Thursday, December 23, 2010
Today we are still hustle bustling about getting ready for CHRISTMAS! It is ONLY 2 more "go to sleeps" until Christmas morning!
This morning we wrapped a few more presents... we are nearly finished with all that! We worked on some sugar cookie dough that I hope to roll out and bake tonight - decorating them tomorrow morning. Then, this afternoon we popped over to the store to pick up the few ingredients to make these easy yummy treats that the TreeKids helped make over at Jessica's house last week.
Pops has taken the big treekids to the library to return books and possibly check out another couple. They are also stopping at the post office to drop our Christmas letter into the mail... all 200 of them! Yes, we are behind - if you are expecting one... don't think we deleted you. The mail will get it to you next week - if they don't lose them!!
While Bump is still napping, I am off to the sewing machine... I have to make the bottom green part of four more stockings and then sew them to their tops and I will be done!!
Hopefully you are experiencing a more peaceful advent than this! We have had enough slow and contemplative days that now we are in hustle mode!!
Raking leaves @ 5:29 PM
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So... Pops' knee seems to be doing better. The swelling is going down (it WAS the size of one of those sort of cute personal sized watermelons - cute as a melon... not so much as a knee) and he is limping around. Ice is good. Tylenol is better. Ted hose are ... attractive? Yea - takin' all that a little far. Things are trying to move ahead in a normal fashion!
I have been bustling about. I bought some fabric back in 2008 to sew some matching stockings for our family. I didn't get it done that year. I didn't get them done LAST year. I am working on getting them done for THIS year! Do I think I will finish? I hope so!!
I am tired of the arguing over whose turn it is to use which stockings... we have a blue stocking, a red stocking (both of those two stockings Pops and I used when we were first married), a purple stocking (a gift from a beloved friend), a stocking with bear that has my name appliqued on it (from my childhood), a cheapy red stocking (purchased for Pops to use when Blossom was born so that there were enough to go around) and a cheapy reindeer stocking (purchased last year for a dollar for Bump once I knew that there was no chance I would get those stockings made). So... the girls both want the purple one and then they don't and then they do ... I need to have 6 that look exactly the same - with some initials on them. SO - that is what I am humming away on my machine to sew before the end of the week. I am in assembly line mode... cut all pieces, sew 6 loops, sew 6 cuffs etc... rushing rushing rushing!!
Not the best photo... but it'll work for now - I am in a hurry! The computer is being crowded out by the sewing machine! Off to finish the other 5 stockings!
Raking leaves @ 12:35 AM
Thursday, December 16, 2010
So... here's a quick run down since I last found time to type.
Wed, Dec 8 - Entire loft decluttered and rearranged with the help of Geemah (an ALL. Day. Project.)
Thurs, Dec 9 - Went on a really fun field trip with the kids to a one room schoolhouse where we had 1800s school for the whole morning
Fri, Dec 10 - online Christmas shopping with slow slow slow dsl internet, supper out with Geemah and the fam before she headed to the big city for her early morning flight
Sat, Dec 11 - Pops and the big kids went steelhead fishing all morning while I slept in with Bump then had some fun playing without interruption! After lunch, we piled in and went out for the great Grizwold Christmas Tree hunt... we found one that the treekids cut down. It is a nice 7.5 ft tree - but had a rather skinny trunk. After we got it home and in a bucket of water, we headed out for a small town chili feed and a trucker lighted parade (pictures to come on most of this stuff).
Sun, Dec 12 - Church in the morning, house and tree decorating in the late afternoon and evening
Mon, Dec 13 - Dentist appts for Pops and the big kids, finishing up Christmas shopping for Bump and I, fun at the park while the rain stopped with a big bucket of KFC with 4 missing pieces of chicken. Hmmmmm.
Tues, Dec 14 - Girls and I baked cookies for their Little Flowers cookie swap and made gifts for each of them to take for the homemade gift/ornament exchange. SHOOT - forgot to take pictures of that. Crossing fingers that Jessica will!!
Wed, Dec 15 - Ran some errands and took the big kids to Jessica's house for a few days. There is a Little Flowers meeting Thursday so they'll be there for that while I am busy playing "nurse." Headed up to the bigger city with Bump to pick up Pops from the airport.
