Friday, January 31, 2014

production has ceased.

This week has to rank among the least productive weeks in forever. I'm not quite at the staying-home-and-watching-Oprah stage, but it's safe to say that there wasn't a whole lotta checkboxes being checked. Just sayin'. 
A stomach bug encroached on the fam. It worked its way through, taking its' sweet time. I thought it was suspicious when it arrived late thursday with 5 suitcases, it stayed until we kicked his butt out yesterday! 
It was nothing severe, just a belly that would go an aching on and off throughout the day, never knowing if it was something you ate, or time to eat more. Just plain annoying is what it was!
Nonetheless, the kids stayed home a couple days...
I think by the time we made it through, we had successfully infected 3 friends and a friend's momma. We like to share, what can I say?

I DID go on a shopping trip one day, to gather birthday gifts for the masses of children at school, and my prize was coming away with this little lego box. 
I know. Putting us in the poor house.
After the finding of the international travel bug, we went caching a few more times. My homebody son could only be pacified by his giant barrel of cheese balls. What IS it with these things?!? And WHY do they have to sell them in bulk barrels?!?
America's overweight kids is a mystery, they say....
Benjamin the centipede has been coming out every morning at breakfast time. I took this picture of him, but I have no idea where exactly he is. See what I mean? Unproductive. 
Benjamin. Somewhere. 
This is a good one - Dobby's first geocaching trip. :) The cache I was visiting was in a ... dark?... area of town, so I never really wanted to take the kids there. So on this day I took the geopup to go get it. Luckily, there was a police officer parked just a few feet away, so I felt better. 
Dobby launches onto geopup society
(yes, that is a gryffindor scarf)
HUbby has been doing loads of dishes and laundry while I catch up on my American Horror Story episodes, and deal with the mystery belly aches. But they've gone, and we can get back in the saddle again! Woo hoo!
(I guess?)

Well, maybe just ONE more day....

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Monday, January 27, 2014

The travel bug

This weekend was nice again. This yo-yo weather we have, right? Because it's below freezing today. Seriously. 
So Sunday, the fam and I headed out to do some more geocaching, this time with Em's friend in tow. We like all caches, but we like the big ones best. They have the best swag for trading.

In one of them, we found a travel bug! (If you don't know what a travel bug is, click HERE to read all about it) We were really excited, because, well, travel bugs are ALWAYS exciting!

Upon getting home and logging this bug into the web, we found out that his name is "HomeHome", and he is from the United Kingdom! His travels began there, where he then traveled all over England, Germany, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, and finally, Oklahoma! Can you believe it!?  

HomeHome, the travel bug
HomeHome will be staying with us until our trip to Ft. Worth next month, where we will (hopefully) find a big enough cache to send him on his way! In the Dallas/Ft.Worth area? Let us know some of the *best* geocaches around!

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Saturday, January 25, 2014


If I had wings, I would be flying my butt to warmer climates, but that's just me, I suppose. The birds here at the black cat manor have decided that they are staying put. Below freezing temps and all. I'm impressed. Because, me? NOT a cold dweller. At all. In fact, if I win the lottery tomorrow, number one on the list is blowing about 3 feet of insulation in the attic and a commercial sized heater installed. Just sayin.
So, for the hard core feathered friends, I keep the seed feeders full and every morning I brave the cold and pour boiling water in the birdbath and dog bowl to thaw a little bit for them to drink. If I thought they would use them, I'd sew some tiny coats and scarves and boots for them, like the shoemakers elves, but somehow i doubt that would happen, so water and seed it is!
one of the many arctic birds
 Last weekend, we had a warm day and the kids were sent outside to play, because, well, it was warm!
Ev played football with the hubby of the house and em played with her dolls out on the hay bales. I think they were having a photo shoot.

In the spirit of the biosystem we've been (attempting) to keep alive, I found these mini greenhouses for a dollar, and decided to bring them home for the einsteins. 
 The directions were pretty simple.
1. Pour the weird growth soil stuff in the tray.
 2. Add water
 3. Watch the weird soil stuff turn into real soil.
 4. Plant the seeds.

 5. Put the lid on and place it in a sunny spot.
 6. Wait and watch for days, telling your mom in anguish every morning that they aren't growing. They're broken.
(That's as far as we've gotten so far)

So Thursday night, I awoke to a voice calling for his daddy in a tone that strikes your heart with fear. I ran in, not being the daddy, but nonetheless, and found baby einstein had thrown up in bed.
We bathed and changed sheets and took temperatures (that were normal), and snuggled and prayed and finally he fell back asleep, only to repeat the procedure a couple hours later.
I was in fear that the ten-days-after-you-get-the-flu-shot-are-still-susceptible boundaries had been breached. At 7 days in.
So I kept him home friday, and a couple hours in to the school day, em called saying her belly was a-achin and she wanted to come home. I knew it was a mental belly ache, but I got her anyway. (The perks of being an all- A student - you get to skip school for imaginary illnesses brought on by brother being home without you). She immediately started nursing baby bro with ice packs and pillow fluffing and soon the scene became this:

cheerios & gatorade - breakfast of champion pukers

crafting things for the dollies.

resting furkids

one furkid that never rests
And that's pretty much how it stayed until daddy came home.
This morning they are both doing perfectly fine, and the house is bleached and washed and I am happy to report that the flu shot ten day period is 2 days away and has NOT been breached...yet.
(cross your fingers!)

