Thursday, December 27, 2012

new shoes

G's been wearing some New Balance shoes from the thrift store for about 2 years.  I've bought him other shoes from the thrift store in this time.  The school even sent home a pair of payless basketball shoes in October.  But his favorites are the New Balance shoes that have busted seams. 

One pair that seemed promising, I bought for $5 from the thrift store.  Then the rubber soles came off, on field day.  Poor G.  So dad sneakily had 1 repaired for $5 and we tried again in November.  G came home with no soles on his feet.   $10 is a small investment on the spectrum of traumatizing experiences.  Luckily G is not one to cry over something like this, as I would have... 

He's at that age where you can't get decent shoes at the thrift store anymore.  So we went over to the outlet stores to see what deals they had.  Lucky us, they were having a massive 50% off sale.  Too bad we couldn't find anything that fit him.  Then he lost his gloves in one store so we had to go back after the 2nd store that had nothing that fit.  Lucky again, a friend of ours works there, 2 friends even.  So he helped us find shoes that fit, and she gave us her 30% employee discount on top of the 50% sale.  So my first time in his now 8 years of life, buying him shoes from a store, we got some sweet shoes for $13. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


My mother in law mentioned that there would be some large gifts this year and we might need to use multiple cars/trips to get it all home.  The P family have always been amazing at Christmas but this year I was blown away.  A kitchen aid, no way!  Incredibly generous and it turns out that it is a tradition now.  Grandma L gave mother in law C one back in the day.  Now C has given me one.  Pretty nice tradition.  : )

Saturday, December 22, 2012


This is a death star.  For reals.  We had the season finale play etc for the homeschool group last night.  Then I came home and baked the cake and painted this pinata I've been working on.  The party was the usual tons of pizza with themed pinata and cake.  The theme was star wars. 

We woke up at 7:10 to get to the 8am choir rehearsal on time!  Then at 10:10 I left to hustle over to the playground and set up.  Everyone came and it was great! 

I even micromanaged the pinata to keep small kids from getting trampled.  Each kid had to have a partner, more or less.   One of the pair was to hit the death star, the other was to hold 2 cups for getting candy (quantity control).  I also packed the death star with about 8 lbs of candy and 2 boxes of Star Crunch cookies.  G was the only one to get trampled in the initial dives for small dribbles.  By the end, when everyone was so tired of standing around, I let G, who had barely stopped crying, tear it open.  His up got filled on the initial down pour, then I waved the pinata around to spread the wealth. 

So now we're home after a marathon of the last 24 hours!  Busy time.  I better go practice my recorder.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

understanding the people who say "no"

Today at choir I was a major dolt because I hadn't prepared music I'd said I would on Recorder.  Between making sure the kids are fed, clothed, homeschool group, school, speech therapy, sewing 7 costumes for G's school play, starting a scout troop, being primary president, covering for the singing time teacher, covering for the interpreter in primary, and looking fabulous, plus other major life needs, I forgot I needed to do 3 songs instead of 1.

I think I could have handled the rest if not for the school costumes.  That was too much.  For years I've been frustrated at the people who don't volunteer, and even say "no" when asked.  Maybe it turns out they want their Sabath to be a day of rest.  What a wild idea.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

someday we'll go there on a date

There is a company in town that rents bounce houses and has an ice cream shop.  The brilliance of this business model is that every Saturday they have a bounce house up in front of their store.  I'm going to start taking advantage of this pattern when we have family visiting.  I'm also going to start having date night there.  Not like often, but often enough for it to become rooted in my children's memories (like the carousel by the library) as evidence that their parents were rich. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

the insanity

 Some friends recently gave us this nice bunk bed.  The bottom fold out into a futon.  So now our moon room is also the room of many beds.   You can now comfortably sleep 4 adults!  And there is still room on the floor for more!  Then the kids threw pillows at each other and broke a blade off the ceiling fan.  So they are banned from that room until the end of January.  We have visitors through most of that time so it's just as well.  Luckily the fan hardware matches the variety sold at the hardware store.  So it's a bummer, but that's why there is money in the repair envelope, if a little less now.
This is our glorious 4' Christmas tree.  My mom gave it to us 8 years ago when G was eminent and we had no Christmas decor.  The ornaments are mostly kid friendly.  I was sad that someone recently broke the pinkie off the "I love you" penguin.  M pointed out with relief that now the penguin is signing "L" so it's ok.
 I plan to compare this stately hug picture with future pictures of M with boys.  The picture of her with the vacuum (the fear of which she had finally overcome) was much more affectionate.
 I'm having a real hum-buggy kind of year.  Where is my vapid consumerism and yearning to let the kids believe in the magic?  I've never encouraged any belief in Santa.  Where all the gifts come from?  Grandma, Grandma, Grandma, Grandpa, family, and friend.  This gets us into trouble sometimes when M tells her other friends there is no Santa.  It's also hard on her when St. Nicholas visits some of her friends, putting candy in their shoes, and doesn't visit us.  Harsh! 

So when M says there is no Santa, I say, "Then who was that guy we saw at the light house?"  And she sagely replies "It was just a man in a costume!" 

lP didn't want to have anything to do with it.

This year I'm really interested in gifts that are consumable and useful.  My "gift" to P is a trackball he needs for his computer.  Woah!  A gift can't be something you were going to buy anyway!  We're at that place in life where we can afford to buy what we need, and if we don't need it, why the heck would we want it?  The predominant philosophy seems to be to spend money you don't have on things you don't need.  Brilliant!  Not that gifts aren't nice, and please send them, anyone who was going to.  But it's nice to be at a place in my marriage where I can be grateful for P replacing the kitchen faucet on Dec 7, and not cry on Christmas day if there's nothing under the tree (like I did 10 years ago).   I'm finally grown up enough to appreciate his satisfaction in doing something necessary, and his dislike of doing things because society tells him to.

So this year I'm mostly interested in giving people delicious food.

Also, I recently learned how much amazingly good food can come from $12 of pork and bbq sauce in my crock pot.  It's probably not a good thing either.  But it is so good and so easy. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I don't think my mom ever wore a blanket to pick me up from school.

On Thanksgiving morning we cooked up some bacon.  The kids acted like it was the first time in their lives that they had had bacon.  JK.  They acted like it was the first time in their lives that I had cooked it for them, which it was.  Camping a few weeks ago a friend had let the children each have a few slices and they've been begging for it ever since. 
Grandma is so kind and kept offering to help.  It was the bacon that made me realize that in general I don't want help, but if someone asks as I'm about to start a task I don't like doing, like cooking bacon, or washing dishes,  I'll say yes!
She also bought us a lovely bouquet of which this is only a portion.  It brightened our life for a week and then a friend was visiting and I sent it home with her.  She was thrilled and it lasted another week for her.  Pass it along flowers! 

