Sunday, November 20, 2011

No Pictures!

I got back from Utah Saturday, and I am having a wonderful time squeezing children and enjoying the clean house I came home to, thanks to my marvelous husband and in-laws.  I am also spending time trying to sort and edit a stinkin' lot of pictures.  With Thanksgiving looming (in a pleasant way) in a few days, I'm not making any promises about when they'll be up-- but whenever I do get them up, you will be jealous that you don't have a week to hike around parks in Southern Utah.

Now, to take my ridiculously tired self off to bed.  Nighty-night!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Bits of November, Before My Trip!

I fly out today to meet Lindsey and take a trip through Utah for the week.  I am both wickedly excited and terribly apprehensive.  The last time I flew by myself was when I flew to Alaska in 1997.  It's been a while.  Lindsey had planned this trip to use up a ticket she had from the year before, and I decided to crash her party.  Evan had the week relatively free so he could watch the kids, and we're haven't-reached-the-winter-doldrums rich right now, so it all came together.  After we bought the ticket, Evan got a job he wanted Dana's help on, so it turns out Dana and Marilyn will be out here for the week, but I'm impressed Evan at least was willing to be the only parent for a week!

I'm hoping to return with a jillion beautiful pictures of the scenery, so I figured I should upload a few of the ones from normal life before I left.  I don't know if I'll ever get around to posting the pictures I have from October, but here are the November pictures.

 We went up to Vaughans' last weekend.  Owen and Ashley are building a house up on the hill behind the maple trees.

 Second story walls going up.

 Livie and blue sky.

 I think Ashley is tired of the paparazzi.


 Livie standing around while other people do big and important things.  But I've heard she redeemed herself and single-handedly built the stairs.  Or something like that.

 The view to the southeast from their house.

 The village of Moira, to the west.

 And east to the farm!  I never did really see the view to the north, since the windows weren't cut into that wall yet.

 The 886, doing it's part.

 My handsome, and sawdust-y, husband.

 I was "helping" put that wall up, so I didn't get a picture of all the people pushing it up, but it was a cool sight.

 Ashley handing lumber up to the second story.

 To the right of the front door, where the kitchen will be.

 The lovely view Owen will have from the kitchen sink as he does dishes.  Alas, the view will probably be missing Evan then, but at least there will be the maples.

 The temporary stair arrangement.  By evening, they had the stairs finished, but I was corralling kids through baths at that point and didn't have a picture.

 There are kittens at the farm, and Cheyenne is just a tad obsessed.  All of her clothes came home with a nice layer of cat hair, but at least we escaped having a feline passenger.  The poor kittens stoically lived through endless holding and petting.

 Lots of young whippersnappers hanging out that Saturday.  I believe there was 11 kids there at one point.

 My little Carrhart dude.

 Our burning bush this week.

 Beautiful colors.  The leaves fall in the basement window well, which dresses it up quite nicely.

 Weatherproofed!  Now we just need siding.  And trim.  And insulation.  And drywall.  But we (meaning Evan) are getting there!

 I spent a glorious Saturday in October tidying up the yard.  I found these landscape timbers entwined in the grape vines in the back of our yard, so I moved them to next year's garden location.

 If you look at the upper right hand corner of this picture, you can sort of see all the old wood, and cement blocks, and bricks, and pure trash that were piled around the old shed's location.  (This picture is from July.)

 I spent hours pulling trash out and cleaning it up.  I took the jumble of cinder blocks and lined them up on the edge of the lawn.  I may find a project for them, or I may try to get them to grow moss and leave them there.

 Before one of the previous owners decided it was an excellent place to dump their trash, someone obviously maintained this area.  There's a rampant ballerina rose bush, and there are slate tiles laid out here.  I want to prune a lot of the bush back, and thin out this area.  I don't know whether I'll keep the slate there (after I cut some of the insidious grape vines) or move it nearer the house, but it seems silly to leave it half buried.

 Our leafless catawba tree.

 Our October Glory maple.  It was such a mild fall, this tree didn't change colors until November, and then the leaves fell quite quickly, so it wasn't as glorious as usual.

 I had planned on buying a bike for Rilla's fourth birthday, but soft-hearted Daddy didn't want her waiting that long, so he bought her one this month.  She spends hours riding around the driveway by herself in the morning.  And yes, the pink heart tights/black and yellow flowered skirt/completely different flowered shirt is a clue she dressed herself this morning.

 Wednesday, it was so ridiculously warm, I walked over to the school and picked the kids up at dismissal time.  It seemed crazy for them to have to sit on the bus for an hour when they could be home riding their bikes.  This was on the trail on the way home.

 Beautiful kids!

 Lincoln found out this stuffed animal plays music, and he is in love.

 He's also in prodigious amounts of snot.  I had to take him to the doctor Thursday, thanks to a double ear infection.

 Cheyenne is still excited over her training wheels-free bike.

 Rilla had to pose like Cheyenne.

 Chalking up the driveway.

 The frogs on his shirt are appropriate-- he's always on the go!

 The Great Book-Reading Tree Frog.

 We ordered these glasses for Elliott from Zenni.  He is absolutely in love with them.  He says, "It doesn't even feel like I have glasses on, but I can see!"  He's been sick for the last couple of days, but even when he's laying down, he wants the glasses on!

 Watching the first snow Friday morning.  It was a late first snow-- for a place famous for its big snowstorms, we've had nothing!

 The Vaughans were here that morning, enroute to see Aunt Emma in PA.  Tori stood on the deck to catch a snowflake on her tongue. 

 Of course, it snowed everywhere else on her, too!

 Serious little sick man.

 Silly boy!

 Elliott, showing me the rash on his belly.

And the rash on his neck.

