Tuesday, September 30, 2008

We are hoping to resume swimming tommorow, but the boys seem to both be fighting colds. Liam gets swollen tonsils if you look at him wrong and he has been fussy and crying over everything today, so I think they are acting up. Christian was crying if Liam even touched him today, so I don't think he is feeling good either. They both went to bed quite early.
We will have to see if they feel better in the morning so we can get out tommorow. We have a lot of fun plans this week. On Thursday we want to go pick tomatos. Last year we picked 40 pounds and made sauce and dried tomatos. After watching the stock market and the economy, I am thinking we need to pick fifty pounds this year. It never hurts to have food stocked up. I also want to try a tomato/basil soup recipe from my freezer cookbook. It would be great to have some soup in the freezer ready to go.
One of our two younger chickens has more flamoyant tale feathers then the other and we have heard some odd sounds from the hen house in the mornings, so he might be a rooster. I was telling a co-worker about this and she suggested we name him dumpling since we love chicken dumpling soup so much.
Back to the tomatos...I was out on a run on Saturday and there was a "free please take" pile in front of a house about a mile from our house and they had a food mill in the pile. I have had a food mill on my mental wish list for a while. I looked odd running home with a food mill, but I was happy to finally have one. I did a trail fun with it yesturday with a small batch of tomatos that we have from our garden.
Here are a couple of layouts I did....

This is an older picture of the boys that I scanned in today. The template is by Chrissy W. I used many products by many Elemental Scraps Designers So I will link my credits here

Credits: Kit: Autumn Paper: Autumn on the Cards - Both by Lindsay Jane Designs

Friday, September 26, 2008

A couple of months ago, I bought some jeans on clearance at Old Navy that were a bit too small for me, hoping I would shrink into them. (Don't tell Dave Ramsey - I know it is not good finanial sense) I am happy to say that I wore those jeans out last night. They are very cute and slimming so they make me look thinner than I am with the weight loss. I am now glad I have those jeans since I have something smaller to wear since I don't want to buy clothes until I am at the bottom point of my wieght loss.
We are still going strong with the potty training. Liam had an accident today and the only reason I knew was because he left his dirty clothes by the back door. He changed and took care of everything by himself. The one challenge is going out. We still need to carry a bag with a change of pants and underwear, wipes, a pull-up and a bag in case of a big accident. We have not had to use them yet.
We went to see Wall E tonight. Liam spent the first part of them movie with his head burried in my chest. When they got up to space he was able to look up and watch a bit of the movie. The life on the space ship reminds me of the book Brave New World by Huxley.
Here is a layout using a photo from the Farmer's Market on Wednesday

Credits: Bountiful - Element Pack by Sherri Tierney, Harvest Fields and Harvest Fields Add-On Pack by Little Miss Liz

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Last day of farmer's market

Today was the last day of the farmer's market in our area. There is one going on downtown if we really want to go. They had free corn and apple cider today, so the boys really enjoyed it. I also stocked up on my favorite cheese (Rogue Creamery Morimoto Soba Ale Cheddar) and some yummy, spicy Italian sausage. The boys shared a carmel apple after they ate their corn.
Liam brought along a bag and wanted to help carry things. He can only carry a couple ears of corn.
We had another dry day in the potty training department. I wanted to put him in a pull up since we were riding on the bike down to the Farmer's Market and they only have out-houses there. He insisted on wearing underwear. I had him use the potty before leaving and he asked to use the potty down there. He was okay with the outhouse. They only drawback was that I just finished eating and the last place I want to go is an outhouse. He then stayed dry all the way home.
It was a bit rainy and windy this afternoon, but it was a beautiful ride. There were lots of falling leaves in the wind.
Here is a layout I did today.

