Sunday, January 25, 2015

Our weekend

Ram and I both had dental appointments on Friday. I will blog more about my appointment later. After that Ram and I took turns doing shopping.

Friday night we took the Lambs to a Philharmonic concert. Lamb 1 has said his favorite composer is Rossini and he likes the William Tell Overture so we went to that. They played the whole piece and it was slow for Lamb 3 until it got to the familiar part. The piece in the middle was very different, it was a cello/bass duo with humor and satire. I didn't like it, Ram said it was ok. They ended with Lamb 2's favorite composer, Beethoven's 4th symphony. Lamb 2 was not too impressed because it was not his favorite symphony. The conductor said, "We all know there is a 4th symphony because we like the 9th symphony even if we haven't heard the 4th symphony often".

During the intermission, Lamb 3 was fascinated by looking at the "map" of the orchestra and then going up front to see how the map compared to the stage. When the 4th symphony began he continued to whisper this conversation with me-there's no tuba on the stage any more! etc.

We have needed to watch our budget closely this month. I wasn't sure about spending the money to go to a concert right now. Ram thought we should because it was both Lamb 1 and 2's favorite composers. It makes me glad to pay for experiences like going to the Philharmonic instead of just buying more toys for our Lambs. Afterwards Lamb 1 made a point of saying thank you for taking him to the concert without any prompting from Ram or Ewe. When the 10 year old boy said thank you it made it worth it!

We took the Lambs to a Philharmonic concert in 2013 but didn't go to one in 2014. Lamb 3 had a lot of questions on the way there, he only remembered outdoor free concerts which we have gone to a lot of since we moved here. That was another good reason that we went to this concert.

Unfortunately it became a very late evening and Lamb 2 melted down the whole way home. (He was also upset that they played Beethoven, but not his favorite symphony!) We stopped and picked up some donuts for a treat afterwards. When we got home they each ate a donut and then went to bed. I'm sure we don't have as good of a donut place as Jody, but I liked the idea of a tradition of donuts after concerts. We plan to keep this family tradition.

After Lamb 2's meltdown the night before I assumed they would not be up to going to the March for Life on Saturday afternoon. So I did not get ready or help the Lambs get ready. Ram got ready and as he was starting to leave, Lamb 2 and 3 both said they wanted to go. We hurried to get warm clothes ready for them and Ram took them. Lamb 1 and I stayed home. Lamb 1 ended up going over to the neighbor's backyard for most of the time so I had a rare time alone. I would have liked to have gone to the March for Life, but after a late night the night before I didn't want to force our boys to go and Lamb 1 did not want to go.

Today there were few people in church and even less in Sunday School. I quickly filled in as Sunday School teacher for my three boys plus two other kids. There is lots of sickness going around and it was foggy this morning too.

I did some school planning and Ram made some copies for me this afternoon. I'm sure the Lambs will be thrilled that they have more school work to do this week!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

I started smoking a few weeks ago

I had never even heard of an incense smoker before Glenda blogged about hers. I did a fast Internet search and decided as much as I wanted one, that was just not going to be in our budget ever. We no longer live in MN so we can't stop at a Scandinavian/German specialty store. New online was quite expensive.
Ram and I don't exchange Christmas presents with each other, but this year he put a note in my stocking that I could purchase a smoker. I spent a long time searching online stores, Ebay, and finally found what I wanted at Etsy. As much as I loved the idea of Glenda's St. Nicholas smoker, we have plenty of Christmas decorations. I wanted an "everyday" smoker. This is what I finally chose.
I bought it from an Etsy seller in Germany. I enjoyed tracking my package from Berlin. It is a fascinating thought to me that I can buy something from Berlin while I'm in Idaho! I can't imagine being able to do that when I was a little girl. I was surprised shipping was only about $5 and it arrived in about a week and a half. This seller picks up vintage items at places like garage sales and then puts them on Etsy. The smoker I purchased was never used for smoking before I got it. I have purchased a few unique items from Etsy and I have not been disappointed with any of them.
My new afternoon routine is to clean up the kitchen and then get my smoker going and if the Lambs are outside then put on some classical music. It is very relaxing and a fun way to get necessary chores done after the Lambs have their school work done. Plus I'm trying to get my kitchen cleaned up before allowing myself this fun.
I skipped my new routine for a few days and Lamb 1 asked when we were going to use the smoker again. Ram especially enjoys the incense smell.
(Note for my friend that calls me Granola Girl: This has nothing to do with my diffusing essential oils.)
I love the idea of our smoker is a shepherd for our family of Ram, Ewe, and 3 Lambs.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hey Ewe!

