Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Before Green Gables

I was given a book for Christmas that I never would have chosen for myself at the library. It is a prequel to Anne of Green Gables by Budge Wilson. I love the Anne of Green Gables books by L.M. Montgomery. I wasn't sure about reading this book that was like Anne of Green Gables but not the real book.
Ram encouraged me to not go in with high hopes. I tried to just read it as a book with a character the same name as Anne of Green Gables.
It was ok but I now plan to give the book away and not take up shelf space. Wilson's language and writing doesn't compare to a classic book like Montgomery's. It is not a must read book for your list.
I had a couple of problems with some of the historical parts of this book. The men would not be thinking about breastfeeding immunity for their children at that time. The women would not talk about their "monthly time" with each other. There were other details like this that bugged the history minor in me.
In her acknowledgements Wilson thanked several people who were Anne of Green Gables experts for their knowledge and help. I'm not convinced that Wilson read the entire Anne of Green Gables series as many times as I have and an author of a book like this should have read it several times and know it backwards and forwards. I also think that if Anne really had a childhood like Wilson says she would have had no children when she grew up, possibly not even gotten married.
I did stay up late a couple of nights to read this book though so it wasn't a complete waste of a book. I was especially interested in the mom that had 8 children, 3 sets of twins, and the oldest was 4 years old. I can't even imagine the work at that time of cooking, dishes, and laundry for a large family.
Sometimes things are best let unsaid and let your imagination fill in the gaps. I think if L.M. Montgomery wanted us to know Anne's story before she came to Green Gables then she would have written a book about that.
I was also given Return to the Hundred Acre Wood for Christmas. I'm not sure if I want to attempt a book like A.A. Milne's but by a different author after reading Before Green Gables.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Just another day off

Here's what we did on Ram's day off today.

Did dishes.
Did 3 loads of laundry.
Made and ate brunch.
3 loads of cardboard to the transfer station (the place where the trash truck goes to dump their load and be separated and sent to the landfill-the Lambs went along and watched each time-just like the book we read about trash!) The city gave free unlimited trash the week after Christmas but not recycling-we're still dealing with the boxes from moving here in November and putting a few out every two weeks wasn't enough even though many of our boxes are still packed and in the garage.
post office-buy one cent stamps
get refund for egg cartons
Sears-replace Lamb jeans with holes in them
Target in big city-among other things in my organization of DVDs project, I chose some VHS movies that we like that should be replaced with DVDs or Blu-Rays-happy to find some on my list for just $5.
Costco-went for butter and rice milk and spent $125 on groceries
Lowes-checked out what the deal on installing blinds, garage door openers, and fences for the new house, would have bought some things for the new house there that we didn't need measurements for but the Lambs were hungry
Ram restaurant-ate out with Lamb kid club coupon making their meals affordable
Target in our town-wanted a movie that was empty spot on shelf at other Target so checked this Target and was glad they had it-unbelievable that I can shop at two Targets in the same day after living 1 1/2 hours away from a Target before.
Grocery store-stocked up on groceries
Put Lambs to bed
Discovered the sausage we bought was expired so sent Ram back to get money back and then he went to another store and bought more sausage.
Ram had to stop and get Starbucks for Ram and Ewe on the way home from the store using a gift card he got for filling out a survey.
Time for bed after being sick this weekend with a sore throat and Ram is getting ready to go to MN for Doxology next week. We promised the Lambs no shopping next weekend after a long day today.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

More house tour

My mom pointed out I forgot this photo in my house tour. It's one of the nicest rooms so I had to add it.
Downstairs-living room with gas fireplace

Friday, January 27, 2012

House tour

I'm starting to get anxious to get settled in our new home. Closing is not until the end of February and we won't move until March. I complained about poor photos from the realtors when we were looking at a house. It's more difficult than it looks! Here's some photos while we wait-the best I could do during the house inspection with 2 Lambs "helping" me take photos.

I listened to the Loopers that recommended white kitchen cupboards.

Pantry at end of kitchen in photo above

Eating area-back door to patio

Coat hooks near garage door

3 car garage


School Room by front door

Steps to upstairs (small landing and then you turn up more steps)
Our volunteers that help us move are going to love this part!

