Cabin Fever…

cf

This winter weather feels like it’s never going to end.  Just when I think spring is tip toeing in, winter fights back with another snow storm.  This weekend we’re going to see another snow fall and I’m not sure I can take it.  I’m tired of being cold, and I’m tired of being cooped up inside.  I want to get out and go camping, swimming and bike riding – but mostly camping.  I’m craving the warm sun on my skin and the sound of cheerful birds in the trees.  I want to pack up the trailer and just go…

cf 2

The kids are bouncing off the walls…they need a good, barefooted run across the grass.  They also agree that we should just hitch up the trailer and go south.  Words like Disney and Florida are being tossed around and are, oh so tempting.   It’s hard to explain to them why we can’t just go, especially when it’s all I really want to do.

It’s not that I don’t like winter.  I really do, but only up until January.  Once Christmas is over winter becomes an annoying drag and it’s become apparent that I can’t do another full winter again.  I don’t care where we go next year…Disney…but it needs to be for at least two weeks, it needs to be somewhere hot…Disney…and it needs to be during the coldest, longest part of winter!

cf 3

Until then, I’ll try to hang on without going too crazy and get through the next month.  That’s when I will start stocking the trailer for this year’s camping season!

New Baby, or a Puppy…

why

Do you remember this picture?

It’s from this post, the one where the Princess was devastated that she wasn’t getting a sister.

For a while we had come to an understanding.  She was going to be our one and only Princess and she really seemed to be on board with that plan.  She began to see the benefits to being our only daughter.  Girl’s time was always going to be just her and I.  She wouldn’t have to share any of us with a sister.  However, with a little time she started thinking again about how nice it would be to have a sister. So this morning she broached the subject with me again.

“Can I have a sister?”

As it turns out, she had decided it’s not fair that there are 3 males in the house and only 2 females.  We are out numbered and because of that we have a serious problem.  Once again I had to explain to her that it just wasn’t going to happen no matter how hard she pleaded with me.

After going through it over and over again, I decided to approach it at a new angle.

What if sometime in the not too distant but not quite yet future we get a girl puppy?  Would that work?

Not only did I get a yes, but my Princess leaped off the bed into my arms.

I was so happy to have moved on, that I had no idea the can of worms I had just opened.

Now the Princess would like to pinpoint the exact date we will be getting a puppy!

Kitchen Construction 2012

We have started our kitchen construction again.  I’m calling it 2012 because it’s not the first time we’ve had to live through tearing our kitchen apart.  The first time we did it, we had just moved into our home and realized that the kitchen cabinets were useless.  They were rotted out, not to mention super-duper ugly, and we spent the first couple of months storing our supplies under a fold away table.  Not the most convenient way to live or cook!  There wasn’t much we could do about it since we had spent every cent we had just getting the house.

house KC 7

Thankfully, friends of friends of ours were getting a new kitchen and were replacing perfectly good cabinets.  Since we couldn’t afford new cabinets of our own we installed the gently used cabinets and they have worked fabulously for us.  The price was great, plus it was nice knowing the perfectly good cabinets were not going to sit in a land fill somewhere.

KC 2

I was just so thankful to have a fully functioning kitchen that we stopped working on it and took a break.  Well, there was that and the shingles we lost in a hurricane which caused the roof to leak right through the Little Professor’s ceiling.  Then the boiler needed to be replaced and the little monkey’s room needed attending.

The time has come to finish the kitchen!

Before we do anything else we need to put up a new ceiling and while we are doing that…some recessed lighting.   Unfortunately in order to install a new ceiling we need to pull the present one down.

KC 3

And of course, true to the house, we found an even uglier ceiling under it!

KC 4

So we spent the weekend tearing down ceiling.  Well, by “we” I mean Daddy.  I did a lot supervising and gave plenty of suggestions.

KC 6

By the end of the weekend a third of the ceiling was torn down!  At this rate it’s going to take a month just to get the ceiling down.  It’s bittersweet.  I’m excited to get on with the kitchen, but the stress of living in a construction zone is still very fresh in my mind.

KC 5

I know in the end it’ll be worth it, but the process is not nearly as fun as the completed project!

Wonderful Christmas Chaos!

Christmas expectations and Christmas realities are two completely different things in our home.

Christmas expectations are calm and orderly.  They go off without a hitch and are picture perfect.

Christmas realities are busy and messy and very loud.  They drown out Christmas music and leave the living room in total chaos.

Christmas Expectation….

christmas morning

It’s the picture I posted to Facebook today wishing all our friends and family a Merry Christmas.  So cute with the little matching pj’s, on such well behaved children.  What I should have posted was the picture right before I managed to get them to stay still and smile for 5 seconds.

Christmas Reality…

christmas

And then there’s this!

Christmas Expectations…

christmas 7

The way I wish our living room stayed throughout the morning but really only lasted for a few minutes.

Christmas Reality…

christmas 2

But for some, Christmas Expectations…

christmas 5

pale in comparison to Christmas Reality…

christmas 6

christmas 4

Christmas 9

I’ll take Christmas Reality any day!

Merry Christmas from Our Family to Yours!

Multitasking…

treadmill desk

In a busy life filled with homeschooling, work, children, writing, sewing and many other things, I always find it hard to find time to work out.  It’s frustrating at the end of the day knowing I’ve failed once again to find time for exercise.  I want to be healthy and every day I feel my health deteriorating a little more as I spend day after day sitting at my computer working and writing.  I’ve spent days standing and working, just to change things up before but it’s not much better.

