Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Book Review: When Love Blooms

I am very super stoked to announce that I get to be a blog book reviewer for Zondervan! Some women go gaga over shoes or clothes or make-up... for me... it's books. I can spend a better part of a day in any bookstore and I'd survive just fine on a desserted island with food, water, shelter and books. No volleyball needed.

My first set of books Zondervan sent me consisted of a romance novel, a suspense novel and non-fiction book. Hmmmm... what did the hopeless romantic pick up first, yup that's right- the suspen... oh, wait! HaHa, just kidding. It was the romance novel When Love Blooms by prolific writer, Robin Lee Hatcher. (One of my favorite authors.)

The premise for the book: The main character, Miss Harris, takes a job as a governess for two little girls in the remote Stanley Basin of Idaho in the late 1800's. Unbeknowst to her, the girls mother, Dru, is dying and is desperately hoping that Miss Harris and Dru's husband, Gavin, will fall in love so that her girls have a new mother in place when she is gone.

If you are looking for a light read and don't want to dwell in deep thought then this is a very enjoyable book. However, I felt the characters were flat and underdeveloped, the story line too entirely predictable, and some of the situations forced upon the characters by the author. This is not Hatcher's best book. I will say, spending two years living in Boise, Idaho, that the author caught the magic of the Stanley Basin, which truly is one of the most beautiful (and harsh in winter) places in the world. Putting me into the late 1800's Stanley Basin made the read entirely worthwhile. On a scale of one to ten, I would rate it a 5 and given Hatcher's track record I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another of her novels.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What the first born has been up to...

Making a cloth ball for her little sister! 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons- each from a different piece of fabric. She persevered and worked hard. Her little sis loves it.

Selling cookies and lemonade!
Helping little sisters climb trees.
AND.... starting to blog! Check out her new project at http://simplysevenlewis.blogspot.com/ !
Leave her a comment... you know we all live for those! Oh... and try and guess what her favorite color is.

Friday, June 5, 2009

What a busy month!

The cherry tree really blossomed in May.

Taylor's personality blossomed as well!

Tay has learned to pick up and eat cereal.

Tay is mastering sitting!

Tay has learned to sit in her chair at the table.

We had our first trip to the park and our first swing experience!

So many things filled last month. It just whizzed by! I expect June to be just as busy. The funny thing is we aren't busy with worldly activities but just the addition of a garden seems to have taken up any spare time. I guess I have two babies... one human and one plant based.
(The human baby is seven months old now and likes to sit on momma's lap and "help" type.) Just wait till we add a few chickens next spring.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Sorry for the false post below

Everyhouse needs a super hero!

I know, I know... I got you all excited by posting... but it wasn't an actual post. I sat down to write a post and got interupted. (Which is why I haven't been able to write lately.) Anywhoo... I thought I deleted it and saved it to draft but nooooo.... I did delete it, but it posted- a big post of nothing. Sigh.... I have so much to post but my day time runs out. Anyway... sorry to get your hopes up.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Subversive In Me...

I was watching the news this morning. Some bright bulb got himself pulled over and arrested. He had a "rolling" meth lab in the back of his van. As I was shaking my head over this man's stupidity, a funny thought came to me... my big thing, currently, is wanting to be able to have access to raw milk- legally, of course. But I thought of, in light of Mr. Illegal Drug Manufacturer, this news headline... Mrs. Cyndi Lewis was arrested this morning after being pulled over. She is accused of operating a rolling milking operation! I was picturing a cow in the back of a van all hooked up to milking apperatus. Sorry, sometimes the subversive in me takes over.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal!

This is the title of the book I'm currently reading by Joel Salatin. I recommend it heartly!

Anyone who thinks we live in a free country or that the American Dream is still within reach needs to read it. Here is my favorite quote so far..."How much evil throughout history could have been avoided had people exercised their moral acuity with convicitonal courage and said to the powers that be, 'No, I will not. This is wrong, and I don't care ifyou fire me, shoot me, pass me over for promotion, or call my mother. I will not participate in this unsavory activity.' Wouldn't world history be rewritten if just a few people had actually acted like individual free agents rather than mindless lemmings?"

My criminal thoughts? I want to be able to bake bread in my own home and... wait for it... SELL IT! How deviant is that!? It is a sad state of being we Americans find ourselves in. We have given ourselves over to the entity that is government. A government that allows women the freedome of "choice" to kill their unborn but not to sell bread from an un-government inspected kitchen. Even if I were to move to one of the few states that do indeed allow this, I'm still probably not allowed to buy or sell milk directly from... wait for it... A COW! The government thinks it's too dangerous. We must make it "safe" first. Thank you, but I think I can make decisions on my own. Certainly there is a place for processed milk but I should be able to buy a gallon of straight from the cow milk if I desire too. When did simple living go the way of the dinosaur?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Garden Club Friday

This year's first dandilion.

Maple tree bud

Cherry tree buds

Rhubarb growing- I thought I killed it last year- guess not.

Chives growing among the weeds in the garden. I will have to dig them up before will till and replant them.

Hi all,

I'm posting this while sitting outside on Michigan's 2nd really great day of spring weather and I'm really excited because it is starting to look like spring. Things are growing and budding!

