Thursday, March 26, 2009

All before breakfast was over

It's been quite the morning already. As I was taking the muffins out of the oven, I dropped the pan, causing muffins to jump around like they was a-partyin' (thankfully this did not affect their flavor).

Then Elijah, as he was just sitting there at the table as nice and still as a three-year-old can sit, spontaneously falls off his chair (thankfully no major injuries).

Then to top it all off -- quite literally -- as Isaac was carrying a quart jar of honey (with a lid but without a ring to hold it on tight) to the table, he hoists it above his head and spills a good cup of liquid honey ON HIS HEAD! In that split moment I made my wisest decision of the day so far -- laugh, don't cry. Thankfully he was wearing a hat that took the brunt of the mess (he actually got away without needing a shower!). The hat and all the rags I used to clean up the puddle are now in the laundry.

I'm hoping this means all the foibles are out of the day now, and we can continue on in a merry and unclumsy fashion!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Well it's not quite 40 inches, but...

Last week Wade heard a preposterous (or so we thought) forecast that mentioned the possibility of 40 inches of snow. We both scoffed. Now we're both groaning. It wasn't 40 inches, but it was 25 inches deep on our deck this morning, with many drifts easily topping five feet. I'm suddenly very nervous about my 580-mile drive on Thursday!

Would you believe we grilled burgers on Saturday? The deck was clear, dry and even warm from the day's beautiful sunshine!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Flooding

Another fabulous 60-degree day (this time on a SATURDAY no less!) was cause for a family outing. The six of us biked down to Mirror Lake to observe the flooding... well, five of us biked down to Mirror Lake; the littlest one biked halfway and then rode on the back of Daddy's bike while Mommy carried his bike on her bike. Yes, it was awkward, but it was such a beautiful day it didn't even bother us.

Okay, my bias is going to leak out here, I just can't hold it in any longer --- aren't they just the CUTEST little boys EVER?!?

Mirror Lake has overflowed its banks and is pouring over the spillway. There certainly was someone bright on the city planning committee when the road encircling the lake was built. They deliberately created a low spot in the road so when the water rises too high, it only spills over in one spot, rather than flooding the yards of those who live around the lake.

In other exciting flood news, we drove down to Lodgepole, SD, on Thursday to observe the South Grand River. Usually this river does not live up to its name, but right now it does. We stood on the bridge while rushing water and drifting ice chunks the size of vehicles flowed beneath us. Occasionally an ice chunk would hit the bridge supports, causing a tremendous thud and shaking the bridge. Thrilling, I tell you! Note: the picture below is not the South Grand, it what is usually a very dry creek bed.

Although I quite enjoy seeing all the snow depart after 135 days (and counting), it's a shame that all this fabulous moisture is just running away. If only we could harness it and save a few millions gallons for the heat of summer! Lest I speak too quickly though, more snow is forecast for this week... up to 40 inches. I'll believe it when I see it, and I hope I don't see it, because I'm supposed to drive to Billings this week to fly to Washington for Laura and Justin's wedding (Yea!!) and 40 inches of snow could put a real damper on travel plans!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Nature Hike

Breakfast was finished, teeth were brushed, coats and shoes were donned, we were all ready to head out the door to visit Miss Emma, when she called to say she was sick. Not one to waste all the effort it took to actually be able to exit the house before 9:30 a.m., we continued out the door... and ventured out on a nature walk!

Our route took us south of town to Mirror Lake Park... but we had to wait for a train to pull out of town before we could cross the tracks.

The park itself was a bit too slushy/muddy to play at (Yea for "warm" weather! 40 degrees is awesome!), but we were able to spot all sorts of cool nature stuff along the back roads: animal tracks in the snow, scat (very cool to little boys -- just don't touch it!), birds, iced-over streams and others that were flowing. We talked about hibernation and migration, plants and seeds, climates and the environment (next time we'll take a garbage bag along with us) and even finished up with a little social studies lesson as we trekked home through the cemetery.

