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June 2009

Oh My

Life with 4 kids is crazy...... sometimes things just go awry despite the best of intentions..... 
and all you can do is laugh.

It all started while shopping for flooring at Lowe's.

We met up with one of Joe's coworkers (Jenn) and she was getting a fridge delivered to her new house.
Lowe's couldn't deliver it until 3 or 4 days later and being fridge-less was proving to be no fun for her and her two daughters so Joe offered to take the fridge home in our trailer since she lives just s street away from us. Sounds good enough right?
Here's where things go bad. The wee one missed his nap..... we all ended up eating a really late lunch.... and we drove home in a crazy thunder storm. The grownups are trying to get this huge fridge through a small door and the wee one locks himself in the bathroom at the Jenn's house..... we coax him to unlcock the door and then I load up my kids and we head home... the kids and I to stay and Joe to head back to bring some tools. 
I go to change a very stinky little boy. Slip off the shorts and....... 
OH MY!!
No diaper. A very messy bottom...... but no diaper.
"Joe" I yell. 
"I think he took his diaper off in Jenn's bathroom!?!?"
He looks at me, horrified.
Nothing like a first impression you know.
So Joe heads back over..... and everyone looked everywhere for the diaper.
No luck.
In the meantime I bathe the wee one..... Miss 10 is with Joe. Miss 6 is playing in her room.
And then the eldest walks into the kitchen and yells..
"got it" and begins laughing.
Seems that the wee one decided to take off his diaper in the kitchen.
At least it wasn't at Jenn's.

Creepy Crawlies

First, I would like to say there have been no bugs in the house. A mosquito.... an itty spider, but no big bugs.  ~knock on wood~

All these creepy crawlies have been found outside, mostly by Miss 6. Mama found the stick bug looking thing..... but the rest were all her. And yes, we have seen a cockroach. I am not a fan of those. I do quite well with lizards and snakes and the bugs photographed here, but throw a cockroach my way and I will scream and jump up on a chair. Embarrassing, I know, but it's the truth. I mean, have any of you ever seen a cockroach. They are big nasty bugs..... and fortunately ~knock on wood again~ the only ones I've seen have been outside. And I've (rather nicely) asked them all to please stay there. I do hope they listen.

So on to some fun creepy crawlies.
I tried to take the pictures to show the size..... but they don't do any justice!

First was what our neighbor called "a cricket". Now I've seen crickets before and they are cute little musical bugs. When we first saw this monster Miss 6 and I both thought it was plastic. But it was real. Dead. But real. It was at least an inch in diameter and 3-4 inches long. Can you imagine the music this things makes?!?! When my neighbor told me it was a cricket I quickly realized that Louisiana crickets could easily eat Wisconsin crickets for lunch. After some research we found that it is actually a very big Black Grasshopper.
Grasshopper



Next was this beetle...... who had a hard time getting around on the slippery pavement. Miss 6 decide he had "mad dancing moves" and watched him for quite awhile. It looks like a Rhinoceros Beetle to us. He was about 3 inches long. Very cool! 
Rhino Beetle


And here is some sort of a stick bug. This is a Two Striped Walking Stick. I almost stepped on it getting in the car to head to the Farmer's Market. Luckily I spotted him just in time and had the eldest take him to the backyard. At the Farmer's Market we bought a cocoon full of Praying Mantis eggs that should hatch in the next few weeks. We plan to release them into the yard so they can feast on the biting bugs out there. We'll be sure to share pictures when they arrive!
Walking Stick


Lastly is only a partial photo of a dragonfly...... because it is being eaten by a lizard! Miss 6 loved this and thought it was so very cool that a lizard (anole) could catch it. We've seen tons of these and caught several. Miss 6 caught one by it's tail and was soon left with a tail wriggling in her hand with no lizard attached. She then proceeded to burst into tears because she thought she had hurt him. The eldest quickly explained how lizards tails break off when they get caught so they can escape, and assured her it would grow back!
Lunch

Hope you enjoyed :)

for the daddo

Father's Day was a quiet morning here.

Handmade cards.

Coffee & treats.

A nice break from the weeks of cleaning, traveling and unpacking of the late.

Of course we got right back on the job after lunch......

but the morning was pure bliss.

The kiddos and I had a special gift up our sleeve for our VW enthusiast.

We had a set of pint glasses made up by East Mesa Design on etsy.

Each glass is a wee bit different since they all etched by hand. They turned out great and they were a huge hit with the Daddo.




Full


~cheers~


funny road trip notes.....

Hello friends!

I've missed this place.... but I assure you I have some darn good excuses for being gone so long ;) Unpacking and cleaning an entire house while taking care of 3 sick kids..... oh last week was a l-o-n-g one...... let's not even talk about the heat yet! The good news however is that when a stomach virus rolls through a house with no appliances, a brand new washer and dryer get purchased pretty quickly! And I am so excited to have a set of blue front loading machines in my laundry room! Why blue you might ask? Because they were discounted $200 each. So blue became our first choice rather quickly. Love them :)

We are still getting settled and organized.... I am sure it will take some time to get completely settled in..... and we're making a huge to-do list of renovation projects.... all of which I will share here as they happen, just for fun!

But back to the road trip for a bit, I've been keeping a mental list of some funny little road trip tidbits...  

1. When leaving Wisconsin Miss 6 stated "Well, I guess we're homeless now, I mean we do live in our car right?" 

2. When driving through Mississippi, Miss 10 spelled it forwards...... backwards..... and then "said" it backwards...... which resulted in a gasp and then much laughing between the two of us...... oopsie :)

3. Note to self..... camping with the cat proved to be easier than camping with a 2 year old..... who knew?!?

4. How many people can sleep in a 1976 VW bus? The answer to that is..... during a thunderstorm the big kids from the tent will pile into the bus making the final tally 6 people, one dog and one cat. Don't even ask me where we put them all.... It was 2 a.m. and I forgot. But the next morning there were kids and animals everywhere.

