Saturday, January 31, 2009

i know what i want to be when i grow up...

A is a sweet little girl who is growing up SO fast! we blinked our eyes, and she's nearly 3 already! even though she is growing up so quickly, there are some things that she is not old enough, or big enough to do.

A is eager to "get bigger" because she has a list of things that she wants to do:

* chew gum
* play volleyball
* take a shower
* sew
* ride a bus

B, on the other hand, is still enamoured with toilet paper.

it's good to have something to look forward to! it makes life interesting.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Guest Friday: Greenville, Greyhound and Bob Jones University

N is the honoured guest for this Friday, and he's chosen (alright, been *strongly encouraged*) to write about his recent trip to BJU. he went to visit as a potential freshman for next year, and has decided that he likes the college and campus so much that he's started the application process for next fall. we are pleased with his choice, and know that Bob Jones University will be a good fit for N.

Early on the morning of January 13th, I awoke to make the long trip down to South Carolina with my sister M and our friend Matthew. The purpose of this trip was to go visit the college which she attended; Bob Jones University, in Greenville. We met Matthew in Lewisburg, and crammed all of M's belongings, as well as my duffel bag, into Matthew's small two-door car. It was cramped! But, we forced it all in there, the important stuff, anyway. The rest would be mailed to M at some point in the not-too-distant-future.

The car ride down was remarkably unremarkable. The two college freshman had it in their heart to torture me with a mind game that took extraordinarily long to figure out, considering how easy the solution turned out to be. I retaliated during twenty questions. (They went entirely the wrong direction! The answer was "India"; they were guessing "diamonds", "Angel Falls", and "rocks". Odd, I know...)

Anyway, we arrived safely, and made a quick stop at the college to drop off luggage and empty out the car. That finished, we wandered around Greenville for a while, using up minutes on cell phones and gas in tanks, searching for the house of the family with whom I would be staying. We finally found it, and had a delicious meal of spaghetti and cake. M, Matthew and I went back to BJU, to the student center. There, she introduced me to her friends, roomies and fellow nursing majors.

The next morning, I met M outside her dorm house. She had a pass to go off campus, and we walked to Starbucks for sustenance. A few of her friends happened to be there, and she introduced me to them. We then returned to the college; she to the grind that is getting settled in, I to the Administrations building to talk to my admissions counselor, Ben Cochran.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t there, but he had left a list of classes on which I could sit in. They consisted of several science classes, a few labs, and some Bible classes. Obviously, I didn’t have time to attend all of them, but I did make an effort to attend as many as was humanly possible. Sadly, I didn’t end up going to any of the chemistry labs. The first, Analytical Chemistry, was in Science Building Room 131. Rather, I should say that it was scheduled for that room. I waited outside the room for about fifteen minutes; no one showed up to unlock it, much less instruct us! The other lab was scheduled to overlap with Human Anatomy and Physiology, which was a class M was taking and one to which I wanted to go.

Thursday morning started bright and early; 6:30 am, to be precise. I met M for breakfast at the Dining Commons, and learned several very important bits of information concerning keeping up your image while eating. Duly noted. I also met more of M’s friends. The first class I went to, not counting the aborted chemistry lab, was a required class for all students. New Testament Messages, taught by Nathan Crockett, was one of my favorite classes while I was down there. Granted, I only went to it once, but he seemed like a great teacher, and as though he cared about his students. One of the things I liked about the college overall was the fact that that all the classes started with a prayer by the professor, and perhaps a relevant verse. You’re not going to find that at Bucknell University.

After NT messages was chapel, in the Founder’s Memorial Amphitheater. It was HUGE! There were about five thousand people there! Stephen Jones, great-grandson of the original Bob Jones, gave the message.

After chapel and lunch, I had another class, taught by Nathan Crockett again. This was Life and Ministry of Christ. After that, it was Life and Ministry of Paul. Then it was off to dinner with M and her fellow nursing majors.

