Daily Life

Summer “Camp” and County Fairs

This summer has been busy. And weird. I don’t need to explain that part. Everyone’s summer is weird this year.

On Sunday I took my kids to my parents’ house. It is kind of an annual tradition that they spend a week there every summer. I am sure it wears my parents out but they get to know their grandchildren better. We only live a couple hours away but we only see eachother a couple times a year. It would be nice to live closer but it is what it is. Maybe we’ll move someday.

While the kids have been having summer camp at the grandparents- swimming, doing crafts and playing with cousins- Evangeline (who is too young to go away for that long) and I have been keeping busy. The morning after the kids had gone I looked at the house and saw what a disaster it was. Such a big disaster. I’ve been chipping away at the mess for hours each day and I am almost done with the laundry. Hahaha. But the silver lining is that the vacuum lines stayed on the carpet for a couple days. That has never happened.

The day before I dropped the kids off we all gathered our projects and took them to the county fair. As I mentioned before, the house was a disaster and Gideon couldn’t find his painting. He grabbed a piece of paper and on the way drew a picture and we turned that in. It was pretty good. Alex and I have spent the last three nights going over to the fair and checking out all the entries. It is a small county fair and everyone gets a ribbon. It is so fun to see all the projects and art. This year was the second time that I had entered anything in and it was a good year. But what Alex and I are pretty proud of is our cabbages.

This year we planted a lot of cabbages. Two rows because we eat a lot of cabbage. It is so good! This year a few of our cabbages took off. They were giant. (We think the chicken poop fertilizer did the trick.) I measured the vegetables and we had three that were 28 inches around. We needed to turn in two

The ones on the right are your regular size cabbage. Good stuff. I just thought I’d show the comparison. A big one feeds my family for two or three meals.

I am just a bit excited because we won the grand prize!

I was really excited for the kids, too. They all won ribbons and Michael placed second in his category and Lauren got first in hers.

It has been a fun experience and I think the kids will probably put more effort and time into more projects this coming year for the next fair since there are no limits to how many entries one can do.

This morning before wrote this I realize that school is on the horizon and I am not ready! All my Arizona friends started this week online and it made me realize I need to get with it.

But I’ll leave that for another day. It is still summer here and I want to enjoy it.

Daily Life

I’m Off to the Fair

The County Fair is next week. Ours is pretty small compared to some but it is still the highlight of the season. Even though we rarely enter anything into it we still like to go and see the talents and skills of those who do enter.

This year I was a little more on top of my game. Yes, we should have been working on stuff all year long for this event but at least I warned the kids a few weeks ago that if they had anything they wanted to enter that they better get it ready. Michael has some artwork that he has spent countless hours on. He touched it up and we printed it off. Oh my goodness that kid has got some talent. That and he spends countless hours on it. I used to do the same at his age. So did Alex. That is one thing that we wish we spent more time on is art.

Benjamin had some pictures that he had worked on as well so I printed one off so he can enter as well. I took a pretty cool picture the other day of one of my cats in the strawberry patch and the composition and all that was spot on. Unfortunately I took it with my inferior camera. The pixels are low and it isn’t the best quality. Had I gone for my camera I would have missed the moment. I’ll enter it anyways. No harm in trying.

I got up early this morning to make some sweet rolls to enter as well. I entered them several years ago but I have improved since then and again, why not give it a try. My great grandmother was really in to the fair. She was pretty amazing. After her funeral her kids divided up her fair ribbons. Shoe boxes full of them and a lot of them were Grand Champion and Sweepstakes at the state level. She obviously knew what she was doing. I will probably never get to that level, but I guess I have years ahead to keep trying.

Also this year our garden has been good. My family loves cabbage- even the kids. We planted lots of cabbage this year and three of them are huge. I picked the third largest one for dinner a couple nights ago and it weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces. I only used half of it for dinner and we still had a few leftovers. The others are bigger so I think I will probably enter those two into the fair and see what comes of it.

