Monday, January 28, 2008

BRRRRR!

We woke to a winter wonderland on Sunday and it snowed off and on all day long and through the night. Huge flakes of beautiful snow that we don't often get here in Western Oregon. This reminds me of the Baker snow storms so much and I know that you sisters and brothers that live in it still are sick to death of it but it was beautiful. We ended up with close to a foot here at our house, our car pushing snow up the driveway. So since we had Lucy and Emma for the weekend while Jed was out of town we had a no school day today and stayed home from work as well. Not that we could have gotten out early anyway. So we played in the snow, drank hot chocolate and made valentines cards.


I took this Sunday morning around 7:00 a.m. Just the beginning.

Kelli reenacts Emma's drama about getting snow in her eye. Mean Aunt Kelli. No sympathy.

Lucy sits in the snow this morning. She loved being out there.

Here is one of the branches that fell from the weight of the snow in our driveway. Dave was dragging this off when another one came from one of our giant trees and bounced off of our garage roof narrowly missing him. We decided to stay away from all trees. They call them widow makers for a reason.

That big tree. Here in Western Oregon we usually get so much rain that the trees uproot and fall easily if we have a wind storm. Last year we had four trees go down smashing our fence in the field. But the positive is that we didn't have to go far for wood this year. The negative....Dave now had fence to mend.

Wade in a downpour from a tree off of our deck. He was trying to knock off some of the snow so the branches would stop snapping off.


Anyone up for a swim?

Revolutionary War - Boston Tea Party

Hello sisters - Today's history lesson is about the Boston Tea Party. We've got some mighty fine Indians acting for us today:

Here they are with their friendly face - Who us? We wouldn't dump tea!:


And here they are with their mean, angry about tea tax faces:


And here they are in action:

video

Friday, January 25, 2008

Remembrances From Yesteryear

Well here it is 3:45 am and as usual I have nothing better to do than read our blog and laugh. Anyway, after having talked with Vonda the other day, I agreed to blog about my Christmas laugh. As one might expect our poor mother seems to be at the butt of some of our laughter but then she is used to it by now. Anyway, on with the story. Just before leaving home to go to Baker for Christmas I talked with mom on the phone. During the conversation she said "Oh by the way, I have looked everywhere and cannot find a brush like the one I have had for quite some time. It is beginning to look kind of sad. I wonder if you might be able to find one before you come home and I will pay for it?" After she explained what kind of brush she was talking about and advised that it was one she had gotten through Avon, who no longer carried it, I envisioned the one she was talking about. But surely this couldn't be as the brush I see in my head would have to be at least some 40 years old. No way I tell myself but I assure her I know what she is talking about and am quite sure I can find one for her. I indeed am able to find not one, but two. I decide I'll go ahead and get two so she will have one on hand in case she either loses one or maybe while "sanitizing" one she will still have a spare.

Well I get to her house during my time in Baker and behold she pulls out this blue-green brush from Avon to show it to me. She advises she was going to use it in the dog grooming room but didn't think it would work. I look at this poor bedraggled thing she is holding in her hand and it was all I could do to keep from rolling hysterically on the ground laughing. Now that would be a sight. I can see the headlines now, "52 year old found dead on the floor, appearing to have died writhing and slashing on the floor of her bewildered mothers home. Sad as it may seem, at least she died with a smile on her face".

I have tried to find a picture of a brush everywhere that could adequately depict this brush but, try as I might, I cannot find one. At any rate, you will all just have to envision, if you can, this brush. This is in fact the one and only same brush that mom used on our hair as children. The only difference is that it now literally has no bristles in the center of the brush. ONLY bristles at the very tip and very beginning of the brush. I look at the brush and wonder how on earth mom has been able to brush her hair at all, then realize that all this time she has been telling me her hair is falling out, she is right - but not from natural causes, but from trying to brush her hair with 8 bristles. I did not want to hurt her feelings so I tell her to sit down and I take one of the new brushes and brush her hair for her so I can hide the silent belly laugh I am having. I should have grabbed on to that brush, put it in a shadow box, and saved it for fond memories to all the Fuzi kids. Mom was so appreciative of the new brushes but she didn't know I was so tickled over what I had just witnessed that I would gladly have brought her a dozen if I had known what a funny sight I would behold. Now all you Fuzi sisters - I bet you know exactly what brush I am talking about. Anyway hope all of you are having a great new year!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Rush Hour Crazy


Picture driving along downtown at rush hour. You glance over at the car beside you to see a fifty-something man writhing in the passenger side, seeming to be in pain with his right arm up raised above him, large hand over his crown with fingers spread looking something like a giant spider attached to the top of his head.  A second look lets you see that his left hand is grasping his right wrist and he is trying to pull the hand off of his head.  He begins to struggle and writhe in his seat then the spider hand moves down over his face.  He continues this for a few more seconds then you see him turn in his seat and reach to the back seat to do something that you can't make out.

