Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So, as you can see from my blog, I've started writing articles. Constant Content brings together writers and clients and has strict editing standards, if fact, you have to do your own editing; if they see a mistake they immediately send it back to you to fix. I can submit articles on pretty much any subject, and then when I'm more confident I can submit articles to public and private requests. The average selling price ranges from $20 to $80, although there are articles that sell for lower and a lot higher. Constant Content takes a 35 percent cut, but considering that you can make much more money on your article there (unlike $2 at other places), it's worth it, in my opinion. Another reason you can make so much is because of the tough editing standards. You really have to know your punctuation and grammar inside and out. I've found it helpful to review on Purdue's website. Anyway, I look forward to seeing how prolific I end up being. There's no lack of subjects for me to write about. Parenting, power company info, and natural birth have been a few of my subjects covered so far. I really can't wait to write more. I find that the best time is when kids are asleep, either in morning or evening. I've also found success during the day if I send them up for a bath. Once I have my thoughts organized and the article researched (and especially if I know the subject matter well) I can whip up an article in about 30 minutes. So, in other news. Noel had his vasectomy. Recovery was a little rough, but he's better now. According to the doctor at his most recent check, he still has a few swimmers. He also went hunting with a co-worker but didn't get any elk. He had a chance and shot, but missed. Came back to the camp and found that his gun sight had gotten knocked out of alignment. He tried again on another trip but only saw females. So, no venison this year, and I was really looking forward to it! I am getting Lasik on the 29th of this month. I'm really excited and even though I know recovery will be rough, I can't wait! I'm supposed to be able to drive for a follow-up appointment the day following, so we'll see. On another note, my chickens are molting. I opened up the coop and it looked like someone had been murdered, sans the blood and body. Feathers were everywhere! Casey is my easter egger and she has fluffy neck feathers that have been coming out, seemingly overnight, LOL! I've seen another chicken sitting by her and plucking out loose feathers, too. So far, no bald spots, but it's been getting cold and I've found her sitting in the coop at times probably trying to stay out of the wind. A few days ago, she was acting ill, just staying by herself and fluffing herself up and walking slowly. She just must have been uncomfortable because she's acting her normal self now. Enough for now. I need to get school started. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's new?

Well, our oldest cat Diablo developed diarrhea and so after doing some research on cat nutrition found that we were feeding an inappropriate diet of dry food. I found out that wet food is much better for cats because they get up to 80% of their moisture from their food and they have an inherently low thirst drive, which means if they are on dry food they are in a constant state of dehydration. Diablo finally ended up developing an allergy to all of the grain products in his food like corn and soy and wheat.... SO....

I have moved them over to grain-free canned cat food and have seen a huge improvement in Diablo's output (plus a softer, shinier coat!). Nice formed stools, no more diarrhea sprayed all over the girls bedroom rug or the hallway carpet runner. It's all in the litter box where it belongs. BUT, grain-free canned is EXPENSIVE! The cheapest I can find it is 1.09 a can, unless I get the large cans in bulk, which drops the price to 95 cents per can. Now, only Diablo needs the grain-free, so if I keep Azrael on regular canned and Diablo the pricey stuff, the least amount I will spend would be $45 per month.

After having investigated the raw diets, I believe I can feed them for cheaper using raw meat/bone/organs with some extra supplements added for cheaper than feeding canned, and the raw diet will be much healthier for them. The meats need to be sourced still, but if I can find good clean meat at good prices I'll be set. Then I can grind everything and add supplements or see if my cats will eventually go "whole prey" style. Throw a rabbit leg or ribs or whatever on the ground and let them go at it. Or a whole rabbit! LOL

I've got lots more research to do!  :)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Took the family blackberry picking today. A coworker of Noel's invited us to come pick - he said they were sick of blackberries so we relieved his burden willingly. LOL Kids jumped on their trampoline that was ground level with a pit dug out beneath. Pretty cool, until McKenna stepped on a goat head. Anywho, came home and I made blackberry jam. Then Noel went to pick up milk and I made some butter. I was planning on making some bread, but due to a, a'hem, mishap in the oven we went sans bread. Tonight Noel picked up tomatoes and peppers and he chopped them up planning to make salsa, so we'll can that tomorrow. Busy, busy...

