...and they all lived happily ever after...

...and they all lived happily ever after...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


1. Jr. High: (to me the most important update) -- Bryce LOOOVES jr high.

I could not be more thrilled.
First day of jr. high (and nearly too cool for pictures of it)

He says he likes every single one of his teachers (even the twenty-something math teacher that his friends says is hot which made Bryce gag...and me laugh).  He also likes his gym teacher who rudely told Bryce not to be a smart mouth when Bryce corrected the teacher's pronunciation of our last name (which is admittedly tricky, but still makes me want to raspberry in the guy's face because he got snotty with my boy...thankfully, Bryce handled the situation more maturely than that). 

My little boy is loving school, and I am loving that!  I hope it stays like this for a good, long time.  And thanks to all those who have made this a great experience for him so far.  You have quieted this paranoid mother's heart.

2. Summer Reading:  We made it!

It was a bit of a scramble at the end (of course I sort of cheated and when we couldn't reach up on the wall anymore because we were all too short, I decided since we hadn't filled to the top of the door frame which was my original challenge, we would just fill the whole wall below the lip of the stairs which was much more reading than before, which I secretly loved...I know, mean mom!).  But we did it!  Every child read at least 10 books, most read lots more (we have one little anti-reader so 10 was fabulous for him).  Now we just have to plan our reward activity and it will be a done deal.  Awesome!

Our picture doesn't look like it is so many books, but there are tons and since the little kids were limited to 3 books a day on the wall, it is a good lot of reading for the older ones. (Turns out there were 250 something total books read in 7 weeks...pretty good if you ask me.)

(Notice the funny little lip in the middle of the wall.)
 3. Our Garden:  We are harvesting!  Hooray!

At the moment our attention is focused on our green onions (aka scallions).

Somehow our green onions seem to have gotten their roots on a bunch of steroids because they took off this year and became GIGANTIC!  I've never had that happen before.  They are always healthy and plump but these guys are more than three feet tall and many of their tendrils are thicker than my big toe.  Weird, but still tasty.

I learned a few years ago that you can chop up green onions, put them in a zip seal bag and throw them in the freezer and then you have garden fresh onions all winter, so we did that.  After filling six bags we decided that was enough.  We still have more than half of a 10 foot row of green onions left.  Yea, they're that big.  If anyone is interested in inheriting some onions to use or chop up and freeze, feel free to come on by.  You can take all you want.  I'd hate to waste them, but I never imagined they would be so huge, they haven't done that before.

Parker chatting it up with an onion.

all chopped and ready to bag and freeze
 Also, my pumpkins are beautiful!  Did I ever tell you that I love my pumpkins?  I do.  They are beginning to dot the entire garden and have even tumbled into the neighbors yard a bit (no one minds, we have great neighbors).  They are patiently plumping themselves and preening until closer to Halloween.  Love it!

 4. Crohn's:  I probably should have kept my mouth shut.

I was worried that saying the "r" word out loud (the one that rhymes with "free fishin") would jinx things.  I have lost 4 pounds in the last week which under normal circumstances is fabulous, but unexplained weight loss is what started me on the road to my diagnosis so I am a little concerned.  Maybe it is nothing.  I notice twinges in my gut now and then, but that could be nothing.  I am so attentive when it comes to my intestines that I notice EVERY TINY THING so even nothing can seem like something.  Thankfully my joints are getting stronger (I can now take brownies out of the oven one handed although it still takes two hands to remove a lasagna...baby steps).  I'm going to stay on the "everything is fine" band wagon for the moment and hope that that is true.  We'll see.