Credits: Change of Seasons by Lindsay Jane Designs

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Math and Potty Training

Christian is really enjoying his math. We were doing some addition flashcards yesturday and Christian was not just answering the questions but he was explaining how he got the answer. We decided that it was time to bump him up a level. He is now on the 1st/2nd grade border for math. When I see how fast he is moving in math, it makes me glad that we are homeschooling him. He can proceed at this own pace, which is fast now, but might slow down and we don't have to worry about what the rest of the class is doing.
We are also enjoying Mad Libs. We are teaching him the parts of speech and then to practice we do the Mad Libs. Yesturday we picked up Star Wars Mad Libs and Kung Fu Mad Libs at Powells. When we do them, Christian does the parts of speech - nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs and Liam does things like numbers, food, parts of body and names of celebrity. We use TV and Book characters in place of actual celebrities. We went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant last night and did the Mad Libs while waiting. It really helped the time go by.
We started on potty training again last week and I think Liam is really ready this time. He is staying dry, using the potty, pooped in the potty today and the biggest sign of readiness...he is staying dry wearing underwear to bed at night. We are also working with Christian on wearing underwear to bed. We have gone three or four nights of staying dry. If we are able to wrap this up it will free up more than $300 a year in our budget from not buying diapers or pull ups. It is Murphy's Law that we just bought a Costco box of diapers and have only used a few.
Here is a layout I did using By the Campfire Light by Jannylyn Brokken and Lucky Smith

Monday, September 22, 2008

Race for the Cure & Project

I ran the Race for the Cure yesturday with a couple of friends. This is the first race I have run since 1986 and the second race I have ever run. It was a 5K run. They marked the mile markers and I thought that they were Kilometer markers so I thought I had a lot further to run. I think in the future they should put a Mi. or Km. on the markers. I would have felt much better if I knew the race was shorter. My friend Tess and I finished in 35 minutes which works out to about 12 minute miles which is pretty good. Here is a picture of my friend Meagan and I after the race.

Elemental Scraps released several digi-duos this week. Here is a hybrid project.

I used A Day on the Farm by Becki Kress and Jen E.

I an going to use this kit Boo Town to make some Halloween decorations. Christian wants to decorate this year. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


This morning Liam and I took a ride down the Springwater corridor. It was a section fairly close to us that I have never gone down. I noticed as I was riding that there were lots of caterpillars crossing the path. I decided to bring both boys back there in the afternoon to collect some. Since the caterpillars were getting run over by bikes and eaten by birds, I figure that the caterpillars will do as well or bad in the boys jars as they would on the trail. We took a walk and they collected some. I actually had to pick them up and put them in the jars, they did not want to hold them. They would pet them. We also collected grass and weeds and then added in some natsurium and rasberry leaves tonight. The boys had a great time and it looks like the caterpillars are still alive. We also went to the library and checked out a book about caterpillars and butterflies to read while we watch them.

Here is a layout I did today with Chrissy W's challege template from her blog. I made the summer word art myself using MS Sans Serif

Credits: kit - These Moments Trees, animals & Clouds: Summer Days - Elemental Scraps July Mega Kit Alphas: Wooden Alpha Beads & Scribbled Alpha by Juno Designs

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

benefits of darkness

I have never been a big fan of the whole winter/darkness thing. Now that I have kids, I like it more every year. In the last few nights all of our bed time struggles and issues have gone away. They boys are both quietly going along with the routine. They listen to stories, play with their trains and when I say it is time for bed, they just walk into their room and go to sleep. I was hoping things would get easier as we moved into fall, but I also did not want to get my hopes up. I have been so pleasantly surprised.
We are still having warm weather, so we went to Jamieson Square in downtown and they boys played in the fountain for a while.

After that we took the street car down to the main library. They have a really nice children's room there. Christian picked out a book about Marvel Comics. On the train ride back to the car, Christian read it the whole time and then kept reading while they waited for me to get the van unlocked.

He is acting a lot me in this photo. Before I had kids, when I worked, I would always read while waiting for the bus and during free scraps of time that would come up. I still read a lot, but not like I used to.
I got a layout finished this evening using Change of Seasons and Frame Clusters 3 by Lindsay Jane Designs at Scrapbook-Bytes.

Our tomatos are finally getting ripe. I think I will be getting the dehydrator out the next couple of days. Time for sun-dried tomatos. Yum. Liam and I also went to the feed store to get chicken food. I asked them why our "meat chickens" never got much meat on them and appear to be hens. They said that the chickens we have cannot be Cornish Mix, because they would be so big by now that they would not be able to stand. Our chickens are not very big. They are probably Leg horns and should lay very nice eggs. It is so funny, when we go to get hens, we get roosters, when we go to get roosters for meat, we get laying hens.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Things I am planning to work with this week

