My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Fire in the bush August 11, 2014

Filed under: Boys,Family,Home improvement,Homeschooling — blankenmom @ 12:06 am
Tags: , , ,







We’ve been spending our days of late working outside on our giant juniper bush.  It was blocking our view from downstairs and in our area, having a juniper bush that close to the house is a big ol’ fire hazard!  We’ll miss the bunnies scurrying into it, but not enough to risk fires.  No worries, they still have the lower part of the bush, sage brush and junipers on the side of the house.  Bob, Bobbett and the little Bob’s will be well taken care of!




Local fires smoke blowing through.


Between 110* plus temps, trips and camp, it’s taken a little longer than I had planned on.  I had multiple projects slated for my summer.  The comical part was that we were only able to get about 125 ft x 5 ft x 6 ft.  We still have about 125 ft x 25 ft down the hill to go!  We’re saving that fun for next summer – do we know how to do summer or what!


There has been no sewing, no interior projects, no other yard projects.  Just… the bush.






My children strongly dislike me now.




I know, it looks pretty hideous now.  This time next year it will be all green again!



Our legs are cut, bruised and scarred.  Our arms itch.  We’ve all discovered that we’re allergic to the darn thing (good thing it’s going!).  Multiple hornet nest and various other interesting bugs.  We’ve discovered muscles we didn’t know we had.  And we’re all sporting lovely farmers and sock tan’s.  Try to be classy in heals when you’re sporting a sock tan!  




Blocked view



The good parts though – we all have a healthy glow.  We now have a view from downstairs.  There will be far less of a fire hazard next year.  The boys made a little cash.  I also now know how to  make any necessary repairs to my chain saw.




New view



I also got to spend several days, without distraction, with the boys.  Good or bad, we talked – a lot!  I know their plans for life.  I know every lame joke possible.  I know what they’ve been Youtubing and listening to on Pandora and Spotify.  I know what they want for Christmas and their birthdays.  I know what they think on current politics.  I know what kind of girls they like.  I know every.last.detail. of what happened at camp.  I know every useless fact that has ever come off the internet!  Grumbling or not, they obviously needed the time to share.






What an amazing thing to end up knowing my boys so much better, because we took a huge project on together.  Somethings a little too much?  Kids may grumble and groan at the prospect of work.  Before, during and after.  I may have wanted to wring their necks at some point (or several) through the process, revoke every dime I had offered them, or send them back in, but I knew this is what they needed.  Someone to listen between the lines, between the complaints, between the “twig” jokes.  Our kids are talking to us.






Tonight after picking up the last few branches in 102* temps, tired and hungry, I was sort of bummed it was over.  We start school Sept.1 (I love it when the 1st lines up on a Monday!!), then they go back to schoolwork and a schedule.


They are the biggest reason I love summer!








Liar, liar – my heads on fire! April 9, 2014

Filed under: Broken/Repaired,Family,WTFr — blankenmom @ 10:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,





I’m not sure if the above statement is *really* true.  It’s more like…. I’d rather set it on fire, run through a gasoline factory naked, while in labor.  It would be easier, and maybe then the state would pay attention?



I know I’ve talked about “that house” before.  The house I would love to fall to the ground (while it’s empty of course).  I would add by meteorite, but then insurance wouldn’t cover it.

We had an aircraft carrier, two coastlines and several people in between hoping it would go down in Sandy, yet no.  The stupid thing lives.


After a year of no rental income, we were finally able to get renters back in – if you want to call them that.  FEMA in all their wisdom, placed people supposedly displaced by the flood into homes that were newly finished due to the flood.  We thought we were helping someone out.  Shame on me for trying to help – that’s the last time that will happen!


Since July, they have violated every line on the rental contract.  EVERY LINE!

Plus a few extra’s.


It’s lovely.


We took the long, drawn-out and costly steps to eviction after the final straw of leaving a cat to die under the house.  Last week  we were told by the judge that all the violations, on the contract they willingly signed, don’t matter because they have three kids.  It doesn’t matter that they, among all the other violations, don’t have insurance (in a flood area) to cover in their words, a dog that may bite that isn’t on the contract.  It doesn’t matter that they disturb the woman behind them with two kids of her own.  It doesn’t matter if the house falls down around them because we can’t finish our work from the flood because they won’t let workers finish.  Nope – they have three kids.


