Sunday, October 11, 2015

Quotes and Misquotes

The kids have said some doozies lately and I feel like they need to be written down for posterity:

T: (very excited) Mom! The vampire squid lives in the midnight zone which is like 500 kilopeters deep!

T: Back in the Civilutionary war....

T: (doing his biz-ness in the bathroom) Mom, I don't know what my internal systems are doing, but they're doing something!

And the latest misheard song lyrics:

Katie thought that Michael Jackson was singing "Willard, Willllllllllard!" instead of "Thriller, thrilllller!" haha

I can't remember which kid(s) thought this, but the song "Safety Dance" where it says "You can dance if you wanna, we can leave your friends behind" they thought it was "you can dance if you wanna, you can leave your pants behind". And now that we've had a good laugh they like to take that song literally when it comes on and dance in their underpants.

And the latest: the song "Funkytown" came on and Tyler got it stuck in his head. Expect he had the words wrong. Instead of "Talk about it, talk about it, talk about it..." he sang "Taco body, taco body, taco body..." over and over for half an hour.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

More Pictures!

 I love cooking over the campfire! And this year, I cooked bacon and eggs on the fire...delish!
 The view over our tent
 Tyler loved getting water from the pump. This pump was very fast and powerful. He told me that was because it was red, and red is an angry color. "And the blue one is slower, and calmer because blue is a calm color."
 Katie and James took a  ton of pictures! This one is Katie's.
This is what happens when I ask them to look like they like each other.


 Pretty queen anne's lace
 Tyler's maiden voyage in the canoe. We talked to some random guy and his daughter at the dock and he ended up giving each kid a little ride in the canoe which they thought was the best! Part of me was screaming "You're not supposed to trust some random dude with your kids in a boat!" and the other part of me was like "what is this worked coming to when I suspect some nice guy who is just offering to give the kids a boat ride!?" And it was fine. :) Of course.
 More campfires. The kids scavenged the wood from empty sites and I build the fire. And we all roast marshmallows. Pro Camping Tip O' The Day: Marshmallows are good with breakfast too.
 Lots of playing at the dock, looking for fishing gear
 There were TONS of lily pads and these beautiful lilies
And...drum roll please! I am a long time botanical nerd. From a very early age I would sketch endless pictures out of my Audubon North American Flower guide. This particular flower always intrigued me but I never, ever saw one in real life and always wanted to. When I went to turn a log over to look for salamanders....I found them! Indian Pipe! I was so excited, and you are probably thinking I fell off the turnip truck....but woo! Last year, I found a Jack-In-The-Pulpit in a marsh, and that was also one I wanted to see 'someday"...I'm on a roll! haha

Friday, August 28, 2015

The Triple Surprise Camping Trip: Part One











This summer has been crazy and long and full and we hadn't yet squeezed in a camping trip. Camping is an essential part of summer fun if you ask me (or the kids). However, other things conspired to keep us at home. Last week was going to be the week, but it got really, really hot and humid. No thank you. This week was touch and go because I had some orders to do and life, not to mention camping with three children takes lots of packing. Wednesday we decided to make it happen, on Wednesday. (Surprise #1) I cruised the internet trying to decide where to go, and the packing (and 'when are we leeeeaving?') commenced. We headed out around noon, with Beyonce (our car) loaded up with tent, food and children. Once we set up camp, I cooked dinner over the fire which was the BOMB dot com, if I do say so myself, thankyouverymuch. (recipe courtesy of Dad) Afterward, we headed over to the lake to watch the sunset. I took a picture and sent it to my brother, suggesting he play hooky from work and come join us the next day. Something about a 'boss' and 'work obligations' was thrown around, which is sooooo last Tuesday if you ask me. But alas, he was able to sneak out of work early and come up and spend the evening with us yesterday. The look on the kids faces' was priceless when they saw him walking up to us. (Surprise #2) Also, unbeknownst to the kids, Dad had spontaneously (yes, I just used "dad" and "spontaneous" in the same sentence!!!) decided that he and mom would drive up and hang out with us today. They showed up at breakfast time with donuts! We went to both lakes, then headed out to this really neat historical site nearby. (I'll post about that separately) It was really fun, and I am sure the kids will remember it for a long time! I'll try not to put up too many photos ;)


