Sunday, September 30, 2007

Barn Park and Barn Cake

Here are Trent and Adam "fully invested" in the BYU Cougars who were playing after Adam's little party. Cute Boys!

We had family over for a small get together to celebrate Adam's first Birthday. We took them to the Barn Park. It has traditional park equipment and also a splash pad. Julianne is enjoying the splashing. I love this photo of Madelyn because it is perfectly mid run-- neither foot is on the ground. Also notice the ominous clouds in the back. The clouds kept the temperature cool and the people away, but it was very pleasant to be out there.

So, here is his 2nd cake . . . this time my interpretation of a barn cake. Let's just say it involved a lot of red frosting. Don't you love how we are all helping blow out the candle?

Friday, September 28, 2007


Well, it only took me an hour to go through all my posts and label them appropriately. As there got to be more and more stuff on my blog, I decided that I needed to use labels so that I can find the things I want to find. It makes it kind of fun to see in a "nutshell" all the things I write about and then read by category. And I highly recommend using labels from the beginning so you don't have to go through what I just did. And now i am frustrated because I cannot get the labels to show on the bottom row. I have gone to Customize, Blog posts, and selected labels and they are not showing up. Any ideas on why fellow bloggers???????

edit : thanks to google I searched and found a site which told me to go into edit HTML and select revert widgets to default and voila . . . now the labels are ever present.

Happy Birthday to Adam!

Adam's birthday was Wednesday the 26th. I can't believe my baby boy is a year old. He sure is the cutest thing ever. He is so sweet and happy. I hope all the rest of the years can be as happy as this one! Doesn't looking at him just make you want to smile?

It's my interpretation of a train cake.
Posted by Picasa

A Long Time Ago . . .

This is going to be my first "nostalgic post." Considering that blogging has pretty much replaced my journal efforts and scrapbook efforts, I figure reflecting back on past events is well within the realm of this blog . . . after all it is just what I am thinking about.

I remember checking the mail and getting my roommate assignment at BYU for my freshman year. I was going to be living in David John Hall in Helaman Halls. (At the time, this was the only newly renovated dorm hall anywhere on campus.) I applied for that hall because it had a bathroom between 2 rooms (called a suite) and not a hall bathroom like all the others. Despite all the "fun" stories I had heard about community bathrooms, I liked the idea of having my own. You could brush your teeth anytime and check up on your makeup whenever you wanted! And I liked the idea of "new". John hall was a nice red brick while all the others had awful yellow shutters. So John Hall is where I lived my freshman year. Room D-311. And my roomate's name was Jennie Kate, and she was from Texarkana . . . Arkansas. I remember calling her that summer and all I remember about the conversation is that I was going to bring an iron and she was going to bring the ironing board. (Now, why on earth that was on my list of priorities to discuss before going to college I have no earthly idea . . . but I did bring the iron, and she did bring the ironing board and directly across the hall from our room was the common room fully stocked with 1 or 2 of each!!!!).

We moved in. I moved in first because I was going to New York for the weekend before school started. I remember waiting in my room all by myself, just waiting to see if she would get there before I left. She did. I think we spoke for about 5 minutes and then she and her Mom moved in the stuff, and I left for the weekend.

Now I did have a fun time in New York, but it was a little hard coming back having missed all of freshman orientation. It seemed like everyone already knew everyone and I was a bit behind. So my advice to anyone who cares. . . go to orientation weekend!!!

Really, I don't know how it happened, but we went from being strangers sharing a room to great friends in a very short time. You always wonder how they group everyone, but I think I know why she and I were roommates. We were the only 2 freshman stupid enough to sign up for a 7 am class. Mine was everyday . . . Spanish and hers was just on Fridays . . . American Heritage lab. What were we thinking???? I think we thought that since we had gone to early morning seminary every day for 4 years that 7 am was practically sleeping in. So again, my advice to anyone starting college. . . Don't register for a 7 am class.

