Saturday, June 28, 2014

Answer Me This: Public Transportation, Roller Coasters, and Allergies

1. How often do you take public transportation?

Living in a small town in the middle of nowhere there isn't really any public transportation.  Which means I never use public transpiration... unless using the school bus when I was a kid counts


2. How many cousins do you have?

On my Mom's side there are 27 cousins
On my Dad's side there are 28 cousins and 9 step-cousins
Which makes a grand total of 64
Just don't ask me to figure out how many including spouses and their kids and so forth.  Because I know that for at least my Dad's side it would put me at 100+.

This is my Mom's side of the family.  It was taken when I was maybe 6.  There are over 80 of us now.  (I'm on the bottom row, 5th from the left.)

I'd include the most recent picture of my Dad's side of the family, but I'll need to track down someone who has a copy of it.  But at that reunion (8 or more years ago) there were 111 people there, with some still missing.

3. Have you ever fired a gun?

Yes, I have got to go shooting with cousins and friends on several occasions.  Though my aim is pretty off, I have fired a gun, and would like to learn to shoot better.

4. Do you ride roller coasters?

Want to, so I could at least say I've been on one.  But there isn't one near me so...

I've made a ton on Roller Coaster Tycoon, does that count?


5. What's your favorite flower?

Daisy!  I love the pretty, simple white and yellow daisy.  Not the biggest fan of the crazy color daisies.

Zach gave me these the night of our first date.

6. Are you allergic to anything?

Penicillin, amoxicillin, exercise, dieting, and health food in general ;-)

Once again I forgot to add next weeks questions so you can play along too!

1. Have you ever walked out of a movie?

2. What do you most often use for blogs and blogging: desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone?

3. Have you ever had anything stolen from you?

4. Do you identify as a member of a particular ethnic group? 

5. Do you abstain from meat on Fridays?

6. Seen anything weird lately?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Splash Pads, Tortoises, and Milk Bubbles

At the end of May the splash pad just down the road from us opened up.  I took the boys to go play there the evening it opened, and they were not happy with it.  James hated getting sprayed, and it was too reminiscent of the cold shower Wyler got for playing in his poop for the umpteenth time.  Every time we went to play on the play ground right next to the water I'd try to get the boys to play in the water as well.  It took several tries but they boys are starting to realize it is actually not too bad.

James venturing into the water, with no urging from mom

Brrr!  The water's cold!

This is actually kinda fun!

It's always better when you have friends to play with
It still takes coaxing to get them to play in the water, but they like it now.  James has no problem playing in the little splash in the above photo.  Anything else I have to stick him in the spray before he decides to play.  For just about any of the water features I have to plop Wyler down in the middle of one before he decides to run and play in the water.  Left to himself he would not go anywhere near the water, he'd rather slide all day long.

A month or so ago I also started to explore Discovery Park.  They boys especially love feeding the ducks on the pond.  Last time we were there the main building was closed while the workers took some people on a tour.  So we hung out in front of the building playing with tortoises before heading home.  (We'd already been by the pond for a good hour and a half, so it wasn't a wasted trip.)  James loved the tortoise and wanted to climb in with them, however Wyler shied away from them.  The only time he touched them was when he slipped in behind me and quickly tapped one on the shell.

Wyler has become interested in making funny faces... well making one funny face over and over.  After about 10 times in a row I find it hard to even pretend laugh.  Luckily James thinks it is hilarious no matter how many times Wyler does it.

Wyler got to participate in the last month of the Mommy and Toddler gymnastics class.  On the last day of class everyone got a medal.  For a few weeks the only time it left his neck was when taking a bath, or when I slipped it off after he fell asleep.  Another item that has become a permanent feature on Wyler is his hat.  It takes a bit of coaxing and explaining he will get to wear it again later if I need him to take it off, say for church.

Wyler also figured out the fun simple joy of blowing bubbles in his milk.  Now he won't even drink milk unless it is in his straw cup so he can blow bubbles at the same time.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Answer Me This

It's time for the next round of Answer Me This!

1. When's the last time you got a new bathing suit?

Well, I believe it was before our Albuquerque trip to see Les Miserables... which puts it two years ago. While at the hotel up there we took Wyler swimming for the first time, he was 10 months old.  It took him a few minutes to warm up to the idea.  But he sure enjoyed it!

Not of him swimming, or of my suit, but from the same trip.

2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?

My sister Marquette asking what my plans are for the Richins Roost (our family reunion).

