Friday, April 30, 2010

kid catch up

haven’t done one of these in a while, so i thought i should update what all the kids are up to about now.

shane is busy as usual. he still has little use for ‘school’, but tolerates it and for the most part, is doing really well. he’s currently studying south america – countries, climate, landforms, cultures, history, animals, plants, and the like. we are all now completely enlightened with the discovery of the capybara… the world’s largest rodent, which is apparently the size of our 60 pound dog. he and i also just finished reading the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe which he was enthralled with, so we’re excited to start on the next book. he’s still helping susie with her gardens, and recently has helped her with a couple of ‘trillium tours’ and redoing all the pathways throughout her acre of gardens with ‘hog fuel’ AKA cedar mulch. another neighbor, recently tore off his roof and is in the middle of replacing it with a metal roof, so of course, shane spent last weekend (and is planning the coming weekend) helping with that. his drama class is winding down their preparations for a musical production of STRIKE!, which from what i can gather, is very similar to newsies. he has a couple of smaller roles, as well as being the co-stage manager for the play. so yeah, busy.

layla is having fun in her own little layla world, as usual. she and micah are good friends now, and spend more and more of their time playing together. good weather is very welcome, and they spend a lot of time in the back yard. and, like a good middle child, she also follows shane around whenever he’s around (and will allow her to). she still likes playing with polly pockets very much, drawing, coloring, writing letters, etc. her big achievement right now is working on learning to read. she can work her way through some of the simple BOB books and can figure out almost any 3 or 4 letter word, either in print, or in her head if she’s trying to write it down. she’s signed up for soccer in the fall, and although she’s been begging to play for years, now she’s decided she doesn’t want to. oh well, the fee is paid, as the rule usually goes, if she hates it, she won’t have to play again. she’s very into ‘babies’ right now. not necessarily human babies. her stuffed animals are all ‘babies’ and she has to take care of them; she recently adopted a ‘baby rock’ that had to be fed and take naps and stuff. oh, and she sings all day long and is very into her hair right now. she announced yesterday that she wants to grow it so long that it will touch the ground. that should be interesting.

micah is hilarious, as usual. he’s very into playdough right now, so we have that out almost daily. he’s also obsessed with sports, mostly baseball. he walks around w/ his bat on this shoulder and (when he’s not hitting the dog with it) announces, ‘i’m playing baseball!’ to everyone. if not a bat, he’s generally got some sort of little toy (usually some treasure he’s stolen from shane’s room) clutched in his hand. i think he hangs onto it until he misplaces it (or shane takes it back) and then he goes and adopts a new one. first it was a couple of different monster trucks, then an airplane, then a garbage truck, last night it was a little shopping cart w/ a dog in it, and today we’re back to the airplane. he goes to sleep with them. it’s pretty funny. he generally wants to do whatever layla is doing, and fortunately, she’s usually very agreeable to it, unless, of course, what she’s doing is whatever shane is doing. then he’s stuck being the little brother, since their activities usually take place in the front yard, on bikes, with tools, or in trees. his big ‘project’ right now is POTTY TRAINING! we’ve got him in underwear during the day now, and he’s doing pretty well. he averages only 1 or 2 accidents a day, but it usually happens when i’m not paying attention to how long it’s been since he last went potty. so yeah, in essence i’m training myself, but whatever keeps the kid out of diapers is good with me! he’s also showing himself to be the good younger sibling sponge by absorbing nifty things like being able to count to 10 and knowing all his letters and a few of the sounds as well!

so that’s the kids. as a family, we’re slowly making our way through the ‘little house on the prairie’ tv series. we borrowed the seasons on dvd from my cousins, but we’re still only a little way into season 1. this could possibly take the whole 10 or 11 years that the show was actually on! we’ll see…

Thursday, April 29, 2010

SO excited!!!

they’re here! they’re here! they’re finally here! i’ve been anticipating a package w/ MY name on it and it got here last night!

