Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Handmade Holiday: 'tis the season!

In between knitting projects, when my butt falls asleep (haha), I'm trying to put up some of the Christmas decorations. I am very busy, and I feel so blessed, but I am having craft withdrawl. lol. I miss scrapbooking, and making pillows... among other things. I'm sure in February I can get back to hand crafting some goodies, when knitting slows down... remind me to pull out the christmas music around Valentine's Day. :)
Having emerged myself into the world of the handmade on Etsy I have been paying special attention to the things I have made by hand myself over the last few years. I thought I'd share a few pictures here.
Last year was an ornament and knitting year. I made dozens of these embellished snowflakes and gave them to friends and family.

I also made a handful of these paper ornaments.

A few years ago I made this button tree with a styrofoam tree, vintage buttons and pearl head push pins,

And even longer ago I made this little pillow.

I have dozens of handmade things from the kids, too. I will have to share them soon, also.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lucky Duck

I am so fortunate to live down the street from one of the vendors from my favorite occasional sale shop. Once a month the doors of Second Hand Rose open to junk-lovers from far and wide, and this December 1st I will be lucky enough to have a few of my cowls, scarves, and hats for sale there! I tell ya, I about died and went to heaven when my neighbor Susan asked if I would like to put some of my stuff in there. Truly, a fun adventure for me. Hopefully, a few people find some cowls they can't live without.

Here are a few items that will be there:
This sage colored cozy wool cowl is unbelievably soft.

And I am in love with this powder blue wool blend button cowl:

Wish me luck! And if you're in the area- go shopping!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gift Ideas

The holiday season is upon us, and I am enjoying making Christmas gifts for people all over our country. I love Etsy so much. I thought I would post a few items I can make that are not currently listed in the ol' Etsy shop.

Chunky Soft Cowl in Charcoal. Also available in a brown red mix, bright red, turquoise and green mix, silver and taupe mix, brown, and creamy white. $35

The Super Cowl- available in a wide variety of colors, including this chartruese, and also navy, charcoal, black, red, eggplant, pale blue, ginger, cobalt, blends of brown and green, cream, light marble gray, cranberry, fig, pale pink, taupe, barley, grass, raspberry, pumpkin, spice, and more... $40

The lightweight cowl- available in aqua, purple, black, black and red blends, pink, and green blends. $25

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sassy 7 Year Old Boy

Two hysterical things Ben has said this week.

Tonight I heard him arguing with Theo. Dad told him to do something regarding cleaning up, and Ben tarted back with, "I don't wanna!" Dad followed with something like, well, you're a kid, and I'm the grown up and you'll do what you're told... to which I heard Ben say, very seriously, "No, I'm not a kid. I'm a grown man."

A couple days ago he told me, in response to my choosing to let him watch Harry Potter 1-6, but not yet 7. "Mom, if we were a normal family that followed the law you would not let me watch any PG-13 movies."


Just love how Schmoopy smothers her mommy when they cuddle.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Organization, Go!

I shared with you that we were set to use Christmas gift money to buy something other than more toys. This year, we are getting some excellent storage for all those legos that comprise over half the toy collection in his house with all their tiny wonder.

Theo put the shelves together a few nights ago, and the boys began trasferring the legos from large tubs to these efficient little drawers from IKEA trofast system. We still have a long way to go as far as getting the rest of the room organized, and I will share pictures of it as we go.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

He's come a long way.

Yesterday morning he tried to pull his top front tooth out. This, from a kid who just over a year ago let a tooth dangle from one tiny thread for as long as possible because he was too freaked out it would hurt when it fell out.

Theo has begun teasing him about the All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth song. He did not believe Dad, that it was a real song. Theo found it online and sang it to him. He was not amused.

My mom asked yesterday if the boys had a rubix cube. Reminded me of my all-time favorite Ben story. We have known from a very young age Ben is gifted. When he was in the latter half of his second year we thought we could have him a rubix cube and he would just figure it out. I gave it to him with only a brief explanation: you have to make all the sides match.

