Monthly Archives: June 2007

A New Project

I had this brilliant idea – well, I thought it was brilliant anyway, we’ll see how it turns out and then decide if it was brilliant or not.  I was rooting through the disastrous mess in my sewing room/office when I stumbled across something from my childhood.  My mom had passed it on too me to use with my kids and I was quickly hatching a fabulous idea.  It was a box of “fabuprint” – colored paper that you could iron on to fabric and transfer the color.  I think I still have a pillow case that I had made when I was a little kid with ‘fabuprint”.  I also found a bunch of fabric markers and paints, and a pile of 8 1/2 inch squares.  My brain started going, the smoke was roiling out my ears – I had a marvelous idea!

With a new baby on the way I thought it would make a fun summer project to work on making a quilt for baby – not just me, but the whole family.  I can do the kids hands in “fabuprint” and let them design a couple of their own squares. So then when baby is born there will be a special quilt that brother, sisters, mom and dad all made together. Since we won’t find out the sex of the baby before hand I thought I could use material with bright primary colors and such that would be fun and appealing.  So, that is my fabulous idea, and today I start working with the kids on designing their squares – I hope it turns out, because in my head it looks to be a lot of fun. 🙂 (Thankfully I have a good friend who is fabulous at making quilts and can help me – a lot!) 🙂


Filed under Hobby

Music of the Night

Dad’s chink chink could be heard well into the later hours of the evening as he pounded the carpet tightly in place last night.  With the closet left for last it was the hardest area to do.  All the kids were slumbering sweetly, except for Jacob who was being kept awake in the room next door by the noise.  After sometime there was a sort of rhythm in solitary noises.  The chorus went something like this:

Dad (pounding carpet): wham-wham

Jacob: Da-da

Dad: Wham-wham

Jacob: Da-da

Dad: Wham-wham

Jacob: Da-da

Dad: *belch* excuse me

Jacob: blahhh (best he could do at a belch sound) scuse-e

Jacob adores his Dad and mimics everything he does. If Dad has a hat, Jacob needs a hat, if Dad is sitting with his hands behind his head, then Jacob is sitting with his hands behind his head.  I love watching Jacob interact with his superhero of a Dad. 🙂


Filed under Children, Humor, Jacob, Things Kids Say

Thoughts on a Rainy Thursday

It is not a favorite of mine, but as it is raining today (again) it seemd to fit my mood:

Counting Raindrops

Pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, tap-tap-tap
Rain raps upon my window.
Golashes topped by shiny yellow slickers
Beckon to me from gray shadow.

Pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, tap-tap-tap
I trace the raindrops with my finger
As they slip
                                        down the pane
etching patterns on the glass;
Now and then it squeaks.

Pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, tap-tap-tap
I rest my chin upon the couch
And watch the drizzle descend.
I count the drops as they glide;
Pooling at the bottom.

Pit-a-pat, pit-a-pat, tap-tap-tap
Somewhere . . .
In the back of the house,
Bach is playing.
My eyelids grow heavy
And I slumber to the gentleness of the rain

-J.H. Schmidt



Filed under Poetry, Writing

In case some of you might be interested…

One of my teachers from has a blog where he hosts a poetry forum.  He has prompts and such pretty much daily (though you don’t have to do it daily) and has some fun and good challenges.  It’s kind of like the poetry blog Sariah had going for a while.  So, if anyone is interested check out his link. You’ll find it in my “For the Witer in You” section on my side bar – just click on Nav Works Press Poetry Forum. 

..NavWorks Press Poetry Forum..

Leave a comment

Filed under Writing

Today’s Life Lesson and Three Beautiful Things

First I wanted to list my three beautiful things, as it is Wednesday and I actually remembered to do it. 🙂

1. The carpet in the girls’ room is looking very beautiful, and since we have the bunk beds all torn apart we are going to paint them white (they are the metal bunk beds – single on top, double on bottom, and they are ugly black).

