Friday, June 29, 2012


Our freezer smelled funny each time I opened it. I was not the only one that noticed it. I figured it was really bad if boys smelled it. Last Saturday I took everything out of the freezer and tried to figure out what it was. I wiped the freezer down and put a new box of baking soda in there. There was a little leftover store bought ice cream so I offered that to the Lambs and threw out the box. Other than that I couldn't figure out what the smelly thing was.
The next day the freezer smelled fine. We rarely buy store bought ice cream any more. That was a terrible thought to me that ice cream that is not homemade smells bad to our family.
After my no dairy experience with Lamb 1, I have trouble eating store bought ice cream with the exception of a few brands/kinds. Unfortunately I have learned the hard way-Baskin Robbins-no, Ben and Jerrys-yes, etc. If I don't know how it will effect me I never eat it during the afternoon or early evening-I either don't have it or wait until near bedtime. But smelling bad was a new experience for me.
Thankfully our freezer smells fine now and it is fully packed including strawberries.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Busy Weekend continued

Sunday night Ram and I watched "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" as some Loopers had recommended it. I had mixed feelings after watching it-some parts were good, some parts were strange. I'm not recommending it but I'm not upset that I spent an evening watching it either.
Ram and I would have liked to have slept in on Monday but the Lambs didn't allow that. First we made eggs and toast with strawberry jam for breakfast. While I was doing some planning (meal plan, grocery list, etc.) Ram fell asleep and took a long nap. He needed it after his trip last week and it was his day off.
So we were finally off about 2pm for errands. First was Toys R Us to let the Lambs finally spend some of their birthday money. Lamb 2 chose a couple of small Playmobil sets. Lamb 3 chose a school bus Playmobil set. They had a small coupon for Toys R Us.
Then it was to Barnes and Noble because I had forgotten to take their summer reading program papers when we went on Saturday. Lamb 1 and 2 each got to chose a free book. Lamb 3 wasn't old enough to participate. It did get Lamb 1 and 2 to record 8 books they read. Lamb 1 bought some Legos at Barnes and Noble after comparing prices at a few stores.
Then we went to Joe's Crab shack to use another library summer reading program reward. The Lambs all had free meals. It was a mistake for me to order crab when the Lambs finish their meals so quickly and get bored and I have to crack open my crabs and get the meat out. It took a long time for Ram and I to eat but it was really good.
Then we went to Costco and the grocery store. The Lambs and I had picked up a few items on Saturday but I hadn't had time to look at my pantry and what we needed.
We let the Lambs stay up a little later so they could play with their new Legos/Playmobil. Tuesday it was back to work for Ram and back to our summer routine.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Busy weekend

Ram went to the LCMS Northwest District Convention in Portland. He left our house at 4:50am on Thursday and came home about 9pm on Saturday. He was pleased that the convention did the necessary items of business and the one crazy idea didn't pass if I understood him correctly. He got to know the man that was our lay delegate a little better.
So that left me as "single parent" for a few days at home. Thursday I took the Lambs to Applebees to use their coupons from summer reading program rewards. Applebees was nice enough to let all 3 Lambs get a free meal with just buying my meal.
Friday was library day. Then we picked up a pizza. The babysitter arrived about 5pm. I headed over to church then and stayed until 1am. Our church youth group had a fundraiser to raise money to go to the youth gathering next summer. The fundraiser was $25 for a night of scrapbooking, dinner, and door prizes. It was a good fundraiser for them and not a lot of work. They plan to do it again in January. My friend Joelle also came. Dinner was make your own out of chicken, salad, rice, salsa, homemade salad dressing, black beans, guacamole, etc. It was really good. Dessert was ice cream and I brought The Best Most Evil Dessert-Carmel Bars. I didn't win the massage or manicure, but I did win a set of Christmas stampers and a gift certificate for a pizza. Joelle won the massage. There were a few consultants there that gave a few demostrations. I worked on Lamb 3's baby album and got a few more months done. It is now organized and I'm trying to work on it a little each day.
Saturday I took the Lambs out for lunch and then we went to Barnes and Noble as they were giving out a small free Lego pack. We got our free Legos but didn't open them as we didn't want to mix up pieces with others there. We stayed and played with the Legos and Thomas trains for awhile. Then we did grocery shopping.
While Ram was gone the Lambs and I did some house cleaning-cleaning up the play room, I scrubbed my downstairs floor for the first time since we moved in, and basic cleaning. This was to prepare for one of Ram's aunt's family coming on Sunday and also needed to be done.
After church, for just one afternoon, Aunt Marie, Uncle Hal, and cousin Abby came. We grilled out brats/hamburgers/hot dogs and also had fresh fruit salad and leftover carmel bars. Uncle Hal really liked ID and I don't think he was joking that they may retire here and get out of CA. The funny part was that Ram's parents were camping last week so they couldn't visit them. So we got to see them but Ram's mom didn't get to see her sister. The Lambs were pretty well behaved and put up with adults coming to visit. Of course we gave a house tour too. Here's a few photos of the day:

Aunt and Nephew

This was the best we could do to get the photo of the second cousins. Hopefully Aunt Marie got a better photo than I did. I think they are second cousins-Abby's grandpa is the Lambs' great-grandpa.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Normal for our family/surprising to others

1. We have been catching up on well visits/dental cleanings etc. for everyone in our family after moving and finding new doctors. The dentist commented that I had hardly any fillings. I have had 3 fillings-2 were right after my adult teeth came in. I think that is a lot compared to Ram never having a filling.
2. I was walking around the neighborhood to get my exercise for our health insurance program. I was by myself. The neighbor asked where my dog was. He couldn't imagine walking unless I was walking the dog.
3. The nurse asked me what I wanted my primary pharmacy to be. She couldn't believe that we have lived here since November and no one in our family had a prescription since then.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Parade Float

Our church was in a parade last Friday night.
Lamb 2 said, "Welcome to the 1950's!" as we got in the car to go to the parade.
They all had gel in their hair but you can really only see Lamb 3's gel. It was good we took photos right away because Lamb 2's shirt was covered in dirt, pizza, and even a few holes by the time the parade actually began! The funny part is that for every day, Lamb 3 rarely wears shorts and Lamb 1 and 2 haven't worn jeans since before Easter. Lamb 1 and 2 really got into dressing like 1950's boys, Lamb 3 not so much.

Ram didn't have any 1950's clothes in his closet. (I suppose that is a good thing!) No one told me my apron was on crooked. I was a little overdressed compared to the others from our group. I wore a scarf in my hair but you can't see it. I guess I looked like a movie star/waitress/house wife all in one. The parade audience yelled, "Charlie Brown" in order to get candy from him.

We had a long 1 1/2 hours between when we got there for parade line up and the parade began. We played in the grass...

practiced hula hoop...

went to the bathroom a bunch of times, and even ordered and ate pizza while we waited.

The Lambs played on the float while they could.

The Lambs took turns sitting at the table many times before the parade began.

I'm not sure everyone recognized the shake, not ice cream on our float.

Finally the parade began.

The adults got their exercise on the long parade route passing out candy while the kids stood or sat on the float for the whole parade.

This picture shows how many people were at the parade. We were not allowed to throw candy and there were police men along the route watching that the floats obeyed that rule. Once we thought we were in trouble but the police man was asking for his own portion of candy! It was difficult to give out candy individually and keep up with the float.

About halfway through the parade we ran out of candy. We had given out thousands of flyers about our church and preschool with candy attached. We are going to need to get a lot more candy to give out next year or do something different. It was good to get our church name out to the community. Afterwards the float was taken apart and we wait to see what our theme will be for next year's float to do it all again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

4 days of strawberries

10am Saturday 32 lbs strawberries

Saturday brunch-strawberry clafouti
(I tried this new recipe, it was custard with strawberries and topped with powered sugar. Lamb 1 did not like it. Lamb 2 ate several helpings. It reminded me of French toast without the toast.)