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Saturday, August 25, 2012

We're having fun this week. Noel and the girls took Grandma up to the top of Bogus Basin so they could get some pics. We went to the park and fed the ducks and we've been to the archery range so the girls could show off their skills (and Mommy, too!) and we did Roaring Springs water park yesterday, which was a bunch of fun. Grandma got more pictures than I did put I'll put up some of what I have. Tomorrow we are going to the fair and will get more pictures!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Grandma Carlson is here! The kids are excited and have already worn grandma out, I think!

We went on a walk earlier and caught a few cute pics...  enjoy!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A little rain, a bowl of ice cream and some coffee. Yum... and the kids are in bed, too!

We had a good day today getting ready for Noel's mom's visit. We shampooed our carpets, which sorely needed it, and mowed lawn and did mountains of laundry. This coming week will be the fair, a water park, and our annual family portrait taken outside by a river. I'm looking forward to it and the girls are, too.

I also helped out my neighbor today. We drove out to Boise and picked up an electronic piano since her kids are taking lessons from me and are showing lots of interest. Her son, Simon, is especially motivated to play. We also picked up a trampoline for them as well. They had it set up and our girls were over there jumping on it this evening.

Coffee's finished! :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This morning found me trying out my cold-brewed coffee. Less bitter, most definitely! I liked it. I had ground up the beans last night and let them sit in water all night, then drained them. It makes a concentrate. 1 part concentrate to 2 parts water (or so depending on strength). The concentrate lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge, but I'll go through it faster than that! The pic isn't mine, but gives you an idea. I just used a measuring cup, funnel and coffee filter!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Well, we're ramping up for the new school year! We're doing Saxon Math this year, which holds your hand a bit more and something that will be good for me. Gives more structure and such.

The girls are coming to the end of summer and it's been a fantastic time of swimming and gymnastics and vacations and visits from Grandma and Grandpa and now another Grandma is coming to visit so we've been one busy family.

The girls are doing really well with their new chore system. Earning tickets for doing their chores and those tickets earn them privileges (which used to be gotten whenever they wanted - within reason!)

They can earn 3 tickets a day and each ticket gets them 30 minutes of screen time. They don't do that segment of chores, they don't get a ticket. They can also earn bonus bucks and privilege passes and best behavior cards. I like handing those out! :) So far, chores are getting done and that makes me happy! The system is called Accountable Kids and I'm very happy my sister-in-law mentioned it to me!

Noel may be going in for some surgery in the next few weeks. (It's time to turn the baby-making machine off ;) Probably that will happen after his Mom leaves. We'll see. And my friend might need me to drive her kids to school for awhile because she just had a seizure. So there will be driving restrictions for awhile.

Just had the kids hair cut. They're looking good!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Well, Miss Madelaine, just shy of her 4th birthday, has learned to ride her bicycle! She was determined to keep up with her big sister and that's some powerful motivation. :) She was so excited to tell her Daddy when he got home and had to show off her new skills. I'll try to get a pic up of her tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Well, that tooth finally came out and she pulled it herself!

We've signed all three kids up for gymnastics. They're having lots of fun and our summer is busy already. Russian lessons from our neighbor in exchange for piano lessons. Mom and Dad will be coming up end of July. Dad's having some dental work done that hopefully will be complete by the time they leave.

I'm doing massive de-cluttering of my house. Getting up early helps keep ahead of the game (and the kids). Laundry once a day is a must or I get behind. The cats get extra time with me. Only down side is I like staying up later after the kids are in bed and now I'm so tired I'm going to bed half and hour after they do. I guess my schedule will get tweaked a bit. I made a chore calendar and a meal calendar on google in addition to my regular calendar. It's nice. Noel likes knowing what's going to be for dinner and I can plan ahead and see what needs to be defrosted.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

McKenna has a loose front tooth. Very wiggly, a bit painful and periodically bleeding. I've told her she should be the one to pull this one out. The others have either fallen out on their own or were pulled by her father or I. She's very excited but nervous. I'm hoping she doesn't swallow it in her sleep!

