Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Have Wheat!

I went to the cannery last week, and I now have ALL the wheat that I have been trying to gather!

I also have sugar, beans, rice, and oats... all that my family will need for an (estimated) year!

I need one more trip, where I will gather the last of my pasta, milk, and then get a few "extras", like dehydrated carrots, onions, and apples.

When I bring those home, I will be done with the "gathering" phase and will move to the "maintenance" phase! Yahoo!

I would also like to report that my 3 month supply is still going strong. I was talking to someone the other day who told me that she had her 3 month supply at one point, but now it is almost completely gone. I can definately relate to that! It does take work to maintain this, but I have figured out one key-

You have to make inventory easy! Once I made my list of what I wanted, and started storing it all, I made labels for everything- what it was and how much I should have. I keep it in only 3 places- a shelf in my basement, my downstairs freezer and a few items in my pantry. I can take inventory in about 10-15 minutes. I just look at the label, see what I am missing, then write a shopping list as I go. For example, I see on my label that I want to have 10 bottles of salsa, I look and count 8 on the shelf, so I write "salsa-2" on my list.

The list goes straight into my purse, and I can easily pull it out when I shop and get a few items each trip. When the list has everything crossed off, I take myself downstairs and spend a few minutes making a new list. Yes, it does take a little time, but once I got my system down, the time is very minimal, and the rewards are great!

For my freezer and pantry items, I just have one label that lists items and amounts that should be in there, rather than labeling each individual item.

The next thing I need to do is compile my recipes! I have been putting that off for several months now, but it is still on my radar to get done... one of these days!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I am not in Charge

Did you know... Halloween is coming?

My kids know, and they can barely talk about anything else! The other day they wanted to get out the decorations. I told them my rule -- NO Halloween decorations until AFTER my birthday. (I sometimes make up rules on the fly when I don't feel like doing something).

They protested and cried and whined, but it is a RULE.

The next thing I know, I look around, and what do I see?
Vampires on my bookshelves...
Signs of "Haloowen"...
Witches on my tables...

And pumpkins on my walls!

I was totally impressed by the artistic detail, and the creativity and perseverance to get what they want!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Summer

Dear Summer,

I want to thank you for staying a little longer this year. Today's rain aside, I have been greatly enjoying your sunshine and warmth. I know some people are giving you a hard time, and wishing for cold weather, but I will tell you this:

It will be cold soon enough. Please stay as long as you like. You are welcome here. Sure, I love jeans, sweaters and boots as much as anyone, but I will stretch the use of my tired t-shirts and capris just a little longer. I will bask in your long days and bright evenings. I will send my children to play in the sandbox and backyard, and I will enjoy the company of friends as we boat on the lake... in late September.

Please, Summer, ignore the falling leaves. Ignore the calendar and all the crazies who enjoy being bundled and cold. I have no problem trick or treating in 90 degree weather. It sure beats trying to fit a winter coat under my costume, as I did when I was a child. I think Thanksgiving and Christmas would also be improved by heat, so I will go ahead and invite you to stay for the holidays.

Continue to send whatever heat you wish. I will even accept the humidity, because every day that I am hot simply reminds me that I am not yet cold, and for that I am grateful! And, when you have to eventually leave, please do not stay gone too long. I will miss you.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Dissection of a Fit

We had a crazy morning the other day. Do you ever have those? Most of the time we have normal mornings- we are busy but not rushed, kids are cooperative if not happy, and everyone gets to where they need to go on time. Occasionally we have a wonderful morning, and occasionally they are horrible.

Quite often, in our home, one of our children throws what we have come to call The Morning Fit. It could be triggered by almost anything- the wrong clothing, a fork instead of a spoon at the breakfast table, or some other minute detail of the morning routine. Sometimes The Morning Fit will last just a few moments, and sometimes it will last up to an hour.

The other day, The Morning Fit was triggered by reality. They had a little extra time after getting ready, and when that happens their favorite activity is to wake the neighborhood ride their scooters down the hill in front of our house. They went out to get the scooters, and one irritated the other, and then the other hit the one. They both came back in crying, so we spent a few minutes consoling and comforting. Unfortunately, by the time the tears stopped, the sad reality was that it was time to head to the bus stop, and therefore no scootering.

Enter The Morning Fit. Included within was crying, screaming, running and hiding, and removal of shoes and socks. Unfortunately, the root cause of The Fit did not disappear just because one of us was in an emotional crisis, so this Morning Fit also included (as a bonus) chasing and finding, dragging up the street, frustration, and shocked looks from the fellow bus-stoppers.

The child got on the bus (thank goodness, because I really wasn’t sure what I was going to do otherwise). The bus driver very kindly got the shoes out of the backpack and put them on. Bless her. The bus drove away.

