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. :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sick, Sick and More Sick

Tyler is recovering nicely from his concussion although I cringe every time he wrestles with James or goes running across the living room at 90 mph. Just when I thought I was getting ahead, BOOM! Last Saturday night Katie woke up sick, with varying symptoms which made for a confusing Dr. Mom diagnosis. Was it strep? Stomach Virus? The Black Plague? She basically laid on the couch for days without eating and only drinking as I coaxed her every 15 minutes. I was pretty sure it was strep and carried her poor little sick self to the Fast Clinic. First mistake. The sign says: Fast Care without the wait. Hahahaaaaaaaaaaaa. We waited, and waited, and waited some more. After an hour, I finally asked how long it would be before we would get in. (Katie was in my lap, crying and telling me how she just wanted to go home and lay down) We were told another 30 minutes. What?! It was an hour and half before we got in. At that point, the nurse questioned why I would think she had strep, and said they don't treat stomach issues. It was at this point that I had to reign in my Mama Bear instincts and told her politely that HER THROAT HURTS HER REALLY BAD and I want to have her checked. Oh, she said, we will check. She then looked in Katie's mouth and gasped "OH!! DOES THAT HURT?!" Um, yes, I believe that is what we just discussed. She did the swab and it came back negative. What?! We were both surprised and then, in an act that I can only surmise was an act of CYA, she diagnosed Katie with an ear infection and sent us off with the antibiotic. I will spare you the gory details of how long we had to wait at the pharmacy but needless to say I came home on my last nerve. I put her on the antibiotic, and the next day she was only a tiny bit better. Not what I was expecting. Later that morning, she came down with a rash all over which I thought was the antibiotic but turns out the STREP was so bad she got a strep rash. That required another visit to the regular doctor who diagnosed it immediately by looking at her throat and gasping 'That must be so painful!' It was really bad. Turns out the dose of antibiotics for an ear infection is lower than for strep, so she increased the dose and sent us home. Getting Katie to take the medicine is like trying to coax a wild monkey to wear a top hat and sing 'Oh, Susanna'. Nearly impossible. But! It is working! After missing 4 days of school, she was back today and happy to be in school.

If you made it to the end, yay! I think this post might cure your insomnia, anyway. I will post the rest of my Christmas pictures, Lord willing and the kids stay healthy. Maybe then I can get caught up after having them home for Christmas too. A girl can dream, right? :)

Wednesday, January 07, 2015


So life is crazy and on Sunday our regularly scheduled programming was interrupted by....Tyler getting a concussion. At church. When the kids were littler I remember asking the pediatrician how I would know if one of my kids had a concussion. They have all taken their fair share of falls and I was worried I would somehow miss it. The pediatricians answer? Oh, you'll know. Well, guess what? You'll know. And it'll scare the bejeebers out of you.

We ended up spending 4 1/2 hours in the ER, waiting for Tyler to perk up. He slept, threw up, slept, and slept some more. They did a CAT scan to make sure everything was alright. Thankfully, it was!! After about three hours he started to get a little spark, and slowly it came back. I knew he was feeling better when he kept whining that he was hungry. The doctor brought him some crackers, which he ate in no time. He also got pretzels, which he patiently gnawed into the letters 'E' and 'R' to commemorate his visit. That was encouraging because it meant he was firing on all his mental cylinders. When he got a little more energy, he amused himself by watching his stats on the machine. I told him that his O2 levels were supposed to be 100, and so he would breath really fast to try to get the line to move. It was pretty funny! He wasn't having problems with this to begin with, but when I told him 'You're at 100, that's good!' he said 'Yeah! When the doctor comes in to see me he'll think I'm awesome.' Crazy kid! After the doctor fed him, he wanted more to eat. You see, Tyler is like a squirrel. For real. He's like the cute, fat and fluffy squirrel you see at the park. It stands there longingly staring at your picnic lunch. You think it is so cute, and you cave and throw it a few pieces of popcorn. The squirrel devours the popcorn and looks cute doing it, so you give it a little more. In no time flat, the adorable squirrel turns into a demanding tyrant who is begging for the last of your sandwich and leaves you questioning why you ever fed it to begin with. That's Tyler. He can sniff out 'special snacks'. I could offer him a snack, he would say no, but he hears you have goldfish crackers and its all over. In this case, who can resist a sad little concussed boy who just wants another snack. And in his defense he was truly hungry. He managed to down a Popsicle before we left. We had to wait until he could walk out on his own, and he did, in his hospital gown and wrapped in my coat with the promise of French 'fwies' on the way home. Which he also devoured.

And now, who knows where I can order a bubble wrap suit to go with the bike helmet I'm thinking he should wear til he's 27?