back story: dave has this pillow that he’s had since childhood. a family friend down the street made one for him and each of his brothers. i think i first saw this pillow when visiting his parents’ house before we got married, along with the the ‘matt’ pillow and thought they were the coolest things EVER! i’m thinking the ‘joey’ pillow was already residing w/ joe and mary at the time, because i didn’t see it until we were staying with them some time later. at any rate, the ‘david’ pillow has always had a home in our living room, and i’ve always had in the back of my head that i wanted to make a set of them for our kids. well, mary beat me. a couple weeks ago, she posted, on her blog, pictures of the super-cute pillows she made for HER kids! OH! i was green with envy (and frustration), but alas, i have no sewing machine! grrr. BUT, unbeknownst to me, my husband and mary were plotting! a couple weeks ago, i found out she was making them for us too! 002the infamous ‘david’ pillow that started it all (for me, at least).008the ‘shane’ pillow.003the ‘layla’ pillow.004 the ‘micah’ pillow.005and she even made me a ‘rachel’ pillow! i almost cried when she told me she was making one for me too! 001so here’s our collection of family pillows! i’m so excited for my kids to be able to take them with them wherever life leads them… and maybe inspire a 3rd generation of pillows!

thanks mary!!! we love our pillows and we love you!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

amazing feats in bad planning…

so i took a big risk yesterday, and was miraculously successful. i can only give credit to divine intervention, because normally, when i do this, i fail miserably.

i went grocery shopping…

without a list…

and no meal plan.

GASP!

somehow or other, having left my list at home (it only had two items on it anyway), i managed to do my shopping, on the fly, with two of my kids in tow, and mentally pulled together a meal plan and bought everything i needed. WOW.

so, although we’re halfway through the week, i’ll post my meal plan anyway.

on saturday, dave and i were away all day at the christian heritage homeschool conference, and my plan from last week was to make the tater tot casserole that night… with the ground beef that i had forgotten to take out of the freezer that morning… so we wound up having a super healthy meal of mac&cheese w/ hot dogs. AND PEAS! i always feel better if we have a vegetable with it… like it counteracts the crap factor. that, and it’s organic mac&cheese! okay, yes, i’m just trying to make myself feel better here. so, the result of that, was that we had the tater tot casserole on sunday, and then our traditional sunday night breakfast for dinner was on monday. we had scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. last night we had loaded baked potatoes. so, for the rest of the week,

  • wednesday: homemade mac & cheese w/ ham (out of the freezer); peas & corn
  • thursday: oven swiss steak; veggies; mashed potatoes
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: burgers; veggies; oven fries
  • sunday: french toast

so, in posting this now (as in, it’s written down and i can see it somewhere other than in my mind), i’m realizing that i will need to get another loaf of bread before sunday. and of course, i’ll need to get some eggs from angie.

*** funny, TRUE story: angie just showed up on my front porch with a dozen eggs! how hilarious is that!?!***

so anyway, it seems i’ve managed to pull it off for the most part! and, in case you picked up on it and were wondering, i did remember to get the 2 things that were on the list: peas and cheese. ;)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

meal plan… two days ago!

blah blah blah…

something happened last week. our meal plan kind of blew up. but that’s good news for this week because i can just transfer a lot of what we didn’t eat last week to this week!

  • sunday: burgers; oven fries; carrots (from last week)
  • monday: pancakes; bacon; fruit (from last week)
  • tuesday: chicken caesar salads
  • wednesday: leftover beef stew; sourdough
  • thursday: tater tot casserole (from last week)
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: soup; grilled cheese sandwiches

so basically, i don’t have to buy anything! well, that’s not true. i had to buy charcoal on sunday so we could grill the burgers. i could have just broiled them, but it was such a nice day it just seemed wrong! and we’re out of milk and coffee (GASP!) so i’ll have to make a costco run. but other than that, i think we’re good! which is awesome, because my grocery budget is kind of shot.

