Monday, April 30, 2012

Newlywed again

Yesterday was our 10 year 4 month anniversary. I was teaching in the classroom when we returned from our honeymoon. Teaching and writing thank you notes kept me very busy. We were crammed into an 800 square foot home so many of our wedding gifts stayed packed up and went straight to the attic waiting for moving for Ram's first Call.
As I unpacked my china last week I was struck that this last month I felt like a newlywed in our new home. I am unpacking things that have been packed and put away for our whole marriage. (I am also making decisions of what to give away since some of that hasn't been used for 10 years.)  Some was packed up because there was no place to put it in the parsonage, but now there is a place for it. We are having some cupboards with glass doors put in so I will be able to display some of my breakable things that I haven't been able to put out since we had the boys. Even unpacking things that have been packed up since October has reminded me of people that gave us those wedding gifts-some of those people are in heaven now. I am given a chance to organize my house and put things where I want them, taking time to hang up the pictures and things that I was too busy to do as a newlywed. Ram and I have our own bathroom for the first time since we had kids. It makes me happy to take a bath with candles around the bathtub instead of kids bath toys. When I organized the kitchen I took notes on what pots and pans should be replaced after 10 years. I am slowly getting rid of the junk and getting my house organized to what we really need and use-how I imagine most newlyweds are when they start out with the necessary things before they collect all the stuff they don't really need.
Moving is a lot of work, but feeling like a newlywed again makes it worth it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Our week

Monday I went to a funeral for a Looper's husband with another Looper.
Tuesday Lamb 3 was supposed to have pictures taken at preschool. I decided to take all 3 Lambs as we haven't had professional photos taken for awhile. The photographer never showed up. We wasted the morning going over there and waiting. I'm just glad I have boys so I didn't do their hair and get them really dressed up for nothing.
Wednesday the Lambs had dentist appointments. Lamb 3 was shy but had a great appointment once he opened his mouth. Lamb 2 has a couple of tiny cavities. Lamb 1 needs some sealant painted on his back molars. I feel bad about Lamb 2-I know it is because of no flossing during the move. Overall considering all the moving we did since their last dentist appointment it wasn't too bad of an appointment. Lamb 1 and 2 have appointments for their dental work. We are now committed to both brushing and flossing again. Lamb 1 had a full mouth x-ray and it was interesting to see his baby teeth/adult teeth.
We had planned to eat lunch at home after the dentist, but what I had planned to eat, the avocados were rotten, I think it was a bad bag but our hot temps here didn't help. We didn't have leftovers or much else to eat. So we went out to eat.
After lunch the Lambs had their last homeschool library class for the year. It was also trade books day (bring a book, take a book) and I found some good treasures and had brought the right amount of books to trade.
Then we went to Costco to stock up on a few things. All I bought was produce and lifejackets for the Lambs. Even if I hadn't bought the lifejackets my bill would have still been above $50. Sigh.
On the way home we went back to the library so the Lambs could use the restroom. It was craft time so we went to that. The Lambs decorated flower pots for Mother's Day.
Then we came home and besides produce still didn't have anything to fix for supper.
So Ram watched the Lambs while I went to the grocery store.
We finally got the Lambs to bed and I spent the rest of the evening doing dishes. I'll be so glad when my dishwasher is repaired!
Today Lamb 3 had preschool. I got my supplies organized for scrapbooking on Saturday. I cleaned 2 bathrooms, one more to go. I still have to clean the floor on the main level. Trying to be ready for the in-laws to arrive tomorrow for Ram's birthday! I love our house so much that I don't even complain about cleaning it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monkey Bread recipe

DakotaPam has made me feel guilty asked me to post this recipe. This recipe came from a cooking class that the Lambs took last year. I haven't posted it because there is nothing healthy about it. The Lambs get to choose the menus for all the meals on their birthdays. The Lambs always request this for breakfast on their birthdays. The only time I make it is for birthdays. It has worked well to put this in the oven and open up gifts while it is baking. Gift opening is usually done by the time the monkey bread has cooled off to eat. DakotaPam, you'll have to double this recipe for your family unless you plan to make a batch for just the girls in your family.

2 tubes buttermilk biscuits (cut into 1/4 pieces)
Mix 1/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon in a bowl.
Roll the biscuits in the mixture and put into a greased bundt pan.

3/4 stick margarine
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp. white corn syrup
Bring to a boil and pour over biscuits. Put into oven and bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Turn upside down on a plate and admire all the yummy topping.

