Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The MU Computer Club

My children have started a club. The headquarters of this club is in the little strip of trees between our house and the neighbors house. I feel sort of bad for the neighbors having to look at the random boards, string, hammers, screwdrivers, bricks, pavers, and camp chairs that my kids have stashed out there. I figure if it really bothered them they'd say something to us. And I think the kids are still technically on our property. The strip of trees between houses is a bit of a a gray area, but my children have laid claim to it when a moose isn't eating one of the trees. Moose obviously have first dibs.

The name of their club cracks me up. Only the children of a tech geek would name their ramshackle tree fort in the "woods" the MU Computer Club. I asked Sonny Boy what MU stood for. I don't know, he said. It's just what we call it. At least they have a method to their madness.

I went out to snap a few pictures of their fort and found this.

These are Princess Blondie's new shoes. That she flat refuses to wear. Oh, and there are her flip flops too. Here they are outside in their fort where it has been raining all weekend. Excuse me while I go put her in time out.

Perhaps DH needs to build them a fort with a roof so that she won't ruin more shoes. Of course it would make more sense for Princess Blondie to just learn to put her stuff away, but between getting DH to build a fort or Princess Blondie putting her stuff away when she is told, DH building a fort is the much likelier of the two scenarios. 

She is such a stubborn little thing. 

 I don't know where she gets it from.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Rock Collector

It's official, my son is turning into my mother. 
He has started his own rock collection.

He is not terribly picky, if it is a rock, it can be added to the collection. As he gets older I'm sure that he will refine his taste a bit. 

Now I suppose I should give you a little background on my mother's rock collecting habits. 
I know that everyone is embarassed by their mothers when they are teenagers, but did you ever have to go on rock picking excursions with yours when you were a teen? I have some very distinct memories of picking five gallon buckets full of rocks at the beach so my mom could use them to make lamps, vases, birdhouses, and picture frames. The stuff that she makes is great, but picking the rocks is not always great. Everywhere that we go is filled with the chorus of "Ohhhhh, look at that one..." I remember the back end of the car sagging low to the ground because the trunk was so full of rocks. 

On our recent trip to Denali my son decided that he was a rock collector, which I have to admit I find slightly better than the bone collecting phase that he had gone through. He would tell people that he was a  bone collector and hearing him say that out loud just kind of creeped me out. I  hope that this particular preoccupation means that he will someday be an archeologist, but bone collector just sounds a little morbid. He even asked me for the bone from my pork chop once so that he could add it too his collection. No lie. 

Anyhow, we were in Denali and he decided to start a rock collection, but he decided to go for quantity, not quality. He had found an old box and wanted to fill it. DH and I laughed and said, no, why don't you just put some of your favorites in your pocket. 

He persisted and DH finally said if you can carry the full box back to the truck, you can have them all. We were parked probably a quarter to a half a mile away. The kids started piling the rocks in and later I found out that DH drove the truck back and picked up the box where Sonny Boy had left it (turns out Sonny Boy over estimated his ability to carry a box full of rocks for a quarter of a mile). Considering his gruff exterior, DH  surprises me with sentimental acts like that sometimes. I know deep down he is a bit of a softy. 

So now everywhere we go Sonny Boy is looking for rocks to add to his collection. It just brings me back to my childhood. And now I fear that I may be turning into my mother myself. We are putting a walkway up to our front porch and I have my heart set on flagstone. Turns out that it  is not readily available here at all, which means 1) most people here have no idea what I am talking about when I ask them if they know where I can get flagstone, and 2) if you do find someone who sells it is insanely expensive (as in 60 to 80 cents per POUND of rock! . So when we were camping near Eklutna last weekend we saw several flat stones in the river and we all grabbed one and ran back to the car. DH carried three for me. The kids didn't quite get that we were trying to be stealthy and ran through the parking lot yelling "Look, Mom, look at the rocks we got for you!"

