Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Simply Christmas

I made it. Not just through a week of solo parenting while Husband went to Israel, but to Christmas Eve. And there's a tree up (which I almost thought wouldn't happen), presents wrapped, and most everyone's pajamas made. And I'm twelve weeks and still puking with regularity. My goals for the rest of the year have been accomplished. I've given up on trying to get the front door painted or the rest of the tile.

Things have been scaled back to survival mode as far as activities and Christmas fun this year because of his trip and my being down, but Husband thinks this might be his favorite so far. I have been reminded that my kids are so young and so naive in some ways that they have no clue what they might be 'missing'. My kids aren't on Pinterest or FB. Is there any hope that we have moved on from social media before they get there? Zombie apocalypse? Global warming? Anything but Scrunch on FB.

For now they don't know about the fortysevenhundred different shaped and sprinkled Holiday cookies and personalized, printable cocoa mug labels you can find tutorials for. They were beyond THRILLED with going to the grocery store with their Papa to get me a drink to come home and have a picnic of donuts and Diet Coke in the front yard. They weren't anything but plain-shaped run of the mill donuts but in their minds it should become a tradition.

We didn't make it to any parades or light show extravaganzas, but Porkchop is learning the difference between 'left' and 'right' by updating us all on where to look and see the lights as we drive. He was in complete overload when we drove to the San Francisco Airport to pick up their Papa. I might be raising a country boy since he thought the usual city lights were all for Christmas. We might need to get out more.

Our Christmas miracle occurred when I puked in his Cars tool bucket while stuck in traffic on the Bay Bridge. And then Juju gagged on a piece of ice she was sucking on and threw up. Porkchop watched and then he started gagging. The miracle being that even though it took us almost four hours to get home, I didn't have to shampoo any carpets when we finally did.

Husband pointed out that for at least Porkchop and Juju their concept of time is such that they won't remember we didn't have our tree up three weeks ago, only that there was a tree. But I'll always remember Porkchop standing in front of it today and telling me, "Mom, our tree is the very most perfect." Big deal too since pronouncing an 'f' sound mid-word is a huge effort for him.

I rallied last night and we went out for Mongolian Barbecue and to the zoo. We celebrate all birthdays with Mongolian barbecue and apparently that includes Jesus. The zoo trip was killing like four birds with one stone- animals, lights, Santa, and a train ride. Plus, animals that are usually sleeping every. single. time. we've ever been to that zoo were wide awake. Juju's disappointment in the zoo came when she begged "Let him out! Let him out!" to the wolf hybrid and I did not oblige. We stopped for some last minute stocking stuffers on the way home. I'll go to the grocery store later to pick up the salmon and asparagus we'll have for tomorrow's dinner (at the kids' request) and we'll call it a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I was reading some old posts from when I was pregnant with Porkchop. I completely forgot how sick I was. It all came back to me in flashbacks of late night 'Say Yes to the Dress' marathons and living on the couch. This is worse. It feels so wrong that feeling this bad could mean that this pregnancy is healthy. The good news is that in three years I won't have any recollection of it.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Last Thursday I posted a picture of some yarn and pizza I made. It wasn't even good yarn (my first with my new spinning wheel) or pretty pizza (although it was pretty dang good) with the caption "Take that Thursday!". It prompted a couple of very flattering comments which, while very nice, made me feel....not guilty...not bad...but maybe... uncomfortable? Perhaps undeserved.

I posted the 'Take that!' because the rest of the week completely kicked my butt.When I post a picture of my newly decorated living room, I'm not posting a picture of the same laundry pile that moves from my bed to the recliner, bed to recliner day after day waiting to be folded. If I say I spent the day cooking freezer meals, it's because if I don't my family will likely eat Subway three times a week. I sit and make yarn right now because it's the only thing I can do to distract myself from the feeling of simultaneously starving and wanting to puke at the same time. There weren't any pictures of cute ballet flats with skinny jeans and cozy winter sweaters because at that point I'd been in leggings and my slippers for three days. Oh, yes I'm amazing, but I also have a Christmas tree under six inches of snow leaning up against the house because I can't find our tree stand. We both have a vague memory of leaving or ditching it at some point during the move, but can't explain how or where. I didn't post a pic of our newly decorated tree because it's almost mid-December and except for the paper chains hanging in the kitchen doorway there is no semblance of the Merry Holiday anywhere to be found in my house. 

Don't get me wrong, I work hard. Really, really hard. I wake up early, go to bed late. I have ADD and need a project (or eight) to keep me moving forward or I just spin in circles. I don't watch t.v. or get my nails done, or have a gym membership. Not anything against those things, they just take time. And I spend my time doing different things. I have talents, sure. So does everyone. They might be nicer and less snarky than I'm prone to be. So, am I amazing? Maybe sometimes. Some people think so. But so is everyone else which means you're probably pretty amazing too.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

At 7:27 p.m. all three kiddos willingly went to bed. Willingly! Sweet. By 8:13 p.m. I guesstimate that I will have fallen asleep during the opening scenes of P.S. I Love You. Before that happens though I need.....
Excuse me. My seemingly perfect evening was interrupted by Husband kicking me out of the recliner to rock a suddenly not so willing Juju and then Porkchop came down the stairs. "You going to come up and cuddle wif me?"

And then Scrunch heard Porkchop ask me a question so she climbed on the other side of the bed, but only after taking Jango (the dog) down to the utility room because he kept sniffing and tickling Porkchop. Then they both needed a refill of waters. After a half hour of baking between the two not sleeping monkeys I kicked myself out of the bed with a, "Mommy's got to go downstairs. I think I'm going to throw up." I left the room with both kids making puking and gagging sounds.

Turkeys. But cute turkeys who are doing their absolute darndest to not be sassy or say "stupid", "crybaby", or "shut-up" (Thank you Finding Nemo) because they really don't want to lose all their paperclips (I couldn't find my button jar) so they can go to the movie on Saturday. A movie with popcorn in the theater- that is the ultimate bribery, I mean positive reinforcement, for eliciting more of the behavior I'd like to see. Smart turkeys.

Friday, November 22, 2013

The wind is keeping me awake. It's really whooping it up out there. As Scrunch so helpfully hissed to her younger brother over the dinner table, "It sounds like ghosts."

Greeaaaat. Thank you Scrunch.

