Thursday, December 11, 2008

Christmas baking made easier and more fun

The past five or so years, my sister and I have found a neat way to enjoy our Christmas baking even more. Every year we have gotten together and made some of the cookies. We usually only do four different kinds and we only bake enough to make about four dozen (which is usually just one batch of dough). It is easier however, when you are making it together and sharing time with each other as you do it.
Today the three girls and I went over my sisters house to do the annual baking. We figured it might be easier to spend a girls day baking then to do it here with the boys running around and wanting to help. We made peanut blossoms, thumbprints, butternut balls (similar to what some people call Russian tea cakes) and snickerdoodles. We baked the snickerdoodles and butternut balls but froze the other two kinds in cookie sized balls to bake later. We each went away with 8 dozen cookies to share and lots of good conversation.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Celebrating through the Advent season

So many times, with the busy-ness of the holiday season, it becomes a real struggle to keep the focus off of commercialism and onto Christ and family. I thought I would share what we are doing in our family celebrations to combat Christ getting lost in all the hustle and bustle.

For the past few years in a row, we have been doing a Jesse Tree reading. This reading starts the first day of Advent and goes every day through Christmas. The reading follows through the old testament showing the reason why Christ had to come and the different promises God gave leading up to Christ's fulfillment of those promises. The reading we do is found here.

The first year we did this reading we printed a copy of the symbols off in color and every day we glued that reading's symbol onto a small poster. I know people who make ornaments with each symbol on them and I have ideas for some in my head, but just haven't made them yet.

This year, we are also doing some sort of special activity each day of advent. These are all free or very cheap (read: money for materials needed only) ideas and most all of them are done as a family. This is to encourage togetherness and get the mindset off of one day of presents and onto three weeks of sharing. Plus, some of the ideas are service projects that help prompt our family to give to others during the holiday season. Here is our list of activities for this year:

Nov. 30- decorate the tree
1st play board games as a family
2nd make edible gifts for the birds
3rd make paper snowflakes (we hung these on the front door and windows)
4th write a letter to a US soldier
5th buy and deliver gifts for the military over seas (we may not be able to do this if I don't find somewhere to take the stuff!)
6th take treats to the local fire or police department
7th celebrate Daniel's birthday
8th play video games together as a family
9th make Christmas cards for people in a nursing home
10th sleep in living room by the Christmas tree (this will be only the kids as I will be 8 1/2 months along and Dan's back wont let him sleep on a couch all night!)
11th share with each other what you appreciate about each person in the family
12th have breakfast for dinner
13th make gift tags
14th deliver Christmas cards to the nursing home
15th take canned goods to the food center
16th take cookies to the neighbors
17th drink eggnog and eat cookies
18th drive around looking at Christmas lights
19th read Christmas stories together as a family
20th play in the snow as a family (hopefully it will snow by then!)
21st go Christmas caroling (our church does this each year)
22nd make Christmas ornaments
23rd watch a Christmas movie and eat popcorn
24th go to the Christmas Eve service at church
25th go visit relatives

Obviously some people cannot do a few of these (not everyone has a Dec. birthday in their family!) but hopefully this list may give someone else some ideas for something they can do together.

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #16 Candy Candy Candy

Life has been rather busy the last few weeks and I have not been posting my assignments- or anything else for that matter. I am hoping to catch up on the assignments and maybe even post a little about life here in the next week while we have a little down time.

This week it’s seriously going to be just fun. This week share your favourite candies. Have fun with this… and you’re welcome to post a photo of YOU eating your favourite candy. Haha!

God’s Word is also like sweetness to our souls. His sweet love, forgiveness, comfort, peace, and more is what makes our lives seem a little more bearable when things get rough. Whenever you eat your sweet piece of goodness remember that God loves you and will always be there when life seems sour.

Share a scripture for this week as well. One that lifts you up when you’re feeling discouraged.

I would have to say that my favorite candies are:
Jelly belly jelly beans, candy corn and dark chocolate. I just started eating chocolate again after not eating it for almost 3 years (long personal story why) and have found that I have become rather picky in my chocolate. Stuff like the typical Butterfinger or M&M's wont do it for me. I like it nice and dark. Trader Joe's has a dark chocolate bar that I use to buy that was really good and I can't wait to go there soon and get myself one.

