Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My lawn mower is a sexist jerk

My momma didn't raise a girly girl.

She raised me to be independent thinking, hard working,
car tire changing, chip-in-when-you-can kind of person.

Actually, that car tire thing was all my dad.

And the oil change thing.

And anything mechanical.

My parents are very practical people.

Either that, or they never figured I'd sucker some poor slouch an awesome guy like D. into marrying me.

Long story short, I am not a girly girl...by any stretch of the imagination.

I worked through college at Menards.

I had a forklift license, for goodness sake!

(Let's not talk about the whole running-into-the-gutter-display incident, thankyouverymuch)

So, on a day like today, when its nice a sunny out...

..and the temperature is a balmy 50 degrees

...and my husband has been dreading mowing the lawn for the past few weeks

well, youbetcha I'll help him out!

I'm good like that.

C was napping.

Audit phone calls were made.

It's either sit on the couch and watch soaps or head outside to mow the lawn.

While the former sounded cool (who wouldn't want to know about someone whose long lost love returned from the dead only to find out they are actually an identical twin who has split personalities)

I opted for the latter.

After all, I'm a team player.

I spend 30 minutes cleaning up the half broken sand toy crap awesome outdoor toys scattered about the yard.

I get the mower out of storage.

No gas.

Find a gas tank that has some liquid in it, quick wiff...yep, gas.

Fill the tank.

Prime the mower...three times.

pull the throttle.

grab the string




blub blub




ouch, my arm.


and now my shoulder


ok, I'm done.

I tell D about it when he gets home- you know, so I can at least get some sort of recognition in case he thinks the gas tank is empty and goes to fill it and it overflows and causes some sort of fire when he gets the engine to work.

He goes to the mower.



But does he mow the lawn then? 


He puts the mower away!

So, again today....

C. is asleep.

Audit calls were made.

Evil identical twin is still on tv...
...but the same story line will be on in 4 months, I'll catch it then.

I head out...

...and AGAIN have to spend way too much time cleaning up the yard.

(note to self:  one shovel per child...that's it.  They have imaginations, they can use them)

Pull out the mower.

Prime the engine.

Grab the string


blub blub



And that ends my landscaping career of 2010.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Identity Crisis

I'm having an identity crisis of sorts with my blog.

How do I want it to look?

How crazy am I going to go with security for my family?

Probably many things I should have thought about way back when...

...but I didn't.

And I'm thinking now.

And I can't make up my mind.

So, instead, I just choose not to blog- because I want to pretend a problem isn't there.

Hang in there with me, please.

I'll be back eventually.  :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The have's and the have-not's

C dressed himself today.

He was so proud of himself.

He picked out the clothes and everything.

He's consistant...everything was on backwards.

I didn't have the heart to correct him.

Since he was so proud.

And, indeed, I took him out in public like this.

What did I notice?

Those with kids smiled to themselves.

Or to me.

One lady even asked him if he dressed himself.

He proudly nodded.

Those that don't...

Well, they just furled their brows

and shook their heads.

How could I let a child look like this in public?

Think I'll go into the parent's corner to play.

They're a lot more fun, anyway.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My theory

I realizing things come in cycles. 
My schedule is not immune to this.

I think there are three crazy periods in every schedule.  Where everything is in a funnel.  It's circling and circling around with lots of space and totally managable...until you get to the bottom of the funnel.  Where everything is spinning so fast and there's very little wiggle room.

I'm at the bottom of a funnel right now. 

But I'll start with the first one that everyone can relate to:

The last few weeks before Christmas.

You know, parties, shopping, cramming everything in before the holidays hit.  Everything you volunteer for has two or three things that need to be taken care of before Dec. 25.  Add to that the things you want to do:  decorate your home, attend Advent services, finish the bible study that you've been slacking on, spend some extra time with your kids, get ahead at work so you can actually take a few days off between holidays, etc.

Recipe for craziness.

Before that one?

Back to school.

The shopping, the preparing, the new schedule, the cramming the stuff you didn't do all summer-because you thought you had all summer to do it, still working, all the meetings for all the committees starting up to make it "the best school year ever."  The kid with the nervous energy.  Oh wait...is that just mine?  Ok.

And the third one...

Right now.

Spring cleaning.  Tax season.  Fitting field trips in before the end of the year.  Signing up for summer activities- finding money for said activities.  Fund raisers, fund raisers, fund raisers.  Meetings for next year.  Holy crazy work schedule, batman.   Finding babysitters for all the meetings (and their busy schedules!).  Classes ending, new classes beginning, outside playdates.  I.E.P's (more on that later).  Fitting everything in before the end of the school year.  Babies being born- baby gifts to make.  The last MOPS craft- and I wanted to go out with a bang.  Husband's work load is picking up combined with more daylight which means less of him at home.  Not to mention that I'm delirious with anticipation about wanting to get into the addition (not anytime soon, friends...but still I'm anticipating it!)

