Thursday, February 28, 2008

Breaking news from the hen house

When we went outside this afternoon, I noticed that Allie B., one of our chickens was not out running around, she was in her hen house. I went in to check on her and she had just laid her first egg.

Frame is from the Ultimate Element Pack by Natalie Bird


Christian has been spittling lately (Liam has been copying him). I have tried to ask him to stop, but I keep catching him spitting. David and I talked about and decided we needed to take a non-tradional approach to this problem. We decided that next time we caught him spitting, David would take him outside and spit on him. We were in the car driving home today and I looked in the rear veiw mirror and saw Christian spitting in the back seat. At the next light, I pulled out my phone, called David and let him know we almost home and in a cryptic language explained to Daivd what happened so he could be prepared when we got home. I drove into the garage and got Liam out of the car and took him into the house and David came out and got Christian and took him outside. David said he did not have enough notice to pull a quality loogie (sp?) together so he just brought a water bottle, drank some water and spit it on Christian.
Christian was mad. David gave him a towel to dry off with and we told him that from now on he could spit as much as he liked, but everytime we caught him, David would spit in him. Christian yelled "no". I think we have found resolution for this problem.
The weather has been beautiful. We have been working in the yard getting it ready. We moved the hen house and the compost bins to the corners of the yard. We are also preparing a patch of soil to plant onion sets that I bought yesturday.
Here is a layout of Christin working in the yard. I used It's a Spring thing by Pyralis Design. I also used Oh My Mats by Melissa Bennett at Scrapbook-Bytes and Realistic Rips - Flowers by Grace Bennett

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Another school meeting

I had the mandatory parent meeting at the Japanese immersion school today. I have to say the based on the meeting I feel much better about this program. It was much better organized. The priciple had Powerpoint presentation and everything seemed much more organized and established. I was even able to get a tour in so that I did not have to go for a seperate tour. I am a big fan of time management so this made me happy.
I have never been to a parent meeting for a private school, but this is what I would expect it to be like. The academic standards are very high. When they speak of the the kids future it is not if they go to college, but which college will they go to.
We visited the kintergarden class at the end of the school day and it was quiet, pleasant and orderly. That is a huge accomplishment and very impresive. I also saw the teacher doing a student reading evaluation and it looked like the test was close to the level that Christian is at now.
We also visited third and fifth grade Japanese class rooms. They were also very orderly and well run. I could understand about 90% of the Japanese, so my self-esteem was boosted which of course, gave a better overall feeling about the school.
They have a Japanese/English library which is also great.
I remember talking to a parent whose children attended this school many years ago when we were working on adopting Christian and she said that the school was private school quality and public school cost. I think her assesment is correct.
All the paperwork is in, now we just have to wait until we here if Christian got one of the spots in late April or early May. I am glad we have homeschooling on the table too. If he does not get in, I will probably homeschool him for kindergarten and then try to get him in for first grade.
Here is a layout I did a couple of days ago. I used Impressions of Anticipation which is the February Collab kit from Scrapbook Graphics. I also used the Ultimate Element Pack by Natalie bird and a template from Shandy Vogt's blog.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Count down to the Oscars

We are three hours and twenty minutes to the oscars. Christian and I are going to his class potluck at 4:00. I think we will hang out and eat for a while then we will excuse oursevles since "tommorow is a school day". If the hosts are cool and have the Red Carpet event playing on a TV somewhere in the house, we might be able to stay longer. If they are the kind of people who never let their kids watch TV and find award shows to be too common for them, we will have to come home.
I attempted this new recipe for the potluck and I am letting it cool, but at this point, it looks like a total bomb, so I think Safeway will be catering the event. I guess it goes with the whole theme of neglecting my kids for award shows and now I am buying my baked goods at at grocery store.
I have done a little bit of digital scrapbook shopping this week and I did a layout that hightlights a couple of my purchases....
From Scrapbook-Bytes I bought Melissa Bennet's Oh My Mats and Shellyrae's Curvy Text Paths and for the paper bag style on the title I used Misty Cato's Brown Bagging it. All three of these items are so much fun and verstile. I also used Ditital Courture's Garden Gnome and Janosch Designs Cluster Frames No. 1 for this layout and they are both at Elemental Scraps. I love this layout. I took the pictures with my cell phone the other day. I like the softness and light that I can get will cell phone photos. They often look like I applied a filter. Biscotti is Liam's vice. I said in the journaling that when we go to Starbucks he goes up to the counter and asks "gotti, gotti?" We were there a couple of weeks ago and the barista could not understand him, so Christian popped in and said, he says he wants biscotti, then he was saying something else that the barista could not understand and Christian leaned over again and said "he says he doesn't have any money".
I had a large stash of biscotti that we were given that Liam enjoyed for a while, but that just ran out, so I baked some last week.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

