Monday, July 6, 2015

Indiana Vacation Continued

June 8: This day was a big day because Lamb 1 and 2 began basketball camp. They attended every morning from June 8-June 17. I will have a separate post about basketball camp.

In the afternoon we met with an art professor at IPFW. Lamb 1 is interested in majoring in art in college. I meant to just take Lamb 1, but Lamb 2 said he was also interested and he also wanted to attend. Lamb 3 did not want to be the only one to not go so all of us went. It got to be long and boring for Lamb 2 and 3 and I wish I had told them both that they couldn't go.
It was a great chance for Lamb 1 to ask questions and to be encouraged to draw/do art every day. I was very impressed with the art department at IPFW. I attended a Concordia where there were only 3 or 4 art rooms. It was impressive to me all the art displayed in the hallway and all the different kinds of art rooms, especially the metal making room. The professor kept apologizing for the lack of art displayed since it was summer. I think it was the perfect time to visit because no one was in the rooms that we would disturb. I was very glad that we made the appointment and took the time to do this IPFW visit. The professor attends the same church as my parents and it was very kind of him to meet with us.

After we cleaned out the attic I thought we should get a dumpster. My mom was embarrassed that they had so much trash that we needed a dumpster. We found out dumpsters were really expensive $700! After several days of phone calls we found out that the city would take everything on trash day if what would not fit in the trash containers was bagged. This is what the trash men picked up after some trash diggers had taken some of the trash. There was a broken microwave and some stuff sticking out of the barrel that people stopped and took before the trash man arrived. I spent most of this afternoon taking the trash out and cleaning up the garage.

June 9: This day I finally got to meet in person a fellow blogger. I have followed Kristen's blog for awhile and I met her parents a few years ago, but this was the first time I met her in person. After I dropped off Lamb 1 and 2 at basketball camp, Lamb 3 and I went to the Seminary to meet Kristen and her son that happens to have the same first name as Lamb 3. First the boys played on the playground and later on we went in the gym and they played in there. Nathan W. was constantly going, didn't stay in one place long at all! I brought several shoes, books, and a few clothes that the Lambs had outgrown to share with Nathan. It was a fun morning!

Big Nathan Age 7
Little Nathan Age 14 months

As we were leaving there was a turtle on the road so we stopped so Lamb 3 could have some pictures to show his brothers what he saw.

In the afternoon I worked on cleaning up the garage some more. We loaded a bunch of scrap wood for my dad to donate to Habitat for Humanity. They were glad to take what he brought. Later on in our visit when he took a second load of scrap wood they told him they had accepted too many small pieces the first time he went and they weren't allowed to accept that again. He did donate some tools and screws and nails the second time but he brought home most of what he took in that second load. So we asked the neighbors that had taken some of our other stuff if they would be interested in the scrap wood. They were so they came over and loaded all that up in the back of their minivan. While they were there we asked them to help carry a dresser downstairs and they also helped my dad remove an old basketball hoop post. So when they came over that day we accomplished a lot and also helped them out.

My high school job was Dunkin Donuts. While that location no longer exists, I did want to take the Lambs to Dunkin Donuts while we were in Fort Wayne. On more days than I want to admit, I would take the Lambs to run errands and then we would stop by Dunkin Donuts for donuts for them and coffee for me. Dunkin Donuts has happy hour for iced coffee from 2-6pm. That was usually perfect for running errands and then stopping for a treat. I was amazed at all the choices of coffee. When I worked there we had regular or decaf coffee and every once and awhile a weird customer from the East would come in and order iced coffee. The only choice then was cream and sugar or black, no syrups or flavors.

June 10: I dropped the Lambs off at basketball camp and then Lamb 3 and I worked on packing my mom's pencil sharpener collection. We brought it home and it is now in the boy's playroom on display. Here it is at my mom's house before we packed it.

The afternoon was discouraging. We had been going to one liquor store for boxes and they ran out. I tried a second liquor store for boxes and they said they would have some available on Wednesday. When I went they didn't have any ready. I went to the Uhaul store for boxes for large pictures and the first store the line was long to pay and the second store was out of picture boxes. I took the Lambs to Dunkin Donuts and that was all we accomplished that afternoon.

To be continued...

Sunday, July 5, 2015

IN vacation continued

June 5: This day I took a day off and left the Lambs with my parents and spent the whole day with a friend. Sue is a Looper and we were finally able to meet in person. She drove over to Fort Wayne.
First we went to Rome City to tour one of Gene Stratton-Porter's homes. I have read a lot of her books so I was excited to go. We did the tour of the inside of the house and toured the gardens on our own. We did a tiny bit of shopping in the gift shop and returned home to Fort Wayne for lunch.
The only novel I have not read is The Magic Garden.  Thanks to Hyde Brothers bookstore I own all the rest of the novels.