Lambs bedroom-upstairs

Ram and Ewe bedroom across hall from Lambs bedroom

Master bathroom

Another photo of master bathroom

Master closet

Lambs playroom-finally a place for Legos!-Upstairs


Guest room-please come visit us!-Upstairs

Laundry room-upstairs by bedrooms

Lambs/Guest bathroom-Upstairs

Backyard-we need a fence before construction begins on the lot behind us
The lot behind us is the last unbuilt house on our block

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


We just locked into an interest rate for our new house. Closing will not be until the end of February, but interest rate was lower today than yesterday. When I bought my first house I spent several weeks checking the interest rate daily before locking in. Rates are lower now than my parents ever paid for a house. Rates were even lower when we first started this whole mortgage process. Maybe we will regret locking in today when it is still awhile until our closing. Hopefully we'll be glad that we locked in today when interest rates rise.

Monday, January 23, 2012


The amount of cents that a postage stamp went up.
The amount of days that I went to buy stamps and missed getting the cheaper price.

I miss living in a small town where there was a sign on the post office to announce postage stamp increases and I went there daily to pick up my mail so I saw those signs. Sigh.

*I know there are now FOREVER stamps, but I was trying to use up some old stamps I found and I was proud of myself for getting the right amount on the envelopes ready to mail without buying 1 cent stamps. Now I need 1 cent stamps. Sigh.

On the bright side those 32 cent stamps I found will mail a postcard now. I won't think about being able to mail a letter for that price when I was in college.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Organizational Stewardship

Blogger didn't cooperate so I posted two posts yesterday instead of scheduling one for today. Oh well.
Today I'm posting my final thoughts from the book One Year to an Organized Life.
1. Begin each organization project with some time to think through and plan what you want the finished project to look like. This is a good time to see if your room needs some decorating updating too. Are you using the room to the best use or could you convert this room differently or get new furniture?
2. Reward yourself when you finish each organization project. Sometimes it can be a reward for yourself, sometimes rewards for the whole family like serving their favorite dessert when they helped with the project.
3. Clean out what need to get rid of first, then buy the organizing products you need to organize that what is left, not the other way.
4. Goal is to make house peaceful for your family to live in, welcoming to visitors to your home, and to use each room in the house and park your cars in the garage (not have a junk room or so much junk in the garage that you can't park there). My new goal is to make use of all areas of our new home-not have rooms just to store things just because we now have 5 bedrooms.
5. Organizing your address book is going to be painful. Painful to remove those loved ones that died and to admit that you are no longer in contact with some of your friends. Take time to do this well so you can easily find addresses. Not only does your address book need to be cleaned out, but also your e-mail address book. Reward yourself after finishing this painful project. Each night enter any new addresses or phone numbers that you scribbled on post-it notes, repairman phone numbers, and new e-addresses when you learn of them. Try to keep on top of this each day before the post-it notes pile up.
6. Perfection in your home is not an achievable goal. Do the best you can do and then enjoy your home and your family.
7. Teach yourself first and then your children the habit of completion. After play time they put their toys away, after using an afghan they fold it up before they leave the room, after playing a board game they put it away.
8. The house that we bought is new and beautiful. I want to be a good steward of this new blessing in our life. I also want to be a good steward of everything we own-not have boxes of stuff sitting in the garage unorganized and never used. My goal is to make a place for everything and get rid of the rest-giving it to someone that can use it when possible.

Organization Guilt

Here's a fast version of my life-I go to college and work in the library and am given a lot of teaching materials and books then, then work several jobs that summer and no time to organize those materials, then begin teaching and our school was developing our own curriculum so summers were even busier than the school year so school stuff piled up and got out of control, then got married and tried to cram Ram's stuff and books into a 800 square foot house along with mine-wanted to go through stuff but no space to spread out stuff to go through it, then help clean out my grandma's house that I was really close to and take on many of her "treasures", pack up classroom and house and move to MN and live in a huge house where storage was not an issue, planned to not get a job and just go through things now that we have space, one month after moving to MN I got pregnant and was hospitalized with morning sickness soon after-really sick during pregnancy, then had child with MSPI that never slept, just about got child #1 figured out when I got pregnant with #2, child #2 had a rough first 6 weeks and I had a difficult time with having 2 children, finally got being a mom to 2 children figured out when I got pregnant with #3, actually #3 wasn't bad, but having 3 children 4 and under was. Finally got used to being a mom of 3 and they got old enough to play nicely for a little while so I began going through things-organizing my kitchen the way I would have liked it the whole time we lived in MN, throwing out huge trash cans full of old newspapers and catalogs etc. I was finally getting a good handle on getting my house organized-doing a little at a time- and out of the blue Ram receives a Call to ID and from the time he announced we were moving until moving day was less than a month-we packed ourselves (with help from Ewe's parents and friends and church members in the area) but had movers move us. Everything we own was packed very quickly and not packed in an organized way-partly because it wasn't organized before we moved. I didn't even mention I also had 5 miscarriages and took time to heal after each one. We are living in a rented house currently where some things are in the house but most is in the garage. We plan to move to our new house in March.

