Thursday, May 6, 2010

Come over to my new blog:)

Come join me over here. If you haven't checked out my new place and are wondering what is up...

Everything is great! It is spring here and our favorite park is now open! We went hiking yesterday in the gorgeous Loess Hills and had a picnic. It was a bit windy but the sun was shining and all was right with the world. We are winding down school and will be finished by the end of May. Took Colton to register for college classes last night.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A new address....

Here is my brand new Blog:

A New Creation

Please join me over there!!!!

New blog

I cannot get this one to work so I am moving...well update with new blog address soon!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


My blog has been acting up so I haven't been able to post...I think it is infected. We shall far so good.

I felt *today* the way that I felt when I bring home a new baby...tired, unable to complete a task with monumental tasks in front of me but happy to be home. Thomas and Anna both have the flu? and are cranky and miserable so I have been holding them. Julia is sick, as well, and I miss my good helper. We did manage to unload (most ) of the camper and get some laundry done. The house is a miserable disaster but I hope a few days will alleviate that. We utilized the local laundry mat to get mega loads of laundry done, but I still have quite a few to go. We had a nice trip although peppered with some sickness. I guess it was time, we really had not been sick all winter (up until Feb.). I enjoyed soaking up the Florida sunshine and seeing the gorgeous green grass, trees, shrubs and flowers. It was fun to see old friends, also. I am so thankful that God brought us home safe and sound. So many risky driving situations when you travel 1500 miles. We did encounter quite a few wrecks and one looked exceptionally awful. We returned to melting snow...Spring may possibly come in a few months here in the frozen North...maybe.

We're Home!!!!

More later.......

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Travel crazy

Do your kids go nutso before a trip or some other wonderful thing that they are anticipating? Mine do and it is making me wish we had just sprung the whole thing on them. However, anticipation is half (well, maybe one fourth) of the fun and we (dh and I) just couldn't keep it to ourselves. So now I am dealing with cranky kids shouting that they want new underwear...because someone else got new underwear, of course and not being able to focus on their multiplication facts and wanting to help pack by throwing 6 stuffed animals, an old sock, a dog toy and a piece of apple into the suitcase.... I will survive and we will soon be on the road singing fun road ballads and playing I spy the yellow car and stuffing ourselves with french fries (candid admission).


We had a few winners last night...Alicia's car (log ride) won first place for speed and second place for design in the TnT category and Thomas's car (alligator) won second place for design in the cubbys category. It was a fun night. Thomas did great putting his car on the track and everyone had a great time. On a sad note, after Alicia's triumphant evening she awoke in the night throwing up and with a fever. So she is resting today and hopefully will recover before we leave on Sat.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Awana cars..

Here are the finished products...tons of work went into these cute creations. Jesse did all the shaping and the kids did most of the painting and decorating. I won't say how much it all cost, but it does add up to make these little masterpieces. The artists are 1. Katie (pig) 2. Thomas (alligator) 3. Garrett (monorail-minivan) 4. Alicia (Splash Mountain flume car) 5. Colton (bronze race car) 6. Julia (fancy jeweled car) 7. Carlina (owl)

We are leaving..

on Saturday. Taking the camper and heading down south for some sun and fun and won't be back until March 8th. I will be back then with an (hopefully) awesome update about all of our great adventures. Until then, we would appreciate your prayers for safe travels and good health for us all.

Help bring Laura and Bethany home!

One Thing

The Parker family is in the process of adopting two gorgeous little girls and needs our help to bring them home.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Anna is better..

thank you God! We were so worried about her. I can't imagine having a chronically ill child, I don't know how parents do it.

We have a beautiful sunny day. We have definitely not experienced a winter thaw yet and it doesn't look like it will happen. It is starting to smell a little bit like spring. I can't explain it...lots of snow and ice on the ground but the air smells different. We are almost through Feb and one more month before we can really hope for a weather change. Exciting!!

We are getting ready for our trip to Florida. Cleaning the camper and starting to pack. It will be such a blessing to get a taste of warmth and see green!

Saturday, February 20, 2010


from the ER. We took Anna up this morning. She was looking so pale and acting very lethargic. They did 2 hours of iv fluids and a finger poke which showed that she has a virus. The fluid put a little color in her cheeks and she hasn't thrown up since this morning. Prayers for her would be greatly appreciated!!