The past couple of years, with Dan's worker's comp situation and being unable to work, I have relied a *lot* on the scriptures that talk about God's provision and promises to take care of us. One in particular that I studied for a short time is:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Joyous Home giveaways

I don't know how many have heard of Joyous Home Magazine, but it is a great magazine with really cool ideas. They have recipes, gardening tips, decorating tips, etc.
For twelve days they are having a giveaway each day. Today is the second day and they are offering an apron pattern for your daughters (good Christmas idea) and holiday recipe cards. All you have to do is visit their front page each day and download your gift!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Homeschool memoirs #10 10 Timely Facts

Theme for the week:
"The time will be changing again. I think on Sunday but not sure. Anyhow this is our 10th Homeschool Memoirs so this week it’s going to be about 10 timely facts about you! Write 10 interesting, crazy, weird, fun facts about you! Include facts about you as a woman, a wife, a mommy, a homeschooler, a homekeeper, a taxi-driver, a cook, etc . I only put 10 facts because I didn’t want to overwhelm you, but you’re welcome to do more! I just posted 101 Facts about myself on my blog, which you can take a look at if you should like."

Since this is suppose to be TIMELY facts, I guess I can start with this:
1) Today is my birthday
2) Even with all my responsibilities, I still every once in awhile get so caught up in a book I will be up till 4am reading.
3) In high school my friends would faint if I showed up at school in a skirt, now my friends would faint to see me in pants.
4) I don't like to watch movies (unless they are really good ones) without doing something else at the same time- knitting, looking at books, etc. I often follow a movie as I surf the web on the computer which drives my husband crazy.
5) I drink lots of herbal tea but no regular black tea, I can't handle the tannic acid in the tea.
6) I don't mind a room warm or cold as long as the heat or cool air isn't blowing directly on me.
7) I'm not very good at grammar, but hate to send any emails or post a blog with bad grammar or misspelled words.
8) I am not a talker.
9) I love everything to do with pregnancy and birth and after my children are older may train to be a doula or midwife.
10) I browse the nonfiction books at the library like most people browse at a clothing store.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #9 The ___ Family

This week we were to take the Homeschool Family song (done to the the tune The Addams Family) and rewrite it for our own family. I had this written two nights ago, but have been too busy to post it.

The Dad he likes to bake
A cheesecake he does make
Though his back's about to break
The Christian family

The mom she cooks and cleans
And often she does scream
But she's really not that mean
The Christian family

Every time you look
The girls are reading books
Chores and homework they'll foresook
The Christian family

The boys they run and play
Twenty-four hours a day
Often getting into a fray
The Christian family

I tried to have my husband come up with a good stanza about me. I had the first line and nothing else. I am not so sure I like what he came up with! LOL!

Monday, October 13, 2008

These Are a Few of My Favorite (Fall) Things

Jacque over at Walking Therein tagged whoever wanted to do this and since I love so much about fall I thought I would jump right in. If you want to do it, visit Jocelyn at A pondering Heart for the picture and let me know so I can visit you and see your answers!

Here are my favorite fall-

1. Favorite Smell? There are so many smells of fall I like its hard to decide on one alone. I like- cinnamon, pumpkin, bonfires, fall leaves, apples

2. Favorite Food? I like being able to start making comforting warm stuff again like chili. I also like my hubby's pumpkin pie cheesecake

3. Favorite Color? the deep fiery red of the maple tree when it changes

4. Favorite Drink? apple cider

5. Favorite Treat? I don't eat them often, but apples with caramel

6. Favorite Place to go? For a walk in the woods

7. Favorite Candy? I haven't had any chocolate in awhile, but dark chocolate peanut M&M's are one of my favorites. If I had to pick from what I eat now, it would have to be caramels or Paydays

8. Favorite Movie to watch? I can't think of a fall movie that I like, but I do like the old black and white classics. A real good one is The Little Minister with Katherine Hepburn.

9. Favorite Clothing to wear? As I am not getting out my fall clothes, having to go to the maternity clothes instead, its hard to tell you what fall clothes I have that I like the most as I haven't seen them since last year. I do like being able to put on a sweater though.

10. Favorite Outdoor Activity? A bonfire with the kids in the backyard

11. Favorite Football Team? Don't ask me why as I am not a real big football fan and don't live anywhere near there, but the Carolina Panthers

12. Favorite Fall Holiday? My birthday of course! (Oct 22) followed very closely by my mom's birthday, which is today (the 13th)!

13. Favorite Haunted place? Let's change that around to Favorite Place to Haunt (visit frequently)

14. Favorite Food at Thanksgiving Dinner? My dad's stuffing

15. Favorite Pie? Apple

16. Favorite Fall Hobby? Preparing for Christmas- we make our gifts and have to start early, so fall is when we start making our lists and doing our crafting/baking, etc. Also knitting tends to lend itself more to fall then most seasons.

