Sleepy Afternoons

A few weeks ago Ike decided afternoon naps were for the birds! It was driving me nuts becuase he would get so cranky. The weather has been beautiful this week so I have been trying to crank out sever outdoor projects...and I found the perfect sleeping solution.


Father and Son

Jared was playing with Ike last night after a long day at church, wonder where Ike gets those baby blues from....


Wild Animals....Meet Your Match

Last week we had a chance to go to the Alvin Bayou Wildlife Park and I have to say everyone (including myself) LOVED it....well except Ike who was mortified of the ostriches.

We loaded everyone up on a Jeep-pulled tram and had our bucket of food. We headed out into the open range. We got to feed and pet bison, elk, the crazy ostriches who would stick their heads into the middle of the tram for food, zebras, camels and lots of incredibly large animals with large horn that made me feel insecure sitting in our tiny metal tram. Safe of not it was amazing to get to experience these animals up close and personal.

However the highlight of the day...the pony rides.


Where is Buster in the Bible?

Last night during Family Home Evening Erin was asked to share her favorite scripture story. She started off "She was a Jewish Queen and someone told the King to kill all the Jews. She had courage to tell the King she was a Jew and help the people, even though he could have killed her. BUSTER SAVED HER PEOPLE!" "Um, E I think you mean Esther". "Oh ya, Esther" :)


Cilantro Cake

Cilantro Cake:

2 handfuls of fresh cilantro (de-stemmed by hand)

5 – green grapes squashed

8 – baby carrots

½ C. Milk

½ C. Lime juice (complements of Sous Chef Eliza)

Handful chocolate chips

1 C flour

¼ C brown sugar

½ C white sugar

4T baking soda

2T salt

Mix it well and bake at 350 for 25 minutes and enjoy!

Reaction of the Chef.....


Quotes of the week

True Love ~
While riding home from a play date last week I heard from the back seat "I'm going to marry Stevie Grundberg". Out of sheer curiosity I asked Erin what made her come to that conclusion. Her response:

"We'll, I'm five....and Stevie's five...we're the same age and I think its good to marry someone the same age".

I decided to dig a little deeper...
"Well Erin, Does he treat you well?" "Oh yes!"
"Does he make you happy? " "Yes mom, I LOVE him!"
"Does he make you laugh" "He is sooo funny!"
"Is he ever mean to you?" "No, he's a very nice boy!"
"Umm, has he ever kissed you?" "No mom HE RESPECTS ME!"

Well there you have it, true love at age five. What more do you need? :)

"Deader fish are better fish". ~ Jared was studying Thursday night so I took the girls shopping and we stopped by Pet Smart to get their monthly animal fix. Eliza was obsessed with the hand sanitizer stations (she is our new house health commissioner). And Erin was obsessed with the one bloated dead goldfish floating on the top of the water. She kept saying she wanted to buy that one...becuase it would be easy to take care of....how do you argue with that point? So she came home singing "Deader fish are better fish".

"We don't moon at the dinner table"....Need I say more? Just one night I want a dinner without fighting, major spills or nudity.

"Mom, why are you reading that naked magazine?" ~ Sunday night I was reading this months National Geographic and they had an article about African bush tribes. Erin thought the boy ritualistically jumping over the cows back probably should have been wearing pants and he need to go buy some. When I told her they didn't have stores her eye got really big and she said "where do they buy their lunchables?" (she didn't stomach the picture of the daily kill too well).



Eliza got some new stickers....Isaac was the victim.

Tumble Me Some Soil - The Birth of a Compost Tumbler

There is one thing Jared and I often disagree about…it’s my compost pile. It hides behind our garden shed, out of sight from the house, but he just is not a fan of it (which I see his point, it is a pile of rotting organic matter). However I win the argument, because I know how frugal he is and kindly remind him a good bag of compost is about $4.00 so I would be happy to throw it out and drop about $70.00 at Lowes every year on dirt.

Anyway I have been looking at compost tumbler plans for a while because of the *#@#% fireants, however I couldn’t fork over the money to well, make something rot faster. My friend Tiffani had purchased a couple of 55-gallon drums at the local car wash for $10.00 and offered me one. I still had some scrap lumber lying around so I decided if I could build one for under $25.00 I would…and I did!

There are several different plans out there and after some research I did what any good do-it-yourselfer does – scrap the plans and make your own.

I built it over three days (between kids helping, nursing, and everything else, things are slow going around here). Over all time was about five hours.

My goal was to make this a budget project and considering the nature of the project is recycling, I thought it was fitting to use as many recycled materials as possible for construction.

The 4x4 supports were old fence posts we still had from when Ike blew down our fence (they were snapped off at group level so never tall enough to use for anything else) and the 2x4’s were scrap wood we had the around the house. The axle is a 1” metal pipe (gas?) Whatever it was it has been lurking behind my garden shed since we moved in.

The barrel came from the local car wash. I drilled two 1 ¼” holes in it to run the axle through. I cut a 16x12 in door in it with a jigsaw. After some research I decided to go with a 12" piano or contiguous hinge for the door and then three three-inch latches. Because the barrel is plastic I tossed the screws and bolted all the hardware.

One thing I read on several sites was that people got too carried away with the holes so I drilled about 12 1” holes in the barrel. The compost needs oxygen to get the job done; my only concern is I hope bees don’t find it homey.

And that was it; I now have a functioning compost tumbler. I am thrilled how it turned out and even loaded it turns smoothly. A tumbler technically does not make it compost faster, however you are more likely to turn it more often, thus I should have a beautiful fresh hummus about every six weeks. So now every few days I walk out and give it a turn.

I’m happy that I no longer have to deal with fire ants, Jared’s happy the pile of debris will no longer exist and the worms in my garden are happy they won't die from lack of O matter in the soil.


At the Museum

Eliza's speech therapist gave us a passes for a free day at the Children’s Museum. I take the kids at least a few times a year, but Jared had the day off so we went as a family. Life has just been crazy lately and it was nice to relax for a day and have some fun with the kiddos.

The museum had a major renovation last year and they built this three-story climbing structure, which I totally wanted to play on and got to (perk of being a parent). Although parents were welcome, it was not necessarily built for people who have child-bearing hips.

Jared and Eliza enjoyed building paper rockets and airplanes and putting them to the test in the launch cage. I think Eliza could have played with the launch cage all day.

We parked a couple of blocks away in front of this random art/bicycle repair shop. The highlight was they had a bunch of free-roaming geese, an oddity for an urban neighborhood, but it made my day.