Yes, the crazy cycle ensues.

I'm the kind of person that tends to handle many things and juggle many balls...until I start to feel overwhelmed.  Then I drop them allAll of them.  I'll shut down and retreat into the recesses of my brain.  This year, though, there's more than just me and my family depending on my juggling skills.

I noticed that when I get crazy busy, my prayer life is the first thing to go.  Well, not this time.  I'm protecting it.  I'm enjoying it.  I'm giving everyday to God before it even happens.

And surprisingly enough, I haven't dropped a ball yet.

Friday, April 16, 2010

5 Q F!!!

I should be making calls for work.  Actually, I am currently on the phone for work.  And answering a text from another mom who is on a field trip with my son right now.  And blogging. 

If motherhood has taught me one thing...it's multitasking.

I love me some 5 Question Friday!  I normally don't read blogs on Fridays and miss out on the opportunity to play with some of my friends.  But today...well, I'm playing.  :)  Who said kids get to have all the fun?!?!?

1. What words do you use on your blog/online that you don't use in real life?

Nope..none.  I'm pretty true in person as I am online.

2. Do you still write checks?

Yep.  While I do pay a few bills online, there are a few that I won't because you need to give them access to your account (power and gas companies) and I will NEVER do that.  So, checks it is.  Unless the USPS keeps jacking up the rate of stamps.  Then who knows...perhaps I'll need to pioneer it out.

3. Who was your favorite President and why?

Ronald Reagan.  If you've been reading my blog long enough, you'd know why.

4. Are you a yeller?

Sadly, yes.  I stopped for a while and developed an ulcer.  Then I started again, and its subsided (the stomach pain, that is).

Actually, I didn't start a yeller.  It happened when A was a toddler and wouldn't listen to me.  But when I yelled at him, he would respond and listen very well.  Well, turns out that A had a hearing impairment due to allergies and he COULDN'T hear me unless I yelled.  By the time we realized it, the pattern was already established...and I am now a yeller.

5. Have you ever dumpster dived?

I can honestly say no.  But, have I been the person to hold the dog leash while my husband went in after something, uh...yeah.

Ok, back to work!  Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The List Update (also known as a rediculous amount of pictures or Whoa, Sandy you're really behind in updates)

Ok, so I started this list (see lower right...scroll down a bit) about a year ago.

I started with avengence.

I'm still working on it.

I just haven't updated.

So...here's the update

In pictures:

#40.  Teach A to ride a two wheeler.

Essentially, he was riding on 2 wheels for about a year and a half, but wouldn't give them up.  Last August (yes, I'm that far behind), Dave took one wheel off some evening which resulted in LOTS of tears and anxiety.  The next night (while Dave was gone), I asked A if I could remove the other one.  He cried.  Until I offered him ice cream.
He was fine after that.

#49.  Visit a zoo we've never been to before.

Potter Park Zoo in Lansing with the some friends.
Cute zoo- easy flat walk.

#50.  Teach A all his lower case letters.
Yep, did that last summer too.

#65.  Invite 3 friends to the zoo with us.

We have a +1 zoo membership.  This allows me to bring another adult and unlimited kids with me to the local zoo.  We're there at least once a week in the summer months.
I already wrote about one friend we took to the zoo.
While we weren't limited to 2 friends, I simply grabbed two pictures in my archives:

and llama watching friends

#80 Sell something on Craigslist or ebay.
This past winter, I purchased a smelly loveseat on craigslist and resold it.  In addition, we cleared out our pole barn.  All the old furniture- OUT OF HERE!  And we made about $80.

#61.  Have dinner with Jeanie three times.

This is more or less an excuse to meet Jeanie for dinner and drinks.  :)
(Picture me saying to Dave, "But honey!  I need something to cross off the list!")
One more meeting down.

Hmmm...perhaps I'll need to up that from 3 to 5....

#23.  Attend a seminar focused on improving some aspect of my life.

Last October, I had the privilege of going to the Hearts-at-Home seminar in my home town.
It was fantastic.

This is where I listened to speakers like Kevin Lehman and Bill and Pam Ferrell.
All three are incredible authors writing about biblical truths on marriage, sex, raising children and priorities.
I felt so blessed to be able to attend.
And I won two books in drawings!

