Dec 30, 2008


Happy New Year to you all! Thanks everyone for the awesome Christmas! This was the least stressed I have ever been and it was wonderful. I certainly missed giving gifts, but have lots of great ideas when we have the money and time. You all have some fabulous gifts coming....someday:)

I was so excited about everything that I have going on right now I just had to share! I had a Facilities Board Meeting today for the Waldorf inspired Charter school that is in the works. The board consists of two other fabulous mothers, and one other incredible father. We are trying to find land, a space, an architect, get the zoning, skip the flood plains, find the resources and do whatever it takes to find a school building for the purposed charter school. It will be called the Raintree Charter School, after the Golden Raintree. It is overwhelming and an incredible amount of work, but soooooo exciting. We are at the stage of trying to determine exactly what our needs are and may tour a few buildings next week. The goal is to have this school up and running by 2010. I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing by this time next year, but am so excited to be a part of this initial process. I was part of the Curiculum board but that has a dozen or so people so I figure my limited resources were better used in the board. It is insane what a dedicate, motivated, and a little bit crazy group of parents can achieve. Anyways, it is just one of the many things that I am spending my time on these days and I just had to share my excitement!

I will be posting some more be prepared!

Dec 11, 2008

I just had to pause in my trip blog to update my life these days. After returning from our trip last weekend I have thrown myself back into the rigors of daily life and the added approaching x-mas holiday. We were able to get a tree two days ago although that almost didn't happen. Our finances have dictated our need to have a no frills x-mas and the tree just about went out the window. I tried convincing Teilee that it would be just as fun to decorate one of our trees outside. In the end I couldn't stand the idea of not having a tree so we just went to the cheapest place we could and bought a parking lot tree. I know, I know totally not sustainable. The tree farm we went to last year was put out of business due to a tornado.
We are striving hard to make this a $0 x-mas and are falling a little short. I bought Nick a gift (I couldn't pass it up). The kids are getting gifts that we are making out of wood and or fabric. I am not sure what they will get each other. It is so much easier to let Teilee pick something out, rather than trying to guide her to make something. I have a few ideas (decoupage a fun box, doll blanket, melting crayons into heart shapes, etc...) Anyways so far our bill is around $20 (with building supplies) and that is still too much:) We still have x-mas food, stocking stuffers and a few other things, not to mention whatever Nick will get me so I don't know what our final cost will be. I am getting to stretch my creative muscles and it is quite fun! I have always loved a challenge, maybe next year we will spend absolutely no money (other than food) on x-mas. I am so fortunate to have scrap wood and tons of scrap fabric. I am grateful that I was encouraged to give up gifts for other people. Despite my wanting to give gifts the season really loses meaning when I am stressed about affording other peoples gifts. No one wants to recieve a gift from me that I can't afford and will stress out about later. Someday I will have the money and I will have all of these great ideas to use.
So these are some pretty darn dorky pictures. They were taken the fateful night (Nov. 15th) that Nick and I had a date and I was sick. Can you tell that I am sick in the pictures? I am still dealing with sinus junk but am feeling a ton better after my healing trip to Kansas! Why is it that trips are always too long and too short? It was fantastic seeing everyone and meeting little Adaira. I think she takes after her aunt Andi with her snorting, and her aunt Jessi in the looks department. I didn't take nearly enough pictures but as soon as I sort those I will include those in a blog. One trip at a time please.

How do you like my new blue streak? I have blue in the back underneath my hair as well. I think I need to do at least 3 times the amount of blue in the front. Although I also just had about 6 inches removed and I don't have a pic of that. I always wanted blue hair and so I just finally did. Hey, I don't have a job I have to go to and no one really cares if my hair is purple, or orange, or blue. Plus I am helping Landis learn his colors:)

Next week we will be making some gluten free gingerbread houses, making some outdoor edible ornaments for the birds, touring x-mas lights, singing x-mas songs with friends, maybe making candles, and just enjoying our family. We will also get together with our preschool co-op (those women rock and their kids are so great). This Sat. I have my first ever MNO (mom's night out) event. I only know a few of the women but I can't wait. Also our neighbors will be making some homebrew on Sat that I might stop by. If I wanted to spend about 13-20 bucks I could make a gluten free beer. I prefer wine anyway;) I think this has been the most busy, relaxed, interesting Christmas we have ever have! Nick has been working so much that I have had absolutely no expectations for him to be involved in the happenings and prep work for the season. He is not big on Christmas anyways so he doesn't feel left out and I am only undertaking what I absolutely can acomplish.
Plus I have been able to get the kids to bed everyday this week before 9:00 pm. YES!!!!! Tis the season to be jolly.................

