I’ve been having “a week” so far. Monday was lost to the rain and Hubby having the day off. We were all slugs and it was wonderful. The kids played on the computer or video games with Dad. I made French Toast for breakfast, Hubby’s request. I started the second sock of my Port Angeles Socks.

However, the downside to a day in Slugville is the realization, when you stumble downstairs the next morning for coffee which has already gone cold in the pot because it really WAS that long ago that Hubby left for work, as you look around the disaster of a kitchen and know you have a long day in front of you. If you are me, you heat up a cup of java in the microwave and waste too much time on the computer researching things to do on our camping trip, but nevermind that.

Yesterday was the Cherry Day in my week. I got dressed in one of the new tops I had gotten a while back, but hadn’t worn yet. I slipped on some jewelry and started right in on the laundry. In between swapping loads from the washer to the dryer and all the folding, I cleaned up the kitchen and ran the dishwasher. Around noon, I put on my cute wool coat, grabbed my grocery list (and one from the neighbor) and went up to the store for a little shopping. I found some great 4lb boxes of strawberries on sale for $3.99, so I bought two and sliced up one box for freezing as soon as I got home. I am seriously in love with the Foodsaver! (I did the other box this afternoon, just topped them and I’m going to freeze them whole.) I killed some time waiting for Hubby after dinner by playing on Facebook and lost track of the time. We were planning an early bedtime, but it was 10 pm before Hubby shut off Rockband and I realized that T-Man had put himself to bed already.

It was too late for a whole movie, but I did watch the second episode of Heroes (Season 1), even after Hubby was sound asleep. We have a few series shows that we never watched when we had cable and now we can watch them on DVD from Netflix. As a side note, it’s been two months since we’ve had cable and I’ve stopped watching everything (except for Survivor and Amazing Race) weekly. I wish I could say I’m making great strides in my craft-making wish list or that we’ve done some really in depth school projects, but that wouldn’t be true. I do find that we (the boys) are playing more video games and the kids and I watch more movies, which means that at least I am getting some knitting done.

We are planning our first camping trip of the season next weekend to the Oregon Coast, which will be chock full of fresh air, exercise and marine life learning and far away from electronic entertainment. Although the website does say that each campsite has electricity… I’ll use it to recharge my camera batteries and leave the laptop at home! We are taking Hubby’s brother with us, the starving college student who loves to hang out with family, but doesn’t have a car and our kids, who love their Coolest Ever Uncle. I can’t wait! Of course, between now and then I have a bazillion lists to make, food to buy and prepare, gear to check and double check, clothes to find and wash and everything else to do because Hubby works every day until then.

I’m laying low today (sadly realizing that it is already almost time for dinner) because of the migraine that will not go away. It’s been hovering all week and decided to assert itself today. I slept in, took it easy this morning and this afternoon as flown by in a blur. I manage short spurts of energy, but I’m really hoping it is gone by tomorrow morning.

Where has the time gone?

I blinked and another week has passed. I’m still trying to put together a post about Easter too. I may just scrap that and run with the Tulip Festival from this week. Yep, that sounds good.

We have a family tradition of going to the Tulip Festival for my birthday. The weather this spring has been cold, wet and dreary, so we planned a late-in-the-month date to drive up and see all the blooms. We got very lucky with the weather, it was sunny and fairly warm, with a little breeze. I loaded up some snacks, filled the hydration packs for the kids and packed the camera gear.

The drive up isn’t bad from our house, only about a hour. We turned off and started looking for the colorful fields, only to find field upon field of unplanted dirt. We went to our one tried-and-true spots that has a huge garden and found parking. Over the next hour and a half, I took pictures and we wandered the gardens.

IMG_6725 - Kids at the Windmill

The “Required” Windmill Photo

IMG_6735 - IDK the name

I was taken by the edges on this one. I took about 6 pictures of this one bloom, with 3 making the final Flickr cut.

IMG_6739 - Daffy Shadows

There were lots of daffodils too. They just aren’t my favorite. I did take a few just because and really loved this next one.

IMG_6871 - Short-Trumpet Daffy

There was every color, fringes and ruffled edges, big and little blooms, some in the sun and some in the shade. And then there were these baby pinecones T-Man loved.