That seems like a fascinating place to end-- on a slightly blurry picture of someone's neck rash.

Now, to go finish packing.  We'll be doing some hiking, maybe some camping, so I have no idea if I am packing the right things, but I figure I can't go wrong with great quantities of socks and underwear. Cheyenne went to PA with the Vaughans, so she won't be back until I'm gone, which is sad-making.  I'll have to hug the other three extra long and have them pass the hugs on!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Tired in My Bones

All day, I have been excited that I would have time to sit down this evening and actually put up pictures and write on my blog.  Alas, when the time comes, I am too tired to type much, let alone resize pictures, upload them, and write coherently.  It's been a busy week-- 11 loads of laundry on Monday and Tuesday, lots of errand running on Tuesday, then gospel meeting an hour away Tuesday evening.  Today was going to be the day to finally conquer the mound of coats/snowsuits/mittens/boots that is dwarfing the family room love seat.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to that at all.  I still haven't finished cleaning up the supper dishes, despite working diligently on it while listening to Evan read the last two chapters of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" aloud to the kids and I.  There are toys out in the living room and family room, and still some groceries sitting on the floor of the laundry room from Tuesday's grocery shopping.  The barbeque chips Lincoln got into while I was at a tricky part of supper still lurk in corners.  Only one bed is made in the guest room, while the other sheets wrinkle in the dryer for the second day.  Still haven't got to vacuum the corners of the bedrooms that have been screaming at me for weeks now.


I got my family through another day of being clothed, and fed, and loved.  I spent extra time holding a little boy with a bad cold, and took the time to walk to school and collect the big kids so they would have more time to ride their bikes before it got dark.  I got to read part of a book from one of my favorite authors while I ate lunch today.  I managed to get four kids fed a decent meal (meat! potatoes! vegetable!) before Evan got home late.  And I have the health and strength to get up tomorrow morning and try, try again.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween 2011

As Evan is reminding me every five minutes, I said I was too tired to move 2 hours ago.  So here is a quick dump of pictures from our Halloween weekend, starting with the kids' school party Friday evening.

 I don't know this little girl, but her costume was so cute I asked her mom if I could take a picture.

 Cheyenne and Isabella.

 Cheyenne with Tess.  Hopefully, an orthodontist will be called in soon.

 Elliott's pirate tattoo (which broke his heart by washing off the first time he went to the bathroom and washed his hands.)

 Rilla, who grabbed everything pink out of the dress-up bin.  By the time we got to the party, she had ditched the feather boa and the wings, but she still was pretty pink.  Especially after the face painting person gave her pink dots on her cheeks.

 A cute little cow.  He was perfectly content, sitting in his stroller watching all the crazy kids run around.  Which is very good, because Evan was working late and I took the four kids over by myself.  I'd like to think it's because I'm a good mom who didn't want to disappoint her kids, but it's mostly because they were selling cheap food there and I didn't want to cook supper.

 The coloring table.  Both Rilla and Elliott adore coloring.  I've let Elliott make his bedroom door into his own personal art gallery.  It is getting rather full of intricately-colored pumpkins.

 Sunday night, the kids carved jack-o-lanterns with Grandma and Auntie.  Lincoln liked putting the pumpkin goop back in the pumpkin.

 I'm not sure what expression that is on Cheyenne's face, but she thought gutting the pumpkins was kind of creepy.

 The kids with their (meaning Grandma's) creations.

 I'm so glad my mother-in-law has skill and patience in this area-- while the pumpkins were being carved, I got to sit and play Wordthief with Eun Hui, popping up once in a while to take pictures.

 Then, Monday morning was the school's Harvest Festival.  The kids dress up in costumes they make in school, revolving around a book they read.  Elliott's class was pumpkins-- I'm not sure what book they read about pumpkins.

 He finally spots us in the bleachers.  WAY up in the bleachers, which kept me in a near panic the whole time, trying to make sure I didn't drop Lincoln, Marilla, the jackets, my diaper bag, the camera, the keys Auntie was letting Lincoln play with... open bleacher seats seem like a rather poor idea in an elementary school.  Thank goodness Lisa and Marilyn were with us.

 A blurry picture of Cheyenne the Owl.

 Getting ready to go trick-or-treating Monday night.  Lincoln sees no reason not to start collecting candy at our house.

 Elliott with the lighted jack-o-lanterns.  The pink blur in the front of the picture was Rilla running by.

 We've added a cape and tiara to the pink outfit!

 So, a cat, a bumblebee, a pink princess, and an astronaut.

  Milling around the candy bowl.

 Setting off!  I planned on taking Lincoln to just our immediate neighbors' houses, but he had a grand old time and went all the way up the street with us.  At the first house, he tried to put the candy he had grabbed at home into the neighbor's candy bin, but he soon got the "Gimme!" idea down.  Not that he broke his vow of silence to actually ask for candy, but an outstretched hand seemed to do the trick.  Cheyenne soon met up with Tess and they went off together, so Marilla and Lincoln would often run up to the house before Lincoln could get there.  Once, I decided to just keep going to the next house instead of Lincoln belatedly following his siblings to the door-- nothing doing!  He wanted to visit every single house they did!  Of course, everyone went, "Awwww!" and gave him (read: Mummy) lots of candy.  He also insisted on carrying his own pumpkin.  At first, this was fine, but as we walked home, it was really heavy.  I finally had to let him open a lollipop so he would have something to hold on to while I carried the pumpkin.  All the kids came home with lots of candy, but I would have preferred Cheyenne to NOT come home with dog doo on her shoe.  Gross.

 Quite the capable astronaut.

Posing for a picture. 

Lots of other pictures from October, will have to work on that another night!  Hope you're all enjoying eating yourself into a post-Halloween candy stupor!