Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We celebrated last night by going out to The Melting Pot restaurant. It was so yummy! I'm a total fan of that place. We figured the last time we went was for Brian's birthday when I was pregnant with Ben, so I suppose we are allowed to splurge on a nice night every 4 years or so. Anyway, we had "The Big Night Out" four course meal. Cheese fondue, house salads, meat and veggie fondue with great spices and flavor, followed by dessert...chocolate fondue with fresh fruit. I was so full after all that I could barely stand up to walk out. Seriously, it's an experience that everyone should have at least once.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Each time I try to stifle a snicker, but he always hears and gets upset with me. "It's not funny, Mom. I really do always miss it!"
If you're not stifling a snicker after reading this, you have no sense of humor... It sure is fun to be a mom. :)
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Monday, July 21, 2008
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
During 4th year certification, the Youth Leaders got really bored. They had pocket knives and started whittling sticks. Soon they found pointy rocks, etc, etc, wasn't long before they had made themselves spears and were acting like cavemen. Alexandra told us a story about her younger brother who had been reading scriptures with the family and read about weapons of war, but pronounced it weep-ons. So, the spears became weep-ons.
Alexandra and Tess began acting like cavemen, with tribal chanting, threatening terrible attacks, ridiculous dances, you know -- The Works. We adult leaders thought it was totally funny. I was in the dining hall after lunch and the girls came to ask where Sister Baker, our Stake YW President, was so they could show her all their new weep-ons. I told them they couldn't show her until they were in full costume with war paint. I knew just where to find face paint in the craft supplies. After getting in costume, we ran up the hill to the pool.
They had been running toward the pool before, so I ran with them. They got distracted talking to someone as we left the mess hall, so I ended up running in front. The girls were laughing so hard that they couldn't keep up. I told them to pick it up, don't let the pregnant lady beat them up the hill. By the time I got to the top, I was laughing so hard I could barely breath and was tripping on my feet.
From the pool, the Stake YW Presidency heard crazy Indian war cries, followed by me coming up over the crest of the hill. I totally tripped because I couldn't stand up anymore for the laughing and rolled across the ground. The girls were charging right behind me up to the top of the hill, spears raised and chanting. I haven't laughed that hard in a long, long, long time. I totally LOVE camp. I show up the first of the week my regular self and come home a whole new, revived Angie. Camp is good for my soul. It teaches me and reminds me how it is to laugh with the zeal of youth.
Life is never better than at Young Womens Camp!
Friday, July 18, 2008
While we were off rock climbing, one of the cool 4th year girls, Melissa, offered to braid each of the ponytails for me. It looked even better by the time I got back to camp. Then I went swimming to cool off and we made the braids loop back into a circle, so I had big loops sticking up all over my head.
No one in camp was giving me any sort of true competition until dinner. Michelle Dart came to dinner with toothpaste, chapstick and a bunch of other stuff stuck in her hair. I had nothing more to offer. They ended up choosing to award one prize to an adult and one to a youth leader, so I was still able to get a treat and the sweet, sweet victory of winning.
The pictures just don't do it justice, but it was cool...
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Before Mom left for girls camp, we went on a fishing expedition using the couch as our boat and Potsy (my doll) was the fishing pole. I drove the boat. We caught lots of big fish and cooked them and then ate them.
Grandma Zufelt has done lots of fun things with me this week. We went to ride the train at Burke Lake Park, we played with my Thomas train set for three days straight and we went on some walks together. We also made some spaghetti with some playdough.
Today we went outside to watch the workers replacing some of our cement sidewalk with their bobcat tractor that gets cement out of the mud and they brought a cement truck with a cement slide to fill the hole. They called the cement truck on the phone to come fill the hole. They worked very fast because it was a fast job.
I am having lots of fun with Grandma, but I miss Mom a lot. I will be happy when she comes home on Saturday.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Here are some fun pictures of the kids working with grandma, including Maddie's attempts to clean up by wiping everything, including her toes. Guess they must have been sticky.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
He read his first simple book yesterday. I came in and he had skipped ahead a ways right to the book. It had lots of words he hadn't ever practiced, but he read the whole thing just great! We're proud of him and his enthusiasm.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Within a block, he started freaking out. "I left the Thomas!" I was pretty sure he had it in his hand walking out, but couldn't totally guarantee it. I asked him to calm down, but he was nuts. Maddie was already falling asleep, though I don't know how she could with the wild screaming going on. Ben wouldn't calm down, so he couldn't earn the train back and boy did I hear it all the way home. That was a super long 15 minutes. I looked all over the floor of the truck when we got home and couldn't find the train. I figured we really had left it at Brigham's place.