Friday, February 19, 2010


I am thankful for the weekend!

We did the first half of our IBS tests today. I was with the 2nd graders (2 of them) and had fun reading test questions and timing the tests. We will finish up next Friday. The tests are required by the school district due to the Home School Assistance Program in which I am enrolled. We used our church's basement and broke up into 6 groups. Carlina was the only highschooler since Colton is not required to test this year and the other girl was sick.

Anna has been sick all day...Grandpa and Grandma came over in the morning and watched the 3 younger kiddos while I helped with testing (required for me to be there). She was fussy for them and I hated to leave. She has had a tummy flu and cannot keep much down. It is so sad to see her quiet and lethargic as she is normally such a wild child.

We have cousin A spending the night. A is good friends with Alicia..they have lots of fun together. I never grew up with cousins in close proximity so it is fun to have my kids be near (some of) theirs. I am sad that my sister's kids live so far away!

I hope to rest tomorrow. Next week we will be busy getting ready to go on a trip to Florida. I am so psyched about leaving winter least for a few days...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

America's debt and the sovereignty of Greece

Read this commentary and shake in your boots:

Bible Prophecy Today

Pine Car Derby..

It's that time of year again. Jesse takes 7 blocks of wood and magically transforms them into cute little racing cars for our AWANA Pine Car Derby. He is working diligently right now. Garrett is sitting right next to Daddy with his safety glasses and little ear plugs taking it all in. Garrett has requested a minivan while Thomas wants Lightning McQueen. Katie wants a doggy mobile. It will be interesting to see how they all turn out.

I just found out that a girl I went to High School with died this week from complications after a surgery. It is so shocking to hear about someone so young (39) dying. She left behind a husband and 2 children. Please pray for the Barton family, that they are comforted in their grief.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Do you make weekly menus? Monthly menus? Where do you get your recipes?

It is a big deal to me and sometimes a chore, but worth it to be organized. Not only for my sanity but for my pocketbook as well. I type up a menu at the beginning of each week (or end...on Sunday eve) and post it, so the kids can see it and not have to ask me what we are having. I list breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner & snack. I then also type up a grocery list for the week. I try to use my local grocery store flyer if I am going to shop there. Otherwise, I get most of my stuff at Walmart (where I go every couple of weeks). Walmart is an 85 mile round trip for me, so I need to be prepared when I go. To simplify things I have certain days of the week where we have the same thing. We have "taco Tuesdays" and "Spaghetti Wednesdays". We usually have popcorn and soda for a treat on Friday nights. We do alot of baking, so I like to stock up on baking supplies. Yesterday we made homemade cinnamon rolls for a snack and they were delightful. I have found planning ahead to really save me lots of headaches. When I don't get it done it is very stressful!

Monday, February 15, 2010

2 more sickies...

Garrett got sick yesterday afternoon and Anna woke up sick this morning. Jesse had a hard time getting home last night...the roads were bad, lots of wind mixed with the blowing snow. He is home today and working with Katie, doing multiplication flash cards. We are reading the Bible through, together and read Genesis 27-29 today. It is good practice to read aloud. We have Iowa Basic Skills tests on Friday. This is the second year we have had to do achievement tests. In Florida, it was not required. We met with a Homeschool evaluator, instead. The evaluator was a homeschool mom and she would interview the kids (informally) and look at their portfolio of work...very laid back. Here in Iowa we are in a Homeschool Assistance Program. We have a supervising teacher (homeschool mom in our church), do the annual testing and have to fill out extensive paperwork with the school district each year. We do receive some curriculum assistance, but it has to be from non-Christian publishers. I have gotten Wordly Wise, Teaching Textbooks, Writing Strands, Handwriting without Tears, Rosetta Stone to name a few, from the school.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Free shipping...

I will put in a plug for one of my favorite companies...

Lands End has free shipping (no minimum order!!) until Feb 16th. Use promotion code COLORFUL and pin 9516.

I love their clothes. They are so durable. I have passed dresses down through 4 girls (without them even appearing worn) and I absolutely love their swimsuits for the girls.


