Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Down and Dirty, I Mean Derby Time!

The Pinewood Derby.  Need I say more?

When this movie came out and I watched it for the first time, I was horrified.  Oh my gosh!  I was the dad's in this movie!

Remember this post???

Every year I come home and wish upon every star in the blasted sky that I could be one of those demure mom's who sit quietly on the sidelines and watch the evening unfold.  Oh no!  I've gotta be the loud obnoxious soccer mom running up and down the side lines yelling for her kid and when it gets really nail biter I just go in, shove all of the kids out of the way, and kick the goal for him!

Every year I swear I am NOT going to make a fool of myself.....  Yeah right!  Me not make a fool of myself......  I've a few more Pinewood Derby's to work on it left.  Sigh.......

Levi made a pirate car this year. Guess what? He won first place! Rock on Levi!

Next year, I'm staying home. That may be my only way of not making a fool of myself.... but then.... knowing me....... I'd still manage!   Life is unfair.  How is it that The SM is the one who sits all nice and calm and watches and says it's all about the boys having fun and I'm the one freaking out with the other dads........? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring + Bulbs = A Pageant

Nature study has to be my most favorite subject to study for homeschooling. Unfortunately, it's not Mr. C's. His is music study but he's a good sport and comes along while I rattle on about nature and all of the fun elements to it.

Lest you think I am some nature freak know it all, I'm not. I cheat. Yes, I just admitted that I cheat. I use Anna Botsford Comstocks's Handbook of Nature Study.

It's fun to go out in your own yard to see what is coming alive after a long and cold winter.  The pageantry begins as the bulbs vy for first place in the Miss Bulb of America Pageant.  Here we have Miss. Tulip.  A bit of a late bloomer 'round these parts but see the flower bud nestled down in the center of the plant?  The three green segments you see are called sepals.  As it grows and becomes taller those green sepals will turn the color of the flower.   Then, and only then will we see Miss Tulips true colors.  We'll be keeping a close eye on her.

My most favorite of all spring bulbs, Miss Hyacinth.  She is the most fragrant.  She smells absolutely gorgeous!  Again, close to the ground in the center of the plant and you can see the tiny segmented green sepals.  This little lady doesn't mind being round and plump.  In fact, she feels the rounder and the plumper she is, the more she has to offer.  Her platform is eating disorders.

Here we have Miss Daffodil.  She's quite the contender as she is quite slim and colorful.  She and Miss Hyacinth have been at odds with each other on "slender and sexy" vs "round and healthy".

Miss Daffodil is one of the early bloomers around these parts and as you can see, is already sticking her neck out there vying for first place.  It's going to be an exciting competition.....  ultimately, we all know each contender wants world peace and it isn't about how they look in their bathing suits. 

Getting to the heart of the matter is what this contest is all about. It's about bulbs and not just looking at what is on the outside....

But also what is on the inside.. that is what truly matters most.

Well, that and teaching little ones that they can come and get mommy and show her signs of spring instead of ripping off branches and bringing them to mommy...... Until next time, this is your host Balinda, reporting live, on the Miss Bulb of America Pageant.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kinda Kindle

Fine print:  All photos were taken from the Kindle website.  No one wants to see a photo of me reading in bed...... 

The SM's birthday is coming up in a few months and I've been brainstorming trying to think of a great gift for him. I was sitting in Sunday School one day and looked over at my former bishop. He was reading his scriptures on a Kindle. After class, I went over and talked to him about the Kindle and asked him all sorts of questions.

Looking at that thing, I was excited. I'd found the perfect gift for The SM. Traveling as much as he does, he reads a lot! During his daily commutes he listens to books on CD, he reads/listens to books on planes, and while in his hotel room in the evenings.

The difficult thing as you can imagine, especially with all of the limitations on weight and amount of luggage on a plane is books take up room! The SM also likes to take his scriptures with him but even finding the smallest ones we could find, they are bulky!

Wa-LA! The Kindle........

So, I sat down with my computer and started to see about getting one for The SM. First things first. I'm a girl. Accessories. You can't have a Kindle without a protective cover right? And get this! An even bigger selling point. The covers come with this little doohickey! Well, we have to get one of these because flying at night, The SM can use this little light to read and not bother his neighbor who probably has their head on The SM's broad shoulders and is drooling. Doesn't mean The SM has to be rude back though right?

Hmmm, what color..... He is a guy..... I should probably get him black..... but black is so boring! Lime green, orange, light blue........ RED! But The SM would choose black if he were to make this purchase and it is for him....... honestly truly, I have only The SM in mind. His best interest at heart. Heart. Hearts. Love. Hearts and love are red. I love The SM. I am buying the Kindle for The SM because I love him. I buy red.

