Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Christmas Projects


2 Little Pigs

Nathan made some fun things for the kids for Christmas. Aren't these little piggy banks fun!


Hannah's Shelf

Nathan was a little sneaky with this shelf. Hannah thought he was making it for me, and it was fun to see her face when she realized it was for her.

I made a couple things, too - handkerchiefs for dad, chickens for mom, and nightgowns for the girls and their dolls.


Muy BWayne-o

I saw pictures of handkerchiefs like these last Spring. My dad always has a cloth handkerchief in his pocket, and I figured it was about time for a couple new ones. As Christmas got closer I searched for the pictures I had seen earlier, but I could not find the blog that I had visited before. So I had to go it alone, and I think they turned out really cute.


Oh Chickens!

The chickens are for mom's kitchen. Nathan cut out all the wood and I just painted them. I even sanded the edges - I felt like a real tole painter! Next thing you know I'll be sponge painting the walls in my kitchen.




Here are the girls and their dolls on Christmas morning with their matching nightgowns.


3 dolls

John was not forgotten, I made him pj pants, and Nathan fixed the climbing bear for him.


Bear


Climb

John can make that bear really move!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Gone

This is not fun. Counting down to Christmas only meant that Nathan's deployment also got here. Christmas was bittersweet as I shopped for little things that he would need while he is away - shorts, shaving cream, a calling card. Christmas is over, and Nathan and the tree are both gone.

For the last couple weeks I have found myself a little weepy at odd moments. At the bowling alley. In the kitchen. I keep thinking it's like having a baby - the first time everyone tells you how bad it is, but you have to see for yourself what it's really like. The second time you know what you have to do and find that there is no escape.

John came in to our room this morning and climbed in bed with me. He gave me a hug, then looked up over to where Nathan usually sleeps and said "Daddy's gone?" At lunch when there was a knock at the door, John jumped out of his high chair and yelled "It's Daddy" as he ran to see who was at the door. Poor little guy doesn't understand.

I just got a call from the commander's wife that they made it to Guam safe and sound, and will be busy with meetings all day today (tonight for us) But we should hear from them probably in the morning here. I'm not sure what the time difference is. Maybe 16 hours.

We'll be busy, and we'll have a lot of fun, but I wanted to write out these feelings too. We have a rule here, though, that you're not allowed to ask "are you okay" because it just makes me cry. So don't ask. We're fine.

Saturday, December 24, 2005


Angel

Shepherds

Mary and Joseph

And to all a good night

Christmas To Do List

italic = completed

Sew PJ's
Finish shopping
Wrap Gifts
Bake Sugar Cookies
Thrift Store for shorts for Nathan for Guam
Laundry
Roast Chestnuts (I'm not kidding, our neighbors invited us over to do this at 11am today)
Sew matching pjs for dolls
Finish Book of Mormon
Bread Bowls for Soup
Gather Nativity Costumes
Nap

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


Little Nate

Nate's Bow

Nathan gets new hobbies all the time. His latest is bow making - as in a bow and arrows. Late one night we watch a man as he used hand tools to carefully make a bow staff? and Nathan decided he wanted to try it. He talked a friend into building one, too, and they ordered the stuff that they would need.

He got a big long chunk of wood in the mail, and then a fancy draw knife, and yesterday he started working on the bow.


In the Workshop


Nate's Bow

It is starting to really look like a bow. He says he plans to hunt a pig while he is in Guam. Boys are strange.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Christmas Ornament

Donna at Quiet Life asked her readers to post a picture of their favorite ornament. It has taken me a couple of days, but here are my favorite ornaments:


My Favorite Ornament

Nathan made these the year we lived in Florida. He was able to find Aeromatic Cedar and used it to make little turned ornaments. They are hollow and have a little rattle inside, and because they are cedar they smell like Christmas.

Nathan is very generous with his wood working, and though he made probably 30 of those little ornaments, we just have 3!


Captured Ring

This smaller ornament has a little ring of wood captured on the end - that is a tricky little bit of wood turning.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Sufganiyot




Last night we had breakfast for dinner, and as a special treat I decided to try Baile Rochel's "super-simple and almost healthy sufganiyot", a recipe from me-ander

Sufganiyot is the Hebrew word for Jelly Doughnut. These did not have jelly, but were fried in lots of oil. The batter for these little fried balls is very similar to pancakes, though you use yogurt instead of milk. The batter was a little tangy and it gave the fried balls great flavor.

The Sufganiyot were? really yummy, and the kids were gobbling them up as fast as they came out of the pot. They reminded me of Grandma's toughies. Yum!

I have never actually fried anything in so much oil, and now there is a pot of oil sitting on the stove. How do you dispose of cooking oil? I probably shouldn't just dump it down the drain, but I also don't want to keep it on the stove forever. Do you reuse oil? Should I just strain it and put it back in an oil jug? or should I contact the hazardous waste disposal people?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Weather Girl

I had to retire my weather girl this summer, because she became more of a weather bimbo. Even though she is just a cartoon, she was embarrassing me, and since I don't want my girls to think dressing like that is okay, I decided to let her take the summer off - I was worried what she would be wearing when the weather got really hot.

Now that it is cold, I decided to invite her back. She is dress all in fur from her head to her foot, tonight. I think our weather should keep her modestly dressed, atleast for a while.

======

We had the missionaries over for dinner tonight. Usually we have a nice dinner for them, but we were a little less than high class tonight. We had dentist appointments* at 3pm, so I planned an easy dinner. I bought hotdogs, buns and stuff for chili. I also bought canned chili, just in case if the dentist took longer than expected - but we got home just in time to put the chili on the stove and a cake in the oven.

Ummm, it was soooo good. It seemed like I made tons of chili - it filled my whole pot, but by the end of the night, the Elders were scraping the bottom of the pan for just one more bowl. We served the chili with fritos and cheese and sour cream, and also hot dogs!

I have been thoroughly brainwashed by the Barrett family. As a child, eating hot dogs was a rare occurance (and not necessarily a treat,) saved for Mom and Dad's date nights, or the 4th of July. But when I started eating with the Barretts I found that hot dogs were served almost weekly. It sicked me out when we were first married, but now I find chili dogs strangely comforting.

We topped off the chili dogs with a yellow cake with chocolate frosting and some Christmas cookies. Our Elders are transfering on Thursday, so it was nice that we were able to have them over before they headed to North Dakota.

