Wednesday, October 13
Just fantastic!! ;D
Anyhooo.....here in Nebraska, on top of the earth, we had our own stuff to deal with!!!
I took the youngsters to the mall and then to Super Target. Mister Jack always has problems leaving Super Target without toys! We have an elaborate game we play with the invisible toys and so on, but today it just wasn't working as well as it should. I tried unwrapping an invisible remote control car and chasing after Jessie with it.... that worked for a short while until he caught on and decided he wanted the real thing. I sat on the floor with him and talked to him, sympathizing with how hard it is to leave a store without buying something ... I have a list of a gazillion things I'd like to buy in Target alone, so I really do feel his pain!! As we sat there, talking as best we could, a nice lady approached me and asked his name. I told her and she said to Jack " Jack, I'm lost, can you tell me where the checkouts are??" Jack said "Sure!" and pointed her in completely the opposite direction!!! She then asked him to please SHOW her where the checkouts were and sure enough he very nicely walked her to the checkouts !! The nice lady congratulated me on my patience and I explained that some days were better than others!!!
Today was a good day. :D
Monday, October 11
One of the spectacular events of the day was when I exploded Red Bean and Sweet Potato Chili all over the inside of my microwave. I mean ALL OVER. **sigh**
My dear and loving friends over at Facebook, upon hearing my tragedy, instantly requested the recipe. Maybe they have a grudge against their microwaves or they REALLY love cleaning. Anyhoo....! Here it is! ;D
Chipotle-Kissed* Red Bean and Sweet Potato Chili.
(Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.)
* I did NOT use Chipotle in mine. So there.
1 tbsp. Olive oil.
1 med size yellow onion, chopped
I med sized red bell pepper, seeded and chopped **
** I did not use red bell pepper as I didn't have any. Again, so there.
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. chili powder or more to taste.
1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups red kidney beans, slow cooked OR 1 15.5oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed. ***
*** I only had soy beans and so used those.... sue me! ( don't sue me....!)
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce or to taste. ****
**** As I said earlier I did NOT use chipotle... :D
Heat the oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and garlic, cover and cook until softened, about 5 mins. Stir in the chili powder and cook for 30 seconds. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to coat with the spices. Transfer the mixture to a 4-6 quart slow cooker. Add the tomatoes, beans and water, season with salt, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours. ( I cooked it on high for 4-6 hours... I'm always running behind! )
When ready to serve stir the chipotles into the chili.
Serve with warm cornbread muffins... you know... if you want to that is! ;D
..... but DON'T reheat in the microwave!!! :D You have been warned!! ;D
Saturday, October 9
Jessie had been saving her money from a Doggy Daycare job and various other sources and we added the rest so she could get an IPOD Touch 4G for her birthday. ( I didn't know what it was either.....!!) I have to say I think I'm going to NEED one now! It's fantastic!!!! :D
Anyway..... Here are some shots from the big day ......
Looking remarkably chipper for 6am.... An IPOD has an App for that....!
The beautiful bunting was made by my Mum... I LOVE it !!
The glitter~fetti that is strewn throughout the house. We start in the birthday girl / boy's room and made a trail to the gifts!!! It's VERY pretty... though a tad messy !! ;D
Jessie, you ARE amazing......
This card reminded me of Jessie when her hair was longer....!
The fabulous dessert!! It's more of a frozen custard than anything else but tastes DELICIOUS!! (Looks like a terrine, tastes like heaven! )I'll put the recipe up in the sidebar... but not tonight!! ;D
And finally, here is a picture of what I imagine Jessie will look like when she is twenty! She took this pic of herself on her IPOD and I was SHOCKED!! She looks so very grown up !!
I think I might have to go and have a lie down.........!!!
Sometimes Jack needs some physical and mental activity that can not be satisfied by toys and make believe. The guy needs to do something REAL. We had a huge pile of bricks behind our garage from when we first moved into our house umpteen years ago. I thought it would be good for Jack to carry them to the front of the house and build himself a wall. It was! He did! I took pics...!!!
I'd seen it on a craft blog, Crafts and Sutch, and it looked easy, effective and fun! ( just like me!! )
We knew we'd have fun making it so I decided to make a little time~lapse video of it! I do not have an editing program so there is one point where the camera falls over and you get a glimpse of the ceiling and another where it gets jostled and all you see for a while is a candle!!! Stick with it and you will get to see the end result!! ;D
Thursday, October 7
Ahhh.... one of Yankee Candle's lesser known fragrances...!! Pumpkin Spice and Singed Cat Hair....!! ;D Stupid CAT !!!!! LOL!!! I could NOT dissuade him from messing with the flame so figured he'd work it out for himself one way or the other! ;D
We had a lovely day today.... the fall temps were in the 80's but the humidity was so low as to be unnoticeable. We went for a lovely walk through the crisp leaves and admired the colors around us. I made dinner in the slow cooker ( love that thing!) and cooked rice in the rice cooker... I also prepared Jessie's birthday dessert and put that in the freezer to firm up! She chose Chocolate Hazelnut Semi-Freddo this time!!! ;D It SOUNDS delicious!! Looks pretty good too and I'm betting it's RICH !!!!!! Can't wait to try it !!! I was pretty proud of myself with all my gadgets helping make dinner a smoother affair!