Today, I am home. Staring out the window at the fluffy flakes coming down..the wind whipping them into a frenzy. Jesse is working today, as is Colton, and I didn't have a car to drive to church. Colton had to take mine as his is out of sorts. Julia and Alicia decided to replicate a page out of Little House on the Prairie by walking to church in the blizzard. Well, it isn't exactly a blizzard but not great walking conditions. We canceled our Valentine's Day lunch with Gram and Gramps...not great driving conditions, either. So I am home with the kids and one extra, cousin J (age 7) who spent the night. The roast is starting to smell succulent and the kids are getting hungry.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

If you haven't

checked out my daughter's blog is the link:

The Next Chapter

She is an aspiring author and artist and has tons of fun musings.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Why I love WDW

DH and I have loved that wonderful Florida kingdom ever since we first visited together in 1992. I had been a couple of times before...once as a small child and later in 1984 with my parents and sister. We took the kids (3 at the time ) in early 1997 and again (now 4) in 1998. Jesse and I went by ourselves in November 1999. We spent 2 weeks there in the summer of 2000 (we found out we were just expecting #5). Can you tell we love the place? When we moved to Orlando in 2004 we bought annual passes the first year. It was so fun to uncover the magic slowly. We didn't have to see it all in one day, because we could come back the next if we wanted to. We lived about 35 minutes from DW...a pleasant drive on the expressway.

I am a meandering person. I love to walk slowly and enjoy the gorgeous flowers and plants, admire the buildings and sit and eat the good food. I don't have to ride all the rides, although I enjoy that, as well.

Well, more later on the topic...I must hit the hay!

Ice Age...

You may think that wherever you live is deeply entrenched in an ice age...but what about the one that happened right after the flood? Here is an interesting article from Answers in Genesis:

Did the Flood Trigger the Ice Age?

If uniformitarian scientists have severe difficulties accounting for ice ages, how would creationists explain an ice age or multiple ice ages? Let’s start with the recent ice age.

When attempting to account for ice ages, the uniformitarian scientists do not consider one key element—the Genesis Flood. What if there truly were a worldwide Flood? How would it have affected the climate? A worldwide Flood would have caused major changes in the earth’s crust, as well as earth movements and tremendous volcanism. It would have also greatly disturbed the climate.

A shroud of volcanic dust and aerosols (very small particles) would have been trapped in the stratosphere for several years following the Flood. These volcanic effluents would have then reflected some of the sunlight back to space and caused cooler summers, mainly over large landmasses of the mid and high latitudes. Volcanoes would have also been active during the Ice Age and gradually declined as the earth settled down. Abundant evidence shows substantial Ice Age volcanism, which would have replenished the dust and aerosols in the stratosphere.7 The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets also show abundant volcanic particles and acids in the Ice Age portion of the ice cores.8

An ice age also requires huge amounts of precipitation. The Genesis account records the “fountains of the great deep” bursting forth during the Flood. Crustal movements would have released hot water from the earth’s crust along with volcanism and large underwater lava flows, which would have added heat to the ocean. Earth movement and rapid Flood currents would have then mixed the warm water, so that after the Flood the oceans would be warm from pole to pole. There would be no sea ice. A warm ocean would have had much higher evaporation than the present cool ocean surface. Most of this evaporation would have occurred at mid and high latitudes, close to the developing ice sheets, dropping the moisture on the cold continent. This is a recipe for powerful and continuous snowstorms that can be estimated using basic meteorology.9 Therefore, to cause an ice age, rare conditions are required—warm oceans for high precipitation, and cool summers for lack of melting the snow. Only then can it accumulate into an ice sheet.

The principles of atmospheric science can also estimate areas of high oceanic evaporation, the eventual depth of the ice, and even the timing of the Ice Age. Numerical simulations of precipitation in the polar regions using conventional climate models with warm sea surface temperatures have demonstrated that ice sheets thousands of feet thick could have accumulated in less than 500 years.10

A Rapid Ice Age

Most creationists agree that there was one major Ice Age following the Flood. The timing of the Ice Age is quite significant, since uniformitarians claim that each ice age over the past 800,000 years lasted about 100,000 years. To estimate the time for a post-Flood Ice Age, we need to know how long the volcanism lasted and the cooling time of the oceans. Once these two mechanisms for the Ice Age wane, the ice sheets will reach a maximum and then begin to melt. So, an estimate of the time for the Ice Age can be worked out based on the available moisture for snow and the cooling time of the ocean (the primary mechanism) in a cool post-Flood climate.

