Saturday, April 23, 2005

Baby's Got a New Pair of Shoes

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, the big news around here is that Tiny Tot has *finally* started taking some steps. Early last week he took a step. Now, he's stringing together 4 or 5 steps at a time. I can tell--he's revving up! I need to buy myself a new pair of tennies before he gets in gear. I have a feeling I'm going to be doing some running!
Speaking of shoes...a Ram-Family tradition took place yesterday. We don't buy our babies shoes until they've started walking, and even then they usually only wear them when they're going outside. Last week, though, T.T. discovered the joys of trike riding when we were outside playing. Bad thing was, the little guy kept scraping his toes on the sidewalk! Ouch! So, I ordered him some Robeez, which are a lot like moccasins. They came yesterday, so we had the First Shoeing for Tiny Tot. It was hilarious. He immediately loved his little shoes and wore them all day. AND he rode the trike without bloodshed. LOL
So, if you know a little tiny tot, you can tell his parents about Robeez--they're like leather anklet socks. Foot doctors say not to put stiff shoes on little babies, because it can cause their feet to grow wrong. We had always solved that by just not using shoes! But T.T.'s a little more aggressive and need something to protect those lil tootsies. He loves these little shoes with the puppies on them. LOL
Must run--Carnival is making her first attempt at waffles and it sounds like maybe my presence is needed in the kitchen. ;-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Cookie Jar

Hello, Friends Of The Ewe!
I hope this finds you just blooming like my irises! My very favorites are on the verge of popping open--those are my deep purple ones...I call them "black." They just look so elegant. :-) My tulips have *not* bloomed--is that normal? I can't remember when it was last year that they bloomed. Anyway...
A couple weeks ago, we were blessed with a cookie jar. This is one I've had my eye on at a relative's house for a few months now. I didn't ask for it, but I was sure happy to be offered it! LOL Let's just say it's a Bible character scene, and I really like it.
Since The Ram and I married, I've been an "anti-cookie jar" gal. You see, I have a "love/hate" relationship w/ cookies--I hate that I love them! Though there had been a few jars through the years that I admired, I always thought it would be bad to welcome cookies into my house. (Rather like housing the enemy.) I didn't want the children expecting there to be goodies in the house all the time. But...
When this just-too-cute jar was offered, I couldn't resist. So, I brought it home. It sat empty on the counter for days. The girls were anxious to fill that puppy! Finally, one day, The Ol' Ewe broke down and gave the go-ahead for cookie baking. Now, my girls know their way around a kitchen and they had cookies baked in no time. We gathered around the cooling racks, admiring those round treasures. Before they'd cooled 10 minutes, the girls wanted to put them in the jar. I realized that the Cookie Jar Way of Life was foreign to my daughters. I explained that you have to wait to put them in there, or you'd have one huge cookie. I began to think that maybe this whole cookie jar thing could be used to teach self-discipline. Any time before The Jar, we'd pull the cookies out of the oven and break out the spoons, if we had to. A dozen cookies never made it to "cool-dom." So, now, with the anticipation of getting to fill the jar, we learned to wait. I explained to the girls what a huge responsibility it is to have a full cookie jar in the house. I knew I had to lay down some ground rules. Or actually, rule. Basically The Cookie Rule is that we only get cookies at tea time. For us, that's 3 p.m. (I know it's supposed to be 4 p.m., but that a bit late for us--too close to dinner!) So, we have the cookie jar on a time-lock security system. (It's the Honor-type.) I believe I've sufficiently instilled in the children the gravity of unauthorized cookie gnoshing. I'll admit, it's been a challenge for me to deny the flesh and walk on past that piece of ceramic, but I just remind myself that 3 p.m. is coming and the lid will unlock and we'll all get to fellowship around the round things. :-) Yes, I'm thinking this cookie jar is a good thing. So far, we've had good compliance with the Cookie Rule. No one even asks for cookies unless it's 3 p.m. (or later, if we've missed cookie time.) They know I'll say "no." LOL
I remember as a child, my babysitter had a cookie jar. She generally kept on hand those sandwich cookies--duplex, vanilla, peanut butter...Man, they were good. I confess to you that *I* did not typically ask first. My babysitter, though a sweet lady, had an open-jar policy. Any time I wanted to open it, I could. I believe that is not a good way to run a cookie jar-containing kitchen. Some little critter like me could get in there and founder.
Well, y'all keep your wool dry...and your cookies cool!
The Ewe