I've been reading some more Waldorf blogs lately since getting the Fall issue of Rhythm of the Home. I LOVE that thing! It's so nice to sit with a cup of tea and work my way through all the lovely posts and blogs! I'm always inspired to try again ( again again ) with a more Waldorf ~ esque approach to homeschooling and life in general. This post really resonated with me today so after our walk we came home and cleaned the house for an hour! We got so much done, the bathrooms were cleaned, the basement vacuumed, all the laundry was finally put away, the kitchen was all cleaned up and the dishes and pans from all the dinner and dessert preparation were washed and put away, cushions got straightened, toys returned to their proper place and a peace fell upon the house. The children went outside to play with the dog and I finished up preparing dinner. We washed up and the children set the table, I even remembered to light one of our homemade candles. After dinner Jack and Jessie sat and read some books together on the couch. It felt so nice to be calm around dinner time and made getting to bed so very much easier!!
The calm will have gone in the morning though!! Jessie is turning 11 !! She is growing up so nicely! I'm so thrilled to see her blossom into such a lovely person! I imagine sooner or later she'll grow to despise me, but I'm enjoying this precious time where she still wants to be around me and I find her amusing and entertaining company! ;D
I'll let you know how the fancy dessert turns out!! ;D
In Other News, I went for a run with my pal Lisa tonight.... we didn't run far and happily managed to stumble into Panera in time for a large bowl of soup and a delicious ( and FREE) pastry !!! (if you get the Panera card and register it right there at the store you can pick any free pastry you like!!! WHOOT!!! I picked CHERRY!!) So any good work we did with the run was soon taken care of with the delicious calories!! ;D
Oh and also it turns out we've fixed a problem we were having with Jackster. ( I say "We" I mean me!!! ;D ) He was insistent on sleeping in our bed, which is fine, I can see what that would be preferable to sleeping alone and frankly he's warm and snuggly and I do enjoy it, but it's a relatively new development and things with Jack tend to linger longer than with most children so I was anxious to determine the cause of his distress. I assured him that if he wanted to he could still sleep in our bed but I asked him if we could go to his room and determine why it was now "Boooky." It turns out that the toys in his closet ( and there were a lot of them ) scared him witless. He was under the impression that they would suddenly come to life in the night and devour his little self. Thank YOU Toy Story 3...... **sigh** so our landing tonight is lined with box after box of toys which I will be moving to the basement sometime tomorrow!!! Poor kid !!! I took everything out that he asked me to except for the playdoh and his books!! I guess he thinks he can handle the playdoh!! LOL!! ;D Still, once the toys were out he was visibly relieved and happily climbed into his own bed and within minutes of a bedtime story, fell fast asleep.
The moral of this story..... if something scares ya, put it in the basement......!!! Or something like that!! :D
And now I'm off to bed to stretch out in MY space !! ;D well, if I can shove Rex and the dog over of course....!! ;D Goodnight, folks! ;D Don't let the bed bugs bite.... or the freaky toys in the closet...! ;D
Tuesday, October 5
Summer was a blur of sunshine and swimming, camping, traveling, hotels, sleepovers and as a stunning finale, a fun filled and fabulous Jamboree!
We had a ton of fabulous families come and stay with us for a week of homeschooling madness! We chatted and played and drank so much tea that my kettle actually wore out! ;D A new one arrived this morning from Amazon! ;D LOL!
The temps are starting to tend towards the cool side which is FABULOUS! We sleep with the windows open and bundle ourselves under the covers like ...um.... well I can't think of any creature that bundles it's self under covers but you get the idea I'm sure! It's chilly, we're cozy, the end! I love the nights growing darker and cooler, the leaves starting to change and crispness in the air BUT here in NE it doesn't last long and then .....BOOM!! WINTER !!!!! Ah well! We'll enjoy the Autumn days as long as they last!
Who remembers singing this in Primary school????
Catch ya later folks! I'll be writing more now it's not so toasty out there!! Got to run for now... the laundry doesn't fold it's self you know! ;D
Monday, July 12
How to make a marble play the cymbals!
I think tomorrow we'll set the drum kit down there and see what tunes we can play!! :D
Thursday, July 8
"I will no longer eat meat!" " I will only eat fish!" " I will only eat Raw foods!" "I am vegan!" " I need a cheeseburger!" **sigh**
" I love rubber stamping!!" " I am going to scrapbook our entire lives!!" "I am going to sew all our clothes!" "I will make all our bedding!" " I will sew our curtains!" "I'm going to make candles!" " I love to knit! Latchhook! Crochet! Weave! Felt! Quilt! Paint! Bead! Draw! Oils! Watercolors! Pastels! " "I want a potter's wheel!" "I wonder who would take the Potter's Wheel?" **more sighing!**
"I'm going to write a book!" "I'm going to be a journalist!" " I'm going to blog EVERY DAY!" "I'm going to write and article every day!" "I'm going to go to Boot Camp EVERY DAY!" "I'm going to go for a run ! ride my bike! work out to DVD's! do yoga! meditate! EVERY DAY!" "I'm going to do the laundry every day! " "I'm going to clean the toilets, wipe off the sinks and wash the mirrors..... every day!" " I'm going to make the beds...... every day!!!" ..........
Wow!! Even I get sick of myself!! ;D So anyway, what I'm getting at is, though I'm thrilled to find myself in the crafting cycle of my life once again, I am going to make the most of it knowing it's very fleeting!! Maybe I'll get some of my (really?? You have unfinished projects?!?! ) unfinished projects finished off...!!