Last year a friend came to visit on their way home in Tampa, from a visit in Jacksonville.  They had flowers from a dance recital in Tampa that had survived their visit in Jacksonville.  They didn't feel like taking them the last leg, so they left them with us.  They gave us a week of joy and then it was great to throw them away knowing they had brightened so many lives.  They had been appreciated enough, their growth hadn't been cut off completely in vain.

Today when I went to pick up G the girls were asleep so I asked the secretary to bring G out.  They are so kind and this is the usual arrangement.  I just have to remember to bring my phone, and make sure it has charge...  It was drizzling a little, so I got out of the car and stood there with the umbrella.  Then it got cold!  So I got our car blanket out and put it around my shoulders. 

So there I am in a blanket to pick my son up from school.  I joked to the secretary that I had become my mom.  But I'm pretty sure my classy mom never wore a blanket when she was picking us up from school.  What I mean though is that I have grown up.  And the things that children find embarrassing, I find convenient.  Luckily G is his father's son and embarrassment is hard to come by.

The blanket in question is the pinnacle of many things I enjoy in life.  The fabric was given to me by someone, whom it was given to, who had scavenged it from the dumpster= Extreme Thrift.  I use it weekly at our homeschool group.  I can tie it in a knot and use it to carry lP in a pinch.  Also, it is one layer of sheet material and one layer of flannel.  That is my second favorite weight of blanket, the first being duvet.

Sunday, December 2, 2012


For about a year I've been amazed at M's ability to memorize tunes and lyrics, and anything that is ever said in her hearing...  G learned to read at 3 but never seemed to have that ability to store it all as perfectly.  But hey, when you can read faster than your mom and your 7, who needs a perfect memory.  Except that he does apparently have an amazing memory.  He recently read a collection of fairy tales.  It's a great collection with the actual Grimms and Hans Christian Anderson etc published in the 20's.  It's about 350 pages and minimal pictures.  So it's not light reading really.  I haven't made it all the way through it.  He read it in 2 evenings.  And he's retained a functional knowledge of the stories! 

I was reading Hansel and Gretel to M throughout the day because I get really grumpy at night and usually can't make it through even one story.  G came along as the children found the candy house.  I started to sign what was happening and then he says "Nibble nibble little mouse.  Who's that nibbling at my house?" 

Honestly it freaked me out a little.  How could he have read the whole collection and retained that level of detail?  In his own words he has a "really big brain" and things just all fit inside.  Great.  We had a little talk about how nobody likes you if you go around saying your brain is bigger than theirs.  He also spoiled the ending by telling how Gretel pushes the witch into the oven.  I had forgotten and I told him not to spoil it for M.  She said "I already heard, he said Gretel pushes the witch into the oven." 

Basically he's amazing. 

And old school fairy tales are really scary.  And they are filled with all sorts of mean things said by the bad people who always get what they deserve.  So while I shy away from reading such meanness, I believe that they are less confusing than modern stories.  When the bad person is really consistently bad, like the gnome in "Snow White and Rose Red" it's ok that they get killed.  

Also, the consistent portrayal of step-mothers is a lost message in modern times.  In the old days the only way you got a step mother was if your mom died.  So of course your real mother would never do that to you and she's dead so she can't protect you.  But in modern times, a step mother is often the product of a father who didn't control his passions and is as much a threat to the children as the step-mother.  Thank you divorce!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

they call it Save a lot...

A Save-a-Lot has opened in town and I'm wondering how we afforded to eat for the last 2 years.  Sheesh!  So people in town are talking about it and wondering what it's like.  One family I know to be not paying their own grocery bill said they wouldn't go because it was so crowded.  It's been a few weeks and the town has had a chance to see what it's all about.  Today I went twice!  Both times it was very empty with the few shoppers there clearly unsure of this non Publix world.

So here's my defense of Save-a-lot.

They don't sell brand names, mostly just their own high quality brand, for half the price of what you get at the larger grocers.

It looks like a warehouse because they don't have a large staff.  The inventory comes in boxes ready to be sold out of the box, which are just stacked.

If you are living on food stamps you will never exceed the provided amount.

Customer service is very limited.  It's Save-a-Lot, not Publix.

To me Save-a-lot is like a dream.  I don't like having unlimited options, let alone having to search the length of a football field to find it.  Malls are terrible.  So many stores, how will I ever feel like I got a good deal or found what I would like best.  With just one brand of Rasin Bran, being sold for $1.99 a box, I can confidently put 5 in my cart.  I don't have to wait for sales, or buy in pairs to satisfy BOGO requirements.

Bags are not free and the cashier doesn't bag your things.  Are we not living in an eco enough time to recognize that this is good?   The strategy I use is to search for a box while I shop, like the cereal boxes, and put my items in it, in the cart.  At the check out I put my items onto the belt in a way that the cashier can easily put them back in the box as they put them in the cart.  They get rid of a box, Win!

After 2 years of trying to shop the sales and use coupons, I'm glad to just go back to the lazy way of shopping at a store that sells food for the actual price, rather than wildly inflated so it can go on "sale".

One negative about Save-A-Lot is that it's perhaps uncomfortable.  If you say you need to save money, but not that bad, you're pathetic.   If you expect 5 star service as a matter of course when you're paying 2 star prices, that's just crazy.  Service costs money!  I have enjoyed shopping at Publix, it has been a pleasure.  I'm sure I'll still go there for prescriptions and other high end items.  I am so glad to have another option now for Milk, Eggs, Bread, Cereal, etc... you know the things we eat every day.

Monday, November 26, 2012


I've been teaching recorder/music to a group of homeschool kids.  They use a very fancy recorder that doesn't need forked fingering to play Fa, so it's very intuitive to play using solfege.  I love it.  As I've been trying to explain to the children why we do this crazy thing, I've come up with some funny stories.  My favorite is to tell them that we're learning the relationships of the notes. 

Imagine you have a group of girls and boys.  Helen, Simon, Lily, Derek, and Shaylee.  We can guess at the male or female status of them based on the names.  But can you guess why Helen and Simon should not date?  Because they are related.

Imagine you have a group of kids and adult women.  We tend to memorize the children's names and simply memorize the women by their relationship to the women.