I'll write more later. . . it is midnight and I am sleepy.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Night Owl

Madelyn is a night owl. She loves to stay up late. She always has loved staying up late. From the day she was brought home from the hospital her preferred sleep schedule has been midnight to noon. Unfortunately for her, our family doesn't operate on those hours. If we can keep her awake all day (no naps at all -- even for just 2 minutes), she usually goes to bed by 8:30, but if she has had any sort of extra sleep during the day she feels entitles to stay up all hours of the night. It is not that she couldn't use the sleep, she just is not tired enough to settle down.

I know, I know, we should be tough with her, but see here's the problem. She is just so sweet. She senses when everyone else is asleep and then calmly comes down the stairs and asks if we will just hold her and hug her. She doesn't want to talk to you or interrupt your tv shows. . . she just wants to love you. And we are suckers for it . . . BIG TIME . . . especially her daddy!!!!

This photo is of her working her charm late one night.

And while we are talking about Madelyn, here are a couple of anecdotes.

Yesterday I asked her to put a puzzle away. She grabbed the puzzle and headed off. An hour later I find the puzzle on the bottom of the stairs (moved, but not put away). I said, "Madelyn, go put that puzzle all the way away!" She said, "I can't Mommy, it is giving me a headache." I started laughing and said, "It is not giving you a headache, now go put it away!" She said, "Oh, um, my tummy hurts me."

WHERE Did she learn the headache line?????

Also she has started hiding the fruit snacks. Today I bought 3 boxes at the store and now 1 whole box is empty. I expressed some concern over where they had gone and Catherine told me she saw Madelyn with them. I started searching her room and found them in her bedside table. I guess if she needs a midnight snack, she'll be ready!!!!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Saturday morning chores

Adam has already started helping his Dad with the Saturday morning ritual. Trent washes both our cars every Saturday. Adam mostly gets himself wet and dirty, but I guess you have to start somewhere.
Posted by Picasa

The Joy of Friends

Madelyn loves little Gym. Well, let me clarify. . . she loves little Gym when her 2 girlfriends are there to go with her. If they are not there she cries and doesn't want to do it at all. She reminds me of me. . . I'll do almost anything with friends (run at 5:30 am, dumpster dive at post offices for discarded Kohl's gift cards, try new recipes like English toffee over and over again until it is just perfect, etc. . .) Without friends I just want to cry too!!!
Posted by Picasa

Pioneer Woman

I have mentioned this blog to so many people that I think I ought to post about it. I found these 2 blogs while searching for recipes and I was drawn in. I love this woman's sense of humor, photography talent, and writing style. She calls herself "The Pioneer Woman". She keeps 2 blogs. The first is Confessions of a Pioneer Woman and it is all about her life on a ranch with her husband and four kids. The second is called The Pioneer Woman cooks and it is her recipes with pictures and pictures and pictures (exactly the kind of recipe I need). Check her out. I have not laughed so loud at so many things in one place for a long time!!!!!

No cowardly lion at our house. . .

We have been watching a lot of The Wizard of Oz lately. Madelyn is all into it right now. She wears ruby slippers everyday and watches the movie in the car whenever we drive somewhere. That means I get to listen to the movie an awful lot. There is one line in it towards the end when the wizard tells the lion something like this, "Courage is not running into danger; it is knowing when to run away from it." Well, yesterday, Julianne ran right into danger, but she was being courageous and it was the right thing to do . . . so proof yet again that the wizard doesn't know everything.

The kids were outside playing on the patio. It was a nice day (91 degrees, but not humid and in the shade with a cool breeze it felt wonderful -- Yes, I know that that sounds extremely hot, but compared to what we have had it felt amazing). I set up a blanket for Adam to crawl around on and Julianne was doing her homework and the other girls were playing here and there. I was going in and out looking over homework, procuring snacks, checking the mail, -- all the things Moms do when I heard Julianne state very firmly and loudly, "Madelyn, Catherine inside the house RIGHT NOW." Curious at what would cause this urgent tone of voice, I glance outside only to see her run across the patio, grab Adam (who was standing up holding onto the slide) and race in the house. She slammed the door and sat down with Adam and then began sobbing. I asked her what on earth was wrong and she said, "A snake crawled onto the patio right next to Adam's feet and so I told everyone to come in and I ran and grabbed Adam."