Today we made silhouettes of the kids!! ;D I've always ALWAYS wanted to try this and was intimidated thinking it would be really hard... BUT it's not!! I'm here to tell you it's a cinch!! :D
Here's how we did it! ;D
First have your subject stand in profile and take their photo.
Then you print out the pics (it's easier in black and white ) and carefully cut around the profile making sure to keep in the sticking up hair etc!
Place that cut out on some black paper or card and cut around it again... carefully! Place your silhouette against some nice colourful background paper...
And there you have it!! Easy and awesome silhouettes!!! Now, be warned... I have since taken profile pics of the dogs and cats.... it's a liiiiittle bit addictive!!
Sunday, July 4
When we got home I set the kiddoes to work slicing fruit... Jack got bananas and Jessie the strawberries. We use a drinking straw to hull the strawberries by the way..... I think my friend Diana showed me how to do that and it's sooo quick and easy! You just poke a straw from the bottom of the strawberry up through the top and Voila, the hull pops right out !! You can thank me later! ;D LOL!! So they sliced and then they layered. It looked awesome.
We went outside and lit the fireworks..... FUN!! The children love the smoke bombs and the parachute fireworks of course! This is the first year that Jack didn't have his fingers jammed in his ears the whole time....in fact he used to stand INSIDE the house with his headphones on!! BIG strides!! :D
After the fireworks we finished off preparing the last of dinner, a pasta salad and cool watermelon stars.... Rex lit the grill and cooked some lovely sausages and a vegan DELICIOUS sausage for me ( Apple and Sage...!! ) ... we set up a table outside with my checked white and red picnic blanket on top and we had ourselves a wonderful picnic whilst watching the displays put on by the neighbors!! At one point I went over the street and delivered some Smores to the neighbors.... I knew I'd only eat them all otherwise!! ;D
Once it grew dark we lit the remainder of our fireworks and the kids played with sparklers.... Jessie was scared and it took her a while to get over it, but she eventually realised how much fun it was! :D At around 10 pm our local city fireworks began.... we can see them well from our driveway though can't hear the huge BOOMS.... I sort of like the boom, but it was handy to not have to leave home!!! The kids grew antsy and tired before the show was over and both of them ASKED to go to bed. I was hardly about to argue so we went up and I put them in bed. All in all I think we had an absolutely lovely day!!!
Once again, photos on Facebook guys.... sorry about that......!!
Click here for photos....
I hope you had a lovely 4th too!!; D
Night all, from the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Saturday, July 3
Just a quick update as I seem to have no time to blog at the moment despite really REALLY wanting to!!!
Since I got back from the BRAN I have not felt the need to go to Boot Camp every day, hell, I haven't felt the need to go ANY day it turns out!!! I do miss it, it's fun and I felt great, but it took out a good two hours of my morning, my most productive time of the day, and since I stopped going I have realised WHY the house was always such a pit and my routines fell completely away! Now I'm back to keeping the house straight, running the dishwasher every night, doing the laundry and, most importantly for me, actually "Being" there for the kids. Sure, I was HERE but I was so wiped out from exercising that I would nap and fall asleep constantly. Anyway, we've been spending lots of time doing "Arts and Cwaps" as Jack calls it. He LOVES it and he is happy to do ANYTHING besides watch TV. I mean, he loves TV but it turns out if you ask him to help you clean the toilets he'd rather do that!! He loves being a Big Helper so I'm trying to take advantage! ;D We've made all sorts of things lately, balancing butterflies, a paper star for the window and a banner that we made today. I'm going to have the kids help me make some neat food things for tomorrow.... S'mores on a stick being one of them!! Yummoooo!!!!
Jessie has been shown how to climb onto the roof of the carport and has adopted that as her "Secret Spot" She hauls the ladder up after her to stop Jack climbing up too. Rex was worried about her being up there but I read something recently that said you should do something that scares you everyday! Also I read something else that said basically life isn't as dangerous as we make it out to be and we all need to take a few more risks. She's fine up there, she is sensible and scared enough not to do anything stupid. She's also SO proud of herself for being brave!! What a neat chick!!
Jackster got a cool recumbent trike the other day and he LOVES that thing. He's finally able to ride a real bike like a big kid. I'm pretty sure we can safely retire his rainbow bike that Jessie used to ride when she was a toddler! He was FAR to big for it but it was the only bike he felt safe on. This new one is fantastic, it has gears and brakes... he's the bee's knees now !!! : D
So anyway, that's us in a nutshell.... more soon!! I really love blogging and hope to have a bit more time for it soon.... any day now...... riiight??!!?
( I was hoping to put a slew of photos onto the blog tonight but it's such a pain in the rear and I'm just cranky enough that I've chosen to put them on Facebook instead!! Are we FB friends?? If not, come and find me!! :D )
Update to the update....... Here's a link to the pics on FB.....
