Friday, March 28, 2008

The Three Non-Negotiables

This is a little peek into the running of our house. More specifically, my household duties. Nathan and I have agreed on three things that should be kept up, to the exclusion of whatever else: laundry, trash, and vacuuming. Laundry because, well... business meetings are uncomfortable if you're not wearing underwear (and no, that's never happened ;o) Trash because I married a man who could put a drug-sniffing dog to shame with his olfactory skills. And vacuuming, because fresh vacuum tracks on the carpet mean clean house to my man. And yep, I vacuum everyday, alternating up and downstairs. And before you rabid housewives jump on him, Nathan chips in when needed; I'm just the primary caregiver and housekeeper, and I'd like it to stay that way. And of course, they don't always get done. But they ARE at the top of my list everyday.

So! I'm interested. Do any of you have 'non-negotiables' that make your home feel clean, whether it is or not?

Also, I'm interested in learning any and all tricks for a wonderful-smelling house. Note aforementioned olfactory skills. One I learned while showing our last house, a shameful trick that works quite well. Sprinkle vanilla flavoring on a pan, place in warm oven until house smells good, remove. House was messy when Nathan came home last night, but I did manage to do that little trick. He walked in, said, "Ah! I love coming home to a good-smelling house! You've been baking?" Smiles ;o) Sweet success!!! I would warn your family that just b/c the house SMELLS like cookies does not necessarily mean cookies are available. So, fill me in. Got any more good ideas?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Well, we're back from our Easter trip to Hobe Sound. My little sister, Chelsea, was interested in seeing HSBC's Welcome Week, and I wanted to go to the Frederick Family Get-Together on the Saturday before Easter. We were able to do both~ yahoo! Unfortunately, my camera's being really ornery, so the pictures I post will be a bit out of chronological order. Here are a few from Good Friday. My blogging friend, Mary Ellen, and Sheri Wolfe and I went to a neat little lagoon-thingie in Tequesta where the water is nice and shallow. Perfect for Kathryn's first taste of the ocean. After a bit of hesitation, being assured that the little crab wasn't going to get her and that seaweed was supposed to be floating in the water (she hates any speck of dirt in her bathwater) ~ off she went...
Obviously, I didn't take these, as I was trying to prevent the imminent self-drowning of my child, so thanks to Mary Ellen Huff for her photographic skills!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'm Losing More Than One Hour of Sleep~ Oh, Well...

So, this is part II of the last blog.

Update #1:
Now it's 34 degrees and there was snow on the ground this morning. (Curses on Julia's curse on me for my springy weather ;o) AND...

Update #2
: We have cats~ yes, catS plural. I went to my mom's, where I managed to get two lovely cats for free from one of her coworkers. They really are quite pretty; I'll get some pictures of them soon. They are named Lem and Vida. These were Kathryn's picks, from her favorite movie of all time Follow Me Boys, with Fred MacMurray. It is really a sweet, sweet story. So Lem (short for Lemuel Siddons) and Vida are currently thriving in their unsafe, evil environment.

Update #3:
OK, this is downright shameful. I didn't blog any congratulations on two recent family events. One is that I have a new niece, Makenzie Faith, born to my brother Brandon and his wife Gloria. Pictures below. And my other younger brother, Ethan, surprised us all by eloping with his sweet fiancee, Jeri. That leaves Chelsea as the only 'unattached' one of us five kids (although I'm convinced she won't be long). She plans to attend a Bible College in the fall, and I'm surreptitiously placing a tag on her car that reads PLZD8ME ;o)

Our New Niece, Makenzie

Update #4:
The real reason I'm up so late is because I have a baby shower to attend tomorrow, and I've been sewing some fun gifts. Check them out below. The block and shoes I made. The little Jesus Loves Me sign I take no credit for, except that I have such awesome taste in gift selection. At least, I thought it was cute. Our dear, dear friends (whom Nathan discipled after their conversion) Shannon and Leslie Roberts are expecting a little girl, Lydia Shelby at the end of this month. Hopefully, her shower will be gift-laden! Signing off...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Thoughts of Spring from One Unworthy of a Cat

Today was to be a day of celebration. With a high of 75! ~ yes, drool on, my northern friends, Kathryn, Alex and I were going to Aldridge Gardens to view a profusion of spring blooms. Around here, the daffodils are smiling from every corner, the yellow forsythia blooms are shouting from dead yards, and even the redbud trees are getting in on the show. I love spring. So I was all set to go. We packed the diaper bags, got the snacks, the double changes of clothes, the kitchen sink, etc. and walked out into the garage. The unfortunate part of the story begins here. Number 1: I told Kathryn we were going to Aldridge. Number 2: Alex's car seat was in the Honda sitting at Nathan's office. Agh!! Back in we trooped. OK, we stomped. I called Nathan up and suggested (kindly, of course) that it was his fault my day was ruined. He convinced me (dadgum him~ he's so very convincing!) that it was my own fault. His sympathy meter was running a little low. So, I laughed when he showed up at noon having forgotten both his wallet and his cellphone. With mutual scorn followed by mutual apologies, our happy home was restored ;o)

THEN... I decided to go out and get a cat. Those who've followed our blog all along may remember that we got a cat last summer to deal with an infestation of voles and moles in our yard. Our landscaping bushes were literally falling over as they chewed the roots out from under them. Well, our lovely cat decided to jump the fence and play with the neighbor's boxer dog, who decided to chase it and break its neck. End of Cat 1.

Now we discover the voles are back. They are sexually mature at like 3 days or something, so they can 'infest' quite quickly. No free-to-good-home cat signs around, so I hit up the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. This is where we discovered a super-disturbing thing about ourselves~ (intone solemnly, please) WE ARE NOT WORTHY OF A CAT! I innocently asked about getting a 'mouser,' an adult cat who will live outside in our fenced in yard. "Oh, we only adopt out animals to homes where they will be FRIENDS OF THE FAMILY." Turns out only indoor situations are approved. For Pete's sake, they would rather euthanize their surplus of felines than take our hard-earned money. Oh, they were sooooo superior and pious. The looks of dismay over the mere suggestion of putting an animal outdoors! They made me feel guilty for even asking. They recommended I check with Animal Control, but they also deemed us unworthy. So! If you know of a free cat who wishes to be placed in the abusive situation of having to catch mice and be petted by two children in a safe fenced-in yard, please let me know.