Saturday, October 27, 2007

A "Perfect" Day

Yesterday was what Joseph declared a perfect day. It all started with me going up to Kohl's for an interview. Even though I am recommended by Travis, there is a lot of red tape that they claim I have to go through, so I went and interviewed. It was easy because normally Travis does all the interviewing so he just told me what I was going to be asked. We'll wait to see what my next step is going to be. Hopefully it will be decided soon. We could use the money.

After I came home from the interview, we took the boys (did I mention Travis had the day off?) to the Panda Express. Joseph has wanted to eat there for a long time. We had to wait until payday. So, off we went. We all had some yummy gourmet chinese food. (www.pandaexpress.com) Joseph must have thanked us a million times yesterday for taking him there.

After our yummy lunch we went to Carpinito Brother's farm to get our pumpkins. They were the biggest ones I have ever seen there! We decided on one giant one and a sugar pumpkin for each boy. We also got some giant celery (like 2 feet long) for Fluffy as a treat. We came home, painted and carved the pumpkins and baked pumpkin seeds. There are some pictures below of the eventful day. This family one is crooked because Travis set the camera on a gigantic pumpkin. I love that!
The one on the left is Spencers, and the other is Josephs. (notice Joseph's pumpkin is a slightly green one. He loves green!)
The rainbow pumpkin is Connors. The boys all voted on how they wanted our jack-o-lantern to look this year. Isn't he cute?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Plans Delayed

We were planning to go get pumpkins on Tuesday, but those plans got delayed. We are now going on Friday. I was supposed to go to my Weight Watchers meeting today as well, but those plans got delayed. Why? Because Joseph's body decided that 98.6 wasn't a temp. it wanted to be at and climbed up to as high as 103 for a while. Poor kid just laid on the couch and whimpered. He has a small cold to go with it, but is beginning to look like he is on the mend. The fever was gone for several hours this morning. It's back this afternoon, but only a little one. I'm just praying that the other two don't get it and we can all have a good weekend.

Travis just sent me a msg that I may need to go in for my interview on Friday, so we'll have to see how that affects all of our plans. I told Joseph that if he took his meds and rested lots and got better that not only would we take him to get a pumpkin Friday, but we would also take him to Panda Express and let him try Chinese food. He saw it on tv once and has been bugging us about it ever since. He and I looked up recipes for Chinese Fried Rice a couple of weeks ago. We found a good recipe and cooked it for dinner one night. That satisfied him for a while, but he sees the Panda Express every time we go to Kohl's (it's next door) and he is determined to see for himself what is so great about it. He does, however, know that he doesn't like egg rolls. Travis and I love em and get them at the ever Chinese...Jack in the Box. (o:

As far as my job at Kohl's...it looks like I will probably doing the interview on Friday. I guess that the interview is a necessary formality and that the job is already mine. It's difficult to get me in for the interviewing and the orientation stuff because that is Travis's job and due to conflict of interest, he can't interview and train his wife, so they are having to improvise. (o: I'll let you all know how it all goes.

Gotta go. We have been working for almost a week now on a paper mache pumpkin. We have done 4 layers of newspaper and now we are going to paint it orange. We were thinking of making popcorn balls (isn't that an old traditional Halloween treat?) and putting them in the pumpkin then taking them to Kohl's to hand out to Travis's co-workers. Sounds like fun! We take a lot of food to those guys. Maybe that's why they are eager to hire me. Every once in a while Travis will come home and say that people are asking for some of Travis's wifes famous cookies. (I make snickerdoodles~pretty ordinary ones) I just don't think people bake anymore and a homemade cookie is a treat.

Anyway~babbling going on here. Later!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Alms for the Poor

As I was laying on the floor with my youngest this morning, I was thinking about the Disney cartoon "Robin Hood" when he's dressed up like a blind beggar, holding his cup out and saying, "Alms, alms, for the poor." Imagine me being the blind beggar, only not blind and not a red fox. Why do I say this? Well, for a few reasons, but I was mainly thinking of it this morning because... Remember the make-believe I told you about earlier? Well, the boys have discovered that the little heater in the living room blows warm air. Not only that, but it is in kind of a little nook, so when they put all their blankets and pillows in front of the little heater, they are in their own little paradise. They'll be dripping with sweat and pretending to be cozy in front of the fire. They'll have their hot chocolate, sitting in front of the heater with the back door wide open cause it's too hot. See what I'm leading to? My electric bill is going to go through the roof! We are limiting this make belive to early morning and late evening now. Still, it's gonna cost us. (but they're having so much fun!)

