Tuesday, June 26, 2007

They're Growing up SO FAST!

So, while out on a picnic with my boys yesterday I realized that it has now been a month since I was in New York visiting family. AND how much John has grown since then!! John is now a master of putting his toys in his mouth, he's rolling over from his tummy to his back, and almost from his back to tummy (if only that arm didn't get in the way!). He can sit up for a short time and longer if he supports his upper body with his arms. He's eating cereal. He wants to be a part of everything now. I have a lot of trouble nursing him when others are in the room, particularly his brother, and out in public because he wants to turn around and look at everything.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Made Some Laundry Soap

So, I finally ran out of commercial laundry detergent and got to make some of my own with the recipe I posted a while back. According to my calculations, it cost me only 66 cents to make the 2 gallons of soap. Here's how I came to that.

At Walmart 1 box of 20 Mule Team Borax is $2.67 for a 76oz box (ok, yes I gave in and went to Hellmart, but Dave was watching the kids so I could get in and out quickly). 1/2 cup of the powder weighs 3.5 ozs which is about 21.715 1/2 cup portions. $2.67 divided by 21.715 is about $0.12.

At Tops 1 bar of Fels Naptha is $1.11, only 1/3 of which is needed for the recipe. $1.11 divided by 3 is $0.37. (Though Publix carries it for $0.99 I found out today)

At Publix 1 box of Arm and Hammer Washing Soda is $2.29 for a 55 oz box. 1/2 cup weighs about 4.2ozs, so there are 13.095 1/2 cup portions in a box, and therefore $0.17 per 1/2 cup.

So there it is....$0.12 + $0.37 + $0.17 is $0.66 for 2 gallons of laundry detergent. WOW! Now let's just see if the detergent actually works.... I'll let you know, as I have a couple little boys clothes and diapers to wash tomorrow.

** A NEXT DAY NOTE.... this morning when I woke up I found that my soap had gel'ed quite a bit, much more than the described "egg-white" consistancy from the recipe. It was much more of a solid gel, which proved a problem in transferring it into my recycled laundry soap containers. I found an old paint stir stick and gave it a good stir and got the gel to break down a bit, enough to be able to transfer, but still quite clumpy. Here is the link to the recipe I used...
The cap from my old containers measured just over 1/2 cup (which is the recommended amt to use per load), so if I use just under a capful per load it should be a good measure of how much soap to use.

Friday, June 22, 2007

A Conversation with a 3-year-old

In the morning.....
Child: Mama, are we going swimming tomorrow?
Me: No, but you're going swimming today.
Child: Are we going swimming today?
Me: Yes, after jumpin beans with Hayden.
Child: Are we going swimming with Hayden?
Me: No, after Hayden, after your nap, you're going swimming with Miss Amie.
Child: Miss Amie's coming!!!
Me: No, YOU are going swimming at Miss Amie's house.
Child: Are we going swimming with Miss Amie tomorrow?
Me: No, you are going swimming with Miss Amie today.

About 5 minutes later.....
Child: Are we going swimming Mama?
Me: Yes
Child: Are we going swimming tomorrow?
Me: No, swimming is today after your nap.
Child: Are we going swimming today?
Me: Yes you are going swimming with Miss Amie.
Child: Am I going swimming with miss Amie?
Me: Yes, you are going swimming with Miss AMie.
Child: Are we going swimming now?
Me: No, now we are going to play with Hayden.
Child: Is Hayden going swimming?
Me: No, After Hayden you are going swimming with Miss Amie.
Child: Are we going to Miss Amie's OLD house?
Me: No, we're going to Miss Amie's NEW house.
Child: Miss Amie's NEW house?
Me: Yes.
Child: Mama, can we go swimming at Miss Amie's NEW house?
Me: Yes. (whew, I thought he finally got it)

Some time later.....this time a good 10-15 minutes.
Child: Mama, are we going swimming on Saturday?
Me: Saturday is tomorrow, so no.
Child: Are we going swimming tomorrow?
Me: No, but we can go swimming on Sunday.
Child: Are we going swimming on Sunday?
Me: If you're a good boy.
Child: Are we going swimming on Saturday?
Me: No, we are not, Saturday is cleaning day.
Child: Are we going swimming on Sunday?
Me: Yes, after church if you are a good boy tomorrow.
Finally child gets distracted by a non-swimming object and stops asking...for a few minutes.

