Saturday, March 26, 2011

Project 365 Week 11


Oops- I need to fix the title, if the last one was week 9 then this has to be week 11...

7- This is the final picture of my hazelnut shrub. Most of the amends are open now but this one is still tight. After following it all quarter, because of the lost week of school, we didn't actually finish the project and do the write up. Oh well.

9- Jonah's friend bridged to our Troop. It was on a Wednesday night so only Arin and Isaac were available to go. They look so grown up, it's hard to think of them as young men rather than boys.

11- Our Pack spent the night at Pt. Defiance Zoo & Aquarium for a ZooSnooze. We got to sleep next to the shark tank, it was cool but a little unnerving to see sharks glide past your head as you lie there in your sleeping bag. We did a night hike through the zoo, spent time in the aquarium and touch tanks, did a craft, and had a snack before bed.

12- After breakfast we went into the elephant yard to place treats for them. This elephant is getting her pedicure before going out into the yard. Actually, they weren't really interested in going out, it was rainy and cold. We had a great time, Arin and Rush went as Den Chiefs and I took Tovah as siblings could also be included. Isaac enjoyed being the only one at home for a night.

Project 365 Week 9


February 27- Another icy, cold day. We're ready for it to warm up and life to get back to normal, with school's cancelled all our outside activities are also cancelled.

February 28- Knit 2 baby girl hats in one day. The one on the left is a seashell pattern for Baby Faith, our friend, Michelle's neice who is up at Children's with kidney issues. She wasn't expected to live and is defying the odds still.

February 28- Rush started baseball today (the snow melted enough to actually see the grass). He needed his annual haircut before the first game. Michelle came over late to give him his haircut- she had been up with Baby Faith. I haven't taken his "After" picture yet.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tovah turned 8- In January!


I've had the pictures from Tovah's birthday in my export file for weeks but just haven't gotten to writing the post. It's hard to think about my last baby no longer being a baby. She dresses herself, does her schoolwork independently, and can pretty much keep up with the boys. The only thing she really needs help with is brushing her hair and being sent back to her room for more appropriate clothing choices...

Not a happy face! Cheyney met us at the mall in Olympia and sat with Tovah and Ryan while she got her ears pierced, (I walked the mall with the boys, it's like shots- I try to avoid needles if Daddy is available...)

The Thinkers waiting outside Claires. They wouldn't come into such a "girl" store.

After getting her ears pierced we went to Chuck E. Cheese's.

After dinner at home we did cake and presents (the pink yarn is for a sweater for her American Girl doll, Emily)

A Timkerbell watch to go with the new Tinkerbell movie

New earrings and a new necklace kit from Great-Grandma Colleen. I was supposed to print this picture to send to Grandma. Tovah's done really well with her earrings, she took over their care after the first week and hasn't had any infections. It's been long enough to remove them now but we haven't boughten any other earrings yet so she's just left them in. My mom and I have to use gold or sterling silver posts so I'm hesitant to buy her hypoallergenic earrings. Maybe this calls for a browse on etsy to find some cute earrings for her.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Disaster Preparedness


Tsunami '04 | Christchurch | Haiti
Hurricane Katrina | Nisqually Earthquake, WA
Lewis County Flood, WA | Mount St. Helens | Snowpocalypse

My partner in my Speech class and I gave our final speech on disaster preparedness, less than a week before the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. We introduced our topic with these pictures on a power point. The last four we introduced as disasters that happened to "us," the horrible things we see on the news can and have happened here.

You just don't need to be prepared for major disasters: wind, snow, or ice can be just as devastating if you aren't ready to cope with no electricity or undriveable roads.

We found several good sources for information on what you need to have on hand.

This is my favorite of the sites I found: The Emergency Dude "Stuff Happens... Be Ready!" He has some good ideas for food, stuff you can get at the grocery store and won't break the bank to stockpile. A great quote I found on the site, "Being prepared means you aren't living in fear and you aren't living in denial - it's a perfect middle ground."

Here are the basics you need to have ready at all times:

Several gallons of water
food for 3 days of no water or electricity
flashlight and batteries
warm clothing
first aid kit
Prescription medicines
diapers (okay, so we don't need these anymore...)

Nice to have:
alternative cooking method w/ fuel for 3 days
baby wipes (I prefer these to hand sanitizer, they get off dirt better and aren't as drying)
activities for the kids
radio w/ batteries (in the flood our radio stations went offline the first day)

The hardest one for me is the 3-day supply of water for your family. It's a gallon of water per person per day. That means I need to have 27 gallons of water stored somewhere that won't flood! After the Flood in '07 we had no water for about 3 days or maybe even longer and we didn't have drinking water for 4 months. We had plenty of sources of water once the flood waters went down and we could get to town but it was a pain. We got really tired of drinking bottled water, it has no taste. The hardest part was how much water it took to cook (we could run our dishwasher if we used the "sanitize" setting). I had a 5-gallon jug we filled in town or at a friend's but cooking spaghetti took almost 2 gallons!

