Jul 7 2010

essential life skills {10} be excellent to each other

Jul 7 2010

essential life skills {9} go to serene places

I have been planning our vacations lately. There are some amazing places out there. We thought about going up to Seattle before Gentry starts school again. There are some beautiful houses to stay in there.

You can book your reservation here. It is on Harstine Island which is about 2 hours from Seattle. It is secluded and right on the tip of the island.

This house is on the northern part of Gig Harbor, it is decorated really cute and has a little hut on a private beach for Gentry to play/live in. I know that we would love it here.

This one is on Mutiny Bay which is near Puget Sound. You would have to do a drive on ferry to get there. The house is gorgeous. And a car on a boat, Little boy heaven. Also little boy heaven, a beach full of sticks. Did you know sticks are guns, bow and arrows, and light sabers?

This is The Orange Door Cottage on Tyee Beach on Camano Island. It is decorated just like your little beach combing heart wants it to be decorated. But it is on a kind of lame beach. It didn’t matter to me. The owner emailed me and included personal information like, her blog and the name of her book. I was almost talked into it.

The thing is, the thought of traveling that far with a baby and a 5-year old really started to freak me out. And Annie, my friend, posted about a little cabin they were going to rent out about an hour from our houses.

It was a match made in heaven.

It is on its own private island with its own beach. You have to walk across a rope bridge to get to it. So we booked it and I am pretty sure it is also going to be little boy heaven.

I am so excited.

May 3 2010

essential life skills {3} pruning

Are you thinking, “Are you serious?”

I love pruning. I will come and do it for you if you want me too. It is like picking zits. Am I the only one that likes to do that? I know I am not, mom.

This seriously promotes healthy growth for the tree, even if you feel like you are doing a bad thing.

What to Prune from a Tree
A. Suckers that grow from the roots or base of the trunk
B. Limbs that sag or grow close to the ground
C. Branches that form an acute angle with the trunk
D. Watersprouts that shoot up from main “scaffold” branches
E. Limbs that are dead, diseased, or broken
F. Branches that grow parallel to and too close to another
G. Branches that cross or rub against others
H. Limbs that compete with the tree’s central leader

Prune summer-flowering plants, which will flower on the coming season’s new growth, while they are still dormant. Their bare limbs make it easy to see the plant’s structure, and the flush of spring growth will quickly heal wounds.

Prune spring-flowering plants immediately after their blossoms fade. Because they produce flowers only on old growth from the previous season, pruning soon after bloom will maximize flower production the next year. Pinch the candles on whorled-branching conifers when you see new growth.

Thinning cuts remove an entire branch where it meets another limb, the main stem, or the ground. They should be made as close to this junction as possible. These cuts help maintain the plant’s natural shape, limit its size, and open up the interior branches to light and air.

Thinning cuts remove an entire branch where it meets another limb, the main stem, or the ground. They should be made as close to this junction as possible. These cuts help maintain the plant’s natural shape, limit its size, and open up the interior branches to light and air.

Pruning is so divine. There is something so great about cutting a tree or bush back and then watching it flourish.

There was a cotoneaster plant in our yard when we moved it. It was dying. So I cut all the dead branches off. I cut it back to about 6 inches tall. It is now mid thigh-on me. So prune your trees and bushes. They will thank you for it.

May 2 2010

essential life skills {2} reading

I love reading. When I was nursing Gentry I could go through a book a day. Now Hulu and Netflix entertain while I feed the baby. I wish I could regain my passion for reading. But the mindlessness of the tube just draws me in. Nonetheless, I still have some favorites that are worth reading.

The Time Travelers Wife (Rated R) I love this book. It is nothing like the movie. The movie is all kinds of lame and passionless. The book. Oh, the book. How I love thee. Full of passions and intrigue. I am serious about the R rating though. It has lots of bad words and weird sex. Don’t read it if you are the least bit skittish or unmarried or a newly returned missionary.

Eat Pray Love (PG-13) I loaned this one out. I will probably never get it back. So if anyone needs an idea for a future present, this would be a good one. I love the places this lady goes. I love the people she meets. I love the life she is so lucky to live. As I read this, I searched for real estate in all the locales. Did you know you can buy a house in Bali for like $30,000? Like a house on the beach. Can you even imagine?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Probably R, I remember a few bad words) This is about a boy who’s dad dies in 9/11. It is kind of a progressive work of art besides being an awesome novel. I had to read it twice to understand it. But it is so good and clever and just plain cool.

Those Who Save Us (Rated R) What the heck? I guess all I read is awesome books with naughty parts. Anyway, this one really would be rated R. It is about a lady who gets pregnant with a Jewish mans baby during World War II. She doesn’t tell and the baby doesn’t know. The baby eventually grows up to be a woman. And I just can’t tell you. But I LOVED this one. It really made me think about what I would do to keep my family alive if things got incredibly bad. Rated R for weird sex and torture of Jews.

The Red Tent (PG-13) This is probably one of my all time favorite books. It is about Dinah from the Bible. Her life and the way they worshiped back than. There were pagan (kind of crazy) ceremonies. But what I really loved from this book were the relationships she had with the women in her life. It is, after all, named after the tent the ladies headed to monthly.

