Friday, January 30, 2009

Jackpot!

One of the resale stores in my town was having a "bag" sale today....$5 for everything you can get in bag (standard plastic grocery bag). I got 2 bags of stuff (total of over $50 reg.resale priced--I added up all the tags)....including 2pr of jeans for Julia, shoes and sweater for Carlina, shoes for Anna, 2 pr of shoes for Thomas and 2 shirts for him, 4 outfits for Anna and scarf and socks for Julia. It was so much fun!!!!

Planning and menu...

Julia, Thomas, Anna and I went last night and picked Jesse up at work. We then met Debi at Texas Roadhouse to try out a weeknight special. That place was packed. Jesse and I shared a steak and each had a salad....yummy! Then we hit Walmart for $200 plus bucks! Ouch! I spend his entire paycheck in one day most time, lol! I got badly needed household stuff and stuff for 2 parties this weekend and also having Grandpa over for dinner on Friday. We are having friends over Saturday night and going to Debi's for a Super Bowl party on Sunday. Here is my menu for the week starting Feb !:

Mon-Chili and cornbread

Tues-cheesy pasta and peas

Wed-chicken pot pie

Thu-hamburgers and fries

Fri-Chunky chicken soup and rolls

Sat-Cashew beef stirfry

Sun-broccoli cheese soup and rolls

Simplicity is my hallmark!!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Recipes...

I have been scanning the net for recipes. I am so tired of most things that I make and am looking for new ideas. I am also trying to be more frugal and look for coupons. Fixing and cleaning up after meals is a huge part of my life and sometimes I am really discouraged about it. I love to bake but am trying to get more excited about the other parts of being in the kitchen.

Homeschooling...

Just finished R.C. Sproul jr.'s book "When You Rise Up...a Covenantal Approach to Homeshooling". Really made me think and really anxious to bring Alicia, Katie and Garrett back home. I am sad that I sent them back to school for 2 years, felt like it was a "cop-out" on my part, but what is done is done. Now I am trying to look to the future and I am excited about it. R.C. says the goal of education is to "know God". He stresses learning as a "conversation between parent and child". He says our goal is not to produce great athletes, learned scholars (not that this is bad) but Godly people. I am not judging you if you don't homeschool. This is about me and what is lying on my conscience.

Click here
to read a blog about bringing our kids back home.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Secretive man...


Mommy "Garrett, what did you do in school today?"....Garrett "I don't remember". Mommy "Why can't you ever remember?" Garrett "If you want to know you'll just have to peek in the window and see what I'm doing".

Finished Lewis and Clark..

The Ken Burns Documentary is really excellent...that is the 3rd time I've watched it. So sad about the end of Lewis's life, though. Of course, it is all by God's grace and His hand that they made the journey and back and only lost one man. That is never mentioned by secularists but very evident.

For our next unit study project we are going to study the American Presidents, per Julia's wishes. I want to get the John Adam's documentary and watch that; heard it is really great.

I am trying to make it to the next paycheck, food wise...we are really getting creative with what is in our cupboards. I am trying to shop more frugally and need to avoid the quick trips to the little market in town. It is so handy and sometimes I find myself there every day!!

Cuty patootie


Peace..

I had a great drive the other night. I was taking the kids to a Bible study out in the country (about 15 miles away). The roads were good; I was thankful about that. After I dropped Colton and Carlina off, I just had Anna. She was sleeping, so all was quiet. I did not see a single car coming or going...just beautiful snowy hills and deer grazing on the corn fields. The night was so clear and the stars were sparkling. I really enjoy those times to myself, they are few and far between. When I got back home all was chaos:)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

It works...

Thanks to a loan from a very generous family member we got the corn burner going!!! Just in time, too! I woke up this morning to a very cold house. Our gas furnace had gone out sometime in the night...the house was 58 degrees and dropping (outside it was -2). Jesse came home from his night shift and checked on the furnace. He can't really see what is wrong with it but no hurry now. We went up to the fireplace store and purchased the part and now we have a roaring fire in the corn burner. God is in all the little details and He worked things out perfectly for us.

