Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gnome-body Knows!

A friend of mine used a garden gnome for her ever-changing facebook picture.  I casually mentioned that I hoped that gnome didn't go anywhere--and the bantering began.  When pulling in my driveway one day, discovered this gnome sitting in the mulch by my garage.  That gave me an idea.
Target had gnomes for $1.  I purchased five.  I've got them wrapped, but need to think of a little poem to attach.  I'm going to start a game of gnome tag.  Silly--yes.  But sometimes I think people take life too seriously.  Now I just have to figure out how to regift this gnome back to my friend--but with an increased cleverness.

I Cannot Do It All

I haven't blogged for ten days.  I worked four & a half days last week (Friday afternoon was spent traveling six hours to IL for my neice's first communion) and all day Monday and Tuesday.  Though my wallet enjoys the extra subbing, my family has not adjusted.  It was either clean dishes and laundry or blogging. 
Last night I finished piecing the quilt top for my son's bed.  He picked the fabric from my stash (minus a "light" that I had to purchase).  He also picked the pattern in which the blocks were laid.  It truly is HIS quilt.  I'm going to quick finish it (flip it inside out with flannel as the "batting" vs. traditional way w/ binding).  I hope that part will be done today, but I'm playing catch-up from the past week.

I did a scrappy log cabin quilt once, but this was soooo much easier.  Thanks to Pat and her blog with spectular directions (both words AND pictures for people like myself who are directionally challenged):  Check it out!  I cannot wait for summer to do more of this.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Late Start

OK--It's now 7:00 and I'm just getting ready to sew.  Should be fun!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Today's Run

I went for a run this morning.  I have been feeling sluggish and was not really up for it.  The past several mornings I've been waking up with achiness all over.  (Maybe arthritis?  OR maybe just crappy diet--too much sugar and coffee).  Nonetheless, I ran 3.5 miles.  It's my usual "turtle" speed (right at 10:30 pace).  The only time I felt tired, my son's favorite song came on my ipod.  It is a song by the Blackeyed Peas which cracks me up because he's only in kindergarten.  I forced my girls to listen to Elmo's greatest hits at this age.
When I finished, I was glad I ran.  Unlike "real" athletes who claim to feel euphoric after exercise, I am always tired.  I know exercise is important for both my physical and mental health--and that's the only reason I do it.  I'm trying to get motivated and I enjoy talking others into running--so why isn't it working for me?!?!  Perhaps I SHOULD join a running group--I just see running as a solitary activity.

Dreamers of the Day

Dayton's "Big Read" was Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell.  I wanted to read it since it was THE Big Read and because an aquaintance of mine was facilitating a discussion group.  A couple of us were going to participate.  Of course the event was during my husband's travel stint, and I had volleyball driving duty.  I didn't make it--to the event or to finish the book by the date.
I did finish it last night.  I really enjoyed the book (some of the historical signficance was lost on me--I'm not very bright in this area).  The ending, however, was a surprise.  Normally, I enjoy this.  This ending almost didn't fit the tone of the book.  Almost a little too bizzare.  But one of the last lines (it doesn't spoil the book--I promise) said simply to "read to children."  How can you go wrong with a statement like that one?

It's a BOY!

My kindergarten son has always been the sweetest, most mellow child (Eyeore with a sense of humor).  During this season of change, he is morphing into a typical boy.  He loves bugs, digging in dirt, and Legos.  He's rough with his sisters (6th & 7th graders).  He HATES homework, writing, taking a shower and brushing his teeth.  He is the textbook "frogs and snails and puppydog tails" sort of boy.
Last night he was angry because he had to take a shower, had sneezy/itchy allegery issues, AND had homework--to write and illustrate a poem.  We had brainstormed the night before; I even wrote the small list.  He verbalized (with much coaxing) the three-line poem, I wrote it down, and he had to recopy it on his paper.  It was messy.  It was nearly illegible.  But it was done except for the illustration.  He drew himself running, then proceded to scribble all over the page to indicate all his sweat.  When I looked at the picture this morning, I noticed there were two frowny-faced people in his drawing holding weapons.  Wow!  Where did my sweet, mellow little guy go?  He's metamorphasized into a typical boy!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Foreign Language

My son and I attended our semi-annual dentist appointment Monday.  One of my favorite things is when the dentist or hygenist asks one of those in-depth questions with two hands and four dental tools inside my mouth.  I suspect they can understand the "foreign language" of mush-mouth answers.
The other humorous things was that the hygenist complimented my six-year-old on his good brushing.  I'm not even sure he owns a toothbrush.  Yes--an exaggeration.  But I am certain he would bush only every few days if it weren't for my nagging.  Great job, kid!

How Did I Do It?

