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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Parenting Practices: Patience and Love

I started this last night and didn't finish, so even though it is Wordless Wednesday I am posting a Parenting Practices.

I wasn't going to post today for fear of overloading on the posts, but something just happened and I think it was one of those things you have to record so that when I read it at some later date I will be able to laugh??

Monday afternoon I began making hot dog and hamburger buns for dinner.  I had class and the dough was not ready so I threw it in the fridge.

Tuesday morning I took it out and between the freezing house and the cold dough, it took all day to get it shaped and ready to bake.
Just before dinner I pulled them out of the oven and because I was baking the counters were full so I put them on the laundry room counter to cool.

I was just finishing up dinner when I looked over just in time to save the hamburger bun Noah had just given to the puppies.  Only when I went to put the bun back did I realize that Noah had moved on the the hamburger bun when he ran out of hot dog buns.

6 beautiful, delicious, warm, almost perfectly formed, time consuming hot dog buns...gone.  Not a crumb left in sight.

It is a good thing Noah is my 4th child and I have mellowed out over the years.  Otherwise, it could have been ugly.

Monday, September 24, 2012

L.S.N.E.D:Random; A Hint of How My Brain is Organized

I have a totally random post for today.  Mostly because it is quick and I don't have my photos from last week ready to go yet.  So here are two totally unrelated random things that maybe you didn't know...or maybe you did.

#1 Did you know that you can buy play-doh scented calogne?  I discovered this while looking at birthday/Christmas options.
#2 Did you know that Aaron Copeland originally called Appalachian Spring, Ballet for Martha?  Appalachian Spring is a ballet and Martha Graham danced the lead role.  Did you know that Aaron Copeland found it amusing when people told him that he captured the beauty of the Appalachians through his music because it actually refers to a source of water in a Hart Crane poem?

O Appalachian Spring! I gained the ledge;
Steep, inaccessible smile that eastward bends
And northward reaches in that violet wedge
Of Adirondacks!

That's what I was listening to this morning and I love it.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Family Friday

Ok...I think I will go person by person.  Kind of like that obnoxious Christmas letter you get, but early instead of late and I'll throw some random pictures of the kids throughout.

Aaron- Still the history department at Craftsbury Academy, a master freemason, a candidate for justice of the peace, elder's quorum teacher at church, craftsman extraordinaire, converting all his lesson plans to powerpoints, stay at home dad two nights a week so I can go to class, considering becoming the treasurer of the historical society, at a standstill with his masters degree (not enough time!) Handsome, smart, great eyes, hard I am one lucky girl.
Three boys, a hose and a sandbox...
Lauren- Fall semester is proving to be MUCH more doable and that feels pretty good.  You hear about  me all the time so I will skip on.
Sophie- Please don't kill me daughter for sharing personal information. I share it only in context of me as a mother.  I have one word...HORMONES!  They are going to kill me.  For example, the 15 minute argument through tears about why you should be allowed to do your homework in a place you aren't usually allowed to, in the dark because it isn't fair that everyone should have fun in a power outage except you.  I mean how do I even process that? (fyi, I don't care where she does homework as long as she does it) Other wise playing soccer, doing dance, got her oboe and is a natural, smart, so beautiful it scares me and altogether amazing.

Ben- Oh Ben...another conundrum for me.  So sweet and sensitive and struggling to understand how friends work.  What is a good friend?  When you have someone you think is a good friend but they don't want to play with you 24/7 does that mean they don't like you?  Ben is going through a needy phase.  His time at home is spent playing then begging for a snuggle.  Bed time involves at least an hour of quiet then "Mommy!  I want you!" over and over again.  When I snuggle or go to him he clings to me and kisses me and begs me not to go.  I feel like such a callous person when I have to peel myself away.  Ben confounded his teacher, Aaron and I when despite rolling on the floor, hanging off the chair and taking frequent breaks to "stretch" by doing pull ups under his chair, Ben received the highest grade on the beginning of the year assessment.  Attending taekwondo twice a week and loving it.

Jacob- ABSOLUTELY loving school.  He struggled with the early wake up for awhile, seeing as he used to get up between 8:30 and 10:00.  He is also doing taekwondo twice a week and has loved it from the start. (Ben took some convincing.)  Jacob loves being outdoors and frequently plays outside even when there is a t.v. show on. Jacob and Ben are fighting a lot less often since school and taekwondo started (with the exception of the aforementioned parenting blunder.)