Thurs, Dec 16 (today) - sitting in a hotel getting ready to take Pops to the orthopedic doctors so that they can do some fancy surgery to fix his knee which has a torn lateral meniscus, a high school football injury. Wishing I would have remembered to bring my camera or at least the memory card and card reader. With this fancy fast internet service, I could upload all of my pictures for the next MONTH in the time that I normally upload for one day. Grrrrr. Oh, well. We plan to head home after the surgery and set him up with some DVR watching the National Finals Rodeo... we know it is over. We haven't finished watching it, so don't go and ruin it for us! We've heard it was REALLY good. Tomorrow, we'll get the big kids back from all of their fun with Jessica and her family. What a kind and generous offer to keep the treekids while we deal with knee stuff! She is such a sweetheart... but, if you know her from her blog, already - you would already assume so!! :)
Please keep Pops in your prayers as he has surgery today and as he recovers throughout these next few days or weeks!
Raking leaves @ 10:37 AM
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Tuesday, Dec 7, 2010...
Outside my window... 52 degrees, drizzly and DARK! IT is 10 pm and I am just getting to sit down at my computer for the first time for more than a quick pass by for important emails that may have dropped in from outer space.
I am thinking... happy thoughts.
- This is my 50th "daybook" - that is a LOT of doing the same kind of thing, for me!!!
- I see lots and lots and lots of carpet in my loft space tonight!
- I love the weather in Oregon... even the wet, chilly, winters!!
I am thankful for... a mom who is helping me reorganize and in a sense "stage" my home for our upcoming house listing (crossing fingers!) and four lovely children who were able to busy themselves very well today while we made big changes!
From the learning rooms... Yippppeeeee! Newly reorganized learning room as of today! We will again be using our loft space for school. Things are being accomplished, albeit slowly with Geemah here (she's too fun to want to sit still and get school work accomplished!). Tomorrow is a "no school" day. Thursday is a field trip!!
From the kitchen...
Wed: Chicken something
Fri: Out at our local Mexican place?? It might be the very last time Geemah gets to eat there...
Mon: BBQ Sandwiches
I am creating... order and organization. and some St. Nicholas day cupcakes with Blossom, yesterday - YUM! They were super cute and SUPER tasty! I'll try to post pictures later. Pops has my "card reader" for getting all the pictures off my camera, though!
I am going... just a little loopy with several late nights with my mom! It has been fun, though! She went to bed early, tonight and where am I??? Sitting at the computer catching up!
I am reading... Still working on A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot, Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School by John Medina and The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley.
I am hoping... To check EVERYTHING off of my "to do" list before Christmas! (it is a long to do list, so I should probably do more than HOPE!!)
I am hearing... the soothing sounds of the ocean. Don't get too excited... it is a white noise machine!! Everyone else is snug as a bug in a rug.
Around the house... Tidy Living Room: check! Tidy Dining Area: check! Tidy Storage Closets: check!! Tidy Craft Closet: check! Tidy and Reorganized Loft: CHECK!!! Relatively Tidy Kids' Rooms: check! Need to work on Master Suite, a bit in the laundry room, and the counters in the kitchen!! YIPPEEE! AND the laundry is mostly caught up!
One of my favorite things... newly rearranged furniture. I always like a fresh look in a room!
A few plans for the rest of the week... trip to the big town tomorrow, again on Thursday for a field trip, all spare at home time will be working on my monster to do list with my mom! She is definitely helping get things in order in some areas of the house! She leaves this weekend... she'll sleep lots at home. I will do more over the weekend before Pops heads out to Denver. Working on house stuff as well as trying to get all of my Christmas shopping completed!
A picture thought I am sharing... "Beautifying" Almost exactly 2 years ago... Boy, how time has flown! (Ages: Branch 5.5 yrs, Blossom 3.5 yrs!)
Raking leaves @ 12:01 AM
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Today is the First day of Hanukkah... The Festival of Lights! While our family is not Jewish, a very dear friend of mine (and my baby catcher here in Oregon!) IS! So, I like to take the opportunity to talk with the treekids a little bit about this holiday. NOW, I do NOT proclaim to know a whole lot about Jewish celebrations. But, I think that it is fun for the treekids to get to know a little bit about the history of the Jewish holiday!