Last night my husband went to bed around 9:30.  I wasn't tired; however, I try to keep a similar schedule.  I went to bed at 10:00.  Watched television until about 11:30 (which is really late for me).  Then around midnight the dog started bugging me.  Basically she kept me up the entire night needing to go out.  I didn't sleep any longer than 60 minute stints.  Good thing I set the alarm on my phone when I ended up on the living room couch--the children didn't set their alarms and dad doesn't get up until later.
My "baby" is now six and a half years old.  How did I make it through those nights with a newborn?  I am totally dragging today--and I don't have that baby at home to take care of.  It is a humbling reminder of what it is like to have a new baby.  Hum?!?!  Probably should volunteer to make more meals for new mommies.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Geese vs. Turtle

I ran three miles by myself today--just me and my ipod.  I was totally focused on the music, when I was less than a foot from a hissing goose.  If you haven't been around geese, they are dirty, poopy birds.  And they are BIG--coming up mid-torso.  I think I jumped ten feet in the air and gasped aloud.  Wonder what the passing cars thought?
Fortunately, I saw my second goose "incident" to maneuver around (actually between the two) the goose.  It gave me the stare down, but I kept going.  Sometimes I'm cranky and hiss back.  Today was too beautiful.  I felt really good . . . but I'm still slow as a turtle.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

I-Touch Generosity

On Thursday I took my daughter shopping to replace her lost I-touch.  Poor thing used most of her birthday and Christmas money to replace the device she lost.  I had checked both Best Buy and Target on-line (my daughter had a gift card to each), and Best Buy was $20 cheaper.  When we got to the store, the price was $20 more than the on-line price.  I just happened to ask the salesperson--and they price adjusted it on the spot.  I've have the best luck at Best Buy.
The dark cloud hanging over my daughter lifted as we walked out of the store ("Mom--the itouch was the only way I get to talk w/ some of my friends!").  I told her that when I got paid for tutoring this month, I would contribute a little money toward her purchase.  She then told my that my youngest daughter (the one who put the device on the back of dad's car) offered to give her $50 toward the new one.  I told her I wasn't planning on giving her that much.  She said, "I know.  I told her she only had to give me $25."  I'll give her the $25 (plus I saved her an additional $20).  Her sister was thanked but told to keep her own money.  What a generous soul to offer that kind of money (her Christmas money) to her sister.  I'm proud of her!

Friday, April 9, 2010

On-line Quilt Class

I'll be doing something next Monday (April 19th) that I've never had the opportunity to do before:  take a quilting class . . . on-line.  I've always wanted to take a class, but with three kids and a daddy who travels--I've even had to cut out bible study.  The other factor that has limited my ability to take a class is expense.  I mentioned that I was thrifty; I could think of one million things our family could use instead of me spending $50 or $100 a quilt class (not to mention the cost of supplies).
I'm thankful for this opportunity from a generous person.  Her blog caught my attention because I LOVE log cabin quilts.  Here is a link to the info:
I've never been kicked out of a class; however, this may be a first.  Or like many of the races I've run--I may be the class ego booster (you know--that person in the race who comes in last or the person in the class who cannot sew a straight line).  It's OK--I cannot be average at everything.  I have added seam ripper to my list of supplies (a tool I know WELL).  I have no idea what to expect, but I'll be sure to post the end result.

Compost Bin

I tend to be thrifty.  I was excited about waste management offering a new addition to our current recycling program--but at $14 additional a month.  I decided to purchase a compost bin instead.  This simple bin cost around $40 at Sam's Club (similar to the picture below).  Easy to put together and get started.   
Since today was the last official day of "spring break" (except for the weekend) and was cold, I thought I would bake.It amazed me that I sent three bowls full of materials out to the compost bin:  spilled flour and sugar, egg shells, tea bags, coffee grinds, seven banana peels, etc.  Granted--not a ton; however, if every person in my neighborhood alone would have done that today . . .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mom's Night Off

Last night was one of those rare times when I was alone in my home--with no expectations.  In theory, I'm home two mornings and three afternoons with no kids.  Some of those times I sub or volunteer.  Those are also the times when I "work" as mom--cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc.  If I just sat around, I would feel guilty.  But last night, my husband took the kids to a baseball game in Cincy.
I began by making a big, yummy salad for supper (we ate a late lunch).  I took the dog for a walk.  I then drew a hot bubble bath in which to soak.  I read about 75 pages of a book--without being interrupted. (One can understand the plot so much better when you can read w/o interruptions).  It was perfect.  When my husband asked how I spent my night and I happily told him, he looked at me as though I was crazy.  I was glad to have the "night off," but I was even more happy when my family was back safely at home.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I-Touch Drama

