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

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Confessions About Motherhood and Being Me

I haven't posted here on my blog in a very long time.  Why?  Because I'm me.  Because I am a positive up beat full of energy person!  I have it all together.  I am the picture perfect perfection of motherhood and wife.

I am a wife and mother who likes to bake pies.  Yummy triple berry pies.  From this photo you can see it is an amazing looking pie isn't it?!  It's a positive up beat full of energy pie that has it all together.  

Don't look closer!  No!  It's not leaking!  You're imagining things.  You only think that you see there on the left side, the crust didn't quite get sealed and the insides are spilling out all over.  

No photos of what the pie looked like after it was cut into?  Well that is because it was no longer picture perfect!  It was no longer bubbly and up beat and full of energy!  The crust crumbled and the filling spilled all over instead of sitting there all firm and holding itself together.  It was a mess!  But guess what?!  The Natives and The SM didn't care.  It. Tasted. Amazing!  It was good enough for them.  

As a mother and wife, my family doesn't get just a piece of me.  They get the whole pie.  The good with the bad.  The days when I sit here on the couch and just want to leave.  Not because I don't love them.  I'm just tired.  I've crumbled and my insides are oozing all over the place.  I hate doing laundry.  GASP!  I hate cleaning bathrooms.  GASP!  I hate doing dishes.  GASP!  I hate cleaning.  Period.  GASP!  I hate cooking.  GASP!  

So, sometimes there are piles of laundry sitting around waiting to be folded, dirty dishes all over the kitchen, socks and toys strewn all over the house, bathrooms that should be condemned, cold cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Natives spending too much time on media,.........................  

It's reality.  It's real.  It's my real reality and guess what?!  It's normal!!!  Phew!  Glad we got that straightened out!  Now, would somebody PLEASE get me some ice cream to go with my pie!!!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Hills Are Alive........ With The Sound of Howling.........

Have you all seen the video on You Tube where while the owners are away, they find out that their dog is playing their piano and singing?  Hilarious!

If you haven't seen it..............  here it is:

Zoey doesn't climb up on the piano bench and play and sing should see, or hear I should say what she does when The Native's start playing the piano.

I haven't been able to catch her on video yet.  The second she sees me she stops so to get this video I had to sit in another room without her knowing I was video taping her which is why it is just a black video.

For your viewing pleasure, while you listen to Zoey sing, you can look at this photo of where Zoey spends a lot of her day.  Going from window to window observing the outside world.

P.S.  The Native playing the piano so beautifully is Mr. M.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Since November is the month of gratitude, I decided to do something fun for The Scout Master.  I came up with a list of 101 things that I love about and am grateful to him for.  I put it on his pillow for him to find.

As I was thinking of 101 things I started to think about marriage, any relationship actually, and how it is really easy to find the things we don't like.  To knit pick apart someone or something and focus on the negative things.  When we start to look for and focus on the negative things then that is all we start to see.  It's easy to tear apart a marriage or a relationship!  Easy peasy!!  If we want a relationship to fail then all we need to do is start thinking about ourselves and being selfish and finding fault with the other.  Simple!

I really enjoyed pondering and thinking about all of the things I love about The SM.  I took a couple of days and throughout the days as I would think about yet another thing I love about The SM I would jot it down.  Can you imagine how our relationships would be different if we spent everyday thinking about and pondering how grateful we are about the other person and what we love about them?  Magic!!

Try it!  I dare ya!  No, I double dog dare ya!

P.S.  I'm sorry Wabi.  Another video!!  It's the part in Princess Bride where the priest is mawwwwring Buttercup and Prince Disgusting.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


This evening I started to think about the marathon I ran this summer and how frustrated I was with the outcome.  As I thought about it and the lessons I've learned through the experience I had another thought.  It was such a parable of how prayers are answered when we are going through difficult times.

Remember that as I started to struggle, I prayed over and over for help and felt that my prayers weren't being answered?  Remember how the thought kept going through my mind, "I'm closer than you know, reach up, I'll take your hand"?  I kept saying in my mind, "I'm looking but I can't find you!!  I'd take your hand but I can't find you"!!!  And then with a few miles left to go, my thick brain figured it out, my son Mr. C was right there next to me and so I leaned on him.

I thought this evening about how that is so often and typical of how our Father answers our prayers!  We go through something difficult and we are on our knees begging for help and we can't seem to find it.  We want a 'miracle'.  We want what ever it is that we are going through to go away right then and there.  For life to fix itself immediately and we go on our happy way.......

Have you ever felt this way?  I know you have.  We all have.  We wonder where He is.  Is he listening?  What we're going through is so hard!  We can't take more, please make it go away!