17. Favorite Fall Memory? When I was a kid (around 9) my mom, sisters and I took part in a Fall Fest that taught people about the crafts and traditions of the 18th century. They had apple butter making (over an open fire), butter making, Johnny cakes made in a fire with a dutch oven, corn husk doll making, etc. We were the demonstrators for the candle dipping. We had a big kettle with wax and water in it sitting over an open fire and we dipped candlewick in it and helped people try their hand at it as well. My mom also had a treadle machine and quilting stuff on display and she allowed people to try their hand at hand quilting two 4" squares together or using the treadle machine to sew them.

18. Favorite Fall Sight? The colors of the trees

19. Overall Favorite thing about Fall? Lots of family events start up in the fall- birthdays, Thanksgiving, etc. and there are fun activities like fall fests and walks etc. to do. Lots of time to spend outside in some really nice weather.

20. Overall Favorite Season? It would have to be fall

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #8 Study Spot

This week we need to post about our favorite spot to study with our children.

Our book learning takes place mostly in the living room, but since we also believe in learning from life, we tend to use wherever we are to learn. If its a project like a lapbook then we would require the use of the dining room table. Then there is the learning we do while cooking in the kitchen. I love when we have discussions about stuff in the car and field trips are always fun.

Now for my personal study time, its usually in bed after the kids are asleep. I read or plan, etc. while dh watches a movie.

I would include pictures of all the different places we study, but we recently got out the winter clothes to sort and put away and the house is a mess. It has made substantial progress today, but there are still totes of clothes everywhere. When you have six kids to sort for and five of them are moving up in a size, that is a lot of clothes!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Peanut Butter Play Dough

Since several people expressed interest in the peanut butter playdough I mentioned in my snack post, I figured I should just post it here. I can't find the one I used, but either of these are good variations on the whole thing.

1 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. honey
1/2 c. powdered milk


1c peanut butter
1c rolled oats
1c powdered milk
1/3c honey

Mix together to make a playdough.

Optional: Wheat germ, coconut, raisins, nuts, etc.

There is one recipe that I have used that omits the milk and ups the oats. I think this one, while it is good for us lactose intolerant sorts, stays too sticky. I think the powdered milk helps make it easier to handle.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #7 Snack Foods

Edited to include link to requested recipe.

Our assignment this week is: what snack foods to buy for homeschooling families, on the go or at home. I would like to invite you to share what snack foods your family usually snacks on throughout the week. You’re welcome to make season lists too.

Cut up veggies- my older girls actually prefer big carrots to baby carrots. Then there are celery sticks, broccoli and cauliflower. A few of them like grape tomatoes, one daughter likes cucumbers but not too many of the kids will eat peppers. Serve with dip or hummus.
Any fruit in season
Tortilla chips with cheddar cheese sprinkled on top then warm up in the toaster oven or microwave enough to melt the cheese
banana bread with peanut butter on it
granola bars
fruit snacks
pretzels crackers with peanut butter and raisins
ants on a log
apple with peanut butter
nuts or trail mix
crackers and cheese
dried fruit
peanut butter playdough (peanut butter, honey, oats, etc. mixed together)

I am looking forward to reading everyone's suggestions. If you want to see other ideas, see this post with all the links.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs #6 Summer Photo Essay

This week's assignment is to post a photo essay of our summer. Unfortunately, when our computer crashed last month it took all of our photos with it. Yes, that's right, four years of photos stored on a computer with no backup, crazy isn't it? Anyway, the jury is still out on if we will be able to save any of that or not. I do however have our oldest daughter's birthday party and some pictures the girls took of a grasshopper in our backyard, so here they are:

This is Charlotte's birthday. I am in blue cutting the cake. My second oldest, Devorah is in yellow next to me (she wears yellow all the time so we have nicknamed her Chiquita like the bananas). My third oldest, Abby is in the blue at the table.

This picture is of my niece Sam, my oldest son Daniel and my second oldest son Tim.

In this picture our oldest Charlotte is blowing out her candles.

I wont show you all the many pictures the children took of the grasshopper, but I will show you the best two-

I will leave you with something to make your mouth water. Dan has perfected a wonderful new cheesecake recipe for the fall- Apple Pie Cheesecake

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs -Favorite Things

This week I want to invite you to share a few of your favourite things - er - sites. I know the list of favorite things could be never-ending, but I’ve made a list for you to do regarding your favorite homeschool things. BUT by all means you’re welcome to add your other favorite things on the post as well!