Noah- Sweeter than all get out. Extremely adorable.  Very verbal.  Musically talented.  He might be a genius or prodigy or something.  And if you think this is just a mother gushing...ask anyone who has ever seen him, stranger or not.  There is just something extremely compelling about Noah.  Potty training off and on.  Napping off and on.  Still has a weird belly that I am trying to figure out.

This is from our annual apple picking trip where I like to get family photos, but this time we arrived as a MAJOR storm was blowing in.  We madly picked apples as the wind blew and we heard thunder.  We had just paid and pulled away from the apple stand when the wind and the rain combined.  We literally drove into a white wall of slashing wind and rain.  If we had delayed anywhere for a moment longer it would have been a very uncomfortable ride home.
This was on a family trip to Smuggler's Notch.  We told Noah we would be climbing big rocks.    He got out of the car  got on top of this rock and said, "whoa!  Climbing big rock!
It took awhile before he accepted that these were the rocks we were climbing
Aaron took the older kids and I climbed with Noah so that we wouldn't slow them down.  I think Aaron thought we would stick to the paths down by the parking area but Noah turned out to be a pretty amazing climber!  Because we were split up I don't have pictures of the rest of us.
I guess we are a little Ben heavy.  Sophie has become too elusive and self conscious and Jacob...I have no logical explanation why I don't have any more pictures of him.  I'll work on it.
Ben was being a wildlife explorer
Loki and Diogi-  We thought we were going to have to get rid of Loki after a vicious dog fight between the two of them.  However with a different routine and careful work we decided he was not a lost cause.  Training goals...jumping.  They jump on   people, they jump over tall fences, their nails are painful and they freak people out daily.

And that is the news from Craftsbury Cottage!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reckless Recreation: Addition Update

It has been awhile since I posted an up date on the addition.  At this point it is insulated and most of the interior insulation and sheet rock are up.  

Before winter we plan on insulating the crawl space and putting down a sub floor that I can paint to water proof the floor and then after that we will pick away at the lighting, interior walls to separate it into mudroom and bedroom and painting.  

I am not sure when flooring will happen.  I think we are going to do tile in the mudroom and wood in the bedroom, but I am not sure.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Parenting Practices: Epic Fail 

Sunday Ben came into our room crying because Jacob had punched him on the chest.  This is what began my epic parenting fail.

I called to Jacob to come into our room and when he arrived I said, "Ok Ben, punch Jacob in the chest."  What I anticipated was that Jacob would object and in that moment of protest I would have the opportunity to offer my sage council,
 "Now Jacob, if you don't want to be punched why would you do that to Ben?"

This would then send Ben into loving convulsions of hugs and kisses proclaiming his love for Jacob his best brother.  Jacob would embrace Ben with tears in his eyes begging forgiveness for the damage of body and spirit he had caused to Ben and they would skip off into the sunset with Full House music playing in the background, never to fight again. 

Instead Jacob immediately squared himself for the blow and without missing a single beat, Ben punched him in the chest and Jacob began crying with a look of shock in his eyes about what had just happened.

I sat there for a split second trying to figure out how I was going to fix this when Aaron offered his opinion, "This is what we call a bad parenting moment."  

I guess I'll just archive this away along with the skinning rabbit, "little bit of blood" incident with Sophie and others which I will not go into detail for fear that I am incriminating myself.

And just to be on the safe side, I'sign off with a code never saw me or heard me or met me...capisce?

Monday, September 17, 2012

L.S.N.E.D.: Not for the Squeamish or Faint of Heart

In my Anatomy and Physiology class last week we dissected a cow eyeball. I wish I had a picture for you to look at and see how incredibly amazing the eye is, but even though I asked nicely, my teacher wouldn't let me take pictures.

I will admit that I was a little nervous that I would feel guilty about dissecting the coy eye when those sweet brown cow eyes looked up off the dissecting tray.  Thankfully the preservation process saved me from any feelings of guilt whatsoever.  At first I wasn't even sure it was an eyeball.

Later this month we will dissect a cow heart.  Isn't it crazy that we are so different from cows, cats, sheep or minks (our models for the class) and yet we can use their organs as an example for our own?  

It is all amazing and I know it grosses some people out, but I love the chance to see how the body works, without plucking out my own eye.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Deep Thoughts: A Day of Rest

I am assuming that having a Sabbath or Day of Rest is not a common practice with many households.  For me Sunday is a day to rest from the normal rigors of the week and worship the Lord.  Some choose nature as their house of worship or higher power, some choose family (I think I would like to be part of a family that worshiped me!)  Whatever people choose, I think belief in something greater than us all is a great tool to keep us from becoming too wrapped up in our awesomeness and worth (I guess that doesn't exactly fit with my last sentence.)

