Monday, February 25, 2008

City Slickers to Country Kids

Yesterday we went out to the farm to start the "desensitization" process. You see you can't transition city slickers too quickly out to the country or they will experience extreme culture shock. You must be particularly careful with the suburban mommy types who can't seem to stop warning their children of every possible danger, "Don't run with that stick, you'll poke your eye out!", "That's not mud it's poop!", "Yucky, don't pick that up and DO NOT put it in your mouth!". Someone please tell that woman to chill out.

Typically the children adjust more quickly than the adults. Unless there is horse poop involved and then there might be an issue. Somehow my son managed to find every pile of horse poop in that 10 acre field and fall in it. He would then look up at me and plaintively say, "Mommy, poopie, poooooopie! Poopie my hands!". Not having any hand sanitizer my only advice was to tell him to wipe his hands on his pants. Then he looked at me like I was crazy.

My daughter was not at all bothered by the mud, brush and excrement. She was Dora the Explorer! She was our intrepid guide through the dangers of a new land!
I love the next two pictures. My children were real pals out there. They seemed to instantly bond and they didn't fuss or fight with each other even once. It must be the miraculous country air right?

Ahhhhhhh! He's all tuckered out.


Jen

Thursday, February 21, 2008

I have to admit...I like American Idol

Yes, it's true. Do you still like me? If not that's okay, I gotta be me! ;0)

Truth be told, I have been thinking about this post since Tuesday night after the top 12 guys performed but I finally had time and courage to write it tonight. My friend Becky is to be blamed for all of this! She got me into it in the first place! (Check out her American Idol post at http://avellafamily.blogspot.com/). I have not always been a fan. In fact, during the first few seasons I viewed the show with a certain amount of disdain. I did not understand the schedule (What? It's on three days in a row?) and when I did manage to watch it was always the results show which is absolutely no fun if you haven't seen the performances. I also thought it was way too cheesy. As Simon would say, "It was all a bit cabaret" for my taste. During my "I'm too good for American Idol" phase, Becky would tell me how fun and entertaining the show was but to no avail. Then I got Tivo and everything changed. I became an American Idol devotee overnight. But I was still "too good" to vote until last season. I liked Blake Lewis, the Seattle beatboxer, so much that I voted for him almost every week!

There should be an AA group for this.

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I voted on American Idol.

So, are there any other secret American Idol lovers out there? It's time to come out! And it's time for me to watch some Tivo!

Oh, I almost forgot! These are the contestants I like so far. Hopefully they weren't voted off tonight!

THE GIRLS

Fave girl so far. This chick seriously rocks. Love it!



What can I say? Totally adorable and WOW what a voice!


This girl was a great entertainer! She was so fun in a "like totally to the max" 1980's sort of way.


She is so sweet and has a beautiful voice but someone needs to tell her not to dance. Or move at all for that matter. Just sing.

THE GUYS

I think he's the best guy so far but a tad overconfident.

He was such a natural and just seemed like a sweet, mellow guy. I really liked his performance.

Too cute for words (like a little puppy) and waaaaaay talented.

I should probably put their names on here but I'm too lazy!

Signing out,

Jen

**Addendum**

I still don't like the results show. Talk about cheesy! Blech.

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's Official!

Hip hip hooray! We bought the farm today!

Hmmm, doesn't sound quite right does it?

Well anyway, we signed all the paperwork at the title company today so our part is done. The current residents will close on their new home tomorrow morning and will clear out of there by no later than sunday night. Joel is meeting with the contractor on thursday to go over the final plans for the remodel of the house.

So things are in motion! Wow, this is really happening! It really hasn't sunk in yet, this is such a huge change and we have soooo much to do before we can move in. But I am thrilled! It was good to see Joel really smile about the adventure ahead. I think we have both been nervous about something going wrong and haven't let ourselves get too excited about it until today. We have wanted to let the Lord lead us in all of our decisions about the farm and were ready to accept it if we were not supposed to make this move. It has all gone so smoothly though that we are moving forward!

Oh, before I conclude I must give a shout out to our awesome mortgage lender Leon and our realtor George (they are friends from church), you guys ROCK! Thanks for everything!

Signing out,
Jen

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Safe and Eco Friendly Cleaners

My good friend Becky asked me about household cleaners that are safe to use and do not have a strong fragrance. I was just going to email the info to her but then I thought, why not share with everyone else? You see I'm very generous that way. :0)

These are all products that I currently use and like.


***Update***

I just found surface cleaning wipes to replace my Clorox Wipes! I have found it hard to give them up because they are so convenient for spot cleaning in the bathroom but today I finally found Method surface wipes at Target. I have heard that they existed somewhere out there but have never found them. It's weird the things that I can get excited about! I almost did a little dance in the aisle at Target. Well, no not really, but I thought about it, for a second. Anyway, check it out here http://www.methodhome.com/products.php?cat=type&prod=wipes . Wow, this picture is really big.