The more I thought about it the more it became clear that something has to change.  I can’t change the amount of hours in a day, and work still has to get done and I refuse to give up writing or my enjoyment of gaming.  So I tried to think up a way to get some exercise while doing these things.

My first thought was to get a stationary bike, but who has the money for that.  Then I remembered a clip I had seen on the news of a woman who put a desk over her treadmill and walked all day.

Brilliant!

Since it’s the holidays and money is tight, Daddy and I found a make shift desk for the treadmill (the leaf for our kitchen table) and I’ve been walking and working (and sometimes gaming) ever since. I started off really slow and I’ve now worked up to 2.8 miles per hour.  Balancing is harder while trying to use the computer on a treadmill.  It’s still not a brisk walk but it’s much better than sitting, plus I can do it for a long time.  The first day I walked while I worked for 4 hours and burned 1000 calories.  Not bad while invoicing.

Four hours is a long time, it’s still hard to get that many hours in a row, but most days I average 2 hours and more than 500 calories.  I’ll take it.

……………

On a totally unrelated note…

Isn’t this the cutest little guy in his first time out?!!

time out

Daddy Says… Working Man

Wood1

If there’s one thing we love at our house in the winter, it’s a nice warm fire in the fireplace.  Last week, we ordered 1/2 cord of wood from our local landscape company and had them drop it on a tarp on our front lawn.  It was a convenient spot so we could then transport it by wheelbarrow to the bulkhead and organize it into two stacks – one in the basement, and one on the side porch.

I recruited the little professor to lend a hand and I have to say, he really pulled his weight – probably more than his weight actually!  As I was running wheelbarrows full of wood to the bulkhead, he would take logs down 2 at a time and then Mummy would organize them into a nice stack in the basement.  Once we decided we had enough downstairs, we moved on to the side porch.  He was a huge help in running logs up and down the stairs and even handled the wheelbarrow some of the time.

Wood3     wood4

After a couple of hours of hard work, we were finally finished and we got the little guy into the house.  Then he had a hot shower, a warm cup of cocoa and was finally relaxing in front of the fire – enjoying the rewards of his hard work.

It’s nice to know I now have a helper that can help me with these projects around the house!

The Road Less Traveled…

I have this problem where I have to take something simple and easy and make it much more complicated and difficult.  For example when I made the Princess’s quilt, the first quilt I ever made, instead of following a kit I made my own pattern.  I bought the material on my own and I came up with my own layout.  Now I’m working on a quilt for the Professor and of course, I’m using my own layout again.  Maybe the next quilt, I’ll use kit…maybe.

So when my little Princess asked me if I’d sew her some clothes for her American Girl doll I knew a typical pattern would never do.  The pattern pictures show ill fitting clothes on the front of the envelope.  They all look homemade and really plain compared to the actual American Girl doll clothes.  I’ve made one outfit from the patterns months ago and it just didn’t measure up.  I knew I had to take it up a notch, so I called upon my pattern making skills back from my college days and started creating.  I’m pretty sure my parents didn’t send me to school to make doll patterns for their future granddaughter, but at least it didn’t go to complete waste.

 

I still have much more to do.  My pattern making skills are rusty but they’re coming back to me.  I’m excited to see the finished project and I’m even more excited to give my little girl her new doll clothes on Christmas morning.  I hope they measure up to the ones from the store.

The List

I have a list of books that I created 9 years ago – books that I want to read in my lifetime.  Not all the books are literary fiction, nor are they classics.  Very few are main stream books, at least they weren’t at the time they were added to my list.  Some actually have been turned into movies…Life of Pi, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Lovely Bones to name a few.  Some of the books I added because they were so original – The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse,  and some actually are classics – To Kill A Mockingbird, 1984.

Today I decided to show the Little Professor my book list.  He was really impressed by the idea.  I encouraged him to make a list of his own and he thought it was a great idea.  That, of course, made me smile.

Not every book I read is from my list.  In fact, the majority of books I’ve read have nothing to do with my list.  I’m not sure how to explain what qualifies a book to make the list.  Each book has earned it’s place because something about it spoke to me, whether it’s the title, the description or the author.  Some books I read years ago and added them on my list to read again – The Handmaid’s Tale.  Not every book has started off great, some were very slow going at first but I’ve yet to finish a book and find it not worthy of being read.  I haven’t read every book on the list yet, but I’ve read quite a few of them.

I’d like to share my list with you….

Title Author
Life of Pi Yann Martel
Diary Chuck Palahniuk
Fahrenhiet 451 Ray Bradbury
The Five People You Meet in Heaven Mitch Albom
The Dogs of Babel Carolyn Parkhurst
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell Susanna Clarke
The Know-It-All: One Mans Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World A. J. Jacobs
The Hollow Choclate Bunnies of the Apocalypse Robert Rankin
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time Mark Haddon
The Stones of Summer Dow Mossman
Shade Neil Jordan
The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
The Alchemist Paulo Ceollio
East of Eden John Stienbeck
The Catcher in the Rye J. D. Salinger
Grapes of Wrath John Stienbeck
Saint Training Elizabeth Fixmer
Flyboys James Bradley
The Great Divorce C.S. Lewis
Blessings Anna Quindlen
Unless Carol Shields
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Great Gasby F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
Lord of the Flies William Golding
The Time Machine H.G. Wells
The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde
The Lovely Bones Alice Sebold
The Time Traveler’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
1984 George Orwell
Water for Elephants Sara Gruen
The Help Kathryn Stockett
The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
The Chrysalids John Wyndham
The Night Circus Erin Morgenstern
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy