Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Creepy Little Eyeballs

Yesterday as I was putting the boxes of cereal we used back in the cupboard, I thought I saw something... move?  I stepped back a little to see better (this particular cupboard is a high one), and there were a pair of little, shiny black eyes looking back at me.  This particular set of eyes were attached to a furry little mouse body.  I wanted to shriek as the mouse and I stared at each other for several seconds, but I thought better of it and closed the cupboard door.

Great.  There's a bold little mouse in the cereal cupboard.  He's probably been eating the cereal I just fed my kids (and myself) for breakfast.

I thought I was going to be sick.

Instead I called Ryan at work.  I was more freaked out than I thought I was, since a women answered the call.  Apparently I dialed the wrong number.

Ryan promised to bring home traps and poison for our little problem when he came home from work.  For the rest of the day, I tippy-toed my way around the kitchen.  I chastised myself for doing so, knowing that mouse has likely been living in our house for who knows how long.  Judging by the amount of droppings, he's been enjoying our cereal for a while.  (How did I miss all the droppings??  I know the cupboard is above my line of sight, but good grief!)

When Ryan did arrive home, he brought the promised bag of rodent solutions.  He picked up two different kinds of traps, and poison to boot.  His former-student-turned-Ace-employee laughed at him for being so thorough.  Ryan told him to just wait until he had a wife.  My piece of mind is worth $20.

As we were lying in bed last night, Ryan said he would check on the traps before he left in the morning.  I told him I was a "big girl" and could probably handle it.

I changed my tune when it was time for breakfast.  The cereal cupboard looked like a gory scene from CSI. The mouse had eaten some of the poison (which Ryan told me caused ulcers and was an anti-coagulant) and then was snapped by the mouse trap.  It was just a lot to handle before breakfast.  I texted Ryan to say, "I changed my mind about being a big girl."  But I grabbed a plastic grocery sack, covered my hand, and picked up the mess and the trap.  There was no way I was going to disentangle.... everything.

We've left the poison and the other traps available.  Just in case our little mouse had friends.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Ryan the Skunk Slayer

Last night after we put the kids to bed, Ryan and I went for a walk around our neighbor's alfalfa field.  Our neighbor Dan came out to say hi after the first circuit.  While Ryan and Dan were discussing skunks who try to get into chicken coops, and dig holes under homes, and generally avoid the traps set for them, Ryan spotted a skunk in the alfalfa field.

Two shots with a 12 gauge later, the skunk was no more.  But the whole surrounding area was smelling pretty foul.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Maddie, age 4

Favorite Food: Ice Cream
Favorite Color: Purple and Pink
Favorite Book: Peter Pan, and Madeline
Favorite Movie: Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Favorite Activity: Play and swing
Favorite Dessert: Ice cream (I think I see a pattern here....)
When I Grow Up I Want To Be: A bus driver

Annie, age 4

Favorite Food: Marshmallows
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Book: Sleeping Beauty
Favorite Movie: Sleeping Beauty (that's what she says, but will often choose Go Diego Go, Justin Time, or Martha Speaks on Netflix)
Favorite Activity: Chasing the chickens
Favorite Dessert: Gingersnaps
When I Grow Up I Want To Be: A Mommy

Elizabeth, age 8

Favorite Food: Cookies
Favorite Color: Silver
Favorite Book: The Cat in the Hat (if I ask her to pick a book to read to me, she almost always chooses this one)
Favorite Movie: Monsters, Inc.
Favorite Activity: Coloring
Favorite Dessert: Cake and Cheesecake
Favorite Subject at School: Art
When I Grow Up I Want To Be: a swim teacher

Emma, age 10

I like to ask the kids questions.  Their answers change from year to year, and in some cases, week to week.  So to document this for posterity and all that, here's a little snap shot of what Emma likes as of today.
Favorite Food: Ravioli
Favorite Color: White
Favorite Book: Any book by Rick Riordan.  (She just got her hands on books #2 an #3 of the Kane Chronicles yesterday and says she loves them.)
Favorite Movie: Harry Potter #3 "The Prisoner of Azkaban" (Also really likes, "Good Luck, Charlie" on Netflix)
Favorite Activity: Read
Favorite Dessert: Brownies, and chocolate milkshake
Favorite Subject at School: Math
When I Grow Up I Want To Be: A Mom

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Capitol Concert

A couple of months ago, Emma auditioned for a special choir, and was accepted.  She's been going to before school practices, and serenading us all the time.

Tonight was the performance.  All the choir and band/mariachi/orchestra/marimba ensembles in the whole district (elementary, middle, and high school) performed at the Capitol Theatre a half hour away.  We had to get tickets to go see our daughter.  It was quite fancy.

