Friday, May 25, 2012

People living with animals

"Did you know that on a farm people live right there with the animals?"  This was Rhys' observation about our trip out to a farm to pick up our bulk food order.  I am now the proud owner of 25 pounds of flour, 25 pounds of popcorn kernals, 12 pounds of sugar, 1 pound of whole cinnamon sticks, 8 ounces of Mexican vanilla, large bag of vital gluten, bread conditioner, buttermilk powder, 3 whole chickens, and 2 dozen fresh eggs.  I want to get baking!  It is going to be 90 degrees.  Oh the humanity!!!!!  I used up my old flour tonight making two loaves of bread.  It allowed me to use my gluten and buttermilk.  They taste pretty good.  I am thinking tomorrow morning's breakfast will be toast made out of my bread and eggs.  I wonder if fresh eggs will taste different.  With all my plans for baking comes the realization that I am missing supplies!  I want bread pans, good pie pans that look nice, something to grind up my cinniman sticks.  I did recently buy an egg slicer so that serious need has been filled. 

I can totally see how people can become hoarders.  It is comforting to me to know that I have 25 pounds of flour.  I can screw something up and start all over because it is ok.  There is more.  Just imagine what all I would buy in bulk if I had a basement.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Update on the hat and other stuff

I think I mentioned a couple weeks ago that our dermatologist had suggested bringing extra hats to school for other kids to wear during recess after Ava has a laser treatment.  If not, that was the gist of it.  Ava had some self esteem issues after her last treatment and was moping around at recess.  I talked to her teachers about it and they said they noticed a difference only during outdoor recess when she had to wear her hat.  So I bought Ava a new hat (the old one had lost some stiffness and was extra flopping and dirty looking) and another one for her to bring to school.  Her teacher said that it has been a big hit and the kids actually beg to be the one who gets to wear the hat and take turns with it during recess.  She suggests bringing in even more hats next year. 

My hand is finally starting to recover.  I am just able to use my thumb a little bit.  I am hoping to get back to crocheting next week sometime.   That is my only hope of actually finishing some projects on time. 

I notified my supervisor that I will be dropping down to a substitute worker in August.  I might work just as many hours here and there and mostly keep the overnight, but it will be much more flexible.  I pretty much will work mostly on weekends.  My schedule the way it has been just doesn't work with Ava in school all day and also with Justin's job.  I guess we will see which is more stressful, a crazy schedule or super tight budget.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We did it!

Today marks the deadline for volunteer hours for Ava's school.  I only have one child enrolled there, so I just had to do the minimum hours...20.  I finished them yesterday with .5 hours to spare.  Each child means an additional 20 hours a year.  Once Rhys starts school this is going to require a concentrated effort!  I am already planning out how I am going to get my hours next year so I don't have to do a scramble at the end of the year.  Most of the things I get to do to earn hours are pretty enjoyable so it isn't bad.  It also allows me a chance to get to know other parents.  I was a lunchroom helper last week.  Ava got to stay in the cafeteria with me and color which made things easier.  It reminded me once again, why I love her school.  The custodian asked her if she would like a table set up.  He got a table down just for her, set it up so she could see everything and even got her a "fancy" chair.  During the middle school lunch time Ava pointed out an older boy.  She said he helped her up when she fell a few days ago.  It was raining and she slipped when she got in the school. She said he helped her up and asked if she was ok.  She also said he now waves to her every time he sees her. I love it that  it was a fellow student that helped her up, not a teacher.  I love that they take care of each other. 

I also earned the $200 required with gift cards!  Thanks to everybody that helped.  We have already started earning towards next year's $200.  It is definitely doable and will be easier the more I get used to thinking of using gift cards for regular purchases.

Things have been really busy after school.  Ava has had 5 birthday parties in the month of May.  She has another one tomorrow and another next Wednesday.  As a result she changes her mind about where she will be having her birthday party this year.  Did I even say she got a party?  Did I say she could invite her whole class?  I am going to have to set her out on the corner with a collections jar.

The garden is coming along.  I have three more things to plant and then we have to set up the trellises.  So far the lettuce looks beautiful.  It really looks so nice that I am looking forward to the late summer planting so I can grow so much more.  We haven't had anything eaten by rabbits.  We do have a serious weed problem though.  I don't know how to keep up.  Last week the kids and I spent well over an hour just pulling weeds. I filled up a 5 gallon bucket 4 times.  Rhys continually steps where he isn't supposed to, but it is really cute to see him try to be helpful.  He puts on his gloves and asks if there are any hard weeds that we need help with and then grabs it with both hands and puts his back into and yanks it out.  Sunday I spent 2 hours out there without kids (more time spent working, less time spent redirecting) and used a hoe and a rake.  I could easily spent another hour just pulling weeds.   I am putting so much work into it, it makes me want to put MORE work into it to make sure I am always watering and maintaining so I can get a good harvest.  My worms need to get down to business.  I need some compost to put on my tomatoes. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

White it is

It is crunch time in baby blanket land.  I decided to push forward with the white blanket.  I had started another one (so that would be three going at once) and I don't like it so I am going to pull it out.  It makes it much easier to decide to go with the blanket that is 1/4 of the way done for the baby that is due in a few days.  The only problem is my arm is really hurting.  I am hoping to get an hour in this afternoon at the park.  That means that my little lovely children will be happy at the park without me pushing them on swings for an hour.

In other news...less than one month of school left for Ava.  I can't wait.  Rhys is a little antsy and I am not the person he wants to play with.  He hasn't learned to play alone this year.  He has learned that he doesn't like it.  I can't believe she is almost done with kindergarten already though.  She looks old.  She has lost a tooth!  She goes to friend's houses after school.  She is asking to give her phone number to friends...Soon she will be asking for a phone to have a number for!

Grandparents' Day 2011-2012 school year

Pops and Lollies 2011-2012 school year

What happened to this little "big" girl? 

mmmmm yeasty

As you know, we have been eating organic.  I recently got organic cane sugar.  It worked perfectly fine.  I have also been getting organic flour.  I can pretty much only go to one store to get these, at least at the prices I am willing to pay.  In comes local bulk co-op ordering!  I am so excited.  I just ordered 50 lbs (which I am splitting) of organic, unbleached flour.  I am also splitting 25 pounds of organic cane sugar...and some mexican vanilla.  (anybody want in on that?  We got A LOT!)  That means baking!!!!!!  I know it will be summer and turning on the oven will be a big negative, but oh well.  

It is also means I am completely unwilling to cut out grains and dairy.  In fact, I bought some gluten just to add to my bread.  I am making french bread right now.  I love how it smells when it is rising. Mmmmm yeasty.