Saturday, April 30, 2016

Lake Michigan

We've been here nearly six years and for the first time we are visiting the west side of the state. And we finally saw one of the Great Lakes!! Why did we go six years before getting out having Michigan adventures?? No clue, but I'm glad we are!

David's Cub Scout pack is camping in a submarine tonight, so that was the perfect excuse to take a mini vacation.

After we played on the beach and walked the pier to the lighthouse we stopped in at our (cheap) hotel to check in and get keys. Then I dropped off J and D and the littles and I went back to the hotel. After baths (they were SOOOO sandy and dirty) we had pizza at a really yummy place up the way. It came highly recommended from the hotel's clerk and Google and Mr Scribbs pizza didn't disappoint. After that back to the hotel and bedtime. After a long daybed time was easy and early. Yay.

Tomorrow is another day of adventuring. I'm excited! 


Holly came to visit last week. Sadly the only picture I have of her is from the moment we were getting ready to drop them off at the airport.

We spent a lot of time talking and watching kids. It was such a great visit. I miss my sisters and really treasure those times we have together. :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Motherhood is my favorite hat

I'm more than a mom, but it's really my favorite hat. Even when the three-year-old throws himself on the ground when you tell him "No, I'm not buying you candy today. You didn't eat all (any) of your lunch." He ended up with a bloody lip. Poor kid.

And motherhood is my favorite hat, even when there are arguments and complaining and dinner is gross. Although they loved the kale chips.

And motherhood is my favorite hat, even when I get home from a less-than-stellar meeting this evening and two kids are sobbing and another is angry and there's so much more to do...

Motherhood is my favorite hat because I get to see moments like this:

David helping Andrea read scriptures this morning.

Oh, and I get to take a few minutes to dry tears and cuddle and kiss littles. I get to warm up a little milk and honey. I get to invite littles to the table and ask them about their days while they sip their milk and honey. Their bedtime redo was much more pleasant.

So. While today wasn't the greatest (the bloody lip and bedtime meltdowns were really bad), there were moments today that were sweet and good. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016


It is solidly spring. And we had a snow storm today.


Choir practice went well today. I think everyone has their parts. I went through every copy of music and highlighted and red penciled dynamics. I hope it helps. We sing next week for Ward Conference. I think they'll knock out socks off. The last chord about made me melt.

Then we got home from church and froze. Not sure why, but our apartment is an ice box at the moment. I think the boiler is having trouble with this bipolar weather we've been having. So we are cold. (I'm sensing a theme.... I'm really looking forward to the warmer weather this week!!)

Yesterday we watched Singin' In the Rain with the kids. They tried to not like it. They failed. Today we turn on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Again they tried to not like it, but David made us promise to not watch the rest without him. I think our subtle plan to make the kids fall in love with old musicals is working... ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Today was a pretty laid back day. I went to the community garden meeting with Andi this morning. We got out plot for the year. It's a big one. I hope we have success. 

Speaking of spring and gardens.... It snowed most of the morning. Big fat flakes. I hate snow.

After lunch David went to play with a friend for the afternoon while the rest of us drove out the the base. Jonathan had a few things he needed from the PX for drill. We figured we would go ahead and do our week's shopping while there. Good call. The prices were fantastic! I won't be making two hour trips every week for groceries but it was nice today. They also had the same funny carts I remembered from being a kid and shopping g on base. They loaded our bags onto them as we were checking out.

After getting everything we needed I insisted on driving up to the edge of the base to check out Lake St. Clair. It is huge! 
Funny thing is this isn't even one of the Great Lakes. They get bigger! 

After seeing the lake we stopped at the chocolate factory (3 minutes down the road) and the littles got ice cream. 

Then we went home. We picked up David, the kids all showered, dishes and laundry and a show got done.

It was a good day.

Friday, April 8, 2016


A trip to the barn this morning was rewarded with new lambs and kids. And there are four ewes in the barn that will be lambing soon. How fun!

Peter, of course, loved it. He was not happy when it was time to go home an hour later. 

The cows were in the shed today. I think the two dairy cows are expecting soon-ish. One definitely looks pregnant, the other looks like she might be but it would be her first calf so it is hard to tell.
Peter thought the cows were great, but he didn't want to pet them. He said they were too huge and stinky.

The rest of the day was spent doing chores and taking naps. This evening I went to the temple. It was nice to get out on my own and spend a few hours somewhere peaceful.