I went through the house and put together an emergency kit with stuff we had on hand. Other than the water we already had everything we needed, I just had to raid the winter gear and the outdoor supplies we have for Boy Scout events. As long as we keep at least one of the 3 propane tanks filled we can use the stove in the trailer or the BBQ's side burner to cook. My partner brought in a Commercial Disaster Kit with water packs and nutrition cubes. It was in a cool duffle bag but I'm not sure it's worth the cost and I think the kids would have to be pretty hungry to eat the cubes unless I could convince them they were Star Wars or Star Trek rations. I can't find them online to show you, she didn't know where they came from since it was her boyfriend's. His family has one for each person in the house and they keep them in their bedrooms if they have to evacuate.

By the way: I was 9 years old when Mt. St. Helens blew in 1980. We got inches of ash on May 24, it was the Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. The experts had no idea if the ash was lethal or even dangerous if we breathed in too much of it. It covered everything and had to be washed off roofs and cars. Because they didn't want us out in it and it was hard on vehicles to drive in it, they cancelled the rest of the school year. We went in one day and cleaned out our desks. Our parents sent Matthew and me to California to spend the summer with our grandparents because they just didn't know what else to do with us and didn't want us cooped up inside all summer. It was scary before the mountain blew, I remember one night we had an earthquake and I freaked out, I told my mom we needed to move back to California before we all died. She told me that when she was my age they started saying that California was going to break off at the San Andreas fault and fall into the ocean, but her parent's didn't move. I'm not sure if I was supposed to feel better or be more scared! We traded a volcano for earthquakes that summer, but Disneyland, Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, Knott's Berry Farm, Magic Mountain, fast food, and the beach made it worth the risk...

Friday, March 18, 2011

Spring Break Whine pt 2


This past month I've been frequently asked, "If you homechool why does it matter when the public school takes spring break, you set your own schedule?"

It does matter... I'm on Spring break this week and next, Ryan is off half of next week and the week after, then the following week is the school's spring break (first week of April). We have Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Wednesday night church activities, Chess Club, and 3 kids in Baseball every week so we can't just drop everything and take off to the beach for a couple of days. The week the kids don't have any activities both Ryan and I are back in classes.

I'm going to try and fit in some extra fun stuff in the next 3 weeks but I'm having a hard time scheduling it:

* An XBox game they preordered is coming on Tuesday so they'll probably get an extra XBox day/ time to try it out.
* Tulips should be blooming soon and we'll make our annual visit to DeGoede's, that day we'll try and go on up to Morton to get 1 lb. Ollie Burgers at Spiffys.
* We can't go watch Rush play in Toutle next week and go to Papa Pete's with the team but maybe we'll just go one day for lunch.

After Spring Break we won't have Wed. night activities other than High School youth group. Rush's last high school game is May 5 unless they make it into post-season play. Chess is also over May 5. Cub Scouts is done May 16. Jonah and Tovah will play into June but I don't have their game schedules yet. Jonah will play at least 2 tournaments on weekends. Rush wants to go on the 50-miler this summer so he needs to go on as many training hikes as possible. Isaac also wants to go on those hikes but he won't be eligible for the 50-miler unless they make an exception (he won't be 1st Class because he's going to have to wait until the September Car Camp to do the cooking requirement- we have a Chess Tournament the weekend of Spring Car Camp).

I do have some plans for this week between activities:
-cover the hole in the bathroom with something other than cardboard
-vacuum my bedroom behind and under all the furniture (painting just isn't going to happen)
-work on a StoryBook for a graduation gift
-organize my art in StoryBook, I've got a ton that I've downloaded but never brought into SBC
-figure out what needs to done to bring the kids' baby albums up to date
-answer emails that have been piling up about the homeschooling loop and cub scout questions
-write up some of the blog posts I've listed in my notebook.
-catch up my Project 365 pages
-get back on track taking a photo a day

I couldn't have 2 posts in a row without a picture, could I? I had to write an essay about Monroe's Motivated Sequence and Aristotle's Theory of Persuasive Appeals for Speech last weekend. I used the Allstate commercials for my example. Cause I'm funny like that...

Let Spring Break Begin!


I've got 10 days before school starts again for me. I plan on getting tons of stuff done off my To Do list! HA HA!!!! I'll probably be luck to download pictures off my camera...

Yesterday was my first official day of spring break and it was one of those days that just wouldn't quit- like Whack-A-Mole the next thing I had to do just kept popping up.

Rush was taking the HSPE this week (State test for 10th graders). So he had to be in town at 8 a.m. 3 mornings. I normally get to the college at 7:20 but this was super inconvenient because 2 days I didn't have to go to school at all and Wednesday I had my Spanish final at 8 a.m., across town.

Back to yesterday, I didn't have school so I figured I'd go to Starbucks and get to read a book for the 3 hours he was in testing....

Wednesday night we got the grocery ads to check meat prices and found things at all 3 stores in town. Okay, I'd make a circuit of grocery stores first.