The relationship between Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti, and Do are predictable.  Mom,  Dad, Brother, Sister, Aunt Uncle tell you the relationship of each member to the others in a family.  To describe altered relationships in families we use terms like "half", or "step".  In music we use "sharp" and "flat" to describe these accidentals. 

Friday, November 23, 2012

catching the moment

 The kids took a moment on Monday to pose for me.  I don't think I took any pictures in October.  We have a nice homeschool group that meets weekly and when G doesn't have school he comes along.
 lP has figured out how to hold up the fingers to sign "I love you."  It's deliciously sweet.
 M and G took the camera and photographed themselves being silly at grandma's house.
 Don't tell them I posted these cute pictures because I scolded them for using the camera.
Our contribution to the world of Thanksgiving crafts was to make sugar cookies in the shape of hands and decorate them like turkeys.  Cute, I know.  Turns out that sprinkles are a very imprecise medium.

Monday, November 12, 2012


P comments that I never follow recipes.  Part of this is my shameless self confidence that things will work out fine because I'm such a good cook.  Part of this is that I am often unwilling to use as much butter, cheese, or whatever premium ingredient the recipe calls for.  I think I know best.  Really we eat just fine.

We went camping this weekend and parts of it were fairly miserable.  We haven't committed the resources to have a really enjoyable camping experience.  Eating our hotdogs around a flashlight rather than a lantern, freezing under our duvet rather than in sleeping bags, M wearing G's Saturday clothes because she had and accident and I didn't pack spare clothes because space was limited in our faithful compact Sentra.  We're not willing to go into debt to have a nice camping experienced, or to get  a minivan so we can always have everything we need all the time... so I can't be surprised that sometimes I don't have a great outing.

I am grateful that P and I(myself rather than some mysterious new person whose name starts with I) are willing to commit the resources for a happy marriage.  It is miraculous how often one of us needs the other to jump in when we're feeling grumpy and un-enthused about the screaming.  And it is even more miraculous that we have not yet in 12 years of marriage had a complete break down in this juggling act.  Awesome.

I learned on the camping trip to bring a string of Christmas lights, rather than a lantern.  String them up and you've got general lighting and mood!  I've got Christmas lights.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Back from staycation

I've been having a few bad weeks of health and motivation.  So my main room has been scattered with a daily smattering of toys etc...  I didn't have any visitors that my health, and busy schedule couldn't dispel.  Also, I was sucked into the vortex of the last 3 novels in my favorite series.  It would have been worse if I had all 5 books.  Bad enough with 3.  So except for reading, and cooking, I was on staycation. 
But now I'm back and I got things cleaned up and even vacuumed.   Also, it was cold last week.  Cold as in 50 some days.  I know, we're wimpy Floridians.  But it warmed up today and even though my neck is still not sure it wants to stay with this body, I was able to muster some energy to get some chores done.  I don't suffer from a perfectionists dilemma of "Clean All The Things".  I just do what I want, shamelessly, grateful for P's patience.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

do not call

Actually any of you should call.  Last year we had to change our phone number and now we get calls every day for the people who used to have this phone number.  It is so annoying.  And on top of that we get calls now every day from the RNC, and that is apparently also thanks to the people who used to have this number.  This morning Susan got a call from Romney himself.  Wow. 

I've heard of people changing their numbers because they were being hounded by collectors.  I'm not answering my phone because of their collection calls.  Lovely.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


It is wonderful to have memories like these.

so much sensless stupidity

“Dear Ann Coulter,
Come on Ms. Coulter, you aren’t dumb and you aren’t shallow. So why are you continually using a word like the R-word as an insult?
I’m a 30-year-old man with Down syndrome who has struggled with the public’s perception that an intellectual disability means that I am dumb and shallow. I am not either of those things, but I do process information more slowly than the rest of you. In fact it has taken me all day to figure out how to respond to your use of the R-word last night.
I thought first of asking whether you meant to describe the President as someone who was bullied as a child by people like you, but rose above it to find a way to succeed in life as many of my fellow Special Olympians have.
Then I wondered if you meant to describe him as someone who has to struggle to be thoughtful about everything he says, as everyone else races from one snarkey sound bite to the next.
Finally, I wondered if you meant to degrade him as someone who is likely to receive bad health care, live in low grade housing with very little income and still manages to see life as a wonderful gift.
Because, Ms. Coulter, that is who we are — and much, much more.
After I saw your tweet, I realized you just wanted to belittle the President by linking him to people like me. You assumed that people would understand and accept that being linked to someone like me is an insult and you assumed you could get away with it and still appear on TV.
I have to wonder if you considered other hateful words but recoiled from the backlash.
Well, Ms. Coulter, you, and society, need to learn that being compared to people like me should be considered a badge of honor.
No one overcomes more than we do and still loves life so much.
Come join us someday at Special Olympics. See if you can walk away with your heart unchanged.
A friend you haven’t made yet,
John Franklin Stephens

Friday, October 19, 2012

Millennial day

   Today we went to the temple as a couple for the first time in 8 years!  Another family with 6 kids was going and offered to swap kids.  It was an eventful day starting with a melt down from G about missing school.  When we met up at the church with the other family, they were delayed by a seminary student getting into a low speed accident on their way out of the neighborhood. 
  Eventually we made it to the park in Orlando where the other family would watch the kids while P and I went to a session.   Going to the temple on a millennial day (when many other members from the stake are going) was cool.  I saw 3 ladies from my stake, and was able to do one of the family names for my brother in law's aunt, who is in my stake.  Sister Reid, from my growing up ward was serving in the temple so I got to see her.  And I even saw 2 sisters from the Gainesville ward.  Wild.
   We weren't able to make the 11 so that increased the time at the park to 3 hours by the time we got back.  So rather than stay, we headed to the temple for a change of scene.  The other family was taking their 2 older children to do baptisms.  It was supposed to be short but they didn't even start for an hour, and then the ward they were joining had such a large crowd that it took them another 1 and a half hours to get back.  Luckily there was a beautiful, dry retaining pond at the end of the temple grounds.  There was hills to run on, beautiful magnolia trees to climb and a nice breeze. 
  Then we headed off to see what Ikea is all about.  My goodness what a huge maze.  I didn't like that.  But I did like the food.  I got a nice roast chicken dinner thought.  I have a negative memory of the meatballs from the reunion camp out.  Too bad.  The kids got to have chicken strips and fries for $2, sweet.  We picked up a roll of butcher paper for drawing and a set of the wonderful kids cups etc..  As many as we have, somehow we run out.  3 meals a day x 3 kids uses all we have every day.  And anytime we have friends over, we're stretched too thin.  1st world problems.  Wash a dish!
   It was a 12 hour extravaganza.  I'm so grateful for the temple.  I'm grateful for my sweet husband who took me to the temple 12.5 years ago.   On Sunday when the stake president asked me how I was doing, I said "Trying to be worthy of all the blessings."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

lessons learned

Today at the playground M wanted me to push her higher.  She can pump, but she also likes to be pushed.  I'm not feeling even 75% so instead of pushing her higher I gave her a little nugget of truth.   I told her that if she wanted to do the work, she could choose how high she would go, but that if she wanted someone else to do the work, they got to choose how high she would go.

