Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Box Sledding

Looking for a fun family activity now that spring it here? Try box sledding. A friend introduced me to it and it's a blast!

These pictures were actually taken last fall. I never got around to blogging about them, but the pictures just make me too happy not to post them.

After taping all the boxes together, we realized that the hill behind our house was insufficient and so moved the process to our friend's back yard. Here's the moving process. It reminds me of a big caterpiller.

We had so much fun. I didn't get many pictures, but you can see the joy on Girly-Whirl's face.

This was actually a party to welcome Ruggles home from his mission to Thailand. As he got ready to slide down, I got my camera all focused in. He shoved off and the camera died. Dead batteries. Thbbthtbbt. So, no action shots of the guest of honor. (Ain't that just how it goes?)

Here's my only picture of him that night, with my prego Sis (who's baby was born in January)

Wanna box sled at your house? Use big boxes (less seams that way). Make sure that the overlap is on the downhill side and cover each seam with packaging tape. Sit on a piece of cardboard and slide on down.

Note: It's a fast slide! Be careful. Proceed at your own risk. (Can you believe you have to say that or risk a law suit?)
Note #2: I drafted this post in January but didn't want to post it until now. Shouldn't the post say todays date? ANNOYING! I didn't want to redo the whole post. I can cut and paste the text, but puting the pictures back in was just too much!

Monday, March 22, 2010


This is not a political blog. But sometimes you just got say something!

I have followed the current debate in the country very closely and my biggest questions have not been addressed by the party in power. (Not in the whole 100 years of discussion about health care reform. (smirk))

So here are my questions:

In the Refusal to Learn from History category:
1. Can anyone point to even one government entitlement program that wasn't riddle with fraud?

2. Can anyone show me a single country with nationalized heathcare where costs went down and the quality of care went up?

In the Refusal to Use some Commen Sense category:
1. What would be the drawback of trying real torte reform? (Other than the decrease of trial lawyer dollars lining the pocket of our lawmakers) It's working well in Texas, wouldn't cost a dime to enact and could have huge benefits.

2. Why have lawmakers refused to try real competition for insurance companies. Again, it wouldn't cost a dime and could make such a difference.

In the Shaking my Head category:
1. When there are so many untried low and no cost options that could arguably fix the worst of the "healthcare crisis", why are we taking drastic measures that the majority of citizens of this country are apposed to?


Saturday, March 20, 2010


I've had multiple things I wanted to blog about, but life got in the way. The following three posts are a quick attempt to catch up on some of them.

Catching up. #1 Dangerous Things!

My husband recently bought the book: Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do) by Gever Tulley and Julie Spiegler. It's well worth the price. I agree with the premise that if all corners are rounded and everything is made of plastic, our children miss out on a lot of learning/creative opportunities.

We chose ten things from the book, invited our neighbors to the north, and made a day of it.

Here are a few of the photos:

Dinner cooked in the dishwasher. (And, yes, we washed dishes on the bottom rack!)
Launching a hot air balloon in the family room (it sorta worked!)
Smashing thrift store dishes (this was a definite favorite!)

The end result in the garbage can.

An overcooked peep fresh from the microwave (the grapes sparked a little, the CD's were a spectacular three seconds and the marshmallows were HUGE!)

Taking apart appliances. This one was another fav. We took apart a printer, a joy stick, an adding machine, a keyboard and a telephone. Lot's of cool parts inside!

This is our bomb in a baggie right before it exploded!
Girlie-Whirl about to lick a 9-volt battery!
We didn't get any good pictures of the super glued fingers but it was a big hit. No dry ice to be found so that didn't happen. But our neighbors said they're going to plan a whole day around dry ice and invite us over! Can't wait!

Catching up. #2 Bread?

We load our bread machine every sunday morning. We adore coming home from church to the smell of hot bread.

Last sunday we came home to this.

This is the top of the loaf.

Here's the bottom.

My son swears he put all the right stuff in. We have no idea what went wrong. Any ideas?

Catching up. #3 Piano!

Last month, my husband bought me this!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!!! We've had an old piano for years and all of my children have learned to play on it. It's been a great blessing to our family, but it wasn't a great piano when it was new and decades later it's simply not a joy to play.

The new piano is an Essex. It was designed for use in schools and university practice rooms. It wasn't made to be a beautiful showpiece of furniture. It was made to sound fab and last long enough to be passed down to my great-grandchildren.

The WHOLE family is playing constantly! Hubders has dusted off Moonlight Sonata and he's almost re memorized it (note: he has a musician's soul, but can't read music, so he learned to play this piece by learning where middle C was on both the page and the keyboard and counting up or down for all the other notes-- and he plays it beautifully!) Bikey-Boy and Banana-Girl are practicing without nagging from Mom. I'm playing almost daily. It's been such a good thing in our home!!

