Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Week in Numbers (and it is only Thursday!)

--counted 5,456 box tops
--helped carve 4 jack-o-lanterns
--organized and conducted 1 Primary Sacrament meeting program for 22 kids
--made 3 batches of pumpkin shaped sugar cookies
--made 3 different kinds of snacks for 3 class Halloween parties
--planned 1 preschool lesson
--made 2 trips to the library
--helped 4 kids plan and prepare Halloween costumes for 4 different parties
--made (only) 2 trips to Wal-mart
--read one book for me (The Princess and the Hound by Mettie Ivie Harrison)
--read about 40 books to Mr J
--washed and folded 8 loads of laundry
--read 5 books with Miss E
--had 1 nice date with my hubby

Wow! Sometimes being a stay-at-home mom people wonder what you do, well, this is just a peak at a few days. Moms are the busiest and most hardworking of anyone, and don't let anyone tell you different, but it is also the best and most rewarding job in the world. I couldn't ask for a better one!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

School lunch

School lunch. . .what kind of images, smells, thoughts, memories does that bring up??? Mystery meat? Scary jello? Unknown vegetable mix? Food fights? Bringing sack lunches from home? Lots of fun stuff associated with those words, huh? Mr J and I went and had lunch with Miss E last week. Corn dogs or burrito with cheese was on the menu. It wasn't too bad. Mr J had the corn dog, Miss E and I had the burrito. It is fun to go back and have lunch at school. We try to go once a month with the girls. It does bring back lots of memories. Sitting on those little seats, hearing the lunch lady telling you to be quiet (of course we were not being loud, not us, never), drinking milk out of a carton with a mini straw. Fun stuff. Even more fun than the food is the conversation. Ever really listen to a bunch of 7-year-olds when a teacher isn't around? Oh, my the stories they can tell! It makes me kind of nervous to think about what my kids say about me when I am not around. I probably don't want to know. . . in some things I think it is true that ignorance is bliss. So, the next time you have a few dollars to spare and no plans for lunch, may I suggest the school lunch? I think you will get an earful as well as a stomach full, and go away with a big smile :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Nauvoo, IL--what a sweet place!

The kids enjoy the hotel pool.
From the front of the temple looking out over the bluff and looking at the Mississippi.

At Carthage Jail where the Prophet Joseph Smith was killed.

Looking over the great Mississippi.

Okay, lots of pictures here, and I haven't quite figured out how to position them, but hope you enjoy. The kids had 2 days off school last week, so we took off Wed. after school and headed up to Nauvoo, IL about 6 1/2 hours away. It is a significant place in the history of our church. Our church was located there from 1839 to 1846. It rivaled Chicago as the biggest city in Illinois at the time with a population of 12,000. It is like a Williamsburg, PA place. You can tour old homes, make rope, dip candles, see how bread was made, how shoes were made, see a black smith, go on carriage and wagon rides. The volunteers, who are older couples called as missionaries from our church, dress in period costume, and they tell all about things and show you all around. There is a temple there which is where my sister Tessa was married a few years ago.

Ben and I got to attend some services there which was wonderful. The fall leaves on the trees were amazing! The town in right on a bend in the Mississippi river, so we got to see the great Mississippi. Lots of fun, and of course, the kids loved the hotel pool!
On a carriage ride. It was kind of cool, but they had lots of blankets for us to use.

Checking out things at the Lyon Drug store. The girls loved all the spices they had.

Miss A showing off some of the fall colors.

Mr J and Miss E make rope.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fun weekend

My grandparents drove 1150 miles to see us this weekend. What fun we had after a rough start! My grandma fell right after she got here and dislocated her shoulder and spent 3 hours in the emergency room. Not how we wanted to spend the visit, but they were able to get the shoulder back in place, and she got some pain medicine, and seemed to be able to enjoy the rest of the visit. Thank goodness! She had her arm in a sling the whole time, and my mom drove back with them to make sure all will be well back home. Oh, my. You just never know what will happen. I feel very blessed, though, that my kids know their great-grandparents so well. They are blessed to know them and love them. My grandparents always like to come this time of year because it is our town's Farm City Days celebration with a big parade. This parade gives out more candy than you can believe! My kids came home loaded! It was really cold this year, but at least it didn't rain! We were all bundled up to watch the parade. My mom, Mr. J, Ben, Miss A, my dad behind her, Miss O, DeeDee and Grum, and Miss E has her hood on and is turned to the side. And of course, no visit would be complete without going to the chocolate factory! Miss A--my 11 year old, and her great-grandma DeeDee. What a blessing family is!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy 60th Birthday Dad/Grandpa!

