2017's Word of the Year

2017 word of the year- Enjoy- I will strive to relax and enjoy life more in 2017. My goal is not to get stressed about little details but to enjoy the things that God has given me, big and small.

Thursday, December 25

Countdown to Christmas- Day 25

It's here! Christmas is here! Go to church, thank God for His precious gift and then celebrate the joyous occasion with your family or friends.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24

Countdown to Christmas- Day 24

Go caroling to your neighbors and wish them a Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23

Countdown to Christmas- Day 23

Visit someone who can't go out for the holidays.

Monday, December 22

Sunday, December 21

Countdown to Christmas- Day 21

Learn the names of all of Santa's reindeer.

Saturday, December 20

Countdown to Christmas- Day 20

Sit in the dark and enjoy the Christmas tree lights.

Friday, December 19

Thursday, December 18

Countdown to Christmas- Day 18

Ask your parents about their favorite Christmas memories.

Wednesday, December 17

Tuesday, December 16

A few things on my mind today

Somewhere, somehow, something snuck onto my computer and now it pops up when I browse the internet. They're pop-up ads from "ArcadeYum". I can't figure out how to get rid of them. They don't show up in my virus software and it's not on the list of downloaded items that I can remove. It's really getting annoying and if anyone knows how to get rid of it, please tell me!

I have been trying to make some doll clothes for my granddaughters for Christmas. I made the cutest little Elsa dress but it won't fit the doll. And of course the patterns have such small seam allowances you can't let them out. So I'm starting over from scratch. When I was little my grandma always made the prettiest doll dresses. In fact my granddaughters still use them today. Now I can appreciate much more how much work my grandma really put into them. I mean...she made hand smocked dresses for my dolls! Amazing!

I've been thinking about my grandmother quite a bit lately. I don't know how much longer she is going to be with us. I have so many memories that make me so grateful she has been a part of my life. My kids don't really have those kind of memories with my parents and that makes me sad. My grandma taught me how to sew and embroider. She tried to teach me to crochet but apparently I wasn't a good learner. Grandma was really there for me in my tough teen years. I needed someone who accepted me as I was and she was good at that. She isn't a cuddly grandma, but I knew she loved me because she always made my favorite desserts when she knew I was coming. I hope I can be as good of a grandmother to my grandchildren.

The weather has been temperamental the last couple of days causing late starts at school. As homeschoolers this doesn't really effect us except that I feel more comfortable letting the boys play outside first thing in the morning. Two days of this and I see happier more peaceful attitudes. Hmm...interesting.

Well, I guess I'd better get back to work.




Our oldest granddaughter


This was at her Kindergarten Christmas concert and she was so nervous about meeting Santa. Finally after most of the crowd had died down she got the courage to go see him. It's so nice to see her smile!

Countdown to Christmas- Day 16

Help wrap packages.

Monday, December 15

Countdown to Christmas- Day 15

Read a Christmas story together with your family.

Sunday, December 14

Countdown to Christmas- Day 14

Make a decoration for your Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 13

Friday, December 12

Countdown to Christmas- Day 12

Make a phone call to someone you won't be seeing over the holidays.

Thursday, December 11

Wednesday, December 10

Countdown to Christmas- Day 10

Learn how Christmas is celebrated in other countries.

Tuesday, December 9

Monday, December 8

Countdown to Christmas- Day 8

Learn a new Christmas song and sing it with someone.

Sunday, December 7

Countdown to Christmas- Day 7

Decorate your room for Christmas.

Saturday, December 6

Countdown to Christmas- Day 6

Predict the temperature or amount of snowfall before Christmas.

Friday, December 5

Thanksgiving Weekend


I had all of my children and grandchildren under one roof this weekend and guess what I forgot? I forgot to take pictures. I think I may lose my mother/grandmother card.

This is a picture that my daughter snapped of two of my sons and one granddaughter. I guess it was naptime. ;)

Countdown to Christmas- Day 5

Make a holiday treat for the birds.

Thursday, December 4

An unexpected gift


This was a gift from one of the students I teach at co-op. It's so cute and I see one of the candies is a gingerbread Twix. I never knew such things existed!

