Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ah, Kiddo, you don't know the half of it

the other day, as I was neatening the library baskets,
Lily leaned over and whispered,
"I think being a Mom seems kinda hard.
I mean, it might be the greatest job and all, but it looks like a lot of work."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

1,111 and more

This is my one thousand, one hundred eleventh post!
Don't worry ~ I'm not going to write 1,111 things ;-)
I just happened to notice and thought it was cool.
Our Papa comes home tonight!!!
He's been in Cozumel with his brother ~ but he's quick to point out,
it wasn't for vay-cation, it was for certifi-cation. ;-)
Yep ~ my man is now a certified scuba diver.
(Not sure exactly what he'll do with this certification ~ but he's got it!)
I imagine he was able to get in bit of vay-cationing, too.
Around 10 o'clock Friday morning,
I decided that I needed to clean up the shoe area by the front door,
which led to pulling out the couch and cleaning behind that,
which led to touching up the paint on the wall.
Which led to dusting (oh, the dust!) and sorting through the books, and neatening up the white shelves....
I sent my girlfriend a text around 7 that night, asking why it takes me so long to sort and clean ALL THE THINGS.

the whole time Tyler's been gone vacationing getting his diving certification,
I've been tearing up the house cleaning it.
And currently,
besides the boys' bedroom 
(which is cleaner and neater than it's ever been
 (but sadly still looks gross 
because - well, the whole house is gross..))
the rest of the house
 is in that 'this is a worse mess than when I started!" state.
But - there are no dust bunnies under my bed.

All of this (badly needed!) sorting and cleaning leaves me thinking about all the sayings
that encourage you to put off cleaning
and just enjoy your children
yada, yada, yada.
At some point ~ the cleaning has to happen!
And when you have lots of people - it needs to happen a lot.
Ton' graduates from Combat Training today
and then he's on to his job schools in 29 Palms.
It is looking like Kacy will be able to join him ~ yay!!!
I am hoping 
that if/when Jeremiah and Josiah remember all my (heat-induced) fits of the past few days ~ they also remember 
that their momma spent hours (hours!!) helping them clean up mess that she didn't have a bit of a hand in making.
I signed up to do a book sale this Friday with our homeschool group.
I waffled back and forth - I really don't feel like doing it,
but I do have a good-sized stack of books that the thought of just donating to the Salvation Army or Abilities makes me cringe. 
I waste spend a lot of money on books, and it'd be nice to get a little of that back.
(to buy more books... ;-)
We can sell other educational type things, too.
Since I'm already going to be there (ugh - not looking forward to it!) I really do need to have everything sorted through, so I can make it worth going...
Even though I sort through our crap a couple of times a year,
and feel like I am fairly ruthless when it comes to getting rid of stuff (and buying in the first place)
we can never be 'minimalist' people.
Large family + homeschooling + crafty + cooking from scratch
just does not = minimal.
It just doesn't.
Last night, after we went to the National Cemetary (which, of course, choked me up...) I took the kids to Goodys
(an expensive frozen yogurt place where you serve yourself from a variety of frozen yogurt and stale toppings dispensers)
Lexi just sorta had at it, without getting any help or guidance.
Her concoction was nasty
(she had more topping than yogurt)
so I wasn't a bit surprised when, after a few bites, she asked if she could get some more yogurt. Without any toppings.
(Pretty impressive that she recognized that that was the problem, I thought)

Tony called when we were on our way home (Tony called ~ yay!!!) and I was telling him about it.
"That sounds familiar," he said with a chuckle.

When he was little and we went for snow cones, he would always pick Ninja Turtle. Always.
And after a few bites, he'd want to trade me, because the ninja turtle snow cone was always nasty.
I would always trade him.

