30 September 2012

Randomness part 400

Throughout my day, I think of all these little snippets and one-liners that I could post about.  But I never make it to my computer.  That's mostly a good thing because it means that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, but then I never share the snippets.   Here are a few:

  • I'm harvesting my own coriander.  Only because I don't know how to harvest my own cilantro seed.  It's a very tedious task, especially when I have a mountain of tasks to do.  I just found a time in my day to accomplish the coriander harvest - while sitting at the table waiting (not so patiently) for my kids to finish their supper.  I might get it done pretty fast this way.
  • We're having a guest in our home Thursday through Sunday.  My house is NOT AT ALL ready for a guest.  Ryan thinks it will be fine cause he has 5 kids.  I was mortified at the thought of letting someone stay in my house like this.  I will be cleaning nightly if you want to come keep me busy.
  • I am so thankful that my husband is a veterinarian.  We used his manly skills on Friday night.  I was his personal assistant.  It was fun to ask him a million questions and learn.  Not so fun that someone shot my cat and it had a broken leg.  More on that in another post where I can tell the whole story and add pics.
  • I was cleaning in the garden today.  I love that place.  But my laundry list of things to do in the house called me back inside.  Bah humbug!
  • With a high-school girl at the table talking in jest about having no friends, my sweet girl sitting at her side looks up and says "I'm your friend".  It was super cute and melted this momma's heart.
  • Why do I always squeeze in one more thing that makes my life a bit chaotic?  Maybe because I love the things I do.  Saturday we needed to leave for a wedding at 1230 but I managed to sneak in some time enjoying the harvest with friends and the kids.
  • Sitting on the couch watching Diary of a Mad Black Woman with Ryan and Ali.  Each of us have a computer of some sort in our laps. 

26 September 2012

Candy Comparison

Each day at lunch, Ryan puts two bite-sized candies in each of the kids' lunches.  Each day when they get off the bus, I hear that Judah has saved one of his candies for his sister and shared with her.  I think it's so sweet of him.  And I wonder if he knows that she also gets candies in her lunch.  Today, Judah didn't ride the bus as usual but still he saved one of his candies for his sister.  Such a sweet boy.

Meanwhile, I pick S & B up from the library after school where they got a few little candies as part of their project for the day.  B ate one in the van and had two left in her hand when we walked in the door.  She couldn't manage to share one with J because she claimed to only have one left.  Oh my word!  That girl may have a giving heart regarding Ethiopia, but not when it comes to sharing her candy with her Ethiopian-born brother!  Judah showed me the candy he saved for Bethany and I thanked him for his willingness to share but asked him to go ahead and eat it.  He did.

After Awana's, the Spark kids (S & B) get a little candy.  Scott was on the winning team and got two snack-sized candies.  He kindly shared one his candies with me even though he really wanted them both.

It's funny that all 3 of my kids had candy at one (or more) times throughout today.  Two of them had sharing hearts regarding their candy and one of them didn't.  I wonder how their kindness would change if it wasn't candy... maybe I should try it again later this week with some other item.

23 September 2012

Heart Warming

I spent most of the weekend at a women's retreat at a nearby camp.  I had a great time hanging out with friends, relaxing, and making new friends.  I was reminded of God's love and faithfulness.  It was refreshing.  I came home early this morning to a quiet house.  We quickly got ready and visited a nearby church for their 8am (yikes, that's early when you go to bed at 1am) service.  This church is partnering with a ministry in Ethiopia and the lady was here from Ethiopia to share.  That was so neat to hear about.  We spent the afternoon in Decorah.  Lunch with Ryan's parents, two of the kids went home with them while we took Judah to buy a wedding gift, grab groceries and buy a pair of pants for our ever growing boy!  Then over to Ryan's parents for a few hours where I napped and the kids had fun playing.

