Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm Going Under The Witness Protection Program

I need to disappear from the sickness and the messes that come with that. Katie has been sick since late Monday night. I had to take her to the ER today because they thought she had appendicitis. Fortunately it was not, but she was very dehydrated and so had to get an IV (which was a nightmare...'hardest one' he'd ever done...had to try in both hands...Katie screamed...I wanted to bawl like a baby...) Anyway, she is doing a bit better and now James is coming down with it. I'm praying that Tyler, Jeff and I remain safe from it. (Wishful thinking? I hope not.) So, I won't be blogging til we're all better.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

See What I Mean?


....when I say that Tyler is crazy?

Monday, May 23, 2011

How To Fit 10 Pounds of Shtuff Into A 5 Pound Weekend


This weekend was ridiculous, as in ridiculously busy. It was one of those weekends where we ended up having way too much scheduled. Saturday we had Con-Rachel's graduation. Saturday afternoon, her graduation party. Sunday, we had church and a BBQ. Oh, and did I mention it was the first somewhat non-rainy, not-really-free weekend we've had to re-roof the shed. Yeah. We had to squeeze that in too. Saturday morning I went to the graduation while Jeff watched all three kids and tore the roof off the shed roof. Everyone was unharmed and still alive when I returned. Bonus points for Jeff!! We continued work on the shed up until the very last minute. I was running in and out of the house checking on the Con-Rachel friendly cake I was making (sugar and gluten free). Shingles...chocolate....nailing up flashing....set the oven to 350. Its a wonder everything worked out. At the party there were various jokes about the impending 'Judgement,' and at 6:00 someone in the neighborhood set off a very loud explosion. It was pretty hilarious! They get points for thinking of that. No doubt someone was second guessing themselves when they heard that. Sunday morning consisted of working on the shed, dusting the sawdust off me, and taking the kids to church while Jeff stayed home and worked on the shed. After church...you guessed it...we worked on the shed. I managed to hammer my finger and now I have myself a nice swollen, purple digit. Ouch!! Again, we worked til the last minute, with me alternating between the shed, and making Peanut Butter thumbprint cookies and roasted potatoes. The BBQ was very nice and the kids got to run out a lot of energy. We got home, dumped them in bed and sat in front of the TV in a comatose state, which is probably the same state you find yourself in after reading a play-by-play of our weekend. :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken Wrangling

Because we still haven't finished the actual coop (this weekend...hopefully), I have to herd the chickens up every night. They are getting big, and they are fast. I have to back them into the corner and catch them one by one. Chicken Noodle almost always escapes, which leaves me carrying four clucking, wiggling chickens into the garage and closing the door so they don't get out. Then I go back out and chase Noodle around the yard. I try to chase her toward the house so she doesn't fly over the fence. I bet the neighbors probably set their clocks for 8:00 each night when the crazy lady chases a chicken around the yard. Great entertainment, I am sure. Once, the wayward chicken went under the picnic table. That was super. But so far, so good. I am getting pretty good at anticipating the ninja chicken's moves, and thwarting them. After catching the chicken, I take it into the garage where the other four have capitalized on their freedom and are prancing around the garage looking for something to eat. I have to catch each one and put them in the cage for the night. It'll be very nice when they can just trot up the plank into their very own chicken door and I won't have to herd them every night. Until then, I am sure I am keeping the neighbors entertained.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Uhhhhh....

Way back in the day, before kids, I went to school for Fine Arts. It was so much fun, and lately I've been hinting around to Jeff that I want to take another class. Alas, that will have to wait til he's done with school. Anywho.....I keep all my schoolwork in two huge portfolio envelopes in Katie's closet. The other day, the kids decided to make a fort in the closet and found the drawings. I was alerted to the fact when I heard James laughing, in a 'I am not sure what I just found but its pretty funny' sort of way. So, I went in and there is James, holding a large drawing from my anatomy class. (Read: large drawing of naked woman) He and Katie were giggling and asked what it was. Well, uh....I mean, how do you explain to a kid that when you go to school for art, you sit around drawing naked people. I mean, after a while, you just look at 'it' as an object, something you have to master drawing. You look at the individual muscles, the shapes of the bones, etc.. I don't even remember what I told them, but it was kind of amusing, them standing there holding up that drawing. Of all the drawings for them to find. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Laughing At The Dentist?

