Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Red Envelope Project..

At this moment I have 10 red envelopes sitting in my mailbox waiting to be picked up. They will go to Washington D.C., addressed to President Obama. 10 envelopes are symbolic for me because that is the number of times I have been pregnant. I have 8 children on earth and 2 in heaven. Read here if you want to know what this is all about.

Dreary day...

It is chilly and dreary but no snow yet. We had a hose break under the sink this morning and hot water spewed out all over the kitchen. Thank goodness Jesse was right there and able to get the water shut off speedily. I shudder to think what things would look like if we had been gone.

Finished working on the Presidential projects for Friday. Interesting to learn various facts about Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson. Each one was widowed in office as far as we can tell and are the only three to experience that. The commercials are complete and showcase...Lewis and Clark Expedition (Jefferson), National Parks (Roosevelt) and Mother's Day (Wilson).

I have been reading Waking the Dead again. I love that book. In it John stresses that our hearts are good (once we have been born again) and matter to God. It is definitely worth reading and re-reading if you haven't.

Monday, March 30, 2009

March hare.....

Here is March....*notice Ollie trying to lick him!!*

Also, if you want to know why March has a name tag click here.

Please pray...

Please pray for little Stellan....his story is here.

March is here...

Rather "March" the bunny. Katie started out calling him "Filli" after a character in a book, then he was "Snow". She finally decided on March. We looked many places before finding him at Earl May. He is a Dwarf rabbit and looks exactly like the ones magicians pull out of hats except smaller. The dog has enjoyed sniffing him and his cage and whining at him constantly. I was surprised at how calm the rabbit is. He eats and poops and twitches his little whiskers smartly. Pictures to come...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Yummy stew...

Jesse threw together a crock pot stew last night that turned out particularly good. I think it is because he sauteed/browned the stew meat with onions before putting it in the crock. Also added a bag of frozen (thawed) stew veggies, water, pepper and garlic. Yum!!! We went to some friends house last night and I got tons of good recipes from her. I can't wait to try some out.

We put together the rabbit cage in preparation for the new bunny. Katie is so excited! She wants to name it either Henry or Penelope. Carlina's stuffed bunny "Claudia" is in the cage.

So amazed

I was watching Anna sleep this morning and praising God. He is so good to me. Even though she is number 8, I do not take for granted the blessing I have been given. I still can't believe He has given me another child ...an adorable, dimpled, red-headed, strong willed blessing. Her life is so precious and adds so much to all of our lives. Each life holds incredible, eternal potential starting from the moment of conception. "Before I formed you in the womb..I knew you" Jeremiah 1:5. I am so sad about the steps our President is taking to destroy babies in the womb. The NRL organization has a wonderful blog here. It is worth taking a look at.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Awesome blog...

My dd (15) has a neat blog:

She is a terrific writer and artist and has also written stories for our church's girl's newsletter.

Yummy recipe

Easy Chicken Primavera

1lb boneless/skinless chicken breasts-cut into bite sized pieces
3 cups water
1 pkg (12 0z/5 cups) tricolor rotini pasta--uncooked
2 cups broccoli florets
1/2 lb or 8 oz Velveeta--cut up
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp black pepper
2 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Spray large skillet with Pam. Add chicken; cook and stir on medium high heat until chicken is no longer pink.

Stir in water. Bring to boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 min or until tender.

Add broccoli, Velveeta and seasonings. stir until well blended. Cook until Velveeta is completely melted, stirring frequently. Stir in tomatoes...enjoy!

This makes about 6 servings..I usually double it.


is my least favorite month of the year in Iowa. It is supposed to be Spring! However, snow is coming down with a fury right now and the wind is fierce...so....we wait. I do see flowers of some sort trying to break through and see the sunshine. There is something planted by the house, I am not sure what it is. Also peonies and rhubarb between our house and the neighbors. I am planning on starting a privet hedge to give us some privacy. Also want to plant some burning bush and other shrubs. And flowers...lots of them. Mostly zinnias and marigolds which are my favorites. Which reminds me of Song of Solomon 2:12 (Jesse and I had this printed on our wedding invitation)

The flowers appear on the earth; The time of the singing of birds is come, And the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land;

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

soles and such

I've been accused of wearing flimsy shoes lately. There was the Valentine's Day incident where I twisted my ankle...I was wearing a pair of slip on loafers with a good-sized heel. Yesterday, I was chasing the dog...running and wearing flip flops. They broke and nearly broke my foot in the process. Ouch! Hubby insists I wear tennys and socks now. Dear Hubby wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of flip flops...he has never owned a pair nor will he ever. His stock shoe is a sensible leather casual or tenny.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sick day..

