Tuesday, September 27, 2011

2 Things That I Need

September has been a whirlwind of activity. I am pleased to say, though, that the kids seem to be at least somewhat enjoying school and we have been keeping up with the pace that I set in the beginning.

This month I have been driving Lincoln to all of his speech stuff, and the older boys have their photography class. In addition I have been volunteering full days at the co-op. That is all over this week though, and then- oh the extra time we will have!

But, through this month I have discovered what I need to have daily:

1. hot chocolate
2. 4 pieces of toast with butter, peanut butter and jelly

Otherwise I am just so sad.

I tried to give up butter- I had decided it would save both money and calories, and so it seemed like a win-win. Only I lost. I had no interest in my breakfast, I didn't look forward to the start of my day- so I went back to the butter slathered toast. Now I am happy.

And my hot chocolate. I am not a morning person, nor am I a coffee drinker. Hot chocolate and a hot shower (not at this same time though!) get me going in the morning. No matter how expensive Swiss Miss is, I will not be leaving it anytime soon.

Well, I am off to do some studying and to read a little. I am reading "Heaven is For Real". I was skeptical, but I am really liking it so far. Good night!

Monday, September 26, 2011

24 weeks (only I am really 27 now)

Sorry about the lack of a good backdrop here, but this is a picture from my 24th week pregnancy. I am currently 27 weeks, so I am only about 3 weeks late in posting this! The good news is, that now that I am pretty much entering the 3rd trimester, I will allow myself to wear maternity clothes if I want to. And lots and lots of yoga pants.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

17 Hours Down

Over the course of the semester I have to volunteer at my kid's "co-op" for 24 hours.

I use the word "co-op" lightly. I don't really know what else to call it, but this place has paid teachers, paid nursery workers, a snack bar, a lunch counter, organized field trips, a graduation ceremony etc.

Anyway, Noah has taken 3 days off so that I could get my volunteer hours all done in September and then in Oct, Nov, Dec and Jan I will have 3 hours with just Berean one morning a week. Oh the things I will be able to accomplish in that amount of time!

Last week I set up, did some office work/direction kind of stuff and worked as a hall monitor. Then I did a lot of vacuuming.

This week I worked the snack bar most of the day and than cleaned up. I love homeschool moms because they are such interesting people. Not that people who don't homeschool aren't interesting, but the homeschool crowd is so energetic. A lot of them homeschool and work (like I do- and it is fun to see how they juggle it), some of them have a lot more kids than even I do, and it is fun to hear their stories. Some of them have gone back to school while homeschooling, some do such fun things with their kids. I love to hear their stories about how their families and their schooling systems have grown and evolved over the years.

Some of the moms have young kids like mine and we commiserate over trying to keep our boys from jumping off of our decks, staying away from fire, and not unscrewing every screw they come across. We also discuss how our husbands dress our daughters like boys, and good responses to the statement, "you ARE done having kids now,aren't you?"

They are definitely not a crowd of boring people- and they are all vastly different. Some wear jean skirts and turtlenecks, some wear boots and mini-skirts. Some have strict schedules and routines and some do not.

Oh, and, just in case you are wondering, the snack bar sells a lot of Mountain Dew- and very few packs of dried vegetables.

Monday, September 19, 2011

She is a Busy Girl

Milk and a smile.

The things we do for fashion- black patent leather shoes and underwear on our heads!

She loves to be a big girl, but, after my work weekend I came home to find a new keyboard. Turns out she isn't such a big girl and pulled off 3 of the laptop keys....

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I have several posts I have been attempting to write...

I have a 16 chapter Critical Care textbook that I will be tested on in one month...

I have more garden produce to be processed...

I have more apples to be made into applesauce...


instead let's talk about,

Lincoln kissing my belly and saying, "I like your tummy, Mommy"

Roman, waiting for the "S" in Awana Sparks, and announcing "Sparks" as something to be thankful for

Deacon: "what's this on the table, Mom?"
Me: "Daddy's Basil".
Deacon: "what is it called again?"
Me: "Basil"
Deacon: "I thought for a minute there was a kid in my class named Basil, but turns out it is Liesal".

Berean is our master re-arranger. She is always putting stuff in cupboards, shoes, laundry baskets and ice machines and than cackling with glee. The other day my mom called me because she found one of our portable phones in her purse after she got home.

Berean also thinks most animals are ducks or dogs.

Roman, upon seeing the snack of blackberries and whipped cream: "I've died and gone to Heaven"

Monday, September 12, 2011


A lot has been happening in these parts, sorry to bullet-point it out, but that is all the time I have!

*after a 6 month stalemate, Roman has finally agreed to eat a pb & j sandwich made with grape jelly. I am so proud.

*Berean no longer hates her potty chair, NOW she likes to put stuff in it and push it around. Unfortunately, the "stuff" she puts in there is not the "stuff" we want in there.