Dec 8, 2008

Part 1 of our Trip

Yes I am going to do it. After shuffling through all of the pictures and memories and am ready to chronicle our trip.

On day one we changed plans last minute and drove the short way through Wyoming into Utah arriving at our destination of Magna, Utah. Kara and the kids had just recently moved into a new home. By recently I think she had spent about a week in the house before we came! It is beautiful and big, and the backyard is incredible. I am way jealous of her gigantic grape vines, numerous fruit trees and large garden space. I am not jealous of all the work that she will be doing to the house! Knowing her it will be done by next summer:) Kara's bridal shower was shortly after our arrival. Nick and the kids went to Jimmy and Molly's house to play with Jacob and Isabel's step siblings (Levi, Stormy, and Malachi) and with their brand new baby kittens. If those kittens survive to be adopted they will be the toughest kittens ever! That's Jimmy and Molly in the picture with Teilee and Landis.

The bridal shower was a blast although I totally forgot to take any pictures! I finally got to meet some of these friends and co-workers that I have heard so much about. Kara's mom (Trina) and sister (April Lynn) were there and it was so fantastic to see them!! Despite the presence of family and even Kara's soon to be mother-in-law, presents were unwrapped, including my gift of fuzzy handcuffs and lingerie. Not to be outdone April Lynn gifted a 'personal massager'. I have to say Kara handled it very well!!:) I just had to share that because it absolutely is the last thing people expect from Kara's family and the 1st thing I love about the whole group. They break the mold and always have a great sense of self and of humor!! The next day while Jacob and Isabel were in school and Kara at work, we visited with Jimmy and Molly briefly before taking a trip out to the Great Salt Lake. We went to Antelope Island and hiked briefly before finding a fantastic, salty beach to explore. The colors of the rocks were amazing. Bright purples and greens stand out amongst the grey. It really is an incredible place. We had a few encounters with some cool spiders, buffalo, jack rabbits, and shore birds. Unfortunately the serenity was constantly interrupted with the sound of airplanes and jets taking off over the Lake. With Landis around every plane noise is an exciting adventure so we were not disturbed too much;)

Of course we had to strip off our shoes and socks (and pants for Teilee) to wade in the shallows. Despite best efforts, jeans and pants all ended up wet and smelly. It was worth it.
Due to our late arrival to the Lake we quickly headed back to Kara's for a calm evening at home. That evening we were able to get some much needed one-on-one time to catch up, laugh, cry, and remember how great it is to be around Kara (and her family). At this point we were still anxious to meet the hubby-to-be Isaac. I did begin to wonder if he was a mythical creature. That night the kids passed out from having soooo much fun! In the coming days we were looking forward to Kara and Isaac's receptions, their wedding, and getting to spend more time with our Jacob and Isabel!
Coming soon....Part 2: The Receptions

Nov 11, 2008

Help! Help! Help!

I need ideas fast!!! I need cheap/free Christmas gift ideas for kiddos and adults!

I have 3 days to make them, the gifts have to be shippable, and about 20 kids ranging from newborn to 8 years old! Because we will be traveling next week until Dec. and I will have no time when we get back. I am crafty, have lots of paper supplies, fabric, natural elements (sticks, rocks, shells, etc...) so that might give you ideas.

Previous years for kids I have made hats, scarfs, crayon holders, magnets, bags, pillowcases, dolls, and ornaments. I am out of ideas, out of time, and am just considering forgoing Christmas totally! I want to give gifts, I have so many ideas I just don't have the finances available to do what I want.

I also need some gifts for people that live in the area. They won't have to be shipped and so can be breakable and or perishable.