Thanks Hubders!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I'm not a decorator, but I love my new light!

My home is not impressively decorated. I'm cheap and although I enjoy looking at beautiful homes, magazines about decorating and decorating blogs, I don't usually implement any of the ideas that I see.

As a result, I don't love my home. Let me clarify. I love it because it's where the people I adore the most hang out and because I can relax here. But I don't love the way it looks and it doesn't reflect my personality (except the disorganization--that's me to a T!) It's time to branch out and fall in love with my home.

This blog is one of my favs. In the past, one of my biggest roadblocks to home decorating is that I know it won't be perfect and so I don't even start. The Nester's philosophy of decorating is "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." I'm starting to embrace that concept and it's so freeing!

I went garage saleing with a good friend last Saturday and found a light fixture that I fell in love with. It was super cheap (nine bucks), but has no glass. I decided that nine dollars was worth the risk of having it sit in the basement if I never bothered to buy the glass.

However, I didn't put it in the basement after I brought it home. I left it on the floor of the dining area. Hubders (who didn't even like the light) put it up yesterday! (Thanks sweetheart!) I LOVE it!!! It's not perfect, incomplete as it is, but it's beautiful!

This is my old fixture (actually this one is just like it and hangs over my stairs--nice, huh?). It's shiny and tired looking and only gives off 180 watts of light.

Here's the new one. It's distressed and has character. It's big and fab! It gives off soooo much more light than our old one. My dining area is so flooded with light as I type this that the kitchen lights are rendered unnecessary. Imperfect, but puts the old fixture to shame!

(Tangent: This picture shows two of my favorite things in my home, the chocolate donut clock, which I found at a junk shop. It's cheap and covered in naugahyde and I have to keep re-hot gluing in spots, but I LOVE it! The other, the $20 mirror I found at walmart one day. Also notice our nook for the entertainment center we've yet to build. Believe it or not, what you see is a HUGE improvement. Until last week it had a small tv stand, a side table and a small coffee table all lined up in the nook for our media needs.)

I don't know how long it will take me to find the right glass. I need eight of them, and I won't spend an arm and a leg, so this could take a while. But, in the meantime, I'm so excited over the beauty of my light that who cares if you can see the white part you screw the bulb into? It's such an improvement that I'm happy to live just like this for a while!
One more shot, a close up, just 'cuz I can, and it makes me happy! (if you click on the picture you can make it full size and truly see the beauty of my $9 light!)

Monday, March 1, 2010

He May WEAR the Pants, But Does He BUY Them?

Within the first couple years of our marriage, my husband became very hesitant to purchase clothing for me. The first item of clothing he ever bought me was a bathrobe for Christmas. Not the one I would have chose, however, and since it didn't fit I had a good excuse to exchange it. I came home with a different style which squelched any desires he had to repeat the scenario. Btw, the robe I bought was cute, but way too hot. I could never wear it for more than ten minutes at a time and eventually gave it way in pristine condition. I shoulda kept the one he bought me!

One Christmas, eight-ish years later, wanting to encourage him, I asked for a white turtle neck for Christmas. I gave him my size, he headed out and quickly returned, somewhat confused and overwhelmed. Too many sizes and choices, he said. When I asked what on earth he meant (after all, I gave him the size and how many choices can there be for a white turtle neck?) he informed me that there were lots of confusing choices. There was a Misses section, a Petite section and a Women's section and each of those sections had both turtle necks and mock turtle necks. He was at a loss! And he had a point, let's face it, women's sizes are stupid.

Undaunted, I told him to buy it from the misses section, that either mock or turtle would be acceptable and sent him back. On Christmas morning, I opened up a package to find a white turtle neck with tiny navy blue flowers all over it. It was lovely, but wouldn't go with a single thing in my closet. However, wanting to show him how tickled I was with his brave foray into the women's clothing section, I searched high and low until I found a navy blue cardigan to buy that looked fab with the turtle neck. I then proceeded to wear it to death, and truly loved that turtleneck. (I also bought the white one that he didn't buy for me).

Jump forward to Christmas 1990. We had been married 15 years by this time and my man had purchased exactly two items of clothing for me, a bathrobe and a turtleneck. It wasn't a big deal to me. He's very supportive whenever I feel the need to buy new clothes (in fact, I have to be careful because he always say yes to me -- he's just like that).

Christmas morning there were some nicely sized boxes with my name on them. I was dumbfounded as I opened them and found that each one contained clothing!!! Four blouses and two dresses in all!!! He'd gone to Dress Barn, asked for help (what a man!), and bought me lots of lovely clothes!

I never did learn the specific whys of the sudden change, except that he loves me and thought I'd enjoy it. He was right. Ya know, ya think ya know the man and yet, he continues to surprise me. Makes me happy!

Does your husband buy clothes for you? Do you wish he would (or wouldn't)?