Monday, March 31, 2008

Clean Smell

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the smell of a clean house. The aroma of mixed cleaning agents, swirling in the air, sends some kind of euphoric message to my brain. You would think that I would clean all day, every day because of this. Well I don't. I'm like any other sane stay at home mom and go through phases. I'll clean my house whole house, top to bottom, one day. Then I go 4 days without so much as touching the dishes. Why? That's the ultimate question isn't it?
Today, I actually had the desire to clean, because I knew how good I would feel afterward. I only got half the house done (in 3 hours!), but it's the half that visitors might see. If I do what I should do, I will clean the other half tomorrow.
Of course, as any house with kids living in it, not even a minute after I was done cleaning the kids had made huge mess. They found a box (we're still unpacking) with some Styrofoam in it, and went to town. It looked like it snowed! I guess I should have taken a picture for blogging purposes....

Friday, March 28, 2008


I have been wanting to create some kind of logo for myself. Especially now that I have started posting photos online. I thought it would be cool to use my name, since it is unique. My sister-in-law Angela helped with the logo by telling me how to spell "Jessica" phonetically. I plan to use this logo on all my art, photographs, and handmade stuff.

Dallas Blooms

The Dallas arboretum has their annual spring show right now. Me and my cousin Catherine and kids went there last week. I didn't bring my camera, and I wanted to kick myself. Well, Wednesday, Earl came over to the house and watched the kids for me so I could take pictures of the flowers. I didn't have a lot of time, but came away with some pretty good shots I think.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

MyFragile Sanity

Last night I was so excited. Joe was coming home. For some reason he always plans his flights to arrive at 11.30pm or later at the airport, which is an 1.5 hour drive. I went to bed, with the sweet knowledge that I would wake up with my husband next to me in bed. I even vaguely remember him getting in bed.
That must have been a dream. This morning, no husband in my bed. No husband in the bathroom, and no husband anywhere else in the house. A little confused, I got on the computer and checked his itinerary. Sure enough, I was off an entire day! I couldn't believe it. Another day without him! He is my strength, my sanity, and the only adult I interact with - really- .
My only hope for my mental sanity; it was my turn for the kid-swap with Teresa. So I dropped off the kids, and headed to Target. Nothing a shopping spree won't fix right? We are doing family photos this coming week, so I wanted to get "matching" outfits. I found some great polo shirts for the boys, and cute lacy, eyeletty tops for the girls. I still needed some things and had 30 minutes left, so I headed to Old Navy. My other sanctuary. As it goes in any store, I came out with WAY more than I had come for. The winter clothes were on sale, so I just had to get some for next year. It's always hard on my to buy clothes, or anything else for that matter, that I don't need right away, but I guess in the long run it saves a lot of money when I get it on sale. Of course my kids will never have the coolest, trendiest clothes, but will end up wearing whatever the store couldn't sell, and had to put on clearance to get rid of it. That's all right, they don't know the difference (yet)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sulking to a better mood

I had been dreading it all day. 3 hours outside, with nothing to do, and 2 kids to entertain. Tonight was T-ball practice for both Winter and Sterling, and they are back to back. So from 5pm-8pm my life is at a standstill. Well, not totally, because it's also good quality time spent with my kids. It doesn't happen often that I can give them my undivided attention. I am usually doing something.Sterling always plays first. He seems to have a great time, smiles a lot. However, he doesn't really get into the game. The coach often has to tell him to pay attention, and when the ball is thrown at him he doesn't always catch it...None of this matters to me though, as long as he is having a good time. I just think it's good for him to interact with other kids, and listen to other adults giving direction.
Winter and Ginger had fun reading books in the back of someone's pickup truck with some other girls that were waiting for their brothers.After Winter went to her own practice, Ginger entertained herself with bubbles for quite some time.I thought it would be fun to do a self-portrait of me at T-ball practice.
When I got ready to leave I noticed the flat tire. Oh NO!!!! My first flat tire ever. I guess I was lucky enough to have it at a place where some men could help me change it, and not on the side of the highway in the middle of the night.

