Thursday, April 18, 2013

Parking Lot Mama

This little lady had taken up residence in an open area between the parking spaces in Halibut's school parking lot.  He found her on the day we were volunteering with the scouts to clean up the school grounds.  She, of course, was angry at being disturbed by a bunch of little boys and was squawking mightily at them - even though she was about a 1000th of their size!  She was so fierce!  And he was mesmerized!

For weeks afterward, we would look for her every morning on the drive to school through the maze-like parking lot.  Each morning he would see her, nearly camoflauged among the mulch/bark,  and wonder that she was still there faithfully guarding her eggs amidst all the noisy traffic of cars and kids.

But today, we searched for her and she was gone.  I actually parked the car and walked over to see if the nest was still there.  No nest.  No eggs. No babies.  No mama bird.

I hope that some good Samaritan was able to move the nest someplace safer than the middle of a parking lot, and that she and the eggs are still doing well.  But Halibut and I will definitely miss seeing her on our long weaves through the parking lot to get to the school door.

I hope he will remember how she protected her little eggs even against threats so much bigger than she was.  I'm printing this picture for Halibut's room so he can to remember our brave and faithful Parking Lot Mama Bird (he took some other photos himself but they were a little blurry, but as far as I'm concerned, HE took this).

Friday, March 9, 2012

Love, Laugh, Listen

My girls at that weird 'in-between' stage:  moving out of the 'talk-my-head-off" stage and into the "don't-wanna-talk-about-it" stage.  I finally quit with the 20 questions and now, I just on put on music they like, share videos, especially comedian clips, etc.

They take off their headphones and listen.

Sometimes we just sit and listen together, sometimes we talk about the music or video.  Which sometimes leads to talking about other things.  We laugh more.  I have learned a lot.  There are so many musicians and comedians that we listen to (of course they have to pass the "mom-approved smell test'), but we probably play the Piano Guys every single day.  And our favorite funny guys: Julian Smith and John Pinette have us rolling every couple of days.   I owe them all big time!

Music is the universal language!

I have also found that even an eight year old has the capacity to enjoy classical music (over and over and over) when light sabers are involved!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Whole Lotta Laundry Soap!

A few weeks ago, Halibut and I tried an experiment.  We actually made laundry soap out of three inexpensive ingredients.  I was a little skeptical that it would clean as well as the commercial soaps I'd been buying.  But since then, I've been pleasantly surprised!  Here's how we did it:

Just a few ingredients:
  • 1 C Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 C Borax
  • 1 whole bar Fels-Naptha  heavy duty laundry soap
  • Water
  • essential oil (optional) - example: lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon....

**Must be WASHING SODA.  Baking soda won't work, neither will Arm & Hammer detergent.

This liquid laundry soap recipe yields 10 Gallons.  
So make sure you have plenty of containers 
to store it in!

Grate the soap bar and melt in a saucepan with 4 cups of water

Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full with hot tap water.  Add melted soap, washing soda, and borax.  Stir well until all powder is dissolved.  Fill bucket to top with more hot water.  Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.

In the morning, the soap will have a thick, jell-like consistency.  Fill the soap containers 1/2 full, and fill the rest of the way with more water!  Shake or stir.

If using essential oils, add them now.  Use 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons of soap.

I used Grapefruit essential oil and red soap dye in this bottle.  If  you don't use dye, the soap will look something like egg-drop soup.  But that's okay, it cleans just fine.  Remember to shake the container before each load, though.  It has a tendency to coagulate...

  This could last us about 6 months, maybe more.  Total cost about $2.00

To use add: 5/8 Cup per load for top load machine (approx 180 loads)
1/4 Cup per load for front load machine (approx 640 loads)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When children's prayers are answered, it can be a little...embarrassing!

Nothing get's a child's attention quicker than Dad announcing "I'm taking Mom to the hospital." We found that out last night.

I'd been having sharp pains in my stomach, chest and back for about 5 hours by the time he got home from work. By then, I was on the bed, curled up in a ball. The pain just seemed to begetting worse. Still, I thought I could wait it out - and tried to send him and the kids off to their various activities. He resisted, canceled all of their plans, and loaded me in the car and off we went to the Emergency Room.

Dad had called home to tell the kids everything was OK, we still didn't know what was wrong, and reminded them to pray that their mom would get better quickly.

We waited for a little over an hour. The pain had changed a little, but not much. The doc finally came in and looked me over, rattled off a list of scary sounding things he wanted to rule out: pancreatitis, peptic ulcer, diverticulitis....and ordered an IV and a bunch of tests, including a CAT scan.

He left and we waited a little more. All of a sudden, the pain stopped. It was gone. Nothing.

Well, the doc was stymied. After 7 hours of excruciating pain, I was back to normal. And I was pretty sure the tests would show that there was nothing wrong with me. All I can figure was that my wonderful children must have prayed real hard for me to get better.

It was a little embarrassing to get up and walk out of there after all the fuss. But I was so happy to be going home!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Be My Fruity Valentine?

Hugh and I made these little beauties for his two teachers for Valentine's Day today.

So colorful! Basically a salad in a jar...maybe I should have mixed up some poppyseed dressing to go with them....

Not sure, but I THINK he actually skewered more than he ate! It was easy to get him to help once he realized strawberries were involved!

He was a little embarrassed to deliver them to his teachers and by the big hugs he got...expecially with the whole class watching!!! I hope he remembers how easy it was to make a lady really happy!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Profile Me

When trying to choose a "profile picture" for my Facebook page, I have a pretty hard time. For one, there aren't that many photos of me to choose from, simply because I am usually on the other side of the camera. Photos of me are usually 1) Christmas morning in pajamas, crazy hair, and dog tired form the nights' "festivities" - (ie. making sure Santa shows up and rummaging through all of our secret spaces hoping not to miss anything), or B). the 'hands' lighting the birthday candles during all the birthday parties we photograph. So, many times I just rely on a cartoon character, or a meaningful object to represent me..

And then there are all those shots of me from the side view - and face it, what woman, after bearing 5 kids, wants to be remembered by her actual profile??? I don't know what possesses my dear husband to take these photos from the side view!!!

I just stumbled upon this one in the remnants of some of last year's beach photos. I had never seen it before. (I take so many at the beach, that it's easy to miss a few!) I'm guessing Big T took it with his phone.

At any rate, this is the photo I think my kids would choose as representing "the real me": always bugging them to "smile" or "stay still" or "do that again". And since I've started photography classes, I can't just point, shoot, and depend on Photoshop to make my pictures look good.

So I'll be holding that camera in front of my face a lot more!!! These days, even if I can't always be at the beach, THIS is me.
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