After four kids, ten moves and nearly two decades, we are still blissfully in love (most of the time) and I found myself back in the state I was born and raised in. It has definitely been a journey. In fact, on our 18th anniversary we pulled the last of our stuff up over the pass and into Montana, leaving our surprise love, Idaho, behind. But Montana is a great place. The last best place according to some. And we fully intend to explore as much of it as we can! Join us on our continued adventure through life, love and other stuff that comes with it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Nothing like making a spectacle

Yesterday was Sunday.  And when it's Sunday, we go to church.  This is complicated by the move thing.  I think finding a new church is my least favorite part of moving.  Church is such a center for us and we meet so many great people through church. Finding the *right* church is so important.  It needs to be friendly and have some kids for our kids to be friends with. And it has to be Lutheran.  LCMS, to be exact.  There are three of them around here, that we know of.  You'd think that would make it easy, but it doesn't. 

The one we went to yesterday was 45 minutes away.  That would seem like a long way, but apparently we have to go to the church that is the farthest away and pass several other suitable churches on the way to church.  It's what we do.   Actually, it's usually how it just works out. 

Anyway, since it was 45 minutes away and we were trying for the 8:30 service, we were late.  By about 10 minutes.  But probably more like 15.  We haven't been that late for church in a long time.  That is a miracle in and of itself.

I should add here that we had taken two cars so we could stop at Home Depot on the way home and get a 10' counter top.  More on that later.  But Violet had a complete melt down on the way in because she dropped her blue crayon and Grace and Calla, her usually helpers in such a situation, were in the truck with daddy.  Bad sign.

We were walking across the parking lot and Grace, who is 8 now, said, "Too bad Carsten isn't asleep."  Great point.  The kid gets it. 

We get to the sanctuary, which is down a big, twisting tunnel, and the usher says, "There are some seats down in the front corner.  We'll wait for the hymn and I'll take you down there."  Bad sign.

While we're waiting Brent excused himself to the restroom.  Leaving me with all four kids.  This isn't a horrible thing.  Usually.

Then Carsten steals my purse and starts rummaging around in it.  He surfaces with Violet's box of crayons.  And Violet isn't interested in sharing.  So she's in edge and whining.  Carsten then reveals that he's learned a new word by hiding the crayon box behind his back and declaring quite loudly, "MY!"  (In case you need a translation, they are now HIS crayons and he has ZERO intention of sharing them.)

So the hymn starts and we, four kids--two of them intent that the ONE box of crayons is theirs--and myself, follow the usher halfway across the sanctuary and way down to the corner--it may have been a mile.  But it was probably two miles. Violet is whining.  Not good.

We get to our seat and Grace and Calla settle in and start to read the Bibles they brought, after getting their dolls situated.  I am able to get the box of crayons from Carsten and gave them to Violet.  But, ALAS!  CARSTEN HAD RIPPED THE HANGER FLAP THINGY OFF THE BOX!  HER WORLD IS ENDING.  AND IT'S ENDING NOW!!!!

Not good.

So, I leave Calla and Grace contently reading their Bibles in the pew and, with Carsten on my hip, I escort a screaming Violet roughly the two miles out of the sanctuary and all the way outside.  This is not how you behave in church.  I don't care if you are three and have just had the flap thing ripped off your crayon box by your little brother.  You do not scream in church.

She gets my point, so we go back in.  On the way in a grandmother-like lady in the back smiled at me.  How nice.  I smiled back.

Daddy is there with the older two.  Good.

We sit down and settle in some.  Carsten steals my purse and when I try to move it, he pulls it away from me and declares very loudly, "MY!" 

He's learned a new word.  Lovely.

Then I notice that it's communion Sunday.  Nothing wrong with that.  But it usually does extend the service by 10-20 minutes.  And we're already  on the edge here.

The sermon finally rolls around.  Carsten starts climbing on the pew in front of us.  And then makes a shot at the pulpit.  I grab him and head the two miles towards the back.  The grandma lady smiles at me again.  I must admit, it was genuine.  Daddy has Violet under control and the older two are doing really well quietly reading.  So I spend a few minutes out with Carsten.  Then I trek the two miles back in.

Calla walks over to show me her drawing.  And I notice she needs a tissue.  So, because I am obviously not prepared and don't have any sort of a tissue anywhere, we take Carsten and head out again to get a tissue.  I put more miles on during church than I have in the last week, I think to myself. 