I have felt bad that I have 15 years worth of stuff to go through. I am embarrassed to have church members help us move and see how much stuff we have. I have stuff in all areas to go through-too much kitchen stuff, tons of recipes unorganized, many office supplies, scrapbook supplies and photos unorganized, old computer files unorganized, the boys clothes, the boys toys, linens from my grandma, my clothes, my teaching files, and I could go on and on. One thing I learned reading One Year to an Organized Life was that it is time to stop feeling guilty about my unorganized stuff. I have already acknowledged in the last paragraph that I am unorganized and the main reason is that I was in "survival mode" for at least 7 years-from the time I was pregnant with Lamb 1 until Lamb 3 turned 2. There simply wasn't time to go through mail immediately when I got it and tasks like that. Even in the middle of all that I paid bills on time and got organized to do taxes on time so the important things got done. Plus my boys will only be little and need me to be a mom of young boys once. I don't want them to remember me always cleaning out things instead of spending time with them. The church members have remarked how amazed they were that we moved so quickly especially when they heard that we moved 20,000 lbs and did all the packing ourselves.

So this book reminded me to acknowledge that it got out of control, repent of being out of control, and start from this point doing what I can do ONE DAY AT A TIME to get organized. Most important I need to forgive myself for the past organization problem.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One Year to an Organized Life

After a Looper discussion about getting organized, I read One Year to an Organized Life by Leeds. It took me a few days of "free time" to get through this book. It was helpful to help me think through how to make the move to our new house better. I have a little less than 2 months until moving day. After reading this book I'm going to try to get rid of some things in the house that we don't need (can't go through boxes in the garage right now-can go through our clothes etc.). I have a new strategy for moving day-how to have our church members that are helping us move do it the most efficiently. I am planning food to serve for moving day and house blessing day.  I am planning what needs to be in both houses-bathroom supplies, cleaning supplies, basic kitchen supplies. I am planning to have healthy quick to cook meals at both houses. We will have a couple of weeks of being at both houses before moving day so this will need to be planned and organized. I am going to label the rooms by colors and then label the boxes with the right color. Then I plan to put everything that is currently in the garage in the new garage and some from the rental house also in the new garage and just bring one box in at a time and go through it and find a place for it or get rid of it. Our house in MN had a lot of storage space and we took advantage of that. It is time to get organized so that our new house is pleasant to live in and have visitors. My goal will be to quickly get boxes unpacked and organized at the new house so we can park both cars in the garage as soon as possible.
I have more about this book to post in future posts.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Western snow

Yesterday morning it snowed for a few minutes, really for a few minutes. The snow was unlike anything I have ever seen before-it was little white pellets. It reminded me of the small pellets inside bean bags. Ram said I need to get used to dry snow in the West. This photo was taken from Ram's iPhone so I'm not sure if you can see the pellets on the sidewalk.
Then yesterday afternoon Ram took the Lambs for bike rides around the neighborhood. Lamb 3 did not go as he was just waking up for a nap, but Ram and Lamb 1 and 2 went. After bike rides then they all took a walk around the neighborhood.
Lamb 3's preschool class did not go outside for recess today. His favorite part of preschool is going outside so he was very disappointed. I couldn't believe they wouldn't go outside when it was in the high 20s. They follow the public schools on that. Lamb 3 doesn't understand because I make him wear a coat and hat to preschool, the rest of the time I let them go outside in sweatshirts. It will take us awhile to get used to the weather here. I realized today that it has been about 60 degrees warmer here than the Lambs were used to some of the days in a typical January in MN. They were used to -30 in January for their entire lifetimes. I'm just glad we moved to ID instead of being really drastic and moving to FL!

Monday, January 16, 2012


2 cups rolled oats
2 cups quick oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla

Combine all but oats and stir. Add oats. Bake at 300 degrees for 40 minutes-stirring every 10-15 minutes. After cooled add dried fruits about 1 1/2 cups worth. Use whatever fruit you have on hand-raisins, cranberries, banana chips, apricots. This recipe was recommended to me from Stace Kendall from the Better Homes and Garden cookbook and I adapted it to this recipe.

