Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Insanely Domestic

I cleaned the oven today. What a messy thankless task.
I didn't want to kids to have to evacuate with one of those harsh chemically sprays so I researched some practical at-home rememedies. I found one about mixing equal parts baking soda, salt, and water to make a paste. Then I spread it all over those "tough stains." Next I baked it all in at 500 degrees for one hour. Eeek! It looked like the sand dunes in there and I think I saw a statue of Lot's wife.
Turns out I created WAY more of a mess than my oven already was!. Scraping, vacuuming, wiping... Obviously, I don't recommend this method. My advice would be to keep foil liner on the bottom of your oven so you never HAVE to clean it!

Oven-cleaning is just one of the many ridiculous domestic tasks I am doing to prepare for Thanksgiving at our home. I also cleaned out and organized the fridge, the cupboards, the drawers, and the kitchen garbage. Of course, I tried to get the kids to help in this. They were helpful for about 30 minutes and then set about making messes in the rest of the house.

The cleaning out of the cupboards reminds me of another piece of advice. When you are putting away your groceries and your Karo syrup container falls on the floor and gets a crack in it, don't be cheap and try to fix it with duct tape. Just consider it a total loss and throw it away--better to save the hour it will take to CHIP away at the mounds of hardened syrup on the cupboard floor later. I learned too late that melting them with hot water was much quicker.

I really don't like housecleaning but, in honor of the holiday, I'm going to say that I'm THANKFUL that I have a house to clean. And I'm thankful that I have 4 great kids who make it look lived in. I'm also THANKFUL that my family will be coming to help us celebrate. I really do love having company and decorating and cooking for them and having the origami towel animals ready to greet them on their beds (or maybe at least some leftover hotel shampoo samples. ) It's just that housecleaning is a real hang-up...which is why I'm asking for a housekeeper for Christmas.

Do you like cooking or cleaning better? (don't tell me if you like both.) And forgive me for getting ahead of myself with the holidays but what do you want for Christmas? Go ahead and dream big...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mom, Where is my Crocheting?

The latest craze at our house involves a hook and yarn. The girls have been learning to crotch-it (as my mom calls it.) She was able to give them some pointers last week when we stayed with her and my dad at a condo in St. George.

Brynn made this twirly scarf which was supposed to be for her but ended up being a perfect fit for her Julie doll.

To me, St. George is a heaven for shopping (I hit the 3.99 rack at Children's Place Outlet.) And with a couple of National Parks, it is a great place to enjoy nature.
Some of the cool places we visited:

Snow Canyon This place was mountains of fun. We climbed and climbed until we were too hot and tired to climb anymore. Kate thought it would be pretty funny to hide in the bushes while me and Adrie were finding our way down the trail. She jumped out acting like a rabid dog to get a good scare out of us. I should have known...she tries to scare or play pranks on someone in the family at least once a day! I don't get that. Adrie and I don't like being scared so we have made a rule that Kate pays us a quarter each time she scares us. Win win!

Sand Dunes: I wish we could export some of this super-fine sand to our backyard. If we just filled our shoes enough times...

After the seniors and children went to bed, BD and I snuck out in the evenings for some late night ping pong tournaments. We had some good rallies but I still can't seem to win a game! Ever heard of pickle ball? Q and T joined us one night for a double date on the courts. Very fun sport whether you can get the rules down or not!

We had a whole lot of fun with Q/T family at this park where Scandinavia playground technology meets desert. Forget regular old swings and slides, these apparatuses were so much fun; I was just wishing the kids would get off them so I could give them a try. I was able to spin myself sick on the one Adrie is pictured in above. T and T were doing the same in the other photo.
Thanks for another fun visit St. George! See you in the Spring for Sister's Week!