We're livin' it up on the U.P. - that's Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Punkie is 6 and LOVED Kindergarten! Isaboo is 2 and she's a smiley whirl wind. We also call her Busy-Isi. This year we welcomed little Lorenzo to our family.

Life is great!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Missed a Day

HA!

But ya'll didn't even miss me did ya! 

One more day left...tomorrow. 

Crazy. 

I can't believe it's nearly over. 

But, have no fear.

I will still blog regularly...

To keep it up though, I really think I need to get that whole picture problem resolved. 

I don't want to pay $5 a year.

Cheap right? 

I know. 

But, when does it end in another 3-5 years will I have to pay MORE!?!  

Because yet again I have run out of room? 

And what if I don't want to pay $5 anymore....in the future...what then?

Decisions. Decisions.
What if I just start a new blog...with a new email address....

Is that bad?

Is that dishonest?

Would you all follow me over to a new blog?

******

Don't forget to answer the last three questions above, I really want to know, but here's more....

The rain foiled our plans for Memorial Day....

Actually, we got hoodwinked! 

We were supposed to go to a lake that has a bridge

and then

to Tahquamenon Falls.

But, this morning when we woke up it was raining. 
We got online to check the forecast for the day and multiple sources said it was going to be rainy with thunder storms. 

We sent a text to our friends and mutually we decided it would be best to stay home.

Guess what!?!?

It was a beautiful day. 

I'm sad we missed out on a fun little day trip.

But, we hadn't been shopping for about 2 weeks and we really needed some food. 

So, we went grocery shopping instead. 

I love day trips but I really love food. 

*******

Can I ask you one more question?

It's kinda personal, so you don't have to answer....
What do you spend on groceries per month? 

We spend $300 - $400 per month and I'm just wondering if that is normal.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Rain Rain

Go away.

Sorry. I know that moisture is good for the environment and for our water sources, etc.

It ruins my plans.

We were supposed to have a garage sale with our friends today.

It got rained out.
We ended up driving to a near by town seeking donuts.

We roamed, in the car, through beautiful country...there's a lot of country around us and we love to explore.

We sat in the car and watched a freighter float passed.

We checked out the Pine Bowl pathway and one day soon we will bike it. 

We did get to meet up with our friends to have yummy yummy hamburgers.

We still had a good day. 

How does that rhyme go? 

It's raining it's pouring
The old man is snoring
Bumped his head....

Friday, May 27, 2011

Conversation with Marley

I can't remember what we were talking about but, I was driving and Marley was in her car seat right behind me.
 
me: You're funny.
Marley: No. I'm not.
me: Yes you are, you're funny.
Marley: No, I'm not funny, I'm just a little kid.
me: [laugh] little kids aren't funny?
Marley: No. They're just little kids.
me: Well, you're bein' funny right now.
Marley: No, I'm not funny, I'm just a little kid. I'm a little big kid. I'm a big kid. I go potty in the potty. I'm a big kid. 
me: Are big kids funny?
Marley: Mom, stop asking me funny questions.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Silly and Crazy

I was never a formal cheer leader.
But, I learned to cheer from the best...or most hilarious.
SNL's Spartan Cheerleaders.

I modified one of their cheers and I always sing it to Marley. 

Their cheer:

U.G.L.Y.
You ain't got no alibi!
You Ugly!
You Ugly!

Way harsh, right?

Here it is modified for Marley:

S.I.L.L.Y. 
You ain't got no alibi!
You SILLY!
You SILLY!

AND

C.R.A.Z.Y
You ain't got no alibi!
You CRAZY!
You CRAZY!
(I used to sing that one to my mom all the time. Remember Mom?)

When I mentioned above I always sing this to Marley...really, at LEAST once a day. 
Here is evidence of when I sang it to her today.



{Me Crying}

Blogger says I've used up all my free space for uploading pictures to my blog.
I even went back to other posts and deleted some of the excess pictures.
Still won't let me.
What am I going to do?!?!?


{Going to Cry Myself to Sleep}



Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marney

There are words Marley says wrong and it's just so cute I never want to correct her. 
I want her to say these words wrong for the rest of her life. 

Marney = Marley
Jarbage = Garbage
Skipchurs = Scriptures
Kee-El-See = Kelsey 
(ya, she makes 2 syllables into 3)
There are more but that's all I can think of right now.

Also, whenever she says the blessing on the food she says, 
"....thank you for PrimareE" gets high pitched at the end
"...gwateful for this food, pweeze bwess it and pweeze pass it." 

She always prays for the food to be passed.  SO funny!

