Thursday, April 26, 2007

Time for more pictures

Time for some new pics of the little men (and the big man) of the house.

Wade and his troupe roasting mallows in the backyard. The boys absolutely love this (ALL the boys, and me, too). Besides getting to light a fire AND put sticks in it, you get to consume mega amounts of sugar and sit in "camping" chairs besides!

Lukey showing his artistic side while decorating Easter eggs.

Isaac getting ready to roast another marshmallow, his mouth stuffed with one just off the stick.

Levi, our little gymnast. He flips, swings and finagles on those rings with nothing but ease, while Isaac and Luke struggle to get their feet off the ground at all!

Lij in the woods near the farm. He gets sooooo excited when we head into the woods -- it's such an adventure! Unfortunately the woods are being flattened to build a 32-house development... right in our backyard. Big time bummer.

Yard Sale

Wade and I (mostly I) and some friends recently held a yard sale at our home -- our first ever. It was quite an experience, and while quite a bit of stuff sold there was an awful lot left over that went back into the basement, unfortunately. Here is an article I wrote for the Lynden Tribune April 18, 2007 edition about the preparation process (hope I'm not breaking any copyrights here, but seeing as I am the author I think I'm okay).

I'm Selling my Soul on a Yard Sale
by Kerri Lynn Howard

Recently I decided to hold a yard sale -- a pretty major thing for a sentimental pack-rat who develops an emotional attachment to everything her children touch.

But our basement demands it. Baby gear, toddler beds and boxes of outgrown clothes and infant toys have turned our once orderly back room into a jungle. Something has got to go (lots of stuff has got to go!) if we're ever going to find our tent, cooler and picnic basket in time for camping season.

I started with the boxes of clothes. There were the tiny pajamas each of the boys wore home from the hospital, the adorable hats and booties, itty-bitty onesies covered in trucks and puppies, overalls (at least two pairs in every size) and piles more.

I can't get rid of these! These clothes are a part of my children's babyhood!

I imagined myself going through boxes of baby clothes 20 years from now, sorting through them like a wardrobe photo album.

No, I don't need these. They're taking up too much room. I have lots of pictures of the kids in all of these outfits -- I don't need the original articles! Fifty cents. There. Good. Only 200 more to go.

And so I began. I admit though, a few of the more dear-to-my-heart outfits went in a separate box that will live forever in my basement, always there for me to look through.

Going through the toys was also difficult. There were the stuffed animals our children loved and then forgot about, toys that were given as birthday and Christmas gifts, some I thought were cool but the boys showed no interest in, and others I thought were tacky that they took with them everywhere -- all of them special.

Thankfully our boys are still young enough that I didn't even have to consider parting with the blocks, Legos, matchbox cars, puzzles, books or Tinkertoys. Only a few things made it out of the toy box and into the sale box.

On to the baby gear. These are the real space-taker-uppers -- the swing, car seats, stroller, walkers, toddler beds, bouncy seats. And these are also the items I've heard can fetch a decent price at yard sales. And since I'm not as emotionally attached to these things, you'd think this part would have been easy. Unfortunately not.

We'd better keep at least one crib for when we babysit our grandkids someday.

Never-mind the fact our eldest is only 5.

And a stroller, the swing and a bouncy seat in case I babysit little nieces and nephews.

Our only married siblings live out of state, the engaged one one is moving to the East Coast, and my single brother is, well, single.

Wade isn't much of a help. "You can keep that stuff if you want, but it's the reason our basement looks the way it does," he said.

I also unpacked a few things that hadn't been un-boxed since we last moved (4 years ago) or possibly before. One was a small collection of miniature pewter silver frames I collected during junior high and high school. They held photos of friends, family and a long-since-deceased cat. A few held pictures as recent as my college years. As I took the photos out and stuck the price stickers on, I felt like I was selling my soul.

Sure, just throw away photos of your friends for the sake of another 50 cents. Come on, those were good times, these were your best friends. You don't want to forget this stuff!

The collection has been in a box for years!

A few home decor items that don't quite fit our home, books I don't care to re-read, outfits I haven't worn this millennium and a few other odds and ends rounded out the "to sell" pile. Now I wait for the weekend, try not to change my mind about too many of the nostalgia items, and hope everything sells (except all those items I'm still a little attached to!).

Friday, April 13, 2007

Seeing numbers

Wade thinks I'm crazy, but if I am, then so is he and my mom and my grandma, because he "sees" numbers too. So here's the question -- do you see numbers in a certain order, pattern or design? How about the letters of the alphabet, or the months of the year?

For example, when my grandma thinks about the months of the year, she visualizes them as a circle, with January on the left, the spring months going over the top, the summer months on the right, fall curving around the bottom and December on the left just underneath January. My months are much more boring -- just a straight line going down.

Wade sees his numbers in a square, as illustrated here (I think he's the crazy one because after 100 there just aren't any more numbers!). My numbers, shown below, wander a bit before going straight up to 100 and then filling the sky with numbers higher than 100 (maybe I'm crazy too, because actually numbers 13-19 are on stepping stones crossing a creek).

Are we nuts, or do you visualize sets in certain patterns, too? Where does this come from? Why do Mom and Grandma and I all have similar number patterns while Wade's is completely different? Please tell me it's not just something in the water on our road.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Bath Time

They ain't all gonna fit in there for much longer!
(Gotta love our itty bitty tub)