*Berean also hates peeing on the kitchen floor, mostly because 90% of the time she immediately slips on the pee. Who knew potty training could be such a health hazard?

*My kids eat a lot. I am going all little-house and storing away all I can for winter. This requires a lot of time. The salsa is all done and I have more apples coming tonight...

*Noah completed a triathlon (.6mile swim, 16.5 mile bike, 5 mile run) this weekend. Yeah for health insurance discount!

*We are doing pretty well at going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. This has really helped me stay on top of things over the last 2 weeks. My work weekend will be the test as to if I can keep everything together...

*We moved a big pile of rocks back into their proper position yesterday. It was accomplished quickly because we said it needed to be finished before the NFL game came on. I can see a lot getting done around here during football season...the boys even did their part. I can't wait until they are older and stronger...

*I had to revise my exercise goals due to #5 and the fact that the way the baby is positioned means that intense exercise is decidedly uncomfortable. I have a new goal of "going" 5 miles a day (1 mile walking/running=1 mile, 4 miles biking= 1 mile, 1 mile swimming=4 miles). I am not beating myself up if I don't make it, but it is a good goal. The mileage goal works well for me right now because if there is something else I want to do, it pushes me to go faster :) Also, stationary biking lets me do some reading, but I won't do that for the whole time because even with a book it is just too boring. Also, Berean loves to be strollerized, so going on long walks with her counts toward the daily total.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Best BLT Ever (or So Far)

I made the best BLT I've ever had this summer. It was very nearly transcendent. I'm afraid I did not get a picture. I sort of regret it. But I was too busy enjoying every last succulent morsel. Besides, I am not the Pioneer Woman.

Here is the recipe.

  • Make bacon. Preferably something thick, and make sure there are at least four full strips per sandwich. Reserve some bacon grease; waste not, want not.
  • Thinly slice a small onion and some garlic. Saute until lightly brown in the reserved bacon grease.
  • Slice up a garden fresh tomato.
  • Slice up a garden fresh cucumber. Make sure these don't get too thick.
  • Toast two slices of bread. The bread is a bit player in this sandwich. I'm not geeking out on the bread. I once thought Texas Toast was going to be the ultimate, but it was too much. It was hogging the spotlight from the marquee players bacon and tomato. We're back to regular, generic bread.
  • Let it begin!
  • Put a thin layer of mayonnaise on the first slice. I definitively prefer the olive oil mayo. If you choose another, I won't judge you for being wrong. Someday I will make my own mayo, like I am making my own peanut butter, but that is a different post for a different day.
  • Artistically and carefully dump the sauteed onions and garlic onto the mayo. The mayo should help adhere the sauteed goodness to the bread and hold it into the sandwich. Things might get crazy, and any bit of structure helps.
  • Break two bacon strips in half. If you used full length bacon strips and normal sized bread, the four bacon halves should make one layer of bacon.
  • Layer on at least one layer of red, juicy, garden fresh, grown with love, watered with care, harvested hastily while fighting off hordes of mosquitoes, tomato. Oh so good. This is seriously one of the reasons God invented summer. And if one layer is good, two is oooooh my! Words fail. But the sandwich is getting precariously tall already and we're not done yet. Do what you can safely do.
  • Layer on a layer of the thinly sliced cukes. These do need to be moderately sliced or the sandwich might just give up on you here. You played all your cards at tomato, so you'll have to hedge a little at the cucumber.
  • At this point we have to mention that, yes, we have dumped the lettuce. Going to the cukes retains the green aspect of lettuce, but it significantly raises the bar on crunch. Lettuce has been hereby relegated to salads, where, frankly, it belongs.
  • Wow, it turns out I have some strong food opinions.
  • You've still got two bacon strip left, so break those bad boys up and layer on a second layer of bacon. A sandwich is filling between two slices of bread, but we're doubling down and sandwiching our fresh tomato between bread and bacon! Take that KFC!
  • You're almost home. Drink a glass of lemonade and get back in the game son!
  • Trust me on this one. I didn't believe it either, but this is the real deal. Take the second slice of toast, and spread on a layer of good peanut butter. Put the mayo down, and pick up the peanut butter. Not the kind with sugar. That shouldn't even be in your house! Get the kind with two ingredients - peanuts and salt (if there's three, the third had better be peanut oil!).
  • I know, most of you are hung up on the last bullet. Don't be. Put your blind faith in me and try it. It's what I had to do. The results defy explanation, but it works. Just. Try. It. You can thank me later.
  • Place PB'd bread on top to complete the sandwich. Use both hands. 9 O'clock and 3 O'clock. Take a bite. Close your eyes. Exhale slowly. Chew carefully and watch the kaleidoscope of flavors. Swallow if you must. Wow.
And there you have it. The most amazing BLT to date (with insincere apologies to the L).

And no, if you haven't gathered by now, Julie did not author, or authorize, this post.

