Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thoughtless Thursday

it's kind of like wordless wednesday.

Don't you hate it when you stand up after sitting on the toilet, and the toilet seat sticks to your butt a bit and lifts up a few inches and then it slams back down to the rim making the loudest possible noise, that proceeds to echo around your bathroom? Don't you hate that?? And do you then wonder why on EARTH your butt cheeks stuck to the toilet seat?? I mean what was on there that made you stick? That is a question that only the brave should ask, especially if you live in a house with 4 boys.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fires don't go near grammies

Lucy has become obsessed with fires. Apparently she has been having bad dreams where our house catches on fires and turns black. It has her super freaked out. In her dreams we evacuate to Grammie's house. She has taken to packing bags of belongings and leaving them near the exits, just in case. She tells me that the bags are packed in case we have a fire, we can grab then when we leave. (She says "grap"). She has asked us a few times if the firemen are at the station, and when it closes. Yesterday, she asked me if she could pack her bags and I could drive her to Grammie's house and drop her off when all the daycare kids leave.

She won't talk about this at all. When asked what she is afraid of, she just says she doesn't want to talk about it. When I asked her why she wants to go to Grammie's house so urgently, she just says she misses her. I asked if she would miss me and she said "I have an idea! We can both go to Grammie's house!"

I feel so bad for her. She is obviously scared to death of a fire and thinks the only fire-safe place is Grammie's house. :( She is scared to go to sleep at night and has an absolute fit if I don't make it up right away to say a no-bad-dreams-prayer with her.

I scheduled an appt with the fire station for next week. I am hoping they can put her mind at ease. Anyone else have any other ideas on how to ease her mind??

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Crazy neighbor #467

If there is one thing you can count on as an Army family, it's crazy, sometimes scary neighbors. I have once again found joy in living on post. sure.

I am going to document this here, not quite sure if that is a good thing or not, but I suppose I can always come back and delete this post if I need to. Yesterday about 1645, M and A were digging in their usual spot between cars 2 and 3. They sit on the sidewalk and dig in the place where the asphalt meets the curb. They get little sticks and pry the stones out from the crevice where the parkinglot doesn't quite meet up with the curb. M says he is a geologist, so he collects rocks. I was standing about 10 or 15 feet away, at the table filling out my meal count sheets.

Our new neighbor's husband (I met her, but not him) came out of the house and went over to the boys and was talking to them in low tones. I could not hear his words but I could hear his voice. He was standing with hostile body language and his tone of voice wasn't friendly either. I started to walk over there and as I walked, I asked him what the problem was. He shouted at me, possibly due to distance, using a hostile tone of voice that he has only lived here since Friday and already his car is scratched. He tells me that the boys scratched his car with a stick. I tell him that if there are any future problems, to just let me know because I am always out wiht the kids and I will take care of them. He starts freaking out about how he has only lived here so long and already his care is being damaged. So I asked him if he saw who did it, and he said pointed at M and said him. Well M has a condition that causes him to have poor muscle tone and he can't even walk with out a walker. He has problems pouring his drinks from the half size pitchers. I highly doubt he has the strength to actually scratch this man's car. During this exchange I am getting the boys up and directing them to another part of the yard to dig in.

This guy doesn't go back in his house, he just continues to harrass me about this. I can't even tell you what he was saying because I was so upset. He just keeps going on about how I am obviously not supervising them enough, how his car has been scratched etc. He has started calling me "Hey, Lady". Finally I just turned around to him and told him not to call me that. I told him it was rude and he was being a jerk.

At this time, S. and C. show up, M, A and A's mom and aunt. When the guy sees me having back up, he goes back into the house. S asks what is going on and I give her the run down and she is all upset. M is all upset thinking I am going to get in a fight. It was nuts. So I get them taken care of and they leave.

Crazy is standing inside his house with the screen door closed staring at me. I go up to his house, and he is on the phone. He does not even acknowledge that I am there so I tell him that as soon as he gets an estimate to let us know and we will pay for the damage. He again starts "yelling" (talking in a very hostile manner, not really loudly) at me, saying he knows my husband, and he would not do that to my husband, as if I was a small child who has misbehaved! I told him that I would just give him money then and he said he would give it back, so I walked away with a loud "whatever." **So many things wrong here. The first being that he doesn't know my husband. Anyone who did would NEVER freak out on me. Adan can take many things in stride but he gets really heated when he thinks someone has done me wrong, especially another man. The way he knows my husband? He came into the ER with his daughter and Adan was their medic. He doesn't KNOW my husband, he just knows who he is. Secondly, I am not a child, and if my children are responsible for damage, the responsible thing is to pay for it.