Can you sense a trend? A little boy who loves the water and has learned that there are words for periods of time, but doesn't understand exactly how long each time period is, and a mama who is going absolutely crazy!!!!

Week Update and Photos

This week has been pretty busy. We've been to Jumpin' Beans, twice to the library, twice swimming at the Y, to a playdate at the park, to a farewell party for our friends, and will have more jumpin and swimming today. We finally replaced the stolen lawn mower and I am sore today from mowing through the forest that was our yard. We got the call from Dave's new job that his background check was completed, and so he will start working on July 4th. We're taking advantage of Dave's week off to go up next Wed to surprise his Grandad (Wed is his birthday) for a few days. I'm looking forward to this weekend to be more uneventful so I can get some housework and reading done. Here are a few photos I took at the Y.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Ashley and I took our boys to Jumpin' Beans yesterday to spend some time together. Our friends are moving next week to Nashville. Hayden was Seth's very first best friend. Here is Seth with Hayden after our playdate. I have been telling Seth that Hayden is moving to a new house in a new place, but I'm not so sure he understands. These next few months will be very confusing for him, as there will be a lot of changes happening in his life.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The WonderPowder

During my trip up to NY, my Mom gave me a book called Baking Soda, Over 500 Uses You've Probably Never Thought of, by Vicky Lansky. I must say I was quite impressed and very strangely excited as I read it. (Yes I realize what a HUGE dork that makes me). Baking Soda is a natural product and does not polute or affect the environment at all. Anyhow, I suggest keeping a few boxes of Baking Soda in your home as it is extremely useful. Here are some of the Uses....

  1. On your counters, sprinkle some soda and a little lemon juice or vinegar and scrub them clean. The soda will remove tea bag , mustard or juice spill stains and deoderize at the same time
  2. Out of deoderant? Rub some baking soda under your arms as a back-up until you get some, the powder will absorb some moisture and deoderize.
  3. Unclog your drain by pouring 1 cup of soda down, then follow with 1 cup of hot vinegar.
  4. We all know a box of soda in your fridge eliminates odors.
  5. Make a paste of baking soda and water and spread over rusty appliances, nuts or bolts to remove the rust.
  6. Pre-treat laundry stains with a paste of soda and water.
  7. Remove build-up in your hair from sprays and concentrated shampoos by mixing 1 tsp soda with your shampoo in your hand and wash and condition as usual.
  8. Mix 1/2 tsp soda in a cup of water and rinse your mouth to eliminate onion and garlic smells.
  9. Whiten your teeth and remove stains with a mixture of 1/2 tsp lemon juice and 1 tsp soda. Apply paste with a q-tip, brush teeth with water and rinse.
  10. Have heartburn? Mix 1/2 tsp of soda in 1/2 glass of water and drink. The soda works to neutralize the acidity in your stomach. **though medical precautions should be considered before taking any home remedy!!
  11. Treat symptoms of UTIs or Vaginitis by soaking in a bath with soda in it.
  12. Treat a stuff nose by mixing 1/4 tsp soda with 1 tbs of water and put a few drops in each nostril.
  13. Remove tape residue left on windows with a paste of baking soda and water.
Ok, those are a few of my favorites. Enjoy!

Monday, June 18, 2007

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah- a book review

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah is about a young teen boy from Sierra Leone. He's caught in the middle of the war in his country between rebel forces and the Army. Separated from his family during an attack on his village, he wanders for months from village to village trying to avoid the horrors of the rebel forces. But eventually out of starvation and a need to belong again to a group he, at the age of 13 joins the Army to fight the rebels and revenge the deaths of his family. 2 years later the Army sends him and several other young soldiers to a rehabiliation center sponsored by UNICEF to help the children cope with the horrors of what they have seen and done. Ishmael Beah is now 27 and living in the US, and this book is his story of what happened in his life.

