Monday, February 16, 2015

The Loaner

Here we finally get a day off, President's Day, and I'm up early, not even regular time, Before regular time.  So I figure I should do some catching up on blogging.  This week, I took on something new.  A little girl!  It's kind of a hard chain to follow, but Mom and Dad Willman's Pastor's son's family lives in Ft. Wayne.  The dad travels some for work, and her mom just got a new job promotion.  The promotion involves 6 weeks-ish of training in Indy.  Luckily they can crash with Pastor, but they needed some day care for Piper, who is 2 1/2 years old and adorable.  Supposedly, she's got some special needs, but I don't see it.  But they asked if I would watch her, and I was rather honored, and I said Yes.  So this past week was her first week with us.  Well, she fits in just fine around here.  She and Jacob get along swimmingly, actually playing with each other.

This was from last weekend, when she and her Mama came over to meet us.  We'd actually not meet in person yet.   Since this was her first time with us, I vowed to take a lot of pics of her to send to her Mom while But Piper had a great time meeting all the boys, and getting to play with all their toys.  I had picked up this sled for Jacob a couple weeks ago, when they were threatening us with a blizzard.  Well, I call this sled insurance. By buying a 5$ sled, I assured us that there would be no blizzard.  You are all welcome.  The boys were crushed though, so they've been playing with the sled all over the house.  

It was 50 degrees outside, but that didn't stop the kids from wanting to play sled in the house! 

When she showed up on Monday, the first thing she wanted to do was play with the plastic sled in the house.  And she loaded up all her baby dolls into the sled and dragged them all around.  Jacob did not know what to do about that.  He wanted her to pull him!   The only argument they had on Monday was when he wanted to ride, and she didn't want to pull him.  Well, they are only about 6 months apart in age, and though she's Sam's size, she is just barely strong enough to pull Jake around.  He wasn't down with her disapproval.  That's what it would be like if you had a sister kid!  

Having her around has actually been good for him.  
She plays but she also makes him work.  
They love all the musical instruments we have around the house, and I was getting serenaded all over the place!  They love to play the drums all the time!  

By the end of the day Monday, I was getting serenaded by slide whistle and recorder. 
Piper has a Gift, she picks up a new instrument and just figures out how to play it!  
Good thing she's in Kindermusik.  She was doing it in Ft. Wayne, so she gets to come with us, even the same level class as Jacob, and she can attend and participate with us.  The first time she heard the songs, she could sign along with the choruses before the song was done!  Special needs, my aunt fanny. She's got mad oral skills!  She talks all the time, I'm not used to having someone around that repeats back everything I say, in English.  Having her around is good for Jacob. 

Sometimes they broke out the big boy toys.  
They were cracking me up as they played Rock Em Sock Em robots together. 

Wednesday we had a friend come over with her son to play and talk oils.  
The three of them found my stash of Christmas hats.  I called Piper one of Santa's elves.  She told me, "I not Santa, I just cute."

Like I said, EVERY Musical instrument in the house. 
They actually play together.  It's adorable. 

And she naps.  Regularly!  I can tell time by her. When 1 oclock comes, if I say Piper let's go take a nap, she'll run right upstairs, grabbing loveys on the way.  She goes down so easily.  And she sleeps, for 2 hours exactly.  It's weird.  I'm not used to having such a good sleeper!  She loves story time, she and Jacob both like to pick stories to read.   They never seem to settle on the same one.  But Piper's new favorite is this one Workin' on the railroad, probably because we sing.  Again, music all the time.  See how well she fits right in?

Friday was the Valentine's day party at the boys' school.  So in the morning, Piper and Jacob made Valentine window decorations for their mommies.  I let them paint.  With acrylic paint.  I know, a crazy wild hair.  But they were adorable, they had a great time, and I have something to hang in the window.  I don't get artistic very often, but when I do, I don't regret it.   And I haven't regretted saying Yes to borrowing this sweet girl.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Drinking like a Ningxia

I mentioned earlier, that for one of our New Year's goals, we were going to do the Ningxia Red Challenge, as put forth by my upline.  Eric and I drank an ounce or two every day through January.  We didn't really notice a difference.   Until the third week.  At that point, the only claim I could make was "Well, we haven't gotten sick this winter."  That doesn't sound like much.  But then I looked around me, at the people who Weren't drinking it, who Were getting sick.  And thinking back to winters past, and remembering how often we got sick then.  And I started thinking, next year, we need to start drinking in November!    
Well, when I mentioned to Eric that we could stop drinking daily, (it isn't exactly the cheapest beverage), he said to me, in his infinite wisdom, "It's a habit now."  And that's really it.  But the more I thought about it, it is pretty amazing that we haven't gotten sick in January.  Especially Eric.  He's been keeping terrible hours the last few weeks, not getting any kind of decent sleep. He should've gotten sick.  And then me.   But we haven't.  Frankly, it's rather amazing we haven't.  I guess he's right.  We gotta keep drinking, at least through the winter.  This stuff really is boosting our immune system.