The next morning I found the rubix cube stickers soggy, all over his room. He stayed up late, or got up early- something Ben has been known to do when he has something new he is desperate to play with- and removed all the stickers. At first I thought, oh, typical soggy mouthed 2 year old put it in his mouth and ruined it, until he told me: he made all the sides match.

He is way too smart for his own good.

Friday, November 18, 2011

So addicted.

Addicted to Pinterest.

Got these last night. Will show pictures when we get it all done.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Just a giggle.

It is common knowledge around our house that Hunter has given Schmoopy the cat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. From the time she was born, literally, until now, Hunter has picked her fuzzy butt up and dragged her around. She goes limp, and lets him. I can't blame Hunter, she's as soft like an expensive fur coat!

Now, she's nearly as long as him, so he cups her chest in the crook of his arm, and she dangles, her tail reaching the ground, picking up dust as he goes along. She hardly ever complains, but if any (besides Hunter) of us try and pick her up-she immediately fights to get out of our arms. She dislikes being confined, and doesn't trust us enough to be carted around. She must think we'll all be as careless as lil' Hunter.

At first this bugged me so much. I mean, what's the point of having a cat you can't hold? Truthfully, we'd keep her for life no matter what, but I like to cuddle my cats. You can always find me with a cat. Sometimes, when I'm asleep, you can find me with 3. But, I figured out that my princess Schmoo-poo-poo-doo will let me pet her forever if I just don't try and pick her up. So we lay on the floor, side by side, and I scratch her back and belly- we've really built up a nice trust. It is also no secret around our house that my Schmoo-poo-poopa-doo Princess is my favorite feline.

On the other hand, Ben's cat School Bus O'Mio is extremely trusting. He and Ben have a nice trusting bond. School-bee loves to be pet, doesn't mind being held, and loves to cuddle- often falling asleep with Ben, then coming to cuddle Theo downstairs, and later sleeping by my side the rest of the night. Bus-of-the-School is very trusting, loud, and needy- kinda like Benjamin, his rightful owner.

The other day Hunter approached School Bus and went to pick him up. Ben jumped in his direction- "Don't touch him Hunter! You're gonna give him that thing you gave Schmoopy!"

Ben went to pet his School Bus J Cat, "My School Bus will always trust me."

Oh, we giggled. I'm still giggling. Very, very funny.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day in the Life

Hunter and I woke up to Theo cooking pumpkin pancakes and bacon. Ben was already playing. Coffee was already done, so after Hunter and I fought over who got to use the bathroom first, we went almost straight to the dining room table for breakfast. Wonderful.
I picked out church clothes for the kids.
We went to the early church service, and had our 'new member' family picture taken. I brought our camera, because it is rare we have someone to take a picture of all of us.

Pastor asked Ben to help with the children's' sermon. He had the kids line up and follow the leader, who was blindfolded- he asked Ben to walk in a different direction- and then asked all the kids what they thought about the person who didn't follow the leader.
After we drove to get coffee while I knit and the kids were in Sunday School.
We talked about deer hunting.
I used nearly a whole box of tissue blowing my nose all day.
We ran into Walmart for a few groceries. Hunter and I held hands and walked through the Christmas decorations excitedly talking about everything. He started up every single singing toy, and they danced right off the shelves. He lingered on the lego aisle for awhile. While Theo paid, both kids were mesmerized by a kinex toy set up in the front seasonal department. I snatched up 6 Halloween scrapbook items on clearance for $.24 each!
We all changed out of church clothes.
I put away a load of laundry. Theo cleaned up the kitchen and started prepping for dinner.
I folded and stacked the extra winter blankets the kids used to need at the old house, but so far- don't need here. Gosh, it used to get so cold in that old house.
The kids cleaned up the costume closet. We need new storage so bad. I tried not to stress about it.
I photographed an Etsy item I finished this weekend. Created a Treasury List of some of my recent favorites. I spent an hour or more clicking and browsing and learning from Etsy. I knit some more scarves for a couple that has hired me to help them and families they know raise money for adoptions.
We made out when the kids weren't looking.
We said "I love you," a million times.
Theo likened himself to Lotso. Later said I sneeze like a man. We laugh all day.
We watched our DVR'd episode of Blue Bloods.
I filled up all the bird feeders. Moved one of the bird baths in the backyard to the front yard. Threw out remaining pumpkins, took down the autumn wreaths, and put an evergreen swag on the front door. We've never been this ready for winter before winter arrives.
We watched the Bears game.