************

Tonight we watched Ponyo.
Have you seen it? 
It's an anima Disney movie.
Nate and I didn't really want to watch it but, Marley did.
As it began I was seeing so many names I recognized.
Liam Neeson
Cate Blanchett
Tina Fey
Lily Tomlin
Cloris Leachman
and 
Betty White

Weird that it had such a cast full of big names.

Even weirder...the movie. 

Cute.

But EXTREMELY weird.

Especially, the guy Liam Neeson is the voice for. 

He looks like he belongs in Jem and the Rockers.

Or maybe in the Misfits.

(I tried to provide pictures to prove it, but blogger is stupid.)
 

As soon as the movie ended I started calling Marley Ponyo. 
She kept saying, "I'm not Ponyo, I'm Marney." 
I just kept doing it and finally she looked at me and confessed with a smile, 
"Oh ya, I am Ponyo." 

**************

I have more crust.
And since I'm not the author of Crusty Mondays I'm just going to throw it out there.

You know Sterilite?
They make bins and all sorts of organization products.

Well, I have 9 of their 56 quart bins and almost all of the lids are broken.
Bins = fine and sturdy.
Lids = cracked, broken and crusty...as in useless.

And so far I have not been able to find anywhere you can just buy the lids!
If I can't find lids for sale somewhere, I'll be stuck with bins with no lids....how useless!

And then, I may have to boycott Sterilite.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

She let me sleep in...

I have to tell you the potty train has pretty much left the station a success. 

Marley is doing so well that she is on her last potty chart, 2 of 2. 

The first was a chaotic mess with stickers anywhere and everywhere.
Stickers were the exciting reward for going in the potty and in most cases it was just pee pee.

Because she was having a hard time getting twosies down and usually waiting until nap or bedtime to let it go in a diaper, I got 6-7 surprises for her at the dollar store.
I showed her the first one to get her excited.
Told her that when she went poo poo in the potty she would get it. 
It worked and each time she went she got a new surprise but those ones she didn't get to see until she had already done the deed

Each time she hoped out loud that her surprise would be a Barbi. 
She has played with Barbis at other peoples homes. 
I had no idea she wanted one until she was hoping for them as a doo doo prize.

Each time she got a little $ prize she loved it, even though it wasn't a Barbi. 

When the prizes ran out we decided if she wanted something big like a Barbi we had to be sure this was a habit. So, we made a chart with 20 boxes. Stickers are once again the exciting prize and now she only gets a sticker if she goes dookie.
When she has gone 20 times she gets...

A dress up dress. Rapunzel to be exact. Unless of course when we go to purchase her prize she chooses something else...like a little car seat for her babies since I always have to buckle them into the car seat belt.

She's too young for a Barbi. 

*******
Yesterday, Marley and I spent an impromptu day in the Soo, sightseeing! 

Nathan found out, shortly after arriving at work, that he would be going out in the field with some of his co-workers. He texted me and told me and mentioned how he thought he was ill equipt with no boots and no coat. At the time the day was rainy and over cast.

I didn't want him to be uncomfortable and I was excited for an excuse to put off doing the laundry, so I offered to take him what he needed. 

We dropped off his stuff and proceeded to find excuses to stay in the Soo.
Avoiding the laundry. 
And hopefully making it til 3:00 or 4:00 so we could pick him up and take him home.

We went to several tourist/gift shops. 
We walked all over downtown.
We went to the Salvation Army and a another second hand store. 
We went to a used book store.
And we went to the Locks.
We watched a freighter get raised and go through one side and watched a tour boat get lowered and go through the other side. 
Amazing.

 Marley was such a trouper the whole time.  She barely touched anything in the gift shops...but asked for everything. I usually respond "Maybe someday." And she walks away content with not hearing the word "No." and that maybe someday she can have everything...healthy right? 
My other usual response to "I want to get that!"  is "Mee too!! But we don't have the money for that."
More realistic.

  She walked the whole time...except for the last leg back to the car around 3:30.

We had such a fun day just hangin out together. 
Shopping, sightseeing and walking. 

*******

This morning around 4:55 a.m. Marley busted out of her room woke me up to help her go potty. She can't reach the light switch. Though she often wakes up with a dry pull-up this is the first time she has gotten up to go to the bathroom in the night. After, she went right back to bed and so did I. 

Nathan left this morning and I slept in.

Eventually...

Either I get up and Marley is still sleeping. 

OR she gets up and comes to wake me up. 

Today she woke up. Quietly pulled all the blankets out of her closet and made a nest on the floor. 
I don't know when she woke up but when I woke up at 8:30 I was so excited to sneak downstairs and read my blogs and get a post started for today. 

