Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My son, the carpenter

I'm starting to understand a little bit of the pride Mary must have felt in her son.

I know, in Joseph, she likely did not want for quality craftsmanship in the "honey-do's" of her time. He was a skilled carpenter.

I have a skilled husband, as well. His imagination, and I think his determination, know no bounds. I have many projects around the house from his skilled hands.

But, I'm finding there's nothing quite like resting your feet on the footstool that your son made for you, whether slightly imperfect or not. Watching the creative process come to fruition at the hands of a 9-year-old boy is a proud sight for this mama.

Saturday, we were having a pretty lazy morning. I was working on cleaning out the scrap room (more on that later), and Chance and Colton were either playing or vegging. By noon, I was tired of cleaning. Okay, who am I kidding, I was tired of cleaning by 9:45. I started at 9:30. But, as a result, I was a bit short on patience.

Neither boy was hungry, so I told them to go outside and find something to do. They had parked in front of the tv and computer long enough. Problem was, it had just started sprinkling. While I did not know of this precipitation when I laid down the gauntlet, I refused to let it weaken my resolve.

Chance, in an act of defiance, sat in a green chair right outside the door, under the porch. Technically doing as he was told, but having his own way nonetheless. He'd show me.

Matt saw him, and invited him to the shop to work on a project. Thankfully, Chance took him up on it.

Later in the afternoon, he was back in the house for a drink and a break. He asked me if I'd like a jewelry box. I would love a jewelry box! But, I was afraid it might be a bit beyond his current woodworking abilities. We spoke of necklace hangers, earring drawers, and all the complexities a jewelry box may hold, and I tried to steer him in a different direction.

When I was cleaning out the scrap room, I found many "good intentions" bags. You know those, right? The bags full of supplies and tools for the perfect Christmas present, the funkiest gift idea, the shabbiest, chicest, do-it-yourself home decor? I have so many ideas, yet so little follow through. Anyone want to make some vellum wrapped candle holders? Because I've got the supplies to make about 20, and it's all headed to a yard sale.

Anyway, I had found a bag with some cord, tassels, fabric, and caster wheels. I was going to turn a trunk into a footstool. I told Chance he could have the caster wheels for a project, and he asked me why I bought them. When I told him the original idea, he asked if I'd still like a footstool. I would love a footstool!

He had me sit in my chair and put my feet up, while he measured the height. Then we discussed length and width. He had no desire to start with a silly trunk. He wanted to start from scratch.

Two days, a sheet of plywood, some fragments of 2 x 4's, and two sets of caster wheels later, the rough draft of the stool came in the house. It looked pretty good!

A trip to Wal-Mart for some stuffing and fabric, and we were ready to finish up. Matt and I helped him cover the sides last night, and we finished with a pillow top tonight. He even still used the decorative buttons, and it looks SOOOOOO GOOD! And, it opens to hold all my magazines. Smart kid ;)

I'll let you judge for yourself:

What do you think?

What do you imagine Jesus' first project was?

Was it imperfect in any way?

If so, are you with me that Mary still couldn't have been more proud?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Black Powder Mama

I shot my first 54 caliber black powder rifle yesterday.

Okay, you got me - I shot my first any caliber black powder rifle yesterday.

What a wonder!

The only way I can see we won the revolutionary war was that the other side also had to do the same tedious measuring, pouring, packing, capping stuff before you could shoot ONE shot. It would have required much more patience than I possess.

I missed my target (I was a bit high), but I'm already certain Matt doesn't have it sighted in right, because Chance was a bit high as well. After all that rig-a-ma-roll it took to get a bullet (or miniature cannon as it seems to me) loaded, you'd think I could at least hit the target!

Oh well, better luck next time.


Black Powder Mama

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mr. Lincoln, I wish you were here . . .

Dinner Question!

Who is your favorite President and why?

Colton - George Washington, 'cause he was first, and he got to make all the laws.

Chance - Abe Lincoln, because he freed the slaves.

Matt - Ronald Reagan, because he said "tear down this wall", and worked so hard to end the Cold War.

Heather - George Washington, because he didn't seek the office, was respected and nominated by his peers, and led the country to devise a system of government under God.

PS - as for the title, a little bit of Hank:
Mr Lincoln, I wish you were here.
The Republic's changed a lot in a hundred years.
And I don't think it's working like you planned.
Hey, Mr. Lincoln, we sure could use a hand.