*Hannah and Sydney were cavity free. Wooohoooo! The dentist did recommend that Hannah have an orthodontic assessment sometime this Spring: $$$. But he said that Sydney's teeth look like they will all come in really well - when she is about 10 years old her teeth will look a little crowded, but if we just hold off until around 14 her jaw will catch up and her teeth will be fine. Emily and John got to ride on the fun yellow chair and the dentist did a quick check. All is well.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Emily Loves Erin

Hannah and Emily were in fixing their hair the other day, and Emily said something so funny. Emily is 4 and really doesn't fix her own hair, but she was having fun playing with the ponytail holders and the ribbons. She pulled her hair up into a messy bun, looked at herself in the mirror and said:

"I look like that girl that Grammy and Grampy keep...what's her name?...yeah, Erin. I look like Erin."

The little girl that Grammy and Grampy keep?!? You mean their daughter? My little sister? Your aunt? These relationships are hard to remember when you are little.

And she really did look like Erin with her hair up in a messy bun. She and Erin have the same color hair and Erin does wear her hair like that. Emily reminds me of little Erin. Cute girls!


Auntie Erin and Emily

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Choose The Right

Hannah and I made these ornaments for our Primary teachers as a little Christmas gift/thank you from the Primary Presidency.

I found the silver glass balls at Lowes ($2.50 for a dozen.) And we wrote on the balls with a green paint pen ($3 at Hobby Lobby.)

While I was making them I thought the shields looked uneven and silly, but it's been 2 weeks since I last looked at them, and now I think they look great! I hope our teachers like them.


on the other side

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

John has a little red sled. We bought the sled when we were visiting Mom and Dad before we moved up here. It is a plastic sled with a seatbelt, so even when John was just a wee babe, we could buckle him in and take him with us when we went sledding.

We have been using the sled every day to get our mail, or just to play in our yard. John has been pulling Emily around, and Emily has been pulling John around. We even hooked Sam-the-dog up to the sled and he pulled John. Sam didn't love that.

I have made the big kids put the other sleds away each day, but because we use the little red sled so much, and because it is really cute, I have just let it stay on the front porch. But on the morning of the BIG WIND, the red sled disappeared. I have imagined that little red sled flying through the neighborhood, over the house tops, like Santa's sleigh.

We looked for it yesterday, but it wasn't in our yard, or across the street, or next door. We thought maybe the sled was gone for good. But when we went outside this morning I saw something red down the street. 3 houses down, nestled in a bush, partly covered in snow, was our little red sled! It is home now, under the porch, safe and sound.

I hope it had a fun adventure.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

COLD

It has been very cold here, in South Dakota, for the past week. That wind chill factor is the killer. I think the high yesterday was somewhere around 8 degrees F, but the windchill was about -10. That makes if very hard to breath. Today is cold, but the sun is shining, and the wind is not blowing, so it seems warmer.

One cool feature in our fancy new car is that there is a little outdoor thermometer, so I can see the temperature as I am driving. This morning it registered at -1 degree F. Brrrrr.

Last week there was a big storm that hit Eastern and Northern SD, but it missed us completely. Since then, it has snowed a little off and on. We have had just enough snow to sled on, and because of the cold, the snow is still here.

On the news they have talked about blizzards, and that it doesn't even have to be snowing for us to have a blizzard. Dictionary.com says that a blizzard is: "A violent snowstorm with winds blowing at a minimum speed of 35 miles per hour and visibility of less than one-quarter mile for three hours. "

So if the wind is blowing hard enough and the snow is blowing around, then you can have a blizzard, even if there is not fresh snow coming down. I didn't really understand that until yesterday. The wind was howling, and old snow was whipping around. I was driving the girls to school when a big wall of white crossed in front of me and I couldn't see anything. It was like fog, only thicker and colder. I didn't know if I should try to pull over, or slow down, or keep going. I knew there was no one right behind me, but it made me really nervous. I made it home, though, and we stayed tucked inside for the rest of the day.

Hope you are keeping warm and cozy.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Leftovers

We sent half the turkey meat home with the Bolivers, but we still have loads. So far we have had just plain reheated leftovers, turkey sandwiches, turkey noodle soup, and turkey and stuffing casserole. I am making turkey fettuccini tonight for dinner.

I am also going to make 2 of mom's Turkey Rellenos to freeze. That should probably finish of the bird, but if there are any bits and pieces left, then I will chop it up with a little celery and dill and make turkey salad for my lunch, and if there is still some left, then I will freeze it for another batch of soup for next week.

Recapping the leftover ideas:
turkey sandwiches
turkey noodle soup
turkey-stuffing casserole
turkey fettuccini
turkey relleno
turkey salad
turkey devon
turkey enchiladas

Friday, November 25, 2005

Thanksgiving

I bought the 21 pound turkey on Monday at Safeway for just $6. I used mom's old club card to get that great price. Actually, I think the card is in Anna's name. I put the frozen turkey in the fridge on Monday and by Wednesday night it seemed pretty thawed. But Thursday morning when we pulled out the turkey we found that the breast was thawed, but the back was still frozen. So the turkey had to spend an hour in the sink before we could get it in to cook.

Nathan is the turkey man. He cleaned out that bird for a good half hour. Sydney tried to get him to put an egg inside the turkey, then call Hannah over to see it. He he he. We put the turkey in at 8:40 and Nathan set his alarm to remind him to baste the turkey every half hour.

Hannah was my kitchen helper. She rolled out the pie shells and mixed the ingredients. She wiped counters and did dishes while Emily, Sydney, and John made playdough pies. Sydney worked hard to color and cut out name cards for everyone, then she set the table.

Hannah is fish-sitting for our neighbors who live 2 doors down. We got permission from them to use their oven, so we walked down there at about noon and put the pumpkin pies in to bake. We ran back and forth about 6 times to check on them and put the apple pie in. I think the pies are better fresh, but it seemed silly to run back and forth, and I'm sure I looked a little crazy. I think there would have been time to throw the pies in to bake just after the rolls, because we didn't actually eat the pies until about 5:30pm, but that would have been stressful.

The turkey was beautifully browned and ready to come out at about a quarter to two. Nathan pulled it out, and he continued to baste it as it sat on the counter. He saved 2 quarts of drippings for me and I made a really good gravy. This may be the 1st time that I didn't have to chuck out my first gravy attempt and use a packet. Here's how I did it: I let the drippings settle, then I sucked off some of the fat from the top. I mixed the fat with 1/3 cup of flour, then wisked in more drippings - maybe 4 cups. The gravy turned out creamy and yummy, and it looked good to. But I have no gravy boat. I tried to buy a gravy boat this week, but I didn't find one. Oh well, the gravy did fine in a mug.

