Sunday, August 30, 2009

Week Highlights

The McAllister household has been rockin and rollin this week!!! This photograph is our intrepid explorer, ready for anything, with THREE light sabers.

Also, the pinewood derby was this week, and Caleb ran a car he likes to call "Fireball". He ended up about the middle of the pack. We enjoyed the race.

And another photo-op: Ethan came in hollering, "Look at how strong my grasshopper is, Dad!" He is really good at catching grasshoppers, it is one of his current favorite pass-times. (And Leslie hopes he will grow out of it soon.)

We held our first ever yard sale on Saturday. We made a whopping $64, and I got a sunburn. I also sold my piano. I bought one a week ago at another yard sale, because it had a softer sound than our old one. I really like the new one, and the old one has a good home at the neighbors :) Nathan and Jacob moved both of them yesterday.

My personal giggle of the week happened this morning. I was walking to church behind Miriam and Seth. They were holding hands and Miriam was waving a white handkerchief. I absentmindedly did some thinking out loud, and said, "I have a problem." and Miriam immediately turned around and offered me the handkerchief saying, "Here, Mom, use this to wipe the sweat."

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I think I am ready to talk about it.

So, as many of you are experiencing, school started for us this week too. The kids went back Monday morning. Sunday night, this was our status:

Jacob was registered, but missed most of his orientation (arrived just in time to hear them say, "Go ahead and walk around the school.") and he was not registered for seminary, or at least we didn't know what his seminary status was.

Leslie was registered, but we had not yet received her schedule, so she was a bit stressed, not knowing which classes she would be going to, or in what order. This also meant she didn't have a locker.

Camille was sick with a fever, but determined not to miss the first day.

Caleb was registered, but this mom hadn't looked at the paperwork from his teacher in detail, and so, didn't have the multitude of specific school supplies on his list. Ugh!

Miriam was excited to go.

Ethan was still not registered for Kindergarten, also due to mom not catching all the details, we did take him in for his immunizations, but failed to have a physical exam paper signed by the doctor, and now the doctor was on vacation. Sigh.

Seth was just whiny.

Monday morning dawned ruthlessly. Jacob left at 7 a.m., and so did Leslie and I to track down her schedule. After minimal time in line, we had it in hand, and Leslie was off to French class. Mom ran to Walmart to finish the list for the elementary teachers, then home to pick up the kids and take them to Back to School Morning. May I just say that I already like the new principal, as she totally drew a blank in front of all the parents, and finally had to send us on our way without the last announcement, what ever it was. I love it when we are all human, and we are all ok with it.

Finally, to the office, where Ethan was registered without a hitch. The secretary telling me that they can't require the physical form anyway. Phew! And he is in Mrs. Sessions class! Miriam had her, and we just love her.

At 11:20 Jacob showed up to eat lunch at home and run back to school. HOW SWEET IS THAT! Better yet, Nathan drove over to the seminary building and dealt with that one so I didn't have to. Jacob will be going early morning, 6:10 Tues. Wed. Thurs.

The only other notable of the day, is Camille did make it through school, but returned home sick again.

We found out on Tuesday that she has salmonella. Her poor body just isn't fighting it off , but now we finally know what we are dealing with, she is on an antibiotic, and hopefully we will see her well soon.

We are constantly blessed so this big family can function, many times in spite of all our mistakes. I live each day, grateful for Heaven's kind intervention.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ode to the Tomato

You would think that I would be writing back to school posts right now. But I am still recovering from all of that, and this is a more pleasant thought for the moment. (We did survive the Back To School experience. Phew!)
I love tomatoes straight from the garden. My dad introduced me to this wonderful taste as a child, and even though there might have been a time when I didn't love tomatoes, I don't remember when that was. Last year, I was craving them so bad! My hunger then has turned into crazy passion now! I just can't get enough. I have made salads and sandwiches with them, I eat a few each day with salt and pepper, this morning, Nate came in and said:
"A bit early to be hitting the salsa, isn't it, Jenny?"
No! Salsa for breakfast is GOOD FOR WHAT AILS YOU! Or GOOD EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT AILING! Just saying.
I made bruschetta for the first time the other night. The mind boggles at how many wonderful combinations of food tomatoes make great. Sigh of contentment. Not sure what I will do with the crop after it starts putting out more than I can eat. Maybe some chili sauce. Something wonderful will be called for. Second best to fresh out of the garden is sitting smugly on my shelf to be enjoyed in the cold of winter. I am posting my bruschetta recipe, as close as I can remember it. Happy harvest, everyone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Bear Lake

We had a visit to Bear Lake yesterday and today with Nathan's brother and his family. They have vacation property there, and are so sweet to share an invitation with us each summer. I haven't been able to go for several years because of one child with illness or another. It was great to go again! What is lame is, I didn't take my camera!!! So you will have to trust that we dug big holes in the sand, buried Jacob and put a silly hat on him, and played on the wave runner. Jacob broke up with his girlfriend and has decided to not date until he is 16. Great decision, Jacob. He has seemed happy and relieved. I know his mother is. :)
The weather was gorgeous today, a bit windy yesterday, water chilly, as usual. So nice to see new scenery and do new things for a minute. So nice to have some time as a whole family before the kids go back to school. I am so grateful for two days making memories. Grateful for the drive up and down Logan canyon. Grateful for eyes to see it all. I am blessed.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

New, New, New

Do you know I can change a diaper faster than my computer can upload my blog photos? And we are not talking dial up folks. It is one of my skills. Not sure what it is good for, but there you have it. The new things at our house are 1) New paint and 2) New color in my kitchen.
This is Nathan and Ethan painting on the new frosty lime green over the non-descript ugh pink.
I love the color, and Nathan's paint job is pretty much perfect, Thanks Honey! Thanks Ethan and Seth!
Leslie, blending into her surroundings.