I've been making the greatest little daytime 'cocktail' for Eric and I.  Since he gets interrupted a lot at work, and it's crunch time for a big project, thus the not sleeping, he's been working a lot from home.   If he hasn't slept, I've been making him this little drinkie.  It's Dynamo juice blend from Trader Joe's, a pineapple blend that is happy, peppy, and orange.  Then I spike it with an ounce of Ningxia Red.  And depending on the time of day, I'll spike it with a shot of Ningxia Nitro.   The Nitro has wolfberry puree like the Ningxia Red, but also Green Tea extract with a bit of natural caffeine.  That's the punch I'm looking for.  But I've learned in the last couple weeks, I can't do the Nitro, entirely on my own at 4 in the afternoon.  Just like the effects of coffee.  But if I split it with Eric, then we're both ok.  Plus, it's a tasty beverage.  I've heard folks freeze the Ningxia packets in summer, like a popsicle.  I might need to try that when it's not winter anymore.  This is good stuff.  I'm not sick! It must be working.  

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Prize Winners

We took the boys to the Pinewood Derby for scouts this evening before the snow hit. 
And they had Gold, Silver, and Bronze podiums, for the trophy winners. 
Now, I'll write all about how Christopher did, when I get a chance, but  if you ask me, 
All my Boyz are winners. 

CAL week 2

I'm a little bit behind, but better late than never.  

Here is my Week 2 Crochet a long, it's looking very pretty. But I am definitely gonna need more yarn!  Time to go on a yarn run!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Another road trip

You know Dickens?  It was the Best of Times, it was the Worst of Times?  Yeah that.

Last week's semi-impromptu trip to Ft. Wayne went well.  So when I had to return the scanner again this weekend, I figured I'd take the boys again.  So I packed up the same screens and we headed south to go north.  It was my Dad's birthday, and he wanted to go to Brozzini's for the Best Pizza and Wings in town.

When I asked my stepmom what to get Daddy for his special day, she told me that my present would be my presence.  Well, yeah, but I don't like to go empty handed.  So I prayerfully considered, and decided to make Daddy something special for his skin.  He's been having some trouble lately.  He had a melanoma removed a couple months ago, and he's been so sensitive to the sun in the last couple years, he has to wear long sleeves.  All the time!   He burns like a maniac.  Me too.  So I made him some "Daddy's Special Skin Sauce".  I put 10 drops of Carrot Seed oil, for its natural spf of 30, but it smells terrible alone, so I added 10 drops of lavender too, it's known for it's multipurpose healing for burns, and skin issues, plus it's got an spf of about 10 or so.  Then another 10 drops of Frankincense, because if it's good enough for Jesus, it's good for my Dad!  Then 5 drops each of Geranium and Myrrh.  Each of these smells so good, and they are really good for skin, so I thought they'd be a great addition.  Then I filled it up the rest of the way with almond oil.  I tested the final product on myself.  And man, my skin felt awesome, like I glowed.  I hope my Dad is finding as much Joy.  I think I'm going to make myself one of these! 

Of course, when I gave it to him, he gave me a look, so I don't know if he'll ever use it.  But at least I felt good about giving him something that is good for him.  Hope it'll help his burnies.  

But I had to break out some of my own reflux goodies, after a wonderful birthday lunch at Brozzini's.  If you haven't been there, you should!  It's got the best Pizza and Wings in town.  We order the wings extra crispy, and it's practically like being back in Buffalo getting Big Daddy's.   

After lunch, we went to Daddy's and taught the big boys SKAT.  
This is a game we used to play when we were younger, I suppose other people may know it as 31.  The object of the game is to collect 31 pts in the same suit.  Sam didn't play, but he was the 'Card Shark'.  Any team he was near, started winning.  I was first out though, so I got to chase Jacob.  Nothing wrong with that. ;)  Chris actually won, which was defeatist as every time he lost a round, he had meltdowns.  Looks like we're going to need to teach him how to lose more gracefully.  

