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.

Friday, December 8

We are busy enjoying listening to Christmas carols doing a little extra baking. I love Christmas!

Wednesday, November 8

The Enchanting Rose Teacup Exchange

A couple of months ago I signed up for a teacup exchange. This was sponsored by Stephanie at The Enchanting Rose blog.The exchange is where you're given a name and address and send some perfect stranger a package of goodies along with a teacup. In exchange you get one from someone else. I have done different kinds of swaps before and it's always been fun. Monica at the Homepun Heart used to do a shoebox swap and it was a lot of fun. Another swap I did was where we all bought the Bend the Rules sewing book and each month made a project out of it and sent it to someone else. One of the best purses I ever made ended up going to someone in that swap. :)
Ok, back to this swap. I had mailed out my package and then had been busy enough that I completely forgot about it so I was pleasantly surprised to find this in my mailbox. It was a little big to just be a tea cup. It was sent to me by Dee in Colorado and was just so lovely!


Here is a look at what was inside my box. She sent me the teacup as I expected, a nice dark coffee, some cookies, a mug rug, a book to read while I have my coffee and some beautiful fabric with teacups on it!

Here is a closer look at the teacup. I love the blues in it and it just took me right back to a little cafe in Mildenhall where I used to grab a cup of tea with a friend.

Thank you Stephanie for organizing this exchange and thank you very much to Dee for such a lovely package! I really do love it!

If you would like to see the other tea cup and mug reveals you can go here and take a look. What fun this was!

Saturday, November 4

A little wandering of the thoughts...

Who would have expected to see a bus from Huffpost in our little town?



 On of my favorite fall recipes. Might have to make some this weekend since it's now November!! When I try a recipe I like I write on it so I remember next time. I also write on the ones we dislike so I don't accidentally make them again.

Spotted on the wall of a library where my friend works.



My pink drink still getting me throughout the day without wanting those sugary drinks I used to crave. I am always eager to help anyone who is looking for a way to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle. My Plexus link is on the side column.

Thursday, November 2

Bake Sale

My son is going to Washington D.C. with his class next spring. He is paying for his own trip but was still a little short so I told him I would help him by doing a bake sale. I made loaves of bread, dinner rolls and about 8 different kinds of cookies.
There was a Ladies Night event at a local hotel where quite a few direct sales companies set up tables, had refreshments and a drawing for a basket of goodies. There was already a gal with a table for Plexus so I decided to do a bake sale and use the funds raised for my sons trip. I paid to have a table there and we had a good evening. I came home with about 3 loaves of bread and 4 dozen cookies. The best thing is I could just toss them in the freezer and I didn't have to bake for the family for a couple of weeks. We have the opportunity to do a larger, all-day event in November. I'm still debating whether to do it or not. I think it could be very good but I need to weigh in the fact that it will be a lot of work to get ready for it. Also, in our community we have one craft show a year and it's that day. If I do the other event I miss the craft show. Decisions, decisions...

 Getting ready was a big job!

 Since the event was at night I could bake bread that morning so it was nice and fresh.


Tuesday, October 31

My very few Halloween Decorations

 We have never been big on Halloween. But these are a couple of things my youngest son brought home this year. The Frankenstein is made out of a baking sheet and will hang on the door. He also made the cards at school.

This is a little Lego bat and pumpkin that Alex brought home from the neighbors a few weeks ago. He was so excited! It really is kind of cute.
I told the boys that I thought middle school is too old for trick or treating, considering they are as big as many adults! But I will take them to the Halloween carnival at their old school and let them have some fun.

Monday, October 30

A Little Bit of Fall Loveliness from Lake Mac

A few weeks ago we had our family pictures taken by the little lake. While we were waiting for the photographer I snapped this because I just loved the colors.
Fall is probably my favorite season. I don't know if it's because we finally get away from the hot summer days or if it's because the colors change and get so intense but I love fall.

I pulled this recipe from a magazine a few years ago and I always think it's a perfect dish for when the weather starts getting cooler.
1 pkg of Hillshire Farm Smoked Sausage
8 oz cooked pasta (I double the pasta and use a whole box)
2 cups heavy cream
2 tsp cajun seasoning
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Prepare pasta, drain and set aside. Saute sausage for 5 minutes, I brown it good, and add cream and cajun seasoning. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 3-4 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Stir in parmesan, add pasta and toss.
YUM!