There are days where I need peace more than others. This week has been rough. I've been looking forward to my Friday night away all week. Now I feel rested and refreshed and ready for the next week. Hopefully the weather will be better, gloomy weather (and the stupid friggin' snow!!!) have only added to the drudgery that was this week.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


Pete was all smiles at lunch yesterday. I asked a friend to come with me to the other side of Ann Arbor while I met with a man about a dresser. This dresser, actually:
It is sturdy and looks like it will last a lifetime. The man I bought it from had it from when he was a teenager. It was hard for him to part with, but I assured him we'd take good care of it and my kids would appreciate it.

I treated my helping friend to lunch as a thank you. Peter was so excited to get out and have something other than peanut butter and jelly. Yummy hotdogs always beat out pb&j.

The same friend left us a new, terrible card game. It is hilarious. Don't play it. The above pair has been my favorite combo so far.

I'm also a horrible person so that card game is perfect for me. I'd totally be parent B:

I'm looking forward to the weekend. Things get to slow down some. David started his computer programming class today so I made a few extra trips to the school today. I'm hopeful the class is a good thing, he came home in tears today. He asked for the class for his birthday in lieu of going to Cedar Point. I kinda want to go to Cedar Point. The class had better be worth it. 

Andi is so happy to be back at school. She enjoyed spring break, but she loves school. She comes home chipper and chatty, ready to tell me all about her day as she helps me to cook. She especially enjoys making our daily bread loaf. I found a nice bread machine on Craigslist a few weeks back and we've been making a little loaf every day. Andrea loves it. She says she wants to be a chef some day.

So those are the updates for the day. We are happy and healthy and ready for the weekend.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A time for faith

I've been taking faith a day at a time. At times it is tough, but more often it is peaceful. For that I am grateful.

It is funny how quickly one can get attached to something the size of a poppy seed. Especially something that makes you violently ill and so unbelievably tired. It is with the heaviest of hearts that I said goodbye to someone I never knew, but loved with my whole self.

Faith in God... Not just for the good days when you wonder where you're going to put the crib. It is also for the days (maybe more especially for the days) when you put that crib away because it won't be needed after all.

My sister-in-law had guessed at our news the day before our loss. She was the second person I told about the loss. She went to her garden and picked some of her beautiful flowers, pressed them, then sent them to me. It was the perfect gift. 

The flowers could technically be considered dead and useless, but have been specially preserved to serve as a reminder of the love and care that surrounds me and my family in a time when we need it most.

And so we weather another storm. I am calm. I am at peace. I am oddly content. I cry, but I rejoice. We are sad, but there is relief. Andrea is our rainbow from the last time we fought through this storm. Maybe someday, in the distant future, there will be another rainbow. Maybe not. For now I watch the rain, for it has been made beautiful in its time.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Art a la Holly

I have a very talented sister. Actually, I have two very talented sisters, but today I'm excited about the artsy-fartsy one because I got something in the mail made by her.

Holly apparently went to Hogwarts School of Graphic Design and Wizardry because she can magically design really neat things on the computer. I have been trying to make a "Family Rules" sign that was based off of the Proclamation on the Family. I tried and tried to get it to work but I just don't have the skill or patience for it. Holly does. :)

I'm excited to see Holly and the boys in a couple of weeks. They will be here for a week and I can't wait!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Back at it

This was a weird day. It was weird to not have somewhere to be. It was weird to drop the kids off at school. It was weird to have just Peter at home. It was weird to have nap time. I guess that's what happens when Spring Break is over and the usual routine must begin again.

I missed having the big kids around. I have good kids. I was talking to our landlord today (happens frequently, he's a really nice guy and living over his shop means we see him a lot) and he mentioned how he just loves seeing the kids and watching them follow me and Jonathan. He said "You have such a lovely family." High praise, because I often wonder just how noisy we are and if we are too much for the shop. I guess not!

After cleaning the dining room and living room Peter and I played, read books, ate lunch, and then napped. It was an easy-peasy lemon-squeezie day. It was good for my cold, I'm feeling tons better. 

After picking the big kids up from school we grabbed Jonathan and went to WalMart for some supplies. I put book shelves up in the kids' room in a funny nook and we needed the buckets that fit in their shelves.

(Don't you love how crooked it looks? That's our crooked apartment for ya.)