I was surprised to find her door was wide open. I peeked in and saw her laying in the nest of blankets on the floor wide awake and completely silent.

Weird.

I gave her a flying burrito and she loved it!

Today we are doing the laundry.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Crusty Mondays - Ever heard of 'em?

My friend Emily's Monday posts are reserved for complaining, moaning and sprinkles of pessimism.
She has lovingly labeled them Crusty Monday. 

I love them.

Isn't Crusty the perfect adjective for Mondays in general?
It is for me...laundry day.
I mean that in the end of the weekend sense, NOT in the crusty underwear sense.

I don't even know when she started Crusty Monday posts or if she explained why she uses Crusty to describe her moans and complaints?

I always assumed it was because when something is crusty it's not usually a good thing.

Crusty dishes from last night's dinner.
Crusty underwear.
Crusty food on the back seat of the car.
Crusty anything really, is not a good thing, right?

But what about when someone gives you a Crusty?

You know a dirty look?

Maybe THAT is Emily's "Crusty" Monday label meaning?

Either way, it works. 

I'm finding Crusty Mondays are like Ogres and Onions.

Layers.

******

Now that you know what a Crusty Monday is....

Here is mine:


Crusty Monday Buyer Beware

We, both me and Nathan, love the internet - especially to research product and service reviews. 

There have been a few (2 or 3) times that we have not researched and we have gotten burned.

We have recently learned of a service that provides captioned phone calls. Isn't that a dream!?
 We thought we needed phone service through the internet, but it turns out we just need high speed internet, a regular phone line and a caption phone. 

Thank goodness!!!

Because... 

Failing to do any background checks or consumer review consultations we signed up with

Lingo.com. 
BIG MISTAKE!

They claim the first month is free.
It wasn't for us. Plus! They OVER charged us.

Once they did that I searched out the reviews and boy did I find a TON of people giving Lingo.com Crusties. Miss charging. Over charging. Bad, unreliable service. Etc.

After reading all the reviews I could find online regarding Lingo.com and only finding 1-2 that were positive. We wanted out! 

We didn't even accept the Lingo hardware they sent us.

Without dragging you through ALL the details of SEVERAL phone calls with SEVERAL different people....

I'll summarize by saying...it was SO annoying, SO inconvenient, and SO stressful. 

If you're looking for any of THAT in your life...definitely sign up for Lingo.com phone service.

If you're not looking for THAT....steer clear.

We did FINALLY get it canceled. And we FINALLY got reimbursed.

And my advice is:
ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS READ REVIEWS AND SEARCH OUT THE BEST PRODUCTS AND SERVICES....BEFORE YOU GET BURNED.

I'm sure you all know that already.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Church Lady

At my church there is no paid clergy. 
We all serve.
We are called to fulfill certain assignments.
Some are called to fill leadership positions.
Most are called to fill supporting positions.
All are called to teach and share the gospel.

Today I spoke in Sacrament meeting. 
The topic I was given was the Atonement of Jesus Christ. 

I learned so much through preparing the talk. 
Most of what I learned I think I already knew but I needed to be reminded.

Some of what I learned I did not know and I feel so blessed.

I still have A LOT to learn and understand.
I mostly quoted Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 
The last talk he gave in General Conference was delivered just 13 days before he died and he spoke powerfully about the Atonement. 

The Ensign Magazine just republished his talk in last months' issue.
The article is entitled The Purifying Power of Gethsemane.

If you have time to read it. 
You should.
If you have time to ponder what it means to you and your life.
You should. 

I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ is for everyone! 

I also had the opportunity to teach Relief Society today.

Busy busy in a small branch of the church. 

Just call me Church Lady.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Its berry time,well soon anyway.

Once again Becky has put off blogging too long and this time has no backup because she is supposed to be preparing for speaking and teaching at church tomorrow morning. She thought that I, the farmer, would make a good guest blogger. Which leads me to the topic of today's blog. This being a farmer's wife blog it should therefore discuss more farmer things, like strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries.

Since we have moved to the U.P. I have been somewhat excited about berry picking and not from a cultivated garden too.Our backyard has wild strawberries growing everywhere and they are in bloom now. Soon there will be strawberries. There is going to be competition too because as I said these are wild strawberries. The wild knows about them too. Have a look at the facts here.Source: http://www.wildernesscollege.com/wild-strawberry-plants.html

Like this image wild strawberries are sure small, but really sweet.

Blackberries will ripen next and are (in this farmer's opinion) the best berries. There is nothing small about wild blackberries and they are often considered a weed and invasive (this shocks me). I think native wild blackberries are given a bad rap because of their agressive cousins who have been introduced from foreign parts. Whatever the reason I have room for blackberries anytime and anywhere. Read all about it.



