Monday, November 22, 2010

101 in 365

I saw this on another blog and thought it was a great idea. The list I saw was 101 in 1001, but I don't think I can wait 3 years to get to I'm shooting for a year! That should still give me plenty of here I go! I will return and change the color of the items I complete - and add a post for the 'tangible'/visible projects (if I'm feeling extra motivated.)

1. Potty train Wiggles
2. Paint my computer armoire black and add hardware
3. Hang pictures on my walls
4. Finish painting the front room
5. Paint the great room
6. Rearrange the front room furniture
7. Build a shelf for my entry
8. Create an art supplies storage system
9. Not raise my voice at my children for an entire week
10. Teach Grins to read
11. Clean out the storage shed
12. Have another baby
13. Teach Angel some basic piano lessons
14. Teach Wiggles to read
15. Get rid of things I haven't used in 6 months
16. Get rid of the antique bottles I dug up in the yard
17. Organize my garage
18. Make the kids job boards
19. Create a better storage system for the coat closet
20. Rake all the leaves in my yard (not that I haven't already done it, but I think the leaves are finally finished falling so this might be the last time this season?)
21. Organize the kids' closet
22. Install mirrors
23. Clean off the bar
24. Organize and label the food storage
25. Organize my recipes
26. Organize my magazine clippings
27. Organize my filing cabinet
28. Set up my new ipod touch :)
29. Vacuum the car
30. Get a shop vac so I can vacuum my car from home!
31. Set up a good 'drop zone' for the Mr.
32. Get on a better shopping/meal planning schedule
33. Stick to a 'computer time' budget for at least 1 week
34. Run a race
35. Go without after-dinner snacks for at least 1 week
36. Put hooks in the kids closet
37. Organize the hair accessories
38. Find a cute way to organize my jewelry
39. Organize the desk
40. Implement a good system for dealing with 'hot spots'
41. Implement a good deep cleaning schedule
42. Implement a good scrapbooking schedule
43. Get curtains back up in the front room (must finish painting first....)
44. Put a valance in my kitchen window
45. Hang curtains in the dining room
46. Hang curtains in the kitchen
47. Sew or alter at least one item
48. Make bread
49. Write in my journal every day for a month
50. Set up Sunday stations again
51. Set up a Family Home Evening lesson file
52. Set up our Family Home Evening board
53. Involve the children in Family Home Evening more
54. Organize a "paper" system
55. Change the oil in the car by myself (I always wait for the Mr. but it is something I could do on my own!)
56. Set up my new bookshelf!
57. Sort through my scrapbook things
58. Come up with a system for preserving the childrens' creations
60. Make a book of Family Traditions we enjoy and others we would like to implement
61. Catch up on Christmas ornaments (I've sort of gotten out of the habit the last 2 years....)
62. Organize my 'misc' closet
63. Organize my armoire
64. Organize my cedar chest
65. Set up a 'mud room' in the basement before the snow starts
66. Move my armoire to make room for the wood stove
67. Toast marshmallows in our fireplace!
68. Have a yard sale and DECLUTTER (this will obviously have to wait until Spring!)
69. Carol and deliver holiday goodies to everyone on our street
70. Get our Christmas Cards out the day after Thanksgiving
71. Exercise 5 days/week for at least a month
72. Make a new yule log for our family tradition
73. Set up a "Gift Shop" where my children can spend their chore bucks on gifts for family members and friends
74. Host a Christmas Caroling (or other sort of) party in our neighborhood
75. Update our 72 hour kits with warm clothing
76. Do a Fall Cleaning of our house (Deep cleaning)
77. Organize my laundry room closet
78. Be completely prepared for the sabbath on Sat night for a consecutive month
79. Have a "yes" day for my children
80. Go on a date with the Mr.
81. Go to the temple at least 4 times before June 2011
82. Get my Maine Physician Assistant Licensure
83. Take pictures (and blog them) of my children every Sunday for a month. (I can do this now that I have a new camera!!!!! THANK YOU Mom and Dad B!!!!)
84. Implement a good photo organization/sharing system.
85. Implement a new 'responsibility' motivation system for the children.
86. Stay home at least 1 weekday/week for a month.
87. Do a good, thorough cleaning of my house each week for a month.
88. Do a family service project at least once a month for 6 consecutive months.
89. Put on a family play.
90. Perform a song as a family.
91. Visit family in Utah and/or Oregon.
92. Get Angel's camera hooked up and teach her to use it.
93. Host a family sock hop
94. Implement a better recycling system
95. Smooth out and lay rocks in the driveway
96. Finish our gratitude chain (taller than the house)
97. Blog every Sunday for 2 months
98. Remember and call/send a card to every family member on their birthday for an entire year
99. Keep a New Year's Resolution for a least the entire month of January
100. Leave the Mr. a love every day for a week.
101. Not complain about how much the Mr. is gone (aloud OR to myself) for an entire week! (NOT counting the week he is off....)
102. (OK, I keep thinking of more; why stop at 101?) Dance with my children every day for at least a week.
103. Have a freezer cooking day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


