Thursday, October 30, 2008

40 Watts

It's the little things in life that make me happy. I'm pretty low-maintenance when it comes to, entertainment, food, etc. People have often said that it doesn't take much to please me or get me excited about something. Today I got excited over a 40 watt appliance bulb. Eric and I were at the hardware store earlier and I finally bought a $1.99 light bulb for our oven. The oven never had a working light bulb. It was burned-out when we bought the house in 2001. And buying an appliance bulb is always the last thing I think of when I am shopping. But today I remembered. Today we bought the bulb and I just installed it ("installed" sounds much more technical than "screwed it in"). After installing it, I closed the oven door and turned on the light. Then I peeked through the glass and looked inside my semi-clean oven. (I am so glad I decided to clean it last week.) Then I turned it on and off and on and off again. I was giddy! I can't wait until Thanksgiving when I can peek at my turkey without opening the oven door! You know, I should have bought two or three light bulbs while I was at it. Hopefully I won't wait seven years to replace this one when it burns out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Autumn stuck a bead up her nose

Today I gave the girls some beads to play with outside. Autumn just came in the office and said, "Oh, Oh, Oh," and pointed to her nose. It was a normal-sized bead, half the size of a marble, and it fit nice and snug inside her nostril. It wasn't too hard to retrieve, though. After I got it out and proceeded to throw it away, she said, "No, no, I want it!" Yuck! I never thought my kids would do this, but I don't know why I am surprised. They've done more clever things than this.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Harvest at the Hodge Lodge

I love fall! It's just about my favorite time of the year. Technically Christmas is three days after fall ends, but the Christmas season is in the fall. So that makes fall "just about my favorite" season. I love dressing up for Halloween, I love making the huge Thanksgiving feast and entertaining guests and I love the Christmas season. Last week I decorated the house for harvest. I have two big boxes full of decorations. Here's some pictures for those of you you live too far away to stop in. The first picture is the shelf I gave Amber to decorate. She chose decorations that aren't fragile and she was very proud of her display. She said, "Mommy, you aren't going to rearrange these, are you?" I assured her that her shelf was safe. If you live close-by, come over for a mocha.

"Plink" goes another tooth!

I pulled out Amber's second loose tooth today, two Sundays after I pulled out her first tooth. This one was hanging by a thread. Amber put it in her tooth box and under her pillow when she went to bed. I just snuck in there and replaced the tooth with a dollar. Both times I've done this, I've been a little nervous, hoping she wouldn't wake up, even though I know she is a heavy sleeper. Both times I have been successful in the exchange.

Two weeks ago I put a dollar bill folded into what I thought looked like a crown, but Amber though it was a triangle. I guess I should get a book on origami. I also included a little gold euro coin. When she asked what it was, I told her it was a coin from Europe and she couldn't spend it, but it was probably meant for fun. She loved it because it was her new favorite color: gold. We decided that the Tooth Fairy might be from Paris. It has been so much fun to play along with the whole tooth fairy story.

I know some of my friends have strong opinions about this, but--heck--she's just a kid, and we're just having fun. She already knows the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus are not real; she discovered that a while ago. But this time she really thinks there's a Tooth Fairy. So we are having fun with the whole thing. When she's older and wiser, I think she will have fond memories of this time and not be sending me the bills for her psychiatrist.

Tonight I gave her another dollar, but this time I rolled up a coin from Somalia inside of the dill. I have no idea where I got it, but I know she will love it because it's silver and has an elephant on it. The only downside to this whole tooth fairy thing is that I don't get to see Amber's reaction when she wakes up in the morning and finds the money. She tells me all about it, though.

What am I going to do the next time? I'm glad there are no more loose teeth for the moment so I have time to find another foreign coin.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Yesterday I was grateful, today I'm irked. (Is that a real word?) Just a few minutes ago I got so scared that my heart is still racing! Autumn is taking a nap, Amber is on the boat with Eric and I was sitting on the couch doing my Bible study when I heard a noise at the front of the house. I looked toward the door and saw the handle twisting this way and that. The door was locked, but it appeared that someone was trying to get in. I didn't hear a car drive up or anyone approach the house, so I was really scared. Even though it's only 2:00, my heart was pounding. The door knob continued to turn and I looked around the room for the closest, heaviest thing to defend myself. Then I saw a man walk away and toward the sidewalk. He put a bright yellow flier on both our cars and then on the flag of our mailbox before going to our neighbor's house. I opened the front door, retrieved the flier he put on the door knob and the other three fliers and came in the house, heat still racing, and called the number on the flier, a towing company in Ventura. I kindly (really) told the owner that I did not appreciate being scared, but more than that, it was a waste of paper to give me four fliers. He apologized and I said "thank you," and now I am sitting here fuming, taking my frustrations out on the keyboard. Some people clean when they're angry, I write! So, there you have it. I am a little less irked now. I will go back to reading my book.

P.S. Did anyone else in Ojai get multiple fliers? Just curious.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Sometimes I remember to be grateful when something could have turned out worse than it was. Today was one of those times.

This afternoon I heard moaning coming from Autumn's bedroom. She generally wakes up groggy and cranky, so I wasn't too concerned. I walked into Autumn's bedroom and found her covered in dried blood. By covered in blood, I mean all over her face, both hands and arms, both legs (she wasn't wearing pants) and splotched on her t-shirt. It's amazing how calm a mom can become in a scary situation. I picked her up, grabbed the box of baby wipes (a multi-purpose item in our home), took her into the bathroom and locked the door. I locked the door because if Amber saw the blood, she would have gone ballistic, thus upsetting Autumn further. Eric was home so I asked him to join me in the bathroom to asses where the blood was coming from. It turned out to be a bloody nose. Eric went back to work and I set to the task of wiping off all of the blood. Autumn must have scratched her nose crazy because the blood under her fingernails was so bad I had to clip the nails. (Okay, maybe that was too graphic!)

