Monday, March 30, 2009

I'm beginning to think that my thumb color is more olive drab...

I transplanted my tomatoes over the weekend to free up flats for corn, pumpkin, zucchini, green beans, lettuce, carrots, and peas. I made a lot of pots from newspaper (wow, those things are cool!). Something like 108 in all. Half way through I ran out of the StaGreen potting soil I was using so Tim got me some Miracle Grow so that I could finish.

Yea. Not so good. All of my tomatoes in StaGreen are OK, but my Miracle Grow tomatoes are all but dead. 50% failure rate is not good. I think it was the soil might have been it. I watered everything the same, but the little guys are still taking a down turn so I might have to replant at least that many tomatoes. A later crop perhaps?

On a good note, 1/3 of my peppers have made an appearance! I'm going to keep the lid on them for a little longer until I see more of them pop up, but I think we'll be OK on this batch. I should start seeing some of the second planting in about a week or so and then I'll do a third with more tomatoes.

Friday, March 27, 2009

I see a baptism in the future...

See? I'm trying to be prophetic, but I guess it doesn't work if I'm doing the planning for it.

A couple weeks ago I thought I had jumped the gun when I told the Missionaries that I needed to talk to the Mission President. I spent the next week trying to figure out how I would tell him that I had to wait a year or more if it came to that and that I didn't mean to get their hopes up. Luckily for them (and me) I didn't have to because the Council had other things to say.

My appointment was Tuesday after work (for me) and the Zone Missionary Lunch (for them). They said that dessert wasn't as good this time. :-) Traffic was a little interesting, so I pulled in the parking lot at the church at 5 pm on the nose. The Missionaries were waiting for me as if they thought I wasn't going to show. Going inside, they introduced me to President Moody, and I jokingly said that they followed me in and were blocking the door to keep me from running if I chickened out. He asked them if they still had the rope. Haha... no really, they had one in their bag.

We had a good lesson, reading from D&C20:37 and somewhere in Mosiah (I can't remember where) to show that the requirements for baptism were the same then as they are now. Then he dismissed the Missionaries so that we could talk. Yikes. I'm rather ashamed to admit that there are things in my past that prevented a traditional interview (hence the appointment with President Moody), but those things are over and done. I can honestly say that they are behind me, and I'm glad to say that I feel that the Lord thinks so as well. I can't say that I really want to go through that again, but the good news is I won't have to because...


Yes, I passed, and if you're just now joining us I'll say it again... I passed! Can you tell I'm excited??? The best part is that Tim is going to baptize and confirm me when it is time. We're looking at a time frame of 3-4 months, but if the kids have already gone to Arkansas for the summer, then we'll do it in August when they come back so that they can be there and see it.

One more thing. Since I've been threatened for dear life if I don't have cake at the baptism, I've been inspired to make a temple baptismal font, complete with the 12 oxen. I can't wait to start planning that one! :-)

What color is your thumb?

I decided to try my hand at gardening this year so that I could *maybe* make us a little less dependant on the economy for our food. My little helpers helped me plant tomato and pepper seeds on 3/15 for our family time. We watered, we covered, we waited. For a while I had them sitting by the sliding door at the back of the house where I thought they'd get the most light. After about a week we started getting little green leaves!!!

I assembled 2 shelves of a plastic 5-shelf unit I've had for ages and set up shop on the island in the kitchen under the lights. Wow the little guys really took off then!
I have 3 "Bog Boy" tomatoes for hamburgers and such, but the rest are Roma tomatoes. They have lots of flesh are are good sauce tomatoes. My peppers are still hiding from me, but the packet said they take 10-14 days. Maybe we'll see some this Sunday. We plan on also starting the lettuce, zucchini, and pumpkin seeds then as well.
When we planted the tomatoes and peppers, the kids also planted daisy seeds they received at church as part of the family lesson (mothers nurture). Their seeds started growing before mine did! Each kid has their own pot that they sprinkled seeds in (with their name on it). Aren't they cute?
Here are two of my helpers and the shelf setup on the island.