Just as the turkey came out, our friends the Bolivers arrived. They brought mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (seriously the best sweet potatoes ever - she baked the yams, scooped out the insides, and put 'em in a casserole, and topped it with brown sugar and pecans, baked it again - and wow - excellent even without the marshmallows) jello, green bean casserole, and 2 chocolate pies. YUM! Luckily none of the kids mentioned that I hate green beans.

The rolls came out just as the turkey was carved and the dinner was ready. Great food and good friends. Perfect.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Towels...again

I talked to the store owner on Monday and she loved the towels. She really liked the bunny towels (they are not my favorite, but easy to sew) and the ladybug. I could tell she was not as in love with the duck or the shark as I am, but she purchased all of the towels that I had made. Tonight (Thursday) she hosts a "Ladies' Night" in her shop where she will introduce her new line of baby items. She thinks that there will be several orders for more towels. Isn't this fun? This week I also sold a pink shark poncho style towel to a neighbor, and a different neighbor ordered a blue shark poncho and a cat! Exciting.

In other news it is just one week until Thanksgiving. What do you think Nathan would say if I pulled this out of the oven? Okay, I had a picture of a bikini line turkey here, but I decided it was too freaky. If you want to see it you will have to google it. Or maybe I will link it. But I just couldn't look at it again. scary.

<

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Open for Business




***********


Blue Bunny


Pink Bunny


Shark


Ladybug


Duck

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Weekend Highlights

Basement cleaned out and reorganized (boxes atleast piled a little higher)
Daddy Daughter Campout a smashing success: Backpacking + MRE's + rainstorm = FUN!
5 sample towels finished and way cute.
Primary Sacrament Progam completed. Phew.


After I bought the towels and got ready to sew them, I remembered that we have a dog hair problem. No one wants to buy hairy towels. I decided I needed to to take drastic action, and squeeze my sewing stuff into the basement. The basement has no carpet, and Sam does not go down there - perfect! After a couple days spent slowly sorting and shifting, and rigging a couple more lights and finding an extension cord I was able to get to work.

It so happened that we had an extra day this weekend, so Nathan packed up the camping gear and took the 3 girls camping up in the Black Hills. They headed out at about noon on Friday, and instead of getting right to work like I was supposed to, John and I took a nap. Then we went and hung out with our neighbor's kids while she took her neice to the ER (she fell while hiking, but she's okay.) When we got home it was time for a bowl of ice cream and bed. But we got up early on Saturday and got to work.

I thought we would have all morning to work, but Nathan and the girls were home by 9am. It gets dark at about 5pm, and since they couldn't have a campfire they went to bed early, so they were up early, and home early. They were suprisingly dry for hiking through a rain storm (The Man Scout was prepared with orange ponchos.)

They needed cocoa and baths, then we headed to the church to get things set up for the Primary Sacrament Presentation. Then back home to sew for a bit more - and wah-lah! Two bunnies, one duck, one shark, and one ladybug! They are really cute. Really. I know how to use the camera, I just forgot about it. Tomorrow. Pictures. Maybe.

There is really nothing to say about the Sacrament Presentation. We made it through. Only one little guy tried to rip the microphone off the podium, so we will call it a success. I also did a great Sharing Time about Testimonies. I think it was one of my best yet. I may be getting better at this Primary thing.

So tomorrow morning I am meeting with the store lady at 9:30am. I made up a little order form, but I didn't fill in the prices. I think maybe I will just see what she is thinking and go from there. Ahh. I don't know. Wish me luck!

I also thought of a great name:

4 Little Ducks

('cuz, you know, like, I have 4 little "ducks" and also the towels are FOR little "ducks". Okay, probably lame, but too bad, that's the best I got. And I could change it tomorrow.)

Thursday, November 10, 2005


Turkey Treat

Mom sent directions for making this last year. Sydney found a letter from Grammy tonight, but it just had a picture of the turkey and no directions for making it. Thanks to google, we found the recipe. Now you, too, can make a Cocoa Crisp Turkey!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I think I have a job. I make these little hooded towels and give them out to friends at babyshowers. Now a little business in town is wanting to carry them. She has asked about them a couple of times, and now I need to make some samples and take them to see what she is interested in ordering. She is wanting a boy towel, and girl towel, and the ducky towel.

So I need some business advice. Do I need a business license, or should I wait and see if I actually earn money? I sold these towels about 10 years ago when we lived in CA and at that time I had a business license and claimed income and expenses on our taxes, but I don't think I will be selling very many between now and the end of the year. I'm thinking there is a tax rule that says if your business doesn't make more than like $400 than you don't have to claim it. But I don't know.

I need a name for my little towel business. When I sold them before I called them Wild Things - but that sounds a little risque! Any ideas?

Also, I need to decide on a price. Do you think $24 retail is too much. Let's be honest - I wouldn't buy a hooded towel for that much, but this is a rather high priced shop, and that would be just $12 wholesale. I spend $6-7 / towel so I would be making around $5 each. I don't really want to go lower, but maybe $20 retail is more reasonable than $24.

I would like to appear professional and have an order form and little tags on the towels. I will make a blue shark for the boy towel and a white-with-pink bunny as the girl towel. Do you think I should also have a gift basket with a towel and soaps for her to see?

I don't have any pictures of the towels, but I will be sewing tonight and tomorrow and then I will post some. She is also interested in Nathan's baby rattles. This is kind of fun!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

This is a cute story about a Barrett family in North Dakota who bought a whole school to live in and homeschool their children.

Home school home

Saturday, October 29, 2005


Fall Back

This time last year I missed the clock change thing. Did I blog about it? I can't remember, but I don't think I did because I was really embarrassed about it. Nathan was deployed, so no one was here to remind me to switch the clock. We got up for church and headed out a little early, because I had some Primary stuff to do.

I walked in the chapel and everything seemed so strange. No one was there getting ready, or saving seats. Just us. I put down my stuff and we headed to the Primary closet. I saw that the Bishopric was still in their meeting and I wondered why they were having it so late. It was Halloween day, and I wondered if somehow I missed an announcement about no church on Halloween, or something.

The phone rang in the foyer, and I answered it. A woman asked what time sacrament meeting started, and I told her 9am, but that it was getting close to 9 and no one was there and maybe we weren't having it today. She laughed and said - "Did you forget about the time change?" Whoops. How embarrassing. And disappointing, I could have slept in another hour.

So don't forget - Spring Forward, Fall Back.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Service

I just finished the book True Notebooks by Mark Salzman. It is the nonfiction account of the author's time spent volunteering in a Juvenile Detention Center in LA. Each boy had made terrible choices, and were waiting to be tried as adults, likely to end up in adult prisons for much of their lives. The author spends 2 days a week encouraging these boys to write and giving them a chance to be heard.