I LOVE that Thanksgiving comes right before Christmas! I adore Christmas, truly! But unfortunately I feel it often turns into a commercial, self-serving holiday (wish lists, visits to Santa to tell him what I want, etc.) such that the true meanings of the holiday (peace, joy, love, generosity, etc) play a less-significant role than they should. So, I find it especially meaningful that Thanksgiving comes in at just the right moment to remind us of ALL we have to be grateful for. Because remembering our blessings is a GREAT cure for (what we like to call) the "gimmies"!

We often put up little "hand" turkeys with things we are grateful for, but this year we decided it would be fun to make a chain, and to see how long the chain could be. Could it be taller than Daddy? Taller than the ceiling? Taller than the HOUSE? (this is a very exciting concept to a 4 year old - something larger than a house!) Each link in the chain contained something for which our family (or a member of our family) is grateful. This is what we came up with in our first 5 minutes (currently taller than the ceiling - we will need to revisit it this week to reach our 'taller than the house' goal). In the order in which they were shouted out by excited family members: (And I have to say, our children really impressed us in their creativity! We asked them to think beyond the standard answers....and they certainly did!)

The Temple
Skype (Grins! - He loves skyping family!)
Spell check
REAL maple syrup (not the corn syrup kind!)
Bums (We thought Grins was just being silly here but he explained that, if we didn't each have a 'bum', we wouldn't be able to rid our bodies of waste....which would make us sick.....which would be bad. So we honor the submission. lol.)
Ben and Jerry's
Our House
Swimming Pools
Running Water
Freedom of Religion
Founding Fathers
Eating utensils
Sewing machine
baby dolls

We will update our list when it is complete....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Go Away!!!!

I consider myself an animal-lover. I mean, I don't have any pets, and I do occasionally eat poultry and fish, but when I see an animal I treat it with respect. If it is particularly cute I may even go so far as to say "Awwww" and give it a friendly pat or rub. I have even been known to make/hang bird feeders near my house, throw goodies out for the squirrels, and even hand-feed carrots to wild deer(!). But wildlife is now cramping my style.

When my precious little squash and watermelon seedlings went missing just a couple of days after I had transplanted them into the ground, I was sad. When the pumpkins my children were working so hard to cultivate were nibbled on (under the fence!), I was upset. When my compost bin was ravaged and the remnants scattered around my yard, I was angry. But finding animal excrement on my back deck.....HORRIFIED! and, a little bit furious!

(OK, it's not quite THIS fat.....but pretty close!)

Aside from cleaning up scattered compost every morning, I am very much done with cleaning up some very disgusting bodily products (I can't even tell which end of the animal it's coming from.....ewwwww!) which are left in my path every day. To make matters worse, I have spotted the culprit on many occasions - and it is GIGANTIC! I had no idea raccoons could get this fat! Seriously! And that makes me even more mad because I know it's NOT starving - most of that fat probably came from MY compost bin! :) And it apparently lives in a tree! As fat as it is, when I come to scare it away, it jumps off my deck, runs across the backyard, and CLIMBS UP THE TREE! I mean, really! The first time it happened I could not even believe my eyes!

So, in short, I have had it. I am even entertaining thoughts of bb guns! So, my question is: how do I humanely solve this little problem of mine? Anyone?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy Birthday Wiggles!

Dearest Wiggles,

Happy Birthday, love! Where has the time gone; how can you be two years old already? I think, of all my children, you grow the fastest; not just because you are the smallest, but because time just seems to fly by when you're around! I truly can't believe it was two years ago that I first held you in my arms - I remember the moment as if it were this morning! And yet, I can't even remember my life without you. You are SO precious to me!

If I've ever felt you were my greatest challenge, there is no question that you are my greatest joy. You are my fire and ice - happier than happy ever was one moment, screaming bloody murder because someone looked at you funny the next. You certainly make life exciting for everyone around you, and you are sure to keep me on my toes! No dull moments in our family since you joined us, that's for sure!