5. Always travel with your own coffee and good chocolate, even when it melts, it makes the day long driving craziness so much more enjoyable :)

6. 1,471 miles of listening to the soundtrack of Pete's Dragon is a lot. The girls & I now know every word to every song..... but the wee man was rather insistent on not changing the CD.... and since compromising isn't his strong point...... he won!
 
7. Miss 6 asked "are we to our campground yet" at least 72 times. I know this because Miss 10 and I started counting after the first day.

8. "If you hear the sirens go off, there's a tornado and y'all need to get your family into the bathrooms" our KOA campground host told us as we arrived, just near Memphis, Tennessee. Oh dear. Dorothy? Toto? Here we come...... (thankfully we did not hear any sirens.... phew!!)

and lastly, because this is the Daddo's favorite.......

9. After driving for 4 hours (on the third day of the trip) Miss 10 decided to check off e-v-e-r-y  s-i-n-g-l-e  m-i-l-e  m-a-r-k-e-r  on her map. Somehow this made the last hour and a half of the trip that day seem very, very long. (and it still makes the mama giggle!)


Thanks for sticking around during my absence. Coming up in the next few days is a bug post..... oh my do they have some bugs down here in the south. Thankfully, the great people here make up for the heat and creepy crawlies. The folks we've met so far have been so nice. I've truly never felt more welcomed :)

Almost there.....

Drive....... drive......... sleep....... eat....... drive........ drive......

Phew.

The last 3 nights were spent at KOA campgrounds. Right off the highway, cheap, clean, swimming pool & playground. Though we were reminded (frequently) by the eldest that it wasn't "real camping" it certainly beat being cooped up in a hotel. The kids loved the pool and running around at a playground after a long day of driving.


Tonight we're in Jackson Mississippi. Thankful to be in a mosquito free air conditioned hotel room. Pet friendly too, I might add. Just a little over 200 miles from our final destination in southern Louisiana. The kids are excited to see the house tomorrow. And the parents are excited to be done with the driving.....

We are lucky enough to have our household goods ready for delivery on Monday morning. Which means we only have one night of sleeping bags and air mattresses!


Every time we take a drive I wish we took more photos...... but traveling with 4 kids and a dog and a cat leave little time for photography. 


But we did snap a few...... so here is one of the kids with a giant elephant outside Madison, WI the morning of our second day and another of the minivan taken by the eldest from the VW bus. 


Elephant

every road trip needs a quirky photo




Driving

somewhere in Missouri.......



And so it goes.....

Saying goodbye.... yet again....

Taking one last look, taste, feel of everything I love. 

Just in case.

In case I never get the chance to return to this place that has been my home these last two years.
A place so cold.... so ridiculously cold.....
A place I kept my first chickens...... learned to knit....... and make wine.
Where the homesteading life planted it's seeds in soul.....
My wee babe taking his first steps.....
Taking the plunge into the world of homeschooling and loving hanging out with 4 wild children all day long..... so many memories.
To the sweetest kid ever who lived across the street from me, we will miss you!!
Watching Miss 10 turn into an amazing musician with the help of the best music teacher ever, Sara Softich. Oh Miss Sara, Miss 10 will never, ever forget you. You helped her find the music in herself, something she will have forever, thank you so very much.

To Deb, Patty, Theresa & Sara F :: I know we didn't get together to knit as often as we'd have liked, but the times we did will always be fond memories. And knitted wire socks will always and forever be funny. This still makes me laugh until my eyes fill with tears...... did anyone ever fill Sara in on that meeting??

To all of you from Lincoln Park Co-op....... this year homeschooling with you all as a group of friends has been fabulous. I will miss all the great kids and the diverse group of parents. I had so much fun getting to know you all! 

And to everyone, remember next February when it is still below freezing in the midwest, the weather will be warm at my place and I make a darn good margarita!

This place will always hold a warm spot in my heart.... like the many before it and those to follow.
Sweet memories.

At a time in my life years ago when my heart was filled with loss and love a wise old man said to me ::
"It hurts huh"
"Yeah" I said, choking back tears.
"That's how you know it's real" he says softly to me.
These words touch my soul and so many times in my life I revisit them and apply them to the current situation. Everything in life worth something has some pain..... some raw true feelings.... lovers, babies, friends, life and loss. All of it is amazing.

Thank you to all of you who have made this real. 

You will truly be missed.

Last sunset on 12th street
our last sunset on 12th street.........

Packed Up

Living Room

rolling out the red carpets... (and blue)

Bus

the bus, our home on wheels :)

In to the truck.

into the truck it goes....

All of our stuff was loaded up and driving away on a big truck last night. Miss 6 wants to follow the big truck to make sure our stuff is okay. The wee one walked into his room and yelled "Hey, they take my new bed!!" (fortunately he recovered quickly!) Now he is running through the house squealing and thoroughly enjoying the echo of his voice!

We've got a weekend of cleaning ahead of us and unbeknownst to my babes, a surprise party in their honor thrown by all their homeschool buddies on Sunday. 

A busy weekend for sure :) 

Then, by Wednesday of next week we'll be on the road! Packing up is my least favorite part of moving..... but now that it's over the open road is calling my name. We plan to take 5 days to drive down to Louisiana and we'll be camping 3 of the 4 nights. I've never camped with a cat before....... so I am pretty darn excited to get that experience under my belt (and behind me, I must admit). We haven't traveled with a cat in over 10 years..... so any tips would be much appreciated!

Hope your weekend is lovely.....