Tuesday, June 30, 2009

There are magnets in everything

The Collective spent most of the day yesterday, trying to learn how to ride bikes.

The Collective are 7 and 5, so yes I have heard the criticism from some who think I should have done this prior to now. (This is strange to me, be nice)

They have both been riding with training wheels. PN actually doing better than SR. WE have gone through a lot of training wheels. 2-3 sets per child. SR was not interested in learning to ride. He did not think it sounded fun, and would only get on the bike if we had a destination. He did not see bike riding as a fun activity, but more as a mode of transport. PN just wanted to ride and smile. However, he caught on, and seemed to be enjoying it.

So as with all new things, I had to make an announcement in the morning, that we would be taking off training wheels, and practicing in the back yard sans wheel. PN, was ready, Rockstar ready. SR on the other hand thought "if it ain't broke why fix it". We gathered tools, and the tire pump and headed to the back. They helped take the training wheels off.

I pushed them both off in the yard, and they did OK, we did this for about 30 minutes. (Going from pushing and running behind one child to the next is for 24 year old Moms). The grass seemed hard to pedal in, so we moved up front out the sidewalk. I have a lot of sidewalk, and when it needs to be scooped I curse it, but today it proved to be a good thing.

First thing I note is heat and humidity, ick....The Collective seem to get the hang of it. The biggest problem as with all things is confidence level. The will ride, and when they over think they steer into the grass. I also note there must be a bike magnet in trees, each other, and any object in the line of sight. If there is something to avoid, The collective seem to want to run directly into it.

The most comical part of the day had to be SR. He was nervous. He has only required a bandaide once. One time. He was 2 and dropped a can of pork and beans on his foot, and sliced his toe open...he flipped out. He is not my risk taker. He should be an actuarian for Insurance companies, because he calculates risk all day. If it appears to be unsafe, he steers clear. PN on the other hand, well she is my gambler. (Hence her 2 broken arms, prior to the age of 3) She is my climber, my camper, my hiker, my fisher, my curious monkey child. SR did fine despite all of this. Although he kept telling me "we are defeating gravity here you know, a feat that should me impossible, we need inertia, and centripetal force"...Oye. So when he would crash or fail, or pull into the grass, he would shake his fist and say "I curse you inertia!", or I curse you gravity!"

We took frequent breaks yesterday as the temps and humidity made it uncomfortable for me. I spent the day all yucked with sweat. Ick...

We are going to try it again today. PN can go about 50 feet, and then she gets nervous. SR about 30. I am unsure how long this will take. DH is saying his guess is 7 days...I contend it might take 3 days...

It is a confidence issue right now, neither of them trust themselves. Wish me luck...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Mulberry hands

We spent Saturday evening, at a pot luck for DH's work in the country. It was so lovely to hear nothing, but laughter.

The Collective had a great time. PN of course wanted to adopt every animal on the place. I will have to break down soon and add another mammal to our tribe. As she just would sit, and pet, and hug, and follow anything with fur.

We found a mulberry tree while taking a walking adventure, and although I am sure the other Moms wanted to kill me by the end of the night, the kids had such fun picking, and eating mulberries. All of them were covered in dark purple stains...

SR picked an extra cup home, and we made mulberry pancakes. They were much better than even blueberry pancakes.

We have the day off, other than my normal housewifery. I am trying to help SR ride his bike sans training wheels. He really has no interest, so wish me luck.

all of the childrens hands were stained!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

summer time...

taken in 2006, my how they have grown...

I love summer.

I love the smell of chlorine, sunscreen, grilled burgers, fireworks...

It has been a treat to be at home, although we seem to get little done. So far I have done none of what was on my traveling list. It is too darn hot now to be toting the kids all over the place.

We have been content to spend a few days at the pool. Last year the water felt so freezing to us, but this year, it is already lukewarm, but still a relief after weeks of 60 degree temps.

I was worried about down time, luck would have it, there is none. We have been quite busy. And RELAXED. That is the good part.

This week the kids are at VBS, at a different church than ours. Our VBS was from 6p-9p, and PN was not eligible. so I found a different church for VBS, so far the Collective have been loving it. Yes, even SR, who does not always fall in love with those types of things. They have actually had fun. So I thank the church for having such an engaging VBS. The kids have loved everything about it.

When I am at Yoga, they have been attending the YMCA kids quest, which they have also enjoyed.