sacrifice it all for the oscars

I said in my previous post that I was thinking about postponing my Ikea run until later in the weekend because the boys seemed so tired. Well, I was thinking about Sunday evening until I realized that Sunday night is the Oscars. One of my secret vices is watching award shows. It is kind of like that secret love of Ding Dongs. I missed the Golden Globes due to the writer's strike so my Award Show need is even bigger this year. So, I decided to disreguard my kid's need for rest and go to Ikea yesturday afternoon.
I bought the area rug I wanted and several frames. I still have to go back for more, but I have a good start. We bought an ottoman from Ikea last spring that has changeable covers. I thought this would be great because we could change from the current taupe to a more fun color when the turquoise carpet is gone and if the boys trashed it, it would not be a total loss. Well the slip covers cost 49.99 and now that the turqoise carpet is gone, I don't really like any of the other colors they have.
The couch and the ottoman are splotched and stained and it really bothers me, but it is not like my kids and cats are going to stop making messes just because I buy something new. So, even though these furniture pieces are less then attractive...1. They are paid for (we got the couch off the neighbors front lawn for free) and 2. they are already stained so it is not as upsetting when new stains appear.
We can wait a couple more years, have a bit more cash on hand and perhaps, the boys might get a little neater or at least have a better understanding of the phrase "food belongs in the kitchen".
I did buy a new dryer yesturday which is due for a leap year delivery. Dave Ramsey would have been proud. When the sales man tried to suggest that I buy a more expensive dryer because it was quieter, I countered with "the washer and dryer are in our garage, so I don't care how loud the are". The new dryer will work which is a huge step up from our current one which takes two or three runs to get clothes dry and it has a higher capacity. I did not go with the highest capacity since we are trying to follow the fly ladies advice and do a load a day. Dryers have a 7-10 year lifespan, so the boys will be hitting their teenage years when we have to buy the next one and that is when we will have to pull out the big guns and get a high capacity dryer and as with the couch, hopefully we will have more cash on hand.
I am working on pictures for my new frames. Here is one. I used Breath of Spring and Whispering Forest by Lindsay Jane Designs

This layout using my baby pictures and I used Grandma's Treasures by Marianne Wahlberg

My dad's birthday was yesturday. Here is a layout using some of his old navy pics. He served on the carrier Midway during the 1960s. I used Grandma's Treasures and Antique Love by Marianne Wahlberg

Friday, February 22, 2008

I have been quoted

I was just reading the Satellite Sisters Slog (their blog) and my comment was quoted. You can read it here look under Sheila's Thursday post. I need to go load my iPod now. They have a new show up today which you can find here

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Liz Thompson at Scrapbook Graphics invited me to join her creative team and I did my first layout today using Urban Monkey Papers & Element Pack

I also used frames by Janosch Designs, Template by Tricia Oren & Glitter Style by Lindsay Jane Designs.
We went to the zoo to get out of the house today so David could work. Liam is a homebody and all these outings are taking a toll on him. He is moody when we are out and destructive when we are at home. When we finish everything up the living room, we will have to take a break for a couple of weeks before moving on to the dining room. I think David needs a break too. Liam needs some time to play with his trains and go out side and play with dirt on the nice days we are starting to have. It is also time to start those seeds for the garden.
We got our tax refund, so the first thing we are doing is buying a new dryer tommorow. Our old one has been dying a slow-wasteful death. Between the warmer weather, our new heater in the living room and our new dryer, we should start seeing some lower electric bills. I would also like to go to Ikea and buy an area rug and few other things, but I don't know if they boys are up for any more outings this week. I would like some meatballs as well as some new home decor.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

David was able to finish about 1/3 of our living room floor today. Here is a picture of the work in progress.

I took the boys to OMSI tonight to see the lunar eclipse. They both enjoyed it. Christian really liked all the telescopes. We were able to see Saturn through one of the telescopes which was really cool. I had never even seen Saturn except in pictures. We also saw Saturn's moon Titan. When the stars and planets started becoming visible, I was trying to point out Mars to Christian with the instructions they gave us. I pointed to some random star and then Christian pointed up and said "Isn't Mars that orange star up there?" I thought it was funny that a five year old seems to have a better grasp of astonomy then I do. Liam looked at the moon at one point and said Luna. Luna is our cat's name, but I have also been reading him a couple of books about the moon in Spanish. He is not very good about sitting and listening to stories, so it is nice to see he is really listening.
I used Dirty Boy by Becki Kress and Empty Holes by Lucky Smith