Wait! Buy? I just bought The SM a Kindle and a lovely red cover? His birthday isn't for a few months.... I'm being prepared. I'll hide it under the bed or somewhere until his birthday.

A few days later. The box man (UPS) comes to the door and delivers A BOX! I have to open it just to make sure all contents are in order. Ooooh! How cool is this? Let's just plug it in and charge it and see what it does. I'll hurry and put it away before The SM gets home from work. I don't want to ruin the surprise and give away his gift!

Well would you look at that! You can download books for free! Let's just download a few and see what happens. Hmmm, I wonder what this book is about. I'll just read a few pages......

WHAT WAS THAT??? Crud! Car door! It's The SM! Hurry hide the Kindle. Act like nothing is happening.

Next day, I HAVE to find out what happens and finish that book! I'll be more stealth..... I'm good! I finish the book. The SM doesn't know..... about his gift.

A few weeks go by. The Kindle is hiding by my bed. I can't sleep. I wonder....... hmmm..... do I dare? If I pull the covers over my head.... do you think the night light is dim enough.... he won't notice? I'm brave. I sneak the Kindle under the covers, turn it on, and start to read. OH THIS IS SOOOO COOL!

Another week passes.... I'm getting cocky! I get busted! I explain to The SM that honestly truly! I bought the Kindle for him! Well, yeah the cover is red and that is one of my favorite colors and all but...... I was just trying it out to make sure it works before his birthday in..... MAY!

Do you think he'd notice if I got some card board, made a cover out of it, spray painted it red, put a book inside of it, and slipped that in his carry on bag?

Monday, March 21, 2011

It's Not Rocket Science

I had a discussion with my mother recently that I would like to share. 

This weekend has S-T-U-N-K!  Last week I was getting up early doing the 'cram before swim suit season' workout when I hurt my back.  Hurt it real good.  It still hurts.  I am now going to physical therapy to try to get the joint that has decided to lock itself  in place to unlock.  Talk about a pain in the butt!!  (The joint is in my hip)

Here's what I've learned from this whole experience:

I have been laying on this here couch for over five years now.  The only time I get hurt is when I try to get up off of it and exercise.  I don't get hurt laying/sitting on the couch eating bon bons!!  NO!  It is when I exercise.  Ya follow?

Give me a vitamin I have to swallow and I sit there looking at the ceiling with it on the back of my tongue while I try and try to get the pill that while it was in my hand was the size of a pencil eraser, on the back of my tongue it has become a water melon.  Eventually I GULP and the dang thing becomes lodged in the back of my throat and I start to gag and grab water guzzling hoping the thing will dissolve before someone has to administer the Heimlich.  Never in my life have I gagged on chocolate, cookies, cake, etc.  Never!!  Ya follow?

Exercising and eating vitamins, (vegetables falls under vitamins....they both start with the letter 'v' for volatile and vomit.) are harmful.  They are very bad.

Laying on the couch eating truffles all day is good.   No pain!  Ya follow?

Good.  That is the end of my discussion for today.  I might hurt something........ like breaking a nail from all this typing............

Thursday, March 17, 2011

For Japan - With Love

Tomorrow (Friday 18th March 2011) heralds a day of silence for bloggers around the world as a mark of respect for the victims of Japan's recent disaster so I'm joining in and will not be posting.

The following is a quote from one of the organisers Utterly Engaged:

Bloggers Day of Silence:
Anyone that has a blog can help out with this one.

The aim is just raise awareness and respect and acknowledge the devastation going on in Japan.

The guidelines are simple.
1. This coming Friday, March 18th, no posts at all on your blog.
2. Please post a blog post about what you will be doing this Friday whenever possible in hopes to spread the word and whoever else would like to join in. You all can check out what Lydia of Ever-Ours did for her’s here or how we did ours here and do it your way if you’d like. We’ll be posting a reminder post on Thursday evening on my blog too.
3. Tweet and Re-Tweet the shiznit out of the link to please.
4. Encourage your readers to contribute to donate shelter to Japan.
Whatever anyone can contribute will be appreciated.
Every little helps.

Feel free to ask other bloggers you like to join in on this. Whatever impact we can make will be so awesome.

If you have a blog and want to join in and spread the word please write a post and leave a comment over on Utterly Engaged to let them know you're taking part.   I will be taking part by making and  donating humanitarian supplies/kits with the help of my children and funds to the humanitarian aid

As I sit here in my warm home with running clean water and knowing The Native's and The SM are all safe from harm, I am filled with much gratitude.    “For unto whomsoever much is given,” much shall be required. (Luke 12:48.)