It reminded me of two talks I heard recently - the first, of course, is the talk by President Hinckely about Forgiveness. He spoke about a woman who was seriously injured because some teenagers threw a frozen turkey off of an overpass, which struck her car. She could have helped imprison one of the young men for many years, but instead chose to forgive the young man and helped find help for him to clean up his life. President Hinckely quoted the article - Forgiveness Has Power to Change Future

And the second is a talk I heard at Stake Conference a couple weeks ago. The speaker told a story about two neighbors who each had snowblowers. Every winter these two men had a little contest to see who could get out earlier and blow the snow off each other's drive. The speaker said that that was a fine thing to do, but across the street lived an elder man who struggled to shovel out his own drive. Why didn't the snowblowers try to help this man who didn't have a snowblower and was truly in need? The speaker talked about giving service, and that sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone and help those who really need help.

I am not at a place where I could give service in a prison, but this book made me think about it. I really think that right now the service I give in my home is the most important, but as these little ones grow, it might be interesting to find a way to help incarcerated teen moms, or something like that.

These things have been running through my head lately. That is not the kind of service I have ever thought about doing before. I enjoy volunteering at school once a week, and I spend lots of time serving through my church calling. This fall I have also been helping with several different activities with the wives group, but I wonder if that time could be better spent serving those truly in need.

Spearfish Canyon

We took a weekend drive up to Spearfish Canyon for a picnic and a hike. The weather has been beautiful, the leaves are just about gone up in the Hills.


A walking stick is very important


Any fish?


Cuties

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Cousin Fun

At about 1:30pm on Thursday, I got a call from Nathan's cousin Mark. Mark said "We just left Sioux Falls, so we should be there in about 6 hours." Hmm, I thought, but didn't ask, are you guys staying here? How long are you staying? How many kids do you have? Should I plan a big dinner? Instead, I just said "Great, we'll see you soon." and I called Nathan and said - "What is going on?"

I could vaguely remember Nathan talking to Mark about a month ago, and I gathered that he and his family were moving across the country. But I did not hear about an actual visit here with us. Nathan says he told me, but I think he forgot that small detail. Yikes!

Nathan did not return my call until he was heading home from work. In the mean time, I was running around crazy changing sheets, doing laundry, vacuuming, etc. I had Hannah and Sydney working, and Emily playing with John outside. So, at about 6pm (really only 4.5 hours after the initial phone call,) Nathan called and said that Mark was following him home and they would be here in about 10 minutes. So I started to brown some hamburger for nachos and tried to feel calm and excited.

I have met Mark a few times at Barrett family stuff, and I met Shannon at their wedding about 8 years ago. Mark's sister lived with us for a few weeks when we lived in Florida. Oh, and Heather, you may remember going to Sacramento with the Damons one Easter, and hanging out at Mark's parents' house. So I kinda knew who these people were, and it turned out that we had a great time with them here.

Mark and his wife Shannon have two girls, Emily and Jillian. Our girls had so much fun playing with their girls. Our Emily is just a year younger than their Emily, and they kept saying "we look like sisters" and "we are best friends."


Emilies on Crazy Horse

Nathan took Mark to work with him and Mark got to go in the B-1 for a busy taxi. Then we went to Mt Rushmore. The best part of the visit was playing games late into the night, last night. We set the kids up with blankets and pillows and a movie and they had a sleep over downstairs, while we played Sequence and ate ice cream Sundays upstairs. They just stayed 2 nights, but we had fun, and maybe we will be able to see them again next summer when we head to Washington.


Cousins

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Officer Spouse Club Cookbook

My second cookbook (after I publish Don't Scrape the Bottom, a recipe book for distracted moms) will be the Officer Wives Club Cookbook with little tidbits of juicy gossip along with a each dish. I will include elaborate decoration suggestions, dress tips, guilt-trip fundraising, and conversation starters. Hey, this is not a bad idea.

I am a slacker wife, so this year I decided to sign up to help host this month's "Coffee". I have yet to see coffee at these meetings, and if I were a coffee drinker, 7pm seems a little late to start drinking. I am guessing that in the past these meetings were held in the morning along with coffee and pastries (hmm, maybe I should include a history of the wives club in my book) Our "coffee" this month included a keg of beer, so maybe we should change the name to "Wives Kegger"

Okay, so a few weeks before the meeting we had a 2.5 hour planning meeting where we decided what soup to serve, what color napkins to have, and most importantly, what kind of beer to serve - 4 pitchers with a variety of flavors, or a keg with just one choice. Our menu:

Cheesy Potato Soup
White Chicken Chili
Breadsticks
3 kinds of cookies
iced tea
keg of beer
water available for me

I get asked by my non-military family if the wifes are a bunch of backstabbing, gossiping, b-witches. But really, we are not so different than your average Mormon Relief Society bunch. Some women seem to glory in their husbands rank, but most are just there to make friends. We have a monthly meeting where we socialize, eat, volunteer to help bake cakes for bachelors or take dinners to new moms, discuss upcoming activities, and sometimes do a craft or have a guest speaker. If you just throw in an opening prayer and a little less brewsky, you've got "Enrichment Meeting"

Last night the meeting was hosted at a paint your own pottery store. There were little beer steins available to paint with the squadron thunderbird logo. Every time our husbands change squadrons they get a beer stein with their call-sign and squadron logo printed on it. So the wives could paint our own lady-stein to match our husbands'. For my family, a beer stein is like a big mug that looks like something Gastan from Beauty and the Beast would drink out of. These steins were smaller and a little more feminine.

I know Nathan's mom loves hot cocoa at work, and her highschool's mascot was the Thunderbird, so I made her a little Thunderbird stein for Christmas. On the bottom I printed "Nate's Mom" so you can read it when she lifts her mug. 1 gift down, 20 to go. Sorry mom, no stein for you

This whole squadron thing is like belonging to another church. There are jobs you can volunteer for, that the women take seriously and treat like a calling. There are monthly family potluck dinners, holiday parties for kids, adult formal evenings, twice monthly bunko, mom's morning out, and service projects.

