Loosing Our Family Farms

Posted 05-24-2012 at 07:44 AM by HollyRay

I’m not one to really discuss politics, but the recent cyber talk on the newest proposal by the Obama Administration has gotten a bee in my bonnet.

The proposal is one that will update child labor laws, specifically targeting children who work or live on farms. I’m all for protecting our children from hard labor, but this proposal can be read one of two ways. If you read it from the dept. of labor’s website you think, this isn’t bad, it’s just keeping kids safe. Then you start reading what others are saying and you realize that this is going beyond the common sense of “Don’t let that 5 year old drive a 2 ton tractor”, this is putting very broad regulations on our farms, and could possible make country fairs, FFA, and 4-h things that we talk about to our grand kids as part of the “good ole days”.

Growing up on a hobby farm I wasn’t subject to the hardest of labor, but I did do some pretty heavy lifting. I have helped dig trenches, shovel more pounds of sand to mix for concrete then I care to think of, and lifted and carried many many packs of shingles up a ladder to the roof. I’ve operated small tractors and nail guns, installed electric sockets, harvested chickens, canned food, chopped wood, and worked with caustic chemicals to make soap. These things make me who I am, and I appreciate that my mom and I did things together, we worked side by side to get jobs done. If these laws were put in place when I was a child my mom would have had two choices 1. Do it herself, while my sister and I sat and watched or 2. Get my dad to help, so she would have done everything herself. I remember the two times she decided to do things by herself, the first she broke her finger, the second she had to go get a tetanus shot.

Diaper Swapers

Dirty words

Posted 05-24-2012 at 07:44 AM by whitneywalters

My oldest child is six years old and I am really happy to say that he has yet to learn a swear word. I know that this is mostly because no one in our house swears and the people we know that do swear were threatened with death if they ever taught my child a swear word before he was even born.  The other half of this is because I closely monitor what they are allowed to watch on television. If I think a show will have any words that I find inappropriate for children’s ears it is not watched in front of them. I love watching my cop shows but the language can be less then child friendly and that is why I love my DVR.

Now that Alex is getting older I know that this innocence won’t last much longer. He is going to be in tball and soccer this year and I cringe thinking of some of the things he will hear from the other kids and the parents.

When She Will Not Talk

Posted 05-23-2012 at 09:00 AM by Krista

I have mentioned in previous blog posts that both my daughters have been slow to talk. My oldest, Alison, was ten months old before she ever said a single word other than “uh-oh” (which I am told is a popular choice for a first word). I will never forget, my mom came over and tried to grab her, and she ran for me, crying “Mama, Mama, Mama!” Up until that point I didn’t realize she knew what my name was.

It has been an uphill battle with her, and I’ve agonized over her not speaking for so long that when she did finally begin to get better I was relieved. She has been speaking much more, and learning at least one new word a day. She is very curious and wants to know the name of things. When she does learn, she wants to show them to me so that I can be proud of her for knowing the names.

Like I said, she had gotten better so I took it for granted that she was now fine. My younger daughter, Khalen, is twenty months and has stopped even saying Mama. She never had a large vocabulary to begin with, but at least I used to hear “Mama” once in awhile. Now nothing but “uh-oh” (of course!) and “no”.

Teaching kids about their bodies

Posted 05-23-2012 at 07:05 AM by whitneywalters

I tell you this, nothing will get some adults more uncomfortable then hearing a child say the actual name for certain parts of their body. You all know the parts I am talking about also. Usually their reaction will be either total embarrassment or giggling like a school girl. I do not understand either of those reactions, it does not phase me in the least.

I am very strict on my kids knowing the right name for body parts. I know when my son learned about his private parts some of my family was horrified. They wanted me to use pet names like “wiener” or “peanut.” It took awhile but eventually I got people on board with the fact that I wanted my kids to know the real name for body parts and there was no reason to get all weird about them using the correct name.

My oldest two kids are the only ones that currently have learned all their body parts. Alex just turned six and Destiny is four. They were both around three years old when they started asking me more questions about their bodies and wanting to know what they were called. I remember the day Alex asked me very clearly. I had him and Destiny in the bath tub. He was almost three and apparently just starting to notice that his little sister did not look the same as him. I swear I could see the wheels turning in his head as he looked at himself and then at her.

Pumping Out the Projects

Posted 05-23-2012 at 07:01 AM by HollyRay

This past week I have been a woman on a mission to complete things. It feels like it has been slow going but I have been consistently working on getting things done, and I have at least made a dent. I’m nearly unpacked and organized, i.e. almost everything in my house has a place and it is therefore CLEAN – huzzah! Now that my house is nearly settled there are a few things I wanted to get done, sooner rather then later.

First off a mosaic table. My husband had picked up a small coffee table with cast iron legs, it was beautiful, except the rather bland piece of wood for the table top. It took 5 days to lay out all the tiny tiles, but I pushed through and every spare moment was spent on finishing, it looks lovely next to my tub chair. DONE!

I had a batch of coconut soap base that needed to be milled – done.

10 lbs of beef trimmings that needed to be melted down and separated – done.

The tallow from the trimming needed to be turned into soap – done.

