Wednesday, August 27, 2008

10 Things

5 Things I Hate Right Now

1. Politics. Oh, yes. I am really getting sick of it. I have been paying attention sometimes, but I just get so frustrated and angry. And truth be told I am pretty passionate politically. I interned at my state capitol as a teenager and considered studying politics for a time. And now it seems politics have done to me what they do to a lot of people. Make you stressed, angry, frustrated and just get so fed up with the whole thing that you turn off every speech and think "I will follow this up another day when I have calmed down." And let's not forget that we are running out of time before we have to actually go and vote.

2. Money. Ah, the beloved dollars and cents thing. Really I am grateful for my financial blessings, but it is stressful at the same time. Especially right now. I think this has been the hardest financial time we have had since we have been married and we were pretty broke when we GOT married. I wonder if the fact that $20 used to fill the tank back then and now... that is barely a quarter of the tank.

3. Food. I like food in general, but when you have celiac disease it can be easy to get really tired of your food. And there really is a lot of good things to eat still with my disease. Good fruits, veggies, meats, rice flour foods, but I get in a rut and my meals become the same old thing. Plus if I get really busy running around with the kids a lot, I eat poorly. I don't have many "grab" foods- bananas and carrots are the top thing so far- and if I am out of grab foods I just starve and then hate food altogether. Course, my chubby middle doesn't show this, but it is true.

4. Dishes. I have been doing much better in keeping on top of my dirty dishes recently. However, that doesn't mean I enjoy them. They never go away. I wonder why that is... something about eating every day, something like that. I have had a strike right now and there are dirty dishes in my sink!

5. Ants! Oh, they love my old, mildewy, cinderblock apartment. My bathroom, it's so lovely with crumbling, rusted walls and base board and the ants are SO happy to come through them that I am just about to set up a nice hotel for them complete with continental breakfasts. It doesn't matter what I try, sprays- which I don't like to use anyway- natural remedies- I have tried them ALL and nothing works. They always seem to be happy to find their way back. ARGH!

5 Things I Love

1. Fall. I love it when things start to cool down and you don't feel like you will roast outside. My favorite time of year is the Spring when it is nice out and the flowers start to bloom. But I also love the fall when the leaves change color. Beautiful!

2. Thrift Shopping.
I am so excited to be getting ready to go to the giant thrift sale coming up. I LOVE it! I seriously feel like it's a candy store when I go there. Every spring and fall I plan to spend about $100-120, but what I get in return is AMAZING! There is no way on that much I could get what I come home with. Last spring I got 10 dresses for both girls, 4-8 capri pants, 6 shirts- the shirts in the spring aren't as nice as the winter-, 3 pairs of shoes, books, toys. And that was less than other times. I got a crib and dresser Bassett furniture set for $350. They were normally $350 for one. I go right before the doors open, it really is fun! This is one of the ways I save money that is a blast to do. It's boring and stressful and frustrating to do it retail. But when I am paying $2 for jeans with very little wear in them, how could I be stressed?! And they only take the best stuff.

3. Painting.
I am so happy to be taking art lessons again. I have missed it. I paint more now because I am going. My art teacher is wonderful. He is 78 and such a sweet guy. He inspires everyone, make all of us feel that we are wonderful artists. He is kind to everyone and I just can't say enough about his character. This week I am putting another piece in my state fair. I have put about 5 things in and had 3 ribbons, 1 7th place and 2 4th place ribbons.

4. Ice cream. I love moose tracks ice cream. Right now the best kind is Private Selection brand. However, I am avoiding it like the plague it is what with 23% of saturated fat, no WAY! But it is sinfully good and gluten-free! So my chubby middle? Yes, that comes from my chocolate and ice cream LOVE.

