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Thursday, August 9, 2012

It all started with a sandwich bag

I took the girls on a picnic today, and we had a lovely time. We couldn't find a trash can to throw our leftover lunch away, so we loaded it all back into our bag. We did find a fountain to play in, and a mound to climb. There were also several antique stores that we took our time looking through. After we returned home, and I was cleaning out our bag, I came across several plastic sandwich bags and was reminded of a conversation that took place several years ago.

My sister and I were working away, canning produce in her kitchen. I didn't have any children yet, and hers were scattered throughout the house playing with a kitchen set, Lego's and reading books. We got on a conversation about my Grandmother, and how she saved everything. "She even washes out her plastic sandwich bags and reuses them!", my sister said. At the time I couldn't figure out why one would do such a thing. I don't think Walmart has ever run out of them, and they are only a couple of bucks for a whole box of them. I just kept thinking what a waste of time that must be.

Through the summer, our family has been really enjoying watching the TV series, The Waltons. I love the fact that the values that I am trying to teach the girls during the day, are being reinforced at night while we are watching this show. I love how connected they were as a family.  I love how frugal they are, and how they "make do" with what they have. This series is set in the depression era, when families had very little money to use to buy the things they needed to survive. The women worked extra hard to pinch pennies, and reuse what they could. Perhaps they even washed out used sandwich bags. I get convicted watching this show though, and realize what a big consumer I am.  If I run out of one thing, say ketchup, I think a whole grocery shopping trip is in order. Not just for know how you find all kinds of things you forgot you "needed" while at the store? That simple trip for a $2 bottle of ketchup quickly can turn into a $75 trip. Who knew ketchup could blow the budget? ;-)

Today, as I stared at the used sandwich bags, I missed my Grandmother. I missed the wealth of knowledge she must have had to be able to stretch money, to make things homemade, and to reminisce about how it must have been growing up in that era.  Families working together to survive, and having fun all the while doing it. Evenings spent spread out on a covered porch hearing about each other's day. I know it must have been hard, but as my sweet girls and I sat on the lawn having a picnic beside a busy street, I couldn't help but look in the cars that drove past. I would say ninety percent of the children in the cars had headphones on, or were holding some kind of game device.

We have gained so much as a society since "The Walton" days...but I feel that we have lost so much more.

I washed out those sandwich bags today, and I thought about how wise my Grandmother was the whole time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Camp and a Boxer

This past week two of my girls headed off to Wilderness Christian camp for an awesome adventure of their own. 
They had so much fun and are already planning for next year. This was Princess #2 's first time without me. I was a little worried on how she would do, but she did great! Today we were talking about what some of her favorite things about the camp were..."Mom, their cookers totally make the best food EVER!! They had mac n cheese AND pizza!!" ...I got a kick out of that.

With two children away at camp, that left 3 days of one on one time with my youngest little Princess. A very rare thing. I had a few things planned for us to do together that I knew she would enjoy, but kept them a surprise until the girls were dropped off at camp. I sure didn't want one of them to hear about the things I had planned and then decide to not go to camp. That would be my luck for sure. 

To give you a little background on Princess #3. She has had a huge fascination with dogs from the moment she could express her thoughts. In fact, there have been times I was concerned she might be part dog. She went through that whole peeing on the carpet stage, chewed on things, and even crawled around panting and barking like a dog. Eventually I had to tell her to stop, for not ONLY did she do this at home, but wherever the mood struck her to do so. People stare enough at moms who have their kids at the store during school hours, I don't need more stares.

 One of the things I planned was a trip to the  pound to play with the dogs. NOT TO BUY ONE...just play. I know, we have our own. But they pretty much just eat and poop in the garage. Clover likes to follow me on walks or runs, but doesn't see the point in playing fetch, or any other games for that matter. 

She was so thrilled. First we visited the puppy room, and loved on all the delicious smelling pups.
Then we visited the kitten room and played with them. We both agreed that they weren't  as exciting as those adorable puppies. They wouldn't bring us a ball or anything. ;-) Next we headed into the adult dog area...where our hearts were completely broken. It was so hard to see all of those adult dogs shaking in fear, and not have someone to call their own. We stopped at each cage, chatted with each one, and loved on them for a bit. Yes, this took a long time...but we were in no hurry. I think we were there almost 3 hours!