yesterday’s project

in case you didn’t know, i’m a spontaneous person. most of the time, i complain about this little aspect of my personality, because it’s downside is that i’m a BAD planner. committing to do something more than about an hour in advance has a tendency to give me the willies. i’m a last minute kinda person, like to do things when the pressure’s on. partly, this is because i’m just a bad procrastinator (actually, i think i’m a pretty good procrastinator). papers, for example, were always written at the last minute, the night before they were due – and i always got good grades on them (case in point – i’m good at procrastinating). packing is a slightly different example, but similar. if i’m going on a trip, i CANNOT pack for it until the night before i leave. i can mentally pack prior to that, but actually putting stuff in the suitcase any sooner than that, gives me the heebie jeebies and kind of makes me start to panic. first of all, it’s just a given that most of the clothes i want to take are being washed right then, and can’t be packed until they’re out of the dryer. secondly, i can’t pack anything because i might need it as soon as it’s in the suitcase, and then i’d have to unpack it, which would totally negate the process of packing it in the first place, so why bother? and then you can’t pack stuff like toiletries, because you’re going to need them the next morning before you leave… yeah, i know. i have issues. my final example can only be explained as rebellion. something inside me outright rebels when i have things i HAVE to do. if i try to enforce a schedule on myself for housework, i get less cleaning done then ever. something about knowing that i’m supposed to be doing it, causes me a to have a major resistance to it. i know, it’s ridiculous!

so anyway, aside from the negative aspect of being bad at planning, and resistant to routine, spontaneity can have an upside too. it’s the ‘bee in my bonnet’ experience. i’ll suddenly get inspired to do something, and then there’s no stopping me. one of those, ‘wow this shower is dirty. i should clean it.’ moments. sadly, i don’t have nearly enough of those moments or my house would be in a lot better shape! ;)

okay, enough therapy.

this is what i did yesterday:

003

all my preschool stuff has been in the garage since i quit teaching before micah was born. i’d been meaning to get out the calendar (particularly for layla) for awhile, but of course, it just never happened. but then, yesterday, layla asked me a question, and i was trying to explain when friday was, and she wanted to know if it was ‘the day after this day’ (she still can’t figure out what ‘tomorrow’ means), and suddenly that bee flew into my bonnet! so i got out all the calendar stuff, sorted the numbers (there are different ones for almost every month – some are mine, some i inherited from my mother), cleared a spot on the wall, and layla and micah helped me put everything up.

005 i decided i need some sort of signs to help layla understand the concept of words like ‘today’, ‘tomorrow’, and ‘yesterday’, so i decided to print some that we could stick on the calendar and move daily. 007 then i figured that since i was making those, i should make labels for major holidays and birthdays as well. as it turned out, i probably made 30 or 40 labels, covered them with contact paper and cut them all out. it was actually really fun! i also got out my weather chart so we can keep track of the weather (you know, because graphing is always a good time!).

layla was really excited about it, and so far, micah has been able to resist the temptation to yank them all off, although he thinks it’s really fun to drive his monster truck over the dates. oh well.

the saga of micah and the never-ending mystery fever… installment 2

so this post is already anti-climactic because he’s over it! i still don’t know what it was, because he’s certainly not sick w/ anything i can see.

but anyway, installment 2 goes like this. saturday morning, he woke up cool. he was relatively happy, played, etc. once again, i was thinking we were in the clear. then sometime, late morning, he came and got me and told me he wanted to snuggle. red flag #1. so we went and cuddled up on the couch. he wound up falling asleep draped across my lap, and as he slept, i could feel him getting warmer and warmer. while he slept, i stuck the thermometer in his armpit and the highest it went was 100.4. so then i’m confused. it’s up. but not that much. do i take him in, or not?

i decided to call the nurse advice line at our dr’s office and when they called me back they basically said that since it had been that many days, he should probably be seen. so we got an appointment for early afternoon. i LOVE that about our pediatrician’s office. you can ALWAYS get in. even on the weekends.

so we go. he gets examined. the big sigh of relief came when she looked in his ears and they were fine. PHEW! she looked at everything else and said that his nose looked a little congested and his throat looked a little red, but nothing was bad enough to be concerning. so that was a little frustrating, but at least there’s nothing obvious wrong with him. we were told to give it a couple more days and come back on monday if the fever didn’t go away.

well, it did.

saturday was the last we saw of it. dave stayed home from church with him on sunday, and other than not eating a whole lot that day, he was perfectly normal, and yesterday the same.

so there you go, the never-ending mystery fever finally ended, but it’s still a mystery!