The swimming, has been good for both of them. It has built confidence. Both children learned to swim last summer because we spent most of our time living in hotels, and at my Fathers home. The first day back to the pool, they were nervous, but by day 3 (and after we found goggles) They were both swimming under water. I will be enrolling them in the next swim class at the YMCA, as they have not had any formal lessons.

Dh continues to be busy lots of weekends working, lots of long hours. We try to squeeze every moment where we can, as the children are growing so fast. Both kids will be in school next year PN in kindergarten, SR in second grade. I have a second grader....Time has flown. When I started this blog, PN was barely walking, and SR was a little over 2....

When people tell you life happens fast, they are not kidding. There are moments like today, where it hits me hard. I look at the children, and it seems to happen with boom new eyes...where are my babies? Where are they? Who took them ad brought these children? They have changed, even though I have spent almost every single day with them.....


This is a post on the garden less than 20 days ago. Look how teeny everything was.

And now after rains, and storms, and several days where there have been heat advisories..

cucumbers, which I decided to throw a tomato trellis around, hoping that helps save spacem and aid in finding cucumbers. If the blossoms tell me anything, they tell me, BE prepared for a lot of cucumbers. There is also a cantelope, an acorn squash, a zuchinni, and a spinich in there. But frankly that cucumber vine is so massive, you cannot see the rest. The leaves are HUGE.

Various tomato plants, pepper plants, and green beans. The onions did not fair well. I think SR ate them.
WE have something blooming at all times, something to thank the previous owners for.
I cannot believe we went from what looked empty weeks ago, to so many flowers.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Horrifying news coming out of Iran ...

As I drive my car through our quiet city to take my children to the library...I cannot imagine the stories I hear. I cannot imagine seeing women thrown from bridges, elderly men beaten, and people hacked with axes in front of my eyes...


Steve Schippert has been doing a wonderful job of reporting what he is aware of, I suggest you go over if you have the time. It will certainly break your heart to hear the woman calling in to CNN, begging someone to help free them...

Ouch, is that where I put those things..

I am skipping morning yoga, and will go tonight, as my abs are so sore. However I am thrilled I worked hard enough to find the darn things.

I found out the other day when entering the class, it is a "power yoga" class...which is different from regular ashtanga, which I have done. It is a class run by a former runner. So the class is different than I am used to.

I will stick with it, as the alternative is spin, zoomba, boot camp. Yeah no thanks. The music is loud in those classes, they say things like "come on!" No thanks. I do not like being yelled at while exercising. Some folks like it, I do not. I want quiet.

I hurt my shoulder the other day while doing push up #20, which made me feel like a wuss. They were weird pushups though. Butt in the air, arms close to sides no wide for triceps. I did not have my left arm lined up....ouch.

OK, anywho I am going to the 5pm yoga tonight instead of this morning. If I am going I do not want to fake it through class, and this morning I would not be FULL, and might as well not go.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

summertime chicken...

I think I have posted this before, but will again.

It is summer, and since I am not working, we seem to be on the go, it is also HOT out.

I do not like running the oven in the summer, as it heats the house.

Last evening we returned from the pool, and the kids were STARVED. I grilled burgers, and we ate them up. However quick and easy meals that the kids will LOVE to eat, well sometimes I am not in the mood to figure it out.

Tonight I am making them their FAVORITE.

crockpot chicken

1 cup brown sugar
1 can Coca-Cola
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tbs. soy sauce
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 lbs. of chicken wings or ribs
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, Coca-Cola, onions, garlic, soy
sauce, salt and pepper. Stir until mixed. Place chicken wings or ribs in sauce mixture.
Throw in your crockpot on high for 6 hours. To thicken sauce, mix in a cornstarch mixture.

Throw in your chicken, any parts..I am using drumsticks because I am FRUGAL, and the kids love them. I will pair this with baked potatoes, and broccoli or asparagus.

I would rather be playing with the kids than cooking...


Monday, June 22, 2009

ready, set, draw!

You all know how much I LOVE the series Deadwood. I have blogged about it ad naseum..

When I was traveling from Utah, I happened to have bit of difficulty returning home, our pilot was sick or something and we had to wait for a pilot, which of course meant we sat on the tarmac forever, and then of course I missed my connecting flight.

