Monday, October 17, 2011

Meanwhile, back at the funny farm . . .

This week has been one of those I'd just like to forget. The end of the term is fast approaching and all is in panic over here. Sarah worked on math for probably 14 hours this weekend. I was feeling her pain. I was never good at math. My visiting teacher is tutoring her on demand. I don't know how I'll repay her because she won't take money. I know there is another woman in the ward who pays her with chicken. Maybe I should go with beef?

Rebecca's term book reports were due on Friday. I spend more time working with that child then either of us can really take and she is still drowning. Her resource teacher wants me to spend more time on math. We spend so much time on reading and spelling I just can't think about one more thing. It isn't the time so much as this girl doesn't want to hear any more from me. It has to come from somebody else because we're both ready to cry over here. In fact we do sometimes. My patience is about gone and I'm horrible these days. I'm tearing down my own child. Why? Why? Why can't you get this? "It's part of the disability," says the resource teacher. What does that even mean?

John still won't sleep. The battle to get him to bed every night is ongoing which means I have to steel myself for the mornings. He has a spelling list too now but catches on much more quickly. Blessing of blessings I think this kid is not going to have a learning problem.

Scouts is another story. Nathaniel turns 16 in two weeks and has yet to get his Eagle project going. No Eagle, no license. We are not seeing movement.

He is taking a jogging class this semester. Every other day he runs 4 miles. This morning Nathaniel tells me that his PE clothes, the same PE clothes he's never brought home for me to wash yet this year, smell so bad he brought another set to school. Disgusting doesn't come close. I'm beginning to wonder if it is even worth it for me to continue harassing him to bring them home. Maybe they need to go straight into the trash.

Which brings me to this:

Does this look like the room of a scholar?

Nathaniel is a good student. This term he has pre-calculus, physics and Honors English and is holding just under a 4.0. I'm extremely proud of him. He is also one of the few sophomores taking a concurrent enrollment class (computer programming.) I mention this because I constantly remind myself of this when I open his door to this scene. Those clean clothes on the desk? in the basket? They may never get put away. He wears them and then they go on the floor. That expensive dresser you see to the left? Useless. I certainly don't put the clothes away for him. I washed my hands of that job long ago. I just set them in there and then close the door. I do periodic vacuuming if I can get to the floor and don't even get me thinking about the sheets on that bed.

When the pile gets too large to open his door he hefts it into the laundry basket in the hall. This always coincides nicely with me thinking I've got the laundry done. One minute I breeze past an empty hamper and the next it is vomiting Nathaniel's dirty clothes onto the floor. Just like that.

In other news Peter just finished up with the October tax deadline tonight. He also got to have his broken cap removed and his tooth drilled on this morning. I'm not sure which he enjoyed more. Actually he got the nitrous gas for the first time so I'm pretty sure it was the tooth. When I brought dinner to the office tonight he was wishing aloud he could have some more of that gas. I can't say it has ever done that much for me.

This weekend we are going to spend the fall break in Bryce Canyon. We have rented a little condo for a couple of nights and the plan is to feign no responsibility for three days. Then on Monday we pick up our Japanese exchange student at BYU. Our last one you may remember, was Yuuki. Funny thing is the boy we are getting this year is named Yuki. So minus one "u." I'm wondering if they are pronounced the same.

Peter went to the orientation for me and we got to see his picture. Holy nerdy. I know, it's terrible I'm judging him from his picture, but his letter was not much more reassuring. He showed about as much personality as a cantaloupe. If this kid is as painfully shy as he appears on paper my family is about to show him a different side of things for sure.

Cornbelly's 2011

We did Cornbelly's a couple of weeks ago on a discount my friend Michelle told me about one day when we were on the phone. I thought she called the country station where you had to go to get the discount online "cable" but after some quality time in front of my computer I finally figured out it was KBull.
Apparently I don't listen to enough country music.

We had In-and-Out for dinner on the way in last year so we decided to make it a tradition and went back this year. Thanksgiving Point never fails to impress. They had so many new things this year! We were there for three hours and still never even hit the corn maze.

My favorite part was watching Peter ride the bull.

This year there were a dozen or so new wooden structures for kids to play on. A tractor, a pirate ship, a car--I can't even remember what all.

