"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fishing for Minnows . . .

Since Vance discovered last time that the minnows were such great bait, he's been itching to go back to the river and try to catch some more minnows to fish with. This time he came better prepared. He went online to see how to make a minnow trap. It was super easy, just a 2 littler bottle cut in half and then take the top of the bottle and stick it inside the bottom half, so that the opening you normally drink out is inside the bottom half of the bottle. I have to admit I was skeptical about how well it would work. The theory is that it works a lot like a lobster trap. The minnows swim in through the little hole and then it's harder for them to find their way out through that little hole. So, we went down to the river, Vance armed with two traps.He set them in two different spots. One he left alone for about 15 minutes, the other he kept messing with (McKaylie and Noah, too). When he checked on the trap that he set and left alone he was very, very excited. He'd caught 3 minnows and I thought that was cool, a little amazed that it worked, but cool. So he runs over to show me. I'm totally expecting 3 little tiny fish and was shocked to see 3 different sized fish, one was about 2 inches long and skinny, the second about 2 inches long, but fatter and the 3rd was a good 4 inches long and pretty big---not exactly what I'd consider a minnow, really. I couldn't believe it. I'm not even sure really how the big one got through the little hole either.Needless to say, Vance wouldn't use them for bait. They've now been adopted by my 3 youngest children and are living in a tub in the back yard. (the one that the frogs took a swim in the other day) He did manage to catch one more little minnow and used it for bait, hooked a fish, but it ate his little minnow and took off.Vance isn't discouraged is even more determined now. He came home and made several more traps and is dying to get back to the river to try them out. At this rate, we'll have a whole school of fish in that tub by the end of the summer.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sea Dogs

Chad and I took our parents to Sea Dogs when they were here. It's a restaurant (Tavern/Grille) but it used to be a paper mill. It sits right on the Androscoggin River, which is really kinda fun. The food's pretty good, but it's the ambiance inside that's so fun. Everything is the original wood from the mill. There's lots of memorabilia, tools and pictures from the mill, too. I love that kind of stuff. I wish I'd taken pictures inside . . . another time, I guess. We took some pictures form the deck when we ate there, but Mom asked me for some pictures of it from across the river. I'm finally getting them to her. So, I thought I'd add them here on the blog, too.

Frogs . . .

Every morning, Noah comes in bright and early and asks me if he can check on his frogs. Apparently, they're the first thing he thinks about in the morning. Today, they got some fresh water and went for a swim. He keeps them in a bigger tub that he has made into a habitat for them. McKaylie helps him catch bugs to add to the habitat. They seem happy and healthy, but I'd rather the little slimy things went back to the pond.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fishing . . . Sort of . . . .

Noah was at summer school today and McKaylie was at a friend's house, so I took the two older kids to the river and let them fish. They really didn't do much fishing, but they did manage to get wet. Vance cast only once and had a fish within seconds----I'm guessing it was the minnow he caught and used for bait. While the kids played/fished, I read my book. It was actually very relaxing. The weather was perfect there was a slight breeze and I didn't have to worry about the kids being safe or whether they were getting along. I had a very nice time.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Noah's "Love Quilt"

Before Chad left he finished a cross-stitch of a gray fox for Noah. There were several other animals that Chad had cross-stitched over the years that Noah adopted as his own. After Chad left, Noah wanted to sew the cross-stitched animals into a blanket for Chad and send it to him. I told Noah that even though that was a very sweet idea, his dad had made the fox for him and he wanted him to have it. Then I suggested that I sew all the cross-stitches into a quilt for Noah and then when he misses his dad, he can wrap himself up in the quilt, think of his dad's arms around him and remember how much his dad loves him.

He was all for the idea, so that's what I've been working on this last week. I ended up using 2 cross-stitches that I had hanging on my wall, too. I think I now like them in the quilt better, though. Noah was so excited to have it finished today. I told him that maybe we should send it to dad and he said "NO WAY, this is my love quilt!" I think, of all the kids, Noah needed something like this to remember his dad. Of course all the kids (except Myshel---I think that's because she has Grandma Jo's quilt that she's constantly snuggled in) want a quilt now. I guess it will keep me busy for the summer.