I think the main difference (besides the beer) is that the women go way overboard planning these activities. We are planning to serve dinner in November to the spouses of the deployed guys in the other sqadron. The theme is Italy. We are providing 3 different wines, 2 antipastas, 5 pastas, 3 breads, and 3 desserts, as well as table centerpieces, hand made invitations, and a takehome gift, not to mention childcare for the children complete with dinner and crafts and games. Also , if you are staying to help serve you need to wear black pants, a white shirt, and your husband's red thunderbird scarf. The planning for this dinner has involved several emails, and 2 planning meetings. (This could be all included in my book)

You can see why I need this book, my ideas are not so involved. I declined to help plan, but I am willing to bring a dish and help with childcare. It's probably a good thing I wasn't at the planning meetings - here's my idea - 2 large Sam's club lasagnas. Garlic bread. Bagged salad. Lemon water. No meeting, just an announcement at the wives meeting along with a signup sheet to help with child care. That's all.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

We had our first bit of snow yesterday. Places west of here had as much as a foot of snow, but we had just enough to make a snowball. It has been warm, so I didn't have any hats or mittens out, and we had a mad scramble to get everyone bundled up and out the door in the morning.

I taught John the important skill of holding onto the end your sleeve while putting on your coat. While I was putting him into his carseat I saw that his little fist was still clenched on his shirtsleeve. I guess I forgot to tell him he could relax once the coat is safely on.

The snow has melted, but it is still cold.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Even Better Than an Apple for Your Teacher

Sydney won $100 for her teacher! Remember when we went to the fair this summer? Along with entering projects in the fair there was another contest for school aged children. All you had to do was write your grade and the name of your school on the ticket with each entry, and you would be entered in a drawing for $100 for your teacher. This contest was kind of obscure, and the information about it was in a little square on a page with lots of other items, easily overlooked. Too bad we're not homeschooling this year.

As we were entering the kids projects and asking if we were doing it right, none of the workers seemed to know what I was talking about when I asked about the school contest. But we entered anyway. When the fair was over and we picked up our loot, we didn't hear anything about the $$$ so we just figured we didn't win and forgot all about it.

Yesterday, Sydney's teacher called her over to her desk and told her that she won $100, all thanks to Sydney! I talked to Mrs. H. later, and she said that she received a letter from the fair, and nearly threw it away, thinking it was just advertisement. When she opened the letter she was very surprised to find the check. She told Sydney that she was going to head to Hobby Lobby after school and buy some fun supplies for the class.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Surprise!

Saturday afternoon Nathan suggested that I go hop in the shower so that we could all go out to dinner. I was all grubby from sitting on the couch, listening to conference all day. We rarely go out to dinner, so it sounded like a special treat.

Nathan had all the kids get washed up and dressed in "Sunday" clothes. He even ironed a shirt for me. But instead of going out to eat we stopped at a deli for sandwiches and had a picnic at a park. Nathan was being rather mysterious about a very special surprise.

After we ate, we drove up and down our favorite street and looked at all the old houses. I wondered maybe if we were buying a house? Would he buy a house without talking to me? no, not a new house. Then I thought maybe we were having family pictures taken. nope.

One of the kids eventually had to go to the bathroom, so he pulled in and stopped at the civic center - he said to use the bathroom - but the civic center is not really my usual first choice for a restroom break.

There were lots of other people, all dressed up, heading into the Civic Center, too.

Yippee! Nathan surprised us with tickets to


The Lord of the Dance.

How fun! We had nice seats in the center of row Q. And the kids were all great. I was a little worried about center seats, as there would be no quick exit. But John just sat back on my lap and enjoyed the dancing. He was a great clapper. He fell asleep near the end, but would wake up and clap when everyone else was clapping, then go back to sleep. The girls loved it, but none of the ladies waiting for the restroom could talk Hannah or Sydney into showing off any dance moves. Emily, though, had on her red sparkly shoes and was ready to dance.

The main dancer guy looked strangely like Randy C. Hmm? Mary? Is Randy doing a little moonlighting with a dance troupe? Those guys have the fastest feet ever. I loved the tapping sound that their shoes made on the stage. The women were beautiful and incredible dancers, with long curly hair. And incredibly firm - there is no way to hide the jiggle in that show. They also had a couple dancing fiddlers. They made me think of the Irish sisters from Sonoma who played the fiddle while their dad sang, only with fancier moves. It was a very exciting show.

Nathan really planned this surprise well - I had no idea he had anything planned. He had to have bought the tickets weeks ago, and he managed to pick up the mail on the day that they came without me suspecting anything. I think it was such a fun thing for him to do. Isn't he cute?

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Sunday Afternoon

Nelson - Christ is the Master Healer. Our prayers are not ignored. Repent and be converted so that He can heal us. Deepen your faith, work hard, serve others and then your heart will be healed.

? - The world is preparing for 2nd Coming of Christ. Scriptures available to all people, and literacy among all was the beginning of the restoration of the gospel.

? - Scriptures are a history of sacrifice: Alma and Amulek, Christ, Pioneers. Today we are not asked to give up our lives, but to make small sacrifices daily. Small sacrifices bring blessings. Korea celebration. Do not be afraid of sacrifice. Sacrifice brings blessings, and you may find in the end that it was no sacrifice at all.

Paul Calicer? - Making and keeping covenants brings us to the presence of the Lord.

Snow - Liahona lead Lehi's family through the wilderness to the promised land. The teachings of today's conference are directions of the Lord. Do not be slouthful because of the easiness of the way (Alma to Heleman in Alma 37:46)

? - Feed my sheep. Nurture each one to bring to Christ. People not programs. Love one another.

Deiter Ukdorf? - Focus on the basic principles of the gospel. Center of your testimony should not be located in the social aspects of the church. Our safety lives in the virtue of our lives (Hinckely) The light of Christ, not the organizations of the gospel bring others to the church. People are asked to remain in their homelands and build the church there.

President Hinckley - Moroni told Joseph Smith that his name would be had for good and evil among all people.(JS history 1:33) Dec. 23, 2005 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith, Jr's birth. Large celebration.

Sunday Morning Conference

Thomas S. Monson - Joseph Smith taught many lessons for us by example in his life: Courage, Faith, Honesty, Patience, Diligence, Missionary Work, Love

Boyd K. Packer - Ways we are prepared as a church - LDS edition of scriptures cross referenced, available for all. Book of Mormon in 106 languages. We believe all that God has revealed, all that God does now reveal, and we believe that he will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Curriculum rewritten to center instruction on Christ, priesthood, and family. The Family a Proclamation to the World. The Living Christ. FHE. Preach my Gospel. Temple building. Family History.

Batemen - Worldwide church, Universal nature of Gospel. Plan of life. Restorations including a book - Moses and tablets, Lehi, Joseph Smith. Atonement - timeless doctrine.

? Primary - 2 Nephi 4:15 How to read the Book of Mormon:
1 - My soul delighteth - delight in the scriptures. Attitude that i bring with me affects what I learn
2 - My heart pondereth them - carry the scriptures that I have read in my heart. As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
3 - heart writeth them for learning and profit of my children - scriptures written in my life and govern actions provide example to children . Bring up children in light a truth.
Draw closer to Savior while reading.
Strengthen family in scriptures
Parents call family together to read, Children respond quickly and happily.
An invitation and a promise, claim blessings of reading the Book of Mormon.