We complained about not having any snow. Last year they had 10-15 inches here. No snow in sight in the long term forecast.

I fixed some lingering back pain with my physical therapy tricks. Smiles.

The kids played legos, made a pirate ship, a dog house, a jail, and came to find us and tell us all about each and every detail. They used construction paper to make Harry Potter and Perry the Platypus drawings. Hunter practiced letters.
We have thanksgiving colored lights in our dining room window and in a basket of pinecones on top of the armoire lit all day.

Theo put together a delicious homemade baked potato soup from a recipe I got this week from my friend Melissa. We had it for a late lunch and dinner.
We burned an Oatmeal Raisin Gold Canyon Candle all afternoon, long enough to make the whole house smell like it.
All in all- a great day.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Using a NaBloPoMo prompt for the day.
It's 11/11/11 make three wishes:

1. To remain inspired and successful in my knitting.
2. For my husband to get a deer during his hunting adventures this year.

Okay, those were two very realistic and down to earth goals.

3. A little lottery win would be nice. I don't need billions, but a couple hundred thousand?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bubba's Post.

He wants to replace Jack Sparrow when he grows up.

He knows everything. Really. Don't try and tell him differently.

He loves his cat, School Bus. He loves petting him. He knows the cat trusts him.

He is a complainer. He is, "I am so tired of doing everything around here!" "Just so you know the bus is never going to be here." "I always have to clean. Just clean, clean, clean, it is all I ever do." "I brushed my teeth last night!" "I hate taking a bath! I just took one two days ago!"

He'll lecture you on the dangers of smoking.

Forget getting away with anything with Ben! The other morning,"How many of those dot things have you had?" Me, "What? Milk duds? I had two." "Then why are there so many of those boxes in the trash?" "Dad and I both had some last night... "

He loves candy. He put it on his Christmas list this year.

Sometimes we wonder if he has a little asbergers. He'll spout off facts like a talking encyclopedia in a very serious and educational voice- like a little professor.

When he doesn't get his way, and he knows it will only get worse if he talks back, he'll stomp so hard I think the floor is going to break. He grinds his teeth when he is mad. And when we are disciplining him he answers us through clenched teeth, "Yesssss." "Noooo." It's funny. And both Theo and I laugh about it. That makes him even more mad.

He is an exaggerator extraordinaire. "I think I have like a hundred trophies." "I need like a million more lego sets." "My friends says he has like a hundred or more lego shirts."

He's manipulative. And greedy. He says, "Every year Santa brings me like 5 or 10 huge lego sets." I correct him, "No, Santa never brings more than one big set, maybe one small." So, shortly after this he coaxed Hunter into putting one of the big lego set he wants on Hunter's list to Santa, just to ensure he gets both sets he wants. No guilt of the sacrifice Hunter is making for him what-so-ever.

Sometimes he lets people control him, often acting like a slave to Hunter. You can hear Hunter say, "Ben, make me a bagel." "Ben, go get me some batteries for my remote." And he does.

He loves succulents. He will walks around a garden center with me for hours listening to me rant on and on about plants and insects. He notices things. "Mom, wow, look at that sunset!" "Mom, comes smell this rose!"

He's offended if you don't put Jesus first. And he'll tell you so.

He is an excellent cleaner and organizer. He'll put his nose to the grindstone, and not emerge for over an hour when the job is complete.

