Thursday, January 28, 2010

Uncle Arty's Visit to Oregon

Uncle Arty, Pops, Bud, Branch and Blossom had an adventurous time racing around to see the sights of our corner of our beautiful state. I chose to stay home with Bump while they showed off the sights. I figured they could move along more quickly from place to place without a baby who needed to nurse every so often or just needed to be out of his seat lest he cry until my eardrums burst. (Yes, that is a complete exaggeration - he rides fairly well, wide awake, but does nurse quite often still!!)

They took off in Pops' grocery getter, I mean... sleek and stylin' silver cruiser and took a nice self-portrait for us!


They decided they needed a better one where they followed suit on Blossom's idea and "stuck out their tongues"...


Uncle Arty and Branch cannot reach their noses... but they gave it a good effort. Branch sort of hid since she couldn't do it "right." It is sooooooo wrong that my beloved and two of our children can lick their own noses. GROSS. I am so happy to be in the "NO, I cannot do THAT" group with Branch. Just sayin'...

It was then off to Crater Lake... the most amazing lake. Seriously. Really!! If you live here and have not yet seen it... this is your summer. I promise you! It is a great summer for going for a peek!! Since you live here, you can wait 'till summer and enjoy it a little longer than going in the cold. If you don't live here... visit Crater Lake whenever you can. But, don't miss it!! This is a place that everyone should put on their "Must See" list!!! You won't be disappointed!


One day Pops and Bud took Uncle Arty to the coast. The girls were getting colds and decided to stay home since there would be no playing in the sand and surf... this was to be a fairly quick trip! They went first to Reedsport so that they could take in Dean Creek Elk Viewing Area... and of course, the Elk were on duty and had clocked in and were ready for viewing!!


Off to town and a peek at the ocean in Reedsport...


A quick drive by the Umpqua Lighthouse...


Then a quick visit to Bandon where they had the pleasure of seeing a rainbow while they made their purchase of whole crab in the harbor.


The boys walked on the docks for a bit and Bud "rode the whale" before they headed to Face Rock Beach and sat and watched other fools get out of their cars in the gale force winds. They were much more astute and stayed in their vehicle and experienced sea foam fly up off the ocean onto the cliff and smack into the windshield. Pictures of Face Rock on this day... uh, well, maybe we've had better opportunities!!


There wasn't much time on this visit to see ALL the sights (so, Uncle Arty will just have to come back!), but he met up with an old buddy from college and had a really interesting experience with a native Oregonian ... nice for first impressions, anyway!


We had a great time talking, laughing and catching up in general. We hated to see him go.


Pops and Uncle Arty seemed to have a great time catching up and picking on each other...


Even so much so as to who is taller?? WHAT?!? Boys... will they EVER grow up?


Seriously... on their toes? Yes, to be the tallest. No competitive spirit amongst them, eh?


We had so much fun! Love you lots, Uncle Arty!! Thanks for coming to visit... see you again soon!! We need to go on a jet boat tour... don't do your hair!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

My Daybook, Entry #18

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, Jan 25, 2010...

Outside my window... Overcast, 46 degrees

I am thinking... about how challenging it is to get some computer time when you have a baby that has a cold and therefore acts really extra needy - even when sleeping!!! AND how hard it is to get to the post office. I have birthday cards to mail - what happened to "through rain, wind, sleet, snow, hail..." that the postal service will deliver to your home? Not here! Not in our town! We were required to get a PO Box and go to collect our mail. Nothing delivered here unless it is UPS or FedEx. SO... I can't send the kids to the mailbox to send off greeting cards or any other type of things. So, I am thinking about my two friends from college who celebrate their birthdays on Jan 21st and Jan 28th and hope that they will love getting a card late... it is like spreading out the fun, right?!??? I know it isn't... but, it is the best I can do with my lemons today!

I am thankful for... fun packages that arrive at that rotten post office!! It makes going feel a little more fun - really, who wants to make the trip to load up 3 big kids and 1 infant to drive down to the post office to collect some junk mail, a few bills and the odd catalog? (Thanks, Geemah! Everyone seems to be enjoying the surprises!)

From the learning rooms... nothing exciting for anyone, really... I need to get on the ball to get some excitement started up for beginning next week ... February 1st! We'll keep plugging away this week, but next week we will have some extra fun things to do!

From the kitchen... I need inspiration. What are you all having for dinner this week?!?!! Tonight is frozen pizza and a movie for the kids. Pops is coming home late and we are going to enjoy some take-out together... Maybe we could even venture to call it a date night - just "in".

I am wearing... jeans and a long sleeved t-shirt.

I am creating... nothing and I feel it. I NEED to create!!! Since Bump got the snots, my desire to sew something last week got thwarted. I now have a growing pile of things that need mending, too.

I am going... to make a plan for a fun and crazy kind of day - a grand surprise - any ideas?!?! I want to surprise the crazy treekids and I don't know what, yet! But, they are pretty good sports about mom having to spend sooooooo much time with their newest sibling, so we need a FUN-FIllED afternoon!

