Monday, January 28, 2013

Vitamin D Day

So... It's January 28.
And it's 75 degrees outside.
Absolutely beautiful!  I told Paul I was going to make the boys play outside all day, even if I had to chain them to a tree to keep them out there.  We're skipping school, skipping naps, and soaking up all that sunshine vitamin.  The boys have dirty faces, dirty feet, and just a hint of a sunburn.  Zadie's knees and socks are filthy.  She had her first taste of dirt.

A What? Award?


I was given the Liebster Award (???) by a reader over at love life with kids.  Apparently, she follows my blog and thought I worthy of receiving this award.  Why anyone who's not related to me would want to read my nonsense is beyond me, but I am grateful and humbled.

Apparently there are some rules.....

- Bloggers award other bloggers whom they consider as “up and coming” and have less than 200 followers, or are a newer blog.
- If you receive a Liebster, you must tell 11 things about yourself, answer 11 questions asked by the nominating blogger, and nominate 11 new bloggers.
- You then ask 11 questions to the bloggers you nominated.  Oh, and don’t forget to inform the bloggers you chose.

11 little known facts about me:

1. qqaqaqaqaqaqaaaaqaqq   I have a 9-month-old daughter who is obsessed with stretching up and beating on keyboards - the computer's and the piano's.
2. I consider our house our forever home.  We're not planning on leaving.
3.  I fall asleep almost any time Paul and I watch tv.  Yet, when Paul's working nights and I watch tv, I will regularly stay up til 1 AM and still not fall asleep.
4.  I've been leading worship at our church for 12 years now.  I started just before I turned 18, on a once-a-month basis, and took over as the main worship leader in 2006.  (It is a volunteer position in our church.)
5.  I hate jeans with stretch material in them.  But do you know how hard it is to find women's jeans that don't have spandex?
6.  I only had one boyfriend before Paul, and he had no other girlfriends before me.  Perhaps this is part of the reason we have such a great marriage?
7.   I have a mental block against learning a foreign language.  I tried Spanish, German, Greek, and Latin in high school....  Sign Language is the only one that stuck - because you can think in English!
8.  I've known Paul for a quarter century. 
9. 000102
(Again with the daughter and the keyboards......) 
I am kind of a water snob.  I grew up on well water, and cannot handle chlorinated water.  We have a reverse osmosis filter in the kitchen, and I only will buy certain brands of bottled water.
10. On a related note, I'm also kind of a meat snob.  I grew up on a farm, and the beef was from our own cows.  Whenever I've had to buy meat, I've been disappointed.
11.  I only buy whole milk.  

11 questions from lovelifewithkids:

1. What was the best thing that happened in your life in 2012?  The birth of our daughter, the beautiful Zadie Marie.

2. Favourite food?  Steak.  Without a doubt.

3. What is your favourite hobby?  Playing piano.  But, like most hobbies, I don't get to do it for pleasure that often.  (When I play, it's to learn or practice a song for church.)

4. What is one place you’d love to travel to someday?  Europe, with husband.  With a stop at the island of Rhodes, of course. :)

5. Would you rather write things by hand or type them out?  By hand.  But due to time constraints, and children that destroy things, some things have been relegated to computer.  (Like journaling - hence this blog.)

6. What is one skill you have completely mastered?  My husband.  (Yes, I just went there.)

7. One skill you’d love to learn?  To really play guitar.  I know 5 or 6 chords, so can do simple songs and simple rhythms, but not enough to play in front of anyone.

8. Summer or winter?  Bleh.  Neither.  (But if I have to choose, it would be Summer.... My birthday is the first day of summer.)

9. One thing you really want to accomplish in 2013?  Sorting the boxes of photos that have been piled on the card table in the corner of our bedroom for a year now.

10. What was your favourite toy as a child?  Barbies, as much as I hate to admit it.

11. What is your most-cherished item in your home? Why?  My great-grandmother's violin.  Not only is it probably the most expensive thing I own, it also has wonderful family history, and truly is irreplaceable.  (Another is my wedding ring, because it is a gift from my husband and it symbolizes my love and commitment to him..... but since it's on my body, I'm not sure if this counts.)