Friday, April 16, 2010

the saga of micah and the never-ending mystery fever…. installment 1

my little guy has been plagued since wednesday, with this crazy fever that just keeps going up and down. my first clue should have been the 5am wake up on wednesday morning, and what sounded like some slight sniffles.

layla had an appointment that morning to have her hearing tested, and i had arranged for micah to hang w/ my friend lindsey. he seemed kind of quiet and sleepy when i dropped him off, but i assumed that was due to a combination of being a little sleepy from getting up so early, and being in a strange place.

when i came back to get him, just over  an hour later, he was passed out on the floor of the livingroom, in a pile of toy trains. interesting.

we took layla to preschool and then came home, at which time, micah asked to watch phineas and ferb. so i turned it on and he lay, comatose, for the next half hour on the pooh couch. it was at this point that it occurred to me to take his temperature (duh!) and at 102.6, i gave up on my slow-poke thermometer and just went for the tylenol (and my IM window to apologize to lindsey!).

when he went to bed that night it was at 103.0, and reached that again later yesterday afternoon. that’s when i called the dr. to see if the thought they should see him. they said no. not until saturday, or it goes up to 105, do they need to see him.

UGH! this is so frustrating because he doesn’t seem to have any other obvious symptoms, which kind of makes me afraid he might have an ear infection or strep throat or something. he doesn’t complain about anything specific, but just kind of squirms and moans when the fever is up.

when it’s down, of course (via the tylenol rally), he’s playing baseball, playdough, jumping on the trampoline, asking for ice cream, etc…

i was so excited this morning when he woke up and seemed cool. i took his temperature and it was normal, even though he was very whiney. he eventually perked up, and his fever seemed to be gone! finally!

and then about an hour ago, i noticed he looked like this:001

and we’re back at 102.6. GRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

tomorrow AM, he’s either better or at the dr. the momma bear thing is kicking in in a BIG way.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

meal plan monday… tuesday…

i have no idea why i didn’t post this yesterday. oh well.

  • monday: french dips; veggies (something happened last week and we never had these, so we did this week!)
  • tuesday: homemade mac&cheese w/ ham; peas
  • wednesday: beef stew; sourdough
  • thursday: tater tot casserole
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: burgers; oven fries; veggies
  • sunday: pancakes

did the shopping yesterday, and a big thank you to the friendly checker at safeway, who, when my total was $100. 87, allowed me to empty the change compartment of my wallet on the counter, counted out .84 and called it good! all so i didn’t have to break a twenty for 87 cents! so i owe safeway .3!

Friday, April 9, 2010

spring break/cleaning

no, don’t worry, you haven’t stumbled upon the wrong blog. you know, the blog of someone who actually DOES spring cleaning! it’s really me.

it’s friday of spring break. and yes, even though we’re homeschoolers, that does mean something. first of all, any of shane’s classes that he takes are off this week, and HE KNOWS when all the vacations and days off are. it’s like he’s got a sixth sense. you know, the ‘anti-school sense’. of course, he’s probably off learning more this week than he does the rest of the year. he’s been working, full days, w/ susie this week, and happy as a clam about it. sometimes i’m tempted to just forego school and let him work with her all day. she is, after all, what’s considered an official master gardener. she has an acre of partially wooded property, on the lake, that she has entirely landscaped with native plants. they spend hours weeding, planting, replanting, labeling, filing, recording, mulching, and otherwise caring for the gardens. and when they’re not doing that, they’re off doing landscape work for private homeowners and local businesses. seriously. do not tell me this is NOT education.

anyway, layla’s been sick this week. she’s got a cold to beat all, so we’ve been pretty much stuck at home and laying low. nobody really seems to mind though.

i’ve been taking advantage of this time by thinking about decluttering. really! i’ve made this amazing discovery! (bear with me here, i know it’s stupid, but it never occurred to me before.) it’s possible to get rid of just part of something, but not the whole thing. for example, i just sorted through the playdough toys. my first thought when i see something like that is to either keep or get rid of. especially if something is a ‘set’ of some sort. but i have decided not to let that sort of stuff get the best of me anymore! the kids like playing with playdough, so i’m not going to get rid of all of it, but it’s ridiculous when you can’t even reach the bottom of the bin to find the tool you want. so i sorted the playdough toys and got rid of easily half of them! AWESOME! now you can actually see what’s in the bin! i did the same thing earlier in the week with the play kitchen stuff. i mean really, why on earth did we need 4 plastic casserole dishes and 6 plastic frying pans?! i also weeded through the food. awesome!

