Tag Archives: Family Life

What Adult Sisters Do When They Get Together

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They do what they always did . . . snoop into their mothers things of course!drsup4

Sisters, sisters
There were never such devoted sisters,
Never had to have a chaperone, no sir,
Im there to keep my eye on her
Caring, sharing
Every little thing that we are wearing
When a certain gentleman arrived from rome
She wore the dress, and I stayed home
All kinds of weather, we stick together
The same in the rain and sun
Two different faces, but in tight places
We think and we act as one
Those whove seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up, but no one can
Lord help the mister who comes between me and my sister
And lord help the sister, who comes between me and my man

drsup2

Flashback to the 70’s

drsup3

Totally Awesome 80’s

Apple Picking Time

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We have a whole tree of delicious, although somewhat bug infested apples. Most of them are good, but pray before you take a bite . . . or just cut them up first.

Today, between conference sessions, we went out and picked up the windfall apples, and we also picked about three bushels to make applesauce. Nothing like a good day of hard work to bring the family together!

Making Applesauce

Applesauce is easy to make, and if your kids are anything like mine, they suck it down like locusts in a cornfield! (ok, that may be an exaggeration, but it seems like it sometimes!) So, it was a real blessing to have the apples come on so well this year. It is like getting a free bonus and I don’t even have to go to the grocery store!

If you have never made applesauce, you should give it a try sometime. All you have to do is get a bunch of nice sweet apples — not the tart type like granny smith apples, but sweet ones like a gala or a golden delicious. Then you peel, core, and chop the apples, throw them in a pot, rinse them, and then cover them with water and cook them until they are soft enough to mash with the fork, but don’t over cook! If they look like applesauce before you run them 

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through the food processor, then you have cooked them too long. Once they are cooked, drain out the water and blend them in the blender or with a food processor until they are applesauce. If you use a good sweet apple, you don’t need to add any sweetener.

Once you have the applesauce, if you made a really big batch, you just fill your bottles, put on the lids, and heat for about 15 to 20 minutes in a hot water bath. Then take them out and let them cool so you can put them in your pantry where the kids will then find them and slurp them down before you can say “HEY!”

Toddler Art Exhibit

One of the lovely parts of toddlerhood is the artwork. Let me show you a few examples:

The Big Comfy Purple Couch

Sofa Art

Medium: Permanent marker

Support: Leather sofa

Techniques Used: Monochrome, Scribbling, Crosshatch

(Note the scrub marks, added later by parents. You might also notice the faded marker lines where parents had managed to fade the previous sofa painting – this is easier to see on the close up below.)
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The Wall of Shame

Wall Art

Medium: Permanent marker

Support: Wall (under counter top)

Techniques Used: Monochrome, Scribbling

Disk From The Black Lagoon

Random Decoration

Medium: Permanent marker

Support: CD Container

Techniques Used: Stippling, Scribbling

Pie

My oldest at the age of 14 has decided that she really likes to cook. It’s been great! This week she called me at work and asked “what’s Gram’s Pie?”

“Why?”  I ask.

“Well, I just found this recipe card and it says gram’s pie.”

“Oh – that is your great grandma’s pie recipe.”

“Your grandma?”

“No, your dad’s. Why?”

“Can I make it?”

Now I am thinking Grandma Sandage, the legendary pie maker who no one dares to make a pie since she died because it always brings on these irritating comparison sprees, where the pie is analyzed from all possible directions and never ends up being as good as grandma’s, so that the “how is it?” question is always met with “it tastes OK, but . . . “

“What kind of pie do you want to make?” I say.

“well there are all those peaches downstairs that need to be used.”

I had forgotten about those and thought she was going to suggest using canned fruit which never really turns out that good, so I am surprised again. and then I think, Why not let her try?

“OK, go for it.”

“Really?” she is in shock.

“Yeah, just don’t make a mess.” I imagined the house covered in flour and mashed up peaches.

She paused and then asked.  “Will you pick up some ice cream on your way home?”

How could I say no to that?

When I got home, the house was not a wreck as I imagined, but instead, there was a beautiful pie sitting on the oven. WOW! the edges of the crust were a bit dark, but I had forgotten to tell her to put foil over the edges of the crust while it was baking. The crust was flaky and the filling was divine.

The next day she made two, using up the rest of the peaches and she picked some apples off of the tree in the back yard for the second pie. This time she used foil on the edges of the crust.

“Your going to make me really fat,” I say as I bite into a piece of hot peach pie.

The legand lives on . . .

Fork Attack

So we are sitting there peacefully eating dinner, and Bee decides that she doesn’t want to eat her chicken. No big surprise there. The next thing I know Zee snatches the chicken off her plate, she starts screaming like a banshee and she stabs him in the face with her fork. While everyone sat with their mouths hanging open in shock I jumped up and grabbed the hand Zee was using to cover his face and pulled it away  — I was really afraid that she had forked him in the eye — but no, there on his forehead was a nice neat little row of pindrops of blood. A fork mark. This is one girl you really don’t want to cross.

Vacation Recuperation

It has taken this long to recover from my 4th of July vacation.

Sure I had fun.

Chasing the torrid trio.

And the daring duo.

No running water.

Mosquitoes.

Mice under the tent.

Picking stacks of wipes out of the port-a-potty.

Crabby campers.

Sunburn.

Ticks.

Hail the size of marbles.

Stomach flu.

27 kids, half of them under 10.

Sisters, cousins, brothers in law.

Old, dusty childhood memories.

Watermelon.

Fireworks.

Marshmallows.

