Monday, June 29, 2009

Made My Mom Let Me Help Her

For all the things that moms are good for, letting others help them is not one of them. It is natural for children to want to help and please their parents. It is an instinct placed in them to reflect our spirit's instinct to please our Heavenly Father. So why is it that parents have such a hard time letting their children help them?

I acknowledged to my mother that I am aware that I am not as detailed as my other sisters. I have never received the "best painter" award. I will never be accused of being "too patient", but for as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to please my mom and help her.

I recall a time when I was about 4 years old. My mom was making dinner and I just knew she needed my help with something. I was promptly assigned the job of stirring a large bowl of uncooked rice. See? I KNEW she couldn't pull it off without MY help!

So with that same persistence, and chubby-cheeked grin, I convinced my mom to let me help with her projects today.

I just have to stop being a hypocrite and let my chubby-cheeked kids convince me to let them help more- while they still want to.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Enjoyed this Amazing weather!

It was just too beautiful today. I wish I had spent even more time outside. But I was out there a lot. I even played catch with Biggest Boy, and got all the kids in on a game of T-Ball. Then I let the dog out and she kept fetching the ball when it was hit. The kids laughed so hard, they couldn't decide whether to hold the pee in, or tag the base runner.

It was fun to just laugh and not keep score. I wish I could bottle days like this.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Defined Management

We just got an email from one of our children's teachers for next year. The email contained a list of supplies needed for Back to School. I told Dear Hubby that I appreciated the advance notice, but wondered why I needed to send supplies like a ream of copy paper for general school use. His whitty remark was something to the effect of, "Well, that is why the United Order won't work, is because of whiny people like you, har, har."

I continued to vent that I wouldn't have such an issue with sending supplies if it were not for the abuse of the donations that I see. There is no respect or care given to the supplies. The ultimate case in point was this year's last day of school. In my daughter's class, all the pencils, markers, notebooks, folders, general supplies (supplies that parents donated) were laid out on the tables for a free-for-all, come-and-get-it fair. My daughter came home with a huge bag of dry-erase markers, manila folders, pencils, hand sanitizer, and colored pencils. The girl does not need these things.

I will bet that if those things were saved and, I don't know, passed on to the next teacher for next year, I may not have to spend $50 + on school supplies for each student next year. To this my husband responded, "What's your problem? Why can't you be a team player? Be part of the solution, not the problem. Am I catching on to my new Manager role yet?" My retort was, "No, you sound unsympathetic, condescending and self-righteous. If that's what you were aiming for, you hit it on the head."

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gave you the answer

Since nobody guessed or even seemed remotely interested, I can only assume that you have seen these before. If you have, sorry. However, I would advice that you read on, because you will be shocked!! I still am and I know what they are.
Remember, these things came from mud tunnels that "grew" within a day or two. The official name is a "mud tube". As I was looking for the type of spider that bit my daughter, I found a picture of the exact mud tubes that were growing around my water heater. I kept smashing them, and the bugs that looked just like the picture on the right (both ant-size) came crawling out. Two days later, a new tube was built.

Are you tired of the suspense? They are termites. The technical term for the ones that were in my house are "swarmers". Did you assume that all termites looked like this?

Now want to hear the good news? (I know, there can't be "termites" and "good news" in the same sentence unless it's accompanied my the words "extended prepaid vacation to Hawaii.")

The good news is that swarmers do not eat the wood in your house. They are the benevolent first sign of a colony about to encroach. Apparently, they are looking for a nice place to start a new colony and I didn't let them. However, NOW LISTEN CAREFULLY, most people get rid of the swarmers and never find out what they were, or think that they have single-handedly scared away the termites. Not so. They will come back, just through another entry. By then, the soldier termites will have started to eat your home.

I can not believe how everything played out in our favor; To find the mud tubes, to happen upon the picture telling me what they were, and after getting the termite treatment, finding out that there was no other infestation, and that the swarmers are really a good warning of what to get a jump on. It really was a blessing.

So, class- to review:

your first exposure to termites will most likely be a swarmer. They look like winged ants. Note the differences in the following chart.
Swarmers build mud tubes near warm, moist areas in your basement or around foundation walls. This is a great time to catch them. Act fast and don't assume they are gone, just because the tube is gone.

Thank you for joining me. I hope to never share a story like this again. Happy hunting.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Found out What this Bug is

So my husband points out some weird, sandy formation around the drain by our water heater and furnace. It's hard and looks like an insect created it. The pictures I took are impossible to see, but they looked like this (but instead were around the drain and the base of the water heater);I poked it with a stick and out came these little black bugs with long wings, and some white larvae bugs. Well, that was it, I sprayed them with bleach, and scrubbed everywhere I could. I kid you not, they were back in 2 days. It was unreal. I made it my morning routine to go downstairs and pour hot bleach water down the drain and around the floor to keep them away.

In the mean time, I scoured the internet. I typed; "mud tunnels", "bug drain water heater", "bug furnace drain", "sand tunnels bug", "exterminator bug basement". I found NOTHING!

Well, the bleach was working, so I figured they were gone. After a month of my morning bleach routine, I decided to stop and see if the bugs would come back now that the weather is warming up and the furnace is no longer running- which means that it is no longer damp by that drain. They didn't come back, so I made the bleach water routine a weekly chore. Simple enough.

Along with warm weather comes children playing outside. My 6-year-old and 3-year-old daughters were playing "hide and go seek". Our yard is the worst place for this game. There is one tree, two bushes, and the grass. Not so challenging. The girls recently figured out that they could crawl into the window well for another hiding spot.

So the other day, I here the 6-year-old yelling that she was hiding in there and can't get out! After I pull her out, I warn her about the spiders and see a humongous one right where she was standing. I grabbed a jar and trapped the black-widow-looking spider. I couldn't see the tell-tale red hourglass on the spider in the jar (which, by the way, is on the under side, not the top side where I was looking- duh!)

About an hour later, BEG started scratching her arm violently. When I looked at it, it was swollen so badly that I knew something had bitten her. Since I didn't think this trapped spider was a black widow spider, I sat down and tried to search for different spiders to determine which black spider this was, which might have been the one that bit her.

It turns out that I stumbled onto a pest site that did not show the spider I had in the jar, but the exact mud things that were in my basement a month ago. You will NOT believe it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Three Things I am Grateful For

1- input about what I can improve on
2- seeing my husband in a crowded gymnasium, thinking he's cute, then realizing it's my husband
3- listening to the crickets after everyone is in bed

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Built a House

I started out wanting to build a dog house for Ceja that the kids could all have a hand in building. My husband made a comment about plans and measuring and that brought out the smart $%*&# in me.

So I tried to build a house from the idea in my brain. It's kind of hard to build a doghouse for a dog that is still growing, and you don't know how big she'll get. This is what we got:
I intentionally made it crooked as a jab to my husband. I found out that it's actually harder to measure and cut asymmetrical pieces than to do it "right". The cool thing is that I got the wood and shingles from Home Depot's "cull" lumber bin all for $10. The paint was from their "Oops" pile for a couple bucks. We threw in the carpet from our basement, and Viola!, a doghouse.

The best part was when we kept the finished product from my husband, and when we showed him, he said, "That's Cuuuute!" Ahhh, a compliment from the symmetry master. It doesn't get better than that!