For adults we have made soup mixes, bread, pasta. Some of the families on our list are gluten, dairy, and vegan so food is often difficult. Maybe granola bars, dried fruit leather? This year might be the time to forget adult gifts and just do kiddos, but I can't stand the thought. I think this will have to be our cheapest x-mas ever. Last year we did it for about $100's total and really if it could be free that would be best:)

Anyways, I thought that you all were crafty and creative and might be able to help me out!

Nov 3, 2008

Still working on the the meantime...........

I am behind so I thought I would do a picture blog to catch up on the happenings of the last month or so.

Dad and Landis had a cooking class. My sullen son and my cheerful daughter.

Our 1 of three trips to the pumpkin patch. Landis discovered a goat, Teilee discovered her love of hot dogs, momma discovered a caterpillar, and Daddy fed a noisy donkey.

Then Grandma Lee and Papa came for a visit. Nick and I took the night off to indudge our alter egos at a happenin' costume party. The Maverick and the MILF, and yes Ms. Palin (1984) won funniest costume. The next day the Madson elders joined us in a journey to the oval for a peek at the next President of the United States. Teilee found the horses to be a main attraction but was excited when she finnally spotted Obama through the binoculars. There he is between the pedestrian sign and the tree on the left.

After all the excitment subsided Teilee was able to get back to teaching Landis acrobatics.

We finnally carved pumpkins at about 5:00pm on Halloween. Momma made a spider and Teilee carved a pumpkin entirely on her own. It was a gorgeous monster. Then Nick headed to work at 5:30. Oh how sad the kids were to have Daddy miss out on Trick-or-Treating. We surprised them when Daddy showed up at 6:30 pm. He had to make an appearance at work and then was allowed to take the night off. Teilee was so excited, it made the holiday extra special.
Fortunately Landis fit perfectly in Teilee's old monkey costume so I only had to make Teilee's costume, which I finished that morning. She insisted on being a white octopus, I think I pulled it off! Although for much of the evening, Nick or I carried her prop because it was a little heavy. Landis learned quickly that he could unwrap the suckers and continued through the evening to magically appear with candy in his mouth. It was neat watching both my 5 year old and my 2 year old say 'Thank You' and 'Happy Halloween' every time they were given candy. On what is a very gimme, gimme type holiday they were so polite and respectful. Whew! Teilee says she would like to just stay home next year and give away candy. I don't know if mom and dad are okay with that. We like getting candy, our neighborhood is very generous:)

That evening I came home and went to our neighbors house to decorate for a party I was throwing the next day. For two years now I have been wanting to throw a surprise birthday party for my friend Delta. Her birthday is on the 30th of Halloween so it works out perfectly to have a costume Halloween party. We called it a Surprise Belated Birthday Boo Bash, and invited all of Delta's friends. It was great meeting them and hanging out. Delta was shocked and I was worried. Knowing she is not a fan of surprises I knew there was a chance of not making it through the night alive:) We all wanted to let Delta know how much we love and adore her and I think we achieved the message. Whether she liked it or not we celebrated her 40th birthday in style. Although Grant had to be the most stylin'!
Here they are the buxom bathing suit beauty and the pretty parting pirate. Happy Birthday Delta!

I had to include this picture. This is the benefit of throwing a party at someone else's house. I was able to do all the prep while being unconcerned about the massive mess at my house (including the huge pile of laundry in the background).

So that was our October. Well actually that was only two weeks in October! A fast fun two weeks and I am exhausted. My health, my mind, my body will need to recover but it was all worth it! Happy Halloween and el Dia de los Muertos to everyone! Also congratulations to all you Obama supporters. I don't know about you but I am feeling really inspired, excited and hopeful. As Bob the builder says "Can we fix it? Yes We Can!" YES WE CAN!

Sep 17, 2008

Oh yeah!

My favorite coffee shop Catalyst is having a birth art show and guess who has a painting in it! During a meeting with a birth activist group that I hold a membership in, we had an art session. For about an hour we talked and arted. What I produced during that session is now hanging at the art show! Yeah.....I can't wait to get creative again!

