Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Fragments – Slowly getting back

It seems it’s been forever since I purged my mind with some fragments! I have no idea what’s going on and I hope to get back into the swing in the bloggy world soon!  Need more info on the whole “fragments” thing?  Go see Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissing Time for all the rules!

Mommy's Idea
  • I feel like my life has been on hold and now that I’m starting to come back, I realize every one else’s lives have gone on around me.  I missed some things and now I need to catch up!
  • I slept in my bed for the first time in over 6 weeks on Thursday.  It was dreamy after all the couches and spare rooms I’ve been in.  It took until Thursday because hubby and I stayed in the living room so we could listen for any “mishaps”.
  • The kids’ Bento boxes at school have been a big hit.  They rarely come home with leftovers (usually not enough time to eat!) and they’ve been eating really healthy foods.  Plus they’re fun!
  • TMI alert: My armpit hair is getting long.  No, not metaphorically, well maybe a little metaphorically.  I mean I haven’t taken the time to do that particular bit of maintenance in quite some time.  Kind of embarrassing, but no one sees lately so I don’t care.  Thought I’d share :)
  • I’m working on a new blog header for spring.  I’ll probably put it up early in hopes that spring will hurry up and get here already.  Then comes the flood….
  • They are predicting locally that this spring’s flood waters will be as high if not higher than last year’s.  Way to go local government for arguing for an entire year about permanent dikes and never putting them up.  I’m sure your community will appreciate the thought.
  • Last year our little town was pretty safe, but Fargo (largest nearby town) was hit pretty badly.  My hubby ended up on active duty for the National Guards for a little over a month.  He’s going active for a month in March for an unrelated job, which means when he gets back he’ll go straight into the flood duty I’m sure.  I may not see him until MAY!!
  • I really, really like Press N Seal cling wrap.  Why have I not been using this product before now???
  • I have sooo much to clean around here and I don’t know where to start.  I suppose hubby is leaving just in time for me to do the majority of it!  I wish I could just take a pressure washer in my house and just hose everything down! Hmmm, that would be kind of fun actually!

typical day That’s about it for me!! Have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Scoop

The heat is on!  Literally.  The new boiler is installed and after 3 days of repairing leaks to the heating lines and plumbing lines we have a warm house.  In fact I turned the heat down a bit last night, it was exciting!!  We lost a few radiators to the leaks as we had to remove some lines that were just un-repairable.  We currently have one (of 3) working toilets, and in a separate bathroom we have a shower and sink.  We also have one kitchen sink (of 2) working.  The house is functional at least, just a bit inconvenient.  Its dirty, too.  The necessity of cutting into ceilings to get at plumbing left a huge mess.  The plumbers removed the big stuff, but the floors are covered in dirt, water, and insulation.  I won’t let the kids walk on the first floor without shoes until we can really scrub.  We’re at a lull right now as we transition from the “boiler guys” to the “plumbing guys” since two different jobs are being paid for differently.


The old boiler came out in pieces.  They said as soon as they started to lift it out it just fell apart.


Looking out the window into the back yard, you can see the chunks of rust that was our boiler.


Our entry way is filled with fallen, wet insulation (we use the back anyway) and my floors look terrible!

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They used a shovel to clean my kitchen.  They threw away all our swimming towels!!! I was using them to contain all the water on the floor before they arrived.

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It took 3 days to track down every leak and seal the system.


The pair of pipes he was working on weren’t salvageable, they ran floor to ceiling, we cut them out completely.


The shiny new boiler system up and running!