"But only nice ghosts." I offered. Was that answer really going to work? It seemed to and thankfully, for once, Porkchop completely ignored his sister. Juju, however, picked up on it and asked, "Whas dat?" about forty seven times.

I got even with her after dinner when I cut a hole in the middle of what I did not know was a fleece blanket she even knew existed. "Mo-om!"

"Why'd you do that?! That was one of my favorites!"

Oh, really? Since when? Well, I'm the mom and it's cold, and I have to go outside in the dark with the ghosts. I only thought that though.

"Well, sorry kiddo. I'm the Mom and had to make an executive decision."

"What's executive?"

Hand smack to the forehead.


Gosh. Maybe my husband is right. Maybe I AM cranky. (For the record, "Gosh, honey you're probably right" is NOT how the conversation went down when it was first suggested.) I offered a list of pathetic (but still true!) reasons as to my recent irritability. Usually reasonable and understanding, he mostly didn't get my number one offered (and kind of lame) excuse. Maybe you will? Or the Internet? The internets have a way of understanding all sorts of crazy. Or least I will get it off my chest and be able to lay down and go back to sleep.

Yeah. So. I'm pregnant. Having been a staunch believer in 'Do not announce anything until in your second trimester', I feel like a traitor to my camp. Buy you guys, I need to sleep.Plus, I say something when I'm not anymore so what the hell?

This not so recent knowledge weighs on me daily and grates on my last nerve. This was not planned or intentional. Almost ironic (is this the correct use of that word?) that I taught and even helped write published material on Natural Family Planning for a state Health Department. Off the record I was known to say that, "If you're doing it, you're planning it." Thank you, thank you. Add that to the list of things I've said that have come back to bite me in the...So yeah. This was less than planned. And it is good. And I will be happy.... If I get a baby out of it. Ok, there. I know that is wicked and selfish, but jeez! I think I handled the last two miscarriages really well. And I promptly filled up my life with all sorts of distractions (and baby animals). No joke. I have a bottle calf right now. But we're reaching capacity here, folks. I am reaching my limits. God would not let me have three miscarriages in six months, would he? Not after everything? I mean, "Come on!" as Scrunch has been known to say.

But, oh yes. Yes He would. And He might. Because I know God has very little to do with it. Lest you think me sacrilegious, let me explain. There are natural consequences and events we are subject to due to our mortality and then there are Godly interventions. And how the two intersect in my life, and others, remains still a mystery to me. A giant, fat fatty of a mystery of epic proportions, but a mystery none the less.

So there it is. I think about it when I wake up, when I go (or don't go) to sleep, and every time I pee I think, "Please don't let there be blood. Please don't let there be blood." When Juju gives me a famous squeeze hug I sometimes think, "Oh, good. My boobs are still sore." When I slowly haul my exhausted and should be in better shape and used to it by now butt up the hill from watering my boy goats I think, "What's wrong with me? Why am I so tired?...Oh. yeah." My skin is crazy itchy from the additional hormones I'm taking, I sometimes feel like I want to jump out of my skin, and I AM CRANKY. OK!? I am looking forward to Christmas not because of the merriness of the holiday but because by then I will be well into my second trimester and the chances of miscarriages are drastically statistically reduced. P.S. Statistics don't mean crap when it comes to babies coming to and from this planet, but there you go.

On Sunday I was set apart for our callings as Stake Spanish Group Specialists. Whatever that means. (It means we get to work with the Spanish group, I teach Sunday School in Spanish, we attend a different ward, but my kids get Primary in English still. Score!.) Between Juju and Porkchop having complete meltdowns and being the complete opposite of reverent and making it impossible to hear, I managed to catch one line of the last part. of the High Councilman's blessing..."As you fulfill your calling, your concerns at home and the those things that weigh on your mind will be resolved." I might not have noticed, except the counselor in the Bishopric commented afterwards that he strongly felt the Spirit and I had been blessed with a great gift.

Huh, what? I have not, until now, let my mind go there. Crappity, crap. They went and brought God into this. And now I have to figure out if I truly believe, have faith even, that if I fully commit myself to preparing and searching the Scriptures "my concerns at home and those things that weigh on my mind will be resolved". Do I believe this? I think I do. I mean, it sounds reasonable and true. Nothing tangible like our well functioning properly or a baby was promised so it's not like I can get bitter. But I don't know yet. I hope so. I will have to test it. For now, I will let you and the Internets worry for me. And who knows? Maybe I will be less cranky. It is quiet now. I think I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

In regards to my previous post...

To Do list? I'm sorry. Did I say, "To-Do" list? I meant to say Suggestion List. Or perhaps Possibility List. Like 'You Could Possibly Accomplish All of The Things You Put on Your To-Do Lists if You Animorphed Into a Humanoid Squid With Eight Functioning Arms Or You Take On a Sister-Wife or Two'.

That's it. From now on I don't write 'To-Do' lists, I write Possibility Lists. Like, "I will possibly get to it, but there's a bigger possibility that I won't."

In my defense, it rained last week. It is really hard to paint a front door if it is raining and you've only partially cleaned out the workshop. I did move the chicks outside permanently, built two garden boxes, ordered our orchard trees, bought the garlic to plant, set a date to wash apples and make applesauce, picked up our new buck and set him up with Pan in their temporary housing, and bought the bins for the barley fodder system. I kind of forgot that I had to attend an all day parent training for a super fun school activity for Scrunch today and was reminded by the fact that my sister was also coming this weekend.

I negotiated Halloween by telling my kids that they could each pick 20 pieces of Halloween candy we already had in a bowl we were supposed to take Trunk or Treating, and we went to In N Out and Home Depot instead. But they were happy and by complete coincidence were wearing orange and black. So even though I might be a loser Mom, my kids won't realize it until they are older. They got what they were in it for.

I did manage to Google everything on my 'To Google' list. But of course I did. Because I stay up waaaay too late (not sleeping) and Googling the most random subjects and other weird things. I somehow found myself on a blog of a distant cousin's recent ex-girlfriend where she talks about their breakup. And evil, hard-hearted Halloween-ditching wench that I am, I was totally entertained and even laughed. I might be truly wicked.

Other weird thoughts I've been having lately..."Where's my gun?" Tonight when were we were driving home we saw a fox run up the road and on to the corner of our property and I thought, "Where's my gun?" Whaaaat? I don't even have (nor really want) a gun. But I saw that evil, fluffy tailed little bastage and it brought out a very violent streak.