We're attending a birthday party today and I was trying to tie a bow.  I've never mastered the difference between tying a bow and tying shoelaces.  But the internet knows.  So i found this nice lesson and shazam! a nicely tied bow.  Now I'll have to keep this on bookmark so I can maybe develop a habit.

On Tuesday I saw a listing for a van that I like at a great price and with really low mileage.  So I got over eager to go check it out.  Rather than wait for P to be available, I made arrangements to go up Wednesday and take it to a mechanic.  $50 for the mechanic + $13 for the lunch in a sandwich shop (since I was in such a hurry I didn't prepare a lunch).  The mechanic noticed an oil change sticker with a different mileage, as of May.  So that blew the great mileage out of the water.  They stopped the inspection there wanting me to give them the go ahead.  I meanwhile was sitting across the road waiting for the recommended 1 hour for the inspection to be complete.  They could have called me if I'd had a functioning cell phone on me.  Once again, I've known I needed to get it fixed but hadn't taken the time.  Sheesh!  I had also noticed the maintenance sticker but the difference in mileage hadn't registered in my brain, maybe I was too much in a hurry.  So a lot of time and money were spent finding out that it was a lemon. 

But I'm learning that nothing in life is free and that the phrase "too good to be true" is true.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Things to come

 These beautiful children.  We have magical moments where I feel like I've skipped 25 years and am enjoying them as a grandparent.  I've told you how we play card games with a 7 year old, 5 year old, and 2 year old.  It's amazing.  They've started to clear and set the table.  They are so incandescently beautiful I just can't stand it, often.   lP let me braid her hair and I was completely startled by how beautiful it was.  She's the queen of crazy hair.  Someday...

  Tonight we had FHE and everyone has a job.  G gave the lesson using a flyer from his primary class.  M led us in a game of Doggie Doggie Where's Your Bone.  We used a doll for the bone (don't read too much into that) and then for the last round switched it out with a candy bar.

My father in law gave us this lovely laminated world map.  Can you believe that in 14 years M will be posing in front of this picture pointing to the area she's going to serve a mission in?  Wild.  The recent change in age for women to serve missions is a huge game changer.  I'm so excited for my girls to go on missions at 19 because they better not be getting married at 18. 

That awkward moment...

Several people have asked me if I un-friended them on Facebook.  I'm just not on it now.  So that looks a lot like being un-friended, except that if they search for me I just don't exist.  I think I will have to figure out how to have more self control and go on Facebook again.  There are several people for whom I have no other way of contacting them.  So...  But I have no self control.  I am either not eating sugar or I'm frying up a batch of doughnuts.  Sheesh!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

nice parents...

I worry about the children.  Maybe we're being too nice to them.  I mean, there is still bed times with lots of meanness to counterbalance a days worth of trips to the library and playgrounds etc...  But it's hard to not just give them everything you can.  And it takes effort to remember that they have to practice good character when they are young so it is a habit later. 

I think one aspect of good character is gratitude and not wasting.   Honesty, Gratitude, and Generosity. 

and not biting people...

Monday, October 8, 2012

hearing aids

Our lesson this week for Primary is that "Worthy young men receive the priesthood at 12".  This is always a point of confusion since in general we try to not have boy things and girl things despite the way that we live our lives in very gender typical roles.   So the idea came to me to liken the priesthood to glasses or hearing aids.  Some people have them and some people don't.  Is that bad? 

   I honor the preisthood and have been told countless times that men shouldn't try to claim privilege because of it.  Maybe I'll liken it to a box of bandaids that you have to use for others but never yourself.   Clearly I need to read and think on this so I don't spout false doctrine or leave the girls wondering what's up.  I cannot recall ever wishing to have the priesthood.  I have also never desired to be the sole breadwinner for our family, thought I have done that for a little while. 

  We have such a covetous society and in some ways it's hard to understand the idea of "I don't need everything..." let alone help kids understand it.  I do want my children to appreciate our tremendous blessings.  I want them to escape the cycle of more is better and learn that more is just more.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

a new light

With the new light in the bathroom, certain dingy spots were suddenly glaring at me.  The sink had a calcium mark from a previous faucet.  I tried CLR, I tried soft scrub.  Finally I remembered the good old Brillo trick and got the calcium marks off pretty quick.  I also got the soap stain off the sink. 

I also scrubbed the bath with the brillo pad.  Awesome!!  It's my new magic eraser.  Obviously not good for walls, but amazing on soap scum.

Friday, October 5, 2012

My mom used to say...

 When I was 13 or so I remember going in and out of K-mart several times consulting with my mom over what coat I should buy.  (Man, wouldn't it be nice to send your kids into the store?)  My mom used to say I was shopping for the millennium.   Witness these cast iron muffin pans.  Yes, they are meant to be heirlooms.  Yes, I spent long spans of time deciding what to get and then finding the pest price on them.
 And yes, they can fit into a toaster oven when all the kids grow up and all I need is one box of Jiffy mix worth of muffins.  And yes! they stack so they don't take up tons of storage.  And yes! they are both non-stick and I can use a knife when they are not quite non stick enough.  Usually I just turn it upside down and and the muffins fall out.  But I have in the past wanted to use a knife on muffin pans but because they were non-stick I couldn't.
 One of these lights is more effective than the other.  The light on the left was not very effective, but its partner would burn out florescent bulbs in months.   So for the last few weeks the bathroom was sort of dark. 
The new light on the right, which we now have a matching pair, is amazingly bright.  Who knew lighting could remodel the bathroom?  I really like the lights.  You can't tell because they are so bright, but they have a pretty wavy pattern in the glass.  The cord will straighten ought in a few days and then I'll take the glamor shots.  I love it when I can buy something that makes me look like I have better taste than I do.  These are a mix and match light you can buy in Home Depot.  After an hour of wandering around with the kids, we went back for another look and found these.  Hurray!  And the icing on the cake is that with these new bright lights the iridescence on the shell stained glass really pops.  The children were oohing and ahhing over it.  They'd never seen it in these 11 months we've lived here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Amazing Bread

The secret to bread dough a strong 5 year old can make is as follows:
           combine and let sit for 10 minutes
2 cups warm water
1 Tbs yeast
          add all at once and then toss like a salad:
6 heaping cups of bread flour
1 Tbs salt
2 Tbs brown sugar (optional)
          The goal hear is to make many small pellets
          of flour coated dough.  Then you add:
1/4 oil or 2Tbs of butter/lard what have you.
          Adding the oil at this point takes your bread
straight to kneading stage.  So instead of having it
get harder and harder to stir, you just dig in with
your hands.  Also, the oil makes it so your hands
don't get so sticky.  It's magic.