Friday, May 25, 2012

It's been a bit since I posted so:

McKenna was enrolled in Foundations Homeschool Co-op on Monday mornings. She really liked it and took a class on The States, a PE class and a Super Science class. Madelaine and Eli were in the nursery with me. It's going to be a great experience. She currently has the summer off and will restart in the fall.

Noel had some tests done on his wrists as they bother him after he's been doing heavy work with his hands. They ruled out carpal tunnel and we still don't know what the problem is.

We have some new chicks. They are almost 9 weeks old and I just sold two cockerels. One, a white one, was McKennas favorite and there were some tears, but we can't have roosters in our area so they had to go. Luckily, they were purebred Ameraucanas from Wayne Meredith lines and were a "blue" (actually grey) color. A man and his family purchased them for his breeding operation as he breeds the blue egg-layers, too. I have one more boy left to sell and hopefully the rest will stay girls. LOL

Eli is currently being potty-trained (summer is a great time for that!) and this weekend I'm night weaning him as well. Last night was the first night and he hit and kicked me and then snuggled quite grumpily next to me. I wore a sports bra to help discourage him and he didn't like it one bit. Noel took today off and since Monday is a holiday, I'm hoping Eli will be sleeping through the night soundly by the time Noel needs to go back to work. After that, we'll wait another few weeks and then put Eli into his own bed.

Not much else. I have my garden going and we're brewing Kombucha around the clock as the kids really like it. Noel bought a smoker for $10 at a yard sale and it's worth $200 retail. Works perfectly and produces nice flavor. He also picked up a student microscope worth about $400 retail for $3 dollars at another yard sale. Those two purchases, made within a week of each other, have to be the best deals he's ever gotten at yard sales.

Enough for now. :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things" from The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry. Copyright © 1998. Published and reprinted by arrangement with Counterpoint Press.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Part two of my latest pics. Had a problem uploading more pics!
These pics were taken by a friend as McKenna's 1st grade photos. Some of these are cute or silly, so I thought I'd throw them in! There's more pics in the earlier post so check it out!

It's a snowy day here today. We probably got about 4 inches. The ground isn't frozen though so I'm hoping that it will absorb it all when it melts in the next 24 hours instead of flooding out my chicken coop like it did last time.

Noel's boss Steve Appleton died last week and the memorial service was last Thursday. He was the CEO of Micron so there's a little uncertainty about the future but I think they have a good interim president so we're not terribly worried.

The kids are all doing good. We're ready to be healthy and well, though. They had the stomach flu last week and a nasty head cold this week. We all suffered, even Noel for different reasons. He had a pinched nerve in his back that I couldn't remedy. I massaged it as best I could and since he hasn't gone in to see a chiropractor like he was talking about I assume it's feeling better for him.

I received my bow from ebay and have to take it in to Archery Central to get it strung, a nock put on and some arrows cut and measured for me. I'm really happy with it. The draw weight is about 22 pounds which will be good for working on form. The girls are really into archery too. We purchased a membership at a local bow range and we take their bows there so they can shoot them. We also have a 3D deer target set up in the backyard.

I enrolled McKenna into a homeschool co-op that meets Monday mornings. She gets the experience of being in a typical school-type classroom with different teachers. She is taking Social Studies: States for 1st period, P.E./Health for 2nd and Super Science for 3rd. Eli and Madelaine stay with me in the nursery although Madelaine may be ready for structured classes next year. At home, she's learning her letters and their sounds and knows her shapes and colors. She really likes to "do school" with her sister. Eli sits and plays with legos or tangram blocks or pretends to shoot us with his toy bow and water gun.

Noel is doing reloading for his guns and Eli will sit with him for an hour just watching the machine measure out the gunpowder and then watching Daddy fill the bullets. He really enjoys pulling things apart - just like his father at that age. He'll climb anything he can wedge his little toes into and delve into the garbage to help Mom out! He loves helping me unload the dishwasher. He'll stand on the door and hold things out for me. He's still in his crib sidecar co-sleeper in our bedroom but likes snuggling in bed with his sisters when they're being put to bed so I have no doubt that soon he'll be wanting his own big boy bed. (Which will be fine with Noel!)LOL

I'll have to throw up some pics!

Friday, January 06, 2012

A couple pics of the guys!! Eli loves helping Noel out with anything technical. LOL