We are lucky where we are and that our community is so small. We haven’t got Covid-19 in our community and the fair is being conducted as normal. My sister’s fair is bare bones. Her kids have steers they have been raising and all the circus that goes along with steers and the fair has been cut down to just a few quick showings. It is sad how this year has cut out so much fun. We have had fun in others ways, but the normal things we look forward to have changed so drastically or disappeared that it is quite a sad thing to behold. So I am going to enjoy our small little county fair this year.

So wish us luck.

Daily Life, Remodel

Things are Starting

The last few days I got serious about the house project. All the papers were done and appraisal was good and done so there is only waiting for the bank’s process to get finished.

Since it was inevitable I got a move on and started taking stuff from the upstairs kitchen to the basement kitchenette. Let me tell you, it won’t all fit. When cooking is a big part of my job (as a parent) and baking is a hobby I tend to collect a lot of tools.

Yesterday Alex moved the basement oven up to the garage and the upstairs oven to the basement. The oven we took to the garage was a “vintage” oven from the 70’s. The oven stopped working and finding parts for it is detective work I don’t think is worth it to me. I’ll sell it to someone who wouldn’t mind the work.

When I went to plug the oven in to make rice krispie treats the kids have been begging for I realized that the oven plug didn’t match the outlet. Great. First thing this morning I got the tools out and looked up how to switch the plugs on YouTube. I got it figured out and did it! The stove works!

I also weeded the front flower garden. I needed to fertilize it and I wasn’t about to fertilize the weeds. That is the last thing I need is more weeds. This spring when my tulips came up they were pretty but I didn’t like how they were planted so I dug all the bulbs up this morning so I can replant them this fall in a different arrangement.

Then it was back to the house project. I think moving would be less work. I made lots of trips up and down the stairs and had to find a new home for all the stuff. Alex came home and he was so good and got right to work pulling the cabinets off the upstairs kitchen wall and putting them in the basement kitchen. I was wondering where I was going to put all the stuff because there weren’t any upper cabinets in the basement. Alex saved the day and we reused the old stuff.

I did take a break in the middle of the day. Gideon and Sam had coupons for free sundaes from McDonald’s and we finally went and used them. I needed a few things for the “new” kitchen anyways so we made a quick trip for ice cream cones. It was a fun time with the kids. On the way home Michael and Benjamin spent the entire ride home trying to figure out the chemical sign meant that was on the outside of Walmart. It made me laugh how much they wanted to know and how they went about searching for it on the phone.

I need to finish the kitchen and fridge tomorrow and hopefully move on to the laundry room and bathroom. And I need to see about getting a permit. That is an ordeal I will write about tomorrow. For now I am exhausted and need to get to sleep.