Even more magical than a cheek full of fruit snacks.


I read this article which my husband posted on facebook which I no longer play (but I went on to see what he was thinking)... sad, so sad.

On a side note I am amazed how much more often I say yes to my kids when I have nothing in my inbox and don't have facebook to browse.

So reading this article I was feeling a little bad that someone might think I don't like teachers because I homeschool.  Dude!  I love teachers!  I was one.  I am one.  I am married to one.  I know what an impossible task they throw themselves at.  What I don't like is school.  And more than that, I don't like other kids and the values they bring with them to school.  We are not religious homeschoolers, but call me self righteous I don't want my kid picking up the apathy and drama.  OK we grow plenty of drama ourselves. 

M told me on Friday that her group had gone to a playground across the street and had to run away because of the alligators.  There are a lot of details when she tells this story.  Knowing her amazing kindy teacher, I suggested that maybe the alligators weren't real but just looked like alligators.  "No mom, they were real.  They had teeth and eyes and were coming at us..."    I was worried about this apparent "story making" and discussed it with P.   Lo and behold, it's ok, normal even for a 5 year old to honestly believe the story they have created.   And it turns out that society and our lives in general are held together by our holding fast to the stories we tell ourselves.   Reality schmeality.

This year we started formally "unschooling" M, since she's 5 and all.  In addition to formally hanging out, reading and playing, we attend a Waldorf group on Mondays and Fridays.   I've mentioned this a few times.  This group is mega ambitious.  I like the people.  I like their children.   Monday and Friday are like a real school day.  M goes around with the Kindy group for 4 hours.  lP plays on the playground being watched by various moms who are available.  I teach 4 classes of music on Fridays.

A few weeks ago, when the group started for the year, there were lots of new families.  One of the new families had a son that was the sort of kid I don't want to be around.   He was actively challenging me as a teacher, rude to the other children, and just got up and left when he felt like it.  I liked the mom, we had some nice chats.  But the child was being raised in a vacuum of discipline and his free spirit was encouraged.  He'll probably grow up to make great contributions to the world.  But while he is still learning, he's a complete disruption to the teacher and other students.    The group encouraged them to find another approach since the Waldorf method is very specific about being teacher led and being nice to each other.  That experience was a big reminder of how nice it is to work with a small group of children whose parents expect them to be nice.

In other news, the kids have learned to make bread.  Crazy.  This picture is M with the cinnamon rolls she made all by herself.  My only contribution was placing them in the pan.  G has also made 2 batches of dough but not made it through the shaping process.   His second batch is rising though so he may get to make cinnamon rolls tonight.  Lucky me!  M's mouth is distended in this picture because she had an entire pack of fruit snacks surrounding her 2 Augmentin tablets.  (Note to self: if the doctor prescribes an Augmentin product, the children will not take it so it does no good.)  She ended up spitting it in the trash just moments later.  

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I feel like we've hit the fast forward button.  Tonight we played Uno.  We, Dad, Mom, G, M and lP.  It's so fun watching lP hold the cards and pull out her matching color.  Our luck has held fairly well that she usually has the color needed, and is happy to get a new card if needed.

Today was such a day of rest.  And I didn't expect it to be such a good day.  G told me "Uh, mom, it looks like you might be having a bad day." this morning when I finally got everyone into the car. 

Parenting.  I started reading "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" and the description of the son in college gave me pause.   Like a wake up call I realized that in general I'm never going to enjoy my children more than I do now.  So I should try harder. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012


It's funny how often I sit down to the computer and ask it to entertain me.  I to to facebook hoping to see pictures of people I know or thoughts they've had.  Mostly I just see Memes and political stuff.  In the groove of trying to simplify, I was thinking I should just stop using Facebook.  Then today I got on and saw that the team facebook had taken all my private messages from 2010 and before, and made them public on my timeline.  Thank you team facebook!  That was exactly the push I needed to just deactivate my account.

It's interesting to notice how sometimes a door is closed and that is a good thing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

And it came to pass...

So I went through and got rid of all the pants that I don't like to and or can't wear.  Not like it was a truck load, but a brown paper sack, yes.  And I got rid of a lot of shirts that I was wearing every day and feeling embarrassed about.  That leaves me with 1 pair of pants jeans and 1 pair of shorts for daily wear.  For shirts, I suddenly find only decent, even nice shirts on my shelf.  And it came to pass that I have more skirts than pants/shorts.  Who would have ever thought this would be my reality?

And I want to get chickens.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Game on, and on...

So I was in charge of games for a group of 8 children this month.  They were ages 6-9, once a week for a month.  We basically played duck, duck, goose games.  We also played Old Maid cards.  Something that we did that I felt really good about was repeat the games each week.  We played duck, duck, goose, week after week.  The last week we sort of burned out, and played cards more.  This was fine.  One of the things I really like about the Waldorf method is the idea of Reverence and Repetition.  So we were playing games that were increasingly familiar. 

I have a brother in law who likes games.  Actually, I think many of my brother in laws like games.  But one in particular always wants us to play new games.  For me, since I'm slow, this is incredibly frustrating.  I need to play 2 times to even get the rules and 3 times to actually have fun. 

So we've been having the Old Maid cards around and have realized that it's a game lP can play.  She can totally handle grabbing a card.  Wahoo!  She just turned 2 on Wednesday.  So it's been a year of having her grab at cards and such, to the point that we just weren't playing anything.  Tonight we played Uno, and that's another game she can play!  She knows her colors and loves putting her card down in the discard pile.  We played picture bingo.  Good times.  It's so fun now that everyone can play and we don't have to live our lives in fear!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

not a perfectionist, so lucky

We had our primary program today and it went great.  I am so proud of how many children signed the songs in the end.  We taught them all along the signs, and really expected them to sign 2.  But there were hearing kids signing on every song. 