Saturday snack-fresh strawberries, bananas, pineapple

Saturday first batch of jam
I just have a small freezer on top of my fridge, so I had to be creative to freeze whole berries. Ice cube trays and small cookie sheet under cookie cooling rack worked well. I ended up freezing 10 lbs of whole berries in several batches like this.

Saturday dessert after supper-strawberry shortcake

Sunday evening after Lambs went to bed-strawberries and chocolate dipping sauce for Ram and Ewe
 (I apologize the photos are a little out of order here.)
Monday lunch-salad with strawberries, lettuce, walnuts, and homemade poppyseed dressing

Monday breakfast-Greek yogurt with strawberries and honey

Monday dessert after supper-fresh strawberry pie (homemade "gel") with whipped cream

Sunday-batch 2 of jam

Tuesday "snack"-homemade ice cream with strawberries, homemade fudge sauce, whipped cream, with a cherry on top

Monday-batch 3 of jam

No photo:
The Lambs used one lb to eat fresh outside to pretend they were the Boxcar Children after reading about strawberries.

That leaves 2 lbs fresh strawberries to top the leftover shortcake and eat fresh however we want. Yum!

Note to self: Next year make sure to have extra cream in the fridge to make lots of whipping cream when the strawberries arrive.

Friday, June 15, 2012


I'm busy washing jam jars (after finding them after moving) to get ready for my 32 lbs of strawberries that will be delivered on Saturday. I expect little blogging to happen until those jars are full of jam!
Any suggestions for strawberry recipes are appreciated. Of course we will have strawberry shortcake and chocolate dipped strawberries and make most of them into jam. But 32 lbs is a lot!
This is my first trial at ordering something like this online. We'll see if I'm ever crazy enough to do it again.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Swim lessons photos

Lamb 2 became afraid of the deep end during lessons last year. He is still shy about the water at lessons, but he is doing much better than last year.
Lamb 1 has really taken off this year. He swims over by the wall when it is not his turn to swim with the teacher's supervision. He loves the last 5 minutes of lessons when he jumps off the diving board as many times as he can. He swims to the wall almost by himself after jumping.
Lamb 3 is taking his first lessons this year. The first 3 days he did really well, better than Lamb 2. Then on the 4th day he decided he didn't want to do swim lessons any more. He wasn't afraid, he just didn't want to do lessons. He sat on the side of the pool and did nothing the teacher asked until it was free time the last five minutes. The 5th day he wouldn't even get in the pool, he grabbed the fence and shook it and said, "Get me out of here!" It was not that he was afraid of swimming, he just didn't want to. He did swim lessons on the day that it was 50 degrees and raining. When it was 70 and sunny he didn't want to do lessons. The 6th day Ram took him to lessons and put him in the water and he did lessons that day although not as enthusiastic as the first days of lessons. But Ram can't take him every day (he does need to be a pastor some time!) so it was my turn again on the 7th day. The 7th day Lamb 3 asked in the car if he could have candy if he did swim lessons. I don't know where he got that idea. But I was running out of ideas (we tried explaining that if he didn't learn how to swim at lessons that he wouldn't know how to swim at the pool in our subdivision, etc.) so I said ok to candy. Then the rest of the few minute trip to the pool Lamb 3 chanted, "I'm going to do everything the swim teacher asks me to do and I'm going to get candy." He has done lessons great for the last 2 days.
I just shake my head because parenting is so different for each child. I never thought I would give in to candy, but in this case my excuse is that I didn't bribe him with candy, he had the idea... And Grandma has supplied us with enough candy that I ration it out throughout the year instead of giving it all at Easter so I have a stock for swim lesson bribes now.
These photos were taken on the 8th day of lessons. I also made a video of Lamb 1 jumping off the diving board but I'm not sure how to post that so I'll just post photos.
Lamb 2 swimming with teacher on far left. Lamb 3 back float with teacher in middle.

Lamb 2 back float with teacher on far left.

