Monday, January 28, 2008

Flu Hits

Sorry for the lack of posts. Every one in the house except, thankfully, the DH has some level of the flu. Pray for recovery.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Gotta love the way a kid thinks

This morning, after three straight days of snow, we had a beautiful, bright sunrise set against blue skies. (Our home is situated so that the sunrises on our back and sets in the front. We have a slider door that leads out to our back deck that we do not have any blinds or curtains on.) It was so bright that I didn't have to turn on any lights. My three year old daughter woke up and came out to the front room to watch cartoons. Soon she was pulling her blanket over her head and then she said, "Mom, turn the lights off. It's too bright!"

I tried to explain to her that it was the sun and there was nothing I could do and yet she still insisted it was too bright. She was down right mad that I would not "turn the light off". Then my son woke up and came out and told me it was too bright! I promptly told him, "Take it to God." Silly kids! I thought the sun was rather nice for a change. LOL!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

21 inches and still snowing! For more Wordless Wednesdays, go to

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

17 Inches

17 inches and still snowing! This is fun!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bring it on!

BBQ anyone?

You can see where the roof was covering the deck.

When it really snows, our roof does grow! LOL!

We got about a foot of snow over the weekend and six more inches or so is expected for today! I love it!!! I even drove in it yesterday. John had to work (inventory weekend) so I drove the kids and I to church and over to our Pastor's for a dinner. I drove in our 4 wheel drive vehicle and drove slow like a granny but in my opinion... better safe then sorry! We did the one car thing for seven years. I like having two cars and would like to keep it that way!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Red Heads at Play!

I have always wanted red hair. My Grandfather had it. My mother had it. My Aunt (Mom's sister)had it. Her kids (my cousins) got it. The only way I can have it is through the hairstylist or drug store. But, thanks to red hair on my husband's side of the family too, we were blessed with two redheads out of four. They get along the best out of all the kids. It's the red hair! (My oldest got my mish-mash of blonde, brown, red. And my son got my DH's blonde hair.)

What We Do When it's 10 Below!

Closet cleaned and organized (Still just as full though.)

Closet not cleaned or organized

It is snowing and snowing and snowing today, thanks to Lake Michigan and lake effect snow showers. We've gotten at least six inches since yesterday at 4pm. Normally my kids would be darting outside to play in all of it but not this weekend. It is only around 10 degrees outside and after you factor in windchill, it ends up being around 10 below. Not exactly temps that I want my kids out in. So what to do on a Saturday? Laze about? Not a chance. It is perfect house cleaning training weather.

I have a clean kitchen floor thanks to my middle two children who scrubbed, rinsed and dried it. I have a clean bathroom thanks to my oldest. And while directing the kids through that... (Yes, there was some whine.) I organized the only none bedroom closet this rental house has.

We are caught up on laundry and dishes too, all before lunch. Gotta love it when God grants swiftness, ease and energy to my day. After lunch my oldest wants to bake blondies for a church gathering tomorrow and I have a pie to make for dinner dessert tonight.

Lest anyone think I'm superwoman or I have this amazing set of children, I will tell you we rarely have days like this. But I'm thankful for the few the Lord gives me. Usually just getting through school, meals, daily dishes and a load of laundry is a challenge, so extra stuff is a bonus.

And I have all this lovely snow to look at!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Christmas Cactus Finally Blooms!

My pastor's wife gave me this cactus fall of 2006. She had had it for awhile and it had never bloomed. She asked if I thought I could get it to bloom. I have a very bad indoor plant reputation. I can only take plants that thrive on neglect, but I said sure I'd take it and give it a try. Finally about mid-December of 2007 (last month) it started getting buds. I thought, "Oh, boy I'll be able to give back the cactus as a Christmas present surprise but the first of the blooms didn't open up until two days ago.

Dana over at had her cactus blooming in Oct. or Nov. but I'm just happy to see this one bloom at all. It is a very sad looking thing, even with its blooms, but I am satisfied. It truly is a plant that thrives on neglect and then sudden over watering by children trying to help it.
Mrs U. over at had just asked a few days ago what we all had blooming and I told her I only had snow blooming. Well, Mrs. U. now I have real blooms!

For more show and tells go to .

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

For more wordless Wednesdays please go to

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Target Clearance Racks

Note the ninja turtle slippers that go so well with the dress...LOL!

Note the "poser" in the background!

If you are in the need for children's clothes or clothes for yourself or spouse, Target (at least my local store) has rack after rack of clothing on discount every things from 30% to 75% off. I managed to find outfits for all four kids for under $26 total. At 2 pieces each that averages $3.25 per item. Not bad for new clothing. I was pleased. Got to love it when it's the dead of winter and they are clearing out winter clothes to make room for spring wear. I need to remember to never buy clothes at the start of a season. Wait till mid-season and they'll be much cheaper!