He is apprehensive. He is afraid of being mocked. After not learning to balance on his bike without training wheels he is absolutely refusing to try again. He is not caring that he's going to be 8 and in training wheels. He is a goofy big smile, a quick moving pointed gesture to emphasize his every point, a hurried awkward trollop of a run, going way too quickly, excitedly, rushing.

He has to share everything he makes with a story. Every little lego guy has a story. To live with him is to hear story after story after story all day long.

He laughs really loud. And sometimes uncontrollably. He sounds exactly like me as a child.

He is wearing his Abe Lincoln hat for days and days on end. He is not letting the teacher get away with deviating from the schedule. He is the first one done with his work in the classroom. He is rushing to finish so he can move on to the next thing. He is correcting you, no matter your status. He doesn't buy the pretense that adults and leaders know more than him. And not caring if he makes you feel small in the process. He is always right. He is wide toothy grin. He is random hugs called "huggies" in the middle of the day. He is torn shredded blankets he can't sleep with out. He is a lover red eyed tree frogs. He's a restless sleeper. He is falling on the floor in the middle of the night, and not even noticing.

He has his father's eyes. Ears.

He is so excited the kids at school think he is a good soccer goalie. He's most proud of blocking the ball with his face.

He's so smart, we struggle to keep him stimulated. So does his teacher.

He is still talking about how they all loved the lego airplane he brought for show and tell weeks ago. He dropped it on the way in the doors of the school, and I am so thankful I saw it happen because I was able to stop the car, get out, and help him rebuild it and then take it into the classroom. Broke my heart, but we rebuilt exact, and he wasn't nearly as upset about it as I was on the inside. If I drove him to school he'd bring legos for show and tell all the time.

He has incredible penmanship.

He loves trophies. He talks about his wrestling medals all the time. In fact he doesn't even care if he earns the trophy- Hunter can earn medals for him on the wii, and he's just as proud to have them sit beside his name (or on his shelf in his room).

He talks endlessly about his "really close friend" at school. We learned this week that he makes notes and pictures for this friend, and the friend's refrigerator is covered in things from Ben.

He loves taking the school bus so much.

He brings a proud smile to both our faces everyday, sometimes more than once a day. He makes us laugh, and brings us so much joy, pride, and love. He's our Bubba.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tiny epiphanies...

Tiny epiphanies happening again tonight. Thinking about my weight rut and my recent experiences at the gym. I am watching Biggest Loser and trying to pinpoint why it isn't motivating me like it used to. I put Theo through one of my rambling rants but I came to some ideas I like.

I don't like limitations.
I don't like feeling like I can't have something, and my usual response to this feeling is to have it in excess just because I can- like a kid not allowed to have soda at home going to birthday and drinking cup after cup after cup (Ben has actually done this). I always go back to my three years on weight watcher's where I never, ever "cheated," and I had assigned all these values to food choices. I don't ever want to live a life where cake is always a no. Where I feel like can't bake for my kids because I will eat the whole loaf of pumpkin bread in one day.
I am awful at moderation. I need to work on this. This concept of moderation must become and remain my focus.

I also don't like having physical limitations. When I hurt my back a few summer ago (walking a few miles a day pushing my too big kids in a double stroller up a hill over and over, duh, exercising), the result was I couldn't do my normal housework, couldn't get through grocery shopping. I was so frustrated. I gained a ton of weight because I could not do much, and I was depressed and I ate and ate and ate. I topped out over 300 lbs.

I can remember crying in Walmart because I had forgotten something on my list that was all the way at the other end of the store, and I physically could not get back over there to get it- it hurt just to get the register, just to get the car. Regardless of vicodin, muscle relaxers, walking around with my tens unit attached to my back-there were days I could not grocery shop. Seriously. The helplessness of not being able to go back up and down the steps for the kids was awful. I would breath so heavy, and sometimes it felt like I would die. Just awful. Through physical therapy I was able to get my back pain under control. I loosely did weight watchers on/off since then and have lost some weight, gained some weight.
Lately, weight loss has not been my story. I have not been able to track food successfully without quitting, and I have not been able to just tell myself to eat good- but up until this last week I have been going to gym consistently. I came to the conclusion that I want to keep going to the gym because I don't like being bedbound. I don't like not being able to to what I need to be able to do. I want to be able to go up and down steps without pain!