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Recycling Run Amok

Well, hello, F.O.T.E's! Life's been busy and interesting around here--as usual! It's been wonderful seeing the plants and flowers come back to life after the long winter. We were delighted to find that an iris plant Lovable rescued from sure death during an excavating project last summer, had bloomed in the pot she transplanted it to. It's beautiful. The bees and wasps are busy, and the lizards are beginning to show up again. Carnival reminded me that if you grabbed their tail, it would fall off. I love Spring.
I hear tell that Earth Day is (was?) sometime this month. In honor of it, I'm going to tell you a story about my ingenious children and their little contribution to The Fold Recycling Program.
First, you should know that, again, our Beloved Vehicle is visiting the mechanic. This time, it was a pre-emptive strike; I just wanted him to check out some suspicious behavior and fix anything that needed it before it actually broke. So, anyway, we've been home for days (which is just fine with me, homebody that I am.) We've been "living off the land," foodwise, which around here means we're cleaning out the freezer and pantry, making do with what's on hand.
Tonight, what was on hand was an old pantry standby: spaghetti and marinara sauce. We had just about eaten our fill and Lovable wanted a second helping. I explained that the noodles were just about gone, though we had a lot of sauce left. I guess in a subconscious attempt to convince Lovable she was getting more food than she actually was, I put more sauce on her noodles than she wanted. I apologized, and, seeing that my plate had too many noodles and not enough sauce, I quipped, "Hmm. Well, we can't take the sauce out of your noodles." Lovable glanced up and matter-of-factly announced, "Oh, I can. I just suck the noodles out of the bowl and the sauce stays behind." For some reason, this struck me funny and I chortled a few minutes. Seeing my enjoyment of Lovable's ingenuity in Sauce Conservation, Carnival decided to share with me an episode that had happened this week...
Carnival and Lovable had gotten up one morning and made cereal. This emptied out the milk container, with no way to get more. While those two were munching their kibble, Musical came padding down the stairs, wanting cereal. milk. What to do? Well, not one to be daunted, Carnival came up with a plan. She instructed Lovable about her scheme. A few minutes later, Musical got her bowl of cereal, complete with milk. How did they do it? Carnival tells me that she and Lovable used their spoons to carefully fish out the bits of their cereal, leaving the milk (or what was left after the cereal soaked up it's share)in their bowls. Then, they combined the paltry puddles in each of their bowls and poured it over Musical's cereal. So, all three girls got bowls of cereal, even though there was only milk enough for about one and a half.
Carnival does report that, since each girl had a different type of cereal, the resulting residual milk tasted a trifle funny. Ahh, that's ma' gals! Making it good to the last drop! :-)
Well, must run. Gotta get to bed. A lady never knows when a mechanic might call and tell her her carriage is ready. Could it be tomorrow? Alas, only time will tell...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

P.S. Though the carrot cake last Saturday was a bit homely, the church folk assured me it *was* "fit to eat" and, in fact, they made rather flattering noises while consuming it. :-) I just might do that again...maybe...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Boy's Corn Fed

