Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 27, 2010: doTerra Stories - Kate and the Hay Fever Episode

My cute little neighbor has hay fever, and will often have sudden attacks during various times of the year. Yesterday at school she had two attacks - her eyes started watering and became very red, itchy and inflamed. They gave her two doses of benedryl throughout the day, but it didn't really help her. She was over playing after school and had another attack and her mom said, "I don't know what to do. I can't give her more medication!"

I got out my Modern Essentials book and looked up allergies and hay fever. It recommended putting a drop of peppermint oil on the back of her neck, and lavender on her sinuses. She is 7 years old, but pretty little so I used it sparingly. I put the peppermint on the back of her neck and rubbed it in, and then just put a tiny bit of lavender oil on the bridge of her nose. Then I got some wet paper towels and just wiped her eyes a little bit. About five minutes later she said the itching was gone and that her eyes felt better. By the time she left my house an hour or so later, her eyes were almost back to normal. Her mom told me that they kept improving!

I was so excited to be able to help her in such a simple way that didn't involve giving her more medication. I made a mental note to always have the "Basic Trio" on hand - Lavender, Lemon and Peppermint. doTerra makes a basic introductory kit of these three that retails for 28.50 plus shipping. If you would like more information, leave a comment and I will get in touch with you.

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010: First Day of First Grade

Today was the very first day of First Grade for Josh. Which means that he goes to school all day long for the first time in his life. I cried on and off yesterday. Today - no biggie. He was confident, he's ready. He even let me just drop him off so that I didn't get all emotional. Plus I had to go to the grocery store to get more stuff for his lunches this week. I had fun packing his lunch. I am sure that will get old.
Cheesy smile
Cool as a cucumber
It was nearly impossible getting them to stop wiggling, look at me, and smile
Darn, they are cute kids
Josh said to Clara, "See you tonight, Sweetie!" He kept talking to her in a baby voice all morning, reassuring her that he would be gone all day, but that he would eventually come home. She kept looking at him like he was out of his mind. As Ama Georgia put it, "He's a little boy...and she's a teenager."

I'm excited to hear how his first day went, and excited to see what he learns this year. I'm not excited for homework, but maybe I'll just put that on Dave's To Do list.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 20, 2010: Friday Night Lights

Friday Night was the opening home game of our new high school in Herriman. I have been excited because the mascot is the same as my high school mascot - the Mustang - and the colors are essentially the same - Crimson/Navy Blue. We thought we were smart to get there at 6:45 so we could "get good seats". This was the line.

This was the line five minutes after we arrived.
This was when we finally rounded the corner 10 minutes later. We got inside the stadium at 7:28pm. The game had started at 7:00pm. We had to sit in the Visitors Section because it was so packed.
That just gave me a good opportunity to take pictures of the home side.
And watch the sunset.
Herriman lost the opener, but they did a great job considering they are a team that has never played together. It was fun to see so many friends and neighbors. Having grown up in a huge city, I love the small town feel here. We are planning a tailgate in the parking lot at the next home game so that this time we can sit on the right side!

August 19, 2010: Back to School Night

The best thing I can say about Back to School night is that Josh is THRILLED to have his very own desk that he doesn't have to share. A few of his friends from last year are in his class, but he didn't seem to care about that because HE has his very own desk.

First Grade is going to ROCK.

August 21, 2010: In the Meantime

Today while I was canning this:
And baking this (Zucchini pile courtesy of Cousin Rachel):
And whipping up this for dinner:
Dave did this:
One more side and I can start painting again!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18, 2010: My New Cleaning Schedule

Is that how boring life has become? I need to post a cleaning schedule on my blog? Oh well.

Now that the casa is organized, I obviously want to keep it clean. For me that requires focus and targeted effort. For Dave that requires a list. I made the decision that I wanted the main floor to be cleanest closest to the weekend. I also made the decision that we will not be doing house cleaning on Saturdays. That leaves five days. Break it down:

Monday Basement - Guest Bedroom and Josh's Bedroom: Vacuum, dust, wash linens if necessary. (Josh's room will obviously always take longer than the guest bedroom unless someone has been staying with us which is why I paired them together) Wash Josh's clothes.