Daily Life

Weekend fun and Future Planning

Wow! I haven’t written in ages! Summer has been so busy and yet it hasn’t. We don’t go anywhere. Okay, not many places.This weekend Alex’s family (half of them) got together. We sat outside and ate and visited. The kids all ran around like crazy for hours. I’m glad they have opportunities to get to know their cousins. Michael and Benjamin stayed home due to having a cold. Yes, just a cold. It is still possible to have just a cold.Saturday morning I got up and did my usual workout and then since I was already sweating I went out to weed the garden. So many weeds. Gardens are so much work. As soon as I got a blister on my palm I called it quits. Luckily I had finished 85% of it. I had Alex come and do the last row. We got two wheelbarrows full of weeds. It looks so much better now.Once that was all done my sister and parents arrived. They had some business nearby and so we had some fun planned while they were here. We all piled into the van and went to the river. Luckily the last person who stayed overnight at our usual spot was just pulling away. We set up some shade and chairs and enjoyed the view while the kids and Alex played in the river.I got in the river right at the end and it was fun. I wasn’t out very long but I guess since I have kept out of the sun for the most part this year the one time I am out I get burned. Fifteen minutes is all it took.As soon as we got home from the river the kids jumped into the pool. Of course. What else would one do? They said they were glad we have the pool. They mentioned how a couple years ago I gave them an option: home pool or community pool pass. The home pool was cheaper and they chose that. I’m glad. It is easier to just go out back and swim than it is to pack everyone and everything up to go to the pool.I know you are wondering how the house project is going. It is still just a waiting game. I did go through some things to move to the basement and I have a pile of stuff for a yard sale and to donate to charity. The pile gets larger and larger (but not huge). I have baby stuff that I don’t need anymore and that is a sad thing. But a good thing at the same time. Babies are beautiful and cute and adorable. Babies are also so much work and I’ve been doing that work for over 15 years. It is a happy/sad transition. But I’ll just enjoy every stage and hold on to the memories but not the stuff.Alex said I should start tearing things apart. I would rather wait until I have all the contractors lined up and materials bought. I don’t want to live in limbo any longer than I have to.So a curious thing has happened this summer season so far. Our neighbors are dying. Yeah. It is a sad fact that when you move into a neighborhood where a lot of the inhabitants moved in 40 plus years ago that they will have aged. They were all really good people and good friendly neighbors and now they are gone. Three of them have passed away and their families fixed up the houses quickly and now they are all for sale. Plus two other families are moving out. We will have five new families moving in. I told the kids to pray for new friends to move in. All the kids friends are on the other side of town. Some new ones closer would be nice. I told Alex that the longer we stay here the higher our chances of watching all of our retired neighbors pass on and then we’d be the old people on the street. Isn’t that an interesting thought. It is bound to happen eventually.Life has a way of moving on even if the world is in chaos. I chose to ignore the mess and I’m glad I spent the time with family.

Daily Life, Sunday

Gardens and Family

The weekend was so busy!

Friday and Saturday was spent on errand running and yardwork. Usually I am the first one on the block to have my flower garden in. Not this year. I was the last. I don’t think I’ll do that again. The nursery near my house was completely out of flowers. We came home and loaded the kids into the van just to get them out of the house and to make the yearly pilgrimage to our usual nursery for plants. Most of the kids enjoy it. They all get to pick out several flowers for the gardens and they have fun doing it. My flower gardens are never the same color year after year. I also have what I have dubbed my “odd” garden. When the kids pick or random flowers I have no idea what to do with then so I plant them all in this one garden so they can look at their choices. It’s always colorful.

Gardens always look so sparse when the flowers are just babies. (And I did spray those weeds and yes, there is still a lot of work to do. So much work!)

In my front garden- sorry, no pictures yet- I had two daylily plants that have been getting bigger every year. I finally divided them. I dug them out and Alex and I chopped them into three or four each and spread them farther apart in the garden. Yay! Now I’ve got more foliage going on. I’ve just got to wait for the tulips to finish dying back for the year. They are taking forever and look very haggard.

Luckily, the one flowers, Alyssum, that I grow every year reseeded themselves because both nurseries were completely sold out of them.

Enough garden talk.

Sunday, Father’s Day, was pretty laid back. We took our time getting ready for church (actually I hadn’t washed Alex’s white shirt so we waited while it washed) and then finally at noon we had church. Michael gave a talk about the importance of having a father in the home leading and supporting the family. While he was talking a circus broke out. Gideon’s nose started bleeding and it was a bit of a mess. I think Michael kept talking through it all. Haha.

Later Alex made his own dinner. He had a specific meal in mind and made it. I was good and he didn’t make too big of a mess. Marinated chicken cooked on the grill and roasted vegetables and rice. I made oatmeal cookie sandwiches with marshmallow frosting. Bit of a mess because the frosting was sticky but it tasted good.

That morning I had received an email from the family history site I am a member of that said they’d found a hint for a relative. It was the 1900 United States Census. I love looking at the census records. This time was kind of the jackpot in one way but a really upsetting puzzle in another. In this particular census it had my great-great grandparents and their kids. (My dad’s dad’s mom’s parents.) The big shocker was there were two kids on there I didn’t know existed. I’ve been working on this family tree for over 20 years. Technology and indexing (connecting records to people’s name so they are searchable) is making more information available every day. If you haven’t ever indexed you should, it is fun to do.