Wiggles, Nov 2008

You are a lover. You want to give loves (tight, squeezing hugs and wet kisses!) to each member of our family (and friends) several times each day! "I wanna give you a UG, Daddy!" you demand each morning, regardless of how many hugs you've already given him. You love your brother and sister SO much and want to do EVERYTHING they do. Without exception. You wear Angel's huge backpack (it nearly touches the ground, it's so large on you!) and say "I wanna ride 'da bus!" You wrestle with Grins, and you are even starting to hold your own! And you are always quick to notice if I'm upset/startled/hurt/etc (even when no one else has a clue! You are very perceptive!) You'll say "What, Mommy?", climb up on my lap, and snuggle me until nothing else matters in the world.
Wiggles, Feb 2009 - What a sport!

You are a singer! I don't remember ever hearing a child your age - or any age for that matter, sing as much as you do! You've been singing almost before you could speak (which you did early!) Your current favorites are: "The Lord is my Light" ("Da Yode is my ya-ah-ah-aeet, he is my soy and my song...") "I Am a Child of God" ("I sing 'I am a Thiod of Dod' to my baby, Mommy!"), "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", "Row, Row Your Boat", "Mr. Moon", "The Wheels on the Bus", "I Love to See The Temple", "The Eensy Weensy Spider", "Jesus Loved the Little Children", "Follow the Prophet", etc to name just a few. Your singing is the sweetest, most angelic, (not to mention funniest) I've ever heard! I LOVE listening to your sweet little voice and adorable pronunciations! And I love that you are willing to share your music on demand - you are constantly performing for anyone who will listen. You are certainly a performer!

Wiggles, Aug 2009

Speaking of performing, you are also a born acrobat! Every week at FHE Sharing Time, you show us your somersault off the couch - which may not seem entirely impressive given the fact that you are now 2 years old....but is, in fact, amazing, because you've been doing it since you were just over 1 year old! It used to make me so nervous - but you've always been a dare-devil. When we first arrived in Maine, we went to a playground and you climbed to the top of a rock-wall tower - completely out of my reach (7 feet high at least!) and started swinging from the bar. I panicked and scrambled up to get you, but you weren't frightened in the least - just swinging away to your heart's content, shouting "Wheeeeee!" as loud as you could. You certainly have your father's sense of invincibility! :)

Wiggles, Nov 2009

You are determined! You want to do everything "Self". You may scream and throw a fit at not being able to shut the car door by yourself - but the moment I try to help you scream even louder! "No! I want to do it myself, Mommy!" you demand. I have definitely learned patience as we wait for you to dress yourself, feed yourself, buckle yourself into the carseat, remove yourself from difficult situations (eg in the legs of a dining chair), etc. And you are certainly worth the wait - every minute of it!

Wiggles, Jan 2010

You are a snuggler. One of my favorite features of you is the way you freely give snuggles. You hug with your whole body, and you give long hugs too - not the quick, millisecond hugs so many distractable children offer - you will wrap your arms around me for minutes at a time. Which is saying a LOT, considering you are never that still for that long otherwise! (Hence your nickname.) As busy as you are, (constantly moving/exploring/learning/struggling to do something yourself/coloring on the floor/etc
), you will ALWAYS make time to snuggle!

You LOVE to laugh. You LOVE the "Cut the Pickle...tickle, tickle" joke and you absolutely adore being tickled. And tickled. And tickled some more, until my fingers are sore. And how can I resist? If tickling your round belly weren't reward enough, your delicious and infectious giggles and laughter are the icing on the cake!

Wiggles, May 2010

My dear, sweet child. You mean more to me than words will ever be able to say. You are my heart and soul. You mean everything to me. You have challenged and stretched me, and have brought more joy to my life - and the life of our family - than I ever thought possible.

These past two years have been treasures! I can't wait to see what the next two - and beyond - will bring! I love you, Wiggles, with all my heart!

Love, Mommy

(ETA: To our distant loved ones, I'm sorry there are no current pictures of Wiggles. Sadly, we haven't had a camera the past couple of months, so these are our most recent photos. But she was almost as cute then as she is now, so you get the idea....)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Another "prayer" post...

Lately, Grins has been frightened at night, and has taken to saying "Please, please, please, please, please......(more pleases than we can count) help me be safe." I finally said "(Grins), you need to limit yourself to 3 pleases per prayer." That night, he said "Please number 1, Please number 2, Please number 3 help me be safe!" The Mr. and I got a good chuckle over that one.