The next morning started off bright and early again. This was a day filled mostly with science classes. General Chemistry at nine o’clock, and then a class with M at 10, Bio-organic Chemistry. Both were very fascinating, and I was even able to keep my head above water and comprehend most of what was being said! Chapel and lunch again. At 2 o’clock, there was another science class with M and her buddies: Human Anatomy and Physiology. Since I had to be at the information desk at 3:30, after this class we parted company; ne'er the twain again shall meet. (At least until May...)

Well, what did I think of the college, specifically the rules? Hmm... tough question! I obviously liked it; enough to apply there, of course. I liked the classes offered; it was a spacious campus, but not sprawling enough to get lost. The food wasn't terrible, the library was large and had a wide selection, and the student center was quite enjoyable, thank-you!

But that isn't what made me want to attend. In spite of all the griping and complaining to the contrary, it's the strict rules and regulations that are going to be a great help in my college career. Yes, some may be very strict, (no playing cards), and others somewhat nonsensical (no pool on Sundays), but hey. At least they try. In spite of all their shortcomings, regulations-wise, BJU has and does maintain a Christian atmosphere, which you won't find at any secular college. As the prevailing theory among most of the student body seems to be, they're rules for college, not rules for life. Besides, all these regulations can't help but cause you to try to act right, and if you're not allowed to socialize off campus or play pool on Sundays, well then. Perhaps you should be studying anyway, hmm?

In short, I enjoyed my trip, had a quick taste of what it would be like to be a college freshman at BJU, and hope to taste more fully what the campus has to offer come this fall!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

i'd like to register a complaint with the managment.

since Dave bought our new tractor last summer, he's been using it alot- for digging, grading, hauling stuff, moving wood and plowing snow. most recently, he's been working at getting more wood, since we'll need just a bit more before winter is over. G will often help, and A wants to go out, too. i bundle her all up, and out she goes to help daddy.
A likes to help drive the tractor, but she really likes to operate the levers, and dump the bucket loader of wood onto the pile.

I'd like to file a complaint. I still don't know how to drive the tractor! maybe A will teach me after her nap today.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

life at our house...

it's usually pretty busy at our house, and almost always a little chaotic, too. and messy... that's a given.

and dichotomy, well, that's all over the place too:

N is wrestling with Advanced Chemistry this year, just trying to comprehend that the sum of all oxidation numbers in a molecule must equal the charge of that molecule.

A, on the other hand, has not quite grasped the concept of same and different. and potty training is a whole 'nother story.

G is doing quite well in history, and can rattle off a quite long and impressive list of important dates to remember. like when Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar lived. or when Leonardo painted the Mona Lisa. and it doesn't even count that he knows when Columbus "discovered" America. we all know that. but i bet you don't know when William the Silent lead the Dutch Revolt.

as for baby B, well, if we can just get her to stop eating the cat food and drinking the shampoo, that would be a good thing...

Monday, January 26, 2009

well, i guess we could up the standards just a wee bit...

today i had to run a quick errand for Dave, and while i was out, i figured that I'd stop at Dollar General for a few things that I've been putting off buying. like soap. apparently, we've been out of soap for awhile, but nobody told me. the boys (and men) have all been using my Bath and Body Works warm vanilla sugar soap. it seems the need was quite dire!

i was buying polyurethane glue so Dave could continue putting up the back splash in the kitchen. for the last several weeks he's been making rumblings and grumblings about how clean he expects our new kitchen to be. our expensive kitchen. our brand new, expensive kitchen. get the idea?

me, too.

so, while i was out at DG, i bought a few new cleaning supplies. one of them was a cobweb duster thingy. it has a fuzzy head on it, and a telescoping wand. the better to reach high places with, my dear.

A saw this long, blue thing come into the house, and since she's only 2 1/2, she was curious to know what it was, since she's never seen a cobweb duster thingy before. G helped me carry in all the packages, and he also wondered what this oddly shaped thing was. now, the sad part of this story is that G is nearly 16 years old. i can't believe that he's never seen a cobweb duster thingy before...

oh brother. i took them both into the bathroom, and after explaining that it was a cobweb duster thingy, i showed them how it works. they were duly impressed.

so, i guess I've got my work cut out for me.

tomorrow's lesson: Sponge Mop 101

Saturday, January 24, 2009

it's feast or famine around here, i guess!