Looking back on times when I've felt this way and have gone through hard times, I see so many times that yes, He is there!  He does hear and answer my prayers.  Most of the time, it is through those who are around me.  We're surrounded by angels who are trying to take our hands if we'll but reach up.  Or in my case, just grab my hand because I'm too busy looking elsewhere to notice the angels around me.

I can't say that I loved the marathon experience that I had this past summer but I can say that I am loving the lessons that I keep learning from the experience.  This has been one of many........

On a funny ending note, my friend sent me this the other day.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

The Bark Stops Here!

Puppies.  Adorable right?  Zoe has been a bundle of fun and laughs and pure darlingness.  So much personality!  When she was tiny it was okay.  Well, sort of.  It's never okay to have bad manners but we all know how cute puppies are right?  When their two inches high and jumping up on us it's adorable!  Not so much when they are close to full grown and jumping on everyone that walks through the front door and every time they want attention....

Zoe has gotten not only obnoxious with her jumping on people but her barking!  Oh my goodness.  It is a high pitched pierce your ear drums and no matter how many times we've told her not to bark she hasn't listened.  With our other dogs a stern, "No bark" was enough to get them to stop.  Not Zoe!  She just laughs and tosses her cute puppy head and keeps on barking.  She's being a teenager.....

Do I dare admit that I seriously contemplated a shock collar?  I know!!  I'm sorry!  It's just, I have my eldest boy who works all night long and sleeps during the day and a shrill barking dog all day long hasn't endeared him to the puppy and quite frankly, my nerves were getting frayed so yes, the thought crossed my mind and I'm sorry!!!  Forgive me??  I didn't actually go and get one............  I did better than that which is what this post is actually about!

I was cleaning my book cases the other day and came across this book:

I'd totally forgotten about it!  I'd forgotten I had this book.  I'd bought this book when we had Julie and tried to implement what Jan Fennell was teaching but Levi would come behind me and undo everything I tried to do.  It was a disaster.  Levi has a habit of doing things like that.  This time around though, Levi is older and with a ton of my help, is sort of able to not undo what I am trying to do!

So, I've begun a serious 30 day program with Zoe.  We're on day 4.  Yesterday I started the 'intense' part.  Day 1 and 2 I started what is called the, "Amichien Bonding".  It has four parts.  One of the steps is where before I feed the dogs, I eat something in front of them first and then when I'm finished, I put down their bowls for them to eat.  As soon as they are done, I pick up their bowls.  This is all done quickly and without fuss.   Another step is has to do with separation and the five minute rule.  Anytime we are separated meaning a door is closed between us, when I enter back into the room with the dogs, I ignore them for five minutes.  Easier said then done when you have a puppy doing everything she can to draw your attention.  I'm not the only one that has to do these things by the way which is why you can see I failed miserably with Levi before with Julie.  Now, I can set the timer and he knows to wait until the timer goes off before he showers Zoe with affection.

Yesterday Zoe had been in her new 'training' for three days.  I started working with her on other things like her sitting, waiting, come, etc.  Here's where we really started to notice and things got cool.  I decided to focus on her barking.  Every time she'd bark and wouldn't stop when I told her "thank you" and reassured her with a pet that she'd done her job alerting me, I would without emotion or a care in the world (ha ha) would take her by the color and lead her into the hall where I'd shut the doors and she would sit in time out.  She'd sit in there for ten seconds and then I'd let her out ignoring her for five minutes.  When she'd bark again, I'd take her back into time out and go for 20 seconds, increasing the time each time, and again when she'd reenter the room ignore her for five minutes.

I did this for a couple of hours and you would not believe the difference!!!  I had a neighbor come over to the house last night and as he came through the door I warned him what to do.  Ignore the puppy!  She barked and jumped on him so I calmly took her to time out.  Waiting a few seconds, brought her back out and reminded my neighbor to ignore him, and Zoe walked into the room calm as can be and sniffed my neighbor and then walked away.

Today, Zoe continues to make progress.  It is so amazing to me how doing these simple things shows such a fast marked difference.

I don't know Jan Fennell but if you have a dog or dogs..........  I would suggest getting her book and also going to Youtube and watching several of her videos.  Amazing I tell ya!  Just amazing!

Monday, October 28, 2013

It's Fall. It's Sunday. I'm Lazy.

Yesterday the weather was gorgeous.  We got home from church and these two Natives grabbed some rakes and started raking piles of leaves to jump and play in.  I sat and watched pondering on the irony of the situation.  Had I asked The Natives to rake the leaves so we could clean up the yard it would have been met with complaining and all sorts of woes and, "I hate raking leaves.  Why do we have so many trees......."  Since it was their idea and for pleasure, well........ that's different.