5. Last (but surely not least) The Husband:  Still love the man.

This is what he brought me on our anniversary.  I love them.  Sadly they are dead now.  That's why I took a picture.  He is busy soccering away with the girls high school team for the next month and a half so we don't see him as often as we would like, but that's life.  We still adore him and are grateful for all that he does to take care of our family.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Time to start jr. high...sigh

Tomorrow, this not-so-little-anymore boy starts jr. high school.
I can hardly believe that.  He is so thrilled he can hardly stand it.  I have loved watching him pore over his schedule (especially now that it is fixed and he is no longer staring at "beginning dance" 4th period which was an error that nearly brought the thrill of jr high to a screeching halt).  He has loved shopping for school clothes and supplies that are "cool" enough to graduate from elementary into middle school.  He can hardly wait to get going.
I, on the other hand, am apprehensive (to say the least).  I am trying really hard to keep my fear and concern folded tightly and boxed up inside so that I don't dribble those feelings into him when he is just fine, but I am really nervous.
I remember jr. high.
For me, it was NOT a friendly and happy place.
I can't stand the thought of this boy that I adore having to endure some of the horrors that adolescent monsters can dish out (ok, I know not all of them -- or even most of them -- are monsters; I do love a bit of hyperbole). 
I am vaguely terrified.
Thankfully, Josh is fine.  He has complete confidence in our son and in his ability to make good friends and enjoy the ride.  I am doing my best to glide along in the wake of his positivity.  I'm doing my best to drown my trepidation and watch as my sweetheart stretches his wings and soars into a new adventure.
I do want him to be able to grow, and I know that sometimes pain is a part of that process.  But I happen to adore this young man and as his mother I want to shield him from anything bad if I can.  Hopefully it won't be an issue.  He is very much like his father (who is rarely intimidated by anything and is great with people) and I know he will do great things in life. 
I am excited to watch him grow. 
(This is the part where I swallow down my anxiety and only let my "excited for you" vibe shine through.) 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hidden nutrition

One of my favorite kitchen appliances is this little, KitchenAid dicer. 

I LOVE it!

I have kids who often whine about vegetables in meals ("Mom, why did you put salad on my taco?") and while I don't give in and let them not eat said vegetable, I sometimes try to remove the inevitable headache by hiding my vegetables in foods. 

I know there may be people out there saying, "This is ridiculous.  Put the veggies out where everyone can see and then let the kids slowly learn that they like them after all.  Why indulge their ridiculous behavior?"  I am not saying you are wrong.  What I AM saying is that I have kids who are afraid of food and often decide that they don't like something before tasting it and no amount of "yummy" can convince them otherwise.  This is the solution that works for me and my family, if something else works better for you, more power to you.  Hopefully in time our veggies will be able to come out of hiding and come face to face with our dinner plate, but that's not the case right now.

So, I use this little number to chop things to tiny bits and then I mix them into foods.  On this particular night I chopped up the "salad" and mix it into my hamburger meat for tacos.  It doesn't disappear but no one wants tacos without meat so we get through with much less whining.

I have also been known to stir chopped spinach into spaghetti sauce, diced peppers into barbecue chicken, cubed cauliflower into casseroles, sliced asparagus into fried rice...you name it.  I try to maneuver vegetables into the main course of every meal if I can find a way -- even if I have to disguise them.

Aren't my kids surprised when I tell them my secret ingredient of a dish they relish is something that started in a garden.  I just love that.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dare I say it? Remission at last!

I'm almost afraid to say this -- I'd really hate to jinx it -- but I think my elusive friend, Remission, has finally decided to come and play.

I've been on Humira for a couple of months now, that's five set of injections for those of you keeping score.  The shots really do sting, but it's not that bad.  As a side note I have been told that leaving the shots out for 20 minutes or so to allow them to warm up to room temperature (they are kept in the fridge otherwise) makes them sting a bit less to which I say BOLOGNA!!! 

Still, if you ask me Humira is a beautiful thing.  It keeps my Crohn's in check.  I still have twinges of abdominal discomfort occasionally and my joints still ache sometimes to remind me that they have been put upon by my disease, but overall things are just plain beautiful.  I love that I don't wake up in the morning wondering how my intestines will behave that day.  I love that the last thought in my mind at night is of my children or my husband or the unfinished laundry instead of the ache in my stomach.  I feel very blessed to be able to enjoy life without worrying about whether I will be able to get through an event without throwing up or wincing in pain.  Things are very very good.  I sincerely hope they will stay this way for a good long time.


