Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday 11/30/07 The fridge quit working...

Our refrigator quit working last night. Its never a good time to buy a major appliance. I went to the store today to get a used fridge. They will deliver it tomrrow morning at about 11:00 am.
This sounds so simple...fridge quits...bought new one (new-to-me) gets delivered tomorrow before lunch. In reality, we still have four hungery people at home who are ready to eat dinner, and who will want breakfast in the morning. I didn't think that this would be a problem, we have food in the cupboard. Everything needed milk to cook it. We ended up having macronni and cheese, from a box so that the cheese was in a pouch in the box, canned fruit, canned vegetable, and baked beans. For breakfast we have some instant oatmeal. The kids still like it without milk. I need to get some foods that only require water or that are already ready, like canned spagetti. Something that we could just heat up. the stores sell powdered milk in packets that make one gallon of milk at a time? How long would the powdered milk keep for in the pouches? We need to have a few ''easy to prepare'' foods for emergencies.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday 11/29/07 The tree in front of our house...

The tree in front of our house was cut down this last summer. The city had to take it down before they fixed a broken pipe in the street. They were concearned that the roots would be cut when the street was worked on and the tree would fall. The city came back yesterday and ground up the stump. The did a really nice job. I have to say that they have really done an excellent job with our tree and street. I wonder if they will come back next summer and plant a new tree?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday 11/28/07 Decorating the church...

We decorated the church for Christmas tonight. It was fun. We helped decorate two trees and sang Christmas songs. There were twenty to forty people decorating. The first tree had a long...white...veil type (see through) piece of material that we draped around the tree first. Next we put on green plastic leaves and big bows. It looked very elegent. The second tree, in another room, had some ornament art work from the kids Sunday School class.. After the ornaments were up we took strips of paper and stapled them into a chain to put on the tree. We had about ten kids and three staplers. We were at a round table so we ended up having the kids staple one link to their chain and pass the stapler to the left. When we all had to go the kids stapled their individual chains together to make a long chain. We made a lot of memories tonight.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday 11/26/07 ''The Waltons''...

We needed a television series on DVD to watch at home. I wanted something that I had watched as a kid, so that the content would be ok for my kids. I first thought of "Little House on the Prarie" but there were so few boys on the show. Their brother came in years after the show started. The series that we chose needed to have boys and men so that William would be interested in it too. I also liked "My three Sons", but I can't find it on DVD or VHS. It has all men and one of the boys, is young, one is just starting to date, and one is..I don't know maybe high school. I remember watching it as a child and thinking that the oldest son was really old.
My third choice was "The Waltons". It had lots of boys and men, good values and a lot going on in each episode. My kids love it. William tries not to show that he likes it. Now and then when the show is on William will be walking through the room and he will stop to watch it before he realizes it, he is enjoying the show. We have now watched years one and two.
I didn't realize it when I bought the set that John-Boy is the same age as William. They are both finishing high school.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday 11/23/07 Holidays and shopping...

The kids have almost finished the Thanksgiving left-overs. We will be back to non-holiday foods tomorrow. That's OK. It was fun. We may put the tree up on Sunday. I had wanted to start filling out my Christmas cards, putting on their addresses one night, signing them another...but now I can't find them. I saw the cards last week, I must have moved them. William wanted to go to the bookstore at the mall today, and Beth had money from her birthday to spend. I don't go to the mall very often. I enjoy buying groceries, I just don't enjoy shopping at the mall.
While we were there we saw two little girls on a ride. It was a roller coaster ride. The kids sit in the seat and the view on the screen is what you would see if you were riding on a coaster. It was a ride for little kids. The girls were about three of four years old. Their parents were standing close by. As the screen changed from going up hill to down hill the seat where the girls sat moved so that the riders feel like they are moving on the ride. The little girls were so excited, hanging onto the handle and cheering. I remember when I was young and everything that happened was so exciting.
Beth bought dolly clothes with her money.
We played outside today. I raked up the dead leaves from the hasta plants and only found three of the kids toys under them. The mums have started to bloom. It is so exciting to have some color in the yard.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday 11/22/07 Thanksgiving...