Hello, F.O.T.E.s,
How're y'all? We're having a great day here at The Fold. It's sunny and probably about 80 degrees out there. The girls are enjoying some fun in the water hose and Tiny Tot has just come inside for a nap. I used the time their obsession with the water afforded me to bake a carrot cake. I've never done that before--I'll let you know how it turns out. I had planned to take it to church tomorrow, as we have a meal after most Sunday services, but then I decided that maybe I ought to taste-test it first, since I'd never made one before. So, there will likely be 4 pieces missing from my carrot cake tomorrow. (grin) That is, if it's good. If it's not good, the whole thing will be missing. LOL
We returned last night from a visit with the Grand Rams. We had gone down to celebrate the Great-GrandRamamama's 88th birthday.
A couple of nights ago, having dinner with the Grand Ram's, we marveled at the amount and variety of food that Tiny Tot can dispose of in one sitting. That particular night, I let T.T. have his first cob of corn. He delighted in shearing off the kernels, though I think he enjoyed sucking the end of the cob best of all. I'll admit, it was a bit disturbing when I needed to adjust the cob in his hand, so that he could get to the actual food, and not the silage. I would reach my hand toward him, and he would curl away from me, shielding his corn. A few times, I had to stick my hand in between his mouth and the cob, and I'll tell you--the phrase "draw back a nub" went through my mind. He growled at me like a dog at the food dish...Anyway, we decided the boy likes corn. My family will get a chuckle at that, as, growing up I was the corn fiend in the family. I was mocked mercilessly--"More corn." So, I guess the affinity for corn is genetic. I passed it on to my son. :-)
Must run frost that carrot cake.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Peanut-butter-pizZA! Peanut-butter-pizZA! Peanut-butter-pizZA!" All the Lambs' as they composed a new song about, well...peanut butter.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

R&R Highlights III; Revenge of the Peanuts

Hello, F.O.T.E's!
Well, I know it is taking forever-long to update you on The Ram's R&R, for which I apologize. Here's the next installment:
Since we had already determined that a camping trip or trip to the beach would not really be a "vacation" for The Ram, we decided a couple nights in a nice hotel would fit the bill. So, we packed up our little flock and drove a bit up to Small City to the North, where we bedded down for a couple of nights. The hotel had an indoor pool, which we made frequent use of. The girls had a great time splashing around and playing with Dad. We were often the only family in there, so that was an added benefit.
This particular hotel has suites, with a living room area joined to a bedroom by the bathroom. It sported refrigerators and microwaves in each room, plus both breakfast and dinner served in the dining room most nights of the week. For a family of our size, it's a pretty good deal.
One night, we decided to forego the hotel's dinner and go out with the Grand Rams. The Ram had a taste for a Texas-type grill which was near the restaurant, so that's where we headed. This was one of those places where you grab a handful of unshelled peanuts, crack them open, dump their contents into your mouth then boldly drop the shells to the floor. I was sure to explain to the children that only at this particular place was it ok to throw trash on the floor--and even there only peanut shells.
While waiting to be seated, I discovered that Musical had stuffed peanuts in any convenient cubby she could find on or in her clothing. Tiny Tot, despite my best efforts, joyously popped a whole, unshelled peanut into his mouth and sucked off the salt. Any attempt to extract said peanut brought on a growl of displeasure from him. Though it offended my motherly instincts, I allowed this perilous behavior to continue through two peanuts or so...thank goodness, by that time we were called to follow a waiter back to our table and T.T. lost interest (for the most part) in the peanuts. Maybe they should supply barrels of animal crackers for their patrons under 3? Anyway, the tot survived and so did I.
After the meal, we bid farewell to the Grand Rams and turned in for the night. We are still finding bits of peanut shell in Musical's clothing.
Well, it's time to hit the hay here at The Fold. I'll provide further updates as time allows. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Mom, why would anyone like Elvis? I mean, his hair was sorta weird. And his name was sorta weird, too." Lovable