Richard G. Scott - Plan of Salvation - Prove yourself obedient to commandments, grow in understanding, make covenants and ordinances, have a family, go through trials and return triumphant. Light of Christ provides guidance, transgression weakens influence of Holy Ghost, but repentance can restore. A pattern of Light and truth then darkness from Adam, Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Christ, and Joseph Smith.

President Hinckley - Forgiveness is the greatest virtue. Prodigal Son. He that is without sin, let him cast the 1st stone. Love your enemies. Forgive trespasses. I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men. Great story about forgiveness and the Frozen Fowl Law. Forgiveness with love and tolerance accomplishes miracles. Lay aside old grudges and nurture them no more. I love President Hinckley.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Saturday Afternoon Session

I didn't catch all the names of the speakers, so I just guessed

Opening song - Awake and Arise - I thought that was a great choice - no more napping.

Dallen H. Oaks - Priesthood Authority in Family and Church. Some misunderstanding about use of Priesthood - abusive fathers, women taking over husbands callings (Nathan gave me a little kick, okay, no more scout suggestions from me) Priesthood is the Power of God used to bless all of his children.

Jeffery R Holland - speaking to teenage girls. great talk. Make teenage years a triumph rather than a tragedy. Stay true to standards not fads or fashion. Modesty in appearance is always in style. no midrift. Teens need limits as well as love. Sabbath worship should be in Sunday best in dress and shoes - should not appear to be heading to the beach (does that mean no more flip flops?) Accept who you are. Adult women are an example to YW.

Ben ReJola? - Come unto Christ. Happiness is the purpose of the gospel. quote from BofM Lived after the manner of happiness.

C Scott? - Mexico. Remnant of House of Israel. Arise and shine forth. Sign of gathering.

? of the 70 - Enos. Go and serve. Labor diligently.

Henry B. Eyring - How can I be prepared? Gain an unshakeable testimony of Christ by being quick to obey and steady in faith.
1 - Feast upon the words of Christ - words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do
2 - Pray always - asking what he would have me do
3 - tithing - decide now to control spending, do not procrastinate. Protection in the last day
4 - Sin - the best time to resist is early, the best time to repent is now.

Bower? - Hold fast to the Proclamation on the Family - like a banner. Family is the basic unit of society and church. Be the best parents you can. respect your children - devote time to strengthen family - nothing more important. No happiness without service. No service greater than family. How to strengthen:
1 - consistant in daily prayer and weekly Family Home Evening
2 - teach gospel and basic family values - love of scriptures. do not get involved in so many outside activities that there is no time left for family. Focus on on subject or value and find ways to teach it.
3 - strong family identity - through traditions, rules, chores, responsibility.
Parents must do all they can to fortify family. extended family can help. What matters most is what lasts the longest, and family lasts through the eternities.

Conference

I love Conference. I especially love that we can sit here at home and listen from the internet. It would be nice to see the video, but I know from experience that viewing conference on TV is not all that much more exciting.

Notes from Saturday Morning Session: These are just my quick notes and thoughts, no direct quotes, transcripts will be available at lds.org.

President Hinkley - Temple service is the end product of all our teaching. The sun never set on the English Empire, but empire is no longer. The gospel of the Lord is going out to all people.

L.Tom Perry - Read the Book of Mormon. It is written for our day, those who lived while it was written were not able to read it, it is for us to read. It is not just a history of ancient americans, but a tool for us in our lives to come unto Christ. I liked how he used the story of Nephi to illustrate our journey to read the Book of Mormon. Have a plan, scriptures are worth more than gold or worldly things, following commandments in faith brings promised blessings.

Kieth B. McMullen? (presiding Bishopric) Calamaties can help us chose the right. We should think about ways we could be better prepared - preparedness starts with faith, tithing shields from want, Fast offering, live within means, storage.

YW General President? - The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. Modesty is more than just dress. Satan has no body and hates that we have this great gift of a body, he uses many ways to tempt us to defile our bodies - chastity, addiction, objectifying.

Joseph B. Whorthlin? - Depart from iniquity and journey to the higher ground. following the prophet can bring safety. Righteousness leads to prosperity leads to pride leads to sin leads to sorrow...

James E Faust - whoops, didn't take notes and cannot remember a thing. Helping Hannah learn how to move from chain-stitch to actually crocheting.

Friday, September 30, 2005

So Frustrated

Ugh. Hannah. Hannah and her friends are always planning little get togethers, and I made a big mess of today's plan. Yesterday, after volleyball, when I picked up Hannah and our neighbor Kate, they wanted to ride the bus to the library with their friend, Beth, instead of coming home with me. I said - Not today, maybe another time, when Kate has a chance to talk to her mom.

When they got home from school Kate talked to her mom, and she said they could ride to the library after school with Beth on Friday (today,) then sleep over at Kate's house. So Hannah and I scrounged around for a dollar in change so that she could ride the bus, and I asked her - Who is bringing you home? I am the afternoon driver in our carpool, but I didn't know if Beth's mom would bring them home because she works near there and that is why Beth rides the bus there after school, or if Kate's mom would bring them home because she is hosting the sleep-over and this library trip seemed to be part of the sleep-over. Hannah didn't know what the plan was, but she said she thought Kate's mom would be picking them up. I gave Hannah change and told her to talk to Kate's mom in the morning, and call me if I was supposed to pick them up. Is that too confusing? Apparently.

Part of the problem here is that I didn't know what time they would be at the library. So I worried about it a little, and I thought the library closed at 5pm on Fridays. I decided to go check at the library at about 4:45 to see if they were still there and if they needed a ride home - I also had a movie, Bend it Like Beckam, on hold. I took John, and we walked up to the Youth Section and looked all around. I did not see the girls, so I checked out the movie - which turned out to be a book based on the screen play? Frustrating! (The librarian special ordered that for me - how did we end up with a fake book?)

John walked on the cement boarder at the front of the library for a while before we left. Since I was out and about, I decided I had better pick up milk and eggs, so we headed to Sam's Club.

I got home just after 6pm and Nathan was leaving. I drove up the street after him and he was MAD! He asked if I had the girls - no. He asked where I was...the girls waited for a half hour in front of the library for me, and then started calling moms, who started calling Nathan. Nathan just told them that I was headed to the library to pick up the girls. But I did not pick them up, and the moms kept calling him. Poor Nathan.

