Thursday, July 29, 2010

1. Our garden is finally producing in abundance, despite our late planting and hassling comments from the husbands...

2. The actual picking, washing, cutting, and packaging part of gardening is my least favorite. I'd rather pull weeds.

3. I love storms, but lately I lay in bed planning our evacuation plan in case I start hearing our roof being torn off...I almost want to make our whole family sleep in the basement at the sound of one rain drop.

4. Scanning approximately 1000 pages of home school books nearly drives you mad.

5. Starting home school in August really takes some mental preparation and lying to one's self.

6. Starting home school for 2 1/2 kids proves how neurotically organized I like to be and how much I like spreadsheets and three ring binders perfectly labeled. I'm sure there's a name for it.

7. I like having company over that will love me even though my house is disgustingly dirty.

8. Having clean floors is better than cheesecake.

9. Washing my floors is my least favorite cleaning chore.

10. The cabin is my favorite place to be and I feel ridiculously blessed because of it.

11. It's sad that a 1st grade History Lesson will teach me just as much as the kids. Leif Erickson?? Who's that??

12. The trampoline installation was a success and provides hours of fun for everyone!

13. The best sound in the world is to hear my kids laughing and giggling with daddy.

14. An equally great sound is absolute silence because my whole family is outside and I'm inside.

15. A husband who does the dishes and sweeps my floor makes my skirt fly up.

16. I have a friend whose skirt actually flew up one day in a public place with a big audience. It reminds me that things could always be worse.

17. I'm going to end my list on number 17. It goes against everything I believe in about the world being in balance but I'm going to use it as a character building exercise.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My mom and dad were out of town for the weekend. That means we are the dog sitters for dear Sugar. I am not a dog lover...but my kids are so Sugar is in good hands. Her neck would have been in my hands at a later point in the weekend but that's a whole nother story.

So of course, being the cool dog sitters that we are, we invited Sugar's best friend Zeke over. And he made quite the entrance.
Deb and RW have a motorcycle. And how do you take a dog with you on a motorcycle? In a Baby Bjorn of course!!!
And no, Zeke is not Jewish. It's a motorcycle helmet and Doggles. Safety first!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It was my birthday yesterday and my mom was sure to make it a special day for me. She took my kids the night before my birthday and the morning of to work on some special things. They came running up to the door cards in hand and were so excited about them. They were like swarming bees telling me everything about each of of their cards and how they decorated it!

A card from my mom...isn't she crafty? It was handmade and hand written, very special.

A card from Ava, or more like a picture that she put in the card. It says lots about me being the best mom in the world EVER! It's hard to argue with a 5 year old:) And on the bottom, it's our family. Heads and legs. Ava thought it was the funniest that even Keira had long legs too :) Three blue eyed people, and three brown eyed people...Perfect!

From Quaid...he loves drawing hearts for me :) And a little hand because he didn't have room to trace his whole hand.
And from Jentzen. Is that the best looking dragon you have even seen or what?!?! And he loves me "bunches and bunches." That's just about the best love I can get. And Jentzen, he is my prayer warrior, that really is his favorite time of day.
And last but not least...the cake. They each had their own part to decorate...even Keira with her little wedge on the left.
We went to Toy Story 3 with the kids. They got treats and LOVED it, and so did the parents:) Quaid came wandering in my room last night at 10pm...he really does have his father's body clock. If he could stay up till 10 or 11 every night and sleep till 10am he would be a happy boy. I have a feeling we will be having some late night school sessions this year....ugghhh...I so DON'T have daddy's body clock!!

Me: "Why aren't you sleeping?"

Q: "I just loved that movie so much, I can't stop thinking about it, I'm just so excited!!"

Thanks Mom and Grandma for a super great day!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Country vs City

A very cool thing about living in the country...

Sometimes a hot air balloon lands right outside your front door.

A not so cool thing about living in the country. I had to load up 4 kids, 3 bikes, a stroller and drive 4 miles into town to get to the nearest paved path.

Some days it's a toss up.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Don't worry, that's not her diaper inside out :)
And who's to blame for this?? Not my sweet girly, girl Keira!!

