Friday, September 29, 2006

Holiday Recipe Exchange

Overwhelmed with Joy is hosting a Holiday Recipe Exchange on October 2nd. That is this Monday. Post your favorite holiday recipe and then on Monday add your name to Mr. Linky at Overwhelmed with Joy. For more details, check the post here.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Is this an Intervention?

I enjoy my morning coffee. I make it half regular and half decaf, so, that really isn't addiction is it? Or is that kind of like someone saying they only smoke light cigarettes? Anyway, I think maybe Nolan is worried about me and trying to tell me something.

Thankfully, the pot was almost empty, so he did not get burned. He did, however, get two small cuts on his foot from the glass. Now, what am I supposed to do tomorrow morning? I feel the headache coming already! LOL

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Live Bookmarks

When going to check my daily reads, my bookmark says "Live bookmark feed failed to load." I thought, "Well that is annoying," and chalked up to a glitch with our computer or internet service. After a couple days of this, annoying was no longer an accurate description of how I felt about it. Then, I noticed it was always for the same blogs. (I am quick you know!) Upon further pondering, I noticed too that these were all blogs that had switched to beta blogger. Blogs still using the original version or those that started on Beta, like Stop the Ride or Kellen's (sorry his isn't public!) still were getting live feed. So, my solution I am resubscribing to all those that are not feeding! Maybe you have already figured this out and have a different solution.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Lydia's Room

This Tackle has been a long time coming. Almost a month ago, I tackled Lydia's closet with the intention doing her room the next week. Obviously, that did not happen. I am happy to say that the closet still looks good, and that this weekend we finally got to the rest of the room.
Before, it was truly a disaster area. Lydia and I spent quite a bit of time in this room. I even made her crawl under the bed and get everything out.

Kellen even helped out. It was worth it! It now looks like this. Notice it didn't get all done on the same day. (Lydia has different clothes on) I was hoping to do more de-cluttering (code for get rid of toys), but settled for just having things put away.

To see what everyone else is tackling or to add your own stop by 5 Minutes for Mom.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

So embarrassing

Tuesday was our first story hour of the season. (the library does something different in the summer) I packed up the kids, (including a diaper less Nolan!) and headed to town. The librarian had the conference room all set up. A U of situpons (small rugs) and behind it a U of chairs for the parents. These were kid sized chairs, but they were intended for us.

We are going on a different day this year, because the day we used to go on conflicts with our homeschoolco-op. So there are a few familiar faces, but mostly new ones. Nolan was being unusually shy and stuck pretty close to me. Eventually, he ended up laying under my chair. I had Vivian on my lap. Nolan had taken his one shoe and sock off. About half way through the story, I leaned forward to retrieve it. It was a bit out of my reach so I had to come off the chair a bit. After retrieving the shoe and sock I went to sit back down and the chair was gone! The chair had fallen back when I leaned forward.

I do not have the balance, strength or grace to stabilize myself from that position. I went plop, not on the floor, but on Nolan who was under where the chair had been. Vivian was cradled in my arm so luckily she didn't hit the floor, but my arm hit the floor and the force of that caused her do asomersault out of my arm onto the floor. Nolan is screaming, Vivian is screaming and all I can do is laugh. You know you either laugh with everyone or die of embarrassment.

The kids weren't hurt only scared. Another mom took Vivian and she settled down quickly. I tried to comfort Nolan, but he was pretty upset. I eventually took him out of the room and he settled down.

After story hour one mom said to me, "Where is the video camera when you need it? You would have won big on America's Funniest Home Videos."

The librarian related Lydia's reaction to me. Lydia was initially very concerned that Nolan and Vivian had been hurt. The librarian reassured her that even though they were crying, they really were just scared, not hurt. Lydia looks at the librarian and politely says, "Oh good, why can't mommy take Nolan to a different room now?" Apparently, she wanted to hear the end of the story!

Monday, September 18, 2006

Potty Training: Round Two

After a false start, and missing my goal, it seems we may be on our way to a potty trained little boy. I think the first time we started this process Nolan figured out that I really wanted him to go in the potty, so he decided not to. Yes, he is that uh....independent would be the nice word for it! To push it at that point would have been like banging my head on a brick wall. If I even mentioned the potty I got a very firm, "No!" You pick your battles and although I really wanted him to be trained I let it go.

A few weeks ago he started getting diaper rash. He had diarrhea and his little bottom was getting pretty red. It was a major battle just to change his diaper and get some cream on him. (One, I unfortunately, had to tackle!) During the battles, I would tell him that if he would go on the potty I wouldn't have to change his diaper, or that his bottom wouldn't be ouchy in the first place. It worked. Suddenly, he was not so objectionable to the word potty.