Anyways, there were two more kids! An eleven year old boy and a one month old girl. The problem came in when that was all the information I could find. Alex and I spent a couple hours looking everywhere. Cemetery records, obituaries, and trying to find the 1890 census that the one kid would have been one year old in. Fruitless pursuit because it turns out that the 1890 census records were badly burned in a fire. The 1910 census we looked at was a sad record. The father had died and the two kids I had found, well their names aren’t listed as living with their widowed mother. The son could possibly be living elsewhere as he would have been 21, but we couldn’t find any mention of him anywhere but that one 1900 census. The baby girl would have been 10 but she was gone also. My great-great grandparents had 11 kids that we know of but only 8 made it to adulthood. It was exciting but incredibly frustrating and sad at the same time.

Before we turned in for the night Alex drew up the plans for the new window we are putting in. I need a drawing of the plans in order to get a permit. When the window guy was here I said I wanted the window to be the same size as the window in my daughters’ room. I had never measured it. Um, I should have. The window doesn’t look that big in the bedroom. It is 60 inches long! Alex drew the outline on the wall where we are putting the window and it takes up most of the wall! Its huge! I mean I am okay with it and that’s good because it is already ordered. I wanted the window for light because that room is dark and I am thinking that big window will definitely do the trick.

Daily Life

Weekend Ramblings

The weekend started out with busy waiting. In order to save gas money I took Alex to work. We drove the 45 minutes to get him there at 7 a.m. He was off to work whilst I had errands to prepare for. Grocery shopping for two weeks worth of food so I don’t have to go out again anytime soon. I sat in the car in a parking lot and planned the menu while I waited for the stores to open. Sam’s Club opened at 9 so I had two hours to wait. I planned all the meals (tedious- but since they are written in my planner maybe I’ll be smart and reuse them at a later date), I planned the day out, read my scriptures and then called my sister to talk for awhile. I’d left all the kids home with my oldest babysitting. I love having a built in babysitter.

I decided to go to Hobby Lobby first because I needed a couple decorative storage boxes. I walked up and down every single aisle (love that they are open again!) and they didn’t have what I was looking for. But I did find a few things I love and couldn’t resist buying. Then I thought I would check out Tjmaxx and see if they had what I was looking for. Waste of time. It is sad to see a store so empty. The shelves were mostly empty. There were just a few knick-kacks. Hopefully things get back to normal soon.

I finally got to Sam’s and managed to get through in less than an hour. They even had toilet paper stacked super high. And there were no limits on items like the were last time I went.

I picked Alex up and we went and had lunch. There is an Indian restaurant we’d been wanting to go to for years so we had lunch there. This particular restaurant has two locations one was where we were and the other is in our old college town and is connected to a gas station. In spite of the location, it has really good food. The last time we’d gone I was two days away from having my fourth baby and barely fit in the booth- like I had to squeeze myself into the booth and I was pinned between the table and chair back. It was ridiculous but made it memorable. The new coronavirus measures put in place made for an interesting meal but the food was good. What is interesting about Indian cuisine is how it resembles Guatemalan food in flavor. Alex said the flavors are reminiscent of each other because they use a lot of the same ingredients.

Our plan after eating was to go get some new shoes for both of us. We’d worn ours out. I found a new pair of workout shoes and Alex found some comfortable ones for work.

Shopping days aren’t my favorite. It takes so much time. Planning, driving, shopping, driving, and putting it away. Luckily the kids can help with putting it away. I don’t think they mind so much because then they see what I got and can see what they get to eat. They eat so much!