I felt frustrated, beat up, and like a big giant failure of a mother who just displayed her worst moment to all the neighbors. One of my neighbors looked me in the eye, and simply said “wow, you handled that really well”.

Talk about turning my entire morning around! I knew I hadn’t handled it well. I knew I was a mess and it showed all over my face. But her kind words gave me a lift. They expressed kindness instead of judgment, and compassion instead of horror.

The next time I see a mother, struggling with her child, I am going to smile and tell her she is handling it really well. Even if she isn’t.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gone in the blink of an eye

I wrote a fantastic post today. It was amazing. Really, really beautiful. And when I hit "publish", it was gone. Just gone.

I can't believe such a fabulous post (I can say how wonderful it was all I want, because you will never read it, haha) is just completely gone.

I have not forgotten about this blog! I will try to blog more... once a week just isn't cutting it!

Oh how I wish that post was saved somewhere!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Abby scores a goal

In the first few minutes of the first game... Abby *ahemAbigail* (I'm still not quite used to her name change) scored a goal! Several times at the beginning of the game, she would break away with the ball. She would run it all the way down, then stop just outside the goalie box and just stand there. Except for once, she followed through, and kicked it in!

With her long legs and a season of experience, she had the confidence to get it in! We were so proud of her!

And her two brothers, despite being the youngest and smallest on the field, were right in the game. Aidan played goalie the first half, and stopped many attempts. He also played a great defense and put himself in front of the ball for several key turn-arounds. He had great energy in the second half when a lot of the other players were slowing down, and was attacking the ball with great gusto!

Jack for some reason spends a lot of his time rolling in the grass. Between getting bumped around and putting his whole self into each play, we joke that he spends more time on the ground than he does standing upright! But to his credit, he pops right back up every single time, and he took two great shots that almost went in.

Watching a soccer game with all of my kids on the same team was a total blast! I haven't had that much fun in a long time!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Things I Think About

Before school started and my little pumpkins were gone for about 6 hours a day, I was busy. I was constantly cleaning, cooking, entertaining and referreeing. I will admit that I greatly looked forward to school starting and having just a little more ...time.

Of course, I have managed to fill every bit of my days, so that I continue to rush around and I still have a seemingly endless list of things to be done. I have been doing a lot of cleaning, a lot of sewing, I have been at the kids school just as often as they will let me in the door. I am working a bit more now (I doubled my previous 2 days a month and now I'm working 4 days a month- I know, how in the world do I fit it in). I have done my share of shopping, both necessary (groceries) and fun (clothing). I have been making up for my neglect of doctor visits, and have had about 4 appointments in the past couple weeks. [I have not been working on the kitchen].

Despite all my rushing about, I find myself preoccupied with thoughts of a few different things.

1. Homeschool

I'm not sure if it is just kids-in-school-mom-freak-out thoughts, or if it is really on the horizon. I really, really, really love their school. They have the BEST teachers. There is so much good that is happening. I really love my time alone, and my ability to get things done.

But I don't love the rushing that happens every day. Between homework, dinner, and bedtime, they often only have about an hour to just relax and play. I don't love having Abigail be bored out of her mind for 2.5 weeks before they can get everybody assessed and in the right math and reading groups. I don't love her coming home with work that is way below what she was doing all summer.

I'm not sure where it is going to lead, but I did get a few books at the library. Kydon thinks I'm crazy. I do too, to be honest. I wish there was a compromise- great school for 4 hours, and I will supplement with stuff at home! Too bad that doesn't exist!

2. Etsy

I have had several thoughts over the years of opening an Etsy shop. This summer I was at the pool for swim lessons, and one of the other moms was going crazy over a little notebook cover I had made. She bought it from me for $8! And she got me thinking about it again.

I decided to do it, then decided not to. Then I changed my mind, changed it again, and then changed again! So, right now, I am going to do it. I spent a lot of the day yesterday getting some inventory ready and finalizing some of my projects! I will, of course, let you all know when it opens! I'm pretty excited about it, and I hope it stays fun. Anyone with advice is welcome!

3. Adopting again

I want to use our adoption fund. It has been sitting in a savings account for 5 years now, and I think it is time we use it. I want to hire some professionals, and go ahead and adopt a basement. I'm trying to convince Kydon that after we finish the kitchen, we will be ready for a new "addition" to the family. It will be a lot of work in the beginning, but then our family would really be complete. He isn't opposed to the idea, so we might be expanding sometime next year! ;)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Progress is Painful

My kitchen is a total mess. All the time, no matter what. I don't even bother doing the dishes most of the time, becuase really, what is the point? (I mean, besides having clean dishes and not having gross food sitting around) There is no point to making an effort to clean, because it is and will be a huge and utter mess for now and several weeks to come.