I used budget equations for the cooling of the ocean and atmosphere, which are simply based on heat inputs minus heat outputs—the difference causing the change in temperatures. Since there is no way to be precise, I used minimums and maximums for the variables in the equations in order to bracket the time. The best estimate is about 500 years after the Flood to reach glacial maximum with an average ice and snow depth of about 2,300 feet (700 m) in the Northern Hemisphere and 4,000 feet (1,220 m) on Antarctica.11

Once the conditions for the Ice Age ended, those ice sheets in unfavorable areas melted rapidly. Antarctica and Greenland, possessing a favorable latitude and altitude, would continue to grow during deglaciation and afterward. To calculate the melting rate for the ice sheets over North America and Eurasia, I used the energy balance over a snow cover, which gives a faster rate than the uniformitarians propose based on their models.

An energy balance equation is a straightforward and more physical method of calculating the melt rate. Using maximum and minimum values for the variable in the melt equation, I obtained a best estimate of the average melt rate along the periphery (a 400-mile [645-km] long strip) of the ice sheet in North America at about 33 feet/year (10 m/year). Such a melting rate compares favorably with current melt rates for the melting zones of Alaskan, Icelandic, and Norwegian glaciers today. At this rate, the periphery of the ice sheets melts in less than 100 years. Interior areas of ice sheets would melt more slowly, but the ice would be gone in about 200 years. The ice sheets melt so fast, catastrophic flooding would be expected, such as with the bursting of glacial Lake Missoula described later in this chapter.

Therefore, the total length of time for a post-Flood Ice Age is about 700 years. It was indeed a rapid Ice Age. This is an example of bringing back the Flood into earth history. As a result, processes that seem too slow at today’s rates were much faster in the past. The Flood was never disproved; it was arbitrarily rejected in the 1700s and 1800s by secular intellectuals in favor of slow processes over millions of years.

Friday, February 12, 2010

In honor of Valentine's Day...

A picture of my sweetie!!! God has blessed me with such a wonderful husband and father to our children! I am very thankful!!!!

Valentine's Weekend...

Do you have special plans? Our church has an annual Agape Banquet on Valentine's Weekend. It is held at a local restaurant. We play a game, eat a delicious dinner and the Pastor gives a short talk. Lots of fun! This year we are going to a steak house called the AK Corral.

Jesse actually works both Saturday (the day of the banquet) and Sunday (Valentines Day). He is taking some PTO to come to the banquet. Then on Valentine's Day, I invited Grandpa and Grandma to come over after church for lunch. Roast and potatoes, plus Julia will make a cake:)

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!!!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Awesome Homeschooling post...

from Large Family Mothering.

Homeschooling has been such a blessing to our family and this post really is encouraging.

February brings..

sickness...We made it through December and January unscathed and I am so thankful for that. Last night Thomas began to complain of a tummy ache. He woke up in the night with a high fever and vomited. Poor little guy still has quite the fever this morning. We will see if it races through the ranks. I am hoping we get through this quickly as we have plans to take a little vacation at the beginning of March.

I remember 12 years ago when the kids were going through Chicken Pox about this time. Colton first, then Carlina and finally Julia. Alicia did not get it because she had received the new (at that time) vaccine. We took a trip to Disney when the kids had recovered but they are covered in spots in all of the pictures.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Cold day...

Are you tired of hearing about my winter yet? It was frigid today...3 degrees with wind. Yuck! We had a homey dinner: tuna casserole, biscuits and a salad. I am happy to be inside and not have to go anywhere. Tomorrow Anna has her appointment and I am not looking forward to the immunizations...poor baby. I have put them off for a while though. I won the Super Bowl bet with Jesse. My team perservered so he will have to pay up with a box of chocolates...yum! My dad was a Saints fan and would have been thrilled to see them win the Super Bowl. He endured during the seasons where fans wore bags over their heads.

We just finished Living by the Book (our church bible study) and I really enjoyed it. It is a helpful tool for learning how to study the Bible. I am going to go through it again on my own.


Leah you are the winner of my blog drawing! Thomas picked your name out of a hat this morning. Something cute and snowy will be heading your way soon. Since there were only 2 entries...something Fallish will be coming to you as well, Melissa!!