Later I did give two of the boys haircuts and Alex as well. They all needed it. I like when its warm outside so I can cut their hair outside and keep the hair mess outside. Cutting hair is low on my list of things I like to do. Actually it is not even on my list of things I like to do. But when I can save a bunch of money then I’ll do it. Then I can go pay someone to cut my hair soon. It is down below my waist and it is getting a bit out of control. I just don’t know what to do with it.

A storm came blowing in on Saturday afternoon and Alex and I went outside in the windstorm for fun to watch it. The actual rain was just blowing by about a mile to the east so we enjoyed seeing the clouds speed by. The wind gusts would come in waves and I could hear it coming as it whipped through the trees with a low, loud whoosh!

Sunday we had church at home and probably will for a while yet. I can’t see us being able to keep masks on all the kids at church. We’ll see. The lesson I gave was on making good choices and being kind. We had singing time and it was so fun. We went through some longer songs with 7-8 verses and sang them at different speeds. The kids loved it.

Since it was a chilly and rainy afternoon we worked on a puzzle I had been saving. It was an Eric Dowdle puzzle of Old Nauvoo. Alex and I were married in the Nauvoo Temple so it was a fun reminiscent puzzle to do. It was 500 pieces and I’m surprised we got it done in just a couple hours and one sitting.

Before bed we watched a scripture video about what we’ll be studying this coming week. I love all the stories but this is a particularly good one. The kids all sat and watched it and we discussed some of the doctrine if talked about.

Right before it got dark I checked the weather. That storm Alex and I watched, that was a cold front coming in. Snow was forecast for the next morning. Yep. Snow. In June. Alex and I went out and covered the cold sensitive plants- tomatoes and squash. The weather wasn’t supposed to freeze but we covered them just in case. We didn’t want to lose the months of work and have to buy big plants. This is the first year we’ve grown the whole garden from seed rather than get the plants from the store. It’s looking good. We have tons of tomatoes, squash, carrots, cabbage, onions, strawberries, raspberries, and radishes. So many radishes. Alex pickled radishes last week and we have so many more. We have 13 tomato plants. If all goes well, I’ll be super busy canning tomato sauce this fall.

That was the weekend. Just kind of a chill weekend which I am totally okay with.

Daily Life

Lightning Storms on Warm Summer Days

You know summer is here when there are pop-up thunderstorms seemingly every afternoon. Today was one such day. It was nice and sunny and warm then bam! A big long thunderstorm. I loved it. I spent the whole of it listening to the rain, wind, and thunder while I read a new book I bought with some Amazon credits I had- Moonlight and Mistletoe. It was a fairly quick read and I loved it. Perfect conditions.

I did actually get stuff done and the kids actually did, too. I have their chores set up and they have to do them before they can play. And I have to enforce it usually but they all just up and did it. The little ones even weeded their garden row! I was shocked. It was good though because I had time to tackle the other jobs I needed to get done. I mopped the living room, entry, dining room and kitchen. Three times. It needed it. Can’t clean with dirty water. There has been a lot of dust lately with the road work in front of my house. I also got the laundry room tackled. Well, most of it. I still have a long ways to go. It has been a dumping ground and holding area for stuff I don’t know what to do with. I am so excited to rearrange it and make it more efficient. The layout right now is not conducive to enormous amounts of laundry. Alex said I should just start tearing the stuff out in preparation. Um, no. If we have to have an appraiser come then the house torn up will not bode well for the worth of the house. So, I will just bide my time.

I spent a fair bit of time with Noah. Mostly trying to distract him. He clearly needs lots of outdoor time and running around. He was pestering me during the rainstorm. I played with him and Evangeline for a bit. Just being silly. They are pretty funny kids. Eventually I hit on an idea of something they could go do and Evangeline, who is just a tiny little 18 month old, grabbed her big brother’s hand and pulled him towards the basement. It was so cute! Later that night she played hide and seek with Alex and I when she was supposed to be going to bed. She would hide in the closet and peek her head out and give us the biggest smile while she was laughing.  The other day at the store Alex was holding her and tickled her belly and she was shrieking/laughing. It was funny but it was so loud! I am sure everyone all the way on the other side of the store could hear her. She normally isn’t a loud girl but tickling proves that her lungs work just fine.