So I go over to the van in questions and I look at the scratches. They are very small, and curvy, and to me they look as if they could have been made by road debris rather than a muddy stick. But I don't know one way or the other.

I called up adan, in tears, and asked him to come home. Of course he can't. I told him the whole story and went and got my camera so i could take a picture of the damage. As i squatted down at the side of the car, Crazy comes racing out of his house with a hammer in his hand yelling about what the hell am i doing. I told him i was just taking a picture so we could get an estimate, and he starts yelling at me about how he doesn't want an estimate blah blah. Adan is on the phone yelling at me to get out of there and i am like, he has a hammer! CHAOS! People start coming out of their houses. Lisa and Ray, and Mary all come out to see what the commotion is about. I am thoroughly shaken and just so disappointed.

I tried to do the right thing at the beginning by telling this guy that I will take care of any problems that arise. I try and do the right thing by asking him for an estimate. I try and do the right thing by getting my own estimate. I get threatened with a hammer.

He came out one time later, while I was playing basketball with Lucy in the yard. I don't remember what he said to me, but I told him he was an ass. He told me I was a bad daycare provider for saying ass in front of my daughter. he also said that we aren't allowed to park in our parking spots, that he is going to always park in them every day and we are out of luck.

I seriously don't understand this. Why do people act like that? When his wife was moving stuff in, I made sure to keep the kids out of the way. I gave her our parking spot because it was closest to her front door and she has 2 little ones. I talked to her and welcomed her to the neighborhood. He hasn't even ever said hello to me, yet he is going to be mean and rude and threatening.

Adan got home at 1800. He went over and talked to the guy and told him to not speak to me. I hope he doesn't ever speak to me again. I am not that lucky.

Now I am worried that this guy is going to try and run me out of my own yard. We have a courtyard and we put out our basketball hoop for all the kids to use... in just our 3 buildings, not counting her 5 children, that is 17 other kids. We put out our soccer net and keep all of our balls accessible to everyone. We put in a huge garden... I am a social creature.. i don't want it to be miserable here.. not to mention i don't want to be in fear for my life or afraid to go outside.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Knitted Shag Rag Rug Update

Update!! 3/20 This rug pattern came from a book called fast and fabulous low sew bathroom projects by Reader's Digest. This rug is neither fast nor very fun but i feel committed now. DARN IT! I am currently only working on this rug as i wait to pick up kids from school so I do MAYBE 2 rows per day. My goal for April is to finish this dastardly piece of no fun knitting so i can move on to something i might not hate.

New pic for ya! Please ignore my messy dining room table, and my shoes. I stood on a chair to take a pic from above. Yes, my tape measure is missing inches 1 - 3. I burned them with the iron. I don't like beginnings. The rug currently measures about 25 inches wide by about 9 inches long. After 6 weeks. I rock.

Seed Starting and Storage

This morning we started all the tomato plants, bell peppers and various other herbs. We just purchased peat pots so we can plant the whole pot into the garden and not have to fuss with transplants. I feel all gardeney and official now.

Starting the seeds got me to thinking about my seed collection. I had quite a few packets of seeds from last year, and this year I ordered a LOT more. Gurney's had a hiccup and sent me twice my order. Since I am doing Square Foot Garden, I am only using a few seeds from each envelope. I probably have enough seeds to last 5 more years! I decided it was time to educate myself on seed storage.

Seeds need to be stored in a cool dry place, with as little moisture as possible. Canning jars are ideal.. wide mouth is easiest but since i had regular mouth in my cupboard, that's what I used. If you have any of those little "do not eat" packets that come in your jacket pockets and with electonics, throw one in each jar. If you don't, take a small amount of dry milk powder and wrap it in a small square of tissue or kleenex. Toss that in the jar to absorb any moisture. Label the lid of your jar with the types of seeds in the jar, and store in the fridge until next year! Most seeds will last 3-5 years if stored properly.
See my pink kleenex dry milk packet?

Facebook User...

the one from Louisville who visits my blog regularly. You always visit after facebook, and seem to know my husband. You like to look at our pictures... WHO ARE YOU? Post in my comments.. come out and play!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Garden Beds....YAY!

We spent this weekend planning for our garden and building our garden beds for our square foot garden.

We built 8 3'x6' garden beds and placed them in the front yard we share with the neighbors. The garden beds were very simple to build! We also added a picket fence around this part of the yard to keep random deer and children out of the veggies.