Some things that we did that were effective:

Songs with lots of verses, spotlight kids singing duets and have the rest join in on the chorus.  We had all but 3 children involved that way at some point throughout the program.

Make their seating arranged so that parents can see them even if that means they are spread out.

Put a list next to the podium with the order of classes and songs so they can see really easily what's coming up next:
    Valiant 8/9
    "As a child of God"
    CTR 5/6

Give teachers a copy of the songs to sing from.

For songs that everyone is singing, have the children come forward to the rail so parents can see them.  Practice where they should stand and how to get there fast.  It was adorable and comical how our kids were dashing to their spots.

We used strips of lint remover tape to put their names on the seats and show where their class should stand on the carpet. 

Be responsible for all talks and papers the children are reading from so they won't be forgotten on the day of the practices or performance.

Use a consistent script for the children so they will not be put off by miniscule changes and forget what to say.  M can't really read, but seeing the same script each time prompts her to say the part right.

Encourage the children to memorize their parts so they can look out at the audience.

I'm lucky to be very vain.  Everyone keeps saying that this is the best primary program they've ever seen.  I'm surprised, but I also believe them.

Ahhhhh, so glad to be done.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

measuring board

Several years ago, on Christmas eve I asked my sister in law to paint this board white.  I was in the hospital with G on an unexpected hospitalization that looked like it was going to extend over Christmas, aka G's first birthday.  Of the many disappointments we suffered that year...   That sweet sister in law also made us a delicious cake which I ate the entirety of myself, if I recall with any accuracy.  I remember waking up that morning, just me and my baby, in a hospital room, Merry Christmas, Happy 1st Birthday!  Harsh!   I don't even know how we got his first measurement since I had a severe fear of him touching the floor of the hospital. 
 So we measure the children each year on their birthday.  It's a sweet family tradition.  I smile like a cat thinking how glad I am that we've had this board for every birthday of all our children.  Now that we live in such a permanent residence, we consider mounting it.  But since we don't want it to get written on during the 362 days it's not in use, we tuck it away in its Gator polar fleece sleeve and put it back in the closet.
We are so optomistic.  Our measuring board goes to 6'11''.  I'm not sure why it's not an even 7' but hey, we plan on the kids being pretty tall.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

simplifying clothing choices

One of the aspects of simplifying your is life, is to only have clothes you wear and like.  This is hard for me since I just love having a ton of clothes that don't fit and have stains on them.  I love how I don't think to do the laundry because all those clothes I don't want to wear in public are still on the shelf so clearly I'm not out of clothes.

Tonight I was going to help someone interpret.  I had only talked to the person on the phone so I figured I should look presentable since I had the opportunity to actually make a nice impression.  She would not even know the difference and would therefore maybe not say "Wow, you look nice!" which I often take to mean, "wow, you look not so scrapy."

I do actually have nice clothes that fit me and that I never wear because they are nice.  Why is that? 

So I got rid of a lot of clothes that I never wear.  Sure it's good to have a set of painting clothes.  But I actually only have 2 pair of pants and 1 pair of shorts that I actually want to be seen in public wearing.  And getting rid of all the embarrassing clothes, I can justify 1 or 2 items to bring me up to a functional number.

Also, I want to wear skirts more often instead of shorts.

The great thing about this simplifying of your wardrobe is that you can feel great about what you wear every day because you get rid of the things you don't want to wear.  You get rid of clothes that don't fit.  They no longer stare at you from the shelf with condemnation.

Getting rid of things that make you feel guilty is great.

Monday, September 17, 2012

simple living

So now I have a name for it.  My tendency to not bathe.  My preference for buying all our clothes at thrift stores.  My love of making things.  My empty fridge. It's called living simply.  OK the bathing is just me being gross.  But really, I'm not into consuming.  And there is a definitely consumer market for being clean.  It involves keeping up with a look and having products.  The shelf in my shower has a travel size bottle of shampoo and conditioner and half a bar of soap.  I love how uncrowded it is.  

Now that I know what it is, I have a sense of direction for getting rid of the things that own me. 

I also have a new lease on life when it comes to the kids books.  If it is garbage, I'm allowed to get rid of it.  Last night I read a version of Peter and the Wolf where Peter catches the wolf and takes it to the zoo.  Dumb.  Of course I'll donate it so some other family can have this trash book. 

Months ago I brought home a discarded beach chair with lovely rainbow material.  Last night I finally made a backpack for M out of it.  This simple living idea helped me to overcome a little of my fabric hoarding. 

I need less than I have.  I don't have to take in other people's junk because it might be valuable.  I don't need to buy things that I won't use.

So when G comes home with a new pair of basketball shoes from the school...  We sent in $25 to the fund for clothes and shoes for kids that need them.  His old shoes were worn out.  Then he lost one.  So I sent him in a pair of new/used shoes that were a little big and had a hole on the side.  The principal tried to give us the money back.  I was able to explain that we can afford it, it's just that we had not chosen to buy him shoes.  We prefer to live a simple life.  Yeah, it was a little embarrassing, but it was actually a choice.

better than summer camp

We've started to attend a homeschool group on Mondays.  Many of these same families are in a group that meets on Friday where I teach music/recorder. 

The first Monday and Friday were sort of terrible and lame as I tried to find my feet.  Monday I lead games and there were some new kids in the group that demanded a lot of attention.  They were not interested in the games but rather, in playing games.  Like messing up the games.

This Friday I had the children doing a hop scotch solfege game.  We had learned a simple tune.  We could clap the rhythm.  We could do the solfege.  Now we were really putting it into our bodies.  The kids loved it and we got in crazy amounts of repetition by doing each song through these ways, and oh yeah, on recorder too.  : )

Today for games we did Duck Duck Goose, then Charlie over the Ocean which is like Duck Duck Goose, but with counter motion circles and a call and response song.  : )  We played Old Maid and the kids were really interested in that and it was so cool!  Then we played another Duck Duck Goose game called Drip Drip Flood.  You use a cup of water and go around getting everyone wet.  It was really fun. 

Next week we'll play one last variation where the kids have to list objects in a category ex; mammals... and when they say something out of the category that is the "Goose".