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Have you ever entered one of those seasons in your life where you sit down in the middle of life and think "well, crap. what am I supposed to do now?". When you're little you have a schedule of eating and pooping and doing what mommy & daddy ask of you. You go to school and do chores. You get a job, move out, get a degree and get married. You have children and balance life without sleep, without money, and without sanity, and then you get here. The purgatory field. The place where half your friends are having their babies, and the other half are sending their last to middle school. No more weddings, but no funerals yet. No 2am feedings, but no 2am is-my-teen-safe-at-home-yet either. It took us awhile to adjust to every season thus far, and I know I'll find my way into this one, but it seems so strange.
 To be neither here nor there.
 I find myself thinking a lot of strange things that made me happy back in the past seasons. My grandmother's jewelry box of costume jewelry - those stacked rings and huge beads! I miss my Mable, and I wonder why I never noticed what her wedding ring looked like. And where is it now? That ring that stood for the most perfect love story I had ever heard. I remember a teepee in the backyard, the Walnut garden that big fat green caterpillars were constantly eating on, the san fran zoo with Emma, camping trips with hubby across the country, the smell of a mountain creek, the look on my dad's face when he thanked me for ironing his work shirts one morning, a letter from alex the week Eli passed, a light blue sport watch in college, my red dog, picking my future husband up at the airport. The list goes on and on, and I suppose that with all my baby birds off at school, the thoughts are finally getting through the hustle and bustle that was child-rearing 24/7. And, man, they have been waiting! I can't turn them off! 35 years of life, and I still haven't gotten used to the fact that you climb a mountain, and the view is always going to be different than the last one. Us type A's, right? We need to know the itinerary, don't we? 
On my mind today:
  •   A hair cut
  •   A friend going through a tough divorce
  •   Missing hubby until lunch
  •   Drink more water!
  •   Find someone who has friendship bread starter!
  •   It's cold in here!
  •   Being sore from my weight training class
  •   Checking that the kids running gear still fits, unlike the rest of their clothes :/ (they start training in February!)
  •   Thankful for a coffee date with a friend I hadn't seen in

An earlier season

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Monday, January 20, 2014

#MegsMiles Trail Run & the woods around

as a running family, it always hits us hard to hear of someone who is out running, or walking, or whatever, when they are taken from this world in some kind of accident. A few days ago Meg Menzies was out for a morning run with her husband when she was tragically killed by a drunk driver (who actually lost his own wife in the same manner years ago). She left behind 3 young children. 
She was doing everything right. She was aware of her surroundings, running on the "right" side of traffic, wearing bright colors, but still there it was, and a family is changed forever.
In her honor, a race was put together to honor her. Thousands of people from all over the world ran for Megs Miles last weekend, and we put in ours. 
The day was really windy, so decided a trail run would be fun, and the kids could do some exploring while we were out. 
pistachios in hand for protein!
 captain awesome took off in a sprint while i stayed at a slower pace with the einsteins. there were a lot of drops and steps and roots to trip over, as well as trail riders on bikes to get through. it was a little bit like a obstacle run!
hubby was off on a faster pace than the rest of us.

little einstein wanted his picture taken bravely standing in front of this cliff!
 the kiddos loved passing under the "tree tunnels" that filled the trail. each one was the entrance into a new world, which they took turns naming. i *think* this one was actually right as we entered Terabithia. 
 every now and again we had to stop and rest our tired legs and feet (and let more bikes pass us by).
 the einsteins were on the lookout for more heart-shaped rocks to add to my collection, but they were even more excited to find this "butt rock". 
kids. and butts.
 this was in bambooland.
 bambooland had a small walkway off the trail to the lake. we decided to walk out to see it, but the winds were blowing so hard, it was hard to stand upright!
 lots of these shells came home with us.
 hubby finally looped us at around 8.5 miles and we all made our way back to the car together.
i love this picture of my boys. 
 there was something almost magical about being out there that afternoon. the wind was cold, but in the trees it was warm. the kids were laughing, the sun was shining, and we talked for hours about the blessings we've received and the trees and the magical lands and dreams for our "onedays". we held hands and picnic'd, got dirty and lost, and we had fun. 
not an ipod in sight.
(angels singing)
where do you think this road would lead you? terabithia? bambooland? gnomesmeade? woodland? or someplace even more magical? 

i had the best day with you today, sweet family.
so thankful to have you all here with me, safe and sound.

our prayers are with the menzies family for grace, peace, and restoration in the days, weeks, and years to come. 

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

exploring someone else's treasure trove

and the things i loved...

any great shops or flea markets in your neck of the woods? i'm on a years-long-but-still-nada search for a very colorful quilt (like the one above), but not too small and not falling apart, and not really really nice because i want it for outside, too,  and not for a kazillion dollars. (i know. that's why it's been years...) sigh. maybe you've seen it? ;) lemmie know!

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

making memories

"If we fail to give our best personal self 
and undivided time
 to those who are truly important to us,
 one day we will regret it."

-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

this weekend we enjoyed...

a puggly sleeper...

a foot soak in the mess ofa kitchen...
 a kitty and her boy...
raking the front beds... 
 ...and unraking the front beds...

a watchful dobby... 
 ...and the old fashioned playground for a picnic.

 football in the yard...
 ...and soccer...
bluebirds nesting... 
...and four-wheeling out at the Oberlender Homestead.

it was beautiful weather, it was wonderful company, and it was a time of blessings abounding.

happy weekend!
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