Yes, this is Dave.  Yes, he is playing spider with Lucy and you would not believe the strange looks I was getting from people beside and behind us including a police officer who could not see a child in the car.  I just sheepishly smiled and shrugged my shoulders at them all the while making the crazy sign and pointing at him.  

Being a grandfather is grand!

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Great Cover Up

I spent a few hours yesterday sewing the first nursing cover-up for Jill so that I could know what I am talking about when we get together Thursday. It is so stinking easy I can't believe it. In fact the only time consuming thing was turning the straps right side out after sewing.

So I was going to "milk" this Hooter Hider thing for all it's worth. I tried to get Dave to model it for me but he wouldn't. I don't know why. Even guys have hooters just not much. I offered to put his head on a photo of Kelli modeling it but he glared at me so I
guess that won't be happening. I even offered to put a male spin to it and name it Hooter Hunter. No go.

So here is Kelli modeling sort of. Most of the time she pulled her cap down on her face because she said she had bed head. I told her we could come up with all kinds of names for this. Hooter Tooters, Hooter Peeps, Lost in Hooter Land and on and on. Somehow she wasn't amused.

Brian where are you when I need a model. Dang. Perhaps I can use Photoshop........

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Burnt Pancakes and Rolling Eyes


It's been a typical day in my life has a homeschooling mom of three. I wish I could say I handle every incident or bobble with coolness. I have an "issue" though, when anything goes haywire that makes me late for an appointment I get a little stressed. I don't like being late - it makes me cranky - just ask my kids! So with my life, I guess you could say I have quite a few "issues".

Here is a typical occurrence. I'm in the shower, we have an appointment at the library for a meeting. Jordan walks in and asks if he can make pancakes, I say "no, lets do the cold cereal thing." Jordan, that persuasive boy, then proceeds to talk me into pancakes against my better judgment. Needles to say, when I walk out of the bathroom our kitchen is boiling with smoke - oops, so much for pancakes - just a great big mess to clean up. So we proceed to clean-up, about halfway through I realize we are going to be late - o.k. now I'm cranky! Yes, I later repented and my sweet kids forgave me! We finally make it to the library, I'm checking in some overdue books (typical for a homeschool mom). The librarian who is helping me says in an alarmed voice: "I smell something burning!" She starts to look around her, sure the library is on fire. She really looked panicked and I knew that investigating the entire library to find the source of the fire would make me later for my meeting. So, yes, I had to admit that she was smelling me and my coat (which hangs at the back door in our kitchen): "Its probably me, I smell like burnt pancakes." The librarian replies: "that's exactly what it smells like!" In my former life, when I had more pride, worked full-time, etc, I would have been horrified. Funny thing is, it really didn't embarrass me at all. No pride left - each child has knocked me down a few pegs (as well as I should have been)! That's the thing about kids, they make you real - what a blessing!

There is also much laughter in our home - today, Addie said she wanted to roll her eyes around in her head. She previously figured out how to cross her eyes which she thinks is a very special talent. So, here is Addie attempting to roll her eyes around in her head - check out her tongue.

video

Of course, Lexie needed to try to roll her eyes around in her head also:


video


So as you can see, laughter abounds in our house. I wouldn't have it any other way. Life is so short, I wish I could hold on to each moment, but my feeble brain fails me: hence the videos!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Boycotting Tea

Hello! How about a little lesson on why the colonists were boycotting tea? Dang - we've got some great actresses/actors in this family don't you think?


video

Ahem! What's In A Name?

Sisters as you know Jill has been learning to sew and has made some really cute little blankets for her upcoming large little baby boy who will arrive around May 1st. She is planning on nursing and was looking on line for some type of cover up for when she is nursing in the general public or the children in her day care. Well, here is what she found.