I didn't trade Lexi though.
(Her yogurt was even worse than Ton's ninja turtle snow cones)
I ran back in and bought her what I was eating.
I'm sure I could sit here much longer, recounting tales of our days,
but stuff has exploded all over the house,
and I need to get it put away,
'cause our Papa's coming home today :-)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


One evening last week,
I was washing up some dinner prep mess and saw the girls playing so sweetly. 
I stopped my cleaning and just watched.
One would climb the pole, while the other cheered her on,
then they'd hug,
and the other would have a turn climbing...

They have been less than kind to each other lately. often.
So it was especially nice to see them having so much fun loving each other.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

poultry update

Chester, the lame rooster, died a week or so ago.
Honestly, the poor thing was not living a good life, and more than once, I told Tyler I thought we'd be kind to put him out of his misery. 
But I didn't want to go killing chickens right after we'd been given them. Somehow that didn't seem very grateful, 
even though Gayle herself had admitted she should have let him die after the dog got 'im.

 Tuesday night, we only locked up 23 chickens, instead of 24.
Then, last night, while Tyler and I were out shopping, Brandon sent a text asking how many chickens we should have.
There were only 22.
Loss is part of life in the country,
and part of why we got baby chicks - to replenish the flock,
but this was getting ridiculous.
Both nights, we locked the coop, but left the gate open, in case the rogue hen returned.

I was in the kitchen around 2 this morning (why, is another story for another time...)
and thought I heard a chicken talking.
I decided it must be frogs.
I went on with my work, and heard it again.
I was pretty sure it wasn't frogs.
but it wasn't a nervous sound, more of a friendly chattering.
I hopped up, grabbed a flashlight (yay ~ I could find a flashlight - amazingly, right where it belonged!)
and went outside.
walking around in the light coming from the kitchen window, was a bedraggled hen.

I was so happy to see her!

She didn't want me to pick her up,
but she wasn't too keen to follow me either,
so I set down the flashlight and snatched her up anyways.
I picked up the light
and we walked through the mist to the chicken coop, me talking to her the whole way.


Here she is all dried out, and giving me an egg :-)  (and a stink-eye)

And here are the babies, already getting bigger!

red and black

The boys earned their red/black belts Saturday.
With Memorial Day right around the corner (which means they don't have to wear their uniform jacket until Labor Day) 
it was time for new TKD shirts.
(Apparently, I never took pictures of their brown ones. 
Which is too bad. 
I thought they looked like we bought them at Old Navy :-)

Once again,
Brandon and the boys designed their own shirts,
Bran fiddled with sizing, then printed off the designs onto bits of freezer paper taped to regular paper,
and I cut out the designs, then ironed the freezer paper to the shirt, and filled in the stencil with paint.
Josiah likes his fairly thin - 2 coats, with the 2nd coat applied before the first one dries thoroughly.
Jeremiah likes his thick - 3 coats, thoroughly dried in between,
and Brandon prefers 2 coats, thoroughly dried.
We had some leakage around a few of the letters, and on one of the guy's feet on Jeremiah's shirt.
Not sure what was up with that, but we're just going with it. 
It's not really noticeable at a normal distance anyways.

We ran out a few minutes before it was time to leave for TKD (Thanks for taking' em, Eva!!) to snap a few (blurry) shots.

They got silly....

I love my boys! And I love making them stuff they love!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Out of all my sister in laws, I always felt the most comfortable with Sunny.

She taught me to make Bulgogi (Korean grilled beef);
I think I'm the only one in the family (except prob'ly her kids and Kyle) who can make it.

She doted on our kids when we went to visit,
buying them exotic novelties and treats from the Korean store,
and she was the epitome of love to Tyler while he was growing up.

Several years ago, she made doilies. Dozens and dozens of delicate doilies, crocheted with string, and a teeny tiny hook.
She told me I could pick one out,
and was tickled that I had a hard time choosing.
At first she'd thought I was just being nice ~ but I really was amazed at her talent, and couldn't pick just one.
I went on enough that she told me I could take as many as I wanted.
So I did :-)
I still keep one on my dresser, all these years later.

Sunny died this morning.
She's been sick and in tremendous pain for years, but still, it was unexpected.