We got home right at bed time.  No showers.  Again.  Kids didn't make their lunch.  Al the groceries didn't even get put away.  It's a little crazy.  After all I was gone for the weekend and Ryan was home with 3 kidlets, has been sick himself, and one precious one didn't feel good all day yesterday.  You can imagine that our house isn't spotless.  I could have started into cleaning (after all, I did have a good nap), but when I saw this, I stopped.  I grabbed the camera to capture this:
She had climbed into my sleeping bag that was thrown in the floor with her bible in hand, snuggled up and was digging in.  "Bethany, what are you doing?" I asked.  Her sweet reply was "Oh, I'm just reading my books of the bible."

And that's it.  Pure preciousness.  I love it.  I love it even more that she can't even read yet though it won't be long now cause she's starting to sound out the words.  Atta girl Bethany.  Dig deep!

17 September 2012

Lazy Day

I love a lazy day.  Well, they're never really lazy days... there's always something going on!

Sunday after church, naps were required.  By everyone.  It was awesome!  After naps, the boys played on the trampoline with their daddy.  Bethany and I played with the baby kittens.  She loves her baby kittens, their momma and the other "baby" kitten we got a few weeks ago.  She talks to them in 3rd person saying "come to momma".  It's so sweet.  The picture above is my sweet thing showing off the 3 kittens.  I think they'll need to be finding new homes in a month or so... let me know if you want one.

Bethany and I also baked a batch of cookies.  While we baked, we had to have fancy juice in fancy glasses. My little farm girl has a love for the city and all things fancy.  Oh, be still my heart.  Will she want to be a city girl?

Saturday we had a friend over for the day.  She brought Alpine chicken for supper and we made the sides.  I'm such a rule breaker that I can't even manage to follow instructions in the kitchen.  While cooking noodles for a salad, I went outside a bit too long and the noodles burned.  Whoops.  Good thing I had more bags of ramen on hand!  While I was finishing up the sides for supper, Bethany was in the kitchen helping.  She likes to be in the kitchen helping.  She decided that we needed to serve the meal on fancy dishes.  We pulled out the china and the crystal and served the meal.  We even uncorked a bottle of wine (that I got for my birthday 6 months ago).  It was great having a friend to share the evening with... fancy or not.

Lately, we've been living life to the fullest here.  Trying to focus a little more time on the kids, trying to be a lot more respectful to my husband, working less hours, and enjoying life much more.

12 September 2012

Word[less] Wednesday

Did you really think I'd post something without words?  That's so not me!  Thought I'd share a few pics from the past month that were finally downloaded from the camera.  The first few are from my visit to see Captain Murdock and Semi Feral Mama:

He is handsome. And beautiful.

My precious oldest son!

SMF learning to make injera.

I tried my hand too.

The girls played with Ryan's "hair".  And then mine too.

Dorito faced boy at the playground.

The farm place had lots of animals - farm and wild.

They love each other!

My precious little porcelain doll.

Not a bad photo taken by a 5 year old.

With her kitty, Pepsi.

Working in the garage with daddy.

11 September 2012

10 September 2012

Late & Lazy

It's late and I'm lazy or I'd grab the camera card and share a few of the really cute pics of my kiddos from the weekend.  Bethany was sporting her Cyclones outfit for game day and were headed out the door to do a little shopping.  Tell you what, my little girl looks good in wranglers!

It's Monday, right?  Almost Tuesday but let's ignore the fact that I have to be up in just over 6 hours.

I am blessed beyond measure.  By my husband.  By my children.  By my family.  And most importantly by my God who forgives me.  Today my honey was home early and allowed me to stay late at work so I could get a few things done.  I got home and the chicken kabobs I'd planned for supper were already skewered and ready for the grill.  How thoughtful is that!?!?!  I made some mashed potatoes quick and then headed out the door for some girl time.  While checking out make-up is a little out of my comfort zone, it's always good to have some time with girlfriends.  On my way home, I connected with Ingrid, who also has a passion for orphans in Shanto Ethiopia.  An hour later I put down my phone, grabbed some leftovers for supper and am ready for bed.  My kids are tucked in bed. The clothes are all folded except Bethany's (but she's horrible about folding her clothes), and my hubby is chilling on the couch watching a really old Batman movie.  

