August 25, 2009

Check, check, and almost check

I am slowly accomplishing things I had on my list this week. The tomatoes are now salsa, with a few jars of canned tomatoes at the end. I had a great time working with two great ladies getting that done. And the best part was my kids ran wild at someone elses house and it was OK. I got the birthday gift made, although not mailed, so no picture of that yet. (I want her to see it first.) Pack meeting is tonight, so I can cross that off the list, and 3 loads of laundry got done and almost put away today. I also got sweet little Sprout's 1 year pictures taken, and she is such a cutie. Can't wait to process and post a couple if it's okay with her Deli Mama. It's only Tuesday, but things are looking up, thanks to friends and family. Grandma Cozette is coming tomorrow and instead of mad cleaning ahead of time, she said she didn't care and didn't want to hang out in the house much anyway. Good to know. She cooks and does dishes when she comes and I love her for it. Will check back in at the end of the week and see how my sanity is then...

August 24, 2009

High Hopes

I have high hopes for this week. Or rather, a long list of things I would like to accomplish. So much to do, so little time. Story of my life. In my quest for simplifying, I really would like to let go some of these self-imposed obligations and not feel that badly about it, but I don't know what to cut out. Friends? Chores? Church obligations? None of those can go. My dishes can probably sit a while, but dinner has to be cooked and kids need tending. Big sigh. I guess I really don't know how to slow down. That's what makes life full, interesting, and fun though, right?
So what's on my list this week? In one big breath.... Canning salsa, park days with Dawn, return library books, laundry, paint the garage door, laundry, Pack meeting, prepare for Sunday, return trade for babysitting, vacuum for a friend who can't, laundry, photo shoot, edit said photos, finish a birthday present on the sewing machine, get the serger working, household chores other than laundry, grocery shopping, piano lessons, voice lessons and more laundry. That about sums it up, but I am sure something else will pop up some time this week. Am I really overbooked, or do other people just handle life better than I do? That is the question to ponder this week.

August 20, 2009

You know you're in trouble when...

As a mom, there are certain things you look forward to in life. When you child starts walking, starts talking so you can understand them, school, college, mission. Those kinds of things. There are also moments when you know that life as you know it is over, and something new is beginning. You know you are in trouble when....

1. Your daughter learns to open both the fridge and the sliding door in the same week. Now there's no keeping her out of anything.
2. Said daughter decides to take after her Uncle Josh and use markers on the sliding glass door, often.
3. Your son leaves for a week to visit his grandma and the last thing he says is "Just come and get me in a week", as in, quit telling me goodbye, don't hug me again and let's get this show on the road already.
4. When your husband gets verbal orders out of the area and a month later still has no "official" orders. That means change is coming. Change to what, no one knows. I love uncertainty.
5. Said husband brings up a conversation about re-doing some of the very labor intensive, very expensive landscaping you have just finished together, because it would make things better in the long run.
6. You realize the summer has passed too quickly and despite your best efforts, things still aren't caught up. Maybe when school starts again. Maybe you will just live in a state of "behind" forever.
7. You know leaving your make-up down is a bad idea, so you don't. You tuck it up on the shelf, out of the way, so you think. Then one random day your darling daughter comes out with mascara on her lips, and all over her face and lipstick on her forehead. You know she's a climber, and you know you're in trouble.

August 14, 2009

I can get in, finally!

Our new garage door finally arrive and Eric was kind enough to be paid to install it for us. I love that it's light and I don't have to worry about killing my kids every time the door opens or closes. The springs are new and hold the weight of the new door and it's insulated so hopefully that will help the overall energy bills a little. Also, no outdoor handle. I actually like that detail a lot. Now all I have to do is paint it. Oh, the exercise machine is for sale. Call me, I'll help you load it up.

August 12, 2009

August 9, 2009

Lessons Learned from Rocks

In setting a new flagstone pathway, we have learned a lot. We've learned about ourselves, the world, and rocks. So, what lessons have we learned from rocks?