2. Dorothy got her cast off last Thursday – that is a very beautiful thing as we don’t have to go through the tantrum bit every time we go swimming, etc.

3. I gave a lesson to my kids on Monday evening about controling your anger (I called it Temper Your Temper), and we have been working very hard at having more love in our home. While it’s not perfect it is helping, and that is very beautiful to see. 🙂

Ok, now for Today’s Life Lesson:

I was at the grocery store today and by the time I got done finding what I needed, got checked out and everything into the car I was feeling rather tired.  Usually I’ll return my cart to one of the designated spaces, especially when I am by myself as I was today.  I figure it is just a nice thing to do. Well, today I was tired and feeling lazy and even though the cart return was only 10 – 20 feet away I decided that I was just going to leave the cart and go.  I hopped into the van and started the engine.  When I looked forward I saw a bent elderly gentleman, at least in his 80’s, shuffling towards my cart.  He had  come some distance from his car.  Feeling a tad bit guilty now, and curious, I busied myself with something in my car and observed the gentlemen. He stood by my cart a moment and then looked down the row of empty spaces (I park at the end, in the boonies, as I would rather walk than wait for an open space).  There was another empty cart a number of spaces down.  He shuffled toward that cart, took it, and then wheeled it up to my cart (at this point I was pulling away, and yes I feel rather ashamed that I didn’t stop to help the man), picked up that cart and proceeded to walk towards the return, or maybe even the store. 

I thought about that as I left. I felt guilty I hadn’t helped him, but more guilty that he had been thoughtful and considerate while I had been selfish. I’m not saying that people who don’t return their carts are mean, bad people, but it does make the store employee’s job easier. And who doesn’t appreciate having their load lightened.  I felt like I had been shown a dent in my character, and I hope that I can pound out that dent and make it smooth.  Not just by returning carts (which I probably will do without fail now), but by being more considerate and kind in general.


Filed under Philosophy


My husband and I have this awesome oppurtunity to take dance classes from some good friends of ours. It is a casual thing and they invited a bunch of people to attend over the summer so it is free – some great time to hang out and learn to dance better.  I know what you are all thinking – GoofyJ. perpetual klutz, girl with weak ankles who can hardly go ten steps without biffing it, is trying to DANCE?  But, believe it or not, though I have no grace whatsoever, I do enjoy it and dance rather well (so I am told anyway).  And, contrary to what you may be thinking, very few of my klutzy moments have ever happened when I was dancing.

Anyway, Paul and I were sitting at dinner with the family last night and he says to me, “The [name of dance teacher friends] have a stretcher.”

I just looked at him rather baffled and blank, thinking to myself, “Has it come to this? Has he so little faith in my lack of klutzy moments, that he has to arrange for them to have stretcher? What does he think I am going to do tomorrow during our dance class?”  Of course all these thoughts go flying through my brain at the speed of lightning.  I am trying to sort it out in my head, when Paul sees my blank look of bafflement.

“A carpet stretcher, J, you know for the girls bedroom. We can pick it up after class tomorrow.”

I busted up laughing, Paul knew exactly what I was thinking and the two of us were a puddle of giggles as we thought of my being hauled off  in a stretcher from dance class.

So, by the way, we are putting new carpet in the girls’ room – our friends ripped out the carpet which is in great condition, so we are replacing the icky ancient carpet in the girls’ room.  Yay! 🙂  We ripped it out yesterday, we’ll paint the floor with primer today ( to seal out oders and such) and put the carpet in tomorrow. We are very excited. I would like to do my sewing too, which as this terrible bright yellow shag (imagine loosing pins and needles in that stuff – it’s a nightmare) that is original to the house, but that is a bit more of a challenge considering the state of things in there. So we shall see. 🙂


Filed under Every Day Life, Humor


We seemed to go through dogs like tissue when I was a little kid. The first dog I remember was Leeta – and she had puppies, I’m not sure if I remember her or just remember seeing pictures of her.  I know there was a black dog of some kind before her, because I have a picture of it licking my face (I look to be about 2 in the photo).  Leeta died.  And then there was this great big orangish dog I have a vague memory of- it died to.  Then there were 2 dogs (One we named Prince, the other I don’t remember), I ‘m not sure what kind (they were black and brown), but they weren’t very nice.  As pups I was playing with them in the hayloft and one of them chomped on my finger.  I tried to show my big brother the finger that Prince chomped on and he said in a very scandalous voice, “J, put that finger down.”

