Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Entrepreneur

Little Man has ventured into running his own business.  Following in his father's footsteps into self-employment, he has opened a lemonade stand. 

He was admit on selling lemonade.  He ran around the house gathering materials for a sign.  He employed Egee to write the sign for him.  Instructed me to make the lemonade.  He then found cups for the lemonade and a stick for his sign.

It was so hot and muggy outside, but he was deterred.   I carried the table out for him and he followed with his chair.  I figured he needed some shade, so I drug the umbrella stand and umbrella out for shade. 

Poor little fellow, he sat in the hot, humid weather sweating and not one customer.  He didn't give up.  I told him to close his stand and get ready for Aikido.  As he closed up shop, he got a customer!  He came running into the house, yelling.  I thought something was wrong.  When I asked what the matter was, he held up two quarters and said he sold a cup of lemonade.  He was ecstatic!

When we came home from Aikido, he sat his stand up again.  He sold four cups of lemonade in thirty minutes.  Now, he was 'rich'!

The wheels in his head were turning.  He was planning his next move.  He asked if he could get up early and set up his stand.  I asked why, and he said he was going to sell to the people walking their dogs and exercising in the morning. Of course, I told him yes. 

So this morning, he had recruited his friend K-Man to help in sells.  They began setting up the stand at 7:30.  I have made a fresh batch of lemonade.  Egee has gone out to help and the three are having a blast! 

Little Man, Egee, and K-Man waiting for a customer.

Sales Alert:  They just sold another cup!

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Day Without A/C

The first thing Hubby said this morning was that the a/c was not working.  What?  Maybe I had misheard.  He muttered something about it probably being frozen and we would run the fan to see if it would start working again.  Ok, I could deal with that.  The morning wasn't that hot, yet.

We got around and the fan continued to run and the temperature in the house continued to climb.  I got into offensive mode and began closing the thermal curtains to keep the heat from penetrating into the house.  Warned the kids not to open doors leading outside, turned on all the ceiling fans to high to circulate air, etc. 

Slowly the temperature crept upward.  78, 79, 80, 81 degrees Fahrenheit it rose.  Alright, kids were getting cranky and I needed to run errands.  At least it would be cool in the van and at the store.  Off we went and Hubby called the a/c repairman.

When we returned from errands, the temperature in the house was a lovely 87 degrees.  Yuck!  The repairman couldn't come until later this afternoon.  The heat index outside was rising and expected to get around 105 degrees.  The dogs and cat looked at me in puzzlement, why isn't it cool in here?

Top temperature is inside the house.  Bottom temperature is outside in the shade!  This is at 1 pm.

I wasn't sure if we would make it until the repairman came, so I scoured the garage for one of our old window a/c units.  We have three, but two of the units are so heavy I cannot lift them by myself.  I found the light one (relatively speaking) and muscled it into the house.

Old, but still works!
I placed it in the living room window and plugged it into wall outlet.  I crossed my fingers and turned it on.  It blew out dust and cold air!  The children and I sat down and enjoyed the cool breeze.  The dogs found their spots where the air hit them and went to sleep.  We read the rest of Little Man's chapter book on the Olympics as the room cooled. 

In an hour, the house temperature had dropped a few degrees.  We were still hot, so off to the pool we went.  The a/c repairman showed later and said we had a bad capacitor.  Within fifteen minutes, he had it replaced and cool air began blowing from the vents.  Life is back to normal.

(I know that we had a minor inconvenience and that many live without the luxury of a/c.  It is one of those things that when you have it, you miss it greatly when it is gone.  We could have gotten by with our window units, and we told the a/c repairman there was not rush.  Others may have greater needs for his service today.  He was able to get by before the end of the day and for that we are thankful.)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sleepover Fun!

The children have been begging for a sleepover.  We are good friends with another homeschool/aikido family and all the kids have been wanting to get together and play.  I decided that they could have their sleepover at our house and let my friend have some peace and quiet.  She has been through a lot in the past few months and I know she could use a break.

The 'party' began Tuesday afternoon.  We met up for a play at the library.  The children thoroughly enjoyed the "Wand of Dreams".  We stopped by the grocery store to pick up items for the sleepover.  Who couldn't resist doughnuts to get everyone pumped up the next morning?  Can we get?  I want?  Was the theme of our outing.  Everyone picked out their Aikido snack and a Powerade to enjoy later.

Once home we unpacked all the necessary supplies C-Man and Princess brought.  Now the fun began.  Little Man and C-Man ran to get the play guns, so they could 'hunt'.  They like to pretend the dogs are deer.  The dogs, especially Missy, are not to fond of being deer.  Sally B just looks at the boys and goes back to doing whatever she feels like.  Missy runs for cover!