Circle of Life

My whole life I've had 3 sets of grandparents. My father's parents got divorced, and both remarried when my dad was still little. I always had a strong bond with all of them, as my parents frequently let me stay over. My maternal grandparents were perhaps the most involved in our life. My Grandmother passed away today. She has been sick for the past couple of years, and her body finally had had enough. I am saddened to think I won't have to opportunity to see her again in this life, but at the same time rejoice to think I will see her again at some point. I also lost my grandma several years ago, and 2 of my grandpas last year, so now I only have 2 grandparents left. I am just glad that I had the privilege to know all of them, and happy to be able to spend some more (phone) time with the ones I still have.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fundraising for school

I just got finished spending my whole evening fundraising with Winter for her school. Her school is holding a fundraiser by selling cookie dough and magazine subscriptions. I am pretty new to all of this, and decided I better do my part. When she gets a certain amount of orders she gets all sorts of prizes. We met our goal of 20 sales, so she can do the "build a bear workshop" and also dress it in whatever clothes she wants. Then, we were so close to the next milestone, which is 30 seconds in the "money machine", so we just kept going a little longer. This money machine will be fun for her, because she can put anything she gets in her Disney piggy bank. I am going to have a little practice session with her.. I'm not sure how.. but I think we'll be able to work out a good strategy. I am mostly motivated for this whole thing because Winter's school obviously does not have extra money to go around. There are a lot of lower income families in the school, so they really will be able to use this. Thanks for all of you who have helped her reach her goal!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Disney World

I have been spending a lot of time these last couple of days, planning our Disney world vacation. My friend Tiffani and I were talking one day about how fun it would be to go to WDW (walt disney world) together. Besides the obvious fun-factor, there is also the convenience factor. We can split into groups according to age groups. One can take the bigger kids on the bigger rides, and the other can entertain the little ones. My friends have a time share in Florida, so we will go kind of as a referral. The only downside is that we'll have to go to one of those sales pitch meetings for 2 hours. Shouldn't be too bad right?
Anyways, I have been doing a lot of googling on tips and ideas on how to make Disney more pleasant with young children. I've gotten some good insights (which I'm not sure I am willing to divulge :) We'll be going in the off-season, so that should make it a lot more pleasant. My problem is that I LOVE Disney! I am still such a kid at heart. When Joe and I were working for WDW, I would frequently beg him to go to the parks. He liked it okay, but I just ate it up. I could seriously spend weeks there and not get sick of it. So my challenge is to make sure my focus is to not get too excited and into it, but focus on the kids and all the things they will love.
Anyone has any good tips on taking young kids to disney? Anything you would bring with you that would be easy to forget? Should I bring the video camera, or is that just too many camera's to handle? Is it terribly bad to put Ginger on a safety harness (or should I say "leash")?

Friday, March 21, 2008


Here's our newest addition.
Another one of our angora goats had a baby today. I guess it's baby season. Isn't he/she cute?
Oh yeah, and here's Sterling's cat

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Say what?

Kids can be brutally honest, but I still take their words with a grain of salt and try not to get depressed over the things they say. Winter has asked me more than once, things like:
"Why is your belly so fat? Is there a baby in there?"
Well, today I was feeling pretty good about my exercise habits when she said:
"How come you have a little bit of skinny legs?"
My pride got crushed pretty fast though, when not 30 minutes later she asked:
"Why are you getting so old?"
(referring to my mushy skin on my post 3-pregnancy belly)
I guess all I can do is answer these kinds of questions without any hint of emotional response, and maybe, just maybe, they won't remember their mom isn't perfect.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Under pantsies