Friday, June 18
I wrote an article about the BRAN today for theMom's on a Mission column in the Star City Sports magazine. The editor said he really enjoyed reading it from start to finish and it was my "best yet" !!! Hmmm.... being the person I am I just presume that my other articles have been lousy but there ya go.... Anyway, I thought you might like to read a VERY brief summation of our week in the Sandhills. Lisa and I are going to get together sometime soon to reminisce and to update the cycling blog with photos and things we recall! ;D Until then... here ya go! ;D
There comes a time in the life of every stay at home mom where she feels she would do ANYTHING to get away from the kids and have just a little time alone. Those times are rare, but when they come up and they happen to coincide with a good friend mentioning she has "always wanted to ride the BRAN"... well... let's just say strange things can happen! :D Riding the BRAN, heck, riding anything more than a short ride to the store or maybe the local park, has never been on my "things to do" list however my friend is very persuasive and back when she mentioned it the ride was still 12 months away... Boy those 12 months went fast. We had big plans of training, riding at least 100 miles in one day, riding two consecutive 70 mile days... that sort of thing. What happened, as is what happens to many parents of young children....life got in the way. The days when sitters were available the weather would be terrible, if the weather was great, there would be no one to watch the kids.... soon June rolled around and we found ourselves at 5am on a bus to the Nebraska Sandhills. It was very traumatic for my daughter to see me go. It turns out that in all her 10 years we had never been apart. I assured her that she would have a wonderful time with Daddy but her first day and night were tough ones. My first night was hard too, sleeping in a tent in a field with 675 other riders, various bike shops and their members, support crews, drivers, families and so on was hard enough, the fact that I had totally underestimated just how cold it can get in Northern Nebraska overnight didn't help matters either. Top that off with a fear of the unknown and neither Lisa or myself got any sleep that night. Our first riding day was a hard one. That is an understatement. Day one was horrendous. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was lovely. The hills, however, the hills were dreadful! Long and winding doesn't do them justice. Oh, and there was a headwind the whole way up.... and, one more thing, the hills never had any downs.... just ups. 82 miles, all up hill. We thought we just might die. Happily the days got better and we learned the tricks to keeping the tent upright in the storms that raged every single night. We learned to take Tylenol PM to ensure a few hours sleep and to make believe the snoring chorus around us was the ocean. We learned to get up at 4, eat whatever food was provided and as much of that as possible and to get out of camp by 6. We learned that no matter how much your legs hurt in the morning, eventually the pain will subside and the rest of the day will improve. We learned to ride in driving rain, headwinds, crosswinds, thunderstorms, we learned to use the hills to gain speed. We learned how friendly Nebraskans are, how much you can long for pie, how the idea of spray cheese and crackers can be the only thing that gets you to the next town. We discovered if the local grocery store doesn't have a tennis ball then a Downy Ball will work to massage sore shoulders. We gained strength, we gained muscle, we gained perspective. We learned how to make fast decisions, we learned to be responsible for ourselves, to make choices based solely on what we want rather than on what would benefit our children or spouses. Riding into Ashland on that last day of the ride we felt like we could do anything. We had grown as people. We had filled our cups and were calmer and more capable mothers. Sometimes Mom's Mission isn't just about taking care of the children, sometimes it's to take care of Mom. How about a Bike Ride Across the Bahamas next year though?? Anyone care to join me?
Saturday, June 5
Sunday, May 16
At 8:30 am we left the house to take the kids to Boot Camp (Jungle Kids) where they worked their butts off and even ran a mile...!! They all had a marvelous time though! From there to the Farmers Market where we walked around the entire place, thrilled at our favorite Rock stall where we learned about the various kinds of fossils and rocks he had, bought rocks and a salt lamp, saw Elayne at her stall, had vegetable egg rolls, climbed on the climbing frame stuff, sat in a fire truck, got balloons, lost balloons etc etc. Rode back from there home to have a quick snack and pick up Daryl and Alex. We then headed out to Morrill Hall for Colorful Creature Day. It was PACKED and fantastic. We all had a super time, met Mike Mennard and bought a CD or two, petted parrots, bunnies, snakes and turtles, learned the difference between true Albino and Leucisitc Albinoism..., played in the discovery center, painted rain barrels, made mammoths, learned about owls, kestrels and frogs, learned about the art of natural history illustrating, did some crafts, sang some songs and bought a museum membership!! From then, a ride home whilst listening to a Mike Mennard CD, We've Got It All In Nebraska, ( a history of Nebraska! ) once home the kids played with bikes, basketballs, Wii, roller skates, movies and skate boards. Alicia suggested Rex and I go out on a date night so we went and changed whilst she started dinner for everyone else! Rex and I went out to Macaroni Grill and Barnes and Nobles. When we got home everyone was ready for bed and the girls were all playing games whilst the boys were watching a movie!!! I got Jackster to bed then joined in the game playing. After the kids went to bed Alicia, Victoria and I tried several bars of chocolate that I got recently and we rated them from one to ten! We then taught Victoria all about median, mean and mode as we tried to find which bar we liked best!! ;D ah, the joys of homeschooling! ;D I can't begin to sum up all we may have learned today!!! Later... pictures. For now, BED!! ;D
Thursday, May 13
Still, I DO love my hubby and am very much looking forward to him coming home this evening which is why I'm planning on making him some cookies in a minute and also picking up all the laundry that's piled on the ottoman in the middle of the living room. I may fold it... I may just stuff it in a basket and hide it in the airing cupboard... he'll never look there... unless we're out of toilet paper **goes to check toilet paper...!!**
So anyway, sorry I've been remiss in posting this week.... We've been on playdates, to movies (Oceans) out to lunch and boot camp boot camp boot camp... We've watched shark week, learned about the Civil War, watched Liberty Kids. We've grocery shopped, dry cleaned, picked up and messed up..... We've had a busy, fun week and it's about to get crazier!! ;D Rex comes home tonight ( about midnight) and Alicia and gang are arriving either Friday or Saturday and staying for a week!! ;D Saturday is colorful creature day at the museum so we are hoping to get to that and there will no doubt be tons of other things to see and do. ....
