Daily Life

I’m Kind of Obsessed

I want to introduce you to two new members of the family. Mabeline (Mabel for short) and Milo.


Benjamin loves cats and foxes and Snoopy. He’s been asking lately for another cat since one of ours died the last month or so. He’s kind of obsessed with calico cats and when I was out the other day and spotted one I couldn’t pass it up because I can’t do foxes (illegal in our state and we have chickens) and Snoopy we have lots of. So I brought the little ones home. Benjamin is on the autism spectrum and cats do wonders for calming him down and comforting him. It’s kind of amazing. So I couldn’t say no.

Mabeline is curious, adventurous, fearless, wants to explore the world. Milo is a fraidy cat. The first two days all he did was cower and hiss at us. It was comical because he was is so small.

Do I think I’m kind of an idiot for getting two baby cats? Yes. Yes, I do. Luckily the kids have a few more weeks of summer so they have taken the responsibility of raising the babies.

Our other cat is unsure of what is going on. I hope she trains them to hunt. She caught an adult bird yesterday so she is good at what she does. Not that I like her hunting birds but that’s what cats do. The fog on the other hand is in a panic because she wants to get to the kittens. We’ll have to retrain her. She is best friends with the older cat and she was the same way with them when they were kittens. It’ll take time and thr kittens getting big enough.

Speaking of animals. The chickens. We still haven’t integrated the older and younger generation. The younger ones should start laying eggs this week and every time we put them in together so the new ones can be in the coop they get pecked at so bad. I think next time I get new chickens I will just start over completely so as to avoid all the mean girl behavior. It’s awful.

So that’s what is going on on our little farm.


Visit With My Parents

The day before last my mom called to ask a question. I asked how and what she was doing. She answered that my dad and her were getting their old house ready to rent out. They had two more day and there was still so much work to do. I told her I was coming down the next day to help them.

I got up early, okay, not early, just my usual time, and drove the 2.5 hours to my parents house. I got there when they had just woken up. We headed over to the house and started working. Not my favorite thing to do, but I knew what I was doing. It was a lot of painting and cleaning. All. Day. Long. Hot and humid and sweaty but we got so much done. I knew they needed more help and Alex and the kids would be fine so I stayed the night so I could get more work done in the morning. Plus I was really tired and driving home wouldn’t be the best idea.

Did I mention that my back had gone out the day before? Yeah, it did. I’d read up on it and one website said you would want to sit down and not move (still painful) but you should keep moving instead. So I made the kind of painful drive down and kept moving. I felt better and better as the day went on and could move more and more without hurting. I still walked awkwardly but I walked.

I made vacuum lines and they stayed! Very satisfying.

The next morning when I woke up the back pain was back along with soreness and I was flat on my back in bed and couldn’t move. Quite the conundrum. I slowly slowly slowly moved as best I could and made it to standing up. Once I stood up I was fine. Weird how that works.

I got ready for the day and got back to work. We got so much done! Basically all that was left was to haul all the tools and garbage out of the house. I would have stayed and helped with that but the items to enter into the County fair were due and I needed to help the kids with that. I kind of wished I hadn’t done the fair thing only because it was a rushed stressful mess. We got it done though.

I enjoyed the visit with my parents. It was nice and I am going to make it a thing maybe twice a year though I don’t think I’ll work that hard every time. It was probably good for the kids to be with Alex while I got a “break”. Hahaha.


Trees and Starting to get Ready for School

I started off the day with a rush of energy. That didn’t last too long. I got frustrated and it rained, which is good, but I just got thrown off course and frustration hit and the day kind of petered out from there.

As soon as it was late enough in the morning to not be rude to mow my lawn I got to it. I figured eight was late enough. I wanted to get it done before it got too hot. Didn’t matter because I was dripping by the end. I was frustrated, too, with the trees in my backyard. It is constantly raining leaves now. Black leaves.

It’s not enjoyable to hang out in the backyard because it is ugly. And an hour later it looked like I hadn’t done anything. The ground that had been mowed and cleaned up of leaves was covered again. So, as much as I hate to lose my shade, I think I am going to have to just get rid of all the trees.