So, I was playing around last night online at Amazon and found this FREE MP3 Download! It is a fun, snappy tune about Hanukkah! Let's just say that Blossom couldn't hear it enough times and was singing along! So, if you want a fun LITTLE way to talk about Hanukkah with your kids... this is a fun one! (I'm not sure why Orin Hatch's picture is the cover for this song, a nice little menorah would have been nice, but what do I know!? He apparently wrote the song, did NOT perform it, but hey, it's FREE and cute! I promise that an older Mormon U.S. Senator will not be singing this song celebrating a Jewish holiday!!)
Last year, we crafted a flame-less menorah for our friend. It looked a little like this - with all the painting "outside the lines" that children do!
Last year, we crafted a flame-less menorah for our friend. It looked a little like this - with all the painting "outside the lines" that children do!
photo credit: Family Fun
They had fun and were looking forward to crafting something fun for this year... We tried something with toothpicks! They had fun painting - after I used the hot glue gun. They were all afraid of burning them selves on such a small craft! (I think I have taught them well to respect the hot glue gun!! I have burned myself far too many times to count and they apparently don't want to add to the tallies!)
photo credit: Good Housekeeping
We'll be off to the big town today to run a few errands and to hit the library's book auction for children. We plan to purchase a few delicious looking jelly or cream filled donuts to place on a blue plate and stick our sparkly Stars-of-David into before dropping them off at her office and giving her a great big Happy Hanukkah Hug!! SHE will most definitely be missed when we move... somewhere, sometime. (No, we still do not know where or when!)
As for us, we will do our own small festival of lights... I don't think that this will count in ANY way for the Jewish celebration! But, on our way home, we plan to drive through our little town to see all of the beautiful (and even the tacky) blinking lights!! Nothing like a shot of commercialism tied to a beautiful holiday!!
Raking leaves @ 10:40 AM
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Tuesday, Nov 30, 2010...
Outside my window... 50 degrees, cloudy with a chance of meatballs, I mean it looks like it is maybe clearing toward the southwest and the clouds are bookin' it out of our canyon.
I am thinking... out a plan for what I am "going" to do and what I am "hoping" will get done!!
I am thankful for... my whistle - to get the attention of the treekids I have been blowing it. I kind of feel a bit like Captain VanTrapp. Maybe I should have a special whistle sound for each kid! Hmmmm... well, Maria said that whistles are for dogs, not children. So, I suppose I will just be thankful for having a noise maker to get their attention!
From the learning rooms... We are doing some review work with the big kids this week. I want to make sure that we are retaining some amount of what we have been working on! Blossom is continuing on her Kindergarten plan - her review work is built in to her books!
From the kitchen...
Wed: Chicken Stir Fry
Thurs: Out for supper
Fri: Crock Pot ... delight!?!
I am creating... a list of homemade gifts to try to accomplish for Christmas - we'll see!!!
I am going... to be working on a home decluttering/reorganization project with my mom over the next 10 days!
I am reading... Still working on A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot and Brain Rules by John Medina. I was also reading The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley.
I am hoping... To have a really fun and productive week!
I am hearing... the dishwasher running - it is loud. I remember at one house we lived in, we had a really quiet dishwasher. That is what is needed in a "open floor plan."
Around the house... Baby toys scattered about the living room, school books on the coffee table and the dining table, winter clothing boxes all boxed back up to head back to the garage, fall decorations getting put away - maybe we'll find some winter decorations, Advent decor, Christmas decor and maybe make some more!!
One of my favorite things... our relatively new Yacker Tracker (it does go on sale for less than its current listing) - that helps the kids (and parents, too!) keep track of our volume. It is nice that I don't have to nag about volume when I turn on the Yacker Tracker - it sirens if someone gets to loud and they quickly quiet right down. How does it work for Bump??? Well, he knows that if he hollers, it will blink a yellow light at him, if he hollers louder it will turn red and the siren will blare. Making the light change and the siren go off is a great big thrill for him... so, it kind of works backwards for him!! But, its intended purpose... helping Blossom (and Branch and Bud, too) to keep track of how loud the volume in the room is due to their talking/giggling/etc!