First thing this morning, Ben was tantruming again because he wanted to go get the train at Brigham's house. I told him he had to earn it. It took 1 1/2 hours to clean up 20 books, 2 blankets and 10 pieces of clothes. Finally, I called Brigham's mom to see if we could drop by. She said they didn't have it, so I checked the truck again. Sure enough, Thomas was right in Ben's car seat. Touching the side of his leg the entire 15 minute drive with Ben scream at the top of his lungs. Lesson learned: never trust the eyes of a 4 year old when they tell you they looked everywhere.
Now we just need to figure out what to do about all these wretched tantrums. I've about had it...
After waiting two years, Brian picked up some cherries last Saturday morning. I decided to take a nap in the afternoon. Before I fell asleep, I started hearing a rhythmic, pop-clunk. I knew what it was and tried with all my might to stay in bed to give Ben and Brian their special time. Finally, I couldn't take it any longer. I had to see the cherry pitter in action. Ben met me at the kitchen door and threw himself across the doorway, trying with all his might to block the door by touching both sides of the wall. We're making a surprise, he said desperately. I had to tell Brian I what I wanted so he could talk Ben into letting me in to see the kitchen.
Finally, after the long years of waiting, I was able to pit my cherries. Or at least use the machine. We figure it pitted around half of them. The other half are still inside because the plunger missed the pit and just made holes in the side of the fruit. Sort of a let down. Maybe next year, we'll just leave the pits in and keep it simple.
Brian and I went through school happy as can be, living in our small apartments with no yard to mow or things to fix. None of the things we had to do during our growing up years. Finally we finished school, started working and bought a cute little house in Houston, Texas. It was probably the very next fall as the weather began to turn cooler in November that I felt this odd tug in my heart to make my house a home. I really wanted to can applesauce. That would make it home to me. Weird, I thought, that I'd ever want to do that.
Maddie in peach orchard at 1 year.
Two years passed and I thought of it from time to time. Finally, I tried my first strawberry jam when my mom was in town after I had Ben. It was fun to make and mom was there to make sure I didn't ruin it and waste all that money. That jam was precious to me and we made a ton. About three months later, Kristie and Anthony moved in. We shared groceries, cooking and chores (though they were lots better at doing their chores than I ever was...). I saw the jam disappearing so quickly it made me want to cry. Kristie had a rule that if we have any kind of pasta, from lasagna to mac'n'cheese, we must have bread with the meal. Of course, having bread means you must have jam. It sure went fast. There were about 8 bottles left when we moved to Virginia. I seriously considered how I could bring 8 jars of freezer jam on the airplane. In the end, I bequeathed them all to Kristie and Anthony. It was a really sad day for me to say goodbye to it.
Angie, Maddie and Ben picking raspberries.
Upon our arrival in Virginia, I became great friends with Cara Glassett. She lived around the corner from us and moved in only a week or two after we did. She decided to find an orchard in Virginia to pick apples. She found one and had a fantastic day picking apples and got us a bag. Finally, I saw my chance. We (Cara and I) decided to make applesauce together. I already had the sauce maker machine and lots of empty bottles, she had the steam canner and the know how.
Brian was out of town for two weeks when we undertook the crazy process. I put down huge blue tarps all over the carpet and we began. The entire kitchen was a disaster and the tarps were so sticky from apple juice drippings. We learned a lot but never had I had so much fun spending so many hours working, cooking, squishing and measuring. I think every dish in my entire house was sticky when we finished. I let it all sit for a day or so before I had the energy to clean it all up before Brian returned from his trip to Europe.
Brian and Maddie in apple orchard at 1 year.