Colton was sick all day yesterday with what appears to be the flu. Last night Thomas woke up with a very high temperature and has been sleeping all morning. I was supposed to go with my friend to SC today, but had to cancel (for the second time..due to illness). I can't wait until Spring is truly here and we can put all of the sickness behind!!!

Anna is growing up so fast...here are some pix from yesterday:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Windy and warm...

We are under a severe weather alert for very stormy weather. I see that some of the Midwest (upper) will be getting blizzards and some floods...what a crazy time of year. Jesse is off today and we went for lunch together in town, then to the junkyard to get a front grill for the Suburban. Trying to get some stuff done on the "beast" as money allows. I am also working on ordering homeschool supplies with tax return money. Using a couple of different companies.... abeka, bju press, Horizons, Sonlight etc. I miss the huge Homeschool convention in Orlando...that takes place in May.

Carlina went in to the doctor today for a check-up. Her medicine is really helping her and I am so thankful for it!! No anxious/depressive episodes since she has been on it. She has made some really nice friends at our church, too...we are blessed!

Friday, March 20, 2009

My day....

I overslept! It was 7:30 when I got up and woke up Alicia and Katie. Everyone was sluggish this morning. Julia couldn't sleep last night due to a liter of Vault that she drank before bed...big mistake! She slept on the couch last night as did Garrett. Jesse came home about 8 and I was leaving at that time to take the girls to school. It was a cool, overcast day...not very nice.

A friend has back problems, so I planned to bring her a meal tonight. I made 2 Texas Sheet cakes....my favorite! Later I made a huge portion of stir-fry to serve her family (9 people) and my family. I also brought her salad, fruit and ice cream to go with her cake.

I ordered new Bibles for the kids for Easter. Colton's is personalized with his name and I got covers for the girl's Bibles. Carlina's old Bible was done for. She wanted the NLT and I found a nice one. I hope they like them!

Just found out that Jesse's 4 Aunts will be visiting in May. Will be nice to see them again. They come from all over...Evelyn-Central Iowa, Jeanette-New Mexico, Mary-Washington State, Nancy-Florida. They are his dad's sisters.

Anna is growing up so fast. She wants to sit up and loves to look (okay, chew on) books. Her hair looked good today...it finally wants to lay down!


If you want to leave a comment on my blog you can now do it without a Goggle account!! So feel free to say hello:)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ice cream with caramel sauce...

yummy...just had some and it was tasty! Jesse went off to work tonight after his 2 days off. We attended the funeral today. It was packed with people. I didn't know her but the minister did a great job describing her. Sounds like she was very outgoing, full of life and loved the Lord. Jesse and I feel so sad for her husband and 3 kids.

We had fun outside today. It was beautiful and sunny. We couldn't get Thomas back inside.

I'm reading an excellent book about Jesus by Charles Swindoll. It is really riveting to me and I am learning....

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


One of 3 dental visits is over....I am so thankful that insurance is covering these fillings. I have 10 to be done! My old white fillings were failing and she is replacing them all....Insurance coverage ends in June so I am trying to get all the work done before then. I suppose eventually I will need root canals in all those teeth and crowns...but hopefully the fillings will last a while. One of my friends recently went overseas to have dental work done. She said it is about 1/3 of the cost of having it done in USA and the quality of the work is great, too.

I love this mom's blog. She writes recently about staying at home. Very interesting and thought provoking.

We got a tax refund and were able to take the girls shopping (Carlina and Julia) for an Easter/wedding dress. Their cousin Sarah is getting married on June 13th here in Iowa. Both of them picked out a very pretty dress from Penneys. Carlina got some shoes from Payless, Julia not yet. Mom is making Alicia and Katie dresses. The dresses were regularly $70 but down to $50. That was a splurge for clothing....most of their stuff comes from cousins or consignment stores.

My schedule has been so off lately. I need to get back on track!!!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Jesse came home yesterday and said that the wife of one of the men he works with died suddenly. She was only 47 with 3 children at home. We don't know the details yet, but it is so sad. The man got a call at work from his children that their mom wasn't moving. He rushed home and later called in to work and said that she had died. Life is so short and precious, we never know how long we have. Please pray for Dean and his children.