Grandma Hendrickson, Ryan's 91 yo grandma, is in the hospital for a some recharging and had a bad night Wednesday. I added a visit to the hospital to my morning since Ryan was studying for his final and had to work last night.

I had my cup of coffee in grandma's hospital room. It was a cup of decaf given to me by the Food Services worker on the way up in the elevator! I was trying to inhale the fumes or something and she took pity on me. Family Drama was the theme for the day at the hospital and I got back to the car ready to DiNozzo slap someone.

I ran through an espresso stand for a cup of drip on my way to Safeway. After Safeway I wasn't sure where I wanted to grab some lunch so I headed to Goodwill. I forgot my phone in the car and didn't want to go back out for it. I did score 3 pairs of jeans for Jonah, a pair of capris for Tovah that won't be skin tight, a skirt for me, a frame for a project I want to do this week, and some garbage novels for spring break reading at the ballfield.

When I got back to the car I'd missed 3 calls and a half a dozen texts, including one from Rush asking if I was on my way to get him. By this time I didn't not have the energy to face the beauracracy to get his Learner's Permit so we deferred that activity. We ran to the college to check my grade for Spanish so I could return one of the texts and ran to Burger King so I could get some Breakfast/ Lunch. I was looking forward to going home and taking it easy until it was time to run Rush to the school to leave for the baseball game in Rainier.

At home I was reminded that Jonah and Tovah had baseball practice at different times at different fields. Oh, and Isaac and Tovah had to be at Chess Club from 3-4:15. Then there was Boy Scouts, we missed last week so we had to go. And I had told the Family that Ryan would stop by the hospital at some point to check Grandma's lab results and care plan. I got  my mom to drop Jonah off, texted a friend to make sure she'd be hanging out at the field at about the time he got done if I wasn't quite there, got Rush to the school, and put a pillow over my head for 20 minutes.

Tovah's coach called as we were getting ready to leave for chess and cancelled her practice (the fields are so muddy right now) so I wasn't going to have to pick her up at the same time as Jonah at different fields. We got home from chess and I went up to get Jonah. About froze to death watching him practice and they got done late (have to take advantage of no rain days). Called Isaac to start the deep fryer. Instead of Irish Stew and homemade bread we had popcorn chicken wraps and Kraft Mac & Cheese for dinner- FAIL! Okay, the kids were fine with it but it wasn't what I wanted to do.

We made enough of an appearance at Scouts to give them one more week to sell coffee and get all the upcoming events on my master calendar. We got to the hospital before they closed the main doors and visited for about an hour. She's getting so many visitors she's having a hard time getting any rest...

Found out that Rush doesn't have baseball today so it's our one and only day of my spring break so I declared it a Pajama Day! But we may go to MeMenamins tonight to see the Portland Opera On the Go program.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Project 365- Week 7 or 8?

I'm getting lost on my numbering system... is this week 7 or week 8? I do know that I don't have many pictures for this upcoming week- too much rain and snow and not enough time or inspiration.

20- This is what weekends look like around here. Our only stipulation is we have to stay quiet so Ryan can sleep so it usually means TV, a few quiet chores, and XBox time. Each child gets 30 minutes to play 2-3 days a week. Sometimes when we have friends over they get more time but Jesse doesn't count, he gets 30 minutes like everyone else.

21- Friends came over because they didn't have school on Monday for President's Day. We have an XBox and they only have a PS3 (or something) so any chance they get the playdate gets moved to our house.

22- Isaac was laying on the floor reading and Squeaky pounced on his head! She wouldn't do it while I had the camera out but she sure watched him- her tail was twitching back and forth the whole time.

23- I finished LouAnn's scarf and got it mailed to her. I chose red yarn because she is such a vibrant lady and for the scarlet thread of Jesus' lineage through the Old Testament. The scarf is knit with wool because the Proverbs 31 Woman's family is clothed in fine wool. The pattern is called Feathers and Fans but it looks like waves so it reminds me of the midwives in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea. I inset an area of seed stitch that looks like the basket Moses' mother hid him in.

24- Woke up to more snow! We're really getting tired of this. However beautiful it is on the tree branches out my window in dawn's early light... Between the holiday, the weather (ice and snow), and one instructor being sick I had 2 classes all week.

25- I finished my French Press Slippers. I started them after Christmas of 2009. They only needed the flaps and buttons sewn on but I put them away and just didn't get to them. Now they are done and are very warm and pretty.

26- I bake when I'm cold. This week I used up 2 and half pounds of butter and a dozen eggs. These are the Pioneer Woman's Devil Dogs, oh my, they are so good. The frosting recipe was enough for two batches (I skimped on the second batch but they were for Cub Scouts and if my kids were any indication, they were only 1 of about 4 desserts each boy ate). I also made Cardamom Cinnamon Rolls for my dad. This recipe is close but I don't use fat free milk or a bread machine. I made cream cheese frosting for them as well.