When I was tying the quilt last night, Noah asked me where I learned to to do that. I told him that my mom and grandma taught me how to tie a quilt. He said, "I really am glad that they did." I really am glad that they did, too!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Slip 'n Slide

My kids are having a great time with the slip 'n slide. They haven't gotten Myshel to try it yet, but maybe someday she will. I love this picture of Noah--but his landing had to have hurt, right?! It's nice that they have something at home to help beat the heat.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tomato Plants

My tomato and pepper plants are loving the hot humid weather we've been getting this summer. If I had known that they would do this well, I would have planted 10 times this many (if I had the space for them----which I don't) We've counted over 35 tomatoes on these 9 plants and there's still lots of blossoms. It's so exciting! Last year my tomato plants did awful. They're over a foot taller than the cages I have for them. I can't find anything in the stores that is tall enough to support them. I guess Vance and I are going to have to figure something out ourselves. I'm really excited about my banana peppers. These 3 are already so big. I can't believe it! and I can't wait to eat them! The other plants just have little nubs for peppers.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Toothless . . . Not Quite

Noah lost his last front tooth yesterday.
You can already see the new permanent one coming in. I'm glad it's gone. It was just hanging there by a thread, but it reminds me that my baby's growing up, too.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Say "Hello" to Vance's Little Friends . . . . .

Can you see his little buddy? You might have to click on the picture to get a really good look. It stayed at the house (outside!!) for a few days until they released him back to his little home. This isn't a great picture, but you can see that Vance caught a little baby snake and brought him home to meet mom! How sweet---NOT!! Big or small . . . I hate them all!

Friday, July 16, 2010


Grandma's and Grandpa's came for Myshel's graduation and of course, we had a few lobsters!!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


About a week before Chad left, he took the boys on an overnight camping trip. They went to Jewel Island with some friends. Noah was very excited to go camping with his dad and his best friend not to mention he got to ride on a lobster boat to get there! I made Chad promise (promise, promise) to have the boys wear life jackets while on the boat. (notice---no one has a life jacket on!!!!---grumble)
Noah loved be there with his best buddy, but unfortunately it poured rain throughout the night and most of the next morning. Chad said Noah didn't sleep at all (AT ALL) that night and was very grumpy the next day. They called me from their tent at 7:30 in the morning. I could hear the rain hitting the tent.They did manage to have some fun hiking the next day, though. Noah fell asleep on the drive home (around 3PM) and he slept until 7 the next morning. He was so exhausted.
When I asked him the next day if he had fun, he said that he did, but that the next time he goes camping, I have to come, too! Chad said he really missed me---I hate that, you know. And, just for the record . . . I don't want to hear how women over pack ever again. These guys were only gone for 1 night!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


McKaylie went to a friend's house yesterday to swim in their pool. I reminded her a hundred times to put on sun screen, had her put some on before she left and even had her take it with her. Lots of good that did! Her friend's mom didn't think once to remind them to put more on in the 5 hours they were there--of course her daughter has a darker complexion than McKaylie and didn't get burned at all! GRRRRR Poor McKaylie, it wasn't a very fun night for her!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Update

I've been properly "reminded" to update my blog, so here I am. I do need to keep up with it more. I'll have to try harder, I think.

So a little update of our family's status as of today.

Chad reported to his ship, the USS Ponce, on July 1st. They're going to be out to sea on and off (mostly on) through the rest of the summer and then at the end of September they're planning on deploying for 7 months. The kids and I are staying here in Maine while all that's going on. It's a good thing for the kids. They'll get to stay here with friends, school and other things they're familiar with while their dad's gone. It's good for me, too, I guess, but being here in Maine while he's stationed in Virginia has left me feeling very disconnected from him and what's going on. Since he's at sea, you'd think that it really wouldn't matter, but it does for some reason and I don't like it. We should be able to see Chad in September before he deploys. That will be nice and difficult at the same time. We know that this is the right thing for our family and so we do what we need to do. A year spent mostly apart just isn't very appealing, though. Of course, Chad would be quick to point out that we'd still spend the year mostly apart even if we were in Virginia. Don't you just love the navy!

Vance returned from scout camp last Friday. I was super proud of him. He passed his swimming test and earned his swimming merit badge while he was there. He was rather concerned about it, so I was really happy to hear that he'd accomplished that goal. I heard a lot about how "hot" the swimming teacher was . . . maybe that's why he tried so hard and passed???? (she's 21)

Myshel left for girl's camp this morning. She is one of the youth leaders. I think she'll have a great time, even though camping is not her thing.

With Chad gone and first now Vance and now Myshel being gone, our house has been feeling rather strange.

Noah has summer school 2 days a week, which he likes because his best friend is in his class with him.

McKaylie has friends calling her every day wanting to play. She'll be at one friend's house and 3 others will call while she's gone! I can't keep up with her social life! and she's only 10!

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