That was about it for the day. A good chill summer day. I did write a list of things that we want to do as a family this summer. In a couple weeks we get to go up to my brother-in-law’s family’s ranch and go swimming, canoeing, ranger riding, etc. We’ll probably stop at the ice cream shop on the way home because we can’t just drive past and not get ice cream. The rest of the things we’ll do are local. I am tempted to buy a couple bicycles for Alex and I so we can go on family bike rides. I haven’t been on a bike in years and years. I used to ride everyday- nothing real far, just little rides around town. A few other things we have planned is playing down at the river, fishing, camping, swimming in the backyard (if we ever get the pool up, June is notoriously cold and rainy here), go to the drive-in movies, and soccer. And of course fixing the house.

After the storm we went out to the garden and Alex transplanted a lot of the cabbage. He’d planted some of them too close. He moved them all around so they have room to grow. We have more radishes than we can eat and they grew really big before we could get to them so we gave them to the chickens. Good that they didn’t go to waste. We get them back in eggs. I was out of eggs in the house for my breakfast and so I went out to the coop and there were five eggs waiting for me. Fresh as you can get eggs for breakfast. It really is a nice and fun little thing to have. I am glad that we can have chickens in our neighborhood.

I was a little antsy before we were all going to go to bed and so I put the leash on Skylar and took a quick 1/2 mile walk. All the neighbors were out, it was such a nice night. Perfect temperature and the mosquitoes weren’t out in full force yet. It is nice to be able to get out and see people socializing again. It is funny because you rarely see anyone in winter, it warms up and everyone is outside to escape being cooped up. It made me feel a little desperate knowing that winter would come again and keep me inside because of the cold. But I will enjoy the season I am in as much as I can and worry about winter when it gets here.

Maybe I should move somewhere warmer? We won’t open that can of worms right now.

Daily Life

It’s Been a Couple Days With A Lot of (Little) Miracles

I’ve said this before and I will say it again (and again)- if you look for them, miracles happen all the time.

Earlier this week Michael said that he needed $10 so he could go out and eat lunch with his friend. I gave him a pickax and a spot of ground and he got to work digging. It was a patch of weeds that I wanted to plant grass in- grass os easier to take care of than controlling weeds. It took him a couple hours over a few days. He gained $10 and some muscles to boot. We all won.

I spent several hours weeding this patch of dirt. Two 5-gallom buckets full of weeds and rocks were pulled out of this patch. My plan was to get it prepped to plant grass seed. It would be a weeks long process growing grass from seed. Then one night I was done working on the yard when I checked my Facebook feed. A man in my church had posted that he had extra sod from a project. Free to whomever got there first. I grabbed two of the kids and we jumped into the van and headed over. It was still there. Over 60 square feet of sod. It really was a blessing. Saved me so much time. A miracle because it showed up right when I could use it.

I still have some work to do on it but that work was cut down significantly.

Next miracle. I have wanted some nightstands to match my dresser I got last year. I finally had the money saved up and I was planning on buying them and picking them up this weekend. I just couldn’t make it feel right. I tried and tried and tried. It just felt wrong. I kept trying to make it feel right because I wanted them and I couldn’t see a logical reason to not get them. But I finally gave into the feeling and like a petulant child said to Heavenly Father “Fine, I’ll do it your way though I don’t understand why.”

(As a quick aside, the store, IKEA, is in Salt Lake City, hours from my house and shipping is ridiculous but I would be nearby when visiting my family over the weekend so picking them up wouldn’t be a big deal.)

When I got home Saturday night I finally checked the news. Rioting and vehicles set on fire in Salt Lake City last night. I might have or might not have been in the area when all the chaos broke out. I’m sure I wouldn’t have been in harm’s way but I am grateful that I was able to avoid all of it.