3. If you receive communion, do you receive it in the hands or on the tongue?

I receive the sacrament in the hands, in remembrance of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.


4. Do you have a tattoo?

I do not have a tattoo.


5. How many dinner plates are in your house?

I have about 10 of them.  And all but one is currently dirty.  I should probably do some dishes before dinner...


6. Do you have an accent?

I don't think I do.  While growing up I did have one or two people tell me I have one.  I'm sure if I went to England they would say I sure do.

I forgot to add next weeks questions!
1. How often do you take public transportation?

2. How many cousins do you have?

3. Have you ever fired a gun?

4. Do you ride roller coasters?

5. What's your favorite flower?

6. Are you allergic to anything?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Few of my Favorite Movies

I thought it would be fun to share five of my top favorite movies with you!  (They are in no particular order.)

1. North and South

I love this adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell's novel North and South, starring Richard Armitage and Daniela Denby-Ashe.  Margaret Hale (Daniela Denby-Ashe) is a young woman from southern England who moves to move to the north after her father decided to leave the clergy. The Hale family struggles to adjust to the industrial town's customs.  While there they meet the Thorntons, a proud family of cotton mill owners who seem to despise their social inferiors.  North and South explores the issue of class and gender, while Margaret's sympathy for the local mill workers clashes with her growing attraction to John Thornton (Richard Armitage).


2. Pride and Prejudice

Ok, so I really have to specify the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.  Pride and Prejudice follows the story of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet's five unmarried daughters after the rich and eligible Mr. Bingley and his status-conscious friend, Mr. Darcy, have moved into their neighborhood.  Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, while Mr. Darcy (Colin Firth) has difficulty adapting to the local society and repeatedly clashes with the second-eldest Bennet daughter, Elizabeth (Jennifer Ehle).


3. Sense and Sensibility

After the death of their husband and father the Dashwood women are forced to take a step down in society and become virtually penniless.  Sisters Elinor (Emma Thompson) and Marianne (Kate Winslet) have very different perspectives on life and interests, yet they keep each other in line and support each other in death, hardship, love and in friendship.


4. Frozen

Who doesn't love Disney's Frozen?  Not only does it have amazing music, but I love the theme of sisterly love in it.  Even before I knew what it was about, when I heard Idina Menzel (who plays Elsa) was singing in it I knew I had to see it.  It tells the story of a fearless, yet awkward, princess who sets off on an epic journey to find her sister, the queen, whose icy powers have frozen the kingdom in an eternal winter.


5. Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit series

Ok, so this is technically 5 movies so far, with another coming out end of this year, but I love this series!
Lord of the Rings follows the quest of Frodo Baggins and his companions as they travel to Middle Earth to destroy the One Ring.


The Hobbit follows Bilbo Baggins, 13 dwarves, and the wizard Gandalf the Grey as they travel to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim the dwarves home land from the dragon Smaug.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Let's Hear it for the Boy

The Iron Crafter theme for the last two weeks was Let's Hear it for the Boy.  We were to create something for the male(s) in our life.  I ended up making several fun things, not all really were crafting, but I had a lot of fun.

The first thing I made was an air fort.  I draped a sheet over our big floor fan to create a bubble.  While Wyler was excited to play in the fort James loved jumping on it.

Since the boys were having trouble figuring out the bubble fort I made a regular kitchen chair and sheets fort.  However when Wyler dove over the top of the chair, fully expecting the top of the fort to hold him, I decided this fort was going to be put up.

I then revised the bubble fort by safety pinning two flat sheets together (that way I didn't have to use chairs or anything to hold the sides down), stuffed the fan in one end and it made an awesome fort.  I just need to sew the sheets together (the boys tried to climb out between the sides where there wan't quite enough space) and find a way to keep the fan from falling over.

My official Iron Crafter craft was a huge pile of bean bags.  I am working on a blanket for James and had a bunch of left over squares.  I decided they would make great bean bags for my boys, nephews, and maybe the neighbor boys.  I was able to make 18 total.  I didn't have quite enough old dry beans to fill them so some have rice, some have lentils, and some have split peas.  It was fun to put together, and Wyler was loving the ever growing pile of bean bags.

Then Saturday I made some Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, with a hint of hazelnut flavor for Zach.  I then went out to the garage to help him weld on a project he's been excited to do.  I don't have a picture of that project, but it was kinda crafting right?

