Friday, April 30, 2010


Having kids is expensive. There are always things that need to be bought, and there are always things that are not necessities of life, but could be considered necessities of childhood. Bikes fall into that latter category. But, for some reason,we have been quite fortunate in our aquisition of bikes to not have had to spend a lot of money. When Bubba came to the age when he needed a bike, our neighbor came over with a very nice boys bike. She had been given that very nice bike from another neighbor, but her daughter really wanted a girls bike and they had been given a nice girls bike, so would we want this boys bike? Of course we would. Then, a little while back at a family dinner one of Hubby's brothers mentioned that he had a little girls bike in his garage. Cousin had grown out of it and we could have it if we wanted it. Of course we wanted it! So now, all that was left was a bike for Duh-duh. Now, we're not against actually going out and buying a bike, but we didn't want to buy an expensive, but small bike and then have to purchase another bike for him when he gets older. So, we went to Walmart (wasn't the least bit impressed) and Target (not terribly impressed either), looked at yard sales... came up with nothing. Until last night. Hubby went to church to drop of some items for the yard sale and said, "I found an 18" bike there, they want $25 for it." So, he called the folks that were in charge of the yardsale and of course we could buy it early. So, this morning he had to go down to church anyhow and fix a sprinkler, so he picked it up.
So now we are a fully biked out family!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making cookies with Dad!

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm groggily at the computer playin' Minesweeper listening to the most interesting conversation. It's taking place with Daddy and the three munchkins making cookies. Hubby loves making cookies and he makes good ones, too, although they're usually not according to any one recipe. He kind of makes up his own recipes and now he's teaching the kids. From cracking the eggs to grinding up the oatmeal to make oat flour, they are all working together to make those cookies.
Snippets of conversation:
"Notice how my fingers are not under the sharp part (of the knife). I do that because I want to keep all of my fingers."
"OK, you guys are not going to fight here. If you want to fight, you can go out into the backyard and fight! Bubba, keep your fingers out of there."
"Are those short pants, Duh-duh or are those boxer shorts?" "Boxer shorts? What are boxer shorts?" "Boxer shorts are underwear.!" "Underwear????" Loads of giggles ensue.

Hubby: "Honey, what are you doing with those pictures you took?"

Me: "I'm blogging."

Hubby: "That's what I thought!"

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Volcanic Action Here at Home...

A long long time ago in a land far away (the Aegean Sea to be exact) a group of people called the Minoans lived a peaceful (relatively for that time in history) existence on the island of Crete. They were rather civilized and quite happy. That is... until a volcano on the nearby island of Thera exploded, covering Crete with ash and dust, then collapsing in on itself and sinking beneath the surface of the ocean, never to be seen again. Anyhow, the Minoans weren't able to maintain their civilization because ash and dust aren't the greatest for farming and other life sustaining activities. So, some of the Minoans left for greener pastures, so to speak, while others remained and eaked out a meager existence. Their civilization collapsed. Then, the Myceaneans came down from mainland Greece and conquered what was left of the Minoan civilization and were able to live quite well on Crete, because by then, the ash and dust had gone away and the island was hospitable to life again. And then the barbaraic Sea People, aka the Philistines came from the sea and the Dorians came from the north and took over the Myceaneans and they were done for, but we don't really care about that right now. Right now, we're talking volcanoes, and in honor of the volcano of Thera, we did a little project in our school and made a volcano out of salt and flour clay and then did the old baking soda/vinegar experiment and let it erupt.

Building the volcano. We put a small jelly jar in the center to hold the baking soda and vinegar when it was time for erruption!
Then we painted the whole thing.

And now it's time for the erruption. I put some food coloring in it to make colored lava, but it didn't work all that well. And we didn't have red coloring, so it was yellow lava.

And there you have it. Volcanic action at its finest.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Children need to play outside, part 2!

Well, the kids were outside all afternoon. So, along late afternoon I was getting dinner started and my sister-in-law calls. So, I'm cookin' and chattin' and all of the sudden I'm thinking, "hmm, maybe I should check on the kids!" A minute after that thought crosses my mind the doorbell rings. It's my neighbor. She says, "Just wanted to let you know your children are playing in the garbage cans. They've tipped them over and are hiding inside them and the cans are half way in the street. I'm just afraid a car is going to come and run into them." Yikes! Should have listened to that nagging voice when it came into my mind.

