Monday, March 29, 2010

easter stuff

okay, so this isn’t ACTUAL easter stuff, but the accessory easter stuff that i want to talk about. good old-fashioned, secular, commercialized easter stuff. NO, i’m not about to embark on a rant, so you can keep reading…

i suppose there’s just as much variation among families w/ christmas stuff of this sort, but i’m always curious about people’s traditions, especially because they seem so different. some people i know are full-on ‘easter bunny believers’. they treat the easter bunny much like santa claus, w/ the filling of baskets and hiding of eggs and all that being attributed solely to the easter bunny. their kids are convinced that the easter bunny is real and responsible for all of that stuff. there are people who have their kids pictures taken every year w/ a shopping mall easter bunny. there are people who do only candy in easter baskets. there are families who hide the easter baskets. there are families who do HUGE easter baskets full of lots of presents. some people don’t do easter baskets at all. there is just so much variety!

i suppose i do with my kids, mainly what my parents did with me when i was a kid. i don’t ever remember being under any impression that anyone other than my parents put stuff in my easter basket. i don’t remember ever getting candy, really, although sometimes i would get a chocolate bunny. i did get a goldfish once, though (in a fishbowl, of course).

with my kids, i’ve traditionally tried to get them some fun little stuff that is something they’ll actually use. ie, not a bunch of crap trinkets that will end up getting tossed a week later when they aren’t looking. sometimes i get them stuff they need, like socks. like my parents, i NEVER do candy. they get enough of that everywhere else, they don’t need to get it from me too. as far as the easter bunny is concerned, i don’t think my kids have ever even heard of the easter bunny. maybe shane, but i don’t know. we usually do baskets in the morning, before church, but i remember waiting one time when we did easter dinner w/ joe and mary so the kids could could all open their baskets at the same time. usually, later in the day we will do an easter egg hunt of sorts. if the weather is nice, we’ll do it outside. lately, my mom has been putting money in the eggs (coins) which is kind of cool for the kids, but other than that, it’s just finding the eggs. OH, and it’s always plastic eggs. my poor, deprived children have never dyed easter eggs. i know! bad mom! but honestly, i just can’t justify it. no one in my house will eat hard-boiled eggs, so i’m not going to waste a couple dozen eggs just so they can color them and then throw them away. they don’t really know they’re deprived though, since they don’t even know they should be doing it. oh well!

so anyway, what do you do? is this your own tradition? did you inherit it from your parents? borrow it from a friend? feed my curiosity!

Friday, March 19, 2010

super-colossal meal plan… thursday?

okay, so yeah, this week has been kinda crazy. and i know it’s actually friday now when i’m posting this, but i made it yesterday and therefore i will be including thursday on the list (ya know, cuz it looks more impressive that way) so therefore, it is meal plan thursday. deal.

if you read last week’s meal plan, you know that we went to portland (hillsboro, actually. although we went through portland and dave went to a basketball game there) last weekend. my original thought was that we would get up early on monday morning and drive home in time for layla and i to be at preschool by 12:15. HA! that was a stupid, STUPID idea. so anyway, we didn’t. we got up all early and stuff and then decided we were idiots, so dave went back to bed and i drank like 4 cups of coffee and visited w/ my cousins some more and shane played like 14 more hours of SIMS w/ elsa.

at any rate, we had to leave eventually, because we had a dinner guest coming sometime around 5:30. yeah, i know. WTH??? i never said we were good at planning… so we get home somewhere around 4:15, and because i’d ended the previous week’s meal plan w/ us leaving town, and had been home for 4.2 seconds of this week so far, there was NO food in the house to prepare. so off i go to the store and pick up stuff to make waffles. so we had a good visit w/ jenna, ate some yummy waffles, etc. advance token to tuesday.

i finished up monday night w/ the HEADACHE FROM HELL and managed to hang onto it all the way until wednesday… so the whole shopping/planning thing didn’t happen so much on tuesday.  my super sweet husband picked up some AWESOMELY healthy stuff at the store on his way home from work, cooked, and fed the kids while i slept on the couch. yay! free pass! advance token to wednesday.

