Friday, July 29, 2011

Not Even 8am

Its not even 8 am and I have already gone on my run, found 5 bucks, and caught a baby mole to show the kids. James wanted to keep it, but I said no! The little stinker makes some loud squeeks for such a small thing, and it bit me when I tried to touch it. It was really cute, as far as moles go, because it was only about 2 1/2 inches long and its fur was like gray velvet. We'll see how cute I think it is if it ever finds my garden!

In other news, the kids have been doing swimming lessons this week. They are both loving it and doing great. I think last night James giggled the entire lesson. He was so excited and having so much fun. It was a little cool, so they let the kids stay in the pool the whole time and he kept dunking his head under and jumping out. Katie sat on the side in her adorable tutu bathing suit, with her orange googles, shivering until it was her turn again. I must bring my camera tonight!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our Weekend Of (Not) Camping

So instead of camping this past weekend, we stayed home. The heat was outrageous, hotter than I ever remember around here. One day it was something like 107 degrees with a heat index of 120! The humidity adds the special twist that makes it pretty much unbearable. The good news is, we survived, the chickens survived and our air conditioner didn't burn itself out. We gave up trying to cool the upstairs down, and it was so hot the thermometer was tapped out at 120+. Eeek! I can't believe the computer didn't melt. These old L-town houses have slanted walls upstairs, so that the ceiling/wall is in direct contact with the roof. The insulation is 60 years old and has degraded to the point that I don't think it does much of anything. But I digress. Wait! That's right, I wasn't going anywhere with this post anyway, so how can I digress?!?! That brings me to my next point. (Mrs. Haffly, my 7th grade teacher, would be cringing right now at my lack of transitions!) The chickens...they are coming of age. They are 18 weeks and starting to show signs that maybe they will start laying soon. I am officially on egg-watch, even though they probably won't start for a few more weeks. I emailed my friend and chicken expert, Linda, and she confirmed that the time is near. So exciting! And the burning question that keeps me up at night (not really)....will Big Martha lay blue or green eggs????? Any bets? They advertised blue, but apparently the breed can crank out blue, green, or occasionally pink eggs. (Not all colors from one bird) The rest will lay nice brown eggs.

In other random news, I have officially surpassed the 60 pound mark from my garden!!! Yesterday I picked a 16 ounce Brandywine tomato...not too shabby. I finally decided to put all the ripe cherry tomatoes in a dish where Katie can access them. No more trying to reach them on the counter. Now she has access to her 'candy dish' whenever she wants. This girl and her tomatoes. And speaking of tomatoes....guess what? Much to my dismay, the Groundhog Love Shack has yet another resident. Argh!!!! Seriously!!!!!!! I think this is about the millionth groundhog we've had. Of course, the little garden terrorist has taken bites out of at least three of the biggest tomatoes in my garden. I found where he was getting in and blocked it off. Do you think I could train my chickens to bark at it whenever it comes out???

Friday, July 22, 2011

Makes Me Want To ROFL

We were at Joanns this morning because James wants me to make him a cowboy backpack for school. While perusing the patterns (which ended up a totally fruitless endeavor), Katie decided to doodle on her arm, and draw a plethora of random marks around her mouth. Kind of reminiscent of cat whiskers, but not quite. One of the workers there saw Katie and asked her if she had drawn on her face. Katie got shy and buried her head on my leg. They she realized that everyone could see her artwork, and she started crying. She looked up at me and begged me to 'washcloth it off' because she was 'going around looking like an idiot.' I tried, and failed, to keep my composure after that and turned away to giggle. It made it worse that James told her, in a sticky sweet voice, 'Its OK, Katie, you don't look like an idiot. You just look really funny.' I had a good chuckle over that whole interchange. Some peoples kids!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's A Bird! It's A Plane! Oh, Wait....