We celebrated Thanksgiving today. First the kids helped me to clean he house up. We vacuumed and put the odds and ends away. Then we made the meal. William finished the deviled eggs. Maggie mashed the potatoes. Beth stirred everything. Every year I say to myself that we should learn to make stuffing from scratch...and every year we don't do it.
We wrote what we were thankful for on the muslin cloth...I put it on the buffet so that we wouldn't spill on it. We all wrote ''friends and family'' on the cloth. I will put it away for next year tomorrow when it has dried. I need to put a note on next years calender where I am putting it, so that I can find it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Wednesday 11/21/07 Thanksgiving preparations...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!
We started getting ready for Thanksgiving tonight. We have a tradition of all four of us pealing the potatoes together. We started it years ago. The first year the kids weren't able to peal many potatoes, but they wanted to try. The next year they were excited to be able to try again. We all sat around the table and the kids all talked about how difficult pealing the potatoes was last year, and how much easier it was this year. Now the kids are old enough to help make another dish for the meal. It is nice to get to teach them to cook and they feel good at the meal that they contributed to helping make it.
Tonight William started the deviled eggs. He cooked and shelled them. The kids are very excited about having a whole day dedicated to eating.
We are starting a new tradition this year. I heard about this from a friend at church...They got a piece of muslin cloth and some cloth pens. Before the Thanksgiving meal they took turns writing on the cloth what they were thankful for, their name and the date. Then the next year they do this again on the same cloth. They said that it is nice to see what each person writes, how the hand writing of the children changes from year to year, and if a relative passes away it is nice to have what they wrote with them at the holiday. It is like having a part of their deceased relative with them. We are going to start this tradition this year.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday 11/14/07 Thanksgiving...

I like all of the holidays. It bothers me that Thanksgiving is now being pushed aside. The kids are now old enough to like all of the Thanksgiving foods. When they were young they wouldn't eat mashed potatoes or turkey. Now they like it. Years ago I told the kids that we won't start decorating for Christmas until all of the Thanksgiving leftovers have been eaten...not the left-over turkey that I froze, just what was in the refrigerator. It gives us a chance to think about this thankful holiday for a day or two.
This morning in the car Maggie asked ''What if we finish all of the left-overs at lunch on Friday, could we put the tree up that same day?'' The kids are really anxious for Christmas to get here this year. I wonder how fast they will eat the left overs? I need to explain to the kids again that my goal is not to have the left-overs eaten quickly, but to enjoy Thanksgiving. We will see how it goes.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday 11/12/07 Dying blue jeans...

Beth asked me the other day if it was possible to dye her jeans pink. I said that I didn't have any idea. She wanted her jeans to match her shirt. We have never dyed anything before. I said that we could get some dye and see if it was possible.
On Saturday we went to the Salvation Army store and bought Beth a pair of jeans for $4.99. Then we went to the Dollar Store and bought a container with a lid that was big enough to dye jeans in. Neither of these stores sold we went to a third store. This store had dye, but no pink dye. They had ''faded white", brown, black, yellow and purple. Beth chose purple. We came home and dyed the jeans. They are drying right now. The inside tag and the inside of the pockets are purple. We think that the jeans are purple, but we can't tell if they are purple, or if it is just wishfull thinking on our part. Beth was so excited to do this, I hope that they turn out.

Monday 11/12/07 William and College...

William has always wanted to go to college. A few years ago I was saying that he should go to the community college. It has smaller class sizes and might be a good place to start. He said ''no'' he wants to go to the local four year college. I finally started to agree with him that he was ready for larger class sizes.
The other day William mentioned that we were almost out of toothpaste. I went to show him again which cupboard the toothpaste was kept in but he said ''no'' he would be leaving to go away to college soon and he really didn't need to know where anything was kept. I said ''away'' to college? He has now decided that he would prefer to go away to college. I have always told the kids that anything is possible, as long as you work hard for it. I hadn't thought that they were listining to me.
We were all talking a few days later and William mentioned that he would be gone in about six months. He said that after he finishes high school he will be filling out his college paperwork and leaving. I have never seen so much enthusium in him. (Where did my little boy who wanted to stay at home go?) I tried to explain that most freshmen classes started in the fall quarter and he may be with us all summer. He is so excited about college, which is cool, and he does truely believe that he can start college the day after he graduates from high school. I do wish that he wanted to go to a local college, and live with us. We will miss him so much, but I don't want to take away any of his excitement and drive.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Friday 11/9/07 Hobbies for me...

