANA's at our new church, and now he'll have to wait a few more weeks. Oh, well. He has a job and for that I am grateful, especially in light of current events.
In other news
  • Tyler is the most crazy/determined/climbing/fearless child I have ever seen!! He gets in to everything all the time. If he is not swinging the chandalier back and forth, he is climbing on anything that will hold still for him. Jeff actually watched him climb to the TOP of the ladder, without any fear. Tyler figured out that if he could climb the ladder he could get into Jeff's toolbox. (The ladder is a little taller than Jeff, and Tyler went to the last rung before the top) I feel like I spend my day plucking him from precarious situations.
  • We had our first 'art lesson' today. I volunteered to have our friends' kids over for an art lesson every week. Today was the first one and it was fun! I slapped aprons on everyone but Tyler and we went to town! I let them paint, which they were sure to tell me that Daddy wouldn't care if they got messy, but Mommy would. :) I'm going to go out on a limb and say that that is because Mommy does the laundry. ;)
  • Katie is a chatterbox. It takes her 30-40 minutes some days to go down for a nap because she is so busy talking to herself. She does that at night too.
  • James is currently in an All-Pirates-All-The-Time phase. I am thinking that the farmer obsession will be back shortly. After all, he has been in to farmers for the last 3 years. The funny thing is, he has no idea what pirates really do. I tried to explain but he wasn't having it. He is just content to but castles and forts for his apparently land-locked pirates. The pirates also have successful gardens, horses and livestock. Those pirates always were an industrious bunch.
  • And lastly, its beyond me why I forgot to post these pictures of Auntie Rachel playing with her favorite niece and nephews in the tent they made. So, here they are:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Halloween Dilemma

This year is the first year that James is old enough to have his own strong opinion about Halloween costumes. Now, I had firmly decided to dress the boys as gnomes with white beards and red gnome-hats. Katie was to be a toadstool/mushroom, red with white polka dots. However, James is not cool with that. Its not as though he is dead set against it, but he has other ideas. While he has thrown out the idea of being a farmer, a pirate, a cowboy, a farmer, and a cowboy, and a farmer (see the theme here?) he has also suggested that he and Katie dress up as Thing One and Thing Two from Dr. Seuss. While I think my dreams of dressing them up as gnomes are dashed, I think Thing One and Thing Two would be funny too. And if I did that, Tyler could be the goldfish. Oh, or a garden gnome. Or the Cat in the Hat. Such decisions! So what do you think: should I go with Thing One, Thing Two and the Goldfish, or T1, T2, and a garden gnome. Or should Tyler be the Cat in the Hat? Or, should I just stop over-thinking this whole thing!?!

PS. Here is last years costume: Two Lobsters and a Fisherman

Monday, October 11, 2010


James: Katie, you hit me!!
Katie: Uh-oh, I better take a time out.

And in other news, after this, the eighth week in Ohio, Jeff will be done!! (Lord willing and the creek don't rise, as we Cheyneys say) I am so excited, though I am trying not to get my hopes up. He has hired two people to replace him so he won't have to be out there. Yipee! When he came home on Saturday, he had a good story for me. Those of you who know Jeff know that he is NEVER embarrassed. I mean, I've known him for 12 years and I can only remember ONE incident that really made him blush. This is the guy who has no qualms sitting on the display toilet at home depot reading a magazine, or climbing up on the display saddles at the Western Implement pretending he was riding a bucking bull. Yep. Its true. Needless to say, he is up for almost anything. Each night in Ohio, he eats at the Mexican restaurant alone. Last week, he asked the waitress to sit him with someone. She was a little to scared to do it, but thought it would be funny. He picked a young couple and walked up to them and asked if he could eat with them. Surprisingly, they said yes. Even more surprisingly, they turned out to be quite nice. They are on staff at a church out there, and ended up inviting Jeff to a special event they are having next week. Jeff said he had a really good time. I would never have had the nerve to do something like that, but I am glad it turned out nice for him.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Flea Market (Rained Out) and My Pumpkins

Yesterday we dragged the kids to Rice's Flea Market. Its tradition. I have taken all my babies there at tender young ages, bundled up against the cold. (And believe me, it has been much colder on past trips!) James is on to our shenanigans. He wanted to leave as soon as we got there. I gave him the 'grow up, get a job and be responsible' speech. Just kidding. It would be funny though. We weren't there for long because none of the vendors wanted to set up shop. (Yes, we checked the forecast: one said rain, the other said sun)

And here is a picture of the most beautiful, darling, handsome, adorable, scrumptious, precious, and endearing children on the face of the planet. (That's for you, Candi! ;) Seriously, this is one of my favorite pictures of the three kids together. It makes me smile!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Glorious Day

Today was glorious. My sister and I spent pretty much all day gabbing, playing with the kids, drinking tea and making homemade bread, cinnamon rolls and soup. It shall go on the records as one of those perfectly nice days where you feel like smiling just thinking about it. Thanks, Rach, for hanging out with us. We did a darn good job on those cinnamon rolls!