I am reading... my last year's planner to add in things for this year's... yes, I am a bit behind, there, too.

I am hoping... to write about and share Uncle Arty's Visit, my horrible night last week - a "cautionary tale" for you all, Blossom's pretty princess dress, our fun lunch from a week or so ago, our trip to the drive-thru zoo before the first of the year and on and on and on...

I am hearing... the treekids - the bigs are up to NO good. Blossom is whispering to her dolls and playing nicely. Bump is sleeping - alone - FINALLY. Bark is snoring on the couch.

Around the house... Laundry is all over my living room. It is now all clean, but there are piles to fold, piles to sort into appropriate baskets, piles to put away and lonely socks without their matches. We did some "deep cleaning" in the upstairs - where the treekids live - and whadaya know... they had dirty laundry tucked in nearly every corner and all my excitement of having laundry all caught up was trashed. I found at least 5 - 6 loads to do up there. Grrrrrrrr.

One of my favorite things... when Bump makes a big pouty lip. He doesn't always cry when he pouts, but he'll stick that little bottom lip out and it is so stinkin' cute! I wish he would do it long enough for me to retrieve my camera and get a great picture!

A few plans for the rest of the week... Rid this common cold/virus from our home, maybe a trip to the library, laundry, eat, sleep, schooling basics, laundry, eat, sleep... etc...

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...


Check out those CHEEKS (and the double chin - heee heee)!!

To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

2 Months Old!!

I meant to post this yesterday... instead, we were dealing with toooooo many things to list, one of note on Bump's 2 month day... a first cold. ICK! Babies with the snuffles and coughs. Blech. If only they could blow their nose sooner! Here's hoping the next month is healthy all around!

Photo: Jan 19 - before the snots began...

Monday, January 18, 2010

My Daybook, Entry #17

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, Jan 18, 2010...

Outside my window... Raining and VERY Windy, 51 degrees

I am thinking... that sometimes I just am NOT thinking! What was I doing staying up until nearly 2 am talking with Pops and Uncle Arty? I suppose not seeing Arty for a while and ANY adults for the past week had something to do with it, but that little Bump slept for three whole hours while I yapped away!!

I am thankful for... friends and family who come to visit!

From the learning rooms... everyone else is having a holiday today... so are we!

From the kitchen... no plan, yet!

I am wearing... a ponytail, a hot pink t-shirt, gray pants, bare feet

I am creating... ideas for creating something!!

I am going... to try to relax this week some and to rely on the additional adult support available this week!!

I am reading... recipes to make a plan for eating this week

I am hoping... to find time to sew a project this week

I am hearing... Branch talking with Uncle Arty, Bump squawking on Pops' lap, Bark quietly snoring, Blossom playing with a noisemaking book, Bud dinkin' around with something in the loft and the soft clicking of my keyboard.

Around the house... The signs of "company" are evident... suitcases, few toys, plenty of shoes and coats around ready for go-go-going!

One of my favorite things... pancakes - my homemade yummy buttermilk pancakes (we had them for breakfast today... two had theirs plain, two had blueberries and two had chocolate, butterscotch and white chips in them! YUM, Yum, yum!!)

A few plans for the rest of the week... not much of anything that I can think of! WOO HOOO!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing...



Uncle Arty Enjoys Dungeness Crab!!

To read more daybooks or to join in the fun, head over to Peggy's.

Friday, January 15, 2010

There Is No Place

Like Nebraska,


Dear old Nebraska U.
Where the girls are the fairest,
The boys are the squarest,
Of any old school that I knew.


There is no place like Nebraska,
Where they're all true blue.
We'll all stick together,
In all kinds of weather,
For dear old Nebraska U.


Can you tell that "some people" fight over who holds Bump... so we have to take MANY poses!!

OH! What's that... oh, sorry Bark! You're right. You ARE so unappreciated. You go and get a drink and we keep on taking pictures without you. Right, ok... sit in front of everyone so it is all about you.


OH, my... and you need to get hooked up with a Huskers scarf. Imrab is a great rabies vaccine and all, but let's see some team support, here, eh?? Go Big Red!!

*** On a completely unrelated note... we had a little visit to the pediatrician's office today for Branch and a little rash she has (apparently nothing much and a near complete waste of a $20 co-pay... all for a little piece of mind for the mom and dad.) and I requested weighing Bump as he has been felling rather heavy these days AND today he is EIGHT (yes, 8!!) WEEKS old!! Turns out my babe is now a whopping 14 pounds and 9 ounces!!! HOLY COW, eh??***

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Uh, whadya say?

A little background... Pops and I usually purchase our cuts of meat "whole in the bag" and Pops cuts the steaks and roasts to size and I help by doing the vacuum sealing for freezing. Now, on to the story!