Anyway, my timer says my typing time is almost up! I'm gong to make myself a GIANT cup of coffee, start the oven warming and get some cookies made...! Maybe if I make them big enough he won't notice the laundry?!?? :D
Until next time, keep on keeping on! ;D
Sunday, May 9
Once they went to bed I came down stairs and started to watch It's Complicated... I've been interrupted once or twice ( or thrice ) but so far it's a fun movie with one or two laugh out loud scenes!! ;D
I imagine I'll soon be headed off to bed... and tomorrow I'm back on my Shred diet..... so I should be in great shape pretty soon! ;D
Finally on a parenting note, I had a bit of an epiphany the other night... I was saying goodnight to Jack as he was falling asleep and I whispered to him "I love you.... and I'm so proud of you. I'm so proud to be your Mum...." and I felt it so deeply I actually began to cry. Those kids of mine, I know I don't tell them near enough, but I hope they know how very VERY proud I am be their Mum and how much I love how they love me.
The best advice from my mother was a reminder to tell my children every day: 'Remember you are loved.'-Evelyn McCormick
When I pick up one of my children and cuddle them, all the strain and stress of life temporarily disappears. There is nothing more wonderful than motherhood and no one will ever love you as much as a small child.-Nicola Horlick
And finally, from the Mama Mia DVD...a song I have a love / hate relationship with... it makes Jessie and I cry everytime........
SLIPPING THROUGH MY FINGERS
Schoolbag in hand, she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile
I watch her go with a surge of that well-known sadness
And I have to sit down for a while
The feeling that I'm losing her forever
And without really entering her world
I'm glad whenever I can share her laughter
That funny little girl
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sleep in our eyes, her and me at the breakfast table
Barely awake, I let precious time go by
Then when she's gone there's that odd melancholy feeling
And a sense of guilt I can't deny
What happened to the wonderful adventures
The places I had planned for us to go
(Slipping through my fingers all the time)
Well, some of that we did but most we didn't
And why I just don't know
Slipping through my fingers all the time
I try to capture every minute
The feeling in it
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Do I really see what's in her mind
Each time I think I'm close to knowing
She keeps on growing
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Sometimes I wish that I could freeze the picture
And save it from the funny tricks of time
Slipping through my fingers...
Slipping through my fingers all the time
Schoolbag in hand she leaves home in the early morning
Waving goodbye with an absent-minded smile...
Chatting on Skype, shopping for new bike gear, dinner, ice cream and a movie....Does it get much better than THIS???!!!
So...all in all a lovely Mother's Day, topped off by my little girl telling me before bed that what she likes most in the world is "reading, Mom......" and other stuff but to be honest I so loved hearing her say "Mom" I didn't hear anything else!!! **myheartswells**
Well the Avatar climax seems to be drawing nigh... guess I should pay attention!!! More later folks!!
Friday, May 7
We set off from Lincoln to Beatrice, a distance of 35 miles and stopped in Beatrice for lunch. It was a little odd that the buffet was closed already but ah well... pizza is good!! ;D We set off back home and got a call from my hubby asking where I was. He said he'd stop along the route and bring us some hot chocolate. It was only upon talking to him we realised just HOW LONG it was taking us to ride!!! Um.... HOURS AND HOURS !!! We'd been fighting a CONSTANT crosswind the whole was up and the way back was impossibly WORSE. It was all we could do to keep the bikes upright and prevent them from blowing into traffic... actual momentum was a whole 'nother issue!!! We were pedaling full speed to go DOWN hill. It was NUTS. Rex kept driving a few miles up and waiting for us, if we were happy we'd give him a thumbs up and keep on going. He drove a little further up the road and met us again. He then informed us it had been AN HOUR since we had seen him last and we'd only traveled a few miles. 10 miles an hour is usually a pretty low speed for us. I am pretty stubborn and had hoped to do a full 70 miles. I didn't want to quit at only 53 miles. I asked Lisa if we could do 60 and stop there. Rex agreed to drive up 7 more miles and wait for us. We watched him drive off and set off on our slug...... Instantly I began to regret letting him leave. The wind was crazy, our energy was low, our spirits were sinking..... I called Rex and said, you know, I think I can be pretty happy with 55 miles!!! We rode to the next junction where he picked us up and took our weary selves HOME!! Since we had such dreadful weather and we knew that we COULD do 70 miles if it weren't for the insanity of Nebraska Springtime we didn't feel TOO bad about the miles that got away! If anything we'd ridden 110 miles...!! It sure felt like that!!! ;D
Thursday, May 6
In short we had a nice day, went to Boot Camp and worked HARD, chatted with Mary and the kiddoes for a while, hung out with the kids then spent the afternoon getting ready for Rex to come home from his week away! Phew!! He should be home any minute and I'm sure he's happy he landed before the storm got here!!