at some point on wednesday, the HFH (see above) decided to take a hike (praise God!) so i knew i was probably out of excuses, until dave IM’s me at some point in the day and asks, “are we going to church tonight?” YES! so i, of course replied, “yes, we probably should because we need to worship God we have NO food.” i love lenten mid-week services. phew! crisis avoided, advance token to thursday.

i made a list. not a shopping list, a to-do list. on it, was ‘make shopping list’ and ‘go grocery shopping’ (dun, dun, DUNNNNNNN), and ‘costco’. and guess what! i got to cross all those off of it! micah and i had a spectacular time while layla was at preschool. i also decided, that, given it was thursday, and i’d been so pathetic this week, and i really didn’t want to have to go through all of this again in like 3 days, i should just plan the rest of this week, and next week too! so i did. so here’s my really long and impressive MEAL PLAN THURSDAY!

  • thursday: hamburgers; raw veggies; tots
  • friday: duh! pizza; green beans
  • saturday: roast beef! baked potatoes; salad
  • sunday: chicken; rice; peas & carrots
  • monday: french dips! chips; salad
  • tuesday: chicken caesar salads
  • wednesday: CHURCH!
  • thursday: bacon-potato chowder; sourdough
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: tacos

so, total, i spent about $200 between costco and qfc… and that included super-ginormous box O pull-ups, and a bunch of rat traps.

so i’m happy. i’m free! advance token to sometime so far in the future it’s not worth worrying about yet! ;)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

dear neighbors which shall remain nameless,

i am writing this informational letter on behalf of your children, your bank account, and your auto insurance company, all of which suspect an impending blow to their current, healthy state.

it appears that you may not be aware of certain traffic laws which pertain to the proper seating and safety of your children while in your vehicle, so i will take this opportunity to share them with you.

 

Washington's New Child Restraint Law
Effective June 1, 2007, children less than eight years old must be restrained in child restraint systems, unless the child is four feet nine inches or taller. A child who is eight years old or older, or four feet nine inches or taller, must be properly restrained either with the motor vehicle's safety belt or an appropriately fitting child restraint system. Children under thirteen years old must be transported in rear seats where it is practical to do so.

The fine for improperly restrained children in motor vehicles is at least $112 per child.

For more information on choosing the safest seat for your child, please call  1-800-BUCK-L-UP toll-free.

you can find the full text of the law here.

so, given that your children are aged 9 and 6, and that your vehicle is NOT a two-seater, the blatant presence of your children in your front seat is clearly against state law.

i also must admit, that this letter is written on my own behalf. the blatant presence of your children in the front seat of your vehicle is a constant annoyance to me. you see, i have children too. children who see the front seat of the car to be the most coveted seat of honor. children who continually pester me to allow them to sit there. children who use the presence of YOUR children in the front seat as ammunition with which to back up their case.

your compliance with this law would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, March 12, 2010

“uncle!”

i ran my dishwasher last night.

i know it’s a few weeks too soon, but i have declared my lenten ‘fast’ over. no, i didn’t just give up because washing dishes by hand was too ‘hard’.

rewind to 8:30ish yesterday morning. i went to get micah some cereal and discovered that there were like 4 mini wheats in the bag in the cupboard. given that i buy cereal at costco most of the time AND that i have no pantry, i usually take one of bags out to keep in the house, and the remaining bag, in the original box, is stored on a shelf in the garage. i went out to retrieve the second bag. it was empty.

HUH?

the empty bag, was in the box, unopened.

then i discovered a hole, somewhere between the size of a tennis ball and a golf ball, in the side of the bag.

HUH?

then i looked down on the floor and around the shelf and discovered some small samples of telltale ‘evidence’ to backup the suspicion i didn’t want to acknowledge.

<insert favorite swear word here>

so i started looking around some more. i discovered more ‘evidence’ on other things and in other locations around the garage.

<more swearing>

then i looked in the laundry room, on the floor by the water heater. BIG ‘evidence’. and by BIG, i don’t mean lots. i mean BIG – in size.

<louder and stronger swear words>

we had a few mice in the garage last year, about this time. it happens. it’s kind a creepy, i’d prefer they stay out, but as long as they’re JUST in the garage, and there’s not like hundreds of them, i can cope. i try not to let the kids eat stuff out there, so as to leave crumbs all over the place, encouraging them to invite their friends. i sucked up any ‘evidence’ w/ the vacuum and they eventually moved out. no biggie.