Jesse is very tired from working all night and being up most of the day working on getting our house heated. He works again tonight and then has 2 days off. The night shift really takes its toll.

Here is a wonderful quote on prayer..."Take God for your spouse and friend and walk with him continually, and you will not sin and will learn to love and the things you must do will work out prosperously for you." St. John of The Cross

I love to spend the day with God...to joyfully commune with Him and discuss every aspect of my life with Him. To wake up knowing He is there and will walk with me every moment. It is easy for me to fall off the road He has set for me. I want to read His word and talk to Him and stay on the narrow path that He leads me down. I often fall short of this vision but that is my goal each day.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Cat saloon....

video

Ups and downs...


Yesterday we noticed that a crucial piece of the corn burner was broken and the new part will cost about $300. Big bummer. Of course, the corn burner cost $3500 new and we got it for free, plus Jesse just went and got a load of old seed corn to burn in it, also free, minus the cost of fuel to get it. We just need to save up for the part. It is cold again, so sure would have been nice to have it going.

Anna has been fussy lately and has had a harder time nursing. I wonder if she has a touch of the stuff that was going around here. She is so precious, I love to watch her sleep. Her cheeks are getting chubby but she is still petite. Her little voice is so feminine, squeaky and high pitched.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sunny and gorgeous!

Amazing how much difference the sun makes in everyone's moods and attitudes! When the sun is shining everyone is so much happier. It is supposed to be 40 degrees today which is almost balmy after the cold spells we have been having...of course, tomorrow it gets cold again. I am very thankful for today, though.

Just found out mom is going to be helping her mom (91 years old) move from PA to Arizona to live with her other daughter. Grandma has been in a rehab center recently and is not eating very well. It will be good for her to live with family. She will probably not be able to live on her own again.

We just finished our study of Lewis and Clark. We are continuing to watch the documentary by Ken Burns and hope to go to the interpretive center soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Busy day....

We are preparing to put a corn burner in our entry room. Should be nice, cheap heat! We are paying through the nose to heat this place so far, so I hope that helps. Some friends found "out of date" seed corn for free, so that is wonderful!

Garrett has been having problems sleeping at night lately. He usually starts out falling asleep on the couch and they goes up and sleeps in Julia's room. He doesn't want to sleep in his room by himself. Eventually I hope Garrett and Thomas will share the room. Thomas still sleeps with us, so that will definitely be eventually.

Anna rolled over on the bed last night. I will really have to watch her and not leave her unattended. She is so strong, trying to lift her self up when lying down.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Faith in God...

I love this blog. This mom has 16 kids and has tremendous faith and confidence in God with lots of humor and caring mixed in. Her writings are so fun to read and I am always inspired. I hope she doesn't mind me talking about her here:) She said that her and her husband always trusted God for children and also, for providing for them. I wish I could say the same. When we first got married we tried to control our own destiny family wise and later did the same after I had a major bout of clinical depression. Luckily God overrode what we were trying to do! Otherwise I wouldn't have Katie. The Bible says Children are a blessing.... "Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward" (Psalm 127:3). It doesn't say children are a blessing unless you're too old, not in good shape, or don't have enough money....also see this blog for lots of good stuff on this topic!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day out...




We enjoyed a fun day out on Thurs. Last day of Jesse's vacation. Luckily it is warming up...just unbearable to be out in the elements at -30 degree windchill. He has to walk on top of train cars, too, which is exceeding scary when the wind is howling. I have 2 sick boys right now. Garrett went to the doctor and is on antibiotics. He missed school last week and his winter program. I am really excited to think about having them all home next year for school and am having fun planning for supplies. Here are some pics from Applebees on Thurs.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I see stars...

at least I did last night. I took Ollie for a potty break about 10pm...it was so cold and blowing. The neighbors down the street were spinning their cars and driving all around crazy, so I was hurrying off the street. I slipped on an icy patch and landed flat on my back hitting my head on the road. Somehow I got back in the house with the dog but blacked out for about 30 min or so. When I finally started coming to details came back to me about what happened. Today I am extremely sore...like I have the flu...esp my neck, top of my head and tailbone. Jesse was so mad at me...said walking the dog wasn't worth risking my life for. I was wearing Julia's slip on shoes which have no traction, so learned a lesson from that. I am hoping the fall will knock some sense into me, lol!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Snow day, again!!