I went outside and sure enough, this is what it looked like. . .

About pencil thin and the length of 2 pencils. I don't know my snakes very well, but I did know that it did not have a rattle, and it did not have red and yellow stripes next to each other ("red and yellow kills a fellow, red and black won't attack). It did not have a copper head or a diamond back. So I felt pretty confident that it was not venomous. (probably not the most reliable information I realize, but I did not have much else to go on).

Trent was not home, and so I knew that I would have to take care of it. I swept it into a dust pan and then took the dust pan to my neighbor's lot (they don't live there -- it is a construction site-- I would not do that to a neighbor). I went back a few minutes later, and it was gone. (Trent told me it probably came back into our yard).

I looked on the internet but could not figure out what kind of snake it is, but then some workers were working on my patio, and I showed them the picture and they knew immediately that it was a Texas Brown Snake. (not a very original name if you ask me). It is non-venomous and eats snails and slugs and is good to have around. (Well, I am not so sure I believe that last line about good to have around!)

Julianne must love Adam a whole lot to run right up next to the scary snake and rescue him. Sometimes courage is running into danger for the right reasons.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Raspberry and Strawberry Jam

My mother ruined all of us kids. She made homemade freezer jam every year and that is all the jam or jelly we ever had. As a result, I am completely incapabal of consuming any other kind. So to all you loyal readers -- Consider this fair warning-- If you have never before had freezer jam and are perfectly happy buying what is at the store. . . Do not follow this recipe or you will be ruined too. For once you have had it -- there is no going back to the store variety.

This blog entry may be boring, because I plan to go into detail about how to make freezer jam -- but it is so I can remember all the lessons I learned and the cost and the time involved. So. . . Let's begin.

First, you need berries. Here in Texas, I ordered berries through church from farms in Oregon. They arrive in 30 lb boxes IQF (or individually quick frozen-- that means they are not one solid ice block). I purchased 30 lbs of strawberries ($62) and 45 lbs of raspberries ($90). Then you need containers to put the jam in. First I emailed asking if anyone had mason jars they wanted to get rid of (since all my containers from years previously got thrown out in THE GREAT FREEZER DISASTER). Then I bought some freezer jam containers (seen in the first few pictures) and then I bought the TV infomercial swivel plastic container storage system organizer thingies and they worked the best. (in real terms ($75 for all of them).

Then you need the pectin. I found sure gell cheapest at Walmart (a 2 pack for $2.88). I bought 36 boxes. Tha is the recipe I have always done. . . it works great and tastes great. But I did see this new product and it caught my eye because it said "No cooking" and it was only $0.50. I thought I would give it a try. It was super easy . . . has the advantage of using 4 cups berries and only 1.5 cups sugar and took less than 2 minutes to make. It tasted great. Its yield was only 1 quart. (Suregell yields 2 quarts with only 3 cups of berries). So that could be expensive jam (of course they are both expensive, but this one is moreso) But for those wanting to make a small amount or who want a lower calorie, less sugar option. Don't hesitate! It works great.

I also tried the Ball brand of pectin and it worked just like the sure gell. (Also the kroger brand works great too).
Then you just follow the recipe and after all those batches. You are done! My only new trick is that it is OK to double the recipe and do 2 batches at a time. It really speeds it up!

Notice the swivel tv infomercial containers??? They work fabulously!

Now my 2 freezers are absolutely packed with Jam. Come on over and try some!!!

Summer School Fun

Since school started here the last week of August, it is still really hot. We ride our bikes to and from school and that afternoon ride home can be a real oven! We have to ride right past this splash park. So on the first day of school, we packed all the swimsuits and the kids changed in the bike trailer and we stopped off halfway home and played. It was so much fun. We had the park to ourselves. Trent worked from home that day and joined us for some fun in the sun. The kids liked it so much we have done it several times (especially on the hottest days).