Another miracle happened on the way home. As we left my parents house the weather that had been hot and pleasant all day turned into thunderstorms. About halfway home in the fading light and the worst part of the drive for it to happen, the storms let loose. I have a hard time seeing the road at dusk and the rain didn’t help. The winds picked up and I was having a hard time keeping the van driving straight as the big gusts would push the van violently. I told the kids to pray. I was praying and putting all my concentration into keeping us from crashing. There was literally nowhere to pull over and wait it out as we were in a canyon. It seemed as though as soon as the prayers were uttered the windshield wipers worked better, the headlights seemed brighter, the winds let up, the rain let up and I was able to see where we were going. Lauren said she noticed it too as she prayed. It was scary. The rest of the drive was still rainey, some parts a heavy downpour, but I was able to see well enough without panicking. The lighting flashing around us was amazing and we were able to enjoy the rest of the ride.

There were more, too, as I sit here thinking about it and though they seem small and possibly insignificant and some people would explain them away as mere coincidences or imagined threats, I choose to see them for what they are- God’s hand in my life, evidence that he cares for us and that he cares about the little things- the details. All we have to do is look.

Daily Life

Last Day of (Elementary) School

I got a late start this morning because my stomach was bothering me. Never fun.

It is finally warm enough to walk without a jacket and the dog was up early barking at the backyard. The neighbor’s yorkie was running around my chicken coops. I headed out and there was nothing I could do but wait for my dog to chase it out, which she did. They get along just fine but Skylar is protective of everything. I fed the chicks and cats and took off on my walk. One of the cats came, too. I am sure I looked ridiculous walking around the track with a cat following me. She followed the entire half mile before I was done being followed and went home. She followed me home. Actually, I followed her. Weird cat.

School assignment deadlines are on Friday. Lauren had one class’ worksheets to finish and turn in. There was lots of drama. So much drama. It seems the kids all pitch a fit until they realize I really will sit next to them all day long so they might as well buckle down and get it done. She did. All done and turned in with a minute to spare before the school was done for the day and locked up.

It wore me out though having to sit there and listen to her chattering and reading out loud and thinking out loud for 2 hours. But she is officially dinne with elementary school. It is off to junior high for her next year. And then another starts elementary school. They are growing up so fast! I’ll worry about all that in a few months. I’m going to enjoy the summer.

But, after dealing with the last few weeks and months I’ve decided I just can’t do homeschool unless it is my only option. I could get organized, I could get the curriculum all set to go, but some of my kids and I clash. One child takes instruction from others great but from me it is a battle and always has been. She has to do it herself. So I am realizing it just won’t work. I can be a support and cheerleader and help that way.

With the weather warmed up finally I need to get the summer clothes out of storage, store the winter clothes and take stock of what I need to buy. But first the garage needs to be cleaned so i can get to the boxes. I have this dream of taking everything out of the garage, cobbled shelves, scavenged cupboards, etc., everything! And starting over with a nice organized garage system. I can tell you that will not be happening anytime soon. But I can dream!

Nothing much else got done. The kids had fun and Evangeline made messes because that’s what a one year old does.

I had made bread earlier in the day and it was fantastic. Softest bread! It made for really good peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It all got eaten so I’ve got to make more. I wish I had an outdoor oven though because without an air conditioner the house gets so hot.

The kids’ elementary school had a drive by parade tonight. The teachers all stood lined up in front of the school and the students would be in the cars and drive by. My van is a fishbowl and I noticed the teachers laughing. We looked back and the kids were all smashing their faces against the windows. That would look funny. It was a fun way to say goodbye for the year.

After we got home from the parade Alex sat down to watch Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It is one of his favorites. I watched for a bit but left to do something that needed doing. Of course I got distracted and ended up folding laundry. Then Noah asked me to go outside and sit on the hammocks with him. Sure thing. I went outside, watered the garden and then asked Noah which one he wanted to sit on. He told me he would sit on one and I would sit on another. Okay. If that’s how he wants it. He eventually did end up sitting next to me.