Ewe's tips: I add about 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut after I stir it the second time (for the last 10 minutes of baking.) I usually triple this recipe and it stays fresh because of the coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. I do not add fruit to mine, but have fruit available for each Lamb and Ram to top their granola when they pour themselves a bowl. The Lambs prefer different fruits for toppings. Dried blueberries from Costco are a favorite for everyone. Sometimes I add ground flax seed to the liquid mixture before I add the oats. You can also add almonds or other nuts, but I have not done that-to make it cheaper since we go through so much here. I usually use Louana coconut oil from Walmart for making granola because it is cheaper. Sometimes I use a better quality brand coconut oil and it does taste better. I would encourage you to experiment with this recipe and make it how your family likes it. I grease the pans so the granola comes out of the pan easier, but it is most important to stir every 10-15 minutes.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


These are things that we make homemade at our house and buy very rarely. Most of these are made pretty regularly at our house.
yogurt (well, we haven't done that since we moved, but hope to get back to it)
baby wipes
cinnamon rolls (sometimes for a treat)
jam (I have made blueberry, triple berry, raspberry, peach, and strawberry. Not only do we rarely buy jam for our family to eat, but I also use this as gifts.)
pickle relish
pickled beets
black bean dip
ice cream
pie crusts
kombucha (haven't done that since we moved, but my kombucha mushroom is waiting for me)
chamomile lemonade
cranberry lemonade
biscotti (Well, we haven't done that since we moved, but I just bought some at Costco and while the Lambs love it, I decided I prefer homemade so I'll need to make some soon.)
I also freeze veggies when we are given them or extras from the garden. Not sure how that is going to work now that we moved. Perhaps when there is a good deal at the farmer's market?

These are things that aren't homemade, but we have done differently.
Ewe uses aloe vera gel as hair conditioner.
Vinegar for cleaning.
Vinegar and baking soda for washing clothes.
Lamb 3 didn't use cloth diapers only, but used them a lot and still uses them for bedtime.
Ewe uses cloth feminine pads.
We have tried raw milk in the past, but currently aren't partly because we decided we drink such a small amount of milk that it isn't worth the trouble of getting it.
We usually buy farm eggs.

These are things that Ram and I are thinking of trying to make, not sure if we would make them regularly or just try to make them once.
yogurt cheese

I'm sure there are other things that I have been doing for so long now that I forget them when I make my list. What do you make homemade that is not on my list? I'm thinking of what I could add to my list that I could learn how to make in 2012. My list does not need to be limited to foods. I'm looking for things that would either be healthier or save money for our family.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Not Grandma's garden today