I think my mother would burst with pride.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I really have no words for this

Two weeks ago we went to Colony Days in Palmer. We watched the longest small town parade ever, and then went to a free BBQ at a local church. The kids played games and climbed trees. Then I witnessed something of a first for me.

Here we are hanging out after our free lunch thanks to St. John's Lutheran Church. That's when we noticed the firetruck behind us starting to extend his ladder.

The ladder extended out all the way and then someone climbed out on the ladder to nothing carrying a bag of something.

That's when I noticed the target drawn in sidewalk chalk directly under the ladder.

He then dropped the bag of stuff on the target. This is where I put two and two together and realized that they were having some sort of raffle thing and the winner was the one who was the closest to the center of the target.

Some guy went to pick out the winning "thing" from the center of the target.

That is when I noticed what was actually being used in this raffle.
Can you guess?

You got it, it's moose poop.

Someone actually collected moose poop, dried it, shellacked it, and wrote tiny numbers on it so that it could be thrown from a firetruck extension ladder at a giant target.
I apparently just witnessed the Moose Poop Palooza put on by the Kiwanis Club of Palmer.

If you think that this is the weirdest thing that has ever been done with moose poop, you are wrong.
Very, very wrong.

I now present to you, courtesy of Etsy,

moose poop earrings.

Look, he even put tiny little gem stones in these.
There are also necklaces and broaches.
You can view more of these precious gems here

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Backyard Bathroom

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted. My mommy is here for a visit and we only get her for a few weeks so we've been soaking up all the Gramma time we can while she's here. I should have some backup posts ready for times like this but I don't. Maybe next time I'll be more prepared. Doubtful, but you never know, I may surprise you (and myself).

So, remember this sweet picture of my girl and Stinky Beagle?

Remember how I spoke of  their great love and friendship. Well, one of my most embarrassing moments as a parent involves these two with some help and prodding from Sonny Boy. And for some odd reason I feel compelled to tell you all about it. I think perhaps this is like free therapy for me. I feel that if I tell the masses about my most embarrassing moments that they won't embarrass me anymore. Not totally sound logic, but hey, that's my brain for you.

So when Princess Blondie was about four, we lived in a rental house in North Carolina. I have to admit that place was a bit of a dump, but we were only there temporarily so we sucked it up and just dealt with it. The thing that my kids loved most about that place was all the junk that was left in the yard. There were old boards, bricks, pavers, pipes, siding. The stuff kids' dreams are made of. There was also a large ditch in the back yard for drainage. You know the kind that generally is in your front yard near the road? Well, we had one in the back yard, for whatever reason. Presumably for drainage reasons. Sonny Boy took one look at all of that junk in the back yard and started building a fort and a bridge over the ditch. 

While we lived at this house my son discovered the joy of peeing outside. Having spent the entirety of his life on an Air Force base we didn't encourage peeing outside. It doesn't always sit well with the neighbors. But at this house we had only one neighbor and the rest was surrounded by woods. The perfect yard for peeing outside. DH had apparently had a conversation with Sonny Boy and told him that sometimes it was ok for boys to pee outside, but generally use of the indoor bathroom is preferred. 

Somehow, this information was leaked to Princess Blondie. She was not yet old enough to understand that things that are true for boys are not always true for girls. The mechanics of outdoor peeing are not quite the same for both sexes, but she had to give it a shot anyway. The place of choice was off the bridge that they had built in the backyard. 

But it couldn't just end there. That would make my life way too simple and way less embarrassing. So now that Princess Blondie had discovered the joy of peeing outside, she decided to try out her other option. 

Now here is how all of this really went down. I was in the house doing homework (I was still working on my bachelor degree) while the kids were playing outside. They came tearing into the house yelling "MOM! Stinky Beagle ate poop!" Not totally odd, considering she is a dog, but still really gross. But then I got to thinking. I know the dog doesn't eat her own poop and we have a fenced in yard, so where was this other poop coming from? I asked them what poop she ate and they told me "The poop by the bridge," and "I don't know."  Typical. Luckily my Sonny Boy loves to tattle on his sister so he eventually told me the source of the poop. His sister.