For the second half of our day.  We Drove North.  Last weekend, I'd driven to Fort Wayne to borrow the zytoscanner for my Oil class.  So after class Friday night, I had to take it back.  Unfortunately, my leader couldn't meet me halfway, so I had to hoof the whole way myself.  Originally we thought Eric would be joining us, but he had to do some Work.  And it became clear, as we left Greenwood, the computer needed internet.  So I dropped him off at Starbucks in Fishers and kept driving.  He got some quiet and worked, and the boys and I ran our errand.  

It was a cold winter's day.  They were forcasting wind and storms, but we didn't have that.  Just a lot of clouds.  Sometimes the sun would hit the trees, and it would look so pretty.  I took this pic of a lovely grove of trees.  As I approached, it became clear they were sycamores.  I thought to myself, what a beautiful grove of sycamores....and then I crossed over the river right next to them.... the Wabash.  Only a true hoosier would understand and appreciate.  On the banks of the Wabash.....

The boys were crazy.  They alternating between behaving with their screens, and Not.
So at one point, I had Chris set Jacob up with Yo Gabba Gabba.  It's his favorite.  I asked if Jake was happy watching.  Chris said he looked really cute, he wished he could take a picture.  So I let him. 
He was right. 

So we drove all the way up to Ft. Wayne, returned the scanner, and my boys played for 10 minutes with Val's boys.  They did ok the first hour, but the second was rough.  I had a monster headache by the time we got there.  I would've loved to just Be Done. But we had miles to go before we slept.  And so did they.  

So we hit the road again.  But it was clear, the boys still had a lot of pent up energy to expel.  I didn't want to end up at the germ fest McDonald's we'd done the week before, so on the way out of town, we passed by this sign for the Johnny Appleseed Gravesite. I have since learned, there are about 3 of these in the midwest.  
Whatever.  We visited this one.  And the big boys both learned about Johnny Appleseed in Kindergarten, and like to sing the song, and watch the movie.  So we stopped to see it.  

It was getting dark outside.  

The Grave of John Chapman. 

Jonny Appleseed's grave in Fort Wayne.  
Sorry they're so blurry.  But it was dusk. 

The boys thought it was really cool. 

Mommy thought it was cool, that right next to the grave were a couple apple trees, 
with a couple of frosty gnarly apples still clinging high in the branches.

So, then it was Really time to head out of town. 
But the boys were hungry... of course.

So we stopped at Hall's Drive In.  
I wanted to try a Fort Wayne burger.  It was a big double cheeseburger with some kind of special sauce, like ketchup and tarter sauce, which honestly, I prefer on fish sticks.  
The kids just wanted to eat.  I was happy that it was an old classic drive in.  
Because it would've been rough on me to take them anywhere in public.  

They had a floor picnic.
In the car.  They were crazy, but made me smile.  Jacob enjoyed watching them.  
I let Jake out, but I had to put him back in to go back south and grab Daddy. 
Jacob cried all the way home.  I think I got about 20 minutes cry free.  
And most of them were After we picked up Eric.  It was a rough rough ride. 
It occurred to me, that 3 times in the last 3 weeks, I've driven up to northern Indiana. 
I'm done driving north for a while. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

CAL Week 1 -done

My friend H introduced me to a crocheting group on fb, and invited me in.  I was JUST in time to start a Crochet-a-long aka CAL for 2015.  They just started it this weekend.  Well, week 1 was this weekend, and I was muddling through that, they posted week 2 already.  Oy.  Almost behind on a new New Year's goal already.  Anyway, it's the most advanced crochet project I've ever done.  Ever.  But I wanted to try.  I'm using the bag of leftover Anna and Elsa yarns I had for my color scheme.  I finally just finished it, in spite of having to rip out 3 different rows (frog - a cutesy new phrase I learned for do-overs)   I had finished another project this weekend, and it took me a day and a half, because I have the cutest distraction named Jacob, and I kept goofing up, and want to know what else I learned, well, what do you know? Counting stitches actually helps!  Well, week 1 is done anyway, and am rather proud of myself.

