Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Trying To Find Audio

I want to play this piece of sheet music I bought. It's Beautiful Savior/ Lead Kindly Light arranged by Kay H Ward. I got it because it looked like a challenge. It is. I think I need to hear it in order to make sense of it, but I can't seem to find a recording of it anywhere. Any advice?

Monday, June 27, 2011

The both Picked Their Own Outfit

Shortly after this photo was taken Greg tripped on his boots and skinned his knee. He then refused to wear the boots.

Charlotte wore this outfit to go running. I kept trying to convince her that a dress wasn't really running clothing, but she insisted that she was wearing the right shoes so she'd be fine. And she was.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Having Second Thoughts

The wonderful honeymoon phase in Rochester is over. Dan has been home, but studying all week, which means he really hasn't been able to be around much. Then today he really was gone. And also it's been cold and rainy. It's the end of June and we're wearing long pants and jackets. Also it's been overcast and rainy for a while. Somehow the rainy weather has sort of rained on my emotional parade.

Today I took the kids to the indoor play area at the local mall and found half of Rochester there as well. As I was sitting there waiting for a friend to show up I started to think about our plans for the coming year.

Specifically about Charlotte and preschool. We decided that we can't afford preschool. On the one had this is probably going to be the tightest year financially we've had so far. She's also pretty smart and socially capable. On the other hand winter is long here. We don't have too many friends and not huge prospects at making too many more. (Or is that just the newness talking?) And also? Having nothing planned for the fall scares me since I've been doing the co-op preschool with Charlotte for two years.

I sat there watching my kids running around being free to be kids and do whatever they wanted there. They were so happy to be out and about. And it almost made me cry. What am I doing here without a Magic House or Science Center or Zoo? What did we get ourselves into? When I ask people what sort of things there are to do here I get this list of outdoor activities and then a list of three indoor activities. Maybe that's why it seems like all the kids Charlotte's age are in preschool. That's what there is for them to do here.

There are no guarantees in parenting and right now I wish there were. I wish I knew someone that seems to fit my style of parenting that chose to keep their kid home from preschool and was super happy about that decision. I wish I were certain that I could come up with the mental, emotional, and physical reserves needed to help my kids to be their best. I wish I knew what the next year holds for me, my sanity, my kids and their sanity.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cutest 50 meter Race Ever

He was so serious about running until he realized that he was alone. The Rochester track club set up this event for kids. It was awesome.
I loved her hair bouncing behind her.

They both got participation ribbons.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Writing a Better List

This morning I decided to make a list so that the chores I had to do today would get done and I would feel a sense of accomplishment. It is now 2 pm and I've been working up a sweat most of the day and all I've got done from my list are changing linens, a few loads of laundry, breakfast, lunch, and some dishes. Gah! I should have added:
  • getting kids dressed
  • playing with kids
  • reading scripture stories
  • ready every book out of the storytime book bin from the library
  • setting up all three play tents and tunnels in the basement
  • making lunch a picnic on a blanket in the living room
  • playing memory
  • rescuing Greg from Percie
  • helping paint rocks with Charlotte
When I add those to the list I realize why I feel like I've been working so hard.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Something new

If I could only find the cord to attach the camera to the computer I would show you some awesome photos. Also if I could find one of the three battery chargers we own I could take more photos of the kids. I'm sure you are all waiting for them. Be patient. The dust will settle. At least that's what I'm going to assume. Let's just hope that when it settles I will have found where I put the dust cloth. Also, did you know that I am currently in possession of three, count them three, vacuum cleaners, none of which have full function! I would love a new vacuum.

In the mean time we have managed to have a few new exciting buys for the new house. The first being a new lawn mower. Not really exciting, but Dan said that the Honda works great. I insisted on a self propelled mower since our yard isn't flat and once work starts it's any body's guess as to when he will have time to do it.

Also, we purchased a new kitchen table. Our original little guy was just perfect for our family, but with the years, and let's be honest the kids, all the finish was rubbing off the top. We were going to just refinish it. Then earlier this week we were window shopping a new furniture store in Rochester. They had a $700 table in the scratch and dent section for only $98. That is cheaper than just refinishing our old table. When we got home Dan looked online and found the exact same table on Amazon for $250 which made us feel pretty smug. He did end up purchasing four matching chairs online so they should come soon. This sort of behavior is so very out of character for Dan!

