Thursday, July 30, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things you can buy at my yard sale this weekend.

1. mismatched coffee mugs--the staple of teacher gifts
2. baby bottles--Julianna had her last one Tuesday
3. vhs movies--including Grease, Charlotte's Web, and Dirty Dancing
4. books--lots and lots of books
5. toys--even more toys than books
6. baby swing, boppy pillow, infant tub--all outgrown
7. lemonade, bottled water, Otter pops--from the boys' stand (Thanks for the idea, Kathy.)
8. Avon--from my inventory
9. roll around kitchen island--which I love but tends to attract piles of stuff so must go (I have to split the profit with my sister since she gave it to me at our last yard sale.)
10. and other stuff if I can get the other members of the family to let go of anything

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Fair Pics?

Most years for the past 12 or so, I've entered pictures in the photography exhibit at the fair. The boys have both been my subject in the last few years, so I thought Jules should be this year. I took these this morning when my outdoor loving daughter was exploring. I thought I could call the first two "Me And My Shadow." I like the second one better because she was actually looking at her shadow. I just wish she wasn't partly in the shadow of the porch.

I like this one because 1. she's eating the flower instead of smelling it like I wanted her to, and 2. look at those eyes! I need a title. Any ideas?

So, what do you think? Should one of these be my fair picture or should I keep trying?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My sister wrote a post about last night's storm and I thought I'd share my story, too.*

So I wasn't sleeping well anyways because of a too long afternoon nap and had just drifted off when all of a sudden there was this loud thunder. And thunder's fine. If the storm hits during waking hours I even go sit on the porch to enjoy it. But this was loooong thunder booms paired with synchronized lightening. Our bedroom window was open so I could see and hear it all. Just when I thought it was over, it started again. These horrendously long thunder booms like I've never experienced before. It was scary. Well, I thought, this is it, the end of the world. And I smiled. I smiled. I was happy at the thought of Jesus coming to take me home. I was a little worried about the boys and mom and dad being away, but I knew we'd find them. After a while, I realized that it was just a storm. A weird, loud storm, but a storm none the less. I have to admit, I was just a little disappointed.

Oh well, I guess I have to make another mortgage payment.

*In case you're wondering, yes, my sister and I are both a little crazy and willingly admit, and dare I say, embrace, our craziness.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Joy of Shoes

Julianna's new thing is that she wants to go outside. And not just be outside, but walk around outside. Before when I took her out barefooted, she was limited to staying on the porch and walkway. But one day last week, I put shoes on her and it opened up a whole new world. She can now explore the gravel driveway and the yard. (We don't have nice, soft grass that's good for little bare feet.) She can chase the cats wherever they go and walk what probably seems like a long way to her. She loves it.

Saturday, when we went out for Chinese food, she even walked on the sidewalk down the block to where we parked holding my hand on one side and her daddy's on the other. She was very proud of herself. And yesterday at church, she walked all over the parking lot since it was pretty much empty by the time we got out to the car. She loved finding all kinds of new things. (And was encouraged to play in puddles by mischievous onlookers! Luckily she never found any.)

So now she will bring me her shoes to tell me she wants to go outside. And she gets a little irritated when I won't take her. Yesterday evening I finally put on her little pink butterfly sneakers and took her outside. She wandered around and I pulled weeds and watered my hopeless flowers. She chased the cats and I had to rescue Ben once when she was carrying him around by his neck. (He was quicker to escape after that.) I picked a flower and handed it to her and she put it up to her nose to sniff it and the little petals went right up inside and tickled her. She laughed and did it again. We found rocks and sticks and enjoyed the fresh air and sunset. She pointed and talked in Julesese and I nodded and said, "And then what happened?" And she talked some more. We had a great time. Just before 8:00 we went inside to get her ready for bed. After a snack and cup of milk, she went right down and didn't make a peep until 5:45 this morning. I got her out of her crib and we snuggled for a few minutes like we always do. And as soon as I put her down, she went and got her little white sandals and put them in my lap ready to head out again.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blessed Sunday

My sister started Blessed Sunday where you write a post about something in your life that you count as a blessing. The thing is, there aren't enough Sundays in the rest of my life to write about each blessing. So, I'll just write about one today and go from there.

I am blessed to have a home. A home with room for our family. A home filled with everything I need to take care of my children. A home with 2 bathrooms so that I only have to share with one boy. A home filled with love and laughter where the five of us who live here can feel safe and comfortable.

