Saturday, November 10, 2018

7 Quick Takes -- Winter approaches

1) We like our cats.

About a month ago we brought home four cats that have decided to settle in. Spike and Thomas are adult orange tabby cats and Night Angel and Joanna (or Joan for short) are gray the tabby kittens.

Here are Night Angel, Thomas, and Joanna. Spike lets Gordie pet him when he's around, but he's often out on the prowl. And when he is home, he likes to sit a little ways off and watch rather than be petted.


They were living in our power shed, but we have since decided to remodel so yesterday we moved them to a different shed. Much more space at the moment (though I plan to put more stuff in with them for winter storage). We are hopeful, though, that this more comfortable location will keep them from spending all their spare time meowing at the front door, tempting our children to bring them inside (which we have vetoed at this time).
Some of the kitties in their "original" home, the power shed/wood storage and other junk. But we kept disturbing them to check the batteries and inverter. Plus they were kind of stinking up the joint.
New home in the other shed. Much more spacious. And the bench is a place the kids can sit out of the weather to pet them (so they don't have to bring them inside).

2) Our kids like baskets and buckets.

3) We switched up the "school spot" some.

Rebekah and Samuel spend much of their school day on their computers, as is typical for a virtual middle school. They were sitting with their backs to the wall for comfort, but this position gave way to too much temptation for youtube and random games. So we readjusted their area and it appears to be working much better. I can tell at a glance if they are off-topic and they know it, too.

4) Peter loves to cook!

Every time I start cooking -- or really doing anything in the "kitchen" Peter runs and grabs this stool and puts himself right up in the middle of things. He is happy as a clam to stir things and generally have his nose in it all.

5) Rebekah is studying apologetics.

For those not savvy with the term, apologetics is defending the faith. Rebekah is preparing to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation early next year (February 2019). That is where she receives an outpouring of the Holy Spirit in a special way so she can be a witness for her faith. She is so excited for this and studying her little heart out.

Although I found it entertaining as she asked me the other day, "Mom, where are those apocalypse books you borrowed?" She meant apologetics of course, but it was oddly still fitting.

6) Baby #8 is making me fat.

17 weeks

29 weeks

7) Random pictures of our life.

A Jacob and Peter butter burrito -- so say the kids.

Zipporah wearing my boots.

Grizzly Halloween

This is a scout event held at Camp Hansen. I attended Camp Hansen for years as a girl scout (even though it's a boy scout camp) and Gordie attended as a boy scout. So it's cool for us to go back with our family. We went two years ago, but skipped last year because of conflicts.

This time we were going to leave our youngest two (Zipporah and Peter) with Grandpa & Grandma Schroeder. But Grandpa just had quadruple bypass heart surgery. And Zipporah puked the day before they were supposed to go. We didn't want to risk a sick Grandpa so Gordie stayed home to watch the little ones while I went with the older kiddos. Even though it was a lot of work setting up tents and stuff, it was loads of fun.

Tents up

Rebekah's is the little one. She is very proud of her little backpacking tent. I got the red one to myself.

Samuel, Jacob, Paul, & Miriam all shared our other 5-man tent.

Pumpkin Carving

Rebekah worked so hard on her pumpkin!

In the Robotics Lab (doing snap circuit)


Outside Fun

And sunset on the lake

Costume Fun

Paul as an Airbender (from Minecraft) and Samuel was "Blessings in Disguise"

Rebekah worked hard to help Miriam become a Kitty.

Rebekah also made this BB-8 shirt for her youngest sibling (Baby #8). 

Miriam as Ninja Cat.

Rebekah as "Raining Cats and Dogs." Rebekah won first place in the costume contest for the siblings.

Miriam won first place in the costume contest for the Tigers.

The pumpkins lit



Saturday, September 22, 2018

7 Quick Takes -- Welcome Fall!

1) Tomatoes

Peter likes to play with tomatoes. He likes to eat them, too!

We didn't get the big garden as we wanted this year. But I did plant three tomato plants. And I had so little faith, I didn't even cage two of them. Well, thanks to all the rain this year we have tomatoes coming out of our ears. But thankfully many of us like them. Next year we might have to learn that canning thing. 😃

I have no idea what went wrong with this tomato.

2) New Vacuum

Since we are fully solar power here, being able to use things on battery power is very helpful. That way we can charge the batteries when we have excess power (in the afternoons when it is super sunny) and use that power during the low power times (evening and night). I splurged on this Ridgid cordless shop vac (since Gordie already has several Ridgid brand batteries for his power tools).This has been a game changer here. Granted the batteries don't run long -- vacuums take a lot of power! But thankfully we have several batteries and I mostly just vacuum a little chunk at a time.

3) Park fun

We remembered a lost loved one at the park a few weeks ago and had some silly fun while we were there.

4) Rebekah made her schedule.

This girl makes me smile. She is so much like her mom and so organized!

5) Rebekah made these awesome costumes.

For Star Wars day at Sternberg Museum of Natural History, Rebekah made these costumes for the tortoises. They are Millennium Tortoise and Darth Turtle.

6) Breaking in the stove.

We finally used our new range for it's inaugural marshmallow roasting. (A must for all gas stoves -- or even electric for that matter!) Everyone enjoyed the results.

7) Food.

Rebekah made this yummy breakfast for me!

Rebekah has told me she wants to eat Whole 30. She did a round with me a while back after complaining her stomach was hurting from all the candy and fast food she had been eating. She is not exactly sticking to all the rules, but eating protein and lots of veggies at every meal. And bonus, she often cooks for me, as well, as she knows I like to eat this way, but it is just too expensive and time consuming to feed a non-grain, non-dairy diet to all the kiddos.


I picked up a cheap carpet at Wal-mart (the one on the left -- the right carpet has been with us for years) and it is actually really cool. It has this neat texture to it. Everyone approves, as you can see in this picture that reveals what a great parent I am. 😀 -- Actually Miriam is doing a phonics game here, so there is that. But yep, it's screen time. Happens to all of us.