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Store Discovery

I have discovered a new store and a new line of clothing. The store is Steve and Barry's and the line is Bitten by Sara Jessica Parker. Steve and Barry's sells affordable clothing for the entire family. It's like a cheaper Old Navy. Bitten does not have any thing over $20: jeans, coats, shoes, etc.

I went to check it out. (Go online to find a store near you.) The entire store was on sale with nothing over $8.98. They called it "Winter Clearance". I got a cute, new, stylish pair of jeans for $8.98 from the Bitten Line.

I don't know how they will wear. It might be worth it to pay a bit more for a longer lasting jean but we shall see. The price was good but they are made overseas- a trade-off. I will go back in a couple of months. I'm hoping to find cute, modest, everyday skirts or dresses for affordable prices. Spring tends to be the best season to look for skirts and dresses.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Winter Returns!

After almost a whole week of no snow on the ground it has returned! No more 50 and 60 degree days until Spring. (I hope.) Don't get me wrong 50 and/or 60 degrees is fine in the proper season (s). But mid-January is not an appropriate time. If it is winter it needs to be cold and snowy. This, I know, is just my opinion. But I like winter! I like snow.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Slow Food

February's Country Living magazine has a small piece on the Slow Food Movement. (Local Hero) For those of you who don't know what that is... it is the move toward sustainable production of food: Organic methods of gardening/farming, smaller family farms with a move away from corporate farms that grow genetically modified foods (farming that is ecologically sound as well as economical), preserving local food sheds with a move away from buying "shipped" in food and purchasing what is local and in season. It is buying cheese from the local artisanal cheese maker rather then buying chemically dyed orange blocks of kraft cheese. It is buying peaches when they are in season, canning them or freezing them for the future when they aren't in season rather then buying peaches in April from Chile. This supports your local farmer and you get fresh, in season food at a fair price. (Compare homecanned peaches to a store bought can- or local fresh, in season peaches to peaches shipped in from a different hemisphere.) Being willing to buy American and pay a fair price for goods and services is the first way to get America back on the road to a healthier economy. Support your local small farmer/artisan first!

I do confess to having just bought a jumbo sized bag of sugar snap peas at Costco from Guatamala. This early summer when they are back in season I need to "put some up". I'm not sure if they would be best canned, dryed or frozen.

I also confess to liking salad too much to go with out greens in the winter. But I do buy or grow local when it is available. I have stopped buying berries (which I love) right now because they aren't local or in season. (Expensive too!) Small steps! Since pineapples and bananas aren't local at any season they are purchased as desired. There are just some things I'm not willing to cut out. I'd be a grumpy person with out coffee too!

How can you improve your diet and help out your local economy?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Skunked Husband and Project Pictures

Top of TV: Carvings, Chickens, candles, humidor, oil lamp

Side of love seat: Books, Bibles, candle, chicken on a wooden box

Other side of love seat: Stool with jar of dried pomogranets, chicken boxes

Love seat and lamp moved and angled in front of window.

Well, my DH didn't need the camera yesterday. He and his buddies didn't catch one single fish. However, my day was made when I was talking to him on the phone, while he was on his way home. He told me he got "skunked" and I said, "Oh, Honey, I'm sorry you got skunked." The look on all three of my older kids faces was priceless. "Dad, got skunked!" They all said with mouths dropped open. Suddenly I realized that they thought that meant Dad had gotten sprayed by a skunk. I quickly had to explain, while still on the phone with the DH, that "skunked" meant he didn't catch any fish or really even get any bites- not Dad meeting up with a skunk. Relief washed over my children's faces and my DH broke into hysterical laughter at the other end of the phone. His buddies had a good laugh too. Gotta love the way a kid's mind works.

As promised, here are my pictures of my rearranging/redecorating project. It was hard to get the same angle because the furniture is moved around. The laundry on the love seat is waiting to be folded by my oldest when she finishes her school and there is still no snow outside. I'm hoping to get a couple of inches on the ground Thursday night/Friday morning. At least the weather is back into the 30's.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Project Completed But Husband Fishing!

I'm pleased to say that I did complete yesterday's redecorating project (last evening). Unfortunately, I have no pictures yet as the DH took the camera with him today on a fishing trip. Here in Western Michigan is has been in the 60's (yesterday) and the 50's (today). All our snow has melted and it has been pouring down rain. I didn't know I transported myself back to the Pacific Northwest, LOL! Anyway it makes for good fishing, so the DH and his buddies headed up to try and catch the "big" fish. It is a catch and release river, hence the need for the camera. I hope to take some pictures of my project tomorrow morning and post them. I'm trying to take both sets (before and after) at the same time of day so the lighting is the same. ( BTW the picture of my DH is from last year. He's hoping for even bigger fish today.)

Monday, January 7, 2008

Among Today's projects...