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cowboys and Indians

The kids like to make up Cowboy and Indian 'shows' for me. They will plan among themselves, then ask me to come out and watch. All their shows have the same characteristics, making them hilariously awesome to watch:

  • They dress Tyler up in James' cowboy gear, and Katie whispers in my ear "Doesn't he look cute?" and he does. Skinny little Tyler, with an oversized bandana and holster running around is pretty cute.
  • They all grin these happy, cute little grins during their gunfights, which is totally ridiculous given the nature of their 'show' but shows how much they enjoy playing their part in the show.
  • When one of them plays "dead" or "sleeping" they peek up from time to time to see what's going on. 
  • At some point during every show, one of them (usually Tyler) forgets what they are supposed to do next. First, they try to signal the errant cowboy with "the look". If that doesn't work, next comes "Psssst!!! Psssssssssst!" and if that doesn't work "TYLER!!!! You are supposed to be SLEEPING!!!!" To which Tyler usually replies "oh" and goes on to fake sleeping.
  • Katie likes to shoot from behind trees and play it safe (smart girl)
  • James likes dramatic falls, so he will have Tyler "shoot" him out of the tree. His fake falls give me heart attacks. 
  • Tyler hoists up his holster and/or shorts every 12 seconds, because he is a twig and the holster falls right off his little frame. 
  • Tyler is always the last man standing. He never gets shot (the other two told me he doesn't like "being dead"). The other two lay there for dramatic affect, until they decide the show is over.
In other news, only a week and a half til school! (I will resist the urge to add more exclamation points there) School starting is a good thing, because these are the kinds of conversations we've had on a regular basis lately:

James: What are we doing today?
Me: Nothing, just hanging out.
James: But what else?
Me: Nothing, you can play with Legos, read, play outside.....
James: So what are we doing tomorrow?
Me: Going to the Grange Fair and taking a walk after dinner.
James: And what else?
Me: Uh, seriously? I'm taking you to the Grange Fair and a walk. There is nothing else.
James: So we're not doing anything else?
Me: **Runs away screaming**

Also this:

J/K/T: Mom, I want to make a gocart/climbing wall/soccer goal/microwave/working sailboat and I need duct tape/fishing line/plywood/PVC/cordless drill/power saw/unicorn dust to make it. Oh, and I need it RIGHT NOW or I'm going to die. What????? You won't let me use that good sheet of plywood for an ill-conceived plan to build a climbing wall up the side of the tree?!?! You're so mean! What am I supposed to do? I have NOTHING ELSE TO DO!!!!! I'm so BORED!!!!

So yes, while I am incredibly grateful for my kids' creativity and ingenuity, they are driving me nuts with their endless demands for building materials and power tools. They need Home Depot to sponsor them, but until then....school is coming!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yesterday James caught a cricket. Jokingly, I told him to eat it. His eyes flashed with that 'I'm actually contemplating it' look and I was surprised, since is the self-professed 'mosty gaggy-est Groves child' when it comes to being squeamish. Being the good mother that I am, I offered him a quarter to eat it. He held it up in the air for a moment, and I realized if he actually ate it that I should probably give him a dollar or something, maybe spare him from future therapy for me paying him low ball prices to eat disgusting bugs.  (ha!!) Still, I didn't think he would eat it. He ripped it in half and scrutinized its guts, hanging out for the world to see. At this point, I was cringing like no other at the thought of my baby eating a cricket, but I also knew that lots of people eat crickets and even find them tasty. And I still didn't think he would do it. I am pretty sure you know where this is headed: he ate the cricket. First, he ate the bottom half. And he chewed it. I repeat, he CHEWED it up. Now if I were eating a cricket, I would swallow it whole and be done with it but that's just me. After he finished chomping away, he looked again at the gooey, even more disgusting half of the cricket, threw it in his mouth and chewed it up. There was some gagging, and difficulty swallowing but he ate it and kept it down. Holy moley! And eww! He reports that it was very crunchy, not bad, and its guts were gooey. Later that day, we were having vegetable chowder for dinner, which we eat frequently and James loves. He somehow bumped his bowl and spilled some on the table. He took one look at it, jumped up and ran from the table shrieking pathetically saying 'Its gross! It looks like throw up! I can't eat it anymore! I can't clean it up!' At this point I non-sympathetically reminded him that for the love of Pete, he had eaten a CRICKET that morning and why was he crying over spilled soup. He repeated his tirade and Katie (also non-sympathetically and very sarcastically) said "James, you ate the crickets BUTT." She's a quick thinker, that one.