The next new thing at our house is 3) a New pretty little grey kitten. I didn't know I needed a kitten when I woke up on Saturday morning, but one of the yard sales we went to had kittens. When we first saw them, there were 3 of them, all wrapped in a big black sweatshirt, being held in a bundle by their owner. Two black and one tiny grey face poking out between. Leslie and I were charmed, but we moved on. Or so I thought. We decided to go back and handle the kittens, to see if they were social and ask some questions. We both loved the grey kitten, so we held her first while we asked if they had been around children, if they had been outside, what kind of diet were they on, etc. During this conversation, I had put the grey kitten down and was holding her black sister. Leslie was standing poised to get the lady's phone number so we could go home, consult with the family and return. In the meantime, another lady and her son came and picked up the grey kitten. All I could think was, "You can't have my kitten!!!!" Happily the lady moved on, but I couldn't leave the kitten there. I was already in love. I put up the $5 and we drove home with her. Nathan doesn't love kitties, but he is humoring me.
She is super sweet tempered. The kids all love her, and she seems to be adjusting to our home well. My big old boy kitty is offended. I have to consult the professionals on advice to help them be friends. We'll see, but I hope they can get on, so she can watch him eat for us.

The kids have called her Mitten, I call her Mitsy, Baby, Lovebug. Who knew?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Rescued from the Kitchen Floor

My husband and I have different views on what toys are worthy of rescue if we are cleaning. I first noticed this years ago while cleaning the basement, Nathan would vacuum up barbie shoes, but bend over and pick up legos, and return them to their owner. I brought this to his attention, and he has become more fair, sometimes picking up the barbie shoes, sometimes sucking up the legos. :)

For my part, I judge a toy's garbage status in an intricate equation that includes how many times I have had to pick the thing up recently, and the age (and sometimes current attitude) of the owner. Number of children who can claim the object also gets factored in, as does particular attachment to the toy. When I don't feel like doing the "math", I chuck it. So, Mom's current mental health, and physical health play a role. At least Nathan had a better intuitive model, toss the pink and purple, save the primary colors. So much simpler.

Today, the wind is in your favor, boys, mom rescued a lego storm trooper's helmet from the sweepings. :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Princess Party

Last night we had a celebration of temple weddings. Some dear friends and their daughters came. We talked about our weddings and the girls dressed up in all the mom's dresses.



It was a fun night. One we hope the girls will remember. :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Apple Daze

This is evidence that our home teacher loves us! Transparent apples are my favorite ones for applesauce and pie filling. This beautiful mountain was grown and picked for us by our neighbor and home teacher. This was what they looked like this morning. I was planning to do some of them, maybe 28 quarts of applesauce. That sounded like a reasonable goal, one a woman can be proud of. But then my husband stepped in.
Nathan is not a man to do things half way. The mess was already underway, may as well finish the project!

We enlisted all this capable help. :) Seth is sitting in one of the boxes, sampling yet another apple. Ethan is loading a pitcher to bring more apples to the sink. I don't have a picture of Camille at work, but she was a trooper, she cut apples for hours. Caleb hauled jars up from the basement. It has been a family effort.

So, 51 actual quarts of applesauce, and 14 quarts of pie filling later.... we are pooped!!! But happy.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rodeo Highlights

We spent our Friday night at That Famous Preston Night Rodeo in Preston, Idaho. We were there to watch my nephew Tyce compete in the Mutton Bustin'. I was asked yesterday what mutton bustin' is, so I'll explain: This event is for young children, most of them are about 4 years old. They fill the rodeo chutes with sheep, strap a bike helmet on the youngster, and put him or her on a sheep. There are two accepted forms of holding on to your sheep, one is to grab two handfuls of wool and hope, the other is to lean forward and try to get your little arms all the way around their neck. Either way, when they open the chute, it is just you and the mutton, and you never know what will happen. The rodeo announcer always names the sheep as they bust out of the chute. Tyce rode one they called Pepto Bismol. :) He rode for about three bounces and then bounced off. The winner of the mutton bustin' always gets a trophy that is taller than he/she is. I think this is one of the rules. Tyce received a belt buckle for his ride, and he was sure proud to show it afterwards.
I am a rodeo crazy. I love this stuff! I haven't been to one in years, so I was so excited to go, and That Famous Preston Night Rodeo draws some great talent to compete. It was Seth's first rodeo, but he was hooked from the introduction of the royalty. The cowgirls rode by with their sequined shirts and their tiara-decked cowgirl hats, and he was in to it. He especially liked the bulldogging (the steers with the horns were all "big ones") and the barrel racing. (More cowgirls.) We were sitting on the very top row, so he spent some time watching people go by under the bleachers behind us, and I know at least one cowgirl smiled and waved to him. :)
I think Nathan's favorite was when the rodeo clown and entourage sang the YMCA. :) Good times. Some women, when they get old, are going to wear purple. This woman, is going to follow the rodeo circuit. If my kids will live in towns with good rodeos, they can count on seeing me rodeo weekend. :)