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!