In other news, after watching an episode of Cupcake Wars, the kids decided they all wanted to make cupcakes...which we did. If you don't have children, let me tell you that baking with children is not a smooth operation nor is it particularly enjoyable per se. But life skillz, man. So we made ye olde cupcakes, let them cool, mixed up the frosting (everyone had their own job) and frosted them. Tyler was in charge of setting up the sprinkle station, which was a bad move. After making cupcakes with kids, I had snuck away to take a much deserved 5 minute break and didn't scrutinize his choices. When I came back, I went to sprinkle my cupcake and was puzzled by the sprinkles he had chosen. I didn't remember buying them, and they didn't look right. And indeed they weren't. They had sprinkled the cupcakes in a combination of blaze orange sprinkles and .......poppy seeds! haha

Friday, July 03, 2015

Farmer's Market

 Last Saturday I took the show on the road and did my first Farmer's Market. I had a lot of fun designing my booth, and I imagine if I continue doing shows I will keep tweaking my display...I already have tons of ideas! :)
 The day threatened rain, and it wasn't super busy but I still sold several items including one of my favorite little dresses! It was also good to speak with other vendors to get ideas and information.
The rain held off til I got everything in the car which was a relief! My lovely parents survived watching the children which made this all possible...thanks Mom and Dad!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Hey, you, is anybody out there???

I had a few funny tidbits that I knew I needed to put up on the dusty olde blog. In no particular order:

Tyler just asked me 'What is that gorgeous smell?' This kid notices smells like nobody's business. Yesterday, he came in and saw the banner I had been sewing for my shop. He said 'That's beautiful, Mom. If I had money I would buy it.' I said, 'Oh, Tyler that is so sweet.' Then he said, 'Well, I don't really want to buy it, I just said that to make you happy.'

Earlier this week, we went to the thrift store. We were cruising through the housewares department with James trailing along behind. I heard him mumble something about 'what is this, oh, it comes off' but I kind tuned him out because shopping with three kids and all. Next thing you know, he comes up to me and says 'I didn't know there was something in it, and it smells terrible.' One whiff and I flashed back to the retirement home. It was the overbearing smell of old man cologne. Ugggggggghh!!! I asked him what he had gotten himself into and he showed me a ceramic pistol. It was an old Avon bottle, still full of cologne the same age as me. From the smell of it, I reckon he splashed himself generously and we carried on for the remainder of the trip holding our noses and teasing 'Grandpa' for his cologne.

And in other news, we had the awesome opportunity to go and visit Grandma last week. The kids and I flew down with my parents and got to see Grandma, along with Aunts and an Uncle the kids had yet to meet. It was lots of fun! One thing we did a lot of was gecko hunting. Here are the statistics for gecko hunting: out of every 47 geckos you look at, 45 of them will run away instantly. The remaining two will taunt you with their googly side eye and smirk as you painstakingly edge closer. When you are near enough to strike, they hightail it for the nearest bush. You lunge, and 9 times out of 10, all you come up with is a handful of mulch. Statistically, it is possible to catch 1 out of every 74 geckos, roughly. I am happy to say I caught about 10 geckos, 4 tree frogs and a giant moth while there. Also, this happened:

Tyler and I were gecko hunting. Every day we were in Florida it was about 100 degrees with high humidity. It was like someone turned the thermostat up to the "Hades" setting and called it a day. And for that I say, thank God for air conditioning! So imagine gecko hunting in that kind of heat, missing 9 out of 10 geckos with a boy who is getting increasingly frustrated with not catching any geckos. The game becomes a high stakes game of catch-the-gecko-before-heat-stroke-sets-in. Not gonna lie. I was beseeching the Almightly God, begging Him to please, please, please let us catch a gecko so we can go back in the air conditioning! It was at once such point that we made a last ditch effort to roust out an unsuspecting gecko. There is a little alcove area in the community center building that has a few palm trees and some grasses. Tyler spotted a gecko and was hot on its tail. I stood perfectly still so as not to disturb the gecko and waited. All of a sudden, there was a crash in the ornamental grass near my feet. I knew that was not a gecko, but what? I leaned over, quietly, to peer into the grass. I couldn't see it. I stared intently, quietly, still hoping that a miracle would happen and we would go home with a gecko. Lo and behold, a hefty bull frog lunged out of the grass and hit my leg. I screamed. It jumped. Tyler squealed, and thus ensued the most ridiculous game of keep-the-frog-from-going-back-in-the-grass while Tyler chased it around. I hopped around doing a jig while Tyler chased the frog around the alcove. The frog was terrified, and rightly so as he had a 5 year old 'with too much love to share' chasing him. (that phrase courtesy of Uncle Ron) Tyler finally, triumphantly caught the frog and held it high. It was at that point that I turned to see two residents looking out the window of the pool at us. I should have taken a bow or something, but instead, the entertainment committee packed up the bull frog and left. I do believe the bull frog survived the ordeal, but probably with more than a touch of PTSD.

And last but not least in this brain dump of a post, it has long been on my list to see an armadillo. I looked and looked last time I was there, but no dice. This time, same thing. Looked and looked, but no armadillo. On the way back to the airport, I saw a dead one on the road. It was kind of disappointing and I was wondering aloud if I could actually count it since it was dead and James, from the back seat, declares "Mom, it counts. You never said if you wanted to see a LIVE armadillo. You just said you wanted to see one." He has a point, but I am still routing for seeing a live one someday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Hellllllo

This blog has become a regular snooze-fest of non-existence. I have been super busy with life and Etsy. They don't tell you that selling stuff means you actually have to market stuff which means you have to spend time not actually making stuff while doing things that do not come naturally to you all while you wish you could just be sewing. Did that make any sense? Probably not. The short answer is that my brain isn't business oriented but I am learning. Slowly.

Anyhow...moving along. Besides Etsy, the kids have been busy with school and I am busy helping them with their mountains of homework each night. I am seriously ready to write a big ol' "I'M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE" note to their teachers. Enough already. That and getting three kids to do their homework when they just want to play outside or do anything but is getting rather cumbersome. James has his Wax Museum coming up and is excited about that! He has been reading numerous books about Lewis and Clark since he began reading. In fact, his very first solo-read chapter book was about Lewis and Clark's Expedition, which is naturally the reading material of choice for a first grader who just learned to read. Fast forward a few years and his subject matter of choice is still the same. That is why he chose to be Merriweather Lewis for the Wax Museum. I am so excited to see him. He gave me his speech last night and I realized that he already has more speaking skills than me. Eek! He's gonna be good.

In other news, Tyler came home recently and informed me that Mrs. Stinkybitch had told him bla, bla, bla. I don't even remember what she said, because I was hung up on 'What did you just say?!' "Mrs. Stinkybitch" he reiterated. I had to then clarify that her name is, in fact, Mrs. Stankavich, without letting on that he was saying a bad word. Because if you have kids, you know that there is nothing dumber than saying 'that's a bad word!' when they don't know what they are saying. Because guess what? Now they do, and they are going to say it 97 times.

In other, other news, I seem to have gotten a rooster in this year's batch of chicks. He is the prettiest of them all and I don't want to get rid of him. Right now, he can only manage to croak out a few little half-baked crows. You wouldn't even know if you didn't know what you were listening for. When he gets a little louder, he will have to go. I have someone who may be interested and has a farm, so we will see. Otherwise....well.....

