May 29, 2009

If April Showers. . .

bring May showers, what do May showers bring?

Grumpy, cagey, cabin-fevered children and a slightly irritable mom.

Enter 1 rice bucket:
This is the best $12 I have ever spent. We have our own indoor sandbox that has served me well on many of those rainy days. I'm shocked how into it each of the kids get. It started off as plain white rice, when that got a little boring they got to have all my kitchen utensils in it. When that novelty wore off I threw in a bunch of little farm animals they had to dig for, after another rainy week they opened the box to find "rainbow rice" -- I had used liquid watercolors from the craft store to color some rice and add it to the box. That was a huge hit. And the good thing about rice -- they WILL throw a third of it on the vinyl table cloth outside the box (which I simply dump back in) and they WILL throw another third of it that misses the cloth and goes all over the carpet -- but it easily vacuums up. And if you can't get to vacuuming it up for a couple days, no worries, you can't even see the stuff in the carpet (move over Play-doh!)

So for all you moms out there looking for a fresh rainy day idea that has now lasted me 3 years, here you go, $12 ($4 bucket and $8 rice). Actually, it ultimately cost $20 as Sadie in some uncontrolled fit of excitement holding a measuring cup of rice couldn't stop the urge to toss back and try to "drink" the rice, choked, gagged and vomited back in the rice bucket. Yes, that was a thrilling day for all the eager rice players that they still talk about two years later. So factor in the budget at least one replacement refill of rice. Rain on.

May 04, 2009

Lincoln Logs

Lance got a Lincoln Log set for Christmas and all of the kids love stacking them to make their various cabins. We told him that the cabin was just big Lincoln Logs, stacked up just the same. He did not believe us until we went out there and examined the corners of our stacked logs and he proclaimed in amazement, "It IS just Lincoln Logs!"

So here is the latest update on our large Lincoln Logs:
The front:

The back:

We have a kitchen! I can't wait to roll out some biscuits on that big island!

The Great Room:

(the floor plan calls it the Great Room - but this is just a little cabin so "The Petite Room" is a more fitting label for it)

The Tacky Things:

We had a custom outhouse door made for the bathroom. We have to blacken out the carved moon in the middle and it is ready to be hung in all its tacky glory.

The floor for the bathrooms:

The flooring guy gave me a shocked look when I selected this and told me that in all of his years of business nobody had ever selected this floor. What? Nobody wants a floor with green and red leaf imprints all over it?? Everything outcast will have a home here.

To keep our budget down, for the wall cabinets in the bathrooms we have salvaged old soda crates and ammunition crates, cleaned them up, gave them a couple coats of polyurethane, added a shelf or two and they are ready for hanging.

We are closing in on the final 8 weeks of construction -- finished just in time for me to give birth. Alan thinks that I should birth up there, "mountain mama" style. He's smoking something. He then tells me reassuringly that the Shenandoah Valley Medical center is right down the road. Yep, definitely smoking something. I think that the real name for that is the "Shenandoah Valley Medical, Equine and Veterinary Center". Their statistics probably brag of 10 births last week - 4 of the human variety, 3 calves, a set of twin lambs, and 1 foal. I'm sure that we will visit the medical center enough times on other occasions from the fun the kids will have up there, but for now I am looking forward to some summer fun and postpartum relaxation.