Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer List 2016!


Here's what we got done in the Spring:

  1. Plant flower bed
  2. Plant flowers in pots on the porch.
  3. Plant vegetable garden.  
  4. Help Anna finish 6 projects early:  
    1. Photography  Pictures are on their way here, so this one is ALMOST done.
    2. Cross Stitch, 
    3. Quilting, This is going to have to be a two year project
    4. Crochet,  She decided to skip this one
    5. Visual Arts, Maybe 1/2 done?
    6. Clothing Construction.  Recycled done and one other, still working on the "main" one.
  5. Sew something with Joela for Clothing Construction.
  6. Green Box
  7. Reconfigure Sewing Room to fit new machine.
  8. Bind Lauren's Quilt
  9. Switch the kids' clothes and eliminate some. 
  10. Finish Jules' blankie.

And here's what I need to do this summer:

1.  Get out the baby stuff.
2.  Have baby.
3.  Kid photo shoot
4.  Baby Announcements and CD
5.  FAIR
6.  Big Lobmeyer Party
7.  Cabin
8.  Keep up with the garden
9.  Start kids back to school.
10.  Can some things.
11.  Finish lesson plans for August.
12.  Finish Jules' Blankie!!!
13.  Go through big boxes of fabric.
14.  Go through box under table.
15.  Go through big basket.
16.  See the Art in OKC.
17.  Make baby shirt for Big Lobmeyer Party
18.  Read that book from Susan.
19.  Mail things in the big pile.
20.  Make something for me or for house.  Made myself a rug for outside the door to my office, a new dishcloth, and a cover for my mixer.
21.  Green Box I've been avoiding this project for a year!  Took only 90 minutes.  Woohoo!
22.  Bonnie's Birthday gift.  I didn't even put this on the list because I was kind of dreading it.  but it's done and wrapped so I'm adding it now.  :)

Probably way too many things-I always think that there will be SO. MUCH. TIME! when I'm on Maternity leave and there is not.  I know that.    But it feels good to have things I want to do recorded somewhere.

This is going to be a great season.  :)

Thursday, April 07, 2016


For the past couple of years, I have had this funny reaction to my birthday.  I feel kind of overwhelmed and frustrated when someone asks me what I want.  I tend to think things like "I don't have time to want things for my birthday", which I realize is a ridiculous thought.

So yesterday as I was checking in books I thought about it and figured out a couple of things.

I don't want stuff, because I spend so much time dealing with stuff.  If I get, for example, a new chair for my office, (which makes sense because it's not the best chair in the world and it's pretty uncomfortable for months 6-9 of pregnancy) I have to deal with the packaging from the new chair, moving the new chair, deciding what to do with the old chair, etc.  That is a lot of work.  I would rather just sit on a pillow or just not sit in my office for a couple of months than add more work to my life.  Stuff = work.  Even things that I do really want-either mean that I would have to find a place for it, or find time to use it, or do something with the old thing, and the thought of adding more work to my life feels like the opposite of a present.

What I do really want, really, is help.  Just help with any of the things that I have to do, or especially help with the things that I want to do, but will never get to because of all of the work.  This was a wonderful thing to figure out.

So I asked Dad to get me gardening supplies-the plants and the mulch, etc. and Susan and Steven to come out and help me and the kids dig up and plant the vegetable garden and get it all set up.

I asked Katrina to help me plant flowers on the porch.  She'll bring me flowers and potting soil and help me and the kids plant together and it is perfect.

It's a much bigger gift though-because it costs both money AND time, and I realize I'm a hugely lucky girl to have these people in my life.

Anna is still not convinced-I remember my Mom telling me she wanted things like "for you all to be happy", "for you and your sisters to get along", "for you to remember to wipe off the counters after you do the dishes" and being so frustrated.  But it's true.  I want those things more than anything else (except maybe hard floors in the house.  I do want that a whole lot).

What sorts of things do you want these days?

Friday, April 01, 2016

Anna's machine

For Science, in their study of simple machines, the kids each had to design a Rube Goldberg machine.
It was a LOOONG, but really fun project for Anna and Daddy to work on together.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spring 2016

Time for a new list!  Thanks to a perfectly wonderful Spring Break, I got a lot of these things done.  

Winter 2016--
  • Banquette seating/Benches
  • Bathroom in Basement
  • Cut out Lauren's Quilt
  • Katie Birthday
  • Try to make Toffee
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Put away Christmas
  • Figure out Spring Break
  • Teddy Baby Book
  • Hall Photos
  • 8x10 Album
  • Christmas Card Display
  • Prune and Fertilize trees
  • Thank you notes  From Christmas but we're still working on Katie's birthday...
  • Portraits
  • New Schedule
  • Take Recycling
  • Go through house again,  A few things, but not too many.  
  • Go for walks as a family.
Now for Spring!  2016

  1. Plant flower bed
  2. Plant flowers in pots on the porch.
  3. Plant vegetable garden.  
  4. Help Anna finish 6 projects early:  
    1. Photography, 
    2. Cross Stitch, 
    3. Quilting, This is going to have to be a two year project
    4. Crochet,  She decided to skip this one
    5. Visual Arts, and 
    6. Clothing Construction.  
  5. Sew something with Joela for Clothing Construction.
  6. Green Box
  7. Reconfigure Sewing Room to fit new machine.
  8. Bind Lauren's Quilt
  9. Switch the kids' clothes and eliminate some. 
  10. Finish Jules' blankie.
Hooray for lists.  I look forward to this every time the season changes.  :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Overheard in the Elementary School-Election Edition

4th grade boy:  What will you do if Trump wins?
4th grade boy II:  Move to another country. 


