You’ve waited two months for an update and all you get is rabbit food? Sorry. A friend needs these and I might as well put them here. One day I’ll get back to blogging.
Sonia’s Sugared Almonds Salad
1c sliced almonds fried in 5T sugar until dissolved. Do Not Burn.
1/2 head iceberg
1/2 head romaine
1c chopped celery
(I used real lettuce and real oranges but feel free to follow the actual recipe).
Sonia’s Dressing = 1/2t salt, 1/2c c oil, 1T parsley, 1T sugar, 1T vinegar, tabasco sauce (optional)
Lisa’s Summer Salsa Salad
1/2 pkg dry ranch dressing
4-5 roma tomatoes
1 can shoepeg corn
1/2 purple onion
1 can black beans
Lisa’s Dressing = 1T red wine vinegar, 3-4T lime juice, 2T olive oil, 1t salt, 1/2t pepper
Pecan Salad = Spinach, Pecans, bacon, pear, blue cheese Dressing = 1/4c red wine vinegar, 2t brown sugar, 1/2t salt
Taco Salad = lettuce, black beans or lentils, sour cream, salsa, cheese, taco sauce, tomatoes, corn
Summer Salad = spinach, smoked turkey, strawberries, mandarin oranges
Holly’s Dressing = 1/4c oil, 2T vinegar, 1T lemon, 1T sugar
Jelly Dressing = 1/4c jelly, 3T red wine vinegar. Cook 1-2 min on med low. stirring. When smooth freeze 10 min.
Shannon’s Artichoke Salad
2 cans artichoke hearts (quartered and drained) – marinate several in bowl w/ half the dressing
1 red onion sliced in fine rings
1 can large pimentos (drained)
1 head romaine
1 head iceberg
1c parmesan cheese
Shannon’s Dressing = 1/4c red wine vinegar, 3/4c oil, 1/4t garlic powder
Nancy’s Poppyseed Dressing (this is our favorite. it goes so great with spinach salads, although it is sugary)
1t dry mustard
1/3c cider vinegar
1T grated onion
Blend w/ stick blender or blender Slowly add 3/4 c salad oil.
Then stir in 1t poppy seeds
Cucumber Orange Salad = lettuce, cucumbers, oranges
Orange Dressing = 1/4c oj, 2T honey, 2T olive oil, 1/4c apple cider vinegar
Diana’s Amazing Cooked Salad (I had this at a friend’s house and was quite sure I misunderstood her directions. It’s odd but AMAZING.)
lettuce, hot broiled vegetables (Onions, zucchini, carrots, asparagus, anything), goat or feta cheese, balsamic dressing
It was one of those busy days when you wonder why it’s called HOMEschooling. We started off with a Halloween craft day with one of our several homeschooling groups. I quite disapprove of this sort of material wasting activity. Nobody created anything of worth. Nobody stretched their powers of creativity. Nobody learned a thing. But we killed a lot of trees and oil buckets (is foam made from plastic and therefore oil?). I only went because I was dying to learn something from the mom who hosted.
We did have fun. Enough fun that we lost track of time and forgot we were supposed to be at the boys’ football game until Warrior called to ask why we weren’t home yet. We flew into the car and flew across town (okay, across 3 towns). I dashed into the house for cleats and something nutritious and we dashed across another town. After the game (which was spectacular, I’m sure), we again piled into the van to fly across town the other direction to make it to the history faire which I was co-hosting for a different homeschooling group. We only flew halfway there when we got stopped by an accident on the freeway. We stood absolutely, perfectly still for 90 minutes. That was really fun.
Instead of being early enough to set up, we barely made it in time for the boys to participate. At some point during the fall (thanks to many days like this, though most not this bad) we realized our lives were a tad over scheduled. One of the many many reason we homeschool is to avoid the rush and scurry that has taken all the joy out of life. Everyone is in such a hurry to go to the next job, the next entertainment, the next class, they forget life is just fun. With two sports and numerous homeschool coops and groups, we somehow fell into the same rut. Change was abrewing.
The history faire was fantastic. I was so proud of the boys and they had so much fun with it. Tackler was Charles Lindbergh and Prince was Walt Disney. They created boards with information about their people and dressed in character. The children studied the boards, then walked around asking each other questions like “Did you fly an airplane from New York to Paris nonstop transatlantic?” Then Tackler would say yes and that child knew he was Lindbergh.
During the event, I was standing next to two moms talking. They were lamenting that “these things always turn into the moms doing most of the work.” Then they turned to me and said “Except your children. It always looks like they do theirs”. As I type this I realize it could sound like an insult. Like theirs look the least professional. Which they are. But what does an 8 eight year old learn from printing out some pretty graphics and words? Ours are colorful – written and illustrated with child scrawl. Something to treasure a thousand years from now. Well, twenty years from now anyway.