I'm sorry for neglecting you, all my faithful bloggy friends (and relatives!) the kitchen work just rolls right along, and the laundry just keeps piling up...
we have several more cabinets hung, and Dave has started putting in the tin back splash. it's easier that way, and the laser level makes that job a snap. we are really thrilled with how it's all turning out.
this week i painted the kitchen, as Dave finally gave the go-ahead that he was satisfied with the quality of his spackling job. i knew that i wanted the kitchen yellow, but was really undecided as to what particular yellow. what I've been doing for several of my painting projects is looking at the paint chips at Lowe's, and choosing a color that is in the National Trust for Historic Preservation. apparently, this is an exclusive thing to Lowe's, and their line of Valspar paint. the yellow that we settled on (and yes, Dave approved of the choice!) is Mark Twain House yellow. and yellow it is. no doubt about that! it was quite late at night until i was done painting, and i was not so sure that i would like the color in the bright daylight. but, i can unreservedly say now that i really, really like it. really. (and Dave and the boys do, too, although they did say it takes some getting used to!) it is a very old looking yellow, and adds some character and depth to the kitchen. (if that is even possible to do with a gallon of paint.) when i get all the white trim touched up, and Dave trims the windows, it will look even better.

we have a tin Noah's Ark sculpture that Dave and M brought back from Haiti last year. i am undecided whether to hang it at the end of the table, or between the two windows. we do want to hang it in the kitchen though, as it will go nicely with the "tin theme" that we have going on. it will also remind us to daily pray for our friends, the Andersons, who are serving down at the mission house and clinic full time. i had considered asking all you readers to weigh in with your input about where to hang Noah and his friends, but since NOBODY did my last poll, i figured I'd just wing it on my own...

i took just a couple pictures of the other end of the kitchen- the door to the left of the hutch goes into the laundry room, and the doorway leads into the *grand* hallway. (BTW, G made me that little shcnerenschnitte picture for Christmas. i really like it- and have high hopes that he'll make me a few more!)

meanwhile, the mess in the other end of the kitchen just keeps getting worse, and spreading... dave is famous for that. but i guess we'll keep him. he's pretty handy to have around, and i've grown kind of attached to him...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

we're definitely making progress!

Dave has had the last 4 days off, and he's been working very hard in the kitchen. we've made alot of progress, and if you haven't been keeping up with the running tab in the side bar, I've got pictures for you tonight, so you can see what we've been up to.
the kitchen is now all drywalled- and only days away from being ready to paint! that's exciting news, as for the last 8 months, we've been looking at the studs and insulation. that alone has made a big improvement in the kitchen, and I'm anxious to get it painted.

A is always daddy's willing helper, and here she's helping him measure something. tonight she came into the kitchen, struggling to carry her little chair. she wanted to help daddy hold the drywall.
even though it's been over three weeks since we've started on the kitchen, it took until tonight to hang the first cabinet! there is alot of preparation that Dave needs to do, but we sure were happy to hang some of our cabinets tonight. it's good for the morale!
A is back in the kitchen, this time to help daddy screw in the soffit. this will get a painted trim board along the top, so it will look much better when it's done. and here's the cause for celebration- 3 cabinets hung! it's really starting to look like a kitchen in there! tomorrow we will start installing some of the back splash. I'm anxious to see how that will look. (this is what we're using for our backsplash. it's a reproduction of an old tin ceiling. we got it at Lowe's.)

here is the ceiling we re-did. after moving the wall over 24", we were concerned that the old and new ceiling would not blend in. i was able to get the whole ceiling painted yesterday, and aside from where i still need to paint after the textured paint cures, you can't even tell where the seam is. we are very happy about that!

so, onward and upward! every day gets a little bit better, and i sure am excited about getting a sink back in the kitchen soon!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

i'm a glutton for punishment!

I'm such a sentimental pack rat, and to prove it, i have tons of stuff stored in the attic from my bigger kids- Lego's, dolls, Mr. potato head, a doll house and Lincoln logs, just to name a few. for Christmas this year, we recycled a few things for the little girls. it was just small things, really- a baby feeding set, a bunny doll... there is really no point in getting tons of new stuff, just to say it's "new", when we have lots of treasures just waiting for us in the attic.

