Sunday, January 31, 2010

Day of rest


With six children and only a tiny yard for them, there is always something demanding our attention even/especially on Sundays. After church we return home and make lunch, ususally popcorn, fruit, cheese, and some summer sausage or salami if we have it. Following lunch is naptime for at least four of our family so that means "Quiet Time" for the rest. During quiet time the only activities allowed are reading, coloring, or writing. Every other activity has proven to generate noise beyond the acceptable level. Even coloring and reading don't work 100% of the time. But generally "Quite Time" works pretty well.

What doesn't work well for myself is the actual napping. There seems to be a paradox in that the duration of a successful nap is inversely proportional to my emotional state when the nap is ended. In other words, the longer the nap I get, the grumpier I am for the rest of the day. The shorter the nap, the less grumpy I am. Today we came home, ate lunch and then laid Aaron down in our bed with Ruth. David was laid in his bed. I settled into the recliner and read for a little bit. Then I napped for about 30 minutes. I had made an appointment to visit someone later which kept my nap short. So I awoke feeling pretty good. We walked to the other family's home and had a good visit and are now home and everybody seems in good spirits. Last week I slept for much longer, and definitely felt a little more selfish/self-centered when I got up.

Have you noticed anything similar at your house?

Hope you have enjoyed your Sunday and all your weekend!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Our family is currently reading in Alma, where the sons of Mosiah are teaching King Lamoni and his father. Every time we read the name Aaron, our Aaron perks up and says, "Aaron?"

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Leave me alone?

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Kind of disturbing, but then our blog is public. With Blogger it is easy to surf through other blogs in the world, though, as far as I know, there is no way to display a list of the blogs hosted by their server.
I assume this comment is a sales pitch by someone not from our country from the bad spelling and horrible grammar. And I'm thinking of making the blog private since I only want family and friends to read it anyway. Maybe there are other measures I can take to keep the unwelcome away.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

a rocking good time

When our family lived in Auburn during the second and third year of our marriage I bought Ruth a rocking chair at an oak furniture store. It looked like a comfortable chair and was solidly made. But being it was made in China, it had some features that didn't belong.

The chair didn't really rock. It had a distinct bump-bump in the middle of its rocking motion that has kept us from sitting in it often. Not only was there the bumping but also the chair seemed to dive to the left as it rolled forward. So it has occupied space in our living quarters for several years now without being used.

A couple months ago I got a little block plane out to try to smooth away the bump. It was bad timing so the plane got put away and the chair went back in the boys' room.

Well now all the kids sleep in what was the boys room; the rocking chair now resides in our living room. It is comfortable to sit in as it has a cushion on the seat and a fleece blanket over the back.

Tonight I pulled the chair into the kitchen, whipped out my block plane and started planing the bottom of the rockers. It is an interesting process. A bump in the rocking is caused by a combination of a high spot and a low spot in the wood. As the chair moves along the arc of the rocker, it finds a low spot and the rocking motion slows or stops altogether. Then it passes across the high spot and an abrupt change in the motion occurs and is very noticeable for the person rocking. So all the high spots had to get planed down.

After everything was smoothed out I measured the rocker feet and found the front tips more than 1/8" different and the back 3/16" different in the opposite direction. So, I will have to get the belt sander or a planer to make them match.

Here are some pics of the mess I made in the kitchen.

Friday, January 08, 2010

You know it's time to blog when...

...your children ask you to take pictures of them in funny poses or with their latest piece of artwork and suggest that you blog about it!

...people who usually read your blog to "catch up" with you are sending you emails or calling you at home! are spending HOURS reading blogs of friends and family that you haven't been keeping up with!

Oh, how I feel I have been slacking when it comes to our fun little blog here. I'm not sure how many people are reading this anymore for lack of comments, but I have made a deal with myself to be better about blogging and take time away from Facebook games and other distractions to update my loved ones with the goings ons out here in "Beautiful" Clearlake!

I've been keeping busy with all the kids at home! I'm always behind on the laundry, dishes, cleaning, grocery shopping, paying bills, school paperwork, etc...I don't know if I'll be able to get caught up! I've been able to fit in some exercise time this week, and I've been sore from not doing it for so long!! It feels good to be doing something though! Even if I accidentally kick a kid or two in the process! ;) Hasn't happened yet, but with the way they like to run around me when I'm in the zone, it probably will. Rachel has been good about reminding me to exercise too! Little comments here and there about how big my bum is compared to hers really seem to get me motivated. Although she hasn't helped me stay away from all the Christmas goodies that are STILL hanging around. Who said Wal-Mart could mark-down the Chocolate Oranges to .57 cents each!?!?
I've finally gotten to the point with the Homeschooling where, if you ask the girls if they like their teacher, they just might say yes!!! I know, what an awesome accomplishment right!? I still feel like they may be behind in some of their subjects, but I guess we'll find out when they take the state tests this March and April. I've gotten so much support from friends and family and I am so grateful for that!
I have set some personal goals for this year. Things I hope I can do better at and that will make me a better wife mother and person in general.