This is yummy and I try to eat it without feeling guilty that my Lambs are eating that much sugar and that this is the only time they have corn syrup all year. I just tell myself that at least I know what is in this, unlike if I bought something from the bakery. But this is not my request for my birthday breakfast. It is a recipe that the Lambs can make by themselves with the exception of pouring the syrup over the biscuits and getting it out of the pan.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My dad...

is the one in the gray t-shirt in both photos here. I'm glad he's retired so he can make time to do great things like this. This health care issue is really important for all Christians, not just Roman Catholics. Cheers to the Reporter for the news coverage.

Friday, April 20, 2012

ID pastor conference

Ram went the past 3 days to the South ID pastor conference that was held at the new Concordia Law School. He was able to commute. It began at noon on Tuesday so he went into his office that morning before he went to the conference. He was home each night. It ended on Thursday at noon so he was home that afternoon too. When we were in MN we were about 3 or 4 hours away from where they had pastor conferences. It was so strange that he went to conference but our family didn't go along and stay at a hotel or our family didn't stay home while he was gone for a few days. We kept our regular routine at home. I know that he won't always be able to commute to conferences, but this was nice.
On Wednesday night they met at Old Spaghetti Factory for a meal together that was covered with the conference registration fees. Ram asked if spouses were invited and decided that our whole family would all go. There were quite a few spouses and a few high school age but ours were the only young children. The Lambs were well behaved and the food was good. We sat near the person from the district that represented our District President at the conference. It was nice to meet him and get to know him a little. Lamb 1 had clam sauce spaghetti and nearly finished his whole plate. Lamb 2 and 3 both ate a lot of spaghetti and meatballs. Everyone commented that the Lambs were well behaved and they were glad that there were pastors with families near enough to join the fun evening.
After dinner the Dean of Concordia Law School spoke to us. I am so impressed with their new school and faculty-the Dean is a former supreme court justice of ID. This is the first LCMS law school and the first one in Boise. Boise had a professional ballet before they had a law school. The Dean is thrilled that Concordia, Portland made this a reality. They will open this fall with their first class. The pastors asked what was going to be Lutheran about this law school. They will do work in the community (free legal services), are a campus of Concordia Portland, will have classes on religion and law, donations from some Lutherans, etc. Ram suggested that the area pastors take turns leading chapel in their beautiful chapel. The Dean liked that idea. The pastors are glad to now have a building at Concordia Law School to have conferences.
After the law school presentation then we spent some time visiting. It is a small LCMS world. I didn't expect to know anyone. I went to college with one lady there and we had a good time catching up. Another pastor, his former Call was to Fargo and they moved to ID last year. Ram had called him a few times and asked him to visit some of our MN members in the hospital in Fargo when Ram wasn't able to get there. Ram asked if that was the same pastor and it was. One of Ram's former elementary school teachers was there. (Remember he didn't grow up LCMS!) I was able to meet some of the wives. We decided some of us pastor families in the area will try to get together soon.
We got home after the Lambs bedtime and getting up for preschool the next morning was difficult for Lamb 3. Our whole family enjoyed the evening. Our district is so large (WA, OR, AK, ID) that pastors and their families don't have chances like this very often so I'm glad we went.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Parent Teacher Conferences

On Tuesday I went to my first P.T.C. where I was the parent. After twice a year conferences for all my students for 6 1/2 years, it was fun to be on the other side of the table now.
The teacher began with prayer-I was trying to remember if I always began my conferences with prayer. I'm pretty sure I did. 9 years seems like a long time since I was in the classroom.
There were 4 areas that Lamb 3 was evaluated.
1. Spiritual/Social were together. Of course he did fine on Spiritual (Know who Jesus is; learn prayers; etc.) Neither Ram and were very popular in school. I was surprised to hear Lamb 3 is one of the most popular students. If he is late for school the other students ask about him. I'm sure it helps that he is one of the oldest ones in the class.
2. Communication-This is one area that we can work on-he needs a speech evaluation. One on one the teacher can understand him. When he speaks to the whole class no one can understand him. He said his full name including his middle name when the teacher asked him.
3. Wellness-The class has 10 students that are age 2 or 3. The teacher was very glad that they picked up going to the bathroom and washing hands so quickly. Lamb 3 knew this before he went to preschool. I sent extra clothes to preschool when he first started going. I was afraid he would have accidents because preschool was new. He never needed those clothes and accidents stopped at home after he began preschool too.
4. "Academics"- Lamb 3 knows everything they have been working on in preschool (counting, colors, shapes, etc.) with the exceptions of not knowing the color gray or the shape diamond. We talked about how much counting Lamb 3 has been doing at home-obviously they have really worked on counting in school. I just realized a few weeks ago that Lamb 3 did not know his shapes. As the youngest he got forgotten to read books and do puzzles and talk about the shapes. The teacher was surprised to hear this as he knew all the shapes when she asked him.
Because the class was 2 and 3 year olds the teacher did not work on cutting with a scissors or holding a pencil/following directions to write lines this year. She plans to pull the 3 students that are new 4 year olds like Lamb 3 aside and work on this in May so they are a little more prepared for 4 year old class next year. Lamb 3 can use a scissors so I'm not worried about that. He could use practice with a pencil though.
I mentioned that Lamb 3 loves the Frances books by Lillian Hoban. The teacher had never heard of them before. She encouraged Lamb 3 to bring them for show and tell day and she would read one to the class. I was surprised she hadn't heard of these classics. Lamb 3 took Bedtime for Frances to school today. Perhaps when the teacher sees them she will recognize them. I'm sure she'll read it in sections as they are a little long for preschoolers.
May will be busy but fun with school pictures, preschool singing in church, field trip to the zoo, and Lamb 3's turn to bring snacks to preschool.
Since this is my first one in preschool I realized how much academics that preschool work on-it's all not just social time. We did the same things with Lamb 1 and 2 at home, but to see it on paper it is a lot. I'm sure the 4 year old class will do even more than his class this year. We are so glad to have Lamb 3 at a Lutheran preschool, it has been very good for him.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Happenings yesterday