I kind of wasted the day after that. I struggle sometimes mentally and I was having a difficult time making myself do anything. It is weird how one day I am busy and can do so much and the next day I mentally slog through the day. I made a few phone calls and made appointments, made sure the kids were taken care of but that is it. I am on the city Parks and Rec committee and had a meeting that evening. A very adult thing to do. I feel like a kid playing grown-up but at least I look the part. Being an adult is weird. It is the majority of one’s life and yet people still feel like a child or a teenager and that we are playing house, does that make sense? I thankfully have more knowledge and experience than a child or teenager so I can get along pretty well, even if I feel like I am out of place and in over my head (I’m not in over my head, it just feels like it).

Speaking of being an adult, I sat down the other day and figured out and consolidated the school supplies list. I have seven children in school this year. I am looking forward to it and I am not looking forward to it. I don’t mind getting up and getting them ready, I just think I will miss them but at the same time I will be glad for the time to get stuff done without a billion people all over the house. It is a weird feeling that I feel guilty about even though I know I shouldn’t. I made the list and thank goodness for the internet. I searched different stores/websites looking for the best prices on supplies. Some were better on Amazon and some were better at Walmart. I’ll order from whichever has the best price and we’ll go from there. I still have to register them in a few weeks and as much as that will cost, it should be a bit less since I have less kids in band and other extra curricular activities this year. They might change their minds and join a team, who knows. I just asked them and the oldest boys just said they want to join the soccer team and knowing Lauren she will want to do the same. So I guess I know how my fall will go- attending soccer games. At least the boys would be on the same team so it cuts down the games to go to and they will be together.

Daily Life

Not Enough Hours in the Day

It was a hot day yesterday but I refuse to complain. It is summer, it is what it is. Will I have such a great attitude in the winter? Probably not. Maybe if I get a snow thrower my attitude will change. Snow piled up in front of the mailbox stresses me out. It’s stupid but there it is.

So I slept in yesterday morning. Alex and I went to bed just sick the night before. Who knows what caused it. Alex woke up feeling fine and I slept in just to make sure. It worked. I’m better. Hopefully.

I got to cleaning the house and then took Michael to get an application at the local grocery store. Work is good and a paycheck is better. Then when we got home I got to work on the side table. I found out my sander needs a new pad because it won’t hold on to the sandpaper which makes it kind of hard to do the work. I ordered what I needed because the local store didn’t carry it (I went and checked). It will be here next week though I’ll probably be done with the table by then but at least I’ll be ready for the next one. To cut down on the sanding I put paint stripper on and got more paint off. I had to take the table apart to get all the edges and thank goodness it came apart easy and wasn’t glued together.

Later Evangeline insisted I make a bead creation with her. “Make more eyes!”

Each pair are “eyes”.

The other day I’d picked up some seasoning packets for dinner. I was going to make Fajitas tonight but forgot I was out of seasoning for that and was too lazy to make some. So I decided to try the new kind I got. Oh my goodness. It was so good.

If you haven’t tried this brand of seasonings you really should. Our family favorite is the Kung Pao. This Phad Thai is now my favorite. I usually use these when I have a bunch of vegetables to use up. I know it has what to use on the package but I just use whatever I have. It is an easy way to use up vegetables.

Our older children had birthday parties and youth activities tonight. I am the chauffeur on Tuesday nights. I don’t mind. It will only be a short time until the kids are all gone and just visiting. I’ll enjoy them while they are here and driving them around gives us a chance to talk. Unfortunately that meant a late night for Alex and I as we had to wait up for them. They all came home around eleven. That was super late for a Tuesday but they had fun.

Earlier in the day Gideon wanted his bike fixed. I pointed out how to do it and left him to it. He did as much as he could. He asked his brother to help and he didn’t get much help from that quarter. But when Alex got home he gave him a hand. Gideon said he wanted to fix the bike for Noah. How sweet is that?! While Alex was at it he fixed a couple more of the bikes that needed fixed. Our side driveway is a parking lot of bikes, some of which are Frankensteined together. I figure as long as they work and all the kids have a ride then there is no reason to complain. Make it do or do without.

