Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Working on the Fun-factor

They've been doing so great with school work assignments.
Especially in the attitude department - follow-through, cheerfulness, and completion
have been the norm, and occasionally I like to stir things up a bit to make life interesting.

Its good to refresh the spirit to keep on.  Life is not fair and rewards are not an entitlement
but giving them every now and then  is one of the wonderful perks of being mom!

This evening Susanna and I made campfire dinners by mixing in a large bowl:
*Ground Beef (fried with onion, garlic, and salt to taste)
*Diced Potatoes (uncooked)
*Diced Carrots (uncooked)

Then we layered two sheets of aluminum foil,
put a generous serving of the hash mixture in the middle
then folded the edges.

We also quartered an apple and removed the seeds,
laying the four pieces in the center of another double layered aluminum foil.
Then we sprinkled brown sugar and a pinch of cinnamon on them
and brought the four corners of foil together twisting to close the top of the package.
Times however many campfire-cooker-eaters you have :-)

*[Disclaimer: I am not a tutorial person so good luck deciphering all this gobbledygook!]

If you have a 10-year-old boy in the family, you don't need to offer too much
help and advice on cooking the campfire fare.  It's all a big experiment and
10-year-old boys are always up for a challenge!

I will tell you that my 10-year-old boy achieved success tonight and how he
did that was by placing the aluminum packets around the edges of the fire
but on the glowing embers.
He turned the packets every so often with a couple sticks or with some sturdy
work gloves for roughly 45 minutes.
(I don't know for sure as I prefer to not watch these proceedings closely.
It can dampen the atmosphere of fun considerably :-))

survival chopsticks :-)

According to discriminating taste-testers everything turned out superb!
But do remember that one fine thing about eating in the outdoors is that
everything tastes better - even charcoal :-)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring Color - one way or another!

If you were to swing by my cabin in the woods one day when you happened
to be out and about, you would discover that I am a lover of color.
I didn't know it when I was young - except that I had a staunch devotion to
the color green from as early as age 3.  It's rumored that my Grama couldn't convince
me to try on a sweet little red dress she'd bought for me.
"Why won't you try it on?" she asked.
"Because."  said I, "I don't like red. I only like green"
To that fine woman's credit, she took me at my word, and from that day forward
I was the happy recipient of every green item a girl could want.

Grama had a penchant for red though, and today it would seem providence is repaying
her for her grandmotherly affection as I am hooked on that fantabulously cheerful color!

Red is not where it stops however, and it's my own mother I often think of as I amass
art, and kitchenware, and quilts, and mugs, and signs, and powder coated cans and totes
in every bright rainbow color.  She has always been a woman who has understood having
things around that make your spirit sigh with contentment and delight.

At first I didn't know I had it in me, as I tried to coordinate hues.
To embrace whites.  To stick to a scheme.
My mistake.
It turns out I have that spirit which sighs too when it sees something happy.  And colorful things?
They make me smile :-)  So now I fill my eye, my closet, my kitchen, and pretty much my
entire house with bright happiness that makes my heart sing!

Maybe I'm just getting old, but I don't feel a bit embarrassed for wearing a lilac skirt with pink socks
and blue house shoes (I might be embarrassed about the dirt on my shoes - yikes!)
Throw on a bright apron and I have something kind of like fireworks!  Hope you're eye's aren't sensitive :-D

I like it.  It keeps my spirit in fresh supply of sighs :-)

Cherry Red
Lime Green and Teal side by side, not too much though and definitely not on a car.
Jewel Tones for wearing
Orange for a playful pop on a yellow or blue wall.
Meyer Lemon Yellow.  Not to wear, but as one occasional accent here and there.
Butter Yellow for wall paint.
Blues - Robins Egg, Azure, Sky, Ice blue, Cobalt, Periwinkle.... who doesn't like blue?
Green.  I am always loyal to my first color-love.  I have a theory that God is partial to green too
and I can't wait to see it start popping out from twigs and branches everywhere!
Come Spring!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Traditions

We recently decided to get away from the house for part of our weekends.
No matter how good our intention, it's often difficult to focus on having fun with the kiddos
when little chores cry out for this one thing and that quick fix and one last... whatever.
Tooooo many distractions. Period. And getting out the driveway is a great way for us to pour all our
energy into distraction-less fun!

Today we needed to split and stack more firewood,
Our leaky shower needed fixing,
Laundry is piled high in the living room needing to be folded and put away...

But we left it all for a picnic at the lake.



Let me tell you!  It was fre e e e e ezing cold down there by the lake
and so windy I  had to turn into the wind to take a bite of my sandwich -
but then my knuckles got so cold I thought it might be worth eating the
hair in my face to take bites with my back to the wind.
I advised whomever suggested our picnic to choose a warmer day in future!

We later took a drive up to the ski resort village and it was sunny
(and warm even) up on the mountain.  I definitely caught Spring Fever while we were out :-)

What a grand way to spend a day together!

I can't really say I missed stacking firewood,
or folding laundry
and I'm perfectly willing to take baths this week instead of showers
if this is the trade ;-)

I think it's looking like a good tradition!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Welcome Spring?

Snowflakes float from the sky in large clusters
making them appear as goose down shaken from a pillow.

There is practically no sign of Spring here except warmer temperatures
which melt snow causing water to drip from eves, and turns roads into slippery slush.
Spring is fighting for precedence yet, and those warm temperatures drop in the early morning
hours turning drips into icicles, and our road of slush into a toboggan hill.

