Monday, January 28, 2013

Studly Little Muffin

Just had to post this picture (pre-cast) of our little JJ.

(side note ... It drives my mother crazy that we sometimes call Joshua, J, or JJ, instead of Josh, as a nickname, but that's just what we've done.  For the most part we call him straight up Joshua ... well, not 'straight up Joshua', just Joshua .. you get my drift)

Anyway, his vocabulary has exploded in the last two weeks.  Until you have a child at that level, you forget how fun it is to watch him grow, learn and develop.  Being a parent is the most awesome part of life, ever!

Projects, Projects

Matt has taken on a new hobby in the last year or so ... wood working.  He's done some of it in the past and is really handy, but a couple of projects he worked on in December and January have the wheels spinning in my head of what else he can make:).

The first was a picture frame for his mother.

Early last year we were at Mount Vernon and saw this dish towel in the gift shop that immediately made us think of her.  She and Matt's sister have a quilting business, Pie Plate Patterns, and so Martha's cherry pie recipe on the towel was a perfect fit.  Then sometime in the Spring, I think, Matt saw some walnut wood for sale on Craig's List and bought a bunch, with furniture and frame building in mind.  He designed the frame, built it, had glass specially cut for it, and matted it, all himself. 

I think it turned out beautifully and he really enjoyed doing it.  

The second project was beds for our girls.  We've looked at plans on Ana White's site for a long time and finally decided on a variation of her farmhouse bed.  Matt tweaked the plans quite a bit, but they turned out so well.  Kate wanted to paint hers rainbow, but they ended up white.  When they're completely finished I'll post those pictures.  We're doing a stain glaze on the top to make it look a bit antiqued.

Next on our list ... an apothecary entertainment console, so we can hide our electronics fashionably;), and so little Joshua hands cannot cause any more destruction:).

Saturday, January 26, 2013

A job well done

To report on the end of our hot chocolate stand adventure, I'll give a little recap.

Our weather Wednesday was frigid and windy, but we decided to tough it out as long as possible.  In the end, we stayed on the corner for 1 1/2 hrs, and profited $13.  Today was $37 and change.

Today the sun helped make things feel better, even though it was still a chilly 31°.  Our grand total over the three days was $225.12 ... not bad for a winter stand.  People were so generous and our principal should get 90% of the credit.  He did plenty of in-school advertising, so at least half of the total came from faculty/staff.   He also forwarded our flyer to the newspaper and a photographer came on Wednesday.  This was in Thursday's paper.
Such a fun venture and memory!  

I highly doubt we'll do anything like this again for a school fund-raiser, but it was something Wes and Kate were dedicated to and it turned out fantastically.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's all relative .... Snow Day

What a winter for wackiness.  Our friends and family in Utah have been in a deep, deep freeze for many days and weeks, and we have been enjoying 50s and occasionally dropping to the 30s.  Then there's my parents in North Florida, who saw 70s and 80s during much of last week.

But finally, this week, we are having winter ... and for the Eastern Shore, it's bitter.  It's a sure sign that you've acclimated, when 30° feels frigid.

We woke up to snow last week and it was such a sight for sore eyes.  It was only about 1/2", but it was like a winter wonderland to our children.  They were up and at 'em bright and early.  Thankfully there was an hour delay at school and so we let them play for a while.  

Although the delays are often something we'll poke fun at, we've learned there's always a reason behind them.  Either the area is not accustomed to the extreme of whatever, or there's a history of accident that's happened.  Such was the case in Connecticut, and such is the case here.  In the meantime, we relish the fog and snow delays.

So yesterday was a frigid day too, with a high of 26°.  It made for a cold hot chocolate stand:), but we toughed it out, mostly huddled in the cab of the truck (it didn't get over 23° while we were out there). We figure it was worth the $13 in the 1 1/2 hrs, and made for good memories.  

Last night we got a second snow.  What luck!  I came down to check our answering machine for snow delays, and Joshua had turned it off again :(, and when I went to call in to our back up voice mail, the phone wouldn't work.  So I turned on the computer and checked the school district website and sure enough, SNOW DAY!  School's cancelled with just 1-2 inches of fallen snow.  The difference is the bitter cold, 15° at 7 a.m., which is significant for this area.  So HooRAY!  We get another day off! (We've been off this whole week, MLK day, and two 'professional' days for teachers).  This is when I go back to my homeschooling desires and wish every day were like this where there isn't the rush, rush in the morning, and taking things at our own family's pace.  *Sigh* . However, we WILL have our own school today and everyone's so excited.  
Here's a photo of this morning's fun.
We have a small, two-pond, water feature in our backyard that is frozen solid and is as close to an outdoor ice rink these two are going to get while we live here:).

On a sidenote ... a newspaper photographer stopped by our stand yesterday and took photos.  It's supposed to be in the paper today, so maybe it will drum up more business for Saturday:).  
What's the forecast? 31° ... Brrrr.
It's all relative;).