P.S. For any of you facing this medication I'd like to tell you a couple of things that it has brought along with it just so you know.  The day or two after an injection of Humira I feel super hot (not hot like "Wow, she's amazingly good looking," but hot like "Somebody get me a Popsicle while I lay here on the vent so the air conditioning blows in my face" kind of hot).  It is annoying but not exactly a major problem.  Let's see, feeling a little too warm or being crumpled into a ball all night because your abdomen is on fire...I think I'll take the first!

Also, the day of an injection (I do them at night so I can sleep through the first coils of side affects as they try to grab on tight) I also feel really tired and get a weird taste in the back of my mouth.  I sometimes have vague flu like symptoms, but they go away quickly.  All in all, the side affects of the drug are much more manageable than the Crohn's pains so I'll take them gladly.

Also, I told you I wasn't very fond of the imuran that I am also taking, but after a few weeks my body seemed to get used to it and it no longer causes me issues.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Happy Anniversary to the egg laying man of my dreams

This is the face of the man I love.

Yes, the picture is cruddy because it was taken with my phone, but this is the guy I am gladly stuck with forever and ever after pretending to lay an egg at Target because I told him I thought it would be funny.  You should have seen the looks people gave him while he sat there.  His face did go a little red with a twinge of embarrasment...and he did it all for me because he loves me. 

How do you explain that to someone who doesn't understand?  How do you tell people about true love -- the kind that lasts for eternity, the kind that means you are best friends and that you can tease each other and kiss each other and fight with each other and everything in between?  This man is my favorite ever, and even when I'm mad at him he is still the person I want to be around more than any other.

As of today he has stuck with me for 13 years.  I guess we're lucky it isn't a Friday (Friday the 13th anniversary?  who knows what would come of that).  But mostly we're lucky because we found each other and I think we are a perfect fit. 

Before Josh came along I was just one sad sock waiting in the dryer for a mate, but then he showed up and now we're happily wandering through life together (but not on someone's feet which is good...actually that's a stupid metaphor, forget I said that). 

I think we have many more adventures to come, and I look forward to every single one of them right by his side.  Right where I belong. 

I love you Joshua. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Life with kids


is what happens when the four year old wants into the bathroom and the six year old has locked the door.  You end up with a cracked door and numerous shoe skid marks from small angry person kicking and pounding.


(Actually not.)

Sigh, life with kids.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

This week in our life...

Medusa bath...


Meeting the locals after performing at the county fair...yup that's a baby camel and a bunch of goats...

Pampering my pumpkins...

Discovering a snapdragon among my tomatoes...We have no snapdragons in the
backyard (well, I guess we have one now), I don't know how he wandered back here
but we'll take him...

Watching Olympics (synchronized swimming to be exact)...

My favorite kind of cheese...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Little changes around our house

This past week I've made a couple of changes around the house that have been fun.  Nothing too exciting, but it is always nice to spruce things up just a touch and freshen up the house a bit.

While Josh and I were in St. George on this adventure we came home with a treasure from a consignment shop in town.  I fell in love with this faux stained glass window (minus the window parts).  It is a solid wood frame with ornamental metal accents and I LOVED it!

Then we got it home and put it up on the wall and I wasn't so sure that I loved it anymore...until we got our family pictures in it and now I love it again!  It brings a new tone to the room and I always like having more family photos looking out over us so for me it is a great change.

Next, when we put in our new screen door a couple of months ago (after this mishap) we -- and by "we" I mean Josh -- had to redo several sections of door frame as well as the wooden section above the door.

Well, a new piece of wood up there looked like a blank canvas to me and I have wanted for a while to put something fun above the door to liven things up some.