Jason is working for a sheet metal company based out of Nice (A town about a 1/2 hr. commute both ways) and he's learning lots of new skills. He started there last March working in the office on their books and secretarial work. The last few months he's been going out and giving estimates and building things out of metal to help out more. He's trying so hard (With much success, in my bias opinion) to be good at his job, church calling, and being a husband and father! Even with all the projects that I keep dreaming up to keep him even more busy! He's so wonderful, talented and smart! I'm so glad I have him!!!

Rachel is doing well with her school work. She enjoys it most days, is very motivated to learn, and she enjoys learning new things. She's also such a wonderful help with all the other kids! She has been listening to the Harry Potter books on CD/Tapes, and is really liking them. She's on the last one now. It amazes me how much she can retain! I read the books a few years ago and I can' remember much, especially after seeing the movies. Her memory has always been a bit better than mine! I used to tell her the grocery list so I wouldn't forget anything. She's awesome to have around!

Emily loves to have fun with whatever she may be doing. School is work for her and she is doing well! It's been difficult at times with her emotions and certain subjects. Her sweet spirit is so fragile. she really doesn't like being told that she's doing something wrong. She enjoys helping with David. And she likes to have fun with her siblings! She's very crafty and likes to reuse recyclable items to make other "things" She calls herself a "Tinker" like Tinkerbell, because she's good at making things. She's been hoping that the teeth that are hanging in by threads will just fall out one day and that she won't have to suffer through the pain of having them pulled! What a cute little whimp! ;) Love ya!

Kaitlin is learning how to read and write and all the things you learn in Kindergarten. Somedays, she pretends that I take her to the Elementary school here in Clearlake. She keeps her school work in her back pack when she's not at "School." She enjoys playing her learning computer games and having fun with her siblings and Polly Pockets. She's so creative when she plays, it's fun to just sit and listen to her. It's wonderful having so many "Built in" friends!

Christopher is such a cutie! I'm glad to say that he still believes in "Magic Mommy Kisses." They sure work wonders some days! He doesn't show any interest in learning what Kaitlin is learning when I ask him if he wants to learn how to read too. But I watch him read along with Kaitlin and her school books, play on, and I just have to smile. He's such a nut! You can definitely tell that he loves his life!

Aaron loves life too! The world revolves around him, just in case you haven't heard! He's a nut too! He thinks he can get away with anything as long as he flashes that cute smile! Too bad we can't see it in the dark when he tries, without success, to sleep with us in our bed. He loves anything with sugar in it and I think he can tell if it doesn't. He likes to watch as siblings play games and enjoys teasing them in any way possible. He seems to love to make Christopher cry! BOYS!!! His favorite blankie is falling apart at the edges and he brings it up to me every so often saying, "Fix it?" Add that to my to-do list!

David is such a joy! He's army crawling around as fast as lightning. He's just not fast enough to follow me from place to place yet, and I think that makes him mad. He's eating solid foods really well, better than any other of our children, and I think it shows! He's not a chunk, but he's definitely not a skinny little boy! He's just right! He's generally happy and he loves to watch everything going on around him! There's always someone here willing to hold and love on him!

They all enjoy visiting family, playing games with each other, playing dress-up, and watching good movies. What a blessing ALL of our children are to us! We are so grateful to be a family and be able to have so much fun together! Here's to what promises to be a wonderful ans stressful year! Hope yours will be great as well!

One Good one!
One of the many that won't make it's way to our family wall! But We're still happy to share our goofiness! This was the ONLY picture that David was smiling and looking at the camera! Hope you enjoy!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Here we Go...


I know it's been a while since I've blogged and I apologize to those who I have given a hard time about not blogging often enough. I could give a list of all my excuses, but instead I think I'll just blog and then you'll know all the reasons I have abandoned the blogging world for sooo long.

Here it goes, I hope you're comfortable, it's gonna take some time to get caught up!! :) Maybe it will just take longer for me to get it posted than it will for you all to read.

As most of you all know, I am homeschooling the girls this year. Rachel is in fourth grade, Emily is in third and Kaitlin has started Kindergarten. It was a rough first couple of months getting everything scheduled and getting used to the paperwork. I must admit that I wasn't prepared for all the things that I would have to do as a teacher, wife, and a mother! So many responsibilities, and I'm just hoping that I AM doing what's best for my kids! I'm going through a Charter school that requires me to keep track of what the kids do, track attendance and hand in samples of their work each month. I think the hardest parts are trying to keep them all on track so they know what to do each day, and correcting their work. I often feel like I'm being pulled in six different directions at once. Everyone wants and needs me at the same time, the dishes keep calling out to me and the laundry continues to pile up! I enjoy having my home clean and it never seems to get even close anymore. I do have the kids help in a lot of the work, but it still feels like it never gets done enough. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I CAN do it all!? :)

We spent Halloween at my parents neighborhood. Rachel and cousin Josh are really getting to the age where they don't want to wait around for the little kids before going on to the next house. Ah to be young and cute so people will hand you free candy just by saying three magic words! They sure are enjoying every minute of it! All of the kids had fun going door to door and they where so cute to watch. After the kids were done trick-or treating, we went back to my parents to crack open some pinatas that the girls had made for school. there was one for the kids and two for the adults. the kids laughed SO much as they watched us old folks swinging at the air. The kids, of course got all the candy, but they were also so sweet to share it with us. It was fun to be with family for the night.

