THAT Family Tree Society-Issue 1

I’ve had some THAT family moments this week: Ants marching 2 by 2 carrying off crumbs and my toddler to their hill; another ER visit (make sure you warn your children when the floor is wet); and this sentence actually came from my lips in a parenting moment, “We do not head-butt others or sniff other people’s arm pits.”

And just so I don’t feel so alone in my moments, I’m going to feature a random member of the THAT Family Tree Society, every Sunday! Tracey from IPost is lucky number one.  Lucky is a relative term in this club. She submitted this post: Burp, Fart, Cough, Hiccup, Boogies and Vomit.

I seriously cannot relate, as we have never done the things in that title. Well, at least not in the last 2 minutes.

1. What is the name of your blog? Why?
The name of my blog is Nine Acres- 20 Miles North of Nowhere.  I chose this name because about 3 years ago my family (me, hubby, 2 kids) moved from the suburbs to a small rural farm style="font-size:medium;"> in Northern Maryland.  Lots of crazy stuff goes on here and while the blog was originally a place to keep my family and friends up-to-date on the goings on in our world, it quickly grew into something larger.  Now I blog because I am addicted to it and get grumpy if I don’t.

2. How long have you been blogging?

I have been blogging for about 3 years.  I switched url’s in January of 2008 for personal reasons, so I don’t have archives dating back 3 years.

3. How would you define THAT family?

THAT family can mean many different things.  For example, it can be the family that always has *drama* going on.  Or it could be the family that sticks out in the neighbor hood for one reason or another.  But no matter why you are THAT family, it is a family that sticks together.

4. When did you realize you were a member of THAT family?

The first time I truly realized we were THAT family is when I accidentally cracked my son’s head open on the corner of a door frame while playing a tag game.  He was 4 and my daughter was 2.  I was home alone when it happened and, of course, my kids were filthy and bare foot in clothes that were sadly not fitting very well.  It had been one of *those* days.  And there was no time to make ourselves presentable for society.  So, when we arrived at the hospital for stitches, we were the sight to see!  You know,  dried snot plastered on faces from all the tears, filthy clothes from  playing outside, knotty hair, barefoot, etc.  And that was just me, you should have seen the kids! ;0)

5. Where can we find your blogging home?
You can find my blog at  I know my url doesn’t match my blog name and it drives me crazy, but I am reluctant to change it for fear no one will find me!

Thanks for pulling all of THOSE families together!

If you’d like to join the THAT Family Tree Society, grab the button on the sidebar. If you’d like to have your blog featured, you can read all about it here.

class="Apple-style-span" style="font-size:medium;">As you’re reading this, our family is leaving for Family Camp.  We’re driving this.  Honk if you see us.

At least we warned them THAT family was coming!

DIYP #8- Recycled Crayons

I have an easy DIYP for this weekend!  It’s fun and kid-friendly. And it’s a great lesson in recycling.

My kids love crafts, especially my oldest daughter.  About 42.9 times a week (averages higher in the summer) she wants to get crafty.  It’s exhausting and she doesn’t believe that folding clothes is considered an art form in some remote places.

The other day, the kids were coloring and drawing.  It began to lose it’s appeal and the craft begging began.  I took one look at their pathetic collection of old, broken crayons and before I had a chance to call myself a bad mom, I said:

1. Tear the paper off of broken crayons. 

2. Place broken crayons into paper liners of muffin tin.  (We did all different colors:  red, white, blue, pastels, Christmas colors.)

3. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and bake crayons for 10 minutes. (My kids loved watching these melt in the oven).

4. Let them cool and peel off paper.

5. Impress your kids. Just like that!

My toddler thought they looked good enough to eat!

In the winter edition of Family Fun Magazine, I saw this same idea. But they put the crayons in heart-shaped muffin tins and attached them to Valentine’s. My kids would love to share these with their friends.

My Life is a Theme Night

So next week is Family Camp.

I have low expectations, for several reasons: 1. We can only go up from there;  2. We will be spending a considerable amount of time out-of-doors with the nearest major medical center miles away; and 3. We are THAT family.
Enough said about that.
Even with low expectations, we are excited about getting away and making memories.  
Every night there is a theme.  Families are to dress accordingly.  Fun, right? 
Well.  After scouring Party City, I decided we needed to do more in-depth shopping for our 60’s outfits and Fiesta wear.  
In the parking lot of the Goodwill store, I explained to my kids that we were looking for Mexican dresses (you know the touristy kind with the embroidered flowers?) and Mexican dress shirts (the kind waiters wear at my favorite restaurant).
Now, let me start by saying, I love second-hand stores.  I have found some great treasures in my day and while in Bible college, most of my clothes came from Salvation Army.  It’s in my blood and I can sniff out a great find.
My kids?  Oh, they did plenty of sniffing.  As soon as we walked in the store they gasped and covered their noses, bemoaning the smell of used items.  
I gave them the evil eye.  Like this?
Oh, did I scare you?  Good.  I do apologize.
And then my daughter said loudly, “Where are the Mexican clothes?”
Every eye was on us, including several Hispanic shoppers.
For Pete’s sake.
I whispered, “It’s a Fiesta!  We’re looking for Fiesta wear!”
We made our way around the store and my son exclaimed loudly and hurried us to the pre-worn lingerie and underwear department, saying, “I found outfits for ‘sexy night!'”
Uh, that would be sixties night.
At Family Camp. 
Because I’m pretty sure they aren’t bringing sexy back this year.
About that time, I realized our toddler was hiding behind a clothes rack and I stepped over a child’s nasty diaper laying in the middle of the aisle.
Yuck. Exactly what kind of mother . . .  uh, hang on.

Yeah. I checked under my toddler’s sun dress and stopped judging that poor mother immediately.  Because she looked strangely like me.
We scooped up the diaper and the baby, paid for our maracas and flower-print shirts and left a bewildered audience at The Goodwill Store.
Like we really need a theme.
The Talent Show
Yes, there is a talent show at Family Camp.  We have wracked our brain and decided we don’t have a family talent. (Because, no dear daughter and son, people do not want to hear us make funny noises with our hand cupped under our arms).  But we must participate, according to my kids. Or family camp won’t be any fun. No. Fun. At all.
Food for the Soul:
Proverbs 29:23, “A man’s pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor.”

Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You-Before the ‘Fro

Hi!  Welcome to Sincerely ‘Fro Me to You.  You can read about this madness here, if you want to link up.

I had darling hair at one time.
Before the perms. And the ‘fro.
It was soft and wavy.  I wore it in pig tails, which curled in wisps around my neck.
And then one day, I turned 8, my oldest daughter’s age.
I wanted a Dorothy Hamill haircut.  Because she was the best ice skater.
I went ice skating once on a school field trip and left with stitches.
At least I could look like Dorothy.
My mom and I returned from the salon and I felt very pretty.  Back then, short hair was rare.  
I am 8 1/2 in this school picture.  I’ve added some pink hair barrettes.
Because I’m fancy like that.
And that bit of hair sticking up?  Totally planned.
Actually, I spent years licking my finger and trying to make it lay down on the photograph.
That did not work for me, in case you’re wondering.
I re-discovered this photo the other day and couldn’t believe how much my 8 year old daughter looks like me. It’s uncanny.
I also wondered what in the world my mother was thinking with that pink outfit in the picture.  
The other night, I pulled out the photo and blamed asked her.  
I don’t remember her answer, because honestly?  There is no excuse.
I was a Dorothy Hamill look-alike (except for the outfit) for about a year before the home perm abuse began.
Fire away.

A Place to Stick It

I love organizing paraphernalia. (I also like that word).

I’m a sucker for a pretty box or an odd-shaped basket.
Just stick me in the container aisle with a glass of sweet tea and I’ll be happy for life.
Even though I put my OCD to good use and live in a fairly clean, organized home, I still battle clutter.  And toys. Everywhere.  
And so, I’ve attacked these areas with a plethora of containers!  
Isn’t it amazing how three matching boxes (Ikea $2.50 for 2) in a row look so swell?  Inside those boxes?  Hundreds of unorganized photos dating all the way back to my ‘fro.
Inside this modern secretary desk (from Ikea)? None ‘o you beeswax.  It’s a mess.
Here’s three more matching baskets that hold all the junk fine linens that won’t fit into my dining room hutch. Looks like it’s time to clean those out.  I have no idea what’s in them.
I love this little basket with a handle.  I don’t have enough kitchen drawers and every time my kids dig in the silverware drawer for a pencil or glue, my head spins around in circles and I would foam in the mouth.
It wasn’t pretty.  At all.
And so, I hung the basket over my vintage shoe drying rack, now being used as a kitchen catch-all!
And all the books and papers and stuff that collect on my kitchen counter?
I stick them in this red wire basket.  Because what exactly is better than a basket that is red? Not much, my friends.
(Try not to judge me by the title of that book, Making Your Children Mind without Losing Yours. It’s summer and I’d like to keep my mind. Enough said).
This little gem was found at Canton, the world’s largest flea market and heaven on earth for people like me.  It’s a reproduction and not the finest of furnishings, but each box comes out 
and is the perfect toy holder, dontchathink?  It makes me very happy.
I love this giant garage sale basket.  It stored my hubby’s dress shirts that needed to go to the cleaners until I confiscated it for more toys.
And this?  Oh, my!  My hubby rolled his eyes at this idea (yes, he did)! I’ve turned this antique laundry basket into a container to hold an extra quilt next toour bed.  I also toss all the fancy throw pillows from my bed into at night, so Alice the Cat, won’t feel compelled to lay on them. I think I would grab this basket if my house caught on fire and roll it through the house throwing things in it.  
That’s called an Emergency Plan.  You’re welcome.
Even tiny baskets can help you gather similar items.  My remote control basket comes in handy.
I’m throwing this one in for just for fun.  Because I’m not so obsessive that I have to organize my bread, but don’t you just love this little red box?  I found it at TJMaxx for $5.99 and thought it would make the perfect bread box.
I like to think of this as the mother of all basket-organizing.  She is great and mighty:  The Ikea book shelf.  I went back to Ikea every month for about a year to buy baskets for this thing.  This piece is quite an investment.  But since our playroom doubles as our TV room, toys fit nicely in all those baskets.
So, baskets and boxes are my tip for great organization.