Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Mr. Cook and Mr. Ninja modeled their thorpes today. Here is how they turned out....

and here...

and here...

of course they wouldn't be ninjas without some fist action...

Fun Stuff!

Monday, May 24, 2010

grandma came over

Mr. Hero's mama decided to come over from AZ for a visit this weekend. We spent two days getting the house cleaned in preparation. Yes, the Four Ninjas didn't recognize this crazy woman that was frantically timing their room cleaning progress...("Of course you can finish this room in FIVE MINUTES! YOU ONLY HAVE TO PICK UP YOUR CLOTHES OFF THE FLOOR AND MAKE THIS BED!"). Then Grandma arrived and saved the day.

We sat on the porch and rocked.

We hunted for four leaf clovers. (Grandma is the four leaf clover finder queen. She has collect hundreds of them and passes them on to others...from Sarah Palin to the the boy she met on the street).

We took long walks.

We painted her " work stable" shoes.

We watched Avatar.

And we talked.

I've been getting nervous about starting school for the first time in seventeen years. Classes start tomorrow and I'm anxious about the work load and how I'll handle it with all the other things I juggle in my life. Grandma graduated from Phoenix University a couple of years back and I knew that she would be able to offer excellent encouragement and advise. Which was this:

"Find out what you need to do".

"Think positively".

"Finish what you start". (The hardest step is getting started).

And of course she told me that I would do "just fine".

Our visit was way too short. She left us after only a couple of days, with us all feeling renewed, relaxed, and LOVED.

The house is getting messy again. Next time she comes, I'd like to be brave and let her see how we always live. I'm sure that after raising five kiddos of her own, it wouldn't matter whether the house is messy or not. She's been there. She'd understand.....that's just the kind of gal she is.

Friday, May 14, 2010

the yarn has arrived

Last month I knitted Mr. Hero a Thorpe hat using Black Malabrigo yarn. This is such a hedonistic yarn both visually and tactility. It feels like Christmas being able to use it. So after having some success with Mr. Hero's thorpe, I thought that it would be really cute seeing all of our ninjas wearing their thorpes this upcoming winter as they are shoveling the snow from the sidewalks. The first two skeins arrived today.

Mr. Ninja chose this color

and Mr. Cook chose this.

If you would like to check out this pattern and try making one for yourself, you'll find the pattern here:

Happy Knitting.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle's Farm

Craft Queen shared this children's book with us the other day and we have found it to be just delightful. It was written by Betty MacDonald back in 1954 and is illustrated by Maurice Sendak (if you get the older version).

Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a wise old woman who lives on a farm and with the help of her trusted animals, helps the parents in her community who are having a dickens of a time dealing with their children's bad habits. The chapters can really be read in any order considering that the stories are not interconnected. In her own way, using natural consequences, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle deals with the topics of fear, honesty, responsibility, absentmindedness, and DESTRUCTION. Being a mom of four karate choppin', wall kickin', back flippin', sword swingin' ninjas... we can certainly relate to this one!


Monday, May 10, 2010

mom's day

Growing up Mormon, most women I have known over the years have honestly dreaded this day...especially if they happen to go to church. Many have avoided church so that they wouldn't have to endure the big "to do". Feelings of insecurity of not measuring up to some ideal really run deep. What made things worse was the fact that whoever was conducting in sacrament meeting that day, would ask all of the mothers to stand so that they could receive their present from the Young Men (usually a begonia flower or a chocolate rose or candy of that sort). In order to avoid hurt feelings, the member of the bishopric would usually ask the great grandmothers to stand first, then the grandmothers, mothers, and finally any young woman over the age of eighteen. Even if you were single, you were to stand, because every woman has a "mothering heart". Afterwards, we'd have to listen to two priesthood holders give their talks about their mothers and what they appreciate about them and I always had this sense of guilt that I wasn't doing enough with my family and that I wouldn't turn into one of those great moms I'd just heard about.