“How come?” I recall asking.

“Because it means all the most terrible swear words in the world that you can think of.” 

Talk about making an impression, I never put THAT finger up again.  Then a while later those two dogs were caught killing chickens.  There is only one thing you can do with an animal that gets a taste for killing and that is putting them down.  I remember hiding with my siblings in the basement so we wouldn’t have to hear the gunshot.  We understood why, but it still made us sad.  Then there was this really pretty collie mix, and that dog got hit by a car.  I suppose we weren’t having the best of luck with dogs.  I often wondered why in all the stories people had dog friends for life, when ours didn’t seem to last longer than a few months or maybe a year.  It all seemed terribly unrealistic, that is until the year I turned eight.

He was a tiny puppy, black and brown and so adorably cute.  Longish hair, floppy ears, and a fan tail.  He was actually a long-haired dachstund mixed with a cockerspaniel – so we called him a long-haired cockerdox. (We thought we were very clever).  Since he was smaller than all the other dogs we managed to convince mom that he needed to be an inside dog.  He would take turns sleeping on all of our beds.  Mom taught him to beg, roll over, and even sing.  Some dogs can speak on command, “ruff”, but our dog was way better.  You just had to say “sing” and he would let out the greatest howls.  He even joined our singing time around the piano.  We tried to teach him to fetch but he thought it was much more fun to play tag once he got the ball.  We named him Fritz.

Fritz was the dog of all of our dreams.  He followed us wherever we went, only chewed on a few of our more precious items, and chased his tail for large quantities of time, much to our delight.  There were occasions when we would be gone most of the day to come home to find all of our stuffed animals piled by our front door.  None were chewed on, he just missed us and gathered all the stuffed animals he could drag to the door where he waited for our safe return.

One time we took him with us on vacation from PA to Utah and Oregon.  We were visiting the Great Salt Lake and accidently left him in the parking lot.  Were at least an hour away when we noticed our precious Fritz wasn’t with us.  We were all distraught and turned around, not daring to hope he was still there.  But there he was sitting in our vacant parking spot and howling with all his little lungs.  We had quite the reunion.

I finally got to see what it was like to have a dog companion for life like in all those stories I had wistfully read.  Fritz was our faithful buddy until Jan (or so) of 1999 when he had to be put down he was so sick – I was 23 and a half.

My parents replaced him with Susie ( a Welsh Corgi) the following fall who is now our dog.  Last night Susie was barking at 3 in the morning and I remember Fritz our watch dog.

It was while I was in my senior year in highschool.  Fritz began barking madly in the middle of the night, waking up myself and my parents (I was the only one left at home at this point). Dad ran down the hall.  I had forgotten to close the front shade and turn off the lamp.  As Dad walked out from the hall he saw a face pressed up against the window and heard another man trying to jimmy the lock, Fritz was still going crazy.  Dad flicked the hall light a bunch of times and it scared the robbers off, but it was still a scary experience.

So, last night when I heard Susie growling and barking I got chicken livered and woke up my hubby to check on things. Everything was fine.  But I couldn’t get back to sleep. Instead, I laid in bed thinking of our faithful dog Fritz and writing this post in my head.  I should have just done it last night at 3:30 A.M. when I was thinking of it, maybe I would have gotten it out of my system and finally gotten a decent nights rest.  Oh, well, that is what naps are for. 🙂


Filed under Memory

I Am Always Loosing Things

Saddly enough, admist all the strange search terms that people use that somehow bring them to my blog, this is one I saw today. “I am always loosing things” – I suppose the sad part is that it is soooooo true. 

