Monday, March 31, 2014

Blitz Week - Day 1

Hurray for my hard working minions!

It's Monday evening and we have...

1.  Removed a pile of old (and I mean ooooold!) magazines...

... making my office feel tidier.

Though that feeling didn't last, as this is kind of the "staging area"
for collecting stuff that's going OUT.
I have bags for consignment, for donation, and for garbage.

If it sounds like "cheating"
(as if any of you care that deeply about my crazy project!)
to count garbage...
I'm only counting garbage generated by cleaning out.
Not "regular" garbage.

It started like this...

... and looked like this by the end of Day 1.

We started upstairs with their bedroom, where the boys...

2.  Cleaned out their desk drawers
3.  Sorted out their "save" boxes (treasures)
4.  Cleaned off the tops of their dressers.

One of my boys struggles a bit with organization.
His area went from this

... to this.  (It'll look better with the clean sheets on the bed.)

Much, much tidier,
though I still tease him about the layer of "permacrud" on his dresser.

Gunnar's is a bit cluttery too, but better.

But Tate wins the tidy dresser award.

They also...
5.  Sorted through their dressers for outgrown clothes (or just plain
6.  Checked through the tub of things they may be growing into
(mostly "handy-downs" from Uncle Dave - thanks!)
7.  Stripped their beds
8.  Pulled everything out from under the beds (storage tubs) and in the closet
9.  Dusted everything
10.  Dust-mopped and "swiffered" the whole floor

and moved on to their bathroom (no pics)
11.  Cleaned the shower
12.  Cleaned the toilet
13.  Cleaned the counter and sink
14.  Emptied all the cabinets/drawers but one
(Tate and I still need to organize his HA/CI stuff)
and wiped everything out, organized, and re-loaded
15.  Wiped down all the trim
16.  Swept and mopped
17.  Cleaned the light fixture (dusty)

In the hall, we
18.  Emptied
19.  Sorted
20.  Wiped down all surfaces, and
21.  Re-packed (but neatly!) two large closets

Which generated a LOT of laundry.
And you know what makes me happy?

Laundry on the line :D

Also in the hall, they
22.  Cleaned light fixtures
23.  Sorted through the bin of snow gear
24.  Wiped down the walls - no more brown "strip"
(would someone please tell me while boys as old as these
still run their hand along the wall???)

25.  Wiped (dust) off every picture frame

26.  Dust-mopped and
27.  Vacuumed the hall and stairs


Then, I sent the boys outside to...
28.  Pick up winter windfall - they'd already cleared away large branches,
but there were lots of sticks and twigs.
29.  Clean out the van - garbage and vacuum, and
30.  Scrub all the old spider webs and debris from the front porch.
Wyatt scrubbed the window-sill
(which will probably need to be repainted - EW)

and Tate helped rinse the soap away.

While they were outside...
 I decided it was time to really, really clean the master bathroom.
We remodeled in 2005-6 and I don't think I've ever really cleaned since then.
Wait.  That's not what I mean.
I've cleaned the bathroom tons of times.

See, what I wish I could do
with the whole house really,
is empty it as completely as if
I could turn it upside down and shake it out
and only put back inside
what I want and
where I want it.

But that's too much work.
Tempting, though.

But sometimes I need to take everything out.
Empty every drawer, every cupboard, every cabinet.
And start fresh.

Gunnar came in and about had a heart attack at this point.

But it all got better.  I...
31.  Emptied out all my drawers and cupboards
32.  Cleaned them out (wipe down)
33.  Eliminated all the random and outdated stuff
(Glitter cream from Y2K... what ADULT wears glitter???)
34.  Packed away all the hair accessories I don't need now
35.  Put everything away, all neat and tidy and...


*Happy Sigh*

Meanwhile, three things happened that I failed to photograph.

(Insert Homer Simpson's "Doh!")

1.  I met a bloggy friend and her husband for lunch.  Nina and her family live on a nearby island, but came over to the mainland for a visit.  So glad to meet her (and her husband) in person.  She is just as friendly as she is online :D

2.  I had a great visit with friends - Bruce and Peggy - I haven't seen in ages.  Silly, since they just live a mile or two away.  Bruce had a nasty fall a year or so ago, (he's a window-washer) but has made a miraculous come-back.
So good to see them!