And one last chicken-related story. At night I go out and lock the chickens up. I check the coop for skunks and possums because they seem to squeeze through the fence every now and then just to give me and the chickens a heart attack. I am getting pretty good at skunk show-downs and getting them out of the coop but the possums.....well, they still unnerve me. Anyway, I used to have a big flashlight but it broke and so I have been using my cell phone flashlight. Which is great if you don't need to see more than 3 feet ahead of you. I was fumbling around trying to hold my phone, count hens and grab the eggs when I must have bumped something on my phone. All of a sudden, and mind you this was 10:30 at night and pitch black, my phone started blasting Rihanna really loud. I almost died of fright. Then I realized what happened and shut if off before the chickens mutinied. I feel that there is some sort of cosmic conspiracy of some sort that tortures me with Rihanna. I am NOT A FAN, and yet Pandora chooses to play her music on my account at random times. Hey! You like Johnny Cash? Well then, you'll like Rihanna! Kids Folk Music? Yep, Rihanna's your girl. The fact that my phone decided to play Rihanna also was just too ridiculous. So there you have it, a very random update from the homestead.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Tyler may be in Kindergarten. He may not be able to say his "R" and "W" sounds, but this kid has a vocabulary that boggles my mind. Here are some of his more recent statements:

  • This parking lot is treacherous!
  • (after asking him to tell Chappy which word he used to describe the parking lot) I don't remember. Did I say it was despicable? 
  • Mom, the bathtub synthesizes cold water into hot water.
  • Let me show you what I did with my Legos. I built it so that structurally it is strong.
  • The other kids at school did not do it correctly.
  • Mom, that is not correct.
  • I can't conduct my experiment like that!
  • Water from the ocean evaporates and goes up into the sky, and the clouds are made of stuffing and it collects water and when it gets full it rains.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Helllllllo

Well. First off, we're still alive. Now that we've got that out of the way, I shall proceed with random updates.

 Easter was fun! Easter egg hunts never get old. The older they get, the harder I get to hide the eggs which is fun.
 Following age old tradition, they each get two colors of eggs to search for so that there is no squabling.
 Tyler's hair is getting long-ish and what I like to call 'baby bird' hair and I love all the little unruly tufts sticking out. :) 
 This girl and her faces. She's a nut. A very funny nut.
 I repeat: a nut!
 Look how tall the James man is getting!! He's up past my chin now and I'm not exactly short.
Despite my best efforts to convince him otherwise, he insists on continuing to grow like a weed!

In other news, I have been putting all my time into a) keeping the kids alive (SUCCESS!) and b)keeping myself alive, and c) working on my Etsy shop. Business is picking up and I have gotten enough custom orders recently that I have been very busy sewing! It is a nice outlet for me and I am really having fun with it.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Overhead In The Backseat

James: Mom, I just taught Tyler about friction!
Tyler: Hey, we learned about that in school too. Friction, and non-friction!

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Random Updates

It seems I haven't been on the ball at all with ye olde blog. Things haven't exactly been fabulous and my life reads as a big long soap opera. To add to the fun, last week James fell from the recliner part of the couch, hit his face just right and broke his two front (adult) teeth. I could see the nerves in there which is always a bad sign. I was told he was going to have to have two root canals which was not happy news, and I took him in Tuesday for what I thought would be two root canals. I could have hugged the dentist when he said he thought he could avoid doing root canals and seal the teeth instead. He was able to seal the broken ends to protect the roots, thereby saving the 'life' of the teeth. If that goes well, in a month James can get new bonding done which will hopefully hold him over til he is older. As my sister said "those kids don't do anything half way".

In other news, we are on what seems to be the millionth ice storm of the winter. Just when I optimistically chipped away the 2-3 inches of solid ice on my back patio, it storms again! Someday, I would like to see green grass and dirt that isn't frozen. Today, Tyler was upset and lamented that NOTHING was going to make him better except  'ice cream sundaes in the summer' and I had to agree with him there.

And in other, other news, James came to me today and told me "I feel warm and fuzzy, like a manatee is brushing my teeth". I would go ahead and try to explain this, but I got nothing.

