Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Month in Review -- March

March has been a lovely month!  Up until the past couple of blustery days, the weather has been perfect.  It was so perfect, in fact, that we took a couple of weeks off school and played outside.  So, this school year is going to end in August, so what?  I don't mind doing school through the summer, but I'd much rather be ahead than behind. And we definitely aren't ahead!   

The desert bloomed this month, hooray!  Here are a few early morning pics of the blooming desert.  The landscape has blossomed nicely.  Lots of winter rain brings a thin blanket of green to the local mountains and provides us with blossoms in profusion.  Notice our flowers are mostly in "hot" colors. How fitting.  If you don't care for yellow or orange flowers, this is not the place for you.

We finished The Wheel on the School (Meinert DeJong), and it comes highly recommended by all the children, and by me, too.  Daddy and Emily are reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Roald Dahl) together, and the rest of us are really enjoying the fourth book in the autobiographical Little Britches series by Ralph Moody, Mary Emma and Company.  It is such a heartwarming story!  The children are happy, hard workers and so resourceful, and, as I told you, Mrs. Moody is my character hero.  Any mom who can cheerfully battle a smoky, sooty furnace, freezing temperatures, and a "new" house that was left absolutely filthy by the previous occupants gets a big star in my book.  On my personal pile is a garage sale find, Jim Trelease's Read Aloud Handbook.  A very good read.  I don't completely share his criteria for read-aloud selections, but he gives enlightening info on the benefits of reading to your kids, the serious detriments of the television, and a great list of recommendations.

Amy is still crafting away.  A very sweet blogging friend has hired to her to make several of those little dollies that I posted photos of in last month's Review.  We have begged and groveled for wool, acorn caps, and felt.  Below, Amy is washing mohair from PlainJane's goats.  And thanks to OldSchoolMarm, these dollies will be complete with their acorn cap hats.  Thank you, friends!

More crafting, miniature appliances by Amy:

Elisabeth has been busy with her Sculpey clay, making tiny culinary delights for her clay people.

roast beef mashed potatoes and corn spaghetti and meatballs, of course

ice cream sundae!

the eaters

Below, my handyman operates on the nasty swamp cooler guts.  It's quite ingenious, actually.  A small hose drips on thick pads surrounding this squirrel cage.  As the fan rotates air is pulled in through the wet pads and is cooled, then it is forced into ducts that come into the house through the ceiling.  The windows have to be open to prevent blowing up the house, so we get lots of fresh air.  I do like that aspect.  A swamp cooler costs pennies to run, but in our house it's only good to about 105°.  After that we seal up the place and run the AC.  I feel rather foolish about my earlier rant.  It only took about fifteen minutes to clean up the dust that blew in.  How silly of me. 

Alison is pretending to be Anne of Green Gables, balancing on the "ridge pole".  We need a little bit steeper pitch on the roof to be more authentic.

Four very tall people took an evening stroll:

Oh, and I can't forget to post photos from the manly men's mountain climbing expedition! (See previous post.) It's really difficult to get the right perspective in a photo. This was a very steep climb!  My husband is the kind of guy who climbs a mountain because it is there.  Is your husband like this? To be honest, I really don't understand this kind of thinking.  I enjoy looking at mountains, but I don't ever feel like I have to climb them.  Must be a guy thing.  Anyway, these guys all did some research before tackling Spirit Mountain, and everyone agreed the directions were very vague.  So they just drove out there and started up.  The supposedly six-hour, moderate climb up and back down the mountain took them over eight and a half grueling hours, and they never did get to the top.  My DH did a little more research when he got home, and he found that there is marked trail on the west side, which is a  nice level two hike.  Ah. They had scaled the level five south side of the mountain, blazing their own trail.  LOL!  So they are already making plans for the next climb, but it will be later in the year, AFTER snake season, you know.  Speaking of snakes, they didn't see any, but they did see this critter, a chuckwalla.  Chuckwallas get up to 18" long, almost as big as a gila monster. Scary.  That body of water in the lower right photo is Lake Mohave. In the lower left photo you can just barely see the Laughin casinos waaay off in the distance. 

Alison got her braces this week.  After much deliberation, she finally settled on metallic blue bands (not pictured yet).  Poor kid, her mouth is still sore, and she is on an unanticipated diet.  The orthodontist yanked out four teeth, leaving her nothing to chew with. Amy gets her brackets and appliances next month, and she has already made up her mind to get glow-in-the-dark pink.   It's a nice thing those band colors can be changed each visit, hee hee.  While Alison was being held captive in the chair, Amy spent a couple of hours asking questions and exploring the contents of the cabinets in our dentist's office. (No, Amy is not a toddler, lol.)  Three or four of the nurses and the dentist/ortho asked her if she wanted to be a dentist when she grows up, and Amy replied, "No.  I want to be a full-time mom."  Good. 

Tonight I opened the fridge to get a  hard boiled egg for our salad, and look what I found -- gospel eggs!  You can see which one I cracked before I decided to take a picture.  This verse, "O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good," brought a smile to my face.  God certainly is good.  I thanked him for my daughter, who left these subtle reminders.

Three days left this month, but we have no plans other than church and a funeral. If anything exciting happens I'll be sure to let you know!

If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone?
or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children:
how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Luke 11:11-13


  1. Hi Sally,

    Oh yeah, an early end of the month review. I love the bright orange flower in the middle - what kind is it? And boy, the photo with the lizzard-type monster looks high - no thank you.

    Tell the girls hi from me - nice braces Alison.

  2. diamondsintheroughMarch 29, 2009 at 10:19 AM

    Little did I know, that orange flower is the same one as on the bottom right, some daisy-looking thing, a desert aster of sorts. I took that photo early in the morning, before the flowers had opened, and I, too, thought it was a lovely thing! Later Amy walked that same trail and took photos of the same flowers with her camera. I asked her where those daisy things were on that trail, because I did not see any. Found out they are the same ones. :o)

  3. Sally we really enjoyed The Wheel On The School too. Have you all read Hittie The First Hundred Years by Rachel Field? We liked it.

    The pictures of the flowers are gorgeous, I liked the purple ones.

    We too have braces in the future and I'm already dreading those particular visits (sigh).

    Hope your week is going wonderfully, Julie

  4. Hey. How've you been? I've been thinking about you lately. I decided to retire from blogging, officially. I hope you will still email me now and again! And I will write to you. These flowers are gorgeous! Each year I plant yellows, oranges, and reds in my flower bed. They make me so happy! Things here are mostly okay. I shall have to write you an email soon... Take care!


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