earlier i hit the drawers in my bathroom. i tossed 2 curling irons and a hairbrush i never use. i can shut that drawer now! i also pulled out 3 bottles of perfume i have been hanging onto but NEVER use.

in the kitchen i decided to get rid of our spinning spice rack. it’s taking up space on the counter and i don’t really use that much. it has 12 jars, and since i own many more than 12 spices, they are also stored in a drawer. why not keep them all together? so that’s going.

next, i think i’ll hit the trains, the ‘box of random toys’, and possibly the duplos - not sure we need 2 bins full of them.

so anyway, that’s what i’ve been doing this week… that, and trying not to get sick! still fighting that off, we’ll see if i succeed.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

meal plan monday-ish…

so i’m late. boo hoo.

  • monday: scrambled eggs w/ leftover ham and cheese; english muffins
  • tuesday: burgers; carrot sticks
  • wednesday: roast beef; potatoes; veggies
  • thursday: chicken of some sort……
  • friday: pizza; green beans
  • saturday: french dips; salad
  • sunday: waffles; sausage

i’ve already done a little bit of shopping, but need to finish up. don’t need much though, because i already have a lot of stuff – ground beef, buns, carrots, roast, potatoes, veggies, hoagie rolls… love costco shopping! just need to pick up some chicken (and whatever i decide to have w/ it), some salad stuff, buttermilk, and sausages. shouldn’t be too bad!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

easter weirdness

so it’s 9:39pm and we’ve just (sort of) finished our easter celebration. what a wacko day. what a wacko weekend. it does not feel so much like easter.

to start, we’re all tired. we had a great little overnight trip south to visit kat and cole, and to celebrate cole’s 40th. kat had a surprise party planned for him. it was totally fun, the kids were just running crazy all day long and having so much fun together, the guys went on some bike rides, etc. etc. we got home last night at around 9, and i had to head straight out to target to get some easter surprises or the kids were going to have empty baskets. yes, that’s waiting til the last minute. i tried to do it yesterday morning, but after spending an hour in walmart and getting everything sorted out and at the checkout, i discovered that my debit card was not in my wallet and i had no way to pay for anything. POO! so i frantically shopped last night, then had to get gas, then had to hit the grocery store.

this morning everyone was still tired, but the kids had fun w/ their easter ‘sbackets’ and we somehow or other made it to church, only a little late.

it was during church that i realized that there was something wrong w/ layla. she was very quiet and not really herself. when dave took her and micah to the nursery to play, she just sat on his lap and cuddled. she said her throat hurt. as the service went on, her cheeks got redder and redder and she got quieter and quieter.

at any rate, it looks like she’s wound up with what shane had last week.

my parents were planning to come over here for dinner, but we were kind of in limbo, waiting to see how she was. well, she took her motrin and rallied, so we decided to go ahead w/ dinner, which at that point was going to be very late. i took a walk w/ shane and micah and micah fell asleep. so he took a nap at about 6 and slept for an hour. needless to say, he’s still running around w/ no sign of going to bed EVER. we ate at about 7:15 and i didn’t think shane was going to make it through dessert. i don’t know what happened to him, but he was suddenly very tired and went to bed right after dinner. he says he feels fine, just tired. but he’s sounded sniffly and sneezy all day, so i think he’s got a cold, and my vomit paranoia is kicking in a little too, even though he said his stomach is fine. layla is currently passed out w/ daddy on the couch, and my parents are still here.

so anyway, it just hasn’t really felt like easter all day. i’m tired, i feel worn down. i’m worried about my kids, even though i know it’s just general whatever sickness… still, it’s a mom thing. we worry. we didn’t even do an easter egg hunt. i kind of want a do over.

but you know what? it doesn’t matter how i feel. it doesn’t matter if dinner was late, if egg hunts didn’t happen, if people aren’t feeling well. it doesn’t have to feel like easter. it’s still easter. Jesus still died for me and everyone else. he still defeated death and the devil and still lives again, so that i can too.

pretty awesome, huh?

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