Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Where are those Winthrop pictures?

Here they are!

Or you could just scroll down below all the ranting in the last post about mice. Just thought I'd give you two choices.

Friday, May 22, 2009

What have we been doing?

So we were gone for five days or so in April and then we were gone last weekend for three.

During that time, mice have taken residence in our house.

We've spent most of the week locating horrid mouse poop in various parts of the house. Window sills, in the computer desk, kitchen counters. Especially horrid in the BABY's room. Poor Josiah. Yuck.

Then we've been cleaning up said poop and finding new fresh poop in the morning. In the same places.

Bob and I spent one evening cleaning up the house without speaking to eachother because of a disagreement about the mouse poop.

Then we spent another whole evening filling in all the holes in the house with spray foam. (Thankfully, we were speaking this time.) There are lots of holes-our house was constructed with rodents and many other animal and insect pests in mind- specifically, to make them feel welcome. We placed poison and laid traps.

One night went by and nothing... well not nothing. There was a lot less poop found around the house after plugging up the holes.

Then, this morning, victory!!

Bob caught one mouse in the spin trap! And now he's in the garbage, in the spin trap, in a million little pieces. (Actually, we know he's dead, but since we don't really know how the trap works, we don't know how many pieces he's in.)

Now, I know that it's likely that this mouse has family members that have also been using our house for shelter so I'm mentally prepared for more rodent battle.

Kind of.

I have to admit that dealing with this sudden infestation has pretty much pushed me over the edge. It might also be that having a broken washing machine at the same time is "too much". Or maybe the fact that I'm 25 weeks pregnant- I have more energy than I did when I was in my first trimester, so thankful for that- but I can't seem to remain vertical for long without, well, without becoming pretty uncomfortable. I expect this at 30 weeks and beyond but at 25?

I am reminded and comforted by God's ability to bear these burdens for me.

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation."Psalm 68:19

I'm off to make cookies in a very clean kitchen.

Thanks to all this mice hoopla, we've actually been taking the time to make sure the kitchen is spotless and crumb-free before we retire for the night. And last night, Bob did all of the sweeping and tidying up without me as I rested on the couch.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Winthrop '09

I think we're past all the mouse chaos around here and for some fun reason, I've got ideas for things I want to post coming out of my brain at a rapid rate. I better get goin'!

I'll begin with a bunch of pictures from our trip to Winthrop.

This year, we tried out a new place for our family to stay the two nights surrounding our time there. I highly recommend these condos to Winthrop-bound families who find they are just not quite fitting in standard hotel type rooms any longer.

Every year we come back with very similar pictures. We spend all day Saturday here at my aunt and uncle's house playing, eating with family and watching the kids have fun in the open spaces.

Here we have some of Mercy and her cousin looking for Demi, the horse...

...and Josiah, looking for Demi...

There's Demi... and Daddy...

Several antlers were found on a walk with Papa Jim! There are still bones of some animal in our car from the hike these guys took... I'm okay with bringing antlers home but what do you do with bones?

Mercy is wearing Not Fuzzy Tigger wrap-style in Pinkie, her blankie. This kept Pinkie from dragging all over the ground and held Tigger close all morning.

Like I said before, we have the same pictures every year but with new kids doing what their siblings have done in years past. This year, it was Josiah's turn to be a horsey rider. And Mercy's turn to bounce and screech maniacally beside him.

During Family Weekend in Winthrop, you can usually find yourself in the presence of some special guests, namely, Pa and Joy, my grandfather and his wife. With Grammy (my mom) and Josiah, they are taking in the sights from their seats.

Most of the adults spend the weekend watching the kids run all over the property.

But some opt for entertaining said kids as well.

Mercy thought hoo-ya-hooping was really fun after watching that guy!

Josiah may have preferred this elephant ride to his horsey ride next to the screaming Mercy.

The boys explore...

A hair braiding session, courtesy of Grammy...

I think my mom and her sisters are cute...