I leave you now with a blurry picture of someone else's [inferior] BLT.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

First Day

Yep, this is my boys camping. They are sitting on that bench, being reflective and enjoying the view. Or maybe they are watching the portable DVD player.

I'll never tell.

Well, the first day of school is over and it actually went pretty well. The boys were interested and engaged in their work, for the most part. We would have been done by 11ish, except that we chose to take some morning breaks.

So I can look back in a couple months and wonder where it all went wrong, here is how the day went:

7:oo- I got up. I had my devotions, took a shower, checked the computer, started laundry (still playing catchup from vacation). I informed the kids that they could play or do whatever, but that breakfast wasn't until 8am.

8:00- breakfast and clean up the kitchen. I dressed Berean and flipped the laundry.
8:30-We weren't going to start school until 9, but everyone was dressed, fed with their teeth brushed and the kitchen cleaned by 8:30, so we started.

8:30-9:30- I read them 2 books each of their choosing (Lincoln only picked one, so it was 5 books and then Deacon read one to us) and then I read a chapter of Encyclopedia Brown. We read the introduction to the "Mystery of History", the first part of the first week of Astronomy and the first section of our American History book. After that we had "circle time" where we sang some songs with Berean, read her a book, reviewed body parts with her (along with "Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes" - I am sure you can imagine how that went), reviewed our address, phone number, days of week, months of year and math facts up to 10.

9:30-10:00- break. I switched more laundry, tidied up

10:00-11:00- Life Pacs for Deacon and Roman, drew pictures of their favorite pokemon sailing Viking ships. It was hard to balance my time between Deacon and Roman.

11:00- Deacon and Berean went outside onto the deck and I worked with Lincoln on math and reading for about 15 minutes.

11:45- I was making lunch and Deacon and Roman came by. I snagged them and had them do their math lessons. We went out into the yard and they played and I picked up sticks.

12:30- We ate lunch, and then did reading with Deacon and Roman. Boys played around.

2:00- Noah came home early and stayed with Berean while the boys and I went to Target.

3:00- We got home and Noah took off for his thing. I started in on Salsa prep while Berean slept and the boys waited for the neighbors to come home.

Boys played.

I salsaed.

Quick supper and my mom came over when the actual canning was about to start to keep kids safe and to assist.

8:00- Canning complete, stories read and brushing of the teeth finished.

Now I blog. I must finish, however, as I have all the week's laundry to fold and put away and quite frankly, I am exhausted. I promised myself an early bedtime- so off I go to get started folding!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Straight Up Stuff

1. I always think of Myself and Noah when I hear the song "Crazy Girl" by The Eli Young Band. Something about the song, and the way Noah always shakes his head at me when I come up with yet another plan seem awfully similar. Today I decided to watch the music video for Crazy Girl. Unfortunately, the whole psych hospital (even though it was just a dream) has officially ruined the song for me.

2. The whole music video viewing, however, followed by some additional music video watching, led to a fabulous quote of the day. Noah: "It must be really easy to make music videos, because apparently there is no such thing as a bad idea." So true.

3. We spent part of the long weekend up at our church's family camp. As always, a great time was had by all!

4. Oh, I have another great quote of the day. Julie: "Should I get my hair cut?" Noah: "short of shaving it, do whatever makes you happy." 11 years of marriage has worked wonders for him.

5. As long as we are on quotes of the day, here is my favorite conversation from the weekend.
Location: our cabin up at camp
When: bedtime

R: "Mama, I am scared"
Me: "why are you scared?"
R: "I hear voices" (brothers agree)
Me: "it is just the people in the cabin next to us"
R: "I am also scared that a bear will come in our cabin"
Me: "This cabin is pretty solid, I don't think a bear is coming in"
R: "Maybe they could come through the roof."
D: "How would they get on the roof?"
R: "Well, this second one is just a theory, but maybe the bear could use the tent as a trampoline"
D: "The tent is too far away for the bear to use it as a trampoline to get on our roof"
R: "ok, but I am still scared."

I didn't mention that if the bear really wanted to attack, he would probably just attack the guys in the tent, instead of becoming a gymnast to get to us. It seemed more prudent just to let them go to sleep.

6. My salsa canning adventure today took up way too much time and energy today.

7. I feel very nervous about the start of school tomorrow. The fact that I didn't get to do nearly everything on my list today isn't helping my nerves.

8. Balance is on my mind. Balance between home and work, school and chores, activities and home, exercise and rest.

9. I just told Noah that I don't feel ready to start my 3rd full time job tomorrow. He went upstairs to clean the kitchen. Smart man.

10. I am officially 24 weeks pregnant now. I feel tired and huge. I think it was about this time in my pregnancy with Deacon that I told my mom that I didn't think I could get any bigger. She laughed. I don't feel like I can get any bigger this time either, but oh I know I will. From this point on it is going to be harder to fit into elevators with beds, vents and IV poles. I am going to dread emptying catheters and picking up toys. Having a baby will be worth it, I know, but 3rd trimester-how I dread you.