As of last week we have no more kids in diapers!!! It is really nice!
For a while now Ginger has been ready to be potty trained, but I hadn't mustered the courage to do it yet. I thought I would just wait until it got warmer outside, so when she would be having accidents, it wouldn't matter too much. The poopy diapers finally prevailed. I had had enough! No more!
The way we have done potty training with all our kids is the "no more diapers" technique. Yes, cold turkey. The first two days she had pretty much only accidents, but after a week, she only has an accident if I can't take her to the bathroom as soon as she says she has to go. Pretty good! Oh, and we do let her wear a diaper at night (for my own selfish reasons) but she has woken up dry for the past 5 days. I think once we hit 3 weeks of dry morning diapers, we'll just take those away too.
Now more than ever, Ginger LOVES to take her clothes off, and run around in only her "under pantsies". (sometimes with a ballerina skirt and butterfly wings as decoration)

Friday, March 14, 2008


Today we had the honor to have Ruth visit with us.We fed the animals.
We went to Winter's school to help with the easter egg hunt.
I tried to get Ruth hooked on Lost.
We cuddled with Sterling's new cat. (did I mention yesterday was Sterling's 5th Birthday? He got a lot of fun presents including an all black cat. We had a party with Liz and Earl, and swam in our hot tub)
Ruth played with and read to the kids.
We scouted facebook for eligible bachelors. Did I mention she is available??
We schemed about my Easter harp performance, and she is going to sing with me!!!
I am so happy that we can hang out with her, and that the kids can get to know her.
I better get back to my guest!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Baby Chicks

We finally have baby chicks! My friend Teresa made it all possible! She made a really cool cage for them, supplied the feeder, feed, water troth, and even the chicks. She is awesome!
We got a variety of chickens. Some lay brown, green, blue, and chocolate brown eggs. Who needs an egg paint set, when you can get colored eggs straight from the chicken?
It will take about 6 months before they start laying eggs, but right now they are just fun to play with. They are hanging out in my garage, and the kids love to go out there to hold them.
On a sad note; I planted some of my vegetable seedlings in the garden last week, and then it had to start snowing. I thought they would be okay, because I only planted cool weather/hardy plants, but apparently the temperature difference was too much of a shock for them. Everything died! Next year I'll just go to the store and buy plants!! When I was at the store today, I was just gooing over their plants. They are so big! They must have started their seeds 3 months ago. So I did buy some onion plants, and hopefully they'll survive.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Pot Belly

This is one of the sites we see so often when our children our small, but easily forget unless we document them.

Dumber than a cow?

I know the saying goes Dumber than a donkey, but I officially vote to change it to dumber than a cow. After one lovely day of sunshine we are back to snow. For some reason, our cow Betsy has chosen to stand in the snow and wind, instead of hanging out in her nice "warm" stall. The sad part about it is that I can't do anything about it. Even if I would go out there, I can't coax her into doing anything I want her to do. I guess I do have to give her credit for standing right next to the house, which eliminates most of the wind. It really is a pathetic site.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Playing with photoshop

For the longest time I have not been able to successfully convert color photos to B&W photos. I asked a lady from one of the blogs I subscribe to what kind of light she used in her beautiful photographs. She told me she uses different "actions" in photoshop. I downloaded some and here are some of the results.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I would like to do a poll to see which photograph y'all like better.
Original: Artsy:You can vote on the upper left hand side of my blog until March 11th.
Can't wait to see the results!


For the past several years, while living in Idaho, the kids begged me to make a snowman with them. For some reason we never did, so this morning I seized the opportunity, in a very small window of time, and built one for them. The original idea was to build it together, but they were too cold, so I ended up doing most of the work... imagine that. Sterling did find the rocks for the mouth and eyes.

Winter is finally here

In Texas we don't get snow and winter cold weather until March! The strangest thing to me is how it went from 75 on Saturday to 20 and snow on Monday. It's a good thing I didn't plant my garden yet. The kids are enjoying it though, as they have asked me all winter long why there is no snow in Texas. A couple of years from now they won't even remember what snow looks like!!

