Monday, April 29, 2013

Ram's birthday

Ram's parents came on Wednesday and dropped off the presents and visited for a little while. Thursday was a busy day with Ram at pastor's conference, Lamb 3 had preschool and it was picture day. I cheated and picked up Chik-Fil-A for lunch while I chauffeured the Lambs around. Lamb 2 had speech therapy. Then Grandpa and Grandma and our family went to the park and went fishing. We didn't catch anything but we ran around the park and played on the playground in between fishing for a couple of hours. Then we went to the sushi restaurant that I already blogged about.
Friday Ram's parents did their own thing most of the day so we spent the day catching up on household tasks. When Ram's parents came we opened up birthday presents. Then Ram's parents and Ram and Ewe all went out to eat for an adult dinner. The Lambs were a little disappointed their first choice for babysitter wasn't available, but they had a babysitter and didn't have to go to a nice restaurant and behave so they weren't too disappointed. The adults went to Lenu Ona-a Basque restaurant. Ram had beef tongue that was really good, the rest of us had Lamb that was good. I don't know if I would ever get a babysitter and go there again, but it was good food to do that once.
Saturday morning we rushed to get to a few places. There was a local church that was moving so we went to their garage sale and picked up some treasures. Lamb 1 and Ewe attended a gardening class at our church. Then Ram and his dad went to drag racing all day. Ram's mom, Ewe, and the boys played board games, went to the park, and went for a treat of frozen yogurt. When Ram and his dad got home we grilled out and had a nice meal at home together.

Today we are having Ram's choice for meals for his birthday with our family. I always like this part of the year because for half a year it seems like Ram and Ewe are only one year apart in age!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee

When the organ at church breaks on Good Friday and you have to wait until a Voter's meeting to approve the expensive repairs, it is a joyful sound to hear the organ again after weeks of piano and electronic keyboard only. It just didn't seem right to not hear the organ during the Easter season!

Thursday, April 25, 2013


When we were engaged we visited Ram's parents. Ram's younger brother also visited at the same time so we all spent the week together. One evening we went out to eat. Their small town doesn't have a lot of choices for eating out. We went to a sushi restaurant. When we ordered everyone ordered something. I had no idea that we were sharing what we ordered with the whole table when we ordered. With a mom and dad of 3 boys and 2 grown boys, I didn't take enough food when it first came. I went home from that meal still hungry. Ram's mom joked on the way home that she had planned to have berries and cream for dessert but she was sure everyone was so full after all that food that we weren't having dessert. As the new member of the family I didn't speak up at the restaurant or on the way home. I learned after that to take bigger helpings the first time which has come in handy with 3 boys of our own.

12 years later we went out to eat at a sushi restaurant tonight. On the way there I thought of the first time our family went out for sushi. Tonight we sat at the bar and little boats floated by and we took what we wanted for $1 per plate. I have no idea what was on those plates, but we learned quickly if something looked good to take a plate off the boat and try it. Ram's dad couldn't believe how cheap it was-the average for our family was less than $10/person. Lamb 2 sat by me and we had 16 plates between the two of us to give you an idea. We can barely eat at a fast food restaurant for that price and it was much less than going to a typical American sit down restaurant. The plates had sushi rolls, some had chicken or other main course foods, and some had fruit like pineapple or oranges. This time I went home stuffed! Lamb 2 declared that is where he wants to go for his birthday dinner. We'll see if that is the place he picks when his birthday comes next month, but all the Lambs liked the food and ate well. I hadn't even noticed this restaurant before we went there tonight, but we'll be going back there again. I noticed some reviewers online said this restaurant is the best sushi they have ever had and they can't believe this restaurant is found in ID.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Goodbye Sears Portraits