I spent a couple hours helping with a large visitation for a man and his daughter that were killed in a small plane crash locally.  As I was "regrouping" from this, my oldest daughter bursts into the house yelling, "She lost my i-touch!"  Once I got her to calm down, it appears that my youngest daughter set my oldest daughter's i-touch on the trunk of dad's car to prevent it from getting stepped upon.  (The oldest didn't take it into the house--where it should have been in the first place).  Dad (who was home early because he is taking a class) decided to get a much needed new pair of shoes.  Car gone.  Itouch gone.  So the youngest went walking to look for it.  We found the protective, snap-on cover by the stop sign.  Did not find the itouch. 
Of course, the oldest turned off the sound.  She also password coded it which we believe would prevent anyone from finding identifying info about it.  She never set up her texting with my phone as I requested (I would have went out in the dark and texted her--thus causing it to light up).  I'm surprised that dad did not go ballistic--but I wonder if he didn't feel a little guilty not seeing it before he got in the car.  I feel bad for my oldest.  So does her sister.  Once she cooled down, I told her that it was OK to be upset; however, she needed to keep it in perspective.  "Remember where I spent my afternoon," I gently reminded her.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Sometimes BUGS Me

It is official--spring is here.  It is not marked by a date.  It is not marked by the sniffles.  It is not marked by the sound of lawn mowers.  It is marked by BUGS.  As much as I know rationally we need bugs, they completely creep me out.  The only good bugs are the smiling caterpillars, butterflies, and ladybugs.  I noticed an increase in bees and wasps since our flowering something tree bloomed over the weekend.  I've killed about 20 of those super tiny ants that all of the sudden appeared in my house for Easter. 
Today, I saw this "fly" in my kitchen.  Well--I'm 40 and noticing a need to "upgrade" my glasses prescription.  Not a fly . . . but a big, fat, mean, hairy spider dangling on a web . . . in MY kitchen.  Like any rational adult, I--the only alpha female in this home--grabbed the Windex (the last of the the toxic chemicals I'm using up) and drowned that beast.  I'm wiggly just thinking about it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Running with Night and Day

OK--enough with the really heavy stuff.  Today provided another "the-most-beautful-day-of-the-year" contender.  My daughters wanted to run.  We decided to do a two mile route--they would walk if needed.  The personalities of my girls is truly night and day (the one who as actually hit puberty is "night", of course).  We took off running very slow.  I'm trying to teach them to pace.  By the half mile mark, my 7th grade daughter needed to walk.  The 6th grader and I maintained our slow pace.  The 7th grader had sprinted to catch up, but then peetered out again (girls . . . PACE yourselves). 
When it was clear the 7th grader was not going to keep up, my witty 6th grader said, "Don't tell my sister, but I think I am going to beat her pretty bad in the race."  She ran her second two miler of her life, and she did it in record time.  She was beaming with confidence.

I jogged back to check on my 7th grader who was nearly in tears.  As we together jogged the last 100 yards, I reminded her that this is one of the first times she has EVER completed two miles.  "Yeah--but it was horrible, " she responded.  She probably ran .75 miles of the two mile course.  "Based on what?" was my reply.  "Name three friends that ran/walked as far or farther than you today."  You cannot always accomplish your goals just because you have the desire.  If a 5K (or four mile in the case of the race for which they are "training") was easy, everyone would do it.  I need to keep this idea in mind about everything. If a spotless house was easy, everyone's would be spotless.  If beautiful quilting was easy, we'd all have a ton of them.  You get the point.


During holidays and major events, I think it only natural to reflect on my own life and the many blessings bestowed upon me.  Long story shorter, a local man and his college-aged daughter died in a plane crash at a little airport just south of my home on Thursday.  The outcome could have been so much worse; however, two lives were lost.  They were active and highly respected parishioners at the church we attend, on the board at the local Catholic high school, on the volleyball team at the local college, volunteer(s) for Dayton Right to Life--the litany of kudos go on and on.  It also made me reflect upon a co-worker who will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord for the second year without a son she lost in a freak accident.
How can these families go on?  How can they deal with the unimaginable?  Then I think of our mother Mary.  What agony and sorrow she must have felt watching her sinless son suffer.  She had complete and total faith and submissiveness to God.  Sorrow is normal.  Losing hope would be unforgivable.  Lord, I hope when and if I am ever tested, I will be reminded of the example of Mary.  May both of these families maintain their faith through very trying times.

Good Friday

Our church has the most beautiful triduum services beginning Holy Thursday.  On Good Friday I witnessed one of those pure, pure moments that would go unseen in a busy world.  During part of the liturgy, church members participate in the veneration of the cross.
My kindergartener walked up, paused, made the sign of the cross, then simply touched it.  If only we could know what thoughts were going through his innocent little mind.  So simple.  So sweet.  So sincere.  What a blessing that I slowed down to enjoy the evening.