I have known Melissa since 4th grade in Gladewater, Texas and I met Leah in Big Sandy, Texas as college freshmen...2 of my oldest and dearest you both!!!!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

What does the week hold?

Besides more snow? It was coming down this evening..beautiful fluffy flakes. This made for a very slippery road as we went on our way to some friends house to watch the last half of the super bowl. (We watched the first half with Gram and Gramps and ate ourselves silly.) As we drove the gravel road we attempted to round a corner and slid into a snow bank...ooouuuf! I am so thankful for our 4WD suburban which neatly made its way out of the snow and back onto the road...quite a ride!

Jesse is taking his dad to the doctor's office permitting. Carlina gets her permanent bridge in and Anna gets her 15 month check-up...a bit late. I am thankful that both the dentist and doctor are right in town. That saves so much time. The orthodontist is the only practitioner that is out of town...about 40 miles away.

Otherwise, we will attempt to have successful school days...we have Iowa Basic Skills tests coming up in 2 weeks!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

More fotos..

We got more snow yesterday and today....this is the snowiest winter that I have ever seen in my 15 years in Iowa. The kids had a blast building a cool snow guy.

Seasonal Give-away

For the one (or 2) people who read my blog (hey, mom!)...I wanted to celebrate the seasons with ya'll (reverting back to my Texas roots). Post about which season you love best and I will send you a little decoration to match courtesy of Terry's Village. Do you revel in winter's coziness? How about the green glory of Spring? Is summer close to your heart? Do Autumnal trees make you swoon? I will randomly choose someone and then contact you (don't forget your info) to get your address. If no one enters, I guess I win haha. So for those of you who read but never is the time!!!! I will pick the name on Monday Feb 8th.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010


As much as I love watermelon, I don't think I could eat this....a work of art!

Poor dh...

If it wasn't enough to work all night in the bitter cold, he also had to be picked up at work by yours truly, go get groceries (Super Walmart at 7am) and get our taxes completed. He was the walking dead when we were done. Killing 2 birds with one stone was awesome....groceries (put away neatly in the kitchen) and taxes (all done!). It was a snowy, rainy mess coming home. February looks to be a very wintry month thanks to good ole Puxy Phil in PA.

The kids have a Homeschool Presentation Fair in the Spring. Last year their topic was American Presidents. This year it is Christian Missionaries. All have chosen one and now to begin working on the presentation. Katie wants to wear a white beard made of cotton balls to look like her Missionary. They will be writing on Billy Sunday (Colton), Clara Barton (Carlina), Jonathan Goforth (Julia), Sojourner Truth (Alicia) and Lott Carey (Katie). Garrett will have to give a presentation next year as Kindergartners are not required (thank goodness!!).

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Large Family Vehicles...

What do we drive? Currently we have a 1999 8-passenger Suburban with an extra seat in the rear. This will hold 2 it does fit all of us. It would be wonderful to have a 12 or 15 passenger van, but that is not in the budget right now..or ever??!!:) My husband drives a 1991 olds to work. It is basically on its last leg, so we are hoping to get the Suburban paid off with our tax money in case we need to buy something else for him. Colton has a 1993 Plymouth Colt. It is a perfect car for him and has been running dandy. We bought the Olds for $300 and the Colt was given to us, so we have really been blessed with vehicles. I miss the Sprinter that I had in Florida, but it would be useless on winter roads. I did love the room and the rubber floors:) It had rear air but not rear heat, so also useless in Iowa. Can you imagine taking a family of 10 across the prairie and over the mountains in a covered wagon? The pioneers could not even imagine what comfort and speed awaited modern families.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Daily Snapshot:

Anna has been teething lately and not sleeping very well. Her little tooth finally broke through today and hopefully she will start to have some slumber bliss (and so will I). I am trying to get up earlier to get a head start on the day and it has been hard!

Julia re-arranged her room and put the beds back to bunk beds. She also took Colton's desk and he got the desk from the kitchen. It is always nice to have a change.

My food plan has been going okay. We had tacos for dinner and they were so tasty. Savory ground beef and chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheese, sour cream and refried beans....yum! The kids seem to be willing to stick to the plan, although the little ones do cheat sometimes.