...So I am not going to the gym to be the biggest loser, I am going to live. I can't let this week of not going to the gym become my reality, I can't quit.

Just my thoughts tonight.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Me. Right now.

I love gingerbread lotion. coco madamemoiselle perfume. apple crumble air freshner. pizza. archer farms peanut butter chocolate ice cream. salad with cranberries, walnuts, goat cheese, and blush wine vinagrette. apples. apple crisp. roaming target alone. doing the elliptical at the gym. cuddling my cats. drinking more coffee than I should. I am loving my fair isle knit mukluks slipper boots, and I live in them. Am obsessed with finding the perfect mid-tone brown moccassins.

Can't live without my Old Navy fleece pants. I'd buy more if I could ever find them in stock. If I liked laundry more, I'd wear them nearly everyday. I am also loving this jumbo infinity scarf I made.

Am bored with the weather. 50 and sunny. 50 and sunny. blah blah blah. I am ready for some snow. I bought snowpants. My very first pair! Like in my whole life. I grew up So Cal- we didn't need them there. I didn't snow fall until I was 15!

I can't manage my time. I get too easily distracted. I am really struggling to work from home, and have way too much I want to do.

I am reaching a boiling point in regards to my silent illnesses. I have wanted to post that cheesey cliche little blurb on facebook about, "If you've ever known someone with a silent illness like depression, etc." So not me to post something like that, but you know what? Fibromyalgia might be the worst of them all! Sometimes, yes, I feel good enough to do a strenuous things. Somedays I go at my own pace all day and somedays I can't. That doesn't mean I'm better- I'm not healed. It doesn't mean my illness is fake. Or imagined. It isn't going anywhere, but I am striving to control it. I am so sick of the people in my life not getting this. I'm tired of explaining myself. So I am trying to just not do the things I can't- hoping everyone will come to expect less of me. I also have raynauds, si dysfunction, a bum knee, bad feet, anxiety and that-weird-named-thing where the muscles in my throat contract instead of expand. A whole slew of things you can't see. And you know what? They all suck. And my life has changed because of them. Phew, I got a little pissy there for a second, but I feel better now.

I pee too often. Is my bladder shrinking? If I was a man I would think I had prostate issues.

I am...

Addicted to pinterest.

So in love with Etsy.

Planning on learning to shoot a gun, so I can hunt with Theo next year.
Sweater obsessed.

Disliking driving.

Loving Autumn Leaves candles.

Missing having friends in my neighborhood. I miss my old house, too, but I love the one I am in as well. I guess I miss the idea of my old house. This one has the most wonderful high ceilings, big yard, porch-like front room, cool storage, and great old hard wood floors. I can't wait to have our Christmas tree in here!

Really missing having more places to shop close by! If you would have told me I would come to view Janesville, Wisconsin a mecca for shopping I probably would have hit you. Now, I have so much less to choose from. Puts a damper on my retail therapy and clearance deal thrill hunts.

Buffalo has these sweet monthly sale shops, but so far our shedule hasn't allowed me to visit them as much as I would like. The best part of town for me is the antique store. Open everyday. Reminds me of the old one in the Milton College gym.

My normal neutral is brown, but it is shifting to gray which is really causing an uproar in my closet. Think I may be having a mid life crisis. I can barely listen to country music, which for the last 7 years has been all I could listen to. I find myself drawn to folk, coffee shop music, singer songwriter stuff and anything with a great beat. Mumford and Sons, Coldplay, and oddly enough, Rihanna. I think that little guy Pitbull is hot-when my type is more Toby Keith? And my favorite right now: I love Adele. Except for the smoking, I think I'd like to be her. Am I clinging to mainstream pop culture to feel younger? Theo makes so much fun of me. He says I have terrible taste in music lately.