Countdown to Christmas- Day 4

Send a card to a friend.

Wednesday, December 3

Countdown to Christmas- Day 3

Choose one toy to give to charity.

Tuesday, December 2

Monday, December 1

Countdown to Christmas- Day 1

These post will be taken off our Peanuts Christmas Advent calendar. We had so much fun doing them in 2013, I thought we would share the ideas for 2014.

Day 1: Make paper snowflakes to hang in the windows.

Thursday, November 20

Some of our busyness

I was too busy enjoying spending time with the kids and grandkids, I didn't even think of taking pictures. I'm so glad my daughter snapped a few.




Alex,enjoying his new nephew!


Preston and Molly

And although this wasn't taken while we were there, I don't want to leave Miss Emily out. She is wearing a shawl that I had when I was a child. If I remember right, my aunt made it for me.


Wednesday, November 19

Busy and Tired

It's been an exceptionally busy week for us.  As I practically collapsed with fatigue after lunch today I realized it was only Wednesday. This is highly unusual for us to be so busy but it didn't use to be. I used to think that if I didn't have two or three things on my calendar each day then I needed to do more. Then we moved to a place where I didn't know anyone and wasn't involved in anything; life came to a screeching halt! It was really hard for me. I felt stir crazy, lonely and unproductive. God used that time to teach me to learn to love my family more, to be more content at home and to value a quiet life.
Now my life is pretty routine, pretty quiet (as quiet as it can be with an ADHD child who seems to dwell on the hyperactive part of that term), yes, in most ways it's pretty boring. But I have learned to embrace the boring and even enjoy it. Then we get a week like this one and I am reminded that many people live like this all the time. I have friends who count themselves lucky if they have one night a week at home with their families. And as we are approaching Thanksgiving I am thankful that God pulled me out of that mindset and taught me to appreciate being home.
I am aware that not everyone would appreciate my quiet life, but after three busy days I am thankful that this is not my usual routine.

Friday, November 7

Introducing our newest family member


We all think he's pretty special and I hear that his big sisters are very excited that he is finally here!

Thursday, November 6

Halloween Costumes


These are my boys!


 Batgirl- or granddaughter #1

Superheroes- granddaughters #2 and #3


But this is my very favorite. This is our six month old grandson modeling his sister's mask. He loved it, never pulled at or anything. He just sat there and grinned at me.

Friday, October 10

Field Trip Day


For quite some time I've been wanting to visit the Hammonds Candy factory in Denver. Hubby had a couple of vacation days so we decided to go yesterday. It is a short tour but we got to see them putting candy on the puller and run it so that it gets air in it, quite fascinating as it happens so quickly. The ribbon candy crimper has been in use since 1920. All candy is handmade and hand wrapped. The boys got free samples and it was nice to find "all natural" candy with no artificial colors or flavorings. They had a great time.

After that we got to see a bit more of big city life. We drove by the football stadium to see how big it was. They loved the tall buildings downtown. Then we went to a mall where they got to enjoy things like elevators, escalators, revolving doors and food courts, you know big city stuff. We also walked our feet off at IKEA only to find the one thing we were looking for was out of stock. Oh well, it was a lot of fun!

Meanwhile Mom was having a bit of sticker shock. We went in one well know national chain as they were advertising 50% off in the whole store. Wow, it was still high to me! Guess I'll keep shopping at the thrift store.

Today seems so much quieter after such a busy day. And so much work to do here...I still have carrots to get canned. Hubby is going to be working on building a closet in our son's room. Now that it's just the four of us again the boys opted to move back into the bedrooms downstairs. This leaves us with two extra bedrooms upstairs. My plan is to turn the bigger one into a proper guest bedroom. It's large enough that even when our daughter comes to visit there will be room for her growing family. Then I will be moving my sewing room from the utility room in the basement to the last spare bedroom. I'm hoping that this will enable me to work in there more often in the afternoons when school is finished. Since I am expecting a new grand baby within the next few weeks, I really need to get sewing!

And I am stove shopping for a new range. This is just no fun, they are so incredibly expensive. 