The heat here can really skew your perspective of normal. For example, I now find it perfectly comfortable to ride a bike as soon as it drops below 90 degrees. It actually even feels good at 89 degrees. I don't mind it at all. But the real distortion takes place at much lower temperatures. Today on the way to school it was downright chilly. By the time we got to the school the girls had each asked if I knew where their hoodies were in case it was that cold tomorrow. I too thought it felt cool and was anxious to know the temperature. I rode home quickly and went and looked at the thermometer and found it to be a blustery 76 degrees!!!!
Adam loves the water. He always parks himself over a sprayer (that is not currently spraying) and waits for it to come on. Then he is so startled that you have to rescue him. This day in the picture I did wear my suit, but today at a different splash park I did not . . . but I should have -- I had to rescue him from the middle of the sprayers 3 different times. But it did feel good!
Posted by Picasa

You Bowl me Over

We went bowling the morning of Labor Day. We had a great time. Bowling has really moved into the 21st century! When I was a kid, you kept your own score. You knew that when you got a spare, that meant that you got to add in the number of pins knocked down on one additional ball, and that with a strike you added the number of pins knocked down on 2 additional balls. When I was a kid you understood how someone could bowl a 300, in only 10 turn, with only 10 pins per turn. The kids around us in other lanes . . . they had no idea hot their score was calculated! It was like waiting for magic to see what their score would be each turn. Sometimes technology, well it ain't so great.

But on the other hand it is sooooo great. First the bumpers (for the little kids) rise and fall depending on whose turn it is. Amazing huh? And if you look closely you'll notice that Trent has no bumpers, but Julianne and Catherine do. Next (and this is not really technology) but they have these cool ball launchers for kids-- they can aim and angle and give the ball a pretty good push. (Don't you all remember when the ball would roll so slow that when it hit a pin it would bounce back toward you and then the gate would slam down and you would have to send another ball to hit it, but then the computer would think 2 turns happened and it would be all screwed up???) Even Madelyn could bowl with these launchers.

Another big change nowadays is the cost. Wow! For 1 game for the 5 of us and shoes it cost 30 bucks. When I was in 6th and 7th grade there was a local bowling alley that had a summer bowling club. It was located on Bellaire Avenue across from the old YMCA. The first summer I think it was entirely free. Every kid could bowl 1 game and rent shoes free every day of the summer. I don't think we missed a day. We went everyday with another family (the Bowmans). It was a great way to beat the heat. The funny thing is that I don't remember it being crowded. Sometimes, my Mom would buy a 2nd game, but most of the time we bowled our one game and went home. The next summer I think it cost $25.00 to join the summer bowling club, so we did and then once again bowled every day. I don't know if they discontinued it after that year, but I don't remember doing it ever again. Too bad I haven't found something like that now. . . because at $30 bucks a pop, we are not bowling every day!

One thing though that has not changed . . . the shoes. . . still ugly. . . still ugly. . . still ugly. . . My sweet fashion conscious little girls had to be convinced to wear them -- they only agreed when we pointed out that everyone had to wear them (yet another example of peer pressure helping me out!)

Adam even got in on the fun!

Hey if any of my family reads this -- let me know if I am remembering the good old bowling days correctly.

Posted by Picasa


Google really is amazing. I looked up "how to get the photos off my cell phone and onto my computer" and found step by step instructions. (For those of you wondering . . . the easiest way is to link your phone to your computer through bluetooth . . . Go to your control panel, search for bluetooth, if you have it, you should see the "Bluetooth connection wizard". Click on it and walk step by step through it. At some point you have to enable bluetooth on your phone. (menu, settings, connection, enable) and then Wahlah! if you go to Windows Explorer and click on computer you will see your hard drives and anything external and there will be the phone and the files called audio, picture, text. Open the picture folder and there are your photos and you then copy them and save them to the computer) Amazing that there are no wires or anything!!! And even more amazing is how bad the pictures turned out. So . . .

The Moral of the Story is . . . don't forget your real camera for important events like the first day of Kindergarten for Catherine or the first day of second grade.