Children need to play outside!

Boy, am I just getting on that one! I mean, I always knew kids needed to play outside, but Sunday the weather wasn't great, Monday it was horrible - poured and poured and thundered and hailed. It was a regular deluge. Yesterday, it was just muddy. I'm sorry, I know mud is good for children, but... I just couldn't bring myself to clean them up. So by the end of yesterday, the poor children had had enough of me and I of them. It doesn't help that my oldest boy has so much energy, if you could find a way to hook electrodes to him he could power a small city. It's been a rough week.
So, today... the sun is out, the birds are singing and they are outside playing. Of course, there is the requisite hitting with balls, chasing, skinned ankles, crying, whining and otherwise obnoxious behaviour, but by and large, they are all outside enjoying themselves and I have cleaned the bathroom, dusted and vacuumed my bedroom and did a load of laundry. I love the sun! I don't think we'll be moving to Washington State anytime soon!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I Told Him I Couldn't Do It!

For the longest time Hubby has been bugging me about cutting his hair. "It's easy," he'd say! "Just put thus and such attachment on and do the sides, and then put the next size up and do the middle, and then the top. See, there's instructions and everything." I kept refusing, because I knew I'd screw it up. I stopped cutting Duh-duh's hair because it started looking like his mother was cutting his hair, and there was no way I was going to cut Hubby's hair. But, he talked me into it. It was a moment of weakness on my part. Well.... he'll never do that again! See what I did to him? It was going all right to begin with. It wasn't great, but it was all right. And then, I got to the part with the ear attachment. And all of the sudden... there was a big hole. I screamed and almost dropped the clippers. Hubby ran to the bathroom and looked. He wasn't upset, actually. I was. I was laughing and crying at the same time.
So, I made him make an appointment with his barber for the next day and the barber fixed it. It's really really short now. Everyone comments on his new haircut and he always says, "It's my second one in two days!" I think everyone understands!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The "Overlap Time"

Saturday we finally put in our garden. We're a little late this year, but with our allergies being so bad, I have not set foot out of doors unless it was absolutely necessary. Well, the farmer at the end of the block finally plowed under his fiddleneck, so we are doing much better, and I decided I'd better get crackin' at that garden.

However, when you're a year-round gardener like I am, "puttin' in the garden" isn't all that easy. For one thing, the things I planted in the fall are just starting to mature and we're just harvesting it all. Observe that tasty fennel right there. I harvested a little last week, but it's not quite big enough.

And these peas. Yummy! We've been eating on these for a couple weeks now. It's been tough to save them from the snails, but we look forward to these all year!
And then, there's the lettuce. Salads every night with this tasty leaf.
So, as you can see, there's not a lot of room to put in the new stuff. But, we did manage to plant these little guys... I was only able to find one of the varieties I like to plant, Celebrity, so I'll go back this week and see if they have the Early Girls. I also planted some green bean seeds and another experiment, climbing Japanese cucumbers on the inside of the trellis. I figure, by the time the seeds sprout and start climbing, the peas will be done. I planted peppers and canteloupe between the rows of existing crops, so when I pull out the fennel and leeks, the place where they were growing will become my new paths. It was all hard to figure out, but we managed to get most of it in this past weekend.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's Quiet

Happy Easter. We've had a busy couple of days. We had Easter egg hunts and church services and family gatherings.

We've found eggs in all kinds of places filled with all kinds of goodies. And, by the way, Hubby and I have decided to forget teaching our children moderation and all that sort of thing that we have been attempting to do over the past several years with Halloween candy and Valentine's candy and Easter candy. That only leads to... quarreling and stealing and battles we don't want to fight. Now, our motto is... Eat it all at once. Have a tummy ache. Be done with it!
And now... after it's all been celebrated, gathered up and eaten....

It is quiet on a Monday afternoon. Children are sleeping. Mommy is blogging. And all is right with the world!