Friday I was letting him run around with out a diaper and he took himself to the potty and went poop and pee before I knew he was even in there. When we were home this weekend he went with no diaper, just shorts. (He has trouble getting underwear down) He had a few accidents, but overall did really well. Of course it is on his terms.

1. No potty seat. He goes on the big toilet.
2. He does not want my help or reminders.
3. Shorts, no underwear, no diaper (he goes in the diaper if he has it on)
4. He must flush before he wipes. He wipes for pee or poop, then flushes again after wiping.
5. He says, "bye, bye" every time he flushes.

We are tackling potty training again. Well, I guess Nolan is doing most of the work, I am just around for cleaning up the accidents!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

My first tag

I have been tagged for the very first time. (I have this awful Madonna song from my youth going through my head right now.) Heidi has tagged me for a meme. Actually, she is such a sweetie she posted two and said that I could pick which one. Since the kids are in bed, and I am waiting for Tim to get home (and I don't want to do the work I really should be) I decided to do both.

For the first word association
1. rock:Christ 2. bicycle:Kellen 3. green:spring 4. tomato:Bob (veggie tales you know!) 5. smile: Vivian

Now I get to pick five words for my yet to be named taggies
1. purple 2. home 3. cowboy 4. winter 5. computer

For the second
Here are the instructions: Grab the book closest to you Open to page 123 Scroll down to the 5th sentence Post the text of next 3 sentences on your blog Name of the book and the author Tag 3 people. (I copied and pasted that from Heidi's page. Yes, I am that lazy!)

The book that is on the desk next to me. . .page 123 wouldn't you know it is the glossary, well here goes
cap The portion of the mushroom bearing the gills and the tubes.
convex A surface that is curved or rounded outwards.
decurrent Running down the stem.
fibrous Composed of fine fibres or threads
This is from Mushroom Picker's Foolproof Field Guide by Peter Jordan. We had it out this weekend when we found some Oyster and Giant Puffball mushrooms.

I tag my darling Applehead, sister- in- law Delilah and her friend who lives near me, but I have never met isunshine. And continuing Heidi's generosity pick the one that you would like to do.

West virginia, New jersey, South carolina, Rhode island. . .

So, did you decide to buy one of those places in New Jersey? Nah, me neither. I am sticking right here in my 100 acre wood, in my double wide without a mortgage. Of course, we are still paying our mortgage for the house in Ohio.

I am looking at this site about home loans. They really do have some good information. There is a link called mortgage 101. The mortgage calculator link was interesting. It will calculate how much income you need to qualify for a loan, how making extra payments will change your overall payments, whether you should refinance and lots of other options.

But on the home page there is a tool to get current mortgage rates based your location, type of dwelling and general credit. Out of curiosity, I was going to check the rates for West Virginia, but it was spelled West virginia. At first I was offended. I thought maybe it was a jab at my state, and then I noticed we were not alone. There was New jersey, North and South carolina, Rhode island and well every state with two words has only the first word capitalized.

I know I am not perfect with my spellings and grammar. I do proof read and still sometimes someone will point out an error or I will go and read a post weeks later and see a blunder, but this is just me talking with you. I am not a business or a professional. I do not make the same error repeatedly in a post. (do I?) Will someone please tell these people that both words of a name are proper nouns! I feel the urge to break out the red pen from my teaching days, and I wasn't even an English teacher!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ding - Time is Up!

Before we got pregnant with Vivian (our fourth) we thought, "This will probably be our last, but we aren't sure." A wise friend of ours once told us that you shouldn't make a decision about having more kids while pregnant or with a newborn. Tim and I agreed with his logic. The mom is hormonal. The family dynamic is changing. There is added stress. Of course, this friend has eight kids so maybe he wasn't the best one to listen too. Yet, we decided to wait until Vivian was six months old to talk about the issue.

The last trimester of my pregnancy was hard. I know it could have been much worse. I didn't have health problems. I wasn't on bed rest. I was just very tired, grumpy and uncomfortable, much more so than with any of the others. If you had asked me then if we would have more kids, the answer would have been, "I seriously doubt it, but there is a slight chance."

Then she was born. She was difficult. Check my March archives. Again it could have been worse, but I was stressed! More kids? "Are you out of your mind?" And she got easier and the maybes started to creep back in.

Vivian was six months old about a week ago. I am really torn. There are plenty of practical reasons to stop with four. There are times where I feel like I am barely treading water with four. Times where I am ready to pick up the phone and make Tim a doctor's appointment for a little snip snip.

I do enjoy the kids though, most of the time. I love to watch them grow and figure everything out. I love how they are all so different and similar at the same time. I love the lessons they are learning from having siblings to deal with. (I do have to remind myself of that when they are screaming at each other!) I love kids. It is not your typical kindergarten teacher, warm fuzzy type of love for kids, but I do love them.