We have a ways to go yet, but at least we’re home.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I Heart Faces – “Hands On” Fun


It’s been a while since I’ve been able to participate in I Heart Faces’ challenges (so long they’ve even changed the logo!).  This week is all about hands and I’m thrilled because I have one of my favorite pictures to enter!!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Updates and Bento Boxes

bento food pick

I’ve been amassing my collection of Bento Box gear to show you what we’ve started doing!!! Since I’m STILL sitting in a freeeezing cold house (see, my fingers are too cold to type!) I will be putting if off a day or two.  Even living at other people’s houses, I’ve been sending the kids to school with their bento lunches (click here to see what I’m talking about) as often as I can.  We have word that there may be actual work on our boiler TOMORROW! You cannot imagine how excited I am to tell you that.  We may have a house with heat by the weekend!  Then of course comes the thawing and replacing of pipes.  We’ve had a neighbor offer up their bathroom and water supply if we choose to move back in before the water is turned on.  The longer we’ve been out of the house, the more appealing it sounds to dash across the street to pee.  Just saying.  Thank you all for the continued prayers as we struggle with all of this.  I can’t wait to get my life back!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This week has been hard.  This month has been hard.  I never expected to be stuck without a house for over 5 weeks now.  I’m loosing track of days quickly, I judge time by who’s house we were at that week, who’s couch I was sleeping on.  I find myself getting after the kids more often than truly necessary, I feel stressed out and bored at the same time.  I miss my life.  This is all some weird side track we’re on and I can’t wait to get back on the main path.  If it were just my husband and me it really wouldn’t be so bad, but I feel sorry for the kids.  They’ve missed so much school, and spent weeks at a time at other (very wonderful) people’s houses when we couldn’t find a place to stay all together.  Honestly, how many people do you know that can take in a family of 6 all at once??  All the time they spent at other homes, I kept thinking This is not what I signed up for.  I should be doing that.  I hate inconveniencing people.  I hate it.  When the kids have homework, I want to be there to help them.  When the need discipline, I want to be there.  That’s what I signed up for, that’s my job, and I actually want to do those things.  It was really hard for me to hand over those reigns for a week at a time.

This week we’re all together in a hotel.  Um, apparently the state’s cheapest hotel, no lie.  It’s close quarters and we’re all feeling it.  And although I feel stressed and on edge, I prefer being here than farming out my children to (very wonderful) people.  I can’t miss any more of their lives, and even though it is kind of a big deal, I don’t want all this to be a big deal.  Really, in the grand scheme of things, 5 weeks is a speed bump.  I know they’ll remember not living in the house for a while, but I hope it doesn’t change them…but I already know it has.

These are our trials, as God gives them to us.  We all have them, in one way or another every single person we know is going through their own personal trial, whether we can see it or not.  The thing that makes you a bigger person is how you handle that trial.  1 Thessalonians 5:17-19 “ Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  It’s easy for me to thank him when my table if full of food, my house is warm, and I can turn on the faucet any time I like.  Prayer is harder these days, but I know its up to us as a family to remember to thank Him for what we continue to have.  Friends and family to take us in & to feed us, a vehicle, a roof over our head somewhere, each other (as I am reminded while I listen to four, yes, all four kids snoring louder than the next room’s noisy TV).  We are also thankful that the kids seem to be able to make themselves at home no matter where they are (Max, put your clothes back on! Not that at home!) And yes, this experience has changed all of us, but I think it has changed us for the better.  Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • I was starting to really dislike our house for one reason or another.  I’ve come to realize it’s not our house I dislike, its how I’ve been living in that house.  I’d sure love to be living in it now.
  • We really can make do with less.  Living with 5 days’ worth of clothes, minimal toys, and minimal space it has become very obvious we have too much and take it for granted.  We’ve already devised a large purging of our house once we get back in.
  • Different houses = different rules.  Deal with it, but don’t be disrespectful, or you deal with dad.
  • Turning up the heat is a luxury we take for granted around here, too.  I walked by the thermostat at our cold cold house today and wanted longed to reach for it and hear that boiler spark up.  Sigh.
  • God will not abandon us nor will we abandon Him. 
  • Living together as a family, even in tight quarters, is better than being spread apart.  That being said, we sure will enjoy our own spaces that much more when we have them back.
  • I really, really miss our fast and always available internet.  I guess that’s not much of a lesson, more of a realization…or addiction? :)  I’ve missed you all, in any case!