Monday, April 04, 2005

R&R Highlights II

Well, Friends,
I'm going to try to post this again. I had already written out a complete post, then, locked in mortal combat with me over the mouse, Tiny Tot somehow highlighted the whole post and deleted it. I screamed at the monitor, "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!" but it was already gone. I will attempt to recreate that post, now that I've sent T.T. outside with the girls. :-)
When we picked up The Ram from the airport, we found that his luggage had taken a different flight and was not expected for a few hours. So, the Grand Rams and we decided to go for lunch. Sitting across from The Ram, I looked over at him and noticed an enraptured look on his face. I asked, "What is it?" He held up his glass and said, "I haven't had sweet tea from a real glass since I left [on deployment]. It's so cold and hard!" Tears came to my eyes. The Ram never complains about his living conditions, so it's easy to forget how lacking in comforts his everyday life is. When I lie down on my cushy, king sized bed, I think about him, barely able to turnover on his uncushioned cot. When I flush the toilet, I realize he doesn't get to do that. ;-) You can't flush a portapotty. When I drink sweet tea from a *glass,* I take a sip for him.
I realized at Cracker Barrel that the ideas the Lambs and I about R&R weren't going to work--we had thought about going to the beach and we'd also thought about camping. How insensitive! LOL The Ram camps in the sand every day. So, we decided to keep him in plush surroundings during his short reprieve. :-)
I often have folks express sympathy for me, going through this with four little ones and an absent husband. Oh, but I have my family surrounding me! The Ram is in a foreign place with no one. Yes, he's surrounded by people, but still, basically, he's alone. I have a very nice home to wait in--he wades through sand with very few creature comforts. Yes, I'd say I've got the better deal. God bless him.
And you know, all our troops need our prayers. They all have their own burdens to bear and families who miss them. And it's always been this way for our military families, but this has certainly brought that fact "home" for me.
Well, must run. I'll continue sharing about R&R as time allows. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Friday, April 01, 2005

R&R Highlights I

Hello, F.O.T.E's! Yes, it's been a while since I've blogged. I've been engaged in Very Important Business for the last two weeks. The Ram was here for his two weeks of Rest and Relaxation--R&R. We had a wonderful time and, of course, the time passed too quickly. Here's a recap:
On Sunday (2 weeks ago) we picked up The Ram from the airport. He told us the pilot had invited him and the other soldier on that flight to sit in first-class. That was awfully nice. I must admit that when The Ram came out of the "tube" at the gate (what do you call that, anyway?) I involuntarily emitted a squeal. I was so embarrassed later, but it just happened. I imagine the others around there feared some wild boar had been let in the airport. I will also admit that I fairly tackled The Ram when he emerged from the gate--a fact that also slightly embarrasses me. This breach of propriety was, as the squeal, completely involuntary. It couldn't be helped. I do wonder if the Transportation Security personnel saw it coming. You see, they were suspicious as soon as they saw me (...and my four Lambies...and the stroller...and the Grand Rams...) I imagine they could tell I was a risky sort. The sort given to involuntary squeals and husband-tackles. So, they did what any prudent Security person would do--they performed the Super Deluxe, Stand-Here-On-These-Peanut-Shaped-Mats-With-Your-Arms-Extended-Palms-Up Inspection. Complete with Magic Wand and the Thorough-Rifle-Through-All-Your-Possessions Drill. This was all executed to the tune of Tiny Tot's "One-Year-Old Overture in the Key of Shrill." (Yes, Tiny Tot was none too sure about the service we were given and vociferously called for the ombudsman.) Every member of our entourage was carefully inspected, hoof to tail, and deemed a manageable risk to security. Musical was traumatized by the whole ordeal; and it took Tiny Tot a few minutes to stop sniffling from his outpouring of complaint. The scrape with the law was soon forgotten, though, as we readied ourselves to meet Daddy. The pork rinds the Grands had brought helped out Tiny Tot, too, though he was the only Lambie who gave the pig skins more than 1.5 stars.
Oh, Yawn! It's getting late here at The Fold...I'm going to tuck in the Lambies and bed down for the night. There's ever-so-much more to share about our wonderful 2 weeks with Daddy--I'll continue this expose tomorrow.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Why do you have to go back?" asked of The Ram by all Lambies old enough to speak. The Ram replied, "Because it's my job. But I'll miss you." :-)