A friend had to make a decision to turn off life support for her husband yesterday. We knew this from her pastor. Funeral arrangements are being made now. This man was at Ram's installation service in November joking and talking with us.

I found out a friend that was a pastor's wife in our district is moving to MN. This is a big across half of the country move for them. I'm so excited for them that they can be near family (and near some of my Looper friends in MN). But I mourn the loss of them from this district as I now don't know any pastor's wives in this big district.

Life really can change in an instant. I'm doing my best to be a good friend to the new widow and attempt to make new friends here.

I am content! My Jesus is my light. 
My radiant sun of grace. 
His cheering rays beam blessings forth for all, 
Sweet comfort, hope, and peace. 
This Easter sun has brought salvation and everlasting exultation. 
I am content! I am content! (LSB 468:3)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lamb 3's birthday photos-finally posted!

Ram's parents brought presents and came to celebrate a few days before Lamb 3's birthday. We are quite excited that they live near enough to celebrate birthdays with us.
Lamb 3 was excited to get a truck like Lamb 1 and 2 have. Now if we could find the box after moving that has their trucks! Can't you see 3 boys driving these trucks around the yard?

The favorite gifts this year-
Lamb 2-a set of Lego minifigures
Lamb 1-a box of plain Legos (he's going to have to use his imagination to build!)
Lamb 3-Duplo Zoo

Here's Grandpa and Grandma and Ram watching/helping build all the new Legos. Ewe helped put the Duplo together. Everything was built by the next day.

Lamb 3 chose this restaurant for dinner. After we got there we found out he picked that restaurant because he wanted chocolate milk and applesauce. We could have gone basically any where that he could have had chocolate milk. The adults liked his choice though.

I thought Lamb 3 should have a Thomas birthday train like his brothers received for their birthdays at his age. He wasn't too excited about it, I think the Thomas phase has been overtaken by the Duplo/Lego phase. Lamb 1 was excited that Lamb 3 received a present from Mama and Papa though-we don't usually give gifts as Grandmas and Grandpas and Aunt give enough.

Aunt Hannah made this banner for Lamb 3. 

Lamb 3 chose chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting. I cheated and used a mix and can of frosting with the excuse that we just moved. Aunt Hannah made some decorations that said "4" and he also chose 4 star candles.

The Lambs must be getting older because these are all the photos I took of 2 days of celebrating Lamb 3's birthday. (One day with grandparents, one day with our family.)
Lamb 3's meal choices-breakfast: Monkey Bread
lunch: egg salad
supper: chocolate chip pancakes

Ram had a church meeting on Lamb 3's birthday so we celebrated with supper the night before, breakfast and lunch with cupcakes on the day of his birthday.

I am happy that my youngest is 4. Everyone is daytime potty trained and can talk! Lamb 3 has grown taller in the last few months and doesn't look like a baby any more. This helped me not be sad that my youngest is 4.

Friday, April 13, 2012

My new wall art

My sister complained that I haven't blogged recently. I'll try to post birthday and Easter photos soon.
A friend from church offered to come over and help me decorate my house. I am not a decorator so I looked forward to her help. We had to reschedule several times for various reasons. She finally came today. It was helpful to just have her walk through the rooms as she had seen it before we moved in and give her advice where I should hang pictures and things like that.
So here's the finished product of our work today. Lots and lots of measuring and the $10 level was worth every penny today.
Here's my friend from church, she's probably old enough to be my mom, she is so encouraging about our new house! Thanks, Julie!