Once we got our new table Dan has been oddly protective of it. In order to not have his head explode every time Greg comes to the table we went to JoAnn's today and bought clear vinyl to put over the top. This way the top (which was in no way scratched or dented when we purchased the table) will remain nice.

Also we purchased some outdoor pots for plants. They were %70 off at JoAnn's and it was Dan's idea. I was again shocked that he bought them. They will make a nice arrangement on our front step and for herbs maybe on the back deck?

Ok, so maybe it feels like a spending spree, but once I wrote it down it doesn't seem like that much. Either way it's been a nice change of pace for the two of us.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Eating Right

After almost three solid weeks of eating out and eating treats and having pop around all.the.time we made our way to Rochester. We are coming down off the junk food high pretty well, but, well, let's just say that our digestive systems are still adjusting to the whole wheat, fruits and leafy green veggies.

I will forever chose sweet over salty. I mean salty is good sometimes, but for the most part I chose a sweet treat. I have found that once I've started into the pattern of having lots of sweets around I always want them around. That seems to be the only hiccup in the whole situation. I want sweets just about every night after the kids go to bed. Does that happen to anyone else? I hope so.

At any rate the sugar detox started last week and I have been surprised at how well it seems to be going. Of course the kids are asking for pop and sweets, but since we don't have it around the house it's easy to say no. And also we've kicked off the summer veggie eating.

Here are a few options that we've tried lately that have been surprisingly well received by my children:

-Muhamara dip with pita bread and carrot sticks for lunch. (Dan thought this didn't really constitute a lunch, but I noticed he didn't need any snacks between that meal and dinner.)
-BLT bread salad which is a baby spinach salad with crumbled bacon, tomatoes, feta, green onions and homemade croutons. It was simply delicious and the kids even ate the spinach!
-"Mock Gyros" which is really just pita sandwiches. Mindy gave me the recipe, or rather left it at my house so now it's mine!
-Indian-spiced salmon with basmati rice. I totally over-cooked the salmon, but everyone still ate at least some of it.
-An orecchiette salad with baby spinach tomatoes and roasted bell peppers. This one was not so enthusiastically received by the family, but I loved it. Dan gave his usual answer to vegetarian dishes, "This is good. You could add some salami to it."
-Cilantro lime black beans which is also a recipe that Mindy "gave" to me. These made excellent enchiladas.

With this success in getting my kids to eat things that look different than normal and have a higher percentage of veggies I've been very happy.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

And Also?

Reflections from today:

When the dog is in the house the cat hides inside the sofa. As soon as the dog is out of the house the cat sits by the back sliding glass door to taunt her.


Having a puppy and a two year old means I actually have two toddlers.


Today we went to the nature center here, which is not surprisingly much smaller than the St Louis nature center, but with much better hiking available outside the actual center. It was our very First Rochester Family Activity. It is the middle of June and we were all wearing sweatshirts from the slight chill and the drizzle. Just like Pacific Northwest summers. We saw a wild blue jay up close and personal.


Charlotte told me that the nature center wasn't our First Rochester Family Activity. Our First Rochester Family Activity was when the two of us spent 45 minutes coloring her Tinkerbell coloring book together after Greg was in bed last night. She told me that it was her special Disney world coloring book so she wasn't going to share it, but that I could have pages if I wanted to. She and I decided to have a repeat on that activity during nap time today.


YouTube helped to teach my kids that sand dollars aren't just white decorations in the bathroom. The kids and I spent a half hour or more watching them move along the sand and other beach and tide pool creatures. It felt like a trip back home.


All in all I think it's been a pretty good day today.

Lessons In Homeownership

Our new place has two bathrooms.

It seems so luxurious.

Today the kids were helping Dan with the dog in the bathroom upstairs.

I needed to use the bathroom.

No problem! I could go downstairs.

Not two seconds after I sat down all three of them were calling for me.

Then the two kids came and constantly knocked on the bathroom door.

I guess having two bathrooms doesn't necessarily mean privacy.