The ceiling of the Capitol Theatre
 Emma is in the 2nd row from the bottom, 2nd kid from the left.  Kendra is right next to her.
 The elementary choir kids were given the choice to shake maracas while the elementary marimba band was playing.  Emma was all over that.
 The choirs and orchestras performed the finale all together.

Birds of a Feather

This is the Grow Your Own Thanksgiving Dinner year at our house.  We have 4 little turkey chicks.
Apparently turkeys are very social birds.  They were very cuddle-y last night on our porch railing.  At one point the littlest one was snuggled up under the wing of the next turkey over.

In other news, thanks to the fact we have a rooster and eight hens, all the girls are getting a little real-world lesson about the birds and the bees.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I don't know what to say....

When I plugged in my camera to get pictures onto the computer, these photos uploaded.  Somehow I missed this fashion show, and I have no idea who took the pictures.  (Well, that's not entirely true.  I'm guessing it was Emma...)

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another Baptism Weekend

We had the opportunity to to go my niece's baptism yesterday.  They only live 1.5 hours away, so it was just a day trip.  

When we arrived at the church building before the baptism, of course no one else was there and the building was locked.  What better time to get some pictures of the kids...
 (Maddie, Emma, Amy, Annie, Elizabeth and Megan)
 Plus some silly shots.
(Enter Grandpa photo bombing.  Both Grandpa and Megan have the same version of a "silly face.")
 A nearby horse came over to check out our fun...
Simon tried to feed Curt old branches, and all but succeeded.  It must be great to be a cute toddler.  You can get adults to do all kinds of things.

The baptism went well.  Megan was baptized by her grandpa.  Grandma and Uncle Michael gave the talks, Ryan gave one of the prayers, Aunt Blair played the piano, and I led the music.  It was pretty much a family affair. :)  We had a big family dinner afterwards, before dispersing for our various drives home.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Our Get Along T-Shirt

Monday night I got tired of the fighting.  Enough is enough.

Learn to get along, or else:
We told Emma and Elizabeth that they needed to have 30 fighting-free minutes in a row to get out of the t-shirt.  It took them somewhere around 90 minutes before they were free of each other.  We even made them help clean up the family room and eat dinner wearing Ryan's t-shirt.

Once they were able to be done with their "consequence," they gave each other a wide berth for a while.  I didn't mind.  That was more time with no fighting, which was pure bliss to me.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Disappearing Act

Maddie came up to me with a very serious look on her face.  "Mommy, there's a marble in my ear," she told me.

I looked her over, as I was sitting at the table trying to eat my lunch.  I didn't see anything like a marble balanced in her ear.  "There's a marble in your ear?  I don't see one.  Are you teasing me or telling me a story?"

She shook her head.  "No, Mommy.  There's a marble in my ear."

I put down my sandwich.  I started moving her ear around, trying to peer into the ear canal.  "I don't see anything, sweetie.  Are you sure?"

"It hurts."  

So I really started moving her ear around, and lo, there was something shiny in her ear.  Not marble sized.  BB sized.

Great.  Just great.  How in the world do you get a BB out of an ear?  

"Maddie, why did you put that in your ear?"

"Um, I wanted to make it disappear."  Well, kudos to you.  You did exactly that.

I called Ryan.  Did he have any great ideas?  He suggested a magnet.  Perhaps BBs are magnetic?

As it turns out, either BBs are not magnetic, or our refrigerator magnets aren't strong enough, and I was afraid of messing around with her ear too much.  So I called the doctor's office.  They could see us at 3:15.  We only had 3 hours of trying to keep Maddie's fingers out of her ear.

Once we were at the doctor's office ("Are we seeing her today?"  "I made the appointment a couple of hours ago.  You said someone would...."  "Oh, there you are."), waited and waited, pulled into our exam room, explained our problem for the 3rd time to the nurse, and then explained to our provider Ty for the 4th time....  It took all of about a minute to get the BB out with a tiny scoop/spoon thingy.

Ty handed me the BB.  Did I want to keep it?  

I dumped it in the trash.  You know, we've got plenty more BBs in the yard at home.  I'll be just fine.  

Summer Preview

This week we got a preview of summer.  We had to turn on our A/C because it was in the '90s all week.  I think the warmest day this week was around 97 degrees.  Insane!  

I asked Ryan to pick up a wading pool on his way home from work on Tuesday.  (It's easier to throw a pool in the back of his truck.)  The kids were ecstatic.  They played in the pool every day.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Sometimes I am too lazy to write a blog post, so I get on Facebook.  The nice thing about Facebook (versus the blog) is I generally get more feedback, and sometimes there's even a discussion.  This way I feel like maybe I had some adult interaction over the course of the day.  Kind of, but not really.

