Posts by Rita

They enjoyed no-shave November so much they’re continuing.

When the hero of the story has disappointing facial hair, in a low budget scenario, the obvious solution is to cover the face with tape and marker.


I don’t have to teach them these things.

They’re just naturally this smart.

Happy birthday Granddaddy!

May you not get birthday cake in your eye.

coordination is hard

Eat with enthusiasm.

dainty bites

May you have another 60 years of life.

120 is the new 40.

And Rose will send a little Idaho sweetness your way.

back to being sophisticated

(And Jubilee will smack her brother in the background, apparently.)

Falling into the school year*

Whew. I’m super tired right now because I got a good night’s sleep.

That doesn’t make sense? Because sleeping well = energy = doing a lot = very tired now. It does too make sense.

Good day today.

School is going well.  It’s fun to see Jubilee improving at her work.

The picture of Jubilee below was her project idea. She read that book to me and then decided to imitate the hat the girl makes in the story. It worked surprisingly well. (I didn’t think it would produce something that would actually perch on her head.)

she also made one for Thomas, one for the neighbor girl, and one for Rose. Rose screamed and never let us try it on her. Full-on toddler attitude going on here right now.

One of the things we’re doing in school this year are crafts. I’m not a natural craft person. I like to do projects, but I like to work on them when the house is completely clean, there’s no other work to be done, and I have energy. These preferred criteria aren’t productive, as you could guess. So one of our weekly school tasks is a craft project.  When I have it on a list I want to do it so I can check it off.

We did wax leaves last week.

(Trusting pinterest ideas is like trusting a french fry: they can be good but then you try one cold and realize this is an awful metaphor.  And it doesn’t work well to scrub the shower with one either, even if someone swears by it. And don’t mix it with hydrogen peroxide or borax.**)

We’ve had good crafts come off pinterest, but not everything.

Don’t do projects that involve grating crayons. Don’t. It’s difficult, your kids can’t help much, the mess is immense and long-term, and you will start wishing you’d done something simpler, like taking up woodburning with the 3 year old.

this turned out to be way more than we needed

In retrospect, we should have just glued bits of paper together or something. They think glue rocks.

After I called the kids to come back because I was done grating, we sprinkled the crayon bits on wax paper and melted it all together.  The third time we finally figured out it works better if you use less wax rather than more.

Which you shouldn’t.  Because you won’t grate crayons. Because you know better.

Rose: “Me, too? Yes?”

At least they look kind of festive and fall-like.

enjoy them. they almost ruined my cheese graters.

The leaves were a good lesson for me. Now I know to always do our craft AFTER we do regular school. If we start with the craft my energy afterwards is unpredictable.

Yesterday the kids painted mini pumpkins. Jubilee painted hers in careful rainbow stripes. Thomas painted his black, with black, and a swirl of purple and gray, and mostly just black.

That craft I would recommend. They loved it. The tempura paint flaked off shockingly badly, though, so let them play with the dried pumpkins outside.

I guess I’m not a good advertisement for that craft.

*Sorry about that.

**Sorry again. Said I was tired.

Rose’s new hobby

Kids learn new things all the time. It’s great! New words pop out (like Thomas yesterday explaining to me that if you eat too much candy “Your teef will get holes or you will get sick. Dose are your two options.”*), new things get climbed, new pictures get drawn, new cooking skills emerge.

All kinds of new things.

Including new things that are, to quote Rachel Jank, a limited time release. Enjoy it while it’s here.

Rose can feed herself. This is good.

She gets bored quickly when she’s finished. This is not good.

…and I ate all my carrots.

That would be the homemade salad dressing of awesome.


Ketchup is not an effective moisturizer.

On the plus side she’s had quite a number of shampoos this week, so between meals her hair is nice and fluffy.

*Dentist appointments this week, you see.

Seeing some trees

We went to the arboretum on Sunday evening and walked around for a while. It was very lovely and the kids had a great time exclaiming over exciting things (“ACORNS! AND MORE ACORNS! WOW!”) and we watched a pair of very active ducks munching on pond scum and diving.