DISHES- Biokleen Lemon Thyme Dishwash Liquid


I really like biokleen products http://biokleenhome.com/

Most of them have a citrus scent which is one of my favorite smells in the world next to cinnamon, hazelnut candles, and Body Shop's vanilla spice body butter. Mmmm. Besides how good they smell, Biokleen products work really well too.


Seventh Generation Automatic Dishwashing Detergent


I have tried several dishwasher detergents and you know what? It is really hard to find one that doesn't leave spots and really gets the crusties off the dishes. So far I like this one best http://www.seventhgeneration.com/index.php.


ALL PURPOSE SURFACE CLEANERS


Ecover Cream Scrub


This stuff is great for toilets and sinks and I just discovered on the Ecover website that it is good for stainless steal too. It cleans without scratching. http://www.ecover.com/us/en/



Seventh Generation All Purpose Surface Cleaner


This one works for counter tops and tables. I have the orange scented one but I couldn't find a picture of it.


CARPET/FLOORS SPOT CLEANER


Biokleen Bac-Out Stain and Odor Remover


My only disclaimer for this one is that it has a very strong scent for you ladies with delicate sensibilities. Men too, I wouldn't want to discriminate against my vast male readership.


WINDOWS


Citra Clear Window Cleaner


Citrus again! Do we detect a pattern here? http://www.biconet.com/home/citraClear.html




LAUNDRY
Biokleen Laundry Detergent with Non-Chlorine Bleach


I REALLY like this detergent. http://biokleenhome.com/products/household/general.

Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Fabric Softener


This fabric softener has a geranium scent (not citrus, but I do make exceptions now and then) and it really does work. I have tried other eco friendly fabric softeners that were just not effective and the scent didn't last. I really like fresh smelling laundry. http://www.mrsmeyers.com/Default.aspx


One more thing about laundry, I have not found an eco friendly stain removal product. If you have one you like please let me know!


I can buy all of these products at Fred Meyer. I haven't done a price comparison for those of you who are super thrifty. You're on you own there.


Happy Cleaning!


Jen

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Have a lovely day!

We can do no great things; only small things with great love.

Mother Teresa

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tag, I'm It!

I have been tagged by Sarah to share my weirdness with you. So here I am to wave my freak flag a little higher!

1. I have short, stubby thumbs. What does this mean for me? I find it difficult to shuffle cards, play video games and I will never win a thumb war.

2. I cannot whistle. Hard as I try, it is just not going to happen for me.

3. I am a mirror talker like Amber (okay, I got the link thingy to work for Sarah but it's not giving Amber any love http://skywardjourney.wordpress.com/). I have practice conversations in the mirror that I never have with anyone in real life. Weird?

4. I must straighten the covers on my bed before I can get in and go to sleep. They have to be perfectly even. A tad OCD perhaps?

5. I can't count the number of times I have seen The Sound of Music. I love that movie and I can sing a rousing rendition of "My Favorite Things" (very loud and I suspect off-key on the chorus).
There you have it! So, time to play! Tag you're it: Becky, Daiquiri, Nikki (these girls are linked over on my sidebar, I'm tired of fighting with my stupid link button), my husband (he already said no but I think he'll come around), and hmmm, I'm running out of people who actually read my blog for sure.... How about anyone else who wants to participate! Anyone? Anyone?
Feel free to leave a comment (hint, hint)! :0)

Jen

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are

The wild things are here, at my house. I'm not sure what I ever did to deserve this. They have taken over and I fear for my sanity! This is my cry for help!


video


ROARRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Conspiring against us no doubt.
Party animal. Hmmmm. Perhaps he's not so bad after all. Kinda cute really, maybe I'll keep him around.

"My Little Pony"

Total exhaustion.
Peace at last.



Saturday, February 9, 2008

Childhood Music Memories

I think that everyone must have a “soundtrack” to their life. For me it’s the music that makes up my earliest childhood memories, the backdrop to my first kiss and my first breakup, long summer afternoons with my best friend, and many hours spent alone in my room suffering from teen angst. Amazingly, I remember the lyrics to most of these songs when I can hardly remember what I had for lunch yesterday or what time my next meeting is tomorrow. These songs have become a permanent fixture in my mind.

I grew up with a variety of music, a little bit country and little bit rock n’ roll, as the saying goes. My dad liked old time country western music like Don Williams, Merle Haggard, and Emmy Lou Harris. My mom on the other hand was firmly entrenched in 1960’s-1970’s pop-rock. She taught me to do “the twist” to the Beach Boys and we listened to her Herman’s Hermits record over and over again. I remember swinging on the school playground singing at the top of my lungs that song by Barry Manilow, “I write the songs that make the whole world sing…” and belting out the Roy Clark version of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” (at my parent’s request) when I was 8 years old.

