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Thursday, June 30, 2011

What a difference a day makes....

Talk about having better attitudes today...

The kids all slept in a bit, and then they got up and made themselves breakfast (toast) and cleaned up *most* of their mess. I had to remind them to put some of the stuff away, but all in all, it was good.

It took us a little while to get moving, but we finally headed out to the lake early this afternoon...

Daniel wasn't really into the whole water thing this time, so he and I hung out on the shore for most of the day while the other kids enjoyed the water.

Emily certainly enjoyed it.

Alex had another run-in with a bee, but this time we won.

We had a Lunchable and Gatorade lunch and then they just kept right on going...

My view from the blanket....

We had a visitor, who was determined to get some of our crackers.

Alex loves to find bugs.

I played around with my camera and the sand for a little bit.

Yeah, it was a little toasty out. But it was perfect for the lake.

We did get to see a snowman though...

And we did finally make it to Burger King.

Sadly, someone had yet another "accident" and so he had to sit out while everyone else played on the slides.

Jared and Daniel were definitely having fun with it.

I also learned a valuable lesson. When applying sunscreen to the kids, remember to apply it to yourself. SPF 50 is great stuff - if you remember to use it.

So as of right now, Alex is in bed (that's what happens when you poop in your pants around this house) and the other 4 are watching movies. Peacefully. Without arguing. The house is almost clean, and they all got showers before we left the lake so we can just relax for a while. I think I'm going to finish up some of my online stuff that I need to do and then I'm going to sew for a while.

Let's hope that tomorrow goes as smoothly....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Today was rough.

It was just one of those days.

The older 3 came back from their father's house at 7:30am. It was early for them and it was early for me, especially since I woke up with a splitting headache. They were grouchy, I was grouchy. Bad combination.

The plan for the day was to straighten up the house a bit, then enjoy the 100+ degree heat and go to the lake for a while, then maybe to Burger King for supper, and get a movie to watch this evening.

The attitudes started almost immediately. Bickering led to arguing led to screaming led to fist fights and on and on...I couldn't even begin to count how many times various kids were sent to their rooms to chill out, and then it would start over again.

I'd ask (tell) them to do something - "pick up those shoes and put them in your closet" - and would either be ignored or, worse yet - hear "but I don't want toooooooooo".

Asking them didn't work. Telling them didn't work. Bribing didn't work.

At one point I quit and tried to focus on fixing the vacuum. It works fine, but the "retractable" cord doesn't retract anymore, thanks to *someone* yanking it out too far. I tore it apart, but couldn't get to the part that is supposed to spin to retract the cord, so I gave up and put it back together. It still works. The cord is just annoying.

Finally, I ended up basically standing over the kids telling them "You - put those shoes away. You - throw that in the trash. You - put that plate in the sink." But we finally got the house looking halfway decent.

Then there was more fighting. And bickering. And fist fights. And a toileting accident, which led to an early bedtime for one ticked off 5 year old who should have known better in the first place.

Supper was had. Some TV was watched. Some peace overcame the chaos.

So tomorrow, since we're theoretically starting out with a clean house, we will attempt the lake.

Please, let us get there this time.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

TMOART:2011 - Preparations have begun

For anyone who has been following along, we are in the final stages of preparations for The Mother of All Road Trips: 2011 Edition (TMOART:2011).

We did a similar trip 2 years ago. The kids and I drove from Kansas to Pennsylvania and back over the course of 12 days, and put a total of 2941 miles on the Mom-Mobile. This trip is a little more ambitious, with stops planned in Virginia to see friends and Washington, DC for some edumacational stuff.

We have all of our places lined up to stay, and it looks like out of the 12ish days that we'll be gone, we'll only have to stay in a hotel for one night *happy dance*. We're going to see friends and family that we haven't seen in at least 2 years, and some that I haven't seen since high school! And we're even going to meet some "new" friends too.

I'm excited, to say the least!

As of right now, we have enough money to do it. Barring any unforeseen disasters or unplanned expenses, the trip is officially ON. We have been stockpiling food so that we don't have to spend a lot of money while we're on the road - I want to see if we can do this without eating out at all. That might end up being unrealistic, but I think if we plan well enough we can do it. We have a big ice chest to keep food and drinks in, so we should be ok.