Well, sweet dreams!

Sunday, January 31, 2010


I made it through January! I am so happy. It (seems to me) is the second longest and second most miserable month of the year. March is my least favorite month (in Iowa). It is cold and snowy when it should be Spring! So I survived.

We are supposed to get snow tomorrow and February is predicted to be another brutal month. I do live in Iowa and what do I expect, after all? The first winter that I lived in Iowa (back in 1990-1991) when I was a 20-year old youngin' I fully expected to freeze to death. I just knew I would get frostbite in my feet and loose a couple of toes. My husband used to make fun of me because I didn't know how to dress for winter. Well...20 years later and I have learned. Layers and layers upon layers within layers.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

10 things about me...

This is an idea from my friend, Heather at Arrowsprings.

10 secrets about me that you may or may not know, and maybe some things you really don't CARE to know! But here they are anyway:

1. Fall is my favorite season--I love everything about it! I love the colors and I love Autumn decorations. Just ask my kids...when they start putting Fall stuff in the stores I go nuts:)

2. Holding and petting my kitties always lowers my blood pressure, helps me to feel calm and takes away stress for me.

3. I suffer from depression but it is under control with medication. I have had a few really bad episodes, once I didn't think I would survive it. I can thank God for it as it has helped me become more compassionate and has drawn me closer to Him.

4. I love watermelon.....and go into major withdrawal in the wintertime!!!!

5. I don't mind changing diapers or cleaning up bloody wounds...but vomit is another matter for me (sorry so gross!).

6. I miss Florida but am not particularly a huge fan of the beach...I adore the green foliage year round!

7. I have wanted 10 kids since I had my first one. Before that I wasn't sure I even wanted one....and believe me my first child wasn't and isn't that is saying something.

8. I love reading about disasters at sea. My latest read was about the whaleship Essex.

9. I miss having a horse so much that it hurts sometimes.....

10. My hubby and I disagree on how we was at college and he thinks one person introduced us, where I think another did...oh, well....we have been married 20 years in July so I guess it really doesn't matter:)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Which you consider...

a donation to this special family? They are in the process of adopting 2 beautiful little girls from the Ukraine.

Vivianne and Laura

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Goodbye sun, hello snow

It looks like a winter wonderland outside....fluffy, drifting snow. Winter is definitely entrenched in Iowa. When we lived in Florida, January seemed like such an alien scenario. Flowers blooming, oranges ripe, sunshine aplenty.

Garrett and Carlina had dental appointments this morning. The dentist is about 1 minute away, which is very handy for sleeping until the last minute, getting up and rushing to the dentist. Garrett just had a check-up but Carlina was supposed to get her permanent bridge. She is missing 2 permanent teeth (one on each side on the bottom). The dentist is doing the work for what Jesse's dental insurance will pay, which is a great blessing. Unfortunately, the bridge did not fit and they are going to have to order another one from the lab. So back in 2 weeks. Poor Carlina had to undergo the torture for naught.

Colton, Carlina & Julia are taking Greek lessons from our pastor on Wed. mornings and we have AWANA on Wed night....busy day!!!

Picture courtesy of Debi, Jesse's sister.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Colton's Potato Chowder Recipe

This is delicious and a specialty of Colton's:

8 cups diced potatoes
1/3 cup chopped onion
3 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz ea)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 t. pepper
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, cubed
1/2 lb sliced bacon (cooked and crumbled-I use Turkey bacon)
snipped chives, optional

In a slow cooker, combine the first five ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add cream cheese; stir until blended. Garnish with bacon and chives if desired. Yield:12 servings or 3 quarts.


There is sunshine today and I am loving it!!!! It makes such a difference to me to see that beautiful sun.

We went to mom and Terry's yesterday and, as has been the trend, it was a horrible day (weather-wise). Snowing and high winds made us glad to be inside by their cozy wood fireplace, eating homemade pizza and playing Phase 10. It is just so nice to have mom close and be able to visit. The last 3 times we have gone over, has been the worse day of the week, kind of funny. Mom's pizza was so good and she made a superb chocolate pie and apple crisp for dessert! We are so thankful for them. We come over like a swarm of locusts and eat everything in sight:)

Jesse's mom and sister, on vacation in Florida, have been very sick. They suffer from environmental allergies and were exposed to some bad things at one hotel they stayed in. They are getting help (from a homeopathic doctor) and will stay down there until they are feeling better. Prayers for them would be appreciated. His sister's 2 little girls are also along, but they have not been sick.