Between my Friday/Saturday Migraine issues and my work schedule, I have not had much time to get layouts done, so I thought I would post some designs I plan to work with.
I don't have chronic migraine problems, I tend to get them during the season changes when my allergies act up. I also tend to get bloody noses during spring and fall. I feel like my special talent is giving the weather forcast and pollen count with my face. They could almost put me on TV and I could rate the pollen count by the number of boxes of Kleenex I have used that day. I can also predict changes in barometric pressure with my sinus cavities. I tend to be in a lot of pain when a big thunderstorm comes in.
I have observed a side effect of my diet/exercise. My shorts are slipping down. Most of my pants are the lower cut-around the hip styles. In years past I would always have my hips to catch my pants and skirts when I lost weight, but with these styles I don't have that safety net. I am able to remedy the situation by wearing baby-doll shirts, which are falling much better on me then they were a few weeks ago. I am going to have to buy a belt to hold things up soon. I should only have a week or two at the most of shorts and hopefully, I can donate my current pairs to Goodwill and buy something cool next summer.
Liam also chose a pair of Christian's shorts today and had the same problem. I kept seeing him around the house with his shorts around his ankles.
Here are the kits and things I plan to work with this week.
Change of Seasons by Lindsay Jane Designs at Scrapbook-Bytes

These Moments by Sweet Digi Scraps at Elemental Scraps

Wooden Alpha Beads by Juno Designs at Elemental Scraps

Chrissy W. has a new template challenge up at her blog

Check back soon and see what I do with these great designs!

My dream diet

I saw this on NBC dot com. I remember joking four years ago that I wanted Michael Phelps diet and I still do. I guess he swims about 4000 laps a day. In a couple of weeks, I am going to aim for four laps to get started.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good dinners

We have been cooking corn on the barbeque a lot this summer. We usually do on Saturdays. We just put in on the grill in the husk and then when it is almost done, I melt some butter that we brush on. We just peel the husk back, brush on some butter and the boys eat the corn like it is on a stick or something. The boys just love it.
I also made a recipe for Tzatiki, we grilled some lamb and had gyros' too. They were very yummy. The tzatiki tasted just as it should. It is a great low fat addtion for foods. I might bake up a potoato and use some of the leftovers as a topping.
The chickens love corn nights too. The boys will sit in back and eat their corn in sight of the chickens. When they see corn is around they get very excited. We throw the leftover corn into them and they jump on it passionately.

I have had some migraine problems the last couple of nights, so I have not been up to doing any layouts. I did this one last week for Tracey Monette's Boo the Kit that released today at Scrapbook-Elements.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A different kind of predator.

Today we took a break from sharks to visit a different kind of predator. Predatory Birds. We went to the Audobon Society to see birds and take a hike. They have an intake center for injured birds or birds that get seperated from their moms too young. We saw them bring in a barn owl who was at a different location, but was having failure to thrive issues. He took to his exam and weighing about as well as Christian always did as a baby. He was very cute, he still had some of his down. We also saw a turkey vulture, great horned owl, spotted owl, red tail hawk (a little high strung and trippy) and peligrin falcon. We also saw the mice they raise to feed the owls. We also took a hike on one of the trails. It was about a mile hike. The boys did very well, but I bet they will sleep late tommorow. I have to work, so David will get the benefits of the outings.
Here are some pictures of the outing.

Just a quick note on my entry earlier today, I was not hurt or offended by the mocking comments of the high school boys while jogging. I was intriuged and baffled. I just rolled my eyes (not seen since I was wearing sunglasses) and kept going. There were two neighbor boys who always filled that roll when I was growing up and into high school. It got kind of funny when the braces were off and the zits cleared up and they were still screaming the same old insults. I saw both of them at my 20 year reunion last year and they were both pleasant and glad to see me. One of the guys was happy that he was finally taller than me.


I went running at a park that is next to the high school in our neighborhood. I like to go here because David can hang out with the boys on the playground while I run. We went in the late morning yesturday which was also the time that the highschool had lunch hour. I like this location because there is a 1K route that I can run and keep track of how far I am going.
The one draw back on school days is the presence of all the kids. There is a long path between the school and the Dairy Queen and that is part of my route and while I was running on this path, some of the boys decided to tease and mock me. This is not new, sinc getting teased and mocked was a central part of my high school experience. The odd thing now is that I am old enough to be their mother. I have to say that it keeps me motivated since I want to keep running to get away from them.
My mother turned forty when I was a Sophmore in high school, so I am same age that mother was when I was a Freshman/Sophmore. I cannot imagine mocking people my parents age when I was in high school. I know these boys are trying to appear cool in front of their friends but they either think I am much younger than I am or they are obnoxious, I am not sure. The good thing is that it helps me realize that as challenging as my adult life can be, I am sure glad I am out of high school.
We have been going to a farmer's market on Wednesdays. I picked a favorite cheese, butter, honey and some veggies yesturday. There is a bakery there that makes the yummiest brioche with grapes, pinenuts and fennel. I am glad we can only go once a week and it ends it two weeks. We will miss the Farmer's Market, but not the temptation. Thinking of that brioche can also help me run a bit further.
Here is a layout I did with a photo of Liam at last week's farmer's market.