And lastly (sorry, this isn't exactly the most scintillating post in the world) I decided today to teach James a new word: rotund. It is such a great word and I don't believe I get to use it often enough. Well, after teaching James the word he looked at me and said 'so your butt is rotund?' Um, yeah, forget I ever taught you that word, kid!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Cold, Cold and More Cold

It is pretty darn chilly here. It got down to something like 1 degree overnight with a 'real feel' of minus 15. I have had a sheet of ice outside the coop door for month now. It just isn't warming up and this week is no exception. Brrr! Every time I think about going out the door, I reconsider and think better of it and stay in. Who needs milk? Not us! Taking out the trash? Pshaw! The chickens are not amused and mill around their little chicken hatch giving all the snow a dirty look. The kids want to go out, but when they do it doesn't last but a few short minutes. And you know what is more annoying that spending 15 minutes getting 3 kids dressed in snow gear? When said kids spend exactly 2 minutes outside before coming in, stripping off their snowy gear onto the floor and saying 'it's too cold!'. C'mon, people! According to my mathematics, if I spend 15 minutes getting you ready, you should spend at least 15 minutes outside. Sounds fair, right?

In other frigid news, I was able to go on a fun photo-taking adventure with a friend, except I forgot my memory card and thus took pictures with my phone instead. What I failed to take into consideration was that the area we went to is accessed by a pretty steep hill. The hill happened to be covered in solid ice. My friend had never been to this part of the park and she was in for an adventure. Fortunately we were able to take the long way around and neither of us broke anything. It really was gorgeous in the snow, even if we did have to walk down there like two elderly ladies who broke out a nursing home. Here are a few pictures from the walk:








Thursday, February 12, 2015

Don't Hate, Educate! Also Known As A Public Service Announcement About Chickens

After having this conversation no less than 3 times in the last week and a half, I have decided to put a fascinating post up about chickens and egg laying. It will be every bit as interesting as it sounds. So, first things first.
  • Chickens, they don't lay eggs forever. After the two year mark it drops significantly and depending on the chicken they may lay anywhere from 2-4 eggs a week, or none if they feel so inclined. They will continue to hang around, I am told, for upwards of 5-7 years. I can't confirm this because I don't have the space to run a chicken retirement facility. 
  • They also stop laying if they are broody or molting. Broody means they sit on a nest hoping to hatch a clutch of eggs. Since we don't have a rooster, there is no chance of those eggs every hatching. Molting means you go to check for eggs one day and it looks every bit like a chicken exploded in the coop, but without the guts. Just feathers everywhere. And they go around half-nekkid waiting for their feathers to come back in. At this point, they put all the protein they can get toward the production of their fancy new down jacket instead of laying eggs.
  • In addition to all that, eggs are a seasonal product. Fo' real, people. Chickens need light to lay eggs,and when the days get shorter the egg supply decreases or stops altogether. I recently had one hen come out of retirement to lay us blue eggs again. She hadn't laid an egg in about 4 months. First, she molted. Then, the days were short and somewhere in her little bird brain, she went on a sunny beach vacation where no one is expected to do silly things like lay eggs.
  • Chickens don't lay eggs until they are about 5 months old, at which point they begin gearing up to lay approximately 5-6 eggs a week. At first, they are just getting used to the whole thing and they lay tiny 'pullet' eggs. Sometimes they even lay rubber eggs which are pretty gnarly and not in a good way. Gradually the eggs get bigger and as they work the kinks out, you might be graced with a double yolker. If they get really crazy, they might lay an egg so big it has stretch marks. It basically looks like they bought the add-on package and stretched it right in the middle. Finally they get into the groove and lay almost an egg a day.
  • Fresh eggs do not need to be refrigerated. When a chicken lays an egg, it is covered in 'bloom' which protects the porous surface of the egg from absorbing bacteria or spoiling. Factory eggs are washed, bleached and then lightly coated in mineral oil to replace the bloom. (Store bought eggs I would not trust outside of the fridge) Fresh, unwashed eggs can keep. I usually refrigerate mine because what else am I going to do with the egg drawer and it keeps them from getting broken, but I have also left them on the counter many times and NEWS FLASH! I didn't die. Word on the street is that in Europe they don't refrigerate eggs even in the store. 
So there you have it! I could add a whole other section on roosters, hens and the blasted chicken sweaters everyone thinks I should make, but I will spare you. If your eyes aren't bleeding by now, I hope you learned something and can bust out your new found knowledge on an unsuspecting-but-soon-to-be-very-impressed friend.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Drawing Again!