However when I sat down, I noted the passenger next to me holding his passport, along with his ticket, and other forms of ID. Of course I looked, and I determined he was from China. I then assumed he spoke Mandarin, so I proceeded to tell him hello in his native tongue. (DH minored in Asian Studies, and took Mandarin, I know 4 words, after lestening to Mandarin for 2 years)

Anywho his English was much better than my Mandarin. I learned that he and 2 of his business associates were headed to Nebraska for some business dealings, they were looking to buy some air conditioning coils from a company here...

I also learned this man, had never been to the United States, this was his first visit. Which I thought was uber cool. But I thought again and felt bad. Nebraska is pretty boring. He had a list of things his wife wanted him to buy while he was here, and frankly he was headed to a town with a population of less than 20,000. There is no mall. I tried to explain to him that he was headed to a farming town.

Like I said his English was better than my Mandarin, however we had to communicate with one another by drawing photos. He wanted to know what sort of souvineer he should take home, what sorts of food to try.

Out of the few words I know in Mandarin; I know thank you, horse, Mother, and hello. So I had to try and draw pictures of pigs, so he would try bacon. I looked through magazines for pictures of fruit. I learned he did not care for fruit, or sweets.

all of a sudden I felt like Al Swearingen from Deadwood

I hope he and his associates had a good trip out WEST. I am also doubting if he found the Gucci sunglasses his wife wanted out there.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

GIFT FAIL again...

Oye, so today was Fathers day, so I had bought DH what I thought he requested, but sadly bought the wrong thing..ouch.

DH spent the day doing lawn work, and finished putting the enclosure around the trampoline! I managed to test it out tonight. It was quite fun!

Tomorrow the kids start VBS, and I have YOGA bright and early EVERY morning this week!

DH had a great weekend, he said perfect, he got some alone time with the kids. He bought me a new yoga mat, he managed to get chores done. the collective enjoyed their time with him immensely. PN even helped with the enclosure. They went on Safari yesterday as well....

More company!

I know a SURPRISE.

Last night after SSM, and my Boyfriend left, I checked my email...

One of my friends was actually in the state of Nebraska! Usually this means folks are passing through. There are no mountains, or beach here...

WE met for breakfast! I had invited my friend here, but he was PCS-ing and pinched for time...so we agreed on a meeting place. Forgetting all about Father's Day and the havoc it produces on breakfast places! Oye!

However, we managed to have a breakfast and COFFEE, and fuel up for the day.

Thanks for stopping by! What a thrilling weekend FULL of friends!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I love my friends!

SSM, and her Husband stopped by today!

It was a wonderful visit! SSM, is one of the most thoughtful people I know, and of course she came bearing gifts, for entire family! I have fancy new Zuni earrings!

It was nice finally introducing them to my family, as I have spent some time with both of them, at conferences over the past few years.

It was so nice spending time with them, as a really adore them both. SSM continues to be a good resource for PTSD/TBI, and how the VA and benefits work. One never really knows until they have a dog in the fight....

THE BEST part of blogging has to be the friends I have made. The people in my life, I can count on when I need them.

SSM also talked them through some AWESOME new tricks on the trampoline! Time to get up the encolsure!

The Collective were well behaved, I think plain wore out from an entire week of going non stop. PN was especially not her sunshiny self, she was pooped!

*Highlight funny of the night! My daughter was playing with a frog, SSM Husband and I were on the front porch, when the frog jumped right into my glass of wine!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Painting the town barbeque sauce color

I got about 4 inches cut off, to straighten out what has been a series of bad haircuts. You cannot see the hair here, but so far I like. Wager in humidty.

Consuming sesame donuts from a Vietnamese stand. I tasted part of this. I thought I would never say, a WASTE of fried dough. Not sweet enough for my blooming body!

The place was packed!

We walked into the International festival, and were greeted with this...I have no idea what band they were, the music was not bad, but the mask dancing was weird, and made me laugh my ass off. It weirded out PN. I guess masks="international?"

This band was very cool, some sort of Irish Rock, very cool. The Young Dubliners

Our state capitol, it is very beautiful inside and out.

Pink Ninja enjoying another night out on the town

The Collective decided to EAT RIBS as the international food of choice! BWAH!

Tonight International Festival...

Who knew Lincoln was such an international city? Well we did.

We are headed here, I guess they are touting the margarita as an "international beverage!"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The girls loved the show!

SR, contemplating the purpose of "concert" (That is my little brother, in the hat) He will be thrilled to know he is on the blog..not.
I like to call this shot "Viva La String Bean Revolution"...Look at the faces on ALL of the kids.