Credits: Template - AD it up by Chrissy W, Kit: Best Friends, Button, Ribbon & Triangles: My Darling both by Jannylyn Brokken, Alpha: Gel Dotted Alpha by Little Miss Liz

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Great things on the abacus

I recently found the Homeschool Math Blog. Since Math is a not my strongest point, I need all the help I can get. The author uses an abacus with her kids too and gives instructions on how to teach different concepts with it. Today I worked with Christian on division on the abacus. We did word problems like there are 80 M&Ms and 10 people, if they split them up evenly how many M&Ms does each person get. We are also working on place value, so he figured out that he could have eight rows of 10 and he just counts his rows to get the answer. I was showing some of these things to David and he was impressed. I wish we had an abacus when we were just starting math.
We are also working on an art project that ties in with the whole ocean, shark theme. We bought a sheet from Goodwill and the boys are turning it into an ocean scene.

Credits: Art 101 by Linday Jane Designs

Credits: Hook Line & Sinker by Little Miss Liz, buy the kit and get the add-on free, Alpha: Tagged Tiny Alphas by Angie Kovacs
September 10th is a dollar day deals at Elemental Scraps.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Running Update

I wrote in my blog that I started running a couple of weeks ago. I decided it is time for an update. I am still running. Now when I go out on runs, I actually run more that I walk. On Saturday, I was very winded after I got up a hill and wanted to stop even though I had about 10 more blocks before I wanted to switch to walking for warm down. I kept pushing myself and comforted myself with the knowledge that there is a fire station where I would switch to walking and if I felt too bad, they could help me. By the time I switched to walking, I was not winded at all and was breathing at a normal pace. I know that if I keep working on they hills, they will not wear me out either. I have always had shin splints and my achilles tendon has been a bit sore, so I am cross training. I start my new term of ballet today and I will ride my bike there and back. Right now, I am swithcing between running and biking. In October when our community center opens back up I want to add lap swimming. I will also have access to a tred mill during the bad weather.
I am also through two weeks of journaling what I eat. This last week my problem has been not getting enough food. I took yesturday off from exercise so I could rest and make up the calories, I did not get on Saturday. I baked biscotti to help that process along.
I don't own a scale, so when the community center opens up again in three weeks, I will weigh myself there. I want to just try be healthy and not be a slave to the scale, so I am curious, but not really worried.
Here are two layouts I did yesturday

I used the September Grab bag by Collies Corner at Elemental Scraps. The Template is Gotcha Cornered by Chrissy W, Alpha is A Sunny Day by Juno Designs, the fruit and bee from Summer Days the Elemental Scrpas July Mega Kit

I used A Sunny Day by Juno Designs and Angie Kovacs Template from her Get Blocked 12x12 set

Sunday, September 7, 2008

New Dieting Tool

Last night I was very hungry before dinner. I was working on the computer for a bit and Laim brought a pull-up into me, not any pull-up, but one that had been caste aside in their room a while ago. It stank and it was moldy. We threw it out, but when dinner was ready, I for some odd reason could not eat. I fell asleep the same time the boys did before eight, so I never ate anything else last night. I went running before dinner and had not snacked much yesturday, so today I actually have to eat some serious calories so my body doesn't think we have hit a famine and decide to start hanging onto the fat. They should bottle that smell and we can just grab it out of our purse whenever we are tempted by food we do not need.
Just a note on the pull-up. There had been a less then pleasant smell in their room for a while. We had tried washing linens, opening windows and things on that line, but it still lingered. I guess we need to go in every few weeks and pull everything out and search stray diapers and pull-ups the boys decide to pull of and throw in the closet.
Here is a layout for today. Looking at the flowers can also conteract the thought of that nasty smell.