Tomorrow I'm heading 0ut an a 70 mile bike ride!!!! **laughs hysterically** !! I'm sure it will be great!!!! .....!! I'll let you know how it turns out!!!!! ;D
Wednesday, May 5
And now, just for fun, another Chicago number...... Night folks! ;D
Monday, May 3
Sunday, May 2
We had a nice day today...Jack was a pretty good little boy but he misses his Daddy pretty badly. We have a hard time talking to Daddy on the phone as Jack really doesn't like share !! Poor kiddo.
I played basket ball with the kiddoes, played Twister, folded a TON of laundry and yet still there is much to do! :D I want to get a handle on our house pretty soon as we'll be taking off on our BRAN ride in no time at all and I don' t want to leave it in uproar!!
Lisa and I have started a BRAN blog which, when there is anything to share, I will do so!! Until then it's just ready for us to add deets as and when they come up!! We're hoping to ride on Friday for 70 miles. We figure we'll set out in the morning, stop for lunch and ride on and on !! :D
Well.... the dog still needs out and the kettle is not getting any hotter!! :D
Next time, peeps! ;D
Saturday, May 1
Once we were up and moving we got ready to go to Omaha for the day. We were looking for a new tent for "The BRAN" ... EVENTUALLY we settled on one that seems more than adequate in fact it MAY be a tad too big and I'm afraid folks will mistake us for the hospitality tent!!! ;D Anyway, it's pretty and big and we can stand up in it!! SWEET!! ;D
After buying a tent we then went to the computer store and Rex ran in and got me an Eee PC!! I've been DYING to get an Ipad but he said it might be too delicate for the BRAN and maybe I'll get one when I come back!!! ;) This little lap top is lovely though, perfect to carry with us, is wireless so ( provided I get a signal ) I can blog and even SKYPE from the road!! I'm really looking forward to being able to do that!! :D
Anyway, there ya go!! OH and then he took us to Whole Foods and bought us treats and lovely food for dinner...!! I'll let YOU figure out what my hubby's love language is....?? :D
So now I can blog or write my articles from the comfort of my couch right next to hubby...as long as he can stand the tip tap tapping of the keys...!! ;D
Night all! ;D
Friday, April 30
I'm really enjoying this basket ball thing. Jack came running into the house this afternoon asking me "Are you coming?" ... he grabbed my hand and jabbered " You are on MY team!!" as we headed out the door. Once outside he called "Wait UP guys!! Mummy is here! She is on MY team!!" Jack and I play hard but Jessie and Rex are a good challenge! Jessie is doing so well ! I'm really proud of her!
Lisa and I checked out our tent today.. well, Rex's tent. We have a family tent that's HUGE and there's no way we want to take that on the BRAN!! Folks would think it's the information tent or something ! I mean, it's enormous! Rex has a two person tent that he staked out for me the other day. It stood up fine to our terrible storms last night and is a really lovely tent but Lisa and I felt it might be a bit small for the two of us and all
Anyhoo... Jack had come and asked me to take him to bed a while ago and Jessie was fast asleep on the couch. We tried waking her but BOY she doesn't like to be woken when she's so tired. Looks like she's sleeping down here tonight! ;D
I'm really ready for bed too, so I will post more tomorrow! :D
Night night all! ;D
Thursday, April 29
So, tonight, we're staying in! ;D Sleep tight all! ;D
Updated: 10:24 PM Apr 29, 2010
Reporter: 10/11 News
Email Address: email@example.com
A tornado watch remains in effect until midnight for the following counties in Nebraska: Cass, Douglas, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Seward, and Washington.
Wednesday, April 28
Tuesday, April 27
Night all! ;D
Monday, April 26
Anyhoo... after they left I cleaned up a bit and then I went to bed!!! I was suddenly SOOOOO tired!!! I slept for a couple of hours and really could have slept longer but the children were freaking out ... Jack was throwing shoes and yelling.... not conducive to a peaceful nap!!! I felt much better though, for the nap I'd had! ;D
The rest of the evening was taken up with dinner and reading through some of the cycling mags Rex had bought me! There are some lovely rides out there... I'm already thinking of some nice ones for AFTER Bran!!! I guess we'd better get the GOOD tent then eh?!!? ;D
Sunday, April 25
As it poured with rain yesterday I didn't get a chance to try out my bike so was kind of anxious about riding all that way (43 miles ) on an unknown bike!
Lisa and Greg drove me to Omaha and Lisa and I tried to stay warm whilst waiting for the ride to start. We both have new bikes so we tooled around the parking lot figuring out the gearing and the brakes! Once the ride got going we had to stay with the pack. It was a much smaller group of riders than a similar ride in August last year. I think when it's early in the season and colder etc you get a sort of hard core bunch of riders. These folks were fast. Come to think of it there were quite a few riders who either a) took a short ride route or b) dropped out entirely as we saw them at the beginning of the ride and we never saw them again! :D
Anyhoo..... we set off... straight into the bitter wind. Perfect. 43 miles in a headwind. We also had some pretty harsh crosswinds that threatened to blow us off our bikes more than once! We took a different route than last time, this time we traveled a loooong bike trail that wound through a nature preserve. The frogs were going crazy! It was very scenic and helped pass the time. We also had a hill to beat all hills. Boot Hill someone called it!! that was so tough but Lisa and I rode the entire thing despite many a grown man getting off his bike and walking it! ;D Whooot!! That's the Boot Camp Endurance kicking in folks! ;D We were tested at one point as we were nearing the half way point.... it just seemed like it was never going to arrive! We could see miles ahead of us along the flat fields and could see folks riding along. We knew we still had to ride at least that far before we could turn around and maybe have the wind to our backs AND before we could get some food!!!!!
