Sunday, July 31, 2011

You know it is humid when....Part II

Last year I blogged about the humidity but this year has been even worse and for weeks now. So here goes.....You know it is humid when:
1. You sweat so much you give up on the sunscreen altogether.
2. You dream about the frigid winter you were cursing just a few months ago.
3. It 95 degrees and you can see your breath.
4. You water yourself instead of the garden.
5. The only place that feels cool is in front of the freezer with the door open.
6. You nearly pass out just going to your car.
7. Your hair has mysteriously grown frizzy things all over it.
8. Everyone at church seems to be struck by the gift of tears, but it's actually beads of sweat.
9. After 4 hours the librarian knows you are just there for the A/C because you aren't reading.
10. You are breathing more water than you are drinking.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Personal prayer or affirmation

Tap into the power of prayer. I've often heard people remarking about the power of prayer but usually it is mentioned because someone is ill or facing a surgery. We should all be tapping into that power on a daily basis. Align ourselves with God's highest will for our lives and one way to do that is to write an affirmative prayer. Personalize a scripture verse and make it your own: The Lord is on my side and I am not afraid (Psalm 118:6). Simple as that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Multi tasking

If I ever seek employment outside the home I will be able to put down that I am a strong multi-tasker. It actually has been quite easy with the grandchildren. Lots of "tasks" to be done in this household. This morning we did an Amish run, went to the Amish grocery store, picked goldenrod and sumac berries, clothes went out on the line and then back in, puppet show, got wool ready to dye and the goldenrod in the dye pot, fixed lunch, read a book and now it is back to pick up the Amish, home to the water slide, wool to dye, tomatoes to pick and can, more laundry. Multi tasking.....................easy.

And so my summer goes

The grandkids are going home soon, their parents miss them! And I will after they leave. It has been great fun every day. No fights at grandma's house as I make sure their little hands and minds stay busy. Oh, and the conversations.
Hannah: "My mom doesn't let me iron".
Brenna: "That's because we don't iron anything".
Gavin: "I want to live with the Amish for 20 years then I will go home".
Hannah: "Do you know what I'm thinking"?
Brenna: "Grandma, I don't want to go home I have 3 books to read".
Gavin: "Look....the Big Dipper but it's broken".
Hannah: "Grandma"?
Grandma: "Hannah".
Hannah: "Grandma"?
Grandma: "Hannah".
Hannah: "Grandma"?
Grandma: "Hannah".
Hannah: "Grandma I'm trying to tell you something".
Grandma: "Okay Hannah, what"?
Hannah: "Oh grandma, I forgot".
And so my summer goes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Door screen, sermons and 6 year olds

Some of you will remember the Art Linkletter show about kids saying the darndest things. (I think some adults would qualify). Fifty years later and kids are still saying the darndest things. We attend a nondenominational church with an interim pastor. Now I am laughing as I write this as I overheard a long time member telling a new family that we are a cowboy" church. hmmm Is that nondenominational? (Adults say the darndest things). I had to look up the definition of interim; a temporary pause in a line of succession or event. Pastor Ron has been there for about 2 years I believe. (Interim) We love him and wish the term interim wasn't in the equation although what does temporary mean. He is passionate about the Lord and so are his sermons. Yesterday during the sermon my 6 year old (he will tell you that he is 6 3/4) grandson leaned over and whispered to me: "Grandma, does this happen every time?" I had to bite my tongue from laughing outloud. Kids say the darndest things. This morning Gavin was up early and ate his cereal. They are allowed to put alittle of the leftover milk in the cat's bowl out on the deck. We have one of those white cheap storm doors and of course, on day two the screen was pushed out of it. I told LaVern just to leave it until the kids are gone or he would be fixing it daily! Anyway, I had heard Gavin go out on the deck but then pretty soon I heard: "Grandma, screen delivery". ha ha ha ha He was handing his spoon and cereal bowl through the screen from outside. Kids say the darndest things.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

How hot is it?

Hannah, age 5: "Grandma, It's as hot out as it was ironing grandpa's shirts! Whew, that's hot"!

Gavin, age 6 3/4: "Grandma, it's so hot we could BBQ."