On the mornings I wake to White Wonder I marvel all over again that I live here
and I'm okay that seed still lay dormant under cold earth.
I have seen the Spring
and I know that it will come again in due time.

Just LOOK at my boys!  They are loving it.  They run out in between chores
and school and I find them chasing snowflakes with their mouths wide open.
They call me to bring the camera
and I do.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Today's Dose of Laughter

We've been reading the book of Acts together and today we finished the last chapter.
If you're not familiar with the Acts of the apostles, Paul writes of his shipwreck followed
by his adventures on the Island of Malta where he was bit by a poisonous Viper and yet lived. 
My kiddos were so disappointed to close that book, and Clayton asked:

"Did Paul's story end there because his journal got washed overboard?"

to which Zachary corrected:

"No Clay.  He wrote these things down later.  You can tell because otherwise it would end: 
'...and a big storm is coming...'"


Olivia's birthday is on Saturday and she's been counting down for the last three months.
You can tell that birthdays are highly celebrated around here because today she asked
if she would be allowed to open a couple of her gifts on "Birthday Eve."
Clearly birthdays are now elevated to Holiday status!


When I sit down in the evenings to read the Bugletts  written work, I often find myself
grinning from ear to ear.  Tonight I laughed until I cried when saw what Clay had written
in a letter to his great grandma:

"...what have you been doing lately?
I have been collecting gun shells.
I also have been making some illiteration........"

He is referring to one of his recent Creative Writing assignments
which was writing Alliteration. Haha!
One little letter...   It sure seems appropriate though :-D


Friday, March 9, 2012

Grace-filled days

Dear Grandma's,

I have been pretty busy.  Maybe no more than usual, but "usual" is busy enough!

When my Beloved is nearby in the evenings I cuddle on the couch and visit long.
When company comes through our neck of the woods there is a blessed increase
in the visiting department.
With children getting bigger overnight, some are allowed the privilege of staying up late.
I figure if they don't sleep they can't get bigger...?
And the days?  24 hours here are as a wool sweater run through the dryer on high heat.
The days have shrunk considerably in recent years and I am impressed by how much
of my life is spent in the kitchen :-)

The other evening our friends were over.  We girls were laughing about how quickly our
husbands fall asleep: when the head hits the pillow.  No whispered visits in bed!
The husbands retaliate with something like "Beds are for sleeping in" and that's when I was hit
with the ironic truth:  for moms, bed is a base of operations for the dark hours.
That's it.
We merely get comfortable before a little one calls, or a baby needs to eat, or a big one has a
distressing dream and needs a hug.  After a pizza night there are always parched lips and water
refills.  Certain nights there is a parade to the potty.  Sometimes sleep is delayed  interrupted just
because we wait for what comes next - on those nights no one needs mom until she closes her
eyelids and (temporarily) dozes off.
That's life.  In talking to Molly the last few days (the first days at home with a brand new baby boy)
we've agreed that some things are inevitable so it's worth looking for the joy in every moment.
Diaper disasters, blood sugar lows, and a lake of pee on the floor included.

There may be an exception for vomit.

Don't wag your head and wonder how I do it.  Every day I ask myself  how all the other moms do it!
I'm not being modest to say that our delightfully chaotic survival depends on grace 100%.
Don't worry if I don't get around to posting thoughts and pictures as often as I sometimes have.

Grace is in full swing here :-)

You are my inspiration!
I love you.

help with math

susanna made body butter

prepared for.... anything!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Terrible, Horrible, No good... WAIT. That's not the Title for this post!

It was my secret hope to see snow reach the deck rail this winter.

It obliged, I think, just for me!

Some people "back home" in the part of the country I was raised, think that snow = Brrr....
I know I've said this before, but what makes cold REALLY COLD is humidity.  Amazingly,
it's not usually that humid (more so than, say, Denver Colorado of course) and it's often
comfortable enough to run outside for five minutes without a jacket.
Snow is SO much more pleasant to walk out in than mud, driving wind, and bitter-cold rain.
Did I mention mud?
We do get a fair portion of mud around here before spring spreads its colors, but I have to
say that a season of beautiful, clean, white snow makes me forgive an awful lot of mud!

A few sick days cooped up indoors promotes a certain amount of mischief.
Teasing the cat, for instance.

Studious students.
I've been getting the kids assignments all lined out the night before so that they have the option of
starting in early if they want and finishing earlier in the day.  Clay managed it all by 11am today,
and rewarded himself with snow-play, and pocket-knife carving.

Susie and Zack too.
They are all becoming so big.  So grown up! More fabulous people every day!

You recognize this view?  The Teeter-Totter?

 This one just for fun.
My favorite person in the world and a heart.  Says it all.

Olivia is becoming a voracious reader.
Today she finished a book with a LOT of words - I thought it more advanced than her
current abilities could conquer, but I was mistaken.

This can of nuts was her selection from the prize basket :-)

Bryce has a growing fondness for camouflage. This is dad's hat (IF dad can get it back).

Today he informed me why he had been heading upstairs:
"I was going to get my camouflage chair, mom."

Of course. I should have guessed.

Princess Lori naps.  She naps twice a day overlapping with Bryce's nap inbetween,
so some days they don't see much of each other. It's a squeal of delight when they do though!
Becoming inseparable companions already. -Except during naps, that is.

Aloria's a trouper, sleeping through a lot of noise and rumble.
I appreciate how flexible every one of these children are as they share tight living quarters.

I love the snow days.  Even the middle-of-the-week school-day ones,
and this was no exception!