There is a company called Bebe au Lait that makes these nifty covers that look like a soft receiving blanket with a flexible top that looks like it has boning in it. It has a strap that goes around the mom's neck to hold it in place and the flexible top allows the mom to look down and see the baby all without having to the lift the blanket. I know many people don't have modesty while nursing but there are many that still do so it is a great invention. I found a tutorial on another blog on how to make these so this is our next project.

So here is the problem I have with this. It is the name...."Hooter Hider Nursing Cover".  At first I thought she was just kidding and trying to gross out Dave and Wade because she is known to do that with her horrific burps and other things she says and does.  But this time she was serious.  She showed me the website for these.  How can they name a cover like this and say that it is a nursing cover for chic mothers.  They  just contradict themselves.  Somehow the vision in my head is not the lovely nursing mother above but of a giant bosomed playgirl from Hef's mansion popping out of her bra trying to cover up her huge assets with a Kleenex. I have to admit I laugh when I think about it.  


But gosh!  Off we go to sew a Hooter Hider.  I just love to say that.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Boston Massacre - Interpreted the Flanagan Kids Way!

Good Day Fellow Americans (aka Fuzi Sisters and Nieces)! It's time once again for a history lesson on the Revolutionary War. Today's lesson is on the Boston Massacre (the Flanagan Kids' Way). I hope you all are taking notes for your test!

Here are the still shots:

Everyone looking mean and tough:


The riot erupts:



And now, the live action:

video

I have to tell you a little about the out-takes we had on this one. Addie kept getting "Lobster Back and Bloody Back" mixed up - or combined. She was yelling you "Bast***s" - so much for the "G" rating, so we had to edit it out! Plus, all you could hear after that was me laughing hysterically!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Kelli's House Guest

When Kelli moved back home to save some money for her last year of college I knew she would be bringing someone along. You might think that I would be against her having a live-in friend move to our home but it really hasn't been so bad. This guest really does not eat so much, but he does require a special diet. I thought at first it would be very inconvenient and I must say I have grown fond of him in a short amount of time. The only inconvenience is that he needs to eat in his frame of time, not in ours which means he just will not leave any of us alone until he gets his food. I used to think Kyla was the one that had a problem with her eating time frames but this guy is worse. He makes a huge amount of noise and activity if we don't get on with the food scene. Sometimes I think it is quite rude but what is a mom to do? I love my daughter and I am trying to accommodate her friend.

This morning I was ironing in the laundry room and I heard a crash. I thought he was being a little loud and was going to wake the rest of the house up so I walked into the family room. There he was. I forgot to mention that Kelli has to keep him locked up when she is not with him. He has a few bad habits that get out of hand if he is left alone. He had escaped her lockup but allowed me to put him back in and secure the lock.

There is a down side to this guest though. He poops A LOT. I don't mean once or twice a day but it seems he is always relieving himself. I suppose it is his diet. After all when you eat a steady diet of carrots, celery and meadow hay all that roughage just seems to re-appear quickly.

Oh and his name is Marvin.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Revolutionary War - Part II

O.k. sisters and nieces, it is Monday morning and time for another history lesson! We are learning about the different Acts that the British imposed on the American Colonies. One of the techniques we use to help us remember the order of events, is to use props. So you can see this in action today. When you learn with more than just reading about something, it teaches to your long term memory - even a five and six year old are remembering things that I have no recollection of -how about you???
video

Friday, January 11, 2008

History Lessons - Revolutionary War - Part I

Hello Sisters! It's time for another edition of history lessons from the Flanagan Homeschool! We have just started studying The Revolutionary War this week. Here is a picture of our little revolutionists:

O.K. - I can't resist - here are some more pictures:

So, with that, here is your first history lesson on Patrick Henry, the Voice of the Revolution, starring revolutionists Jordan, Addie and Lexie Flanagan:


video

Stay tuned for future editions from the Flanagan Homeschool! (Yes, there will be a test for you all!)

Favorite Ingredients Friday (Pie Edition)


Overwhelmed With Joy is hosting her Favorite Ingredients Friday- Pie edition recipe exchange!  I found this recipe on the web several years ago and have made it in the summer when the peaches are so yummy and fresh.  I often substitute huckleberries in this because we love them.