BOCEPHUS Music, Inc.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

How old are you, anyway?

Daddy, where's the chore chart?

On the counter, I think.

I'm going to do a couple chores before school this morning to earn extra money.

*Side note - the boys each have chores they are responsible for, just for
the joy of living in our home. Then, there's a list at the bottom of paid
chores. Chance is trying really hard to earn enough money to buy his own hunting
rifle. My dishwasher has never been emptier :)

So, he finds the chore chart, and you can hear him saying - don't wanna do that one, not gonna do that, don't like toilets, etc, etc, etc . . .

Matt says - Hey buddy! You should consider yourself lucky that you even get paid for this stuff! When I was a boy, the chores were bigger, there were more of them, and they didn't pay but a quarter of what you're getting.

Dad, back when you were a kid, a quarter was A LOT of money!!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

This is maybe or maybe not why I'm 2# up in the weigh in today

Okay, I am trying. Really, I am.

Kind of.

But, right below the e-mail from Jillian (Biggest Loser Trainer) was an e-mail from Paula Deen.

That led me to the Deen Brothers Cookbook, in which they have a recipe that says when they need a quick donut fix, they just take the cans of refrigerated biscuits, use a small round cutter to cut a hole in the middle, and fry them up.

And I had just such a can of biscuits in the fridge.

They were lowfat.

I think I successfully remedied that little situation.

By soaking them in approximately 1-1/2" of grease at 365*, 3 minutes each side.

Then sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar.

And, in case you are wondering, 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and 3-4T of maple syrup makes a mighty fine maple frosting for those deep-fried rings of love.

I need professional help.

Thanks, Paula and Sons. These were heavenly . . .

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If I didn't know now what I didn't know then

So, this was going to be a fun, lighthearted post about a statistics site that Matt linked me to in an e-mail today. It's got some fun stuff - everything you'd want to know from the amount of newspapers published today to the hectacres of arable land lost to soil erosion.

Check it out here - http://www.worldometers.info/

As I was first perusing it, all I could think was, my bloggy friends will love this site! There's something here for everyone!

Then I got to the Health section at the end.

And found out the number of deaths by abortions this year is equal to the number of all other types of death on the chart COMBINED.

It hurt my heart.

Heaven help us.

What statistic on this site surprised you the most? Were there any that you already knew?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Calling Home

I am reading a book called The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan. You might have seen this clip from her on YouTube and fell in love. I did, and it made me buy her book.

I am only in Chapter 1, but a quote caught me from the prologue that I couldn't help but share. Today is my mom's birthday, and though I was thinking of her already, this made me do so even more:

Calling home. Instinctively. Even when all the paperwork - a marriage license, a notarized deed, two birth certificates, and seven years of tax returns - clearly indicates you're an adult, but all the same, there you are, clutching the phone and thanking God that you're still somebody's daughter.

I have a home like that. And I know if ever the need arises, I have a mom like that. Thank God.

Happy Birthday, mom! I'm so proud to be your daughter. I couldn't think of ANYONE I'd rather call home to talk to.

I love you!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Dealing with reality

Okay, so here's how it plays out.

I have always coveted the type of hair in the first picture.

Unfortunately, my hair cooperates with my stress reaction much like the second picture, except worse - especially the last few months.

I knew I didn't want to go as drastic as the 3rd picture, although it was tempting in many ways.

So, I told the hairdresser to cut my hair back to the point of all the breaking and falling out. Cut it back to the point where I actually had hair to work with.

So, here's where we ended up.

She says it should all grow together now, as long as I take my vitamins and keep taking care of myself and my hair. We'll see.

Irregardless, it's gonna have to do for now! At least it's a renewable resource . . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

The men all want this:

The women have to deal with realities like this:

And most of them would rather just quit dealing with it, and go with this:

Where are you in the great hair debate? Long? Short? Anywhere in between?

I'll let you know my (new) position tomorrow . . .

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Rest of the Story

We had a weekend worthy of a Paul Harvey broadcast. Couldn't have possibly fit it all in one segment. You would have had to come back for "the rest of the story."

Alas, it's not to be. The great news and information icon passed away this weekend - less than one year after his wife. I bet they are enjoying heaven - what with all those unanswered questions answered, and stories finished.

So, I guess I'll tell you my story. We'll try and make it in one segment, but you know that means you get the ever handy "list" format. In a timeline. Try to keep up . . .

Friday - 7:30 am - off to work. Boys stay home with dad and have a great day (see previous post). I actually get a lot done.