A few plans for the rest of the week... Today: School, tidy, possible trip to big town, get ready for company. Tomorrow: School, errands in bigger city, pick up GEEMAH from the airport (yipppeeeee!), Thursday: School, home declutter/reorganize with Geemah, afternoon in the big town - a kids' book auction at the library! All kids given some candy to use as currency to purchase books at the auction. All children K-5th will receive AT LEAST one book!! Dinner out, an errand or two?? Friday: school, library, home declutter/reorganize... Weekend: Pops will be home maybe we can do a bit of Christmas shopping while Geemah watches the prying eyes! And maybe one day she and I can go "play" for a while without the kids! Sounds fun!!
A picture thought I am sharing... There has been a fair amount of talk around the treehouse about the jolly ol' red suited man who slides down chimneys. Letters are being completed and I was pleased to see that all of the letters began with a big thank you for last year's gifts and then some other assorted topics before diving right into the wish list! Anyway, with all of the Santa talk, I remembered these pictures that I took back in September when we were out near John Day, OR on our trip heading to Pendleton! We had stopped to see the Fossil Bed Visitor Center and when the girls, Bump and I were ready to go and headed out to the van... who pulled up beside us??
But, it seems he wouldn't call it fun! I think that he got his finger twisted in that beard and gave it a tug, though!!!
Raking leaves @ 11:27 AM
Monday, November 29, 2010
Bump's first birthday was a lot of fun. Learning about tearing paper... tape sticking to fingers, palm, pants, feet, box... boxes!! Oh, and not to forget the fun gift inside!! He did not disappoint! We had so much fun watching and, at times, helping him.
I really wished I had been on the other side for that picture... he turned and gave me the biggest "I am soooo proud of myself" look with that big tear! And in the low light, missed the shot. Rats!
He seemed to have a whole lot of fun tearing the paper and, of course, being the center of attention!!
He looks like such a "big boy" with that big toothy grin!! Where has my baby gone!???
This is a very typical way to find him sitting these days. One leg out and one tucked under... if he wants to move quickly to get a ball or whatever that isn't too far away... he draws that leg in and drags the other behind as he scoots about. It is sooooo cute. He loves playing with this new ball toy. It pops balls up and out and they go down the chute and pop up again. Plenty of entertainment for a baby or a 5, 7 or 9 year old!!
Yes, to us, this little guy is just the best present. In fact, Pops and I couldn't have been more thrilled on his birthday. He took 8 - 10 steps back and forth between Pops and I over and over again. Now, he is walking more bravely about without the big praises and hugs after each small path. But, watch out! If he needs to get somewhere fast... on all fours he goes, head down on a mission motoring about. Such a funny boy! (And one of those "all boy" rough & tumble types, I fear!!!)
Sharing is a strong suit... for now!
And absolutely the sparkle in his Pops' eye.
I think this little guy looks ready to go try the cake... pictures of the
mess deliciousness to come - watch for them on Wordless Wednesday! I am sure that I will not need to share any words to show you know how it all went!
Raking leaves @ 8:45 PM
Yes, it has been VERY quiet over here at the treehouse. Why, you might wonder. We were very Thankful on Thursday to be together, eating turkey and assorted side dishes (even though the heating element had gone out the afternoon before!! Yes, I freaked out a bit.), for Pops going to get the newspaper so that I could consider Black Friday "deals," for leftover deliciousness that lasts for days and sooo many other things to be thankful for ...
Friday morning proved to be eventful for some in darting about from store to store. I am excluded from that statement. I woke up with a cough, some kind of serious head cold AND no (absolutely, positively NO) voice. I took some advil, drank some hot tea and hoped and prayed that I would feel better, soon. And, that, my dear treehouse friends is why it has been so quiet here at the treehouse. I figured that since I had no voice you wouldn't hear me - so, I just kept drinking tea. I have been enjoying chamomile, peppermint, and licorice tea (all at separate times - that would be gross altogether!), hot apple cider, an occasional hot cocoa or cappuccino.