Sam needed his brakes fixed.

As the sun was setting I sat on my lawn chair in the front yard crocheting (I am working on fair entries) as the little kids ran around playing in the water and riding their bikes around the block with friends. It was still in the 80’s and was just about perfect. I had my music going and thought how there is not enough hours in the day sometimes. There was still so much I wanted to do. I’ll start again the next day.

Daily Life, Uncategorized

Sick Still and a New (small) Project

There’s a line from one of my favorite movies, the original Yours, Mine, and Ours. The dad says to the mom, “Never in our entire married life will all our children be healthy at the same time.” If you have a large family this is very true.

The last two or three weeks we’ve been dealing with lots of illnesses, injured limbs, infections, and yesterday and today we added a bee sting and a bead up the nose of the baby. (She isn’t a baby anymore, we just call her that because she is the baby of the family).

Yesterday Lauren was walking in the yard with everyone and she stepped on a bee. That is how I’ve been stung three times. By stepping on them. I took the tweezers and got the stinger out of her foot. I luckily had a banana so I ripped a piece of the peel off and we stuck it on her foot. I don’t know why a banana peel on a sting works, it just does. She didn’t complain for too long.

Then the next morning the kids were making bead creations. I even sat down with Noah and made one. I needed a new key chain anyway. While the kids were creating I was washing dishes. Then I heard screaming. All the kids were panicking and Evangeline was panic crying. They said she got a bead up her nose. Great. I calmly went over and looked up her nose. Thankfully the bead was facing the right way. It was pretty far up there but I got the bead tweezers and thanks to my practice using them earlier (hahaha) I got it out pretty easily. Things calmed down and I know that no one will be sticking another one up their nose.

Later Alex texted and said he was coming home from work early because he didn’t want to throw up at work. He hasn’t thrown up but he feels yucky. I still do too. I was feeling fine most of the day, I even got a project started.

Last week Alex and I were at the thrift store. I dropped a huge load off from cleaning up the garage and Alex spotted a table. It was the perfect size and we’ve been looking for months and months. All the ones I want are well over $200. I’m not willing to pay that much. The table we found was only $15. We had the truck with us so it worked out. I put the paint stripper on it and got most of it off and was able to sand half of it. I’m excited. The kitchen remodel wore me out and I haven’t wanted to do any projects. It felt good to get back into it. I’m still trying to decide exactly how I want the finished product to look. Do I stain it brown or do I try something new and stain it blue? I’ll look at the stains later.

Not a fan of the color or the fake distressing. It is distressing. 😆

I’m excited to work on it.

Daily Life, Holidays, Uncategorized

A Great Weekend

It was a great weekend. It was hot and that suited me just fine. I just think of how much I dislike the cold and it makes the heat that much more bearable.

We had the parade on Saturday. We were up bright and early and the kids dressed in their costumes and we walked across the wet football field to the high school parking lot to the floats. It was so fun to see the creativity of all the people and the different themes of all the floats. We finished tacking on the finishing touches and got the kids situated. It was chilly and the kids couldn’t wear their jackets because they detracted from the float. As soon as the judges were done with our float the kids and I quickly took off for home to eat and warm up. We had to be back an hour or so later for the parade. It was warmer when we got back. I got the little kids harnessed into their spots and I left to sit and wait for the parade to come by.

A few of Alex’s sisters and nieces and nephews as well as a neighbor joined us and we sat under the canopies we set up and visited while waiting. It was a good time. The parade finally got to us (we sit near the end of the route because it is close to our house and we can walk there in 5 minutes) and it was so fun! I love living in a small town and knowing people in the parade. Shouting and cheering to get their attention and waving like a madman. It is so fun to cheer them on. Near the end the float we worked on came by with four of my children on it. They were so cute. I am definitely biased but isn’t that the way of it? Noah had danced and sang the entire parade. I am glad he had fun. They all did. They did miss out on getting candy that was thrown out because they were throwing it out to people. I promised I would get some for them to make it up to them.