P.S. the reason I detailed out how to get the pictures from you phone onto the
computer???? so that I can do it again!!!!!
Posted by Picasa

The Relief Society Building

While we were in Utah this past summer, we had about a half an hour to spend while we were in downtown Salt Lake City. I wanted to check out the Primary Resource room and see if they had any great ideas for my ward. The primary resource room is located in the basement of the Relief Society Building on Temple Square. We entered the building and were greeted by a nice lady who offered to give us a brief tour of the building. We agreed and were shown all sorts of lovely artwork and gifts on display. It is very much like a mini-museum. As we were finishing the tour she explained how the building came to be. She said that the Relief Society General President wanted a building in the shadow of the temple for the women to do their work. Belle Spafford proposed a fundraising plan where the women of the church would raise half the cost of the building and the general church fund would cover the other half. The First Presidency approved the plan and in General Conference she presented this to the women of the church asking that each woman donate $5.00 for the building. Our tour guide then informed us that only recently had they entered all the handwritten forms and alphabetized them and placed them in large binders so that we could see who had donated. Trent and I were curious and quickly looked up our great-grandmothers (as the year was 1947). We found my Great Grandmother, Alice Downs. It was touching to see her name and know the sacrifice it must have been. The church website explains that when adjusted for inflation it would be like contributing $50.00 today. You can read more about it here.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 10, 2007

False Alarm

Adam has finally started sleeping well at night. Usually he goes to bed around 7:30 and then wakes up at around 5:30. (Yes, it is early, but it does get me out of bed so I can start making lunches, breakfasts, doing laundry, emptying the dishwasher, dressing kids, fixing hair -- not mine usually, making beds, etc. . . ) However, last night he started screaming at about 12:40 -- and not just a little screaming either -- really screaming, like something was wrong. So, I go running up the stairs and as I get nearer I hear voices in his room. I am a little scared as I push open the door, but then see the lights on his alarm clock in his room (set to radio) going really loud. It was kind of in between channels so real staticky (is that a word?) with loud voices not really making sense because they were from several stations all at once. Ok, Adam, we understand the screaming-- that would scare us too! But now the real question . . . which one of our other kids turned on his alarm????

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Webkinz World

Here in Houston, webkinz are a big thing -- some of our friends in other states had not even heard of them. So if you haven't heard of them check out this tour. Each of our girls has one. They earned them at the end of last school year and have spent much of the summer playing on it. They love it. I think it has been a good thing. They have to read and play games and take care of their pet. I think they have actually begun to understand the value of money. In Webkinz world, you do jobs and play games to earn Kinzcash. With this money, you must buy your pet food, clothes, furniture, home decorations, and more. The girls have learned how to save for big purchases (like a fridge or a new room addition on the house). They have learned to budget (if you spend it all on clothes and don't buy food then your pet will not be healthy). All is well in Webkinz world and I love to let them play there . . . that is until this morning when nothing but screams were coming out of the office.

"Where is my money?" Julianne screamed at Catherine.
Catherine just giggled.
"Where is my money?" Julianne screamed even louder. And then Julianne hit Catherine and they were both crying and then I walked in.

After sorting through the yelling and accusations and yelling and accusations and then double checking on webkinz this is what happened. . .

Catherine really wanted to buy a pink frilly fridge for her kitchen to store her food, but this particular fridge cost 680 kinzcash and Catherine did not have it. Knowing full well that it could take weeks for her to earn that much money and knowing she wanted it right now, she decided to log off her account and log in on Julianne's. She saw that Julianne had enough money and so she bought the fridge on Julianne's account and then she mailed it as a gift to her account. The perfect way to get a fridge for free or so she thought.

Apparently, my kids have learned all about money on webkinz, including how to steal it!!!!!

The hard part was that as Catherine was explaining her crime, Trent and I were so amazed that she devised this plan that we had a hard time not laughing about it. Trent said to her, "Catherine, that is stealing. Do you feel bad for stealing from julianne?" She staunchly replied,"NOOOOOO!!!" We both nearly lost it -- we were trying so hard to be serious.