IMG_6841 - Pinecone Bokeh

This picture though, while not of my favorite variety, was my absolute favorite shot of the day. You can click on any of the pictures to go to the rest of the set at Flickr.

IMG_6803 - LOVE this one

Happy May Day!

I’m going for a record of how many posts I can start with that phrase.

I really was sitting on the couch last night, tuning out the Rockband that was being played in the same room and trying to knit on my shawl-in-progress, when I looked up and uttered the only words that will make Hubby stop drumming and turn around.

No, don't leave!

Bye-Bye Doe

“Honey? There’s a deer in the yard!”

(Sorry for the poor quality of the photos – I had to drop my knitting safely, turn on the camera – which was wearing the wrong lens and the light was non-existent. I’m just happy I got a photo!)

So last night, this is where I was:

The First Campout of 2009

T-Man and I braved the 45-ish degree temperature overnight and slept out in the tent. We did decide to put the rainfly on, not because it was going to rain, but to keep a little more heat in. Hubby also ran an extension cord out from the house, so I had a place to plug my laptop in. T-Man is notorious for falling asleep exactly 3.2 minutes after his head hits the pillow, so I wanted something to do after he crashed. I knit for a while, but that is decidedly difficult without something so lean up against. I checked Facebook and finally started a movie about midnight, when the dryer (and by default the vent) stopped making noise.

This morning I was up about 7:45 am, after tucking my head back under the sleeping bag for a bit. I enjoyed the morning birds and the mooing cows until the school bus traffic got to be annoying. It was a nice break from the everyday routine and T-Man enjoyed it too.

We have been super busy this weekend, so I will only share a few photos of the highlights.

Alaska Boy cutting wood
Firewood Duty

Roasting Peeps
Yes, we roasted Peeps. Yummy!

Cozy reading spot
Home School Advantages for reading spots.

Pollen Dusted Pansy
Lots of planting happened. These little guys make me smile!

Fushia Leaves
The symmetry of a Fuchsia plant!

Pink Geranium
A cute pink Geranium in the planter box.

I hope Spring is visiting you, wherever you are today!

I have a To-Do list on the white board we use for school. Last week, the list was two columns and about 25 items long. Today, right at this moment, the list has 8 things on it.

However, I failed to put “update the blog” on the list.

I have been working on a new hat, but since I’ve frogged it (RIP IT, RIP IT) and started over FIVE times now, I’m thinking the yarn really wants to be a scarf (or something else?) instead. I also bought yarn yesterday for my first sweater. I’ll have more on that as soon as I get all the supplies I need.

I am hoping to get the Easter pictures uploaded in the next couple of days, but we have a busy weekend planned and I’m being realistic when I say it will probably be Sunday before I get to it. It will hopefully be from the sunny backyard, where we are planning to have a mini-camping vacation, as long as we actually get the great weather in the forecast. We are also going to try to roast Peeps…

Yesterday, the kids and I went to town for a few things. We stopped at the Craft Store that is going out of business, but I think their prices are even higher than before. We did find a few good deals, like a large pack of Sculpty clay (for a school project we did today) and some Clone Wars fabric. We didn’t find anything at the Going Out Of Business sale at Joe’s Sporting Goods either. I found some skis and a bunch of outdoor clothes that I would love to have, but I’m not willing to pay the 20% off price for. We stopped in at the Pet Store and petted some cute puppies just for fun, before heading to Hubby’s store. We scoured the clearance racks there too and then got the important things on my list, like cat litter, Mountain Dew and toilet paper. We will be going back tomorrow for the actual grocery shopping.

I finally started my new job today. I can’t remember if I even said what it was, but I am going to be cleaning for our neighbor that was injured in the bad car accident last fall. Today, I did a full clean of his bathroom and vacuumed the entire house. It took me about an hour and a half, so not too bad. I will go over in the morning for a bit to change sheets, do some laundry and maybe clean the kitchen. I’m anticipating about 10 hours a week, totally flexible and a lot less stress than the childcare.

I will try to be back with a less scattered post in the next couple of days. Enjoy your Friday!