Tomorrow is a new day.  Maybe I'll even get the treadmill out tomorrow.  Maybe not.  I need some motivation in that department.  What do you do to keep yourself less lazy and more healthy?

06 September 2012

My very own Super hero

Sometimes she's impossible to please.  Tonight she's a joyful, happy little girl.  In fact, she's claiming to be Captain America.  

In case you're really dissapointed that this wasn't a bus riding post, I thought I'd give you a quick update.  Today the bus arrived much earlier than expected because not on the kids were on the bus today.  Our bus driver made sure they made it to the house, and radio'd the school secretary who called my cell phone to let me know.  Thank you to those who help care for my little ones throughout the many parts of their day!

05 September 2012

Bus Riding Blog?

Is this going to become a bus riding blog?  I assure you, it's not.

My dad drives bus.  I have a LOT of respect for him.  It's a big job with a lot of responsibility.  I'm thankful for our bus driver.  His name is Les.  I made a point to introduce myself to him on day 1.  My goal is for my kids to get home safely each day.  But I also want Les to know that we appreciate him and want to make his life a little easier.

Today when the bus showed up, I was waiting.  In fact, I'd been early.  As I greeted my children exiting the bus, Scott had a fully-flowin' bloody nose.  I ran back to the van for tissue for my son.  He dripped on the floor of the bus so I wanted to clean that up too.  Then I saw that my lovely little children had left the empty bag of their bus snack on the floor, along with some animal crackers, and 3/4 of an apple.  I don't have patience for waste.  Or lazy children.  They were fortunate that I do offer grace.  While I picked up the kids' litter, Les found a pool of blood from Scott.  Why didn't Scott say something?  Les felt bad.  I explained that he had a bloody nose earlier in the week and had likely picked at it.  I wasn't upset about the bloody nose.  I was annoyed with my littering children who don't bother to pipe up when one gets a bloody nose.  Les wouldn't let me clean it up, he said he'd take care of it at home.  I think Scott owes him a little "thank you" tomorrow.

So, day #2 on the bus wasn't much of an improvement over all.  I have over tired children in need of a snack.

On another note, it's warm in my house tonight.  I'm not motivated to be in the kitchen or any other room that  requires my attention right now.  Supper is being prepared and two of my kids are getting a quick rest.  This is a bit stressful and I'm ready for this new routine to be old hat for all of us.

04 September 2012

Change is Good but it takes a while to adjust

Have I mentioned before that our schedule has changed recently?  Things changed with daycare and we opted to send our pre-schooler full time.  I wasn't a big fan of that but the more time passed, the more I thought it was a good decision.  Judah functions well with consistency so going to the same place during the week would help with that.  We also love and trust our kids' lives with our preschool teachers.  Not just during preschool, but during summer days, out-of-town trips, etc.  The older two kids were headed to school full time too.

The unknown was how we'd juggle their mornings and afternoons while we were at work.

They start their morning from the vet clinic and come home in the afternoon where I meet their bus.  Today was the first time the schedule actually worked out.  Aside from the bus arriving earlier than I thought, it went well.  Well, until my children got off the bus.  They were upset that they were the LAST ones off the bus.  It broke my heart!  I don't want the kids on the bus for an hour.  I don't want them picking up more bad habits and learning naughty phrases like "it scared the hell out of him".  I don't want older kids to laugh at them when one of them falls off the seat onto the floor.  I don't want them to be soaked in sweat from being on a warm bus.  But, that is where we're at right now.  And this first day experience with their first full day at school and riding the bus all the way home has this momma a little sad at the situation.

Does anyone in my community want to volunteer to be a bus monitor and ride along for that hour each day to keep the little kids' ears and eyes safe from the big kids habits and words?