Blueberry foraging will be attempted around the end of July (If you are reading this mom you need to plan accordingly if you want to join us in blueberry picking). We will probably be competing with the black bears here, not intentionally mind you, and all the other critters too because this is where it is at (after blackberries). Back in Utah, when we lived with Grandma Nette and Grandpa Pete, Marley would eat all of the blueberries off of Grandpa Pete's small bushes without any qualms that no one else got any. I don't think she will be any help when we forage this year either, but she should be full and satisfied when we come back from picking. The real nitty gritty here.



I could try and write about all the antioxidants and amazing effects of eating these fruits but I really don't care about those things. That they are fruit and they taste good is good enough for this farmer. And this concludes this guest spot because the wife is anxious to see what I wrote about her. Tell her it was about her attempt to capture and cook a pheasant for dinner. That should be a good story for her to explain.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Booya!





I don't know! 
It's late and I almost forgot to blog for today.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Juuullliieeeeeee. Look what I got!

Works like a charm.
 I think you know what's in there.
 Got this gently used sugar shaker for $.50 at a rummage sale last week.
 Pancakes and Strawberries with Powdered Sugar!
Mmmmmmmmmmmm.
Tomorrow I shall try it with French Toast...My favorite.

Too tired to post about the event we went to today. Some other day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We Are Off!!!

Today we are off to St. Ignace. 
Nathan has a training down there.
Marley and I have some friends to hang out with there, from our branch.
 We will be hanging out with Elizabeth (the mommy) and Jessica (the daughter and Marley's Nursery buddy). 
The Sisters that live down there get together for lunch every Thursday. This week they changed it to Wednesday just so Marley and I could join them. 
(When I say "The Sisters" I'm not sure how many people that is...maybe only 2...since there are only about 6-7 in RS on Sundays...I'll let you know.)

***

Ooo! A quick lesson we learned this week...I'll share it with you. 

So, there's Mackinaw City just south of the Mackinac Bridge. And Mackinac Island is north east of Mackinaw City and east of Mackinac Bridge.
AND
Up in these parts there is the old highway which is called Mackinac Trail. 
So you see, Mackinaw City is the only place with the spelling Mackinaw....
BUT
They are all pronounced Mackinaw! 
That's right,  
Mackinac is pronounced Mackinaw!

My friend Noel, very sweetly, educated me on that last Friday when we went garage saleing together and I kept saying Mackinac Trail...you know the way it is spelled. She explained that it is a world like Sault...not said the way it is spelled.

I was actually REALLY relieved to find this out, I always felt silly and a little stupid everytime I said Mackinac (the way it is spelled).

Now I know why!

I educated Nathan on it later that day. 

Then he found, online somewhere, that you aren't considered a resident of the Upper Peninsula until you learn that they are all pronounced Mackinaw.

Consider us...

RESIDENTS OF THE UPPER PENINSULA.
(though we still haven't ventured over to Canada yet.)

No one ever mentioned if it was top secret unless you have moved here and figured it out...
so, don't mention me or this post if you are questioned.  
Deal?

***

Today at around 3:00 we will head down to Lansing to a very fun event, which I will post about tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scriptures and Painting Nails

A reward for pooping in the potty is getting your finger nails and toe nails painted. 
At least it is in our house...for Marley. 

One evening I got the great idea that Nathan could read scriptures while Marley and I sat quietly and listened and I could paint her fingers and toes.

Well, it turned out Marley had a different idea. 
She wanted daddy to paint her nails.
And SHE wanted to read. 

She always takes her turn when we read...at least for the first 3 or 4 turns and then she's off doing her own thing, like taking care of her babies.  
She has her own hard bound blue Book of Mormon that she opens and turns the pages while we read. 
Don't tell her we are in the Old Testament. 
She used to just repeat, "emy, emy, emy, emy, emy,..." while she ran her finger across the pages. Now she repeats random words she hears us read like, "Jesus open the door resurrection have the record...."  Sometimes she starts "reading" about her friends or about what she did that day. 
And sometimes she throws in "And Jesus was so happy!" It's fun!  

Here's a video of Marley and her evil righteous plan working.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Natey and Marley Quite Contrary

As you know, Nathan has been titled Farmer Freitas by my sister, because he loves to garden. 
Yes, our garden is small and you may think him not worthy of this title but, please know deep down in his heart he would like nothing more than to be self reliant...totally self reliant. 
He would LOVE to live off the land by the sweat of his own brow. 
I don't know how we'd get meat in this sinario since Nathan isn't a hunter and doesn't even own a fishing pole. 
But maybe those would be included in "the farm?"