RATS, on the other hand is an entirely different ball of nasty, disgusting, rabies-bearing wax (so to speak).

i know we live by the lake, and therefore, there are rats around. i’ve heard neighbors complain about them. i quit using my compost bin for food scraps, because of a rat sighting like a year ago. we actually caught one in a trap in the backyard about a month ago.

all slightly disturbing, but par for the course, right?

come in my HOUSE and that’s a whole other story. GAME ON, SUCKAH!

my husband called it a half-day yesterday and came home and cleaned out the ENTIRE garage. pulled everything out, tossed, shredded, reorganized, etc. moved shelves, swept, investigated areas generally ignored out there. bless him!

our next order of business will be to set a bunch of traps and figure out where they are getting in. we also need to get something different for the outside dryer vent. the one that’s on there has a flap that apparently opens when the dryer is on and (supposedly) closes when it’s not. when i went outside to look at it, it was most definitely open, and the dryer was most definitely NOT on. there is also a definite hole dug in the ground just outside. near where the dryer vent is. grrr…

SO, long story short, i feel like my cleaning efforts are better spent in cleaning endeavors OTHER than self-imposed handwashing of dishes.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

monthly progress report - february

i’m a little late on this one, but here’s the next installment of my bucket list progress:
    1. spin my own yarn – nothing further to report
    2. spend more time in nature. – with the weather imroving, i’m definitely getting outside more, but i think actual progress here will involve planning – yuck.
    3. read all of jane austen’s books. – on the advice of a friend, i checked out persuasion from the library. i’m like 4 chapters in and, although i’ve enjoyed what i’ve read so far, i’ve not picked it up in a week. darn book ADD! i have like 3 others i’m also reading and fiction always gets lowest priority. boo.
    4. can my own veggies/fruits – obviously, no, but i did spend some time starting in on getting the garden ready.
    5. acquire a sewing machine – nothing here.
    6. re-learn to play the piano – no, but i mentioned it to my mom. does that count for something?
    7. exercise regularly (more days of the week than not – really!) – still doing well here. not quite as well as last month, but i’d say 4 out of 7. i’d like that number to go back up.
    8. finish reading the entire bible – still chugging away. but i need to be more consistent (duh-story of my life). i’m in judges and 1 corinthians now.
    9. make an effort to spend time individually with each of my children – hmmm… well, layla is back at her preschool and it’s a co-op, so every monday, the boys get ditched and she and i go do that (of course, she prefers the days i DON’T go!) this leaves me w/ only micah on 2 other afternoons, but he naps during that time. it’s still kind of fun to just have him. shane is hard to pin down. i’m thinking of trying to institute a weekly ‘coffee date’ w/ him (obviously not coffee for him – maybe it should be ‘hot beverages’ – to quote lindsey meyer) ;) dave and i have also embraced an idea that whenever you leave the house to run an errand or whatever, take 1 kid with you… attempting to rotate which one that is. the little ones love this… but like i said, pinning shane down is tough. i REALLY need to concentrate on improving things there.
    10. mellow out philosophically (if you don’t know what that means, just read a few of my posts and you’ll likely find some crazed post where i’m ranting about my strong disagreement about something generally accepted by the status quo) – HA! well, i’m still kind of all over the place, but i’m trying to focus on what is behind my opinions and rants and to make sure that whatever it is, it’s delivered in LOVE. if not, then i’m just spouting hot air and will likely hurt someone, rather than influencing them toward good.
    11. beat myself up less (again, just read a few posts) – well. hmmm. yeah, i think i’m doing okay here. not wonderful, but i still deal w/ a lot of THE GUILT and feel kind of crappy about all the stuff i need to do but don’t and how cluttered my house is and all that. BUT at the same time, i’m trying to come to terms with who i am and the way i operate (not to excuse stuff like that – just to explain it) and will hopefully be able to find ways around my personal challenges. wow. that was a lot of psychobabble and will likely result in nothing, but it sounds good! ;)
    12. take better care of the dog. she’s 13 now and i need to make the most of the years i have left with her. (okay, this one is making me a little teary) – well, a little better this month. improved weather has resulted in more opportunities for walks, i also gave her a MUCH needed bath and bought a furminator. so, she looks good, if nothing else!
    13. get my reading glasses – YES! in fact i’m wearing them right now!
    14. spend more time with my mom – well, the knitting challenges are still helping in this area, as well as the fact that i’ve ‘given shane back to her’ for half of his schooling. i do math, science and bible, she does social studies and all the language arts stuff that he HATES (insert maniacal laughter here). at any rate, it means that i’m doing a lot of dropping off and/or picking up and therefore wind up at her house a lot.
    15. be less boring – whatever. i have no idea what this means, but given that i now feel like i live in my car, i wouldn’t know what i could possibly do that would be less boring. oh well.
    16. attend as many MOMS club events as possible – yeah, not so much. between sick kids, preschool, sick hubby, neglected responsibilities at home, etc., etc… my participation has been minimal, including s&b! that makes me sad. boo.
    17. make most of my gifts (stole that one) – yeah, not so much. the only gifts i’ve had to give lately were little girl birthday gifts, not that that’s an excuse. maybe this was a bad goal.
    18. create a will – still no.
    19. be more philanthropic – well, probably not. i did write letters to our compassion kids, something i’ve been bad about in the past. one of our kids is a great artist and i totally look forward to his drawings.
    20. go on 10 dates with my husband – still just the 2. BOO!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