We are under a blizzard watch due to high winds coming this afternoon. The kids were thrilled to not have to go to school this morning. We had such a busy weekend! Went to see relatives (2.5 hrs away) on Saturday. We had a great time playing with their golden retriever, Blaze and also playing Wii bowling and dance dance revolution. That is good exercise!! Sunday was church and then Anna's baby shower after, then went to mom's for dinner, then Bible study that evening!! Too much going on! We are going to try to get Mom's corn burner moved and installed at our house. Hopefully that will help with our heating costs...we are paying too much! Also trying to get a trailer full of free corn to burn in the burner! Jesse is having issues with his Dad...he seems to be deteriorating and we are hoping he makes up his mind to go back to the nursing home. Maybe home health care would still be an option but he doesn't seem to want that very badly. We are trying to help him out the best we can as is Debi, Jesse's sister, but there is only so much we all can do.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Garrett's dental appt...

I was nervous about Garrett's appt due to the problems we had the last time. He ended up having all his work done under sedation in the hospital because of his fear this past May. He did great this time! Julia and I could hear his comments from the waiting room....he asked about everything...the tech had to explain everything to him in great detail and then he would accept it. They didn't take pix yet but said his teeth looked good. He would say "what's that?" "how does it work?" "what does that taste like?" etc. etc. He was proud of himself when he was done and loved his toothbrush, toothpaste and paper airplane he got as a prize. He said (loudly with great glee) "Mommy, I got a power rangers toothbrush!!! What's a power ranger??!"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Creative outlets...

I admire crafty people...those who scrapbook, quilt, sew, make cool things from scraps of fabric or wood, etc. I am not one of those people. I would love to be able to create something neat but haven't found my niche. When I first got married, mom gave me a sewing machine. I tried, but didn't succeed. I have tried to crochet. I have tried latch hook. I love to read Mary Engelbreit's magazine about all those creative, crafty people. I really admire my SIL's (all of them) and MIL's talent with decorating their homes, they are all very artistic....DH has more of that knack than I do. DD also got that gene and is obsessed with paint...she imagines all the pretty colors each room could be. My mom is talented in all those areas and my sister is a wonderful decorator and gourmet chef (I miss her cooking, we ate well when she was here!). I do love to plant flowers but have no special gift, just plant, water, and pray. Maybe I was blessed with an extra-special gift of changing diapers super-fast! Hey, people have commented on my speedy changes before! Sadly, that is not much of a creative outlet.....

Monday, January 5, 2009

Katie funny

Katie told us that her teacher asked everyone what they got for Christmas...she said most said an x-box, wii, cell phone or digital camera....I was like WHAT? this is 2nd grade!! I asked Katie what she said and she told us "colored pencils". We all had a hearty laugh at that, the teacher probably thought Katie was so deprived, lol! She actually did get what she asked for...an EZ Bake Oven, plus drawing supplies, littlest pet shop set, playdoh...

Cabbage patch cuties...

My basement


It is dank, yucky...with spiders and those things in the picture.....yes, I have seen one of those...but I love it down there. It is warm and quiet with lots of boxes of stuff stored away...I don't mind the bugs (I once wanted to be an entomologist). I like the peace, lol. My Grandpa also had a dark basement that he spent alot of time in. He puttered around and worked on small projects, read and listened to the radio. He was a loner. I don't want to be a loner, but I love the few quiet minutes I spend down there...just me and my pet cave cricket.