I'll blame it on her crazy brother.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I was out today working on the backyard renovations...super frustrated because things weren't going right, so I was already a little on edge. Then out of no where...CRACK!! a rock bounced off my head. It was Jentzen. I sort of exploded on him. I have this thing about my head. I can get hit anywhere else and it's just mildly annoying. But if anyone or thing bumps my head...well, it's just not a pretty sight.

So it was a few hours later. I grabbed him with a big hug so I could apologize to him:

Me: "I'm sorry Jentz, I shouldn't have yelled at you like that. Do you forgive me?"

Jentzen: "Sure, it's okay Mom."

He has a sweet heart, he forgives so easily and hangs onto nothing.

Me: "Thanks honey, I love you so much."

Jentzen: "I love you too mom, and I'm sorry too mom. Next time I will do time I will throw it over your head."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fill 'er up and keep on truckin'. Nathan gets the easy job of sitting in an air conditioned seat all day while I....

Manually load our pavers into the back of the trailer, drive them around to the back yard and put them around to the backyard and pile them up.

200 of them. I actually don't mind. It made me feel kind of useful and I like a good workout. And really it was my fault. I'm the one who told the guy to put them in front of the house on the opposite side of the house where we needed them. I could of told him to just put a pallet at each of the four corners of where we actually need them...but what fun would that of been??
The boys were very supportive to Nathan and I. Sitting in the shade eating popsicles cheering us along every step of the way. Aren't they great??

The trampoline hole was finally dug and the kids found every way to have fun with a big hole minus jumping down in it. It is kind of deep....
Keira made her own little slide...
This is the border we started...and I use the term "we" very loosely. Turns out our backyard is clay. Clay is hard. Like a brick. Not fun. So this little border I thought we'd just slap together...well it will take hours and hours and hours....I was a bit frustrated with this. Didn't know if this was the direction we should go, so I decided to mull around some other options.
So AJ, Nathan's friend who broke our trampoline...(don't's too painful to talk about) as his penance stopped doing the border around the play area and did this for me. He's pretty cool after all, I forgive AJ, aka the Fish Killer.

And of course last but not least. A big ole' hole makes a big ole' pile of leftover dirt...What to do, what to do....Well make some dirt bike jumps of course! So I'll be walking around the yard with my eyes closed whenever those death machines are running...hope I don't fall in the hole!

So I guess they'll be a part 3 coming one of these years when the project actually gets done!

Friday, July 9, 2010

In the summer we try and go to the cabin every weekend we can. We love it, it's what we do best. And when the cabin is being used by someone else...I usually work. But this weekend, there is no cabin, and I didn't work. We had things to do.

I first started out by getting a hold of the weed infestation in my started out ugly and now look at it...isn't it beautiful?!?!
I don't even care if the kids hassle me about our corn situation...Our corn is the short stuff in sporatic rows that half grew in...

See that corn directly behind ours? Yeah, that's the farmers...tell me about it. I hear it everytime we drive along our gravel road and the kids are looking out the windows in any general direction..."Wow Mom...Look at that farmers' corn!! It sure is tall...I wish our corn looked like that!"And then there's my broccoli...something's eating the leaves...I'm not impressed...any suggestions?? We live on organic land so I don't put one drop of weed or bug killer so that's not an option...theres' got to be something. I had thought about putting vinegar around the roots? Seems vingear is a cure all for everything...I should look into that...

And just in case you don't think that I acutally did it all.....Blisters to prove it...That big one under my middle finger. It hurts and turns out I overcompensated by using my wrist some how. That bandaid is covering a big raw patch on my wrist.
And then the hugely anticipated project. We have some drainage issues behind our house. Our back yard is always a big swamp. So we are digging a 100 ft ditch with a drain tile. I'm not sure why they call it drain tile. It's actually a tube. I'm sure man named it. We rented one of these things and then I closed my eyes...."Please Please don't knock a hole in the side of the house" said with fingers crossed, hopping on one leg after throwing salt over my shoulder.

