Saturday, October 30, 2010

Up to No Good

Kaitlyn's latest trick is driving me nuts. She's started removing her own pullups-then puts them in the drawer with her clean clothing. Usually this also involves a clothing change so the drawer is usually a disaster and stinks like pee while containing both clean and dirty clothing. Today I also found the downstairs bathroom hand towel(used and damp), two or three pieces of her sister's wardrobe, one princess crown, her church shoes, a pair of fairy wings, and three wet pullups. Now there's a combination to win friends and influence people!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pray for Rain

We're having water troubles. By late afternoon the water in the house is down to a trickle. There's not an abundance in the barns either. It makes for a fair amount of inconvenience in the house, but a bit of a worry in the barns. This morning I was down to a trickle by 11:30 a.m. We'd really rather not start hauling water. Prayer for rain would be appreciated.

Milk dud report: They finished chopping corn yesterday and got the silo leveled off. Today is a beautiful sunny fall day and they'd like to be shelling corn, but they need to get a grain bin finished first. Kenton is hoping to finish the floor today. It will probably require another day to finish all the augers/spouting or whatever they're called. (Jamison is positive that's the wrong term.)

We're potty training-yep, Kaitlyn and I are potty training. I'm being trained to take Kaitlyn to the potty every 35 minutes. Kaitlyn will hopefully internalize this procedure and start doing it without my help. At that point I can regress. Worst parental training job that I've so far encountered. Anyone voting with me on that one?
In Kaitlyn's book this means alternative clothing every 35 minutes. This means a lot of new rugs in my house-almost wall to wall as a matter of fact.

Doesn't appear to be stressing her out at all, does it?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Grandma Florence

Grandma Florence turns 93 tomorrow. My Grandma Tyyne would have been the same age in two weeks so it's really special to have Grandma Florence in our lives. She's not really our grandma, but we adopted her and she tolerates our chaos with a smile. :P All of her granchildren and great-grandchildren are far away so we are some of the lucky recipients of her loving heart.

Grandma Florence and her daughter Ellen and son-in-law Rusty came for a birthday dinner last night. We played Blokus and Uno afterward. It was a fun evening despite spending the day stressing that I couldn't erase thirty-five weeks of housekeeping neglect in eight hours. My inadequacies, housekeeping and otherwise, were graciously overlooked.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Can I Play in the Sink?

It's a question to make a mother inwardly groan. It means that all the dishes on the drainer will be left face up, some full of water. Baptisms of chair, rug, and each other will likely take place.
Today Davis and Megan had a new game going. Restaurant (Well, that only took me three tries to spell correctly!) Davis was pancake maker and Megan was waitress to chocolate chip and sprinkle pancake-eaters everywhere.


Megan: This has been the best week of my life(Note: it was Monday.) We had ice cream yesterday and then Marla gave us some and then we had more at Grandma Mast's party.
Does that say more about her quality of life or her low expectations?

Davis wrote Grandma Mast a birthday card that included the information that he likes to help dad on the farm. He also said that his favorite job is spreading lime over the poop on the barn floor. There's an appetizing thought to digest with birthday cake.

Milk dud report: Just about finished chopping corn for the year. I guess they didn't quite have room in the silo for everything and don't want to pull up another unloader. Began shelling corn yesterday. We had frost this morning so Kenton is considering mowing some hay. We have lots of hay, but apparently only one mow of good hay. Kenton went to a state Holstein meeting yesterday.

Birthday Party

Sometimes I feel sad that this area doesn't celebrate ethnic heritage at all...the local melting pot has evidently cooked down into mush. However, Kenton comes from a rich heritage of faith. His family is stuffed to the gills with people who love Jesus and show it daily. I guess Finn jokes, saunas, and the like can't compete with that.
Last night they had a party for Grandma Mast. She has achieved the age of 89. She and Grandpa Mast are two of the many family members who made me feel welcome from the beginning. She's a lovely woman of God with a talent for cooking. Oddly enough her popcorn is what I remember best. She reminds me a little of my Grandma Tyyne with her quiet, gentle personality. Kenton couldn't make it but here's his mom and Davis with Grandma Mast.
My kids enjoyed playing with some of the cousins, especially Cameron.

At church after Happy Birthday they often add a song that hold true here...
We wish you joy and peace all through the year
And as your days increase may heaven appear.
Long may your life abound
With peace in Jesus found
Showing to those around
Love, hope, and cheer.

Monday, October 18, 2010


We're trying something new. My all time favorite teaching textbook is In the Middle by Nancy Atwell. She focused on students reading and writing in community, thus encouraging each other. One classroom I taught in had a seventh grader who tested post high school in everything and a student who was on a third grade level. It still worked beautifully. It's one of the few fantastic things I did as a teacher....well, maybe the only thing. :(
Since the older kids are still reading out loud to me we have that covered. The writing we're going to try doing at the same time. I'm getting kind of tired of the my-favorite-whatever-and-why style of writing. Although I'm already seeing some ways to revamp this current idea to make it more effective.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Question from the nine-year-old: Do you have to go to school if you're going to work in a cheese factory?
A: Yes, you do.
Q:What kind of jobs don't you have to go to school for?
Obviously my son is trying to avoid math forever. :P