G's gift to A this Christmas was this little tikes easel. while it was not a treasure from days gone by that we resurrected from the attic, it's almost as good: we got it at the thrift store for $1! with a little bit of elbow grease, it's as good as new! N put several bottles of finger paint in A's stocking, as well as some paper, and with an old t-shirt of daddy's, she's ready to go.

finger painting is such a satisfying activity- and not as messy as i remembered, either!

chalk one up for a few more moments of peace and tranquility!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

oh, the weather outside is frightful...

just like much of the country, we've been bowled over by an Arctic blast that seems as if it's here to stay. it's been very cold around here, and that's putting it mildly.
by Friday morning, the temperature was -2 degrees! that's plenty cold, by any one's standards! but even though my thermometer says that it's WINTER...

my mailbox says that it's SPRING!

in the last week, we've gotten no fewer than 7 seed catalogs in the mail! we have been enjoying looking through them, imagining what we'd like to plant in the garden this year. but better yet, we can look forward to the warmer weather that will be coming- and that will be before we know it, too!

and of course, no respectable gardener would purposely overlook the sage advice contained in the Farmer's Almanac. if you're not already overwhelmed by the plethora of seed choices in all your seed catalogs, you can always finish up that job with the helpful tidbits contained in this book:

the 2009 Farmer's Almanac advises such things as planting your crops that grow above the ground when the moon is waxing, while waiting until the moon is waning to plant your root crops.

it also tells me that one pound of okra contains a mere 140 calories, although i am left wondering who in their right mind would willingly eat that much okra?

if i can 't decide when to wean the baby, cut G's hair, butcher my extra roosters, start a diet or go to the dentist, there is a handy little chart on page 44 that will advise me on all these things, therefore taking out all the guess work and indecisiveness.

besides the expected table telling me when to plant my vegetables in order to avoid the frost, there is also another chart in the back that gives me the expected weather in my region for each month of the year. I've been assured that the weather for January 2009 will be warm and dry, with temperatures above normal.

which just goes to show you can't believe everything that you read these days!

Friday, January 16, 2009

just a little bit of peace and quiet...

entertaining A on these frigidly cold and snowy days is not a task for the faint of heart. she obviously takes after her daddy, who would never choose to sit still and do nothing, no matter what the weather. me, on the other hand... i know the value of a warm quilt and a good book. and not necessarily in that order!

i have a very dear friend who founded and teaches at a Montessori school back home. (hi, Susan!) A spent some time in her classroom last summer, and really loved it. Susan had told me of this particular activity, and i thought yesterday was a perfect time to try it out.
i gathered a few foam shapes that we had around, and made a simple color-coded chart.
next, i filled a medium sized bowl about half full with rice, and buried all the shapes in the rice. then i gave the bowl to A. i showed her how to use the spoon to dig around, and when i found the first little foam piece, i placed the pink circle on the corresponding pink circle on the chart. then i gave the spoon to her, and let her do it herself.

A caught on right away, and had a good time rooting around in the bowl looking for the rest of the foam pieces. (there was only a little bit of rice on the table and the floor when she was done. and she didn't eat too much, either.)

i know that susan would have a very impressive sounding (and long) list of the things that A is learning while doing this activity. but i just know that it kept A happy, quiet and entertained for almost an hour. and while happy, quiet and entertained is a relatively short list of adjectives, the peace and tranqility went a long way for this busy and sometimes frazzled mommy!

i encourage you to try this today if you have a busy toddler of your own. (and make yourself a cup of coffee while you're at it. you'll probably get to enjoy the whole cup while it's still hot!)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

it's slow, but it's progress!