A very impressive book. Astonishing. It brings to life what people of my generation have gone through in other countries, and makes me appreciate how fortunate I am to be living in this wonderful country. Though, not all that entertaining. I'd compare reading this book to watching the movie Shindler's List. You do it for the experience, and to grasp an understanding of what it might be like to go through the experience that this person did. It was at times difficult to read, and is not a book for those who have weak stomachs or get upset by gore. ButI think it was definitely worth the experience and I feel it's important to read to have a more global and first count understanding of what is going on in other parts of the world.

Father's Day

Father's Day was a nice day for us. Though Dave had to close the restaurant Sat night, the power went out and they closed early. So, Dave got home early and got some sleep. Sunday morning we woke up and called my Dad to wish him Happy Father's Day. (HI DAD!) and then I took the boys to church. I had a nice dinner planned for Dave, but it didn't work out so well. I don't think I will ever master the Art of homemade fried chicken like Lois. My chicken turned out both burned and raw at the same time (yes, I know, thank you very much). So I sprang for pizza and just wrapped up the mashed potatoes and veggie casserole for tomorrow's dinner. Anyhow, it was a nice day because we had Dave home and I got to hear my childrens squeels of laughter in the bedroom as they wrestled around, and we got to eat a "nice" dinner, and well, just had some family time.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Don't know why Dave put this hat on John, but he looked so cute in it.

Neither of them have that great a look on their faces, but Seth wanted to give John a hug.....so....this was the result.

Chilling out on the couch together in the morning.

A lot of people say Seth and John look alike, but compare the two here, around the same age, and I think they look very much like their own self.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Sister's Keeper- A book review.

My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult, is about Anna, the sister of a girl with a rare form of leukemia. Anna was concieved so that she would be a genetic match for her sister and therefore could be a chord blood and/or bone marrow donor for her sister. Anna's sister Kate wasn't expected to live more than a few years, however she beat the odds and has made it to 16 years old. Anna, now 13, has been a donor for her sister all her life, undergoing painful procedures. But her sister needs a kidney transplant due to all the treatments she's undergone, and their parents plan on having Anna donate one of hers. So (and this is the main story line of the book) she finds a lawyer to take her case so that she can petition a judge for medical emancipation from her parents. She is tired of being a body part supplier, and wants to be done with all of it, even if that means that her sister will die as a result.

I was originally attracted to this book mainly because I, also at age 16, had leukemia (though I had probably the most common form). The descriptions used of Anna's sister's experiences brought back a LOT of strangely similar memories. The book is narrated by the viewpoint of many different characters in the book, and was very effective in presenting all sides to the debate of whether it is legally, ethically and morally responsible to procede with a kidney transplant. I found myself teetering back and forth between rooting for Anna's rights as a person to not be used as a "supplier" and rooting for her mother, who out of love for both her children is anguished and torn at wanting to save one daughter's life and dealing with the lawsuit at hand. The desire to know ultimately what the judge decides is the only thing that kept me reading to the end of this book, as I found huge chunks of it completely unnecessary and rather annoying. There is a side-story of a relationship that the lawyer has with the guardian-at-lidem who is assigned to Anna's case by the court. The relationship is juvenile and annoying at best, and should never had been included in this book. Also, Anna's brother Jesse has a lot of emotional problems that are focused on in detail in this book, and they are somewhat valid in showing how he has been affected by his sister's illness, however again....it was unnecessary to the main story line and I found it annoying as well. So...all in all I give this book a GOOD. It was listed on the NY Times Best Seller list, but I'm guessing it was at the bottom of the list.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Scrambly Head

We are still keeping my job situation in prayer. I don't like feeling so unsure about where I should work. I wish I had a more clear answer. We have known for a long time Dave is going to seminary, and we never thought it would be anywhere else but Ashland. So, when it came to finding a job there, we thought well God wants us to go there so He'll make a way for us to be there. But God also gave us our brains to think logically and use common sense, and accepting a job close to Ashland that doesn't pay enough for us to live as a family is not sensible. Accepting a job elsewhere that does pay enough but requires that Dave go to a school in a different denomination than to what he felt called is sensible, but are we just not being faithful enough? It's very unclear in my head about what to do. I'm still praying that someone calls me up out of the blue from Ashland and says....hey you're exactly what we want and we're willing to pay you just exactly what you need! Haha yeah right, but what I would like...is a more clear direction of where He wants us to go. Maybe he doesn't care which way....maybe he just wants us to make the decision for ourselves and he'll support us whichever way we choose like any parent would? In my heart I long to go to Ashland, even though I've never been there or even seen that many pictures of it. But in my heart I also really want to work and have a career doing what I love...using language..which means going elsewhere. I'm torn and now I'm just rambling, so I'll just leave it at that.