Husband remarked (after we debated about what it was), "Oh, isn't he cute?"
"No. Hit! him!!!"
"Hit him. He's going to eat my babies."

The only thing I can come up with is that I have become supremely protective of my little cheepie babies, or the artificial food coloring from my (way more) than 20 pieces of Halloween candy are starting to affect me in a weird (and a little bit scary) way. Nothing should really surprise me though. My brain is completely fried. Fried. Fried by my five AND A HALF for the love don't forget the half! year old's incessant questions about everything. EVERY. Thing. I can't even put on a movie in the car for some peace and quiet.

"Mom, is 'Finding Nemo' a learning movie?"
"Not really, but we'll be in the car for a while so you can watch a fun movie."
"Mom, can you pause it? I have a question."
"What's your question?"
"If Dory and Marlin got married could they make babies?"
"No." Followed by a ten minute conversation on (I kid you not) inter-species breeding. Do not under-estimate the potential for all moments to become learning moments.

"Mom, can you pause it? I have a question."
"What's your question?"
"What's Frauline Maria's name in real life?"
"Julie Andrews."
"Oh, can we go visit her someday?"
"No." Followed by a ten minute conversation on why famous people don't want to hang with us and why I didn't want to become an actress."

But the best of all was at the nursery while I asked the young nursery worker if they carried kelp.
"Guess what? We got a stinky goat today."
Nursery worker.."You did? A buck? What kind of goats do you have?"
Me- "Oberhasli"
Nursery worker, "Oh fun. I have a pigmy goat."
"Mom, I have a question."
"What's your question?"
"What are the two hanging things between his legs that Pan doesn't have?"
At which point the nursery worker stifles a laugh, excuses himself to check their stock, and I commence on a ten minute conversation about the difference between a buck and a wether, hormones, and what "neuted" is.

Laws. I am. so. tired.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

This week...

To Google
Using pig manure as compost
aquaponic pump and timer
baker's rack prices
why is my auto waterer leaking?
cupcake in a jar recipes
hoop house roosts and nesting boxes
how much garlic for a year's supply?

To Do
Chicks outside permanently
Sand front of door and recoat
clean workshop out and put peg board up
call buck breeder back
staple hardware cloth to grow boxes
plumbing tape the duck waterer
hammer the t posts in for the compost pile
order bareroot trees from the nursery
plant garlic
wash the apples and begin dehydrating them
pick up buck
Set Pan and the buck (now named Capt. Hook) in a temporary pen pending the orchard being fenced next week
Buy the bins for the barley fodder system
plant the honeysuckle and Lady's bank roses next to the hoop house

Oh, yah. It's also Halloween.

Good thing we celebrated last week. Pictures will upload when Blogger gets around to it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

 As I wandered around K-Mart looking for the right sized ruby slipper for Scrunch, an employee asked me how my week was going. I had no idea what to say so I said, "Fine, thank you." What was I supposed to say?

"Actually it totally sucked. I took the kids to Costco by myself, which I mean... who doesn't loooove a trip to Costco with the kids? So, while we were there my daughter slipped on the food court bench and caught herself with her face. We spent the afternoon at Urgent Care getting five stitches. By the time we got home her brother had an asthma attack and we were up the next three nights with the croup. My littlest one tripped on the patio and has a black eye. I look and feel like a total winner mom right about now. I was pregnant and now I'm not anymore, but I still feel like total crap. But I'm not homeless, unemployed, and at least I have a working anus. How was your week?"

I have so much more compassion for the random K-Mart stranger. You just have no idea what is really going on in someone's life. Every day I vacillate between counting my blessings and wanting to pull the covers over my head and wait for someone else to take over my life, or at least mop my kitchen. Gosh, why does it have to be so damn hard? (Rhetorical question, by the way.)

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle." -John Watson

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Keeping Busy

"Oooh, Mom! You look fancy." That's the compliment Porkchop gave me because I had make-up on and was wearing something besides my favorite Walgreens fleece lined leggings and a tunic. This week I'm only getting dressed for good causes. Practice for singing in Sacrament on Sunday, taking Scrunch to class, and picking up Grandma from the airport. Oh, and my haircut. Maybe knitting?? The rest of the week it's painting clothes (of which I have several pairs). My distraction project(s) are to finish the playroom and paint the floors.

Have I mentioned the ugly floors in this place? To be fair they aren't actually that horrible and might be someone else's taste, but they aren't mine...so I need to do something to them. I have this great idea that I'm going to paint them.

John has been wanting to take the kids' hiking with his Grandpa. I am not currently up for either a trip or hiking so I'm packing the kids up and sending them with their Papa to visit his family. I will get a little "stay-cation". I can't sit around and do nothing or I'd risk losing my mind so I figure it will be a good time to paint the floors. How else do you paint kitchen and family room floors with three little kids? Only when they are hiking with their Grandpa two states away. My Grandma is flying in on Friday and will keep me company. I will worry and miss the kids like crazy but I'm excited to see if this works. I hope it works. Oh please, for the love, let it work!

I know you want to see pictures of the house in all its "before" glory so after they leave on Thursday I will clean and take some pictures.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Our old, yellow house.

When I'm an old lady and I look back on the last two months of my life I am going to be so sad that I didn't blog more. Should've kept a journal or something, but I type faster than I write. That's the excuse I give myself anyway. Still, there are memories over the last few weeks that I can't imagine ever fading. Still wish I'd have blogged more.

It would have been so much more entertaining to hear about my hauling the goats in the minivan and our drive-through experience if I'd written about it right away. Or my having to stand on the IKEA patio chairs to pound in the t-posts for their fencing. The day we discovered electric fencing does not contain baby pigs was classic. And hauling 16 foot cattle panels on the roof of the minivan in the dark down a dark, windy, mountain road is an epic family adventure. We drove over two hours to pick up my special breed of baby ducks and we intended on only getting twelve, but somehow came home with sixteen, baby chicks. September was assigned as 'Animals' for Scrunch's science and I think we've met the standard.

The milking of the goats is going well. Moira, my star milker, is still a wench, but we are making peace. Sparkles is a dream goat and more obedient and more reliable than any dog. Thankfully, the kids and John love the goats as much as I do because it will be years before the "free milk" pays back the investment we've made.