Never mind our four kids.  After all, we work.  We pay our utilities, loans, mortgages and taxes.  My husband works two jobs to make sure we can cover their needs, on top of ours.  A judge decided that their kids took precedence over our kids and the neighbors… and yours, because they’re on state aid.  Because they’re unwilling to work a real job and pay their own way, we have to cover for them.  We’re not talking, they’re trying to work and are having a hard time – nope.  I’d love to help with that!  Find me that family!!


Does that mean we get out of the contract?  No actually, it means they may get to stay in for six months longer than the contract because they told the judge they can’t find a place to live in the three months remaining.  REALLY?


Nope.  When you live on state aid, only you matter.  Not the tax payer providing your rent, the person who owns the house or anyone around you.  State and judge condoned…. and apparently encouraged.


Never mind the fire – my head just exploded…..






Lest you think I’m a cold-hearted person who would throw children out on their ear…. it’s the kids that made me wait so long.  It’s the kids that kept me from shutting off their utilities when they didn’t pay them.  It’s the kids that kept me from kicking their backsides to the curb when they (unbeknownst to me) lied about how much the state would give them for rent and accepted less!


Shake your groove thing….. December 4, 2013






The Christmas tree is up and the decorations are all, well mostly, unpacked.  I even busted out long-lost, slightly melted Christmas candles that made it through several moves, only to finally be lit by one slightly pyro 11-year-old with entirely too much glee.




Last year we weren’t much in the mood to decorate, so we put up the tree with just the lights.  This year, in spite of being off our game and still trying to find our groove, we’ve broken out the whole sha-bang!  I’ve even begun putting up the banister lights out back (front?) so as to “out-do” that giant house across the way.

I may need to buy some more lights?!

I’ve gone so far as to look into hooks for the roof for this coming year so I don’t fall off while I’m up there – pain hurts!  A two-story drop would make me a bit grouchy and I’ve got some serious one-upping to do!


As for the sewing room redo… yeah, that’s been put on hold.  The second-born has been working on some pretty good drawings and he wanted a drafting table to assist in this.  We looked up some free plans and came up with a good table!


Can we say “wood shop”!  Darn homeschoolers – always making it a learning moment.






Ok, so it won’t win any awards, but for the kids first attempt at woodworking – it’s not too shabby!  We learned several good lessons.  First being, check mom’s measurements – she’s sort of a flake!

As for my room, it will have to wait until after the holidays.  I’m swamped.  Not so much with things to do, just with thoughts and thinkings and wonderings.  Don’t roll your eyes – that can be exhausting!

Besides, I’ve been cooking.  I know – it’s scary!  Which seems to take an annoying amount of time?  I’ve even been cooking *well*.  I know – even scarier!  Which takes even *more* time. 

Being able to afford real food AND watch some t.v. while I’m cooking is working out nicely for the family.  Not to mention a timer that tells me when the food hits the right temp.  I can go downstairs to make sure the second-born doesn’t cut his arm off with the saw or watch the fourth-born play with the candle wax and still not burn the food.  It’s like magic!


We’re finding our places, a soccer game, a Christmas song, a first fireplace lighting, a youth group meeting, and a crisp, cold morning at time.


Until we’re fully grooving, I’ll be over here, getting wax out of the carpeting….



A little of this July 7, 2012


…. a little of that.





With so much going on, I was having a hard time getting my thoughts straight on what exactly I wanted to talk about.

I could always fill you in on the 101 things I’ve got to get done before tomorrow or the world will end as we know it, but instead I’ll just throw out a few of the high points.


As my dentist man was sailing off into the sea, the first-born had made it back safely from his mission trip.  In spite of wild fires, power and water outages, and extreme heat, they managed to get the houses painted and fixed up for the folks on the indian reservation.  In between meeting new people (read: girls), seeing a section of the country he actually hasn’t seen yet (that he remembers) and a day off at a hotel to wait out an evacuation order – hearts were changed. 

He came back with some great stories of new friendships, teenage drama’s and maybe a few new followers. 


He also came back bearing gifts for us all!  Tea for his tea loving dental dad, a new pocket knife for his brother who can’t eat anything and chocolate “bear and deer poop” for his two youngest brothers. 


And what does he get his mother while on a mission trip?




No worries; This was paid for, stored, transported and delivered by an adult.  The son just thought of me when he saw it and shelled out the money – HA!


