Thursday, October 30, 2008

My great enemy

I realize that I am not alone in this pain, but I am feeling very frustrated by lack of time to do everything I want to do. Oh Mercy, do I ever have big plans and ideas! My head is just swimming with things I want to make, sew, create, scrapbook, teach my kids and cook. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Work, school, kids activities and a social life... not to mention keeping up with my best friends on television.

Even though I'm thinking about Christmas gifts, cards, parties and activities for my kids early this year I will still have to prioritize some of these ideas I have. It might be time to give up the hobby of sleep.

Thankfully, canning season is just about over. One more box of apples to put up. Cooler evenings have meant the start of knitting. And visions of new Christmas stockings and new curtains are dancing in my head.

And this kid's craft will get done somewhere along the way since Martha felt the need to introduce it to me.

Ok, I better stop before hyperventilation begins... I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


This doesn't seem too shabby for a few hours work, if I do say so myself!
I get this crazy sense of pride each time I can something. Today produced 4 quarts of veggie juice and 7 quarts of applesauce. I only used half the apples we bought from the orchard this weekend, I'm still trying to decide if the other half will be made into applesauce as well.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

Ben had "crazy hair day" at school today. Coming up with crazy hair for a boy with short hair isn't the easiest task. Ben was in need of a hair cut anyway, so we decided to cut just a bulls eye in it last night. We will shave the remainder tonight.
He told me his crazy hair was a big hit.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

My bestest friend Meredith and her boys came to visit for the weekend. They went to Ben and Sarah's soccer games with us, picnicked at the park and went apple picking with us today. It was a fantastic weekend!
Aren't those the cutest four little buddies ever!

I think Sarah might have been outraged that Sebastian was about to take a bite of his apple.

Best Friends for 16 years...

Take me out....

Sarah, Ben, Milo and Sebastian singing in the car

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Cookie Lovin'

We had a rough morning this morning. Not bad behavior, just blew an electrical circuit, our indoor cat got out and Ben spent the morning outside looking for her (she's back inside now, but wasn't before the kids went to school). Just a simple series of unfortunate events, one of those mornings.

So, I felt that some good homemade cookie love was just what the kids needed when they got home. Peanut Butter cookies, made with egg whites, applesauce and splenda of course. I AM on a diet!

I made cookies, they ate cookies and we all felt a little better.

Saving money

In church on Sunday our Sunday School Teacher shared a testimony given by President Packer. In the testimony he shared the old adage, "Use it up. Wear it out. Make do, or do without." In many ways this is how Big Ben and I live our lives.

I looked around our house wanting to find some examples:

I wanted a new centerpiece for the table, but didn't want to buy anything. This is what I came up with. It isn't fancy, but I like it!Because we sometimes have a house full of people, I didn't want a typical coffee table and I definitely didn't want to invest in one. We found this table at a thrift store for under $10 and I painted, padded it and upholstered it. The knobs were even in the house when we moved in, but I didn't like their location so I reused them on this ottoman/table.
Big Ben needed shelving and storage in his workshop room. He found out that there was scrap wood at work, that comes from pallets and shipping. He filled the van with a load of it and made these shelves out of Free wood. He has many more plans for the remainder of the load of wood.

When we moved in, we wanted to extend the small walkway in the front of the house and make the entry a little more inviting. Paving stones are so expensive, and we realized we had a walkway through the front yard that we wanted to remove. Disposing of concrete is also very expensive, so our solution was to break the concrete up and reuse it as cobble stones.

This shelf has been refinished and filled with trinkets and mementos that were handed down from my grandmother.

These are just a few of the things we have done. These things have saved us a large amount of money.

Given the state of the economy. I feel inclined to rededicate myself to getting creative, making do or doing without. Sometimes easier said than done!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Welcome Home Alexander Family!... Welcome home!

So maybe I've been watching a little too much Extreme Makeover... but I think the new front door that Big Ben put in this weekend makes our house much more inviting and even feel like a whole new house. Now if only we could get a college scholarship for our kids, a refrigerator fully stocked and the remainder of our mortgage donated... the makeover would be complete!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When I'm in college...