The amount of work it takes on a daily basis to keep things running is about what I expected it'd be. I've never been more tired in my life, but it is good. It is going to be a slow, and painful process getting the property into the shape we imagine it to someday be in. In the meantime, we are surrounded by pine trees and live oaks. You can stand on either the front or back porch and not see a single house. It took me a while to get used to how dark it gets up here. It makes me laugh that a car driving by such an infrequent event that it is met with all three kids running to the porch to wave.

We have moved a lot since being married- twelve times. And I'd moved quite a bit before that. But for the first time in my life I am living somewhere that I never see myself moving from, and not just because this move went a little less than smoothly. The Master bedroom is on the main floor and I've joked to John more than a few times that I'm going to die in this house.

I can't explain what a blessing this old, yellow house has been to me. It is not without some flaws and majorly ugly floors. It was not even my first pick when we walked through it the first time eleven weeks ago. I had watched it since it had gone on the market several months before. At that time it was out of our price range, but I was drawn to it because it reminded me of our Clearfield house with its dormer windows. It is quirky and showed weird which is why I suppose it stayed on the market. On a Friday the investors who owned it dropped the price by fifty thousand dollars. On Saturday we walked through it, listed our home, and I miscarried.

Making preparations to move and subsequently making plans and researching for our soon to be "mini-farm" proved to be an excellent distraction from the miscarriage and my pain associated with it. I often thought to myself, "You could not do this if you were still pregnant." It was true, and I began to feel peace in the timing. We moved and during it and shortly after I became sick. Now my fifth time being pregnant, I knew what it was before it was confirmed. Although overwhelmed and sick and tired, we were excited and I kept working on unpacking even if at a slower pace than I would have liked. Everything fell into place. Life could not be better, but last Friday I miscarried again at ten and a half weeks.

I have been asked if I was sure I was pregnant. I even questioned myself, so I consider it a gruesome blessing that it occurred in such a way as to leave no question. There was surely a baby growing at one time and it was never likely to survive outside my body. I consider it a blessing to have the confirmation of knowing that there was nothing that could have been done differently- not my activity levels, nutrition, or other circumstances would have prevented the end of this pregnancy. While I don't feel any guilt, I feel sad. I feel sad for me, for my body, for my kids, for my husband. We as a family would love to have more children, but we are also painfully aware that what we want it not always what we are blessed with.

I did not initially like or want this yellow house and yet I feel incredibly blessed to look out the window and see my kids in their swimming suits helping their Papa put the tar paper on the pig house. To have Juju incessantly climbing into the window wells of our bedroom to get a better view of the goats. I feel blessed when I sit on the rock to let the ducks eat from my hands. I feel blessed when I sit on the floor of the bathroom and spread my maxi dress as maxed as it it will go to allow room for all sixteen baby chicks to perch on my leg. I feel blessed that even on the least productive of days to know that, "Hey, at least I milked some goats today." I feel blessed to watch the baby pigs pop their heads up out of the straw when they think I might be bringing them something to eat. To sit on the porch with a view that some have to vacation to see. With all the changes that the last couple of months have brought and even the loss, mostly I just feel grateful and blessed for this old, yellow house.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Hey! Look who found their laptop cord (actually it was the Husband), but is too tired to write.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Three comments that make me believe homeschooling Scrunch is going to be an adventure.

#1. "Mom, are Queen bees real?" "Yes." "Do they wear crowns?"
#2. "Mom, I have a question." (She says that at least forty seven times a day.) "What's your question?" "What do I do if I see a mountain lion and I'm not wearing my shirt?" (She's been taught that you pull your shirt up over your head to make yourself look bigger. Also, she was not wearing a shirt when she asked me this."
#3. "We have to find a screech owl Mom! I need to hear what it sounds like. We just have to!"

Tomorrow is the "first day" of school. I hope the schultute's are a hit. How did I not know about these before last week?!? They are a German tradition for the first day of school. Like a Back to School stocking- how can you not love that?

This is going to be a trip. Porkchop is being included. After a couple trial runs last week it became very clear that if he isn't, he will turn my house on its head. Juju naps for most of our planned "school" time and the rest of the time she is content to rock her babies and throw popcorn or carrots at Jango.

We met Scrunch's CT (certified teacher) last week and so far she is awesome. I'm very impressed. She is young, super sweet, a mom of kid's the same ages as mine so she totally gets it, an experienced teacher, and super organized. Scrunch seemed to like her and has been asking when she's coming back. Because we are with a public homeschool charter we will meet with her every 20 days. She has been very easy to work with and ordered my curriculum right away. It showed up on my porch tonight- which was awesome.

Not that you care, but in case you do....here's my plan.

Each morning we will do Copywork and work on memorization.
Penmanship- Handwriting Without Tears
Phonics- I have two different Hooked on Phonics sets. Also Explode the Code workbooks.
Five in a Row- (You read the same book every day for the week and do activities correlating with the book. We'll also incorporate lapbooking with this.
Math- Life of Fred Apples and Right Start Math
Our Island Story for history.
Burgess Bird Book for Children- part of our nature studies. I plan to do the Outdoor Hour Challenges each week.
Art- Child Sized Masterpieces. My kids love art so we'll continue with doing artists studies and some projects like we did for art camp.
I also ordered Math Card Games.
Science will be worked in with Five in a Row as well as each month we have a theme. We have a family read aloud that we're working through too.

I have a planning binder that use to help plan the year. My most helpful portion of it was the schedule with the little quarter sticky notes. I have a page for the kids and one for me. This is more of a routine than a schedule, but it helped me find a place for everything I needed to get done in a week and if changes need to be made I can move them around or put in a new sticky.

I decided to leave most of my homeschooling supplies accessible until the very last minute. They will be the last thing packed and the first thing unpacked.

In a perfect day in a perfect world this is my daily plan. Look Jess! Visual schedules! Jess is my sister who teaches special ed. She suggest visual schedules for me a while ago and they totally work for my ADD. I found the pocket folders in the dollar section at Target. I used letter stickers and my laminator and it's hanging on the side of our workbox. 

The magnet board is another visual schedule we've been using for a few weeks. Each magnet is a different job. Most of them are pet related so I know everyone gets fed and my plants are watered.. They get moved to the bottom when they are completed. 

On the other side of the workbox is a list of elective subjects. Every day we'll do handwriting, phonics, reading, and math and then add a fun elective or two. This is a reminder for me so I don't forget what I have planned. 