Then on Monday I got some big boxes from my neighbor.  The bigger box I am able to sit in, along with the boys, the other is just a touch to narrow for me to fit in comfortably.  Zach and I cut doors and windows in the boxes.  The boys now have two fun cardboard houses!

If you happen to have huge boxes, and know of a family with little ones send the box over to them.  The kids will thank you over and over :-)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Answer Me This

Kendra over at Catholic All Year has a weekly post called Answer Me This where you are asked several questions that you answer, then tag others to answer them.  I thought it would be fun to link up to it and start doing the Answer Me This every week.

1. What’s something you intended to do today, but didn't?
I was going to cook a pork roast in the crock pot, but since I didn't get it out to thaw yesterday it doesn't look like we are going to be eating it today.  I might still stick it in, just cook it all day long so it can be ready for tomorrow's lunch.

Now what do I do for today's dinner?

2. What's your favorite grilling recipe?
We don't do much grilling (we will when we get a decent grill).  I probably like ribs.  We got a lot of tips on cooking ribs from the show BBQ Pit Masters (we found it on Netflix, I suggest only watching the 1st season...).  We put our favorite dry rub on them, let them cook until they are tender enough to easily take a bite off but no to where they completely fall off the bone with one bite.  During the last 15-30 minutes we smear BBQ sauce all over them.


3. What movie did you see most recently?
The move I saw most recently was Bewitched with Will Ferrell.  However last night I listened to the 10th anniversary production of Les Miserables, starring Colm Wilkinson while sewing.  I watched every now and then, but mostly just listened.


4. Would you say your tendency is to over or under react to medical situations?
Depends on the day and person.  When it comes to kids I probably over react.  When it comes to adults who can actually tell me when they are hurt/sick I probably under react since they can take care of themselves.

5. Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it?
I squeeze it.  Every little bit out of the tube before I throw it away.


6. What are you doing for Father's Day?
Last night I helped Zach out in the garage on a welding project he has been pretty excited to work on.  Otherwise nothing exciting.  We usually do Father's and Mother's Day fairly low key.  Today we are going to go to church.  I'm letting Zach sleep in. Simple things like that.

Next weeks questions are:

1. When's the last time you got a new bathing suit?

2. Who made the last incoming call on your phone?

3. If you receive communion, do you receive it in the hands or on the tongue?

4. Do you have a tattoo?

5. How many dinner plates are in your house?

6. Do you have an accent?

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Life in Pictures

Once again here is our life lately in pictures.

We love the stroller from Grandma Darla.  We take it everywhere and have used it more than our single seat stroller (and I used that thing a lot too).

Wyler loved calling the Grandmas for Mothers Day.

We spent Memorial Day morning out playing in the dirt.

The boys were covered in dirt.  It was even in their diapers.

It was a lovely morning.  Warm, sunshiny, and great company.

Our AC was out for about 24 hours.

The boys thought the huge fan I brought out to keep us cool was pretty awesome.

It took awhile for them to leave the fan alone and play with something else.

For some reason James has done this a few times now.  Don't know if he was originally trying to crawl under the horse, or what...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Giving Plate

I recently started to participate in the Iron Crafter challenges from Just Crafty Enough.  Every two weeks we are giving a theme and the day before the new theme is revealed everyone shares what the made.

The theme for the past two weeks was "A dollar, a euro, a pound..."  We were to create something mainly using supplies from the dollar store.

I saw The Giving Plate on Pinterest awhile back and thought it would be something really fun to make lots of and give to family and friends throughout the year.

I hit the Dollar Tree looking for plain white ceramic plates.  I left with a plain white plate, a fun rainbow plate, and a plastic red and white plate.  I had to hit Walmart to get the Sharpie paint pen (from what I've read they work a lot better than a regular Sharpie).

Once I had a few minutes to put it together I preheated the oven to 350 degrees.

I then wrote The Giving Plate poem on all the plates.

"This plate shall have no owner for its journey never ends,
It travels in a circle of our family and friends.
It carries love from home to home for everyone to share,
The food that's placed upon it was made with love and care.
So please enjoy what's on the plate
Then fill it up again,
Then pass along the love it holds to your family and friends."

I put the ceramic plates in the oven for 35 minutes and I set the plastic plate off to the side to dry.

I when the 35 minutes were up I turned off the oven, and left the plates in until they were completely cooled.

I decided to do a test wash to see how the marker held up, and it stayed!

And here are the finished plates!