Lamb 3 swimming to teacher in middle.

Lamb 2 swimming with teacher.

Lamb 2 practicing kicks on far left. Lamb 3 swimming to teacher in middle.

Look at Lamb 3 jump!

Lamb 2 and 3 reading while they wait for Lamb 1's lessons after theirs.

Lamb 1 being a seal swimming through the ring.

Lamb 1 #1




Barely any help from the teacher to swim to the wall!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thank you, Treasure Valley Family Magazine!

We attended Museum Day in Boise while Aunt Hannah visited a few weeks ago. We went to each booth and did activities and learned about the museums. At each booth we had our paper signed. At the end Treasure Valley Family Magazine had a basket to choose a CD, DVD, or game. I was quite impressed with the choices and we chose a CD. Then a few days ago we received a phone call that Lamb 3 had his paper chosen for their drawing. Three children won and Lamb 3 was one of them! Look at this bag of goodies!
Nice picture books, 2 CDs, Nice Leap Frog DVD set, Clifford DVD, water bottle, and bag. Lamb 1 was quite excited about the science experiment book.

On the way home from picking up the bag of goodies, I took each item out and showed it to the Lambs. Lamb 3 misunderstood and thought he had to choose one thing from the bag. He didn't understand that he won the entire bag of goodies. He was taking a long time making up his mind. When he found out he got to keep the whole bag of goodies forever and not return them to the library, he said, "You mean I get ALL these books! Oh Goodie!" They had seen the Clifford DVD from the library before so they were quite excited to get that one to keep. The book he is holding was his first choice of a book from the bag to read. They haven't watched the Leap Frog DVDs but I was excited for them to receive those.

We had a fun day doing the activities in Boise on Museum Day. It was an extra bonus for Lamb 3 to receive such a nice gift. Since we are new to the area it has been really nice to read Treasure Valley Family Magazine each month and find out what there is to do in the area. I appreciate that free copies are at places we go like the library and I'm enough old fashioned to appreciate a paper copy. And when I don't get to pick one up right away at the beginning of the month, it is online for me to look at.

Friday, June 8, 2012


is being able to park both your cars in the garage in a few days less than 3 months after moving day! There wasn't even a place to walk through on moving day.

*Full Disclosure: Boxes fill the third parking spot ahead of one car, the back of the van is full of recycling to deliver, and most of the things to the left of one car are to be sorted and delivered for give away.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Today's shopping list...

marshmallows for hot chocolate after swim lessons
ice cream cones because we should be eating ice cream in June

*Yes, we were outside for one hour of swim lessons today (the Lambs are in two different half hour sessions) in the rain and real temperature of 50 degrees. Tomorrow's weather is predicted to be the same without rain.

Weekend is over

I'm slowly getting used to Ram's day off of Monday which gives us an extra day of weekend. Friday I took the Lambs to the opening of the summer reading program at the library. They had an entire afternoon of events-parking lot with bounce house, popcorn, popsicles, temporary tattoos, hula hoops, etc. Programs about nocturnal animals etc. inside. The Lambs had a great time, especially in the bounce house. Then we along with Ram headed out to check out the Christian homeschool convention. We didn't stay long but I was able to look at some curriculum there. Then we stopped at the appliance store that we bought a fridge at. One of the drawers cracked a few weeks ago. We went to the store and they were nice enough to give us another drawer for free. Lesson learned-ask and you may receive-now I don't have to remind the Lambs to open the drawer carefully.

Saturday the big park near us had some kids activities so we headed over there. They also had a bounce house and I think the Lambs were in shock that they got to do that two days in a row. They gave out donuts. There was fishing and we tried for a little while but didn't catch anything. Afterwards we took the Lambs to Chinese buffet. They had been begging to go there and I think were shocked that we actually took them there. Lamb 1 and 2 were thrilled, but Lamb 3 cried because he wanted to go to Cracker Barrel. He finally settled down and ate watermelon and hard boiled eggs. (Really-at a Chinese buffet!)
Then we went to the ID history museum. Admission wasn't too bad for the whole family, especially because Lamb 3 is still free. They had toys and games from the past and I think the Lambs could have spent all day shooting the wooden rubber band guns.