My parents were just here for nine days. They always get a lot of things done on my house that are nice to have done. This time it was the upstairs bathroom and some lights. My uncle and aunt let us have a cabinet which my parents installed while we were in China. It was oak but stained a nasty shade of walnut and one side had quite a bit of water damage. Mom refinished it and dad added some trim to hide the damaged places. Mom also refinished the door and trim and dad added a doorknob. It's really nice to be able to use the bathroom without pushing a stool in back of the door for privacy. It also effectively keeps out nosy toddlers. Kenton still needs to build one more cabinet, but then another room will be done.
Dad also spent a lot of time in the attic moving stuff to get at the wiring for the second story lights. I guess dad took a dim view of stumbling around in the dark wildly swinging your arms hoping to connect with a pull cord. Light switches are really much more efficient. He added a light in the attic. I guess he didn't like moving all that stuff and juggling a flashlight....of course, this being my house he had to change the batteries in the flashlight first. :P

According to Megan, "King Saul became angry and jello." Interesting possibilities in that rewrite. :D

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I grew carrots for the first time this year. A couple of my (weirdo) kids love canned carrots. I thought it would be fun to try. (What can I say? It was spring, the brain cells hadn't totally thawed yet.) While we didn't get very many, the ones we did get were large.

Davis was my carrot puller and delivery man. He dumped all those muddy, unwashed carrots on my kitchen cupboards before I knew what was happening. But who could resist such an obvious effort to be helpful? :DWant a carrot to feed your family for supper?

Milk dud report: Still chopping corn silage. We are waiting for shelling corn to dry down. Something went wrong with the combine transmission(something about not enough oil) and Kenton is working frantically to get it ready to go when the shelling corn is ready.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

When we got home from China in February our family had outgrown Bob the big red tomato. While we are not wild about flushing money on a car it is a necessity. Kenton's parents gave us their minivan. It was a godsend. While our trip to China was several months later than we anticipated, it also came as a surprise when it did come and we spent two weeks fast and furiously preparing for China....not for life when we returned home.
The gift van had a few quirks. Among them were an unpredictable reverse. I tried to avoid situations where I was going to have to back-up. But, it gave us time to regroup after our big trip and we were very appreciative.
The old gray mare with the quirky reverse decided to give up the ghost on Tuesday on the way to Pittsburgh to pick up my parents at the airport. It made for some stressful moments. We bought a "new" van yesterday.
Basic, eh?
The kids would love to make it their new playhouse. They are enchanted with stow-n-go seating. Twice today I've had to tell them to "get out of the van!" They thanked us for buying it. Like we had a choice?

Oh, for those car-type people, I think it's a 2008 Dodge Caravan....but don't bank on it.

Milk dud report: Kenton's chopping corn.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Roller Skating, Pledge, and Climbing the Walls

are all things that could work toward my insanity plea. Kaitlyn put pledge all over the wood floors upstairs. It works great if you're looking for an indoor slip-n-slide. It's bone rattling when you forget as you're racing around trying to get everyone out the door to church on time.

Megan must not be getting enough exercise. She's started thinking of our house as an indoor skating rink. If more than one person wants to skate, she's happy to share one so that they can race around the house at breakneck speed terrorizing anyone in their path and making enough noise to scare away the neighbors. I got revenge unintentionally by sending her upstairs to get her out of my hair. I guess pledge and roller skates led to a personal version of "Wipeout!"

When she's not on wheels, she loves to climb doorways. I've also caught her trying to climb hallways, swinging from her canopy bed like a monkey, and using Jamison's closet pole as a chin-up bar. I tolerate doorway climbing, but the monkey act better not be repeated.

Yes, that insanity plea is becoming increasingly more of a possibility.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe

had it right in my book, especially that line about "she whipped them all soundly and sent them to bed." And broth sounds like an easy prep and clean up meal. I could probably handle that.

Why is it that getting kids to bed is like herding cats? Why do kids have to fight over things like who has to put the cap on the toothpaste and who did it the night before? Is it possible to brush your teeth without spitting on the faucet and leaving toothpaste globs in the sink? Then there's the fighting over who has to get out of the bathroom first so that someone else can go to the bathroom, etc. Honestly, bedtime is the time of day my children are most likely to be put up for auction.

I'm thinking that getting kids in bed would be a great chore to delegate to dad.

I Forgot....

to mention that the other thing Miss Crankypants has been up to is preventing my bathroom walls from perspiring with a liberal application of my deodorant. Nice.

One night the kids gave us a show. I'm starting to learn the wisdom of someone who said that she refuses to watch random "shows" performed by children. If they haven't practiced it several times, she doesn't want to see it. Frankly neither do I....unless they're mine....and even then it's dubious. ;P

Friday, October 1, 2010

Miss Crankypants

Kenton is attending the World Dairy Expo. Kaitlyn is showing some insecurity. To compensate for all the angst she is feeling she is specializing in aggravation. So far she has deleted my former blog post, dumped a bunch of puzzles together, changed clothes every 30 minutes, cried about everything, said no to almost everything, put a leaf in Davis' cereal (!?!), and won't let me go out the door 10 feet to take out trash without severe, prolonged tears! Last night in a lapse of judgement (and crabbiness) I let her cry herself to sleep after she kicked Davis and got out of bed three times. Did I ever pay for that! She woke up every hour crying ALL NIGHT LONG!