He cracks me up!


While he’s been catching up on his sleep and attempting to remove paint from his hair, I’ve been working on a costume for VBS.  It’s a robot – can’t you tell?




For the wrists and neckline.












I was given the skirt and shirt that were bought from Goodwill to make into a “Rosie” type costume from the Jetsons.  (I wish I would have taken before shots.)  It will be worn over one of these creepy things –







Can’t wait to get photos!


And topping that off; the youngest is nursing his manly wound from our celebrations on the fourth.  Our neighbors across the street have an awesome Independence Day show.  You know – nothing says Independence from tyranny like drinking heavily, eating too much and lighting things on fire!!   While we have a few big ones, they have ones that make your hair blow back!  This year they had a few rounds of beer pong to get lit-up before they lit things up. 

After several odd rounds going into trees, under cars and one even blowing up before it launched.  What ended it all was one of the mortars getting kicked over while the lighter attempted to stumble away before it had time to launch into the air.  It shot straight at our house, with all of us in the driveway.  Not only did it end up in our garage, under our cars, in our grass and on us, but it caught the youngest on slightly on fire!  After ripping his shirt off of him, this is his manly “war wound”.   (While I don’t think the situation itself was funny, we did at least walk away relatively unharmed and he’ll have a great story to tell!)

His oldest brother and I are teaching him the manly art of “embellishment”.  By the time dad comes home he’ll have been “Totally on fire!  Having saved the whole family from total destruction, he’ll have put the house fire out completely alone – and all he got were these measly… little… scars!”  He’s showing them off to everyone and I can’t get the shirt with the hole in it away from him.  HAHAHA!





He says he can hardly wait for next year!




Since that is over and done with I can move on to the other 98 things that have to be done before tomorrow.  I don’t want to ruin everyone’s day by ending the world after all!





*Naughty Grin* April 14, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Family,Hubby,Random thoughts — blankenmom @ 2:38 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s no secret – I have problems behaving.  I may be a little naughty even.

Could you imagine if we all behaved ourselves?  How boring!


At the end of last summer we found a watermelon that had gone bad.  Upon finding it the boys all asked if it could be tossed off the raised porch to see what it looked like.  Being the mischievous mom I am I of course let them – and recorded it!  They got such a kick out of something so small!  (You should have seen it – it was great!  *SPLAT* )

Joan of Arc

The saying “Well behaved women rarely make history” is one of my favorites.  And it’s incredibly true! 

Think about the *great* women in history.  How many of these women that you remembered did what they were “supposed” to do?  None – that’s why they made history!  They didn’t shoot anyone (unless necessary), they weren’t out doing things that could cause harm (I hope?).  Instead they were productive, doing what they were told women couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t do!  Usually by folks that wouldn’t do it themselves and should have. 

I wonder if these women knew they would make history?



Amelia Earhart

Trust me – I’m no feminist in today’s terms.  There’s just sometimes when a woman has to stand up and do the job – and we do it well.  Incredibly well!

"Rosie the Riveter"

Does this sound strange from a stay-at-home wife, the mother of multiple children, a homeschooler, a conservative Christian woman? *GASP*  “You’re supposed to be boring!”

Ok, so that may not put me down in history, but it does make me feel like a bit of a rebel!  (Especially when people try to argue with me – about any one of those subjects.) 

 How many women do you know that get more excited about tools than jewelry?  Who’s idea of a great date night would be fixing the car together or is the instigator of some of the biggest messes in the house?  Who started the stump fire last year???  And if I hadn’t gotten the great opportunity to be a mother, I would have been a kick-a$$ Marine!



Doing what the men folk couldn't



A good gauge has always been – if it get’s my mom to make “that” face, I know I’m headed in the right direction!  You should see her face when I dye my hair orange! 

 *I think my dentist man is sort of scared for when the boys move out and I have nothing holding me back?*


Ok, Eowyn is fictional – but she totally kicks backside! 

Life is too short to behave?  There are so many things to get into, out of and talk about!  (I won’t tell you about all of them – for my family’s sake.)

I don’t want to be known or remembered as well-behaved?  I want to be known for the crazy things I did and did for people.  I want to make history – even if it’s just by making people grin. 

Now excuse me – there’s a stump out front that’s missing some lighter fluid…..  heeheehee