We finally made it to the halfway point and we couldn't eat fast enough!! We turned around as fast as we could and headed back. The way back we just FLEW!! At one point ( on a down hill run ) Lisa was going at 31.9 mph !! Sheesh!!! I just hung back and laughed whilst riding my brakes!!! Anyway we rode like the wind and once we'd got through the pot hole hell that is Carter Lake Park we headed back to the Civic Center. Suddenly, as we were about to pull in, a person leaped out from behind a flower pot!!! Hubby!! He and the kids had come to cheer us on!!! It was so lovely to see them and they bought us a delicious lunch too!! Now THAT was something to celebrate! ;D
Next up, 70 miles.......!! ;D
(PS, I will add some photos but honestly, I'm suddenly REALLY tired. Find me on Facebook and you can see them there.....!! )
We got up at the crack of dawn, at 8:30 I took both kids to Kid's Boot Camp. At 10 we left and went to Astronomy Day at Morrill Hall. At 12:30 we went to Jimmy Johns ( Shimmy Shons! ) and had lunch with Rex then we went to pick up my New Bike!! ;D ( it wasn't ready.... Booo.... : ( ) We went to some computer shops to look at computers for Rex, then we went back to the bike store and I bought a BEEEEAAAAUUUUTiful new Surly Bike!! I LOVE it !!! From there we went to Antelope Park for the Earth Day celebrations.. such a lovely afternoon. We left there as it began to thunder and on the way home it poured so hard we couldn't drive!!! We got home, made dinner and the kiddoes watched a movie, THEN we went to bed. !! Doesn't look like much when you write it down... but it was a BUSY DAY!! :D
Friday, April 23
I miss her dreadfully.
Anyway. I just wanted to share how much I enjoyed talking to her and catching up... I can't wait to do it again soon..... sooner than last time......!!
Thursday, April 22
I packed up the kids and went to Boot Camp again today.... the kiddoes went to the day care and had a great time by all accounts! It's a nice little day care with only a few children and it's right inside the gym so I can see them and they can see me when we work out! After the gym I headed home but had to stop for gas as I drove in on FUMES!!! Found gas, headed home and got there to find Mary and her children sitting on the door step!!!! Ack!!! I knew they were coming, I had just planned to get home before them!! ;D Ah well! So the children played for a while and went for a walk to the park ( with Jack!! ) and they all came home safe and sound! They didn't get to play for nearly long enough but it was lovely anyway! After they left I sorted some paper work for the Market and made an appointment to visit with the Health Inspector..!! Then we had some early dinner, packed up our cares and woes and headed back out to the Gym so I could do my two hour Day Care shift!! A couple of the other ladies were there and it was really nice chatting with them as we watched the children play. It has been really good for Jack as he has to interact somewhat with the others. He seems to be doing just fine and he knows the rule "No LEAVING!" LOL!
Once back from Day Care it was a quick meal for me ( Veggie burger, spinach, salsa, baked apple filled with cranberries, topped with a drizzle of honey, chopped almonds and cinnamon!! SUCH decadence!! ) then bedtime! Jack was so grubby I had to scrub his knees and heels to get him clean! Honestly I don't know HOW he gets so dirty! ; D
Anyway, now time for me to go to bed.... another day tomorrow you know! ;D
Wednesday, April 21
Today was a lovely day, busy ( really??! ) but nice! When I got home from Boot Camp and Day Care, and shopping, and browsing cycle shops it was late afternoon! I got a little work done and then we had dinner. The kiddoes and Rex headed out to play basketball and soon I was invited to join in. We played for quite a while until the children grew tired but Jack would NOT go inside! I invited him to do "Suicides" with me on the driveway and he LOVED that idea! Since Jungle Kids Boot Camp he love to run and do exercises!! Finally I got him worn out and he came in to get ready for bed. Now he is asleep and I am once again sitting here typing instead of sitting snuggling with my hubby! Going to remedy that right now! ; D
Night all! ; D
Tuesday, April 20
Boot Camp, Food Handler's Permits, Boot Camp Day Care and a Doggie Taxi !!! It's no wonder my head spins!! ;D
I only have to watch them for an hour and it goes really fast so it wasn't long before we were headed home again. Once home I made some food for me and the kids. I had a fantasticly tasty salad... spinach, romaine, mushrooms, orange pepper and savory baked tofu with a dish of avocado, salsa and worcestershire sauce mixed into a fabulously tasty Guac!! oh yum!! ! I could have eaten that until it came out of my ears!! ;D
I was just about finished with dinner when Lucy ( the pooch ) started going BANANAS at the front door!!! Rex went to see what was going on and it was a dog! A dog we have seen a few times before!! She's an absolute sweetie, really friendly and soft. We know where she lives, clear on the other side of Hickman, and we have taken her home several times before too. Apparently her electric collar doesn't work!! ;D I said Hi to her and asked he what she was doing here at this time of night! She didn't answer! I opened my van door and she hopped right into the passenger seat!!! Bloody dog !!! She just wanted a ride home !!! ;D LOL!!!
