Friday, October 31, 2008

Emptying the Dishwasher

One of the girls' regular chores is to help empty the dishwasher -- they take care of their dishes and glasses, the silverware, the pots and pans, and anything else that is not breakable and they can reach where it goes.  I do the plates, bowls, glass dishes and everything that belongs up high.  I think we've got a good system going.  :)  Lately Isaak has been wanting to help too, so the girls give him something easy to put away and take his hand and guide him to the appropriate drawer or cupboard.

Today I was in a hurry to get dinner going, so I opened the dishwasher to get my big pot out, and didn't shut it right away.  By the time I had filled the pot with water and set it on the stove, Isaak had come into the kitchen, opened the silverware drawer, and had half of the clean silverware already put away before I had even turned the stove on.

OK, so the silverware wasn't quite as neatly organized as usual, but how many 17 month-olds do you know who put away clean dishes in (mostly) the right place?  :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fall in Tennessee

I love Fall in Tennessee.  The trees start changing colors, the fallen leaves are crunchy underfoot, and the air is crisp and cool.  It cools off enough to break out the sweaters and jackets for our leaf-collecting walks, but the heavy coats can stay packed away for a good while yet.  Our house begins to smell like spiced apple cider on a daily basis, sometimes from candles, but usually from the pot of cider sitting on the stove.  I simmer a small pot of apple cider with a cinnamon stick and a few cloves on the back burner for hours, and not only does it taste wonderful when it's done, but the house smells incredible too.  :) 

Yeah, I do love Fall in Tennessee, with the Fall colors, football season (Go Titans!  Undefeated this far!), the cooler, yeah.  About that cooler weather...they're predicting mid-70s the rest of the week.  

What is there not to love about Fall in Tennessee?!?  :)

Wednesday, October 29, 2008 October!

It's been an interesting day.  We headed out early to run some errands before we started school, and the first store was closed, at the second we got just what we needed, and at the third...well, I always spend more at Walmart than I plan to.  What made it really interesting, though, was the fact that we are still paying for everything in cash...and the cash is slowly but surely disappearing (as cash has a way of doing!).

When, after two days of searching, Mike's wallet still hadn't turned up, I took out a bunch of cash (enough to last us a few weeks, just in case), and then we cancelled our debit and credit cards.  No problem.  As soon as we get the paperwork to get new ones issued, we'll have new cards within the week.  Yesterday, someone found Mike's wallet at the hangar, only three days late to un-cancel the debit and credit cards.  Still, not a problem.

Oh, wait!  NOW we find out that Mike leaves Sunday for an overnight Florida, where he'll have to pay out of pocket (although he'll be reimbursed in the long run) for hotel and meals.  Hmm.  That pile of cash suddenly isn't looking too healthy!  But thanks to my secret stash of emergency cash (and I think this qualifies as an emergency!) and a quick trip to a bank to turn all my coins into paper money...he'll be set and ready to go.  And I have a feeling that after all this, it will be quite a while before he loses his wallet again!

In spite of all the wallet-related extra trips, headaches, and phone calls, combined with the fact that life has continued on at its same crazy pace, we are doing well.  Everyone is healthy, we're right on track with our lessons, and I'm even staying caught up on laundry and dishes.  And, since I've been counting my blessings all day, I got ambitious and made Thanksgiving dinner for dinner!  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tomato Update

It's been a busy week!  I did 8+ loads of "catch-up" laundry on Wednesday and Thursday, tore apart the entire house hunting for a missing wallet on Thursday (I won't name names...), and spent Friday driving Mike around as he worked on replacing the contents of said wallet.  (Oops!  Did I just name a name?!?)  :)  And we managed to finish all of our schoolwork for the week on top of everything else!

The tomatoes, on the other hand, spent the week taunting me from their spot on the table in the old dining room.  I just kept imagining them getting riper, and softer, and starting to go bad...but I planned to do them on Thursday.  Then Friday.  But life kept happening!  So I planned to do them Saturday.  That's when I discovered that (due to life continuing to happen!) I only had until 1:00 to get them done.


Saturday morning I started a batch of salsa with about ten pounds of the tomatoes, then called in the troops for an Emergency Tomato Rescue Operation.  (That would be ETRO in Army-speak!)  Macey sorted tomatoes and pulled off stems, Jaela washed the good ones, I cut off tops and halved them all, and Anya "squooshed" them.  We went through 70 pounds of tomatoes in three hours, and then when we were done, three little voices chimed "Thank you, Mommy, for letting us help!".   

I bagged up all the pulp and juice in Ziploc freezer bags and stuck them all in the freezer, thinking that even if they lose some of their freshness, at least they won't go bad.  And there they sit, patiently waiting until Thursday, when I plan to begin Operation Spaghetti Sauce.

At least that's the plan!  :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Treadmill

I've told Mike often that I wanted a treadmill, and he researched and researched until he found one that I could walk on, he could run on, and that we could afford.  He uses it almost every day, and I use it...well, I have great intentions of using it almost every day!  (But that's another subject...)

Isaak knows Daddy runs on it, so whenever he sees it he runs over and climbs on, then runs back and forth on it with a HUGE grin on his face.  Just like Daddy...kind of!