Sunday was church and then I reorganized the pantry some-I never liked the way things were put in the pantry when we moved in. I still want to move a couple of areas, but overall it is much easier to find things now.
Lamb 1 and 2 were excited to cook by themselves so they baked blueberry muffins mostly by themselves. I decided to buy some eggs from the store (not farm eggs) for Lamb 1 to practice breaking eggs. Not only is that skill difficult for an 8 year old to learn, but difficult for Mama to explain but not just do it herself. We had several either yolks or whites on the floor before I guessed on the amount of one egg and the muffins turned out well. Lesson learned-start teaching Lamb 2 now so he isn't 8 years old and unable to break eggs.
After supper I needed exercise (for Be Well Serve Well rewards) and we needed milk to make ice cream so the whole family walked to the nearest grocery store. Lamb 1 and 2 were such wimps and complained so much that I wasn't sure they were going to make it. It was pretty pathetic that out of shape Ewe did better. I'm not sure when our whole family will attempt a long walk like that again.
Ram and Ewe worked reorganizing the garage some after the Lambs went to bed. There is still lots to do to get to the point of parking both cars in the garage but we are slowly making headway on that. I wish I would have taken moving day photos to prove that headway.
Ram and Ewe finished watching the second season of Downton Abbey and the few extras on both seasons.

Monday the Lambs had their first swim lessons. It was Ram's day off so the whole family went. Lamb 3 had his first swim lesson ever and did really well. Lamb 2 did well for him-he is still afraid of the water but he did everything the teacher asked him to do. Lamb 1 went off the diving board 3 times. They are taking lessons at a private home. This is a whole different experience than the lessons they had in MN at the city pool. Lamb 2 and 3 have lessons at the same time with different teachers. Lamb 1 almost had private lessons because the other girl in his class wasn't there today. Lamb 1 was proud to really start learning how to swim-to learn strokes etc. and not just play in the water for lessons.
After lunch then we went to Target to get new sandals for all the Lambs. They either outgrew or their sandals were falling apart or both. Costco for groceries. Meat market for this week's meat. Then home to put all that away, especially the cold stuff. Then Ram made supper while Ewe did more shopping-Walmart and Fred Meyer. I didn't get everything on my list and need to go to a couple more grocery stores. But I am determined to stop eating out so much, be more prepared for meals, and use some things in my freezer to make room for strawberries in a couple of weeks.
For supper Ram made hobos, which were delicious. (Thanks, Esther!) Then he went to a meeting at church while I made zucchini brownies.
Now the weekend is over and we have 9 days of swim lessons to look forward to and this summer we are going to try to go to library programs twice a week so that all the Lambs have a program that their age level would enjoy. Next Saturday is free fishing day (no license required) but I'm thinking it might be nice to stay home for a Saturday after all we did this weekend. Ram will be back to work tomorrow and we'll begin our summer routine.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

May 26, 2012

Hannah's plane was delayed so she stayed at our house until she thought it was time to go. Unfortunately it was delayed some more and she ended up waiting at the airport quite awhile. Ram's dad took Hannah to the airport. This morning the Lambs were busy putting together their new Legos. Ram's parents babysat while we went to a wedding at church. Ram did not officiate so it was nice that we could sit together. The Lambs enjoyed their time with Grandpa and Grandma. We did not go to the wedding reception, we (Ram's parents and our family) went to Applebees. We had not been to Applebees since our moving trip so the Lambs were happy to go there. Lamb 1 had an appetizer combo that was more expensive than my entree. He ate 2 out of the 3 parts of the combo and brought the 3rd part home. I think we're in trouble now that he isn't full with a kid's meal and it won't be long before Lamb 2 isn't either! When we lived in MN we went to Applebees frequently on doctor or shopping days as it was a restaurant in most of the bigger towns. Lamb 1 doesn't like melted cheese and I had forgotten that besides hamburgers there aren't many dishes at Applebees without cheese or a cream sauce. That is why he had the appetizer combo. Then it was time to say goodbye to Ram's parents and time for baths and bedtime before church the next day. We rested/tried to get caught up at home the next few days after late nights with Hannah the week before.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Happy Birthday, Lamb 2, May 25, 2012!