  • That rocks come in all sizes and shapes, and are good for different purposes. Use the right rock for the right job.

  • Color differences are good. Variation makes things interesting.

  • Kids need more time and attention that rocks. Rocks don't care if they set out overnight, or over a few weeks. Kids still need lunch on time and a cuddle when they feel neglected. Get your priorities straight.

  • Keep the long term path in perspective. It's easy to get wrapped up in the placement of one stone, when what really matters is the overall effect.

  • Some are easier to set than others. Just like in life, some goals are easier to achieve, some skills are easier to learn and some things are just more fun. The hard rocks need to be set just as much as the easy ones.

  • Hard work is much more fun and tolerable when you do it with a friend. Time goes faster too.

  • Things can always be re-done. If you have to go back and re-set something, or re-do part of the path, just do it. It will only get worse by putting it off.

  • Use your level. It makes a difference as to the proper placement of stones and weather people will be able to navigate your path easily when you are done.

  • Short cuts can be helpful, if you know what you are doing. Sometimes things just have to be done the good-old fashioned hard way, but if someone can teach you something new that works just as well, thank them for it.

  • Listen to advice. If someones shares knowledge, like that rock is too big and will be too hard to set, listen to them. They have already tried. On the other hand...

  • Be persistent. Sometimes the big rocks are worth the extra effort.

August 6, 2009

Where to live, where to live....

The Navy has decided there is no way we can stay in the beautiful PNW past this winter. We must move to somewhere Justin can be of more use to them. (Again, I am NOT in charge here.) So our choices were Saratoga Springs, NY doing a teaching job, or Point Loma, CA near San Diego, doing a maintaince foreman job. We leave sometime in late January, early February. Where do you think we chose? Stay tuned for the answer, coming as soon as "official" orders arrive.

August 4, 2009

When 2 Vehicles isn't Enough

I had a ton of stuff to do today, outside my house. We won't even talk about what needs to be done inside the house. After feeding and dressing the darlings, and even doing piggy tails in Meg's hair, we made it out the door and into the driveway. I am distractedly running around in the house still looking for my wallet when Bug comes back to the door. "Get in the car already!" I snap. He looks at me and says "I will, when you tell me where it is." Ummmm.... I don't know. It's not in the garage because the door is broken and we can't get it open. It's definitely not in the driveway, but the truck is. Quick call to Justin. He doesn't answer (no big surprise) but I am fairly certain he ended up taking it to work. Back in the house, off with the shoes. I load dishes and wait for his call back. I fold all the laundry and am still waiting. We have lunch, I make calls to garage fix-it companies and then I sweep the living room. Still no call. I start more laundry and send the kids back outside. {Why don't we just take the truck, you ask? Because one of the seat belts is broken and only two of us would get to wear one. Not sure which two, and it's a tight fit with 3 people.} Finally he calls back. I guess the lights on the truck didn't want to turn on at 5:30 this morning and he didn't want to come back in and wake me up. Thanks, Honey, I think. I am starting to think it was an evil plot on his part to get me to get some things done around the house. It worked, and I do feel better about getting something at home accomplished. Sorry to the friends I didn't get to today, and the things I didn't get dropped off. Another day.

August 2, 2009

A Vacation Story

Once there was a charming freckled faced little boy who was smart, clever and happy. He had a beautiful little sister with curls of gold who was also very smart and had the magical ability to make anyone fall in love with her in an instant. These two amazing children had two plain parents and one adventurous grandpa who decided to take them on a great adventure; camping. Now the two children had done this activity before, with mixed results. The Beautiful Sister was very small the last time this family ventured out and didn't like it very much. She prevented much sleep and wailed mightily at the prospect of getting back in the backpack for a hike. The Freckled Faced boy had enjoyed himself last time, remembering the rocks and dirt and magical bugs he had found in the past.

The family loaded up Adventure Grandpa's magic truck with all kinds of strange things and headed out on the adventure of the summer.

First, they went to an enchanted forest overlooking a lake. There were beautiful flowers all around, lots of rocks to climb on and play with and sleep on, and giant bugs to defeat.

The Freckled Faced boy had a way with the bugs and was good at killing them and keeping them off of his Fair Sister.

It was hot in the enchanted forest, very hot and the Beautiful Sister spent her time trying to take off her clothes and building rock houses in the dirt. The Plain Mother had never seen two dirtier children in all her days.

Alas, with no water other than the storage in the back of the magic truck, she had no choice but to pile the children in and take them to the river near by. The Beautiful Sister did not like the water, as it was very cold, but soon warmed up to it a little. The Freckled Faced Boy was challenged by his mother to cross the river with her. He was a brave boy, faced his fears and did it. The Adventurous Grandfather was proud of the boy. Alas, the children did not return to the camp site any cleaner than when they left, but they were happier.

After sleeping on sharp rocks for two nights the Plain Mother said to the Plain Father that they had to move the camp. It was too hot, too many bugs and sleep was too important. So the family worked for some time to repack the magic truck, which seemed to carry even more than before. They piled the dirty children and cranky mom inside and took off for another adventure, this time to the beach. The sand sparkled in the sunlight, the breeze blew and the birds glided overhead, fascinating the Beautiful Sister. It wasn't too hot, it wasn't too cold. It was a perfect place to play and enjoy the sites and sounds of the ocean.

It was at this campsite the Beautiful Sister learned about a new and unusual food. It was delicious above all she had tasted before and sticky above all else. The Mother called it a S'more.

She loved the marshmallow, and she had always loved chocolate. She climbed on Adventurous Grandpa's lap and asked him to squish it for her. He would end up eating the graham cracker so that she could get to the enticing insides of this marvelous creation. They would both end up sticky beyond belief, and yet, the Grandfather laughed every time.

The Freckled Faced boy had done some exploring. He played in the glittery sand and flew a magic kite that actually stayed up in the air.

One day in his explorations he found a curious creature, a Sand Dollar. Later that day he ventured out again with Plain Dad and found more and more of these strange objects.

He collected them and brought them back to camp, very pleased with himself. Not having any other container to keep them in, he decided upon a large plastic baggy. After two days in the baggy, he decided they were indeed magical creatures, with the ability to stink up anything within 500 feet. Most Sand Dollars stayed, but one or two made it back into the magic truck.

The Sun was hot and fierce at this campsite. The children and the parents loved the beach, but could no longer contest with the sun. Their skin was red, the Beautiful Girl was sad and the sand in the sleeping bags was too much for the Mother. So again, they loaded the magic truck and headed off in search of adventure. They searched most of the day and into the evening for a perfect place to stay. Something isolated from others, something shaded, something cool, and something near water. The Father was creative, innovative and determined. (I guess he was not so plain after all.) Finally the family found the perfect place in an Enchanted Rain Forest. It met all of their expectations and then some. It was on a milky, fast moving river that was enticing for the Boy and his Father. They set up the tent on a bed of pine needles and Mother was happy to not have to sleep on rocks anymore.

The boy and his Father ventured down deep in the forest down a treacherous path to the banks of the ice cold river to play. They collected rocks, made a pool and splashed around.

They encouraged the Plain Mother to come and play but the path was far too difficult for her. The Mother and Beautiful Sister found another, easier path to the river and did enjoy some time splashing and throwing rocks. The Freckled Faced Boy practiced skipping rocks and the family took a hike through the enchanted forest, enjoying the sounds of birds and water, and the sites of moss, trees and strange plants. It was a beautiful place to spend time together.

Stories should have happy endings. The Freckled Faced boy thought the family should stay for another week or so. The Adventurous Grandfather had other adventures to attend too though and so the family packed up once again and headed home. The Happy Ending this time was the prospect of camping again, in another time and another state. Adventures are everywhere.