There are some hobbies that I would like to have if I had some free time. Here are a few of them:
I would like to buy a sewing machine that embroiders cute pictures on jeans, like hearts or birds. I could buy jeans at garage sales cheaply and put the designs on them. They could be re-sold at my garage sale for more money. I think that the sewing machine could be programmed by someone else and I would just need to put the correct thread into it. The problem is that the machine will probably cost a lot, and I would have to sell a lot of jeans just to break even.
My second idea is making sock dolls. I got a book on making these, and have made one. It took about one evening. The doll is about six inches tall, and really cute. Then I decided to move and didn't have time to do any more. When I am at the store there are so many cute sox that it is hard to say ''move first then get more sox''.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Thursday 11/8/07 Rock Tumblers...

Maggie turned twelve this year. She collects rocks with the neighbor boy. Her birthday present was a rock tumbler. It looked like a nice, low maintence gift. It came with a small base that has a small motor in it and a container with a lid to put the rocks in. There were also three kinds of grit to put in to make the rocks progressively smoother. We had a tererible time getting the container to seal closed. The directions said to put a small ammount of vegetable oil between the container and the lid to get a good seal. It kept leaking. After about ten tries we got it sealed. The problem is that the container sits on it's side in the base as it spins. After we got it sealed we put it in the dining room by the frogs. We needed an open spot by an electrical outlet. When it was turned on it was the loudest thing in the house. We couldn't talk on the phone or hear the TV, and I am sure that the frogs didn't like the noise. We moved it to the living room. That was on Friday night. When we went outside we turned it on...and back off when we came in. It is now in the kitchen, away from the frogs, the phone and the TV. Maggie really likes the gift and is glad that we found a place for it.

Wednesday 11/07/07 Zoo...

We went to the Zoo over the summer. We havn't gone in ta few years. It was fun to go back again. The reason that we went is because the Zoo had a butterfly exibit. We wanted to see what that was like, all of those graceful, fragile creatures flying around us. When we got there the exibit was a room that was warm with a lot of flowers and plants in it. They also had some bowls with sponges in them. In the bowls was a red liquid. I asked the Zoo person that was in the room what the liquid was. She said that it was red Gatoraid. It attracks the butterflies. We went late in the summer, so there weren't a huge number of butterflies, but there were a lot. Some did fly onto us. Whe we left there we went and saw the fish and the monkey exibits. It takes us a long time to go through each area, so we don't see many exibits.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Tuesday 11/06/07 Postcards...

The kid's don't bring home any homework. At their school they have study hall the last class of the day. Their school set this up so that they can do their homework at school where the teachers can help them if they need it. My kids do need help with hand writing...I used to have them keep a journal. Most nights after school, while I am making dinner, they write a few sentences. I have them put the date on it also. They can write about their day, or their favorite toy...or anything. Any writing is good. It all helps their handwriting. The journal was only fun for the kids for a while.
Now I have them send postcards to their cousins. A postcard only needs about two sentences. This made the kids happy, Their cousins have started writing back.
It is cheaper to send a postcard then to send a letter. The stamps are cheaper. Also...the Post Office only requires that the postcard be the correct size, not have any folds in it, and be sturdy. It doesn't make any difference to the Post Office if you make or but the post card. I bought one post card to get the correct size. Then I took some cereal boxes and began tracing and cutting them out. I did need to draw the line on the postcard and tell the kids to only write on the left side of it. If they cross the line there isn't enough room for the address.
They like writing fewer sentences and also getting mail from their cousins. I'm glad that if they make a mistake and want to throw it away to start over, it's ok because it was free.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Monday 11/05/07 Winter Jackets...