On top of our workbox is a calendar and a caddy for each kid with supplies they might need. This is to hopefully prevent the need to get up and down and up and down and up and down. The workbox system is something I heard about a long time ago and I just like the idea. I'm hoping it will work with Scrunch to eliminate some of the "when are we done?" "how much more?" that is bound to come up. Each box contains everything she will need for that activity. Start with #1 and when it's done move the velcro-ed number to the other side and go on to #2. Obviously most of these we'll be working through together. There are snacks in a couple of the boxes. At #4 she's done till lunch.

I've found that the days we are home go so much more smoothly when I pre-pack or make our lunch ahead of time, that's why it's on the routine before school even starts. I spent the afternoon bagging carrots and other snacks so they are pre-prepared for the week. All the fruit is washed and veggies cut. I read about a woman who uses boxes on the counters to manage snacks and I started doing it. I have a basket on the counter with three dry snacks for each kid and then another in the fridge with three fresh snacks. It works and I don't hear, "I'm hungry!!" all day long.

So, this is my plan. I'm sure it's going to need lots of tweaking and flexibility for things like, um..moving and such but I like routine and I like labels so for tonight, it works.

Monday, August 19, 2013


It's not a medical term.

Or a fancy chocolate.

It's a goat. And I am obsessed. Like to the point of emailing all the major local breeders, and even one in Arizona and two local smaller farms to find what I'm looking for. And I've found them!

We're taking a field trip to see them in a couple of days and if I love them they will be ours. Their current owner will keep them until mid-September when I will bring them home and we will have the beginnings of own little herd. And I will milk my goat! Husband is just as excited to go check them out because with them is a little wether kid who will make a nice little backpacking and camping buddy when he gets older. Plus, they'll all help clear the brush from the property.

I know this seems like I've gone off my rocker, but this has been something we've been thinking about for months. I was planning on waiting till, oh you know, we moved..but I found what I'm looking for and they aren't the easiest to come by.

So, there you go. You learned a new word. Oberhasli. Now, I need some good goat names. Or I'll just ask Porkchop. Today he asked me if I can start calling him 'Carlos'. I dunno...I don't ask questions. I'm thinking Magic Schoolbus might have had something to do with it.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

I have had the equivalent of what you might get if you licked the bottom of your child's shoe after they went to the fair- complete with petting zoo, carnival rides, and nasty food shacks. Or the bathroom floor mat of a cruise line. At the same time things were looking a little shaky in terms of real estate negotiations. I swear I didn't lick anything so I don't know where it came from, but holy crap! I was sick. It was not pretty. But I took some super cute pictures from my bed, not bath, and posted them on Instagram throughout the day.

Once things things cleared up on all fronts, I started packing. And I've been packing on and off for three days.

All of this excitement led to some great texting with Holly and the creation of a new blog. You see it was her birthday and she is one of my very favorite of people. Should I die she is to inherit my orange vintage chairs and my bunnies. No joke. It's in my will. So, my birthday gift to her was to share my new favorite word. Exhaustipated- Too tired to give a crap. We lol-ed, and lol-ed because we think we're funny. And I felt like less of a loser for not sending a card. The blog comes in because then she called me. "Is it supposed to look like that?!?!" She's painting her kitchen cabinets. "Yeah. Don't worry. Give it another coat and then decide."

Holly purchased a 1950's house in SoCal near the beach. I never will forgive her for that, but whatever. And I am about to buy a 1980's cape cod style in the mountains with probably the ugliest bathroom floors I've ever seen. Between the two of us, the projects are never, never, never ending. And we always joked we'd write a blog together. So one day when everything seemed to go to crap, I sent her a text. "I just created our new blog." You guys will read it right? Like a bad train wreck that you just can't look away...This House Crap Is Exhaustipating. Coming to a blogger near you!

Are you excited?!? I am. So. Freaking. Excited! I didn't pack today. Instead, we went up and measured fence lines, debated fencing options, and plotted orchard locations. I am totally overwhelmed and excited, and holding my breath until we close. Two weeks. Two more weeks!

Scrunch coloring the boxes.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

At night during the commercials of America's Got Talent we quickly rate our favorites and then talk about whether or not we are doing the right thing. 

We are about to do a 180 in our lifestyle and the way the raise our family. We currently live in a newer house in an upper middle class security patrolled neighborhood on a golf course with private lake, tennis courts, hiking and biking trails, and access to an award winning elementary school. And we do love it here, but when escrow closes we'll own an old yellow house on a wooded five acre lot where (at some point) we'll have goats, chickens, ducks, a crazy amount of work, and we'll start our first year homeschooling. It is what we've hoped and talked about what we'd do "when we grow up" and I guess my most recent birthday signaled my growing up. I am a grown up now! Weird.

Scrunch has started to catch on that when we move we're going to have a much larger backyard. It didn't take but a day or two for her to start making her own list. It includes a chinchilla (what is with her obsession with chinchillas?!?), a pig that we cannot kill, a tortoise, and of course what every five year old girl asks for- a pony. Last week's horse camp only added fuel to the fire. Maybe she can magic one up when she gets that pixie dust for Christmas.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

So, it's my birthday. Don't feel bad if you feel like you missed the memo. I changed my birthday on FB. Somehow the random birthday wishes from acquaintances I might have stood in the grocery checkout line once upon a time seem a little impersonal to me.

Plus, I forgot too. I scheduled the appraisal = all day cleaning and the missionaries for dinner. I am not old enough to start forgetting my own birthday! Chalk it up to being a little preoccupied. But if I had remembered and I wasn't already maxed on my birthday budget with little things like water filtration maintenance (woohoo.) then my top five picks would be...

Ooh, ooh, oooh. I just remembered. My sister asked what fun thing I did to celebrate my birthday. Yesterday I went to Target by myself! And we're slowly catching up on America's Got Talent. Cuz we know how to party.

Back to my birthday picks...

This would look so good in the entry way of the new place. Yellow house, red front door, this just works! It's a needlepoint kit by Emily Peacock.


Herb scissors. Yeah, I don't even know why. 

Now that's just cute.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Me and my first world problems.

I thought I kept a clean house. And then I had to have it "show ready" for two weeks.

Wowzas. Where does all the dust and goobies come from?

Have you seen that quote, "A clean house is the sign of a mis-spent life." Well, I'm going back to my old, less "show ready", life. After Wednesday. Then I will start packing. We have home inspections and appraisals until then. The good news is that the roof inspection checks out on the (new to us, but old enough to need a tune-up) house. This is good.