Our house we just purchased will be the first house in 10 years of marriage that we know we will live here for awhile. When we got married I owned my home but he was in Seminary and we knew we wouldn't be there after he graduated. Then we were in a parsonage where I either wasn't allowed to or didn't want to do things because I knew Ram wouldn't be pastor there until retirement. Lamb 1 begged to plant some fruit trees at the parsonage, but that wasn't possible. Thankfully we had nice members that either let us pick fruit or gave us fruit. Looking back perhaps we should have done some things considering we were there 8 1/2 years, but that is hindsight now.
When I knew we were getting this new house I checked a bunch of books out of the library. Gardening at the new house will be a challenge. I've never lived out of the Midwest. Our back yard is small and shade from the fences and neighbor's houses make very little sun there. I doubt our homeowner's association would look kindly on planting a garden plot in the front yard even though that is where the best sun is. It is totally new to me that there are some winter crops that will grow here with little snow and mild temperatures. I've never had an automatic sprinkler system (or a need for one). I've never lived where it gets so hot but no humidity.
I was looking in the library books for info on fruit trees. I've never bought or planted or taken care of a fruit tree before. Soon I was branching out looking for what to plant here. I figure if we're going to pay all the money for water here we may as well have something besides grass. There are two small trees in the front yard and none in the backyard. So if we're going to pay money for trees in the back yard, they may as well be fruit trees.
In my reading, I realized that container gardening, square foot gardening, and edible gardening are not only just trends for city dwellers now, but they really do make sense.
It will take us years to get our gardening going like I would like it. In the meantime we are blessed to live in an area with nice farmer's markets and places to go pick berries etc. But eventually I would like to see a few fruit trees in the backyard and one square foot plot (36 inches by 36 inches) in the middle of the backyard in the only sunny spot. For our climate here we can have at least 2 if not 3 different plantings in that one square plot. I would like to see containers of herbs and veggies in the front yard. I was particularly looking for ones with beautiful flowers-hoping that my neighbors have no idea that what I'm growing in my flower pots in the front yard on each side of the garage are really edible.
My grandma and her two sisters shared a huge plot of land for a garden. Later in her life when they couldn't manage that much then she had a small plot by her back door. It was amazing what she grew in that little space by her back door. My plans plan for an even smaller space for our garden plot but then have more in containers and other spaces in the yard. The traditional garden space still works well for places like where we lived in rural MN. But for those Americans that live in cities, it's time to not garden like Grandma did. This is a new concept for me after living in the Midwest and recently living rural.
Lamb 1 has a high need to be outside daily and it's even better for him if he can be outside working especially with his hands in the dirt. We are planning on not planting anything this first year we live here. We want to see what the weather is like first. But eventually if we don't do a little gardening it will drive Lamb 1 crazy. So I'm absorbing all I read in the library books and thinking through how our ID garden will look.
I was unsure about buying our new house at first because of the small back yard. Ram and his parents liked the house so much that I had to reconsider. I do really like the house and the layout of the house is perfect for our family. It's not worth not getting this house just because of a small back yard. There is lots of green space in the subdivision and we're not far from the park so we don't need a big backyard for the Lambs to play in. Smaller yard means less lawn to mow. So if I rethink how we garden, then this yard is perfect for us.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Last Saturday we relaxed around home. Then Ewe went to the library book sale and found a few things and checked out even more from the library. It was nice to go to the library by myself. While I was gone Ram and the Lambs took the Christmas tree down and put it in the garage. It took a few more days for Ewe to get the ornaments put away, but I think the day after Epiphany is the earliest we have ever taken our tree down. Then when I got home Ram took his turn and bought a lot at the library book sale. He made it right on time before they closed the sale.
Sunday was church and relax at home.
Monday was Ram's day off, he had taken off Friday the week before since Monday was a holiday. So besides Sunday morning he basically had a 4 day weekend. Monday we did some tasks that needed to be done, some had been put off for years, and now that we are in a city we are able to do them more easily.
1. Ram had a bike from college that sat in our garage in MN. MN winters and sitting in a garage for 9+ years were not good for it. The tires and seat needed to be replaced but it was a good bike. He took it in on Monday morning and they didn't have much business this time of year so it was finished and he picked it up Monday afternoon.
2. Ram gave me a crucifix necklace for an anniversary present to replace the one I lost last spring. The chain was very short so he went to the jewelry shop and ordered a longer one for me.
3. The Lambs have used our sofa cushions as horses, walls of forts, and who knows what else in their imaginary play and the cushions were worn out and holes in them. The frame is still good. Shortly before we moved we tried to order cushion covers but they were backordered and finally we canceled the order so moving to a new address would not confuse the order any more. So online we found some new covers and ordered them. They were not what I wanted originally, but they will work and they were on sale. Eventually we may purchase a slipcover for the whole sofa, but in the meantime the cushions look a little better. I wish I was a little better at sewing and could make these myself because all this stuff is so expensive, but this is not a project that I want to do enough to spend the time on it. Plus I'm not even sure where we will put this sofa in our new house, I think the living room needs a loveseat, not a sofa. If it will fit, we may put this sofa in one of the bedrooms. At least now it is fixed temporarily.
4. Ram had a hole in one of his suit coats that I thought he got from rough play with the Lambs, but he corrected me and told me it got caught on a window at church as he passed by. I knew I couldn't repair something like that. He went to a few alteration shops to see if they could fix it and sadly they couldn't-it would have been such an obvious repair. That was why I didn't attempt to mend it. So after checking at a few alteration shops then he went shopping for a new suit coat. He bought one almost exactly like the one he ruined and it was half price, but yikes, that was an expensive accident.
5. One of our church members is a Creative Memories consultant. She had an evening in her home talking about getting photos organized and showing their new products. My scrapbook stuff is all still packed, but it was good to go hear some ideas when I get unpacked. I'm excited when I get unpacked to get back to scrapbooking.
6. Ram picked up the drycleaning. There were 3 items and the total was $6. In MN one sweater was $7. Plus it was done the next day after we took it in. This is one area where living in a big city is nice. I don't get much drycleaned, but a few of the Christmas outfits for the Lambs needed drycleaning.
Our whole weekend we accomplished a lot that needed to be done. It is good to get some of this done before we get busy on the new house.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