I also learned from Juliette Stollings about when to transplant and how to do it. When I saw her this morning, she showed me her newspaper "pots" for her tomatoes. Wow. She said it was something she learned at the gardening seminar a few weeks back that I wasn't able to attend. I wish I had because it looks like there was some really good stuff! We've agreed to swap some of our plants as they grow for more variety. Gardening is really a good fellowshipping technique!

Family Home Evening

I asked the kids what they wanted to do for FHE, and Audie said, "A house of order!" I looked online for pictures that I thought would represent the list as found in D&C88:119 "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God"

We got our the white board and talked about what it meant, drawing pictures of "needful things". The kids listed food, clothing, a house, scriptures, and water among those things they needed. Then we came to the list. I had drawn a house with windows in it and given each munchkin two pictures. As we read the list, we tried to figure out who had the picture that represented the "house" we were reading. From left to right, top to bottom we had: prayer, faith, learning, glory, order, God, fasting (the door on the addition).
Then while I got the treat ready (the remaining King Cake from Mormon Mardi Gras), they each got to draw their own house. Tim even drew one of his own! Counterclockwise: Tim, Audie, Chloie, Dougie (mine was the big one in the middle). :-)

Mormon Mardi Gras

My mother insists that Mormon Mardi Gras is a contradiction of terms, an oxymoron of sorts, but I tell you we had an awesome time without having to bear all to earn beads! We had good food from the authentic to the non, including the famous Chacon red beans and rice. And what Mardi Gras celebration would be complete without King Cakes (provided by yours truely of course)?

They had different tables set up each with it's own game. Let's see, there was Uno, Mad Gab, Apples to Apples, Name That Song (80's version), President (a card game), and Mardi Gras Thunder. I'd forgotten how... interesting... some of the 80's music videos were. I was rather embarrassed when our group was playing the game and some racy video came on. The worse part was, you couldn't fast forward the video! Everyone looked over at us as it was playing... oh, my!

Mardi Gras Thunder was a rather fun game from our returned missionary Elder Menendez. You toss 3 quarters until you get 3 of a kind (heads or tails). Once you get 3, you put on a series of items (mickey mouse ears, a mask, beads, gloves) and try to open a candy bar wrapped in 3-4 layers of newspaper using only a pair of knives. In the mean time, your partner is tossing the quarters until they get three of a kind. Once they get 3, you take everything off, they put it on, and while you're tossing the quarters, they're working on the candy bar. It was kind of funny to see the Bishopric and their wives wearing the funny getup while playing the game, and I know I looked goofy! I even won the round for our group, though it was really no contest because women and chocolate are a volatile combination. The funniest part of the whole game was the expressions on people's faces when they realized that they had to take all of that stuff off... again... and try their luck at the quarters.

This was Tim's idea of a joke. He caught a picture of me playing around with a mask on the table and snapped a picture, but luckily someone else made him put something funny on and let them take his picture.

And then there were 3

So after Audie's fish, Fish, died, we promised he could get another one. They pulled money out of their banks, and off to the Spring Mills Wal-mart we go. Initially Audie wanted to get another Beta, but after seeing the other fish they had, he decided to get something different. Audie picked out a Gold Fantail that he named Spiky, Chloie picked out a Calico Fantail that she named Dora (or is it Ariel? she's changed it a couple times), and Dougie picked out a Comet that he named Nemo. I tried to take pictures, but the little snots just don't hold still for very long. These are the best I managed to get. If fish take on the traits of the owners like dogs do, then Chloie's fish has managed to be more photogenic than the others just like Chloie. Go figure... or better yet, go fish!I know it is a small tank, but we're cleaning it often and saving up money to get a larger tank. I think 3-5 gallons will do nicely.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Family Home Evening

Our Family Home Evening this week was about tithing. Some time ago I had made up a printed sheet with 10 boxes on it. Nine of the boxes are under the heading "For Me", and the last box is under the heading "For the Lord". we give the kids ten of the same coin, and they place them in the boxes. It helps them understand that one-tenth of anything they earn goes to tithing. We even talked about what tithing is used for and why it is important. Then we showed them how to fill out the tithing envelope and who they could give it to. Over all it was a quick lesson, but one that they enjoyed!

A fish by any other name would be... Fish

Poor Fish, poor Audie.