Here's what we put up in the Lambs bedroom. My grandma sang this to me in German when I was a child, but we sing it in English at bedtime each night. Lamb 1 took this photo, it is straight on the wall even if it is not in the photo. This is above their dresser when you walk into the room.

This is what I dreamed of doing whenever we didn't live in a parsonage any more. I was expecting that to be at retirement time but God had other things planned for us. I purchased the letters before we put the offer on the house. They fit the space perfectly. It turned out better than I dreamed. Both the Lambs bedroom and the master bedroom have the same color of paint, but none of the photos of the master bedroom that Lamb 1 took turned out so I had to take new photos tonight. The lighting looks much different, but the paint color is a cream color. This is above our bed. The bed is not centered because Ram "needed" a bookshelf next to his bed. I like the bookshelf there instead of piles of books he is currently reading. This is from Compline which Ram and I try to do together each night.

Thanks to this place for great service on lettering. This wasn't a cheap project but it was definitely worth it and they do give a discount the more letters you order. It wasn't difficult, it just took a long time to check and double check that it was straight.
Next I need to think about what quote or saying I want in the eating area and the school room. Any suggestions?
You really need to come see this in person, photos don't show it well. So when are you coming to ID to visit us?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thanks, Mom!

For the past few years my parents have visited us over Easter weekend. Most years it was just a fast visit, spending Maundy Thursday until Easter Monday with us. Since we moved to ID they were unable to make the trip out here for Easter this year.
Last night at the Good Friday service there were several visitors, family of our church members. I missed my parents not being at that service with us.
When we dyed Easter eggs this morning, I missed my mom doing the clean up.
When I ironed my Easter dress this afternoon, I missed having my mom do that task for me.
When Ram cooked the Easter dinner tonight (no churches around here have an Easter Vigil service so we decided to eat Easter dinner tonight), I missed that mom didn't cook anything for the dinner and my parents weren't here to eat it.

I have boys so it was easy to pull out their dress shirts, dress pants, and ties for church tomorrow. I can't imagine that many years my mom made our Easter dresses for both my sister and for me. Then there was usually ironing of the dresses and doing our hair more special than every day hairdos.
We almost always had company for Easter when I was growing up. Grandmas/Great Aunts/Great Uncles/and others. That company stayed for a few days. So there was house cleaning before they came and cooking/baking for the time they would visit and of course for the big Easter meal. This year I didn't have any house cleaning to do and just the one meal for our family. I did bake hot cross buns and bird's nest cookies, but that was just for fun and I wouldn't have had to do it.

All this was to say, thanks, Mom, for all you did for all my Easter celebrations while I was growing up, and for helping me with the last few years of Easter celebrations when I had young boys and needed the help. I appreciate it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Yesterday was Lamb 3's birthday and hopefully I will post about his birthday and post photos soon. Today I was too busy...
A lady from church was supposed to come over and help me decide where to hang wall hangings and do decoration like that. She canceled which meant I should have had the whole day free to do work here. Here's what I ended up doing.
Greet the furnace repairman and sign the receipt when he was finished.
Get Lamb 3 ready for preschool.
Homeschool Lamb 1 and 2.
Teach Lamb 1 and 2 how to play my favorite board game, Parcheesi. Play a long game.
Make lunch and eat a little early so Ram can get back to church for afternoon chapel.
Teach Lamb 1 and 2 how to play Scrabble Jr.
Play dominoes with Lamb 3 since he was too little to play Scrabble.
"Check out" books from Lamb 1's "pretend" library and learn what the library policy is at this library for future checkouts.
Rest time for everyone.
Make clam sauce spaghetti and eat supper.
Our family travels to Ben and Jerry's for free cone day. (Yum! We live near a city with a Ben and Jerry's now! Plus Ram is done with confirmation class for the year so he was able to go with us on a Tuesday evening.)
Everyone to Target for some shopping.
Return some stuff to Best Buy and Walmart for refunds.
Ewe ran into Michael's fast to use a coupon before it expired and they closed tonight.
Lambs in bed about 2 hours past bedtime.

Getting "nothing" done was worth it to both have a good time having free ice cream as a family and to hear Lamb 1 say that Parcheesi is now his second favorite board game. Shh... don't tell him that Parcheesi is a good math review too. They also enjoyed Scrabble Jr. which was my favorite board game when I was Lamb 1's age. That was good for Lamb 2's reading and spelling skills.