Look what finally came in the mail today! Ram plans to put them on our new minivan this afternoon. Now you will know which car is mine when I come to visit you!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winnie the Pooh Day

A few years ago I posted about Pooh bear day here. I have been surprised how many hits that one blog post has when I look at the stats. Since that was posted we went to Disneyland one more time.
October 2012

How well do you know about the adventures of Pooh and his friends?

A. What time does Pooh like a little mouthful of something?

B. What is the name of A.A. Milne's son?

C. Who finds Eeyore's missing tail?

D. How does Pooh describe his own spelling?

E. When Pooh, Christopher Robin, and the others go on the Expotition, what are they looking for?

F. What does Pooh name the spot where he and Piglet build a house for Eeyore?

G. What affectionate expression does Christopher Robin use when he sees that Pooh has gotten himself into trouble?

H. What does Eeyore say about Accidents?

I. What is halfway between Pooh's house and Piglet's house?

J. What game do Pooh and the others play at the bridge?

K. What does Eeyore say about birthdays?

L. Why do Pooh and Piglet want to visit Owl on the Blusterous day?

M. What does Pooh know when he sees Christopher Robin putting on his Big Boots?

Did you try to answer the questions? Answers.
A. Eleven o'clock in the morning.
B. Christopher Robin Milne
C. Pooh
D. "It's good spelling but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places."
E. The North Pole
F. Pooh Corner
G. Silly old Bear
H. "You never have them till you're having them."
I. A Thoughtful Spot
J. Poohsticks
K. Here today and gone tomorrow.
L. To have a Proper Tea.
M. An Adventures is going to happen.

How did you do? Have you read A.A. Milne's books to your children?

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Recycled Toys

My parents packed up some of my sister's and my old toys and sent them to us about a month ago. Here are the Lambs with some of their first creations from my old construction set.
Lamb 3

Lamb 2
We moved so often that my parents didn't keep a lot of toys. This set is a keeper because the Lambs have played with it several times since it arrived. They insisted we take photos of their first creations, but I didn't realize they had such funny expressions until I uploaded it here. Perhaps we need to take more pictures of their recent creations.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jan Brett Book Tour

On December 11 Jan Brett came to the Boise Public Library. I had been sick with a sore throat the few days before and doubted that I would be able to take the Lambs. I woke up feeling better and decided to try to take them. The Lambs had not been warned about this so I thought they were going to be upset to have to hurry to get ready, but they were very cooperative. I just never know what to expect with them and this time I was pleasantly surprised. So we hurried to get ready and I expected to get there right on time. There was a traffic jam on the interstate and the other side of the interstate was completely shut down due to an accident. After all that we arrived about 20 minutes late. We were able to walk right in and maybe it was a good thing that we arrived late. I found out later that others were turned away. We did miss the Lambs getting free pins to wear. There were no seats left so we stood in the back and several times I lifted up Lamb 3 so he could see better.
When we arrived the first thing I did was take pictures with the bus. Each of the Lambs got a turn with the camera.
Photographer: Lamb 1

Photographer: Lamb 2

Lamb 2 took a lot of photos compared to his brothers! He also took this photo. I was ready to delete it, but Ram likes it. Do you like this photo?

Photographer: Lamb 3

Photographer: Ewe

All the cities she went to on this tour are listed on the side of the bus.