So all this wordy deep thought talk is leading me to this...

If Sunday is a day of rest, why do I come home from church red in the face, sweaty, exhausted, stressed, dehydrated, nearly peeing my pants (depending on the Sunday) and ready to pass out?

I honestly think I get more exercise on Sundays working with the primary than any other day in the week.
 I totally stole this picture.  I could have had one of the kids draw a picture of what I must look like me after church but it would have taken too long.
In all seriousness.  I LOVE working with the primary.  I never thought I would, but I seriously love it.  I can't imagine having any other calling/responsibility.

Monday, September 10, 2012

L.S.N.E.D.: For Kristin

I am trying to think of how I can relate this post to learning something new every day, but really I just want to show Kristin our hermit crab terrarium.  At some point I mentioned that I would blog about this, then I totally forgot.  So I guess this will be a tutorial.

How To Create a Terrarium for Hermit Crabs

Step One:  Clean out a glass terrarium what ever size you would like. The larger the tank the more hermit crabs you can get.
Step Two:  Add a wooden divider for various types of substrate.  Ours has potting soil and rocks.  I wanted sand and coconut bark.  I bought it, was worried that Aaron would do something weird with it so I put it "someplace special" and I haven't found it since.
Step Three:  Plant plants in the sand or soil that do well in warm moist environments, bromeliads in particular.  It is helpful to plant them ahead of time so they can put down roots as the crabs can dig them up. 
Step Four:  Decorate as desired.  We have yet to get our climbing structure, but we will.

Ok enough words.  Really all I wanted to do was post the pictures.  So here goes.
Built in to our T.V. cabinet. Noah is enjoying an episode of Backyardigans 
We haven't put the spider plants in yet because all of the hermit crabs buried themselves to molt and we don't want to disturb them.
The smaller brown shell is Sophie's hermit crab, Brownie.  She changed shells right after we got her then was super elusive but now all the others have disappeared and Brownie is out and about. 
There you go Kris!  

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Parenting Practices: Summer Wrap Up

This has one of the greatest summers I can remember.  The weather was divine and the garden was lush.  Summer is a funny thing.  In my opinion it should be laid back, but if it is too laid back everyone goes crazy.  Whether we admit it or not, we all like some structure.  Anyway this summer was the prefect balance of boredom that leads to creativity and activity to pull us away from the house for a change of pace.  The kids had a lot of fun but were also ready to go back to school when the time came.  Here is the summer wrap up in photo form.

I was in the house when I heard someone calling for help.  I ignored it at first because the kids often play games where they are calling for help.  But the calling continued so I went to investigate and found this...
The boys were playing in the old rabbit hutch when the latch fell down locking them in.  I will shamefacedly admit that I left them in there while I said goodbye to someone and grabbed my camera mostly because I needed some time to stop laughing so that I could hold the camera still.
Blueberries from our own bushes.
These are the most aggravating pictures.   5:30 a.m. the puppies go crazy and I look out to see a moose go past their pen.  I watch it cross the road and Aaron says, "Why don't you go get your camera?"  Oh right that big expensive camera I got so I could take pictures of amazing things!!
I grabbed my camera and went outside where the moose very kindly ran in circles rather than running away.  I kept taking pictures, but my camera requires knowledge that I am trying to gain, but I can't take good pictures fast.  I need time to process and figure out the right settings etc...So even though there was a moose less than 30 feet away from me and it lingered for a couple of minutes, all I have is a bunch of blurry grainy photos.
Ben chilling out at Gram and Papa/Poppa Gramps

We had lots of opportunities for cousin play
Jacob has an inchworm and it looks like he is about to eat it, but trust me he didn't.
And of course blueberry picking at Brown's Beautiful Blueberries.  We didn't pick as much as last year.  Only 55 lbs compared to 100 lbs.
Hot after a day of play in the sun
And crafting with family
Aaron got so much work done on the addition and winterized the living room.  When Aaron pulled the old siding and styrofoam off the living room he discovered that snakes have been using the old siding like a ladder and living in the walls.  He found about 50 snake skins and eight live snakes.

Here is the addition.  Aaron has done more work on it.  I will have to take pictures to update it.
Special thanks to Becky and Jason for their help and their inspiration on how to do this entry way so that it would hide how crooked the original house is.
Noah learned to love garden produce and you can see in the background the half painted floor (it is now done) and the terrarium with live plants and 4 hermit crabs.  I'll do a post on that later.
And what would summer be without some frog catching!
Onward and upward!