Monday, February 22, 2010

Mini Post Monday

  • I cannot begin to speak of anything before mentioning the news from this last week that is the most exciting to me - I am going to Florida!!  Most would be excited to go to Florida primarily to see Micky & Co., but I am going for something much, much better - to see Joanna & Co.!
  • I love my husband!  When I asked Jerry to help me one day by dividing up a huge 50 pound bag of rice into gallon bags for the freezer, he took the time to look up a different translation for "white rice" to write on each bag.  So when I pulled out a new bag of rice from the freezer, I saw this (below) on the bag.  It brought a nice smile to my face while doing something as mundane as fixing dinner!
  • The Olympics have inspired a surge of athleticism in my boys.  Aaron decided to make skis out of pieces of a cereal box and yarn and ski poles from Tinker Toys!  He and Ethan have been participating in cross country events, ski jumping, and speed skating all through the house!
  • Ethan's get-up is a bit more difficult to place to an Olympic event...He was speed skating with this on, I believe!
  • And of course, I cannot put a picture of Aaron and Ethan without including an image of Andrew!  Isn't he still just so adorable?  I need to look at how adorable he is more often to make up for the hours of screaming and crying he is doing lately due to cutting 5 teeth at once and getting a strange rash and fever.
  • I am making this Baked Fudge tonight for dessert.  I am really looking forward to trying it.  Since it is our day to rotate milk, eggs, and gluten, the only substitution I have to make is using spelt flour instead of wheat.  From my experience with spelt, I'm sure it will make an equal substitution.  I'll have to let you know how it turned out.  It seems that it would be hard for it to come out poorly given the list of ingredients!
  • Jerry is getting so close to completing the bathroom!  He finished tiling the shower this weekend.  It looks incredible!  I think it looks completely professional.  He still has to add the shower fixtures, a mirror, and seal the grout, but then the bathroom will be complete!  I do need to find some decorative touches for it still, too.  I am so pleased with how it has come together. 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Texas Blizzard of Twenty-Ten

I haven't lived in Texas my whole life, so I do know that what we had last week wasn't technically a blizzard.  However, I also know that as far back as records go, there has never been 12" of snow recorded in one day in the DFW area.  Until last week, that is!  What is truly amazing is that this is not the first snowfall of the year.  Considering we usually don't get any snowfall, or if we do it falls and melts within hours, this is an event worth posting about!

I really never thought I'd have a picture of my house looking quite like this!

The snow was so heavy and wet that it weighed down all the trees.

In fact, about 1/3 of all the trees in the DFW area sustained damage from this snow storm.  In our yard, we were fortunate to only lose half of a tree.


When looking closely, it became clear that this tree was hit by lightening at some point which weakened it.  I don't think it would have fallen if not for this big charred spot giving it a weak point to split.

We were also fortunate that when it fell, it did not hit our house.  However, it did block the entire street, so the fire department came to cut and move it for us. 

We were wondering how we were going to get it out of the street since we do not own a chain saw.  It took the men on this truck, plus a crew from the streets department to finally get the tree moved enough to allow access for emergency vehicles!

Not many vehicles even tried to make it through, though.  Our car got stuck in our alley because the snow was too deep for the wheels to stay in contact with the road.  Fortunately we had a snow shovel from when we lived in the mid-west.  We just had to go into the attic to get it down!  But then Jerry was able to shovel off our drive and into the alley, plus he had to shovel from under the car to get the car into the garage!  The mail tried to deliver on Thursday, but after our mail lady slid into our mail box, knocking it off the foundation, she called it quits until Saturday!  See how the box is diagonal to the road now?  See all that snow on top of it?

The tree and mailbox weren't our only casualties.  Jerry and I were both out in the snow at some point during the day.  As it melted off our cars in our garage, we discovered that the foundation of the garage slopes toward the house rather than away from it when we noticed the carpet in the boys room was soaking wet!  Within a day the room smelled of mold and mildew, despite our efforts to soak up as much of the water as we could, so we had to pull up the carpet, remove the padding, spray everything with bleach, and let it all air out.  Hopefully we'll be able to put it all back down and not have to replace it all.

Do you think our neighbors liked our method of drying the padding?

Even with the damage, we all had fun in the snow.We built the biggest snowball we could roll, an Aaron got out his aggression beating it with a baseball bat.

We built an igloo...

which got destroyed in a snowball fight.

The boys made snow cars and snow thrones.

Don't my little snow kings look like they are having fun?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FOR MARIE












Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mini Post Tuesday

I know this is normally "Mini Post Monday," but since yesterday was Joanna's birthday and I put up a birthday post for her, I thought she deserved all of the bloggy attention for the whole day.  So I decided to change to Tuesday for this week.  It's my regular feature, and I can.  So there.

  • Have I mentioned here before that I think allergies are stupid?  If I have failed to do that, let it be  known:  allergies are stupid.  I have hit the point where I am very tired of having to cook every meal every day.  I just want to throw something easy on the table for a change.  I think the honeymoon stage, where I was all stoked that I was able to take 15 weird ingredients and make something nourishing and tasty, is over.  Now it is just all hard work.  For example, today I made pancakes for breakfast.  I still had syrup from a double batch I made last Monday, so I didn't have to make that again today, but I normally do.  I made tortillas from scratch for our lunch.  For dinner, I cooked a chicken and made gravy from scratch, carrots, rice, and a cake (from scratch).  Do you know how many dishes those things produce?  Now, because I hate when people post nothing but complaints (think Facebook friends who only have negative status updates...I cannot stand that!  If I wanted to hear someone complain, I'd double the kids chore list without warning and sit back to enjoy the ensuing mayhem.), I'm going to give you the silver lining (because there is always a bright side to every situation in life).  The bright side to all this work is that when the treatments are over, if there are still a couple foods we cannot eat, it will be a breeze to cook minus one or two common ingredients!  I won't even break a sweat having to prepare meals with no peanuts or no wheat!  A few missing ingredients will be no problem after having 19 common ingredients on the "no eat" list right now!
  • They're back!!  Andrew's hair is finally long enough to curl up at the ends again.  I had to get the picture while it was wet, though.  When it's dry, most of it still goes straight, but knowing that they are close to sticking around makes me very, very happy.  Now I just have to find a way to cut his hair that will allow him to look like a boy and have curls. 
  • I decided to have the boys actually give out Valentine's this year to the kids in their Sunday School classes and in their class at my Bible Study.  They were really excited because we've never done this before.  The old standby for Valentine's cards is to attach a piece of candy.  Since my kids cannot eat any of the candy out there (I know, I checked every single package ingredient list), I decided to chop up all our old crayons and make heart-shaped, color-swirled crayons to give out.  They turned out great, the kids had fun, but man! These are a lot of work!  Do you know how long it takes to peel the papers off a few hundred crayons? 
  •  Aaron and Ethan deciding on the perfect combination of colors for each new crayon.
    In the oven, getting all melty...
  • Shower tile is going up!  I just have to say, Jerry is totally awesome!  He has done such a good job on this bathroom - I am so impressed!  Where the empty squares are in the tile will be the same colored tile as the big wall.  I think this is going to look really nice when it is done!

 
Oh, and I forgot to mention that the two gaps in the tile here are for the soap dish and a ledge to put shampoo on.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Help Me Rhonda!!

Del is taking me to see the opera concert Carmen that the Orlando Philharmonic is putting on.  I'm very excited!!  I've never been to an opera whereas Del has been to several.
I can't wait to hear this:


I'm going to need to buy a dress though.  The attire is Sunday best.  I was going to try to to shove myself into my cool little black dress Del got me from Banana Republic, but after spending all day long rubbing my belly, I know I need to buy a dress.  Which of these do you like better?

This one is from Gap.  It's costs $60.  The material is pima cotton/modal.  I like how simple it is.


This one is from Target.  It's costs $30 and is rayon/spandex.  Everyone in my house likes this one better except for me.  I am loath to purchase rayon/spandex clothing.  I think you get what you pay for that that there is uh...cheap.

I'm not done looking yet, but this is the style I like.  I have to cover my upper arm because of my turtle tattoo.  And I like my skirt to go below my knee.  Any suggestions?

It's Good To Be Younger

Today is a good day for me because today, for 88 days anyway, Joanna is older than me!

Happy Birthday, Joanna! I love you!

My prayer for you this year:

"The LORD bless you and keep you;

the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace."