Just yesterday Jacob ran off with my keys and after I confiscated them I put them in a safe place, but could I remember that when it was time to leave and go do my grocery shopping? Nope, I had search all over and call to Paul, “Have you seen my keys? Jacob had them and I think I took them back, but I don’t remember where I put them.”  He then holds up my cluster of keys that was sitting in plain sight on my dresser.  I search for my glasses when I am wearing them, and we of course remember the little story from a while back when I was trying to find my bra and then I realized I had it on (must be some comfortable bra, heh).  The only things I have yest to loose are my kids, and one of these days I know I’ll be telling some shopping attendent, “I know I set the baby down here some where, I just can’t seem to find..” and indoubtably we’ll find said baby cooing beneath a wrack of clothing where a sibbling would have pushed them to have fun with mom.  Ok, so that hasn’t happened yet, but can’t you just see it?

So, today’s post is brought to by some stranger’s search term that very appropriately landed them at my blog (I haven’t lost that one yet – just my mind), and sending me off on a pointless ramble of how inept my brain really is (if I could just find it).  heh 🙂


Filed under Humor

Answers – or at least ideas

It seems that every family hits that point where you make changes or just die trying.  We hit that point.  It seems that every time I turn around the kids are squabling and quarraling and Mom turns Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide unleashy her nasty little self.  I ask them to do dishes and there’s a fight, I ask them to pick up and there’s a fight, I say lets go to the park and there’s a fight while trying to find shoes, I say it’s time for bed and there’s world war III,  I half expect to look at them cross-eyed and find another reason to break into a family brawl.  The cleaning and picking up thing seemed to be a main source of contention – and despite the feelings of “fine I’ll just do i t myself” I knew that was unreallistic and wouldn’t help a thing – and definitely wouldn’t teach the children the value of work and responsibility.

This is where big sisters come in handy.  I was talking to her about my woes and my foibles and like big sisters usually do she listened. (yay big sister!) 🙂  Then she reminded me of things that would make my job easier.  The silly thing to me was that these things were things I already knew about and had just failed to implement them.  Things such as chore charts and check lists so the children knew what was expected of the them (duh!) and immediate consequences and rewards.  “Yay you did the job, lets go to the park!” (and have located shoes previously so as not to break into a brawl at that point, heh).  So yesterday I had a little chat with my children, that went something like this:

We are a family and everyone is an important part.  As part of this family each of you is expected to do certain chores and do them happily.  You have to work – you’ll have to work all your life and complaining about it isn’t going to make it go away.  So, this is what we are going to do.  I will make chore charts and they will list what is expected of each of you.  When I ask for help doing dishes or cleaning up you will not argue, but say “yes mom” and do it happily.  Any complaint will bring double the work.  All chores must be completed before play, trips, and other fun stuff.  As far as crafts and projects go – I like to do them, and I want to do them but they make a big mess and then I have complainers about picking up the mess.  If you want to do crafts this summer you need to show me you are willing to pick up happily, and not give me complaints about picking up afterwards.

They all kind of just stood there with semi-blank looks on their faces, until I asked them if they agreed and then they enthusiastically said yes.  So, I get to do some chore chart planning and such today, and hope that while it won’t cure all of our woes, it might at least lessen some of the fighting and stress.  At least I can hope it will keep our home a little cleaner (and thus happier).  So, back to the basics for me (funny how that always seems to solve things) and if I can just remember constantly that a “soft answer turneth away wrath” then I might just make it through the summer with at least a shred of sanity in place.


Filed under Parenting

At Least One Day of Harmony

Part of tonight’s dinner conversation: 

 Emily: What is Valentine’s Day?

Elizabeth: It’s when you love your brothers and sisters.


Filed under Em, Lizy, Things Kids Say