The grandma lady smiles at me again and I say to her as I pass, "Is this the fourth time?"  Her eyes just twinkle.  I kinda wanted to hug her.  But that would mean I have to let go of my kids and they might bolt.

By the time we get back from the tissue run, communion is in full swing.  Every church does it differently.  But before I can get my wits about me, Grace is saying, "We need to go, dad!"  So we all get up and follow the leader to communion.  Of course, we end up first in line and, as a newbie, we're obviously not too sure what to do.  But we're apparently good at faking it.

Carsten noticed that someone was coming down the line and putting a little wafer in open hands.  And people are eating it!  FOOD!!!!  When the guy handing out the wafers gets to us, Carsten is ready with his chubby hand open and waiting. 

And he is offended when he doesn't get a wafer.

But there's still hope.  There's a tray of little cups coming, too.

But he isn't offered one of those, either.

He is equally offended.

We get up and head back to our seats.  And Carsten spends the rest of the service trying to escape and go up front so he can get the wafer and the wine that he was cheated out of. 

FINALLY, the Benediction. 

And the final hymn.  "Sent Forth by God's Blessing" 

It's good to know we still have God's Blessing. Even after making a total spectacle in a new church.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

From the back seat

Calla: Violet, can I touch your seat?

Violet: No. 

Calla:  Why?

Violet: Because I'm really, really special.

Calla:  No you aren't.  You aren't glass.  Only glass things are special.

Violet:  No, I am special! 

Grace (intervening from the middle seat):  Calla, everyone is special.   Even you.

After nearly five hours of trying and failing to accomplish all but one thing on my list, I must admit it made me giggle.  I may still be giggling.

A little Primal update

The last two weeks have been pretty crazy.  Moving across the state can turn your world up-side-down and give it a good shake.  But in all honesty, remaining in my Primal path was pretty darn easy. 

Oh, and I found my scale.  It says I lost weight.  Over THIRTY POUNDS since around this time last year.  Granted, I was not on my primal path this time last year, but there was a spot in there where I lost about fifteen pounds.  And then I probably gained most of it back. Then sometime the end of June I packed up my scale and put it in storage. So I'm thinking that since going Primal, I've lost over 20 pounds. 

And I feel great. 

Did I mention that I took the whole family with me?  I decided it needed to happen.  And aside from Grace asking if we have toast for breakfast and Calla wondering if she'll ever have macaroni and cheese from a box again (which was rare to begin with), there have been few complaints from that section.  Even the complaints I get are not really that passionate.  More of a passing, wondering comment.

We did realize last Friday that we didn't have any fruit or vegetables in the house.  And the kids were hungry.  So we told them we'd go to the store and get some.  You would have thought we had given them a free lifetime pass to Disneyland or something.  Seriously, I'd say kids in a candy store, but it was the produce section!  They were really that excited.  They picked out apples and oranges and grapes and carrots and cucumbers and orange peppers and green peppers and purple cabbage and green cabbage and pomegranates.  And they came home and ate them.  My kids are weird by many standards and I love it.

Now for the last three days Grace has been asking for turkey pizza.  It's a white sauce pizza I make with garlic and cheese and such.  It's an after Thanksgiving tradition we have.  And we had a package of turkey in the freezer.  So I went to work figuring out how to make it without the crust. 

I found this recipe for flourless pizza.  The crust is made out of eggs.  You whip up the whites, fold in the yokes and bake it for a few minutes.  I forgot to add the salt, but it turned out beautifully.

It kind of reminds me of Dutch Babies, only without the flour.  And it was SUPER easy!  Easier than making a bread dough crust.  And faster, and with way less mess, too! I count a triple bonus there!

Here's the pizza all ready to eat. 

One excited.

Two excited.
 Three excited


And there was not a single complaint from the complaint department!  In fact, they all ate more than one piece. 

Hey mom, are you done yet?  I'm trying to eat here.

Sorry little dude.  Carry on.

The husband didn't have any complaints either.  So I declared dinner a success.  Then they had yogurt for dessert.  Plain yogurt with some jam stirred into it.

Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while will recall a journey I went on a few years ago to make my own sourdough starter.  I baked my own sourdough bread for over two years and it was delicious.  But I will honestly say that I don't miss it.  I don't miss making it every other day (and the mess).  I don't miss the inflammation in my hands that I have since learned was caused by grains.  I don't miss the bread, either.  I'll admit that it is a little sad, but I feel roughly THIRTY pounds lighter and roughly a MILLION times better.  I've noticed that my kids are thoroughly enjoying good food and I am putting forth a lot less effort to feed them. 

And I feel like my journey has just begun.

The book claims that weightloss the Primal way is effortless.  I find that to be true.  It's taking a lot less effort to both lose weight, do the recommended exercises (which is a wagon I need to jump back on here soon) and prepare the food than I think most folks put forth in their non-primal ways.  It's quite incredible.

It all makes me very happy.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Welcome to N. Idaho

Confession:  I think that N. Idaho is presenting me with more of a culture shock than S. Idaho did.  Somehow S. Idaho felt quite a lot like home quite really quickly.  Maybe it's just me and my small town background.  Yesterday I was driving through town on the way home from Costco (official card-carrying member again! YAY!) and realized that I was going to have to bust out my big city driving skills again.  Not a single giant tractor with giant implements in sight. 

The post office in town seems quite friendly and helpful.  That's a plus.  The library in town seems fine.  Not the super friendly, super awesome library in S. Idaho, but it will do I guess. 

I talked to the neighbor across the road today, too.  Apparently there are quite a few moose and coyotes around these parts.  She actually apologized if we heard shots at around 6am a few days ago.  I didn't, but she told me that she'd spotted a coyote headed for her chickens and since it was too far to go to the basement to get her rifle, she grabbed the .45 and started firing at the darn thing.  In her pajamas.  She thinks she got it, so if we find a dead coyote on our place, we know why. 

I told her that I'd tell the girls that if they saw the crazy pajama-clad lady across the road out shooting at something, they should come back in the house. 

We both laughed.  I like her.

And I wonder what official card-carrying memberships she has.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Moving is a whole lot of work

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  Moving stinks.  I don't like it for a whole bunch of reasons.

But, you do find things in boxes that you forgot you had.

Oh, wait.  I knew I had that one.  In fact, I don't remember putting her in a box.  But we did find her in a box. 

And my little statue I made in junior high that resembles a little dog I had in junior high.  Her name was Squirt.  She was such a sweet dog.

We decided the kids needed dressers and we found a couple on Craigslist for $50.  When we came back from getting them, we found this running around the front pasture.

And this!

Grandpa had taken them all out and set them all up.  They were so excited.  And I nearly cried.  That is precisely why we moved to this particular place. 

By the light of the moon, even.

V even go in on the action.  Mr. C wanted NOTHING to do with getting on, though. 

That's okay.  He won't be able to resist this face forever.

A huge thank you to my mom and dad.  Without them we would be nowhere close to where we are now.  They helped us caravan up, mom took the girls, dad came and lent some elbow grease (though I think he's going to need a serious refill on that before too long).  Also, a big thank you to my brother for loaning us his truck and trailer.  We would have been making more trips without that. 

We've made some serious progress again today.  We still need to finish the classroom/sewing room.  The kids' rooms are under control, we don't have to dig through boxes to find clothes.  Though there is still a lot of work ahead of us, the main portion is done and I feel like we are on the downhill slide.  Except I need to not run out of gumption before we hit the bottom.

And a public service announcement:  If you are moving from Mountain Time to the Pacific Time, don't do it in the fall the same weekend that the time goes back to standard time.  We are officially two hours off and it is quite inconvenient. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Adventures in moving

Moving is always an adventure.  But it's more of an adventure when you have a one-year-old in tow and you paint and carpet the whole house before you move in.

Somehow the one-year-old gets covered in paint.  It's even in his hair.  I really shouldn't be surprised I guess.

But even with all that, he's still "Mommy's Team."  I find some humor in that.

You can't see it, but he's wielding a paint brush at this window.  A wet paint brush that he stole from the paint tray.

And I found this in a corner of the hall.  I'm sure there are matching prints on the wall. 

Meet Gloria.  She came with the place and she's quite the chicken.  Apparently she's nine years old and has out-smarted coyotes around here for that nine years.  She follows me around like a dog would. 

The carpet is going in as I type.  The horse is out in the pasture.  The girls are on their way with grandma and the dog.  My kitchen is workable and laundry is going. 

All that might make it feel like home, but I still miss SE Idaho.  I probably will for a really long time.  Possibly the rest of my life.