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Saturday, February 23, 2013

February 17-23

Girls up in the trees . . . very high . . .
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"Take your tractor to school day" 
This happened last year, and I asked Josh, "Why didn't you tell me so I could get a picture of it??!"
This year he remembered.  What I didn't realize is that the high school boys would parade up and down the street next to the school with cabs full of preschoolers, giving them rides.  It was pretty adorable.
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The boys landed on a stellar idea for picking up Legos--load up the dump truck and then drive it over to the Lego container and empty out the contents.  Since they were so excited about their plan I didn't have the heart to tell them that it would actually take them longer.  In the end all that matters is the living room floor isn't a hazardous place for bare feet.
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"Winter Storm Q" begins.  Our snow started around 10:30 Wednesday morning.  They dismissed school at 2:00 (instead of the usual 3:40) and cancelled for the next day.  By evening we had 3-4 inches.
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The next morning Josh did the first dig-out.  I estimate we had around 8-10 inches at this point and then it continued snowing the rest of the day.  The cancelled school for Friday.
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Friday morning--the return of the sun!  We ended up in the vicinity of a foot of snow, the most we've seen since moving out here.  There was more snow blowing followed by a morning AND afternoon round of snow play.
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The joy of living on a dead-end street--the tractor comes through and makes a big pile for you!  The kids sledded down their mini-hill and then did some tunneling (because they are part prairie dog I think . . . remember the holes in my yard last summer??!).  
 

 

 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

February 10-16

My girls got email addresses at Christmas-time to go with their shared (Wal.mart black Friday deal) laptop.  Isabella was excited to discover her gmail account has emoticons.  I told her to use the emoticons wisely and not to use any that would be inappropriate.  Here's the first email I get from her--checking if I thought the kissy faces, bikinis, toilets, skulls, lit cigarette (etc.) emoticons were bad.  I emailed her back that she had found the ones I didn't want her to use. Oh that girl.
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I don't always run with a watch, and in fact this is only the 2nd time I slapped one on this year.  I run for the sheer euphoric feeling of running (did you all just gag a bit??). ;o)  Anyway, I was surprised and delighted to discover I had gotten a wee bit faster since last year, running four miles with an average pace of 8:33!  My half marathon pace last year averaged out to be 9:07.  Now I have no idea if I could maintain 8:33 over the course of 13 miles, but I have a new goal to shoot for.  We'll see.
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Oh, the kitty.  She spends more and more time inside, often curling up to sleep under her favorite wing back chair.  Josh has totally spoiled her.  And we have a feeling she might be growing us some more kitties . . .
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We went to the pep rally to send off Josh, his assistant coach, and the three wrestlers to the state tournament.  Now, his wrestlers don't always wear make up--the cheerleaders had them put on a fashion show as part of the pep rally entertainment--the other high school boys made them up, they had to wear dresses, and then walk the "catwalk."  I'm sure it is how every wrestler would like to be sent off.
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A pretty yellow rose (my favorite--they were in my wedding bouquet) delivered for Valentine's Day.  We're not big "V-Day" celebrators.  (In fact that morning I had texted him joking about the absence of my dozen roses).  But it was nice to be thought of while he was away in Omaha. ;o)
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My parents drove out for the day to hang out with me and the kids and break up the time with Josh gone.  We feasted on chili and cinnamon rolls, watched a documentary about Sequoia National Park, and my mom and Isabella visited the quilt shop.  It was nice to have some adult interaction. ;o)
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Because you have to put on your singlet to watch the state wrestling tournament. ;o)
We were all thrilled that two of Josh's wrestlers made it to the championship matches.  They both ended up placing 2nd.  The kids loved getting to see Daddy on tv. ;o)  The last time I watched state wrestling on tv was when this cute blonde junior in my church youth group won himself a 1st place medal. 
A few years later down the road I married him. ;o)
 

 
 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

February 3-9

 Kicking off the week with secretary dismantling.  I ascertained that the cubbies would be removable for painting if we could remove two screws.  Josh was excited to use one of his new tools--a saw that would cut through screws.  And of course, there was an audience.
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My oldest three spent several afternoons working on this Lego "Hobbit/Lord of the Ring" world and they played together for several HOURS enacting all sorts of scenarios.  Josh's interest has fueled a household obsession . . . not only did a Lord of the Ring violin book find its way to our home this week, but Isabella (the girl who prefers Ramona, American Girl stories, and Little House on the Prairie) checked out The Hobbit at the library and began reading.  One of these days I'm going to have to see what all the fuss is about. ;o)
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A lovely Nebraska sunset.
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I was making chili for lunch.  I was impressed that not only has Owen learned my assembly line way of preparing, but he knew exactly how many bowls and spoons would be needed for the kids and me to eat lunch.  Sometimes I wish I could see everything that is going on in that little blonde head.
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Cranberry pork chops and gravy, mashed potatoes, and roasted brussel sprouts (it had been awhile since I had pork chops in the house and the kids were so excited!). 
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Waiting for Daddy to come home.
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We made Valentine boxes Saturday morning and since then the kids have been busy making valentines for each other and stuffing the boxes full.  Sometimes it feels like all I do is referee squabbles, so it warmed my heart to see little love notes being made.  "Oh, they do like each other!!" 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hydrangea Update

I'm sure everybody out there has been wondering "Just how are Janna's hydrangea cuttings surviving the winter?"  And I thought, for those of you curious, I would give a little update. ;o)
They are still alive!
 