We have never been super financially secure. We will someday. I have full confidence in Travis and his abilities. He chose a career that moves kind of slowly in the advancement department, but he will get there. In the mean time, it looks like I will be taking on a part time job to help supplement our income at least during the holidays. Kohl's is looking for people to work in the evenings on the Ad Set team, so if they want me, they can have me. I know the Ad Set person wants me, but there is a lot of red tape to go through, so it may take a week or two to get hired on, but it looks like that's what will happen. They are agreeing to arrange Travis's schedule so that he has early shifts on the nights that I would do ad set. They usually work from 6-midnight or somewhere around there. I'll keep you all posted. I'm just not a tupperware seller and I can't find anyone that would pay me big bucks for my special skills of diaper changing, snotty nose wiping, and laundry washing. Not one that I can do out of my home anyway. I guess if I wanted to go be someones nanny or maid I could, but I am already a very underpaid nanny and maid. (o:

Anyone catch the Seahawks game last night? I know~it's Sunday and naughty to watch football on Sunday, but it's the Seahawks!!!!! And they beat my little brother's (David) poor little St. Louis Rams. We did feel a bit sorry for the Rams, but not much. (o: GO HAWKS!!!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Halloween Decor


Today for school we spent the morning doing some crafty stuff to decorate our front door. We have made a big old scarecrow the past few years, but decided to do something different this year. The boys made the paper mummies, the paper jack-o-lanterns and we made the scary ghost out of a toilet paper roll and a garbage bag. We drew eyes and a mouth on it, but of course, it turned for the picture. We also made felt pumpkins for inside and started a paper mache pumpkin. We did the first layer today. Connor especially loved painting the goo all over the newspaper and balloon. We will have to post a picture of it when we are all done.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Make Believe

Travis and I have always played a silly game of make believe when it's cold out. We love to get all snugly under blankets and pretend like we are in a little shack out in Alaska or somewhere else really cold. We are all warm and comfy in our little shack. Yes, even after 13 years of marriage, we still will see a little shack on tv, or a picture of one, and say,"Ohh, look, that's a perfect make believe shack!" I checked out a dvd on the amazing man, Dick Proenneke (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Proenneke). (the dvd is called "Alone in the Wilderness" & the book is called "One Man's Wilderness:An Alaskan Odessey") Dick lived in Alaska all by himself. He built himself a little cabin completely by hand with just a few hand tools. He recorded himself building the cabin and all the things that went in it. He lived there for 30 years. His home is now part of a National park. The boys were fascinated with this. They especially loved watching him build his fireplace. Let me tell you...that dvd and accompanying book gave me make believe fodder for weeks!

Why am I telling you all of this. (besides the fact that Mr. Proenneke is absolutely fascinating?) Well, all of the sudden, our boys have decided that make believe is a very important part of their lives. "Of course it is~they're kids!" I can hear you all saying this right now. Agreed. But, the way they are playing is what is so intriguing. You see, up until just recently, Travis and I have never told our kids about our little make believe. But, we are seeing patterns that we believe can only be nature instead of nurture. Surely! Joseph has been locking himself in the playroom in the evening with the little tv on, watching "The Polar Express", all snuggled up in a big blanket. When I went back to check on him, he said to please leave because he was doing make believe and when I go in the room, it's not cold and snowy anymore. HA! And the real kicker... Connor. Lately he has been opening up the refrigerator, then laying on the floor with a pillow and blanket and declaring that it's soooo cold~he needs his blankeys! Oh, and they almost always (all 3 boys) ask for hot chocolate at one point in their play. You see? These kids have inherited this desire.

Okay, okay, so most people like to be snuggled up on a cold night. Perhaps this isn't a really unusual make believe type of play. BUT~it's our favorite and it's very exciting to see that the boys enjoy it as much as we do. Do you understand the fun that we are going to have this winter? Last year the power went out in all of Seattle. For some like us, it was only 2 days. For others it was a week! It was December, snowy and cold! The kids loved all of the candles, flashlights, fires in the fireplace, and cooking on the grill. We read American Short Stories out loud to each other and played games with the kids in the dark. It was great fun, but very very cold. This winter, we now have plans to do the same thing as last year, only have the actual option of power if needed. (o:

I guess that it is Sunday afternoon, just had a big lunch, feeling a bit sleepy....that is why I am posting about such silliness. But, I ask you all...isn't that kinda what life is all about? Shouldn't we all be using our imaginations and creativity a little bit more? Isn't there enough yuckiness out there that being silly once in a while and having that escape is good for us? I think so. So, for all of you out there reading this. Go find something fun and silly to do that you normally wouldn't confess to the universe. Take a break from the bills and worries and take some happy time for yourself. I'm hoping that it will make you feel younger. It works for me.(o: And if you have the chance~look into Dick Proenneke's little cabin. You won't be disappointed!

