Wednesday, February 27, 2013

It's, Um, A Kind of Cake?

Ah, school projects have begun!  I'm so grateful for these days where school projects are fun and involve twigs and quality time with Daddy on the back porch.  Andrew's class has been studying Abraham Lincoln, so they were given the assignment to build a log cabin from the materials of their choosing.  Andrew, my literal and straight-laced boy, naturally chose sticks.  He cared nothing for embellishment, but enjoyed using the hot glue gun tremendously and followed the log-laying pattern precisely.  I'm trying to imagine what Elsbeth will do when it's her turn.  A Twizzler cabin with glitter marshmallow chimneys surrounded by dragon-laden forests perhaps?

The finished product. Phil noted it might be a wee bit drafty, but it was the most spacious cabin among the lot.

Here's Miss Imagination herself, very into coloring these days.  She can spend 2 hours on a coloring book, especially if you have a fresh orange marker available.

You know those days where everything seems to be going so smoothly and the children have been peaceful and happy and many chores have been accomplished and day is quietly winding down and you're contentedly fixing supper while patting yourself on the back for clearly doing something wonderful and right?  Yeah, I had one of those about a week ago. And you know what comes next.  The Lord laughs His kind, good-natured laugh. 

I can't remember everything that happened, but I know things got crazy in a big hurry beginning with Elsbeth falling apart (to do with waiting for supper, I believe) and ending with several wild crashes down the stairs that momentarily stopped my heart. Fortunately just a plant, not a child.  Andrew had decided to make a sling shot by tying one end of a stretchy exercise band to my planter on the landing and the ensuing mess was really something to behold.  Here he is preparing to help with the clean up.  Look how penitent he looks, poor lad.  I told him to look sad and sorry for the picture and he said he didn't know how. 

Confession: I am a productive procrastinator.  I'm probably the best that I know.  This means that when there are jobs to be done that I don't want to do (which is always), I find other things to do that are lovely and way more fun and often create more jobs I don't want to do.  My latest distraction is making bread.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

Dinner Rolls

Biscuits ("Mama's Biscuits" from the Mitford Cookbook)

Yum.  I recently spoke to an elderly woman who lives out in the country, and she remembers her mother making biscuits three times a day, some for every meal.  I'm not quite there yet, but I'm pretty sure I could eat them three times a day with no complaint. The Fiery One prefers hers with apricot jam on top.

So presently it would not be unusual to find Andrew eating a lovely slice of fresh bread and jam for breakfast while wearing his school uniform that we dug out from the bottom of the hamper.  

And finally, big thumb-sucking news!  I think Els has nearly kicked the habit.  I wouldn't have been overly concerned about it yet to tell you the truth, but as a part of her thumb-sucking ritual she would  also rub the side of her nose until it bled.  I can't believe this didn't hurt, but it never seemed to bother her in the least, and she was never without scabs on her sweet little snoot.  I tried the nasty nail polish stuff (which she sucked off without hesitation).  So we moved to taping her thumbs with medical tape during the day, which ended up working pretty well.  But at night, she'd pull the tape off or try to suck her thumbs half asleep and end up with a loop of tape in her mouth, which didn't seem like a good idea.  We put socks on her hands, but those came off as well.  Finally, inspiration struck.  Tights!  I cut out the elastic in a pair of her tights, leaving them connected in the back, and it's worked beautifully!

You may now feel free to heap on praises for my new invention.  Still trying to think of a name. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Not To Mention the Biggest Ella Fitzgerald Ever

And ... I'm back. 

Wow, I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted.  September!  I had been writing about how summery it was, and here it is now a rainy day mid-February.  At least I have an excuse this time ... adoption paperwork!  That and adoption classes. And adoption interviews. And adoption books.  Phil and I have decided to add a third wee bairn to our family through domestic infant adoption, if the Lord sees it through, and we're pretty excited.  We should have final approval from the Bethany Christian Services chieftains any time now, which means our family profile book will soon be available for mothers in our area who have decided to make adoption plans for their baby.  Never done this before, so I'm not quite sure what to expect, but I'll keep you posted!

Other happenings since last I wrote:

Andrew decided to become a chicken.