Last night I had to go to the dentist to get my new crown put in. I had a root canal a while back and somehow my tooth shifted and I had to get it redone. Oh, joy. The Dentist had to grind it down to size, and was standing there with his drill, filing away. Suddenly, my tooth flew out of his hands and across the room. He looked really embarrassed but I wanted to crack up laughing. He didn't say anything as he picked it up off the floor and cleaned it up. I couldn't help it, I started laughing. I wonder if he was relieved that I wasn't mad, because he said, 'Well, for you, I was going to do the five second rule.' Good comeback, Dentist! After he finished gluing the new tooth in, he was standing there, pulling his gloves off. I don't know if one came off faster than he anticipated but he accidentally smacked me in the face, though not very hard. He was very apologetic and said something like 'What's next! First I drop your tooth, then I hit you in the face.' Even though I am sure he felt pretty sheepish, I thought it was pretty amusing.

In a different note...our neighbor across the street got robbed last night. They are not sure if the guy was in their house. The screen was off and there was dirt on the window sill of their baby's room. Fortunately the baby was sleeping upstairs at the time. Our neighbor was getting his gun and the burglar may have heard that and left the house. However, he stole the neighbor's truck. The cops found the guy on his way to Trenton and chased him. He rolled the truck three times so it is totaled. In the truck they found a box full of glass cutters and tools, and a bag of extra clothes: a business suit and tie. The whole thing is pretty scary...this was right across the street. On top of that, my next door neighbor said there have been 8 or 9 robberies in the neighborhood in the recent past. Makes me want to go out and buy a half dozen Dobermans.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Standoff

Every Monday, the kids clean their rooms. Yesterday, Katie decided she didn't want to clean her room. She told me that she didn't want to and she wasn't going to clean it. I told her she had to stay in her room til she finished it. I figured that she would eventually decide to clean it. (She's done this a few times before, but never to such an extent) Well, she cried. She wailed. She sat quietly on her bed, all refusing to clean her room. This began at 11am. I had told the kids that we would have a special lunch and watch a movie together when they were done. I reminded her of that, but she just said 'No, I just won't watch the movie. I don't want to clean my room.' At about 12:30, I let her come down and eat. Then she went back to her room. Then she took a nap. Then she woke up and protested, again! It wasn't until 4:00 that she decided to clean up her room. Seriously! It was ridiculous, and frustrating, and annoying. We ditched our trip to the library. We stayed inside and waited...and waited...and waited. At least the room finally got cleaned. Ironically, it wasn't even that dirty.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rhubarb! Dirt! Chickens! Pictures!





(Things are growing in the garden)




I managed to procure just a wee bit of rhubarb on Friday.

Have I mentioned that we love rhubarb? I think I could've gotten twice that much and we'd have eaten it. I brought my cutting board and freezer bags upstairs and sat and cut up rhubarb for an hour or more. And I only finished half of it! Over the weekend, I made a batch of Bluebarb Jam (Blueberries + Rhubarb) and it is delicious! I also made Rhubarb BBQ sauce, and I even refrained from labeling it 'Rhu-bar-B-Que Sauce.'


(Tyler closing in on the jam: Mmm!!)

We also spent a ton of time outside. It was just too nice. I wanted to get a bunch of stuff planted before the rain came. Its supposed to rain all week. I planted purple potatoes! I really hope they do well. I've never grown potatoes before.




Tyler dug in the dirt for over an hour, which is longer than I have ever seen him stay in one thing!


Scrumptious chubby feet! Makes me want to have 12 more babies (not all at once! :)


More chubbiness!!


These two are pretty adorable themselves! Here, they were making some sort of slop for their 'pigs'


James' favorite new job is feeding the chickens. He likes giving them little treats.


I'll smile for you if you leave me alone and let me go back to my DIRT!!


Chicken Noodle (soup?) on the left, Cheepa on the right

Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From The Tree

Last night we were in a rush (as usual) to get ready for Cubbies. It was closing night last night, and the kids got to sing two songs on stage. (I'll post videos later) Con-Rachel always comes over on Wednesday nights for dinner, then we head off to church. I knew I needed to bring the chickens in before we left, because it would be way past dark when we got home. (The coop isn't finished yet) I was rushing around, getting the kids dressed in CLEAN clothes, getting myself into clean clothes, finding the Cubbies vests, etc.. I went outside to get the chickens, was chasing them around the run and caught a few. On the way out, I hit my head so hard that I bounced back and landed on my butt. In the dirt. And chicken poop. You know what James said? 'That was dumb.' Now, I can just hear the exact same thing coming, rather unsympathetically, out of either Jeff's or my dad's mouth!!! The apple didn't fall far from the tree on that one. I had to rush in and change back into my other not-clean-but-better-than-chicken-poop jeans, and was reminded that I really need to have more than two pairs of pants!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Randomness

(Tyler trying to feed the chickens a stick in their old digs)