...its just the humidity hanging in the air. It is so hot here, and the forecast says its just going to get hotter. This morning it looked almost like fog hanging in the air, but it was more like a thick suffocating blanket of humidity. Can you tell I hate humidity? I don't think I'll ever get used to it. Due to the extreme heat, we won't be going camping. Somehow the thought of baking in our tent with three overheated kids didn't sound too appealing. We'll go in a few weeks, and hopefully the weather will be more, uh, seasonal. So instead of going camping, we will be making S'mores in our super-duper pizza box solar oven, right here in our front yard.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Don't Worry

I won't be posting for the rest of the week. Our internet/phone is being transferred over and we will be without service for a day or two. Then we go camping for a few days!

Run Like The Wind

For no apparent reason, I haven't mentioned on here that Jeff and I have been running for several months. Yes, me...running. Never thought I'd get into that but it works. We take turns going in the morning, 5:30 to be exact! I am happy to say that I am up to running a little over 5 miles each run. We started out running, then walking, running, then walking. Then we moved on to running 5 minutes, walking 1 minute. I am happy to say that this morning I actually ran for 45 minutes without stopping, which is the longest I've ever run in my life!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

My Little Helper

Last night I was making pizza. I had roasted a whole tray of veggies, baked the crust, and was in the process of assembly. I had to make a quick trip to the facilities. When I came back, what did I find???? That's right: Tyler 'helping' me out. Now, I had heard the chair sliding around, but I thought it was James putting the chair back where I asked him to. Turns out, he had already returned the chair and it was Tyler dragging it to the counter. With lightning fast precision, he dumped my whole jar of cornmeal and the pizza sauce on top of the roasted veggies. He was in the process of mixing it up with the rolling pin when I got back. Such a helpful little guy, right? :) I had to rinse off the veggies in a strainer and the pizza was a little bit heavy on the cornmeal, but it turned out alright.

In other news, I caught Katie trying to pee standing up just a few minutes ago. Seriously!?!? Clean up on aisle 7 please!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Random Randomness Volume 9 Edition 72


Aren't these carrots beautiful! These are thinnings from the garden. Yum!


Jeff's Birthday Cake, after Tyler found it


The beautiful Chef Katie to the rescue!


Just fill that all in with some whipped cream!


And voila! No one'll know the difference. Well, except if you get the piece that is 82% whipped cream.


Happy Birthday, Jeff! Welcome to 30!

Having nothing to do with cake, but sweet nonetheless:

Last night we *tried* having Katie sleep in the boys' room. She has been going to sleep in our room, then we move her upstairs later, when we get her room cooled off. With the weather we've been having, that ain't happening, so she's been downstairs. I put her toddler mattress on the floor and put them all to bed. Next thing you know, I hear whispering. (Of course!) After a while, I peek in and see the older two snuggled up in James' bed, talking and giggling. Tyler was standing at the side of his crib joining in. James told me they were telling each other funny stories about when they were little. I am pretty sure it went something like this: Hey, Katie! Remember when you ate that whole pan of mashed potatoes? (giggles) Yeah! Hey, James, remember when I ate all those mashed potatoes? (more giggles) That is their favorite story right now. I finally had to break up the party in the interest of them getting some SLEEP! This morning when they woke up they were whispering together and playing with James' stable. Of course, it didn't last long, but it was cute while it lasted.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Happy Birthday, Big T!


(digging into the bowl of whipped cream leftover from Jeff's b-day cake)


Today is Tyler's second birthday! He is growing way too fast for me, but he hasn't listened to my petitions to stay small forever. This kid is a whole lot of energy wrapped up in one pretty small package. His smiles and his kisses melt us every single time. I think we'll keep him around. :)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

VBS

This week is Vacation Bible School. I am helping in the craft class. Surprised? Didn't think so. Yesterday James FREAKED OUT and cried, screamed and wouldn't let go of me. He has been getting much better about this but apparently this time he just couldn't process it all. It was hard on both of us, but he needed to go for his own sake. He is starting Kindergarten next month. Yikes! I can't believe it. They were very good with him at VBS and he did OK, but cried for most of the rest of the day. It was hard on both of us. Then, it was like a switch, last night before bed he calmed down. He relaxed and stopped thinking about it. This morning, he was so nervous he threw up. He cried and held on, then he was OK. He did great! I was so happy, relieved and proud. He even told me that VBS is more fun that Mommy. I take it that he had fun today! Hopefully the rest of the week goes just as well. There are almost 300 kids, and its very, very hot. Yay for air conditioning!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blueberries