I'm glad she isn't in pain anymore, 
I'm sad for Tyler.
I'm sad for her husband.
And for her kids, and her kids' kids.

Goodbye, Sunny. 
I love you.

caught up (almost)

It's probably been at least six months since I noticed that the dryer was taking an awfully long time
to dry.
But I did not want to have to get a new dryer!

For the past 3 months, it's been kinda hit and miss on whether or not there would be heat.
And if there was heat - would it be normal, or super hot.
Or would the timer advance properly, or speed through the cycle.
Or would it even start at all.

Brandon and I have tried various things to fix it,
mostly spending hours trying to figure out the right combination of words,
so Google could tell us what to do.
Best we could figure, we had multiple issues going on.

Even so, I've managed to stay on top of the laundry for the most part.
Until the dryer pretty consistently didn't heat for days
(except for the 10 minutes that it did heat, and it was scary hot)
then I cleaned the girls' room
and wound up with four extra loads of laundry.
(which explains why we could never find anything for them to wear...)

I finally gave up the fight and admitted defeat, 
so last night,
 Tyler bought me a fancy new dryer.

GE 7 cu ft Electric Dryer (White)

So now, I am caught up on laundry again.

Except that Lex' peed on our sheets at naptime.
I'm out of laundry soap.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

adding to the flock

We went to Atwoods after TKD testing (the boys all have red/black belts now) to price fencing (we still need to enlarge the chicken run)
We didn't buy any fencing, but we did get
14 baby chicks!
Everyone is tickled, but especially Jeremiah and Momma.

I picked out 3 clearance priced straight run chicks (which means I may have picked 3 roosters...)
Tyler choose 3 clearance banded chicks (which means they should be hens)
Brandon didn't want to choose any
and the 4 younger kids
(I'm trying to quit calling them 'little kids' - 'cause they really aren't little anymore...)
each got to choose 2.
They all chose full priced mostly banded chicks.

This little one is Josiah's (he's leaning towards Oreo, but hasn't decided for sure on the name)

(Crap. I've completely forgotten what he named this one. Maybe Sweet Thing??)

This is one of Lily's ~ hers are both unnamed still, but she calls them all sorts of sweetness and tried to give them equal attention.

I had Jeremiah bring a cinder block into the little area Tyler blocked off for the chicks, so I'd have something to sit on. 
From it, I could watch the babies (inside) and the big ones (outside).
If all I ever had to do was watch chickens ~ I'd be a happy girl. I love to sit out with my chickens!

 Like Lily, Jeremiah got a yellow and a black chick (I forget the breeds)

And Lexi got a light yellow and a golden one.
She was afraid she wouldn't be able to tell which yellow was hers, 
so the gal helping us put a little line on her head with permanent marker.
Lex's little chick is a smartie ~ she was the first one to figure out how to use the waterer,
and for the next 20 minutes - that was the happening place.

Tyler had to work around us ~ tweaking things to get them just right.
(thanks, Love!)

I can't  help it ~ another 'looking out' shot

One of the ladies wandered in and laid an egg for us :-)
(these girls don't feel the need to announce their accomplishment; they just lay it and leave, nice and quiet like)

That egg was toasty!

Meanwhile, Lemon Drop fell asleep in Jeremiah's hands.

Lily found some rolly pollies for the chicks.
They liked 'em, but not as much as Josiah's chick enjoyed the little worm she tossed in.
(Speaking of ~ you know how chickens run around trying to keep the other chickens from getting whatever treasure they found? 
I always thought that was a learned behavior  - from one too many times of getting some yumminess stolen.
Nope ~ as soon as that chick had the worm in her mouth, she started running in circles. 
None of the other chicks tried to take it from her - or even noticed she had anything special. 
It would appear that that is just the way God wired chickens.)

I best git to bed ~ I've got to get up extra early to check on baby chicks

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Jeremiah's nature photography

with the old point and shoot.
"Because it was just too nice to not go out and take pictures."

The boy does love to be outside!!