When we lived in MN, there was a Sears portrait studio 1 1/2 hours away. 3-4 hours away there were Target and JCPenney studios. A few times we took the Lambs to JCPenney or to a local professional, but the majority of their professional photos were taken at that Sears studio. Our pediatrician was in the same town as the Sears studio so often we would go for pictures in the morning and see the doctor in the afternoon. We got to know the manager because we went so often and she was excellent at taking photos of children.
When I heard that Sears portraits were closing across the country, I logged onto our account one more time out of curiosity. We went to Sears for 26 portrait sessions between 2004-2010. When it was about time to take them again then we moved.
When Lamb 1 was born the parenting magazines had coupons that you could get a set of photos for $9.99 at Sears. We have a small family to send photos to so this was plenty. The package included an 11x14 that went to Ram's grandparents that could not see well, the 8x10 went to the Lamb's album, the 5x7s went to the grandparents, and wallets went to everyone else. The trick was to not let the salesperson talk you into more than the coupon deal. Since it was just $10 we took Lamb 1 every couple of months, wearing different outfits. Shortly after Lamb 2 was born they stopped that coupon deal. Even though it was more expensive, it was still a fairly good deal at Sears. Then when Lamb 3 was born their prices went up even more and it wasn't affordable any more. Plus by then we had 3 Lambs and I wanted photos that were a group photo in all of their albums. Since we had taken Lamb 1 and 2 for photos, we still took Lamb 3 even though it cost more, but not nearly as often as we did for Lamb 1 or even as much as we took Lamb 2.
As the Lambs got older we didn't need pictures taken as often as when they were babies. I was not in a hurry to find a place to get their pictures taken after moving here. Finally last fall LifeTouch came to our church preschool and I was so pleased with how the pictures turned out. I plan to take them back to our church preschool when LifeTouch comes back when I want the Lambs photos taken again.
So Sears portraits closing doesn't affect our family much because our family would not be going back there for photos again. And yet I am disappointed because all those people that lived near the Sears studio that we went to in MN no longer have that as an option. If we still lived in MN and had babies we wouldn't have that as an option. I'm also a little afraid because it was nice that Sears had those online as a backup for us if we ever had a disaster in our home and lost our photos. I feel bad for that nice manager (I'm assuming that she still worked there) that lost her job along with the others that worked at Sears. Last, this digital camera age is losing something important-if you own a digital camera you think you will take lots of photos, but you don't always get around to it or download/get prints made/frame them or put them in an album. If you made that appointment, got dressed up to take photos, and went back to pick them up-then they were done. Even if it took you a year to frame them or put them in the album, you had those photos ready for the album or the wall. Also there are several people in this country that do not own a digital camera and going to Sears or Walmart was their way to get photos. There is a significant part of Americans that will no longer get photos taken if they can't go to Sears or Walmart in their town any more. I'm not just thinking of income level, I'm thinking of driving distance.
I realize that times change and if a company isn't making money they can't continue to stay in business. But Sears portrait studios closing across the country saddens me. I am thankful that they were there for us for our photos of the Lambs when they were babies.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

American flag

We never imagined that when we bought a new flag last weekend it would need to be flown at half mast already this week. Our prayers are with all those involved with the Boston attacks.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Why the baby of the family seems smarter than the older children

Today at homeschool:

Ewe: Lamb 3, pie starts with p. Can you think of other words that begin with p?
Lamb 3: Peyton and Pooh
Lamb 2: Papa and popcorn
Lamb 3: Play Doh and Piglet
Lamb 1: priority

(When I was teaching this same lesson to Lamb 1 and 2 I did not list priority for them!)

Monday, April 15, 2013

What has been happening at our house recently?

*Last summer we worked on getting the inside organized. This year we planted 2 cherry trees, 2 blueberry bushes, and made a spot to get strawberry plants-hopefully next weekend. We would like to have a garden, but we have not cleared a space for that yet. I'm considering doing hay bale gardening this summer if I can get a couple of hay bales. We bought a few perennial flowers and hope to get those in the ground soon.
*We bought an American flag that was made in the USA. Ram hung it too high the first time, we tried again and the boys are enjoying hanging it in the morning and putting it away in the evening.
*We had beautiful weather around Easter and now it has cooled down some. I'm not complaining because we haven't had snow like DakotaPam!
*I scrapbooked all day on Saturday with my friend Joelle for National Scrapbook Day. I think it is the least I have ever gotten done at a scrapbook day. We had a nice long chat so it was worth it. I worked on Lamb 1's pictures from 2005-only 8 more years to catch up on his album! If only I could work on it at home and try to finish his album for 2005.
*Our whole family cleaned out the garage on Sunday. We threw out enough/reorganized to make room for a fridge. The boys organized their tools and woodworking supplies. We are planning to buy a new fridge and put this one in the garage-at least temporarily until we can buy a freezer. Any advice for fridge shopping for me? I want a bottom freezer.
*The garage organization brought a few more boxes in for me to go through. One box had things like CD cases, old cameras, cassette tape players. Most of that went in the trash. One box had magazines-I'm looking at old issues of Family Fun and they are also going in the trash. I'm washing up some old boots etc. to give away.
*I've also been going through some of our books, I'm pretty much done with the baby and toddler age books, now I'm working on pregnancy/parenting type of books. Ram took a bunch over to our library book sale and we'll have more soon.
*I've been working with Lamb 2 to learn names of music notes. Lamb 1 caught on to this much quicker than Lamb 2. I can tell by working on this that there are going to be areas where he has difficulty in school. I'm so glad we homeschool and I can spend time with him. We both feel successful when he finally does catch on!
*Lamb 3 is working on "f" and "v" sounds in speech. We continue to work on this at home.
*Lamb 1 finished his first assignment in Drawing Through History:Greece and Rome by drawing and writing about the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. I think I will have Lamb 2 do the next assignment with him but print it instead of write in cursive.
*Lamb 3 only has one day of preschool this week due to parent teacher conferences. We are getting a taste of what homeschooling will be like next year without him at preschool. I wish this would have been the same week as Ram has pastor conference, but of course that didn't work that way.
*Ram and I finished week one for the exercise part of the Be Well Serve Well program. I  rode a bike for the first time in about 25 years and I thought I wouldn't make the half hour bike ride.
*We owed a lot on taxes this year. I miss living in MN. Obama paid less of a percentage of taxes than we did. Our budget is really tight right now and we will need to tighten the budget from now on in order to continue to pay quarterly estimated taxes. I am thankful for our low mortgage for this. Life is so unfair about our tax situation, but I continue to try to look at the positive side-Ram has a job that he likes and we have a roof over our heads and the list goes on and on. I was going to blog about our taxes a few weeks ago but I needed to calm down a little first. Ram did go to Starbucks for his free coffee. Our family didn't go for any other freebies because it would end up costing us more than the freebie.
*Maybe now that it is after Easter I can begin to get caught up on blogging about all that I just wrote about and post some pictures taken the last few months too.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Lamb 2's Recipe