Still not so hot that we can't find things to do. Spent Thursday at the Winterset fair and took in the horse shows, saw the pigs, sheep, goats, cows, chickens, pigeons, rabbits and viewed all the open class projects to get ideas for next year! Friday we had a couple "Amish runs" which the kids just love doing. They visit and visit. When I dropped our neighbor's off back at their house one of their boys took Gavin along to feed the little chickens, pigs and goat. Back home and we made colored bath salts. Grandma doesn't have a bath tub but it is sure fun to soak your feet in an old enamel white/red pan with the salts you just made. The kids were sure they had the softest feet ever! Yesterday we picked up around the house, swept floors and hung clothes out. Grandpa and Gavin went to the barn to the shop and Gavin made his own wood box for any "treasures" he finds. The afternoon found us going to Mt. Ayr (in the intense heat no less) where the kids enjoyed the Kidz Zone and then the parade. They came home with big sacks of candy! Oh, and we took in the BBQ and ice cream cones after. Last night we watched a movie and lights out at 9. No complaints from anyone, just zzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Today after church we hope we take the canoe over to the lake but will depend on weather. Cloudy and alittle rain this morning but oh, the humidity level is so much less. Relief.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Folklore and myth

Folklore: We heard the first catydids (locust) over a week ago. According to the "oldtimers" the first frost will occur in 6 weeks or about the end of August. I was visiting with one of the young men of our Amish community. He said something about the wind blowing over the oat shocks standing in the field, that autumn was just around the corner. Weather folklore but we shall see.
Myth: On the way home from the beach yesterday we had a snack. I won't go in to the details (the grandkids' parents will go in to shock). But let's just say that Brenna told me their parents would never let them eat all that. I fell for it and asked her why. She told me because then they would be hiper from all the sugar and she promptly started acting that way, silly, loud, laughing. Her and I have had some interesting discussions as she is an avid reader and is beyond her years in knowledge. I explained to her that I was sure that was a myth but she should look it up on the Internet. Upon arrival from home (still acting hiper) she did look it up and all the info she could find said it was just a myth, nothing to scientifically prove otherwise. Most hyper activity in kids, especially during a holiday, is not from too much sugar but the holiday itself. It was like Brenna had been a balloon and was deflated. Gone was all the silliness and loudness from the "sugar high". And no, it did not "spoil their appetites" before supper. We had BBQ pork ribs on the grill, fresh corn on the cob and juicy watermelon. Those kids ate like they hadn't a thing to eat all day! I asked Hannah if she had a little watermelon in her tummy. She giggled and giggled (hyper from sugar)!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The heat is on

Today our heat index is to be 115 with a temperature of 98. A couple years ago if I read that I would have shrugged and thought what's the big deal. But of course I was working in central A/C, driving a car home with A/C, shopping in stores with A/C and living with A/C. Oh, did I mention paying for that A/C? I do remember the electric bill which was even greater as I couldn't go out in that heat and hang the clothes on the line to dry.
I can honestly say that yes, it is hot here but not unbearable. I've learned that even with 3 kids I can have enough electricity to power a couple fans during the day and at night. I've learned how to keep the house cool by getting some of the cooler air in at night and then "closing it up" during the day. I've learned we can do fun things to get cool (water slides are great, a trip to the library, a couple hours at the beach, eating homemade popcicles or frozen peaches). I've learned that it is cool in the shade with a little breeze. The screen tent at night is a fabulous place to sleep. I've learned that all of these little things are blessings. My Amish neighbors have no fans, no refrigerators, no trips to the library. Yet talk to any one of them and they are thankful for the weather. The crops are growing, gardens are flourishing and this too will pass. My grandchildren have not complained one bit about it being hot. I suppose because they are either too busy or having too much fun. When you keep their little minds and hands busy their hearts are happy and hot just doesn't figure in.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Nap when you can~even if you aren't tired

