MODEST MAMA

Follow our family as we journey through life.



Monday, July 28, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Kitchen Fire

Yesturday I started a fire in my kitchen. Those of you that know me, may be tempted to laugh a bit. But it was really no laughing matter. In the blink of an eye I watched a fire ball erupt on my stove top. Flames licked the cabinets above. Hot grease shot around like fireworks. Three of the four children were within a few feet of the stove at this time.

What surprised me most about this experience is that I was completely unprepared. As I watched the fireball, I had no idea what to do. Valuable seconds were lost as I pondered whether I should get the kids out, where the fire extinguisher was and how to use it, or if an alternative action would be better.

In the end, everthing turned out for fine. As Isaac ran from the kitchen and Henry stated, "Wow! I like fire!" (imagine the deep guttural Henry voice here), I got close enough to the stove to turn off the heat and throw the splatter screen on the fire. Moments later I threw the fire-producing materials into the sink and began to clean up my kitchen, which by then resembled the inside of a greased 9 by 13 inch pan.

How would I have reacted if this was a real emergency? I had no plan, I always assummed that I would just "react." But in this minor incidence, I really didn't react. I just watched the fire and thought, "Oh great! How am I going to make tostadas now?" Maybe it was because I knew all along that things were going to be just fine. But what if it hadn't turned out okay?

Question of the Day

Where has all the underwear gone?

Yesturday I tackled the Laundry Monster that attacks our house every few days. After washing several loads of boys clothes (you can fit a lot of little clothes in a high capacity washer), I began to fold them. After a while I noticed something strange. The ratio of underwear to shorts and shirts was not equal. Not even close to equal. For the two underwear wearing boys, we had six pairs of shorts to two pair underwear, and five pairs of shorts to three pair underwear.

So the question at this time is: Where has all the underwear gone?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Kids

I bribed the kids with M&Ms and got some cute photos.

As soon as word got out the M&Ms were involved, more kids were willing to be photographed.

Isaac the Artist

The kids are suddenly obsessed with Indiana Jones. They made a secret club with blankets and memberships.
Here Isaac has drawn a picture of Indiana Jones and his father.
Now his father has some hair.
Here's Indiana Jones' horse with his saddle.
Isaac is really getting a lot more confident drawing and his fine motor coordination is really improving.

Mammoth Park

We had a park picnic with our neighbors at Mammoth Park. It is only about 15 minutes from our house, but we had never been there before.They have this huge slide at the park.
Henry went down the slide by himself. Most of the time it was successful. Good thing he has extra padding for the times it wasn't!
James really liked the slide.
The park had four or five different playgrounds. The kids really had a good time!


Some Photos of the Kids







Sunday, July 20, 2008

What's News in Latrobe?

James is news in Latrobe! Front cover news! You have to love small-town living!. It reads:
"Little entrepreneur James Krom, 6, was all business as he sold lemonade and sweet tea from his stand at the Latrobe Farmers' market in the Memorial Stadium parking lot this past Tuesday. He was under the watchful eye of his mother, Jessica Krom, and his father is Michael Krom. With the temperature around 90 degrees, it was a good day for lemonade."

Isaac the Photographer

Here are some photos that Isaac took. I think he has a real eye for photography




Ferris Wheel

James and Papa built a ferris wheel out of K'NEX.

Fun at the Creek

It has been a hot couple of days and so we went to the creek to cool off.

James has gotten a lot more comfortable around water.

The creek really wasn't Margaret's thing.


Many thanks to Grandma Phyllis for sending the goggles and swim trunks that change colors in the water.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

In case anyone was wondering...

if Margaret had any hair:

She definitely does NOT!


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Poem about boys

Here is a poem called "Unfinished Tasks" by Kay Andrews
So many tasks await this day:
The ironing must be done,
The dusty hutch shows finger streaks
Made by my little son;
The beds all need clean linens,
The closets are a sight,
And there's a brand-new recipe
To mix up for tonight;
But then a plea, "Read this to me"
And the beds go unattended,
Then shortly, "Let's play hide-and-seek"
And the blue jeans stay unmended;
And then, "Come see the fuzzy worm,
Hurry, Mother, hurry!"
I look at all my unfinished tasks.
Then I tell myself, don't worry.
I may not finish them today
And supper may be late,
But fuzzy worms and growing boys
Don't have time to wait!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Dinner on the deck

Did I mention we have a lovely new deck? My Dad and Michael built it over the fourth of July. We even added a drink shelf to the railing- an idea we got from a brewery in Maine. It's so lovely to have family time on our new deck.


Tearing down a house

You know you live in a small town when you spend the afternoon catching up on all the nieghborhood gossip and watching the local funeral home tear down a house to build a parking lot. Apparently the funeral home is already so well off they didn't think to remove appliances, old wood doors and hardware, or window coverings before destroying the house.

This house had an oak stairwell and bannister, as well as copper pipes. They did save the copper pipes during the destuction.


Yes, this worker's job is to spray the destruction with a garden hose. He was there for almost the entire time with his hose.


