Monday, September 29, 2008

Bitter Sweet

If I had to describe how I feel about fall in one word it would be Bitter Sweet. Ya, ya, I know, that's two words. Go ahead, fire me!

Speaking of fire, doesn't that tree look like it's on fire?!?

It's Gorgeous.

This is the part about fall that I love.
There are so many variations of leaves. Some are bright red and orange.
Some are still green with streaks of red starting to appear. Some are bright yellow with just a streak of green hanging around.
Some are speckled yellow and orange and red. No two leaves are the same. They are each unique and breathtakingly beautiful.

We always come home with handfuls of leaves to press and to be made into place mats.

It's one of my favorite fall traditions.

I love to be out in the fall air. I love the warm sunshiny air and rich aromas of the mountains.
Every year we have at least one horse ride during the fall.

We go up the canyon near our home and enjoy being in the autumn atmosphere and stare in amazement at the masterpiece that is fall leaves.
This is my amazing sister-in-law, Lisa. But really, I consider her my real sister. She is such an inspiration to me and my kids. Doodle is the horse woman she is in large part because of Lisa.
This is the first time Dubs rode his very own horse for the whole ride. He rode 2 1/2 hours, not bad for a 3 year old. He loves horses almost as much as Doodle.

Look at this beautiful horse. His name is Spit Fire. Look at that main. He looks like he's just been back from the salon and had highlights put in. I wish my hair looked that beautiful.
I guess it could if I were willing to spend the money to keep having highlights put in. But I don't, so it doesn't.
The part about fall that is bitter is that I know in just a few short weeks all these gorgeous leaves will be gone. The trees will be left barren and brown. Color will not come again all winter long. White gets old really quick around here.
I feel like I'm in a hurry to soak up all this nice weather while I can. Soon the warm horse riding days of summer and Autumn will be gone. Gone will be the hikes in the mountains and weekly park days with our crazy home school friends.

No more spending hours in the afternoon playing out side in the grass under the big shade trees in our back yard. No more green grass and drooping apple trees.

But there is one thing that gives me hope.

Without fail, Fall comes every year!

To see what every one else is talking about this Bright Orange Tuesday visit

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Beano is 5, it's official. He blew out all five of those candles and now he is magically 5 instead of 4. How does that happen? When he wakes up in the morning he looks exactly the same as he did when I put him to bed the night before. When did he grow so big? I've been watching and I still missed it. He has grown 3 1/4 inches since his last birthday.
When did that happen?
I swear I was here the whole time and I didn't see anything unusual happening to my boy.
I did not feed him any grow pup.
I keep telling him to stop growing so big but he just will not listen to me!
5 Year olds can be so stubborn, I wonder where he gets that, certainly not from me!

Beano invited a few cousins and friends over for his party. Have you ever watched a group of 5 year old boys together? It is quite funny and charming anda little disturbing. You'd be surprised with what gusto they get to swinging a bat at a car stuffed with candy. I made all the ones who were not up to bat stand behind a line so we would not have any head injuries. I'm sure the other parents were pleased I was so thoughtful. You're welcome!

I had other fun games and activities planned for the party, but mostly they wanted to run around in a big pack yelling as loud as they could while one of them had an imaginary gun.

Then they found the crab apple tree. They insisted on eating those sour little things. Until they got bored with that and all the crab apples became hand grenades. Who taught them about hand grenades anyway, certainly not me.
Cute or disturbing, you decide!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can't Live With Them, Can't Live Without Them

For A Thought for Thursday this week I found lots of quotes about children and childhood. They are oh, so true. They speak to my soul. So here is a whole conglomeration of quotes all about those little devils we call our future, our angels, our children.

"I would be most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough book shelves."
Anna Quindlen
"The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, the second half by our children."
Clarence Darrow
"You know children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers."
John Plomp

"If your parents never had children, chances are you won't either."
Dick Cavett

"The child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five."
Groucho Marx

"Facing a mirror you see merely your own continence; facing your child you finally understand how every one else has seen you."
Daniel Raeburn
"I have found the best way to advise your child is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it."
Harry S. Truman