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hot Chocolate

Having kids in school has opened our eyes to how often fund-raisers come around.  I think there were at least four that Wes and Kate brought home last year.  It started to be overwhelming so we told them to choose one.

Wes decided he wanted to pick the American Heart Association's Jump Rope for Heart.  No product in sold, just monetary donations of any size. Even without the pressure of asking a neighbor to buy a $20 cheesecake, we wanted to do something less direct. Wes suggested we do what one of our friends from Utah did in December: a hot chocolate stand.  Kate jumped on board this one too.

We chose three days to set up the stand, then we made a flyer and the kids took it to school to give to their teachers and other school workers, after school they took them around the neighborhood.  Later we found out the principal announced it everyday on the intercom, he also made copies of the flyers and put it in all the staff/faculty mail boxes, along with an email reminder on Friday.  Wes and Kate bought the cups and the family donated the hot chocolate and add-ins.

Yesterday was our first day and it was beyond successful.  The weather was perfect, sunny and 50°, with a slight breeze.  Our first customer was Wes' teacher, then his Kindergarten teacher from last year, the principal, music teacher, gym teacher, and a bunch of others.  By the end of the 2-hr block there were at least 12 faculty or staff that had come, plus a handful of ward members, many of our neighborhood, and a few random passersby.  Our little money jar was stuffed with $20s, $10s, $5s, and a lot of $1s.  People were so awesome.  Our next two days will probably be a lot slower, but Wes and Kate have had a blast.  It turned out to be a family project and has been a lot of fun.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

It was bound to happen

For the past 13 (almost) years, we've been a fairly healthy, accident-free bunch.  So we knew at some point we'd have to have our share of doctor visits, outside of the normal annual check ups.  Ours came this week with our main monkey, Joshua.

Matt's been working in the garage this week on beds for Kate and Sophie (a post soon to be written), and I was in the kitchen.  I heard Joshua, who was in the garage, bang on the door.  So I went to the door and opened it.  The opening surprised him, he stepped back, which turned into a twisted fall down one step, and hit the concrete floor.

I picked him up and checked his face, thinking he hit it, but he looked fine.  He cried, I consoled, he cried, I consoled, he cried, then I started to feel down his left leg.  This went on for quite some time. When I felt down his right leg he pulled away and cried harder.  After a few more minutes of painful crying I went outside and told Matt that I thought he was really hurt, since he never cries and cries like that.

Anyway after a call to a nurse friend:), and his pediatrician's office, I took him to an immediate care center.  The x-ray came back as a sprial break to his lower tibia, the large bone in the lower leg.

They splinted him up and scheduled an appointment for him at the orthopedic specialist.  So last night he came home with a lovely blue cast.

He was such a trooper through the whole thing, just looking at the doctors ... no cries or whimpers.  It didn't hurt that he had a ring pop at one of the visits:).

Nights are still kind of rough; he gets frustrated and wakes up when he rolls over.  But other than that, he's adjusting as well as can be expected.

One thing we immediately noticed is how heavy he is.  While he was in the splint we had strict instructions to not let him try to walk on it so it wouldn't displace the bone since it was still aligned.  So we pulled in a camp chair and he spent some of the day sitting in it.  

The good thing is the nurse said that since toddlers bones heal so quickly we can expect about 3-4 weeks in a cast.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fresh Start

There are so many favorite times of the year for me.  I love Autumn, I love Thanksgiving, I love Christmas, and I love the New Year!  

I've set new goals this year, and have incorporated some that I'm pretty sure will always be on my list, and I'm okay with that.  

One goal is to go through each corner and room of our house to see everything we have and either donate, sell, or find a permanent home for it.  (I've got to get my Paypal/slush account up so I can buy Wes a new suit I've been eyeing on eBay;) right now he looks like he's going through the Utah floods of '83 and '84, or was it just '84?.)

But this post isn't really for recording my resolutions; those are written down elsewhere.  

Something else I'll mention is how we have loved receiving Christmas and New Year's cards from family and friends.  Maybe it's my natural nosey-ness, but we loved getting an update on people and see how they've grown, or more like how their children have grown;).  I need to keep a regular list of people I send cards to because I know I missed a handful this year.  Mainly because I was in rushed mode during the mailing process.  

One other thing I want to do this year is to get our blog entries into a book/s, because first and foremost, this is somewhat of a journal, as well as an update place for our extended families.  

*(note to reader ... the change in font came when I started to paste the 'l' into my writings.  I've figured out a way to get around not having a functioning 'l' during much of my writings ... I look for an 'l' I can copy from somewhere on my computer screen and then I just paste it in whenever I need it.  Through this I've discovered I don't type with 'l's' a ton, but it's a pain when I do because I have to stop and press ctrl v.  just had to record it to remember the ridiculousness of not buying a new keyboard, although we've got a scout out there feeding us good deals on new computers; ... okay now I can't use the right parenthesis to finish my winking smiley face right there ... although I could just copy it from elsewhere.  Rambling ... and will stop now.)  Now it worked.  So random, this keyboard is.