4th grade boy:  ...Tom Cruise is gonna win.

4th grade boy II:  No, he's a cheater!  He said Ben Carson was not gonna run, but he was still.  So he's a cheater, I don't like Tom Cruise. 

4th grade boy:  He's better than Trump.

4th grade boy II:  No.  He's a cheater.  A cheater can't be president.

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Podcast Recommendations for Kids

We love listening to things in the car.  Sometimes it's a book, sometimes podcasts, sometimes (but more rarely) music.

Here are our kid podcast favorites at the moment.

Brains On! is a Science podcast for kids.  They answer questions sent in by kids, each show is co-hosted by different kids, they incorporate a "mystery sound" sent in by listeners (kids).  We love it.

Story Time is short 10-15 minute bedtime stories, read by someone British.  We have tried lots and lots of different story podcasts, and discovered that I dislike most of them. Either the stories are poorly written, or I don't like the subtext, or they're not well delivered.   I'm really picky about it, but I like this one!

On Wednesdays, my two favorite podcasts come out, and the kids know we're listening to those first.  The rest of the time they get to pick.  (Unless Katie is having a particularly bad day, and then we all agree that the best thing to do is to let her listen to "quiet classical music" which is what she demands requests on particularly bad days).    My two favorites are not really kid podcasts, but are fine to listen to with kids in the car.

Happier  You can tell I'm a Gretchen Rubin fan.  I love this podcast with real life happiness tips.  Gretchen and her sister Elizabeth are from Kansas City, but live in New York and LA now, and I think it's interesting to hear about their lives, in such different places, and I love practical happiness tips.

Three Dogs North  I've probably mentioned this one before because I love it so.  Two seminarians and a priest, talking about faith and life and all sorts of things.  The last episode of February discussed St. Ambrose, and how his kindness to St. Augustine was important to his conversion, and how St. Augustine is a huge figure in Christian History.  And how it ALL MATTERS.  EVERYTHING MATTERS.  I love that.  We are not all Augustine, but that's not the point-Ambrose's kindness is just as important as Augustine's writing.  It's not up to me to figure out how it's all going to work, it's just up to me to do my best and to do what I can, where I am, with what I have.
{We listen to all of these using the podcast app on my iphone.  It's the little purple icon.  Find your podcast, subscribe to it, and it'll pop up with a notification when you have a new episode.  Click on "feed" to listen to old episodes.}

What podcasts do you love?  I'll try them out!  And let me know if you try one of these!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Energy Update

Remember last month when I was thinking about Energy and making grand plans?

Here's an update:  

I made myself some notes so that I wouldn't forget.  

1.  I am tired.  I just have to admit that I am ACTUALLY tired sometimes. And that is OK. So now what do I do with that?

2. Read more books. That way I still feel like I'm getting something done, and there are lots and lots and lots of books that I would like to read. I'm just reading fun things, the sort of productivity stuff that I find fascinating and helpful and like to think about. Here are a few I've enjoyed lately:

The Happiness Project: Gretchen Rubin

Happier at Home: Gretchen Rubin

The Secrets of Happy Families: Bruce Feiler

3. More acceptance:  Different stage of life equals just less time in general.  

4. BUT--the sewing mindset really does help. I was thinking for awhile that the only time I was going to actually sew was on a Snow Day. But then we had some good weekends, and MJL played Kings Quest with the kiddos, and I've gotten quite a bit more sewing done. I have to have a project ready in mind, have the office tidy, and know what step comes next. When I only have 15 minutes to sew, I can only sew if I know exactly what I'm doing next. I don't have the mental space to think and plan when the kids are awake.

5.  Taking a project for the car is good.  I can get a little dribble of some kind of hand work done and that feels good, like time redeemed. Better than looking at my phone for 5 minutes.

6. Don’t sit down by the fire if you can avoid it.  

7.  Some days you are too tired to avoid it.  

8.  Just go to bed early.

9. Go outside! It helps that we've had warm weather the past couple of weeks, it really does boost my energy and spirits. Even shuttling the kids out to the van and back is remarkably nicer when the weather is warm. (But I still want some snow! Or something. It's been really dry this winter).

10. The cycle is interesting. Equal parts "accept that you are tired" and "there are some things you can do about it".

Any other energy boosters you can share?