As I've mentioned before my kids are pee'ers. Ben has never been at all bothered by being a bed wetter. You could not shame him on the matter. He has worn his pull-ups with pride. Even bragging once to his sister that he had, "peed my bed ever single night for SIX years!"

Then Sunday night when I put him to bed, and left the room I heard him crying. Nothing upsetting had occurred so I immediately investigated the cause for tears. He told me, "I don't like that I wear pull-ups still and I'm like a baby. I don't want to wear them anymore." Like a good mom, I questioned him to make sure that no one had teased him and that this sudden shame did not come from some terrible place. He told me that no one had said anything to him about it. We then decided that the following night we would limit his liquids after school, get him up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and give the whole thing a try. He calmed right down and everything was alright again.

So, that is exactly what we did last night. Only a sip of water with dinner, underwear to bed, and getting him up 3 times during the night to use the bathroom.

This morning... HE WAS DRY! Yes, dry for the first time in "SIX years!"

He is so proud of himself. He told me this afternoon that he has been really bothered by wearing pull-ups. That he has had nightmares about it. Then he told me, "Mom, I won't want to be wearing Pull-ups when I'm in College!!!" Oh, my boy is growing up... next thing I know he'll be in College. Now without the Pull-ups, he is just one step closer!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

If 1st grade boys ruled the world...

If first grade boys ruled the world... everyday would be a field trip day!

Every yard would have a pit of corn kernels to play in!
You would NEVER have to go indoors to wash your hands!
There would be haystack pyramids for everyone to climb!
And you would get to spend all of your time doing fun stuff with 15 other boys!

I got to go on Ben's field trip with his class this week. There were 16 boys and 5 girls. It was a lot of fun. We went to Murray Family Farms. I had a great time with all of the kids!

A shallow existance

I am standing before you here today, admitting that I have been living a shallow life of ignorance. Until today, I have had no idea what I've been missing. No idea of the wonderful and amazing things that were ahead of me.

But today, I have come out of my darkness. I have seen the light. I have discovered the following:Behold... The Squeezo machine!

Today, I filled this machine with tomatoes, celery, butternut squash, onions and carrots and it produced for me the most delicious V5 juice I could ever imagine. I am still in amazement over how this old-fashioned machine intelligently strained off all of the good stuff for me and spit all of the "yuck" out the end.

Scavenging in my dad's kitchen and garage always produces good stuff!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Always listening to everybody!

Sarah got in trouble tonight for not being obedient. She began crying and told me that she is "tired of having to listen to everybody!"

I've often felt bad for kids. I can't remember or imagine how it feels to be told everything to do and when to do it by everyone in your life.

It was just another example of Sarah's fierce independence and strong will. I can't imagine easy-going Ben ever complaining about everyone telling him what to do, if we tell him what to do, I think he figures that's just something he doesn't need to think about.

Aaack, Gack!

Preschool teachers are wonderful people. I love preschool teachers, even though they repeatedly send my children home with things that make me go aaackkk! Sarah made "goo" at school and brought it home to play with. It was really a white silly putty substance.

Besides entertaining her at school, it occupied her at home for over an hour...
That's GOOD stuff!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Hair on her head

So, I've gotten hooked on Sarah's hair. Saw some blogs that moms have about the hairstyles they do on their girls, and I thought "I can do that." Sarah proudly tells everyone that I get my ideas from the "puter."
I tried rag curls on her hair. She slept in them overnight. Even though I used great curl products and the rags worked great, the curls held in her board straight hair for only a few hours. It was adorable while it lasted, though.
This simple hairstyle worked great. Her hair was just the right length for it and it held perfect all day.

Boys and their bugs

Big Ben caught this leaf bug a few nights ago. Both kids got to take it to share with their classes before they released it back into the wild.

Look close can you spot the bug?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ben's Letter

Before going to bed tonight Ben decided that he needed to write a letter to Super Grandma. He made the ghost to go at the top and composed the letter himself. I'm sure she will love it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

An apple a day

Dessert at our house last night was gigantic apples. The kids looked so funny eating apples that were almost as big as their heads. Apple season in Tehachapi is a VERY exciting time.