Long, hot summer days

What to do when the heat index is 107? Water slide!! The kids love it and they get cooled off. We have a nice incline with a "speed bump" in the middle so it is perfect for the slide. The kids were screaming and laughing. Of course the well water is good and cold so that was even better. We finally had to shut them off before the well went dry. The youngest had fun doing the dishes all by themselves. We forget that in today's young families washing dishes by hand is a thing of the past. They all have automatic dishwashers to do the job now. One should really consider hand washing your dishes. These two had quite a little conversation going on and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Hannah was quite proud as she got to dry everything, not just the silverware. Brenna is working on her Girl Scout badges every day. I think we have earned 5 so far. That's 6 projects for each badge! Gavin entertained himself with the modeling clay, ie; vocano, airplane, pizza and the above animal. If you have school age children then forget the Playdoh and buy some good modeling clay. We finished out the day camping down by the pond. With no A/C in the house it is warm by evening. So we set up the screen tent and moved our bed outside with the girls in the teardrop. LaVern and I talked about building a deck out by the pond and actually setting up a bed on it with some type of netting surround. After last night I bet it gets put back on the "to do" list. No words for the view! We looked out over the pond and watch a beautiful orange colored full moon rise in the sky. At dusk grandpa and Gavin went out on the pond in the canoe. Now this was a BIG deal! We are talking about a 6 3/4 year old boy who was adament about NOT going in the canoe. I had him out earlier in the day and we finally got past some of his fear. Going out at night was way cool. When it was dark, he and grandpa floated lighted tea candles on the pond. Now that was way cool. Kids must have thought so as all was quiet as we watched all the candles floating on the pond with a million lightning bugs adding to the effect.

Gavin summed it up this way: "Good choice picking this place to live, grandma. It is so much fun!" And Hannah's: "Grandma, I slept good and hard".

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Early mornings

I love early mornings and most days I am up in the wee hours. I'm a "morning" person, always have been and always will be. Apparently Gavin, age 6 3/4 is too as this morning (5:30) he is awake. I don't think he would be except a thunderstorm passed around us in the distance but it was enough to wake him up and he is afraid of storms. I guess he and I will go out and check the trap and see if we caught a racoon last night. I'm still trapping and catching racoons.

Today I'll get the mowing done early so that we can get the tent set up for the campout tonight. Later I think grandpa and Gavin are going to work on a woodworking project. Probably should be early on as I think one 6 3/4 age little boy is going to go downhill fast!

The show was fun last night and nearly a full house. LaVern and I thought the first one was better but all the kids seemed to enjoy this one too. Afterwards we went to the ice cream shop (so did everyone else from the show) and had an orange ice cream cone. It was cute looking at three grandkids (2 with sunburned faces) sitting in the back seat licking away on cones. All fell in to bed as soon as we arrived home, me included.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sunburn or sunscreen?

Grandma said: "I think we need to put sunscreen on your faces, too". Their reply, "No, we don't put it on our faces". Okay............three hours later coming from the beach, sunburns on the faces! They had a blast and were in the water nearly the entire time.

We have a small state park about half hour from here. It has great walking and riding trails plus a swim area with a sandy beach. Lots of camping areas too and a special campground for those that want to trailer their horses in and then ride the trails.

Came home showered, had a snack and juice and now are suppose to be resting before supper and the movie we are all excited about seeing tonight. I think all will be tired by bedtime. I know this grandma will be! Piece of advice: use sunscreen on your face too!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Cool days

The last two days have been wonderful. Cloudy, breezy, perfect. My understanding is that beginning tomorrow a front is coming that will bring us hot and very humid days. I'm trying to pack as much as I can into these cool days! Then we will spend time at the beach on the hot days. Going to the movie, Cars2 tomorrow night and Saturday night will bring a campout down by the pond. Full moon on Friday!! Take those nightly walks! I have some fun plans for the Saturday night campout. Took some rugs and handmades in to the fair yesterday for the Open Class. I enjoy adding what I can to our little local county fair as it makes it more fun for everyone. We are nearly finished with the Cooking Badge and have started the Yarn one. Brenna is crocheting a dishcloth as part of that. We got the yarn at the thrift store. She does 6 projects for each badge!! Today is Thursday.............LEMON ICE CREAM at the ice cream shop in town! The kids can hardly wait. While waiting to enter the items at the fair the kids stopped at a really great booth that was all about recycling. They were filling in the young couple there about all the recycling that we do. The gal commented on Brenna's necklace. Brenna shared with her that she designed and made it herself from recycled items. The leather tie was from another necklace, the wood beads came off a necklace and the little metal things hanging down are actually from belt buckles. The gal took a picture of it she thought it was so cool. They go to schools and talk to all age kids about recycling and she wanted to share the picture with them. I have a container full of stuff that I gather. Watch the "Free" boxes at garage sales and thrift stores. Then I dump it all on trays and let the kids use their imaginations! With our present economy we should all make the effort to do more of this, teach our kids and grandkids how to do it and not spend money on gifts that they soon forget. Your biggest investment......Time!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Entomologist, chef, chicken whisperer