That's all I have time to write today. My grandson is here this morning and since we haven't seen him for six weeks I'm enjoying this time. He is such a little dolly! :)

Thursday, September 18

Craft idea

I saw this picture somewhere the other day and thought it was beautiful.

Wednesday, September 17

Ham and Jalapeno Popper Sandwich


First you have to make the popper dip:

6 jalapenos grilled, skinned, seeded and diced
3 slices cooked, crumbled bacon
1 pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar
Mix and heat in oven until warm and melted. Then you can use with chips or the sandwich.

I just made a grilled ham and cheese sandwich, only I substituted the popper dip instead of cheese.
My husband said it was the best sandwich he'd had in a long time.

Tuesday, September 16

Miss Molly



Molly is our second granddaughter. She turned 5 last month and made her own birthday cheesecake! I think she is taking after her momma!

First Day of School


I'm a bit last posting this picture. We actually started school on September 2nd but I forgot to post the picture. We like to do something special on the first day of school so this year we went to The Lampstand, our local coffee shop, for hot chocolate and played some games. It was a good start. I wouldn't mind starting that way every day!

Thursday, August 14

Grandkids


A bittersweet picture as this was the day they moved out after living with us for two months.

Bountiful Harvest

Wednesday, August 13

Garden Harvest Has Begun

It's that time of year again! The tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and beans are coming in like crazy this year.

So far I've made a years' supply of Cowboy Candyand half of the canned jalapenos I need. I've done a canner load of green beans. (we planted just a small bit this year as I didn't think I'd need many)

Yesterday I picked a ton of nice big juicy tomatoes and am planning on canning them tomorrow.

And it looks like the grapes should be ready to harvest tomorrow or Friday so we'll be canning them for juice.

I bought a case of peaches and made three pies today. I'm trying something new. I baked on to eat tonight and then I froze the other two to pull out later in the year and bake. I can envision just pulling pies out of the freezer and popping them in the oven for Thanksgiving without any of the work. Crossing my fingers that they turn out good!

This is always such a busy time but so satisfying when I go downstairs and see my pantry full and ready for winter. I have to admit that I am glad we won't be starting school until after Labor Day so I don't have to worry about getting that in the day as well.

Well, back to work!

Friday, July 25

A recipe I don't even really care for...

When we got married my husband asked me to make these cookies. I was sure I had done something wrong, they weren't like cookies at all. Cookies need to be crisp and have a little crunch, these were more like little pieces of cake. But hubby assured me that they were exactly like his mom made and this is what he liked. So over the years I've made them. I don't really care for them but my husband likes them and all of my kids like them so I guess we're good.
Yesterday my youngest daughter called and asked for the recipe. A few months earlier my oldest daughter had wanted the recipe. So in the interest of putting the recipe out there so my kids can always find it, here it is.

Applesauce Raisin Cookies (or as I call them, mini-cakes)

Ingredients:

1 cup raisins
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
1 cup chopped nuts( I never use these, hubby doesn't like nuts in his food.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup thick, smooth applesauce

Pour boiling water over raisins to plump them, let stand for about 10 minutes, then drain. Toss with nuts and flour. Mix sugar, salt and spices. Gradually add to shortening, creaming until fluffy. Add egg and beat. Stir soda into applesauce and add to batter. Stir in raisin mixture. Drop by tablespoon onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

They really are tasty, I just can't think of them as cookies.

Thursday, July 10

One of my favorite summer foods

Hummus! I had never even tried hummus until last year when I tried going vegan. I used this recipe from my friend Barb and fell in love with it. I think it's the sesame oil I really like in this recipe. It gives it that umami flavor.

I like to put some in my pita bread and then fill it up with veggies. My boys love it as a veggie dip. Now that it's hot outside we like to have cool, nutritious foods to grab when it's too hot for a cooked meal. We still don't have my husband converted to eating hummus but that's ok, there's more for the rest of us.

Here are some ideas on how to use hummus:

http://www.mysisterskitchenonline.com/2006/08/18/hummus-and-its-uses/

http://sabra.com/

Monday, June 23

It Is The Little Things...