Well, yesterday I SKIPPED church (and not the Mormon church mind you).

I decided on Friday that I was going to stay home with my currently agnostic husband and enjoy the peaceful morning with him and the kids. And I have to tell you, out of the last 17 years of celebrating Mother's day in the Morg, yesterday's mother's day was the best.

Mr. Hero and kiddos made belgium waffles for all of us for breakfast. While that was going on, they let me take as long as I wanted to read whatever I wanted to read, as I drank my Trader Joe's coffee that Mr. Hero lovingly made and poured for me. Later in the afternoon, we went to SKH and broke the Sabbath by buying beautiful lobelia, gerbers and snowballs to put on my front porch. And finally to top off the evening, we visited with Craft Queen, Salesman, Birdie and Princess for a delicious dinner of buffalo burgers and grilled pizza laboriously made by Salesman (who didn't want his Dear Heart to have to lift a finger making one meal) while Craft Queen and I sat visiting as we knitted away on SOCKS- magic loop method.

The best part of this day was that it was completely full of LOVE. From the boys, my sweetheart, and friends.

No guilt.

No insecurity.

Why didn't we do this sooner?

we have birdies

Last week, after watering the apple trees, I happened to notice some baby birds in a little nest built inside the wheel well that holds our gardening hose. While putting the hose back, I heard a faint chirping sound that seemed to be coming from the garage wall. Then looking closer, I saw the birdie with his mouth wide open waiting for his food from mama. I've been watching the little tyke and wasn't sure if it would survive because of a small run in with the mother one day. But she was loyal and I had kept my hands away. To be sure, the little guy is getting bigger and bigger and will soon fly the coop. What a sweet surprise.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

going organic

Yesterday Craft Queen and I took a one hour drive in LOVELY PA and met with Mr. Dairy Farmer . I had heard from a mom I met at the annual Crazy Olympics field day for homeschoolers that this farmer could sell you a whole, grass fed cow. Ever since I read an article in the Mother Earth News about how to eat seasonally and cut yourself off from the grocery store "umbilical cord", I knew we would need to stock up our freezer with good, organic meat.

Mr. Farmer told us that we could buy not only a cow, but a pig and lamb, too. Plus around Thanksgiving time, we can get his turkeys. And that's just the bulk.

If you don't have a freezer and just want to buy your weekly meats from him, he has a chest freezer with individually wrapped meats and a fridge full of raw milk, cheese, yogurts, eggs, butter and cod liver oil. The prices are a little more than what you would be paying in the grocery store (butter will run you $12 a pound) but the quality is worth it. I realized while talking to Mr. Farmer about the health benefits of grass fed, raw milk, was that I hadn't come down with my seasonal allergies this year. I really believe that it could be due to the fact that I have been drinking the milk for over a year now and getting my daily inoculation of grass into my system-hence curing my grass allergy which would cause my lungs to close up to asthma attacks.

Craft Queen and I walked away together with an order of a whole cow, lamb, and pig. We are going to each get half of a cow, lamb, and pig. Each coming away with about 450 lbs of meat for $1500. This should fill our freezers for over a year. And we don't have to pay until the animals are butchered in their proper season-lamb in June, pig at the end of July, and cow in September. We took home some raw honey, cottage cheese, kefir milk, cheese, and eggs from his store and our heads full of information.

The best part of all of this for me is not the fact that we are getting delicious, organically grown meat and dairy for an excellent price (cheaper than the grocery store when bought in bulk...I might add). But rather that we are finally putting our money where our values are. We are helping to support this farmer who is quietly fighting to preserve a way of life that was truly American just a little over half century ago. There is a movement, a new generation of consumers who feel that this way of life is worth spending their money on. Mr. Farmer explained that over the last decade, there have been at least a hundred small farms pop up who are trying to get back to traditional farming and sell food instead of inedible corn or soybeans. By purchasing these farmers' products we are becoming a part of this movement. It's only a win-win for both the consumer and farmer. Wow! What a concept.