That odd little space had nothing there. It was too narrow for the IKEA shelf we had in their room, but I finally decided it needed to change. We need more floor space in that room, and that nook was just wasted space. Up went the shelves, on Craigslist went the old shelf (it sold a day later), and now all of the books and toys are happily situated on their new shelf.

I also took the opportunity to get rid of some of the toys. We do that pretty regularly around here. They are each limited to 20 items, and I instigated a new rule that it all had to fit in their new, smaller cube buckets. Fortunately we don't have the tantrums over this rule that we used to have. Although now I need to make them go through the stuffed animals... That might be tricky, especially for Andrea and her unicorn herd.

Soon I hope to get rid of the three little dressers and replace them with one large dresser that the kids can all share. David's clothes are outgrowing his dresser and he needs deeper drawers. Hopefully Craigslist can provide something marvelous. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Conference Sunday

Andrea finished her scarf. It is very cute, but I totally forgot to take a picture.

David finished two patchwork pillows.

Peter sucked his fingers and twirled his hair, as he is wont to do.

After conference we had the orange rolls I usually make for breakfast. I really wasn't feeling the greatest this morning. A hacking cough made for no sleep, so I was sluggish all morning. But I managed to make our rolls for dinner. I use my mom's normal bread recipe, halve it, and instead of butter and cinnamon-sugar I slather on a nice layer of orange marmalade before rolling it up, cutting, and baking. A thin cream cheese glaze with some orange extract makes it super tasty.

And after dinner Andrea finished up her Spring Break homework pack. David didn't get one, he was just told to read 10 minutes every day. I don't know why my kindergartner had to have a home work packet... Oh well. She did it. She likes math, so she really didn't care. Now getting her to read? That's a little like dragging a stubborn mule around.

After the kids were in bed it was time to do Jonathan's drill cut. Not my favorite cut, but I think I'm getting the hang of it. 

I hope he'll pass inspection. I need a YouTube tutorial for a high and tight. Every video I've watched has comments from servicemen saying the cut is wrong. Oh well. I'll get it eventually. Maybe next time he needs a cut we will go on base and I'll watch a barber there.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Conference projects

It's Conference time again. I usually work on a sewing project as I listen. This time I'm crocheting more washcloths. Purple today.

Andrea got set up on the circle loom and is making scarf for herself out of my Grandma Grethchen's yarn. She's in love with the color red, and Grandma had a bunch of soft red yarn that I got when Grandpa gave me all of her craft stuff. Andi will be quite happy with her little red scarf, and it will be comfy and warm. Sadly, we need that right now. Forecast has snow for us three days this week. Ugh.

I sat David down with a needle and thread and my scrap bucket. I told him to have at it. He has. He's making a patchwork something. He also spent time with his Legos, but that got noisy.

Peter sucked his fingers and twirled his hair, as he is wont to do.

Jonathan napped.

Day 1 of conference was uplifting and instructive. Always more that I can do to be a better mom.

We had leftovers for dinner. Our fridge is very full, and I am feeling cruddy with a cough and a cold, so I really didn't want to cook.

Spring Break Adventure V

Our last Spring Break Adventures day was pleasant. It was cloudy this morning, and bright and sunny this afternoon, but the nippy airs foretells the snowstorm we are getting tomorrow.

We went to Kensington again today. This time we stopped by the Farm Center to see all the animals. Early spring is my favorite because there are so many babies to see.

A pair of lambs the were born yesterday. They were pretty wobbly on their feet, which made them even more adorable.
They both still had there tails. I've never actually seen lambs with tails, it was really funny. They are a lot longer than I'd realized. 
The piglets were noisy. They get big so quickly. Their poor mother kept sitting on them because there just wasn't room for everyone in their stall. I have a feeling those piglets will be sold off here very soon.

After the farm we visited Costco. I'm had a very short list, but there were lots of samples. Our trip took a while. We got home, took naps, and then went swimming at the rec pool. It was a lot of fun, way more grand than the YMCA pool. Hopefully the kids aren't bored of our usual pool after today.

After swimming for a couple hours I took the kids to Buddy's Pizza. They have some of the BEST pizza I've ever had, and we got coupons for $4 off pizzas from the DIA and the zoo this week. It was all very yummy, made yummier by the fact that I didn't have to cook it. After a solid week of non-stop going it was a great way to end our Spring Break.