Egee and Princess spent time painting their nails in multiple hues.  Princess was looking so forward to doing nails, hair, and playing barbies.  Egee was happy that Princess is finally getting older and plays like she does.  (Princess is only two weeks older than Little Man, so an almost four year gap between Egee and Princess.)

The boys have never been affected by the age gap.  (C-Man is turning eleven next week, so he is four and a half years older than Little Man.)  I guess boys don't really care about age differences.  They like to play ball, run, jump, 'hunt', and do other boy things, so age isn't an issue.

Their mother and I joke about how one day Princess,who has already declared her love and proposed marriage to Little Man, will marry and Egee and C-Man will marry.  We would be in-laws twice!

I took the children to Aikido and they all did two classes (my secrete plan to wear them out)!  We came home and ate supper, then went swimming.  They had a blast releasing the remaining energy they had.

The boys 'camped' in the living room and went to sleep fast!  The girls, however, did not want to succumb to slumber.  I believe they finally closed their eyes around midnight.

The next day brought about energized children that had their fill of sugary doughnuts.  We incorporated some fun science school work into our day.  I chose the Bernoulli principle for our lesson.  This kept them entertained for quite some time.  It was amazing that a few ping pong balls, straws and a hair dryer could keep them entertained for so long!

We had to take Egee to the chiropractor and stop to get balloons.  So off we went!  The children were well behaved in public.  It was much different taking four children out, but we made it. 

The remainder of the afternoon was spent making hovercrafts, reading a few chapters in Little Man's book on the Olympics, and watching a video on Ancient Greece.  I was beat and thankful that Aikido time was almost here!

We had a great time and will plan another sleepover, after I recover from this one!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Waterpark Fun!

The kids were invited to a birthday party on Saturday.  They could not wait to go!  The birthday party was at a local water park.  I typically don't take the kids to water parks.  (As a child, I received a severe sunburn at a water park and didn't have much of a positive experience.)  They didn't even know one existed near us, until today.  To my surprise the park was nice and well taken care.  We will probably go back next year.

 Our adventure to Shipwreck Cove was awesome, according to  Little Man.  He and the birthday boy had a blast sliding down the water slides, floating down the lazy river, playing on the splash pad, and swimming in the pool.

  Egee wasn't left out of the fun.  She and the birthday boy's sister had a wonderful time.  Egee even made a new friend at the park.  I have to admit I even had a good time!

Little Man heading to the lazy river as Birthday Boy tries to catch up.

Little Man talking to a new friend.

Waiting to go down the slide.

Little Man just splashed into the pool from the slide.
Egee's turn to enter the water!

Little Man playing pirates with the other boys.

Little Man in the lazy river.

Wow that was fun!

Egee getting cool under the spray of the palm trees.

Putting up Peppers

The weather has been cruel to the garden in July.  High heat and low moisture has caused most things to come to a standstill.  I have watered, but nothing replaces Mother Nature's rain and cooler temps.  The one thing that has remained nearly unaffected in the garden is my peppers.  They love the heat and the low moisture is making them more potent.  I am dehydrating peppers once a week now!

Red, yellow and green bell peppers

More green bell peppers

Yummy red bells

A few jalapenos and a red chilli pepper, I am trying to dehydrate them whole.

Dehydrator filled and ready to start!

Dehydrated peppers!

Spicy pepper jar

Bell pepper jar

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Boys and Food

What is it about boys and food?  As I drive down the road, Little Man knows every restaurant we pass.  He remembers places we have eaten at once many years ago and gives a food critique.  His sister barely remembers eating at some of these places.  It amazes me to no avail that he recalls everything that deals with food. 

We have been listening to the various books in the Little House series.  As we listened to 'Farmer Boy', I took note at all the references to foods eaten by the Wilders.  Almanzo had to tell Laura of his childhood for her to write the story, and he recalled all the foods he had eaten!  He goes into great details of all the goodies his mother fixed and how they tasted.  Almanzo was in his seventies when Laura began writing her books and he recalled the days of eating his mother's pancakes, doughnuts, cakes, pies, and fried apples and onions.  Will my son be able to recall all his favorites from childhood as well?

The saying a way to a man's heart is through his stomach, has much truth to it.  This starts out when the man is a boy!  Little Man will be so cranky when he gets hungry, but once I begin fixing his meal he becomes ecstatic.  Telling me how much he loves the food I make him, how much he loves me, how this is the best food he has ever had, etc.  If the meal is particulary pleasing, he will get up and hug me several times.  I had no idea how much boys enjoy food.

Hubby and I joke about how we could drop Little Man off in a remote location and he could find his way home by smelling food.  When he found civilization he could find his way home by recognizing  the restaurants for landmarks. 

Oh well, I love cooking for my little man and big man.  So, I am glad that Little Man takes such joy in eating my creations.  He will definitely have to marry a good cook to keep him happy when the time comes!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sally B goes camping

The kids were excited to take Sally B to Thermal City.  We hooked the trailer up to the truck and Sally promptly jumped up between the kids and sat.  She was ready to go bye-bye.