Saturday, I had only a few times that my voice shone through. It was a bit scary. I sounded more like a monster than a mom. Pops was concerned that anyone "peeking into our life" would think I was a reeeeaaealllllllly strange mother at one instance. I forced out a monster phrase to the kids to go outside to play, someone didn't follow suit and I monstered out that they better go or I would eat them for lunch and that I was hungry. REAL hungry. Then, I took a big swig out of the end of a liter bottle of root beer that was dark brown and looked more like a barley pop bottle than a soda pop bottle! Nice... The new neighbors - with a boy Bud's age - moving in are just gonna be thrilled to have us as neighbors.
Sunday, a few more good moments found to speak. Time spent giggling and laughing with Branch on my bed in the afternoon kind of killed my voice for the rest of the day, though. Lotsa fun this lost voice.
Today? NO voice this morning, but a consistent ability to gruff out something out when needed. So, here I am "telling" you all of this and I hope you can hear me, 'cause my voice is kind of quiet!!
Tap Tap Tap... yea, I'm here. Are you there? Can you hear me?? Can you hear me, now?
If you can hear me, I'm gonna try to put up some 1st birthday pictures later today. If you can't, well, you can't - maybe I'll just hope to try again later!! :)
Raking leaves @ 12:42 PM
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010...
Outside my window... 34 degrees. It is pitch black except for the glow of the one street lamp out to the east. And what to see from the little glow from the one street lamp??? Snow... Snow falling fast, wind gently blowing a nearby tree and the shadows of tall lurking evergreen with a heavy dusting of snow. It is gonna be a FUN morning around here!
I am thinking... about my sore throat. I despise sore throats. I already did this horse and pony show back in July. Such is the reason why I woke today at 4:05 am. I couldn't swallow easily, so I hunted down a couple ibuprofen and a hot cup of apple cider. The ibuprofen is starting to help, the hot liquid is helping all the more. Please, oh, please, Lord... let it be post-nasal drip combined with night noise making (snoring, who ME? certainly NOT!!) or that scratchy thing that I swallowed last night at suppertime and not some kind of infection invading my throat.
I am thankful for... the sillyness that is Blossom. She is so full of life and excitement. She helps me open my eyes and see all things in a completely different light. She helps me to sloooooow down and see things her way - from the eyes of a 5 year old. We went to lunch yesterday... the big kids and I, while Bump slept at home while Pops worked there. It was a BUSY BUSY day at our local sidewalk sandwich and ice cream shop. All of the tables were full. We had only three chairs for our four selves. Blossom sat on my lap to eat her sandwich and fries. It was nice to have her there again and to kiss her soft cheeks and to smooth her hair. She is so full of energy and constantly going going going going going - what a treat to be able to have her right there for a bit. And since she can get a little shy when there are lots of people around who she does not know very well... she sat still and calm and just watched everyone and everything going on around us. After the crowd diminished a bit, she was quick to be UP and off to the corner to inspect a poster picturing all of the local high school's cheerleaders! "OOOOooooh, Mama! I love the cheerleaders. Look! Cheerleaders on the wall!!" she hollered for the remaining patrons to hear as well. And later in a quiet moment, she whispered while staring off at a blank wall with a touch of a smile on her lips, "Mama, I wanna have a handsome boy. Like a prince. He should be really handsome. That is who I will marry one day in a beautiful dress, a handsome prince. Don't you think?" OH, this girl!
From the learning rooms... a short week of traditional learning. We will be taking a break like all of the other school kids out there!
From the kitchen...
Wed: breakfast - something easy in anticipation of a more elaborate meal for the next day!
Thurs: Turkey, gravy, mashed spuds, whipped sweet potatoes with a sugar pecan crunch top, corn casserole, rolls, jellied cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, pecan pie...
Fri: uh, leftovers
Mon: back to the leftovers
I am creating... a child-sized laundry set for pretend play
I am going... to enjoy a lovely week at home with my family and maybe dig out a few games to play!
I am reading... Still working on A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot and Brain Rules by John Medina. I was also reading a book about infant sleep by Dr. Sears.