Rev: 4:8
Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: " Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

Let us never stop praising and and worshiping God. In my devotional Bible it says "There is restlessness in heaven because the holiness of the triune God-Father, Son and Holy Spirit- has to be proclaimed without interruption. God is worthy to receive honor without ceasing." We must never for a second forget what He has done and continues to do and praise Him daily!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


I am going to try out a new food plan/menu in February which is aiming at cutting down my food bill. We will see how it works. It is labor intensive initially in that I am planning out each meal including snacks for each day. Next will be getting the kids to stick to the plan. It may not work at all but it will be worth a try! I am still not very good with coupons, may need to get more serious about that.

Colton made his famous potato soup last night and we had it for lunch today. It was really good. It is definitely not low-cal though...very creamy. Mom gave us two huge bags of potatoes that a church friend had grown in SD...they are large red ones. Makes me long for that delicious, fresh grown stuff that we won't see for awhile. August and September were bountiful months!!!

I think we've decided to stay put for at least another year or so. So unless something changes we won't have to think of moving. Just praying that we can get by with fewer vehicle repairs that year...I won't count on that one, though.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Creative little dear..

Garrett is so full of delightful and creative ideas. He is in kindergarten this year and works on his reading and math in the morning. He will draw multiple doodles on his paper and is always scheming what he is going to design or dream up. After he is done with his work he has plenty of time to work on all of his projects. Sometimes it is frustrating to me because I just want him to focus on his work and get it done and he takes his time. I am praying that God will give me lots of patience with him so I can listen to his amazing dreams and plans. Yesterday he drew a number of different race car flags and colored them all. Today he is working on faces. He is cutting out the eyes, nose and mouth and shining a flashlight through it upstairs to make a shadow. Fun! I love homeschooling as it gives me lots of time each day with these wonderful little people that God has given me to mother. I am so thankful!!!! (the picture is Garrett with his cousin, Brecken)

Wonderful post about being a mother...

from my friend Heather at arrowsprings...

Would not trade Mommy-thing for any-thing

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Brutal weather...

This winter has been a tough one so far. We were hit with major ice last night. Great day to stay inside! I am so glad I don't have to go anywhere today and Jesse doesn't have to work until tomorrow night. There is still so much snow, as well. I have a feeling that February and March will continue the harsh trend.

Julia got her braces on yesterday and hasn't felt too uncomfortable, so far! That may change today. She looks really cute with her pink and purple bands.

On another note, Thomas is doing very well with his potty training. I am one that has waited a long time to train (for my last 3) and once we start they are trained in a day or 2 with only a few uh-oh's. Thomas has followed that trend. in diapers and Thomas is wearing pull-ups at night.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cute quotes..

We were getting ready to go on a field trip to the hospital when Thomas asked "Is Garrett broken?"...I answered no...he then asked "Well, am I broken then?".

Picture of Thomas at Christmas time with his cousin, J.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Anna is 15 months old now and is just too cute for words. She has taken a few steps and is getting more confident. She is also saying lots of new words. She loves to give her brothers and sisters hugs and adores any and all electronic devices. She is still nursing and still not sleeping great. That is very normal for my babies. It seems like they are about 2 before they are really sleeping all the way through the night. I can't believe how fast she is growing up and turning into a toddler. No more baby! The pictures were taken by my SIL, Debi.


I really enjoyed today's sermon about thankfulness. Pastor talked about being so captivated with God that we don't let the every day cares of the world get us down or discourage us. It is so easy to base our lives on events, seasons, holidays. It is not wrong to enjoy those things, but it is wrong to wile our days away waiting for the next one. We need to be thankful for each minute of each thanks to God. We have an amazing Father who cares for us and listens to us...He is the creator of the universe! How awesome is that? Jesus died for us and now lives and we have the glorious and true hope that He will return. I am striving to constantly see the larger picture in life and give thanks daily!!!!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010


It is so hard to look at those images from Haiti. The little 11 year old girl that survived all that time in the rubble to die shortly after being pulled heart breaks and I wonder how the world can just go on. So much grief, so much misery. Here is a good post from Jenni at One Thing with some ways to help. Please pray...for He is there.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Drenching Love...