Princess Blondie had pooped while squatting on the side of the bridge and our dog then discovered it and ate it. I think I gagged a little then when the full truth was finally revealed. And then I went out in the yard and brushed my dog's teeth.
With extra toothpaste.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The way to a girl's heart

Well, at least it is the way to this girl's heart. It might not do it for everyone.
DH came home the other day with a gift for me. 

 Now it certainly doesn't happen very often, so I was very excited when he brought me this

and this

and this

and this

and this.

But what really made my heart go pitter patter was...


Isn't it beautiful? I have wanted one for a long time and DH brought one home for me and it wasn't even my birthday or Mother's Day. Want to know the best part about this gorgeous garbage can? You can't leave fingerprints on it! Now if only my dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator would follow suit and refuse to let fingerprints take up residence on them.

Want to know the very best part about this garbage can?

It replaced this one. 
I'm actually very embarrassed to show you this picture. Ick. Dirty nasty garbage can with stains all over it. I actually wiped that one down and it still looks like that. This one is most definitely not fingerprint proof. Grody.

Now please don't judge me by the nastiness of my old garbage can. I'm really a nice girl.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Puppy Love

Once upon a time, DH went to the pound and picked out a dog.
Stinky Beagle then promptly decided that I was her one true love and DH has talked of wanting to get another dog since the day we got her. That was over five years ago. Someday, I'm sure that he'll get his dog that will love him better than anyone. 

But it surely is not this dog. She already has her favorites.

Princess Blondie was cooking away in my womb and I think she lept for joy when Stinky Beagle came to be my third child.

Ever since she could walk she would follow Stinky Beagle around.
And sit in her bed.

This is the day she decided that Stinky Beagle needed saving and read to her from the Bible.

"Thou shalt not steal my goldfish crackers from my hand and eat them."
I'm pretty sure that is the eleventh commandment. Or maybe it's one of those really obscure laws from Leviticus.

Stinky Beagle was also good sister for Princess Blondie's baby doll.

Tuck you in...

Kiss you good night.

Don't let the bedbugs bite.

Stinky Beagle was also good for playing tug of war with,

wrestling with,

inspecting bugs with,

and she was great for hugging.

Stinky Beagle is also great 

for taking naps with,

playing games with,

and using as a table.

Truer friends there could never be.

But Princess Blondie had better watch out for this guy.
My nephew's first word was Stinky Beagle's name.

She has now got some competition for who loves Stinky Beagle the most.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


My children have now learned the fine art of posing for the vacation picture.
They have taken to it quite well.When you are camping in a National Park you don't have that many things to pose with. My children decided that rocks were the answer. National parks have rocks in abundance.

DH willingly obliged to be a rock poser with the chilluns.

The 'big rock' pose.

My personal favorite, the 'middle of a parking lot rock' pose. 
Because nothing says nature like asphalt, a tour bus, and a hotel.

Sonny Boy needs to work on his rock posing smile. He makes weird faces. The only way to get a normal looking smile is to make him laugh.

And now we go for the double pose. Because one is not enough. 
Pose numero uno.

And the slight variation of pose numero uno, I give you pose numero dos.

And another double pose. 
This is the casual, 'hey, I'm just hanging out on a rock' pose.

And now the more formal  'standing on a rock' pose.

This is the 'we ran out of rocks, but here is a nice bench' pose.

And this is the obligatory 'I'm standing by the sign so you will all know that I was here' pose.
We didn't stop at the Denali park entrance sign, so we had to substitute the Savage River elevation sign. Because you all have a burning need to know the Savage River elevation, I can tell.

And finally....

The 'I'm just chillin on a bridge' pose. 
I also like to call this one the 'Do not lean back or you will give your mother a heart attack' pose.
The Littlest Poser was tired and cranky at this point and opted out of the bridge pose. 

Thus concludes the tutorial, Vacation Picture Posing 101.
I hope you learned some valuable techniques.