I tried reading The Song of the Cardinal but I didn't like it and have not tried any of her other nature study books.

The view from the house.

The gardens

I must admit that I didn't expect Sue to look like she did. I don't know why I thought she had blond hair like me. I never thought about what she looked like until the morning that it was time to meet.

In the gardens

The entrance from the road

I now want to tour Gene Stratton-Porter's other home. Sue plans to try to go to the other home with her family when they are on vacation this summer. We had planned to meet our friend Jane when we got back to Fort Wayne but she wasn't able to meet us. I wasn't sure where to go for lunch after being away from Fort Wayne for so long. I attempted to mostly keep to my Paleo diet on vacation and Sue tries to eat vegan so I was unsure where to go. We finally settled on an Italian restaurant where we could both have salads and I cheated and had some bread. For dessert we stopped in and had a piece of Debrand chocolate which I don't think was vegan, but it was delicious.

After dessert I took Sue to show her Hyde Brothers bookstore. I bought one book and she didn't buy any, she is planning to return with her family for vacation later this summer. The bookseller was almost offended that two ladies came into his shop but only bought one book. I explained that I had just been there the week before and he didn't feel as bad. It is amazing how much a used bookstore changes in just one week.

Then we went to Panera Bread for her to get a treat for her breakfast and for us both to get a frozen lemonade. We stayed and talked so long that while I wasn't hungry when we came in, I decided to get some soup. We talked and talked until finally I thought it was time to get back to my Lambs. It was so good to have someone to talk to that we have so much in common. Pastor's wives, former classroom teachers, homeschoolers, raising boys, and the list goes on.

While I was gone the Lambs helped my mom pick up the trimmings from the bushes I had trimmed the day before. My mom took them to a splash pad. My dad picked up a pizza for their supper. I think they enjoyed the day and also got some work done to help my parents, but I was gone for 12 hours which was a long time for them.

June 6: This day my dad took us to a Military Appreciation Day at a local church. My dad is a veteran. There was food and speakers. We stayed for a little while after lunch and then left. 
I spent some time on the garage today, finally took pictures of the banners that my dad had made that were up in the attic. The trash pile and give away pile was really growing at this point.
After supper I took the Lambs for a treat of smoothies.

June 7: This morning we attended Redeemer Lutheran. I don't know if I had ever been to a Sunday morning service there with the exception of when my school children sang there. I knew a few people but the Lambs were relieved that I didn't know so many people that we stayed and talked as long as we had the week before at Zion. Lamb 2 commented that the service was a concert as much as a church service. It was lovely along with a good sermon.
In the afternoon I took the Lambs to visit one of the older members from Zion, Lucille. She lost her husband a few years ago, but they were my adopted grandparents while I was at Zion. She was thrilled that I brought the Lambs. They played on the iPad most of the time that we talked. She had a little advice for my parents about downsizing after just doing it herself a few years ago. I hadn't even told her I was coming to Fort Wayne, but it worked out perfect to visit her on Sunday afternoon.

To be continued...

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy July 4!

This year is unusual because with July 4 on a Saturday we didn't feel we could travel and be back for church tomorrow. We have spent most of our married years of July 4 at Ram's parents house. When we lived in MN that is when we visited them. I wasn't sure what to cook since we aren't spending it with Ram's parents so it didn't need to be completely Paleo. Here is the menu that I came up with:

Ribs with Ewe's homemade barbecue sauce (In the oven now)
(The Lambs might have hot dogs if they don't want the ribs.)
Homemade potato salad (In the fridge)
Potato chips (rare treat at our house)
Corn on the cob (if the grocery store corn I bought is ok)
Baked beans
Dessert: Ice cream in ice cream cones

There should be lots of leftovers so we'll eat July 4 food for the next several days!

Ram's parents returned from vacation not too long ago too so they were also glad that we weren't coming for the 4th of July so they could rest instead of get ready to entertain us. After all our driving for our vacation I was thankful to not have more driving to celebrate the 4th of July.

We may peek outside to see if we can see any fireworks from our house, but we have no plans to go to fireworks tonight. I sound like a party pooper, but we have finally caught up on sleep after our crazy vacation and it is hot out there. I am looking forward to next week where the weather is finally predicted to be less than 100 and one day is even predicted to be less than 90! Next year July 4 is on a Monday so hopefully we can go back to normal of celebrating with Ram's parents.

Organic blueberries were on sale at the grocery this week so I stocked up and am making jam today. This is the first jam I have made this year.

Ram bought the Lambs more sand yesterday so they are busy playing in their sand table today with a few of the neighbor kids.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Indiana vacation continued...

