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2008 June » Philoxenos


Diapers coming out of my ears

30th June 2008

Diapers coming out of my ears

There is an amazing deal on diapers happening right now at Walgreens. If you are interested, go HERE to read about it. That post gives great instructions.

I wish I had a picture to show you (don’t ask me where our camera is because I don’t know) but I bought 584 diapers (which I figure is nearly five months worth) for $27. I think that’s less than 3 cents each. I normally buy them at Costco for 17 cents each. What a deal! Now, I know that these are not the same quality. I know that. I’ve already opened a package and I can tell. But considering that I bought enough diapers to last until nearly the end of the year for the same price I usually  spend per month then I’m okay with that.

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30th June 2008

Our morning 30 June

For those of you who might be wondering what in the world I’m doing, here is the run down of our morning:

7am: Handsome and I woke up and couldn’t believe it was so late. We normally get up about 6am without the benefit of an alarm. Thus he very quickly got up and had a shower as he needed to be out the door by 7:30.

7:10: Children up and breakfast started. Much wailing because I said we weren’t having cereal today, just muffins and fruit and yogurt which is certainly enough but they are creatures of habit. I started emptying the dishwasher and dropped a cooling rack on my left foot. There is now a LARGE lump on my foot.

7:40: Children outside to play while it’s still cool. Much fighting over the car. I’m really str8uggling with all the fighting. Why can’t they just get along?

8am: I hung out some washing while kids played outside.

8:15: had a very quick shower while Precious watched over Cutie and Little Boy.

8:30: started Circle Time - started learning a new hymn “Tis So Sweet To Trust In Jesus” , started our B verse from ABC Bible Verses and read the read-alouds that go with our Sonlight curriculum.  While all this was going on Little Boy played with blocks (I want him to be included even though he’s playing) and Cutie got on and off the couch, listening with one ear. Precious sat next to me and didn’t want the reading to stop!

9am: Lesson 3 and 4 in Horizons K math. Definitely review for Precious but I figure it gives her confidence. We worked on left and right since she still hasn’t mastered that.  Hopefully this will help her get her shoes on the right feet! She’s nearly five and still walks around with banana boats on all the time. Cutie sat next to Precious and worked on her ’school work’ too. She has a little workbook and I gave her some crayons. Her job was to colour the crocodile and frog green and colour the pumpkin and carrot orange. Little Boy played on the floor.

9:30am: We made playdough! And I realised that I don’t have any food colouring, so that’s on the list. I told them to pretend it was winter and they were playing with snow. I love warm playdough.

9:40: While they played with playdough and Little Boy played in his room, I hung out another load of washing. And took down the load I put up at 8am. It was bone dry. In 90 minutes. It’s not super hot out right now but it’s a bit breezy and almost no humidity. But I’m glad I hung up the laundry because it dries so quickly and means I don’t use the dryer which heats up the house and uses electricity.

At some point in there they had morning tea. I think it was while I made the playdough. Right now Precious is cleaning up the playdough (that occupied them for about 45 minutes) and Cutie is reading book. Little Boy is trying to eat playdough so I better sign off!

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25th June 2008

don’t have a witty title

I’m still alive, although I feel like I’m about to fry from the heat. I forgot how nasty summers in Central Cal can be. Last Sunday it was 110 degrees. What is that in Celcius? umm…. 43 degrees. 43!!! And the humidity was like 4%. It’s so hot I don’t even let the kids go outside and play from about 11:30-5.

So, other than trying to beat the heat (it’s been much cooler this week - only hitting 98 or so) by drinking a lot of water and making homemade popsicles, we’ve been at VBS!

For those of you down under, VBS is this amazing American phenomenon (I don’t remember ever seeing it in NZ) where churches offer a week long kinda day camp thing. This week is our week. I’m teaching fifth graders. I requested first graders. Fifth graders are very different from first graders. Let’s just say, I’m really tired. And a bit dehydrated apparently.

But tomorrow is Thursday, so only two days left. And the time passes by amazingly fast. Believe it or not I was surprisingly organised at home so I had meals made in advance so i haven’t had to do much cooking except for doing some vegetables and I’m keeping up with laundry. And of course Handsome is a great help at home, too, so we’re doing well on the home front.

Unfortunately I’m not sure how the children are going to fare. The first two days I was quite concerned about the two younger ones. The preschool/nursery is only available to children of workers, but there were still quite a few kids and I have a feeling that the workers really didn’t know what they were in for. I contacted the director  Monday afternoon just to let her know what I observed and she said that she was on to it. Tuesday was much better. Today I was surprised that Precious, the nearly 5 year old, was very clingy and crying a lot. Doesn’t help that she kept seeing me around the facility. I think it’s the noise. She has this thing with noisy places and just doesn’t like it.

So, we’re eating and sleeping and living. Our new house continues to amaze us. I think our garden will probably be dead in a a few weeks. We’re watering but we’d have to put a lot of water on to keep it all alive and doesn’t that seem like a waste of water for something to grow that we’re not going to eat? We’re really just growing it and then cutting it down and putting it in a big bin to get tossed into some wasteland somewhere. Maybe it’s composted. I don’t know. But I’m thinking of making some changes and putting in succulents. Why pretend we live in the tropics (which get rain weekly/daily/hourly) when we live in a desert (I can’t remember the last time it rained - maybe 8 weeks ago?)?

