Saturday, July 17, 2010
Thursday Afternoon: Ethan decided he didn't need a nap, so I got him up around 3:30 and took him outside to play. He sort of wandered around the yard for a minute until I realized that apart from our Little Tikes slide, all of the plastic outdoor toys were gone. Wheelbarrow, giant dump truck, mini dump truck, mini bulldozer, shovels, rake, hoe...all gone. I had a few moments of thinking that maybe Dave moved them somewhere, but quickly realized they were nowhere to be found. I was a little ticked. I pulled out Ethan's basket of Matchbox cars and we started driving them around the little dirt roads. After about 15 minutes, I heard voices in the backyard and looked down the hill to see two young boys (one about 5 and another about 9) lurking on the neighbors deck and behind their lilac bushes. They hid for a minute and then peeked their heads around to look up the hill. When they saw me watching them, they started walking away. I know there aren't any kids living in the townhouses in the direction they walked, and I had never seen these boys before so I was slightly suspicious.
Thursday Evening: Dave and I decided to take a drive over to the shady hotels that back up to our neighborhood. Lo and behold, there were the two lurkers. However, finding them was only slightly satisfying. Along with the two lurkers were about 4 other boys, completely filthy, unkept and clearly unsupervised. They were running all over, climbing in and out of windows, and the only adult to be seen was far away and drinking a beer. Helpful. Seeing them made me think that 1) they don't know any better, 2) they are poor and don't have any toys of their own and 3) no adults have been paying attention to either notice or care that the kids stole toys. We didn't actually see our toys laying around, but I'm pretty sure those were the culprits. We decided to let it go unless more stuff starts disappearing and we keep seeing those kids around.
Friday: Ethan, Noah and I spent most of the morning running around to various stores trying to re-buy outdoor toys - wheelbarrow, dump truck, shovel, etc. After playing with them, I pulled all of them inside, which was probably a good idea. After naps, we were getting ready to bring dinner over to my in-laws; Ethan was playing with the new wheelbarrow and Noah was trying to take it away from him. Suddenly, I heard Ethan say, "It's ok, Noah. Another one outside". What?!?! Sure enough, I turned around and there was our wheelbarrow, along with several shovels that did not belong to us. Ok....so does this mean I can expect a return of everything else at some point? Or were the kids just bored with the wheelbarrow?
Saturday: I'm not entirely sure when this happened, but I noticed this morning that the pool/bath toys that were on our back deck behind the baby pool are gone. So really? I have to keep every single outdoor item inside now???
Now what? Do I just deal with it by taking the toys inside? Or do you drive over to a shady hotel and ask potentially drugged up drunken neglectful parents if their kids stole our toys? Do you call the police over dumb cheap plastic toys? Would it bother you that they were coming onto your deck and up to your front door to take things? Do I do a "turn the other cheek" thing and put out a big bag of food and extra toys with a sign to take them? So frustrating...
Friday, July 16, 2010
He was 93 years old.
Laughing over his favorite memory of Judy.
Of course, everyone is a little sad as we recall memories and realize that there's a little hole that requires everyone to shift to fill it. But then you remind yourself that he's in heaven and seeing Jesus and know that we're the only ones who are sad.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Yesterday, I decided to clean my entire house in one fell swoop. Normally, I do it over the course of a couple days so I don't go crazy. But I was bored so I just kept cleaning. Plus, you know how it is...once you clean one area of the house, every other room suddenly looks filthier.
It should have been a clue that I had taken on too much when I started getting irritated at the boys for getting in my way. Every time I turned around, another box of toys was dumped or they were pulling lotion bottles out of drawers in the bathroom or climbing on the freshly made bed. At one point, Ethan started climbing on the bed again and I sternly told him not to climb on the bed. I walked away to put away something and when I came back a few minutes later, he was back climbing on the bed. For some reason, I just snapped. I yanked him off the bed, stood him in front of me and gave him a huge, angry lecture about obeying Mama, etc, blah, blah, blah...He just started crying and when I asked him if he understood me, he tearfully said, "Yes, Mama" then ran off into his room. I could hear him still crying in his room, and it hit me that I had scared him with my quick reaction. So cringing in regret, I walked into his room and asked him if he was ok. He looked up at me and still crying said, "I got scared!". Cut my heartstrings.
I just walked over, picked him up onto my lap, snuggled him and apologized to him. Yes, he was disobeying, but nothing justifies a reaction like that.
Friday, July 9, 2010
The best time to watch their admiration in action is after the Sunday church service. I bring them back to the sanctuary from the nursery and when I get to the back of the sanctuary, I put them down and they run straight to Grandaddy's chair, hang on his leg and say hi.
Even my little stranger-shy Noah is enamored. Although he usually refuses to go to another adult, even his own grand-parents (although it's getting better), he will stretch out his arms to Grandaddy.
The sweetest thing...
Monday, July 5, 2010
After a while, it was clear that despite copious amounts of sunscreen, the boys were looking slightly red, so we rigged up a little tent behind our chairs. I was pretty proud of the kids for playing fairly quietly under there for most of the service.
Once we realized that Ethan wasn't going to get used to the fireworks, we took them home to bed. Dave dropped me off with the boys, I bathed them (again) and put them to bed (with the celebratory glow sticks) while he went back to have some more fireworks fun. Whew! That wore me out!
Friday, July 2, 2010
I also didn't know what I didn't know. I never knew people sprouted grains and beans or soaked their flour. I didn't know that you could make whole wheat bread better by adding vital wheat gluten. I didn't know that whole wheat pastry flour can be easily substituted out for all the all-purpose flour called for in a recipe. I didn't know you could make your own bagels. Or your own yogurt. And I didn't know that people sweetened food with things other than white sugar or honey.
Sweeteners have been another ingredient I've been experimenting with. I made this maple huckleberry (blackberry/mulberry for me) coffee cake using maple syrup. I sweeten my bagels with honey. I pretty much use turbinado sugar in every baked good. I've tried unrefined mascabado sugar in some other recipes that call for brown sugar. The only thing I had been unable to find in the local grocery stores is rapadura sugar.
This past weekend, we were visiting my family to celebrate Stephen's high school graduation, so I took a trip up to the Echo Hill Country Store, which is a Mennonite owned store that carries basically every healthy, natural, organic product you could ever want. I am in love. I was in awe. It's a small store, but they have an entire aisle dedicated to just flour alone. I may have to take a trip up there every time we visit PA. In addition to some super cheap whole wheat pastry flour, I finally found some rapadura (not so cheap, but just an experiment).
Today I noticed that the over-ripe bananas sitting in my fruit bowl were slightly over-over-ripe and needed to be used in something or thrown away. I opted to make some banana walnut muffins using my current experimental baking products - coconut oil, whole wheat pastry flour and rapadura. Rapadura is a funny looking product - its texture sort of reminds me of mini-Dippin Dots ice cream and it tastes very molassy. I don't particularly like bananas so I'll have to wait for Dave to taste them, but they baked up delightfully.
I feel like I'm running out of experiments. Any ideas?
Thursday, July 1, 2010
We headed back home for naps. Alas, Ethan decided he needed to throw one last temper tantrum in the car because he wanted his water bottle...or didn't want it...or did want it? I don't know. I ignored him.
We arrived home to find the holly bush had vanished along with the stump that I was (of course) unable to remove from the ground with my meager muscles. The landscaping friend was preparing to install a small firepit area. Anyone want to come over when it's done?