Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

OK, That's Just...

Plain weird. Or Annoying. Or just Interesting.

The post I started Friday, but couldn't finish because I couldn't upload pictures. For whatever reason. I finished it tonight. Because I could upload pictures. For whatever reason.

And published it.

It's below my last post. Dated Friday.

Guess I've never published a post before after a post I wrote after the one I published that I started first. Are you confused yet???

So, does that mean if I edit a draft I started months ago and publish it, it will appear under whatever month I started it? And no one will know it's there because they won't be looking under May (or whatever) for new posts because it's now September???

I have posts, I DO

But, of course, being me, they involve pictures. And for whatever reason blogger is refusing to download pictures for the last two days... phooey.

The boys and I ventured out to the Grower's Market this morning. The fog was burning off as we drove toward town revealing another gloriously bright, perfect fall day. Hurray! We had a pretty good time browsing and chatting with vendors (well, Joshua was chatting with vendors, not me). Then IT began again. What is IT, you ask? IT is a certain boy's recent propensity to test every boundary in sight. Admittedly, today was not so bad compared to the last couple of weeks. But, it was enough to make a pleasant morning into a marathon. So, it was both-- Pleasant and a Marathon. If you know what I mean.

Walking through the "art" portion of the Market Joshua was transfixed by a booth of cement statues. He said, "Oh, I Love carvings!" (he was loving most of the displays actually, jewelry, paintings, instruments). I ended up getting him a little cement elephant, since he loves elephants. I don't know why exactly I let him pick one out, I didn't plan on buying the boys anything like that today. I just did. He was very sweet about it and thankful. And I could tell by his attitude he wouldn't have complained if we had walked on. I was pleased to do something for him.

We stopped to buy some flowers (big splurge on my part, but they were a dollar a stem, so I decided I could spare 3 or 4 dollars for some gorgeousness). We were picking out one sunflower like a teddy bear sunflower only bigger and fuller, and two or three dahlias. We ended up with two sunflowers and four dahlias because the lady gave us a couple flowers that were nearer the end of their prime than the others. And she made a little bouquet with the dahlias and some really pretty greenery. So we got a really gorgeous bunch of flowers for $4. :D And Joshua had a great time helping me pick out flowers.

Then we stopped by a farm stand run by some friends of ours. We picked out a bag of corn-on-the-cob and Brannon stayed behind with the other kids while J and I continued on our way.

A head of lettuce, 5 turnips, 1 cabbage, and 3 tamales later we were back to collect B and hike back to the car. I'd been "wrestling" with J ever since shortly after the flower booth and we were all getting tired. He was dragging his way across streets and throwing a big fit whenever I hustled him along(so as not to hold up traffic or get run over). Then about a block from the car he decided to "hand" me the bag with his elephant in it. Only I was facing completely the other way. He didn't tell me he was handing it to me. Didn't slow down to see if I had it. Just thrust it in my direction and let go. Because he was mad about the whole walking back to the car-helping me carry stuff-me making him hurry scene.

It's only a cement statue. It only cost a few dollars. It's only missing an ear.

I don't think it has anything to do with him being grateful or ungrateful. It's just this whole thing he goes into when he's tired that I have no idea how to direct. Yes, it's not just when he's tired, it's his whole attitude toward authority in the first place. He's a sweet, bright, caring kid and we do set boundaries. I struggle with consistency, but who doesn't?? Ok, maybe someone out there has it all together where their kids are concerned. I just wish I knew what to do with him, now...

Brannon wasn't interested in flowers, or statues, or vegetables. He paused for a moment to see the fancy beeswax candles and he was very glad to spend a few minutes with his friends. Which made him think of another friend he hopes to see at church tomorrow. I thanked him many times for helping me carry the flowers. I was trying to think of a way to help him feel loved today too. You see, J's main love language is gifts. He LOVES to give people things. That's the reason I got him the statue and let him have a big say in what flowers we picked out, because those things make him feel loved. Brannon's I think must be touch--lots of hugs! and words of encouragement--which is why I made sure he knew I appreciated his help...

I have felt overwhelmed by being a parent lately. And a wife. And me. Can I hire a maid? So I can do school with the boys and creative stuff for me and take naps and not fall behind and have a stressfully disgusting house? I think that would be nice...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Chickens and A Little Fort Building *pictures at last :)

"You don't see me little chickies...you don't notice me..." He was instructed to let them calm down a bit before attempting to wrangle any to hold and pet, as they had been chasing them for several minutes and everybody was on high alert...

Budding photographer (Joshua)

The next day--building a fort in the 'snakey woods' The name started from a cartoon. I don't think they even remember why they call it that :)
I know it looks like Nate is upset in this picture, but he's not! He's been working graveyard (Super Yuck!!) and doing lots of homework for the fire department as well. He hadn't slept yet on this particular day

Teamwork :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010


I'm pretty sure the frog was under the house, not in the sink pipe... lol

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Oh, The Ingenuity of a Busy-Thinking Six-Year-Old

Surprised by the sound of rushing, splashing water coming from the kitchen I strolled over to see what there was to see.

Which turned out to be Joshua unscrewing the trap under the kitchen sink.

With the water running.

To flush out a pacific tree frog he heard croaking in the drain.

In case you are wondering I handled the situation with perfect calm. In his defence he had a small bucket under the open pipe (because the glass gallon jar he had grabbed was too tall). I turned off the water, handed him a towel to mop up with. Together we screwed the pipes back together. He took the bucket of water and dumped it out, then put the towel with the "grubby" laundry (different than regular "dirty" laundry). He went on his way. A little later I requested that he not unscrew any more pipes without a least asking first. He, of course, politely inquired "why?" I explained that the wood of the cupboard would be ruined by too much water, it would buckle and there would be no way to fix it. He seemed suitably impressed by this consequence. Of course, there are plenty of other reasons for not messing with the plumbing which, I'm sure, we'll get into later. For now it's time to go outside and constructively use our creativity to burn off some energy ;)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Funny Thing About Boys...