I could go on and on but that really wouldn’t make sense to anyone but me. so I’ll stop.

And Teri, please tell Andy that I spent his quarter but I promise to find him another :)

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16th June 2008

am I really that old?

I had the pleasure today of having a young mom from church over. She stayed much longer than I thought she would but I think she really needed to spend time with another mom, particularly one that is a little farther down the track.

Her little boy is just 5 months and a few months ago she was in the church nursery and I could tell that she was nearly in tears. He was having a nursing strike and so she was supplementing with formula and then of course she started having supply issues as a result and she just didn’t know what to do. Another older mom and I looked at her and said “Stop the formula! Just sit down on the couch and breastfeed him.” We knew that the only thing that would increase her supply is simply more feeding.

Turns out this woman doesn’t have anyone to ask all those new mom questions to, so I invited her over. We finally managed to find a time that worked for us when one of our kids wasn’t sick. She came over this morning and stayed for lunch and we talked about mom things. She had lots of questions and I answered them as best I could, always making sure she knew that I  am not perfect and that I’m just sharing with her what I did and what worked for me. She said over and over again how she felt so stupid and why didn’t she know this? I reminded her that unless she’s been taught how is she supposed to know?

So I sent her home, armed with a new resolve to breastfeed and a copy of my baby food cookbook so she could make her own solid food instead of buying those expensive jars.

I’m just having a hard time realising that I’m now the older mom, instead of the new mom. I’m the experienced one, supposedly.

I wish I felt smarter!

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15th June 2008

To Andy

Glad you found the blog! Your humour is always appreciated :)

I just happen to have a stack of change that I found in a pair of Handsome’s pants before I ironed them and there is a South Carolina quarter! So I’ve set it aside and once I can find an envelope I’ll post it off to you :) No need to send the California quarter. Consider it payment for teaching me to cut an onion properly.

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15th June 2008

Potato Salad and Summer Berry Trifle

On  Saturday we had a housewarming party, starting from 3:30pm and ending about 8pm. The invitations said that if guests were around at 5:30 they would also get a BBQ dinner. Not surprisingly many people came just in time for dinner :)

One recipe that I made was for Classic Potato Salad. Honestly, nothing fancy, but it always gets rave reviews. I’ll post it here on the blog so in case I don’t have my cookbook with me, I can always find it. (edited to add: I’m too lazy to actually type out the recipe, so just click on the link below. Or if you have the red and white cookbook that every American family has, it’s in there.)

Classic Potato Salad, courtesy of Better Homes and Gardens

And another fantastic recipe that I just tried and people were coming back for seconds was Summer Berry Trifle. I found this at  and will definitely be making it again. Not inexpensive, but definitely a great dessert. A few ways to make it lower calorie, if you wish to do so, would be to use sugar-free gelatin, low fat Cool Whip, and Neufchatel Cheese, in place of the cream cheese.  I used the sugar-free gelatin and it was just fine.

Summer Berry Trifle, courtesy of Kraft Foods  

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13th June 2008

New Piano

We are the proud owners of a new piano! Well new to us. It’s probably about 60 years old actually.

An interesting story about how I met the man that we bought it from. Back in March I went to the Social Security Office to get Little Boy’s social security number. While I waited I sat next to a man named Mike. We started chatting and I discovered that he’s a retired music teacher and we had a lot in common including both being Christians.

Anyway during the course of the conversation I asked “You don’t happen to know anyone with a piano for sale do you?” And he said “As a matter of fact, I do!” He was relocating and would have a piano for sale in June.

He gave me his phone number and said to call at the end of May and we’d sort something out. I gave him a call, he called be back when he got in town, and we arranged to see the piano tonight.

It’s the same piano that was in his mother’s house for years. He doesn’t know exactly how old it is but his mother had it since 1958. Since pianos don’t really get old, just well used and sometimes neglected, which this one is not, age isn’t really important.

It’s a great little spinet, just perfect for what we want. And he gave us an amazing price - only $350. Considering I was mentally prepared to pay $1000 for a good piano, I am thrilled!! We will pay to have movers move it next week and we will soon be making music in our new home.

I believe that God definitely had a plan that day in the SSA office. Praise Him!

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13th June 2008

It’s only 9am!

It feels like I’ve been up for hours and hours. The radio DJ just said it’s 9am. Some people are just starting work and I feel like I’ve done a whole day’s worth of work already.

It’s going to be a long one.

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11th June 2008

Father’s Day present

Handsome is going to love his Father’s Day present from us. I am so excited about it I want to call him at work right now and tell him all about it. But I’ll try to refrain. No guarantees.

Because he occasionally reads this blog I won’t tell you what it is but I promise that I’ll post pictures after Sunday. But I will tell you that it involved a trip to Michael’s (craft supply store) which was a den of temptation for a new home owner. And I might have picked up a silk plant. Or two. Really, people, this house needed some green. And if I buy a real plant it will definitely die. I seem able to keep children alive, but houseplants, not so much.

Stay tuned for a great Father’s Day present! I’m so excited I just want to make one for myself!

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10th June 2008

Wanted: Iron

Frustrated housewife seeks lost iron. Last seen prior to big move. May be accompanied by can of spray starch. Valuable only to the owner as husband is starting to look a bit wrinkled. Generous reward offered - ironed clothes!

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