Monday, April 19
Ok, not that short, but really pretty short anyway! I'm so tired I'm falling asleep at the keys! ;D
I went to Boot Camp this morning, came home, cleaned up a little, paid some bills, went for a walk with the kiddoes, Rex came home, we all went to town and I looked at a bike, we went to the park, he dropped us off at Boot Camp where I watched the new Day Care class for an hour then Rex picked us BACK up, we came home, I made a smoothie for the kids and something for myself, put the kids to bed, wrote an examiner article about the Park, and now, I'm going to bed.
Sunday, April 18
I wrote an article about it and there's a slideshow of pics if you wanted to have a look....
Anyway, we went, we saw, we enjoyed, we left, we stopped for Tacos, we came home. I ran the dishwasher, loaded the washing machine, downloaded some pics and changed into my riding shorts. Rex walked in the door, I walked OUT the door and took off for a quick ride with Lisa. We only rode 11 miles as it was FREEEEEZING out there.... her fingers were WHITE with cold. We decided to stop for coffee to warm us and the thrill of the idea send me tumbling into a hedge. Perfect!! I was riding one of her bikes to try it out and the brakes are AWESOME!! TOO Awesome!!! I over steered, over corrected, over braked aaaaand over tipped!!! ;D Ah well, no harm done!! And Lisa didn't laugh TOOO much!! ;D
Hah hah hah. !!!
Saturday, April 17
Alicia and I and the Children thought Egg and Spoon races would be fun!
The pics are a little blurry as Rex was trying a new lens and the sun was
Friday, April 16
Today was awesome! ;D Boot Camp kicked Boot and my ARMS !! Yowzah! I couldn't lift my drink bottle to my mouth halfway though !! Phew!!! It feels good though, I KNOW I've exercised when that happens! After Boot Camp I came home, showered and tidied up the house a bit and then Mary and the kiddoes came to play again!! I LOVE that they came two days in a row!! How awesome is that?!?! :D
The children spent a lot of time riding their bikes to the park and playing there and Mary and I sat and righted the worlds wrongs, sipped tea and knitted some!!! ;D I also made a long list of everything I have to get done this weekend... you know, besides have fun and hang out with the kiddoes! ;D Mary and gang stayed until gone 6 and STILL Jack sobbed and wailed when they left! He was only appeased by the prospect of Boot Camp for Kids tomorrow and then Jorie coming to play with him tomorrow afternoon whilst hubster and I go bike shopping. I say shopping, I mean looking~ with~ longing at. Jack has instructed me I have to go out if Jorie comes.. he wants her with no interruptions from me I guess!! ;D Jessie was excited to hear that we are going to the Pioneer's Park Nature Market tomorrow too but I didn't think Jack would be all that bothered, so that can be a surprise!! :D
So for now, I suppose I'll just go and lay my head down for all of five minutes, wake up and start the madness all over again!! I'm really LOVING all this crazy busy we have going on! It's such an awesome change and I just know it won't last so I'm hanging on to the roller coaster and we'll see when it slows down again !!! ;D
Thursday, April 15
Boot Camp, Friends to visit, a Marvelous Magical Milk Experiment and a delicious dinner with friends!!
This morning I Boot Camped and I felt great ! I worked really hard and kicked my own ass!! ;D After Boot Camp I came home and tried out a new Camel Bak hubby had bought me to carry water on The Bran !! It works well and will keep me well and truly hydrated! ;D Not long after that our friends Mary, Will and Charlotte came to play and the kids ran around outside most of the time! We did wrangle them in to try out our Marvelous Magical Milk experiment!! It was really fun and the kids enjoyed dragging tooth picks through the milk afterwards!!! They had to leave earlier than we'd have liked today but hopefully they have been persuaded to come and play again tomorrow!!
I did some work this afternoon, wrote an article, filled in some paperwork, etc etc and then we gathered up ourselves and headed out to my friend Elayne's house for dinner. She took special care to make me a fantastic Vegan meal.... it was so good!! I'm ashamed at the lousy stuff I've been putting together for my family after that!! And she's not even VEGETARIAN!! It was awesome. It's lucky for everyone at the table that I'm on this diet for Boot Camp right now or I'd have eaten the lot !!! YUMMMY!!! We'd have loved to have stayed and hung out all night but the kids were all starting to freak out so we had to go home! Can't wait until next time!! ;D
Tomorrow looks set to be another Fun Filled Fab Friday !! Bring It ON!! ;D
These pics are from The Great Red Cabbage Water Experiment!! ;D
First you boil up half a red cabbage until the house reeks of it and the red cabbage looks GROSS then you strain out the cabbage leaves and keep the purple water that remains. Pour the cabbage water into several glasses, an ice cube tray (preferably a clear or whiteish one ) or little bowls. Add various household condiments and try to figure out which are more base and which are more acid. As you add your pantry components the cabbage water will change color from deep purple, to violet, pinks to blues and even, if you add the right thing, completely clear!! The kids loved changing the colors back and forth and had a great time trying to guess which color was going to come up next! Alicia noticed that the color changes were less obvious at my house than at hers and we figured it was likely something to do with our water supply... we have VERY hard water here...! Anyway, fun was had none the less! ; D
We used; Peroxide, alum, baking soda, lemon juice, white wine, cider vinegar, white vinegar and laundry detergent.
Serious Sciencsy Stuff !!
Pretty neat fun!! AND we have a ton of purple water left over so we can do it again and again and again! ;D