We have the route mapped out, with directions to get to the places that we haven't been to before, and I have GPS on my phone - something that I've never had for one of these trips in the past! Sarah has gotten pretty good at reading maps too, so she'll be my official co-pilot for most of the ride.

The van has already gotten 2 new tires and has been given the once-over by my garage. The oil needed to be changed a few weeks ago - I would have liked to have waited until closer to the time, but it needed to be done then. So it'll need to be done (technically) before we get back, but it'll be ok.

I'm doing another craft show on Saturday (once I firm up a sitter for the boys) so any extra money we get from that will go into the travel fund. And any extra that we get between now and then will also go into it.

July 21 is the day we leave.

Just over 3 weeks!

OMG. It's only 3 weeks away. I've been planning this for months.


OK, just had to get that out. Now I have to go work on laundry some more.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Fireworks, power tools, and why I never get anything done.

A few shots of the fireworks from last night...

It was really really dark on the walking path on the way home, but I thought that this looked really cool. It was under one of the bridges and was one of the only places on the 1+ mile walk that was lit at all.

I tried cleaning up the house today. I got the living room pretty much organized, then went into the girls' room to strip and remake their beds. When I came back out to the living room, this is what I found:

Yep, that's the couch, moved out into the middle of the floor by a 4- and a 5-year old. Hardwood floors are nice in that it's easy to move furniture around, but sometimes it's too easy.

Then I had to stop to fix a table that I found in pieces in the girls' room. I do vaguely remember them saying that the top came off of it.

FYI: That's a 3" concrete screw. That top had better not fall off again.

So, instead of getting tons of stuff done today, I got lots of little things almost done. Laundry is started, but not done. The dishwasher is loaded, but hasn't been run. The couch has been put back in place, and most of the toys are put away.

I think I'm just running on empty at this point. I'm tired. Not just tired, but really, really tired. Looking at my calendar for the week is just making it worse. I have a meeting to go to tomorrow night that is about 50 miles away, I have to get down to my friends' house to work on the garden, I now have another craft show on Saturday, and I have a birthday party and a Fourth of July party on Sunday. In amongst all of that, I have to clean and do laundry and get to the grocery store and do about a billion other things.

So, I'm seriously considering putting the boys to bed here in the next few minutes, and crashing. It's only 9:00, and I honestly think that I could go to bed right now and sleep straight through until morning.

Yep, I think that's what I'm going to do.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I hate days like this. I have so many things that I should be doing, and I'm not doing any of them.

Just a small sampling of what I *should* be doing:
~ cleaning up the house
~ laundry
~ stripping and remaking all of the beds
~ sweeping and mopping all of the floors
~ dishes
~ going through and reorganizing some of my craft stuff
~ pulling out completed projects to measure and photograph (hold that thought)
~ cleaning out the van (it's gross in there)
~ inventorying (that's a word, right?) my soap to see if I need to make more in the near future
~ starting a new crafty project that was brought over by a friend as a possible side business

What I have done so far today:
~ went to church, but had to leave early due to a toileting accident (not mine)
~ made a pizza for the boys for lunch
~ stripped Sarah's bed and washed the sheets and comforter (haven't remade it yet though)
~ took a nap. Sort of. I could still hear the TV, although my eyes were closed.
~ did my nails
~ stared at the computer for a while without even really doing anything

Why can't I focus on anything?

Part of the reason is that I'm just plain tired. I got very little sleep for this past week and it's definitely catching up on me. And when I get tired, I have the attention span of a gnat on speed. I move from one thing to the next, one thought to the next, and nothing gets done.

Plus I've been pondering my whole crafty business thing. At one point I had a website for it, and I did a nice little business on it, but I let that go when my life got to be so chaotic. I'm also thinking about changing the name of it and *maybe* tying it in with this blog (hence the pictures and measurements that I need to do of some of the finished items). I just haven't decided what I want to do with it yet. I know that I love to make things. I love to sell the things that I make. It makes me happy. I've always said that my dream when I grow up is to have my own little shop where I can make and sell things for a living. I even have a mental image of my shop in my head. But in order for that to happen, a lot of other things have to happen first.

