Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happier Outside

Yesterday on the way  home I decided to stop at the river.  It is just right there, on the way, and Spencer loves throwing rocks in, so why don't we do things like that more often?  We should.  He was surprised, as it wasn't planned and as I have a bad habit of being in a 'hurry' to get things done.  It was a wonderful half hour of walking on the bank of the river, throwing rocks in and hearing what is on the mind of my 9 year old. 
He thought the bird nests were pretty cool.  And when he started picking up garbage I thought he was doing just that, picking up garbage, what a good kid.  But no, he found an old coke bottle and wanted to bring it home to wash and give to Grandma for her collection.  Still, what a good kid.  And we did use a bag from the car and picked up garbage before we headed home, Spencer did think that was pretty cool to clean up, and pretty rude of people to leave garbage at the river.  Indeed.

Spencer said at one point "You know what?  I'm always a lot happier when I'm outside".  I did know that about him, from the time he was a tiny baby.  Fussy and upset, we'd walk outside and it was a magical balm that calmed him.  Has been ever since. 

See my shoes?  Proof that it was a 'spur of the moment' stop.  Very windy day, and a little cold actually for this foot attire, but as long as it isn't snowing I couldn't not wear flip flops, it makes it feel more like summer!!
Which brings us to this morning....I didn't take my camera out on my walk but here are the views from my front porch before I went on said walk.

Lovely almost May weather isn't it?

Friday, April 23, 2010


Outside the last few days for us means cleaning up the yard because of this guy and his friends. This is Polix, I think he's saying, "Hey, how about a hair cut and a bath lady?  I'm ready". 
Also lots of walks, in the rain.  Have I mentioned my crazy love for the rain?  Crazy.  Love.  Really, almost nothing better.
So the other day my son was out playing and he runs in and says "Mom, hurry, you have to see this!!!!!!!!!!!! You'll love it!  It is your favorite!  You'll Love it!  HURRY!!!"  So I go out into the yard with him and he just closes his eyes and turns his face towards the sky and says "The beginning of a rain storm".  Indeed it was and it was beautiful, and smelled fantastic.  I hugged him and told him thank you for coming to get me for it, that yes, I did love it.  He hugged me back and said "You're welcome.  I knew you'd love it because I really know you Mom."  Perfect moments.  Perfect moments.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Lets go back in time for a moment, shall we?

A day short of a year ago the following was my blog post.  What has changed in a year?  So much that it is overwhelming to try to make a list!  But, here is a brief dissection of last April's post...
1) Something not changed and that quite made me laugh is that Colin's Christmas/birthday gift from This year is sitting on the table today, FINALLY ready to be mailed.  I wonder how surprised he'd be if next year a Christmas gift showed up around Christmas time and a birthday something in February when his birthday actually is? 
2) No more pepsi for me, no more pepsi for me, so no need to wish it into our garden! 
3) No attempt at starting a garden this year.  Kind of saddens me.  But we knew we wouldn't be in this house after the beginning of summer so we decided not to start a garden just to leave it.  Also, last year much much much work on the garden yielded less than one salad's worth of veggies so....perhaps a better method in a new location is what I need to have garden success!
4) I still love that quilt and am feeling pretty motivated to get some sewing done the next week. Lots of 'started projects' just need finishing.

And here you have my post from April 22, 2009:

A couple of weeks ago I decided to finally put together a quilt I saved scraps for during my Christmas gift making. (I also finally finished my brother's Christmas/birthday gift!...Now I just need to get motivated enough to mail it!)
I'm pretty happy with how the quilt turned out, I really wanted one large enough for our bed but was worried it would be to "colorful" to work in a format that large. It is our queen sized bed size but is getting a lot more attention all over the house as I wrap up in the couch or at my desk with it and the kids love it and take it all over the house as well.
The other thing we did a few weeks ago is get a start on our garden. It is still snowy here but I wanted as early of harvest as possible so we decided to start the vegetable garden in the living room and move it out to the green house and to the garden towards mid to end of May. It is so satisfying to know that we'll have our own healthy veggies, organic, and not shipped from far away, and not paid for at the grocery store! Now if we could just grow our own cheese...(and pepsi) haha.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Outside yesterday

