Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Eve

I had a sick day today and actually got to talk with some of my friends on the phone. I have missed chatting with my friends, and feel I'm out of the loop with everyone. While talking with Erin today, she reminded me of what Nate said last year about his Halloween costume.
Nate was going to be a police officer last year, and was talking on the phone with his friend explaining his costume. Then he told his little 7 year old friend that Mommy bought him handcuffs, but they weren't real like the one's under her bed. Dan overheard this conversation and about died laughing. We have a pair of handcuffs under our bed that were given to us as a gag. They are actually the same one's as Nate's, and I had not a clue he had been under my bed checking them out. Of course I had to find out if Nate's friend had retold this story, and asked this friend's mom about it. And of course I had to tell her the story to explain this whole thing, and she busts out laughing at my tale of handcuffs. No, the friend never said anything, but now everyone gives me a bad time about the handcuffs. Thanks Nate for sharing.

Halloween 2007, Nate the police officer, Holly the barista, and Lily the purple care bear.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Harvest Festival

Last night was the Harvest Festival at the kid's school. The night was a huge success, and there is already talk of another one next year. This is great because of the massive steps Dan built for the wagon rides. He was very concerned about every one's safety, and went overboard. The steps turned out great, as you can see, but now we have to figure out where to store them until next fall. I think Dan enjoyed the night just because he was driving his tractor. There are times he really misses our old farming days. The kids had a ton of fun playing games, jumping in the bouncy house, and riding on the hay wagon. Thanks to everyone who helped out last night. Mom thanks for the sign, and Cyndy, thanks for letting us borrow hay and the hay wagon. Next year we will be one step ahead with our giant steps!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Dance

Everyone join me in a happy dance today! I got my take home test back in Biology this morning, and I got a perfect score! Then this afternoon I got my observation paper back from Ed class, and I got a perfect score on that one too! Ok, so hands in the air, a big Whop Whop, and do a happy dance with me!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sassy Pants

Yesterday I was on the computer for a long, long, long time looking for a research topic for Biology. Not the most exciting thing to do, and it's stressing me out that I haven't picked a topic. Nate kept bugging me, and I kept telling him I was working on homework. After awhile I decided that I needed music to help my brain function, and was working on itunes to get an upbeat play list to keep me going. Nate checked in again with me and said, "Aren't you supposed to be working on homework?". Thanks Mr. Sassy Pants! While I was doing this, Dan was working on building steps for the hay wagon for tomorrow's Harvest Festival at school. Nate was checking in with him to make sure the steps were sturdy. Thanks kiddo for keeping us in go do your homework!!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Picture Day

Today was picture day. You know, the smile for the camera so Mommy has the best, I mean a good Christmas card picture. Even with the most talented photographer in the county, it's still been difficult to get a good picture every year. Both my kids have cheesy smiles, and Lily doesn't like to look at the camera. Our goal this year is to not have to photo shop someone's head, and hopefully we have a good enough picture this time. I'll keep you updated, and for friends and family, look for your copy in early December.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Sibling Love, part 2

Yes we all get along, it's great. But we are also very proud of each other. So, I will shamelessly do a plug for my siblings.
Marty works for Oltman Insurance, and if you want to save money on your insurance, give him a call and he'll give you a free quote. (And he will take me to lunch if I send him referrals!!!) Give him a call at (360) 734-3960.
Rob is a middle school teacher, and we are very proud of all the schooling he has done to get where he is. He is also in a band called The Love Lights. You can check out their myspace page or listen to their music on itunes.
Amy Jo is the family paparazzi, I mean photographer. You can check out her beautiful work at

Sibling Love

Left to right is Mom, me, brother Marty, brother Rob, sister in law Tiffani, and sister Amy Jo. This picture was taken at a concert for The Love Lights on Rob's birthday.