So the final planting list is as follows:
(This list is plants, not veggies or fruits)

168 carrots
48 strawberries
27 green pole beans
27 purple pole beans
54 shelling peas
1 summer squash
19 vine tomatos
2 watermelons
2 giant cantalopes
2 zucchini
6 lettuce (salad bowl variety)
4 pepper
2 white pumpkins
2 orange pumpkins
1 cherry tomato
1 yellow cherry tomato
2 roma tomato
8 broccoli

So we built the boxes, and started on the fence.. BUT the fence is unfinished because I thought the planks were 6 inches wide. I told Adan how many to buy... and the fence planks were really 4 inches wide... so yeah, we did not buy enough.

We also still need to buy the materials for the soil, and for the trellises... we need 9 trellises. This is turning out to be a bit more expensive than I had hoped, but I have to remember that these initial purchases won't have to be repeated. That makes them cost effective in the long run, but oh-so-painful now! LOL

Pics of the building process!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Compost yer diapers

in no. california!

CPSIA and books

Most people who know me, know that I have a love for books. As an teenager, I would go to the library and buy the used books from the booksale. Books are such an amazing part of my life, and I especially love OLD books, CLASSIC books. One of my favorite authors is Daphne du Maurier, who I found at one of those old library book sales. I hurt for what the CPSIA is doing to our children's products businesses, but even worse is what is happening to libraries, schools, charities in regards to used books. It scares me to think that our libraries may no longer be haven to our young people. Maybe it will come about that we will have a whole generation of children that have never read many many amazing books, just because they went out of print in 1989 and had to be dumped in 2009. I found the following post heart wrenching.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Garden Time!

Everyone is talking about seed starting and gardens.. so it's my turn. Hopefully I can get Adan to build the garden boxes this weekend.. I am going to order my seeds today. What are you all planting?

We are getting:
Roma tomatoes
cherry tomatoes
slicing tomatoes
summer squash
sweet peppers
pole beans

Monday, March 9, 2009

I miss Tina!!!

tonight, the first night of the year of the FO, i broke my vows and went to Walmart for the fabric sale. You see, Walmart is closing down the fabric section, and all the fabric is going bye bye. At. 50%. Off.

Naturally, I headed down there as soon as Adan got home. Then I wanted to cry because my Walmart buddy isn't here.

Walmart is Tina's store. I will forever think of Tina everytime I go to Walmart, no matter how much time goes by or how old I get.

In CO, Tina and I were close. We did almost everything together. Our ritual was to leave kids behind with their respective fathers or at one or the other's house, and go to Walmart. If she needed something, she would call me and we would go. If I needed something, I would call her and we would go. And we would eat french fries.

I needed tina tonight. If she had been with me, I might not have bought 100 yards of fabric. She would NEVER have waited in a 2 hour line for cutting.

And if i somehow convinced her to wait with me, I would not have had to talk to the crusty old ladies while I waited for the sales people to cut my fabric and drag it all over the floor in the process.

Year of the FO

A little lingo lesson first.

UFO=unfinished object
FO=finished object

So anyone who knows me, knows that I am a global crafter. I think I like to plan and start things... not so much on persevering. Right now I am actively working on a knit shag rag rug, a braided rug, a knit dish cloth, a crochet dish cloth, a scrap ball afghan, a mosiac gazing ball, curtians for the kitchen, and another braided rug. This does not count the other projects that i have started and set aside in the last, oh, 20 years. I am going to call this the year of the FO. This year, I vow to work on only projects that have already been started, or materials have already been purchased for. If i MUST start a new project, I will use at least 50% materials that already exist in my crafting closet.

There! I said it. Now i have to follow through! I will be posting my FO's as I finish them.. so stay tuned!

Friday, March 6, 2009


I was talking with the mom of the children I watch and she was telling me how her oldest is really, really disrespectful to her. She does have some extenuating family circumstances that I don't have, but I have to wonder if it isn't partly because she doesn't expect him to be respectful. For example, he really has no chores around the house. He does one thing, clean the cat box. It made me think about the chores my children have.

I think I must be a slave driver. My kids have a LOT of chores.

Now, the boys do sleep in the same room, so the bedroom chores are split between them as opposed to both having to mop the whole room. Also on busy weekends, we may not get all the Saturday chores done because we just aren't at home. But we try to stick to this plan.

For our system, we have a master list that is on the fridge. It includes all the daily and weekday chores. It is laminated, and each day they check off what they completed.