Beth has a cell phone and called her mom. Apparently her mom had no idea that the girls were heading to the library (though her daughter goes there after school each day) she thought I was picking them up from school. Kate's mom also thought I was picking up the girls from the library.

Why am I such a loser? Now all these mom's know how scatterbrained and crazy I am. Why did I think Hannah was capable of discussing this with Kate's mom? I don't know why the girls didn't call me on the cell phone or on the pay phone. I don't know where the girls were waiting, but it was not at the front of the library. I am really upset with Hannah, but it isn't really her fault. Nathan is upset with me, but I don't think it was really my fault either. ieeeeee.

When I came in with the groceries there was a message from Kate's mom that they were home and going to run an errand. Beth's mom picked them up and took them to Courtney's house.

Why didn't Hannah come home to gather her things? Kate lives just behind us. I am still frustrated and typing about this hasn't made me feel any better. I think maybe no more adventures and no more sleep-overs for a while.

Hannah's last failed adventure was the day she and Kate rode their bikes to school. Hannah crashed as she was leaving the school and hurt her hand badly. Kate was told to go ahead and go home, but Kate didn't really know the way, and got lost. Kate and Hannah are not a very good team.

*Update - talked to the other moms, sounds like there was mass confusion and frustration all the way around. The girls are safe and at Kate's house. Hopefully I have learned my lesson about talking to parents rather than relying on the girls. The more I think about this saga, the more grateful I am that they are home and safe - what was I thinking allowing Hannah to ride the bus with no experience? - it is a small miracle that they made it to the library.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Frost

We had our first frost last night. The grass was crisp this morning, and I needed hat during my morning jog. Hurray! Autumn is here.


John is sick, sick, sick. I wonder who will be next... I have been wiping down door knobs and walls and bathrooms with lysol, so hopefully we can stop this yucky germ.


Emily loves when I read to her, but she especially loves when she can read along. We have a few Rebus stories, and she was so excited to see that this month's friend has a rebus story, too. Enchanted learning has lots of rebus rhymes, too.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Grandma and Grandpa made it and we have been having fun going to see the sights. John was so excited to see grandpa that he ran right up to him as they came in the door, and gave him a big hug. Emily has been a little confused about which grandparents these guys are. She told grandpa, "You look different than the last time I saw you, when we were camping with Abby." And it's no wonder:


Who is that Hombre?

Monday, September 19, 2005

I don't wanna

Nathan's parents are on their way to our house, they should get here tonight. They are bringing Grandma and our nephew Matt. I am really excited to see everyone, but I am grouchy and I do not feel like cleaning. It is 11am and the kitchen is clean, the sheets are out hanging on the line and the library books are all stacked and ready to head back this afternoon. I still need to dust, vacuum, window/mirror clean, and do more laundry. But I just don't want to. Waaaaaa. The house doesn't look bad, and those few little chores will take less than an hour (if you don't count the laundry - which is never ending.) I am avoiding my work by blogging instead.

Okay.
Get to work.
Get off the computer.
Stop thinking about a nap.

Here's what I'm going to do. I am going to post this, then I am going to set my timer and work for 30 minutes, then I will fix lunch, then check back here to see if any *elephants are hanging out at the water cooler. *Emily and I saw 2 elephants at the pond this morning!

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Elephants walking along the trails
Are holding hands by holding tails

Trunks and tails are handy things
When elephants walk in circus rings

Elephants work and elephants play
And elephants walk and feel so gay.

And when they walk, it never fails,
They're holding hands by holding tails.
- Lenore M. Link

-------------------

There has been a big stir over at the WTM message boards about Pete's Pond - a livecam set up at a pond in Botswana. The camera is sponsored by National Geographic, and any time during day or night you can see animals coming and going around the pond.

I hear you can see elephants and zebras and monkeys, but I have been watching off and on for a few days and only saw a bird or two and some bugs flying at night. As I am typing this message it is evening at Pete's Pond and I have seen an ostrich and two deer-like animals. So cool.

I'll be watching for those elephants today..

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Found

All summer I have been looking for two items: my favorite black slip, and my new black polo shirt. I haven't been actively searching for them, but I have thought about them occasionally, such as on a Sunday morning when I was trying to decide if I should wear the black button down dress. I had to say no, because I could not find the black slip, and the button dress must have a black slip under it for when the buttons gap a little. That day I looked all around my closet with no success. I have thought about the new black polo everytime I have had to wear the old faded black polo, and though I looked through my shirt stacks, I could not find it.

This Sunday I decided to wear a black dress that I haven't worn all summer because it requires tights and dress shoes, rather than bare legs and sandals. When I pulled the dress out of my closet I found my favorite black slip hanging on the hanger with the dress. Hurray! Then I had to pull out my box of put-away things to find my tights, and oddly enough, there was my black polo surrounded by black and tan and off-white tights. Double hurray! It was nice to start my Sunday on a happy note.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Over at MFS she posed a challenge to list your top ten books. I thought it would be fun to write about my list here.

Okay, so this is supposed to be a list of books that are "me", not just my favorites, right? I am not that interesting, it turns out, and as I have tried to make a list I have had a hard time remembering favorite books that have shaped me and made me who I am. This is not new. As I read other blogs and articles I find that I am not much of a thinker. I like to read, but I just don't take the time to think about things very much. I am going to put that on my to-do list: Start Thinking. But here's what I could come up with, from my childhood to now:

Harry and the Terrible Whatzit, by Dick Glackenbach - I remember Mom reading this to us and I loved it. Luckily we did not have a basement. I have mom's copy of this, and though it is yellow and falling apart, Emily enjoyed it just the other day. I also loved this one book about a mom and son who decide to open an Inn, but a witch lives upstairs in their new (old) house. The witch ends up baking blueberry pancakes? Do you remember the name of that book? Anyone?

Miss Nelson is Missing - I have mom's copy of this one, too. Sorry guys.

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe - I read this series over and over from about 3rd grade until 6th grade. Laurie had the boxed set on her bookshelf, but The Magician's Nephew was missing, so I had read the other books a couple of times before I finally read it. I reread the books with Hannah our first homeschooling year. We would check out one a week from the library in Pensacola and then steal them out of each other's rooms. We read the Magician's Nephew last as well, and I highly recommend reading the series in that order, even though the Magician's Nephew is #1 in the new boxed sets. Sydney and I have read 2 of the books....

Anne of Green Gables (and the rest of the series esp. Rilla of Ingleside) 7th grade. Brenda Rasmussen. Love em. One of my favorite things about Nathan is that he knows who Gilbert Blythe is.