Everyone have a super fabulous Sunday! I'll be back on Tuesday at the latest to report all the info. from Connor's 3rd Annual checkup.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Homemade Again?!

Last night the boys and I decided to make homemade pizza. We started with the dough~yeast and all. Joseph was disappointed that we didn't get to watch the dough grow big like when we made the bread, but thought it was hilarious watching me try to turn the dough to make a nice big even circle. (It was a circle in the end, but not even) I refused to toss it in the air because making homemade dough is a lot of work and if I dropped it on the floor and had to start over I would have been really mad. The boys helped put the toppings on. We did one little section of sausage for Daddy, and one little section of veggies for Mommy. The rest was cheese. They kept saying~more cheese please, more cheese please. The thing had almost a pound of the greasy yellow stuff when we got done. As soon as it came out of the oven, Joseph brings the camera to me. He wanted me to take a picture and send it to his Grandparents. So, see photo below. A giant circular artery clogging piece of yumminess!

In other news~Fluffy is doing very well and the neighbors downstairs finally complained to us about our noise. (we are on the 2nd floor) She said it was annoying that we ran around all day long and that maybe I should take my kids out more often. (I look out the window and it's pouring raining.) I'm sorry that we are too noisy for your liking, but don't ever tell me how to parent my children! These are people who have two tiny kids. One goes to preschool half a day. So, she sits at home in silence and listens to my kids walk around all day. Maybe she should get out more. We chatted with the apartment manager and explained that we do try to not be annoying. We have rules~no jumping from couches, tables, beds etc onto the floor, no slamming doors, and after 7pm, no running around or wrestling. Umm, we homeschool, so we are kinda home more often. Homeschooling. Plus, Connor never learned to walk. He went straight from crawling to running. Our apartments are privately owned. Two buildings. (I love them!) Our little complex is FULL of small children. (over half are Mormons) (o: (Our apartment manager is our ward's Elders Quorum President.) So~our manager, Devin, laughed when we told him about this cause he tells everyone who wants to move in that there are LOTS of kids in the complex and they have to promise to be tolerant of kid noise. He informed these people we had 3 boys and then took them downstairs and had them listen to us before they decided to move in. They said it was very reasonable~no big deal. Not too long ago, Devin asked how things were and they said fine and even complimented us on how quiet we are in the evenings around bedtime. So, what's the deal now?

I know I am putting way more into this than needs to be, but to have someone come up and tell me that my kids are annoying (that's only MY job), and that I need to be taking them out more to run around~that really ticks me and Travis off. I even asked her what time of day she naps her kids so that I can do quiet activities with my kids during that time. She said, "Well, in the afternoon, but your kids are annoying all day!" Well, thanks a lot. I think they need to go get a house! By the way. The 11 year old boy above us is learning to play the drums! We've never complained cause they warned us he was going to do it and because we understand that we live in an apartment!

Anyway~enough of that. You should never tell me I'm annoying when I have PMS. (o: I feel better now that I have vented to the entire internet universe. I better go. We are going to take cookies to Travis and his co-workers. Gotta take my kids out more often you know. (o:

Monday, October 8, 2007

Connor's Birthday! (with a little Fluffy thrown in)

Saturday was Connor's 3rd birthday! I can't believe that my baby is 3! It doesn't seem fair that they stay small for such a short time. Connor was my favorite birth (if I'm allowed to have one) cause I went in on my own-no inducing. The labor and delivery were really easy! Anyway, today he had a fun day at home with the family. We watched College football (watching football is one of his favorite things to do) and then we had Grandma and Grandpa Nelson over for dinner. Again, we invited Grandma Teese and Grandpa Clair, but they declined. Too long of a drive just for chocolate cake. (only 3,000 miles-come on!)