For some reason I am also getting into TV? I have been very anti-television for some years now. Finding the ability to sit still long enough for a tv show was just not in me, but now with knitting, I watch a lot of tv. So weird. Theo loves this!

Journals. Lists. Notepads. They litter my coffee table- which is like my office desk.

Haven't dusted since May, when we moved in. It's getting 'grody' in here.

So over cleaning.

I love chartruese. Or acid green. I am hunting for treasures made with dark yellow vintage velvet.

Knitting 8-10 hours a day, not including the time I make networking and learning and seeking inspiration. I have about 10 projects on the backburner, and about a 150 skeins of yarn waiting to be molded into the next thing. But I am so glad I took the time to knit all summer so my shop is well stocked. I have been making consistent sales, and it brings me so much joy. I am also finding all those years working in customer service have made me a pretty good little saleswoman.

After a long while of bumps in the road of life, I'm learning I'm pretty good at shrugging things off. Letting go and letting God. Trusting in a power higher than myself and my needs and my wants.

Trying to fall back in love with myself. I believe that makes me better at loving God, my family, my work, my kids, my home.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

This one's a real turkey.

He is "hive," (five). He is the reason I understand parenting is not about making your kids not only what you want them to be, but also who they are. He loves wii. Plays with more animation than I do most things-narrating and talking to the characters in the game the whole time. He is loud. Noisy. Sticky. Stubborn. Wickedly funny. Adorable.

He almost never remembers to flush the toilet. He misses about 40% of the time. He doesn't like taking the time to lift the seat, so I sit in his sprinkles more often than I'd like to share. He wipes only when we reminded, but I think this is because of his perfect little butt he almost always has a clean break type-of-poop, and so he doesn't totally get the necessity of wiping. He's insanely picky about socks, and shoes- they can't be the least bit "wiggly" or he'll freak... and sit there doing it over and over until he gets it right. He would live in his cowboy boots if I let him. I think he'd sleep in them. As he sits on the floor in the entry hall of school switching into his classroom shoes I have told him, "If I wanted a teenage girl, I would have had one." This is our dynamic.

See the temporary tatoos? He applies those himself, from his secret stash. Uses my good kitchen towels, and gets the bathroom floor soaking wet every time. Hands full of marker stains-match the ones I scrubbed of the hard wood floors this week. He could color all day. Sometimes does. Picks out his own clothes- and don't try and fight him if he wants to wear his neon orange basketball shorts that have not really fit for 2 years-even if it's 40 outside. He loves to eat. He likes, "Muh-in-ez," (muffins), "kee trips," (cheese strips), "hear-ee-uhl," (cereal), and, "host with pray butter," (toast with spray butter). Has to have mustard with everything. He eats spicy white queso (kee) and tortilla chips (tor-tee-uh hip-ez) every single day. Never finishes a whole apple, and hides the rest from me in random places- like behind furniture. You would not believe the places I have found banana peels.

He is a comedian. He's telling dad in the car, "Hee dat pink trash can? Ben would like dat. Cuh it is pink." He's singing, "Ben ih a gurl, Ben ih a gurl. Oh yeah. Oh yeah."

He'll tell you off- with attitude. And most of the time, only we know what he's saying for sure. He struggles with the last sounds we typically learn- s-f-ch-sh-th-l and a few others. When he's done fighting you on the issue (and mom and dad have usually won) he'll end it with "Hine!" and stomp off. He makes deals with dad, and holds dad super-accountable. Most recently, the bad word deal. Stemmed from us constantly telling Hunter not to use bad words, but his argument that dad "u-ez dem all the hime." If dad doesn't use bad words, Hunter won't. If dad does, Hunter repeats him. Nothing is off limits, if he's heard it, he'll say it- doesn't help we both laughed the first time we heard him say, "muh-der hucker." We're terrible parents. Not really, but in terms of convention- we are not. Not conventional. I mean, after we leaughd we lectured him on how swearing is sin, and in some places it is even against the law and he could go to "hail." Hunter? Didn't really care.