Breath of Spring by Lindsay Jane Designs

Dirty Boy and Empty Holes

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


When I think of school, warm fuzzy feelings do not come to mind. I found my school expereince to be less then pleasing. Perhaps it was because I was an only child, so I got my social conditioning at school instead of getting beaten down at home by my siblings, I really don't know. I do remember getting in trouble for talking too much. (I know this comes as a huge shock to those who know me)
Today at Christian's conferences, his teacher had a long talk about how much he talks and how needs to be less impulsive about talking and learn to be a better listener. She had to move the a couple of kids around from their assigned places on the circle and Christian ended up next to her. The girl sitting next to Christian is the one person who talks as much if not more then he does. His teacher said that having the two of them right next to her pushes her to the edge and she considered seperating them, but one day the girl was being so loud that Christian was covering his ears. She decided to keep them next to each other, hoping that they will discover how annoying it is for the rest of the world to have to be around so much noise. She said it would be hard, but she hoped it would be worth it.
I know I should be worried that he is driving his teacher crazy, but I was relieved for David and I. His talking pushes us to the edge and then we get frustrated and mad and then we feel that we are such bad parents who should be able to handle this constant talking and also want to encourage his curiousity and developing language skills. It makes us feel better that a trained professional finds it all overwhelming.
The good news is that outside the whole "talking" issue he is doing great. When I told her that we are considering language immersion programs, she said that it would be a good match for him and that he has strong language skills and learning a second language would further help equip him to use those verbal skills in life.
After all of this excitement I also had to go to a required parent information meeting at the Chinese immersion school. David was at work and I had to take both boys. This was step one towards disaster. Christian was tired and was quiet. Liam was tired and acted up. These programs give priority to siblings, so in taking Christian they are also in a way accepting Liam. I felt like they were probably fishing for Christian's application and folding the corner to remind them to put him in a different pile.
I do have to say that everything covered in the meeting could be covered in a letter and if they feel that we are unable to understand the written word, they could have each principle record a pod-cast with their little talk and put it on the district web site.
Some of things covered.....
This is a Chinese immersion program
Chinese is a hard language to learn
If parents do not speak Chinese, it is hard for them to help with homework
Okay.....I think almost everyone knows that Chinese is a difficult language, all of the parents at them meeting appeared to be thoughtful, intellegent people who could figure this out on their own without having to attend a special meeting about it.
The simple purchase of a Chinese character dictionary at Powells would help parents with pronunciation and Chinese character stroke order when help is needed.
They great thing about tonight is that we probably have a better chance of winning the actual lottery then Christian's name getting drawn for the lottery at this school. Their were more families attending the meeting then there are total spots available and their are more meetings. The principle seems great as does the program.
We have a much better chance of getting a spot at the Japanese program and the meeting is when David is home and can watch the kids. I will probably leave that meeting with more warm-fuzzy feelings just because I get some kid-free time to attend.
It has been a while since I last updated the blog. We are all healthy and my back is much better. The living room, part of the dining room and the hallway are painted. We still have to finish the dining room and the kitchen. David is working on getting the floor down in the living room and hallway. He will pull up the rest of the carpet in the living room. Yesturday he found some of the original flooring when he was working. It was ver 1970's Brady Bunch.
We have a piece of stain glass hanging art in our living room that David's mother made for us when we first moved here. I showed her some pictures of stain glass that I liked and she did the design and colors based on that. The paint I picked out for the living room coordinates perfectly with the stain glass and the compliment each other well. I would like to say I spent hours reviewing my artwork, lighting and the such to choose my paint colors, but I went to home depot found colors I was drawn to, brought home samples checked them out in several kinds of light and went with them. I either like the same colors for everthing or have some gut instinct.
We had some nice weather and got to spend a couple days at the park. We were going to go to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry) yesturday and see a show at the planetarium, but it was so crowded that we ended up at a park eating ice cream. The boys were so thrilled that I think years from now they will remember that more than another show at the planetarium. (I took pics, stay tuned)
I have Christian's conference today at his school. We have been strongly leaning towards homeschooling next year, we might do that, but at the last moment we decided to put Christian in the lottery for the Japanese or Chinese immersion programs in the public school system. We would rather apply, not get a spot and move on with homeschooling then never apply and then find ourselves regretting never trying in a couple of years.
Christian is already starting to read and spell, so if he goes to public school, I think a bi-linguel enviroment would work well for him. He would be bored in a tradtional classroom.