Wishing a very happy birthday to my amazing dad, who is also an amazing Grandpa! We love you!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hanging Pumpkins and sweet fishing line

Have you ever just found something and you think, "Wow, this is just sweet! How did I ever function without this?" That is what I thought when I discovered fishing line. It is an item we love at our house. It is super cheap, and you get a ton! It has many uses, but our favorite is to use it to hang things in our entryway leading into our living room. A couple years ago, Ben and I were decorating for Christmas, and we thought, hey wouldn't it look really cool to have big ornaments hanging down? How could we do that? What could we use? We discovered fishing line. I know it is not an original idea. I have seen similar things other places. Others have discovered the joy of fishing line too. Since then we have tried to hang different things according to holidays. Our kids really like this. At Easter we use longer pieces and attach several plastic eggs to each strand. Last Halloween we did spiders, but for some reason they all disappeared this year. For Thanksgiving, I hung pumpkins, and since my spiders disappeared, today Mr. J and I hung pumpkins because I figured they could work for Halloween and Thanksgiving--multi-tasking pumpkins here. Then at Christmas we hang big ornaments. I have been thinking in January I should do snowflakes, and February hearts, but didn't get that far this year. Maybe next year. I will let you know. So, I hope there is something small and simple in your life that makes it easier and happier. It is always the small and simple things that make life so sweet, ya know, like fishing line.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Chickens and my pet philosophy

My hubby Ben and I have been married for almost 14 amazing years. When we were engaged I told him, "Honey, you know if you marry me that you will never have any pets." He said, okay, and we have lived happily ever after. . .then about 5 years ago we moved to the country and got a little bit of land, and my hubby got chicken fever. He wanted some chickens. I did not.
.We went back and forth, but then after talking to some friends and getting more info about them, in April we got these from Orscheln Farm and Home (or Horse-lands as my little Mr. J calls it).

Each kid got a Rhode Island Red baby chick and got to name theirs. They named them Henrietta, Jewel, Buttercup and Who-Ha (that was Mr. J's). They grew very quickly. Ben made an awesome chicken coop from a pattern we got from some good friends, and then he and Miss E-- my 7 year old painted it. Pretty impressive, huh? It is moveable. Don't you love the flowers? Only happy chickens live here.
Now, we started with 4 baby chicks, and they were suppose to all be hens. As they were growing we noticed that one was getting bigger than the others and seemed a little meaner. In July when we had our family reunion at our home, Ben's brother went out to see our chickens with Ben, and he said, "you have a rooster," "No, they are all hens" Ben said, and his brother repeated "Um, I think that is a rooster." About a week later it started crowing. Yeah, we had a rooster. Miss O--my 9 year old--said "let's take it back to the store and get our money back." We couldn't. I didn't save the receipt, but we didn't want to keep Mr. Rooster. He was mean and loud, and crowed all day long. Luckily some friends from church needed a rooster, and we were glad to oblige. (Actually we kind of begged them to take it, and they felt sorry for us and were nice enough to take our burden from us--good friends!) About a week after Mr. Rooster left, our hens started laying eggs! How cool is that? See, I don't think of chickens as pets, so this whole thing doesn't go against my pet philosophy. I see chickens as food storage or an emergency preparedness essential--not pets. They don't need to be walked, washed, petted, groomed, etc. We get 3 pretty brown eggs each day. The kids feed the chickens and check for eggs before school and after. It has been a good thing. It was pretty cold earlier this week, and Miss E had the job of checking for eggs. She went out prepared. Don't you love her outfit? (yes, those are her pajama pants, good thing we live in the country! What would the neighbors think???? Thankfully we are blessed with the best neighbors in the world, what a sweet thing, and after 5 years they are used to Miss E's antics and sense of fashion.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blogging here I come! Sweet!

I have been debating a long time whether or not to do a blog. My stomach is doing flip-flops as I write this--kind of funny, it shouldn't be a big deal, but it feels like a huge plunge! Here I come! I feel I should explain my "Blue Jeans Momma" title and subsiquent subtitle. I am a blue jeans woman--that is my comfort zone--blue jeans, t-shirt, sweatshirt--sweathers are pushing too fancy for me :) Keep it sweet and simple. Most things in my life take this approach--

Cooking usually includes boneless skinless chicken breasts or hamburger (Once I made BBQ spare ribs and my kids about flipped out "What are these? Why did you make these? Where did you get them?" Poor deprived kids), occasionally I branch out and buy pork chops once or twice a year or a roast every few months.

Scrapbooking: simple, simple, simple, get as many pictures on the page as you can and write about them, lots of journaling. I am a big fan of Becky Higgins and her project 365 which is to take one picture every day of the year.

My house: if there isn't a place for it, then throw it away. We take lots of bags to the local thrift store :) Reduce, reuse, recycle

So, I try to keep my life simple and sweet. Life is very sweet. We are so blessed to be alive, to live and breathe, to walk and run, to touch and feel the softness of a kiss or hug, to see the sunsets and read the pages of a book. Sweet has varying degrees--bitter, semi, and milk chocolate. Some are easier to get down than others, and that is how life is too. Some things are easier to digest in life, but they are all sweet. Personally, I am always a milk chocolate sweet kind of girl.
Above is my 365 picture for today. My little one (my baby!) enjoying his sweet life--he has his blanket and a Dr. Seuss book, how can life get any sweeter?