The Promise, by Chaim Potok - Some time in Jr High I read this book and any other book written by him. Around the same time I was invited to a friend, Elise Rosenberg’s Bat Mitzvah? Cindy Ross and I went together. That is the only time I have ever been to a Synagogue. We attended an evening service, a very fancy reception the next day, then another service and a dance that night. I remember her grandparents and older aunts and uncles dancing and singing. Elise wore a taffeta skirt. A teacher that I hadn't seen since Sonoma Elementary School was there and stood when those who were mourning (I think) were asked to stand, and I wondered if it was her husband or son or parent who had died.

Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card - Laurie gave this book to Mom for Christmas, I think the first year she was away at BYU. I borrowed it from mom on Christmas day, and I'm not sure that she ever had a chance to read it. I leant it to our cousin Brandon and never got it back.

The Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas - This was one of the first "real" "classic" books that I read for an English class. And I loved it. Great book.

Mother Goose Rhymes - when Hannah was a baby I spent most of my time on the ground reading to her. She would bring me the Mother Goose book to read when she was just crawling. I have two favorites that I read to John, now. The rhythm of those poems are my strongest memory of being a young mom, and learning how to take care of a baby. Just typing that takes me back to that little one bedroom apartment with the brown textured carpet, and Dana Brinton, and the red brick chapel, and the Audi.

The Midwife's Apprentice, Karen Cushman. Laurie gave this book to Hannah, and we read it when Nathan's cousin was staying with us and getting ready to have her baby at our house. "she learned that midwifery was as much about hard work and good sense and comfrey tonic as spells and magic."

Citizen Soldiers, Ambrose - read this last year, loved it, have read as many books by Ambrose as our library holds, and have continued reading about WWII. I am currently reading Frauen - German Women Recall the Third Reich, by Alison Owings. very interesting interviews with regular wives and mothers. There is so much written about the war. I wonder how we could have let it happen, and did we really learn from it, why didn't regular people put a stop to it, and are we letting it happen today.


hey wait, I think I found 11, and I can think of a few more..... The Good Earth, Frog and Toad, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Anna karenina, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.....

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


1st Day of School

The excitement level around our house has been pretty high as we headed into the first day of school. We went back-to-school shopping and found just the perfect first-day-of school outfits as well as all the items on the school supply lists. We loaded backpacks and made lunches. We went to bed early, got up early, and sent Hannah into the wild world of middle school. Yikes. She has survived 3 days and has only locked herself out of her locker one time. She says changing classes is fun, and likes all of her teachers. Sydney found her line-up spot just fine, and was only a little scared. She really likes her new teacher, and says she reminds her of Grammy. Today she could not find her lunch box, and after checking all around the school, she found it near last year's classroom. Whoops.

Last Friday, we decided that riding bikes to school would be a great way to conserve fuel. Hannah rode off with a neighbor in her grade, and I jogged with Sydney as she rode her bike to school. That was a nice morning jog. Then, in the afternoon, I had to jog back to school and jog home with her. That may have been more jogging than I was interested in. The school is nearly 2 miles away.

So as I was jogging home with Sydney on Friday, I was expecting Hannah to pass us. When we got home, there was a message from the school, she had fallen and hurt her hand. Poor Hannah. Her tire got caught in the bit of dirt between the grass and the sidewalk, just in front of the school. Her had swelled and bruised immediately. It is just a bad sprain, but it looks terrible, even her palm is bruised. Maybe riding bikes is not such a good idea.

Hannah caught a ride with the neighbor girl this morning, but Sydney rode her bike again, and I jogged. Sydney's best friend rode her bike to school, too, and her mom jogged with her, so we jogged home together. It was very fun. I hope the weather stays nice for a while so that we can keep this up.

=========
We have been watching and reading about the hurricane. I just cannot believe the destruction and suffering. It has seemed far from here, but some time this week about 600 survivors will be coming to Rapid City. They will be housed (for a start) at Camp Rapid - a National Guard base. Camp Rapid is right next door to our chapel. So it is close to home, now. There will be about 1000 all together housed here in SD. I wonder what they think about coming to South Dakota. South seems to connotate southern, warm, less North. But South Dakota is just one state away from Canada. It gets really cold here. There is often snow before Halloween.

I haven't heard about volunteer opportunities, but I would like to do something. Are you doing anything to help where you are?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


2 years old


Happy Birthday!

Here is a little *Haiku I wrote when John was just a wee little guy:

Sweet little body
Snoring softly on my chest
Will you sleep in bed?

It seems like it was just a minute ago. He is getting so big, he is even sleeping in a big bed now. On Sunday, when I picked him up from his nursery class he said, "Fun time, class, mom." Oh man, I love that guy!

*We were writing and reading Haiku poems that fall for school. I would lay in bed counting out 5-7-5 poems. Our favorite book was Cool Melons-Turn to Frogs! The Life and Poems of Issa.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Fun at the Fair

The best part of the fair was entering our projects. It was very exciting to walk around finding our entries and checking to see how we did (by the way, I did not enter anything - wish I had.) Everyone did really well. Today we picked up the things that we entered and got our loot. Sydney got $6, Hannah got $7 and Nathan got $8.


Sydney Won!

Sydney won 1st prize for her ceramic turtle, 2nd place for her plastic melted bead thingy, 3rd place for her hot pad, and a really cool rainbow ribbon for her horse painting.


Good Job, Hannah!

Hannah won 1st place and best-of-class for her wooden picture stand, and 2nd place for her ceramic turtle.


Rattle and Bowl on Shelf

Nathan won 1st place for his baby rattle, 2nd place for his cherry bowl (some creep with a baby rattle took 1st in the turned wood division), 2nd place for his shelf, and 3rd place for his rocking horse.


Rocking Horse

The rocking horse division was hotly contested, we think Nathan's horse was the best. Apparently they liked his woodworking so much that if he enters next year he will be considered a VIP and will have a little gold nameplate by his work.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I finished!


Wonderful Walla - John

John is modeling the completed Wonderful Wallaby. I am so proud. It fits him nicely and I think he won't mind wearing it this winter. It is pretty warm here today, though, and I had a hard time talking John into wearing his new warm sweater. But I managed to force him into it. So he ran away and didn't want me to take a picture


Hiding

Then I let Emily try it on:


Emily

Which, of course, made John want another turn.


Nice Hoody


I used the Kitchener stitch to weave the hood and armpits together. Well, I mean, the hood is not connected to the armpit, but yeah, well, you know. That was pretty tricky, and partway through the hood I did something wrong, so it is a half stitch off. There was no way I could undo my stitches and try again - too confusing, but John said he doesn't mind. I found directions for the kitchener stitch here (with pictures) and here (printable). I wish you were closer, Laurie, it would have been handy to have you show me how!