Sally B enjoying her ride to the campground.

When we arrived and set up camp, she was enthusiastically sniffing the air and looking at her new surroundings.  She happily trotted along as the children took her on a walk of the grounds.  Once camp was set up, it began to rain.  We made our way into the camper and Sally B made herself right at home.

Nothing like a little doggie nap listening to the rain.

We took her down to the river and she enjoyed wading in the cool water.  She however, did not like the cool water touching her belly.  She was fascinated with the shoals and small waterfalls.  She was constantly on the look out for frogs and bugs to chase, a doggy paradise!

Keeping an eye on the children.  Always on guard!

Little Man throwing rocks.
Panning for gold.

Enjoying cool water.

Headed upstream.

Sally B loved mornings in the camper.  I always fix bacon and eggs when we camp on the weekends.  She loves bacon!

Waiting on the bacon!

Sitting on the wheel well under the table waiting for a handout.
When night came, Sally B was exhausted.  She jumped up on the couch and promptly fell asleep.

Another day of adventure awaited with a trip up to Mt. Mitchell.  She was ready to explore!

On the way back to the camper, traveling is tiring.
We had a full weekend of fun!  Now it will take a week for her to recover.

Sound asleep on the trip back home!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Fireworks, Bowling and Tadpoles

I have been so preoccupied with other things, that posting has been on the back burner.  We had a wonderful Fourth of July with family.  The children spent several days at the grandparents' house and we had a bit of piece and quiet. 

The Fourth of July celebration was complete with loud popping firecrackers, smoke bombs, parachutes, snakes, and a night time celebration.  Little Man was ecstatic that he could cause things to blow up without getting in trouble.  Egee went through countless packages of smoke bombs. She doesn't particularly like the loud pop of firecrackers.  MeeMee fixed the homemade ice cream - always a treat!  Grandad made sure the kids were supervised with the fireworks and lit quite a few during the day himself. 

Lightening the firecracker

Why won't it light?

There it goes!

Egee's turn!
We also spent the holiday week bowling.  The Kid's Bowl Free Summer Program is a wonderful addition to our schedule.  Especially when it is over 100 degrees outside!  Little Man had an awesome time bowling and accomplished his highest score, yet.  Egee had beat him last week bowling 109 and 105 - one of her best weeks. 

D-Man and Little Man celebrating the spare!

Our week came to a close on a sad note, the tadpoles died.  We had bought special food for the little guys and fixed up a tank.  They seemed to be doing quite nicely.  On the fourth, they were swimming around and eating.  When I woke on the fifth, they were floating.  Don't know what happened to them, but we will try raising tadpole later.

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Hot Camping Trip

Two weeks ago, we decided to go camping along with my parents.  Dad wanted to camp at Crooked Creek.  We agreed to camp there,  although hesitant with the lack of trees at the campground.  Dad was getting the prop on the boat fixed and we could enjoy the lake.  So with the lure of being on the boat, we made reservations.

Our first trip out with my parents in their motor-home, resulted in the discovery their hot water heater leaked.  My father's job was to fix the hot water heater, so we could camp together. 

We had experienced a wonderful camp out on our own to Thermal City and could not wait to camp again. So with the date set and fairly reasonable temperatures throughout June, we expected a great trip.

As the date for our trip closed in, the forecast of temperatures increased.  It was too late to cancel our trip, when we discovered the news of a heat wave coming.  Oh well, we had air conditioning in the trailer and we felt confident we could stay cool.  So off we went, to the campground with little shade.

No trees at the sites, only along the banks.
The heat was horrible!  The a.c. unit worked hard to keep the trailer cool.  No shade to give it a break, the a.c. continued to run and pour water off the roof.  It kept the trailer a cool 80 degrees compared to a blistering 103+ degrees outdoors.

29 Clear
Actual: 105 | 67
Precip: 0.00
Average: 90 | 69
Precip: 0.14
30 Rain
Actual: 103 | 76
Precip: 0.00
Average: 90 | 69
Precip: 0.13

We swam at the pool to try and cool off.  The water felt like warm bath water.  However, it stopped the constant sweating.

The pool at Crooked Creek

As night fell, the temperatures barely budged.  By ten o'clock it was 90 degrees!  We went to bed with the air down low and the fans on high.  We woke to a cold camper and finally felt relief!

It was short lived.  The temperatures began to climb and once again, the whole process of trying to stay cool began.  We took the boat out on the water.  It was nice at first, but as the sun rose higher, we began to bake.  Back to the trailer we went to seek some relief.  Then to the pool for more relief.

Finally night came, we knew that it would be a must to break camp early the next day and head back home.  Thank goodness we left early, the temperatures for the day reached 107 degrees!