Keeping on top of the mess..

The last time I remember feeling like I was "on top of the mess"...meaning that I could sort of control the chaos was before I had Katie in 2001, lol. Alicia was 3.5, no longer a baby/toddler and I could do alot....plus, that was the biggest space between babies that I have had. I am trying to get rid of stuff, but it is a constant battle with 10 people in a small house. It helps if people pick up their own stuff....but how often does that happen???!!! There is stuff everywhere...on a gross note...maybe I should employ the dog to help me get rid of things...he just barfed up the mitten he ate on Christmas Day. If he would eat the stuff and barf it up outside, or in the trash....okay, that is yucky.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Cold ol' house...

Jesse and I spent our first married winter in a wonderful money-pit of a farm house. It was, however, freezing! There were 4 bedrooms upstairs and 2 of them had snow coming in the windows. Our bedroom wasn't much better. We had a water bed that kept us warm at night and plastic covering our windows.

Downstairs was our only source of heat....a propane burner that we kept on low. We were afraid to turn it up because we didn't have much money. Jesse said he wouldn't have blamed me if I had left to go back to Texas that winter. Sometimes I holed myself up in the bathroom with a book and the tiny electric heater turned on high. That was heaven!

Jesse worked for his Uncle making tractor parts through the winter, but I didn't have a job. There was no internet back then but I kept busy learning to take care of the house, cook and I had 2 new kittens, Cookie & Allie. I missed my parents and sister...being married was the first time I had been away from home except for a 1.5 year stay on a local college campus near my parents. I was learning to play hymns for church, so I practiced the piano. We enjoyed our church family and Jesse's mom and dad also lived nearby. All that was 18 years ago!!!!

Honor your parents..

Following up on that last post, I want to write how impressed I continue to be with my husband for honoring his father. I'll just say one thing about his dad...he's a hard man to honor...but Jesse has striven to help his dad, think about him, etc. This has been harder for me to do. God wants us to honor those who are not necessarily honorable in our eyes...he specifically commands this about our parents. I pray that Jesse is blessed by his children just as his dad is blessed by Jesse.

Winter time is here....

Definitely...it is 1 degree today with -18 wind chill....brrrr. I decided not to take anyone out to church today. I have to put my foot down at that temp. Jesse made eggs, hash, fried potatoes for breakfast. It is so wonderful when he is home...he loves to cook and does all the cooking!!

Yesterday we took Grandpa to town. He is having a hard time but we do the best we can to help him. I have to say I understand about 5% of what he says, sad. I don't know how long he will be able to live on his own. He will be 71 next week but looks about 90.

I am having fun on Facebook...I just joined. Neat to see old friends.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Years Day 2009

2009...this is the year that I turn 40!!! Yikes!!!! Oh, well....with age comes wisdom and all those other good things. Jesse worked today and hopefully things will be better than last night when he came home...we had a bad time last night-- Colton and I went out to put the battery charger on the little car (I was supposed to be teaching him how to do it)...Colton got in to pop the hood and locked the doors, got out and slammed the door...oops, now we are locked out. I tried to poke a wire hanger in the window today but didn't get anywhere. I do not want to pay $100+ for a locksmith!!

Katie played with her cousin all day; she spent the night last night and will again tonight. It was a pretty lazy day...we watched HGTV...Julia's favorite...but she longs for those beautiful houses and rooms altogether too much. Colton made tuna and noodles for dinner. Also watched some AFV, which is the other kids favorites. I am once again trying to read through the Bible in a year...so I read January 1st passages.

I took Ollie for 2 walks....we are still going to try to give him away, but I don't know if it will be successful. I love dear Ollie, but he is a pain and would be better served on a farm. If he doesn't find a home, will have to work on training. Also, gave Anna a bath. She looks so funny with her hair wet and flat...has such a round face that you don't notice with her straight up locks.

Well...I wonder what 2009 will bring???!!!