Dave has been working on the kitchen steadily, and we're definitely making progress. it's just very slow, and so much work needs to be done before we can even THINK about installing the cabinets, that it's hard not to get impatient...

before i go any further, i just wanted to let you know that i finally got the kitchen to-do list in the side bar. so even when i don't have time to post, i will keep that list current. we've gotten some things done on that list already! (i just love lists- but better yet- crossing things off!) also, i put in a little poll. what do you like about your kitchen? is there anything that you would change? register your vote on the poll, and then let me know your favorite (and not-so- favorite) in the comments. who knows, you could save us from making a huge blunder in our own kitchen! or even give us a really great, last minute idea to incorporate before it's too late!

here you can see just how much we moved over the kitchen wall. it's about 24", and Dave did a great job blending the old ceiling with the new. when it's painted, you won't even be able to tell. (and of course, that was the whole point!)

this east wall is being re-insulated, with both roll insulation and fan fold. then the plywood goes on the wall where the cabinets will be hung. my sink is now officially gone. it's in the laundry room, where it rightfully belongs, but it sure is a pain not to have a sink in the kitchen! (but we do have the dishwasher, still)

here is the first piece of drywall in the kitchen. yippee! Dave got it hung late last night. he'll continue with the drywall all the way around, and then go back and start leveling the floor for the cabinets. then i can spackle and paint. won't it be so nice not to have naked insulation in the kitchen anymore?

this is our worthless feline cat, spooky. she's not minding the mess one little bit!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

maybe it's more than you ever wanted to know...

i was "tagged" by my friend AVT coach, over at this abundant life. it's a list of 100 things- and I'm supposed to indicate what I've done. I've highlighted the things I've done in red.

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run (on a Wii maybe)
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Gotten flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the changing of the guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Acted in a play

I've done only 38 things on this list- pretty measly, i was thinking. then i was thinking some more, and figured that this list is asking the wrong questions! so here's another list- and I've done ALL these things!

1. taught a child to read
2. swam in the pacific and Atlantic ocean
3. treated a goat (unsuccessfully) for mange
4. brushed a pigs teeth
5. seen Thunder Hole
6. learned to can on a woodstove
7. met my husband on e-harmony
8. worn wading boots to get to the outhouse
9. taught a child to tie their shoe
10.ran out of gas
11. bought a 50 pound bag of rolled oats
12. picked a coffee can full of potato bugs
13. knitted a pair of socks
14. saw the Bay of Fundy
15. been close enough to touch a Chincoteague pony
16. went canoeing over 10 miles in one day
17. rushed a child to the Emergency Room
18. picked rocks all day
19. slept outside in a thunderstorm
20. went coon hunting with the coon hound
21. ran a trap line
22. learned how to speak pig latin
23. drove on the wrong side of the road
24. watched a lamb being born
25. eaten a meal that we raised or grew the entire thing
26. failed a class in school
27. butchered a chicken
28. fell asleep in a tree
29. cried myself to sleep
30. ate an artificial apple
31. made maple syrup
32. eaten an egg that was right out of the chicken
33. burned my hand on the stove while dusting
34. rode on an elephant
35. flown cross-country
36. waved to a helicopter in the buff
37. floated in an inner tube down a creek
38. picked apples on shares
39. laughed coffee out my nose
40. moved twice in one year
41. had 3 babies in diapers at once
42. taught myself to sew
43. taught my daughter to sew
44. cut my own hair
45. learned to juggle
46. taught my son to juggle
47. sat with a sick child in the hospital
48. made a prank phone call
49. stayed up all night
50. changed the oil in my car
51. learned to drywall
52. installed 18 new windows
53. painted an entire house (on the inside)
54. made a snow angel
55. bought a cordless drill
56. i know how to drive stick shift
57. cried my way out of a speeding ticket
58. shot a muzzle loader
59. was saved from drowning by my mother
60. was sassy to a rude lawyer
61. memorized a poem
62. bought chickens through mail order
63. taught myself to play the saxophone
65. spilled a whole gallon of paint
66. slammed my finger in the car door
67. had a Dorothy Hamill hair cut
68. made (and wore) a crown of hitch hikers
69. had a baby in a blizzard
70. driven around with only a blind man to give me directions
71. delivered 300 newspapers every Friday for 7 years
72. rented a pressure washer
73. eaten a lobster in Nova Scotia
74. read the whole series of little house on the prairie
75. rode down the steps on a sled

that's all i can think of for now- my life has been full, interesting and happy. I'll add more as i can think of stuff. if you'd like to know more details about what I've listed here, leave the number in the comments, and I'll try to get around to it sometime soon! if you have a blog, and would like to participate, consider yourself tagged!