I think we'd all agree that boys are generally very competitive creatures :) I've found it a little amusing reading about this fellow building the tallest skyscraper only to be outdone a year or two later by another fellow...and so on...

When we were building our recycled box buildings the other day I noticed my little fellows discretely (at first:) measuring the tower they were building against their brother's tower... and building taller and taller towers...lol

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Skyscraper Sun Test

Today we made "skyscrapers" out of discarded boxes (we raided Grandma's recycling bin as well as ours--apparently we go through a lot of gluten-free cookies around here;-). Then used a flashlight to test where the sun's shadows would fall. The second part of the project was supposed to be to change some of your buildings to have "setbacks" to let in more sun. But since I had already started reading about setbacks my smart boys had already make most of their skyscrapers with setbacks :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

School Time...

We've been having a great time with school the last two weeks. I determined to be a little more organized so I actually get anything done...and I'm actually doing ok. We're still very loosey-goosey around here, but that's the way I roll:)

We got a great book from the library--Skyscrapers by Carol A. Johmann--that is full of fun little projects. We've been reading half a chapter a day and doing a project. Today was the first time we reached a project, which was to write a plan for cleaning up a city park(the chapter is on all the planning that goes into a skyscraper long before the building begins). This included lists of jobs, tools needed, and friends who would help. We didn't do a terribly detailed write-up but the boys had fun listing the jobs in the order they needed to be done and they each spontaneously decided to draw a picture of their imagined park.

Tomorrow we'll be building a model city and testing how a skyscraper would affect the sun reaching the streets and other buildings. Later projects include testing the ground to see what kind of foundation you need, wind tests--how much does your building move in the wind, laying a "concrete" (sand and cornstarch:) floor, and other fun stuff.

The boys are very interested in building and science and hands-on projects and this book is striking their fancy just right. We did a science experiment this afternoon, making super-saturated solutions with sugar and with baking soda--hopefully in a few days we'll have some crystals to examine. I suggested to Brannon that he practice writing today since we'll be writing observations on all our science experiments and he brought me his little dry-erase board with this on it $46+$4=$50=lago set (lego set--he's been saving his money for one, doing extra chores and such). I love how he'll write without pressure when he can pick what he writes. It's so much nicer than fighting over school. He wrote a number of words for the park planning project and to document our science experiment too (I helped him by writing anything that needed more than a couple words to describe, he gets overwhelmed so easily even though he likes writing down "scientific observations" and I want to keep it fun for him).

We've been doing some phonics games ( Happy Phonics I purchased from lovetolearn.net last year) too. It's funny how they'll read words they would fuss over being difficult if it was in a book, but because it's a game...

So, we've been having fun. Establishing a little routine in our day, enough to get school in, but not enough to make me crazy :P

Monday, September 6, 2010

A Couple Paintings

I think it was Linda who asked to see some artwork? Now that I have my computer back (Yay!) I thought I'd post a couple of pics. These are both paintings my mom has :) I actually need to track down a couple others and get pictures of them so I remember them, lol

An angel I did for a housewarming gift for my parents when they had to move... She's textured with a mixture of gesso and acrylic gel medium.
Another painting I did for my mom. This photo isn't so great but... There some collage/decoupage elements, some paint, texturing and some gel pen :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Racing Fun

*Apologies for the sideways pics, downloading them straight from the cam and not taking time to mess with them. Good news--I may have a computer in a week or so--

Last Sunday (Aug 29) was the third Pistis short track of the season. We all went, but Nate, Janis and I did not race(I was VERY disappointed--the third of my free races, one we were all at church and the other two I had a cold! So frustrating). Nate and Janis had a great time helping run the race--at least, they laughed a lot :)

Here's Nate and Steve during the first race. Steve's scoring and Nate's holding the sign that tells you how many laps you have left. (Not that anyone can read it whether they're slogging or zooming by{either too tired or too fast, lol}-so there's usually a lot of hollering the numbers out as each person goes by :)
Lorna raced, which would have been fun for me! To watch her disappear into the distance. *sigh* (I MUST be more patient with my progress!)
Zach--who won by a nose--Way to go Zach! He sprinted up on the previous beginner "champion" on the last corner
Greg--who reminds me so much of Brannon it's almost scary ;) Nate and I are always saying "we know what Brannon's going to sound like when he's fifteen"
Watching the action
Joshua and Elijah--playing with rocks
My sweet Brannon--ain't he handsome! :)
Nate and Janis
Nothing like having a big brother around to do exciting things like run around over dirt ramps jostling you all the way! "Do it again!" (Zach and Elijah)
Lorna and Elijah, having a snack
Plums are yummy!
and messy :)
Playing with the big boys...

Better Late Than Never--A Couple Fair Pics:)

We had a great time at the fair this year. Joshua was a hoot! Both boys had saved up money for armbands and Joshua ran from ride to ride all afternoon and evening. He challenged his brother into riding some that were way scarier than Brannon ever would have attempted on his own. No pictures of those yet, they are on the other camera, which is at home...
Our local forest fire had really kicked into high gear that day, but thankfully the smoke stayed far away instead of choking us out

I love the carnival at night, so pretty. The moon was very obliging, sitting for a photo shoot ;)
This is not a Ferris Wheel, ladies and gentlemen, it's a Giant Wheel
Now, there's excitement for you :D