Do you know when you hear about someone who went off their rocker and beat someone to death with a frying pan for a seemingly small offense? I am guessing that they had put up with so many big things that there just wasn't room for one more little thing.
So, if you hear about me one the news it will be because someone used my special coffee cup after specifically being asked not to.
And it won't really be about the coffee cup, but in a way it will.
It will be about personal respect or the lack thereof.

Thursday, May 22

A building project

The old swingset was literally falling apart. When the boys would swing it looked like it might collapse on them. We knew we had to take it down, but Alex really needs to swing. When he is stressed or overwhelmed he will go out and swing. Sometimes he takes his MP3 player and listens to his music and sings at the top of his lungs. Sometimes he just swings and watches the neighbors work in the garden. So we knew we had to replace the swing, not just tear it down. We also knew that it needed to be bigger and heavy duty so that Alex could use it for years, not months. My husband got online and found the coolest brackets to use from Backyard PlayPlaces so he could design his own swing. We ordered them and a few other pieces, headed to Menards to buy some wood and he built the new swingset in a couple of hours!



The boys always have to help when it's time to build something. They also got to help tear the old swingset apart.



Alex had to give it a test run!

I am so thankful for a husband who not only realizes the needs of our son to have a swingset to help him calm himself, but also for one who is handy and can make what we need without costing a fortune. We have just under $200 into this project and it will provide hours and hours of therapy. Not a bad deal.

Saturday, May 17

Wednesday, March 26

Awesome Words

My 10 year old son is studying Awesome Words in his Sunday school class. They gave him a binder to keep things in and he wanted to decorate the front of the binder. It was his idea to put awesome words on it, so I told him to make a list and then I would make him something for the binder. These are the words he came up with and I thought it turned out pretty cool!

Thursday, March 13

This Girl~

 
This girl is my oldest granddaughter, Lexi, who just turned 5 years old. She and her mother recently moved to Kansas so we were able to run down for a couple of days and spend her birthday with her. I can't believe she is 5 already!










Friday, February 7

Flashback Friday- Valentine's Day Edition

 These were the Valentine's I made for my son's class in 2009. That means he was still in preschool. I had completely forgotten about them until I was going through my timeline on Facebook. These were super fun and easy to make and the kids loved them. I do remember I started with hot glue, but it didn't hold so well so I ended up with double sided tape. Maybe someone out there would like the idea. I'm pretty sure I got the idea from Family Fun magazine.
Each car takes one box of Sweethearts, four mini Reese's and three mini hershey candy bars. They did get kind of pricey but I only had one kid in school and he had 9 classmates so it wasn't too bad. :)
Happy Valentine's Day a week early!



 
 
 

Monday, January 27

Chicken Noodle Soup

A friend asked for my recipe for chicken noodle soup, I told her my soup isn't a recipe but more of a process. So this is my attempt to write a recipe.

Chicken Noodle Soup
4 chicken thighs
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
3 large carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
BetterThan Bouillon chicken base
8 oz frozen egg noodles
salt and pepper
First I take my heavy soup pot and pour in a couple of tablespoons of  EVOO (extra virgin olive oil). let it heat up and add 4 chicken thighs. Brown thighs on both sides. Remove the chicken thighs and set aside for a few minutes. Add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery to the olive oil and let cook until they are soft. Stir often so they don't burn. After the veggies are soft, add 2 quarts of water and bring to a boil. Add the chicken thighs back in for 5-10 minutes, until they are cooked through. Then remove the chicken and cool enough so that you can pull the meat off the bones and chop it up. Add the meat back to the soup. Add a couple of tablespoons of bouillon to the soup and stir well. Add salt and pepper to taste. I ususally add more water and sometimes more seasoning, it depends on how much soup I need to make that day. After it has simmered for awhile I add the frozen noodles and cook until they're done.
And that is my recipe for chicken noodle soup! Someday I'm going to make it and throw in rice instead of chicken.

Linky Love

Every once in awhile I like to post a few links of things I've been reading or doing, today it's time to do that again.