The weather has been fabulous these last few days, in the low 70's and sunny. Basically, I have decided that if I let my kids play outside all day long that means they cannot mess up the house. Except they do. With their dusty feet and dandelion puffs. But who can complain? We are all getting more than our share of sunshine. I am reading two books right now about children and their need to play outside. Seriously, there are a plethora of books written on this subject. You know what the sad truth is? Children spend an average of 30 minutes of unstructured outdoor playtime....a WEEK! Well, shiver me timbers! I think my kids spend that much time outside before breakfast some days. I couldn't believe when I read that, but I have seen that statistic thrown around several times since. Instead of outdoor time, kids spend 5-7 hours a day on TV, computer, video games, etc. Crazy! Now here I am, off on a soapbox again. Speaking of soapbox, I was really happy to hear that Florida is making it illegal for pediatricians to ask parents if they own a gun. It really ticks me off every time I went to our previous pediatrician and they interrogated me about various (non-health-related) things, particularly if I own any guns. Is it any of there business?? Phew! I promise no more soapboxes for today. Aside from that, the chickens are enjoying their new digs. Katie and Tyler will sit at the fence and feed them various tidbits. Katie digs for worms for them, and brings them bugs and grass. James finds worms and calls for Katie to come and get them, because they 'gross him out.' Tyler tries to feed them sticks and rocks, which they look at and roll their eyes. I have been planting stuff every day in the garden, and so far...no groundhog! We do, however, have skunks rummaging around at night.....remember the notorious skunk incident of 2010???? Let's not repeat that again!

Monday, May 09, 2011

We're Still Here!



Gee whiz! I didn't realize I hadn't blogged in almost a week. We've been busy playing outside, working in the garden, taking walks, finishing the chicken run, etc.. On Friday, Jeff took the day off and we all went to Longwood Gardens together. We got free tickets to go and that is a hard price to turn down. When we went in January, I was amazed at how beautiful it was. Well, May is equally, if not more beautiful! Everything was open, including the fountains and tree houses. There were entire long walkways flanked by tons of tulips and foxgloves and allium. Trees were in bloom, and the gardens in the conservatory were completely different than when we were there a few months ago. Gone were the Christmas trees and decorations, and in their place were a whole new set of plants and trees. It was quite amazing. We didn't get to see everything (not even close!) because the kids ran out of good humor all at the same time. They went from 'I love this place! This is awesome!' to 'I want to go home! Waaaaaaaa!!!!!' in about two seconds. We did have a lovely time, though, and here are some pictures:




This tree house is made from wood from an old barn and a toothpaste factory, based on the design of a Scandinavian (?) church. It was really beautiful! There were two other treehouses which were also really cool.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Jackpot!


We found this at a yard sale...for $10!!! I think it must have been made for James. :) The stable doors slide open on the front and the back. It is in really nice shape and very, very sturdy. Can you tell he's just a little bit happy??

Monday, May 02, 2011

Katie The Chicken Whisperer

We spent the weekend building a run for the chickens. It is almost done, with the exception of the door....which is kind of important. Katie spent the weekend tending to her chickies, digging them worms, picking grass for them. She walked around with this little girl (guy??????) for quite a while. I actually kind of forgot that she had her (him? this is the chick in question) and when I looked over, she was going down the slide with the chick in her arms. She walked it around and talked to it, and it fell asleep in her arms. Katie...the chicken whisperer!


Here is a picture of the run. We have since added a screened roof panel. There is chicken wire buried around the perimeter so predators can't dig under there. We will build the coop inside the shed, and cut a chicken door for them to go through.

Tyler's Shenanigans

Yesterday we picked Tyler up from the church nursery and they informed us that he tried to scale the cabinets. Yep. Sounds about right. At home yesterday, he climbed to the top of Jeff's ladder. He climbed over everything in the shed to get to a lawn mower and planted himself firmly back there, forcing me to climb over everything to go get him. Last night we were at our small group and he was about .000000001 seconds away from pulling the fire alarm. He was pushing in the lever, ready to pull it down.*** We can't take our eyes off him for a second. On Saturday night, I went out to bring the chickens in. I wasn't halfway through the yard when I heard the sound of crinkling plastic through the open window. I KNEW exactly what he was doing. I yelled 'No!!' and ran back in as fast as I could. Sure enough, he had quickly taken the opportunity to slide a chair into the kitchen, climb up on the counter, retrieve the leftover bag of jelly beans, and, as I was running in the door....spill them all over the place. He had a mouthful of beans. Later, when I was tucking them into bed, I thought he was with Jeff. No! He was in the kitchen all steathly-like, shoving jelly beans in his mouth AGAIN!!! This kid is a maniac!!

***Speaking of fire alarms, my sister once pulled the fire alarm at St. Mary's hospital in Grand Junction. They started bringing people out right away and I am sure my parents were pretty mortified to tell the hospital staff that their 3 year old had pulled the alarm. The fire department came and a fireman sat right across from my sister and gave her a little talk.