This post is a long time coming, but a week ago, my sister-in-law, Mom and I went to Fred Plus III in Pemberton, New Jersey. If you live close, you should definitely go. Fred is a total character. He even gave Nikia the same speach he gave me: You're wearing flip-flops! Did anyone tell you that you were coming to a farm? He lectured us on how to care for the blueberries (no plastic bags or you're gonna have jam before you know it!). All together, we picked about 60 pounds of blueberries in an hour and a half! And at a $1.40 a pound, you can't beat that. We had so much fun and I look forward to going back next year too.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Another Tidbit

I looked all over for our cooler. I couldn't figure out where on earth it could be. Then I remembered that I found it last fall, reeking of mold and onions. James had decided to go into the business of selling onion grass. He picked a bunch, wrapped it in a damp towel, put it in the cooler to dry, and forgot all about it. By the time I found it the cooler was ruined, and the onion grass was unsaleable. At least he has a ready supply waiting in the yard if he decides to go back in business.

Also, James caught a firefly today and put it in his bug cage. His bug cage has a loose door. The firefly is now flitting about in our house. He will join the rolly polly, the moth, and who knows what else that has escaped that cage!

Yipee!!

I can really hardly believe it, but I picked the first tomatoes of the season today!!!! Bloody Butcher tomatoes, to be exact. How's that for a gruesome name? I was just doing my ordinary garden inspection when I saw a few tomatoes that were just starting to turn color. That made me very happy, and then...then I saw a few ripe tomatoes toward the back! One had a big bite out of it, so it went to some very happy chickens. The other two are sitting on my counter and I am trying to be a good girl and wait til dinner so everyone can have some. Pretty soon, I'll probably be rolling in the 'maters but for now, they are going to be a delicacy!

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Snapshot of My Day

So, right now Katie is walking around with a bean bag wrapped up in a receiving blanket. It is her baby, and her baby is sick. In fact, to quote Katie, her baby is 'bawfing and thwoing up and very sick.' She is telling the baby things like 'Its OK, sweetpea' and 'You need to rest now; you are really sick.' Yep. I think that girl has the motherly instinct alright. :)

P.S. This is totally random but guess what I have found in my washing machine in the past week or so? A German coin, a quarter, various rocks, a cowboy, a cactus (toy), a small stick, a bowl, and a piece of wood. Nice, huh?

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Busy Days

Now that summer is in full swing, it seems like the days are busy. When I think about it, its not like we are doing anything fancy. Our days are filled with playing in the backyard, going to the park, the farm, etc.. Our latest acquisition is the 'Apple Slide,' named by James. (Because its red, of course...unlike the yellow banana slide of my youth.) This water slide has already provided several hours of entertainment. We have also been baking things, including Jeff's 30th birthday cake. (More on soon...it involves Tyler the sneaky ninja and the cake...pictures too!) As you can see from the pictures above, Tyler makes sure to get in on all the action too. We also, pre-4th, got a couple packs of sparklers for the kids. They loved them! It made me feel all nostalgic for the days when we would go to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the 4th and Grandpa would always have sparklers. We cousins would camp in their backyard and talk until Uncle Ron (AKA the voice of God) would tell us to 'GO TO SLEEP!!!'

Friday, July 01, 2011

Recovery

This whole week has been a recovery period for the fun-overload we had last weekend. We have mostly hung around the house, though we did go raspberry picking one morning. This morning the kids got to go the house o' magic (aka Grammy and Chappy's) while I went grocery shopping. Hallelujah! The cupboards were bare, and shopping sans kids leaves my sanity intact. This weekend should be much more low-key. I am sneaking away early in the morn to go blueberry picking with my sis-in-law and Mom. Tomorrow afternoon I am preparing a birthday feast for the Jeffro. I have brought in, all the way from Colorado, the secret family recipe for his Mom's goulash. Just kidding, but that's what I threaten him with because he wouldn't tell me what he wanted for his birthday dinner. (He is NOT fond of his mother's goulash, by the way...) We will be having....you guessed it! Megzican food! And pineapple upside-down cake. Should be tasty.