And then I learned a lot more about Webkinz world, for example, one can gift any item -- but not cash. So Catherine cannot send Julianne the money. We had Catherine return the fridge to Julianne who then took it to the W- shop. (the main store, but they also have a pawn shop). We pawned off the perfectly new fridge that cost 680 and only got 340 for it (another good lesson, right?) And now Catherine has to gift Julianne enough items equalling 680 more kinzcash dollars.

Hopefully the webkinz police don't lock up Catherine's webkinz pet. But then it does deserve it . . . maybe she can get deferred ejudication as she is a first time offender. . . or maybe there are some lessons better left unlearned.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Of course, Guess what, & Just Because

We all have them -- little words or phrases that we slip into our conversations to pass the time while our brain catches up. Some are ummmmmm, uh, well, pues (spanish), eh, mmmmmm, ya know?, so, anyway, etc. . .

Trent right now says, "if you will" a lot. I always answer back with, yes, as a matter of fact I will. (he doesn't always appreciate my help in decluttering his language). I am sure I say things, and I don't realize it (feel free to let me know what I say a lot!). But the winner in our family of these phrases is Catherine.

Every story, statement and thought she expresses begins with "Guess what".
"Guess what Mom, today at school at recess we played tag and guess what?? I was it and guess what??? I chased 2 boys and guess what they hid behind the slide and guess what??? . . . "

Every answer to a question or explanation is filled with "just because."
"Why did you hide the boy's glue? just because it was fun."

But her new one is "of Course".
"Mom, today at lunch I of course sat by a girl who was wearing pink, of course, and of course we talked about princesses and she has a little sister, of course."

Part of me hopes she always talks this way.

Starting School

School began more than a week ago and I would have written all about it by now if I had not forgotten my camera on that first day. Being the parents we are, we did take pictures -- just with our cell phones. And now I must learn some new technology -- how to get those grainy photos off of my cell phone and onto my computer. You know that old saying, "Necessity is the mother of invention"? Well, for me, technology is the mother of headaches. But have no fear, I will figure it out -- and then the calls can come pouring in, and I can help you get all those pictures you have taken on your cell phone onto your computer.

Back to the school thing. . . It has been going well. Julianne is in 2nd grade and Catherine is in Kindergarten. I can't believe they are so grown up. It is an interesting thing -- sending kids to school. Julianne was nervous and timid as a kindergartner and Catherine is not at all. Catherine acts like she has spent the last 2 years of her life preparing for this day (oh wait, she did!). Julianne is a little nervous and timid even now, but Catherine is ready to cut all the apron strings. She says to me, "Mom, do you have to walk us in-- I think we are ready to do it alone."

When Julianne was in Kindergarten they had a clip chart (a behaviour thing -- they each had a clip on it with their name and as they behaved well they clipped up (from green to blue to purple) and when they caused problems they clipped down (from green to yellow to orange to red). Every day Julianne would have to color in her position on the chart and I would initial it. I always knew what she was up to. In Catherine's Kindergarten class, they too have a similar chart, but they do not inform me of the colors for each day, but Catherine does not realize this. The third day of school she was very quiet on the bike ride home and when I went through her backpack she finally confessed that she had had a "yellow" day. She seemed to think that as soon as I opened her folder I would see that and demand an explanation. I asked her what happened and she explained that a boy at her table could not find his glue and scissors. She said he looked everywhere and then asked the teacher to help and she had to clip down when the teacher found them. I asked her,"Now Catherine, where were they?????" She said, "I was sitting on them!" And then she started laughing and explaining how funny it was to hide his stuff. Catherine has always been the tease and I must say school has yet to tame her.

The funny part is that there was no way I would have known any of this without her volunteering all the info. So now I pretend to look through her folder to see what color her day was . . . the problem now is they are teaching the kids to read and someday soon she will realize that there is nothing in her folder at all about her behaviour and "color."