I can remember growing up doing this very same thing.  If asked to do it, what ever 'it' is..... 'it' was a chore.  If it was my idea though!!  Well then!  Play time!!  The key here, is trying to figure out how to make it appear as if all the chores The Natives do are their own ideas and are for their fun and pleasure!  Yeah.... I bet Adam and Eve thought the same thing and parents since then have been trying to figure out how to pull the wool over their native's eyes.  Yeah.  I'll get back to you when I figure this one out.

In the meantime, I enjoyed sitting outside watching these two tumble and tussle and throw 'pies' in each other's faces.  Not a bad way to spend a lazy fall Sunday afternoon............

P.S.  Notice anything.........  STRANGE in the first two photos??

Monday, October 21, 2013

Painting Update

I know you are all just dying to see how the painting project is going but I couldn't resist posting this little gem first.  I was in the process of taking photos of the room and got a little side tracked.... It happens. Often.

And then this happened and I couldn't resist taking a photo of these two wrestling around which is why Zoe's head is a blur.  The look on Levi's face is NOT a blur however.  It speaks volumes.

So, first and foremost.  When one takes photos of their house and it is dark outside and the lighting is terrible you get a grainy yellowy photo.  My apologies.  You get the idea however.  Yellow kitchen is now a chocolate color and white kitchen.

You can see I've not gotten to the room downstairs yet.  The walls are still the yellow color and man I'm not looking forward to doing that room with all of it's book cases and stuff and stuff and STUFF to try and move and get around.

You can't see it in these photos but my walls are blushing.  They are NAKED!!!!  One thing we've noticed right away is without the quilts on the walls absorbing all of the noise, what we thought was noisy has become noisy times 12 plus echos.

Oh look!  Another chocolate wall!  I do love me some chocolate............   It is going to be months before this project is completed.  We have to wait until spring before we can buy the wood that is going to go up on the walls and we haven't decided how we want to do behind the wood stove yet with the mantel and all.........  In the meantime the place is looking lots of white and sterile and I'm gritting my teeth trying to be patient and not go all sorts of crazy.  White is good right????  Yeah, that's what I thought.......  boring!!!  Spring better hurry up and get here quick so I can get some color up on my walls again!!

In the meantime, this ought to help warm me up.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Oh Nellie!

Note:  I used these photos on my Essential Oils Face Book page which is why they are tagged as they are.

Yesterday Levi came into the house holding this big beauty along with a few other eggs he'd gotten from "The Ladies".  He told us that this big one was an ostrich egg!  He was quite proud of his find.  The rest of us had one thought.  OUCH!!!

All I could think as my legs involuntarily crossed on their own was, "I feel your pain........... oh how I feel your pain"!  And then I hobbled out to the hen house (it's hard to walk with your legs crossed) and found the hen who was waddling around looking more duck then chicken and made her sit down on a plastic donut and wiped her sweaty brow and told her not to worry about a thing for at least a month.  I filled her fridge with casseroles and then left her to rest while I went and downed a bag of peanut M&M's in her honor.  It was the least I could do.  We 'girls' need to stick together!!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Citrus....... Bliss?

The other day, I was tired.  Stressed.  Tired.  Cranky.  Tired.  In a not fabulous mood.  Tired.  You get the picture.  The Natives were off at school and with a good book in hand, I thought I would take me a nice restorative peaceful bath.  I just luuuuv baths.  Especially in the fall and winter when it is cold outside!

I started the bath water and added some sea salt from the Dead Sea that The Scout Master's parents had brought us back from Israel.  I was going all out on the pampering!!  And then..... I had this brilliant thought.........  I love Citrus Bliss Essential Oil!!  It always makes me happy!  I luuuuv the smell.  It's in my bath bar and hand lotion, why not pour a bunch into my bath water!  Putting calming Essential Oils into one's bath water is a common thing!  Note:  I said calming..........

I dumped several drops in my bath water because we all know if one drop is good then 50 must be better and settled into the tub with my book.  Down I went into the water.  Ahhhh it felt good.  I started to read and imagined I'd be in the tub for quite some time.  I started to squirm.

Why was my back feeling a bit hotish?  Ignoring the discomfort I shifted myself a bit and settled back in turning the page of my book as I read on fascinated in the biography I was reading.  Soon, the hotish began to get a little more intense and now other parts of my submerged body were starting to feel a bit like little fire ants were pinching me.  You'd have thought I was reading a hot romance novel by how on fire my body was starting to feel!