Fish has been sick. I cleaned Fish's tank Monday evening in the hopes that the little guy would perk up. He seemed to just breathe at the bottom of his tank. Eventually we couldn't even get him to go up and eat. Audie's had him almost a year, and Betas usually only live to be 2 or so. Tuesday morning I awoke to find him lifeless on the bottom of his tank. No moving gills, no moving fins. I was heartbroken that Audie should lose his pet. I quickly sent Fish to his watery grave and cleaned the tank to put away before Audie woke up. Our discussion was brief... he is Jesus' fish until he gets there to get him back. I promised we'd get a new fish this weekend, and maybe we can get a different fish so that his brother and sister can have a fish as well. For now, Fish, you will be missed.
Something else happened Monday night; the house 2 doors down from us caught fire. The fire trucks were there all night, and there is not much left of the house or their trailblazer (sitting in close proximity), but as far as we know, no one was hurt. We're still not entirely sure what happened. The firemen were very appreciative of the hot chocolate and warm bagels we took over the next morning on our way to school and work. Our prayers are with the family as they recover.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Email Humour

It occurred to me that it's been a while since I've posted any whitticisms. Bad, bad Mommy!


Fascinating biology facts
(don't ask me how they found some of this out)

The largest cell in the human body is the female egg and the smallest is the male sperm.
It takes food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
One human hair can support 3 kg (6 lbs).
The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.
Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.
There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
Women blink twice as often as men.
The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.
Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
Men who read this are still busy checking their thumbs.

Cup of Tea (no, this is not me)

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe 2 1/2 years old and had just recovered from an accident. Someone had given me a little 'tea set' as a get-well gift and it was one of my favorite toys.

Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news when I brought him a little cup of 'tea', which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home.

My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was 'just the cutest thing!' My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy and she watches him drink it up.

Then she says, (as only a mother would know…)

'Did it ever occur to you that the only place she can reach to get water is the toilet?

Valentines Pictures

Yep, I was looking through pictures on my camera and saw that I was remiss for not posting these gems. I took pictures with the intention of posting them last month, but I ended up forgetting with the move and all of the crazy cake stuff that's been happening lately.

Here is Audie posing with his valentines. He made out like a bandit, and a girl or two left an extra heart on her valentine for him. Um, growing up too soon. I'll give you three guesses who the ham of the family is... if you said Chloie, you'd be right. "Wait, Mommy, take a picture of this one!"
Can you say "Cheese"?This is the "mail box" we made for school for her valentines. I covered the box and cut out the hearts, and she pasted them on. There was a flag on there somewhere, but I think it fell off coming back from school.Dougie only got valentines from his brother and sister (and Mommy and Dad of course!), but to make him feel better, Chloie and Audie shared their spoils with him. Happy kid, I tell you!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Boxes and Bathrooms

I bet you thought this was a new store like Bed Bath & Beyond! Nope!

Last night after the kids went to bed, Tim and I unpacked the bathrooms. Tim sat there talking to me, and I sorted everything out. I found all 567 or so of Chloie's ponytail thingies, the brushes I've been looking for since we moved in, all of Tim's cologne and my perfume, and I lost count of all the lotion we have. Yikes! It takes up the entire bottom drawer of the bathroom cabinet! I need to really start using it more often.

It's nice, however, to see empty floor in our bedroom (where the 5 boxes and 3 bags of stuff once stood). We're going to tackle all of my crafty stuff next. This Saturday after I deliver the Skateboarder Birthday Cake and go grocery shopping should do nicely. Believe it or not, once all of those boxes are done, that'll clear out the boys' closet, the rest of Chloie's room, and most of the "quiet room" as the kids call it or about 75% of the remaining boxes. I might have to invest in some cabinets or something.

Our next agenda is the kids' toys. We're going to sort through them for age appropriate things. No matter how cute, I don't think they will want to play with the stacking ring toy any more. That should thin down the mass down stairs. Anyone know someone that might need these toys? They're free!