I don't follow many blogs.  The blogs I consistently follow are over there on the right, and all of them are people I know in real life, several of them relatives.  Occasionally, I'll "check in" on people who have commented or subscribed to my blog, but in general, I don't stalk strangers. :)  I don't keep up well enough with the people I know in real life, so I don't think I should be better educated about someone I never met, than I am with someone I see every week at church.  Nothing personal, I just don't have a great desire to get lots of people to read my blog, so I'm not putting myself out there trying to promote it.  I do this mainly for my own entertainment.

So.  If you read this, consider yourself nominated.  And leave a comment, so I know to come visit your blog.  Or if you don't have a blog (or don't want to post this on yours), but still want to answer the below questions, answer them in the comments - I would love to read your answers!

Questions for my "nominees":  (Going deeper than the usual getting-to-know-you questions.)
1.  Where/how did you grow up, and where/how do you live now in comparison?
2.  In light of recent headlines, what is your stance on gun control? 
3.  When you hear "home-schooled," what is the first impression that pops into your head?
4.  If you walked by a homeless person asking for help, what would you do?
5.  What is your favorite family (immediate or extended) tradition?
6.  What do you think about the term "obey" as part of the wife's wedding vows?
7.  If someone is doing/saying something that goes against what you believe is right, do you speak out about it?
8.  Do you think entertainment (music, tv, video games, computer) affects morality and worldview?
9.  If you could have any job, without thought to practicality, what would it be?
10.  Do you think "going green" is just a fad, or do people really care about the environment?
11.  And along those lines, what do you think of the whole "global warming" phenomenon?  

Bonus Question:  Where will you spend eternity?  How do you know this?  (How many will actually answer this one?)

Those are my questions.  I want to read your answers!  Leave them in the comments.   I'll answer all of them myself in a future post.  


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Spring Cleaning

I'm not one who does spring cleaning every spring.  I do it whenever the mood strikes.
Which, lets face it, is never.
But it's kind of gotten to the point that I can't ignore it.  I don't know if it's because of the very dry, dusty year (two years) we've had or what, but the dust situation in this house has gotten epic.  I've got dust bunnies, which are usually only under the beds, hanging off the walls.  I've successfully ignored it for the last several months, but I can't any longer.
It's time to do something about it.
But the thing I hate about deep cleaning, is that whenever you decide to finally deep clean one area, it makes the adjoining areas look even crappier.  I didn't set out to deep clean the entire front room.  It started with just organizing my bookshelf.  Which led to a book purge.  And I figured since I'm handling all the books anyways, I might as well dust them all and dust the shelves really good.  (And since the aforementioned dust epidemic is so bad, it's beyond dust rag, beyond Swiffer even.... I'm dusting with the vacuum.)
But then deep cleaning the shelves and the wall behind it made me realize how I needed to do that.... to the whole room.
So I just finished vacuuming the entire ceiling (wood).  I had been ignoring it, but once you do a section, you have to do the whole thing.  I didn't realize how many tiny cobwebs had been up there holding dust.  Gross.  (But it looks so nice now!) I also washed down a wall, which makes me realize how badly I need to do that around the whole room.  (Although it will probably wait until tomorrow.)
But cleaning is like crack, I tell you!  You get one room done, and it's gleaming and organized, and you want that for your whole house!!!
I guess I know what I'll be doing for the next month.......