 Princess #3 knew that we weren't getting one, and she was fine with that. She never even asked. But as a Mom who knows that her dream is to grow up and be an agility dog trainer, and then have a little 6 week old puppy actually playing fetch with her already at her young age, it got me thinking. What a wonderful project it would be for her, if she had a puppy that she could already train. A puppy that she could call her own. A puppy to follow her around the yard during morning chores, to tell secrets to, to share a popsicle and maybe even a comfy blanket with.

It takes a strong woman to say no to that. 
It takes a strong woman to walk away from so many homeless animals and not offer them the life of their dreams, a place to call home and a little girl to love. It also takes a woman with a good memory. Puppies are destructive. They can wreak total havoc on your carpet/possessions. 

I am neither one of those things. I stink at that whole strong woman stuff, and I can't remember what I have told the girls to do five minutes after the fact. It's normally clean their room though, so I will just spout that off periodically throughout the day just in case I have forgotten to do so when I planned on it.   So, after permission from Sweet Man and a trip to vet, we brought this little girl home.
Princess #3 named her Tootsie Roll. She is a boxer and  is extremely intelligent, at which the other dogs are a little nervous about, and has an overactive bladder! Who knew a dog so little could pee so much??
After we picked the other two girls up from camp, we let them tell us all about their adventures BEFORE Princess #3 was able to tell about her week. They were all so excited to share. It was a really neat time for us parents to just listen in the front seat.

We made a quick trip to the library and picked up puppy training books/videos, and books all about boxer puppies. We have all completely fallen in love with this new piece of fur on the farm. I think this was the perfect summer project, much better than video and computer games!

Sometimes I am so glad that I am not a strong woman. ;-)...And that I have such an amazing Sweet Man that allows us to have little "projects" like this.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Disney 20012

Six days in Disney World are kind of hard to post about. Not because there isn't enough to say, but because there is way too much to say, and it is hard to know where to start. Every time you turn around in Disney there is something awesome to see or do!

Our hotel was definitely on top of the most awesome things on this trip. We stayed at the Disney Boardwalk. It was amazing. Several swimming pools, awesome rooms, being able to walk over to Epcot, ducks to feed, an awesome night life with magic shows, ice cream shops, people who park your car and carry your luggage...and then wait around staring at you.
 Oh...guess you are supposed to tip for that stuff. :-o
 In Disney we saw several 3D shows,
 Some even had a ride with a game to go with it. :-)
 Staying at Boardwalk gives you the advantage of taking a ferry to several of the Disney Kingdoms.
 Or you could take the bus if you wish.
 Everywhere you looked, there were neat things to take a picture in front of.
 There were cars to drive, and all 3 girls are convinced they are good drivers now. Don't think they realize that the real road doesn't have that big steel strip running down the middle to keep you in your lane. ;-)
 Princess #2 volunteering for one of the magic shows on the boardwalk.
 What a fun pool this was to cool off in.

 There were aquariums,
 Drums to play,
 Things to dig in,
 Games that taught you how to save money and invest for retirement. RETIREMENT??? I guess it's never too early to learn. ;-)
 And drinks! Did you know it's hot in Florida in May? 

It was a wonderful trip. One of the neatest things about being on a vacation like this, is the freedom to just enjoy your children. I normally am so busy with chores that I have to make a conscious effort to "play" with the girls. Not here! It was full on fun together. Kind of hard to come back to cooking and cleaning every day after all of that fun. ;-)

Friday, June 1, 2012

A day in St. Augustine

We made it home from our Disney adventures early Sunday morning. We had a blast! We chose to drive the fourteen hour drive for two reasons: My Dad is not a fan of flying, and I LOVE to look at scenery. One of the most amazing things I saw on our drive was this....
We left at 3a.m. on Friday morning. Can you say coffee??
On our trip down, we stopped at St. Augustine for a night, and enjoyed several things that city had to offer. We climbed their light house...visited the gift shop and found fudge, so Princess #1 and I climbed it again. 
I LOVE light houses! I want one. ;-)

 We took a horse drawn carriage tour through the town, and were told the history and some interesting facts about this neat area.
 We visited some pretty neat gardens, and a boat museum. 
 They also had a really neat fort, and water! I just LOVE water!

Add some shopping, and a whole lot of eating, and the day was over. But not before I found this super neat sign for my front porch.
This was a super long day, but very fun!