Hunter fears nothing.

Well, okay, he does fear some things. He is afraid of the dark- so he sleeps with the light of his fish tank and a nightlight grandma bought him that projects the solar system on the ceiling. He is afraid to be alone. He won't go upstairs to get something without someone with him- most of the time. On a really bright sunny quiet day, and there's something he really wants, he'll go up. But he hurries. And forget coming downstairs in the middle of the night to pee. We hear him wake up his "bruder," and make him go with. Sometimes when he is watching a movie with Ben he runs in the other room and tells Ben to tell him when the scary part is over. And the one time we had a snake in the basement, he would not go down there and see it. In the yard- he loves them. In the basement- not so much.

He loves to cuddle. He has the squishiest cheeks and I swear they have healing powers. He makes these adorable little squeeky sounds when he cuddles. He has to sleep right up against his brother, usually wraps his arms around him. Up until this summer he climbed in bed with me every night and slept face to face, with his arms wrapped around my neck. He dances all the time. Rocks out, and makes up songs. He knows the words to many commericals, radio songs, etc. and will sing all day long with serious rythym and 'tude. He's passionate about his clothing choices. He is very random. And extremely inquisitive. He is adorable. Charms the 'hit outta every one he meets. He loves baseball and has a ton of "raw talent," dad says. He's boundless energy, creativity, entertainment, love.

He's our Hunter Joe. And I am so glad.

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Chores

Last night Theo and the boys tackled the front yard leaves one more time. We rent a house on a larger lot in town, and have abouts 13 trees (if the sun was up, I'd go count!) that dump leaves all over the yard. It's wonderfully shady in spots all summer, but wow, oh wow, does it make for a month long clean up this time of year!

Lucky for Theo the neighbor accepts all leaves in his compost pile. So one a pile is made, they shove it onto a tarp, and drag it back- a lot easier than bagging for sure.

I could not resist the cliche urge to drop my knitting and take some picture of the boys in the leaf pile. When I first walked out there Hunter was pulling a classic Hunter, pouting about something or other. Arms folded tight. Lips pursed. Back to us.

He mumbled various reasons for the fit, but as soon as he saw how much fun Ben was having in the leaf pile he warmed back up and hoped none of us remembered.

Unsuspecting! Theo sneaks up and dumps leaves over Ben.

They are in there:

By, far my favorite picture of the boys in a long while.

Happy autumn!

My 7 year old knows more Spanish than me.

Lately my favorite time of the evening is when dad helps Ben do Spanish homework. There are two awesome moments.

One, when Ben has to translate the sentence, "I am a girl." Theo giggles when Ben says it, and Ben usually punches Theo.

Second, there is the sentence "What do we learn in school." Theo reads it in Spanish and asks Ben to tell him what it says in English. Ben never gets it, so theo is forced to read the sentence in English, which every single time results in Ben instead answering the question, "Math, Science, Reading... ."


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Ben's Birthday

It's been a month, so I should blog about Ben's Bday- since I don't see scrapbook time in my near future.

I can't quite pin down where I lost her, but at some point between losing our house, moving, and my husband being on crutches for 3 months and in a walking boot for additional one month- the Jamie of years past vanished. I've never been all put together- no, wouldn't claim that on a good day ever, but I had time to get things done. Granted, never timely- but they got done. I used to dust, and put away laundry. I can remember having a clean kitchen countertop before. I had time for crafts like making completely frivolous Victorian style cones, and hand knitting Christmas presents two years in a row. Once upon a time I made time to scrapbook everyday, and took and developed frequent pictures. And surely you've seen pictures of the birthday partys I have thrown my kids. You may not have been there to see me almost vomit when the crowds arrived, but nevertheless, partys happened.