For our Epiphany celebration, we decided to prepare tenderloin steaks or as many people know them... "Filet Mignon." So, we had a whole tenderloin from which Pops had to slice the steaks. As he was slicing by the sink, Blossom was standing off to the side watching while she held her doll. In all the hustle-bustle activity in the kitchen for preparing the meal... She said sort of to no one in particular and in a slightly dejected tone,

"I KNOW. We're having snake for dinner."

What a hoot she is! I am not sure if sNake is something that people actually eat somewhere, but it isn't going to be served in my HOME! (I promise you that, Blossom!!) We'll stick to eating sTeaks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our Epiphany Celebration 2010

This year our family had a celebration on Epiphany. We had a wonderful meal, talked about the Three Kings who went in search of the Christ Child and the meaning of the gifts that they brought, and we revisited the true meaning of Christmas. I definitely enjoyed our Epiphany celebration better than the hustle and bustle of the big day of Christmas.

I liked the slower pace and the opportunities that we created within our little family to really think about our faith and its significance at this time of year - not be focused on what ALL those packages were under the tree! And there were a TON of packages under the tree! Perhaps in years to come we can spread out this gift opening extravaganza to various days throughout the Christmas season... I'll ponder that one!


We enjoyed a feast of tenderloin steaks, sweet potato goodness (topped with a brown sugar, butter and pecan crumb top - yum yum yum!!!), and a corn casserole (Bud's fAVORite!). We used our finest china and glassware - it was beautiful and delicious! The treekids got in the spirit of the celebration and "dressed up" to be one of the three kings, Mary - the mother of Jesus, and the angel. Branch orchestrated the costuming and the gift bearing.

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We talked about what gifts we can give to Jesus, NOW... The treekids all found a jar and put inside their gifts... Branch wrote "Love" on a slip of paper and put it inside a jar. She wrote "Peace" on another slip of paper and told Blossom that is what she needed to give to Jesus. Bud asked about Frankincense and what it looked like and then went outside to collect some stones to put in a jar.

While we ate, this is what Bump was up to...


Sometimes he enjoys swinging and other times... he couldn't be more irritated with it!!

After we enjoyed our lovely meal, I brought out these lovely surprise treats... PEEPS! It turns out that these stars were peppermint flavored. All those little red flakes were like those Listerine strips and were SPICY HOT! Let's just say, they weren't a favorite of anyone! The "JOY" were plain and much preferred!!

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After all of that fun, we let the treekids open the THREE GIFTS in the middle of our dinner table!! Inside, they found a Hershey's Pot of Gold box of chocolates, a board game and a box of crafting materials to create with. Wecleaned up the kitchen and all sat around the table and played the new board game and ate some chocolate cheesecake with a brownie crust... YUM! What a nice family evening we shared together!! I look forward to more celebrations like these!!

More Christmas presents???

A box arrived from Illinois! In it we found some presents from Geemah, Grandpa & Aunt JoJo!!

The treekids were super-duper excited about the cards they got from Geemah & Grandpa with "paper money" inside!! (They love to go to the bank to deposit their money, but learned a somewhat disappointing lesson a few weeks ago... putting your money in the bank does not yield great returns! Around five cents for a YEAR is not so spectacular!!)

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Branch was thrilled with a baby doll play-yard...
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Blossom love love LOVED her Princess Ariel dress (handmade by Geemah! - more pictures to come)
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And Bud was all fired up over his Mythbusters science kit about air pressure!
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Aunt JoJo hit a few home-runs herself!!

Branch loves her big soft Hello Kitty...
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I'm sure that you can tell that Blossom LOVED her Ariel Doll!
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Bud was jazzed to go and suck up some bugs outside with his new bug vacuum!
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Fun times to be had for sure with all those presents that have arrived during this Christmas Season!! I am exhausted, though! It is a good thing that this chaos only happens once a year!

More gifts... from the g'rents on Pops' side

Pops' grandparents send some money every year at Christmas time for us to pick a present for the treekids. Since we live so far from our families, we spend Christmas at home and take LOTS of pictures so that they can share in the excitement!

Here's a look at presents from Great-Grandparents "M"

A Star Theatre for Bud
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Princess Dress-Up Shoes for Blossom
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Easy Bake Oven and light bulbs to heat the oven and the mixes to bake for Branch from both sets of Great Grandparents...
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And from Great Grandparents "A"

Blossom found a box of Polly Pocket dolls (and these are pretty neat... you don't take the clothes off you pop off the head, chest and arms, and bottom and legs!! No help needed to get a new "look"!!!)
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A learning chess set for Bud - FUN!
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Grandma and Grandpa Tractor sent a lovely selection of Nebraska Apparel for the treekids!

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Bump got these Husker Socks and a "Jock in the Box" (yes, that's jock with an "o" a husker football player pops out of the box when you wind the crank to play a Go Big Red song!!). He wasn't up to open any presents and the great-grands got him some clothes that he should be fitting in rather soon. So, pictures of those clothes will appear, I am sure - by way of photos over the coming months.
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Oh, what a royal mess we've made... All that gift wrap! We should just make fabric bags to reuse every year... Hmmm, that might make the gift wrapping job just a hair easier!!!