Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Remember to notice my hair

So it's that time again:  The Annual Funk Family Photo Shoot.  We decided to honor Taylor's school this year.  We got all matching shirts when we moved Taylor up to Logan  (whoo hoo!  Only $6 per shirt!)

 I don't know why he does that.  I just don't know.

So this is the one going out with Christmas cards this year.  It's not even November yet!  I love it when I (seemingly) get my act together.  Having Taylor gone has forced some degree of organization on me, having to plan around her schedule and all. 
Plus, the day we had scheduled to have these pictures done threatened to be rainy and miserable.  Not only would that mean having to wait three weeks until Tay came home again, but more importantly, I was having a good hair day.  Who knows when that will happen again.  Luckily, the clouds lifted and both Taylor and my good hair were able to be photographed.

Sometimes things get a little silly  . . .

before we come up with a lovely photograph of an even lovelier daughter.

Sometimes the handsome photograph . . .

gives way to the silliness.

And some girls are just adorable in every single way.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Today's Infomercial is brought to you by the letter S and the number $47.99

And we are on to another school year, this one being so different because there are only two children to photograph.  Addie is now in 5th grade, Miss Nielsen's class.  I'm glad that her hair has stayed red, sometimes it looks like it is tending towards the browner tones.  And just like Taylor at about this age, her hair is starting to get curly.  Must be Lane's genes.  My hair is so straight it would probably snap off if I tried to bend it around a curling iron.  Addie is taller than Taylor was at the same age, so it will be interesting to see if that continues to be the case.  She's not the tallest girl in her class anymore, but she is the 2nd tallest.  When we saw her cardiologist in August, he was so impressed with her growth and really excited to hear that she has done so many 5K's with the family.  He told her to keep it up - walking is really good for her.

We are so relieved that Jack's growth spurts have slowed down somewhat.  He's about 6'1" and such a great kid.  He's going to have another busy year.  He is in the PGHS Marching band, takes 3 band classes at the junior high, and is an officer in FCCLA again.  He also takes drum lessons and trombone lessons.   We have removed the Eagle Scout goal from our list (yes, I do mean OUR) since that was finally completed in August.  So that's one less thing.  It's always good to have one less thing.  He just turned 15 so his next big thing is getting his Learner's Permit.  Weird.

I froze quite a bit of jam this summer/fall.  Our raspberries did pretty well, especially this fall.  The blackberries, not so much.  Too hot for them, maybe?  Not sure, but we did get some that got mixed with strawberries and raspberries into jam.  I also did a few batches of tomato sauce and some chili sauce.  We no longer have a peach tree, so no bottled peaches or peach jam this year.  :(  The grapes are coming along nicely and I'm hoping to have some to make jelly with - that is if the dog stops eating them.  Stupid dog.  What dog eats grapes?
Our garden was too neglected this summer, so again I'm all to happy to take surplus produce from anyone who has more than they want.  Hint, hint.


And here is our Eagle Scout following his Board of Review in August.  Our Bishop was there to present him to the Board, and said some very nice things about Jack.  It's always nice to find out that other people think that my wonderful kids are wonderful.  Because mine are especially wonderful.  And adorable.  Even though it seems they lack the ability to make their beds . . .

And for our biggest change of the year so far, we have shipped our firstborn off to college.  I think she must be liking it pretty well and staying busy because she won't return my calls.  She's been home once since we took her up on August 17.  She is able to keep her job at the movie theater if she will work twice a month.  So she'll be home again on the 20th.  If not for that, it seems she wouldn't be home at all.  I'm glad she's having  good experience and all, but I miss her terribly.  If you should see her/text her/email her, please tell her to call her mom.  I'm lonely.


And finally, because I can't help myself, I have to share my latest happy find.  I'm sure I've mentioned (ad nauseum) how much I hate to mop.  I'm also sure I've mentioned (ad nauseum) how much I detest carpeting - and yet I like to vacuum.  I know, it's weird.  Anyway, I found a steam mop that didn't cost too much ($47.99, Amazon) so I was willing to take the gamble and try out a steam mop. 

Where has that little joy been all my life?  Sure, I still have to sweep before mopping, but using a steam mop isn't nearly as backbreaking as traditional mopping and works so much better.  Even stubborn spots on my kitchen floor only require on or two passes to get them up, rather than some 20 or 30 passes with my traditional mop, sprinkled with some ugly four-letter words from the Mopper.

And because I also have mentioned (ad nauseum) that I'm the Cheapest Person Alive, I can't go with the disposable Swiffer pads.  Too expensive.  So I went down to Walmart and bought a bundle of washcloths for a couple of bucks.  They fit the Swiffer perfectly, plus I can wash and bleach them.  On my first mopping, the washcloth wasn't poked into the holes well enough, and it kept pulling off.  I solved this problem by really stabbing the washcloth into the holes with a butter knife.  I haven't had that problem again.  I also wet the washcloth with hot water before I put it on the Swiffer.

So, to sum up the Swiffer Steam Boost:  I would recommend it if you are looking for an inexpensive steam mop.  I also would recommend getting the bundle of washcloths from Walmart.   My only gripe about it is that you have to hold down the steam trigger all the time.  I wish it was more of a toggle sort of thing - push it in for steam, and push it again to stop the steam or something.  Since most of my main floor is hard floors, holding that trigger in all that time results in a crampy finger.

Again, please tell Taylor to call home.