I look forward to seeing everyone else's lists. I lost all my bookmarks in a computer crash a few weeks back and am lost without them! Here is the little bit I have of sites I knew by memory and no computer crashing can take away from me!

Can you tell I've been wiped clean of all my websites?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Homeschool Agendas

This week we are discussing our homeschooling plans for the year and a verse that has helped us as we have planned.

While I don't have the year completely laid out, I do have a rough idea on main areas I am covering. I will be teaching my 11yo daughter (6th), 9yo daughter (4th) and 7yo daughter (2nd) as well as giving my 5yo son (kindergarten) stuff to keep busy with. I am usually pretty relaxed with kindergarten, but he really wants to do schoolwork so why fight it?

A lot of the stuff I use I get from the site Old Fashioned Education. Miss Maggie (the site's owner) has put together a free online curriculum using mainly out of copyright free books that you can find online through her links. I don't go completely according to her layouts, but use the ideas as a jumping off point.

I personally try to keep all of the children learning the same history, art, music and gym and some of the same science and just give each one age appropriate work within the subject. This year we will be studying ancient history- Greece, Rome and Egypt, using books from the library, lapbooks etc.

Art and music we tend to just explore as we go. Sometimes we listen to some classical music or I will print off a coloring page of a famous piece of artwork and then discuss the artist.

I would link to the free homeschool physical education program I found, but my bookmarked sites are all on my crashed computer. It basically has the children do stretches everyday and then either has them learn about a sport or do a physical challenge, etc.

Science has always been a mix of reading books, nature study, experiments, videos, etc. I am going to have the two older children read some more reading. A few books I plan on having them read are: A Fairyland of Science and The Storybook of Science. I also want to start giving them a more solid biblical worldview of science and firm up their beliefs.

For math I have been using a program out of England by CIMT called the Mathematics Enhancement Program. This year the 2nd gr. will finish up year 1 and start year 2 while the older two will be doing year 3 and 4.

Writing skills see a lot of use and strengthening through journal writing, letter writing, stories, etc. The older two children will be doing more grammar work, possibly going through the Scott Foresman workbooks that are available for free online. They also write on their own blogs occassionally.

The older two girls inhale books as if they were air. I use their love of books to further their education by making sure they read historical fiction, biographies, classics and other worthy books. I don't mind them sitting there for a couple hours reading if I know they are learning about World War II or whatever the subject is. Oftentimes one of the girls will be talking with me about something and will remember something they read in a book that goes along with the subject we were discussing.

Last year the older two started going through a book titles Home Geography for Primary Grades, notebooking what they learned as they went. I will be having them finish that as well as having them do country studies and the like to go with it. I found a basic country lapbook that you can use for any country of your choice and will have them do a few different countries with that.

Well, that is all I can think of for now. There is of course all the home ec they will learn as they all help out around the house, in the kitchen and with the new baby (arriving after the new year). They will have devotions to do, character training and other stuff going on. I will print out some of the free lapbooks I have picked up so they can do those. If you can't tell, I try to do all I can to make our homeschooling happen with as little cost as possible. I even print all our books, etc. out at the library so as to save on printing costs (they have no limit on how much you can print for free).

One verse that has not only helped with this year's planning, but also with other life issues in the past few months has been Prov. 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Homeschool Memoirs- All about me

Alright, here is the first assignment for the Homeschool Memoirs (it was suppose to be Blogger Class Mates but name has been changed). We are suppose to tell about ourselves so that everyone can get to know us a bit.

My name is Kate and I am 32 (for two more months at least! I have been married to my husband Dan for 11 years next month. We have six children (11g, 9g. 7g, 5b, 3b, 1.5b) and one on the way due sometime after the new year.

I have been homeschooling my clan ever since day one. We kindof came to the decision to homeschool about the same time we also gave up our family planning to God. I was on a wonderful list that discussing the biblical reasons for homeschooling, quiverful, courtship, etc. and it helped us to really cement what we believe on the issues (nothing is mandated in the Bible, but we have our personal believes we have been led to through scripture).

The last three years my family has been through a trial that is continuing to stretch us. In Nov. of 05 my husband fell at work and herniated one of the discs in his lower back. After a year of paying him partial wages and trying to find him affective treatment, his company declared he had reached maximum improvement and they cut off his pay.