I listened to Kevin Lehman talk about "Have a new child by Friday."
I listened to Bill and Pam Ferrell talk about "Red Hot Monogamy"

There was another couple talking about somethign to do with children and forgetting yourself in the upbringing (i.e. don't be a selfish parent)...that was was dull and boring.  Decent message, but the delivery was off.  Meh...

And I listened to a speaker (cannot remember her name...) talk about "American Idle"  This one I remember soo much.  It really spoke to me.  She explained that ANYTHING that comes before our relationship with God is considered an Idle.  Perhaps its an addiction to drugs, alcohol or food.  Or its just being consumed with the whole "pursuit of stuff" and worshiping clothing labels and social status.  Or it could just be hoarding your money and not having a heart of charity.

I feel like God put me in that talk for a reason.
I feel like he was talking directly to me through that speaker.
I love Him for that.

#67.  Have a family bonfire.

We do this about once every two weeks in the summer.
This picture was taken on a night that Dave and A were camping out in the back yard.
C and I enjoyed a nice quiet house.
And indoor plumbing.

#59.  Find someone starting a business and help support them.

This is probably my favorite item to cross off.
A friend of mine, Renee, is an up-and-coming photographer.
She's really a great person, and Dave and I love her to bits.

So, we did a photography party!
We have a few churches very close to our house with nicely manicured lawns- they made it very easy for us to find some fun and easy backgrounds.

While I didn't end up completely filling all 8 slots, I did fill 7- with a 20 minute break in between.

It worked out perfectly since a few people were late, and a few came early.

Renee and I had about 15 minutes in the middle of the craziness to sit down and eat some chicken.

This is Renee taking a picture of an awesome family.
She is the little sister of one of my best friends in high school
She has the cutest three little girls.

Ok, here's a few list items I will need to update. 

I am thinking on replacements for them. 

 But this post has grown long enough.

Perhaps another day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Decisions, decisions- and rush hour traffic

Seems like the addition is kind of like rush hour traffic.

You're going at a steady clip.

Then slam on the brakes.

Then you inch along.

Sometimes you're at a complete stand still.

Then, a break comes and you actually make it up to a steady stream of 25 mph.

Then you slow down again.

Then stop.

Then inching...

Yep, that's what we're doing.

The woodwork is done.  Doors hung, trim, windows...all done.

Looks beautiful.

But unfinished.

And I feel like a driver in rush hour traffic.

I know the destination I want to get to.

But I'm stuck miles away.

Sometimes I'm fine sitting still.  I look around at the other "drivers" and smile and wave.

Other times, I'm shaking my fists and uttering kid-friendly "cuss" words like: 

This is a bunch of ballyhoo!

Right now, Dave is trying to decide whether or not to hire a painter to come in and finish the wood.

I'm in on the decision as well, of course.

But, this woodwork is his baby.

He's spent the last 8 months working on it.

This house will essentially be his portfolio.

If a painter messes up the stain...well, that would be bad.

Very, very bad.

(Don't even get me started on the issue we had with the drywallers!)

I just want it done.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hmmmm...something's different

After getting dressed today...

...I put on my jeans (fresh out of the dryer)

...and I thought, "Hmmm, somthing's different."

...they felt different

...they moved different

...I spent the next hour running around the house with the boys

...in the back of my head, I kept thinking, "what the heck is different about these jeans?"

...we did not switch detergents

...then it dawned on me

...today was the first time in a long time (read: since November)

...that I shaved my legs.

Don't judge me.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Well, actually yesterday was the big launch day. 

But today it is announced on the newsletter making it all the more launched. 

My friend, Melody, has an awesome local web site. 

It's geared towards parents with kids in our local area. 

Her calendar alone...man, that thing is awesome. 

Really- it's untouched by any other site.

She's really taken off with this site, and I'm so proud of her.

Then a few months ago, my phone rings.

It's Melody.

With a few thoughts to ping-pong around in my head.

Sandy, will you do a blog for my site too?

                                   After one ping and two pongs...heck yeah, I'll blog!

My portion of the guest blog focuses on living frugally, to its fullest (and most fun), and crafts for kids and moms. 

Melody calls me a craftista....I love that.  :)

Local friends, if you don't know Melody's blog, email me and I'll be happy to send you a link!

Wish us luck!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter tradition

As per our new tradition of taking a family Easter picture with the self-timer on top of the well head.

Click here to see the start of the tradition.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

8 Saturdays

It took

8 Saturdays

for my husband

to build this.

8 Saturdays

of tedious labor,

angles and fractions,

cuts and re-cuts.

8 Saturdays

turned out awesome.