My siblings and I have an unusual relationship, we all get along! As children we didn't always get along, I was the bossy one (firstborn), my sister being the baby got away with everything. The boys were always fighting and being boys. Once we all grew up, we became friends. We all talk to each other every week and will start making phone calls to the others if we haven't hear from Rob. While he was in college, if Rob wasn't returning phone calls right away, we would call each other and ask if anyone else had heard from Rob. After that we would leave him messages saying "call us, or we'll think you are dead!". Rob would get the point and finally call someone, and we would all feel better. We all help each other out, and like spending time together. Strange huh?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Homework Blues

I am so tired! Yesterday I finished my homework, including a paper I wrote for an interview I did. It's my first big paper for my ED class, and I wanted to do well. So it was finished, printed, and put away to turn in today. Then last night as I was trying to go to sleep, I started re-writing my ending to the paper. That is why I'm so tired. First thing this morning, I got up and fixed my ending, reprinted, and put the paper away again. This afternoon I turned the paper in, so maybe I can get some sleep, knowing I can't fix it anymore.
I also got my test back in Biology today. I did ok, pretty much how I thought I did. To make up for the lost points, I'm doing extra credit tomorrow by doing volunteer work for the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA). It should be a fun adventure, and at least the weather is in my favor!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


The world of Toontown is back. Dan and Nate love to play on Toontown online, and at the moment are sitting next to me playing. Our office is quite the joke with 3 computers set up in a row. Nate is on Dan's old laptop, Dan is next to him on his new laptop, and I'm next to Dan on the desktop. Most days when the two "boys" are home, you can find them sitting side by side conquering Cogs and completing their toon tasks. They are in their own little world with their own language. Nate says he needs 90 lawbots, and I have not idea what he is talking about. I'm already tired of the "meow meow meow meow meow" that goes on while they are playing. Somebody save me! At this moment I wish I had a laptop so that I could be on the computer somewhere other than here. I gotta say it can be entertaining, Nate just said, " You are going down double talker!". Anyone up for coffee so that I can get outta here?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Miss My Hubby

Most of you know that I am a single parent for half of the year. Dan works on tugs and barges and is gone for 40 days at a time. He has had this schedule for about 7 years, so I am used to this, but it still doesn't make it easy. I do so many things on my own with the kids, and it's hard to manage sometimes. I am blessed to have a very supportive family that helps out, but I miss my hubby. He is a great Dad who plays with the kids, and gets down on their level. He is also wonderful with taking extra kids so that a friend and I can have girl time, kid free. Our house is a fixer upper, and Dan had done all the work himself. From building the fence to remodeling our bathroom (even when he didn't like my idea of painting it red!). This summer he finished turning my part of the carport into a garage. He always has a big honey do list when he gets home, and may complain, but likes to work on things around the house.

Dan will be home tomorrow, and I am excited to see him. The kids have been counting down the days until Daddy comes home. This past 40 days have been some of the most difficult, so I'll be glad to have the support at home. Maybe he could take the kids to the park so that I could have quiet time for homework? (hint, hint) Love and miss you honey, can't wait to have you home!!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Thanks Tracie!!!!

Last night we went to the First Annual Chili Cook off and Pumpkin Carving Contest at Little Bearfoot Farm. Our friends Gordon and Tracie live at LBF and hosted this party in their barn. I entered chili, but didn't win. I tried to do something different and made a vegetarian chili, and it was great to see that all 7 chili's entered were different. Congrats to Tim who won the cook off, and congrats to Tiffani who won the boobie prize for last place. (Tiff I really liked your chili, can I have the recipe?). After chili everyone helped the kids carve pumpkins, and dear Tracie gave each kid a prize bag for entering. In this bag contained a whistle, so 13 kids had whistles. Thanks Tracie, there will be paybacks for that one.

Overall it was a fun night. The kids and I had colored hair (my friend and hairdresser, Stephana was very worried about it staining my highlights). I had brought our scarred pumpkins to carve, and when we got there I realized that the tops of the pumpkins were soft. By the time I got done carving, the tops sunk into the pumpkins. Oh well, maybe Dan can carve new ones for them when he gets home.

Friday, October 17, 2008

You are a Mother of Preschoolers.......

A few years back when I was on a leadership team for our Mom's group at church, I came up with this list (with a little help from my Mommy friends). We used it as a game once, but mainly it was for the purpose of making Moms realize that they are all in the same boat. Most mothers of preschoolers could speak the same language of diapers, drool and lack of dreamland. So, even if you don't have preschoolers, give a little grace to those around you who are stuck in this pit.

You Are A Mother of Preschoolers…..