I'm just going to copy and paste some of the more memorable status updates so the memories are saved.

That moment when you get out of the shower and you see a big hairy spider racing towards your stack of clean clothes, that's when you realize you are not even remotely prepared to save yourself.   I had very little at my disposal, but the shampoo bottle seemed to work well bludgeoning the spider to death.

A new first for us- Maddie put something in her ear, and I can't get it out. So, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to the doctor's office we go.....

When I told the girls they could take cookies in their lunch to school, I did not mean they could take the rest of the cookies. (There were at least a dozen left.) Imagine my surprise come lunch time when there isn't a single cookie left for me or the twins.

What is it about the middle of the night that inspires the stomach flu?

I love it when dessert arrives at your front door, especially when it's warm cookies.

Having just finished the Merlin series, I can now say- BBC, I hate you. You just have to kill off everyone, don't you?

Annie gave us a bit of a scare last night. When it was time to check on the kids before we turned in for the night, we could not find Annie. After searching the whole house, Ryan found her fast asleep with her blanket in Elizabeth's closet. The closet doors had been closed.

I have a very excited girl counting the hours until she turns 8. Happy almost-birthday Elizabeth.

The missionaries pronounced our last name correctly. A miracle! 

This morning I tried killing a spider with my tennis shoes. The uneven tread was proving a challenge, and I ended up shouting, "Die Spider. Die! DIE! DIE!!!!" The kids all burst out laughing. I guess I'm funny when I'm homicidal.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wandering Sleeper

Annie has been going through a phase of not wanting to go to sleep in her bed.  One night when it was time to check on the kids before we go to bed, we found Miss Annie in Elizabeth's closet, and last night she sneaked down the stairs and went to sleep on the couch in the front room.  
 It's a little scary when you can't find your daughter, even if you feel fairly certain you would have heard the front door open.
I would just like to point out that it's been crazy hot here this week, if anyone was wondering where her pjs were.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

On A Saturday

Ryan was off to his FFA plant sale again this morning.  When he arrived, he had a queue of people waiting for the sale to start.  His plants looked amazing, as always.  The weather was not cooperating as much as he might have liked, so he made some adjustments:
They moved all the desks over to the side of the classroom, and moved half of the plant sale inside.  The other part stayed in his awning.  The greenhouse was packed full of plants.  (Hanging from the ceiling, on tables, and all over the floor.)  There wasn't exactly any room for prospective buyers to shop, so Ryan has been moving the sale outside the last two years.

(And these are just a couple of random plant sale pictures from my phone.)

 After we spent several hours in the wind, we took a quick trip to a wedding reception.  The kids had pizza smears on their clothes from lunch, we were all in shorts and t-shirts, and my wind-blown hair was so big, it resembled a 'fro.
That's my classy family.  Elizabeth is hiding from the camera behind her drink.

And that's more or less what we were up to today.  We were not-so-good extended family today, though.  Ryan's sister, Brynne, graduated with her Masters degree today, and we were not able to go.  So, congrats Brynne; we were with you in spirit.

Friday, May 3, 2013


 I don't know how it happened.  This city girl is now deep in the country living experience.

Ryan has been gone a lot this week due to the T Livestock Show AND parent-teacher conferences at the high school.  He's been leaving before 6 am, and returning home between 8 and 9:30 pm.  Well, Wednesday night at 9:30 pm, he brought home a sheep from the livestock show.  I got to help herd the sheep into the pig pen in the dark.  (That was fun....)
 I have to make the appointment today to have him butchered, and then cut and wrapped.  Willie the pig will be sad.  They have become quite chummy.  Except when deciding who gets to eat first, and Willie is quite possessive of the food.  The sheep has figured out the pig feeder, which amazed Ryan.  He hadn't ever seen a sheep do that.
Elizabeth is the chicken whisperer.  She loves to hold the chickens, and they seem to put up with her.

Yesterday our three turkey chicks escaped their box.  I'm not sure if they figured out how to escape, or the chickens helped, or what, but when I went to let the chickens out of their coop- the turkeys were running free.  I ended up letting all the chickens outside, closed the door again, and then attempted to catch the turkeys.  They have a lot of their feathers now, and can fly surprisingly well.  There was hissing and fluffed feathers, but I caught two of the three.  I just could not get that last one.  (I think he will be dinner come Thanksgiving....)  He was in my hands two or three times, and got free again.  That squirmy beast.  So we waited for Ryan to come home, as he is more clever than I am at turkey catching.