It was totally the salt...I opened my eyes and house still intact!
While Nathan did that, I did this...the other part of our project. When I got this far I remembered that little hernia I have from birthing 4 children in 4 years.
It's bigger now.

While reading the instructions (I'm a woman, I read the instructions for everything) I noticed that there was a whole dedicated section on how to jump. Really? No words for that.

The kids of course had to have a ride....Is that legal?

While Daddy was finishing up the kids had a go on the trampoline. They have been on that thing all day. We are digging a big hole for it to sit in so it's level to the ground. I'd rather NOT have to drive the the ER with visual sight of an ulna.
And before I knew it.....Victory! A trench, a husband, and a house all still standing! My man continues to amaze me. I'd still be reading the instruction manual!!
The progress will be updated tomorrow. There's a bigger hole, retaining wall blocks, a sandbox...and I'm pretty sure a nice dirtbike jump made from the excess dirt that doesn't have a home in the lineup. Remember that ulna...yeah, I guess I'll be closing my eyes after that dirt finds it's proper home.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Words can't express how absolutely anxious and excited we are for our down under family to arrive. September 15th can't come fast enough. It's been a little over 3.5 years since we've seen them. Jentzen was 6 months old, Ava 1.5, and Quaid 2.5. Yes we made the 30 hour trip with our kids that age. And to answer everyone's questions, Yes we were and still are a bit nuts, and it actually went just fine, and although it was pretty much a success I wouldn't suggest it to anyone else.

Now we have 1 more child that has never met her Auntie Mel, Uncle Anthony, and her cousins. And the other three...well they don't remember anything. I think Quaid might remember seeing the big white tigers...but that's about it. So to them, it's the first time that the names we talk about will come to life. We're so excited.

Everything we do revolves around when they're coming. We're starting school before the come, we're starting Bible Study again before they come, the snow is after they come, skiing is after they come. Then I get asked..."Are they coming today? Tomorrow? It's taking FOREVER!!!"

So we made a chain. 68 more sleeps before the family of 5 invades and we spend 6 wonderful weeks with a family of 11 in our house :)

That's the chain, high enough so Keira can't ruin it. If you sent me a Christmas picture, you're on our pantry door. If I need to return something to you it's on the counter to the left, and if you're my actually shut the door to the garage (on the blue wall)...oh no my mistake....I'm sure it was me that shut it. You guys like to be one with the flies.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

We spent the weekend at our cabin...without a camera. So you'll just have to take my word that there was lots of swimming, boating, and eating. There was also a trip to the Outlet Mall to get some good holiday sales. I got the three older kids a new pair of jammies. Even Jentzen...he really didn't need anything as he has all of Quaid's clothes...but I just had to get him something too or he would have been really sad and left out...and I feel bad for him...hardly even getting anything new. Poor Keira, she's not old enough to notice that she didn't get anything, so she didn't.

It was Daddy's night because I was working and he sent me this pic at work. I love getting pictures of what the kids are doing when I'm at work. Makes me feel like I'm not missing out. It's quite possibly the cutest picture I have of my kids...the older three that is. (I hope Ava took the tags off her jammies before bed)

And then look what he did...
Isn't that the coolest dinner? I know it's old hat to some but I live a sheltered life and I've never seen it before...Go Daddy Go!!! He always does cool things for dinner when I'm not home. Maybe I should fake going to work one day and show up right after dinner is made...But shhhh, don't tell him!

There's case you were missing her...I was.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ava turns 5!

Ava turned 5 on June 15th. Grandma came through of course with a fe presents...

Ava even let Jentzen help open some of her presents. She is the most thoughtful girl I know. She is always making sure that everyone else has whatever she has...and gets to do everything she gets to do.

Since Daddy took Quaid to a speical outing for his birthday...we thought it would be a fun tradition to start with the Ava got her nails done :)She loved everything about it..especially her flower thumbs.

And since I took a little shortcut for her acutal birthday and used leftover anniversary cake. Ava wouldn't let me get away with no about 10 days later...birthday cupcakes with candles.