About a month ago I started looking for winter jackets for the kids. William has not grown in the last two years and his jacket is still in great shape, so he didn't need a new one. Maggie and Beth still fit last years jacket, but the jackets will be outgrown before winter is over.
I started going to the re-sale shops last month...I knew that it was too early, but ''the early bird catches the worm''. I was hoping to find jackets their size. It didn't happen. We need jackets with attached hoods. Not hats that snap on or zip on, but are part of the jacket, permanently sewn on. The kids always end up loosing their hats and on cold days the kids don't have their ''jacket hat'' to go over their separate hat. So...I kept looking at the shops for jackets in the correct size, with connecting hats and non-frilly for Maggie and frilly for Beth. These types of jackets never came in.
We finally went out last Friday to other stores to look for jackets. Before we left we had William try on his gloves to see how big they were so that I could get him gloves that were large enough. I explained to the girls that we needed to find jackets with connecting hats. Off we went. At store one...the only jacket that we found that the girls like was not on sale and was out of my price range. At store two, we found a jacket for Maggie. She was wearing a thin fall shirt, so we couldn't tell if the jacket would fit in the winter over sweaters. She tried on two sweaters and then put the jacket on to check the size. It fit. We also got her a hat and gloves. At the third store...ok, I was tired now. I don't like to shop and was willing to change my mind on the ''connecting hat'' idea just to let us go home...Beth couldn't find a jacket. She said that none of the ones that she liked had connecting hats. I wanted to tell her that I had changed my mind, but they had listened to my directions so I didn't want to say anything. At the fourth store, Beth found a jacket. She also tried on two sweaters with it. .
They can still wear last years jackets for a while, but I feel better now that I know that they are all set for the whole winter. We can look at boots another day.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday 11/02/07 One more ''getting ready for Halloween'' story...

We bought pumpkins. It took a while to find ones that had a smooth side. We usually carve the pumpkins on the kitchen floor. The mess ends up on the floor any way, so we might as well start there. First, we put down newspaper. I keep a bag of old newspapers in the basement, but because everything was moved to paint the basement walls, we couldn't find them. We put down un-opened garbage bags instead.
William wanted us to get him a pumpkin, but he didn't want to carve it. The girls drew faces on their pumpkins with a pen, and then I cut the faces out. They had a great time stirring the bowl of seeds. Maggie did a cat and Beth did a princess. I bought candy that same day. The kids wanted ''kid'' candy, so I bought candy that adults wouldn't eat. We don't have any Hershey's with Almonds or M & M's.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday 11/01/07 Mulch...

I have been buying mulch now and then to put in the yard just before the house is listed. If the bags of mulch at the store are broken, a lot of times the stores will sell them for half price. The stores will put the broken bag into another bag so that the mulch won't spill out into the customers car. I get the same ammount of mulch for half the price.
I was buying whatever mulch bags were broken. The problem is that I wound up with red mulch between mine and my neighbors garage, black mulch along the house and brown mulch in the front yard. The yard did look better than it did before the mulch, but it still looked bad. The next time that I went to the store I looked at all of the kinds of mulch. More of them were black then any other color. So now I only buy black or or very dark mulch.
The origional multi-color mulch has faded. We are now ready to add more mulch to the yard.I have an assortment of mulches that I have bought over the months, all dark colors. Between the garages I have schreded bark. Along the house and in the front yard there are what looks like bigger chuncks of bark. The yard looks better now that it is all one color.
I did get two yellow mums for the front yard. They were so pretty in the store. They have been planted on each side of the front steps. About two days after they were planted all of the blooms started to turn brown. I began to pinch the blooms off. I don't want the plant's energy to go into dying blooms. After about a week, all of the blooms had turned brown and were pinched off. Underneath are the new blooms that arn't ready to open. I planted these two flowers about a month ago.I don't know if it is too late for the new blooms. The leaves still look healthy. Maybe they will wait and bloom next year.