Campfire and dutch oven rolls.

How could it not be fun?

Labels, Labels Everywhere!

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Raising a Writer

Last night, Z came into my office and snatched a post-it and ran out of the room. Later after the kids were in bad, I found this on my bedroom door. After having a good laugh, I went and opened a new package of post-it notes and wrote him a note on the top one and left it along with a pen on the built in shelf on the headboard of his bed.

This morning I found labels on several things, and I encouraged him to keep doing it.

Why? wow, I am so thankful that I am not scrubbing these marks of the walls right now I just want to dance, and I will go and buy a whole box of post-it notes to keep him happy if I have to!

One of the ways that I have learned that parents can create a ‘print rich environment’ is to label things so that your kids can see the labels and then learn the words for things. I did label things when my oldest was learning to read, but that was 10 years ago. The difference is that this time, Z did it on his own. I know he would have loved if I had labeled things for him, but it is just so much more meaningful this way. And, I should have known that he would crave this kind of input, since he learned to read all of our family’s names from the chore chart in the halway when he was 3.

Here are some of the other labels he made:

 

 

I am putting this in with my “Raising a Writer” series, because I think that this (writing things down) is really one of the first steps after books. If a child learns to love the printed word, and feels confident in his/her ability to read, write, and understand it, then they will really blossom and there will not be that intimidation and fear of making mistakes. They will already know that they can do it, and that if they don’t get it right the first time they can go back and fix it and it is no big deal.

Some other ways to create a ‘print rich environment’ for early readers:

  • Make sure there are lots of books available and that your kids can reach them.
  • Create a reading center with a comfy chair in a well lit area.
  • Have paper and writing utensils available and let them write letters. They can ‘write’ using pictures if they still are not writing letters.

Looks Like Lunch to Me

This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Backyard Chickens

Since our chicks have been out of the coop more and more in this nice sunny weather we’ve been picture-054having, I have had to be extra watchful of the cat . . . the chicks are pets, but they look like lunch to her. This is our cat Peppermint Schnapps, so named because of her shockingly green eyes and the fact that we rescued her from a bar where the drunks were making a game of trying to throw her into the rottweiler kennel that was next door. After a few nights of this, the bar owner called me and asked if I would please take her before she was killed. She is very independent and takes care of herself, but she also wants to be where people are, which explains why she didn’t just run away from the bar . . . it was the only inhabited building for quite a distance.

picture-0591One of the first things she did after we moved here was to make a quick dinner out of a nest of baby robins that I had been watching for a few days with the hopes that I could use the experience as a kind of science-project-from-a-distance for my kids — I imagined letting them watch while the birds grew and finally left the nest. No such luck with this little preditor running about. But the fact that she is so self sufficient, and yet kid friendly it is exactly the thing that makes her such a great pet.  I was really disappointed but I should have known that a nest low enough for me to see was not safe with our cat around.  Which brings me back to where I started . . . here she is watching the pigeons on the roof.

Here We Go Again!

Just as I was beginning to think that I had gotten away without her getting the chickenpox . . . what was I thinking? I guess I was just being hopeful, but I wasn’t really surprised by it . . . she does seem to be scabbing over a little quicker than Zee did, but she is also way more miserable and she was also angry with Zee for giving her the chickenpox 😉 LOL . . . Her being so sad inspired me to look for something to relieve her suffering more quickly, and so I have been spritzing her with a mixture of a few drops each of tea tree and lavender oils diluted in about 2oz colloidal silver and water (about 2 parts water to 1part colloidal silver) with just a touch of DMSO to help it mix together evenly. (too much will irritate the skin–it only takes a couple of drops.) I tested it on my own skin first on the inside of my elbow to make sure it wouln’t irritate, and it seemed to be fine. I think that witch hazel would probably work better than the colloidal silver, water, and DMSO mixture, since it is also antiseptic and is also an astringant, and would also act as a solvent so that the oils would mix in, but I didn’t have any on hand to try. If you do try this, use a spray bottle, (I found a small one that had glasses cleaner in it before but was now empty, and I rinsed it out really well to make sure it was completely clean.) or use a cotton ball and dab, don’t rub. If they have scratched the tops off of the pox, it will sting, so you might not want to use it at all if that is the case. For the face, don’t spritz it on, because you will get it in their eyes. Instead, use a cotton ball and dab, don’t rub because it will break the blisters and then it will sting, and probably scar. Bee said that it made them stop itching, but anything wet will do that until it dries again. The best test is that the pox are already almost completly scabbed over after only two and 1/2 days. The picture above is from Saturday afternoon when she finished breaking out. It is now Monday and they are mostly scabs now. This picture is from today. The big cluster that you can see on her arm just below her sleeve was the first one that I tested this on, and it didn’t scab, it just started going away. I think I got a lot more of the solution on it because I dabbed it on with a q-tip since I didn’t have a spray bottle at first. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the pox are red around the edges and then each one has a scab on top. Her face is a little behind the rest of her since I didn’t start puting it on her face until yesterday because I was afraid of getting it in her eyes. I still haven’t used it right around her eyes or on her nose because I think she would rub it into her eyes. (I have had tea tree oil in my eyes before and it was really one of my most unpleasant life experiences! NOT reccommended 🙂 ). I anticipate at this rate they will be all scabbed over by Wednesday . . .

Another Funny Quote

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Kid Quotes

Zee helping Bee with the prayer at dinner time

Zee (age 6): Say “dear Heavenly Father . . .”

Bee (Age 3) “Dear Harry Potter . . .”