We had a great time at the parade. We spent time at cousins house visiting and playing games.

When we got home we got ready for bed and the kids asked to do crafts. Beads. They are a good craft. My mom started it and I finally got some for my house. They are kind of annoying in that they roll off the table and get on the floor ( I have a solution for that I need to implement). But in spite of the clutter mess, they are good for the kids in that they help with motor skills- they are so small!- and it takes a quite a bit of patience to place them all where you want them. It is good for creativity and looking skills. Trying to find all the colors you want. So even though it isn’t my thing, and I did join them and make one, I am glad the kids enjoy it. They spend hours putting these things together. If it gets them off technology then it is a good thing.

It was a fun weekend and I am glad we were busy and doing things together. It might not always be exciting, trips everywhere and really, a lot of it is disguised as work but we enjoyed the weekend.


Sometimes it is Good to Get Out

This morning is very smoky. The sun is a bright red glaring orb hanging in a hazy grey sky. I am pretty sure there are clouds up there because the sun disappeared for a few minutes, but I can’t see the clouds through the smoke.

Another busy day today. Luckily last night I remembered that I have to take Gideon to the doctor this morning. His arm has been injured for a month. He has kept his arm in a splint for a week and a half and guess what, he still can’t bend his arm right. Still stuck at a 90 degree angle. He can’t touch his shoulder. I don’t know what the doctor will say.

Last night a friend called and asked if I would go run errands with her. I rearranged a few things and less than an hour later we were on our way. Nothing big, just driving around talking and stopping to find things we needed. My friend finally gave in and bought a window air conditioner unit. Now I am tempted. I have a swamp cooler we bought second hand about 5 years ago. It still works but not as well as it should. We need to replace a few parts. So, do I fix it and make do or get something better? Anyways, I was so grateful to this friend for thinking of me and including me in her plans.

It was a nice break from my usual. I had worked all day and was kind of a mess. I finally made the effort to get cleaned up and just in time to go out. It was a bit of a day, yardwork, cleaning the house, laundry, cooking, getting kids to clean, a bit of sewing, and as always, if I sit down, Evangeline brings me a book or two or three to read.

The other day I was grocery shopping with Evangeline. She wanted to walk and saw a small bag of princess shaped goldfish crackers. I let her have them if she promised to sit in the cart. It worked and as we were close to finishing I told her I was hungry and asked if she was. She happily said, “No. I am not hungry because I have these!” as she held the bag of Goldfish up for me to see. I was quite amused by her thought process. She still hadn’t eaten them but she was content.

Well, I need to get going if I am to make it on time. I have a ton to do today. We have doctor appointments, places to visit, a parade to prepare for and so much more. Wish me luck. And I hope your day goes well, too.

Daily Life, Uncategorized

Dresses, Crashes, Commandments, and Drums

I decided to start writing and was thinking about what I did yesterday and it led me to what I have to do today. Do I have to get up?

Okay, so we are kind of starting a business and we’re working on the product. Slowly. If we just paid a manufacturer we’d be done by now. We probably should. We’re working on the prototype now. So I told Alex that after work he needs to get to it. That meant I needed to clean out the garage. It was hot and dirty and overwhelming. Then I got a text from Alex. A product we’ve been waiting for was finally in stock. Like everything else, you see it, you buy it or it’s gone. So I quickly showered and drove down to get some. If course there were limits. Got some.

While I was in town I stopped by Walmart. I needed to get the costumes made and Evangeline helped me out. I had taken her with me because that girl is attached at my hip. I was pretty sure I cut the umbilical cord, literally, but by the way she acts you would think I didn’t. She helped me pick out the fabric.

Love the happy colors

When we gotten home Lauren had the whole kitchen cleaned up. I was so proud of her. She did amazing and now I have someone to give me a break from it. I need to get the boys to step up now.