I love this post from Large Family Mothering:

Drenching Love

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Can I feed...

every animal in my neighborhood? I can certainly try:) I have 4 squirrels who come daily to eat from the feeder, not to mention all the birds that eat their leftovers. I also feed 5 cats...3 of my own and 2 that are strays. I have not yet begun to feed the animals pictured...only because they don't live in my neighborhood and more specifically do not live in Iowa ( but I would if they did).

Monday, January 11, 2010

Busy weekend

We are entering into a balmy was actually in the 20's!!! I can't wait for it to hit 40 degrees later in the week!!

We went to visit Jesse's dad in the nursing home yesterday on his birthday. He has Parkinson's Disease and Parkinson's induced dementia. He just turned 72. It is sad to see someone that young so incapacitated. We brought him a sandwich and shake from McD's and he loved that. He is very rigid and has a hard time even sitting up in bed.

We are working on our budget for 2010 and it will be a strict one. We are trying to get our Suburban paid off and a reaff agreement left over after the bankruptcy will be paid off this year, also. We are hoping to buy a larger house but it may not be feasible this year. We've cut out any excess and pray that we can stick to it and be disciplined.

Prophesy and Turkey...

This is an interesting read:


Friday, January 8, 2010

Good read, part 2

This cookbook is a very entertaining read. Full of fun recipes that really "won't kill you!" and that are actually quite delicious. Ann Hodgman has a hysterical narrative to go along with the recipes. I've used and read this many times and am about ready for a new copy.

Good read...

A true story about an incredible woman and her family who staked a claim on the North Dakota review on the back says "Any whining yuppie who thinks a rough day of work means spending 12 hours in front of a spreadsheet needs to read this book." These people worked hard! The narrative is charming, with lots of fun descriptions of authentic Norwegian foods and customs.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Weather savy...

Today we ventured over to Grandma and Grandpa's house (about 10 miles away, up and down hills...through the woods...etc. etc. you get the picture) in sub zero weather. There were large drifts blocking the roads and the wind gusts were high....stupid! Once we got to mom's it was nice and cozy with a roaring fire. We enjoyed a turkey dinner, stuffing, vegetables, mashed potatoes and gravy. Plus homemade apple and peach pies! Yum! Totally worth it! We also played a rousing game of Phase 10 and watched Matilda and Pippi Longstocking with the kids. Jesse was coming off of 4 very hard nights..working outside in freezing weather and is ready for a break. Everything was dandy until we decided to leave. We hit a huge snowdrift at the end of Mom's road (gravel country road) and got stuck. Colton treked back to the house and brought back 2 snow shovels, which he and Jesse put to good use. They froze their feet off . A nice guy in a pickup pulled us out with a heavy duty chain after much scooping. It took mucho effort and small steps but they finally got the beast out( to hearty cheers)! So we are home and happy to be here. The corn stove is going and we are ready to hibernate for the next few days!!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


What will a new year bring?

Colton will be graduating from High School in June and turn 18 in July...our first homeschool graduate. He started his homeschool career in the 8th grade in Florida and plans to continue working on his novel while taking an electrician apprentice course. He wants to be a writer, but will have something to fall back on. Hopefully he can take some writing classes as well.

I am heading up our Woman's Ministry at church...Christian Woman's Fellowship. I will be coordinating various ministries that the ladies at our church Agape Banquet in Feb, Ladies Tea in March, Easter Breakfast, College and Military care boxes, VBS, Woman's Retreat in the Fall, and various Christmas activities.

We will continue homeschooling until the end of May and then take a summer break..plan on getting another pool pass so the kids can enjoy the city pool all summer. I probably will put Katie in swimming lessons again. She improved so much last year.

If we can pay off our loans we may look at buying a bigger house...if not we will use our tax refund to enclose our porch, perhaps.

Jesse and I will celebrate 20 years of marriage in July! We don't have any big celebration plans...may save that for our 25th.

Mostly I hope to continue in the Word and draw closer to my Lord. I want to walk with Him every day and rely on Him more and more. He is the reason for life, the reason for everything and I want to give glory to Him in all that I do. I am so thankful for another year!