I started David on solids the beginning of December and he's doing great!!! He's our first child that has taken baby food from the jars. Or maybe I'm finally getting this down and doing something right. It's about time! He's doing great and growing like he should!

We celebrated Emily's 8th birthday on Saturday the 21st of November, her actual birthday is on the 25th, which fell on the day before Thanksgiving. She invited three friends over (Emily and Caitlyn from her old elementary school, and Avrill, a friend from church) and asked to have a horse birthday party. she also wanted me to make a cupcake-cake. this was my first attempt and with Jason's help in the design and shaping, I think it turned out rather well!!!

We spent Thanksgiving with Jason's family this year. Great food and company all around! It's so nice to live close enough to family to be able to visit so often!

Emily was baptized on December 5th at the Rocklin Stake Center. We had a potato bar luncheon at the Loomis ward building afterward for those who attended and then we broke out the Volleyball net and showed each other our awesome volleyball skills!!! I think we were all a little rusty. We won't be ready for the next Summer Olympics that's for sure! I hope all who joined us had a wonderful time, I know Emily sure felt special. Most of our families were able to make it for the occasion. Thank-you again to all who came and participated in the wonderful day for Emily! She had a great time and I'm sure she felt the love of her family. We're so happy to have her special spirit in our family. and we hope that she will be able to develop those talents that will help her be the best person she can be and be blessed to return to live with our Heavenly Father someday! We sure Love you Emily! Thanks for being a part of our family!

After the stress of the Baptism was over, I was able to focus on Christmas gifts. I decided to make a stuffed animal for each of the kids. I made little dogs for the girls and dinosaurs for the boys. I didn't have them finished until the 23rd. Which was our Christmas Eve because we left on the 24th to head for Grandma's house. Maybe next year I'll plan better and have all my shopping and crafts done before the week of Christmas. It was way too stressful staying up so late every night for a week! I'm sure we weren't the only people in the world that have ever done that though.

Oops, wait! I can't forget to mention that we were able to celebrate Kaitlin's 6th birthday!!! She was so excited for her birthday, and very set on having a Hannah Montana celebration. I did what I could to accommodate her wishes. I decorated her cake with Hannah Montana pink and purple and she spread pink "Rock-star" sprinkles all over the rest of it! We ate yummy cake and spent the evening as a family enjoying each other as we finished up our caroling adventures. She let me know later that night that she had the best birthday EVER!!! We're so happy to have her in our family too! We are so blessed to have all these cute and wonderful spirits to teach and take care of. Each one has added so much to our family and I couldn't imagine my life without any of them!!! Thanks for choosing our family! We sure love you too Kaitlin! We spent our New Year's Eve at our ward party. We ate and danced there until 10:30pm when we decided that the boys should be in bed. We got home and stuck in the movie "National Treasure" thinking the girls would probably be asleep before midnight. When in fact Jason was the only one of those remaining awake that didn't make it to midnight. I turned off the movie at around 12:30 and the girls were sad that they couldn't watch to the end. I reassured them that they could finish it the next day, and they went on to bed.

All in all we had a wonderful Christmas vacation. Now it's back to the grindstone! Don't be surprised if you don't hear from me for a while again. Although I think I may just have to make time to blog! Reading all your blogs to get caught up takes too long! :) Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season! Merry belated Christmas to you all and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Never Ending Story

Jase: I started another project in wood this week. I’ve been thinking lately about the process that I go through in creating a piece of furniture or anything else for that matter. First comes the idea, whether from me or Ruth. Then comes the design, entailing several hours on paper and a few on the computer, making the best possible use of wood and still trying to maintain some sense of proportion. Next we obtain the materials.
Then the struggle begins. Machining of the various parts begins and I invariably find that I don’t have a tool that I need or some process is taking a lot longer than I planned for. The project goes on hold for some arbitrary time period until my frustration is gone or until Ruth bugs me to get the thing finished.
Our most recent conception is a set of shelves for our kids play room. It consists of two bookcases spaced to fit a futon between, a frame to sit atop the bookcases, and two sets of shelves to crown the entire thing.

This drawing doesn't show the piece placed in the corner where it will actually go, which is why the shelf on the right faces the left.

Here is a partial history of my projects.
Kitchen table three years in use but still not done
Workbench 1 year/1 week in use, covered with tools and stuff
bunk bed 1 week in use
headboard four years project abandoned after material acquisition
picture frame Three-five years? used metal instead
play room shelves 1 week in progress

I'm currently hung up on having the correct tools. I bought a router bit that doesn't fit my router. I realized this Saturday after the hardware store was closed and I was about to use the router. So I have to wait until I can get to the store for the right bit.