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is the slump over?

It's no secret that I've been in a creative slump ever since Andrew was born.  This kid has messed with my hormones, emotions, muscle tone...you name it!  He has also nearly zapped my creativity, although I did write a poem that totally rocked recently (if I do say so myself).  I used to troll the web for tutorials for new projects and tackle them with wild abandon.  I made stuffed elephants by hand, for crying out loud!  But, alas, the only thing I have made in the last year and a half is a mess in my kitchen.  But that might be ending.

I have felt a vaguely familiar tug in my gut recently, urging me to be creative in some area other than allergy friendly cooking.  I even pulled out my knitting bag (never mind that I haven't opened it).  Then, Brenda posted a link to this blog!  MADE by Dana is hosting a month of tutorials for items just for boys!  No way!  One of the reasons I gave into my creative slump to begin with was that all the ideas I found were decidedly for girls.  Since I am the only estrogen in my home, and I don't need a twirly skirt with matching head band, I just gave in up.  But this is intriguing.  I might just have to whip something up for my boys!  I won't get overly excited yet, since I've done nothing but drool so far, though.




Any other mamas of boys out there looking for some inspiration?  Look no farther!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Newest, Most-liked Homeschool Info Resource

I know that Ella is only in the 3rd grade, but I'm getting nervous about some of the more advanced classes she's going to need coming up all too quickly.

I found The Well-Trained Mind blog to be filled with useful information, especially this two-part series on finding a quality online class.  I am almost fiercely dedicated to Mrs. Bauer's curriculum, just because she seems to be so totally for the homeschooler and not the money.  She hasn't been writing the blog long, but it's alread filled with really helpful information.  And she was smack-dab right-on about the homeschool conventions.  I was very disappointed in the one we went to in Orlando.  The best part was that I got to meet Mrs. Bauer and buy my books directly from her and attend her class, which was really engaging, humorous and informational.  Is that a word?  She inspires me to be a better teacher for my girls.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mini Post Monday

Well, since I know Joanna has a total conniption fit when I don't get my Mini-Post Monday actually posted on Monday, I figured I better get this done before midnight even if it kills me!  And it might, you know...but that's just how much I love Joanna.  I'm willing to risk life and limb for her by publishing on our blog.  Am I a good friend, or what? Okay, on to my week in review...

  • Andrew has a major dislike of bibs.  I finally figured out that what he doesn't like is the feel of the plastic on his neck, so I finally bought him some bibs that are like a towel with a neck hole.  I'm not thrilled about the Sesame Street theme of them, but I love that he will actually leave these ones on for a whole meal! 
  • More and more, I am getting to observe one of the benefits of homeschool that is not talked about often enough - watching my older boys actually have a relationship with their little brother.  I have had so much fun watching Aaron interact with Andrew lately.  They really know each other, and they like each other, too.  They are able to forge the beginnings of what I hope is a life-long friendship now, because Aaron is actually home during the day.  I know Aaron would still see Andrew after school and in the evenings if he was in traditional school, but it wouldn't be the same.
  • If you've been reading this blog for long, you know that the only reason I drink coffee is for the flavored creamer, and guess what I found today?  International Delights now has a CoffeeHouse Inspirations line of creamers.  I picked up Caramel Macchiato and White Chocolate Mocha today and I cannot wait to try them! 
  • An interesting side note to my last point...I have Joanna to thank for even wanting to buy Caramel Macchiato creamer!  Jo, remember when I came to visit when I was pregnant with Ethan?  I had never been to a Starbucks before that trip, but we went for a very late and long visit to a local Starbucks after Aaron and your girls were asleep.  Remember that?  I had no clue what to order, and you suggested the Caramel Macchiato, and you know what?  It is still my favorite choice there.
  • Now this is a boy who loves doing school work! 
  • And this is what happens when you take a picture of your son, discover that he is squinting (because he is smiling so big), and ask him to try it again, only this time to "open [your] eyes."  
  • Look!  We now have a working toilet in our remodeled bathroom!  The boys love it because it is one of those dual flush jobbies - you know, little flush for liquid and big flush for...  A little boy's dream come true! 
  • We also have a new light fixture. 
  • Now the remaining project is the shower tile.  We have the design planned out and sketched onto the wall.  It won't be long now!