People have been saying mean things to me lately. Awful hurtful things. Like “Little Man is getting so big” or “Your baby isn’t a baby anymore”.
Isn’t that awful? How could people who love me say such things to me? It just isn’t nice.
A friend who knows me particularly well took one look at Little Man and said, “It’s about time for you to replace him.” At first I was appalled. But she just laughed and then I knew what she meant. I laughed. And sighed. The only way to get over the sadness of your precious babies growing up is the replace them with younger babies. Fortunately, mine all look the same so it eases the pain a little bit. But not a lot. Because they grow up really really fast. My advice to new moms is always “Don’t blink”. I should know. I have blinked four times and look what’s happened.
And just in case you are wondering, this isn’t my announcement post. In fact, this is the first summer since 2005 that I have not been either pregnant or had an infant. That’s a LOT of years of babyness. It feels rather strange. So I just keep telling people that Little Man is a newborn. I am not sure if they believe me but they tell me I can keep thinking it if I want. I think I will.
Though it would help if he would stop acting so old. Nobody can ever believe he is 18 months (he’s 12 months in the pictures because that’s how far behind I am) because he runs after his siblings and climbs walls and swings from chandeliers like he’s Pretty Girl’s age instead of the infant that he is.
General Conference is coming up again this weekend. Sit back, relax, listen to what the Lord has to say through His prophet. And when you are properly uplifted and inspired, pull out your blocks and build a replica of the conference center like Prince did after the October Session. Look carefully, the Quorum of the 12 is there, the cherry podium, the organ,….
Cute children aside, General Conference is the best way to spend a weekend. Get out a notebook and pen, take some notes, and let it change your life.
Please call him Henry. He’s really Prince Henry but does not want his subjects confused with extraneous titles. Henry is busy night and day fighting dragons and saving the fair Princess and protecting the Noble Baby.
Also along for the ride is “Plain Old Tank” who views our antics with a grin but refuses an official title change.
Note the sheath and shield. Instead of my own projects, I was stuck in the iron foundry all week under fear of death by sword if they were not completed in time to save the dragon.
We now return to our year in review. Slowly, ever so slowly.
Pretty Girl turned 3. That isn’t really outdated news because I have yet to fully accept it. Despite her insistence that she is a BIG GIRL, she is my baby. However, I should come to terms with her age because she is absolutely totally and completely 3. She is sweet and lovable and totally cute. Which is why we put up with her stubbornness and her defiance and her, well, 3 year old ness.
For her birthday (which was a quiet family affair) she got food. The wooden sets are from my parents and the crocheted food is from my sister. The quilt is from me. I suppose I should take real pictures of it and show it off since it deserves a post of it’s own. (I’ll get to it. Hold your breath til I do).
Pretty girl is VERY into her play kitchen. However, when she wakes me up in the morning to tell me she’s hungry. “I’m hungry. I’m hungry. I’m hungry.”, she will not accept play food and she will not be acquiesed with acknowledgment. Yes, dear. I hear you. No, she wants real food. How can a 3 year old who still wears size 9 month dresses as shirts be so obsessed with eating?
But as much as she likes food and kitchens, she is even MORE into clothes. Her other first request of the morning is “It’s light out. Can I get dressed?” Imagine that question with all the glee of a child asking for an ice cream cone. She LOVES to get dressed. Repeatedly. In pink. And ruffles. That skirt above has 80″ around. That’s about triple what I need in a skirt. (well, not quite but it sounded nice). She is SUCH a girly girl. A sweet, wonderful, hilarious girly girl.
Happy Birthday my baby. (haha. She can’t read so she can’t vehemently protest that she’s not a baby!)
Now that spring is tempting to be here, I shall attempt to finish blogging about last fall. Apple picking. The perfect fall activity. Especially if you live in the country. The first several years as a mother I failed to include apple picking in our litany of activities. And then I talked to a friend in the big city who took her family to the country every year to pick apples. It was an all day excursion and I felt guilty that I had apples in my backyard (relatively speaking) and had never partaken. Since then, we have included apple picking in our autumn festivities.
We came home with 3 bushels of apples. Last year I baked up a storm to use them all up. This year we just ate them one crunchy apple goodness at a time. I would miss fall if it did not tend to be followed by winter.