Tuesday Basement - Big room and Bathroom: Vacuum, mop, Dust, Wipe down everything, wash towels, wash Dave and Heidi's Dark Clothes

Wednesday Main Floor - Clara's Bedroom and Hall Bath: Vacuum, mop, Wipe down molding once a month, Wipe down bathroom, wash towels, wash Clara's clothes

Thursday Main Floor - Master Bedroom and Bathroom and Office: Vacuum, Dust, Wipe down everything, mop, Wash Dave and Heidi's whites

Friday Main Floor - Family Room, Living Room and Kitchen: Vacuum, Dust, Wipe down Counters, Mop, Wipe down Fridge and other appliances once a month

So there you go - the most visible part of the house is saved for last. Each of these days will take me max about half an hour. If I can figure out how to get up 15 minutes earlier, I might even be able to get it done before I take the kids to school and how cool would THAT be? I am also allowing myself to get started on whatever laundry I need to do the night before so that one load is already done at least.

Let's see how long I can stick with it. Dave's responsibility is to unload the dishwasher, mop the floors, and FINISH THE MOLDING. That is all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16, 2010: Birote Salado Guadalajara

Dave served his mission in Guadalajara back in the mid to late 90s. He was really skinny before his mission. Then he discovered these babies. These are Birote, otherwise known as of yesterday to me as "Beer Bread". They are very specific to Guadalajara, apparently, and one of his colleagues at work told him the real name because he had been trying to make bolillos. It's in Spanish, and then even converted it is in grams and milliliters, so it took the poor guy a long time to make them.

I call it beer bread because the recipe calls for beer. This was entertaining even in itself, since he doesn't drink beer, and has never bought beer before Saturday night. I asked my trusty neighbor what he should get and he gave me a fancy name (that I ignored because it sounded expensive). Then he said, "You could get Coors Light and be fine." Ahhh, that was familiar. Except Dave came home with Busch something or other. And then discovered that it was non-alcoholic.

Leave it to Dave.

So then he had to go back and ended up buying Budweiser. So we now have a six pack of non-alcoholic beer and a five pack of Bud. Good for slugs and snails...or birote.

These suckers take a long time to make. You have to mix all of the ingredients and THEN let it sit for 18 hours to have enough acidity. He had to count the hours so that it would coincide with coming home from Church. By the time dinner was done and the bread was done it was 9:00 pm. Almost 24 hours later and we had 5 mini-footballs of bread to show for it. Kind of like gardening when you get squash bugs.

Anyway, he forced me, literally sat me down and forced me to try the bread. And I'm on a diet (which I am always on) and it was 9:00 pm and he was asking me to eat BREAD? Is he completely insane?

I got out the butter.

And let me tell you, the calories I am going to have to burn today to make up for it makes it completely worth it. If this bread didn't take so dadgum long to make, I would have him make it for me every week and I would give up my waistline (what waistline?) for it. Instead I think it will just be one of those special occasion breads. Something to look forward to.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15, 2010: The Big Clean Continued

There was nothing to write about this week because I simply continued cleaning from last weekend. My upstairs was all cleaned and organized, so on Saturday I hit the downstairs. Now it is clean and organized. I don't know what to do with myself. I might just start over. At least it gives us a clean house so we can finish all of our painting projects. Dave is going to continue working on the half wall this week (right, Dave?) and after I can a bunch of salsa next Saturday with Rachel, I am going to get back to painting. Even if I can just do a little bit at a time, it will still eventually get done.

Dave went on the Father/Son campout Friday night. He took Josh and his little friend, Ethan. They had a grand old time from what it sounds like. Dave was happy to have some time to hang out with the other guys in the ward because that doesn't happen often. Josh and Ethan ran around with the other kids. Clara went over to a friend's house on Friday night so I could go see a movie with Melissa. Then Clara and I snuggled and slept in my bed - half the night with her feet in my face. Good times.

This is going to be one of those busy weeks. I have made several lists of things to get done before Josh starts school next Monday. I'm a list maker. It keeps me organized. I might even buy a whole turkey and roast it and then have Dave cut off all of the meat so we can freeze it for Josh's lunches. How domestic would THAT be? Not to mention a huge timesaver for me over the coming months. We might crockpot a chicken and do the same thing. And maybe even a ham. Have I mentioned I love my foodsaver? Anyway, that might get done or it might not. If it does get done, you can all be jealous of my organizational skills. If it doesn't get done, no one should really be all that surprised.

Plus, on Thursday, Kacy invited me to go to BYU Education Week with her. I can't pass up an opportunity like that because, well, it's KACY. So my meat making fest might be put on the back burner for that. Like I said, you shouldn't be surprised.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11, 2010: The Big Clean

I know what you are thinking. "If that is clean, then WHAT is dirty?" Let me make my case here, though. A year ago we started a huge painting/remodeling process throughout the main level of the house. I knew it was going to be at least an 18 month, maybe even 2 year process. I know this because I am realistic (sometimes) about who I am, who Dave is, and how lazy we really are.