These is My Words (PG) I knew there was a book knocking around this old noggin’ that everyone could read. I love this book. I love the love story. It is turn of the century Arizona and a strong woman who lives a strong and brave life. There is also “Sarah’s Quilt” that I loved. I remember reading this book all day one day. I didn’t get ready. I just followed Gentry around in my pajamas, they were red, and could not get enough of it. You will love it. It looks like there is a new one called “The Star Garden.” It is getting in my hold list from the library right now.

And now for the kids books we are loving. You will see that these lean to the male persuasion. That is because the female child doesn’t care and just smiles and is happy to be included in anything.

When Dinosaurs Came with Everything This book is so cute and clever. I could totally see Gentry reacting the same way.

Captain Raptor and the Moon Mystery I know you are looking at this book and thinking it must have been created by the ultimate Tolkeinstein nerd with large glasses and a side part. Possibly a bow tie. And you are very likely right. But we LOVED this book. Probably more than the one below. But seriously, it is everything a little boy could love and not so completely lame that you must scratch out your eyeballs. It is really a clever little story in comic strip format.

Captain Raptor and the Space Pirates Loved this one too. More dino-space loving.

Oh the Places You’ll Go This is of course the Dr. Seuss classic. But it is a POP-UP book. I mean. Can you even imagine how a wonderful book with a wonderful message could get any better? Well with things your kid can play with while you read it to him. Watch a video of it here.

What Was I Scared Of? Another one by Dr. Seuss. This one has glow in the dark pants on every page. Gentry loved flipping the lights on and off to see where the glowing pants were going to be next.

There was and Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly She dies of course and you get to see it happen. For real. The illustrations are quirky and dark. But it is totally a cute and fun book to read.

I am always looking for a good read. What do you all read and love?

May 1 2010

essential life skills {1} procrastination (i mean getting things done)

Oh look, I am only 4 days behind here. Good thing I set this goal.

So I thought this would be a good change of pace. You know life skills. I am realizing how I really lack in this area. I get nothing done ever. Like I feel like things are never accomplished around here.

Do you all have ideas how to do stuff? Cause I certainly don’t.

Here is what I have found works for me though:

{routine} like serious amounts of it. Monday I do laundry. Tuesday I go to the library. Wednesday I sit around and wonder what to do all day. Oh and plan the groceries for the week. Thursday go to Costco to get lunch with JJ and go grocery shopping. Friday. Um. Nothing. Saturday. Crazy busy and yard work. Sunday. Church.

{small goals and rewards} Like I will fold all the laundry today and if I do I get a piece of chocolate. Or when the bathroom is clean than you can sit and check blogs.

{think about running away from home} this really does nothing for the cause of getting things done.

{make a list} I write down what I need to get done every(ish)day. Sometimes I cross off nothing. Sometimes things stay on my lists for months. But sometimes I get things done. And I love looking at what I have been able to do all day. Even if the house shows no amount of progress, my list usually does.

Apr 23 2010

essential life skills

I have a blog in my reader that has been showing us how to do essential life skills. But they are totally things you would never need to do. Like fold a dollar into a tiny shirt. Or making roses from straw paper. You know. Stuff you really care about.

But it got me thinking. I bet I could do a month of essential life skills. Things that I do that I feel are super essential to my life and they way my family lives.

So beginning in May, which brings flowers, I thought I would start writing about life skills I have and also ones I would like to learn.

I will catch you then.

Apr 11 2010

bad mommy

I really wanted to run away this week. Like run away from home and not come back. I love my family. I love them more when they are sleeping quietly in there own beds. Except for JJ. I like him to stay awake, he snores and thinks I am just being cute when I pile drive him in the night. Anyway, very little sleep this week did not make me happy.

Mar 10 2010

love {28}

Other things I love that I don’t want to write a post about:

:: dave ramsey ::

:: ksl classified ads ::

:: being close to buying a piano ::

:: my bulbs starting to bloom ::

:: garlic in my garden starting to poke their little heads out ::

:: lunch with friends ::

:: sweet baby laughs and coos ::

:: long naps ::

:: making headway in getting the house clean, except for the massive amount of my hair that is every where ::

:: warm socks ::

:: clean laundry ::

:: starting to make dinner again ::

:: looking at my cousin Katrina and her cute kids ::

:: gentry wants to marry amelia when they grow up ::

:: ainsley is going to marry her brother corbin ::

:: star wars legos ::

:: strength from those around me ::

Mar 3 2010

oh crap.

Feb 26 2010

love {26}

I love my siblings. It has been a long time coming. We didn’t like each other much while we were all teenagers together. I looked through my pictures for photos of my siblings and I all together. I have none. But I have a whole bunch of JJ’s family. What the heck? I spend a lot more time with my family, but get the camera when we are with JJ’s.

Anyway. There is a special bond with siblings. Like you can hate each other one day and be fine a few days later. We all have different opinions about certain things and it is fine. We are all in different stages of life and pursing different dreams and it just doesn’t matter.

Tazia and Travis used to come and visit me when I was just married and still going to school. Kateka was one of my best friends in college when she started a few years after we did. In fact, we took several work out classes together and made complete fools of ourselves when we would sit on the side of the pool during swim class and whine rather than get in the pool. Tazia used to come to all my classes with me and sit in the computer lab while I worked for a week during her spring break. Travis would also come to my classes and once in a while took quizzes for me in my C++ class, that was much appreciated as I still have no idea what C++ is.

It is fun to see how we are all becoming well adjusted adults with our own strengths and goodness.