Oooh! Horseballs!

Have you ever played horseballs?!

Well, you can ask me about it sometime. We're almost done with all these pictures...

The Big Boys are lined up to eat with the Hoola Hoop Guy.

More maniacal screeching from Mercy and her cousin on the horseys...

Ah! We've made it to dessert! Grandad and Josiah are sharing cake and ice cream on the deck with Papa Jim.

Gammy Carol gave the kids sprinkles! on their ice cream cones. Those two in the middle are the kids' special Winthrop cousins. We had so much fun with you two!

But now it's bedtime and bottle time for Josiah and Family Weekend is just about over. It's a long drive for just one long day but we have a great time every year.

What? There are no pictures of me? That's right. Just imagine a pregnant lady. I look like that when I'm in Winthrop, too.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We're back...

...and we're a little tired.

And we have a big day tomorrow because it's our very last day of homeschool co-op for the school year!

To clarify, we are back from a weekend away that we thoroughly enjoyed. In fact, Mercy asked me several times today during our longish car ride, "Mommy, can we go see Grammy Carol too-mR-yo?"

I'm hoping to share pictures and laughs from our time there soon but for now I must stop blogging.

I have important things to think about and here they are in no particular order:

- Are the mice, who left their droppings on several window sills of our house, still living, even after consuming the poison treats we left for them?
-If they are decomposing somewhere in the house, am I going to find them in the morning while I'm trying to get ready for co-op?
-What can I do to prevent Josiah from finding either dead mice or their tiny dried pieces of poo?

I leave you all (all 4 of you!) with these thoughts and say goodnight.

P.S. Yes, that is Josiah, sucking on his Elephant while trying to stay awake on a large stuffed elephant ride.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Proverbs 31:28

I just finished reading a little about Mother's Day over at Girl Talk. The subject of this particular post is this proverb:

Her children rise up and call her blessed.
Proverbs 31:28

In the past, when I have read this verse amidst the many standards for wife-lihood laid out in Proverbs 31, I've thought, somewhat hopefully, that when I am old and my children are grown, they will rise and call me blessed. And I've thought how that will be nice, won't it? To have my boys and my girl, after years of possible rough spots, to come around to the realization that I was a good mom after all.

And as I was reading through the descriptions of the familiar weariness a mommy of many little people experiences, I had to stop and think.

So I did.

I stopped and thought about the many, many times a day that I hear Michael say to me:

Mommy, you are my most favorite person in this house!

Mommy, I want to hug you, because I love you!

You look so beautiful, Mommy!

And from Daniel: Mommy, I want to sit by YOU at Bible Time. I'm going to save you a seat next to me.

And from Mercy, who has just recently begun to echo these sentiments she has heard from her brothers: Mommy, you look VEwy PWItty!

I am blessed. My children do rise up, even now, and call me blessed!

Now, I'm not disagreeing with the neat ladies over at Girl Talk. I'm a weary mom, just as they have described. And most of the time, I act like it, which isn't "beautiful", or "PWItty". Isn't this proof that God's love for my children is coming through me to them, somehow? Despite my weariness and grouchyness and unlovelyness?

I am so thankful for this and I give our Heavenly Father the glory for the abundance of affection I receive on a daily basis from my children. My prayers are that I will continue to strive towards being a godly mommy worthy of these sweet little compliments I receive from my children. And that in my many failings, He will point them towards Himself, the perfect example of a parent.

Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mercy's Nap

Mercy, at the age of 3 is not in need of a nap every day. I should clarify that. She doesn't need to sleep during nap time every day. Right now, and for the past couple years, all my kids have naps or rests or whatever you want to call them between 1pm and 3pm every afternoon. They all seem to accept and enjoy this as a necessary part of their day. I think Mercy is really enjoying the fact that she is now old enough to be allowed to read books during her rest. (This means she is responsible enough not to spend her nap ripping them up as she has in the past.) But occaisionally she does fall asleep after reading her books.