John, and Dave

Today I took John for his 4 month well baby check-up. The results..... John is now 19lbs 6ozs which puts him at the 97th % in weight (and now more than double his birthweight), he's 26 1/4 inches tall which is the 88th % for height. He also got 4 shots today, as well as an oral vaccine. This time around I was armed with the Tylenol, which has kept his comfort level pretty good. He's not his usual self, but after a good night's sleep tonight I'm sure he'll be back up and smiley again tomorrow.

Good News! Dave got the job he applied for! He handed in his 2 week notice at McDs yesterday. They are not happy to see him go, but after a rough weekend Dave is SO looking forward to the change. I am also looking forward to a consistant and well-in-advance schedule, consecutive days off, one 4-day weekend a month (good for traveling to see friends and family) and better pay and benefits. All in all a good deal. This is uncharted terretory for Dave, who has never been a dispatcher before, so I really hope he enjoys it.

Monday, June 11, 2007


While up in NY my Mom gave me a book she read and recommended called the Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. On the plane I started to read it, and shortly after I got home I couldn't put it down. It was excellent, and I'm looking forward now to reading the second book he wrote A Thousand Splendid Sons, which I have put my name on the waiting list at the library for. I am very excited about getting back into books and doing some more reading. It's been years....pretty much since I went to college, since I've read books consistantly for enjoyment. With my new book, My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult, I didn't even have any desire to turn on the tv after the kids were put down to bed last night. Perhaps reading is the sort of intellectual stimulation that I need to help me stay sane while I'm home with two small children. Yeah, duh...you're probably thinking. But I've just been out of practice of reading for SO long that it's just not something I thought to do.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Yay Dave!

Dave finished his McDonalds training this past week and has officially been given a Manager title. Along with that comes another raise and from 50 to 75% of the insurance premiums covered. I give thanks to God for all Dave's hard work and moving up so quickly in his job. After paying bills this week and looking to the future paychecks and expected bills I was feeling very discouraged yesterday. God has always taken care of us, and here He is taking care of us again.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Picture Time

Please excuse the layout of the pictures....I'm still trying to figure out how I can work this.

Tonight was the Avalance Ranch vacation bible school's family cookout night to wrap up the week. Seth has SO much fun all week pretending to be a cowboy and learning new songs and doing the projects. This week he learned that God is Real, God is Strong, God is Awesome and If We Love Him, We'll Obey His Commandments. They had 2 waterslide bouncy houses, 2 horses, a climbing wall and great food. Seth was SO sad when we finally left to go home.

A few pictures from our trip up north.....

Nicole, Seth and Hayden getting ready for a swim in 'Lije Lake. The water was very very chilly.

My Dad with Seth on the docks of the Niagara River in Youngstown.

And finally....the pictures I promised of John's Tummy Rollover. (Of course the stinker did it for like...two days and hasn't done it since!)

Thursday, June 7, 2007


So, since my last post about my job situation, or I should say lack of situation, I have gotten recent e-mails from both prospects. Though neither of the e-mails are very exciting. They're both just saying that timing is the issue. At this point I'd just be happy with a ...yes we're hiring you but we can't start you until a specific date. At least I'd have SOME idea of when I can start working. In the meantime Dave has a job interview tomorrow afternoon for a completely different position. The pay and benefits are better, and it would be a relief for Dave from the frustrations of working with teenagers. Please pray it works out for him!

Seth and John are settled in now that we're back home. Seth has been going to Vacation Bible School every evening this week and John is trying his first cereal meals (though they're not doing much for his sleep like I'd hoped).