June 2: The Lambs and I ran some errands to help my parents. We dropped off stuff at the thrift shop. We bought cat litter to help dry up some old paint in the garage.
We went to Once Upon a Child and traded in a pack-in-play that we had kept at my parents for when we visited when the Lambs were little. The Lambs found several t-shirts including a Tincaps shirt that they wanted. The trade was even so we didn't have to pay sales tax.
My parents had their realtor stop by to give them advice on what else to do before they put the house on the market. They set a goal to put the house on the market at the end of the month. I was a little embarrassed to have the realtor come when we were in the middle of so many projects and everything was such a mess. But her coming was helpful, it reminded us that taking pictures off the wall was important and tips like that.
The boys spent much of the time in IN playing with these old wooden spools from my grandma. My mom and her siblings played with these, my sister and I played with these, and every time kids visited my grandma the tub of spools came out to play with. We also had two small elephants that we built houses and swimming pools for them out of the spools. My sister said we could have the spools but she wanted the elephants.
One problem I never had because I was an only child for 7 years was there are 3 Lambs to play with one tub of spools. The Lambs solved this by having "auctions" for the pieces they really want. Lamb 1 is usually the auctioneer-"Who would like this block?, it costs two spools." We brought the spools home and they are now playing with them in my living room. We can no longer go to to my grandma's house and soon we won't be able to go to the house my parents lived in the longest, but it makes me so happy that my Lambs are still playing with the same wooden spools.

June 3: Lamb 1 got up and went to my dad's early morning Bible study. The other Lambs were jealous that he got breakfast there so we went for bagels. I met my friend, Nancy, for lunch at a Mexican restaurant. We were both single and both attended church at Zion when we met. She is now married with one son. It was great to have lunch out and to see her.
I took the Lambs with me to Half Price Books to trade in the books that we brought that Hyde Brothers did not want. There were 4 boxes of books remaining. I had removed some of the nicer children's books to give to a friend in Fort Wayne and we didn't want what was remaining. They took a long time to look at that many books, it was probably the longest it has ever taken, and this time I happened to have all the Lambs with me. We were required to stay in the store while they looked at our books which was a very dangerous thing. I didn't do any shopping for myself, but the Lambs asked for $23 more in books than the little bit of credit we got for the books we traded in. I did let them get everything they asked for because Lamb 1 found several books he was interested in reading and they also found some books to complete a series of books that Grandma got some of the books for them. It is not often that we take the boys shopping for books, we usually shop for books when we are on a date or just expect them to read library books. I was glad they had so many books that the Lambs were interested in.
After the book store took so long I took the Lambs to a park and let them play on the playground as a reward. Lamb 1 was not too happy to do that as he wanted more boys his age to play basketball with, but the other Lambs loved playing on a different playground.
After supper the Lambs were playing outside and Lamb 1 came inside screaming that an insect had flown into his ear. My mom didn't have any hydrogen peroxide so Lamb 1 and I went to the store to buy some. Thankfully the insect flew out on it's own so we didn't need an ER visit. We rinsed the ear out with diluted hydrogen peroxide and he was fine.

June 4: My dad went with us for a tour of the Sechler's pickle factory. The Lambs didn't like the tour very much but they loved sampling the pickles. I spent over $50 on pickles in their store. Most of the pickles were $2 to $3.50. Our local grocery carries a few varieties, but nothing like every variety in their store. When we buy them locally they are almost $5. The Lambs wanted several different varieties. It will be fun to open jars over the next several months and try several different kinds.
I finally tackled mowing the back yard in the afternoon. It was still wet after all the rain and took a long time. I trimmed a few bushes in front of their house. I wish I would have trimmed all their bushes that day, but I was tired and it was hot. I never did finish trimming the bushes because it rained so many days while we were there.

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Indiana vacation continued

May 30: I took Ram to the airport so he could go home and not miss too much work.
My dad invited us to be his guests to the zoo, Thrivent paid our admission fee and served lunch too. While we were eating lunch in the pavilion it started to rain. The Lambs ran out in the rain as they didn't want to miss it. We told them they were no longer in ID and it would probably rain all day, not just 10 minutes. I pushed my dad in a wheelchair around the zoo. We didn't see everything because of the rain, but we enjoyed our visit.

May 31: It was raining when we attended church at Zion. I taught at Zion. We didn't know very many people any more, but it was great to see those we did know. The Lambs enjoyed seeing the new organ console and talking to the organist about it.
I decided since it was a rainy day it would be a great time to tackle the attic. The Lambs and I were able to get everything down from the attic and into the garage. My dad had several church banners stored up there. There were some items that neither my dad or mom recognized and thought that perhaps it was up there from the previous owner.
When we were almost done in the attic I sent the Lambs for showers. Soon Lamb 2 came downstairs screaming that he needed help with the shower. Neither my dad or I could get the shower to turn off. This was in the guest bathroom that was rarely used any more. We made an emergency call to the plumber and he was able to get it off temporarily but we were unable to use water until the plumber returned the next day and fixed the shower permanently. All the Lambs had taken a shower, but I had not and I was in the attic the longest. So we drove across town to one of my mom's friend's house so I could take a shower and a short visit with her. I treated everyone to Culver's for supper after all that. Now we knew another reason why my parents need to move-their house is old and they continually need to fix stuff. My mom felt so bad that we had worked so hard in the attic and then I couldn't even take a shower.