Yes, this is a live hen!
Gavin's chili chicken (made with chili sauce)

Was he EVER excited when he discovered the praying mantas in a flower bed!! "Grandma, this is the first one ever I have seen"!

Sitting and staring

I'm busy and have alot to accomplish these days. What with grandkids, chores to do and of course the never ending "to do" list. It's no wonder my mind gets tired and my soul grows weary. I have the perfect remedy if you are plagued with the same. Take a break, sit, stare, do nothing. Look at the passing clouds or across the horizon. When the grandkids catch me doing it they always ask, "Grandma, what are you doing"? Upon my reply of "nothing" they seem satisfied and off they go. Let yourself be empty, open and receptive to God's spirit. Discover the secret of doing nothing in particular! Allow your heart and mind to rest in God.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another full day

Completed the Book Badge and the Jewelry Badge today. Now working on the Cooking Badge and probably the Wildlife (plenty of that out here) and maybe the fiber arts one. The kids made giant marshmellow pops and we took one in to grandpa. Brenna learned to use the big mixer and made a peanut butter cream pie which we will have for supper. Gavin put together a chili marinade for chicken. Grandpa will have the honors of grilling it when he gets home. Hannah is going to get the fresh green beans from the garden ready! Ahhh, child labor. This morning early LaVern and I were sharing some "quiet time" together and he must of been reflecting on that grocery bill again. In his words, "Do you suppose we could ask them for child support?" lololol

Badges and Projects

I started my summer by earning a Cub Scout Bear Badge, a gold arrow and two silver arrows. From there it was 7 projects for the Madison County Fair and now it is earning badges for Girl Scouts. Yesterday we worked on the book badge. I have a 10 year old granddaughter who loves to read! She is an avid reader and knows hundreds of authors. Her favorite place to visit when staying at grandma's is our library, with my other grandkids it is the ice cream shop for lemon ice cream! Of course, our librarian loves her and they can discuss books and authors for hours. As part of her book badge, Brenna interviewed the librarian. I had no idea that my librarian was a high school history teacher in Council Bluffs for 37 years!! Brenna has her mind made up that she wants to become a book publisher and a librarian as second choice. I wonder if her parents have any idea. Brenna came home and whipped out that interview in Word and I was in awe. I think there is a 20 something mind in that little girl's body! Truly amazing. I had no idea. I can see a huge difference between her and the other grandkids. Based on that, please turn off those TVs, video games, XBoxes, WIIs and take your kids or grandchildren to the library. Encourage them to read or read to them. When was the last time you picked up a book?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Small Boys....BIG Appetites

We picked up three more grandchildren this afternoon and I'm not sure how we are going to feed them, especially Gavin.....age 6 3/4.
It was supper time when we got home and all were hungry. I made quick pizza "cups" and a banana salad. Gavin ate two pizzas and salad. Then about 5 minutes later he came in and said, "Grandma, can I have some cereal? It's my favorite and I didn't have breakfast today". haha So he had a big bowl of cereal. 5 minutes later, "Grandma, I'm still hungry". Okay, so we had two small helpings of applesauce AND 3 frozen oreo cookies (LaVern's stash). Not much later, "Grandma, I'm STILL hungry". The kid must have a big appetite. So we just finished up with graham crackers with strawberry cream cheese. Will see if that gets him to bedtime.
We had stopped at the grocery store before picking up the kids and $132.00 later (LaVern with a look of shock) I told him maybe we would get through a week with these groceries! After this evening........I'm hoping that we will make it a week! I think I heard some comment from LaVern about if we still had kids at home we would have an "Amish garden" and the kids would be out there tending it!

Friday, July 8, 2011