5. Reading. I love to read. I have been reading the best things recently. I have really liked having this time to expand my mind and I love that Emily is reading everything she can get her hands on. She is so cute. We went to the library and I am specifically trying to gently push her out of her comfort zone. She is getting nervous about talking to people she doesn't know recently. So I had her go up to the librarian and ask for the Frog and Toad books. She has 2 of them and loves them and wanted to read the others.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Our house hunt has been on hold recently. We have gone over our budget and our numbers and realized that with our current income a house would be impossible. In fact moving any where even a little bit more expensive was going to be impossible, what with rising gas prices, etc. We have also been waiting since March for several promotions from Robert's job. Well, since they haven't come, we decided it was best for us to start looking for another job. Perhaps our answer to our prayers was that it was time to move on. And since we get kicked out of here in December we were worried that if it didn't happen soon we would try for an extension- which they don't always give once you are graduated- or we would find a lovely little shanty like this one:

You don't like it? I think it has a certain "charm" about it. Easy access to transportation right?

Last week Robert calls me from work to tell me that he got a promotion with a decent raise in his department. We were so happy and grateful to the Lord for this blessing. It would definitely help. An hour later Robert calls back and says that the promotion we have waited on forever in another department higher than his called and offered it to him! This is an even greater raise than the other one. We were happy with the first one and feel very blessed and humbled to be given the second. The department he is in now unfortunately can't let him go yet since he is one of their indispensable people, but the other department needs him too. So at this time he will need to stay for 1-3 months. We are really praying for 1 month, 2 at the most because the sooner we get to the other department the sooner we will be able to figure out if the house buying will be possible or we will need to find another place to rent for awhile longer. Then we just may be able to upgrade our home situation to something more like this middle house:

What? You don't see any difference?

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I finished another painting. This one I have been working on and off for awhile. I finished it last week and am glad it is done. I don't hate it, but I have others I like more. I think eventually when I have the space to do it, to put it in one of my kids rooms or a playroom. I am now working on one MUCH harder. Have you see the cathedral in Russia called St. Basil's? I will be painting that. My art teacher has a new method he wants me to try and I am kind of nervous about it, but excited too. Both my older and younger sister have lived in Russia for a time and have taken beautiful pictures of it while they were there. My older sister really wants a painting of St. Basil's and I think it will really stretch my abilities to try and paint it. We will see how that turns out and I will post it on here when it is finished. In the mean time, enjoy my latest painting.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Family Reunion

Every year all the family comes to the old farm house to have a family reunion. The first year I became part of the family we had only been married a week and didn't go. We have gone every year after that. Robert's Granddad and Grandma Donna went with us that first year and haven't been able to go since. They are getting older and can't leave their home. We miss having them there and everyone still has fond and funny memories of them.

The first year I went I was just newly pregnant with Emily and was tired, sick and crabby. At the end of the week we decided to let his family know, so they didn't wonder if Robert had married a basket case. The next year we went with little Emily who was a trooper during the 4-5 hour drive. The year I was pregnant with Lindsey my sister-in-law Lori was pregnant with her little girl Sienna. We took the drive together since neither husband was able to make it. I really enjoyed it that year since not having Robert really helped me to step out of my comfort zone and get to know the family I had married into.

Each family takes turns with the activity and menu of the lunch on the second day. This time the theme was a Hawaiian Luau. We didn't have anything Hawaiian so we walked over to the local dollar store and found some flowered leis and flip-flops with flowers on top.

This is the old farm house that Granddad grew up in. His old childhood bed is still upstairs. Right now, there is a back house that is being added onto the farm house. Sylvia and Sid are brother and sister and they share the house. Sylvia is married to Adam. Sid does the best firework show there is. He shoots them off in the field behind the house while we all sit on the lawn with a front row seat. His breakfast is superb and one of the best parts of the reunion. Fresh chicken eggs, ham, sourdough pancakes (only wish I could eat that part) and tons of wonderful fruit.

There is also a natural spring that I missed the hike to this year. You hike to the top and take a long gulp of water before heading back down. When you are looking at the moss on the rocks the thought of drinking it just doesn't seem right, but you have to give it a try. No water ever tasted SO good! And I don't have any parasites yet. We went up to the old cemetery where we saw the graves of Robert's Great-Grandfather and Great-Great Grandfather and Great Aunts.

Poor Sienna had to be the unlucky one to fall in the ditch by the house. It's hard to keep your eye on two babies the same age and poor Lori injured her back before the trip. It was another fun year.