What was so magical about today was the children.  I was just there to play with them.  I introduced the practice of everyone sticking a fist in and doing a "Inka Binka Bottle of Ink" rhyme to choose who was first.  I also told them that everyone could only be it 1 time.  The kids really like that because they knew they would get a turn and it added a level of keeping track of that to the game. 

It's such a pleasure to work with a group of kids having a kind time. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

on math

Last year G was taking Science/Social Studies and Reading/Writing at school.  We were supposed to cover math at home but found that by the time he had done 3-4 worksheets for school homework, he wasn't interested in more work.  So we didn't make much progress on math last year.  Over the summer he cruised through the whole years worth of worksheets in math. 

This year he's at school for PE and Reading/Writing.   We've decided to let him do the math homework, 1 page a day from the school.  This works out nicely because he'll be able to take whatever tests they're working on.  The kids at school do 5 pages a day plus the homework.  I can't imagine why they need to have their brains numbed with so much repetition.  As repetitive as his homework is times 5 pages a day?  Insane.

Last night I was listening to some bloggers talk about homeschooling.  One was an unschooler and the other seemed to enjoy the freedom for travel.  So the traveling mom asked the unschooler what is done about subjects that just have to be taught, like math.  The unschooler talked about how kids don't need math that is not useful in their lives.  She sited a study where students were not taught math until 6th grade, and in one year had surpassed their peers who had been taught math since kindergarten. 

What math is useful in your daily life?  Do your children see you enjoying math?  If math is such an important life skill that it must be taught; isn't it such an important life skill that you cannot afford to make your children hate?

Because of credit, people are free to ignore the basic addition and subtraction of a budget.  And it's so "unpleasant" to do any math because kids are taught from a young age that they hate math.  Even, and especially, kids who are good at math don't learn practical uses for it. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

a cruise... someday

A friend of mine went on a cruise last week and I was just curious to see how expensive they are.  They are down right cheap!  Once you've invested in getting a passport ($150, so not cheap) going on a cruise, departing out of the city down the road, is $35 a night!  That's room, board, entertainment, child fun, cool!  So it's not something we'll do for a while.  But it's something I never imagined doing and suddenly it is quite high on the list of things I might do.

Monday, September 3, 2012


It's amazing what a good time you can have in this town for $0.25.  Today we went over to the Lightner museum and fed the fish.  P dispensed the pellets 4 at a time and the kids happily fed the fish little by little.

We had  a good  time in the museum.  Also at Fort Matanzas, and at the beach.  But since that was all free, I can't count them in on the value of the quarter.

At the end P gave G and M 6 pellets.  They squealed in delight.  Oh the bounty.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Stay Strong

The children are not enrolled in any activities right now.  A few years ago they did soccer.  Last summer they took gymnastics.   They've always had a pool until recently and we go to the beach a lot.  Everywhere we go people are suggesting that I put M in dance or gymnastics or .....

One, we can't afford it.  Two, we already have G in school 5 hours a day, M in homeschool group, that's 2 five hour days a week.  And getting G to speech 2 times a week, that's a lot of stuff.  Three I'm the primary president and cannot get overbooked.  Four, we're having a lot of fun together.

I would like the kids to do martial arts when they are older, like 8 and 10.  P is generally against this violence, but I've convinced him that it's like dance, but without the sexy.  We would like M the strong to someday play volleyball.  For better or worse she says cute things like "If I grow a foot taller than daddy, I'll get a scholarship."  There is an organization north of town that starts girls in volleyball at age 12. 

So in general we've decided to let the kids enjoy their childhood and do a bunch of different activities for 1 year each.  I don't see how we'll keep them from having the attitude I hated to see in students "Oh, I know how to do that..."  Maybe I'll teach them to say "My parents let me do that for 1 year, it was fun."

When they're 14 I think they get to decide what they want to seriously play/do.  There is so much they can do, especially with the beach.

Martial Arts

x-ne on the dancing, cheerleading, shake your money maker-ing.

And I want them to be musical.  We got a piano book and the kids have been enjoying that this summer. 

Also, we're busy building racetracks on the moon.

And lP is busy perfecting her funny faces,

  and falling asleep on books.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

be grateful for the nice things

When G was little he had Leukemia.  This required weeks in the hospital, and 2 years of constant fear of infection etc...  A nice upshot of this was that we get invited to the Dance Marathon, fundraising party, each year.

Last week while we were in the car M said "I'm so glad G was sick when he was a baby because we get to go to dance marathon."  It took me a while to figure out what to tell her.  I explained that G was really really sick and that his being sick wasn't something to be glad for.  She asked if he almost died.  And I told her that he almost died a lot of times.  That sobered her.

I am in fact grateful for the things we learned during G's sickness.  I'm also very grateful that our marriage survived as well as G. 

A few times, I've met ladies, who chose to have sex and children out of marriage.  Perhaps it is just a colloquialism, but they have said "I wouldn't do anything differently."  It's as if they feel that wishing to have made different choices is the same as wishing for the children to not exist.  Or maybe it's an unwillingness to admit that their choices have resulted in any negative effect on the children.

Sometimes we are given trials, and as we work through and learn from them we gain great things.  Sometimes we do stupid things and somehow despite this find ourselves blessed.  Recognize the stupid, recognize the grace.  Don't mistake one as the source of the other.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


G has "lost" his 2 bottom incisors.  Someday, like hopefully before the adult teeth come in, he will loose his top teeth.  He has such a great smile, so I have dreaded this a bit.  But he's just going to be crazy cute even and especially with no top teeth.  We'll see.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

On My Honor

I just read this book for older children "On My Honor".  It's sort of horrifying but I did learn some things from it. 

Tony is the adventurous/reckless neighbor and one day he asks Joel to ride out to the state park to climb the bluffs.  Joel is afraid to climb the bluffs, so asks his dad for permission to ride out there, assuming that his dad won't let them ride their bikes out that far.  He doesn't tell his dad that Tony plans to climb the bluffs.  The dad says it's ok.

On the way there, Tony gets the idea that they should swim in the river instead.  Joel is a good swimmer so he's happy to do this, even though it is also a forbidden activity.  Tony isn't a good swimmer and ends up drowning. 

Joel is scared so he tries at first to pretend he doesn't know what's happened and goes on with the day for several hours.  After everything has come out, Joel blames his dad for letting them go, but also blames himself.  The dad offers these not comforting words "It's going to be a hard thing to live with, for both of us.  But there is nothing else to be done... we all made choices today, Joel.  You, me, Tony.  Tony's the only one who doesn't have to live with his choice."  And later after the sobbing.  "If there is a heaven, I'm sure Tony's gone there.  I can't imagine a heaven that could be closed to charming reckless boys."