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

my head

I like to think I have profound thoughts. I think a lot. I think about a lot of stuff. Why is it that when I sit down to actually put my thoughts on paper it never comes out right? I could write an award winning novel......in my head. Not that I want my blog to read like a novel every time I write, but I would like to think it might someday be somewhat interesting.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Trip to NY Part 2

Monday afternoon we headed back to Youngstown. We spent the rest of the week there. We visited a few different parks for Seth to get some run around time, went down to the fish hatchery by the Yacht club and to see the "pirates" in their sailboats, and we surprised Mom with another visit to her school. I got to do a drive-by of my old schools, my old friends houses and the house I grew up in in Lewiston. The best part of that week was seeing my friends Jenn and Sarah and catching up on our lives. It's always so good to see long time friends, as I know that these are the women I'll keep in touch with till I'm old and grey. Sarah took me out for my 30th birthday at Brennans to get a long-missed chicken finger sub. Dad took me out for lunch at the old coffee house where I got my first waitressing job, and he took Seth out for a while so that I could have some alone time (which just ended up being nap time) but was desperately needed. All in all I had a wonderful time. It was, and is always, so comforting to be around my parents and family. But after a week and a half of being away from home, Seth's behavior started to get worse and worse, and we could all tell he was missing his Daddy and didn't know how to express it. So, we were looking forward to seeing him. Next time, we'll make sure he comes with us.

Trip to NY Part 1

We arrived in Youngstown just after midnight on Thursday morning and slept in till 830ish. Once we got up and dressed and such we packed up the car headed for camp in the mountains. My parents have a beautiful camp on Lake Elijah where they spend their summers. We stopped to see my Mom at work, so she could show off her grandchildren to her friends and show off her school and friends to us. Seth had to touch every button and thing in her office. Just before camp we stopped in Carthage and spent a half hour with my Pop to surprise him. Grandma and Pop didn't know we were all coming, and they've never met John before, so we were excited to see them. Late morning on Friday my sister Noreen arrived from VT with my neice Nicole and nephew Hayden. It was great to see them, and a relief that Seth would have someone to play with other than me. In the afternoon my Grandma arrived, and she was so surprised!

The rest of the weekend involved lots of relaxation, food, card games, a swim (the little ones don't feel teh freezing cold like we old folks do), a 60th wedding anniversary celebration (Grandma and Pop), an ATV ride (with a deer sighting), a boat ride and just fun spending time with family. I wish I lived closer to enjoy it more often.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Home Again

Today went by very quickly traveling back home to GA, though I am utterly exhausted. John's ears didn't seem to be affected by the pressure much at all, which made everyone around me very happy. And the second length of the flight was just after lunch. Perfect timing for Seth to take a great nap and therefore be in a good mood for the rest of the day. Seth was a great helper in getting the luggage and everything from the airport to the car (in the pouring rain). I don't think I would be able to travel with two children by myself if Seth wasn't as old as he is and able to help. It kind of irritated me that not a single person who worked at the airport offered to help me with my luggage (though why it still surprises me that after 3 years of living in Ga that the people here just aren't nice, I don't know....enter small tangent.....as I'm walking toward the parking lot pushing a double stroller in one hand with a baby and a car seat in it, and dragging 3 suitcases behind me with my 3-year-old a few steps behind that dragging a 4th suitcase in the rain, I walked by 3 valets standing around because on a Sat afternoon the airport was dead and not a single one of them says anything to me.....a woman in a van slowed to a stop and rolled down her window and said to them...I'm meeting someone here, where should I go? .....one valet shouts at her.....well, if you're picking someone up where do you THINK you should go?......arrivals, I heard her say......and the response from the guy......didn't you see the BIG sign back there?....she drives away.....was that necessary? were you doing something SO important that you had to be a smart-ass to a woman who asked for very simple directions? .....grrr......now perhaps you get a small glimpse of what I deal with all the time around here.) Anyhow, we drove straight to Thomson to visit Dave at work and have dinner with him before coming home. It feels so good to get his big hug and see the smiles on the boys when they see him. I got home around 830pm....11 hours total travel time. It will feel so good to sleep in my own bed. Dave has the next two days off of work. I'm looking forward having some family time and telling him all about the trip.