I thought I might have lost my little camera there but I found it last night. Very happy.

Let’s sleep here tonight!

her hair has gotten long

someone in this picture was so sick the next day they had to go to the doctor and ended up on antibiotics and steroids…and it actually wasn’t me.

she loved to be placed in trees. she screeched when he took her down.

as the sun went down the chill crept in

some trees are more enthused about fall than others

horizon above a shorn wheat field

time to go home

And then Jake had a relapse of his illness due to the smoke around here from wild fires. Probably traipsing about outside wasn’t such a great idea for his lungs.

conference weekend

The Grace Agenda took place a couple weeks ago. We had a blast.

coffee for the grown ups, giant cookie for the littles

leaving the big picnic. Thomas spotted leftovers they were trying to send home with people and he snagged himself a bag of chips.

Summery summary.

It’s only mid August but it feels like summer is coming to a close. The church here, between the college and the grade school, has a strong school year pull. NSA has started and there is only one more week for Logos summer parties.

Fall isn’t here yet, most certainly, but once in a while it gets chilly in the night (it was in the 40s last night) and waking up in the morning feels a little like fall weather.

Mom looks funny

The last few weeks have been full. Popsicles and taking off training wheels. Teething. Sewing.

Playing and going to bed exhausted.

Tears. Mourning the early death of a niece we’ll hold someday. Jubilee likes to say “Sophia beat us.”

Give me a moment while I finish, ok?

Rose isn’t the baby. She’s talking in bits and pieces, imitating everything everyone else does, having many opinions. Occasionally she falls in with the grand tradition of third children and tries to bite.

Yesterday she said “Bye Daddy” when Jake was leaving for work. Then she said it again to show off.

She is into shoes. And jewelry. And clothing. Very much so. She loves to be called pretty.

going to clarify: that is tape on her finger

Wee baby’s kicks are hard enough that I can feel them, if I’m holding still and not distracted. I don’t feel them very often yet.

Looking forward to hopefully finding out the gender this time. My doctor is gone to deliver babies in Africa for a month, and she was going to schedule my ultrasound when she gets back, so we won’t get to find out till the end of September.

Now we find out how well it comes out in the wash.

crazy or passed out, euphoric or doleful, he rarely does anything by halves

So I’m two out of three on children with minor, but persistent, skin problems. The best thing we’ve found, amidst doctor’s visits, prescriptions, and natural whatnot, is an expensive liquid probiotic. It does wonders for my kids’ skin that nothing else has.

Rose had a yeast rash and thrush, and the probiotic, with some eventual gentian violet, seems to finally have it all gone. If you’re not familiar with gentian violet it’s like a dye bomb in a drooling baby’s mouth.

my exclusive diet of purple Nerds is going smashingly

The best part was her tongue.

Which reminded me of something, but I couldn’t place it. An alien from a movie? Some animal? Where had I seen something like it before?

Then I remembered.

Giraffes. Yes. That was it.

They’d like electricity installed next.

Jake brought home a couple of boxes from his work a week ago that were not only big, they were unusually thick and sturdy for cardboard. After the kids were done using them as ships I taped them together into a little house.

furniture is sparse but come in and have a seat!

Rose really likes it. Except that other people can be annoying.

you're doing it wrong

Ballet week.

My mom is taking Jubilee to a ballet camp this week and she’s enjoying it. You dress up for ballet! She loves that.

Here she is ready to go on the first day.

there's first position and then there's random position

Thomas was very excited even though he wasn’t going.


Rosie wasn’t sure what was going on, but she trotted herself up and posed. No leaving her out.

me too

Waiting for Grandma.

she'll be here sooner if we open the door

It’s finally hot here and the afternoons are kind of a sweaty, sticky time. No air conditioning and no fans. They’ve been sold out for several days and there’s some kind of problem getting more quickly. My family is lending us a couple of theirs even though they don’t have air conditioning either. Hopefully Walmart will get some fans soon since there are a lot of people waiting to give them money.