So one afternoon last week I pulled out my Cricket and some vinyl hand me downs from my sister-in-law and put a little something together.  I'm please with how it turned out, it adds just the touch I was looking for.

(Me up on the ladder working on this project)

The finished product.  The horse shoe is one from my Grandparent's farm where I grew up riding horses and loving animals.
For those who may not know legend has it a horse shoe placed in a U shape above the door catches luck and keeps it close for your family.  I think we can use that!
I love change.  I think it is fun to rearrange a room or repaint something to brighten the house a bit.  Little projects like this give me something good to work on and help me keep my home feeling fresh and alive.  Even when it is really no big deal at all, I love that sort of thing.

Friday, August 3, 2012

All about Bryce

This week has been focused on our oldest son (not that we ignored everyone else, but he's had lots to get done and has ended up at the forefront of our adventures).

First of all, after just over a month of patiently waiting, we finally had Bryce's party for his birthday.  We invited a few friends over for some sleepover excitement.  He is a little "too old" for themed parties anymore (sigh, I'll miss that).  So instead we rented a couple of movies, the new Mario London Olympics game for Wii, pizza (well, that wasn't rented, that'd be weird) and had loads of fun. 

Bryce decorated the basement family room by himself (he wanted it done just right) then waited for friends to arrive.  The kids played football in the yard, swam in our pool, played Wii and watched shows and just had a great time.  We took everyone home the next afternoon and after 24 hours of birthday our house was still standing (which I call success).  Most importantly, Bryce had a wonderful time and said it was his best party ever!  That's what I aim for every time so whew, big relief.

Also this week we met with Bryce's scout leaders about their upcoming excursion to Camp Tomahawk.  Things were pretty heated at the parent meeting because information has been slow to come and there have been some last minute changes, but after some intense discussion I think we're all on the same page and the camp should be great for the boys.

As part of camp prep we had to hurry and get Bryce a doctor's physical and have him do a swim certification.  I was a little stressed (understatement) trying to pull those together with only a few days notice, but what else could I do.

So, I shuttled Bryce to the doctor (not our normal one who is out of town, but an associate across the way).  Josh had sat Bryce down and explained that sometimes at a physical the doctor needs to assess his "boy parts."  Bryce was less than thrilled, especially since we would be seeing a stranger. 

When we walked into the office and found our doctor happened to be female his face fell a bit, but he took a deep breath and plunged in.  Toward the end of the visit Bryce looked at her and asked her if there was anything else she needed to check with a loooong glance down.  She smiled and explained that normally unless her male patients express concern she just stays out of their nether regions once they are this age.  Bryce was pretty relieved.  She was pretty adorable.

That night my mom helped me out and took Bryce to a local pool to try for his swim test (because of soccer Josh is pretty much not available this month so I sometimes have to get substitute parent figures to help me out...lucky me, I have great ones readily available and willing to help).  I know Bryce is a good swimmer, but to pass he had to swim 75 yards in a "strong" frontward stroke and then 25 yard in a back stroke.  I have never really watched him swim a long distance so I wasn't sure how it would go. 

No worries, he did it no sweat. 

My mom said he jumped in with no fear and glided his way through the pool.  He passed off the swim and then my mom made him do the whole 100 yards one more time just for good measure (this is where I learned to be the meanest mom in the world, we don't quit and we don't do the least possible to get by).  The cute little life guard signed everything off and then my mom took Bryce for ice-cream to celebrate his accomplishment (because she is awesome like that).

While at Dairy Queen Bryce turned to my mom and said, "You know, I'm not really sure it is fair for me to come home with ice cream and the other kids don't have any, would it be ok if we got some for them too?"  Weren't they all thrilled when Bryce came back and everyone got a treat to celebrate his success.

Geez I love that boy.  He has his flaws, who doesn't, but he has such a good heart and such a kind nature.  I feel incredibly lucky to have him as my boy.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...