I have learned one thing about myself. I am NOT a fan of open shelving. I know it is making a comeback, and really cool people swear it is better. I have lived with it for a month or so now, and I think I have developed a nervous tick from having to look and every single thing I own every time I'm in the kitchen. What I wouldn't give to be able to close a door on all this!

I keep trying to convince Kydon to hire someone to finish it. He won't do it. He is so worried that they won't do as good of a job as he will, and he will be out all the money and still not have it done right. I don't really care about all that, I just want it D-O-N-E.
One disadvantage of my open floor plan is that I can see this mess from everywhere in the house!

I am happy to see that I will eventually like the finished project. I love not having that bar anymore, and I love the bookshelves. It would be slightly better if I didn't have to stress about any water spilling out of the sink onto exposed wood, but that is just a minor detail, right?

I'm still using the dishwasher pot (when I actually force myself to do dishes, that is).

Kydon works tirelessly on it. Every single night he helps to put the kids to bed, then picks up his tools and gets to work. All day, every Saturday for several weeks now, he works all day, barely even stopping to eat. I clean up a little, then sit on the couch and think about my attitude- try to not feel too guilty for not helping, and try not to feel too resentful that he spends every spare minute on this thing! I am grateful- I really am, it is just starting to wear on me.

My dad has also been over many times to help and work and give Kydon the support that he is not getting from me! Thanks Dad!
It will be beautiful... one day!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's Magic

Aidan has been studying magic tricks. I'm going to do my best to let you experience the magic:

"Okway, I'm gonna do a magic trick. Here I have a hat, and I'm gonna make it disappwear!"
"Okway, now close your eyes and look away"

"Look! All gone!"

(Please do not look in the corner behind the magician. Thank you.)

"Now look away again- close your eyes!"

"TA-DA! It's back!"

Quite amazing, wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Why Separating Twins Is A Good Thing

The kids got off the bus the other day, and the driver motioned me over. She proceeded to tell me that "one of your boys" keeps standing up and won't sit down on the bus. Then came the following conversation:

Me: "Oh, sorry- which boy was it?"

Bus Driver: ...blank stare...

Me: "Was it the one with blond hair or the one with brown hair?"

Bus Driver: ...blank stare..."I don't know" (said in tone like "how could I ever be expected to be able to tell a difference between twins")

Me: Okay! Great! Because, I will just go home and get onto both of them, even though you said it was only one that was doing it! And by the way, if you look in your mirror to see them standing up, and can recognize enough to know that they belong to me, can't you remember if it was a child with a round face and blond, straight hair vs. a boy with a thin face and brown, curly hair??? Seriously??

I can't even tell you how many times I get a comment that starts with "one of your boys" and when I ask which one, get a blank stare in return.

Because, you know, they are TWINS. How can you possibly tell them apart??

And that is one of the reasons we decided to put them in different classes in school!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First Soccer Practice

I absolutely LOVED watching my 3 cute kids practice soccer!

Last year, only Abigail played. She did okay, but it was not as enjoyable as we had hoped. It was hard for her, and several times she would beg not to go. I actually was pretty resistant to signing her up again, but Kydon was pretty insistent- he wanted at least one year of all 3 of them on the same team. Jack and Aidan spent all last season just chomping at the bit waiting for their turn to actually play on the team! They would practice the whole time Abigail was at practice, and they have worked on it all summer.

Last week, Kydon took the three of them shopping for cleats, new soccer balls, and shin guards. That upped the excitement by quite a bit!

I was so happy to see them all at practice and having such a great time. Jack and Aidan were so excited and happy to be there, and they were holding their own with all the 6 and 7 year olds! They were right in there the whole time kicking and playing and running around.

And Abigail seemed to be having a much better time. She was a lot more aggressive this time than she was last year, and that meant she had some successful kicks, which made her have a lot more fun. I think she also just loved having her two brothers there on the team.

And, just in case 3 players from one family isn't enough, Kydon volunteered to be the assistant coach! May as well make it an even 4!

After practice, Jack and Aidan still couldn't get enough, and we stayed around for another hour kicking the ball around and trying to shoot goals past each other!

Even though soccer practice was fun, several times I looked over to see Abigail practicing her backbends- it was cracking me up that anytime she stopped running she was bent over backward!

This is my favorite picture- Jack and Aidan deep in conversation with "the best player on the team"- I can just hear him giving them words of advice!

All lined up to work on "keep the puppy on his leash"- controlling the ball. It was a great practice! I am really excited for this soccer season!