More later...

and in case you have not had enough...

SR was bored, thank goodness DH showed up to take him inside to build with KEVA planks. I think SR sort of thought, uh I have heard these songs before, what is the need for a concert. Always unsure what he is thinking...

All of the children really enjoyed the show, and jumped, and danced for the entire 60 minutes, in 90 degree temps. I kept waiting for security to break up the toddler mosh pit, and take soaking wet toddlers out on stretchers, but children are much more resilient than adults..

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Watching a Revolt

Iran is in turmoil, and we are able to watch it via cell phone images and videos, even flicker, read it through tweets, and blogs...

hunkering down...

I got ALMOST EVERYTHING on the list done today! Go team!

So now EVERYONE is in bed, and I am going to watch my DVR'd Army Wives, and fold laundry.

I managed to go to the early evening yoga class after taking the kids swimming. (for those of you keeping track, tan fail) It was 90 degrees today, amazingly hot. It felt soooo good really. Anywho back to this yoga thing. I walked into a room with only the instructor. Seems as though it is a new class time change, so no one was there. I got private lessons. Which was ok, because the other morning there were so many women in there, we were getting tangled. I literally had someone stretch and touch my toes...weird. tonight was fine. I am sore. But it is a good sore. I managed crow position first attempt! This is huge, because it is challenging. My upper body strength is BAD at this time. I am really in fro building it back up. Not thrilled. Now for trying to figure out some sort of schedule....Next week will be loose, as The kids have VBS. I need to start walking in the evenings, but I see DH so rarely at this point, if I went for a walk I might miss him entirely.

For those of you on facebook I found the remote. Where? The darn couch. After tearing it up a million times. Whatever.

SSM called tonight! She and her dear Hubby are on the way to see US. Do you know how honored I feel to have them make the LONG trip across corn/corn/corn, which most people hate, to see little ole us...seriously. It will be nice to have friends stop by, particularly to meet DH and The Collective. I have hung out with SSM and her DH, but they have never gotten to meet my brood. I am fixing something very midwesty for dinner..steak, potato, salad, and Trying to Grok just sent me a recipe for a rhubarb tart! (She did not even email it, she took the time to send it in the mail, because she is old school.)

I am good. I was cranky last night, unsure why...

Tomorrow evening we are off to the Children's Museum, I am packing a picnic, and we are hoping to meet up with DH, my Brother and his daughter. The String Beans are in town baby!

Speakign of string beans, I found 2 the other day, and fed them to the kids straight out of the garden, and we have another bean clinging for dear life! YEAH! I should have planted more...

The list of random crap continues...

Must finish some laundry
pay $276 in taxes, and get new tags for car...geesh.
buy 9 volt battery for the new sensor lab for SR from G-ma.
find a screwdriver small enough for PN new baby doll from G-ma and cousin.
buy food for my roses, damn aphids. (My Father suggested dish soap mixed with water, which I did, but I waited too long)
get both kids a haircut
go to YMCA for yoga, and take kids swimming
wash beach towels
get salmon out of freezer
go through bills (AGAIN)
comb my hair


Soldiers's Angels could use your vote!

Do it here!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm grumpy, leave your best joke

Chlorine, trampoline, trying to get lean

Went to my first yoga class in a while this morning.

First off very strange, I have always had mellow, mellow yoga instructors who were encouraging, but not "pushy". Well the new yoga instructor was ummm, very good at her craft, but SERIOUS about getting folks into strange positions. I could see folks looking scared, and not confidant. Which is strange. I made it through class which is huge. I had a problem holding a low plank for any extended amount of time. I also could not find my yoga mat anywhere, so I will need to search tomorrow. (I had to use a gross community mat. Skeeved me out.

Took the kids to the pool, as it was 80 degrees! Could summer be here by July? Let us hope so. The water was freezing and a lot of tots were turning a strange shade of gray.

Tried to get some sort of sun. Fail.

Came home and cleaned bathrooms. How they get so gross I have no idea.

Weeded a wheel barrow full of weeds, pulled grass from rock, edged, and tried to kill the aphids from my roses.

Now we are looking for a lost remote control...

It is indeed a glamerous life

She has no idea...

h/t XTNYoda

Monday, June 15, 2009

I did not get choked out..

The trampoline is up! DH and I did not kill one another, which was a good thing, because the trampoline parts would have made hardcore weapons. Large metal hollow tubes.

We did not get the enclosure up. Far too time consuming to tackle at pert near dark in the rain.