By Holly Snow

· If you are sleep deprived
· If you have stickers and cheerios stuck to your socks
· If you have spit up, snot, or drool on your clothes
· If your shoes are older than your children
· If the idea of heaven on earth is a full night of uninterrupted sleep
· If you can cook dinner, do laundry, pick up toys, feed the dog, talk on the phone, with a child on your hip, all at the same time
· If your TV has been taken over by Disney channel, Nick Jr and Noggin.
· If you can’t sing a single Top 40 hit, but know all the words to Blues Clues
· If you can’t remember a single thing from Chemistry, but have Dr. Seuss’ ABC’s memorized
· If you can’t remember the last time you ate out without French fries
· If you have ever called everyone you know when your child did something new
· If you are missing a bottle or juice cup and are scared to find it
· If you go through a bottle a month of spray-n-wash
· If you ever bought a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, ran around the house cleaning walls, and truly believe it’s magic
· If you can’t remember the last time you bought yourself something pretty and not practical
· If your floor is booby trapped with legos, hot wheels, train tracks, barbies, or polly pockets
· If more people call you Mommy than your real name on most days
· If your cookie cutters, rolling pin and spatula are used more for play dough than cookies
· If you have ever driven aimlessly just so your child will sleep longer
· If your backseat has car seats full of cracker crumbs
· If you have more crayons on your floor than in the crayon box
· If you have to point out every farm animal, tractor or train while you are traveling
· If you feel like you deserve a gold metal for getting out of the house this morning with your hair done and makeup on
· If you are scared to look under your couch
· If you have ever locked yourself in the closet to talk on the phone
· If you have ever played hide and seek with your kids just to get a moment of silence
· If you stick your nose in your child’s bottom to tell if they are poopy
· If poopy and potty are in your everyday vocabulary
· If you go through the McDonalds drive thru more than you shave your legs
· If you speak of yourself in third person, ”Mommy got a boo boo.”
· If you have ever let your child talk to a telemarketer
· If your first response to any invitation is “Let me see if I can get a babysitter.”
· If you can’t remember the last time you went to Walmart without buying diapers
· If you are pregnant or have a potty training child, and must know where the restroom is everywhere you go
· If you just need a break, a friend, a snack, a cup of coffee, or just some time without screaming, squirming, slobbery children
· If you all the bandages in your house have cartoon characters on them

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Biology Test

I had my first big test today in Biology. Jessica and I have been studying hard, and we both think we did ok. I feel like I just wasted time drilling the information in my head. Really, will I ever truly need to know the difference between Prokaryote and Eukaryote cells?
It makes me think of other useless information that I have memorized. When Nate was 2 1/2 he loved Dr. Seuss ABC's. I had that sucker memorized by the time he had his ABC's down. Then he went to Kindergarten and that is the book they use to teach the alphabet. Oh, and they turn it into a song. So then I could sing the song. That info faded in my mind, returning randomly when Lily pulled out that book. Then of course she starts Kindergarten, and it's stuck in my head again.
Big A Little A
What begins with A
Aunt Annie's Alligator
I have an easier time memorizing things that are turned into a song. I can still sing the 50 states song that I learned in 5th grade. It has come in handy a few times (Jeopardy questions) so I can't say this was useless information. So maybe if we can put Biology to music, I'll be able to explain the life cycle of moss.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Play Dough Update

An update on the black play dough, it turned green. No joke! I swear that on Monday it was black, true dark black. Yesterday I pulled it out to show my brother, and it's dark green. Can anyone explain this to me, how did it turn green? Nate in his 8 year old wisdom thinks the air did it. Lily is just amazed and is worried that her teacher won't like it. I can't try another batch until I get more black food coloring, if half a bottle didn't work the first time, a whole bottle might work the second time.
People have requested my play dough recipe, so here it is, somebody try it and tell me if they got black!

Play Dough

3 cups flour
1 cup salt
4 tsp cream of tartar
1 3/4 cup boiling water
1/4 cup veg oil
2 packages kool aid (same color)

Mix dry ingredients. Add kool aid packets to boiling water, mix well, then add oil. Add wet mix to dry mix and stir until combined. Store in sealed plastic bag.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Play Dough