After getting home, things didn't go perfectly as planned either.  I dreamed of this afternoon of a combination of Betty Crocker cooking and the best mom in the world.  They kids were hot, tired, hungry, and fussy.  Sounded like the perfect time to kick them outside to play in the sprinkler!  Gone were the visions of having lunch bags cleaned out, re-packed, supper cooked and dishes done when Ryan got home.  How could that not happen in the one hour I was home!?!?!?  While I'm technically only off work 30 minutes earlier, I'm leaving working one hour earlier and the kids are also home one hour earlier.

 I did succeed by not opening my laptop, had supper partially made, and had some pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce in the canner.  I'm looking forward to these extra hours at home with my kids.  If I get used to it, I might request an even earlier work schedule... that is until it's horrible winter weather and I'm having to drive to work on un-plowed roads.  But hey, in this 95+ degree weather with LOTS of humidity, I might actually be looking forward to the cold weather a tad bit :)

02 September 2012

It's not over yet...

It's been a good weekend.  The best part... it's not over yet.

Saturday was a work day.  Cleaning in the house in the morning and then outside in the garden.  I picked another 10 gallon buckets worth of tomatoes as well as some okra, some sugar snap peas, and some anaheim peppers.  I tilled the empty rows once taken up by onions, spread out some compost and begin tilling it in when I sheared a pin off the tiller and couldn't use it anymore.

My inlaws were here to help.  And help they were.  Thank you M&E!

The guys tilled up the bare ground around our summer garage project, rolled, seeded, spread some cover and got it ready to be watered.  They also managed to move some old hay bales, trim a tree and who knows what else.

By time we got supper, we were all filthy and hungry and ordering pizza was the only option.  TJ's is never a bad option when ordering out.  I bathed the 3 littles while waiting on our pizza order.  After supper, our eldest son jumped in the truck with his grandparents to make up for the summer over night trip we never got him to, and Pops headed down the road in the diesel.

I slept good last night!

Today was another good day.  We pawned off child #2 to the other set of grandparents after church.  It was just us and Judah.  We took him out for lunch for a special treat, including a big 'ol bowl of icecream.  While Ryan and Judah napped, I stopped by a friend's house and chatted for a while.  I love that family!  After nap time, we put up Bethany's netting over her princess bed (shh, she doesn't know yet) and then headed to town.  A quick stop at Grammy's to drop off clothes, grab a smooch from my girl and some freshly baked cookies and back to the clinic where Ryan and Judah were ready to head out for a bike ride.  Judah doesn't know how to ride without training wheels but I was sure he'd have it down in less than an hour if he had our sole focus of teaching him.  We did laps on the nicely concreted Hidden Valley Homes area where Judah was a little nervous, a lot dependent on those stupid training wheels, and a whole lot of tensed up.  He improved and was riding like a rockstar by time we left, albeit the training wheels were still on.  That wasn't enough so he and I jogged from there to town.  He's Ethiopian after all, and we're guessing running might run in his blood.  He jogged non-stop until we got to the fire department where Daddy met us and we jumped in the truck.  I'm sure he could have made it all the way to the clinic.

We got home as the sun was setting.  Not enough time to set up the sprinkler system but I tried anyway.  I should have waited until the morning.  Watering a hill side isn't easy.  I think I need sprinklers that sit 3 feet in the air so it can water better.  There's so much bare ground that I had 3 sprinklers running off two hoses.  After a bit of trying different options, I concluded that the waterhoses couldn't run through the garage even if we do have a floor drain in there.  Too many leaks in the hoses.  I checked a sprinkler and found a muddy mess.  So much for washing my running shoes last week.

In the house for a now cold piece of left over pizza.  It was still good.  The boys were playing wii, the two eldest are still gone and two of the girls just called to see if I'd be up for a movie night.  I need to hit the shower before I head over there :)

Tomorrow I have a lot to do.  Meal plan, grocery shop, pick up kids, can tomatoes.  I'm so glad there's another day in the weekend.  Ryan is even off tomorrow so that's a bigger bonus.  Now, I only hope his "on-call" hours are silent!!!