Also, Scrunch is at horse camp every day this week. She was so nervous and excited that she hardly said a word the whole way there. That is somethin'.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I eat when I'm stressed or nervous. Black licorice (the good Australian kind), pistachio gelato, sweet potato fries, Trader Joes dark chocolate with truffle, any kind of ice cream- these are some of my favorites. For the next thirty-three days (dang Labor Day holiday) I am on pins and needles and completely undoing everything I did during my cleanse. I figure I'll just break even. Maybe I'll do a sit up or two for luck and because I can. Yeah right.

Our house sold. In one day. For this I am supremely grateful. Also, our offer on our dream house was accepted. I say dream house, because I have great dreams for it. It needs a lot, like a ton a lot of work. But it is yellow and in the country where we'll eat a lot of peaches. Those are healthy, right? Got to be better than the whole box of Joe-joes I'm working on.

Also, Presidents of the United States makes for great cleaning music. Sliding door tracks, second story porch windows, all those things that never get cleaned unless someone is coming or going.

This is my update for the week.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

It is done. This pregnancy is over.

While of course I am sad and disappointed, I feel...peaceful? hopeful?

I am grateful for the way that it happened as it helped to confirm some things for me- leaving no question. I am not crazy. (Well, not always.) I was most definitely pregnant. You always kind of wonder when you opt not to have labs and early ultrasounds. Also, what I experienced when we were at BYU and I got such horrible OB care was, I am almost positive, also a miscarriage. That experience was devastating for me and because I never took a pregnancy test prior to bleeding I was never really sure. I never had the confirmation or the closure that I needed. Now I know.

So, if we were keeping score, things look like this...

Miscarriage at six months of trying.
Five years infertility.
Failed adoption.
Scrunch was adopted :)!! Best. Day. Ever.
Fertility treatments that didn't work. Like zero, zilch affect.
Surprise pregnancy of Porkchop with a little surprise ending. Pumping exclusively for a year. Exclusively pumping for that long is worse than unmedicated labor. But he is worth it and at three years old wants to be a doctor or dentist so as long as I am nice to my DIL, he'll take care of me when I am old.
Bam! Quick turn around and a pregnancy with Juju. Juju is my easy one in every way. Easy to  get here, easier pregnancy, easy baby. She just can't be the youngest or she will be spoiled and ruined by all of us.
Little hiatus while we fulfill what we felt was a call to action and fostered three kids.
Miscarriage at two months of trying.

Well, at least we haven't just been sitting around.

Late Saturday night I received a blessing and I was honestly a little disappointed. I wanted so badly to hear, "You will have a normal pregancy." "This baby will be healthy and strong." Something. But instead I got, "Know that your Father in Heaven is mindful of you and that he loves you and has a plan for you." Aw, crap! I thought. "I bless you to have peace." was repeated what felt like thirty-seven times. And I was like, "Really?  really? Is that the best we can do? Come on!" These were my ungratefully wicked thoughts.

Now I am grateful for the blessing. To be blessed with peace does not mean you are happy with the outcome- only that you are accepting of God's will. It has been my experience that you can feel peace and God's love even during the crappiest of times. I have always felt that there was a plan. His plan is always better than any crappy plan I could come up with- my children are a testament to that. I just wish I had a little more of a heads up as to what it was sometimes (or all the time).

I saw this on Facebook yesterday and I liked it. I don't know if it's doctrinal, but I'd like to believe it is. The last year has heard a lot of "No's" around here so I'm banking on a "Yes!" any day now. (Sell my house. Please sell. Pretty, pretty, pretty please sell my house. Oh, and I'd like some dairy goats for Christmas.)

Greater Yes | Creative LDS Quotes

Oh. And another thing...I have some very kind and thoughtful people in my life who have expressed a desire to do something, to help in some way. I really appreciate you all. The first time someone asked if they could put our names on the prayer roll of the temple was Fran. She was the grandmother of the baby that we never adopted. She wanted us to raise that baby almost as badly as we did and the whole experience was just hard, hard, hard for everybody. It was especially hard for me so when she asked of course I said yes. The week following was a low point emotionally and spiritually, but I felt lifted and peaceful and I know it was because of those praying for me. The second time someone asked if they could pray for me was Nancy. I was about 34/35ish weeks with Porkchop and it just felt too soon to be going into labor with him. She prayed on the phone (which I've written about before) and I carried him to his exact due date. My sister is a faithful temple roll name placer. I don't know if she e-mails them or what, but before she even asks if it is okay it is done. Do not underestimate the power that your prayers for others have in their lives. They are felt. This has been a great lesson for me.

My very last lesson for the day, I promise...the media and our culture like to talk about how teenagers have gone to pot (womp, womp). And how there's no hope for any of us. Future generations are doomed. Blah, blah. Maybe some kids are having it rough, but there are others who have been raised by good parents who are good and kind, and generous, and thoughtful. I can't tell the story without crying but two of my kids in my Sunday School class (who are also brother and sister) asked if they could come and see me. They don't even know what was wrong. They just knew that Hermana Traver was not teaching class unexpectedly and was home. Their dad is in the Bishopric and with John being secretary he knew he could call. Dad drives truck and mom cleans houses so their lives are not glamorous, but they are rock solid good people raising good kids. They stopped by for a few minutes with a giant chunk of cake from her Quinceanera and to visit. While they were here their Dad announced that the kids had something for me and they proceeded to sing a song I'd played for them during a lesson months ago. They were awesome and when I told them so they beamed and said it was the song I taught them. God love them for that! The simplest, most thoughtful thing has been such a boost and I will never forget it. Our efforts as parents to work hard, be kind, be generous blesses our kids. And it in turn blesses others.

Thanks for the happy thoughts, prayers, texts, calls, and messages. I'm fine. Everything is going to be better than okay. It always is.

Monday, July 22, 2013

I did not drop off the face of the planet.

Things have been busy, but I guess everyone says that. I also just haven't felt like blogging. That's just true.

I was just thinking a few weeks ago that this blog was such an outlet for me when I first started it. We were going on years of infertility and had started the adoption process and it just felt so much better to have somewhere to write all the blech down.

Life has changed so much since then...Scrunch, we bought our house, Porkchop, Juju, the little adventure of fostering three kids, all the pets. Isn't it so stupid that I felt like I didn't need this blog anymore when I found out I was pregnant a couple weeks ago? And now I sit on my bed holding still, because if I hold still maybe I will stop bleeding and I won't be miscarrying this baby. Even though I'm sure that I am.