Bedtime went smoothly but Gideon woke us up crying about growing pains. I really wish he would grow ot of their has been going on for years. At least they are less frequent now. I got up (at 1:30 a.m. mind you) to help him. As I walked him to the stairs I looked into the basement and saw another kid walk by. I’m going to have to take away all the electronics. Apparently some of them are staying up way too late.

Daily Life, Thoughts

The Days Go By

The day started out okay. Up early and got my walk in. I was thinking about stuff and such, planning things. One thing I was looking forward to just felt wrong. I couldn’t make it feel right even with a bunch of justification. The Spirit was telling me no.

Fine. I gave in, a little petulantly. It threw off my mood and I headed into a bit of depression. It is so silly. I still have a lot of things I need to do today and all I could seem to do was sit there in my doldrums. What I really wanted to do was just go window shopping: Home Depot, Kohl’s, TJMaxx. Not really buy anything. I think I need a change of scene. It is one of the drawbacks of country living- everything is a drive away. I saw a meme that said, “Now I understand why Laura Ingalls was so excited to go to town with Pa.” For real.

The gas line in my neighborhood is being replaced/repaired and they had to dig up the road. It was fun to watch. The little kids and I sat on the front steps eating popsicles and watching the trucks and tractors and such do their thing. It was nerve wracking as well because trying to keep the kids from getting in the way was not something I thought id have to do. Sit on the steps, stay out of the way. Not hard, right? Wrong. Eventually the hubbub had moved down the street a ways and I was able to convince the kids to come in so they wouldn’t be run over or sunburned.

Michael asked for $10 to go out with his friends on Friday. I told him he could earn it. He reluctantly agreed. He went and got the pickax as instructed and I had him tear up a section of the yard that was very uneven, choked with weeds and very ugly. He did a good half an hour before blisters started to form and his back started hurting. Hard to go from video games building virtual worlds to building stuff in reality. He said he’d finish the next day. He’ll use gloves this time and work on his form. The plan is to pull the weeds now that the dirt is turned over and then sift out the rocks, level it and plant grass. There are two more spots of similar size I have plans to do the same thing to.

While Michael was digging I was weeding in the garden. I pulled a bunch of morning glory out of the strawberry patch and discovered a sprout of peppermint plant. I had dug the main plant out years ago and put it out front. This straggler had survived. I carefully dug it out and put it in a pot. My friend had said she wanted a peppermint plant last year. So I saved it for her and asked if she wanted some strawberry and raspberry plants. They all grow like weeds sending shoots and runners all over. Raspberries are coming up in the middle of my yard and the strawberries are in the walkway. My friend and her husband came over last night and we dug up all the rogue plants and they took them home. It’s a good cycle. I got berry starts from one friend and passed some on to another.

After a late dinner (we had to visit with our friends for awhile) I made the kids clean the house. Yes, it was late. Did I care? Nope. If they are going to sit all day then they can work at night.

I was telling Alex that I am doing this parenting thing- I was going to say wrong, but that’s not true, more like not how I want to. I want a certain outcome but the things I am doing aren’t going to get me to that goal. Know what I mean? I don’t think a clean house is the be all end all but i focus on it because it is tied in with work and responsibility (and I can’t think in a messy house). I told the boys that it seemed to me that life was the opposite of what you would think: the harder you work the easier life is not the opposite which is the less you work the easier it is. I don’t think they believe me. Who wants to work harder?

So I am trying to find a balance. I have never been very disciplined or consistent and that has been a problem. In fact it is the problem. I’m working on getting better at saying no and having the kids get work done first then play later but it is an uphill battle. But I can always try again tomorrow. Though the tomorrows are running out. My oldest has only 4 more years at home then they all start leaving. Have I taught them enough? Will they do okay? Will they succeed? This parenting thing- tough.

Well, I guess I better stop writing about it for now and get up and do something about it.