I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out how to make a dress. I think I did pretty good. Don’t look at the details, though I am getting better at sewing a straight line.

I finished in time to make dinner. The potatoes were boiling for potato soup, Alex and I were sitting down taking a break from the long day before dinner and I heard a loud crunch. I jumped up to look outside. The neighbor’s teenage grandson had backed into the side of my van. I’d parked it in the road to give me space to clean the garage. A lot of what-ifs. I feel bad for him. Cops showed up, filled out a report in the pouring rain (yay for rain in this drought!) and it is all sorted out. My drivers side door is dented in. We are going to try and pop it out with a plunger and if that doesn’t work then take the panel off and try to pop it out that way. The door actually opens and closes better than it ever has but we can’t unroll the window. I kind of need to be able to do that for a myriad of reasons. Their back bumper on the other hand needs a lot more work. If I took my van to get the door fixed my van would probably be totalled. We’ll just make do.

After all the dust settled and the rain stopped (it is Idaho, it only ever rains for about ten minutes at a time), we sat down to dinner. I brought up the flight to “space” that happened earlier and then the physics conversations began. My daughter, Lauren, brought up that it only happens at the dinner table. Alex and Michael discuss physics at the table and science and other such stuff, mostly physics, so often. It makes me laugh.

Before bedtime we gathered for scriptures. I brought up something that I had heard on a podcast earlier while I was sewing. I brought up the topic of racism. What it really all boiled down to was the two great commandments that cover everything. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. It covers God, neighbors, and you. Love everyone. No matter what they look like, where they live, what they’ve done, who they are, etc. Everyone. No exceptions. Be kind to everyone. Everyone. Piece of cake. Right? Easier said than done. It takes a lot of humility to do that. Guess that’s what we are all here to learn.

We said prayer and sent the kids to bed. We turned off our lights eventually and noticed the lights at the football field were on. Easy to notice because they shine right into it windows and light up our room a lot. Tried to go to sleep when all of a sudden there were drums. No, it wasn’t Jumanji. It was the marching band practicing for the parade. It was 10:40 at night. And if my memory serves, it will be like this the next few nights. I managed to fall asleep anyways. And I have to say, the drumline did really well. They did win awards this year, so there’s that.

Hopefully today is less eventful and I get all the things done. I never get all the things done but life somehow goes on and it all works out.

Daily Life, Uncategorized

Raspberries and Reading are the Highlight

Oy, yesterday was ridiculous. I’d say insanity, but that’s not right. Today isn’t shaping up to be much better.

We’ve been dealing with sick children for the last week. And not the easy kind of sick. The kind where there are quite a few messes to clean up kind. Never fun. It is almost through the whole family, we are almost done. Add to it doctors appointments, physical therapy appointments, more doctors appointments and a trip to the DMV and I am glad I took a nap on Sunday afternoon.

This week isn’t even over yet. I still have to get costumes ready for the parade this weekend and a house to get ready as we have family coming to the parade and for lunch afterwards. The timing is just right and the sicknesses will be gone. Think positive, right?

I spent the entire day working. Sun up to sun down. When I thought of what I had been doing I couldn’t remember. My brain has a lot in it. I’d like to be able to access it all at will. I finally remembered. I spent over 3 hours cleaning the kitchen that morning. 3 hours! I started to regret getting white cabinets but then realized the mess would be the same but it is easier for me to see on white so that is a good thing because it gets cleaned more often and better. Right?

By the time we got the kids in bed I wanted to go to sleep but I remembered that I had challenged the kids to read The Book of Mormon all the way through by the end of the month. I couldn’t ask them to do something that I wasn’t going to do. So I tucked into the book and read a few chapters. I need to pick up the pace.

This morning was cloudy and cool so I started to water the lawn. The raspberries are ripening at a prodigious rate so I picked a bowl full.

Breakfast anyone?