Tomorrow morning, yoga at 9am, be there, or be unable to wear a swimsuit for the rest of my life. After, I promised The collective a swim, if I can move, it has been a while.

Procured DH's Father's Day gift. (Do not open the trunk, we did not wrap it yet)

I mailed a friend a book, forgot the netflix, and got bills mailed.

Registered the Collective for VBS.

While other children in the neighborhood are away at posh summer camps, I am operating some sort of enslavement camp for my kids. They are sure to write a book about me.

Came home and the three of us washed the deck.

Monday is manic...

Last evening we procurred a trampoline. If the rain ceases, DH and I should be able to assemble it, unless he decides to choke me out mid-process.

We are off to check things off of our list.

VBS sign up.

YMCA membership & swim lessons.

Father's Day gift purchase.

Mail bills, anniversary cards & Netflix.

Laundry, it never ceases.

I am sure there is more....

there is always more.

Happened across this wedding party while at my Father's this weekend...I have never seen an orange wedding dress, argyle, or cowboy hats all in one place. I was seriously in awe...

Friday, June 12, 2009

While waiting for my hair to turn a different shade of brown...

Summer, who needs steenking summer

For the love of Pete, it is like 60 degrees AGAIN, and overcast, I suppose it beats

living in an oven.

I would like some sort of sunshine though. I am beginning to look as though I am Icelandic, all snow white and such. When the sun shines, we will all look like Vampires in the sun, all squinty.

In good news, the electric, and water bills will be wonderful.

Projects for the week, have been the Master Bedroom closet, laundry, and keeping The Collective occupied.

Last evening...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

the real a$$holes

Rachel Lucas thinks cats are the real a$$holes, Frank would have you believe it is the monkey

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

adventure of the day...

Lincoln Children's Museum...

which is quite wonderful.

Today the KEVA PLANKS were back. SR was thrilled. He built ALONE for 3 hours. He was pestered a few times by other children threatening to knock it down...I wanted to tell him children will improve with age, but sadly could not. Dealing with Douchebaggery is a life lesson.

PN loves the art center...we had a lot of fun.

The String Beans are coming to The Children Museum!!

We skipped the library, but can go tomorrow!

Little Rock shooter calls killing justified...

Private Quinton Ezeagwula speaks publicly for the first time about being shot by Muhammad of Little Rock.

I read this yesterday, and it sickened me.

bdulhakim Muhammad of Little Rock said he confessed to police that he killed Pvt. William Long outside an Army-Navy recruiting center but told AP that murder exists only "without a justified reason."

In a collect call from jail, the 23-year-old also disputed his lawyer's claim that he had been "radicalized" in a Yemeni prison, and also said he didn't specifically plan the June 1st shootings but that they came about after being on his mind for awhile.

Muhammad said he wanted revenge for claims that American military personnel had desecrated copies of the Quran and killed or raped Muslims in Iraq (web | news) and Afghanistan.

He said the U.S. military would never treat Christians and their scriptures in the same manner.

You can read the entire piece here.

the garden....

I have blooms on tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants.

The Collective and I weeded it today, and the photos were taken last night. So imagine the gardens sans weeds!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Folding, tis an art

I am currently involved in the most exciting housework. Laundry, the never ceasing. I am trying to do it with a smile.

I am also watching this movie, which looks like it could be depressing and tragic love story.


My sister left this morning, so I kept The Collective busy here at home. We are discussing household chores, allowance and the like.

We read a wonderful book tonight called

The illustrations are lovely, I always enjoy her. She is a playful writer. We read 2 books per night, here at the house. Usually one short, and one chapter book, and I am guessing there will more for the summer. Pink Ninja is starting to read, it is exciting.

Tomorrow is the first day of the summer reading program @ the library.

Off to FOLD

Monday, June 08, 2009

Lincoln Safari

The Sunken Gardens, it was quite beautiful, and I actually managed to get some landscaping ideas there

Touring the Downtown Library, managed to get our summer reading packets, and Lincoln Safari information!

Today is the first Day I am realizing I no longer have to go to work. Unsure why it took a week for that to kick in but it did.

My sister is still here on her visit.

We have been touring town, and while out the other day, we managed to get our Lincoln Safari book, and map. This should be an interesting way to learn about the city, and learn to read a map.

I am unsure where today's destination will be. I am currently thinking about taking them to The University, we will see what the day brings.