Connor got lots of good loot including things like brand new Thomas shoes, lots of underwear and clothes, trucks, a helicopter, a train, cars, and a wooden garbage truck that we got to put together. (thanks grandma teese!) In all fairness though, I did say it was okay to get him the truck. I understood that some assembly was required, but had no idea it was that much! It took me 1 1/2 hours to complete, but it is one cool and sturdy truck and he loves it. I will put pictures at the end of the post that you may peruse at your leisure. (o:

In other news~Fluffy Visits Vet!~ We started to notice last week that the fur on the end of Fluffy's nose was going away and the skin was looking a little sore. So, we researched it on the net and everyone said it was probably mites that he picked up while in the pet store. Mites~something not recommended we treat ourselves. (like I'd know how anyway) So, today Joseph and I loaded little Fluffy up into a box and took him to the Vet. Joseph was a nervous wreck and barely made it through the exam. I thought for sure he would faint when they took a little skin and hair sample from Fluffy's nose. While we waited for results, he held Fluffy tightly and told him how much he loved him and what a brave guinea pig he was. Luckily, the pig didn't need any shots (Josephs ultimate fear)~instead we were given a nice and expensive treatment to take home. He did have mites, but mostly mite eggs. The treatments should take care of those. We came home and bleached out his cage, threw away all the wood chips cause they attract mites, spent an hour shredding newspaper for his new bedding, and made him a nice hiding house out of a plastic bucket instead of wood or cardboard to guarantee no mites will hang out. Needless to say~a happy ending for all. We now have paid out about a billion times more than we paid to get the thing. Oh well! (o: We still love him!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Jumping Salmon!



video

We had a very fun day on Wednesday! Travis had the day off, so he got to come with us on a field trip. This time of year the salmon are swimming up the stream and returning home to spawn at the Issaquah hatchery. They have a bridge built over the stream right before they get to the "gates" at the hatchery. By nature, they want to continue swimming up, so there is a kind of homemade waterfall that I've never seen a single fish jump over. Their only choice is to eventually swim to the side where a gate is. Then they jump the ladder and into the tanks where they are seperated and into tanks and then their eggs can be harvested. It is fun and amazing to watch. I have some video that Travis took of them trying to jump the waterfall. We were hoping to get them jumping the ladder, but the ladder was closed at the time we were there. I do have a picture below from last year of the ladder. It pretty much looks the same. (o:

The boys had a lot of fun. They thought the salmon were silly to continually try to jump up. All I know is they are very large fish and I wish I had a couple on my dinner table. (o: Right now it is the Chinook's season, so that is what you are looking at. I've also included some still photos of them jumping and the boys looking at the fry pool.
(this is the ladder)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

A Movie Starring Fluffy!


video


Hooray! I think I figured out how to put video on my blog. Happy day! The only thing is~I didn't actually think this would work, so the video quality is kinda poor, I hadn't vacuumed my floor, and since the kids were all in bed, it was quiet-EXCEPT for the Ken Burns "The War" documentary blaring in the background. (I highly recommend that documentary). So, please turn down your volume and so you don't have to listen to The War, and pretend like you are completely fascinated by our little guinea pig and just humor me while I am learning all these cool new tricks! Thanks


Here is a closeup of our little dear!


Monday, October 1, 2007

Not Much

I wish I had some hilarious or earth shattering thing to write about today. I don't. I am in a haze, funk, whatever you want to call it, and am not sure how to get out. This leads to kind of a boring homelife. (o:

Today we had a lovely school day. We are beginning to discuss animal habitats, the Aztec, Inca, and Mayan cultures, putting spaces between the words we write, and learning some sign language. Oh, and we are covering a bit of a review from last year on the salmon cause they are all coming home to spawn. We are going to go on a field trip on Wednesday to the hatchery in Issaquah to see the salmon jump the ladder. The boys loved it last year. It is very fascinating. It's really too bad we can't snatch up one of those big suckers and bring him home for dinner! (o:

Yesterday I thought it would be fun to bake some homemade bread. Not something we really do much of. I love to bake, but bread is a lot of work! But, yesterday Travis had to work, so the boys and I were looking for something fun to do. We talked about yeast and then put it to work. Very interesting stuff. The boys were amazed that we can actually make bread like the people at the store sell. I tried to explain that not too long ago, everyone made their own bread because the stores didn't sell it. They refused to believe me. What would they do if I sent them over to my dear friend Shauna's house? www.keepupwithus.blogspot.com The woman just canned a billion gallons of apples. And, since her family has specific food allergies, she makes all their bread! Amazing! Needless to say, the two loaves we made turned out fabulously and Joseph especially, was impressed. I think we are going to have to do some real life pilgrim living next month and see how they do.

Okay, that's all I have to say. I'm trying to pull myself together and get some things accomplished around the house. I hope you all have a super great week and I will be sure to post some pictures of the salmon and our field trip.