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Through the Nose Holes

Doodle has been fascinated with Ancient Egypt and pyramids and mummies this week. It started with a book we have been reading called
The Story of the World: History for the classical Child.
The section on King Tut is very intriguing. Then yesterday we watched a Reading Rainbow about mummies. That got her all fired up. Apparently she pictured mummies as looking just like real people. Watching Reading Rainbow showed her a real mummy for the first time. She was intrigued.
This morning for school we got on the Internet and looked at pictures of King Tut and his treasures, the pyramids and other ancient Egyptian artifacts. Think about it, real live hidden treasure in the sands of Egypt. I wonder if there are more out there we just have not found yet.
So today I'm talking about ancient Egypt. Click here for a video about King Tut and what they think killed him. Click here for more information about the process of making a mummy. Here are a few other fun facts for you.
* Female mummies have gold plated finger nails and toe nails (remind you of nail polish? We just had to paint our nails in honor of the Egyptians)
* King Tut's Tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter. He started working in Egypt as an archaeologist at age 17. He found King Tut a whopping 31 years later.
* Tut became Pharaoh of Egypt at age 9 and died at age 19.
* King Tut's full name is Tutankhamen
* Archaeologists have discovered two baby girl mummies in King Tut's tomb who are thought to have been his daughters.
* King Tut's mummy was buried in 7 coffins (like nesting dolls). Each one was wood plated in gold, except the last one. It was solid gold. That was typical for Pharaohs.
* The pyramids were build for tombs for the Pharaohs.
* Solid gold statues of King Tut were found in his tomb
* The eyes of the mummies look disgusting (Doodle is helping me remember things).
* Before a mummy was made they removed the lungs and other organs and the brain was removed through the nose holes (you should have seen my children's faces when they learned that fun fact! CLASSIC!)
* King Tut has really flat feet
* Over 5,000 people visit King Tut's tomb every year (Someday, I will be one of them!)
So what fun fact have you learned today?
To see what others are talking about this First Tuesday of fall visit the lazy organizer.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fall muffins

Can you feel it? Can you feel that chill in the air in the early mornings and just after the sun goes down? Fall is just at our heals, it will be here before we know it.
I love this time of year.
I love waking up to a house that is 70 degrees instead of 80.
I love seeing all the apple trees so heavy with fruit that the branches are sagging.
I love to look at the mountains near our home and see little specks of orange and yellow and red starting to appear.
I love that the sun takes longer to rise in the morning.
I love watching the pumpkins in the garden patiently waiting for October.
I love all the squashes that are on sale at the farmers markets and in the grocery stores.
I love that I can make soup and not sweat to death while I eat it.
I love the smell of a cinnamon candle burning on my counter top.
I love the warm cozy feel of my home during Autumn.
I have slowly been weaning my family off of cold cereal. That is one of the many things I love about homeschooling my children; I actually have time to make a meal in the morning instead of rushing to beat the school bus. We have been eating oatmeal, pancakes, muffins, eggs and toast, rice cereal (not the baby food), puff pastry, waffles, home made granola, omelets, breakfast burritos, hash browns and smoothies for breakfast. Now just the thought of cold cereal out of a card board box seems bland, to say the least.
I have created the perfect recipe for fall muffins.
They have all the things I love about fall all rolled into a perfectly healthy golden muffin.
They have ripe plump apples, warm cinnamon and juicy raisins.
They make the whole house smell divine.
I made them yesterday and as the kids and I were eating them I just felt Autumn all through my body.
Talk about comfort food.
I know you want to try them too. Just a word of waring before I begin, these are NOT cupcakes. They are very hearty and satisfying, not too sweet, but sweet enough. If you are looking for really cake-y muffins, this recipe is not for you. So here goes...
The Perfect Fall Muffins
1 3/4 Cups whole wheat flour (I grind it really fine like pasty flour) (yes, I grind my own wheat, WHAT? That's NOT weird, I promise.)
1/3 C brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
3/4 Cup milk ( I use soy milk)
1/8 Cup olive oil
1/2 Cup plain fat free yogurt
1 small apple, cored and chopped into tid bits (I leave the skin on)
1/4 Cup raisins
1 small handful old fashioned oats
1. Heat oven to 400. Grease your 12 muffin tin.
2. Mix all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
3. Make a well in the middle and add all remaining ingredients. Mix well.
4. Spoon batter evenly into the muffin cups. Put them in the oven. Bake 10-14 minutes.
5. Breathe in the warm spicy aroma and feel the chill that goes down your spine.
6. Take them out of the tins and let them cool on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes or until the children trample you under their feet to get at those fresh baked morsels from heaven.
7. Laugh at the children when they burn their little tongues on the piping hot apple chunks.
8. Try not to say "Told you so!" loud enough for the neighbors to hear.
9. Shove as many in your mouth as you can cuz if you blink they will be all gone!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Thought From a Genius

"If you want your child to be intelligent read him fairy tales.

If you want him to be even more intelligent, read him more fairy tales."

Simply said by the master himself,


So there you have it, a Thought for Thursday, now go read to your child. If you don't have one go read to some one else's child!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Baby Update # 2,154

Yup, it's time for yet another baby update. He is growing way too fast, and he's way too cute for his own good.
Look how grown up he looks sitting there helping his dad fix the sprinklers. He's very intent on his job of waving the new sprinkler around. He has to be sure it will spray correctly when daddy gets it in. He does not want daddy to have to dig it out again if it turns out to be faulty. He's very thoughtful like that.