Brian was totally impressed and loved the applesauce. Since then, we have become serious canners. We buy bushels and bushels of peaches and apples each year to process. We do strawberry, raspberry and peach jam. Every time I can something, it makes my house feel like a home. Ben loves to do it, from picking in the orchard and eating as many peaches as he can, to mutilating the fruit (his best effort at peeling a peach), to squishing the apples or turning the crank on the saucer. Our home is full of love when we can fruit and spend that time together dancing to whatever comes on the radio and working hard as a family.
- Ben always says, "On real?" when he means, "For real?"
- Maddie is obsessed with telling us what she wants. I always hear her demanding what type of shoes, pajamas, swim suit, cup, spoon, toy ball, baby doll and binkies. She always tells me, "Dis Kind."
- From her crib in the morning between 6:45 and 7:15 each morning I hear, "Cereal, Mommy?"
I ran upstairs and grabbed a ton of towels and threw them down to a friend to stop the water wall just before it hit the carpet while Brian shut off the water at the wall. Ben was crying, scared, wet and half naked. We sent him upstairs to put on some clean, dry clothes.
I knew we had been going through WAY to much toilet paper, but with trying to potty train Maddie, I chalked it up to her. Turns out the excess toilet paper culprit was Ben. He was filling the entire toilet bowl with each flush. So we have a new household limit of 5 sheets per flush. If you come to visit, please plan accordingly. :)
To really top off the event, Brian threw the wet towels in the basement sink when he was done mopping up. Monday morning I did the laundry. The washing machine drains into that sink. It was full of towels and I didn't notice. When I came down to change the loads, the basement was flooded. Ugh... At least the water heater hadn't exploded or the foundation leaked again? There is a bright side to every bad situation, right?
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Megan, one of my super cool friends, said it best, "A bit underwhelming, but still fun."
We went to our ward pancake breakfast early so the crazy people could go to the Fairfax parade. I had to pick Ben up out of bed, dress him and carry him to the car. It was 8 am, but he was wiped out. Usually he's up at 7.
Then we hung out at the house, enjoying NOT doing anything for an hour or so before we headed to our monthly appointment with Home Depot Kid class. Ben looks forward to it all month, so we cannot miss. We went with Lauren and Rocky this month, then did a super expensive Costco run on the way home. We got Ben Hooked on Phonics and he loves it! Mostly it was all about opening all the packages as fast as he could.
Maddie and reflection on Metro
Afternoon brought nap time for everyone but me. I crammed out stuff for YW Camp in two weeks as fast as I could so I could catch some ZZZ's with the rest of the bunch. Alas, little feet came down the stairs and I was still on the computer. Oh well. I got a lot done and then we headed to the Soderborg's house for a relaxing BBQ.
Megan, Jackson and Brigham watching fireworks.
At 7:30 we headed downtown on the Metro to watch the fireworks with Megan, Lauren and all the little people. We got separated in the mess of people trying to buy train tickets and we jumped on the train. When we connected via cell phone, I was about to give quick last minute instructions of where we were headed and which train transfer to take to get to Arlington when the Metro entered the tunnel. Oh well, huh? Just cross your fingers and hope...
Maddie on Angie's shoulders watching fireworks
We got to Arlington Cemetery and actually found everyone again. We watched the fireworks and had a pleasant time. Brian heard that an explosion in a port in China "used" about 40% of the fireworks for this year. I'd say that was about right. It was a lot shorter than it should have been. Plus, note for next year, check the wind report. On top of only getting 60% of the fireworks, we only saw the left half of what they lit off. The smoke all blew in our view. So, I figure we saw 30% of what we should have.
Rocky and Ben watching fireworks.
Oh well, I shouldn't complain. I got to watch the fireworks over the Lincoln and Washington Monuments! I celebrated the nations birthday in the nations capitol, the heart of it all. Seriously, who gets to do that? We love living here!
Angie and Lauren
Coming home was an adventure in itself. The kids were tired, the trains were slow and my closest 5,000 people were all stuffed in the same train car as us. Seriously, we couldn't move an inch and sweat was running down everyone's faces. Exhausted Ben was standing at our feet. His head was just the same height as Maddie's feet and she was having tantrum after tantrum. Poor kid. I'm surprised he didn't end up with a black eye. Finally, we told him to just sit down on the floor to stay safe.