I have been doing a few sketches lately. I forgot how fun and relaxing it is to draw. I have a painting idea in my head which involves a jackalope, thus the reason I was drawing jack rabbits. :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Grandma's Stories

At Christmas time, my Mom's brother sent a copy of some writings they found of my Grandma's. This one was written on the back of an envelope. She is the Katie in the story. I will post some of her stories here and there because I think they are so interesting!

Papa had gone to go somewhere and Mama was home alone with Katie their only one so far.  Mama was baking bread. She took the bread out of the oven and set the loaves on the table, turned back to the stove when she heard a noise behind her. She turned back to the table. Just like that as Indians are they walked into Mama’s kitchen. There they stood. Mama did not scream. She took the knife and cut off big pieces of bread and gave it to the Indians. And they took the bread and said ug and went out. But Papa was getting to feel uneasy about the Indians. Somebody was killing deer and taking the head, hide and inside of the deer and leaving it on somebody’s property. And when the Indians found this he said *** people who owned the fields had shot the deer. The Indian said the deer was his just for him. So there were ugly feelings between the white people and the Indians. So Papa and Mama said they would go back to Wotam One Co. (not sure I am reading that right) Minnesota and Grandma and Grandpa Harder and his on their family farm. So they got ready. By now they had a white haired baby boy. Two children Pete and Katie.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Tell Us Another!!


Today I told the kids a few stories of my childhood shenanigans and they loved it. Tell us another, they begged. I remembered some pretty funny ones and figured I should write a few of them down every now and then for posterity. So, without further ado, I present to you Cheyney Shenanigans, Part 1 of ??

When we lived in California, we had a very unconventional but convenient-for-3-kids bathroom set-up. The bathroom was separated into three areas: a room with a toilet and a small sink, a room with only a shower, and a 'dressing area' type space with a double sink. All of it was carpeted, which is weird. Hey, it was a parsonage so they probably got the carpet free from somebody's Uncle Bill's discount carpet shack. But I digress. The bathroom arrangement allowed the three of us to peacefully coexist. It also allowed for some spectacular pranks. For example, my brother fancied himself a singer and would belt it out in the shower. However, in reality he put the 'wail' into Bob Marley's Wailers and not in a good way. This was back in the days of ye olde tape recorder, and I would silently lay outside the shower door and record him singing for blackmail purposes. Another prank we would do to each other was to very stealthily slide the person's clothes out from under the door. That way, they got out of the shower only to find they had no clothes to put on! My kids thought this was hysterical of course and wanted to know who was running around nekkid. And last but not least, I was known for taking *somewhat* lengthy showers. This distinction is strictly in the eye of the beholder because I saw nothing wrong with them whatsoever. Apparently my Dad thought differently and if I exceeded the 20 minute mark he would shut the hot water off.

So there you have it! A few silly stories from my childhood. :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cooking and Christmas

Today we woke up to lots of rain and ice. Church was cancelled and we stayed put. After spending the week watching episodes of Chopped and Cupcake Wars with Katie, baking seemed like the right thing to do on a cold, dreary day. It started out making cupcakes with Katie, but I thought it would be fun (and crazy) to do a baking project with each kid. So...cupcakes with Katie, Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars with Tyler, and Chocolate Chip and Sprinkle Cookies with James, then cupcake frosting and cornbread with Katie. At some point in that mess I threw some Enchilada Soup in the crockpot. It was fun. It was tiring. And I have a bunch of stuff to put in my freeze. And a sink full of dishes. But three kids were happy and filled with sprinkles and mommy-time so I can take care of the rest later.

Now, on with the rest of the Christmas pictures! In very random order!

 I think this was when he opened his Yoda Lego alarm clock. He was so excited!
 Baby Squatch liked his new learning pad
 The kids with Grandma!
 She is, after all, the most spectacular grandma EVER
 Have you ever tried to get three children to a)look at the camera b)at the same time and c)look like they are not dying/killing each other/constipated? Yeah, it's not easy.
 But the memories!
 Oh, the memories.
 We got to play games with Grandma which is always fun, and James and Katie have come to love Uno!!!
 We play it almost every night now. I love it!
 Back to Christmas morning and my randomly ordered pictures. This is for sure the Yoda alarm clock. He loves it.
And all three of my beans, unwrapping. I didn't take too many pictures because I was busy enjoying the moment. :)