Monday, December 3, 2012


I like my stationary bike a lot, but not for the reason that you're thinking of. It was a great find from a second-hand store: $15 and the only thing that doesn't work is the speedometer (why would you want to know how fast you're going if you're not going anywhere?). Yes, it is nice to workout inside during the temperature extremes of Summer and Winter. Yes, I'm glad my children see me exercise and want to do it, too. Yes, I like feeling productive while watching tv. But the main reason I like my classic Schwinn stationary bike is because when there is no room on the couches, I can still sit on my bike to watch tv. My bike can never get cluttered.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Scripture time

Sometimes we can read scriptures and have a meaningful discussion. Sometimes we can barely get one verse read before the kids melt down, and we wrestle them into bed. Occasionally one or more of the children fall asleep, and we have to carry them up to bed. Tonight was different from them all.

First, the children all piled onto Dominic. I started reading, but the kids were too noisy. Dominic shooed them off, settled them down, and I started reading again but had to stop. Makayla kept laughing; turns out I was absent mindedly tickling her. Oops. Okay, I stopped tickling her and started reading again. But then Samuel started laughing a lot. Benjamin said, "Stop laughing, Samuel! Stop laughing!" He looked up at us; "I'm tickling him," he said with a big grin. Let's try again. I read quickly, getting a little louder at the end to talk over the rising noise level. At least no one laughed again. Rachel was the first one to get serious, so she got to say the family prayer.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Too many cooks spoil the soup, literally

Last night Dominic came home just as I finished the ham and tortellini soup for dinner. He wanted to show me the Christmas presents he had picked up for the kids. I turned off the stove and followed him upstairs to our bedroom. He locked the door and pulled out the toys. We spent a couple of minutes excitedly discussing what he'd found. Then we went back downstairs.

I had the kids clear off and set the table. I buckled Makayla into her highchair. Then Dominic tasted the soup. It was almost inedible! The herbs I had used were in a different place, and one of them was wet. Benjamin admitted seeing Rachel pull the basil jar out of the pot. It turns out that both Rachel and Elisa "helped" by adding more herbs.

Dominic spent the next ten minutes or so adding cream of chicken soup, leftover broccoli and rice casserole, and anything else that could dilute the herbs. I'm so glad I used the large pot, which could handle the extra volume. We ended up with a very different soup than what I made; it was delicious. I am very grateful for Dominic's culinary talent. He saved dinner!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

I have discovered how to take advantage of and enjoy Black Friday sales.
1) Nothing is a must-have.
2) Shop when I feel ready, whether that means staying up all night, waking up early, or sleeping in.
3) Avoid the doorbuster sales by at least one hour to escape all the mobs and craziness.
4) Ask a salesperson: is an item in an unusual place or sold out?
5) Other shoppers are very nice. I have had many conversations with people around me or next to me in line. After all, we're in the same boat.
6) If a store has only one thing I want, it isn't worth going after. Simplify the day by only going to a select few stores.
7) Treat myself to little indulgences, like an occasional candy bar.
8) Leave the kids at home when possible.

Today's stats:
29.5 consecutive hours I was awake
2 times I tried but couldn't sleep
10 o' clock in the morning when the rest of the family joined me
8 stores I visited
3 each of candy bars I ate and sticks of gum I chewed

7 free hot dogs we ate for lunch at The Yard Sale Place

 Why do I do it almost every year? Because I actually like it.

Friday, October 5, 2012

I Am Death

It was a battlefield; a massacre, really. Bodies everywhere. Some stunned, moving oddly. Others mangled. I couldn't walk without stepping on at least one body. As I surveyed the scene around me, gripping the electric bug zapper, I heard more flies buzzing from their hiding place. I ruffled the curtain and two more flies flew out. I chased them down. One escaped to the other room, but I got the second one. It fell, stunned, to the floor. A wing flapped wildly and made it look like a little, black spinning top. I stepped on it. I hate flies. I am the fly slayer!

(I've got to talk to the kids again about closing the back door behind them.)

Friday, September 28, 2012

Unexpected side effect of fishing

As a child Dominic often went fishing with his dad and grandpa. He hadn't been fishing for over 20 years when he picked it up again this summer. It took a little while, but he got the hang of it again. The children are used to Dominic coming home with several blue gill. The other day he called during a break at work, and Elisa asked how many fish he'd caught. Sadly, he hadn't gone fishing that day. The kids like to chase each other around with the fish saying, "Fishy! Fishy!" in growly voices. Even Makayla, at 18 months, runs around growling and laughing with the older kids.

By the time Dominic gets home, the fish are usually dead. Sometimes the fish still try to breathe or weakly flop around until we put them in the freezer. I joke that we should throw them in the pool to keep it as a pet. We never did, until now. Dominic caught a decent sized crappie today. Not only was it still trying to breathe and flop, but it also looked around at us. This time when I said we should keep it, Dominic actually put it in the sink!

Black crappie, our pet fish for the evening
We all watched it throughout the evening. It would swim a couple of laps, float on its side, come up to the surface like it was trying to eat, and then do it all again. The kids loved it. They got so excited every time it swam or waved a fin. Now they really want a pet fish. We told them that it probably wouldn't survive the night (it looked pretty pathetic). After the kids went to bed, we put the poor thing out of its misery and stuck it in the freezer. We also said that we will get a beta or goldfish if they really want a pet fish. Besides, we bought a rabbit a week ago; we don't need another new pet so soon.