I could have not said anything. Only a handful of people would have known. I would stay as busy as I've always been, gone on to put our house on the market this week, (hopefully) move to our dream house, and it would look like I have a perfect life with my perfect little family (and maybe a llama!). And in so many ways I do. But nobody's life is like that.

I'm not so very different than I was six years ago. Not really. And we're not really that different from each other. Everyone has ups and downs, and goals and disappointments. And it is just the way of things.

It is still nice to have a place to write them all down so I can come back when I need it.


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tuesday Nights

Tonight it was Husband's turn to question the crazy nighttime noises heard around these parts once the kids have gone to bed.

He peeked his head up from under the counter where he was installing the dishwasher. "What is that sound? Do you have water running?" 

I'm busy overseeing things from the recliner- bouncing between butcher block installation articles and homeschool lesson planning.

"Uh huh."

"What is it?"

"Homer and Marge are in the shower."


And he went back to work. 

Homer and Marge are my library ferns. But of course you knew that. It totally makes me smile that he did.

Happy Tin Anniversary tomorrow.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Getting downtown.

What the crap is that beeping sound?

I thought it was the smoke alarm? Maybe our possessed oven?

Oh, wait. It's husband and his Morse code app. In the bathroom. It's kind of driving me batty. But I can't really say anything. I need to be supportive of my husband and his more crazy endeavors. I mean, it's not like he asked me to take the train downtown to the Capitol with the kids in the crazy heat to attend a rally to support Midwifery.

Oh, wait. He's also installing the new microwave. He does not use swears, but I think I can hear him think them. I have nothing to complain about. Keep on beeping on.

This picture is so funny to me because Scrunch is totally frustrated that Porkchop is not getting his Princess Posed Smile down and Porkchop is frustrated for the same reason.

Getting a clear picture of us on a moving train is damned near impossible. Juju's expressions are my favorite.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I want to go to Italy for four weeks and become a Gelato Master. Stupid WholeFoods and their pistachio gelato is too far away for me to go when a craving hits. Why can't they stay open late like the crap selling stores with their OtterPops?

Monday, June 24, 2013

I remember...

When I was six we lived with my Grandma and Grandpa for a while. I remember getting ready for school while Grandma watched her recording of Days of Our Lives before going to work. I never got into soaps and almost never watch t.v. now, but I know all about the evil Stefano and the Brady family.

Grandma came with my Mom this weekend for a visit. We had a lake day and a shopping day and brought home a kitten for Scrunch. She's begged for a kitty since she was three. What can I say? I don't mind the animals, and she told me a week ago that animals were her hobby. She has no interest in doing t-ball, soccer, or swim team so 4-H and poop scooping are our future. Let the Noah's Ark jokes begin.... It actually is a very sweet kitty, but honestly! You'd think these ladies might have talked me out of it, but no. They are enablers. I might be classified as one too after our visit to the knitting shop. 

Grandma does amazing needlepoint and is a very good knitter. I found out that even though there were women in her family who knew how, she learned to knit from a neighbor. This is funny because I learned from a library book, and not Grandma. It's like a non-tradition tradition.

Another random fact...Scrunchs' 'Pandora' looks JUST like Grandma's kitty 'Pixie' did. I also remember the day Grandpa brought 'Pixie' and 'Tigala' home from the mill.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I am...

hoping part of our Reverence FHE stuck and will continue to stick through a couple of Sacrament meetings before we need to revisit the topic again.

anxious to demolish the other kitchen counter top. Oh yes. Yes I did.

grateful my Husband is oh so very patient.

giddy about the idea of not having to scrub grout on the counters any more. Except in the bathrooms. This year.

debating about where to plant the Katy apricot tree and whether the limes and limequats should stay in pots or go in the ground.

obsessing over whether or not I could pull off making a giant hypertufa planter.

resigned to the idea that I am becoming an old lady who fusses over her fruit trees and deadheading   flowerbeds, and has read a few too many tutorials on hypertufa.

pleased that I am starting to get this spinning thing. 

relieved to be taking a break from violin lessons for the summer.

exhausted from making Goldfish patterns, oil pastel-ing, water coloring, pipe cleaner twisting, and potato stamping at Art Camp today.

excited about our upcoming get away.

worried that Crazytown might be enough to send my sister over the edge.

guilty that I'm not as concerned as perhaps I should be that it might send my sister over the edge. I've done my part. Baby is weaned and Porkchop is on the potty (for today).

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Can you see me now?

If you can see this picture then you know I am one proud mama...

Did it work? Can you see the pictures now?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

My big fat goal for the day is to cast on Mix No. 13. This means after showers and family work we'll be having a marathon of How It's Made.

See my sweater? I plan on it being my Netflix marathon sweater- before and after it is knit.


I think we could all use the down time. Monday we rode our bikes to the lake and I am more sore than I should be. Yesterday was the first day of Art Camp. With ELEVEN kids under 10! We read a story, talked about Wassily Kadinsky, started their very own circle painting with oil pastels while rocking out to different moods of music. They made color wheels with coloring and practiced mixing colors with play-doh. I had fun. I counted the activities a success because I was completely beat by the afternoon, and Scrunch announced after dinner that her orange Otter Pop was a secondary color.

On his way home from work Husband called and told me the missionaries' dinner appointment canceled- meaning they were looking for somewhere to eat. I was planning on feeding my kids black beans and rice (they like it, I swear) but I rallied some energy and put on my new go-to Crap Company's Coming dinner of bulgogi, kimchi coleslaw, Korean melon, and sticky rice. It's just exotic enough for it to seem like some thought went into it, but I almost always have all of the ingredients and everyone loves it. We have secured our place once again as their favorite place to eat, which means I can probably expect at least a few more drop-ins for dinner before the next transfers. This may or may not have had to do with the fact that I "forgot" to turn off my Pearl Jam Pandora station when they arrived and we let them jump on the trampoline. Technically this is against the rules but I counted it worth it when on his way out one of them said, "Thanks for helping remind us what it's like to have a family and that we're regular people. Sometimes being a missionary is hard."