Looking closely at this photo you can see part of the oak bannister and stairwell with white spindles. Look on the right side near the open doorway. Moments later it was part of this wooden heap.


Almost done. The funeral home is doing a house a day a three days for their parking lot. One house has already been stripped by the previous owner. The third house still has planter boxes with flowers in the windows. When asked if we could go and get stuff from the house, we were told insurance won't allow it and they will be knocked down "as is." What a waste! So many people go without and here perfectly good things are being made into waste.

James' Face Fall

I guess this is becoming a yearly event: James falling and scratching up his face. This time it wasn't nearly as bad as last year when he was scratched from his nose to his chin and he broke his glasses.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Never-ending...

is too small a word to describe the laundry situation at my house. Just when I feel as though I have a handle on the situation- someone will wet their bed. Or four someones will wet four beds. With four beds are four wet pairs of jammies. And blankets. And usually four pillows.

And that is just the beds. Nevermind the clothes. We have so many clothes in this house we could open a department store. With all these clothes it is quite a mystery of why there are never any clean clothes. How is it possible to do laundry for two full days, carry basket after basket up the stairs to be folded and put away, and then hear, "Mama? I have no more shirts (or underwear, shorts, pants, jammies, etc)."

Not to mention the cloth diapers which must be laundered twice, thus taking valuable time away from washing soaked sheets and dirty shirts.

I am not complaining. Really, I am not. Rather I am openly pondering the mystery of how every shirt in an overstuffed drawer gets dirty in a two-day period. Maybe my children pull out shirts looking for the shirt of the day. After the shirt is found they have a pile of shirts on the floor. Maybe they think, "Oh bother. I have to pick all these up and place them back in this drawer. No wait! There is a colorful basket right there! I will put them in that basket. They look pretty clean in there, so I will go and get something purple or red and pour it on the clothes in the basket."

Or maybe someone is sneaking into their room at night and putting all the clothes in the dirty clothes basket. There is a secret camera in the room to capture my expression when I walk by the next morning and see the basket overflowing. Somewhere in a far away country, airline passengers are laughing as the video is played to them on long flights.

Whatever the reason clothes around here are never clean. I am going to start researching the details of opening a department store offering dirty clothes.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Summer

One of the advantages of living in a small town is being able to walk to many places of interest including parks, library, church, grocery stores, etc. Since James is in swimming, and the pool is down the street from us, Mike and I take turns walking James down to his lesson.

I really enjoy this time with James. We hold hands and walk slowly, talking about summertime things. Sometimes he will run ahead, his sandals slapping the pavement. He looks for things to show me, and I have the time to stop and look.

James and I have seen many things on our walk to the pool. Fifty ants fighting over a piece of soggy pretzle, a cherry picker truck lifting workers to the roof of the school, water shooting out of a hole in a sidewalk for no apparent reason, a gold colored motorcycle, a mini-van parked on the sidewalk. Today we even saw two guys pushing around a machine that looked like a lawn mower. As we got closer we saw that these men were actually repainting the white lines on the street. We had some time and so we stopped and watched them paint We watched until they were finished.

If I drove him to swimming then we would have missed out on all these things and on the time together. I would have also missed out on the lego creation that he built when we got home from swimming today. It was a machine that painted lines on the street. And it had two guys working it.

James the swimmer

After a week of being terrified, James has finally settled into his summer swimming lessons. I think the well-timed gift of goggles and swim trunks that change colors from Great-Grandma Phyllis really made a difference. Today he even put his face in the water for the first time when he practiced the "Dead Man Float."



Margaret enjoys solid spoon

Margaret had her first taste of solid food today. I can't say she really liked it as she made horrible faces and shuddered everytime it was spooned into her mouth. She was, however, extremely excited about the spoon I used to feed her with.I have no clue why these turned out sideways
In these photos she has caught the spoon in her elbow and has managed to get it into her mouth.
James thought this was a lot of fun. As you can see in the photo, Margaret adores James.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thrift Store Finds

I have had quite a successful time this week at the local St. Vincent du Paul Thrift store. It has taken me some time, but I have finally found some decent thrift stores in my area. St. Vincent du Paul is by far my favorite. Not only does it have great cheap stuff, but it is a "real" thrift store. They keep their prices low by having a different church staff the store with volunteers each day of the week. Not only that, but this place really helps people. I was in there one time and a guy came in with a bill he couldn't pay. They took some information from him and wrote a check to pay the bill.So I found the buffet that I was looking for to store my dishes and table linens. It is a little over-powering in the room, but we just need to move things around a little bit. It's a little darker than we wanted, but it is so beautiful and eventually we could change the stain. It's hard to see the details in the photos, but it is carved and stuff.
It came as a set with this piece. I don't have any idea what to do with this piece. We were thinking it could be our new liquor cabinet. It's gorgeous!

Okay, this next thing is really fun. It is a changing table, but I already have one and so I am going to clean it up and use it to store legos. Then if people with small kids are visiting I can have it closed up like this:

And when the kids are ready to play I can open it like this:

Not sure if I will keep the top pad on or not. I guess it will depend on how clean I can get it. It would be nice for the kids to have a place to set their lego creations after they are built.