Sep 15, 2008

Sneak Peek

We arrived home tonight from our trip and man was it incredible. We reunited with old friends, made a few new friends, visited the Great Salt Lake, marathoned through IKEA, attended, Kara and Isaac's wedding, explored Goblin Valley, encountered The Killers, and had some really amazing adventures! Here is a sample of some fun photography that we were able to capture. I am sure there are many more to follow! This is a completely untouched photo of the squirt on a mushroom top.

Sep 3, 2008

Woohw Dizzy!

Man, my sinus' are filled with gunk and I am so dizzy! The last time I was like this I had a massive ear infection, although I have no pain in my ear. Yes, I have been a bit naughty with the gluten lately. It takes soooo little to affect me and soooo long to recover from.
I am so excited, we get to go on a trip next week. It will be our first vacation. It still revolves around traveling to see people but I have resigned myself that this will most likely always be. We are headed to witness the union of Kara and Isaac, soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Stewart, in Salt Lake City. We are hoping to visit Antelope Island on the Great Salt Lake, the Bonneville Flats, and Goblin State Park. Oh yeah and IKEA. I can't wait for all the fun visiting we will get to do with Kara and her family, I can't wait to meet Isaac and I am hoping that we will successfully work in all of the fun stuff too! I just don't want to be at their house day in and day out waiting for them to provide the entertainment. Although a few rounds of Settlers is almost a requirement of my visit! The only detail yet arranged is our food. Since we are trying to be diary, gluten, and sugar free I am not yet sure how we will achieve this without the comfort of our home. Any cooking will probably be a mass effort to feed a hoard of guests. We will most likely have to come prepared with food and recipies. It is a small detail in the excitment of getting to see old friends, new friends, new sites, and to have some fun adventures! Salt Lake City here we come!!!!

Aug 27, 2008

We had a crazy weekend, typical of our house. We finally, after nearly 2 months of constant procrastination, finally had a party commemorating the kids birthdays. I suppose I will blame it on my desire to party all summer. I was a smashing success if I do say so myself. Two things that you hope for in every party: 1) Everyone has a good time! 2) Everyone will want to come back! I personally had some side goals that were sly and sneaky at best. I am looking for that compatible group of delightful children and parents to join with me in providing cheap and fun play dates in a non-denominational parenting group that I am spearheading. It could be called the alternative parenting group, or the eclectic parenting group, or the frugal parenting group I have yet to discover a name. Anyone have any suggestions? We will hopefully be non-judgemental, cheap, dedicated, conscious parenting group. I also have yet to discover the medium in which I will launch this group. I am wanting it to be an invitation only group with a calendar set up online. I will place things on the calendar which parents will visit and determine which events they will want to join us in. This way when we go to the free mushroom farm tour, the art museum, etc.., anyone who wants to can join us! Was that a long enough explanation?! I am just not having success with existing parenting groups that are either too elitist or not selective enough.
I though I would share this bit of brilliant parenting that occurred the other morning. The kids arrived at the breakfast table to discover that N had made muffins. T immediately was unhappy with the morning selection and this quickly brought me to attention. I explained that this was breakfast and she was not allowed to be disrespectful to daddy. How did this make daddy feel?, I asked. She must thank daddy for the delicious breakfast and eat the muffin or she has to go to time out and have no breakfast. She thanks N and takes a bite of the muffin through strained compliance. Then she again refuses to eat the muffin. Fine, get down from the table and go play. This is breakfast and if you choose not to eat than go right ahead and not eat, but there will be no food until snack time and that will most likely consist of the non eaten muffins.
Both T and L went and played and left me scratching my head as to why they would not want to eat or rather why was starvation a better option than muffin eating? Ahhhh.... the idea crossed my mind that maybe I should try the muffins. Turns out the baking soda and baking powder were mixed up resulting in salty, metallic tasting nasty muffins. After my own taste test I resorted to milk, juice, and water to try and wash the taste out. Now what? If I serve the kids something else for breakfast they will learn that I am wishy washy. If I admit that they were right and muffins were meant only for the compost bin then how do I tell them the next time that they must eat what we serve them! In to their room I venture and here is what I told them: "Hey guys, I am sorry but the muffins got ruined and now they are yucky so if and when you are ready to eat then you may come and have yogurt and fruit instead." The kids took pity on me and allowed my explanation to stand as they frolicked back to the table. Polite, and respectful they thank us for breakfast and ate everything we gave to them. Score 1 for taste testing first before serving hand made items! I seriously had flashbacks to Dads oatmeal and the courageous kids who ate what was before them. At least the oatmeal was a consistency issue, I tried to force my kids to eat metal with a dash of salt!