No crap it's hard. I went 21 days without grains, sugar, or dairy with only a couple of "cheat" meals and I don't know if I could have done it. Scrunch and Porkchop love having them here and think they are the best ever! I love to hear the missionaries bear testimony to my kids about what they are doing and how much they love Christ and his gospel so I guess it is worth the trade-off of feeding them every once in a while from the comfort of my play-doh encrusted kitchen. Plus, Juju is their favorite. But how could she not be?

Monday, June 10, 2013

Last Monday my list was...

bunny hutch
bird cage
blog my banquette.

And I did all of them, except the very last. But now, now I will show you. It is one of my all-time very favorite house projects I've completed. I like to remind my husband just how much money I saved him by buying my sewing machine and serger last summer just so I could do this project. Do you know how much  they want to charge for custom bench cushions?

Some day, I want there to be french doors instead of the slider. Some day. For now I am very happy with the happiest of high chairs.

While he was gone, I couldn't sleep. I never sleep well when he's gone, so I stay up working on projects and I wake up super early to work on them some more. Because it is either very early or very late, these pictures are awful, but you get the idea. Hopscotch and polka dots because I can!

And if I still can't sleep I re-arrange the furniture. Again.

He doesn't even flinch if he walks into a room and it is completely different from last he saw it. Sometimes it's because he's been gone a week and other's that very same morning. He even encourages some of my crazy ideas. Like hosting a weekly Summer Art Camp for ten kids. I might be more excited than the kids. He set up my new printer and got the kids to clean up while I sorted supplies and got the last little bits ready. I am going to keep him.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Random Friday

  • If there were a gallon of ice cream anywhere in the freezer right now, it would only remain so for another forty-seven seconds. And then it might be. completely. empty. I have needed to allow myself a "cheat" meal (or three) per week so as not to completely fall off the wagon. I served cauliflower "rice" last week. We should have just called it what it was- cauliflower mush and not gotten our hopes up. Watermelon with coconut milk is just not cutting it for an indulgence this Friday night. 
  • Porkchop had his tubes put in yesterday. He's fine. He was looped from the pain meds they gave him during surgery and was slow to come out of anesthesia. When we asked him what he wanted for breakfast he said what sounded like "beer". I think he was trying to say burger. When we went to get him his burger for lunch he puked all over himself and his carseat. Yeah, he's a lightweight. But it didn't stop him from wanting to change into his swimming suit and go to the park. His greatest annoyance was not remembering that he did indeed have the green popcicle they promised in recovery.
  • We made our Summer Fun list. Scrunch was kicked off the planning committee when her first and only contribution was "dye my hair orange." Husband and I made the list ourselves. And they're going to have fun dammit! We might have planned things a little better when highlighted in bold on Porkchop's discharge paperwork, "NO SWIMMING FOR 4 WEEKS." Oops. 
  • Cadbury and Gnomeo are bigger than Jango. This makes their interactions quite hilarious. Juju and Jango are about the same size. Juju is NOT impressed that she has been mistaken by Jango several times as a puppy. She doesn't think there's anything hilarious about him except maybe feeding him spoonfuls of beans from the safety of her highchair. * Note to new readers...Cadbury and Gnomeo are the French Angoras. Juju is my almost 16-month old. Jango is the 8 week old Airedale Terrier. Note to old readers...There might be a quiz on this later.
  • Because I am without someone to mock my Netflix selections, I am going to be starting 'Heart of Dixie'. The young women at our last knitting class Wednesday night were talking about it. I've looked it up and looks like I can watch it. I don't like creepy, weird, or scary. A B-rated sappy, cheese-fest is what I'm in the mood for.
  • Dear Husband, You know those dark chocolate chunks on a stick from Brussels that are for stirring into your hot chocolate that you've been saving for a romantic evening on the back patio with our new solar mood lighting? Well, I just remembered we had them. I hope the Toronto airport sells gourmet chocolate or a suitable replacement. Sorry.
  • I started cleaning out the other side of the garage today. That really is a winter activity. Crap it got hot. I might resume come November.
  • Is it too late to start cucumbers from seed?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Jango bobango bananafana fo fango meemymomango Ja-ango!

If everyone in your neighborhood jumped off a bridge, would you?

Apparently, I would.

The neighbors next door, the neighbors behind us, the ones kitty corner to that...they all have new puppies. But when my Aunt blasted my Instagram feed with Charlie, I was a goner.

Some girls want jewelry. Others fancy cars. I want more more commitment than that. Like another 10-14 years of it. Happy Anniversary, Birthday, Christmas to me!

His name is Jango.

He's an Airedale terrier. He'll look like this when he grows up.

We raised them growing up and they are awesome family dogs. I am smitten with my new baby. At eight weeks old he still smells puppy. It's one of the best smells in the world. He sleeps on my feet and is scoring major points with Mommy. Jedi thinks he's great. The kids think he's great. And clearly my Husband must love me immensely. After ten years I must be rubbing off on him though, because he wants a corn snake for his birthday. I'm not sure I want to move the puppy teething popcicles over in the freezer enough to make room for rats.

Monday, May 27, 2013

30 Before 30 Update

We made it through the BBQ. We had a nice visit with the in-laws. And I caved to severe peer pressures and brought home a puppy. But more on that later. None of these three things were on my 30 Before 30 list, but they probably should have been.

Make sushi- Back in January we took a class for a date night. It was totally worth it. We even stayed in on Valentine's Day and I went to a cool fish market downtown and made our dinner.

Ice skate in Yosemite- Just before Husband left on his last trip to Israel he flew out of LA so we stopped in Yosemite on our way down to SoCal. I never want to go back to Yosemite in the summer time. In the winter it's so pretty and there's only three other people there. Even though it was gorgeous, I still don't like ice skating. These were taken after I completely froze my tokus off.

Buy something with my initials on it- Mega-clearance from West Elm. It holds my earrings on my nightstand perfectly.

Start violin lessons again- This has been a challenge, but I've committed to practicing an hour a day. My teacher is really nice. She's about my age and we have a lot in common. We can never be BFFs though because she is kicking my trash. She's been playing for over 20 years and played in college on a scholarship. She has a perfectly trained ear and her violin is worth more than I am. She has a system where if you don't practice and pass off your assignment for the week, you get a star. Three stars and she'll drop you as a student. I'm proud to say that I haven't gotten a single star yet. I just chose my repertoire piece to focus on for the next several weeks. Nice, huh?

In June I'm focusing on 30 Days of Yoga, spinning from my bunny, and casting on my Kelmscott sweater.

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