Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What does 100 mean to me?

The number 100 is very interesting to me today. At times it represents how much weight I should probably lose. Other times it is the number I'm helping a child learn to count to-by ones, fives, tens etc. It seems to be the number of miles I drive in a day whenever I have the car. Today however it means something very different. It means heat, sweat, misery, longing for coolness and lots and lots of popsicles being eaten. Today the temperature where I live reached 101 degrees. This is a place where a hot day is considered 83 degrees. A heat wave is 3 days in the eighties. We have now had several days in a row feeling the agony of the upper 90's.

We do not have air conditioning. 90 % of the population here in Seattle does not have air conditioning. We have fans and really large windows that try to invite the sun in. Those windows are very good at their job and so? It is hot! (we wanted another fan yesterday but everyone was sold out. We hit Costco at the right moment as a worker was carting out a dozen fans they had just found. We got one of those. )

To help combat the heat today, I woke up early and duct taped tarps to my windows to cover them. I'm now the house with bright blue tarps duct taped with turquoise tape to my windows. Sweet! I think it helped. We've been living downstairs because it is cooler and a dozen kids have been living in my pool. In a 15 hour period 48 popsicles and about 30 otter pops have been consumed. No real food has been eaten because it is just too hot! Dinner was watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries and costco rolls.

Have I told you it's hot? It's suppose to be hotter tomorrow! Uugh!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It Happened!

It happened! That moment that every parent dreads! The one where you think you know where your youngest is, but they aren't there. The one where every backyard is searched in the culdesac, a huge contingency of neighbors are searching, people are calling out her name, 911 is called, a description is given down to her shoes...that moment happened!

I can tell you this; you find out who your neighbors are and what a community can do quickly! You find out the kindness of 911 dispatchers and the gentleness of police officers! You realize that prayers are said desperately while standing in the middle of a road waiting for reports of roads searched. That for every second that passes, internal agitation and fear increase yet outward calmness seems to rule the hour.

It was a very long hour. The two little girls, ages 3 and 4 (the 3 yr. old being mine) told me that they were going to walk to the 4 yr olds house to see her bedroom. She lives very far away. I said no. They then told the 4 yr olds mother. She said no! They walked out the door and went anyways (no one knew they walked away). They crossed a busy road together-proud of themselves that they did it safely. They walked many blocks until the road came to an end. Then the 3 yr old knew she was lost. She began to cry. Someone called 911. The police were there in moments, the message was relayed to me -they were safe! A dad ran, a neighbor ran, 3 kids ran and bikes and vans from the search party converged on the place of safety- just to make sure it was true. I couldn't run. I stayed where I was planted-in the middle of the road desperately praying that it was them.

She safely came home to my arms. Many prayers were answered through the kindness of friends and strangers. I feel blessed!

I'm touched by those who offered up prayers in cars, on the sidewalks, while searching backyards. I'm even more touched that everyones concern was for the missing girls and not one comment was made to blame me for this difficult moment. Thank you for your kindness, true compassion and concern. I thank everyone who jumped in today to help. People are genuinely good!

Saturday, July 11, 2009


So...I've taken up knitting! I love it. I've knitted hats, leg warmers, little animals and stuff. I decided to take on a bigger project. This darling tee for Sarah. I made it about 30 rows into it-which is very complicated because of the way the directions are written, learning new definitions, and knitting this all in one piece-including sleeves-which I was in the middle of. I was looking over my progress and saw that on row 11 I made a MAJOR error! Do I leave it alone? NO!!!!!!!!!

So, I just ripped out the tee and am getting ready to start over! I sure am learning alot though :)
I'll post a picture when I have it done.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


When I began this blog, it was for the intent and purpose of keeping a journal of my family and our happenings...all so I could print out a book every year and have that be a scrapbook of sorts that represented us well...I haven't been doing a very good job that. Only two posts in June, 1 in May and now 1 in July. There is always room for improvement...so let the improvement begin!

My (oldest? eldest?) daughter Kylie has been sending out a quote a day via email. Her quotes are well thought out. She searches great books, movies and great figures to find them. I told her she should have a Quote of the Day Blog because others would love these. So...without further ado, I give you Kylie's Quotes. Please visit her blog for little bits of humor, insight and happiness.

At this very moment I am sitting in the kitchen typing away on my laptop. I have strawberries with sugar doing that juicy, softening, sweetening thing that they do to my right. Behind me I have the cut off scraps that I just trimmed off of a soon to be Strawberry Shortcake Cake . To the left of me I have a tray of Texas Sheet Cake that I just cut into the cutest diamond shapes. Behind the laptop the cream cheese is softening for the frosting that will soon complete the strawbery shortcake cake. Sugar is spilled on the countertop, a small metal bowl has the strawberry tops in them, an orange plastic cup is filled with ice and Diet Coke with Lime, every fan is on in the house, all of the children are ouside swimming in the pool and life is good!!!

How's that for a run on sentence! Wow!!! We are spending the 4th celebrating with lots of good friends. Our family is in charge of desserts! At the party we will add homemade chocolate marshmallow ice-cream to the list of yummy, sweet things to eat.

(I have rephrased a few things in the next paragraph since originally posting. Just to hehlp clarify.)
This morning at a large church breakfast I had a really interesting conversation. It was about children and independence. I let my kids have quite a bit of independence. They go on long bike rides together. They go running together. They play out front without me and they swim in my backyard without my constant supervision. The question was "How did I know when to let them go? and how did I let them when the neighbors would question my parenting?" Parents seem to be extreme in their supervision in this area. I grew up in a large family with very little parental supervision but there was always sibling supervision. I know that some neighbors probably think that we are far too lax in the freedoms we give our kids. I'm willing to deal with those thoughts in order to help my children be independent in a safe manner. My reply was "If you micromanage your children then they will need to be micromanaged as adults. When will they be able to solve problems, take a stand or think on their own. Will they wait to be told what to think, what to do and how to do it?"

I then realized another aspect of homeschooling. My children are not micromanaged in learning. I use to micromanage that but have changed drastically over the past 18 months. All of my kids know that they are responsible for their learning. I will provide and be there every moment but it comes down to desire, motivation, context and often need. I also provide them experiences, lots of reading aloud, exposure to new things, the time, tools and mentors needed to explore many different subjects, talents etc.

I don't want any of my children to grow up having become comfortable being micromanaged in any way, shape or form.

My thoughts from breakfast :)

Since beginning this post, there has been an hour pause. In that hour, the strawberry shortcake cake has been completed-it is beautiful!!! Texas Sheet Cake has been plated, 20 carrots cut into sticks, 20 stalkes of celery cut into stalks, 4 cucumbers sliced on a mandolin (my husband cut his thumb very deeply using the mandolin-darn!), broccoli and cauliflower ready for the veggie trays and I chatted with the neighbors outside while watching my 3 year old streak through the street buck naked! I guess she is stating her independence :) Gotta love it!