I have been given much.  It is my turn to give......... 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Guess who is nine years old today?  Yup!  Levi!  Nine blessed years that we do not take for granted.  Nine blessed years that each and every day we are grateful for.

We won't be celebrating until Friday but, in the meantime......

I will be getting some of these and taking them to his class at school later today.........

Photo Credit
And for sure I'll be getting him some of these......

And with those two very simple things he will be thrilled and think it is the best birthday ever!  Just another reason in a million that we love Levi so much and are so grateful he is in our family.

Happy Birthday Levi!!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hmmmmm......... HELP!

I'm thinking...... I want to get me one of these.  Not the grandma.  I already have several of those.  The spinning wheel.   I was going to put up a photo of a regular old spinning wheel but this old photo just delighted me.  I think I would like to know this Irish lass.  She speaks of warm home made bread,  stories in front of a cozy fire after a long day of hard work.  I like her.  I don't know why, but I like her. 

Anyway, the spinning wheel.  I think I would like to learn to spin.  My mother had a spinning wheel that she used for awhile.  My oldest sister inherited it.  I wrote and asked her if I could borrow it and see how I take to spinning and if I liked it...... would like to get me a wheel. 

So, the big question.  Do you know how many spinning wheels are out there?????  Oh my heavens!  Where does one start and which does one choose?

I have absolutely no idea.........  Anyone out there have any ideas?  Point me in the right direction?  Opinions?






Monday, March 14, 2011

A Gift For You and A Gift For Me!

This week in our home school, Mr. C and I are studying the life and music of, Antonin Dvorak. He was a Czech Romantic Composer who lived between the years 1841-1904. I thought for your entertainment and as a gift to you, I would let you hear what some of the musicians in this household are composing and playing.

I present to you, Mr. Levi playing hot cross buns in E Minor:

And Mr. J playing Flight of the Bumble Bee in C Major:

And as a grand finale, I would like to present Mr. C who found this piece laying around and has been gracing our ears with this piece for a few days now. Can I just say, I love having Native's in my house who play the piano so well and just for the fun of it, sit down, and learn/teach themselves new pieces on top of the piano pieces they are already learning for their piano teacher!

Now for the gift to me part. Drum roll please. That which when I looked out the window and saw the postman get out of his truck and walk up to my front door I gave a squeal for.

All the way from South Africa!

Isn't this just delightful? As if just holding the package isn't enough! I opened it up and found this very happy wrapped package and then the cutest little bug on a clothespin and a note.

Had to do a couple of jigs around the island while opening this I was so excited.


Hand spun, hand dyed yarn from the lovely Linda from South Africa. Thank you Linda!! You made a very grey drizzly day turn most happy and sunny!

Now, what to make with this yummy goodness!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The day before yesterday, yesterday, today? What day of the week is it anyway?

More river video. We got the biggest kick out of Mr. Puddle Duck and his lack of being able to get his tail feathers up in the air like his buddy. Watching the back end go up and the little orange feet just a going..... It gave us good entertainment.

Since the first day we got side tracked and didn't look for mammal tracks we set to work this time trying to find some. We found plenty. Plenty of our tracks that is. No such luck for mammal animal tracks although sometimes, I would wager The Native's can be considered very much animals.

We did find some tracks however and did take photos of them. Not mammals..... can you see it? You have to look really close and hard.

Here, I'll show you. Now do you know what it is? Yeah. Mr. and Mrs. Puddle Duck.

Told ya I can't draw.........

We also learned something surprising this morning that was a complete surprise to us. Remember all of the pine cones Mr. J found and put in a tin can? We put them on the hearth to dry since they were soaking wet.

See anything different? Mr. J noticed one had fallen off the hearth this morning and when we picked it up to put it back we noticed why.

They open up when they dry out! And here I thought they did this on the tree....... Who knew! Kind of fun learning new things.

And last but not least. This is what happens when the pavement gets in a fight with your baby. The pavement wins. Poor boy.

Earlier this week we learned about bunnies and drew bunny tracks in our nature notebooks. We'll be wrapping up our week by going outside in nature again and marveling at all of God's creations and how blessed we are to be surrounded by much beauty. Next week it's music appreciation week as we learn about Antonin Dvorak. A Czech Romantic Composer. Happy March weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Laugh out loud

See this picture?  It was painted by Claude Monet.  Lovely painting isn't it?  Last week, Mr. C and I for school studied this painting and the life of Claude Monet.  At the end of the week, we tried to paint this painting in our art books.