Aug 15, 2008

Rain Fun!

There is nothing this momma loves more than a fresh rain and two eager kids! Even better if it is still raining when a walk commences. We have had an abundance of rain and we couldn't be any happier. One evening the lightening and thunder ended after bath. The kids decked out in raincoats and pjs loved stomping and jumping in the puddles.

T would spend all of her existence airborn if she could and L just loves to copy every action of his cool big sis. We stayed out until the light was gone and I was able to capture this cool shot with L where it looks as though the background is black and white. No touchups needed!

Since our neighborhood drains water very quickly, it is a rare downpour that gives us puddles. We are fortunate that we have a green belt in back that if we walk a little ways turns into a large concrete drainage area. After one downpour we walked through the marsh in the ditch and down to the concrete. There is a little ramp that the kids unsuccessfully tried to slide down but nonetheless had a great time getting wet. We were visited by a couple of horses and L rescued an abandoned frisbee. The sky was beautiful, the light was perfect, the air was warm, and the kids were wet: What could be better!!!!!!

Jul 26, 2008

Still in the past.....

I am trying not to overwhelm you all with a mass of postings, I just really need to catch up.

We attended a birthday party in June where T got to play "What time is it Mrs. Fox?". The silly chickens ask the question and then take steps foward until the answer is "It's Dinner time!" where they then run away trying to not get tagged by the fox. T in the green dress is completely airborn (pretty normal actually).

N had a car that he worked on in a car show downtown and our friends K and E joined us. I think many of these shots capture the depth and structure of their relationship;)

I love this pic of the three of them!

T is really into holding hands which is great because L is really into not ever holding hands. (He is definately establishing his independence.)

I couldn't get them to look at the same time!
A day at our neighborhood park.

I am starting a club that will be called the EX-PC's (exhausted parents club). Membership is open to anyone who is exhausted (parents or non-parents). We will be meeting once a week at Catalyst coffee for some much needed caffiene and socialization.

I often get completely overwhelmed with the position of parent and I am sure that I am not alone. My life is further complicated by the lack of husband job stability and therefore income, having a health condition that makes any amount of energy difficult to achieve, and a whole slew of things. I know every parent has their own set of issues to overcome and there is no reason or need to search for equality in difficulty. Sometimes I observe other at home moms with expendable incomes and no comprehension of living with less. They tend to have more oportunities for alone time without the kids, which is vital to any parent trying to stay sane! Babysitters, Nannies, Double Jogging strollers, Trips and vacations, Gym memberships with childcare, and gas monies and cars for driving to and from activities. None-the-less they have a hard time squeezing in moments of solitude or adult conversations without interuption. Most certainly even these items that might be affordable carry with them the guilt that they are not with their children constantly. Any parent that is able to exist outside of the home for a minimum of an hour day, regardless of activity, will be refreshed with a new found sense of enjoyment out of their children. I am trying to remember this as I try to figure out what it is today that I want to do to refresh. Here I am at home and writing alone. This rare moment of quiet allows me to think and to reflect. Here is what I know: Women are amazing! Mothers are incredible! As a society we tend to underestimate and undervalue the job of giving birth and raising children. Finnally there is little real (non-judgmental, open, free, accepting, loving) support for mothers. Mothers are the greatest activists in the world and have the least amount of energy, time, and resources. This is why I am constantly amazed by the moms I know! I just have to remember to let their acomplishments serve to inspire not as something to judge myself by.

Lastly the greatest single feat a human can perform occured yesterday morning as K gave birth to a healthy baby girl! Once again I am amazed and inspired by her experience. Congratulations!

My new umberella!