I went through a Beatles obsession when I was in high school. I even had Beatles posters hanging up on my closet door and I would jump around my room lip-synching “Can’t Buy Me Love” into my hairbrush. My favorite teenage pastime, besides reading geeky sci-fi fantasy books, was sitting next to my stereo with a finger on the record button of the cassette player, creating mix-tapes from Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdown.

Whenever I hear a Jimi Hendrix or Bob Marley song I think of my first kiss with a boy named Josh and the song “It Must Have been Love” by Roxette brings back my first heartbreak. To this day almost any song from the 1980’s brings on a serious case of nostalgia! Who couldn’t love “Rock Me Amadeus” by Falco or “Take on Me” by Aha? I’m only slightly kidding! I currently have many of these songs on my iPod (I love my iPod by the way)!

Joel and I have a dating soundtrack all our own. We used to go for long drives in his 1973 Ford Maverick (okay, 1971 Maverick--I stand corrected, Joel) listening to Steve Miller Band, Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Eagles. We had a little “retro” thing going, before retro was cool. Joel was also into the Christian “hair-bands” like Stryper and Holy Soldier (oh my). We also loved U2 and The Violet Burning.

So enough about me! I’m curious about you! What are your favorite songs from childhood? What memories do they bring back? I really want to know! Tell me, tell me tell me! Please? Remember, I just shared my really embarrassing list of music with you. Pretty please?

Jen

Friday, February 8, 2008

Our "Babies"

We have LIFE! Look at those cute little veggies popping up to the surface.
Baby BroccoliGo cucumbers Go!


Check out this root.
The herbs are growing nicely as well. Basil is so lovely don't you think?

Oh dear. While we have been lavishing our attention on the vegetable babies, our human children have run amuck!

"Take me to your leader" (Notice the yogurt stains on this poor child's shirt).
This one has some serious attitude and blackberry stains on her face.
Please don't turn us in! At least we feed them, you can see the evidence all over!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Quick Farm Update

We should be able to sign the paperwork on the farm next week! As soon as that happens the building contractors will start remodeling and we will do some serious packing! I'm just so thankful that it's not happening this week. I am still struggling with this ear infection. Your prayers are much appreciated to help me get through one more day of work. I felt such mind-numbing exhaustion after a 1-hour snowy morning commute (it normally takes 35 minutes!) and a full day at work that I gave myself a pass on cooking dinner tonight. I ordered chinese food--delivery! That is one thing I will miss living out in the country!

Monday, February 4, 2008

This is what we get for thinking SPRING!

We had another snowstorm dump a few more inches on us yesterday. Our hopes for spring were dashed yet again, boo hoo! ;)
This is the worst winter we have had in the 8 1/2 years we have lived here. Most winters we are lucky to get an inch of snow and it usually melts later in the day. Despite the snow Joel still has carrots he digs out of the garden. Yum!
I'm not sure why I took this picture. I just thought the fire hydrant looked cool covered with snow and I was impressed with the size of those snowflakes!
Do you think we should have put the Sit N' Spin away for the winter? Oops.
Today we have sun and beautiful blue skies. There is still hope!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Planting Starts

It's that time of year! Despite all the snow we are thinking SPRING. Today Joel and the kids planted vegetable starts and transplanted those that were already started a few weeks ago. We had some seed packets left over from last year that Joel bought at Lowes. They had a fairly limited selection so we will still need to order from seed catalogs. Don't you just love how bright and colorful the packets are?


First Miss N & Z man helped daddy sort the soil pods onto trays. Water is added to the tray and as the pods wick up the moisture, seeds are pushed into soil. When this is done we place clear plastic lids over the top that act as a mini greenhouse. After the starts are big enough we transplant to larger containers and they will eventually be moved outside and planted in the garden.
N is very serious about her job. She is all business.


Seeds daddy?


Seed pods are creepy don't you think? Makes me think of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.



These are basil and oregano starts that need to be transplanted into separate pots.


N & Z love to help daddy with his projects. Sometime I will have to post pictures of them peeling apples for applesauce and placing fruit on the drying trays of our humongous homemade dehydrator.
Look at these sad little tomato corpses. Casualties of the destructive tendencies of my 2 year old.

The survivors soldier on. And they want justice!

He looks innocent doesn't he? Not like a plant murderer at all. Don't let him fool you.

Uh oh. He's beginning to lose interest in our project. Time to start goofing around.
I think the Body Snatchers have already been here. He's not mine, I swear. Time for a break! You people have no idea how hard I work!

N actually deserves this break. She's been working non-stop!

And now for a peek at our little "growing" operation. It's all legal, I promise!
We have a lot more work to do but its a start!


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