If I was younger I think we'd have more. Yes, there are plenty of women older than I still having babies, but as I said this last one was physically draining. And I am at the age where pregnancy starts to become more risky. Tim also always looks to the other end. How old will we be when the kids are gone? Right now I will already be my parents’ age. Their kids have been adults for awhile. I think, "If I was them, would I still want kids at home?"

I think I do know deep down that Vivian will be our last, but I am having a hard time making that a permanent decision. I have friends who did the snip snip and now want another child. How many people do I know who thought they were done and *surprise*. The surprise was such a blessing. I guess there is no rush to make a permanent decision. I am surprised that this is such a hard decision to make. I would love to hear your perspective.

Carnival of Family Life

Today's Carnival is hosted at Snapshot. There are lots of good reads and I love Snapshots layout. Check out today's entries.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Remembering September 11, 2001

I was about halfway through my pregnancy with Lydia. I was teaching eighth grade history at a rural middle school. It was early in the school year and we were still getting settled in.

I don't remember what we were actually studying, maybe Civil War. While teaching you are in your own little world. I had no clue what was going on in the world outside my classroom, until lunch.

The eighth grade team had one of the early lunch periods. We all ate together. One of the teachers pulled me aside and said that we were all meeting in the library. The library? That is odd. I went about my normal, which at that time included a trip to the restroom and grabbing my lunch from the fridge.

Entering the library I see the team glued to the TV. Whats up? Then I saw replay after replay of the plane, the fires, the collapse, the pentagon, and a possibly related crash in Pennsylvania. How did the world fall apart during my morning classes?

Stunned and shocked, I don't think any of us really talked. Initially we asked the librarian (who was able to watch most of the morning) if anyone knew what had happened. Of course no one did and after that there wasn't much to do or say.

Our lunch period was short and students would be back in a few minutes. How do we handle this? What should we say? My initial reaction was this is history happening. Let's tell them, let's watch the news, let's talk about it. The rest of the team was older and wiser and suggested that we say nothing unless they brought it up. That their parents should be the first to discuss this with them. That is what we did.

The rest of the afternoon was spent trying to go through the "normal" while sneaking to the library for a quick update and trying to process the events that occurred. None of the students ever seemed to know that something terrible had happened.

The next days and weeks were spent talking about it. We mourned and reacted with the rest of the country. I laminated the newspapers. (Wishing now I had saved them but I left them at the school when I quit) We talked about the latest findings. We watched news reports. Occasionaly, we studied what was on my lesson plans.

We did a special project. They were supposed to make a poster to tribute what America is. I wanted to emphasize the good. (Looking back now I see this was probably part of the swell of patriotism that occurred. ) I wanted to move the focus from the images burned in our brains of the towers on fire and falling, of the people running, covered in soot and debris of the rubble and those missing. I emphasized over and over again that it was not to be about 9/11, but apparently the students couldn't let those images go. About 1/4 of the posters had the towers as the central image.

It is amazing to me, five years later, how fresh some of those memories are, yet some things are blurry I wish I would have been blogging then. I wish I would have written it all down.

Shannon has shared her memories and is giving us the opportunity to share with her and her readers also. In reading others memories, I was surprised at how quickly the emotions from that day rose to the surface. It is a deep wound that is still healing.

If you would like to share your memories or read the memories of others please do so here.

I've been interviewed.

Christian Mom BlogsI've been interviewed by "5 Minutes for Mom".

Have you seen 5 Minutes for Mom? They have a mom blogs and mom-owned webstores directory where you can have your site listed with a detailed, full page writeup. It's owned by twin sisters who run a couple of toy stores with pedal planes and wooden toys. They're on a mission to encourage moms to read more mom blogs and shop more at mom-owned stores. We moms need to stick together and we might as well spoil our kids together!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sophie the Sofa??!

So as the story goes. Mamaw and Papaw are looking for a sofa. They currently have no living room furniture. Papaw buys the ad bulletins to search for a good deal. He comes home with this.

Not a sofa, but they named her Sophie!

Sophie is pretty, but not broken. The previous owner did not work with her. She is starting to warm up to us. She is bred and we expect her to foal in May.

We don't have pasture. We are a 100 acre wood. The neighbor (JS) has pasture and a barn that was not being used. So Sophie is there. Another neighbor has three miniature ponies who kept getting out. So JS said to put them in his pasture. The ponies are mostly gentle, but had not been well taken care of. The other neighbor gave us permission to care for and use them. We had to cut their manes and tails because we were unable to get the tangles and burrs out. The kids have ridden some. (Papaw leads them) Kellen is almost too big for the ponies already. Maybe we will have to get a full sized one for him. The kids really enjoy going to see them and brushing them and of course feeding them treats.