Friday - 4:00 pm - get off early to watch the boys' high school basketball team play in the state playoffs. They've made it to the semi-finals!

Friday - 6:20 pm - quick dinner at McDonald's drive-through before going to the coliseum.

Friday - 9:00 pm - they won! Great game. Lots of excitement. They will play for the championship tomorrow. Woo Hoo!

Friday - 11:00 pm - Make it back to town. Pick up truck from repair shop. Stop at Safeway for breakfast and lunch essentials for tomorrow.

Friday - 11:30 pm - Finally home. Actually stayed awake and talked with Matt during the drive. Make biscuits for tomorrow's breakfast. From a can. Set out clothes. Pack hockey bags.

Saturday - 5:30 am - Is that my alarm? Isn't it Saturday? Can't we sleep in? No.

Saturday - 6:00 am - After a snooze (or two) and a shower. Make eggs & sausage for breakfast sandwiches. Assemble biscuits, meat, eggs & cheese. Make special bowls for Chance & Colton, who decide they don't want sandwiches after all. Find plastic spoons and napkins for car. Pack extra clothes for boys. Pack cooler with drinks, snacks, and lunch for the day.

Saturday - 6:30 am - Leave for "nearby" college town for hockey tournament.

Saturday - 9:15 am - Arrive at said town. Use very handy "Around Me" application in iPhone to quickly find the nearest Starbucks. Suddenly everyone is happier.

Saturday - 9:30 am - find ice rink. Get Chance dressed. Figure out Colton has no coat, and we are attending TWO hockey games today. Wrap Colton in a blanket. We are ready for Chance's 10:00 game. Which isn't supposed to start until 10:30. Dang. Coulda slept another 1/2 hour.

Saturday - 11:45 am - Chance's team loses 5-2. It was a good game, though. Tied 2-2 at the start of the last period, then we kind of shut down. Chance scores his first goal in a real game as a Squirt. It was awesome. Sydney Crosby, watch out!!

Saturday - 12:00 - Head to nearby town for 2nd game of double-header.

Saturday - 12:30 pm - Arrive. Quickly dress and prepare for 2nd game, which was supposed to start at 12:30. Now we are the ones holding things up. Ugh! The flakiness - it is getting to me.

Saturday - 2:00 pm - Team loses 10-1. We are gassed out. There were moments of brilliance, but they were fleeting and far between.

Saturday - 2:30 pm - Head for tourney-town. Mapquest says 4 hours. I think it's wrong. It wasn't. Eat packed lunch on the way.

Saturday - 5:00 pm - Take a break at Sportsman's Warehouse. We all need to stretch our legs. Matt need bullets. Good combo.

Saturday - 6:30 pm - Arrive in tourney-town. Head to famous burger joint to eat dinner. It sucked. Known for their size, not their flavor. No thanks.

Saturday - 7:00 pm - Head to the coliseum and find our seats. Girls' game before ours is a great one. Down to the wire. Girls played hard. Fun to watch. Our game is a nail-biter. We end up losing by 7, but the game was within 2-5 points, going back and forth the whole way. 2nd in the State - not too shabby!

Saturday - 11:00 pm - gas up and head for home. I don't make it this time - I'm asleep at the top of the first hill. Matt has to go it alone. Thanks, honey!

Sunday - 1:00 am - Finally home. Lug in boys, coolers, bags, and hockey stuff. Try to lay out sweaty hockey gear--it has only a few hours to dry.

Sunday - 6:30 am - Is that really my alarm? Isn't it Sunday? Can't we sleep in, even a little? No.

Sunday - 7:30 am - Head to town for church. One bonus, boys are tired, and very easy to keep still during the service. One drawback, Matt and I are tired, and very hard to pay attention during the service.

Sunday - 9:15 am - Again, to the ice rink - via Starbucks.

Sunday - 10:00 am - Chance plays another hockey game. We lose 3-0, but it is the best game of the weekend. Our last game with this team was a 10-1 loss. We are getting better. They look a lot better. Maybe I'm just groggy.

Sunday - 12:00 noon - Finally HOME! My chair never felt so good. Make a quick lunch, and settle in for a good, old-fashioned afternoon nap. Whew! We made it!

Thank you so much, Matt, for all your help this weekend! We make a great team! I know I couldn't do it without you. Wouldn't ever want to try. Hope you're getting some rest at work today - heaven knows we both need it!!