I am hoping... that Bump's double ear infection responds to a new round of antibiotics (RATS!) and that his bowels ... do not.
I am hearing... waves rolling and crashing to shore (just a white noise machine, don't get all bent out of shape - I am not sitting on the beach, today!), the quiet snoring of dog, the hum of electric heat, the creak of a cooling espresso machine, the hiss of a hot tea kettle, creaking springs as Pops settles on the couch. It is 4:45 am. All little people are sleeping at this hour! OH, MY! The road plow just scraped by on the busy road! I wonder if more snow is accumulating out there! It is coming down pretty good, still and the flakes are BIG! There it goes again the other direction with spinning orange lights. I think Pops should rethink his drive south over the passes today!
Around the house... plans to enjoy a fruitful Advent season are underway.
One of my favorite things... Visiting the coast. Thanksgiving. We were planning to combine the two wonderful things this year since we have no company flying out and we have no plans to fly anywhere to see family... a Pacific Coast Thanksgiving complete with a BIG
Turkey Salmon Dinner. But, the weather has come in as the decider. We were hoping that the normal event of cold inland = warm coast and hot inland = cool coast would be in effect. Unfortunately, not this time. The snow is expected to be on the coast this week, too. Drat, curses - plans are foiled. I don't want to go hole up in a chilly hotel on the cold snowy coast to avoid the cold snowy weather at my home. So... we'll just do a traditional feast at home - one of my favorite things!
A few plans for the rest of the week... Baking on Wednesday, Turkey meal on Thursday coupled with too much football for everyone, Shopping on Friday?, sleeping on Saturday
A picture thought I am sharing... I thought about sharing photos of the dark outside with the snow. I will... later! Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow. I took the pictures and I am going back to bed, now. My throat feels fine enough to not disturb my sleep. Picture loading on our ancient internet takes too long. So, enjoy this one of Branch from the little dusting of snow over the weekend, for now!! :)
Our pretty little snowbunny!
Raking leaves @ 6:35 AM
Monday, November 22, 2010
This time it wasn't just up in the mountaintops... but right down in our yard!
Mama and Papa were soooo excited for the birthday boy to wake up so that we could introduce him to one more outdoor kind of fun. He is such a outdoor loving boy, that we were nearly ready to wake him up just to take him into the snow! He woke up after the whoops and hollers from the upstairs bedrooms were too loud to ignore. After the drowsy wore off, Pops brought in a small tuft of white frozen fluff. Bump... wanted nothing to do with it. I tried to get him to touch it. nope. I tried to touch it to his finger. nope. I tried to get it near his mouth for him to taste. nope. Absolutely, positively nothing to do with that snow. So, Pops just took him outside for a little teeny bit to have a closer look at all the wonder of winter that has found its way into our little canyon!
The big kids were already out in full winter regalia yuckin' it up and having a great time. I could not find one picture with Bud out there playing - he was definitely avoiding the photo op that morning!
Branch built a small snowman, while Blossom built a tower for Rapunzel to live in. ??? Oh, for the love of princesses...
And this mess?? Can you guess? I had just left a comment on my friend, Michelle's blog not much more than 30 minutes earlier about our snow and how it didn't amount to much like it does in Nebraska... not even enough to really play in - like making snowmen and...
snow angels. What do I know. I am just a mom who is practical and replete of imagination! Pops was out snapping pics of the girls
ruining his front lawn making beautiful angels while I anticipated breakfast. Poor little Bump... everyone was having fun outdoors without him.
And, don't for ONE minute think that you can sneak outdoors without him knowing! He knows. He always knows when you go out without him. He dances by the doors and windows just like a puppy who needs to be let out.
And he waits and waits. Not quietly, usually, but waits just the same. He KNOWS that there is tons of fun to be had out there. All fun is outside. ALL FUN.
PLEASE, oh, please... let me out to play with those fun kids. I love it out there. I WILL touch the white stuff ... out there where it belongs. Where I belong! Let me at it!!
Come on, da! You're a sucker... let me out with you!!!
Who could resist? The pictures ended there for the snow. The camera was put down and Bump went outside for a little while with Pops and the big kids, again!
Raking leaves @ 8:28 PM