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, or A Story About A Little Girl and Her Rocking Chair

once upon a time, not so very long ago, there was a little girl named Jenni. she was the only child of an only child, and when she was young, Jenni was a little bit spoiled. Jenni was especially loved by her great-grandfather and his 4 remaining children, especially Aunts Mary and Olive.
Christmas at Nanny and Pop-Pop's house was a wonder to behold, with many presents stacked under the Christmas tree, just for the little girl and her momma. on the Christmas that Jenni was one, she was given a little rocking chair.

Jenni loved the rocking chair, and spent many happy hours rocking her doll babies, and humming them a little tune. it was the same little tune that her momma sang to her at bedtime.

years passed, and as happens with all little girls, Jenni grew up. after a time, she had babies of her own, and Jennifer's momma brought her the rocking chair that she had loved so well as a child.

Jennifer's first baby was a little girl. M spent many happy hours rocking her baby dolls, and humming them a little tune. it was the same little tune that her mommy sang to her at bedtime.

very soon Jennifer had more babies. this time it was two little boy babies, named D and N. life was very busy with 3 little ones in diapers, but the babies were happy. sometimes the little boys sat on the rocker, but instead of humming the little tune to their sister's baby doll, they would rock very hard to see if they could tip the rocker over, or try to push each other off of the little rocker.

the rocker survived the rambunctious twins. after a little while, Jennifer had another baby, a little boy named G. even though G rocked on the little rocking chair, too, there are no pictures of this sweet little angel baby rocking happily. that was because Jennifer was busy keeping house. Jennifer had a wood stove to cook dinner on, a wringer washer to wash all the little children's clothes, and an outhouse, too. Jennifer was too busy to take as many pictures of the last little boy.

years passed, and as happens with all children, the four babies grew up. the little rocker sat in a corner of the living room, even though the children were too big to sit and rock a baby doll, or hum the little tune. it was a happy reminder of the days gone by.

one day, after a long and hard time, Jennifer had another baby. it was another little girl baby, named A. A was a sweet and happy baby, and the apple of her daddy's eye.

in time, as A grew bigger, she would sit in the little rocker, holding her baby doll, and hum the little tune. it was the same little tune that her mommy sang to her at bedtime.

very soon, Jennifer had another baby. it was another girl baby. her daddy named her B J. baby B, just like her sisters and mother before her, would sit in the little rocking chair. B would rock her baby doll, and hum the little tune.

the little rocker was still sturdy and strong, and after almost 40 years, there were many years left to rock with little girls and their baby dolls.

until one sad morning, when the baby broke the rocker! how did this happen? Jennifer did not know, and wondered what in the world the baby B could have been doing!

that was a very sad morning. a sad morning, indeed! there were still little girls to sit upon the little rocking chair, still baby dolls to rock, and the little tune still needed to be hummed. what would happen now? how would the little rocker help make happy memories for the last two little girls?

but then Jennifer remembered! there was a very special person that she knew. a very loving, kind and generous person that was all she had ever wished for in a father. he could fix the rocker, because that is what he did best. and because he loved the last two little girls so much.

even though Grampa lived very far away, in a place where it was always warm, Jennifer was almost certain that when the weather got warm again up in the great white north, he would come and fix the special little rocker. he would bring the other very special person, who also loved the last two little girls very much. he would bring Nanny, and she would hug and kiss her two baby girls.

that is the end of the story about the little girl and her rocking chair. even if the very special people could not come up to the great white north, the wonderful daddy would fix the special little rocker. once again the little girls would be able to rock their baby dolls, and hum the little tune, the same little tune that their mommy sang to them at bedtime, the same little tune that Jenni's momma sang to her as a child.

and they all lived happily ever after.

the end.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

this is the last post about the mud room- I PROMISE!

well, i guess I'm ready to sort-of, almost, maybe, kinda-sorta call the mud room done. at least, I'll stop talking about it every other post. ( and i know that you're eternally grateful!) i saw this sign at a post over on CDW, and immediately knew that i would love to have it for my mud room. so i scrounged around in our ample wood pile, found some paint and an old paintbrush, and made this little sign- for practically no $$$!