He often says, "Lets just look it over really closely and try to make it ourselves." 
I roll my eyes, especially when we are closely looking over a hand mixer or anything else you would clearly need to buy and couldn't possibly make.

Well, you have to give him credit.

There's Nate in his cute little garden. What is that in his hands?
 A push broom?

No!

A rake!?!
 A homemade rake!

Cool!?!?
 YES!
And NO. Most Farmers do not work on the Farm in their sandals...but, this one does.
What!?! Does he already have a little pumpkin growing in his garden!?!
 Oh! No. That's Marley...and I forgot. It's not Nate's garden, it's Marley's garden.

What is she doing in these pictures? Reading the seed directions to Nathan, of course!
"And you pwant it. And fwifity five days it gwows and water it and it gwows and pwant it."

Nathan: "Ok, my turn to read."

How does your garden grow?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Lovely Sunday

Today, instead of going to our little 35-40 person branch meeting in the Soo, we went to district conference in Cheboygan.
Our little branch meets in an office building with a long room for the chapel, a little kitchen, and a few classrooms. There haven't been more than 6 or 7 sisters in Relief Society. It is small!
The Cheboygan branch meets in a little church building and I think their chapel is smaller than ours but there were a good 50 or 60 people there. It was packed!
We were told that we would watch the meeting broadcast from somewhere else. I thought it was going to be from somewhere else in Michigan but it came from Salt Lake.
Bishop Richard C. Edgley conducted, and he was the first speaker. 
When he was opening he said that it was being broadcast to 64 stakes and 1 district. 
Our district!
And when he said that, President Schemm our Branch President who was sitting in the front row raised his hand above his head in a fist! We all laughed but, I think we all wanted to clap and cheer because our little district was recognized. It was cool!
Bishop Edgely spoke, then Sister Cheryl A. Esplin, then Elder Ballard and then President Eyring.
The meeting was great! 
President Eyring spoke about being optimistic. I feel like I used to be so optimistic and positive but, I think I should work on that. 
Have I mentioned lately how grateful I am to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? I really am so grateful. 

The ONLY down side to traveling to Cheboygan is that we have to cross the Mackinaw Bridge and the ONLY down side to that is it costs $3.50 each way! It used to be $3.00 but it must change by the season. The bridge is beautiful and pretty fun to cross...but the fee....both ways....ppphhhttt!

Before we left Cheboygan we drove around a little. We stopped at the locks and dam. It was fun to watch the water gush but it was a bit windy so we didn't stay long.

Want to see what Marley wore to church?
She got this VERY cute dress from our friend Noel. She is getting spoiled by all the grandparents that live up here and don't have their own grandchildren nearby. She wore the doo-rag around her waist like an apron for church.

She also got the leopard bowl from Noel too. We call her Sister Noel (she's a member of our branch). 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Wildflower Days!

It rained.
There was a $10 fee to get the schedule for the day. 
Boo!
We did get in on the wildflower lecture. 
And the wildflower nature hike.
The woman in the red sweatshirt is our friend Robin and that's her dog Dewey.

 

These are my favorite: Dutchman's Breeches
Don't they look like little upside down pants!

Our wildflower expert and lecturer is the woman pointing, on the bridge, with the red coat.
Robin, Dewey, Eric, Lills and Miriam. Our friends! Next time I promise to get a better picture of them.





 



 
 
After we got all we wanted out of the wildflower days we went on to collect leeks!

 
There were TONS! See all the green...pretty much all wild leeks.





The kids camped on the road. You know, the most sensible spot to camp.



These look so cool. Nathan thinks they are called Fiddle Head Ferns. What a cool name!
Moss covered rocks.

 Then we were off to look for Morels - Mushrooms!





Something that looks like it should be in the ocean.
Slugs
Green crusty lichen or moss or something.

Never found any Morels but we found False Morels. To me, those also look like they belong at the bottom of the ocean, too.



 
Ooo! We also found Wintergreen Berries. Who new wintergreen comes from a berry!?! And a red one!?! They were yummy!


Had a great time on the sand dune.
 


 

And someone had so much fun she didn't want to leave.

Until she found out she could roll her way all the way to the car.

Keep going that way!



Sandy Hobbit Feet!
We made one more stop to look for Morels. Nate and I were convinced this was a mushroom.

Then we thought it was an egg.

It's some sort of seed husk. See the hairy seed inside. It kinda looks like a giant dandelion seed.


We didn't find any Morels but we found more Wintergreen berries. Mmmm. Minty Fresh!






I have to say, today was a great day! 
I love adventures!

THE END