I learn a lot from reading books for children.  As a parent, I see the child asking for permission to do a thing he doesn't want to do, and I hope I'll be able to say "no" when my children need me to.

I've also been reading "Quiet; the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking."  Unfortunately it's a 14 day book from the library and I've only been able to absorb about 30 minutes of material in that time.  Something I was impressed with was the idea that we have moved from a society of Character (who you are privately) to a society of Personality (who others see you as).  It is very disturbing.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Keeping the Sabath

There's this funny song by Brad Paisley "Long Sermon"

They've read the scripture, they've passed the plate
And we're both prayin' he don't preach late
But he's gettin' "Amens," and that's just our luck
Yeah, it's eighty-five degrees outside and he's just gettin' warmed up

Oh you and me, we could be soakin' up that sun
Findin' out just how fast your brother's boat'll run
I tell you there ain't nothin' that'll test your faith
Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday

Well it's been rainin' all week long
I woke up this mornin', the dark clouds were gone
We've both been raised not to miss church
But on a day like today heaven knows how much it hurts

Oh you and me, we could be soakin' up that sun
Findin' out just how fast your brother's boat'll run
I tell you there ain't nothin' that'll test your faith
Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday

See that sunlight shinin' through that stained glass
How much longer is this gonna last

Oh you and me, we could be soakin' up that sun
Findin' out just how fast your brother's boat'll run
I tell you there ain't nothin' that'll test your faith
Like a long sermon on a pretty Sunday 

Today I got an email from Dance Marathon, the organization at UF that raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for Children's Miracle Network.  They are going to take us to Legoland!  As I read the email I was having a hard time breathing because I was so excited.  I checked the date and it's...on a Sunday.  Harsh!  So Harsh.

So we're not going.  I'm so grateful for P.  He's so committed to our family.  Over the past 12 years I've come to see how he never puts getting a deal, above teaching our children what is important.  Every year when we go to the Dance Marathon Event we just go on Saturday.  Even though there are more fun, free food and bounce house turns to be had on Sunday, we just go on Saturday.  It's enough to have all the great fun we have 6 days a week.  We set Sunday aside, because if we didn't, we'd never take the time to slow down and reflect on our blessings.

"They say nothing in life is free."  Amen.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

blessings of the morning

This week I was up super early, an unheard of 7 AM to watch kids for friends who were back to work.  We'd hang out and read/sleep/watch a movie, until my kids woke up during the 9 o'clock hour.  That was just Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.  Though I was tired, I started to remember times in my life that I willingly woke up that early to exercise, and unwillingly woke up earlier to go to work.

So Thursday I woke up at a leisurely 7:45 and took a walk around the neighborhood.  I'm getting in touch with my inner morning person.  This is the life.  Waking up early for some moments of solitude instead of trying to outlast everyone at night.  Blech!

I live in a gorgeous neighborhood and walking is beautiful, safe, and I don't feel watched.  This is important.  One more wonderful thing about this house.  Love it.

Friday, August 17, 2012

good times

I came across this picture and was so overwhelmed at the coolness of this day and my friends who made marching band costumes.  How did we ever have the time?  Great times.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Masters of the Universe

 I love these kids. 
lP has a chronic case of closed eyes in pictures.

Monday, August 13, 2012

the year of the doughnut

 This year we have gotten doughnuts and unprecedented 3 times.  Some friends gave us a dunkin' doughnuts card and we thought it would be nice to treat the contractors one day when they were giving us the amazing shower.  But for some reason they didn't come that day so we had to eat all the doughnuts ourselves.  So sad.  I tried to make up for it by making them dinner on other nights.
 Then my friend gave us a coupon book with BOGO coupons for a 1/2 dozen doughnuts (no I can't just say 6) so we got another dozen as a reward for G when his teeth were pulled.  Again from Dunkin' Doughnuts, using the gift card.
 Last weekend we were in Gainesville and realized it was Grandma's birthday on Sunday.  We were leaving Saturday night, but not without taking a chance to celebrate in best form.  Luckily I had brought with us the Krispy Kreme coupon from the 2005 phonebook.  How awesome that they took it.  So in this unprecedented year, we have enjoyed 4 dozen doughnuts and only paid for 1 of them.  Yikes!  And as if it was ever in question, Krispy Kreme is the best.  Soooo goood.

"You have the spirit in you"

Tonight for FHE I took leave of our usual lesson material and read this article from the friend.  "Elevator Prayers"

I was getting a little emotional as the story talked about a child needing weekly blood tests.  And a little more emotional when G said "Just like me!"

So we kept going with tears going down my face.  When we got to the point where the little boy gets stuck in the elevator alone (one of my personal fears) I paused and G said "You have the spirit in you."

I couldn't tell if P was as moved as I was, but I'm pretty sure he was.  G is an amazing little boy. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Good old L

My sister visited in April around the time of General Conference.  It was so fun.  I was super sick and we didn't have as much fun as I had hoped, but still it was so fun.  Thanks L for coming all the way out here and giving us some awesome memories.

Monday, August 6, 2012

a good day

 We've been blessed to acquire some awesome toys lately.  We got this huge box of race track components from a family whose boys had never really played with them.  G's been having a lot of fun setting up different tracks and launching the cars.  He even made this cute little banner that says "Darda (the name of the company) racing day coming soon".  Then we asked him when that day was and he said "mmmm I don't know."  I suggested he could have it on Monday when he got the cars back, which had been taken because he wouldn't get dressed for church.  So he crossed out the "coming soon and wrote "(tomorrow)" above the crossed out part.  Love this boy.
 At 4 PM I was wondering what to make for dinner and decided to make up some lasagna.  Wahoo!  I have a new favorite way to make a ton of food.
1 box of lasagna noodles
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
1 lb sausage
8 cloves of garlic
12 oz ricotta cheese
6 eggs
1 box of frozen spinach
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup of Mozzerella cheese

I Cut each noodle into 3 pieces and laid it across the pan.  So each layer is really just one noodle.  
 I was able to do 4 layers, so I guess that means there were 16 noodles in the pack.

The beach at the pier is having a major make over with dredging.  They've put 10 feet of sand onto the beach all the way out to the end of the pier.  It's mind boggling to think how much sand that is, or how much it must cost.  G is standing here trying to scale the 6 foot drop to get back up on top of the dredged sand.2