3.  I'm really kicking myself for not getting photos of this... I told the boys that they are each responsible for dinner one night during spring break.  They all had to come up with their own idea (not frozen pizza, or soup from a can) so I can make sure they have what they need.
I will help (and advise) but they have to do the work.

Today, Tate made French Dip sandwiches.  We used this recipe, and I helped him get it all going in the crock-pot right after breakfast.  He chose apple sauce and a green salad as his side dishes - maybe a little unconventional, but nutritious and good!
And made his favorite - Poo Poo Balls (aka Brown Sugar Muffins) - for dessert.

And he made everybody happy :D

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Prayer For Our Children

 Prayer For Our Children
Amy Carmichael

Father, hear us, we are praying,
Hear the words our hearts are saying,

We are praying for our children -

Keep them from the powers of evil,
From the secret hidden peril,

Father, hear us for our children -

From the whirlpool that would suck them,
From the treacherous quicksand pluck them,

Father, hear us for our children -

From the worldlings hollow gladness,
From the sting of faithless sadness,

Father, Father, keep our children -

Through life's troubled waters steer them,
Through life's bitter battle cheer them,

Father, Father, be Thou near them -

Read the language of our longing,
Read the wordless pleadings thronging,

Holy Father, for our children -

And wherever they may bide,
Lead them home at eventide.

Friday, March 28, 2014


My hair.

From this

to this

Old picture.  Same haircut.

My theme:

Low Maintenance

Monday, March 24, 2014

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, March 24, 2014

Outside my window...  now, it's not nearly as spring-y as the photo (probably from May, last year).  But high clouds mean that Wyatt is riding his bike to school (which means that I don't need to go pick him up).  I've been hearing birds in the morning, which I like but Kerry does not.  I think they're a lovely sound to wake up to, but the whole "waking up" part is what Kerry doesn't like ;D

Hearing...  Wyatt and Tate brushing their teeth and shaving (their bathroom shares a wall with my office/craft room).

Pondering...  I'm falling behind on my 40/40 project, but next week is spring break, and spring break means spring cleaning... and other chores.  The boys are so excited... ha ha ha.  They're good sports about it.  I was just talking with another parent at church yesterday.  His kids are much younger than ours and I was encouraging (I hope) that though the kids are a lot of work when they're little, they're such good workers now!  They're a force to be reckoned with.

Praying...  a friend from church going through chemotherapy, Kerry has work but I'm always looking ahead, and for the school transitions coming next fall - Wyatt to the community college and Tate (PT) to the high school.  Eeek!

Thankful...  I still feel like I'm floating with the weight of the (medical) insurance issues off my shoulders - hallelujah!

Wearing...  oh, who really cares?  Clothes.  Jeans.  A sweater.  Blue.

Creating...  space, mostly, by getting rid of stuff.  Also, I've been making some cards.  Found some oooold magazines.  The ads are the best.  HILARIOUS.  Great photos.  They just need captions ;D

Going...  nowhere!  No rehearsal tonight!  I truly enjoy being in the choir, but I'm glad now for the break :D

Reading...  about halfway through Dandelion Fire as a family - we can continue this evening!

Looking forward to...  working with the minions next week ;D

In the kitchen...  I feel like I've been cooking all weekend (pork barbacoa, tandoori chicken, barley pilaf, etc.) and I'm taking it easy tonight - fish sticks and "tater tots", with some veggies.

In the learning rooms...  looking forward to a week of spring break (!) but we'll plug through this week first - Tate is reading To Kill A Mockingbird, so we'll have a lot to talk about.

Around the house...  umm... really, REALLY looking forward to spring break next week - lots of house and yard chores to be done.  Knowing that's coming, I've kind of let things go around the house. Which is no big deal for us, but did give me pause when Kerry invited a CAP pilot/friend over for dinner on Saturday!  I think he was too tired (or too polite) to notice the less-than-stellar look of the house!

