Thursday, September 28, 2006

Until the day dawns...2 Peter 1:19

The hot air balloon fair came to town. In previous years I have found out about it as I see the balloons up in the air, but this year I saw the announcement in the paper a few weeks ahead of time. The kids were excited and wanted to go see the balloons lifting off at dawn. Great. Dawn comes kind of early in the morning.

Since the paper didn't give an exact time and I didn't know how long it would take for the balloons to be set up prior to lift off, we left early last Friday morning. By 4:30 a.m. the kids and I were on our way to the field 40 minutes away. We followed the signs and found the launch site. It seemed rather empty, so I asked the older couple coming out of their RV if I was at the right place. Yes, I was, but they were in charge of parking the cars, and they weren't going to start doing that until 5:30. At 5:30 we parked and walked over to listen in on the pilots' briefing. About 6:30 the crews started laying out the tarps and unrolling the balloons.

It was cold, but exciting as the kids watched the process of the balloons being set up, filled with air (J got to help one of the crews with this), be rolled back up, and put away. Huh? As the sun was coming up the wind picked up, and the mass launch was scratched.

Disappointed, we piled back in the truck and returned home to take care of the critters and have a mandatory nap time since everyone was a bit cold and cranky.

Sunday morning we tried again. This time we dressed in many layers that included winter coats and mittens, opened the chicken coop before we left, fixed some breakfast sandwiches to eat on the way, and didn't pull out of the driveway until 5:40 a.m. Sunday morning was quite a bit more eventful and happy since the launch actually happened and the kids were fed and warm. By 8:00 we were on our way home. The boys spent the rest of the day with plastic groceries bags and hair dryers.

Yesterday morning we again got up early to visit the Sheep Dog Finals. It was fascinating to watch a dog herd four sheep through a series of gates with the master simply blowing on a whistle. We met up with some friends from med school who live in the area and went to their house for lunch. They have 2 little girls, so A was thrilled to play girl stuff for the afternoon. The Dog was also thrilled to have a few doggie playmates for the afternoon. The Dog got to attend the competition with us, leashed, of course. But he was able to run around and play in the afternoon. We decided to make a side trip on the way home to visit Costco and the discount grocery store, so after 13 hours, 298 miles, and half a tank a fuel, we returned home. Whew.

On a sad note, the friend who celebrated her 100th birthday a few weeks ago died this week. S still sleeps with the huge stuffed bear she gave him last year. He was pretty sad about it even though, at 100, it wasn't a huge shock. We are all looking forward to that new day dawning.

Monday, September 18, 2006

They washed their clothes...Exodus 19:14

It has been very busy around here the past few weeks. The hay needed to be cut, but The Man was occupied with more important things. I decided that I was perfectly capable of cutting hay, so The Man took the equipment to the field for me. The cutting was fairly boring and uneventful...except for the irrigation line wheel that I got a bit too close to and the broken bushing. We do have a spare wheel that we can swap for the one I munched and the bushing was only $14 to replace (that was probably due to the old equipment and not my driving). I had noticed the mower started making a louder-than-normal banging noise, but since it always makes noise, I didn't stop to investigate until the cutting-thingie quit cutting.

So, while trying to catch up on all the laundry from the recent backpacking trip I noticed the dryer was making a weird noise. Suspecting rocks left in little boys' pockets, I emptied the dryer of clothes and rocks. Even running empty, the dryer was still making noise. Since I had to make a trip to the local Fluff & Fold to wash the sleeping bags in the commercial washers, last weekend the kids and I loaded up every piece of laundry and $30 in quarters and set off to the
laundromat. Three hours later we were home with many baskets full of clean, folded clothes.

One of the sleeping bags was unwashed and one load of clothes wasn't dried since my quarters ran out and the coin machine at the Fluff & Fold was empty. As I was showing M how to hang his clothes on the clothesline at home M handed me the quarters left over from when he was helping load the machines. I thought my $30 had disappeared very quickly!

I washed 12 loads of laundry, but the little machines only hold about 1/3 of what my machine can handle, and there were only 3 functional dryers. After spending 3 hours there with four kids, I was inspired to take apart my dryer later that day. More rocks were found. The dryer only makes drying noises now. I hope to never return to the Fluff & Fold. Although the lady that runs the place did tell me that Coca-Cola will remove oil from clothing. It has to be the real stuff, not generic or some other cola. I probably never would have discovered that
on my own. Now I know!

After spending the morning in the laundromat with the kids I spent a quiet afternoon in the field raking the hay I'd already cut. I got most of that done before the rake started making a horribly squeaky noise. Given my recent history with the equipment, I quit while it was still functional. The Man & S greased all greasable parts yesterday, so I hope to get the remainder raked today.
The kids are all doing well. Above is one A's favorite drawings. She's been drawing quite a few of the example on the left. "This is you, Mommy, when you get out of the shower, before you get dressed." I finally asked if she could draw one with clothes. I find it fascinating that not only does my body and hair change color when I am dried and dressed, but I look taller also.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

As a...charging bear...Prov. 28:15

The Man and boys returned safely from their backpacking trip on Sunday. Yesterday we went to a Labor Day picnic at some church members' house. That's A with the "Look Ma, no hands" pose on the tire swing. I didn't take any pictures of the boys on the swing...I couldn't bear to watch.

Speaking of bears...The Man called as soon as he got to work this morning. I'm not to let the kids outside unattended today. It has something to do with the big pile of something The Man saw at the end of our driveway this morning. Yes, he's sure it is from a bear...or a HUGE dog that eats lots of berries. Maybe I'll go take a picture of it...or not.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My peace I give unto you...John 14:27

Total Weights: The Man—238 lbs., S—64 lbs., J—70 lbs., M—91 lbs.

It seems so still. The Man and boys went backpacking. We were all going to go, but since I still don't feel up to walking long distances, all the boys went and A stayed home with me. The dog misses them all greatly. I'm sure I will also once the long weekend is over, but right now I'm enjoying the stillness.

It isn't quiet here. A talks a lot. I never realized before how much she talks. Maybe she's just not used to the quietness and she's trying to compensate for it. She enjoyed playing with J's legos for awhile, but her favorite thing to do has been reading her Bible.

She can't read, but she thinks if she puts her finger on the words and talks really slow, it sounds like she is reading. She is very good at it. If it wasn't for the fact that I was following her finger I might think she was really reading. Today she asked me to read some verses to her from the first part of Luke 8. I did and she promptly told me I was wrong. "It act-u-ally says, 'My peaceness I give unto you.'"

Tomorrow she and I are going to attend the 100th birthday celebration for one of our church members. The boys will probably be home on Sunday. We've been out to collect eggs several times today. A enjoys doing that and M doesn't let her do it often. We need to go out now and top off the water for the horse and chickens. Have a wonderful weekend!