Sunday, September 24

An Old Canning Jar

According to a website that I found this jar is 80-90 years old. Obviously I still use it. :)

Wednesday, September 6

Pray for all of our Emergency Services People!

Between all the fires in the northwest and the hurricane in Houston our emergency services have been heavily worked. Many volunteers from all states are helping to fill in the gap. And now another large hurricane is headed towards Florida. I don't write much about current events but I do consistently pray for the people who have to step in and help, I pray for the people who have lost homes and property and I pray that those of us who have not been affected will step up and give generously to those in need.
Many businesses have made it easy to give. I noticed at Walmart and Safeway when I checked out that I could give directly to the Red Cross to help victims. I also heard on the radio that you can text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross disaster relief. This will be directly added to your phone bill.
I know there are other places you can donate if you want to take the time to find one that you're more happy with. I would just plead with people to reach down into their pockets and share out of their plenty with others who are in desperate need.

Then after you give, pray for all involved, and  then pray and ask God to show you how you can give more.


Tuesday, September 5

August Wrap Up- part 2


 After we got back from our vacation we started a new adventure. After four years of homeschool the boys went back to school. They have three weeks under their belt. There have been some adjustments.
Preston is in 8th grade and it's a lot for him to remember. He's used to working on a subject until he finishes and bells interrupting him have been a trial. He is having to learn to organize his time better and not to be afraid to ask questions if he doesn't understand. He is is also easily distracted. Since I am the same way I can totally understand how hard this is for him. I am sure he will find his way but until he gets there it's been painful. There have been tears of frustration and feelings of incompetence but he is actually liking school and some of his classes he really likes.
Alex on the other hand is finding it an easy adjustment so I am hoping and praying that this continues. One day a week he gets to go to the high school and they do life skills. He is also in band and is finding that exciting.
Mom is struggling a bit too, not to be too involved. I'm trying to find a balance between interested and not pushy. Any tips would be fantastic~

First day of school 2017
6th and 8th grade

Hubby and I on eclipse day. We spent it canning green beans, grape juice and tomatoes. 


Lunch alone at a newer restaurant

 Preston decided to go out for cross country. I thought it might be good for him to find a way to relieve stress after a day of school. He seems to really be enjoying it. He had his first meet last week and ended up 32nd. I thought that was a decent showing for a newbie runner.

August Wrap Up- part 1

I kind of left you hanging about our vacation. But it's been a wild and crazy month and blogging had to take a back burner to vacation, the start of school, a garden needing attention and a thousand other little things that needed doing.

Okay, first a vacation catch up. As I said earlier we had planned on going to Kansas City. I had even booked a little apartment for us to stay in so we could really relax. But one day hubby came home and said, "the boys are always wanting to go on a plane ride and tickets to Las Vegas are really cheap, why don't we go there?" So we did a little looking, really wanted to go see the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam, so after checking things out we decided to fly to Las Vegas and then rent a car to drive home. We have friends who live in Las Vegas so they generously invited us to stay with them.

 Picture in the Denver airport to prove to a certain skeptical daughter that we really were flying to Las Vegas!


 The New York skyline was fun to see!



 The next day we were off to see the Hoover Dam. Living close to a dam I wasn't sure this would be that interesting but we've always wanted to go so we did.

 Bridges are much bigger here than Nebraska! This bridge alone knocked my socks off!



 We have one of these at our lake. They call it "Morning Glory". These were bigger though but it was fun to see the ducks swimming around the bottom.



The next day we bid farewell to our friends and headed on the long drive home. It was a beautiful day! At the advice of our friends we drove back through Zion National Park and the to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I think it was a great decision. Zion was breathtaking and I wish we had taken more time there.





Then it was time to go see if the Grand Canyon was really all that Grand!
 IT WAS!!





The one thing that really struck me was how good the pine trees smelled. It reminded me of walking in the canyons back home when I was a kid. It's just such a pure, homey smell. There are cabins for rent right on the canyon. I think it would be fun to stay there sometime and just relax and enjoy the breeze and take in the aroma. 

 This was taken on the drive between the North Rim and Page, Arizona. It was beautiful country. Great cloud pic!