Play dough in our house is an evil necessity. It is evil because it makes huge messes and dried play dough crumbs are all over the house, in rainbow colors. You can always tell what the current colors are by the bits of dried play dough on my floors. I make our play dough, so we always have a great supply. Most kids who visit our house go straight for the play dough, and know that they can probably talk me into making a new color. It has become a necessity because the kids love to play with it, and I love how it brings out their creativity. We have child size rolling pins, and other toys just for the play dough.
As I did with Nate in kindergarten, I told Lily's teacher to let me know when the class needed play dough. I sent orange last week, because it's October. A note came home asking if I would make black play dough. I make mine with kool aid for the coloring, and I don't know of any black kool aid. So, Saturday the kids and I went to the grocery store and I found black food coloring. Lily helped me make new play dough, and we found that it takes HALF of the bottle to work, otherwise it looks brown. (Lily asked if we were making chocolate.) Nate want me to make more, he thinks it looks cool. Why not, one more color to the rainbow of dried play dough on my floor.

Scarred Pumpkins

Family tradition #501
We have a million family traditions, and my goal is to blog every one of them for future reference, or maybe a book deal? Wishful thinking, but someday I hope to look back and remember all the silly things we did, and actually know why we did them. Ok, sometimes I don't know why, but we will look back and laugh.
This family tradition is called pumpkin scarring. During the 3rd week of August (Fair week for us) we take a knife to our pumpkin patch and write our names in the pumpkins. As the pumpkins grow, they leave a scar with the names. The first picture with Nate, you can't see his name on the pumpkin, but Lily's you can see better. I lucked out with the kids, their names are easy to scar. Any names with round letters are hard to do. The O in Holly always looks like a square.
I don't remember when this tradition started, or why, so Mom can you leave a comment on this post for me? Thanks!

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Today is applesauce day. I have been not so patiently waiting for my apples to ripen, so that I can get applesauce made. Of course the apples are on their own timeline, and my hopes that they would be ready before I started school was wishful thinking. After starting on the applesauce and seeing how many apples are left on the tree, I should rename this post day 1 for applesauce. Oh boy. The kids know this routine, and as soon as we started, Lily wanted her apron on. Nate just wants to turn the handle on the squeezo (manly work). They both are excited to take applesauce to their teachers this week. I love the accomplishment of getting all the applesauce done, but it's a lot of sticky work. I really should be doing homework right now, but the timer for the canner just went off, so more yummy applesauce wins today.

Congratulations on your....

Tiffani- Congratulations on your father's 70th birthday.
Rob- Congratulations on your girlfriends birthday.

This is tradition in our family. It's strange, complicated, has weird rules, but is done in love. It started many years ago when Grandpa Stauffer would call Dad on us kids' birthdays and congratulate him. Years later, when Tiffani entered the family, she made it a competition. Now everyone tries to beat the others in this silly game. So today is a great example because we have two birthdays. Today is Tiffani's dad's birthday. So everyone calls, e-mails, myspace, blogs (ha) a congrats on your father's birthday to Tiffani. She could get me by saying, "Congrats on your sister in laws father's birthday". Today is also Jessica's birthday, so I could call Tiffani and say, "Congrats on your brother in laws girlfriend's birthday". This game is just a way of acknowledging birthdays in the family, and making sure people don't forget important days. It has gotten more complicated with caller ID, so we have gotten creative. My brother once borrowed a co-workers cell phone so I wouldn't recognize the caller ID. We have even stooped low enough to use our kids in this game.
So I win today, everyone call and wish Jessica a happy birthday, and Tiffani tell your Dad I said Happy Birthday!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

City kids

I can't believe I did it. I have created two city kids. How did that happen? Today we passed what once was the corn maze, and Nate commented on how it was gone. I asked him what they did with it, and he told me they made popcorn from it. Yikes! So all the way home I explained how they chopped the corn, it went to the dump box, then dumped into the trucks. The trucks took the corn to the farm, dumped it, a tractor runs over it (stacks it), and it's used to feed cows. Thank goodness we passed a few farms so that I could use visuals with this explanation. It is truly sad how most kids have no idea where our food comes from, or how farming is important.
Back in the days when I did pumpkin tours, most of the kids thought that pumpkins came from the grocery store. I actually convinced a class of kindergartners that pumpkins grew on trees. The same class was told by their teacher that the big round bales in the fields were marshmallows for giants. Of course I corrected the class and told them how pumpkins grew, but I'm afraid there are teenagers out there right now craving giant marshmallows!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Coffee with the Girls