Monday, September 3, 2007

Early, early morning

At 5:15 am this morning, Adam awoke. Trent went to get him out of bed and I went to the bathroom. As I walked through the bathroom, I saw it. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a dark shadow run quickly from the middle of the bathroom floor to the toilet room. I muffled my scream knowing that 2 of my kids were asleep just feet away in my bed (why they were there is another post entirely) but I threw towels along the bottom of the door so that it could not escape. When Trent appeared with Adam, I informed him of our new little mouse friend in the bathroom. I went upstairs to feed Adam and Trent stated he would get ready, but that he would need my help so to hurry back after I put Adam down. Fifteen minutes later I was back and Trent was ready. He had blocked off all escape routes out of our bathroom and procured a broomstick, garbage can and even got socks and shoes on. We commenced in silence. Trent opened the door and then he saw it. . . and it was only a cockroach. He laughed and grabbed a magazine and the cockroach was a goner.

So, first, let me just say that I cannot believe the phrase "it was only a cockroach" is OK with me -- it is just that that is so much better than a mouse. And, second (as anyone who has ever been to my home can attest) MY HOUSE IS VERY CLEAN AND OREDERLY. The only thing we can think of is that the house next door is being built right now and driving all the current residents of the field toward us. My sister commented that maybe we could collect them -- and she is not all that far off. We had a turtle in the garage and lots of bunnies in the yard (Trent only got 2 of them with the lawn mower-- he did not see them). So yes, we are affectionately referring to the yard as the JUNGLE. And with all the rain, it really looks like one too!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Of Mice and Men

It was one week ago today when Trent and I were getting ready for an early bedtime because the next morning was the first day of school when we had our encounter with a mouse. We were both in our Pj's and had brushed our teeth, and our children were all asleep. I decided to run into the laundry room and just move the clothes to the dryer and start one more load. And just as I started the washer, I saw it. A small gray mouse run out from under the dryer just inches from my foot. So I did what every "Scientist, Naturalist" Mom would do-- which is -- scream at the top of my lungs! Trent peered through the laundry pass from the bathroom and asked what was wrong and then he came running. He had a plan, but I had to do exactly what he said. He grabbed a floor rug and a garbage can and closed the laundry room door and stuffed the rug along the crack so that no matter what the mouse would be contained. My job was to stand on the rug so that there was no way -- no how that that mouse was getting out. And then the fun began. Our laundry room is big enough that I have all the kids' craft supplies in plastic totes and drawer unitsstored in there. So we started moving craft stuff and laundry stuff and bending hangers to reach under the (now completely full of water and laundry) washer and dryer. In fifteen short minutes, the temperature in that room must have risen a good 10 degrees as Trent were both sweating a lot. And though we had had several chances the mouse was still evading capture. Our plan was to trap it under this smaller garbage can and then slide a file between the floor and the can to act as a lid and then carry the mouse outside to freedom. But things did not work so easily. . . We tried and tried and tried and tried and all we succeeded in doing was waking up Julianne. Who was talking to us through the laundry shoot upstairs and yelling at us to be quiet because she needed her sleep because she was starting school the next morning. We tried some more (a little quieter though) and after another 15 minutes had no luck when all of a sudden the mouse headed for the rug I was standing on and darn it if that little guy wasn't squeezing himself right underneath it in an effort to get out despite all the pressure I could muster on that rug. And right then we lost it . . . Trent grabbed a hammer and started banging that rug -- it had been so hard to catch it in that little room that we knew it would be a lost cause if it got out-- and so I am sad to say we are mouse killers. The whole time he was banging, I was trying hard not to throw up. The whole thing made me sick. And then he disposed of it and we spent the next hour and a half putting the room back together and cleaning it top to bottom. It led to a funny discussion of how that mouse got in the house and Trent said, "Well, who left the door open?" Which is especially funny if you have read the previous post "For the birds". Well, we were not quite as well rested on the first day of school as we would have liked to be, but what else could we do?????

Summer Vacation 2007

We went to Salt Lake City, Utah for our Summer Vacation. We had a wonderful time. It was fun and relaxing. We loved seeing all our family, enjoying the cool summer evenings, and spending time together. Here is our full itinerary -- we published it as a web page so anyone could join us at any given activity.