I'm ridiculously pleased with it, and keep walking out to our nice and clean, bright and cheery (and FINISHED) mud room to look at it. it's silly, really, i know, but i can't seem to help myself. i even hung it myself, and after a trial run, managed to hang it centered in the doorway. (Dave informed me that if i had asked a professional to hang it, it would only have needed to be done once. but the professional is supposed to be working on the kitchen...)
since i'm considering the mud room "done", in the next few days i'll be taking down the running to-do list from the mud room (in the side bar), and replacing it with our overwhelming current kitchen re-do list. (just in case you want to follow along on the blow-by-blow progress!)

the sign is hanging in the doorway between the mud room and laundry room. technically, the mud is supposed to stop about 6 feet before this, on our door mat, but technicalities have never bothered me before!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

i've been just a tad bit busy lately...

it's been busier than usual around here, but we have been getting lots of things done. (that is, if you don't count the fact that meals and laundry have been a bit spotty... or that the house is a HUGE mess. other than that...)

I've been working feverishly in the mud room, trying to get that "done", and we have pretty well accomplished that, with everyone working together. i finished all the painting, spackling and trim work that was hanging over my head, and now Dave just has a small amount of trim to do.

i had a rare opportunity last week to spend some time sewing. M was watching the girls, and i was able to finally piece together the split 9 patch that i cut out ages ago. i really like the way it turned out. i still need to put on the borders, and of course quilt and bind it. hopefully i can get to that before too long.

Dave was out checking on the chickens, and found our first egg! A was thrilled, and thought that it was an "Easter egg". we are now getting 2 eggs a day, and while the hens seem to be steady layers, we need to work on their "delivery". it is rather like an egg hunt to gather the eggs. we've found them in buckets, in the bird feeder and in other random places.

Dave is still working in the kitchen, and the mess is slowly spreading all over the house, despite my earnest attempts to contain it. (but remember, I'm not complaining!) he has properly insulated the kitchen, even going the extra step with the fan fold insulation, and now has hung plywood on 2 of the walls. he's done this just for some extra stability to mount the cabinets. the next step is to fix the ceiling- there is a 24" gap between the old kitchen ceiling, and the new kitchen wall. he'll hang that drywall tomorrow, and we're hoping that we can blend the 2 nearly seamlessly... but of course there is our new family motto: "a fresh coat of paint can cover a multitude of sins."

our original plans for the mud room floor were just to leave it ugly unfinished for now, with the plan of tiling it sometime down the road. (sometime very far and very long down the road.) however, my good friend Susan came to visit us last week, and she inspired us to paint it. we had been thinking of that possibility, but quite frankly, were overwhelmed by the whole decision making process. in my Internet wanderings, i discovered that the wide board colonial flooring, with the hand-cut, square nails was rather much in demand, and it seemed a shame to cover it over when there were some who would pay $mucho mucho a square foot. when Susan suggested painting it the same tealish color that is inside the butler's pantry, we looked at each other and thought- "why not? sounds good to me" so, a project that had been near the bottom of the list got catapulted right to the top.

and of course, no project around here is ever easy, simple or quick. but we worked hard, and it's done now- and looks very nice, if i do say so myself!

first was the prep work- we scraped and vacuumed all the dirt out of the cracks. you don't want to know about the 100+ years of dirt in those cracks. 'nuf said. G and i worked all day doing that. and were glad that the mud room is actually one of the smallest rooms in the house!

then Dave and i worked the rest of the evening scraping off most of the paint splotches, and sanding the greasy spots- leftover from where someone had stored their extra FORD engine. becasue we all know, the best place to store your extra, greasy FORD engine is in your house.

i primed it with 2 coats of Kilz, and then finally got to roll on the soothing tealish color. it does look really nice, and we like it. (if we could only find the baseboard cover that goes on the last heater along the wall, that would really help, too.)

the mud room is now bright, clean and has lots of room and storage. one room down, only eleven more to go...


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