Fresh Peach and Blueberry Pie

Ingredients
4 cups sliced, peeled peaches
1 cup blueberries
3/4-1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. quick cooking tapioca
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. margarine or butter
Pastry for Double-Crust pie
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp. water

Directions
Combine peaches, blueberries, sugar, tapioca, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Let stand for 15-30 minutes. Transfer to a pastry-lined 9 inch pie plate. Dot with  butter. Cut slits in the top crust. Adjust top crust. Seal and flute edge. Combine egg yolk and water. Brush over top crust. Cover edge with foil. Bake, on a baking sheet, in a 375 degrees F oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for 20 or so minutes more or until the top is golden brown.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Welcome to our 50's

I should preface this by saying that our family is somewhat unusual. I bet you couldn't guess that. Two of my aunts (my moms youngest sisters) are the same age as myself and my oldest sister. That meant that my mom and my grandma were pregnant at the same time. Twice. We grew up with our aunts, whom we really don't think of as aunts but maybe close cousins or sisters, and spent lots of time together either at our house or my grandparents. At my grandparents house I learned from Nancy (my age) the fine art of cussing out cows when you were kicked through the air and slammed into the barn wall. I learned that shoveling pig poo knee deep in the pen in the spring was not a career or hobby I cared to repeat each year and many, many other things. Nancy and I spent many a summer afternoon eating my grandmothers profit from her juicy red raspberries straight from the bushes. I remember sitting on the ground in the center where no one really could see us. I am sure grandma knew but she never got after me.

Nancy is probably one of the most amazing people I know. She has done many unusual things and has always pushed ahead even against many obstacles. Just some of the things I can think of is that she has her pilots license so she could fly her husband in to remote areas to hunt in Alaska, she has a college education and teaches classes at Alaska Pacific University in her spare time, she trained to become an Alaskan state trooper, she can hunt, fish and bow shoot as well as any man and never hesitates to try something new. I understand she and Mickey (her husband) went on an African safari this fall. She inspires people and has a big heart. Oh and she can be as crude as the worst hillbilly. I'm proud.

Nancy's 50th birthday is this month and I have been trying to think of a way to ring in her 50's and welcome her to the same club as the rest of us. It needed to be just a little special because I know she wouldn't want it any other way. I may live to regret this. Amen and Hail Mary.

So Nancy, here's to you and your special birthday. I love you, really.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Happy New Year Sisters....Be In Your Center.....

Brian, Jill and Kelli yukking it up.  This is what I deal with constantly when I ask for a nice smile.  

Well here they are a little better.  

I only want to make you three sisters feel like your life is swell so I am going to tell you a story.   So over the Christmas holiday we all came down with bad colds and coughs.  But it wasn't extreme so we will recover.  In time for the new year our hot water heaters both decide to fizzle out.  Not because they are old but because a leak developed in the flexible copper pipe connecting them together.  It sprayed all over under the house where they are located and shorted out both hot water heaters.  We called for a plumber but they couldn't get there for two days so we heated water for baths and stuff.  After fixing the problem we can only turn on one while the other dries out and it is not sufficient for our household to have one 50 gallon heater.  In fact, while taking a shower I usually hear a screech mid shower from whomever is lucky enough to be second in line.  The water gets pretty icy out here sometimes.  I think I saw an icicle hanging out of Dave's nose this morning. 

In the meantime our switch for the pump decided it would not work on its own to fill the holding tanks.  So in order to take a lukewarm bath I had to run the barely warm water in the tub, run out and prime the pump by manually holding down the switch so Dave could have some water after me.  Then the breaker switch to the hot water heater had to be shut off for the day because we didn't want to risk the pump losing it prime and burning up the hot water heater. Now the switch is fixed but we found another problem.  Our holding tank is worn out and is losing pressure so we need to have it replaced before summer.  This follows the month of November where our furnace decided to quit by burning up the breaker panel.  So after several calls and trips by the furnace company and a replaced panel we finally have heat. 

Of course amidst this Kelli  has been having some problems with we think asthma so we spent six hours sitting at Urgent Care yesterday. I guess I should read every self-help book known to man to try to put myself in my  "center " like I overheard a rather large capacity girl telling her friend who was in pain in urgent care yesterday.  This girl kept telling the friend in pain to "breathe.....find your center........relax".  I feel like all she needed was a magic wand to wave over that girl and a rather large fairy godmother sparkly dress.  I wonder if the doctor used the same method.

Now off I go to "be in my center...Ohm"