So I believe that I am going to take my muddled mind, step away from the computer for a few hours, actually do some of the things on my list, and then the boys and I are going to walk into town. We have some overdue (by one day) movies to return at the library - thank goodness for the drop slot - and then there are fireworks at 10pm. It will be a late night - we'll be walking about a mile to see the fireworks, but it'll be fun. Actually, I'll be walking and they'll most likely be riding in the double stroller, but whatever. Maybe if I get out and get a little bit of exercise, I'll feel better in general and maybe even be able to sleep tonight.

Hopefully I don't fall asleep while we're watching the fireworks. That could be bad.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Craftiness Part II

So, as far as craft shows go, it was not a stellar day.

After paying for the booth, and a bag of ice for the cooler, and the gas to get there and back, I think I made about a $0.50 profit. Boo.

There just wasn't much traffic, but temperatures were right at 100 degrees for most of the day. As much as I love the heat, it was stifling when the breeze stopped.

But, on a good note, I got The Quilt done. Like done-done. And I really like it. I would like it even more if it had sold, but I still like it.

So here are a few more pictures from the day....

Everybody loves a parade...

The Quilt - finally finished!


Some of the soaps...

Some of the bags

Loving the contrast....

There is a very good possibility that I'll be doing another show next Saturday, but at least that one has free booth space. And I have ideas rolling around in my head of things that I can do to maybe increase sales a bit...there are so many things that I *want* to do, but right now all of those thoughts are just in a big jumbled mess rolling around in my brain.

And my brain has had very little sleep in the last week or so. And then it spent a lot of time outside in the hot, fresh air and bright shining sun today. So my brain is tired. The boys will be going to bed soon, and I will be following them. We have to be up early so that I can get them all fed and dressed and send the older 3 to church with their father and then the younger 2 and I can go to church.

Fireworks tomorrow at 10pm in town. Hmmmmm.....


Here we are....sitting in the booth, not selling much yet. But it's early. And it's hot.

The girls are bored. Go figure.

I finally got The Quilt quilted. So I'm sitting here binding it. Not such a good idea to be sitting under a quilt in this heat. Duh.

I'll probably update again later.....


Friday, June 24, 2011


All I wanted to do was get one more quilt top quilted before tomorrow. Once I get the frame set up and get the quilt loaded onto it, it's usually not difficult to get the quilting done in a few hours.

I started it last night. Got it all loaded up and ready to go.

I started quilting it, using my newer Janome machine. As much as I love my Janome, she has a definite attitude problem when it comes to quilting. She did great on the blue quilt that I finished the other day, but this time, she just wouldn't do it. The thread tension just wasn't working. So I quit at about 2:00am today and went to bed.

After I got up, I started working again. And again, she just wouldn't do it.

So I busted out the old Domestic. I love this thing, although she is about as lightweight and easy to move as a ton of bricks. A friend came over the other day to repair some faulty wiring and she was working great.

I started using her to quilt. Looks good, huh?

Then she died. I started performing surgery, but I think it's beyond what I can do at this point. I'm thinking maybe some bearings or something went out, so she'll be going to the sewing machine hospital soon. And if the Janome doesn't straighten up her act, she'll be going to the same place.

So my quilt will not be done for tomorrow's craft show. *sigh*

I'm not happy. In fact, I'm really bummed about it. But, not much that I can do at this point.

The rest of the day will be spent doing the usual...cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. Then Ex1 is picking Jared up around 6:00 to take him fishing and keep him overnight, and I am taking Alex and Daniel to meet a friend in Wichita after that, and they are going to have a sleepover at her house with her son. So all of the boys will be otherwise occupied tomorrow while the girls and I do the show.

After we get back from dropping Alex and Daniel off tonight, we'll be loading up the van with all of the goodies so that in the morning we can just get up and go, theoretically. We have to have everything set up by 8:00am and the show runs until 4:00pm, so it's going to be a long day.

But, any money that we make will go into the travel fund. And that's always a good thing.