 They call this Ship Rock. I can't remember if it was in New Mexico or Colorado. I know we saw it right after we left the four corners.

 Mesa Verde, Colorado
 Poor Alex! He is scared of heights and everywhere we went he had to face fears, but he did exceptionally well and by the end of the trip I think he may have conquered a few fears.

 I told Preston to smile and he said he was. In so many ways he is like his big brother Ian. (smile)

It was a fun trip although perhaps too much driving. And the sight below is always a welcome sight after a few days away.





Thursday, August 31

Loveliness in my Garden

These beauties are blooming again. I wish you could smell them. They grow underneath my bedroom window.

Monday, August 7

Sssh! It's a Secret!!

This morning we are leaving for vacation. We've been telling the boys all summer long that we're going to Kansas City. We've even ordered brochures all about it. But we're not going to Kansas City!
We are going somewhere else that involves a plane ride! The boys are always wanting to go on a trip that involves a plane ride and we've managed to keep it a secret from them.

I just can't wait until we get to the airport and tell them what we're doing!!!!

By they way, after reading up on Kansas City I definitely want to go there sometime too. Maybe next year!

Wednesday, August 2

Life Changes


Do you ever just feel so frustrated and confused you can't even think straight? Yes that's me!

I am having a serious dilemma and I've gone over the pros and cons so many times that I can't even remember. See, I want to send my boys to school this fall. But if you've been reading my blog long enough you know that Alex did not have a good experience at all in school, and now that he's in middle school I worry that he will be a big target for bullies. And to be honest I'm pretty sure that Preston would have a tough time assimilating also because let's face it, my kids are weird. Now to be clear, they aren't weird because we homeschool, they were pretty weird before that. I don't know if it's because they're being raised by "old" people or if it's just their natural bent.  But I do know that weird kids have a tougher time in school.

Before someone asks "why not a Christian school?" Here in our rural area the parochial schools end at grade 5 and even those are not prepared to take on a child with special learning issues like Alex has. To be honest, the public school really didn't seem to know what to do with him. :(

I thought that maybe if I wrote down the reasons for sending them to school as opposed to keeping them at home maybe it would make more sense to me. So, I decided to put my lists here and give it another think.

Why School:

  • The boys could make some friends- 
  • Alex might get someone to help him understand Math- where I have failed
  • Preston could learn that he doesn't know everything.
  • Alex could take band
  • Science experiments
  • Computer classes
  • Industrial Arts
  • I could actually go see the dr without needing a babysitter- yes they're old enough not to need them but if I see any kind of specialist I have to go an hour away and that isn't always the best option.
  • I am exceedingly tired...
  • Our boys are weird!



Why Homeschool:

  • I get my kids when they are at their best not after they're tired from a day of social 
  • I have more control over what they are learning
  • No Peer Pressure
  • A culture that hates God and what He stands for
  • Interest led studies
  • A more relaxed lifestyle
  • I feel like I'm failing them if I send them to school.
  • Our boys are weird!
I know what I really want is to have someone else that I know and trust to teach them and I could just be a normal mom without all the pressure of being the teacher too. So, if anyone is bored and wants to come teach them give me a call! But since I'm pretty sure that's not going to happen I went and enrolled them in school. (mic drop moment)

This has not been an easy decision for me and we are all looking at it as a probationary thing. If I see Alex start to regress socially or behaviorally we will reconsider. The boys are excited as well as nervous. I am feeling cautiously optimistic.

So we will be on vacation next week and then come back to the start of school on the 14th! Schedules are being planned, school supplies shopped for and long talks about peer pressure, bullying and respect are being had. I expect it's going to be very quiet around here and people are asking me what I'm going to do with my time. I have enough work and projects backed up around here that I'm pretty sure I could work full time in my home for a full school year.

I am sad that there are some things we won't be doing together anymore but I'm excited at the new opportunities my boys will have. After nearly 30 years of homeschooling I do truly believe that both options can be good and you have to decide what is best for your family and even for each child.

If you know my family I would appreciate prayers for my boys as they make this transition. I know there will be bumps on the road but this was their decision as well as mine and I want to encourage them as they grow into young men. 

Thursday, July 27

Redneck Recreation

A little fun in the mud at the county fairgrounds watching the combine demolition derby. This is my youngest son's favorite event and he waits for it all year long.