You and Me by Anja

Lori by Claudi Designs

Woodstock by Lindsay Jane

Whispering Forest by Lindsay Jane Designs

Solidified 8 by Jennifer Howland, In Stitches by Becki Kress & Alpha no. 1 by Anja

Friday, February 8, 2008

Illness, injury and disaster

We are still dealing with viruses at our house. Liam has more energy, but is still fighting the bug caught last week. Christian now has a cough. The highlight was when he coughed up some phlegm and spit into the couch (yuck). I made him clean it up and talked about correct phlegm management for future reference.
The highlight of the week is my back injury I got on Tuesday. I had spent the afternoon putting primer on the walls to get ready to paint (the perfect job for me btw, especially since we are planning to pull the carpet up) I was painting, moving furniture and so on and everything was fine. After I finished and cleaned up and was done with painting for the night I went to the boys room and was picking up Legos and snap, something went out in my back. It was starting to get better yesturday then Liam started playing with the water in the bathroom and scattered water everywhere and I stepped in it. I went to change my socks and when I bent over to pick up some dry socks there was a bigger snap and pain that equals labor pain in my back. I could barely move and my back was having spasms.
I am still in pain today, but it is a bit better and David is on the way home from the pharmacy with muscle relaxers and vicatin. To make life more brutal the power went out at the pharmacy right after David paid for the drugs, but before he actually recieved them. He now has them and I should be feeling much happier any moment now.
Now that I have discussed illness and injury, let's talk disaster.....the house is still in the same condition as it was when I finished putting primer on Tuesday. Primer is on only a few walls. Furniture is pushed to the middle of rooms and we are in a holding position. Tommorow is David's birthday and I was hoping to have a special day for him. He might have to spend the day painting the hallway and he is going to have to take a raincheck on his birthday cake (unless the drugs inspire me)
Liam also smeared primer on our ottoman. I am glad we bought the ottoman from Ikea and it has a removable cover, so we have just decided to plan on buying a new slipcover every year.
Here is a layout using Zazzle, the Elemental Scraps Feburary Team Kit. The Template is by Miracle Momma Designs from the same kit

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chicken anyone?

We had a surprise early one morning last week....Our chicken Kedra turned out to be a rooster. He crowed on a Sunday morning, then was quiet for a week, then this last Sunday, he started crowing again and on Monday, he started crowing at 3:30 am (this is the time I get up if I open at Starbucks) we did not need to get up for a couple of hours, so we were not pleased.
We were going to book an appointment for him at the butcher, but it might take a week or two to get him in and the butcher is in Boring, Oregon (yeah, laugh now) which in the foothills of Mt. Hood so we would have to deal with snow and ice if we drove out there.
David and I decided to just take care of Kedra on our own. David was hestiant, but I told him that if he got me a dead chicken, I would do the rest. After I got off from work, we changed our clothes and boiled some water, poured it in our roasting pan and got some cutting boards and the Henkels knives out. We were able to process the chicken in less then an hour and then we went on and cooked it fresh.
We did a pretty good job for the first time, but I think I am going to get a book from the library on how to process a chicken and photocopy and laminate the pages on chicken anantomy and instructions for the best cuts to make and order to get organs out. My friend Gloria called dibs on the gizzards and I got her some, I should get her more next time.
David is anxious that PETA will come knocking on our door for raising and killing our own chicken. I think it is odd that raising our own chickens is considered un-natural, but going to Safeway and buying an anti-biotic and hormone laden chicken who was raised in in-humane condtions is considered natural and okay.
Here are the photos I used You've been framed by Linday Jane to frame the photos

I used Grunglicious by Lindsay Jane Designs for this layout

I used Zazzle, the Elemental Scraps February Team kit for this layout

I used Cherry Crush and Grungilicous by Lindsay Jane....see this post and my previous post for links to store.

You can go to my gallery at DST for the rest of the credits.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

sicky sickerson

Liam was sicker today. He was walking around with ruffled hair and tears running out his eyes all day as well as his runny nose and smoker's cough (he does not smoke, nor do we, he just sounds like he does) We call him Smoky Joe when he is like this and Christian has taken to calling him that. He did fall asleep in the bed this afternoon, so I had time to do a couple of layouts while Christian watched Cars. We finally woke him up after a couple of hours and gave him Tylenol and he seemed to perk up and got up and drank juice, ate a banana and some gogurt.
Christian had a hard time being "trapped" in our house all day.
Here are my layouts....I used American Boy by Pyralis Designs

I used Sweet Sweet Love by Pyralis Designs at 3scrapateer

Friday, February 1, 2008

I went to Home Depot to buy the paint to do our hallway, kitchen, dining room & Living room today. I am so excited about the new colors. Painting is my department, so I will start painting the hallway this weekend so that David can get the floor down.
Here is a picture of the new floor in our room. I used Cherry Crush by Lindsay Jane

I guess the cold weather and the snow got the best of Liam, he has a bad cough and viral tonsilitis. He was opening up his mouth and sticking his toungue out at me today and this throat was so red and swollen. I always had "tonsil issues" as a child.
I used Funny February by Marianne Wahlberg

I bought Chrisitan two new pairs of pajamas today (not shown here) I was able to find a Cars set on clearance and he was real excited.
I used Jennifer Howland's new paper pack Such a Flirt for this layout