Autumn is our little bleeder. When she gets cut, she bleeds more than the average child. But she doesn't have hemophilia or that other hard-to pronounce disease. She had extensive blood tests done when she was 10-months-old. She's just a bleeder, and today reminded me of that fact.

So after Autumn was all cleaned up and sitting down to the kiddie table with her afternoon snack, I thanked the Lord that it was just a nose-bleed and that she hadn't cut herself or ...(fill in the blank). I thanked the Lord for one more day with my two precious daughters. I am very grateful.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bye Bye Fishies, Hello Bunnies!

We recently made the switch from Goldfish crackers (a staple in the girls snack diet) to Annie's Homegrown Cheddar Bunnies. While I like to give the girls apples and veggies for their afternoon snacks, sometimes I like to have food I can grab in a hurry, or take with us on the go. But I was growing tired of all the additives and preservatives found in so many snack foods. Then I stumbled upon Annie's products at Target. I was first attracted to the cute orange and purple boxes with the bunny on the front. Then I read on the box "Made with Organic Wheat...Zero Grams Trans Fat...All-Natural...No Additives or Preservatives...Excellent Source of Calcium..."

Was it too good to be true? I read the ingredients--which I have been doing more lately in an attempt to rid our home of MSG--and found that I could pronounce everything on the label. Wow! Annie's only sells four products: mac & cheese, toasted O cereal, cheddar bunnies and honey grahams. We've tried the last two and they are yummy! The ingredients in the Bunny Honey Grahams is: organic wheat flour, organic evaporated can juice, expeller pressed vegetable oil, honey, organic corn flour, organic graham flour, calcium carbonate, sea salt, natural flavor and baking soda.

That sold me right there. Evaporated cane juice is so much better for our bodies than sugar and that dreadful high fructose corn syrup! Annie's also has a game on the back of the box and suggestions for using the box after it's empty, so it doesn't end up in a landfill. Of course, you can always recycle it, but I thought the ideas were clever. Anyway, you can find Annie's products ($2.39 a box) at the new Target in the mall--at the back of the food section, in the corner, second aisle over from the wall, on the right hand side, near the crackers (just in case you were wondering).

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Here Comes the Tooth Fairy!

After church today, Amber lost one of her loose teeth. It didn't fall out; I pulled it out. Eric was out playing soccer and Autumn was taking a nap. Amber told me that her tooth was very loose and I checked it. I said that I could pull it out if she wanted. We are going to the church picnic later and I really didn't want the tooth falling out there and getting lost. So, I got a napkin and started to yank. Then I had second thoughts. I really didn't think I could do it. I knew it didn't hurt Amber because she was smiling away, but I still was hesitant to pull it out. I cringed and gave it a gentle tug and out it came. Amber was so excited. She didn't even care about the blood. I gave Amber a special porcelain tooth box that Eric and I bought for her years ago. Now she can't wait until tonight when she puts the tooth under her pillow.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Whaz Up?

There just doesn't seem to be a lot of things to blog about lately. We've been doing things, but we haven't been that busy, which is a nice change of pace...

That being written, this post is for my friend Jenny who always reads my blog to stay caught up on our lives (even though she lives around the corner and we daily wave at each other as I drive the girls somewhere and she's out walking her dog.) We were just at her house this morning at her garage sale. We picked up a backpack, t-shirts and a bunch of coffee mugs for $6. The mugs will come in handy, as Eric drinks green tea every morning and the cups seem to get left in his truck for weeks before I see them again!

So Jenny, here's what we've been up to: Homeschooling is going well. We are almost done with the alphabet (letter sounds and writing). Next up is vowels, vocabulary development, grammar and reading. We joined a homeschool group and met at the park a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed the time spend with the moms while the kids played nearby. I was the newest member. I didn't really know anyone, and in a few minutes, the women all made me feel like I'd been a part of the group for years! Amber was adorable, as she asked each child, "Are you homeschooled, too?" There were a ton of kids and my girls had a great time. We meet about three times each month.

Besides homeschooling, we've been attending leader meetings for Young Life, and last night we had our first event to kick-off the school year. It was a pre-football game rally with games and ice cream and tons of candy. We handed out fliers for the first Young Life Club, which is Monday. We'll have Club (similar to a youth group night) every other Monday evening at a different leader's home.

I've gotten my fill of coffee lately, as I've been meeting with other women on Tuesdays or Thursdays for a cup of joe and conversation. Amber has tagged along with me for these outings, and she has been so good just sitting there enjoying a cookie and coloring while I chat with a friend. I just decided that I would have to take her with me if I want to meet a friend for coffee, since it's almost impossible to find a babysitter during the morning. We usually finish school at 10:00, so if any of you locals want to meet for coffee or come over to our house for a homemade mocha on Tuesdays or Thursdays, just give me a call. I have to pick up Autumn from preschool by 12:15.

Besides homeschooling, Young Life and coffee, I've been doing crafts with the girls (which is nothing new). But today the girls and I made Christmas presents for Autumn's teachers and our babysitters. Yes, you read the word "Christmas." Hey, it's never too early to start marking things off of your Christmas list. This year we are going to continue to make a lot of gifts, trying hard to not feed into the already declining economy. Oh, and I started making my Christmas cards last week, too!

So, that's the latest scoop here at the Hodge Lodge. I was simply elated that it rained today and the temperature dropped so many degrees. It's beginning to look a lot like fall. I hope it stays that way. I love this time of year!