Speaking of festivities – I was quite annoyed today on our way to a class at the library to find out there was a parade and the library was in the center of it. We spent 35 minutes trying to get close enough to park somewhere near the library. All the revelers were reveling and I was stewing. I don’t think I will ever feel guilty about having parades in my backyard while other people have to drive all day to get to them. I put a crocheted shamrock barrette in Pretty Girl’s hair (Danke Tante) and called it a festival. No need to block the streets people. (Pardon the crankiness).
My front porch has been the blight of my home. We do not have a mudroom and the garage is inconveniently located so the porch has become a dumping ground for all of it – bikes, helmets, rollerblades, boots, coats, gloves, even tools and projects. It has been unsightly and embarrassing. I do my best to keep it cleaned up and neat but I have felt like David fighting Goliath without my trusty sling shot. Even if the rest of the house is spotless (which of course it always is), all most people see is the one room that most decidedly isn’t pretty.
- It is abnormally long and thin on both sides of doors.
- The front and sides are solid windows and the right side is also mostly windows.
- Most of the junk out there, really does have to stay there.
- The room has no purpose.
My friend and I started discussing the room about 10pm. We called the in the hubbies on their way to bed to make them move some furniture for us. Warrior chided me for making my friend work (wouldn’t she rather watch a bball game?) but she assured them that just as I think its fun to organize, she thinks its fun to decorate.
And I admit she is quite good at it. She asked me “If money were no object, what would you put in that room?” I had no answer but in 4 hours we came up with a plan and executed it by stealing things from other rooms of the house.
- We broke the room in half. The left side still needs a little work but by thinking of the room as two rooms, we were able to overcome a little of the long and skinny problem. Then we arranged furniture to stop the eye and make it look wider.
- She told me to embrace the windows. Most people advised curtains to hide them (especially the awkward wall of windows that peer into the living room). She convinced me to love them instead. And now I do.
- We removed the bowflex and bike. Ahhh. I have been trying to do that for a while with no success. Maybe it was paying an interior designer thousands of dollars (well, really just a pancake breakfast) but Warrior finally agreed we could take them out. We added a treasure chest coffee table for boots and a tall basket for rollerblades and helmets. The rest we moved to the left side to tackle another day.
- We gave the room a purpose. My house has several living room type areas so I thought it really did not need another one but it turns out I was wrong. I now have a cozy little room to welcome people without even entering the house. Warrior held a meeting out there undisturbed by the four
wildangelic children in the house.
P.S. Lest you think life isn’t real here, I will admit that winter has been so cold, we have only enjoyed the room a handful of times and I spent most of the winter removing wet boots and sleds from my pretty sunroom and the other side spent a month crammed with the rest of the workshop junk that was on it’s way out of the school room we remodeled…however, spring is almost here and as soon as Warrior is finished staining the molding for the school room out there, I plan to spend a lot of time in my new pretty room.
Pretty Girl was begging for Mac and Cheese the other day (er, back in September 2010 about when these pictures were taken). She said “Macaroni makes me happy.”
However, in typical two year old fashion, she was not to be dissuaded. Fortunately she also knows how to make herself happy without macaroni because she has a mean mom. (Shh. Don’t tell. No one knows).
What makes you happy? Are you sure?
We met at Girls Camp when we were 12 years old and became penpals. We saw each other occasionally but most of our friendship was developed through letters. It makes me sad to think my children will never have a friendship like that. I feel like saying “When I was young…”. Letters are more special than twitters, texts and facebook updates. For several years we filled each other’s mailboxes but as we started dating and driving, the frequency of our letters decreased. Though not as much, we still kept in touch and she thoughtfully saved every letter and gave me a whole chronicle of my life. What a precious gift.
Halfway through college she transferred to my school, but while I was going to school full-time and working almost full-time, she was married to the hunk in the picture below so we did not see each other much. Just enough to keep the friendship alive.
After graduation I moved to the east coast and she moved an hour from my parents. I was excited to be able to visit her; however, during those years I was working more than full-time and never made it home. (I’m not a bad daughter, I just let my parents come to me). About the time I started having children she moved half an hour from my in laws. That’s when I stopped working (ha ha. sorta.) and started traveling so every year or two I was able to call her up and say “I’m in town. Can I see you?”
She finally repaid the favor this fall. She and her husband went to NYC for an anniversary trip and rented a car and drove all the way to see us. They arrived just in time for soccer practice so followed along and played with my babies while I coached. We returned home just as Warrior got home from work so we all cooked dinner together, then put the children to bed and spent the rest of the night talking.
The men watched some game on tv while the girls sat in the living room discussing how isolating motherhood is and how we wished women would open up more instead of hiding behind their “My Life is as Perfect as my Blog Makes it Sound” cover.