If she sleeps too long, she makes trouble in the kids' room at bedtime by not being quite tired enough to settle down right away. (This kind of trouble: Mercy stood on her bed railing the other night after "lights out" to look out the window which is a no-no. She got stuck there because her hair was caught on a hook for the curtains and stood there crying until we removed her from that position...natural consequences, I guess.) So as often as she does fall asleep during her nap, I have the pleasure of waking her sleepy, rosy cheeked self up at about 3:15pm.

And this is how I found her the other day... with Tigger in his jammies... her head on the "ibis book" from the library... her feet in some shoes she wasn't wearing before her nap...

Tigger, you look so cozy there.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Chelan Spring 2009

We've been back home for at least a week now so it's high time for a re-cap of our time in Lake Chelan!

We enjoyed unseasonably warm weather during the first two days. It was 80 degrees, people. I turned on the air conditioning. I'm not a warm weather gal, really. We scoured the beach for rocks and tiny shells with Grammy and Gammy Carol and Gammy Linda or Mimi as I think she prefers to be called. These special ladies are my mom and her sisters. We all get confused- what are we supposed to call you?

Springtime at the lake is quiet, especially mid-week and we had the whole beach to ourselves. We brought the boys' bikes and Mercy's baby stroller for walks and enjoyed staying in the big three bedroom unit all by ourselves! (Usually, we happily share this unit with my parents and maybe my sister and brother. Since it was just the 6 of us, we were able to put Josiah in his own suite all by himself instead of in the master bathroom in his packnplay.)

Here we can see Michael and his rocks, big and small.

Daddy's birthday occured mid-week! We spent his day building forts on the beach with driftwood. There's Daniel before it was completed up there. One of Bob's specialties as a parent is his ability to really play with the kids. He and the boys spent a long morning firing at Star Wars bad guys from the safety of their space ship. Here we are with his cake. Do you recognize that video game controller cake? Yes, it's the NES controller decorated with cereal and chocolate frosting.

Josiah likes the sand!

Wait, no he doesn't. (Get used to it, bud. We're coming back here in July... and October!)

We were joined by our fun friends after a day or so! What a great combo for vacation- big spaces to play outside and special people to play with! We are so excited that this worked out for both families.

Kids in the spaceship fort...

To me, this looks like the three oldest boys having a discussion on "how it's gonna be" in the game they are playing. I love that my kids are friends with these kids!

Josiah and I are having a little chat halfway up the hill to the condo. I'm really starting to waddle around during this pregnancy and that's a big hill so I guess I had to stop and rest. If you look into the distance in this picture, you'll see the big boys playing at the fort. We could see them from our condo... When my cousins were middle school and high school ages, we would all come here together during the summer week and wander all over the resort. My Grandma Jane would sit up on the grass in front of the condo with her binoculars so she could watch us.

We took some great walks, played an impressive game of mini golf and made it our habit to spend the time between naptime and dinner at the indoor pool. The golf game was impressive to me because our group of four adults and eight kids eight years old and under dominated the entire course for atleast an hour. I think that's a long time for a group with such varying attentions spans to spend doing anything!

The big boys did some "real" golfing. Several children employed the golf and wander method. I don't think I saw anyone using their club as a weapon... I am not a mini golfer myself but I enjoyed the job of occupying my youngest two while the group played. This mini golf course has remained largely the same since I first began coming with my family as a little girl. I've always thought it was funny that the first hole requires that you hit the ball into a miniature outhouse.

Since I don't have any neat golfing or swimming pictures I'll share this one of all the kids lined up with their ice cream. Can you believe that two more little people will join this group this year?!

I'm so thankful for this retreat and for the opportunity to be there mid-week with family and friends! Grandpa Bill and Grandma Jane had the right idea when they saw this place as a family gathering spot. We'll be benefitting from their generosity to us for years to come- Thanks Grandpa and Grandma!