Looks like we have another horse lover in the family. No, I did not put my 9 month old on a horse and walk away to take a picture. That would just be asking for trouble! Mr Bird is on the other side of Shadow holding very securely onto Baby Cakes's leg, ducking so he would not hinder the perfect shot.

You should have heard the squeals of delight that came from this cute little boy. Shadow loves him too.

baby Cakes is also starting to pull himself up onto things like the dish washer, the furniture...

He has become dangerous. He crawls all the way to the top of the stairs but he has not figured out how to get down them again. Well, technically he has, but that involves falling and bumps and lots of crying. He's still trying to figure out a better way of getting down that is more pleasing to his noggin.
So there you have it, a day in the life of one very happy,very cute, very active 9 month old.
Makes me tired just writing about it all!
To see what others are talking about this chilly Tuesday visit The Lazy Organizer!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Love at First Sight


October 2003, nearly 5 years ago, we took Doodle (age 19 months) to an annual pumpkin carving party at a friend's house for Halloween. This particular family raises a good size pumpkin patch every year just so they can have this party.

Doodle literally fell in love with one of the pumpkins they had. She would not leave without it. Once we got it home she carried that thing with her everywhere.

It weighed almost as much as she did.

She screamed if we tried to put her to bed without it. Once we put it in the crib with her she was happy and laid right down and went to sleep.

Way back when I only had one or two kids I used to label all the pictures I took so I could remember key information about certain events. Now that I have 4 monsters who has time for that nonsense?

I sure am glad I did it back then though, sometimes I just laugh at what goofy names I came up with for some of these ancient photos.

Want to know what I named this one?

"Doodle and her pumpkin she would not do anything without for about 3 weeks straight"

It's kind of a long name, but fitting, don't you think?

I might change it. How about

Cinderella After the Ball

She is such a cute little sleeping princess.

Fast forward 5 years

Our neighbor gave us this beautiful watermelon from his garden.
Once again it is love at first sight.
She ate, slept, played, went potty with that melon for days.
One day I very enthusiastically suggested we cut the beloved melon and see how yummy a fresh home grown melon would be. I figured if it was that much fun to play with it must be a delight to eat as well.
Boy, was I wrong.
Doodle wanted nothing to do with cutting open her beloved melon. She laid herself on it and sobbed. She insisted we eat the store bought one first, so she could continue her love affair with this scrumptious fruit.

Doesn't she remind you of Pocahontas laying herself over John Smith trying to save his life just before his melon would have been split open by a tomahawk?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bill Cosby and Evolution

Let's try a Thought for Thursday again, shall we?

I need something funny this week, therefore I must go to the master of funny,


"A baby sells itself and needs no advertising copy; few people can resist it. There is something about babyness that brings out the softness in people and makes them want to hug and protect this small thing that dribbles and produces what we poetically call poopoo. Even that becomes precious, for the arrival of a baby coincides with the departure of our minds. My wife and I summoned that grandparents of our first baby and proudly cried, 'Look! Poopoo' A statement like this is the greatest disproof of evolution I know. Would you like a second disproof? Human being are the only creatures on earth that allow their children to come back home."

From his book Fatherhood

Update:I was just reading some of my favorite blogs and I realized today is the anniversary of 9/11. Has it been so long that it takes until 1:30 in the afternoon for me to figure it out?


I just read this blog post about the whole thing and have been bawling for the last 20 minutes. It feels like it just happened all over again. Take a look, it's worth the read!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not Today, Sorry

I know I promised an inspirational quote every Thursday and today is Thursday, but sorry, it's not happening today. I feel like a real mom today. It started at 5am with the Sound that every mother knows well and dreads. A sound that means 5-7 days of at least 5 loads of laundry a day. A sound that means no sleep for mom for days on end. A sound that is worse than finger nails on a chalk board. A sound that makes me wish I were anything but a mom, just in that instant. A sound that no one can ever get used to. Yup, you guessed it, the sound of one of the heathens PUKING. The sound of one of the heathen PUKING IN THEIR BED, all over themselves and the blankets and the walls and floor. I have been dealing with puke all day long. So far it has only hit Dubs, but I'm sure the rest will have their turns. So sorry if I neglect the blog for a few days, I'll be in the trenches of motherhood.
Wish me luck!
UPDATE:See what kind of day it has been? I was just looking at my newest blog post on my blog and I realized it is not Thursday! I have not missed a Thought for Thursday yet. I still have hope. Maybe you'll end up with some sort of thought after all! I'm going to bed while I can!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fun With Light

Do you have unfulfilled childhood dreams? Is there some obscure thing you wanted to be/do when you were a kid that you never got the chance to do? Do you now force that thing on your own kids? Convinced that they must love it because it is the coolest thing on earth?