This past week, mostly driven by anger and hurt feelings, which is when I tend to clean and clean with a vengeance, I went into overdrive on the house. I figured that we couldn't continue with the projects until things are clean enough to do just that! So this is what clean is to me right now. Not perfect, not ideal, but, I threw away about five large black bags of stuff and my trash won't hold more than that so I need to wait until next week to do more. Right now I would say that things are in working order, and most important to me - I know where things are.
This is our bedroom from the doorway. I need to get a new comforter, and I know which one I want. I just don't want to pay for it yet. I'm going for a blue, white, brown theme (if you couldn't tell) and will do splashes of color here and there - pillows, a tapestry on the wall over our bed that used to be in our entryway, etc.
Since Dave works from home once a week, we set up a desk for him in our bedroom. He doesn't use it. Instead, he takes up space on my dining room table. I am hoping if the room is clean he will move back to our bedroom. I know he reads this. The pile of jeans is going to turn into a denim quilt sometime when I am too old to sit on the ground and use it. The rocking chair and the clock were both built by my fabulous brother-in-law, Kelly. The rainbow calendar was from a Kindergarten project.
I am not responsible for the banana peel in the garbage can. That would be the work of my children, who are not supposed to eat anywhere but the kitchen. I find food wrappers in my garbage all the time. I bought this matching dresser for about 1/3 of the price that it originally was because the whole set has been discontinued. Dave and I were discussing today that we still really love this furniture after all these years (6) of having it. That's a good sign. The baby sweater hanging on the wall with the bonnet and lei around it are special to me and I always want them hanging where I can see them in my room. Especially those crappy days when I am wondering if I really have any friends. The sweater and bonnet came from my dear friend Ginny. Ginny is an only child and the bonnet was hers as a baby. When Clara was born she sent it to me because she wanted a baby girl that she would love to wear it. When her son has a baby girl, I will give it back. The sweater she found at a thrift store. The day before I had Clara, I got a huge package from Ginny with all sorts of stuff that was meaningful for our friendship. She's a friend to grow old with.
The curtains need to be lowered, but that ain't gonna happen. The cedar chest was my mom's and was in my bedroom growing up. It stores my sweaters sometimes.
The dumbest thing we did was not get a double sink when we built this house. I don't know what I was thinking that day, and have regretted it ever since. I guess I thought we could just put one in later. Well, six years later, we haven't. Will it get done? Probably when we are getting ready to move because who would buy this house without a double sink? It's annoying.
I gutted the closet and have a huge black bag of clothes to take to D.I. this week. Or next week. Whenever I can get around to it. I love how organized this is now. I can find things.
This is Dave's corner. He only needs a corner. He only wears polos and long-sleeved plaid shirts. Maybe a boring wardrobe, but, if he's happy, I'm happy.
We have too many random t-shirts and when they were all hung up they took up too much space. I got this idea from a house for sale that my mom and I toured in Midway last week. Just roll them! Now I can actually find the ratty t-shirt that I want instead of rolling through all of them. And since they are high up and I really need a stool to get to them easily, I tend to wear my nicer stuff first. Kacy would be happy about that.
This is Clara's lame bedroom. You would think that I would be all hyper about making it cute since she is my little girl and that is what moms of little girls are supposed to do - make their stuff cute. The bedroom is actually a very pale yellow that I hate, and I plan to paint it pink and do beadboard and all that stuff someday (probably the week she graduates high school), but first she has to stop doing this:
Maybe we will do it when she is in school all day and has another creative outlet.
This is the third time I have rearranged my office since moving into Josh's old bedroom in January. I think I have it right now. I plan to get two more file cabinets and shelving units to go along this wall. One cabinet for my business, one for Dave and me, and one for the kids'. That's the plan. I'll let you know when it happens. The pile of stuff in the middle of the room are magazines that need to go downstairs in the magazine piles I have created. Actually, a lot of this stuff needs to go downstairs because that is where I have decided it belongs until I decide on its final resting spot.
This is now where my desk is. I can still see out the window, which makes Lou happy. She even came over to help me move stuff and said that as long as I can see that she is alive, she is fine with where my desk is. The "Heidi" thing on the wall was painted by my dad when I was a baby. The Christmas box under the desk is filled with all of the Christmas cards that I have gotten over the past few years along with pictures. Also cards from Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc.
All of my scrapbook stuff is now in this closet, along with the kids' craft stuff. The green boxes (ikea) are full of cds. The big green box was dumped in there by Josh yesterday because he had been packing his stuff up to go to his Ama's house and changed his mind (hence, the reason I can't ever keep the house clean). The white boxes will go in the file cabinet drawers. The purse needs to be gone through and then tossed because the strap broke. The picture on the wall is of my beloved Washington, DC. I miss Virginia.