This post is getting too long and no one has that kind of patience so enough about my wonderful friend. Tomorrow I will tell you about her wonderful makeover because about the time any sane person would have gone to bed, we decided to redecorate my front porch.
Maybe it comes from my growing in the military and moving every three years, and only occasionally seeing long lost friends who are spread across the globe, but to me, the measure of a true friend is one with whom you can pick right up exactly where you left off.
I am not a wonderful long distance communicator. It takes effort and I’m lazy, or tired, or maybe just not a good friend. But some people don’t mind and they are gems because they act like it hasn’t been 2 years since we last spoke and pretend we hung out just yesterday. and the day before. and the day before that.
In this post I am going to hope you are one of those gems and will let me pretend it did not take me 6 weeks to write the second half of the “which sport” conundrum. I shall respond to one person’s suggestion on how to avoid sports overload. She said “Uh, one sport?”. Sheesh. Crazy eh? Yeah yeah yeah. Logical but which sport? Mine or his?
Much to my chagrin, his sport might win afterall because the soccer league made me mad by being so continuously and ridiculously inane that I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I wrote a long letter detailing the error of all their ways and then I didn’t send it. They let me quit from being Registrar, Micro Coordinator and U8 Coach which no questions asked. If you had one person doing that much wouldn’t you at least say “Really? You’re deserting us?” Makes me think Warrior was right after all – they don’t want to improve so why waste my breath.
I’m over it. Well, sort of. I love soccer. I loved coaching soccer. And admittedly I kinda liked being known as “The pregnant coach with a baby in her arms”.
I used to have 3 blogs. Craft, homeschool, and family. A year or two ago I combined them and talked about all 3 topics on here. And then I got behind and stopped philosophizing on homeschooling and stopped posting my sewing projects. Recently my mom said “You should post that on your blog…oh, you don’t put your projects on your blog, do you.”
Yes I do!!! I just haven’t finished anything in a while! I’ve made a dent in a lot of things. I’m sure I’ve finished something. Not that I can name anything. I suppose that means I should blog something to prove that I DO accomplish something with that big sewing room I have.
This is my church bag. It used to have a hot satiny lining but it was shredding to bits so I took it out and replaced it with pink leopard print with specific pockets for all my stuff ~pencils, handkerchief, notebooks, divinity journal, Ensign, Sunday School manual, hymnbook, scriptures, diapers, even a hook for my keys so I don’t have to dig to the bottom after church.
Fortunately, the purpose of a blog is to make you think I made something perfect that always looks this organized. I do not have to show you a picture of what it looked like today with books and random paper crammed in and I don’t have to tell you how frustrated I am that I put big pockets on the outermost and small pockets toward the middle so now it flaps and sags weird. Good thing you get to think I was perfectly brilliant instead. I love bloggy world.
We finished off summer with a baby shower for Warrior’s sweet niece. His brother and sister in law are so incredibly excited to enter the world of grandparenting (the sister in law below is a different baby hungry sister in law). My grandnephew was born around Thanksgiving and so far I have only seen a picture but he is darling and I can’t wait to meet him. Besides, it’s warmer down there. Our course, that is not the reason, but I keep checking the weather channel for locales in the south. I like to be jealous. Anywho, this blog is still in August so please forgive my sidebar whine.
With summer officially over, we entered the world of insane.
Which would not have been so bad if not for one thing.
I was the head coach for soccer, and the coordinator for the Micro soccer league. Warrior was the assistant coach for both teams. Our schedule ran as follows:
Monday: Football practice
Tuesday: Soccer practice
Wednesday: Football practice
Thursday: Football game
Friday: Homeschool coop
Saturday: Soccer Game
Sunday: Breathe (sort of)
Our little cheerleader enjoyed sideline games and considered herself part of the team. Little Man endured it all. Warrior and I began to wonder if perhaps there is more to life than sports afterall. But whose sport do you give up? His or mine?
Despite us all being on the field together, I am beginning to think structured sports take away too much from the family. I think the boys would have improved more in soccer if we had spent half as much time playing soccer as a family. (We do not yet have enough children for our own football games). But would we dedicate the time if not structured in a team?
Help me out here…How do you feel about structured sports? How do you balance your obsession with sports with your dedication to family and a sane life?
When my twins were born I quit working and moved to a town closer Warrior’s job so he had a shorter commute. I became friends with a woman in our new congregation who had a little girl just 7 weeks younger than my boys. My boys were preemies so they should have been almost exactly the same age. We frequently got together to let our three babies play.
Once I invited her to a Pampered Chef party at my house. Also present was the mother of a good friend of mine from my college days. The two of them spent the hour absorbed in conversation. Turns out my new friend had dated my college friend years ago. I had heard of her long before we ever met!