It's often loud. And even more often messy. My pantry gets totally cluttered and I had a small avalanche in the hall closet this morning. But it's our loud, messy avalanche. And as much as I dislike housework, I am blessed, today and everyday, to have a house to clean.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Power of 50

I saw on the Today show a few weeks ago, a lady who was talking about decluttering your house. She said that you should get rid of 50 things. Give them away, throw them away, sell them, whatever. I thought that was a great idea and was especially pleased that other members of my family heard the suggestion, too. But as I looked around, I knew that 50 things wouldn't make much of a difference in our house. But 50 things out of each room might. So that's my plan. I'm going to get rid of 50 things out of each room (and the hall and entry way closets). Living room, kitchen, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2 closets, 3 rooms downstairs, and the laundry room. That's 13 rooms and/or closets. Times 50. That's 650 things out of my house and life and mind.

I did the kitchen yesterday and have a big bag of garbage and boxes of stuff to get rid of and it feels great. I loved opening the cupboard this morning to get Julianna's bottle and seeing organized space. It made me excited to keep going. Today's project is the living room and 2 closets. I'll keep you updated on the progress. (Because I know you're all on the edge of your seats.)

Speaking of progress, Julianna has gotten her 4th tooth! I found it this morning. She's well on her way to that first ear of corn!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Josh and Adam are gone for 5 days to the Oregon coast with Pappy and Grandma and Aidan. They've been gone for exactly 2 hours and it's already too quiet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things I'd do if I won the lottery*...

1. Take care of my extended family and a few special friends.
2. Build a building for our little private school.
3. Give the school staff significant raises and a big bonus.
4. Give lots away.
5. Remodel/finish our house.
6. Hire a housekeeper/cook.
7. Adopt a child...or 2...or 3.
8. Travel.
9. Buy my husband a new car.
10. Replace my entire wardrobe.

*I don't really play the lottery so I don't think I'll ever win. But if I did...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How cute is this?

Look at this cute scrapbook page I made at Scrapblog. I'm trying to decide if I should do Julianna's first year scrapbook digitally or the old fashioned way. I sent this off to Costco to have a 8x10 printed to see how it looked. What do you think? Digital or old fashioned?


Something wonderful happened this morning. Julianna saw me looking at a cookbook and went to her bookshelf and got a book and brought it to me to read. It was the first time she's done that. I love it! Reading to my kids is one of my favorite things ever.

Have I mentioned how much I love Mandisa? If you haven't heard her music, you should check it out. It's so good. (Marmie, your copy is on the way.)

Josh is playing baseball this summer on a park and rec team. It's kid pitched so there are lots of walks and very few hits. But last night Josh got a hit, two walks, and made an out at first base. He's also a pretty good pitcher.

Adam asked me at last night's game if he could play next year and in our conversation I discovered that the only reason he didn't play this year was because he didn't want to be on a team without Josh. I wish I would have known that earlier. I have a feeling we could have worked it out so that they could be on the same team. It reminded me to listen to my kids better and talk things through more.

I have been told probably 10 times over the last week or two that I should write a book. It's made me wonder why I haven't. I think it's fear. I hate fear.

Why do one year olds want to play with all the things they aren't supposed to even when they have a huge box of toys three steps away? The world may never know.

How's that for rambling?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Counting Down, Speeding Up

Warning: If you are a teacher DO NOT read this post. (Kathy, that means you!) It may induce panic attacks and/or SIGTF (Summer Is Going Too Fast) Syndrome.

Today is Monday, July 20th. And as I look at the calendar I count 7 weeks until Labor day. Which means 7 weeks and 1 day until the first day of school. Which means that I have 5 weeks of summer left before I head into the classroom to get ready for the upcoming school year. And still, my house is not in order. I haven't lost a single pound. I haven't organized the closets or the bookshelves or the pantry or my mind. I haven't started my daughter's first year scrapbook. I haven't written that great American novel. I haven't been to the beach even once. Yikes!

So, today's the day. I WILL do something on my mile long to do list today. Maybe even two things or three. I WILL be ready in 7 weeks and 1 day to take on being a working mom again. I have to. I know myself. And I can't do it unless my life is in order.

So wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

And if you want to help, come on out, I'll make lemonade.

(Kathy, I told you not to read it!)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

10 Things Thursday

This week the following question was posed on Huckleberries: What four people who have walked the earth, then and now, would you most want to have lunch with? There are so many who I would love to have lunch with that I decided to write this post with 10 days worth of lunch guests.

Day 1: Jesus, Peter, Paul, John (the apostles)

Day 2: Esther, Noah's wife, Mary (Jesus' mom), Eve

Day 3: Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Eleanor Roosevelt

Day 4: Mark Twain, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Robert Frost, Louisa May Alcott

Day 5: James Dean, Katherine Hepburn, Paul Newman, Jimmy Stewart

Day 6: Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Gerard Butler, George Clooney (why not?) :)

Day 7: Grandma and Grandpa Flanagan (who I never met), and the first two Flanagan's to come to America from Ireland (whoever they were)

Day 8: Joseph, Daniel, David, Moses

Day 9: Abraham Lincoln, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Thomas Jefferson

Day 10: Sacagawea, Helen Keller, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie

And the list goes on...