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9, 2010: Clara's First Day

Clara is attending two different preschools this year, the same way Josh did his final year. There is no other reason for this besides my sanity and because she would be bored to tears being home with Josh gone all day. It's expensive, but was so worth it to me. She will go to the same school Josh went to on MWF, and then a friend of mine has a bilingual English/Spanish preschool that is arts and music focused where she will go TTh starting in September.

Today was her first day and she was very excited to go. I wasn't remotely worried about how she would respond. She just hopped out of the car and walked right in. We didn't even go to orientation so it's not like she knew the teacher. No surprises there - she is only shy when we want her to clean her room.
All ready to learn!
Of course, being Clara, she didn't sit down to play with the blocks. She grabbed a dinosaur on the way in from a bin and decided to play with that instead. She loves dinosaurs and animals of all kinds. It's funny how much more confidence I have in her going into this. She has been with Ms. Barbara the past two years and could probably go straight into Kindergarten at this point if they would let her. I'm not bragging that she is smart (which she is), but she has just been taught very well. She knows her ABCs, the sounds they make, how to write her name, how to count to 100, how to recognize her name, mom, dad, Josh, and a few other short words. She knows all of her colors. It is funny to think that THAT is what she will be learning this year, but, she will love the painting and singing and reading.

Dave has started doing Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons which will give her a good start for Kindergarten next year as well. Should be fun to watch what she does!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 6, 2010: A Bountiful Basket

We came back from our vacation to a huge harvest.

Ok, it wasn't huge, but it was a start. I pulled out all of the onions. They were a variety of sizes and when I cut into one of them tears ran down my face immediately. I think I will be letting Dave cut these up. Our plan is to chop them, freeze them, and use them in soups and enchiladas.
I have about 1000 strawberries that are coming ripe. These were the ones most ripe so I went ahead and picked them and froze them and put them into a ziploc bag for smoothies. I will probably go and pick them every few days and do the same thing and maybe end up with 5-6 full ziploc bags. Not too shabby since this is our second batch of strawberries this year. We got our first one in June.

We have a ton of green beans coming in as well. These were the longest and most ready to harvest. We had them for dinner, along with others I had picked before we left on our trip. Our tomatoes are starting to come in as well. I planted cherry and grape and Early Girl (that didn't make it other than the one bigger tomato) this year.

Next year I am doing something radical and revamping my whole vegetable garden as I know it. It should be very exciting and a lot of work, but I am up for it. I have mapped it out and will start on some of it this Fall after I pull everything out of the square foot garden. Stay tuned...

Beginning of August: Mid the Way

We decided this year to spend our summer vacation in Midway because we love it and it's pretty and it didn't require a lot of driving. We drove up on a Friday and then turned around and drove back to Salt Lake for cousin Maile's baptism the next day. Isn't that handy? It was a beautiful baptism. Erin and Gordy spoke and then Gordy baptized her and confirmed her. I didn't plan for my kids to be in white specifically - it just happened.
Josh is the next Utah cousin to be baptized, but that won't be until next year.
We went back up to Midway and napped.
Then we went for a drive. This is one of the views.
This is another view.
And a third view. We want to live here someday.
Then we went to a park, where our kids didn't play on the playground. They just laid by us in the grass.
And sat on our shoulders.
And wandered around a bit.
And then laid back down in the grass.
Then we drove around some more and found our dream house.
With a guest house in the back. We knocked on the door and told them if they ever sell to call us first. Just kidding, but I should have. I might go back and do it.
That night there was a beautiful sky.
So I took a bunch of pictures from the balcony of our condo.
The sky kept changing as we were standing there.
Then it turned gray and we stood all amazed.
One day we went to Rachel's because she has a big huge playset now in her backyard.
It took them a week to build. I got to hear about it via blackberry text.
Rachel spent a whole day in the crow's nest.

One day Rachel came up and played with us. We went over to the Zermatt Resort to feed the goats.
Rachel had to text Mike to tell him about the goats. Apparently he loves goats.
The goats like to eat.
Because the merry-go-round was rented out for the day (no one was on it) they gave us free goat food.
The kids went swimming before we went to feed the goats.
Later we went back and they gave us a free ride on the merry-go-round.

We went to the Farmers Market in Park City. There is a ski lift that runs for free during the summer up to The Canyons ski resort. So we rode that up and back before going to the market. I bought a skirt at the market, but nothing else. We are on hcg and couldn't eat Navajo Tacos.

I really really wanted a Navajo Taco. Oh well. Next year.