At least SOMEONE besides Mike enjoys getting on that thing!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It WAS Worth It!

Remember back in September when I turned 40 pounds of tomatoes into spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, and tomato soup?  Well, I got 80 pounds this time, so it must have been worth it!

And that funny looking tomato on top of the pile of boxes?  It was in a pile of "unsaleable rejects" -- the farmer gave it to the girls because they thought it was neat.  :)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

Well, that's not quite accurate, but it feels that way!  Uncle Ty got here Thursday night and he leaves tomorrow morning.  It was fun while it lasted though!  

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

NOW Guess Who's Here!

Once again, we have company!  Grandpa Pat, Grandma Suzie, and Uncle Josh got here on Saturday, and they leave on Saturday.  Uncle Ty gets here tomorrow!  There is always something going on these days, and never a dull moment!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Not Your Average Paper Dolls

Mike and the girls may be done reading Peter Pan, but the story lives on...and keeps taking new forms.  For a while I found paper swords and daggers all over the house and had to break up quite a few sword fights that got out of hand.  Then the girls played dress-up and Anya would ask me if I knew the names of "Twinker Bell's" friends, so Jaela and Macey could be fairies too.  I've lost track of how many different pictures they've drawn of the characters and storyline, and they made paper dolls from the story, too.  These are Macey's:  "Piter Pan, Twikrbil, Windy, Jone, Mikle, Catom Hook, and Smee".

I'm looking forward to seeing what games and creations they come up with for their new bedtime story with Daddy.  It could prove to be a challenge for them...he's reading James and the Giant Peach! :)

A Tale of Two Glasses

This morning, Jaela dropped a glass.  It just slipped out of her hands and went straight down.  We all froze when we heard it hit the tile floor, and then looked.  It was in one piece!  Water went everywhere, but the glass hit squarely on the thick bottom, and the girls and I were SO impressed that it had not even cracked.  Isaak, still in his highchair, even contributed an impressed-sounding "Oooh!"  :)  (And I made Jaela get a new glass, just in case!)
After lunch, Anya dropped a glass.  She was getting out of her chair and fell.  She dropped the glass in her chair, and we all heard it shatter.  Isaak was still eating in his highchair, Jaela and Macey froze where they were, and I caught Anya in mid-air as broken glass shards showered all over the floor.  She got one little cut on the top of her foot from a falling piece of glass, and after we had all admired the cut and given her a bandaid, the girls went upstairs to stay out of my way while I cleaned up the glass.
As I was sweeping, I began to think about the contrasts between the two events.  One glass fell from 3 or 4 feet up onto a tile floor and stayed upright and unbroken.  The other glass fell less than a foot onto a chair and broke spectacularly and with great drama.  I was DEEP in thought.  (Does that tell you how my morning has gone?  DEEP in thought over two cheap glasses, in the middle of a giant clean-up job...)  I'm sure that if I had thought hard enough I could have come up with a great, deep lesson to have learned from these two glasses, but as I was dumping the first dustpan-full of glass into the garbage, I heard giggling coming from the direction of Isaak's highchair.  Gleeful giggling.  There's just no other way to describe it.

He was taking double handfuls of yogurt out of his bowl, holding his fists up in the air over his head and squeezing.  When the yogurt started to drip out between his fingers, he would move his head around, trying to catch all of the drips with his head.  Giggling gleefully all the while.  When his hands were empty, he would pull his yogurt covered hair up until it stood on end, and then, when he finally noticed me watching him, he grinned.  Gleefully.
Did I learn any great, deep lessons from my Tale of Two Glasses?  


Don't leave even a partial bowl of yogurt in front of a toddler while you sweep up broken glass.

Foiled again!

The Tooth Fairy visited our house again last night, and despite yet ANOTHER elaborate plan to catch her in action, Jaela, Macey, and Anya were foiled again!

"How does the Tooth Fairy always know when we're asleep?!?"  :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Made in China

This afternoon while the girls were unloading the dishwasher:

M (picking up one of Isaak's cups):  Look, Mommy, this cup was made in China!
J (little-miss-know-it-all):  Lots of things are made in China, Macey.
M:  I know that, but I can tell this one was because it says on the bottom "Made in China".
A (picking up one of the coffee mugs):  Jaela and Macey, look!  THIS cup says "Made in China" too!
J & M:  Anya!
J:  How do you know?!?
M:  Did you READ that?!?
A:  MOMMY!!!!  I can read "Made in China"!

Such excitement!  :)  

Anya tells me that she can read a few words -- cat, dog, God, Jaela, Macey, Anya, Isaak...and now "Made in China" too!  And I could tell her that she can actually read quite a few more words besides those...but she IS only four.  I think I'll wait a little longer before we fully open THAT particular can of worms.  :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Jaela and Macey!

Jaela and Macey turned 7 on October 1!  Hard to believe, isn't it?!?  :)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Guess Who's Here!

We have company!  Grandpa Bill and Grandma Joan got here Saturday night.  As usual, we are insanely busy "going and doing", so posts this week (not to mention time spent on the computer!) will be few and far between!  But I'm not complaining!  :)