Friday, January 18, 2013


Okay, so I think we've FINALLY recovered from Christmas.
It was different this year.  Not only was my little sister in Africa, so were my dad and brother!  Dad and JC left December 13 and spent two weeks with Carlsie in Zambia.  They returned December 30, bringing a lovely little intestinal virus with them, which we all got after spending New Years Eve and New Years Day together.  Gag.  (Literally.)
So our Christmas was pretty low-key.  We went out to the farm for Christmas Eve, which is our tradition.  We didn't do any gifts, but just hung out, made Mom watch The Emperor's New Groove, and called Africa.  All of us talked to all of them.  (It was 5 AM Christmas Day there, and they were getting up to go on a safari!)
Christmas morning we did gifts with our small family.  We spent more on the kids that we originally planned, but they still only got 3 gifts each for the boys, and one gift for Zadie.  Both of them needed new tires for their bikes (completely bald, white fibers showing).  We had NO IDEA how expensive tires were!  We could replace the whole bike for just $10 more than buying two new tires. Nathan's we decided to get the next size up bike, so it was more than a $10 difference, but we were going to have to get him a bigger bike by this summer anyways.  So besides the bikes, we got them each a "bucket" of figures - Nathan of Army figures, and Jacob got dinosaurs.  I had bought them new Eichenberger Farms shirts when my sister did an order, and decided to just wrap theirs like gifts, even though they weren't really.  We got Zadie a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament.... I didn't realize how much she'd have fun with wrapping paper, or I may have wrapped up some more things just so she could rip off the paper.  (The boys were 3 and 2 months old for their first Christmases, so were clueless and indifferent with gifts.)

We went out to Paul's parents' house for lunch and spent the day there.  My mom came for lunch since she would be alone otherwise.  It was bitterly cold and windy, so after lunch and gifts, my sister-in-law Elizabeth and I went to help my Mom with chores and opening gates, while the kiddos (and adults?) napped.  (Having someone open gates, so you don't have to stop and get off the tractor to open and close every gate cuts choring time in half.)  Paul spent a chunk of time while we were there finishing up my Christmas gift.  I had told him I wanted him to build me a new book case for our toy "corner" behind our bedroom door.  We had a ladder shelf (built by his dad) similar to the one at right, and had accumulated too many toys and books to fit on it (not to mention the boys used it for just that.... a ladder).  He designed and built not only shelves, but also a toy chest below it, so that we don't have to stack their big toys under our end table any more.  I love it!  It's beautiful, and makes the corner look so much neater.  He really did an excellent job on it.  
We had it piled high within a half hour of getting it home. :)
Paul took the two days after Christmas off, so we had him home all week.  I wish I could say we spent the week relaxing, but we were on the go all the time.  I can't even tell you what we did, but I just remember thinking it wasn't really a vacation, since we weren't home to enjoy it.  We had somewhere to go every single day.
Nathan played his first special for church on December 30.  We started working on "Joy to the World" in October, and felt he had it down enough to play in front of the church.  Of course, he made some age-appropriate mistakes, but I am still very proud of him.  (And definitely jealous of his innocent confidence.)

Paul went back to work the night of New Years Eve.  I took the kids over to our good friends' (basically 2 more siblings) house, Jared and Christina, who only live about 5 miles from us.  JC put his pictures on the big TV, and he narrated them for us, which we enjoyed (and I'm sure he enjoyed knocking out 7 [?] families at once to not have to answer individually, "How was your trip?  What did you do?")
I went with the kids to my extended family Christmas at my grandparents' house on New Years Day.  I enjoyed visiting with my aunts, uncles, and cousins.
The day after, in the middle of his normal breakfast battle (No, I don't like this, it's icky - sob, sob....), Jacob threw up.  We just figured he had gagged on the pancakes he was throwing a fit about.  But after about 3 more times of puking that morning, it was obvious he had a bug.  Nathan came down with it that afternoon.  I woke up the next morning with an upset stomach and other unpleasant symptoms, but thankfully never threw up.  It was a violent, but apparently a very fast moving but.  It put you through the ringer for about 12 hours, but then it was gone.  We thought Paul had miraculously avoided it (he usually gets sick just from hearing about someone who's got a stomach bug).  He went to work as usual Friday morning, feeling fine, but then called me about 5.  I was like, "Why are you in your truck?"  (I could hear the wind noise in the background.)  He says, "Yeah, I puked at work."  Lovely.  He was over it by the next morning, but felt weak enough he didn't think he should go in.
So that's our Christmas in a nutshell.  I'm sure I have other things to update about, and I'll remember them...... eventually.........