The kids have continued to be wild over the chickens, and one day last fall Andrew just up and decided he was one.  He was absolutely determined to sleep in the coop, which entertained me greatly, so we (I mean I ... Phil was wisely against this) told him he could, assuming naturally that as the temperatures plummeted and the scent of hen poopies filled his nostrils, he would come back in.  It turns out our mild mannered boy has quite the will about him, and I think it was about 10pm when Phil and I finally had to force him out of the coop, much to his righteous anger at being lied to.

We had a lovely Halloween with Mario and an Orange & Pink Butterfly

 Elsbeth's orange wings are folded behind her, just so you know.  They were both adorable and had a blast trick-or-treating with dear friends.

Our girls started laying!

In fact, we've just started getting eggs from the younger ladies, too!  We've only got 7 hens left (more on that later), 3 of the older ones and 4 younger and we're probably averaging 2 to 3 eggs a day right now.  Once all the little ones are laying and the days lengthen out (they lay more with more daylight hours), we'll probably be getting 5 - 7 eggs a day.  Not bad!

A Merry Christmas was had by all

I never seem to get any good holiday pictures with my camera - this is the best I could find.  Christmas morning was lovely here at home with Nannie and Papa to add much joy to our festivities.  We visited the extended Mobley clan before Christmas where we got to spend time with my beautiful new niece, Candler (Sallie and David's daughter).  I can't seem to locate a picture of her, blast and wretch, but trust me ... she's pretty fabulous. 

My lovely Nana stepped to the other side of eternity

I am so grateful we all got to see her healthy and beautiful in October for her 90th birthday.  She was such a remarkable woman - so wise and funny and loving and passionate about her Lord.  We all miss her lots, and just can't wait to see her again! 

The children played in the ocean in December on Pawley's Island

We celebrated Christmas with my parents on Pawley's Island just before the New Year and took the kids to the beach to feed the birds and run along the beach.  My mom and Phil claim that the fact that both children were up to their armpits in the ocean by the end of it was entirely my fault.  Whatever.  What's important is  that they had the most tremendous fun splashing in the frigid ocean and no permanent damage was done. 


Trip of a lifetime!  In January Phil had to go to go to a conference on Oahu, poor darling, so I tagged along.  We went a few days early to Kauai and it was heaven!  Beauty as far as the eye can see.  Mountains, oceans, wild chickens, this place has it all.  I even got to swim with sea turtles and see whales (in between bouts of retching off the back of the boat. No more boats ... EVER.) 

Hawks, Horrible Hawks

Before Christmas a beastly hawk got our little Loretta.  While we were in Hawaii, another got Beatrice.  And about a week later, I ran outside to find sweet Rosemary lying lifeless under the back porch after having been dragged there by yet another evil bird of prey.  I chased that hawk away, screaming insults that I hope he never recovers from, and scooped up my girl.  She was still breathing, but I was sure she had been slashed to bits and was expecting guts and spurting holes.  I checked her over and couldn't believe there were no visible wounds, and moments later, to my delight, she opened one of her beady eyes to give  me the kind of suspiciously ticked off look only a chicken can give.  I coddled her and fed her her favorite chicken treats and she spent the night in a clothes basket on the dining room table.  The next morning during breakfast, she hopped out and took herself on a tour of the downstairs, occasionally stopping to give quite the impassioned speech about her ordeal.  She soon joined the others outside and has been fine and dandy ever since.

Enter Roxanne

So now we have Roxanne, an 87 pound Great Pyrenees with a sweet spirit and a fabulously deep bark to strike terror into the heart of any creature that dares turn a hungry eye towards my feathered babies.  Roxanne was a working dog guarding sheep (or maybe goats?) until her elderly owner got ill and turned her over to a local rescue group.  She's been Roxanne her whole life or I'd consider changing her name since we already have a Roxanna (Nannie) and a Roxie (our Barred Rock hen), but I think we'll be able to figure it out.  The kids are crazy over her and she has the patience of Job with the two of them, and Roxanne herself has fallen madly in love with Phil.  Pretty darn cute.  Shiloh had some startling language to share at their introduction and Mr. Tumnus almost flipped his gizzard when he saw her, but now the dogs just ignore each other and Mr. Tumnus rubs up against her legs and purrs.

And there you have it.  Just another 6 months at the Mobley asylum for the slightly daft and undeniably impulsive.