Last week I dug out soil from last year's garden and handed it over to the County Agricultural Extension Office of Michigan State University. They charged $13 for a soil analysis that I should get back in a week or two. Of course a couple of days ago one of my neighbors told me in passing that a local farm co-op store does soil samples for free. Sigh.

Once I get my sample results back the DH and I can till up the garden, improve the soil organically and then plant! (Well, the planting will be after Memorial Day- when we are not in frost danger anymore.)

I have some lettuce and spinach waiting to be planted in containers that I will keep out on the deck so they can grow in the cool weather but be easily covered at night.
For more Garden Club Friday head on over to http://www.petersonclan.com/ .

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Does anyone else...

...have to clean around army men battles?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Family Easter Pictures- for the Grandma's

The Family

The boy

Reagan posing

Taylor folding her hands

Tomboy Andi couldn't get her dress off fast enough.

My almost teen

Practicing My Constitutional Rights

Today I took the kids down to Hudsonville's little town "center" for the local TEA (Taxed Enough Already) party. It was a good opportunity for them to see a government of the people in action. We got to participate in free speech, assembly and religion.

I was thinking that attendance would be small as we as a country have gotten quite lax in the previous fatness of our capitalism but I was pleasantly surprised to see at least a few hundred people there- including two or three of the area's t.v. news stations and a lot of newpaper reporters.

I wish I could say the kids were impressed and learned a ton but they really just wanted the free cookies (which were "small" they said) and tea (which they didn't like either.) Long live liberty!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Silly Me...

I thought I'd read up on square foot gardening. I picked the book up from the library yesterday. Hmmm... it's currently being used for other things. Other more important things apparently! Namely a Lego Star Wars base. Only a terrible mother would destroy a Lego Star Wars base. (That is until the book is due.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

My DH- always the practical one

Over the weekend I found this great listing for a little farmhouse on three acres. It is right in our area, only a few miles northwest of us. It is white and cute with a great little porch and a big red barn and the asking price is only $79,900. With a USDA Rural home loan we could go 0 down, have no pmi (private mortgage insurance) and have a payment of around $450 a month. Plus the seller could pay up to $4500 dollars of closing costs and we'd qualify for O'bama's $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers. (We qualify because we haven't owned a home in three years.) Draw back: One bedroom, one bath, 1,000 sq. feet.

The DH, always the realist, says I'm "smoking crack" to think of shoving all seven of us in that space. I told him we could add on, one room at a time but he didn't catch the vision. So we wait.


Someday. Okay, I'm off to wait patiently.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Back after the flu!

Whew! Sorry for the unplanned break on the blog. I was unprepared for the flu to hit the family mid-last week. Nothing is harder than having a five month-old vomiting after every feeding. But we survived and are back to normal.

On the news front: I received- courtesy of newbaby.com - an easy to operate, hot pink vado pocket video camera. Soon I will be adding videos to the blog! I just have to get used to being "on camera". It's kinda weird as usually I do the shooting or photos, not be in them. The camera is great and easy to use even for a non-techy like me! Even my eight year old can just grab the cam, push a button and start recording. (That did mean deleting seven minutes of Sponge Bob he chose to video off the t.v.) When I'm on video I plan to enlist my 12 year-old to shoot but I can also use a tripod too. Here is a question for my readers: What do you want to see? I know the Grandparent's answers but what about the rest of you?

Okay, on with the day! I have a big pile of mending calling my name, a family to feed, a garden to plan and hopefully a trip to the farm store to see the little chicks and research coop options. I love being an Artisan of the Home!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Making Your Home A Haven

Doesn't everyone wear winter gloves and shorts when vaccuming?

Crystal Paine has passed Making Your Home A Haven to her friend Tammy. In honor of the switch today's challange is a simple one. Come up with a morning routine of no more than five things. I already have a morning routine so this one was easy.

1. Feed/change my five month old daughter

2. Coffee/computer time

3. Feed my four other children

4. Morning chores (Sweeping, dishes etc.)

5. School

Yes, Bible and prayer time should be in there but I tend to fall back asleep if I try that in the morning. Either that or I get constant inturruptions from rising children. Hmmm... I remember when a quiet time used to be a quiet time.
Check out other routines at Tammy's blog.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Monday: Pizza, fresh veges, cookies

Tuesday: Crockpot pork chops, rice, stir fry veges, bread, cookies

Wednesday: Turkey pasta, Salad, Challah, ice cream

Thursday: Baked chicken, stuffing, creamy spinach, breadsticks, brownies

Friday: Cheese soup, cheese bread, summer sausage, corn, berry crisp w/cream

Saturday: Salad w/ hard boiled eggs, cheddar biscuits, ice cream

Sunday: Chicken nuggets, tator tots, fresh veges, ice cream

For more meal menus visit The Organization Junkie!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Weekend Food Fun-Homemade Poptarts!

My "helper"

The finished product- Brown Sugar and Cinnamon

The eating of...

Okay, mine didn't turn out as good as hers, but my kids don't seem to care. For more weekend food fun go over to Ship Full O' Pirates!

Bath Time

Because the Grandmas haven't seen Tay take a bath, I had my 12 year-old daughter take pictures of the process. Tay is the first of my 5 babies to actually enjoy (not scream through) the entire process.