After school yesterday my niece, Emily, rode the bus to my parents house and Spencer and I met her there.  My parents have this fantastic ranch with tons and tons of adventure opportunities.  I was lucky to grow up there and feel pretty lucky that our kids get to enjoy it now too.  The weather was warm and nice, the company was fun and tree climbing ensued.  Before tree climbing there was an excursion with butterfly nets out into the back field, not many bugs were caught though.
I do like that there is so little snow left!  
The last picture is of the tree that our tree house lived in when I was a kid.  At one point it was hit by lightning and half of it fell and was cleared away.  Yesterday I actually LOOKED at it.  You know how something is just there, always there, and you don't really SEE it anymore?  That is how I felt about this tree yesterday.  This very loved tree, my second favorite tree on the whole place.  I was surprised to see what it really looks like.  Old, strong, beautiful though, no?  I think it needs another tree house this year!

Belated Party Pictures

While I did post Tia's birthday list and all that jazz, she's still wondering why her party pictures never made it here.  She's pretty sure all parties need to make it onto this blog (they don't, by a long shot) but, for her, here are her party pictures.  Looking at these pictures makes it look like it was just John and I and a herd of kids (which isn't odd at our house) but 4 grandparents and a couple of uncles were here as well.  I had lots of helpers for decorating cupcakes, and yes...all of those are cupcakes.  Meaning there were more than enough for Grandpa Clinger and a bunch of the kids to have a cupcake eating contest toward the end of the party (see last picture, Cannon was almost the champion cupcake eater!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Getting outside!

Found this little challenge at 5 Orange Potatoes and thought I'd jump in and accept the challenge, as it is something I very much agree with!  The link will get you to the original post about it for the whole story.  Basically, get outside, every day, with your kids.  And so, here we go.  Mindfully making time to be outdoors, every day every day (not just this month) and a photo of our outdoor adventures each day for at least the rest of the month.  (which amazingly is over half gone...I have NO idea how that happened, musta been a time warp).

Mud puddles.  Really is there anything more joy provoking in childhood?  The magical part for the mamas of these muddy kiddos is how delighted said kiddos were to have us join them but how content they were for hours after we disappeared onto the porch to listen to those wonderful laughing sounds but ..away.  Oh magical grown up conversations without little ears near by. Wonderful.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Breathing some serenity

This is something that has been bringing peaceful happy moments into my life the last couple of days. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffengger.  Oh, and my cozy bright bedspread, in time for spring, rescued from a pile of 'throw away' someone else had. It's making my bed, and my room a brighter place to hang out.
Anywhooo...  A while ago I read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project.  One of the things she said in there was something about re-reading being one of her favorite kinds of reading.  I have to agree.  If a book struck you the first time, chances are there is more to be gained the second (or third or fourth) time through.
Since first reading The Time Traveler's Wife the year it came out, while living in my little tiny apartment in Evanston with my little tiny kiddo, I've re-read it many times.  I believe this is the 5th time I'm reading it.  I always find happiness here, and power, and peace.  This book is absolutely in my top 5 favorites.  For me, I find myself being rocked on an emotional journey that transcends into my real life and is somehow so comforting and healing.  Combine all this with the simple "have time to lay around and read" and oh, I'm happy!
Not, however, much to say about the movie except, I don't hate it.  I expected to hate it.  I don't.  It isn't horrible at all, kind of good actually.  Just not as powerful as the book, of course.
Off I go to read, and be transported. Candlelight and bubble bath reading time, is there anything better?

Only butterflies?

The last little while I've realized that my life, my self, my time, my emotions have all been going in too many directions and at too many speeds and too many intensities for me to keep up with in a healthy way.  The past week I've taken much time to pull back into myself, recollect and perhaps heal a bit.
I've felt almost in a fog.  I'm wanting to wake up.  Finally I feel that my pulling back, reevaluating and reaching for some peaceful balance is starting to pay off.  I do have to give much credit to my husband who took care of me last weekend when I was teetering on the edge of giving into the fog and hibernating this 'funk' away.  He cooked all the meals, even did dishes, let me hang out in a nest of warm blankets on the couch with my book, rented us a wide assortment of movies to zone out to, all much appreciated by  his teary, tired, daydreamy wife.  I was also able to have a few long conversations with a wonderful friend that I've been missing so much, that helped a bazillion too, more than expected.
Anyway, point could be that I'm feeling like said fog is starting to dissipate and I'm ready to start functioning like the fully capable person I was a while back!  I'm absolutely sure that the fact that the snow has stopped the last couple of days and today actually sees the sun out and trying to melt all that snow helps my mood immensely as well.
Also~I've received many an email the past while saying that comments still aren't working here.  I think I found and fixed the problem! Should be working again now.  Sorry about that and thanks for the emails!  