way too much fun at the doctor’s office!

so today we went to the doctor for layla’s 4 year old and micah’s 2 year old well checks. yeah, i know how old they are, but i have a valid excuse.
swine flu.
okay, not really. it’s just that the thought of taking healthy children to a pediatrician’s office between the months of october and may seems REALLY STUPID!!! i mean, really i’d rather take them in the summer when the only reason kids are at the doctor is for camp or sports physicals or treatment for poison ivy, sunburn, or playground injuries.
BUT, i realized that this was getting ridiculous. so i bit the bullet and made them an appointment.
we got there early. yes, ME! with children. perhaps the earth reversed it’s rotation today or something, but we arrived early for our appointment. this ensured ample playtime in the germ-infested waiting room. ample opportunity to plaster ourselves to the large glass fish tank and determine which of the two clownfish was nemo and which was nemo’s daddy and ponder the whereabouts of a seemingly absent dory. ample time to get into a fight with twin 5 year old boys over one of those ‘beads on wires’ toys that no doctor’s office would be complete w/out. ample time to write our name 500 times on the chalk board table.
it was during this period of the WAITING, that a little girl came over and sat down next to layla at the table and began to draw also. it was about 5 minutes later that a nurse walked over to her father with a prescription and the instructions that she would have to stay home from school for at least 2 more days, or whenever the fever had been absent for at least 24 hours. ::sigh::
we finally got called back.
there’s something about sitting in a small, enclosed room with nothing but a bench, an exam table, a sink and a spinny stool that causes me to feel like i’m in the zoo. you know. like there’s people on the other side of the windows watching us. i’m the mother (pick your favorite primate here) and 2 of my offspring are bouncing and climbing and spinning around until they fall off and opening drawers and exploring child-locks, and making faces in the mirror and throwing tattered books and magazines on the floor and finding pens and poking holes in the paper.
then they ask us all the questions to which you answer YES, regardless of the real answer.
they poke and prod and wiggle and shine lights in orifices and say aaahhhh…
and then they say that the PA will be back in in a minute to give them their immunizations.
half an hour later…
micah got 3.
layla got 4.
they got tylenol.
i needed a drink.

Monday, March 8, 2010

meal plan monday… deja vu.

i am a HORRIBLE blogger lately! seriously. i have things i want to post. just can’t seem to muster up the desire to sit down and actually write them out. so, for your consolation prize, you get to read another meal plan. oh yay.

  • monday: hot dogs (had a major hankering for 2 days now); veggies
  • tuesday: tater tot casserole (in the freezer)
  • wednesday: supper at church
  • thursday: chicken of some sort; veggies of some sort; some kind of side…
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: away in portland
  • sunday: still in portland! woohoo!

yeah, you can tell i’m totally unmotivated in the kitchen this week… did a little shopping last night, a little more to come… mainly just to firm up thursday’s dinner. HA! on saturday, we’re off to the south to visit w/ my cousins, so i suppose what we eat is their problem! HA again!

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