This last summer, and into fall I could not find my footing. I still do not have everything unpacked. Some things I know are still in the boxes somewhere- travel mugs, extra tension rods, the cord to my Slice... I want to crawl into one of the boxes and not come out for awhile.

I couldn't even fathom throwing Ben a birthday party here. No way. This house feels so incomplete sometimes, and never fully straightened up. I mean, it feels like home for sure. It is cozy, and cute, and extremely liveable, but just unsettled. For example, today- I kid you not- I discovered the laundry Theo folded last night was still damp, and in a pinch to not be late getting Hunter off to school- I hung the laundry, bras and all, on various parts of my living room, and dining room furniture. Looks like a family of gypsies just passed through.

You cannot see the floor in the boys' room. And after I spend an entire day cleaning it, this happens again. And then again. I'm over it. Frankly. They have been cleaning it now- taking a few hours here and there all week. I will beg Theo to change the sheets on the bunkbed (no-no for my back), before he goes hunting this weekend. I will vaccum and swiffer up there- dust the shelves. But I don't have the time to keep this place clean- even after we purged a garage full of stuff at yard sale and thrift store dump-offs.

So, as my anxiety built for the upcoming 7th birthday of my baby boy, I was searching for a way to not have a party. Given Ben's obsession with Lego Store, the big theme park at the Mall of America sounded like the best solution. We could take him into the store to pick out legos with the money his grandma sent, and then buy ride passes and ride the day away. He loved the idea! I was so relieved, and actually thoroughly enjoyed his birthday for once. We rode the log ride over and over (they let us with the kids, so we only had to pay for their passes). They rode with dad. Ben took breaks to just sit in the lego play area and build stuff. He held my hand and slowly walked through the lego store plotting the next 16 years of lego building. A wonderful day.

Here are a few pictures.

We were all exhausted by the end of the day!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Special Boy

Hunter is so special. First, check his pjs! Glow necklace, too. Singing all the while he made this, "Hoo," (zoo) from legos with the, "Best tunnel I eh-er made, with an umbrella and tornado hy-ren, and I made it wit lots of purple. Dis guy is at the hoo, and dis ih a fish."

Super Theo

My husband is some kind of superhero, I swear. He was off Monday and woke up, unloaded the car from our weekend trip, clipped coupons, fed the kids, got Ben off to school, grocery shopped, raked, mowed half the yard, took a load of donations to a local thrift store that funds schools associated with our church, mailed an order for me, hallowed out pumpkins for carving, searched the house for costume gloves and ran around town looking for last minute replacement gloves, did a load of laundry, and trick or treated with us for a couple hours. All on a foot that was reconstructed this spring- complete with screws, plates, and cadaver bone. He's only been walking for a month now, and still experiences great fatique.

I coughed on the couch. Washed my hands. Knit. Drank Coffee.

Yesterday he worked a full day, and did & folded about 6 loads of laundry. He also put away three loads left out from last week's laundry, did homework with Ben, organized some of his hunting stuff for the upcoming opening of gun deer season, and took the trash out. I had the nerve to call and make a special request for dinner- he even ran to the store on the way home to get what we did not have. Later, he rubbed my back for a few minutes, laughed with me about our kids, listened to me rant, and saved time to cuddle. Super. Hero. I am sure I missing even more.

I am also sure he will say I made him look like a sissy, or something.

Truth is, he is more of a man than any man I've ever known.

He always calls to tell me he loves me. Or he misses me. Even when he is 3 minutes away.

He leaves every one of us satisfied, loved, warm, happy. Even the dog, and his favorite cat, Fat Toby, were fulfilled.

Sometimes I feel so undeserving. Then I remember some of the loser men I've dealt with in my life, and I am so thankful that Theo has restored my faith in man, and brought me the greatest love possible. I try and remind myself I deserve him. We deserve each other. I will avoid trying to list what exactly it is that I did to match his greatness. There is no comparison.

Here are a few shots of our family from this last weekend at a wedding in Illinois.

-Happy Fall!