I jumped out of the tub hooting and hollering chucking my book and looked in the mirror.  Bright red.  Oh my goodness!!  I was on FIRE!  I grabbed some lotion and started rubbing myself all over because we all know that some Essential Oils tend to be 'hot' and so we use them with a carrier oil......... uh huh........  we don't submerge ourselves in them..................  WHAT WAS I THINKING????

Dancing around my bathroom panting and whistling.........  I will be as discreet as possible in this story so when I tell you that when you are in the tub, there are parts of your body, your yaywhoos and yawhoos!!! Uh huh!  You know what I'm talking about!  HELLOOOOO!   I looked like I was dancing on hot coals running around my bedroom at this point fanning myself!  Can I just say that I was very grateful all Natives were at school???

After a few minutes of screeching and dancing myself into exhaustion I fell on my bedroom floor laughing with tears running down my face.  I never cease to amaze myself at my stupidity.  One thing was for certain.  I was wide awake!!!

Monday, October 7, 2013


Change.  It happens.  Down came the fake log and rock wall paper.  Now I can see the old stenciling I'd done on my walls previous before the wall paper and the taupe from chair rail down.......  It's all going away too.  All of it.  GONE!  I want change and what mama wants........ she usually gets.

The wall with the big half circle window is now a pretty chocolate brown.  The rest of the walls are going to be painted an eggshellish white.  Clean.  I want clean.  From the looks of this last photo........  I really really really need clean!  Where's the couch??

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Smelly Gold

Our gardens this year have been like no other.  The amount and size of our produce......... incredible!

If I were blog savvy I would have washed these peppers first before taking this photo but I'm not......  it is what it is.  Veggies grow in the dirt and they'll have mud on them when picked.  Keepin' it real folks!

We did however wash them quite well before attacking and chopping up bags upon bags of peppers.  I made The Natives sit around the kitchen table and help me chop peppers.  We're not finished.  We've a cooler in the garage full of peppers still.  Hmmm, wonder what I'm going to make The Natives help me with today!!!  Hahahaha!  Evil cackle!

So what made my garden so smashing successful this year?  The only thing I can think of that is different...............  drum roll..............  chicken poo.  Yup!   My chickens working hard fertilizing my veggie gardens.  Who knew chicken poo could be so golden!!??  Now you know!

Monday, September 30, 2013

For Donna

My friend Donna has been asking me to post photos of Zoe and I really have been neglectful.  She's 39 weeks old this week.  Yes.  I keep track.  Hard to believe she is almost a year old.  Think muppet when you look at Zoe.  Her personality is just as goofy as her hair.  Which by the way, is seriously so soft!  She begs to be pet because she feels like an angora bunny.  And no shedding thank you very much!!  Sooo, the time has come where she needed her first hair cut.  She did good.  The SM cut her hair how he thought she should look.  The Mum took one look and said, "I don't think so"!  UGLY!  Sorry SM.  He spent a long time grooming her and quite honestly, the cut was good, I just didn't like it so being the brat that I am, I made The SM take Zoe back outside and cut her hair so it is all one length pretty much.  No poodle cut please and poor Zoe was left with a really really short hair do to which we're going to wait a bit before we take photos of her.  You know how it is........  we girls.  A bad haircut can just ruin our lives!!!!  Bad enough that several of these photos are red eye.  Add bad hair to it too!  I just can't do that to this little girl.....  I get the whole bad hair thing.  I've been living with bad hair for 40 years!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Labels and Signs

Once again I will be writing with absolutely no idea of where I am going or headed.  Trying to sort through thoughts and feelings.  I have a confession, or maybe it is a realization about myself.

Because Levi doesn't have a sign hanging around his neck that says, "I'm different.  I have special needs." I feel like I have to pull out a neon sign and wave it around really fast and big in front of him so people don't feel awkward because awkward is just................. awkward.  I can't decide which is worse!  Having the sign or label that looks like a wheel chair or a walking stick or 'that look' that tells people, "Oh my goodness, what do I do!  Awkward moment!  Do I look at the person, do I talk to them, what do I do!!!!!" So usually, people freak and don't make eye contact and scurry along or they want you to know that they are cool with special needs so they make a point of showing you that they're cool and talk real slow and loud and well, duh!  Just because someone is blind doesn't mean they're slow!!!  Or, in Levi's case where he doesn't hold up a sign so people try to talk to him and then when he doesn't look at them or answer there is that lull.......... oh grief!  Not the lull!!!!  The awkward moment.   Here it comes..........  either Levi will eventually mumble something or won't say anything at all and then here comes me!  Go mom!  Let's be the cheerleader and whip out the big neon sign and this is what I do.  I talk to Levi like he's a baby!!!!  It's my way of letting people know that he has special neeeeeeds.  Seeeeee???  Isn't my son cuuuuute?  Tell the nice lady thannnnnk youuuuuuu Levi!  To which Levi mumbles thank you and well wasn't that fantastic of me to help the awkward situation.