Who would you have lunch with?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cool, rainy, summer days are good for reading, naps, snuggling with kids, watching movies, and eating comfort food. They are not good for cleaning house.

Today is a cool, rainy, summer day.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sweet 17

As of today at 1:00pm I will have been married for 17 years. I was 20 years old. The day was much like today. Warm and sunny (except for a brief shower in the late afternoon which is supposed to be good luck on your wedding day). We had only been engaged for 7 weeks and had planned the whole thing beginning to end in that time. (Only one person asked me if I was pregnant. Obviously, I wasn't since Josh wasn't born until 7 years later.) I ordered my dress from JCPenney and the invitations from the discount card store. I picked out these radically cool turquoise dresses for my bridesmaids. (After the wedding, they could pull off the puffy sleeves and a few of the ruffles and the huge bow on the backside and dye them another color and totally wear them again! Right, Ada?) We flew our recently moved youth minister in to perform the ceremony. We asked some talented photographers from church to take the pictures. Arrty's aunt made the cake. I bought all the stuff to make bouquets and decorations and friends helped assemble them. Arrty and I picked all the music and made mixed tapes (yes, tapes, it was 1992 after all) to play before and during the ceremony. There was even a lady at church who served as my wedding planner on the day and organized everyone. It pretty much went off without a hitch. Like everyone when they get married, I suppose, the whole day was kind of a blur, but there are a few things I remember distinctly.

When I was standing outside the double doors of the church auditorium holding the arm of my dad just getting ready to walk down the aisle, he leaned over and said, "You still have time to run." I'm still not sure how serious he was.

During the ceremony, the minister, who had done some research beforehand, mentioned the love notes that Arrty and I had written to each other when we were in middle school. He then pulled a folded paper out of his pocket making it look like one of those notes. I'm sure my eyes were as big as saucers afraid he might read some of our adolescent ramblings. The paper was blank. Phew!

While we were lighting the unity candle, hot wax dripped onto my thumb. It burned, but Arrty consoled me and I don't think anyone besides us knew it happened.

And I remember a great since of relief when it was all over and I didn't have to be the center of attention anymore.

It was a great day. Sweet and fun and happy. But I was so young and had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. I think of my 20 year old self and try to remember what I was feeling and thinking and expecting. I can't remember, but I do know that I never, in a million years, would have been able to guess what the next 17 years would hold. And honestly I wouldn't have wanted to know. What fun is that?

But on this day, I'm glad to be where I am. I'm glad to be Mrs. R and still falling in love with Mr. R. more and more each day. I'm glad that I'm able to laugh and cry and live with this man who loves me more than I deserve or understand. I'm glad to live in this time, in this place, with this family which all started on that sunny July day 17 years ago.

Happy anniversary, Mr. R. I love you.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things that make me smile no matter how many times I see (or hear) them.

1. Julianna dancing
2. Josh laughing
3. Adam's "who me?" face
4. when Arrty says "ice cream!"
5. the movie Grease
6. the song Amazing Grace
7. my kids playing together
8. pecan pie
9. emails from my favorite people
10. my sister saying "Daugherty, Jennifer? Daugherty?"

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

All Aboard!

Yesterday the train was in town. Well, the "Disney's A Christmas Carol" train was in Spokane. It is an interactive museum of sorts based on the new movie coming out in November. It's been traveling all over the country showing some behind the scenes stuff and promoting the movie. Since it was free, Kathy and I loaded up the kids and headed over. Silly me thought that there wouldn't be many people there. I was wrong. We waited in line for about an hour before boarding the train. It was very well organized though, and to beat the heat, they had fans blowing mist toward us and water stations along the line. The only thing missing was snacks. The kids had to survive on Julianna's whole grain cheese puffs and Kathy's breath mints. Luckily, they all made it without starving. The best way to share the experience, I think, is with pictures. So here's our train adventure.

Here are the kids waiting in line by the train tracks. It was right there at the train station since it is a real live train. Julianna was trying to get away, but Josh held on tight.

They also had short bursts of snow shooting out of the signs along the way to give the feeling of Christmas. It looked like snow in the air, but when it landed on us it looked more like spit. Oh well, it was cool anyways. It's not often you see snow in July. Even in North Idaho. Here's Adam after being spit, I mean snowed, on.

Julianna did pretty well waiting in line. She walked around some and got carried some. Here she is next to the fence between us and the train.