Monday, March 3, 2008


It seems like a never ending battle. Finding a good stylist that will give a good haircut just seems impossible to me. One of my pet peeves is when the stylist cuts my hair, and then proceeds to curl it. This is so annoying because I RARELY curl my hair. The fact is, it needs to look good when it hasn't been blow dried, coaxed, curled, and smoothed out.
My hair routine is as follows. Wash and dry hair. Brush hair. Air dry. That's it. Sure, occasionally I will curl it, or blow dry it for a special occasion, but not most of the time.
I do have an idea of what I want my hair to look like, but I can't find any pictures, because the back of the hair is really what's important to me. The second problem I always have is making sure they don't cut off too much. No matter how many times I tell them I just want a half an inch, it always ends up being closer to 2 or 3. The hair in the front always fall victim to this the most, as they are always trying to "shape" my face. I don't want my face shaped! I just want long hair. My sister-in-law Ruth suggested telling them that I am growing out my hair for locks of love. That way they'll minimize the length they cut off, and don't hack at my hair if you mention layers. Oh those layers.... I've tried. They never end up looking right... but that might have something to do with the fact that my hair is so straight.
So tomorrow I will attempt again to find a stylist that will have the same vision that I do, and listen to ALL I ask of her.

Catch the kid

It has been raining pretty bad, and our sheep don't really have any shelter. So I decided to move our little kid (baby goat) with his mom into the shop; no problem. They have been hanging out in there at night for the past month or so. I also wanted to catch our 2 lambs and their mom, to put them inside as well. Well, the lambs won. They are still outside (shivering) and I.... well You can see! This is the result of me trying to catch lambs, who don't want to be caught, in a muddy field.
To make matters worse, it's supposed to snow tonight! Of course all of this has to happen when Joe is out of town!! Luckily Joe's dad is coming over to build a little temporary shelter for us. I don't know what I would have done without his help!

The dock

What's wrong with this picture?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Did anyone happen to record the Montel Williams show this past Thursday? When they taped it, they told us it would air on a Wednesday, so I've been checking to see when it would air. Well.... apparently it was aired on Thursday (Feb 28th), so I missed it. I would hate to spend $20 on a DVD if anyone of you has it on tape.


My kids love their grandma.
If they had a choice they would probably choose to live with her instead of me. I know this it normal for a 4 and 6 year old, so I guess I'll just enjoy the fact that they have the possibility to spend quality time with her.
No matter what holiday it is, she always has a fun activity planned. Anything from valentines hearts, to ginger bread houses, to Christmas decorations. Tonight she brought cookies for the kids to decorate. They each took turns, some cookies got licked, but overall they turned out very nice. We all enjoyed eating them as dessert.The one with the white frosting and pink sprinkles is now in my belly. How could I resist??

Darkness surrounds us

When I look out the window, all I see is blackness.
Blackness underneath, in the middle, and on top.
Then, all of a sudden, a flash of light.
Did someone just take a picture?
No, the heavens have opened up.
The rain is smashing down, the wind swooping.
But here I am in the light.
Everywhere else is dark.
We have a friend that others don't.
Although he is rusted, brown and mostly neglected,
he is the one to rescue us in time of need.
It only takes him a minute to realize we need him.
Even though we never think of him until we need him.
Our best friend when the power is out.
The generator.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Monsters in our lake

Last week Joe and his dad discovered something.....
We have monsters living in our lake. Well, not really, but they are gigantic crawdads. They almost look like lobsters or something.
Joe and Sterling actually cooked and ate one of them...
FYI I posted the "after picture" on my "mountains of clothes" blog entry.
Last night I spent the night at Joe's parents' so they could go out on a date. Someone always has to be home with great grandma Helen, so I got to spend the evening with her. We played a fun game of "hand and foot" and lets just say "what happens at grandma's, stays at grandma's".
Today our cousins Grace and Lille Morphis are staying with us. The kids have had a lot of fun playing with them and the goats, dogs, and cats. Besides some fire ant attacks everything has been great. My kids really play better when they have other kids to play with!

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