College visit...

Colton and Carlina were able to attend the campus preview here. Our pastor and his family took them, along with 5 other teens. They stayed 2 nights in the dorms and enjoyed many activites on campus, including seeing the stage play Annie get your Gun. Colton said that he would consider attending Calvary for 1 or 2 years. Jesse and I both think that would be great! Otherwise, Colton will probably live at home and take some classes at a local Technical college. He still has another year to figure it all out.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


Jesse is very upset at the way things are going at the nursing home. Since Grandpa has gone there, he has really deteriorated. Yesterday he tried to escape, then fell and then they sent him up to the hospital to be evaluated in the Psyche ward. He is so lost and confused. If only we had been able to keep him in his own home...but things were getting very touchy there and he was extremely depressed. I have read alot about Parkinson's dementia and it is awful. Similar in ways to Alzheimers but different, too. His quality of life is really terrible. In his moments of clarity he thinks that he is going to get better but every day he seems to get worse.

On a happier note, Alicia got her hair cut yesterday and it is so cute. She has so much hair. She got about 3 inches taken off. It is very wavy and bouncy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


It was a miserable day yesterday. Extremely windy with icy roads and surfaces, not pleasant to be out...especially when the blower on your vehicle doesn't work. We managed to go over to Grandma and Grandpa's for lunch. Mom made a delicious stir-fry and we played Phase 10.


Our family loves to take trips. We have gone many places over the years (always within the US). When we were farming we traveled alot in the winter when Jesse wasn't as busy. When self-employed we traveled whenever we felt like it. Now that Jesse is employed he has 8 days off each month...perfect for taking a trip. However, we are limited by finances now. We really miss our trips. With our tax refund we decided to plan a trip to one of our favorite spots...the Black Hills. We are going to do it very cheaply (hopefully gas doesn't go up too much). We will tent camp and visit some inexpensive spots...Custer State Park, Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave, the Badlands. We will bring most of our own food and cook over our George Foreman grill and camp fire. We are going to do this at the end of June. The weather in June is very mild in the Black Hills....low 70's during the day and 50's at night...beautiful!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Anna banana

She will be 5 months old on Friday! I just washed and combed her hair and it is starting to try to be flat and not stand straight up!!!

Who is our Master?

Matthew 11:28 “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. 29 “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. 30 “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

This is one of my very favorite Bible verses. What Master do we serve? We are kidding ourselves if we say that we don't serve any master...that we are our own master and answer to no one. We all serve something...whether it be money, false religion, humanism, food, t.v., etc. Jesus is the perfect Master.....while things may not be perfect in this physical world and we may go through trials because of our devotion to Him, we always have peace and security serving the One. Sometimes as followers of Jesus we look away and serve other things temporarily....that always brings grief and sin. But "Rest for our souls"....that is so wonderful and encouraging in this messed up world.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dinner with Grandpa...

He did pretty good tonight...we are still not sure what caused his descent into utter confusion but he seems to be having more moments of clarity. We ate Mexican, which is his favorite and had a nice time. After dinner, we took him back home. Jesse went to his room for a moment to get something for him...he asked me why Jesse had dropped off the kids and left and said he didn't understand what was happening. He looked so sad. Some of the worse trials in my marriage, well, actually my life, have been brought on by this man, but I don't wish this on him. To be confused and realize you are confused...that must be terrible. Not so bad if one is in la-la land and doesn't know it, but he struggles with it. He has changed so much since his divorce in 2002, that you really wouldn't recognize him now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Busy work day...

Jesse was up so early this morning working on projects. The new cabinets look great and give me lots of room for bathroom and home school supplies. At one point the house was trashed but it has been put back together for the most part. Julia did touch-up painting...she loves to paint (walls) and it freshened things up. Jesse's brother and family decided not to come down due to a storm that is coming at us, plus he had to work on Sunday, so that is a bummer. I am fighting this cold and also trying to get Anna to nurse. She is so difficult. I haven't had this much trouble since Colton. I was always trying to devise new ways to get him to nurse. With her I have to sit on the edge of the bed and bounce up and down. She absolutely does not want to nurse on the right side and I really have to be clever. I remember fighting Colton until he was 9 months old and then I gave up. He was sooo much happier on the bottle and so was I. I have nursed each for different lengths of time, but Colton's was the shortest unless I can't perservere with Anna. The longest I ever went was 2.5 yrs with Katie. Carlina was 18 mo., Julia 15 mo., Alicia 2 yr, Garrett 2 yr, Thomas 2 yr..etc. Usually I lose my milk supply when I get pg and the nursing slowly tapers off until no milk (about 3 mo. pg).