Carolers also visited up and down the line and posed for pictures. They were really nice to the kids and we felt a little sorry for them having to wear those outfits on such a hot day. Adam looks good in a top hat, doesn't he?
We couldn't use a flash inside the train, so this picture is a little blurry, but you can see kind of what it looked like. They had tvs all along the way showing artwork from the movie as well as showing interviews with the actors and director. Notice the blue sky on the top and the greenery along the shelves. Very A Christmas Carolish.

Here are some of the pictures on the tv slide shows. This one is of the graveyard scene.

This is London in the 1800's.

This is Scrooge in his house. Check out the shadow.

This is the school house. The teacher in me couldn't resist taking a picture of this.

Apparently Big Ben was being built when the story takes place. This is a 1/24 scale model of Big Ben during construction that they used to base their computer animation on.

Here are some other scale models used during production.

They had some interactive computer activities, too. Here Adam is exploring the setting of the story. Just beyond this, they had cameras set up so that each person could morph their faces into one of the characters. The boys had fun seeing themselves and Scrooge and Tiny Tim. They were freaked out about seeing themselves as Belle. (Adam actually made a pretty nice looking Belle. But don't tell him I said that.) And seeing their faces on Crachit was just creepy. The pictures will be sent to Walmart where we can pick them up when they're ready. And it was all free!!

At the end of the train, they had this yummy exhibit. It looks good enough to eat!

After we exited the train, they had a mini theater set up. They gave us 3D glasses and we saw a few scenes from the movie. It looks really good and the digital 3D is pretty amazing. All in all, it was really pretty fun. We only ended up with one black eye and one bruised rib. And that was just Kathy and I. Just kidding, it was fun and there were no major injuries.

If that wasn't enough, we then took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese's for lunch. It was a long day. But a good day.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Two For Tuesday

I'm stealing, I mean borrowing, my sister's cool Two For Tuesday idea where she posts two pictures (usually of her adorable kids because that's mostly what we take pictures of). So here is my Two for Tuesday.

This is Julianna asleep on the couch in October. She was 4 months old. Notice how she fits on one cushion. And notice that sweet little face and the cute green jammies.

Here she is asleep on the couch yesterday. Look how long she is now at 13 months. She woke me up at 5:46 yesterday morning and then promptly fell back to sleep. I, however, did not. It did give me an hour of much desired quiet time. I sat on the porch and prayed and enjoyed the beautiful summer morning. And took pictures of my sweet, sweet daughter.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Happy 3rd of July!!!

This is a day recognized in my family by the following activities. Frantically cleaning the house. Getting out all the yard toys and pools and water guns and slip and slides. Setting up the canopy in the front yard for shade. Spraying off the lawn furniture. Filling two big coolers with ice and pop and water. Counting hamburger patties, hot dogs and buns. Making sure there's enough ketchup. And then cleaning house again (because you know who I live with).

All this in preparation for...

The 5th Annual R. Family 4th of July Extravaganza!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

10 Things Thursday

10 things you will always see in romantic comedies...

1. A girl-next-door main character. She will be pretty, but not super modelish. She will have a major flaw. She will be hopelessly single. She will have an eclectically decorated apartment/loft/condo.

2. An unlikely-to-be-the-boyfriend guy. He will be handsome, but not underwear modelish. He will have a major flaw. He will not be interested in being in a relationship with the girl next door. He will live in a professionally decorated apartment/with his parents/with a slobby roommate.

3. A quirky best friend. She will be cute, but not as cute as her main character friend. She will be funny. She will give advice. She will make at least 3 funny/disgusted/mocking faces. She will be the first to know that there's love in the air.

4. An unlikeable boss/coworker/ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. He/she will antagonize the main character and make her life miserable. He/she will get it in the end.

5. A wedding/funeral/party at which the two main characters first realize that there is an attraction between them.

6. Quirky townsfolk/coworkers who add comic relief. One or more will have accents.

7. A fall from a horse/boat/porch/motorcycle. No one will get seriously injured, but one main character will realize that he/she cares for the other.

8. A misunderstanding. Something will happen that will cause the two characters to go their separate ways. Usually involves a kiss/lie/missed phone call.

9. A breakthrough. After the misunderstanding, one will realize that they are in love and go after the other. He/she will run/borrow a car/hurry a taxi driver to get to their new love before he/she gets on a plane/train/boat to start a new job/move across country/marry someone else.

10. Declaration/acceptance of love. One will declare his/her love for the other who will hesitate/question/doubt their own feelings. But then accept that they truly are in love.

Bonus: The kiss. The two will kiss to seal their love while standing in the office/airport/street and while being surrounded by friends/coworkers/strangers.