I'm just really irritated with my sewing machines right now. Two machines would be more than enough for any normal person, but I can kill two of them in one day.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Jungle Part II and Other Stuff

As promised, here are some more pictures from our gardening adventures yesterday....

I hate being short.

Take THAT!

Putting up the fence for the peas.

One small part finished.

Alex couldn't take the excitement any longer.

While I was going through some of my craft stuff to try to get ready for the craft fair on Saturday, I discovered that I actually have another quilt top that is small enough that I can quilt it myself. I have 4 or 5 that are done (the tops) but I thought that they were all too big to fit on my frame. So I was pleasantly surprised by this discovery, and even happier that it's one of my other favorites! I've been trying all day to get it on the frame to get it started, because I think that I might be able to get it done before Saturday (I hope I hope I hope). But, as usual, things keep coming up. Kids have to eat, spilled milk has to be mopped up, laundry has to be done, a switch has to be replaced....

Again, it sucks to be short.

It works!

Someone *cough* *cough* *Alex* *cough* jumped up and yanked on the chain to turn off the light the other night, and broke the chain right out of the switch. So, it was a quick run to the hardware store tonight to buy another one and get home and get it changed out before dark. At least now it works again.

Maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to start working on my quilt before midnight. Somehow I doubt it though.

It's always something.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Welcome to the jungle!

So I just spent a few hours in the jungle.....er, garden. It has gotten so overgrown with the rain that we finally got and with my lack of time to deal with it. There are tons of huge thistles - although they are pretty, they are brutal.

I pulled some old stock fence from another part of the yard for the peas - need to finish that up soon. It was interesting for someone who is 5'4" to attempt to pound a 6' pole into the ground -I have pictures of that, but they're on my real camera so I can't get to them right now.
We're going to go jump into the hot tub soon.......I think I need it at this point....

At least we may end up with a few tomatoes .....

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Randomness - but important randomness

When I woke up this morning, I immediately reached for my phone as I always do (ok, maybe that's a little bit of a confession there) to see what was going on. When I did, I saw a post called Surviving the Life that was posted by Danger Boy over at Dangerous Leanings.

Please, if you don't ever follow a link from me, follow that one. Read what he posted. Follow the link to the project that he is talking about. It's important, folks. Teenage suicide is a real problem. If we as adults don't talk about it to our youth, it's going to get worse.

I can't explain it any better than Danger Boy did. I just can't do it justice (partially because I'm really not awake yet and I'm doing this without the aid of caffeine) so just go and read Surviving the Life.

Do it. Now. And then come back here and read the rest of my caffeineless rambing.


Now, for the more lighthearted randomness...

Yesterday, JR over at Sex and the Single Dad did a post about his upcoming road trip and included a music video from a band that I had heard of, but never heard - The Dropkick Murphys - and I loved it! And it got me to thinking....(uh oh) While I *love* music and listen to it constantly, my CD collection is....sparse, to say the least. I need more. With The Mother of All Road Trips: 2011 Edition quickly approaching, I'm asking you for suggestions.

This is partially for fun, and partially because I can't handle another 3000 mile road trip where I am forced to listen to Hannah Montana and High School Musical CDs. I. Just. Can't. Do. It.

~ Don't even suggest anything that even vaguely resembles rap. Seriously.

How's that for a list of guidelines?

Honestly, I listen to anything. Except rap. I love the 80's hair bands. I love country. I haven't listened to much new stuff lately but I've heard some really good stuff. I'm open to suggestions. Just to give you an idea of my randomness, my cassette collection (shut up, and yes, I still have it) includes everything from Garth Brooks to Depeche Mode to Whitesnake to Information Society to The Beatles to Metallica to Daryl Braithwaite to Journey to Bon Jovi to Alphaville and beyond.

So make your suggestions. Just no rap.


And for the final bit of randomness, I'm a guest poster today over at My Husband Ate All My Ice Cream. If you've been stalking, er, following me for any period of time, you've already seen the post - but be sure to check out her blog. She's funny and sarcastic and she has really really interesting things to say. So go, read, follow, and be amused. Because I said so, that's why.