Sunday, August 31, 2008

Save the Worms!!

Arrgh. It doesn't take long to type the's inserting the pictures that's giving me grief. Hopefully I'll get the hang of it soon...or I'll be blogging much less often than originally planned.

This month has been a busy one...some of the highlights are discussed below. In addition to those we've disassembled a fort and a shed that were left in the yard by previous owners and are now assembling a play structure using some new parts and the salvageable (is that a word?) wood from the old structures. It's been a fun project for Donald and me to do together. Our garden is doing well considering the cool weather here. I definitely miss my warm California summers. We have lots of bush beans, broccoli and zucchini. Anyone interested in free zucchini? Seriously, let me know. We also have about 6 cucumbers that should be ready next week, 10-12 rapidly growing pumpkins and vines, the corn here is not as high as an elephant's eye....but it's finally taller than me and we have some little ears. I'm praying we get some tomatoes (there are over 20 tomato plants) we have lots of blossoms, just a few green tomatolings, but nothing more. I'm hoping for a warm Sept...I really want to have some tomatoes to can.
August is the month of birthdays! Donald's was Aug 2nd, James' Aug 8th and the twins' Aug. 14th. Here are a couple pictures of the kids as infants...sniff, sniff. They sure do grow up quickly. In someways I want them to hurry up and grow-up, in other areas I want them to slow down b/c they're growing up too fast for me. What a mess! Am I the only mother that feels this way?
Here are James, Claire and Hannah less than a week old.

Back on the lighter side...w/ Birthdays comes.....BIRTHDAY CAKE! I rarely eat sweets, but I've gotten so used to having birthday cakes and treats in the house recently that I've actually been craving them. It's rotten b/c now that the festivities are over there's nothing to satiate the sweet tooth. I even made no-bake cookies at 10:30 the other night. Donald thought I was a little nuts, but didn't seem to mind helping with the spoils. As some of you know, I love to cook, but I'm not much of a baker, luckily I have 2 sisters that are culinary geniuses, I call them regularly for baking advice. Recently I called Sara for b-day cake advice...Donald wanted a cheese cake and I'd never made one. I think she was a little shocked/appalled, but after that wore off she recommended a recipe that was tdf (to die for). I'm including the link here b/c it was the best cheesecake I've ever had, and is obviously fool proof, since it was made by me. I didn't make the was great even w/o it.

Not the cheesecake.... I participated in the Whidbey Island Triathlon Aug 2nd, along w/ Kori Emerson and Randy and Jordan Lamb. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt great afterwards (which means I probably could have gone a little harder). I haven't quite figured out how to do an endurance race. I was always a sprinter when competing in athletics, so I understand how to pace myself in a 1/4 mile to mile run....but how do you pace yourself on a 20 mile bike ride? I'm hoping if I do enough of these I'll start to get it. I was under my goal time, and my splits were faster than in the previous triathlon...except in the swimming. My swim was awful. It was an open water 800m swim...nothing challenging, but for some reason I was miserably slow. This coupled with the Olympics has made me determined to get back into better swimming shape. My sister Sara told me after Dara Torres' swim that she expects to see me at the Olympics in 8 yrs. ha ha! I wonder what it would be like to have nothing on the agenda but working out, eating and sleeping each day...some days that sounds pretty darn nice.

Twins on a ride at the state fair. Wee!
Potty training woes: Hannah has been potty training. For the first few days it was warm enough that I just let her go about her day naked, so as to avoid the excess laundry that comes w/ potty training mishaps...It has since gotten chilly here, thus I've had to dress her. The potty training is going well, but for some reason she won't use the toilet unless stark naked (won't even keep her socks on). So, multiple times each day she hops around in front of the toilet frantically trying to remove all her clothing before she has an accident. If she could get undressed a more quickly (thus avoiding accidents) or dress herself completely after I wouldn't care so much, but this business is becoming a huge chore....and a very unnecessary one, since she already has the gist of the actually potty training. I've tried to explain (and show her) that the rest of us in the family use the restroom without disrobing, but it hasn't had much impact...sigh, hopefully it will sink in soon.

Sometimes it's really hard for me not to laugh at my kids....of course often it's when they are being extremely serious, or are so proud of themselves they look like they're gonna burst. Here are two of the reasons I say this.

Story 1-Save the worms! A few weeks ago I was outside working in the garden while the kids were all playing in the yard. I heard what I can only describe as an ear piercing war cry and looked up to see Jillian running straight at a robin in the yard. The robin, naturally, took off. I stared at her wondering what in the world she was doing. She continued running until she reached the spot the robin had been breakfasting, bent down picked something up and ran over to me. I was her hand she held out an unscathed (though probably shaken) earthworm. "Here mom, I saved the worm so we could put it in the garden." Awesome! *

Story 2"Argentina has good beef!"** We had a Family Home Evening lesson on the sacrament last Monday. Donald was discussing baptismal covenants. The kids were telling us what they knew about baptism and associated covenant. This was James' contribution to the discussion. "Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, yeah and spiders have 8 legs." I suppose we could call it a scatterbrained moment and blame me for passing on those genes...but I think it has more to do w/ him being 5 than w/ him being my son. Nothing quite compares to the mind and mental leaps of a child.

Well, there's the month in retrospect. I really need to start doing this weekly, so I can remember more and so that writing (and reading) it doesn't become such a long involved process.

*For more earthworm adventures that are both hilarious and educational check out one of my favorite picture books of all time, "There's a hair in my dirt" by Gary Larson ...he wrote The Farside comics.
**This is from one of my favorite scenes in "While you Were Sleeping." It's a random statement by the grandma during a conversation at the dinner table.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pics from the family reunion

The reunion was over a month ago, but better late than never, right? If I can figure out how to format this thing I'll post some pics. Here goes.

1st picture: My four and my niece Julia. Aren't they adorable? This is before we changed out of church clothes, and before they began climbing the 25 ft. red rock hill behind them, covering themselves, inside and out, head to toe in lovely red dirt.. My kids called it "the mountain" in reverenced tone. "Mom, can we go climb the mountain?"

2nd picture: Hannah and Donald on picture day, waiting for our turn.

3rd picture: Jillian in a tree at Garden of the Gods.

4th picture: Grandma Marion w/ most of the great grandchildren. Amazing isn't it!

5th picture: James and Elias w/ mischievous smiles.

6th picture: Claire with a one of the little figurines she loved so much.