This painting is impressionistic art.  I decided I am not a huge fan of impressionistic art.  It's not my favorite.  It's not my thing.  I made this decision after learning and studying it a bit.  I was able to make an educated opinion and for that I am grateful for.  Grateful for the time we were able to spend studying this painting.

NOT grateful for the time trying to paint it however.  I have no artistic skills what so ever.  I can't even draw a stick figure that is recognizable.  I'm not exaggerating.  The SM is the one with the art skills.  The Native's have learned to go to him if it involves drawing, painting, clay, etc.  They come to me when they need their noses or bums wiped...... 

So, Mr. C and I got out our paints and set down to work.  When I was finished and gasping for air because I'd been laughing so hard, I Skyped my baby sis and showed her the painting.  She asked me how come my teepee was on fire.  Through the laughter and tears I told her it wasn't a teepee, it was a WINDMILL and that wasn't smoke, it was CLOUDS!

It's okay.  You can laugh at my expense.  I am!  And no, I am not going to show you my painting......  I used it to wipe someones nose with........

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

One Hour Challenge

I'm late posting today. As you can see, we've been busy. We are taking the One Hour Challenge and spending an hour out in nature as part of our home schooling.

Originally, we were going to look for signs of spring, mammal tracks, insects, this sort of thing but we kind of got side tracked and as you can see in this video, the river is running high and fast right now.

I didn't dare take my eyes off Mr. J so I didn't take as many photos as I would normally have either.

We did however, gather several small rocks..

to make a flower. We found this old paper wasp on the river bank. It looked like the center of a flower.

We found a hole in the bottom of a tree....

so we had to make sure there weren't any scary critters in there.

We hugged trees.......

and climbed them.

We found a remnant of an old sunflower.... we cracked open some seeds and ate the meat and found out that we liked it.

We found an old rusty tin can........ perfect for filling with pine cones we found on the ground.

When it was time to go, we waved good bye to the ducks. The ducks stuck their bums up in the air and waved good bye to us.........

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Story About A Fairy Princess

The little tear drop jewels placed perfectly thanks to Chazi.  The kool-aid mustache placed perfectly by Henny Penny, herself.  Somehow, a pleasing reassurance that Henny Penny is still a little girl, despite her trying to grow up.

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named, Henny Penny who lived with Foxy Loxy, Turkey Lurkey, Goosey Loosey, Chicken Licken, Cocky Locky, Ducky Lucky, and Drakey Lakey. Did we miss any? Oh yes, and her mother Attila the Hun.

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One day, there was to be a grand party. A party where all of the fairy princesses were to be invited. All the fairy princess in the land were so excited. Henny Penny was one of the fairy princesses who was invited to attend only...... what? Me? A Fairy Princess?

She didn't know that she was a fairy princess. Oh what was a girl to do! She did what any bona fide girl would do. She ran to her daddy Foxy Loxy and asked him for his credit card! 

When that didn't work she ran out into the pumpkin patch and shed great big tears and lo and behold, not one but two fairy godmothers did appear. And with much bibbety bobbety and booing, and exclamations of, "Look at the time"....... Henny Penny was transformed into a magical fairy princess where she was then whisked off in a grand coach full of other fairy princesses......

Thank goodness for blogs out there like this one that show you how to do cute little girly hair styles!!!

Leaving her mother and fairy godmothers in her dust, flopped on the couch, much disarray around them, wondering how in the world they were going to manage prom and GASP her WEDDING if going to a little fairy princess tea party was such a fuss!

The End!

Friday, March 4, 2011


Last week was the Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet for our Cub Scout Pack. (I know... a whole lot of scouting and banquets going on. It's that time of year.)

The theme for the month of February was "Resourcefulness". The Cub Master showed the boys at the banquet some fun ways of using regular household items when we are done with them. We're being..... resourceful.....

Yesterday, it was raining and cold outside. The Native's and I were all snuggled at home, all nice and toasty and warm. Mr. J was in the kitchen bouncing off the walls when he found a tooth pick on the floor. If you saw my kitchen floor this would not surprise you.... Nuff said!

Mr. J picked up the tooth pick and looked at me with a grin on his face and asked me if we had an empty milk jug. He found one. On the kitchen floor. KIDDING! I think....

He filled it with water, bundled up, and told me to come and see!

What's a Mum to do? I grabbed my resourceful umbrella and camera and headed out into the cold to see what Mr. J was up to. Up he climbed into the cherry tree, took his tooth pick and jabbed it into the bottom of the jug.