Tim tried to make deer burgers last night. I can't say it was an overwhelming success. They tasted good, Audie and Chloie really liked them, as did I, but our of 10 we ended up with 4 1/2. They kept falling apart on the grill. I think I have a solution for that, but we'll have to try it out later. I will tell you that the fillet mignon we made from the tenderloin turned out exceptionally well. Audie even devoured one.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Family Home Evening

Yesterday during lunch I decided to look at Splash for a Family Home Evening (FHE) idea. I decided to do a little "gospel art" with the family. We've been reading in 1 Nephi about how Lehi followed God's commandments and led his family out of Jerusalem and into the wilderness. I found a picture in the gospel art kit on and printed #301 in grey scale. I also printed the text on the back of the picture. We talked about the picture, who was who, and what they were doing while everyone colored their picture. Then we posted them on the back window for all to see.

It was fun to see how each one of us colored the picture. From top left and going counterclockwise: Tim, Me, Dougie, Audie, and Chloie with the text in the middle. This was a fun activity that fit very well with our scripture study, and we got to see how much the kids really learned from reading. Dougie even knows what book we're reading (the Book of Mormon) and who we're reading about(Nephi). Audie and Chloie can recount most of the story and why some of the events happened. I'm so proud!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Another busy weekend...

It seems like we never have enough time in the day to get everything done! We stopped by my parent's house on Saturday to pick up some things that we left behind... there's still stuff there in the garage, but that can wait until our next visit. Then we got to go to the emergency room only this time it was a quick trip to triage to get Dougie's staple removed. I was picturing something resembling the little handheld fanged contraption I use at work to remove staples from paper. I tell you, I was relieved to see it was a little thing that crimped the center and in doing so, allowed the nurse to just lift the staple... no blood or screaming. It was actually kind of neat. We had lunch at Pizza Hut and afterwards stopped by Wal-mart. We got lucky with front row parking and decided to take the whole family in for the trip instead of just me running in for the two or three things we needed there. I did get the #10 yarn for the leprosy bandages we're doing in Relief Society as one of our service projects. I've been working on my first one for two days and so far it's almost 3 feet long. I understand why they're so hard to keep doing... it started out 2" wide, but it seems to have shrunk to 1 1/2". It's getting there. We also went to Martin's to get groceries. I spent a little more than I really wanted to, but at least we're stocked up for a little bit. I even got my veggie seeds for the garden. I can't wait to start planting!

Sunday was a little more tame (I think). We woke up to almost an inch of snow (that I didn't know was coming). The kids seemed pretty excited about it. I promised them we could play in it when we got home, but it had almost completely melted by the time we got home. Church today was the first of two(!) fast Sundays this month, and it was a wonderful meeting. Brother Taylor did very well his first time conducting Sacrament. President Fugate got up to talk about how we need adversity. I hate to admit it, but I agree with him. The missionaries and our returned missionaries all got up to speak as well. That reminds me, we need to start saving for missions later, too. Relief Society was about Joy and Happiness and the things we could do in our lives to cultivate both. I really like it when Sister Meehan teaches us. She as a sense of humor about everything that make the lesson interesting and tangible. When we did finally get home and while the kids were taking their nap, Tim and I had a long conversation about the temple, going there, what we had to do, why we wanted to go. It seems like it will take forever for us to get there, and I worry that something will happen between now and then. He seems confident that it will all be OK, but I'm not. I wish he could pass some of that over to me. For now his reassurances will be enough.

I did start on the figures for the skate boarder cake that I'm making for next weekend. I also have to start finding ideas for the Relief Society Birthday cake coming up at the end of the month. Purses. Lots and lots of purses. Should be fun!

This morning (Monday) on my way to work, the Trailblazer and I had a run in with a patch of black ice near Sulphur Springs Stables... as a garbage truck was coming the other way. I was really scared, especially after the talk I had with Tim yesterday, but luckily the Lord was watching over me and we made it our unscathed. When I say "we" I mean the Trailblazer, too. Not a scratch! I put it in 4-wheel drive for the rest of the trip into work.

Tim and I plan to unpack throughout the week as much as possible, and hopefully most of it will be done before Saturday so we can relax a little bit. I say hopefully because they are starting a rotating schedule at Tim's work so he might not be home for some Saturdays or Sundays. I strongly dislike it when they do this. I honestly think it's a waste of time, not to mention making him work on Sundays. Grrr!