We also assigned each child a room, and that is their Sat. chores. I have a list with all the chores for each room, laminated, posted on the door to that room. As they do the chores that day they check it off with a projector marker that is hanging from a string on the door. So far this works best for us.

I found the nifty chore charts at Chart Jungle, I found this site about 7 years ago, and have loved this zone cleaning type of system ever since!

What chores do your kids have? What are your thoughts on children having lots of chores vs. not many chores?

*edited to add in response to comments*
I really feel that it is important for the children to help out because they live here as well. I don't pay allowance for doing chores because chores are just something you have to do as part of a family. Sometimes family duties aren't fun, but you do them anyway! LOL

The kids don't enjoy doing chores and generally don't do them unless told to. Everyday we have chore time, and we all go down our checklists and do our respective tasks. The 5 year old is a pain about this, and occasionally spends 4 hours on one item, but she doesn't get to do anything else until those are done.

We started handing out chores at age 2. Something simple like feed the dog, or put the shoes in the shoe closet. It helps to have the chart, that they can check off when a job is done.

Lucy, age 5

Brush Teeth
Clean Room
Make Bed
Take Bath
Feed Dog
Sweep Upstairs Hallway #1(We have 2)
Take Out Recycling

Empty Dishwasher

Sweep and Mop bedroom
Dust bedroom
Clean Doorknob and light switch
Wash Window
Clean bathtub in bathroom #2
Clean Sink
Clean Toilet
Clean Mirror
Clean Doorknob
Wash out Trash Can
Sweep and Mop
Clean Light Switch
Wash Window

Alex, age 8

Brush Teeth
Clean Room
Make Bed
Take Bath
Empty Upstairs Trashes
Clean out Cat Box
Sweep Kitchen
Sweep Landing of Stairs

Empty Dishwasher

Sweep and Mop bedroom
Dust bedroom
Clean Doorknob and light switch
Wash Window
Clean bathtub in bathroom #3
Clean Sink
Clean Toilet
Clean Mirror
Clean Doorknob
Wash out Trash Can
Sweep and Mop
Clean Light Switch
Wash Window

AJ, age 10

Brush Teeth
Clean Room
Make Bed
Take Bath
Empty Downstairs Trashes
Feed and Water Cat
Clean up Dog poop
Sweep Stairs #2
Sweep Hallway #2

Empty Dishwasher

Sweep and Mop bedroom
Dust bedroom
Clean Doorknob and light switch
Wash Window
Dust Living Room
Clean TV Screen
Straighten Bookshelves
Clean Door Knobs
Clean Light Switches
Clean Walls
Wash Windows

Our foster son, age 15, also has a similar list, but I didn't list because when he leaves it will go back to being my list LOL.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thanks to Swiffer...

Human League is here to stay. I caught the 8 year old singin this one today.

PVC bike rack!

We built a PVC bike rack to house our bikes. It came out outstanding and was super inexpensive to make. I believe it cost us about 30 dollars to make 2 bike racks that hold 3 and 4 bikes respectively. We followed the instructable here:

I modified it a bit to include spots for more than one bike. If you want our modifications, let me know and I will write them out!

Updated June 09:

Don't be a cheapskate like me. Spend $5 on some PVC glue and glue your bike rack pieces together. If you try to save the dollars and just fit the pieces together, you will have a cute little pile of PVC pipe sticks with in 2 or 3 weeks.

Parts cut out!

Adan putting joints together

One finished bike rack

Front yard before nifty bike rack. Note bikes thrown haphazardly around yard, just begging to be stolen.

Bike rack placed behind fence set a few feet out from the front of the house.

Bikes in rack! Beautifully put away!

Bike rack for adult bikes in the shed.

Bike rack in shed filled with adult bikes! Beautiful!

homestudy is almost done!

Yesterday I went to the ACS office and tracked down the last background check that we needed for our homestudy. They finally faxed it in to our case worker. That means she started typing everything up today. 6 weeks or less we will be done. I am filled with anxiety at this prospect. How many children do we want? 2, 3, 4, 5, 6? Do we want to go out of state or through KY? Do we have the patience? the funds? the space? a big enough car? We found a sibling group of 3 and one of 6 on the web, and I think we will put in our homestudy for both if they are still waiting for adoption in 6 weeks. It seems like this could be a reality so soon!

I am so scared about it though! I was not happy that our family stopped at 3 children, but i was okay with it. Now we are a point where our family could double or more within the year. I think I will be heartbroken if we have to turn from this path now.