The Mother Load...  oh boy, I'll let you know about that next week!

Noticing that...  Tate is a lot less "blinky" - getting used to his contacts, and wearing them for most of the day now.  I need to get him some sunglasses :D

Something fun to share...  Gunnar is quite excited that we will (probably) have Naomi for a long weekend next month.

A favorite quote for today...  I've been reading a bit of Elisabeth Elliott.
Our vision is so limited we can hardly imagine a love that does not show itself in protection from suffering.  The love of God is of a different nature altogether.  It does not hate tragedy.  It never denies reality.  It stands in the very teeth of suffering.  The love of God did not protect His own Son.  The cross was the proof of His love - that He gave that Son, that He let Him go to Calvary's cross, though "legions of angels" might have rescued Him.  He will not necessarily protect us - not from anything it takes to make us like His Son.  A lot of hammering and chiseling and purifying by fire will have to go into the process.
Doesn't exactly sound like you're best life now! does it?

One of my favorite things...  checking things off my (endless) list!  Tate is now registered for high school.  IEP/504 meeting yet to come...

A Bible verse...  Be strong and courageous and do the work...  1 Chronicles 28:20

A few plans for the rest of the week...  school-school-school, prep for Project Week (aka spring break), and take Wyatt to the dentist to see about his wisdom teeth - ugh.

A peek into my world...  a not-so-fragrant sign of spring.  Do you know what it is?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Yah, Sure, It's Your Lefse Recipe

Did I mention how yummy Bea's lefse is?  And how tender?

I could start this recipe like most,
by telling you to boil ten pounds of potatoes
and run them through a potato ricer
while they're hot.

Fun times, that.

But at the risk of thousands of traditional Norwegians' heads exploding,
I'll let you in on a little secret.

Instant potatoes.

Yes.  Embrace the modern world.
Here ya go.


Bring to a boil:
2 2/3 C milk
1/2 C butter

2 C Hungry Jack potato flakes
1 t salt
1 t sugar

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2 - 3 cups flour and mix.

Flour your board and roll thin,
like a tortilla.

Fry on a griddle at about 370F.
When it looks bubbly, it's time to flip.

Eat warm with butter and sugar-cinnamon.

Your welcome ;D

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Cue the Hallelujah Chorus, or James Brown

Thanks to a very helpful Carrie (Kari? Cari? Kerry?) down at Children's,

the boys' insurance is


Oh my word, I can't begin to tell you what a load off my shoulders that is!
That means that all we need to be concerned about for Tate's CI surgery,
is the surgery.
And we're at peace about that.

In other news...

It's testing time at Wyatt's school this week,
which means he's not rushing off to the bus first thing in the morning.
I told him he doesn't have to take the tests.
Because you know how I feel about standardized testing.
(*eyes roll*)

I keep waiting to get a call from the school...

And the sun just came out.
And Kerry and the boys are off to his brother's for the evening.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lefse, Lufki, Whatever

Lefse.  Or, if you're Kerry, lufki.  Lufki?  Maybe he's mixing it up with lutefisk.  And I can tell you without a doubt which one I'd rather eat.


We're happy to interrupt diversify our homeschool morning to make lefse with our Norwegian neighbor!  Bea made the dough the day before, as it needs to sit overnight, and she had several balls ready for the boys.

Tate starts by spreading it with his hand.

Gunnar (in red) and Tate (in green) each had a mat and rolling pin to work with.

Bea kept the griddles going...

... while Ralph watched and encouraged.

She's an expert with her special, homemade lefse sticks.

The boys each learned to lift the lefse without tearing, and flip it onto the griddle.

This one is about ready to turn.

For some reason, this lefse reminds me of Australia, but backwards.  (The pokey part is northern Queensland.  If you use a lot of imagination.)

And here's the best part.  Still warm, spread it with butter, and sprinkle with sugar-cinnamon,

... and enjoy :D  (And excuse Tate's expression - it's hard to get a good photo of someone eating!)

Yum!  If you haven't had lefse, it's similar to a tortilla, but much more tender.  Delicious. We're so fortunate with out neighbors :D