After a busy week, I'm going to attempt to get caught up on blogging an update of what has happened for us the past few days.
On Friday morning we met with our realtor. Our first offer on the house was counter-offered with at first glance didn't look very good for us. We had asked for a fence and garage door opener to be installed plus a much lower price. They didn't agree to any of that, but offered to pay our closing costs. Friday it was time to decide what to do. This was the second home I purchased and my gut told me to not accept their high price if they wouldn't do the fence. Our realtor was a little nervous about my decision on this, maybe they would take away the offer to pay our closing costs if we counter-offered. While we were meeting with our realtor the other realtor called our realtor and asked how it was going. (Clue they wanted to sell this house!) Our realtor asked if we could have a deadline on an answer yet that afternoon or if we needed to wait until after the weekend. Their realtor said they would have an answer by 5pm. Imagine my surprise when about an hour later our realtor called and said our offer was accepted! We didn't get the fence, but they are paying our closing costs plus the lower price.
Next I sent Ram with one car at a time to get license plates for our cars. One reason why it took us so long was I was dreading paying all that money. Ram's plates on his car expired at the end of the month so we couldn't put it off any more. I was pleasantly surprised that ID license plates were about half the price of MN plates.
Next we all loaded up and drove to the big city to get driver's licenses. On the way there we drove by our new house and were surprised to see a SOLD sign up already! It was just a few hours after we had signed the papers. They have now made just one place for the whole county to go to get driver's licenses. It was a little overwhelming for me to walk in there with a hundred other people waiting/doing business after being in a small town for 8 years where we were the only people in the office when we got licenses. Friday afternoon is not the time to get a license. The Lambs did a great job waiting. Lamb 3 fell asleep. I took my written test on the computer first. I had not studied as I didn't know I would have to take a test. There were 40 questions and if you miss 7 you fail. I was nervous about the question about animals on the open range (we didn't have that in IN when I took driver's ed.!) but I passed that question. I missed 4. The ones I missed I was actually more cautious-for example I thought the speed limit was 30mph in one question but it was 35mph. I also had no idea what happened if you were stopped by the police and were intoxicated, my answer would have punished more than the law. Ram missed 6 on his test, but we both passed. Driver's licenses cost a little more in ID than they did in MN. When we get our new house we will need to pay $15 to get the new address on our license.
We rewarded the Lambs after that long wait with a snack at Target. Then after much waiting (since Christmas Day!) they were allowed to shop with their Christmas money. We offered to start at Target and if they didn't want anything there we could go to another store. They all chose something at Target so we were done with that shopping. Lamb 3 chose a Duplo set right away. Lamb 1 debated for a long time but finally chose Legos. Lamb 2 chose Legos too.
Then we had a fast couple of stops at Costco and some other shopping. It's so unbelievable to me that we can stop in at Costco for gas or just a few items after we used to live 4 hours from Costco.
Then we went out to eat for pizza. The kids meals had pizza delivered on Frisbees and choice of Roy Rogers or Shirley Temple drinks. It was crowded and loud on a Friday night, but the Lambs loved this pizza place. Ram and I had an "adult" pizza with spinach and fancy cheese since we didn't have to share with the Lambs. I attempted to talk to my mom on the phone to tell her about the house while we waited for our food, but it was pretty loud in the restaurant.
Finally we did some more shopping. I have needed a small calendar for my purse since CPH no longer sends the small ones to pastors. This was more difficult to find than I thought it would be-guess everyone is electronic now. What I use my calendar for is to record small journal entries when something big happens-example when the Lambs say something funny that I want to remember, the date our house offer was accepted, etc. I keep these calendars and they make scrapbooking a lot easier when I finally get to the photos. I keep it in my purse as often we are not at home when these things happen. An electronic version wouldn't work for me. When I finally found the calendar it was 50% off. I talked to my sister on the phone while I was shopping for calendars.
It was a productive day (expensive too!) to buy a house, get license plates for two cars, and driver's licenses for both of us.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Our Epiphany present!