Well, I do. There I said it, I am a horrible person.

When I was a kid I wanted a Light Bright so badly. I was raised by a single mom of 6 kids. I never got a light bright when I was young. There were simply more important things to spend our money on, like food and shoes.

I remember being very young seeing the commercials wondering how on earth those little pegs could magically light up when stuck in the magic light box.

I remember going to a friends house one time who had one. I sat and played with that thing for what seemed like hours. When it was time to go I was not worried about saying good bye to my friend, it was the light bright I had a hard time leaving. In fact I may recall a temper tantrum being involved

(who me, NEVER!).

Fast forward twenty some odd year later. Mr Bird and like to shop at the DI, Desert Industries, a local thrift store, after our date night dinner. Well, guess what I found for a mere $2.00.

You guessed it, my very own Light Bright!

The kids think it's for them, but it's really mine. What you did not see in these photos is me sending the children to bed so I could have a turn playing with it.

And if one of them becomes the world Light Bright champion they will have their dear sweet mother to thank when they are standing on the podium accepting the gold medal.

To see what other are up to this blue skyed Tuesday visit the Lazy Organizer.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Potty Emergency

Are you a mother?
Are you a father?
Do you have any privacy at all, what so ever?
Do you have a little train of children following you every where you go?
Do they try and follow you into the bathroom?
Do they sit just on the other side of the door and wait for you to come out?
While they are there do they fight with each other just to see if they can get you to come out faster?
When was the last time you enjoyed a nice long, hot shower without monsters pressing their little lips to the crack of the bathroom door to tattle on their sibling?
Do they fight over silly things like rubber bands and safety pins just to see if they can get you to yell at them from the privacy of a nice quite shower?
Oh good, my kids don't torment me like that either.
My children are perfect, aren't yours?
Mr Bird and I have date night religiously. Every Friday night we get a sitter and fly the coop. It is my out, my contact with grown ups, my grasp at any form of adulthood I have left. It is time for Mr Bird and I to just be together. It is the time I can do my hair and put make up on and wear nicer clothes. It is time I can feel like a woman and a lover not just a mommy. Sorry if that word offends, but hey, it's true.
I'm just keeping it real.
Last night on our date night we went to my favorite Chinese restaurant in Utah. I love the ambiance, I love the aromas, I love that they use fresh local grown produce, I love the sizzling rice soup, I love every thing about that place. Last night I found something else I love about that place.
The Bathroom
In the rush to get everything ready for date night I made a mental note to go potty before we left home. I did not want to interrupt my evening with an unnecessary trip to the little girl's room. When I go to this particular restaurant I have to be in the zone. I concentrate very hard and make sure I relish every moment, every sniff of the rich air, every bite of the all too short meal, every last crumb of the fortune cookie.
As I was preparing for the night I had a list a mile long of what needed done before we could leave. Clean the family room, put clean dishes in the dish washer away, put Doodle's clean sheets back on her bed, scrub the toilets, make the children some dinner. When Mr Bird came home with the sitter I hit the door like a bee on honey, I was out of there.
Needless to say I forgot to go potty.
As Mr Bird and I were driving the twenty minutes it takes to get there I realized my foible. As soon as we entered the large beautifully carved wooden double doors I made a bee line for the potty.
As I entered le salle de bain my nostrils were pleasantly surprised by the light fragrance wafting through the air. My bathroom at home has a fragrance too, but let's just say most of the time it is not so pleasant. I went into one of the stalls and locked it behind me. I was the only one in the bathroom. It was silent. I sat on the pot and just listened to all of that silence, I soaked it all in. There was no train of kids on the other side fighting or shooting rubber bands at each other, no baby crying because I left his sight. It was clean and not because I had to scrub the toilets. I sat there longer that I needed to. I really enjoyed relieving my bladder in peace. I was shocked at how pleasant it really was, and I relished it.
Let's just say I love date night on so many different levels.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Am a Mighty Oak

I am an acorn
Full of potential, in need of nourishing
With sun and soil and rain
I sprout, upward and down

I am a seedling
Surrounded by my siblings
Sending shoots and roots
I explore grow and expand

I am a sapling
Reaching for the sun
Tall, trim, flexible
I yearn for more

I am a tree
Roots diving deeper and deeper
My canopy spreads
I grow in strength and stature

I am a tree
Standing in a forest of fellows
Unique in purpose and place
I lift nests and climbers

I am an oak
Soaring above the valley
Victor over fire and flood
I breathe life to all around me
Seasoned, wise
Mostly, I raise acorns

By Oliver and Rachel DeMille
On the back cover of their book
Leadership Education
The Phases of Learning

Thanks for joining me for A Though for Thursday!