Saturday, March 1, 2014

Valentine's Day ROCKS. Hahahaa!! (You'll get it in a minute.)

Oh, mama.  I wrote this...February 15th?  Yeah.  I promise I'll be a better blogger after my old house is all renovated and on the market.  I go there a few hours every day to paint, fix grout, scrub burn marks from Ben sanding the bathroom ceiling two years ago (the burn marks are on the tile from the rubber on the side of those rotating sanding disks, and NO, they aren't scrubbing away...), etc.  My poor mom usually puts in more hours in at the house doing the same kind of stuff.  I'd stay longer every day, but I have ninos to attend to, etc.  I feel really badly for her.  She's been so great to do that for me.

I'll show some pictures when we're all done - it looks so nice!!!  I wish we could have done all this stuff to the house when we lived there...but I still love our new house, the neighborhood it's in, and the room we have to spread out.

Valentine's Day.  Kay.  So.  Gage's teacher sent a note home that he needed to help me make a box to put his valentines in on the 14th.  I totally forgot about it until the night before at like 9.  And Gage was long asleep by then.  So, um, I made it myself.  I'm a bad mom.  I'm sure the judgie ladies at his preschool were judging me.  They always give me these looks.
When I unloaded his valentines from his backpack, I saw that the ladies had made their own little envelope thingey for his valentines out of construction paper.  Good thing I made that box.  Good thing.  Maybe it didn't hold enough valentines?  But I didn't see very much candy in his stash.  So I don't see what was wrong with my cute little box.  Ah well.

We made and ate Valentine's cookies a couple of days before.  As usual, it was a horrible experience for me and a fun experience for the kids.  And, also as usual, I ate like half of them and probably gained ten pounds.  The recipe I like to use has lemon zest in the cookie dough, and dude, that is the secret to really yummy sugar cookies.

Micah kept accidentally flipping them over when he transferred his finished ones on the cookie sheet:
He also would mound the cookie really high with frosting.  Sadie used to be our Cookie-Decorating-Challenged one.  She held that title for a few years.  Now it's definitely Micah.
The polished rocks I gave to the kids in their stockings for Christmas to add to their collections had been such a hit that I decided to head down to the middle of nowhere to get some more.  Oh, I haven't told you about this, have I?  Kay, so there are NO rock shops in our city.  You can drive 1 1/2 hours to West Yellowstone or Jackson or Lava Hot Springs to buy some in those touristey shops, but who has that kind of gas money?  So I discovered this teeeeeeeeeny little town about half an hour south of us.  I was honestly surprised that it was a town and had a name, because to me, it just looks like a bunch of country houses, set far apart from one another.  There is a baseball diamond...and a huge power grid that controls much of our county's power, I believe.

So in December, I decided to head to this guy's rock shop.  I thought it would be, you know, in a shop.  Nope.  It's in the shed behind this guy's house.  You go into the front shed, and he's usually tooling around in there.  There is a huge pot-bellied stove to give the shed heat, and he has two little dogs that attend to the visitors.  He's just this old dude who always wears a baseball hat, flannel shirts, jeans with suspenders, and a big silver moustache.  And he loves rocks.  He goes to rock shows (didn't know there was such a thing) and trades/buys with other rock hounds.  He has his own tumbler thingey to polish the rocks, and he has a stone cutter.

So after you greet the dogs and avoid the pot-bellied stove (Micah was wearing my hoodie when we first went there, brushed up too close to it, and totally singed a huge hole in the elbow.  I mourned that hoodie.  I loved that hoodie.), the Old Dude opens up an adjoining shed.  This one is where his rocks are.  And there is NO heat in that part.  You can pick a pound of random, larger polished rocks for $10, or if you want the pretty, cut ones, they're $5 a piece.  I wanted the pretty, small, cut ones, because they would fit better in the kids' collection boxes. 

Old Dude is so funny.  I'm always like, "What is this rock called?"  And he's like, "Uhhhhhh....maybe some kind of agate?"  So I usually have to do my own investigation after I buy the stones.

So I got Sadie quartz and sodalite, I believe...
I got Dylan a jasper and howlite:
And since Micah was with me when I made the purchases, he chose a pound of big, weird, half-unpolished, unidentifiable stones.  Actually, he chose three pounds, and when I was helping him cut down to one pound, the cute Old Dude just let him keep all three pounds for the price of one.  And he threw in some fool's gold to boot.  Lucky kid.
I can't remember why he was making this face when I took this picture...

And dang it, I bought myself two stones!!  I'm sick of being jealous of my kids' rock collections!  So I am starting mine.  I got myself a banded carnelian and a brecciated jasper.  I think.
Sorry to gross you out with my thumb.  It's a double joint or a loose joint or something.  It folds all the way back at a 90-degree angle.  I try to keep it in check so people don't vomit, but when I'm not thinking about it, my weird thumbs pop out of pictures and shock people a little bit.

True to my word, I made Ben a little bit more of a manly card for Valentine's Day:
For Ben's gift, I framed two pieces of calligraphy he brought home from China.  I had to get the mats specially cut, but I got the frames on a super-sale.  The one on the left says "I love you," and the one on the right says, "Together Forever."

Ben got me this cool poster:
 And let me purchase this embossing machine that I've been coveting for a long time.
I'm excited to learn more about embossing and get more into it.  I just got it this week and I need to give it a shot.  When I have a moment.  Which I won't have.  Let's face it.

So phew!  That was our v-day.  I hope I get to talk to you sooner next time.  I'm so sorry... if you saw my February calendar, you would have been like, "Whoa."  It was totally blacked out with events.  Every day.  Busy, busy, busy.


Unknown said...

I use your blog alot to help me when prepping my Sunday School lessons, but today is the first day I wondered onto your main page.

Just a quick note. That Chinese caligraphy you have there says, Faith (or trust), Hope, and Love (or caring). The one on the right says Walk (or move or travel) with me.

Megan said...

Hey, at least you posted about Vday!! I took pictures and did stuff for my kids, but haven't posted it!! lol That is so cool you found that rock place. I wonder if my kids would be into it like yours? That box you made for Gage was SO stinkin' cute!! Who cares what the other mom's think!! :)

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