I'm a little overwhelmed with everything there is to do since this is a new, never occupied house. It will be interesting how God works out these details-details such as getting a fence installed, garage door opener installed, window treatments for the entire house, and many other small details that a house usually has but we are responsible for as the first owners. We tried unsuccessfully to get the builder to add some of that into the deal, but took the lower price and agreed to get those things installed ourselves. Overall I'm happy with how the bargaining process worked out-I think I did better negotiating since this is the second home I've bought.
We can see that God has had this house saved for us since 2008 when it was planned to be built. Also that we came at the perfect time to buy a house and got the house for $89,000 less than it was originally priced. It is a good location for us, near church. It has most of the things on our original wish list for a house.
I will have work ahead of me to keep this 5 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom house clean. It will be a learning experience how to take care of the flooring and how to work the new appliances in the kitchen. It is a lovely house and it will be wonderful to make it our home.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Before we moved into the parsonage in MN, the Ladies Aid bought us a refrigerator. It was nice to begin life in MN with a new refrigerator.
When it was time to move we realized our rental house in ID did not have a refrigerator and we had to leave the refrigerator with the parsonage in MN. So we went to a used appliance store and bought a cheap used fridge with the hopes that it would last us until we moved into the house we buy. We didn't know if there would be a refrigerator or how big the space for the fridge in the house we buy would be.
We bought the fridge in November and the last few days it has been making noises. The food was still cold- even right according to the thermometer I put in there.
So I called the store we bought it from and they said we had a 6 month warranty and would send a repairman out. Today I took everything out of the fridge/freezer and put it in our cooler, some on the counter, some on the garage floor. The repairman took one look at it and said it would be $350 to fix it so they would replace it instead. So since it still keeps things cold I loaded it back up with the food from the freezer and fridge. Tomorrow they will deliver the new to us fridge and I will take everything out of the old fridge and load up the new fridge.
I am so thankful that we bought this fridge at the second store instead of the first and that they had a 6 month warranty-Craigslist doesn't have warranties.
God has truly worked out all the details of moving for us-right down to replacing a fridge that broke down 2 months after we bought it.
A little before the repairman for the fridge came today we put an offer on a house. So now we even know the dimensions of where the new fridge will go if it comes to needing to replace this second fridge. Hopefully we will be in our new house before this second fridge dies though!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I worked for Allen County Public Library for a few years after college. I was spoiled living in a town with such a great library system. In high school I often met classmates at the library on Sunday afternoons to work on school projects.When I was teaching I would put on hold about 50 books at a time, just go to the library and check them out for my class, the librarians found all the books for me. We had a few overdue books but the students never lost or damaged any of those hundreds of books that I checked out. Sometimes I would give the librarian a topic and they would reserve as many books on that topic as I wanted and then I would just go pick them up, I didn't have to do the research myself.
Then we moved to MN and I think our home library had more books than the small town library 7 miles away. I never went to the library to browse and check out books. Instead I put on hold about 50 books at a time for homeschooling and would go to the library to pick them up when they arrived at my small library.
Everyone told me we would love moving here with the wonderful library system. All programs were canceled in December so I haven't been able to take the Lambs to storytime or programs so I can't judge those yet. The other night I sat down to order some books to be helpful as new homeowners (when we get to that point), about purchasing a piano and gardening in ID. Then I decided while I was there I should probably order some books for homeschooling. And maybe I should get a book for myself just to read for fun. The book that I chose for fun-the library owns 21 copies and there are 67 holds. It will be a long time until I get that book for fun. Then when I got to my 6th book to order, the computer said I had exceeded my limit for holds. Really, you can only have 5 books on hold at a time? Even when you know you are going to have to wait months for at least one of those 5? This is going to be a pain to order 5 books at a time and remember to get back to it after I check out those 5 books, instead of sitting down and ordering all the books while I am lesson planning.
I think I have a high standard for libraries after living in Allen County, IN. I am hoping that the homeschool program on Wednesday afternoons is great. I am thankful that we are part of this library system and can check out books from the neighboring city library, even if it is only 5 at a time. If we only lived one town over we would not be part of this library system.
So, is there a limit on holds at your public library?

Monday, January 2, 2012


When I was straight out of college, a new second grade teacher, I purchased a book from the book order. I read it to my class most of the years I was teaching in the classroom during the month of December.
I had not read this book to the Lambs before this Christmas as I thought it was a little long for them. I read The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree to the Lambs the other night. I couldn't make it through without crying.
I never had cried when I read it in the classroom. What was different this time? The sacrifice that the mother in the book made to make sure that her daughter had the perfect Christmas even though it was wartime. I'm now a Ewe and I would do the same as this mother if circumstances were similar for my Lambs.
Although I highly recommend this book, I recommend reading it to yourself first before reading it aloud to your children.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas Vacation Report