Ram and I have tried to eat gluten free without forcing the Lambs to join our diet. Lamb 2 told me today that he does not like bread. I wonder if he is slightly gluten intolerant. He did say he likes rolls and cinnamon rolls, etc. so possibly it is just a dislike. At lunch time I got out a few things and was trying to decide what to make for lunch that would be mostly gluten free for me, that the Lambs would eat, and use up some stuff in the fridge without running to the store for more ingredients. Ram did not eat lunch with us today so I was willing to cheat on gluten free a little if we needed to.

Lamb 2 started talking about how he did not like bread. Then he decided he wanted hot ham and cheese, just ham and cheese without bread. So I fried a piece of ham, put cheese in the middle and put another piece of ham on top. His looked so good that I made one for myself. Lamb 1 and 3 didn't want that-Lamb 1 doesn't like cheese and Lamb 3 wanted bread. When I told Ram about it he wanted one for a bedtime snack. We cut it into small pieces to eat it with a fork.

I'm sure to those of you that have eaten paleo or gluten free for longer than us this sounds like an obvious recipe. We have eaten a pile of tuna topped with melted cheese for awhile. But this was a new idea for me today. I can picture other meats topped with different kinds of cheeses. It was a sandwich of meat and cheese without bread. Yum!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fabulous Five!

Lamb 3's birthday began with monkey bread for breakfast.

Then Lamb 3 went to preschool and Lamb 1 and 2 and I went to the preschool later in the morning. They had an Easter party as it was the first day back to school after Easter. It was a little chilly but they had a small egg hunt. Then I read Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and they acted it out with monkeys. (See children on right in photo.)

We came home from preschool and ate lunch. He requested egg salad which was easy with all our dyed Easter eggs.

Lamb 1 and 2 had piano lessons that afternoon. I always take a bag with stuff to do/books to read while Lamb 3 has one hour to wait during lessons. I was all ready to read to him and on the way to lessons he fell asleep. He slept through all of lessons. He rarely takes a nap any more, Easter and his birthday wore him out!

We had his birthday supper on Easter because Ram and Ewe had meetings on the next two nights. So for supper on his birthday we had leftovers from that. Then we had cake.

He requested peanut butter chocolate chip cake. It was NOT gluten free. I had never made it before but it was really good with a topping instead of frosting. He also requested 5 candles, all Pooh, no Tigger or other characters. I'm enjoying my last boy that likes Pooh while I can. Lamb 1 played Happy Birthday on the piano while we sang to him.

He wore this to preschool the day after his birthday. He is standing on his tiptoes in this photo. He is at an age where when you tell him to smile it looks painful instead of a smile. I took many more photos on his birthday, but these were the ones where he has a decent smile.

Breakfast: Monkey Bread
Lunch: Egg salad
Snack: Chocolate Milk and Chicago Popcorn
Supper: Meatloaf and sweet potatoes (we also had asparagus but that was not his choice)
We ate supper on Easter outside on the patio at the picnic table.
Cake: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (Better Homes and Gardens cookbook) with 5 Pooh candles
Restaurant with Grandpa and Grandma: Pizza (a place that has gluten free for adults and kids pizzas come on a Frisbee)
Big present: Lego fire station

Ram's parents are visiting us the next few days. We opened up presents yesterday and went out to eat. Today they will babysit while Ram and I go to the library book sale. It is rainy weather so I'm not sure what we'll do tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Lamb 3 is Five!

It will take a couple of days to post about Lamb 3's birthday. He turned 5 yesterday.

He had preschool on his birthday so I wanted to do something special for his classmates and him. Since it was right after Easter I didn't want to give them a sugar treat. My sister helped me come up with an idea for goodie bags. Easter was the perfect time to do something like this-I bought everything in the dollar section at Target except for the initial stampers. That was one set of alphabet stamps from Michaels with a coupon. The only problem was that there were two children that had a name that started with M so my sister donated an extra M that she had. My sister made the tags and I put the bags together.

This was what was in Noah's bag. The Fun Dough tools were a set in the dollar section that I divided up between a couple of children. I had thought of Silly Putty eggs but these bubbles were in the dollar section for much cheaper than Silly Putty.
Here the bags were set out at the preschool for the children to pick up.

Our 3 Lambs got similar but a little better items in their bags. They got bigger sets of Play Doh, a big bottle of bubbles, and their first and middle initial stampers. They blew bubbles right after lunch. We had a busy day and they were finally able to do Play Doh after supper. When I took their picture, Lamb 1 said, don't post this photo on your blog! I don't want everyone to see a 9 year old doing Play Doh! Which made me have to post the photo!

More about Lamb 3's birthday to be posted tomorrow.