I had a great morning visiting with my girlfriends. There is a close group of my friends that I invite to a girls night every year, and we have all become really close. The problem is that everyone is extremely busy, and we rarely all get together. So I called a coffee time, and all but one could make it. (We missed you Amy Jo!) It was fun to catch up and visit. I love to bake, and this morning I did some bars that normally I could do in my sleep. Obviously not, because this morning I wasn't caffeinated enough to follow the directions, and messed up the bars. They still tasted fine, just a little messy. So thanks to the "girls" for coffee time this morning, I needed that.....the coffee, and the girl time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Mommy goes on a field trip

My kids were confused when I said that Mommy was going on a field trip. I don't blame them, it does seem silly for a college class to have a field trip. I took pictures today to show them, so I'll share with everyone else too. Nothing exciting, just a nature walk. Lots of trees and ferns, a few fungi (my favorite!).
Jessica and I had a classmate take a picture of us, yes we are dorks, but it's memories!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Everyone has been asking me how school is going. School is overwhelming. The classes themselves are fine, it's all the homework that has me freaking out. As you can tell from my earlier post, Biology is difficult to understand, but there isn't a lot of homework. My Intro to Education class is fun, I enjoy the topics, but there is a ton of homework, projects, reading and quizzes. We were told of our big project today, one that will take a lot of preparation, and will make up 20% of our grade. No pressure there. I'm to the point of snapping at my children, and feeling like I can't do it all. Now I've finally decided that I have to look at one assignment at a time, and try to stay ahead of my due dates. This quarter is going to kick my butt, then I'll try to back off next quarter. Remind me of that when registration comes around next month, OK!!!!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Reptile Man

The Reptile Man came to the kid's school last week and did a night show for the families. The kids were excited to go, and I........was not so excited. I actually had no problem with all the reptiles, just don't make me touch them. My children on the other hand had no problem touching snakes and the such. I just noticed in the picture with Nate, there are all Dads in the background. The Moms in the room had moved away from the snake.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Potty Outside

Lily loves to do everything Nate does. Along with that comes her wanting to pee outside like her brother. We had a difficult time while camping, because she wanted to drop her pants and pee outside just like the boys. Tonight's episode had me laughing at both children, and shaking my head in disbelief. The kids were playing outside at my sister's house, and Nate had to pee, but couldn't get his pants down in time and wet his pants. Lily came inside to tell me, and I thought it was a joke. I walked outside to see Nate all wet, and told him to go to the van to get his change of clothes (I always carry a spare in the van). Then Lily comes out of the bathroom with her pants around her ankles saying her pants are wet. I asked her why her pants are wet and she tells me she was trying to pee (standing up) outside like her brother. So I went to the van to get her spare clothes, and find Nate in tears because he slammed his fingers in the door. He was also too embarrassed to change inside, so he was changing in the back of the van. I feel sorry for the kid, but at the same time am laughing at how funny the whole thing is. So Nate got the talk about not waiting too long to pee and Lily got another round of girls can't pee outside like boys. At least I didn't have as much laundry to do as Tiffani (check out her blog about the boys peeing on Everything!).

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Train Show

The annual Lynden Train Show is this weekend. We have gone every year since Nate was little. He has always loved trains, so this has become a family tradition. The first picture is last year, and the second is this year. I can't believe how much they have grown and changed in a year.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Flagellated sperm

Seriously. Flagellated sperm. I laugh every time I read this in my biology book. We are studying the life cycle of moss. The instructor has said twice now that this is important to know for the test. Here is the description in my notes, there is a picture that's supposed to help (it doesn't).

Life cycle of a moss. The gametophytes(n) develop sex organs at their tips: sperm-forming antheridia in the male gametophyte and egg forming archegonia in the female gametophyte. A flagellated sperm released from an antheridium swims through surface water into an archegonium to fertilize an egg. The resultant zygote(2n) grows by mitotic division to become a mature sporophyte. The photosynthetic sporophyte remains attached to the archegonium and obtains some nutrients from the female gametophyte. Meiospores(n) form in the sporangium and are released. Meiosphores germinate to become protonemas, which develop into male or female gametophytes.

Can you see why this is so difficult for me? I truly don't understand half the words. My mind is swimming. So if anyone can explain this to me, you know, put it in laymans terms, that would be great. Then maybe I won't get the giggles about flagellated sperm.