Christmas Eve-Attended church, came home for eggnog and treats, attended church again. Great that the services were at 7pm and 10pm so we were able to come home and relax in between services instead of rush from service to service like we did in MN. We did miss having the children's Christmas program on Christmas Eve like we did in MN. Some were surprised that we took our Lambs to both services, but it was just like MN to have two services. Lambs were awake for both services and kept me on my toes, but I was able to hear most of both services. This was the first year I let the Lambs have real candles for the candlelight portion of the service and they did great. Many people commented how beautiful the candlelight service is and also how glad they are that Ram is their new pastor.
Christmas Day-Attended church, made crepes, welcomed Ram's parents and helped them unload their car with presents and food, ate crepes and lingonberries, opened presents, ate "snacks" for supper-that will need to be another post.
Dec. 26-Rested and let Lambs play with their new toys (aka they built all their new Lego sets) most of the day. Went to Food Coop so Ram's mom could show me where it was located and what products they carry there. Very helpful to know that if I can't find my favorite products/brands anywhere else then we can go there. Ate out at a distillery pub, good food. Went to Winter Garden Aglow until we were just too cold. Ram's parents headed back to go to bed, Ram and the Lambs and I went shopping at Target and Walmart because I had nothing to put in their stockings. Found some good after Christmas sales.
Dec. 27-Met our realtor for some house shopping. First house we had not seen, it was a foreclosure, none of us liked it. Second house was a repeat visit. Ram's parents approved, which makes me glad that we're not just two young people that like this house. We have not put an offer on this house yet, but we are seriously considering it. So far this house has beat out all other houses we have looked at both in what we want in a house and price.
Ram and his dad head off for some shopping and Ram's mom and I took the Lambs to McDonald's playplace to play. We all met up and went out to eat. Put the tired Lambs to bed and had a brief visit with Ram's parents without Lambs before they headed home the next morning.
It was a short visit, but it was nice to have family for Christmas- the first time in our marriage to have family come to our house.
Dec. 28-Ram had taken this week off at church, so we finally had a day to rest and relax. We have been going nonstop since August and this was a much needed break for all of us. We popped popcorn and watched the new Pooh movie as a family-we haven't watched a movie together for a long time.
Dec. 29-I needed some lab work done so we all headed downtown to get that done so I didn't have to go by myself. It only took a few minutes but it was nice to get out of the house. We had a babysitter and went out-a first for us to go out on our anniversary day without the Lambs since 2003. I'll have another post about our anniversary date soon.
Dec. 30-Ram had to go to work today even though it was his vacation because he needed to prepare for Sunday. I called my parents house and talked to them and also my sister to hear how her wedding reception in IN went the night before. We were sorry we were unable to attend. They had a great reception with their closest friends and relatives, some traveling quite a distance, but it was closer than going to Hawaii.
I made gingerbread cupcakes and we headed over to my college friend Joelle's house for dinner and the Lambs to play with her kids. This was the first chance we had to get together for more than a few minutes chat since we moved here. I hope that this is the first get together of many for our families.
Dec. 31-Ram conducted a wedding at church. It was a small family affair with just cake afterwards at church. The Lambs were a little disappointed that they weren't invited. While he was there Ewe was busy making cookies. I made star shaped-dipped in chocolate for the adults, frosted with yellow frosting for the Sunday School kids. Then we went out to eat at the Ram restaurant, it was crowded on New Year's Eve, but kids were $1 with adult meal purchase. Then we went to church at Good Shepherd LCMS. They had services last night but we did not. It was a nice service and a nice way to end 2011. After services we met an old family friend of Ram's parents. She googled, "Boise New Year's Eve service" and Good Shepherd came up. She isn't LCMS but she loved the service and ending a rough year for her in church. She took photos of the Lambs because she was so excited to meet us after hearing about us from Ram's parents. Who would think we would run into a family friend when it wasn't our church?
Jan. 1-I let the Lambs sleep through first service after many late nights this week. We had a combined Sunday School with just kids from 4 families-including Joelle's children because they didn't have Sunday School this morning so I invited her to ours. They read a story, did a craft, ate the star cookies I made, and began to watch a movie before time ran out. At late service the Lambs were invited to join the choir to sing "I am Jesus Little Lamb". They all joined the choir but after many late nights this week only one of the Lambs really sang with the choir. Maybe next time.
For supper tonight Ram made chicken liver spread and all the Lambs gobbled that up even though they weren't as excited about the snacks that Ram's parents brought. My Lambs like butter, onions, and chicken livers better!
Ram will return to work tomorrow and we will attempt to get back into a routine here before Lamb 3 begins preschool on Thursday. I'm going to attempt homeschool Christmas break until then but I may not be able to handle the Lambs with no routine and we may have to start back earlier. I wish that they would just play with their new Legos and let me get some things done around here, but it doesn't work that way. They do much better with the routine of school and knowing when play time is during the day instead of a whole unstructured day.