I went in and had to clean up another illness mess. Can we just be done with it already? Then as I sat to take a quick break Evangeline brought me book after book to read to her. I acquiesced. I am quickly coming to see how the youngest child becomes spoiled. She’s adorable and what else am I going to do? She will be home alone with me for three years before she starts school. She is already insanely clingy. I fear it will only get worse.

I can hear the birds clamoring outside right now and I am reminded of Alex complaining this morning. Normally the birds are noisy but this year we have new magpie neighbors who constantly bicker. All. Day. Long. Alex jokingly said the kids should get the slingshot out. I am partially deaf and they are loud for me. Maybe they’ll find a new home next year?

I’ll leave this right here. I have a million thing that I don’t want to do and would rather avoid but they won’t go away so I’ll just do them. I’ll let you know later how it goes.

Daily Life, Uncategorized

Quick Trip and Yard Work

I had it in my head to go to Costco yesterday. Alex wanted a rug for the front room and said if I didn’t get one then he would. So I did.

Orange traffic cones really add to the look.

I only took two of the kids with me. The baby and the talker. I was listening to a book on tape (sorry, audio book- I am stuck back in the day) and I had to turn it off. Gideon asked why I turned it off. Well, I couldn’t hear it over his talking. Oh. He told me to turn it back on because he was listening to it. Really? Really?

It was like every single person was out. The stores were packed, parking lots were packed. Aisles were busy and I had to circle around because I couldn’t get through. Chick-fil-A had three long lanes going!! I think they need to open a new one. I was grateful to get back to my little one light town.

While I was waiting at the round-about by Costco though, there was a student driver learning to drive in all that traffic. It gave me a little anxiety because I remember having to learn to drive in the heavy traffic.

When I was learning to drive the teacher took us on the freeway and up a canyon. I love canyon driving. Another of the students took her turn and drove us back by way of the freeway. She was so terrified she was crying. Not very confidence inspiring when she’s crying and white knuckle gripping the steering wheel as two semi truck pull up beside us and we are sandwiched between them going 70 miles per hour. I’m alive to tell the tale so that is good. I don’t kniwnhow the drivers ed teachers do it. I always laughed because my teacher’s hands were always poised to brace himself and his foot hovered over the brakes on his side of the car.

Having just two kids with me at Costco was fairly easy. Gideon and Evangeline enjoyed all the samples and the stayed by me pretty good. We ate lunch at the food court and it really was the highlight of Gideon’s day. He likes to spend time with me so he was living it up.

Also whilst I was down in the city I stopped by the sod farm. I needed more sod as I’d not bought enough last time. I was tired of dirt getting into the pool because around the pool is just dirt and weeds. I have plans to make it nice, it’s just a lot of work to do so. When I got to the sod shed it dawned on me that I’d have to lift those very heavy sod rolls into the truck myself. Ugh. The mud. The heaviness. The worms. I shuddered. But I did it. Only when I was on the last roll did the man present offer to help. He helped me push them further into the truck since I’d only manged to get them onto the tailgate. I appreciated the help.

When I got home I had the boys help me do the work of moving and laying the sod. They did it with fairly minimal grumbling. It looks much nicer by the pool now but we still have a long way to go. I’m literally only maybe a quarter of the way around. Eventually I’d like to redo my whole yard. Right now it is lumpy, crab grass and clover abound, and it looks like several different species of grass inhabit the lawn. Lawns are so much work! But I enjoy it way more than winter. I’m contemplating getting a snow thrower for this next winter. Just the thought of shoveling snow right now makes me tired. And cold.

I had cleaned up the yard to mow when a storm popped up. It skirted just north of us but we could see some lightning and hear the thunder so instead of working I set up the camp chairs on the porch and we watched the storm. My neighbors probably think we are weird because every storm we are out on the porch watching if we can. We always go outside to look at sunsets, look for rainbows after storms, sit and watch the lightning. I live for it. They all just stay inside. What’s wrong with them? Hahaha.

Today I’ll finish the yard. I was going to have Sam clean up the dog mess but he just informed me his stomach is upset. Great. The sickness is still making the rounds. I’ll take over his job then. Looks like it’s shaping up to be a fun day.