So as soon as we get our house back I have some major changes to make.  I hope it will inspire you to make some changes, too, or at least appreciate the way things are.IMG_8437

Sunday, February 7, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #10 – Thai Peanut Butter Cup

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The tenth and final chocolate is the Thai Peanut Butter Cup.


I think of all the bonbons I had, this was the most “exotic”.  This chocolate goodie is your standard peanut butter cup, but cooler.  Not only are there little bits of Thai Chiles in it, there’s ginger and lime, too.  To round out the peanut butter against the sweet chocolate there are bits of Red Volcanic Sea Salt!  I shared this one with my friend, who needed a glass of water to cool off afterward.  I loved the spice and salt with the dark chocolate and I think you will too! So, go to Alma Chocolates and get ordering already!!  I wish I had another 10 to share with you!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #9 - Sabrina

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The ninth chocolate is the Sabrina.


Now THIS is a bonbon.  Serious flavor and sweetness in a little package…with an almond on top!!  This bonbon has a marzipan bottom with fig on top, covered by their tasty chocolate.  It was soooo tasty!  I could easily have eaten 15 more of these then slip into a diabetic coma.  Yum!! Truly!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #8 – Rosemary Fleur de Lys

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The eighth chocolate is the Rosemary Fleur de Lys.


Okay, I really wasn’t sure on this one.  I know, I’ve said it before and by bonbon #8 I DO have the utmost faith in Alma chocolates.  It’s an odd flavor combo…and its yummy!  I’m not saying I’d eat a whole box of these, but they are nice.  The chocolate, of course, is spectacular, and I never would have put rosemary in a bonbon, but there it was.  I liked it a lot more than I would have thought, for sure.  Very tasty!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #7 – Mint Meltaway

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The seventh chocolate is the Mint Meltaway.

mintmeltaway I seriously love mint and chocolate.  I could eat a whole package of those after dinner mint chocolates in a sitting with no problems.  I could have also eaten a whole box of a certain Girl Scout cookie, too. So of course I was seriously excited to choose this particular bonbon.  It was just as I had hoped and more… smooth chocolate and peppermint oil that was cool and delicious.  With some of the other bonbons I shared a corner with my husband, but not this one.  It was all mine, and it was fabulous.  Seriously.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #6 – Meyer Lemon

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum. The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR. The sixth chocolate is the Meyer Lemon.

meyerlemon Usually I don’t choose the lemon flavor of anything. It reminds me of lemon-scented cleaning products. I didn’t choose this bonbon either, it was a substitute for another. At first I thought I got another Ginger Ginger (yay!), but the gold is dusted on instead of in flakes, telling me this was the Meyer Lemon. Once again I was pleasantly surprised. The dark chocolate was smooth and creamy and there was just the right amount of lovely organic lemon to flavor it. It was very very yummy! Whew!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #5 – Ginger Ginger

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The fifth chocolate is the Ginger Ginger. gingerginger

I’m sure you can guess by the name this bonbon has ginger in it.  I have gotten over being nervous to try these now, I’m pleasantly surprised each time at how they combine unusual flavors with their silky dark chocolate.  This was no exception.  The outside is pretty, complete with gold leaf flakes, and the inside is creamy and has a rich but not overpowering ginger taste, with the spicy ginger kick at the end.  Really awesome!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A Chocolate A Day #4 – Habanero Caramel Crown

I won some lovely gourmet bonbons from Trish at Off Camera With Trish Van Pilsum.  The tasty little treats come from Alma Chocolates out of Portland, OR.  The fourth chocolate is the Habanero Carmel Crown.


I was enamored with the look of this bonbon.  It’s a beautiful little crown shape brushed with gold.  I almost hated to eat it.  Almost.  The thought of habanero made me a little nervous, but I bit in and just inside the smooth chocolate shell was rich, creamy, sweet caramel.  Then came the spice.  Not too much for my tasteb(my BFF needed some water!). It was fabulous!!