Credits: Everything by Tracey Monette at Scrapbook-Elements
Flowers & Leaves: Summer's End Naturals
Paper: North Americana in Collaboration with Tracy King
Bracket: Quirky Acetates

Friday, September 5, 2008

A dream

I have a dream. I dream that someday my youngest son will just realize that he is tired and just go to bed at night. I dream of a world where a question posed after 7:00 pm, such as, "which tooth brush do you want to use tonight", will evoke something other than a 20 minute screaming fit and chase throughout the house.
If that dream cannot be fulfulled soon then my other dream is that I am allowed to respond to life's challenges by throwing myself on the floor and screaming more often. Picture, Starbucks, morning rush. Someone wants to pay with a $100 bill. I respond by dropping to the floor, screaming and yelling how much I hate dealing with one hundred dollar bills. Maybe the person would just get their debit card out.
Other then the nightly toothbrush related meltdowns, we have completed our first week of homeschooling. We are working on writing, reading, addition, subtraction, telling time and the most common Kindergarten and preschool subject....Sharks. It's all sharks all the time around here. Christian sits with Liam and goes through his shark book teaching Liam the names of all the sharks. The spent quite a while this evening with scrap paper, tape and staples makeing sharks. Christian wanted to make a hammerhead and Liam made a whale shark. If you have any unanswered shark questions. Leave them in the comment section. I will pose them to Christian and get back to you.
Here is a layout I did with Christian working with his abacus.

Credits: ABC 123 by Misty Cato

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

First field trip

There is a baby elephant at the zoo and today was free day at the Japanese Garden so we had our first field trip.
I wanted to get to the zoo early since Portland Public Schools do not start until tommorow, so I knew it would get busy, especially with the baby elephant. It was not too busy when we got there. Our membership expired several months ago and I hate the crowds and heat in the summer, so we saved up some money and renewed our membership today. We will enjoy it much more during the cool days of fall or less rainy days of winter on days we need a break from homeschooling.
The line was not too long to see the baby elephant. They told us that the baby weighed in at 291 lbs this morning. Mom weighs about 7000 lbs. That makes me feel so much better. I am still trying to ditch baby weight, but I don't have that much.
They are putting in a predators of the Serangetti thing next year. Liam posed with one of the Lions. We talk about how Liam and Lion both have four letters and start with li today.

Christian wanted to see how he measures up to bears.

I think this is an ibex. I just think it is cute.

Here is Liam enjoying the carp at the Japanese Garden.

This bird was hanging out on top of a waterfall. David thought it was a hawk. If there are any birders out there with a better answer, leave me a comment.

The nice thing about free day is that it is free, the drawback is that it is so crowded. I told David that it added a certian not of authenticity about how it is like to travel in Japan. There usually crowds everywhere, even climbing Mt. Fuji.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Korean Cooking

This afternoon, I made the Kimchi Jingae recipe that I talked about yesturday and a batch of Jop Jae noodles. The noodles take about an hour to make since the meat has to marinade in the fridge for a half hour. Both recipes take similar ingredients, so I was able to chop everything up and the just split them between recipes. We also had some extra tofu left and Liam wanted to eat some, I was able to toss together a sauce like they use in Japan with cold tofu and serve it to the family. Whenever the boys see me eating with chopsticks, they go to the drawer and grab out their own sets to eat with. Liam eats by stabbing the food. During dinner, he would take the noodles and dip them in the soup and pretend he was fishing. Christian would only eat noodles and rice and he kept begging for milk since he thought the noodles were so "spicy". (they were not) They finished the meal with some pineapple sorbet we made in the ice cream ball on Saturday.
This morning at 2:00 am, Liam came into our bedroom. I woke up and told him he needed to go back to bed. He said kiss, so I kissed him on the head and then he left our room and went back to bed. I assume he was sleep walking. I, however, did not fall back asleep for two hours and I had to work this morning. David had the day off, so I was able to grab a little nap after work.
Since today is the first day of September...there is a new Collab kit at Elemental Scraps. Sadie's Parlour. It is great for vintage photos. I have an envelope of vintage photos from my mother's relatives. I never met any of these people, but each picture has a story on the back. I also have my mother's wedding book which has a family tree in it. I might be able figure it out.
This Layout features a photo I took of Chistian and his foster mother on our first meeting in Korea. I also used a free template by Chrissy W. This is also my layout for the Font Jaunt that I am hosting at Elemental Scraps.