Oh the memories. When I was in grade school we had two ponies. A friend (TW) and I rode those ponies everywhere. We had no clue what we were doing. We started riding bare back with only a lead halter and baler twine reins. (They were gentle ponies!) I ran into TW at the homecoming. We reminisced about those days. Turns out she just bought a pony for her daughters too!

Papaw also brought back three hens as part of the deal. Here he and the kids are building a coop.

Kellen "milks" (family joke) the chickens and so far there has been just one egg a day. We are trying to get the dog and chickens used to each other and are hoping to let them free range. So there are the happenings around the wood.

The next animal addition we are thinking of is a doe rabbit. We have had a buck for awhile (thanks to Delilah) but we would like him to, well as we tell the kids, get married and have babies. The babies will be sold or eaten. So far the kids think that is a good idea, but I am wondering how Lydia will be when it really happens. I remember as a kid when our rabbits were butchered. Traumatic!

Oh and also a rooster so the hens can hatch chicks in the spring. And who knows what else may show up on our "farm"

Beta update

I really do like this Blogger Beta. It makes working with your template so much easier. (not that I have everything done I'd like to!) I do have one frustration though. I can't log in to leave comments on blogs that still use classic blogger. You would think it wouldn't be that big a deal, but it is really bugging me! I have to post anonymously. Then I add my name to the comment and because there are several Stephanies out there I add 100 Acre Wood. It is just that much more to type. Then on top of that other bloggers can't get to my profile and blog from my comments! UGH! So come on y'all . . . switch! It would be so much easier for me! And of course that is what it is all about! (You know I am joking right?)

Add to this that I can't get pictures to load today. It worked for me before! What is the deal! I have a post ready to go except the pictures! Hopefully I will get it up later today.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wordless Wednesday

The Farm Girl

See more Wordless Wednesdays or post your own at Five Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The newest cousin

This weekend we visited Tim's family in Fredericksburg. It was a busy weekend. We all had a lot of fun. We got to meet the kids newest (and only on that side of the family) cousin, Gage. Here they all are.
We went to the annual homecoming. Fredericksburg is a small town. Many residents have lived there their entire lives as did their parents and grandparents. Tim and I both grew up there.

The homecoming is very "small town" I mean that in a good way. It is a fundraiser for the local fire department. It is a volunteer fire department that has no tax levy support. Volunteers do all the work for the event from making creamed chicken and homemade desserts to washing the trays and working the games. The local high school band plays and there are carnival type games.

But most of the "entertainment" is just sitting around talking with friends and family you haven't seen for awhile and the ones you see all the time. I saw several old friends from school. And no, I don't just mean high school. These are people I went to school with from first grade on. It was nice to touch base again.

Another high light from the weekend; Kellen learned to play poker. (no money, just fun!) Tim and I played the last time we were there, and of course Kellen wanted to learn too. And learn he did. I figured he might get the hands but not really how to play it. I was dead wrong. He knew what he was doing. One hand in particular stands out. He had a good hand, but he never let on. He bet slow, lured us all in and took all our chips. He plays better than I do. (ok that isn't saying much, but still!)

We came home Sunday night and spent Monday doing stuff around the house. I bought groceries at an auction. This is the second time I've gone there it is kind of fun and there are good deals. Maybe I will blog about it sometime, but for now I will leave it at that. Hope you had a relaxing long weekend!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Frugal Fridays

Today's Frugal Fridays topic is about eating out cheap with the kids. You can find it at Stop the Ride!

Hope you have a great and relaxing long weekend and that the weather is better there than here. We have had rain for days and looks like for the weekend too. Enjoy your time with your family!

Window Treatments

We have been in our house for almost a year now and I still don't have any window treatments up. The kids bedrooms have mini blinds that were there when we bought the house and the living room has vertical blinds with many blinds missing. Decorating is not at the top of my list as you can tell! :) Part of me just doesn't want anything on the windows. It isn't like the neighbors can see in, and I like to see the outside. But along with the organizing I have been doing, I have been thinking about window treatments for a couple of reasons.

When the moon is bright it has actually woken me up. At about 3 AM on a clear night the moon shines right in the window on my side of the bed. The way the windows are put in it is very difficult to paint around them, so many of the frames have paint on them. It would be nice to cover that up a bit. I have also thought something on the windows would help with the heat and A/C costs.

So what to get? Any suggestions? We have always just had the cheap mini blinds, maybe it is time for something else. I like these bamboo shades. These real wood blinds are pretty and on sale! These light filtering ones look good too, but I wonder if they would stop the moon.

I hate to spend a bunch of money on this place though. Hopefully we will start building, and I won't need window treatments in the new house! :) Ok well I may need some, but not a lot. Maybe I should just make something for here or just buy the cheap ones for the windows that really need something. (like the one the moon shines in!) What do you think?