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Well, taxes are done...so that is a relief. Things have gotten easier since we are not farming (very complicated taxes ) or running our own business (also complicated). Although, there are still residue issues from the business like depreciation, etc. Next year should be really easy. We still have in our minds that we want to start another business...but look at the economy! Don't know when/if that will happen. Jesse wants to buy cheap tractors at auctions and fix them up to sell. His mom has the perfect place to do that, so maybe one day. We have been looking at buying some cabinets for storing homeschool stuff next year. I will be homeschooling 6 so will need lots of space. We went to Lowes. It is gorgeous here today, very sunny and warm! Must enjoy it before the next storm hits (Sat?). I have a cold, now. I thought I would miss it, but everyone had them and I guess I am just the last one to catch it, boohoo. Anna and Thomas seem a tad bit better today. Poor Jesse worked all night and then spent all day with me in SC doing taxes, etc. He is done for. We have a busy weekend coming up. Jesse's brother and family are coming down, wedding shower at church and having a family over after church on Sunday.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Ear infections..

Thomas has one in both ears and Anna has one in her right ear. Both very cranky and coughing lots. I hate to put them on antibiotics but it has been 3 days of misery and Garrett's antibiotics kicked his out right away. So we will see.....also, had dental appointments today. Katie was the only one with a cavity and just one...so I am thrilled about that. Still working on how Carlina's bridge is going to happen....she will be getting braces off soon and will need something to fill that gap. Julia is getting an ortho consult refer and maybe by the Fall will be able to get in and get braces. All in all...exhausting day! Mom and Terry came over to help; Mom went to the doctor with me, too, which was great. Finally to top it all off, I found out my sister lost her job. Her clinic has been losing business due to the poor economy and they had to let several people go. I feel terrible for her...they were trying to save money to move. I would appreciate prayers for her and her family.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sick babies...

Last night was awful...Anna and Thomas both have bad colds and coughs and were up most of the night. The older kids have colds, too. I remember March (in Iowa) always being a bad month for sickness and it's living up to its former reputation. March is my least favorite month of the year here....lots of snow and just enough warm weather to tease about spring, not to mention the illnesses. Plus the mud! Our drive in the back would be a great place for pigs to muddle around...we need rock.

Anna is now rolling around, so the bed isn't the greatest place for her anymore. She can roll front to back with ease and the other way most times. She will be 5 months on the 13th...that sure flew by!

I am looking forward to the garden my mom and her dh will be planting this Spring. We will be helping out and get to take part in the rewards, too. They both have very green thumbs and I'm sure it will be a great success. Hopefully our labor will be helpful as well. We don't have room here for a garden, but maybe a tomato patch. I am planning on planting lots of zinnias and marigolds...my 2 favorites.

Dentist appointments for the kids tomorrow and then an Awana skating party tomorrow night. I am taking a van full...a friend's 15 passenger van loaded with mine and hers (she has 7). Should be a blast...hopefully the kiddos are better tomorrow.

Monday, March 2, 2009


The weekend went by fast as it always does. Yesterday we went to church and then Grandma (Merriel) came over afterwards. She brought chicken and lots of other goodies from the local store in town and we feasted. Everyone is always starved after church. Garrett is doing tons better and I am so thankful. Julia stayed home due to a cold and several others have colds as well. Anna has been coughing, it sounds so pitiful. Jesse got a call from his dad last night...he is so confused and it is as if he lives in a dream. He is very paranoid and upset. We really don't have any answers as to why he has gone downhill so fast. He saw the Alzheimers doctor 2 weeks ago and Debi is hoping to get some test results from them. We are planning on seeing him sometime this week.

Colton and Carlina went with 4 others from the youth group bowling and out to eat. They had a good time. The young people in the church are so wonderful and it has been a blessing for the kids. Colton is going on a youth trip to Calvary Bible College next week with the Pastor. He is still trying to decide what he wants to do after he graduates. He loves to write and really wants to be a writer but don't know if he can make a living doing that.

Jesse has been doing a Bible study with the pastor...really focusing on Grace and still trying to break down barriers in the mind and be able to teach others. The Pastor really teaches right from the Bible.