This day did not start out well. The night before Lamb 2 had some diarrhea so there was some laundry to do for that. Lamb 3 had vomited in his bed during the night, then he crawled into Ram and Ewe's bed and slept for a few hours, then he tried to crawl back in his bed and he discovered his bed was a mess. Ewe jumped out of bed to clean up that mess and realized her neck/shoulder was very sore. Ewe tried to clean up the bed/wall/carpet with a sore neck. Not only did Lamb 3's bed need to be changed, but also his stuffed animals and toys, and Ram and Ewe's sheets. Hannah was trying to be helpful and Ewe lost her temper with Hannah. After we got everything cleaned up and several loads of laundry going, we realized that everyone felt fine except for Ewe's neck/shoulder. It must have been something that Lamb 2 and 3 ate. We hoped that we didn't make anyone we saw the day before ill, but figured it was most likely something they ate since no one else in our family was sick.
Hannah made French toast and sausage for us for breakfast, Lamb 2's birthday breakfast request. After breakfast Ewe went to the chiropractor and got a little relief in her neck. Ram wrote his sermon as it was his first chance all week with everything else we had done. Ram took Hannah to the post office to mail 4 boxes of things Ewe gave to Hannah. 2 boxes went priority mail, two are literally slow boat to Hawaii, hopefully within 6-8 weeks. She also packed some of her clothes in these boxes, so unfortunately she'll be waiting for awhile. But it was way too expensive to mail all of it priority mail. I was happy to be sending things to a new home as Hannah and her husband make their new home together.
Ram's parents arrived late in the afternoon and they brought a picnic table to us. Hannah, Ram's dad, and Ram got it set up on our patio. They had an extra picnic table at their house and were happy to share with us.
Then it was time to open presents from Aunt Hannah and Ram's parents.
Ukulele from Aunt Hannah

Lamb 3-Duplo set
Lamb 2-Lego harbor
Lamb 1-Lego camper (just like Grandpa and Grandma's camper!)

Lamb 2 is the last spring birthday for the boys in our family. He has been waiting for this Lego harbor. While he was putting it together the next day, Ram remarked that it's a pretty fun Lego set to play with!

Lamb 2 asked to go to a sushi restaurant so we compromised and went to a Thai restaurant that also served sushi. We all had a delicious meal.
Lamb 2 with sushi-he ate this whole plate by himself

Lamb 1 with California spring roll with Grandma and Aunt Hannah-Lamb 1 also ate his whole plate by himself

The restaurant served ice cream and took Lamb 2's picture for the birthday boy.

Birthday banner made by Aunt Hannah

Best chocolate sheet cake ever requested by Lamb 2 and made by Aunt Hannah (I should have used her cake decorating skills for something fancy since she was here, but this was what Lamb 2 asked for.)

Hannah saw the Thai restaurant served tea in a teapot shaped like an elephant. The restaurant said some of the employees hand carry them from Thailand when they visit each summer. Hannah really wanted one but thought they were expensive. After we were home she decided to go back and get one. I encouraged this because I know when I was a newlywed I got some "treats" to set up my house that I really wanted and I thought Hannah should too. Then she had to figure out how to pack her new teapot and the other teapot I gave her from our great-grandma to get it home to Hawaii. It was really neat that this teapot was from Thailand and it was so cute too. When we got home that night she started figuring out how to pack what she had not shipped home. Somehow she managed to get it all in her carry on and not check any bags. I should have taken a picture of the teapot, but she had it wrapped in bubble wrap before I thought of that.
The day ended much better than it began and Lamb 2 had a nice 6th birthday.