If you recall, I took these cuttings from my mother-in-law's "Endless Summer" hydrangea.  I stripped four leaves off the bottom to leave me with two sets of leaf nodes, dipped the stems in powdered rooting hormone, and then planted them in little containers with potting soil.  I watered them and tented them (I think I used some large cellophane treat sacks from Hobby Lobby and rubber bands).  This created a little mini-greenhouse environment for each of them, and honestly I didn't water them the whole time they were tented.  I can't remember how long it took them to grow roots--maybe around a month?  They flourished under their little tents!  I debated planting them outside last fall, but I worried they wouldn't have had enough time to develop a good enough root system to see them through the winter.  Instead I kept them inside at a west-facing window and have watered them about once a week.  I don't think they are getting quite the amount of sun they need (we have a large over-hang on the house, plus the reduced daylight hours of winter), but my mother-in-law assured me they are looking good for plants going through the winter inside.  They even have some new growth!
 
I'm excited to plant them come spring, and you can bet I'll be starting the process again with new clippings (because can one have too many hydrangeas--I think not!). All my research (or in layman's terms "googling") recommends starting clippings at the beginning of the growing season so you can get them planted and established before fall/winter hits.  If you are hydrangea lover like me, I just wanted to pass on that this little gardening experiment seems to be working! (And seeing as these bushes average $15-$20 you can save a bundle of money if you start them yourself!)
 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

January 27-February 2

After a lovely weekend with Grandpa and Grandma it was time to wish them a safe trip back home.
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Little boys happily wrestling each other, sitting on each other, and just genuinely enjoying each other's company.
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Jackson's "station" each evening is the main bathroom.  His job entails taking laundry to the laundry room, closing the shower curtain, putting stuff on the counter away, and taking a Clorox wipe to the counter, sink, toilet seat, etc.  Sometimes he cleans the mirror.  All in all, he has a routine and does a decent job for a seven year old boy.  On this night I came across the bathroom door shut and this sign laying on the carpet in front of the door.  Upon peeking inside I discovered he had kicked it up a notch and decided to scrub the floor as well. It would seem he used a lot of water, so the sign was definitely needed. I had to go in with a large bath towel to hurry the drying process along a bit. ;o)
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Words that nudge my heart-rate towards arrhythmia, "Mommy I'm all done painting!"  Said by the three year old emerging from the basement in his jammies with blackened hands.  Turns out while I was attending to math lessons and other school-ish stuff Owen had gone downstairs to have a crafty morning.  He got out some acrylics, a sponge brush, and found a gift sack to make extra pretty. He may have gotten a few drops on the cement floor. 
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Back in Lincoln for another doctor appointment for Marissa--snapped a quick picture of Emmett enthralled with Grandma's egg cooker (and also her pepper grinder, which is not pictured--he loved the pepper grinder so much he has been asking for one for his birthday!).
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Sun fading on the first day of February, me reflecting on answered prayers for Marissa.
While I dutifully keep a prayer journal and while I have seen God's "yes" answers many times, sometimes I admit it, I doubt the "yes" answers are for me.  Sometimes I think that my lot in life is to take the disappointments, entrust them to God, and know that is His best for me.  Sometimes I think it is all the other people who get the "yeses."  I cannot really put into words how encouraged I was to have what started out as all these much more serious things for Marissa be reduced to what appears to be a passing infection of some sort (transient synovitis if you are curious).  I know she was so covered in prayer by so many people, and my mommy heart is so happy and grateful. 
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We left Lincoln in the morning to reach our snowless and warmer Aprahoe home. (yeah, I might be rubbing it in a bit) ;o) That groundhog must've come through because it definitely felt like spring (and if the scent of manure in the air was any indication, it smelt like the springs of my younger years as well). ;o)  I got in a 4-mile run on the school track while the kids played at the playground,  piddled around doing "house things" after two days gone, and then managed to fall asleep on the couch at 8:00 pm--something I NEVER do!  Maybe it was all the fresh air (well, I suppose that depends if you think living downwind of a feed lot is "fresh"). ;o)