Hidden Blue Egg

Hope you had a blessed weekend! One full of fun, family and lots of marshmallows and chocolate!

Hidden Pink Egg

I, of course, took too many pictures to have them all ready today, so I’ll share just a few of the start of the egg hunt.

Hidden Orange Egg

I’ll be back tomorrow with more!

Something happened this past week that I had given up hope on. I had stopped putting positive energy toward it almost seven years ago because whatever I tried didn’t seem to matter at all. It broke my heart, but I was determined to move on with what I could have an affect on. Namely, my kids and Hubby. The final catalyst for that was this last summer, when I truly had to decide which direction things were going to go. We all had an attitude adjustment and things have NEVER been better. It is amazing!

With the boost from the house being peaceful, Hubby being helpful and understanding and the kids starting to carry some of the load, I have found that I have some extra energy to spread around. Last week was Spring Break for the public schools and that meant that I had A.C. for full days, all week long. My mom had flown home only five days earlier and I was finally caught up with the laundry again. The weather was being uncooperative and I was slowly losing my mind. I couldn’t hold school hours and we couldn’t go anywhere. I focused my attention on getting Hubby’s youngest brother to come for a visit. I posted messages on his Facebook wall, chatted with him every time I caught him online and finally offered him something he couldn’t refuse – payment on his cell phone account so he could text again.

I first met Hubby’s youngest brother when he was nine – the same age G-Bunny is now – on my first trip to meet Hubby’s family. We were living in Idaho at the time, engaged to be married and we decided to drive to California for Thanksgiving. The story is a classic now. It was a crazy trip, staying in Reno for the night, getting stuck in a snowstorm on Donner Pass (we are going to die!!) and my first introduction to my in-laws.

So on Monday, Hubby got up early on his day off and drove over to the (Olympic) Peninsula to bring back his youngest brother for a visit. I spent that same day cleaning the bathrooms, vacuuming and keeping three kids entertained and fed. I was also getting text updates from Hubby every step of the way. We spent the next couple of days hanging out, watching movies, playing darts and a lot of chess.

Stretching the Brain with Rush Hour

Dart Masters and Trash Talkers

Wednesday night, I drove him back to school in Oregon. We left the house about 7:45 pm and if it hadn’t been for the monsoon rain, I would have made it back in one really long night. As it was, I dropped him off at 12:30 am and got as far as Kelso/Longview at 2:30 am, in rain so hard I couldn’t see, where I got a very nice (and expensive) hotel room for the worst night’s sleep I can remember.

The Hotel Room of Little Sleep

I was up again at 8 am, took a long hot shower, played on the computer for a bit and got a good cup of Chai for the road. I was home at 1:30 pm, in time to try to take a nap before the next wave of family (Sister, Brother and nephews) arrived at 6:30 pm.

I made a big pot of spaghetti for dinner and while the kids all played, we put together an All-Adult RockBand. We shut things down about 11 pm and everyone headed to bed. Friday was a mix of plans, including some snowboarding for my brother and nephew, a girls only shopping trip and Hubby working, but we played RockBand again that night until Hubby had to go to bed. I’ve never had so much fun playing it! We were laughing too hard at times to play or sing. We didn’t get to bed until 1:15 am (my kids included) because we stayed up to watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. Saturday’s weather was beautiful and we went to the park for the afternoon.

NaNa in the Tube

High Swings

Tabloid-ish helmet shot

G-Bunny aka Runs with Hair

Sunday morning was a slow-mover. I made breakfast. Hubby and Brother scouted out yardwork projects. The kids rode bikes and ran around in the yard. Sis and I divided plant starts and talked about our canning plans. Too soon it was time for them to load up and head home. As they were pulling out of the driveway, Hubby was texting the other sister that was supposed to be on her way to our house, only to find out that their plans had changed and they weren’t coming after all. I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to see her, but I’m thinking that back-to-back-to-back visits was a little ambitious!

All in all, I’m thrilled with how things are turning around. I feel like I have brothers and sisters again and the kids are building relationships with their cousins. We have plans in the works for the summer and things to look forward to. I might take the kids over for the Big Easter Egg Hunt this weekend, even though Hubby has to work, which I’ve never done. I feel like I can handle whatever might happen.