Two years later she and I were again pregnant – the only pregnant women in our congregation. Unfortunately, her baby was stillborn. So was mine.
The next year she gave birth to a baby boy in May. Pretty Girl was born in November. (The farthest apart of all our children).
Two more years and her little red headed darling (below) was born. Five days later Little Man joined us.
Over the 7 years we have been friends most of our congregation has turned over – our other friends have moved and been replaced with new ones. Only she and I remain. With so many children, jobs, school, homeschool, etc life has gotten busy and we do not get together as much as we did when our first little ones were born but we have this tie. I cannot imagine why we have been sent all of our children simultaneously but I also cannot imagine it has been accidental. Somehow our friendship is a part of Heavenly Father’s plan. And that makes it precious.
Let me rephrase that. My husband and my children are an airplane family.
I am more of the opinion of whatEVer.
I have seen enough air museums to satisfy any airplane aficionado. I have even seen an airshow or two, but this one was cooler. Because I got to go rock climbing. Sorta. I scaled a plastic wall with plastic pegs screwed in every 3cm; but for a fraction of a second I got to pretend I was having fun.
Plus watching Pretty Girl drive a Jeep was pretty hilarious.
Hopefully this will be one of those family days that stay in their memories forever.
Hopefully when they think back on it they will think their mom was just as cool as their dad.
And if not, well, at least I got to see some airplanes. What could possibly make me happier?
What is summer?
Is it a picnic with watermelon, hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill, a rousing game of kickball and of course, perfect weather?
I don’t think you can have summer without a few of those.
What says summer to you?
(P.S. Merry Christmas!!!)
Toward the end of August we attended a bike fest.
The boys got new bike helmets and everyone decorated their bikes with streamers, stickers, balloons and one little (excuse me BIG) girl even got a flower almost as big as her bike. (The photo shows her signature photo smile.)
They had a bike tour of the town and I asked if I could run to keep up with a stroller.
They kindly referred me to three different people… apparently no one had ever asked if they could run along with a 4 children on a bike tour….huh.
Apparently a stroller does not count as a four wheeled bicycle.
So instead we wandered down the pier to eat our lunch and wistfully watch the Peacemaker still in harbor.
The children from the boat were swinging off the side and diving into their version of a backyard swimming pool.
(Typing this in December the idea is not quite as enticing; however, back in August, there was NOTHING we wanted more than to join them in their frolics).
While I might be convinced to live on a yacht, I can’t say I have any desire whatsoever to live a submarine or work on a coast guard ship; however, the personal tours of these vessels has been fascinating.
When the twins were 3 or so, their favorite field trip was a submarine tour. We frequently had the following conversation in the afternoons when dad came home from work:
Dad: What did you do today?
One of the boys: Went to the submarines.
Dad (looking at mom): Really?
Look at those grins on this coast guard boat tour we snagged? What is it with boys and metal? Boats, planes, trucks. If it clunks, boys go ga-ga.
who call themselves
Some of their beliefs in their own words: “We also began creating and making our own garments, to uphold modesty and purity and respect for each
other….And so it continues to this day. The meals we eat together are simple and nourishing, not driven by “health fads,” but simply made from whole fresh foods…Our life is marked by compassion, practicality,
and functionality. If someone is lacking adequate clothes or shoes, we provide them. If someone doesn’t know how to keep his room clean, someone will show him….We work and talk and sing and dance and eat together every day – except that we don’t work on the Sabbath.”
They were such sweet, open people and I loved the idea of their culture. If only they had the gospel to make it complete. The children and I had such a great time talking to them about their way of life. Oh, a
nd that boat! I don’t know that I’ve ever dreamed of living on a boat before, but that boat certainly pushed me in that direction.
Actually, there were not any lions or tigers or bears at this circus. Just people. Some amazingly strong, agile, lithe, and humorous people. I remember seeing Barnum and Bailey’s circus when I was the twins’ age. Obviously a MUCH bigger production but 3 decades from now, they too will remember going to see the circus with their mom. (The other children in the picture are some homeschooling friends).
On a side note (aka current, as in December), I called a friend today because I needed her to help me figure out how to deal with my crazy and busy life but when I asked how she was she said something to the effect of “What was the question?”. Her sister is in jail and she is caring for her toddler niece who is the same age as her toddler daughter, and her teenage nephew so she now has 5 children, a home business, a two bedroom home and a husband who is struggling with work. Phew. She asked how I was doing and I said “apparently, I’m doing just great.” Need some perspective? Call a friend!
Life is a circus for all of us and we need to figure out a way to help each other through the rough patches before we all get eaten by those lions and tigers and bears.