Rebecca brought her friend Brooke but they got into trouble:)

There were so many pregnant ladies and babies there! We saw one family with a custom design trio stroller. One, two, three babies! They had two older boys and then I guess they got triplets. Two more boys and then one little girl. Oh and was she cute!
I think that family was a show all in itself. When I mentioned to the dad that their lives must be pretty ruled by a schedule he said they have it down to the minute and they rarely deviate. It's the only way they make it work. I was glad not to be going home with them!


I walk a lot. I try to run, and I do sometimes, but if nothing else I just walk fast.
Charlie waits for me to walk him every minute of his life so he's a pretty good motivator too.
I never get over how beautiful it is here and I feel so blessed to be able to enjoy the scenery right outside my door. There are fields of sunflowers right now and everything is beginning to change. I finally got my camera out a couple of weeks ago and took these pictures just before the mountains started to turn colors.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Snow already?

This was the view out my kitchen window on Thursday.

We knew it was supposed to be cold that day,
we just weren't really expecting snow.

My poor plants! I had to yank out all the green tomatoes in my garden.
They are now sitting in the furnace room on their vines.
Can't believe how many I had. So mad they didn't get more sun!
Hopefully they'll ripen up anyway.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Meet Sam

Sam is beautiful.

Sam likes to take pictures.
I am told she is funny, she works hard, and is really, really great with kids.

I also hear she is a no-nonsense girl who will isn't afraid to tell you whats on her mind.
I predict we will get along well.

Sam loves Aaron.

And Aaron loves Sam.
They are getting married on December 29th in Oakland, California.
I need to book my airfare soon.

Garden 2011

Mitchell Garden 2011
Remember all that grass I dug up along the fence last year and all the work we put into building these garden boxes along that same fence? Well turns out it isn't getting enough sun thanks to it being too close to the fence. Duh. So that coupled with the weirdly elongated spring we had here our garden didn't produce like it should have. Our tomatoes just started getting red about two weeks ago maybe?
And now I'm worrying about frost.

This picture was taken a few weeks ago and if you look at the far end you will see the beach umbrella I had protecting our raspberries that have been repeatedly sent by my dad and then killed by yours truly. Desperate times I guess.

Plan for garden 2012 is to tear out all this grass and just have one big garden area. There are so many more things we want to plant--and actually harvest--that I know it will be great. Peter and I are very excited. (We don't get out much:)

This oddly located island of a box ended up being the only one to get good sun all day and in it my rhubarb I have never harvested was hogging all the space and Peter was none too pleased. So I finally got with it. Many dozen rhubarb muffins, and several cakes later I'm wondering why I've been so intimidated to get started on it when it was ridiculously easy to harvest, use, or freeze. Thanks to my Aunt Sally for enlightening me with her mad rhubarb skills.
This stuff is awesome! I'm still hoping for one more harvest.

After seeing my cousin Allison's frozen zucchini in her mom's freezer it finally dawned on my I could do that too. Peter's dad freezes all his vegetables this way and I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before. I hate buying zucchini from the store when I know that at least part of the year I am overrun.

But here is the big project. All my neighbors have had incredible pear harvests this year and most of them are never going to be used so I have this stash that has been ripening in bunches. I canned 6 quarts on Saturday but that was just the beginning. Now they are all ripe and I need to get cracking.

This is my first time back at canning fruit since we moved from California. I got rid of all my cans when we moved (not exactly something you want to drag state to state.) The ones in the stores are all but gone and the ones left are expensive!

On Saturday I drove around listening to conference in my car to search yard sales and hit the mother load. The lady said she had already had several people ask so her sister was driving to Provo to this shed their mother used to store all her bottles in to bring them over and sell. She took my number and said she'd call when the sister returned but I just poked around at a few more yard sales in the area and came back later where I parked myself there to wait. I got first dibs and paid $15 for 75 bottles of all sizes. Cha ching!

So today while my digital thermometer is reporting the temperature outside at a steady 35 degrees and continues to look bleak and drizzly out there I'll be inside watching Masterpiece Theater's "Little Dorrit" and canning pears.

Man, this blog is super-exciting isn't it?