There's no manual for parenting and there sure as heck isn't a manual for parenting a kid with special needs!!!  I can't even give you the answer of what to do when you approach someone with special needs because they're all different!  Pass gas or burp.  Yup!  That usually breaks the ice for em all.  It's not like we can all do that though so once again, it is big question mark.  How one approaches Levi would be totally different from how we'd approach someone else!

I think I'll make Levi a big sign to hang around his neck like the pan handlers. "Hi!  My name is Levi.  I have special needs just like you!"  Because aren't we all special?  And different and have needs?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh Honey!

Last Saturday started out beautiful.  A perfect day to harvest the honey.  The SM and Mr. T suited up and set forth for the task armed with only their white marshmallow alien suits and a shop vac that when you put the hose on the out take side, it blows instead of sucks.  Thus, the bees are blown away from the bee boxes where the honey is.  At least that is the theory............

No one gave the memo to the bees before hand so it took a little more persuasion to remove themselves from the bee boxes then was hoped for but alas, the job was done and as you can see, I'm not sure if this Native is hurrying inside the house with a box full of trays filled with honey or if he is going off to some fencing class!

Did you know that one little bee makes about only one twelfth of a teaspoon of  honey in it's little lifetime? To make one pound of honey, bees must tap about two million flowers!  Imagine! That can be about 55,000 miles to make one pound of honey.  Isn't it incredible?  And did you know, that honey is bee throw up?
Fascinated with all of my bee knowledge yet?  Yeah, me neither.  I got it all off of the Internet.......

As I was saying, this Native, not sure of his purpose......  swinging........... fencing.........  actually, he was a huge help to his Pa.  I have to say Pa cuz I feel all, "Little House on the Prairie" with us harvesting our own honey and all........  just don't ask me to be making a balloon for my little ones out of a pig's stomach.  I've not got the stomach for it.

What I DO have the stomach for is this!  Raw honey.  Look at it just oozin' waiting for someone to put their finger in!

Sorry.  Couldn't help myself.

Apparently I'm not the only one........

Anyhoo, it was a beautiful day for harvesting honey.  The sun was out, the temperatures were perfect, The SM and Mr. T were able to get all of the bee boxes in the house and just in time.

Not a moment to soon.  This started to happen.  These clouds started to roll in and I mean roll.  Not move or glide, roll.

The sky became very dark.  Inside of the house it was dark as if evening.  Supper time.

We've seen this before.  The clouds coming in fast and low like this.  Time to get everyone inside, all windows closed, the toys in the garage and the garage door closed, and then wait and see......

The wind increases and picks up.  Not too bad.  Yet.  So noisy!

And then the rains come with the whipping wind.  The rain coming side ways.

There was a bit of a mess to clean up after.  We actually didn't get hit that hard.  Further north of us received much damage as the winds and rains increased even more than we got if you can imagine!  I sat outside on the front porch watching and amazed at what was taking place when literally just minutes before it was calm, the sun was out, it was beautiful............  I stayed until the wind changed direction and started sending the rain directly at my front porch.  

After the storm, while it was still pouring rain, The SM and The Natives ran outside to see who needed help. They were gone for quite some time putting fences back up and picking up branches that had fallen in the yards of our neighbors.  It's what they do.  I love them so for it.

Back at home and somewhat dry but with wet sopping heads of hair still the honey harvesting resumed.

Isn't it beautiful?  I think I've said beautiful a few too many times this post........  but it is a delightful sight is it not?

The grey you are seeing are little caps of wax that the bees put over each little honey cell to keep the honey inside.

Did you know that if you barely touch one of those caps it breaks easily and then honey starts to ooze out and you have no choice but to take your finger and clean the mess up licking as you go like a lollipop?

At this point I wanted to stick my whole head in the bucket and pretend I was a bear!

The day after the storm.  I sat looking out my window as I once again was amazed at how crisp and clean everything looked.  The colors so vibrant.

The air so fresh smelling.  A cleansing.

Meanwhile, day two of harvesting, The SM using the best of equipment.  Top of the line use what you've got equipment.  That's how we roll 'round these parts.

Who needs a bucket of white flour when it can be donated to the cause of filtering this nectar?

Beautiful isn't it?  Just beautiful.............  and there's many many many more of this where it came from which makes the fun facts I told you about earlier all the more amazing.  Bees.  So tiny, and yet look at the good they do.