A Test Run

I got a wild hair yesterday. Well, technically earlier this weekend was when I thought of it.  I am hosting an Essential Oil class here on Friday, and I wanted to borrow the zyto scanner from my leader Val, but Cindi, my 1up and usual go between is out of town. I could go into deeper detail about the scanner, how it uses electrical impulses from the nerves in my hand, biomarkers, to assess what oils and supplements I need, but I don't really understand it.  I just know it works.  The first time I scanned myself, it told me I needed Brain Power.  Well, duh.  I needed it so much, I couldn't even think of it.  I got it, and though I can't stand the smell, even I can't deny it's helpful.  I scanned Chris, and it suggested Dill, I thought that was tremendously random, until I read the fine print on Dill Essential Oil.  It's good for all kinds of intestinal drama, even reducing sugar cravings, yet also good for relieving tension and anxiety.  Chris has all kinds of nervous energy, and how did it know about his intestinal drama?  I don't know.  We scanned my mother in law, and she tested for Thyromin, a thyroid supplement.  I didn't know she was having any thyroid trouble.  Aunt Teri knudges her in the arm, I TOLD You!  I told you, you were having thyroid trouble.  It's funny how thyroids can test normal, but not be behaving normally.  I think it's what is normal for you, your normal may be in the higher range, so being low normal, may be Low.  Anyway, she got it, and cedarwood, and is now sleeping better than she has in years!  Like I said, I don't understand why or how it does what it does, but the scanner works!   Anyway, I wanted to have it for my class. I like to give scans to our team, and it helps to offer a free scan to anyone who wants to sign up, so they can get an idea what to order when putting their starter kit order together.  Or to develop a wish list.  My oily wish list is rather extensive.  ;)

Well, since Eric was working, I just packed up the boys and took them north on my scanner run.  
They had their screens; we had snacks, so I'm calling it a Test Run for our trip in March to Texas. The big boys were off for MLK day, so we had the time to make the run.  It ended up being Perfect.
I bribed them, saying if they could behave, I would stop in Castleton on the way home for Legos.  
Darned if that technique didn't work. 

It actually went quite well.  They were happy playing games. If they started to argue, I need only threaten not to stop for Legos.  (I set a 10$ limit to pick out ANY 1 thing in the store) Chris did an excellent job of helping out with Jacob while I drove.  The only problem we encountered was 10 minutes before our destination, the big boys all had to pee.  They couldn't wait.  Since I'd gotten a later start (couldn't see to find my glasses) than I'd wanted, we ended up missing Val, who we were going to try to meet at her place.  She ended up leaving me the scanner for a drive by.  Well, the boys, as you can imagine, were really bummed there were no kids to play with upon arrival at our destination, so I pulled off the next best thing.  

We went to McDonald's. 

This McD's in Ft. Wayne was always the first stop we'd make when we would drive to Michigan when we were younger.  We called it Our McDonald's.  Seriously, if I had to pee in Noblesville, I'd hold it until Ft. Wayne, I don't know why.  It was just Our McD's.  I texted my sister to let her know where we'd stopped for lunch, and she was like, Aww...  Yeah, Aww.  Now my boys think it's Their McDonald's.  And now it has a Playplace.  That made their day.  Though Jake wanted to play on it, and he's not exactly big enough, so he was our limiting factor, and we hit the road after an hour.  

As we were heading out, my phone rang.  It was Eric's cousin's wife Anna.  They were in town for a seminary convention thing, from Wisconsin! We hadn't seen them since Grandpa's funeral.  When she mentioned on facebook they were in Ft. Wayne, and it was clear we were headed there, I wrote and asked for a drive by hugging.  The baby was just weeks old when last we saw them, they hadn't been able to come down for Christmas due to church obligations.  But when she called, she had some time, and so we popped over.  

So we got to stop at Anna's Mom's house and visit.  Rudy is now approaching 6 months old and adorable.  He has a completely different yet same look from his big sister.  She's 6 months older than Jacob... and they are Just barely beginning to interact.  

Neither one was real keen on sharing.  But both are learning they Have To. 
The big boys were happy to play with little kid toys, and just be out of the car for a while. 
I was happy to see all this cuteness.  It was the Perfect stop.  

And they wore themselves out enough to make the trip home.  

I had to raise my voice only a little, and they won.  They made it to the Lego store.  
They each played a bit, making people, picking out items way too expensive, before finally settling on some green Lego Mixels.  And then we hit the road.  I stopped into the Disney store, just to get pumped up, and amazingly didn't buy anything.  For now anyway.  

The boys did really well on this trip, so I have high hopes our trip to Texas will be a successful one!