June 1: Today the plumber came and fixed the shower. We all worked together to help my dad in his office. For several years he had some cabinets and file cabinets in front of the fireplace. He decided to clean out all that and move what he wanted to keep to the garage organized nicely. We put a cabinet out for free and some neighbors took it and offered to help us lift furniture if we needed help and also take more free stuff if we had more to offer. Just before lunch my mom somehow got a splinter in her finger. She still isn't sure what happened as she wasn't working with wood. I encouraged her to get a nurse to take it out, especially since we didn't know if it was wood or metal or what. While she was getting that done, I wasn't sure where a couple of things were in her pantry so I took the Lambs to the grocery for a few more items for lunch.
After lunch I took the Lambs to great store that is like Oriental Trading but in a building so you don't have to pay shipping. The Lambs had some souvenir $ burning a hole in their pocket and this place was much cheaper than buying souvenirs in a gift shop.
I mowed the front lawn for my parents but it was really too wet to mow so saved the back lawn for another day.
I went to bed early after all the activity of the past few days.

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

More about our vacation to Indiana

May 27-We started out by visiting former members at the nursing home. It was a sad visit because many didn't remember us especially because Ram was not dressed like a pastor. We were able to visit the man that gave the Lambs a ride on tractor because he was in the hospital.
Because we went to the nursing home we got a later start than we would have liked. We stopped at Walmart to buy sauerkraut and a grocery store to buy meade. The meade is made with MN honey and we can't find Frank's sauerkraut here in ID. We are stocked up now!
On the way there the Lambs discussed how much we have in common with our friends, the Palm family, that we were going to visit. We arrived in time to eat dessert before their Midweek church service. After church we ate supper with them and stayed and talked until 10:30p.m. The adults were too busy looking at their library and talking and the Lambs were too busy playing outside with their boys to take pictures!
Then we went to a different Looper family, the Mumme family, to spend the night. We were there late so everyone besides Glenda was already in bed when we arrived.

May 28-This was a long day of traveling. Before we left MN we stopped and bought the Lambs a few new pairs of shoes because MN doesn't have sales tax on clothing or shoes. We arrived at my parents house in Fort Wayne, IN after midnight. We unloaded the car and went to bed.

May 29-This was a very busy day trying to get errands done before Ram went home to ID. Grandpa and Grandma watched the Lambs most of the day while Ram and Ewe ran around town. We had written our Will when I was pregnant with Lamb 1 so we thought it was time for an update. We met with our lawyer that wrote our first Will and he gave us a church worker discount again. It is great to have that task checked off our to do list.
Ram bought a few books in the Seminary bookstore.
We brought 6 boxes of books to trade in at used bookstores in Fort Wayne. We got $160 credit at Hyde Brothers and spent all of that plus little more. Ewe was the most excited about getting a few more Gene Stratton-Porter books.
We made a Costco run for food and items we would use while we were in Fort Wayne. We also bought some moving supplies such as boxes and packing tape.
Ram and Ewe had a lunch date while we were out doing errands.
In the evening Ram, Grandpa, and the Lambs went to a Tincaps baseball game. Ewe and Grandma stayed home and tried to make some headway on our sorting jobs. My sister had left a pile in her old bedroom of stuff that she wanted me to look at that I was to either pack to go home or get rid of it. That pile was much bigger than I anticipated and I spent most of my time in IN in the evenings going through that! The game ended up being 12 innings or something like that and Ram had an early morning flight and the younger Lambs were grouchy and tired after our drive out there. Lamb 1 was very upset that they didn't stay until the end of the game, but it was late.

To be continued...

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What happened Mama?

When we were getting ready to leave the hotel in Fargo I was in a hurry to load the car and get on the road. We were only going to have one day with our former members in MN so I wanted to make the most of it. While I was loading the car Lamb 2 asked, "Mama, what happened to the front of the car?" I panicked, thinking someone had hit our car in the parking lot the night before. I was relieved to check out the front of the car and see this:
Don't worry, Lambs, those are BUGS on the license plate and windshield and hood of our minivan. I know you don't see a car like this in ID, but that is what happens when you drive through the Midwest. We had our minivan serviced when we got home and they gave us a free car wash. Now the minivan looks normal to you again.