Friday, September 17, 2010


I inevitably forget my camera when we go out, but thanks to our cool new phones, (we got the most amazing deal on a new phone plan which was very exciting because some kids wanted phones, some kids wanted texting -- can you believe we made it so long without it?  And it is already causing trouble...) I was able to take some pictures while we were out last weekend.  They're not the best, but they will do.

We went down to Springfield to see Charles run in his third cross country meet.  He is doing really well and got 13th out of over 90 kids.  He was very excited because they gave the first 20 a medal.  I have no pictures of him, not that he would've let me, so I suppose since I didn't even think of it he obviously has conditioned me.  He rode home on the bus so we took the three youngest over to New Salem.  It is so beautiful there and they happened to be having a bluegrass festival.  Matthew sat and listened to some great music while the kids and I visited some of the little dwellings.  And by little I mean minuscule-y tiny.  Some of those families had 9 or 10 kids with only one room!  We think we have it so bad sometimes and we in all actuality absolutely do not.  We came home and thought our house was so spacious and had a lot more rooms than we actually need.  A separate kitchen and indoor toilet are merely luxuries.  We also decided that what we do need is a family bluegrass band, doesn't everyone?  There were people playing the banjo, the ukulele, the dulcimer, the bucket (?), apparently anything goes -- now I know what we're getting for Christmas...

After New Salem we missed an important turn, but decided that we were perfectly capable of finding the freeway by taking country roads in the correct general direction.  Normally our rule is to never turn around or backtrack, but  we ran into this:
And a whole lot of this:

And had basically decided that the new rule was that yellow lines on the road were mandatory when we ran into this:
Can you see that rusty car in the silo?  It was amazing and must have happened during a tornado years ago!  And to think that we might have gone through our whole life without seeing it just because it is on an extremely remote Illinois back road -- that was a close call!

Monday, September 13, 2010

blood, sweat, and tears

I haven't had much gumption for writing in the ole' blog recently and I don't quite know why.  I suppose I'm just busy with the regular business of living, but I don't understand how all of those mommies are writing novels, sewing, painting, etc.  (Sigh) Someday!  Let's see what I've been doing.  

Reading:  I had sort of stopped reading so much in the last couple of years, but in the last few weeks I've read an embarrassing number of novels -- mostly young adult, and almost all excellent.  

Canning:  this is where the blood, sweat, and tears comes in.  There wasn't actually any blood, which is rather surprising since I was using a sharp knife to both peel and slice the peaches.  The opportunity was undoubtedly present.  There were, however, a couple of somewhat serious burns from my very spazzy removal of the jars from the hot water bath, with boiling water splattering my front -- instant blisters!  I told a friend and she asked if I was wearing any clothes.  Hmmm, that is quite an image...  Why yes indeed, I was wearing several layers, truth be told, and after this experience I certainly will never be trying the nude canning and recommend that none of you do either.  We got a very good deal on a box of local peaches at the farmer's market so that and the satisfaction of rows of lovely jars of peaches more than makes up for the hours of labor, the terrific mess, and the resulting scars I am sure.  

Chauffeuring to seminary:  I am suffering from chronic lack of sleep and no amount of yoga shoulder standing will make up for that.  I will use this as the current excuse for my inability to think straight. 

Dressing my truth: I have been OB-sessed with the website and watching every single thing they have.  I have also ordered some things from their website and when I saw the charge on my credit card bill, it said, "Dressing your truth, disco"  Disco?  Did I order a disco ball and/or some funky music?  Think, think, think.  Oh!  It is short for "Discover your beauty profile."  I thought it was amusing.  I also thought it was funny that I have been trying so hard to look a little better and went a whole hour walking with a friend before she looked over and said, "Your shirt is on inside out."  Their truly is very little hope when I can't even master the simple basics of dressing.  

Being plagued by deadly pestilence(s): two different children at two different times in the past week have had, respectively, pinworm and lice!  Both were thwarted before spreading to any other family member (knocking on wood).

Losing weight:  Last, but not least, I have lost the same five pounds about three times this month.

What have you been up to?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

our prodigy

You might not think it is very funny, but we have a little running joke about our youngest being a little bit on the slow side.  He didn't walk until about 16 months, he still doesn't talk much, and when you tell him to give something to someone in the family he will probably throw it in the garbage more often than not.  When another Finn moved into our ward last summer we teased that people will distinguish them by labeling them the smart Finn and the other one.  I really am not that worried about his taking his time with things, he is the fifth child after all, but when he does something even the slightest bit precocious I get really excited.  Yesterday I was quickly trying to vacuum the main level before we went on an errand.  I told him to go get his shoes, which he did (yea!) and brought them back to me.  I then told him I was going to finish up and then I would help him.  Two minutes later he came back with them on and I was astonished!  I couldn't he believe he had had the coordination to put on his own shoes and proceeded to do a little dance, sing a lively song about how awesome that was and we both clapped for joy.  While I finished up the vacuuming I was daydreaming about how I would blog about my kids all getting so big when even my baby could put on his own shoes, zipped around the dining room, then backed into the library and ran right into someone.  Aaack!  Ella -- I didn't hear you come home.  How long have you been here?  Did you by any chance put Phin's shoes on him?  Complete deflation.  Yes, of course he didn't put on his own shoes.  It was so funny!  She said that she could hear me the whole time being so elated, but I couldn't hear her trying to tell me I was mistaken over the roar of the vacuum.

Today at our RS presidency meeting my friend said that she saw my husband and the littles at the library last night during my class.  She was so gratified that Phin knew her now.  I turned to him and said, "Do you know Miss Clare?  Where is she?"  And he pointed to the dog.  Oh, well.  I'm sure it will soon be his time to blossom.

Matthew just took him to his office for a little bit.  He adores his daddy and was happy to say goodbye to me, but first he needed to give me a big smooch --  that pucker is something he has mastered and no one would want to miss.
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