I came upon the Matt Walsh blog a few months ago and I've liked what I read. This specific post is one that all stay at home moms need to read. We don't owe an explanation on why we stay home anymore than a working mom needs to explain her choice to go to work. Right?
http://themattwalshblog.com/2014/01/26/stay-at-home-moms-you-dont-owe-the-world-an-explanation/

The Breathe Jar
I made this since I've been fighting a sinus infection and tried this. It helped, but I still had to go buy antibiotics. I wish I would have tried it sooner. And I used doTERRA oils. :)
http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2014/01/make-your-own-breathe-jar-to-relieve-sinus-congestion.html

I have been a big fan of Sally Clarkson for twenty years or more. She wrote a new book last year and I won one of her giveaways.  The book is called 10 Gifts of Wisdom; What Every Child Must Know Before They Leave Home. I got my book and I think it looks so good I can't wait to read it. It's set up so that it would be great for group study. Maybe I need to find a group. :)
http://www.amazon.com/10-Gifts-Wisdom-Every-Before/dp/0991119703/ref=tmm_pap_title_0

My son got these for Christmas. He had so much fun we bought him an add on set for his birthday. So if you have a boy who likes to create and is interested in tech stuff check out Snap Circuits. He has made a motion detector and an AM radio and is learning about how electricity works.

I came across this recipe for Fire Cider earlier. Since we're in the middle of flu season I thought I would share it. I need to get some ingredients and try it.

Thursday, January 2

It's a new year!



This is the time of year where I clean out my files and get them ready to do taxes. I take my new wall calendar and write down all the birthdays for the year. I clean out my Christmas stuff before I put it away, if I haven't used it in a couple of years I get rid of it. It's time to clean and organize. It's messy but in the end it creates a clean home and I feel less stressed. I am very busy, trying to get it all done before we start school next Monday.
I'm heading back to tackle that one room in the basement that catches all the clutter. See you later, I hope.

Happy New Year!

The Books I Read in 2013

I didn't read as many books last year. I've been busy, I've been distracted, I've been tired. For the first time in my life, or at least since I learned to read, I have had to push myself to read. I've not had the joy in reading that I've always had. I'm hoping it passes soon because I miss the escape of a good novel.
Anyway, here is my list of books I read in 2013, I highlighted the ones I really enjoyed;

On What Grounds- Cleo Coyle
Agenda 21- Glen Beck
The Harbinger- Jonathan Cahn
Big Stone Gap- Adriana Trigiani
All She Ever Wanted- Lynn Austin
The Princesses of Iowa- M Molly Macke
Love In A Nutshell- Janet Ivanovich
A Perfect Life- Robin Lee Hatcher
Wonderland Creek- Lynn Austin
All Things New- Lynn Austin
Down Cut Shin Creek; the Pack Horse Librarians of Kentucky- Kathi Appelt
The Wyoming Kid- Debbie Macomber
True Colors- Kristin Hannah
Beloved Stranger- Grace Livingston Hill
Key on the Quilt- Stephanie Grace Whitson
Wedding Night- Sopie Kinsella
Mini Methods of Madness- Rodger and Janie Peterson
The Engine 2 Diet- Rip Esselstyn
The RAVE Diet- Mike Anderson
Buried in a Book- Lucy Arlington
My Beef With Meat- Rip Esselstyn
Students Go Vegan Cookbook- Carole Raymond
The Glass Case- Kristin Hannah
The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook- Jere and Emilee Gettle
Looking Backward- Joyce Swann
The Weekend Homesteader- Anna Hess
Waking Hours- Lis Wiehl
The Dance- Walsh and Smalley
Rising Darkeness- Lis Wiehl
The Investigators- W E B Griffin
Vanity Fare- Meghan Caldwell
Fatal Tide- Lis Wiehl
Why ADHD Doesn't Matter- Swanberg and Passoe
It Happens Every Spring- Chapman and Palmer
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever- Barbara Robinson
The Beginning- Karen Kingsbury
The Marriage Wish- Dee Henderson
The Greatest Generation- Tom Brokaw
The New Whole Grains Cookbook- Robin Asbell
The Heirloom Life Gardener- Jere Gettle
The New Eat To Live Cookbook- Joel Fuhrman