Although there is still a fair amount of snow and slush on the ground, it was a very comfortable day with our coats and mittens on, and somehow we managed to make it home without anybody falling into overly deep puddles or creeks! Dry feet do make for much happier walking!

Two hours and about 3 miles later we arrived home and called it a field trip day. The boys drew pictures and maps of our adventure, and I think they'll sleep well tonight!

Snow Much Fun!

I should have posted these pictures last week, because now the snow is melting and they're not as timely. Oh well, anywho, as you can see the boys had a great time with making a snow fort in the garden (can you see the garden? Um, no, but trust me, this is where it is). Actually Wade did most of the work, and then took a picture of me with the shovels so it looks like this was all my doing (yeah, can you see my muscles rippling?).

The boys had it all mapped out -- this part is the bathroom, here's a bedroom, this is the slide (doesn't every good home have a slide? I know they wish ours did!).

Levi hard at work.

Isaac working on the "house" too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Adoption Update

A few people have asked recently how the adoption process is going, so here's a bit of an update.

We were supposed to finish our training to become foster licensed in February, but the sessions were cancelled due to lack of interest. The next sessions we need will be held the end of April, so we'll finish up then. At that point we'll also turn in the last (hopefully?) of the paperwork. The only things left to check off on the homestudy are getting our fire extinguishers, furnace and water heathers inspected.

Once all that is done and everything is turned in, the powers that be will grant us a license to adopt a child from the foster care system. We have no way of knowing how long it will be before we're matched with a little boy. It could be weeks, it could be much longer. But we know it's in God's hands, and whether it happens quickly or slowly, it'll be God's timing.

We're excited but also a little intimidated. With our own children, we know everything about them, but with an adopted child there are so many unknowns -- family medical history, mental health history, history of abuse or neglect, significant events of their life (for good or bad), even whether they've been taught manners or courtesy or responsibility. Already we're praying for this little one, that God will care for and protect him, especially that part of his heart and soul that allows him to be able to give and receive love in a healthy way.

We appreciate everyone's prayers!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Someone beat me to it

This weekend we were invited to dinner at some friends' house and I got a look at her freezer. It's a drawer that pulls out beneath the fridge, and inside the freezer are two more wide shallow drawers! Although this could be a challenge for anyone who frequently (or ever) buys gallon tubs of ice cream or other large freezer items, the ingenious design prevents "lost in the back/bottom of the freezer" waste without hogging six feet of wall space, like my previously mentioned post suggested. Although I have a fairly new refrigerator and no plans to replace it anytime soon, I'm gonna keep this in mind for the future!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Coming soon to a Costco near you

What do five pounds of butter, seven tubs of Cool Whip, two opened bags of tater tots, a barely touched package of frozen spinach, a dozen bananas in freezer bags and 20 pairs of bread loaf heels have in common? They were all un-earthed (would the better term be un-frosted?) from the recesses of my freezer today.

The problem, I've concluded, is that the freezer has a back. I mean seriously, the problem has to be with the machine, right? It couldn't be me! What I should do right now is patent the back-less freezer. All the food would be stored either in the door, or on the ten-inch-deep front shelf. Without a "way back" to put frozen goods, they could never get lost and forgotten behind the more frequently accessed foods.

This would also work great with the refrigerator, since foods often make their way to the rear and don't migrate forward again until they're beyond recognition (this is particularly true of leftovers). Keeping all the goods right in front is the key to successful waste prevention.

Granted this new style of appliance wouldn't hold as much food as a standard refrigerator/freezer, so to compensate it would have to be wider. Perhaps a six-foot-wide model would be ideal? Just think of all the space this would provide for drawings, snapshots and all those magnetic letters and numbers! I don't know about you, but things are getting a little crowded on my fridge -- a few more square feet would be quite welcome!

Yes, indeed, the day these babies hit the production line will be a great day for all who call the kitchen their second home. Look for them soon in all major appliance distribution centers.