Since we arrived late, we didn't hear her whole talk, but what we did hear was excellent. I have heard Nancy Carlson and other authors speak, but Jan Brett was the best I've heard. Perhaps I think that because I was listening if there were parts to interest my BOYS that are older and I heard the other authors when my boys were younger.

She taught the students how to draw a rabbit like she does. She encouraged students that want to be artists to spend time on drawing every day. She encouraged them to keep their work and compare what they do six months later after drawing daily. Lamb 1 listened to this part of the talk closely as he wants to be an artist. 

I was thankful for my nice camera lens when we were way in the back of the room. My pictures weren't perfect as Lamb 3 kept tugging on my arm asking for me to hold him up so he could see better.

Here's the rabbit that she drew while she spoke.

After she spoke everyone began lining up to have their books signed. I took the Lambs out of the crowded auditorium and took them to check out books from the library. They were very excited because they got to check out several movies for while Lamb 2 recovered from surgery. Then I took them back to the car and let them have a snack. Then we went back in the library and I made sure everyone went to the restroom and got a drink. All this paid off because even though we were towards the end of the book signing line, they all had all their needs met before we waited.

I was in line after a woman that had taken her lunch hour to come have her books signed. She was very nervous that she wasn't going to get to get her books signed. I think she was a little late, but she made it. All of us in line near each other enjoyed talking about our favorite Jan Brett books. 

Here we are just before it was our turn to get our books signed.

Lamb 1

Lamb 2

Lamb 3

These were the books that I pulled off our bookshelf and took for her to sign. Some of these were purchased used, but they are hardcovers in good condition. It was very difficult to choose one book each for her to sign and I didn't even purchase her new book. I do really like her illustrations in her folk tales which is why I chose some of these books. It was very interesting to see what books other people in line chose for her to sign.

I was so impressed that Jan Brett spent several hours with us in Boise. First she spoke and then she signed for a couple of hours. There were about 15 people in line after me and I think she signed for everyone. I don't know how she does a book tour like that-two cities a day going across the country in a little more than two weeks. We are so glad she came to Boise and spent the morning with us.

Other children brought pictures and cards for Jan Brett. I never even thought of something like that. If we ever go to hear another author, I now have that idea.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Reading on Vacation

It seems as if the days fly by and I just don't get back to my blog. I really do want to get back here more often and I have tons of pictures to post. I don't know what my excuse is, since Lamb 2 is done with therapy I have mainly been doing routine tasks at home.

We went to Ram's parents for about a week after Christmas. I must admit it was very relaxing for me-not having to host Christmas, not cooking for almost a week, we even took down our outside decorations before we went there, the presents were all wrapped and mailed to far away family, and especially that the Lambs are old enough to entertain themselves while we are at Grandma's. 5 years ago, I could not imagine the Lambs getting dressed completely by themselves and not needing to be entertained every minute at Grandma's while also keeping a close eye on all Grandma's fragile items all over the house. I am so glad that day has come and going to Ram's parents is truly a vacation for me now instead of a ton of work.

I ended up staying up late one night reading and then spent most of the next day reading too with very few interruptions.  I finally got around to reading Unbroken. I really enjoyed the time reading on vacation. But I knew after reading the book that I have no desire to see the movie. I don't see how they can make this book into a movie and stay true to the book. I know they really shortened the events of his life in the movie-no way you can fit all this book into one movie. I also don't think they would portray the religious parts of the book in a movie like the book did. I also wonder how they could possibly show actors as people from the time of WWII and make it look real. I prefer to keep my images in my mind from the book instead of see how the movie portrayed it.

When I was in college I took a class on Vietnam. As a history minor most of my history classes that talked about WWII focused on which side won which battle. We discussed the whole WWII during a couple of lectures, only spending a week or two on it. I was so glad to read Unbroken and hear this part of history as a story from someone that lived through that time instead of like what I learned in my college classes.

I don't want to spoil the book for those that have not read it so I will leave it as I highly recommend Unbroken if you have not read it yet. I do not plan to see the movie, but my dad and my sister did. Have you read the book? Have you seen the movie or do you plan to?