Incense made from scratch, while it was a bit messy trying to figure out the science of using combustible ingredients to make something that will smolder and not explode, I think I can say I was successful. Done!

Feeling Conflicted

Posted 05-22-2012 at 09:51 AM by Krista

As another semester comes to an end I have to admit that there are days that I wonder if I will ever be done with school! Neither of my parents really insisted that I go to college…my dad, as a super cheap-o probably secretly hoped I wouldn’t. I married at the tender age of eighteen and began working while most of my friends were joining sororities and attending college parties.

Now, at the age of twenty-six with two kids while I know that I am not too old for college, my experience is definitely a different one. I will say this: school is much, much harder with two little ones around! I find that I clean up messes more than study, and often regret the time I miss with my kids because I’m at school. It is such a confusing time for me right now, because my husband and I want to expand our family. Yet, I get to wondering if I will ever manage to finish if we do that.

Scrubbing the Floors

Posted 05-22-2012 at 08:38 AM by HollyRay

As a child I recall mopping the floor every other day, it was the equivalent of sweeping and it was done regularly so it was pretty quick. A damp sponge mop would be run over the swept floor, cleaning any missed dirt. Our entire house first floor was concrete, roughly 1000 sq ft to clean 3 times a week. On weekends I remember watching my mom load a bucket full of warm soapy water, grab a scrub brush, get down on her hands and knees and start scrubbing. To her the floor wasn’t clean unless it had been scrubbed.

As I moved into adulthood I found myself on my hands and knees scrubbing floors pretty often, sometimes twice a week. My little apartments were not considered clean until I had taken a scrub brush to the floor. When I got married I continued on with my scrubbing, my house is indeed never clean enough, and when my mother would come to visit she would cry over how stressful it was to come see me in such a pigsty.

Last year before a house inspection I had two friends come help me scrub the disaster I called home, I had informed them how far behind I was and that the house was a shambles. They assured me it would be no problem to come help me, after all I was hugely pregnant and my husband was deployed, a stupid housing inspection was the last thing I needed to worry about. The poured into the house overladen with cleaning supplies, about 30 minutes in one says “I thought you said your house was a disaster?” I kind of sank inside, oh no I thought they think it’s worse than that!

Just let it go

Posted 05-22-2012 at 06:37 AM by whitneywalters

Recently I donated a lot of items to Goodwill. I as a bit nervous about letting go of all the items I did but now that I did, I am really happy about it.

My husband and I have been working on decluttering our house since the beginning of the year. We have been doing this room by room and you would not believe the amount of stuff we have gotten rid of. Being a family of six we plain and simply have to much stuff.

We set the following rules while we worked. Anything clothes that did not fit anyone in the house would go, toys or household items that had not been used for the last six months would go, extra Christmas decorations would go ( we had an extra nativity set still in package and several snow globes still in package that we knew would not be used any time soon by us) and extra kitchen items that I had not used in the last six months would go.

Baking a Cake

Posted 05-21-2012 at 07:35 AM by whitneywalters

I am not a cake decorator, I have made one fancy cake before, it was frosted to look like Elmo, other wise it is decorated cupcakes or a bakery cake. This year I wanted to give it a go and try making my son’s cake for his sixth birthday. He wanted something angry birds themed. I had been looking online for simple cakes and he was looking with me when he saw one he really wanted. It was made with fondant which I have never worked with and it looked complicated.
So a week before his party I tried, it did not go well at all. I still am not sure what I did wrong. I followed the recipe but it was to sticky and would not roll out at all. It tasted great and the kids liked eating it but it did not look pretty. I was at least able to make some really cool cake pops for his Sunday school class. It was also my first time making them, they turned out nicely.

I knew I did not have enough time to learn how to properly make the cake so I needed to switch up my game plan. His birthday was three days before his big party and I needed a cake for the small family party we have. I frosted a cake to look like a bird, it turned out okay but still not what I was looking for. I was running out of options and fast.

So come Thursday I had two days left to decide what I wanted to do about a cake. I could order one, the local bakery only requires a 24 hour notice, I could just make cupcakes with sprinkles and skip the cake idea or try my hand at a cake again. I was in walmart that evening picking up a couple things we still needed for the party and that is when I spotted a build your own angry birds game. It looked like it would make a perfect cake topper and then we could play with it after! So I bought it.

Supermom

Posted 05-21-2012 at 07:08 AM by Krista

I’ve been watching too much Law and Order: Criminal Intent. I know this because dark hallways freak me out, even in my own house that I have lived in for seven years. I scare quite easily lately, and have been known to jump at the slightest unexpected touch. It occurred to me that maybe I needed to put my marathon on hold the other day, when my daughter screamed. Neither of my daughters are quiet, and I am used to a variety of shrieks and outcries of rage. I can usually tell the difference. This scream was one of pure terror—or so it sounded to me.

My reaction? Well, first I try calling up to her: “Alison, are you OK?”

Now, normally she will respond to my inquiry, usually with a “I’m OK, Ma,” or an explanation of what her sister has done to make her mad. Not so this time. I waited a few seconds and heard another scream. That did it. Without hesitation, I grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and raced upstairs to slay her demons, no matter what form they may take.