(this is not a picture of where I am physically, but where I am in my head, where I want to be right now)~ In real life I'm in my house that needs cleaning, with piles of laundry waiting for me before I go back to work, in my still snow covered town.~and that isn't so bad either.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

House full of forts

Natalie's "fort"

Samantha's "fort"
Notice Nat's feet poking out as she was sleeping the other morning. 

If I had had any idea how small cage like enclosures would have cut down the fighting and chaos level in our house and make these kids so happy I would have had John out building actual kid cages long ago.  As it happened though, the kids built their own out of blankets, pillows, chairs, my folded up massage table and other nifty building material.  It really, really helped spring break seem a bit peaceful.  Can't say I was sad to see them taken down and cleaned up the last day but I was happy to have them filling the house until then because they made the kids hap hap happy!

Friday, April 09, 2010

Introspective today

And for days now.  So much pain and heartbreak going on all around, so many people around me hurting right now for different reasons.
I've been meaning to post about our spring break, or the kids art projects going on now but haven't been able to get my head in the right place. 
I'm wishing there was more that I could do to ease the pain of the people going through such heartache.  Wishing my tears could lessen some of their own, as I'm sure they don't, and there are just no words.  So instead trying to send love, prayers and positive energy that direction.  Love to my friend Katie who said goodbye to her son this week, her strength, love and grace simply amaze me.

On a happy note 2 weddings in Utah this weekend, not sure if we'll be able to make both.  And another happy note, Emily and Nate's new baby Sophie was born yesterday! (another reason to make it to Utah)

This morning my small joy was a table with flowers and fresh from my juicer grapefruit juice! (To go with my whole grapefruit breakfast, not sure my husband will be thrilled when he finds I finished off the grapefruit this morning, maybe I'll go get more before he gets home!)  Introspective pink morning.

Monday, April 05, 2010

A little peek into Spring Break Clinger style

Happy Colors

I was amazed at the speed that 36 hard boiled eggs were colored at our house!  Really much less than ten minutes and there were no eggs left white.  Nat was very serious about the whole thing and had her technique perfected.  The boys thought it was pretty cool that their hands looked "zombie-ish and bloody" after being stained.  And how in the world did we end up with not enough eggs to make deviled eggs?  Sneaky kids kept sneaking them before I could.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Happy 14th Birthday Tia!

So post 200!  Wowza!  What better to use it for than this girl's birthday?  How can it be that she is 14?  I swear she was just a sweet little girl a minute ago!
"Tooters" was a nickname that at 12 she insisted she was too old for, for a day, then she told her dad that he could keep calling her that for a while but only until she was 14.  ~(I'm sure at 12 the age 14 seemed Forever away).  Wonder how she'll really feel about that, my guess is that she'll let her dad get away with calling her silly nicknames for at least a year or two more!:)
Tia just turned 14 and here is her list of 14 very favorites right now, in her words, her order:

1)  Natasha Bedingfield
2) Nachos
3) Pepsi
4) Dena and Dad
5) Drawing
6) Friends
7) Facebook
8) Hanging out with my family
9) Pictures
10) Dancing
11) Singing
12) Making bracelets
13) New Moon
14) Summer

A few other things I can think of off the top of my head that she loves: phones~any phone anyone will let her play with, and on that note-texting-texting everyone she knows, going to movies,  laughing, makeup, crazy color highlights in our hair, her mp3 player, girl time with lots of girl talk about boys, the color green, vampire stories, scary movies and scary books.  And this beautiful girl is such a caregiver.  She tries hard to take care of her siblings and keep peace between them.  She's also a super babysitter and takes such good care of all the babies in the family.  It has been fun (and sometimes crazy and frustrating:) to watch her grow from a little girl into this teenage creature she's becoming.

Happy Birthday Tia!  We love you so much!  We're so proud of the smart, funny caring person you are.