Then he pulled out the tooth pick and said, "Look Mom! Laughing It's gowing potty"!

He put the tooth pick back in the milk jug and said, "I made it stop. I can make the milk jug go potty and stop going potty"!

He is so thrilled with himself.....

I'm not sure this is what the Cub Master had in mind, in fact, I know it isn't, when he was teaching about resourcefulness but I have a feeling he'll get a big kick seeing what Mr. J got out of his, "Using an old milk jug filled with water to wash hands while camping" demonstration.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Acting. A Form of Narration

One of the stories I loved growing up was, Stone Soup, by Marcia Brown.  I loved looking at the illustrations and the text was magical to me.  The thought of the villagers hiding their food under their beds and behind things..... I related so well to!  Stashing stuff all over my bedroom when I was supposed to be cleaning it was something I was very familiar with.  (Sorry Mom...)  I got the biggest kick out of how those soldiers tricked the villagers into making a huge pot of soup out of stones.

Yesterday I was laying on the couch.  The Native's trickled in from school.  After reporting to me on their day they each went about getting their chores done, getting snacks, etc.  I continued to lay here on the couch and knit.  Miss K came in and out of the room randomly dumping things on the ground.  After a few minutes of tromping in and out of the room with objects that were obviously going to be the means of some make believe adventure I asked her what she was doing!

I am going to tell you a story and act it out!  This is what she told me. 

I could tell this was going to be good so I got out my camera as she began to narrate:

I bring to you, the story of Stone Soup. Written by: Marcia Brown. Acted out by: Miss Henny Penny and Turkey Lurkey.

There were three soldiers who were on their way home from the wars. They were very tired and hungry. They saw a village up ahead of them. When the villagers saw the soldiers coming, they weren't very nice. They didn't want to share so they hid all of their food. When the soldiers asked them if they could have something to eat and a place to sleep and rest the villagers lied and told them they didn't have any food. Mom, that wasn't honest. They lied to the soldiers!

Anyway, the soldiers knew the villagers weren't telling the truth so they came up with an idea. They told the villagers they were going to make stone soup and share with everyone. The villagers were curious. They had never heard of stone soup before.

The soldiers asked them for a big pot. The soldiers put the big pot on some wood and lit a fire under it. Then, they poured in a bunch of water into the pot and some salt and pepper.

Yes, you are seeing correctly.  Henny Penny has on only one sock.  This shouldn't shock you by now...

We need three big smooth stones the soldiers told the villagers. The villagers brought the soldiers some stones. That part was easy.

The soldiers dumped the stones in the pot. Mmmmm this is going to be good soup.

This would be what is called, a preemie carrot.

You know what would make it better? Carrots. Too bad nobody has any carrots. One of the villagers went and got some carrots and the soldiers cut up and dumped the carrots in the pot.

Mmmm this is going to be the best stone soup! It would be even better if it had some cabbage. Too bad there isn't any cabbage. One of the villagers said they had cabbage so they got not one but three heads of cabbage and dumped it in the pot.

This is going to be the best soup ever the soldiers told the villagers. But it would be even better if we had some meat and potatoes. This soup will be good enough for a rich person. The villagers wanted to eat soup good enough for a rich person so they went and got some meat and potatoes and dumped it in the soup.

Henny Penny didn't have any pretend barley.  Barley is a grain, crackers are a grain.  Good 'nuff.

Barley. This soup needs barley. The villagers ran and got barley to put in the soup.

This is NOT water.  I know it looks like the bottle of water used earlier but we are assured, this bottle in fact, is milk.

And some milk! This soup will be so rich it will be good enough for a king they told the villagers. They told the villagers they'd had dinner with the king before. The villagers wanted to eat a soup that the king had eaten so they went and got milk.

Don't be deceived. This really is a king.  A king in a Cat in the Hat get up.  Even kings celebrate Dr. Seuss' birthday.  And yes, he is in his pajamas.  No one changes into his jammies after getting home from school faster than Turkey Lurkey.

A soup fit for a king!

The soup was all mixed and at last it was ready.

The villagers and the soldiers sat down to eat. They sniffed the soup. It smelled so good.

They tasted the soup. It was the best stone soup the villagers had ever had. They ate and they ate and they ate until they were all stuffed full.

Then, they got up and danced with the soldiers. They danced,

and they danced,

and they danced. Until they grew very tired.

The villagers liked the soldiers now so much they told them to sleep in their houses and in their beds.

So they did.

The next morning, the soldiers waved good bye to the villagers.

The End.