I hate taking down the Christmas decorations. The house seems so dull, boring and empty without them. But alas, we could wait no longer. Yesterday we packed Christmas away for another year. So along with today's regular dishes, laundry and general cleaning, I am also redecorating the living room- which is also our entryway. The empty window (Notice that there is no snow outside. We are having a January thaw with temps the 50's.) was where our tree was. The empty t.v. stand top and wooden box was where our Christmas village and Nativity were. I'll post again when I have the room finished. I hope that happens today.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

No Privacy!

I know, as a mother, and I'm sure you all do to, that once you have children you forfit your right to privacy in the bathroom. I am used to it- or so I thought.

This morning I was in the bathroom, doing what most do, and in barrels my three year old. Normally this doesn't bother me but my older daughters had a friend sleep over and they were just feet away in the living room watching Saturday morning cartoons. So I tell my littlest to come in and shut the door.

Unfortunately what my 3 year old wanted was help with a toy, not just my company. Well, okay, just wait a couple of minutes and I'll help you. But my daughter was not willing to be patient. Before I knew what was happening, she's flinging the door wide open and hauling in one of her toy baby cribs that she can barely get through the door.

So there I am, on the pot, trying to get my daughter back out the door with her toy and hoping that my guest doesn't come around the corner at any time.

Can I just say what a blessing two bathrooms in one house would be. Someday! I must keep the hope. Bright sides: we have a bathroom that I don't need to go outside to use, my daughters friend didn't come around the corner and I was able to complete my business before helping out the three year old.

You gotta wonder- where exactly was the husband and how many times did the littlest have to walk past him to get to me? Good times, Good times!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Love the snow... missing the farm market!

I love winter. I think it ranks as my favorite season. But since I discovered the fresh goodness and affordability of produce at all the farmers markets and roadside stands in my area, I'm missing the food! Yes, I can get nearly every thing I want at the grocery- but it isn't cheap and since it is not in season here, then it has been shipped in from who knows where. I'm overwhelmed with a desire to go pick my own fruit and buy peas and beans by the pound off of a card table.

If I grew my own garden then I would be pouring over seed catalogs but, alas, since we rent, I do not grow one. The owner of our duplex gave me permission to put one in the back yard but our soil is mostly sand. We would have to spend quite abit to amend the soil to get it to be rich and healthy and we just don't want to do that in a space that isn't our own and that we could be leaving at any time.

I really appreciate the art of canning right about now and I'm wishing I had done more of it.

Anyone else getting early spring food fever?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Give me the good old days!

I'm on a bit of a rant... I love to bake, make candies, breads, cookies, preserves etc. I would love to make some money at it. No, I don't want to be the next Mrs. Fields with a store in every mall but just make some extra money doing something I like to do- from home. (We are financially strapped and I really feel burdened to help out- We are already scrimping and trying to be as frugal as possible.) But here, in the Land of the Free, it is difficult (at least in the states I've lived in) to sell any homemade food product. You can't sell what you make, legally, if you made it in a home kitchen. You can add a second kitchen in your home for business baking but no home cooking in it then. Excuse me? If I had the money to put a commercial kitchen in my home I probably wouldn't be needing to earn some extra money.

I could rent out a commercial kitchen (school, church etc.) but, uhm... then I wouldn't be at home! Like I want to drag all my children to a commercial kitchen. (Like the owners of said kitchen want my children there.) I'm a stay a home/home schooling mom by choice. I could easily put my kids in public school, send my youngest to day care and go get a job. I don't want that. But that is what the government would prefer I do.

By all means, let's keep importing cheap, shoddy, tainted goods from other countries and pass laws to keep our own citizens protected from themselves. We wouldn't want the average American to get ahead.

It just makes me long for the days where if you had an idea, you just did it. You didn't have to jump through hoops or take out horrendous business loans to make it happen.

Okay, stepping off the soap box now.

Snow Day!

We spent yesterday at the local sledding area, Charlie's Dump, with our kids and our friends the Halls. It was packed with people and rather challenging to avoid slamming into other sledders. There was some blood on the snow at the bottom but I didn't see any terrible accidents.

The kids had so much fun. The only really bad thing about it was having to climb back up the hill when you were done with your slide. The snow was so packed and slippery that I wished I had little toe picks on the tips of my boots. I'm suprised I'm not sore today.

After sledding, we headed over to the Hall abode for cocoa, games, yummy soup and bread and a great time of fellowship. Gotta love snow days! The bummer is we are supposed to highs in the 50's coming in a couple of days. All this lovely snow is going to melt and we'll have to start all over again. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Hi Everyone! I hope that your New Year's Eve celebrations were fun and safe. We had a late but fun evening. Out of eight children, only one went to bed before the night was done and since she's only one year old it was rather nice. The three year olds and the older kids had more energy than we adults could ever hope to have at one in the morning. I'm still working on finding a way to bottle and sell child energy. Today has been a nice day to just sit and recoup from the late night.