For the past two years we have been living without any income. The first year we survived on whatever came through for us, this last year we have been using the little bit of money Dan had in his 401K. Monday we cashed out the last of his 401K and are now on empty.

My mom has been telling me how much faith it takes to live like we have been and I kept telling her that I didn't consider it a test of faith because we still had the 401K to fall back on. Now God is stretching us past my comfort zone. Through it all so far he has continued to provide and I don't doubt he will continue to do so- no matter how at ease I am with the situation.

Currently Dan is trying to start a cheesecake business as a way of bringing in some money. I am trying to take care of six children and a house and all that goes with it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Does it make a difference?

I went to church today, I think. Its a little hard to tell sometimes when I've been there. The routine is something like this- go to church for Sunday School and sit in the nursery the whole time with Ben (1.5) because there is nothing else to do with him and he wont sit still for class. Then church starts and I go in for praise and worship. As soon as the singing is over- if I am lucky I might make it through the offering -Ben starts fussing and needs to leave the room. Then I go to the nursery and sit as he wont go in there without me most of the time. Do they still do sermons at church? I can't remember the last time I sat through one! I am going to have to start listening to them online more often so that I can at least get a little bit of something for the week. Danny got something out of the sermon today, so at least I know it was a good one.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Let's try this again

I have not posted anything here since April and have only posted 20 times total in all of 2008. I just haven't felt like talking or taking the time out to do any typing. I am however going to try this again. I am also signing up for another blogging assignment group as a way of helping push me to write more regularly. Maybe I can do a little better.

So, if you want to join in the fun, come over to the Homeschool Blog Awards website and sign up to join the class.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What is it with vacation?

We are leaving for a little vacation in a few days. My step sister is getting married in SC and we are going to go there to attend. My mom was generous enough to give us a stay at her time share so that all we have to do is pay for food and gas. I am packing as much food as I can to take with us and will buy the rest down there.

The last time we went on vacation I spent the last few days prior to leaving cleaning out my cupboards and going through food as we had some kind of weavels infesting our food.

This time, its the ants. Every year when the weather turns warmer the many ant nests around our house start sending out little guys to investigate our house for food sources. I have them coming in the front doorway and the kitchen window frame. Last year they were coming in the dining room through the heat vent so I am waiting for that one.

Today I have already vacuumed the living room really well and will be doing the dining room after we eat lunch. I am also going to have to do a really good cleaning of the kitchen. Then before we leave I will put down something to take care of them while we are gone. I use to have diatomaceous earth that I would put around the openings (windows and doors) and even put it in the carpet of the dining room. I really liked it because it was all natural and safe around the kids. Now I have some sort of product from Sevin. The place I had bought my diatomaceous earth from years ago didn't carry it last time I went there. They assured me that the Sevin stuff was good to use. I don't really care for it, but if I put it down while we are gone then I can clean it up when we get home.

I don't know why we are always attacked by bugs right before we leave. For now its back to work. I have to clean, pack food, make lunch, etc. Time waits for no man!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to cook rice the easy way

I had my husband's siblings over for lunch one Sunday in February. I had the main meal in the crock pot (chili) but wanted to serve it over rice. My problem was, how to get brown rice cooked and ready in a short time so that we could eat as soon as we came home from church? Here is what I did-

Take a pot and add to it the brown rice and water needed for your recipe. Put the lid on and heat it up till it boils. Turn off the stove, take your pot and place it in the microwave (leave the lid on). Go off to church and when you come home your rice will be ready for you!

I cooked a full 2#s of rice this way. It was in the microwave for a good four hours. It may not need that much time to sit but that is how long we were gone to church. The microwave acts as an insulator so that the water stays hot long enough to cook the rice. I know someone who uses the same method to make yogurt.

Word of warning, do *not* turn the microwave on!

Go see Tammy for more kitchen tips.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My baby turned one!

I am *sooo* behind in life! Our little buddy Benny turned one two weeks ago and I am just now writing about it.

It is hard to come up with a list of character traits and all I am thankful for with Ben as he is still a little one and his personality hasn't really come through for me yet. Of course I love my littlest one. Certain people in our lives keep trying to tell us that this is our last baby. While I am not sure if that is the case or not, he certainly is a pleasant one.

Ben loves his family- his oldest two sisters take care of him so much that he reaches for them all the time.
He likes to play with clothes in laundry baskets- he puts them in , takes them out then puts them in again.
Lately he has started to wave good-bye and has tried to say a few words.
He is definitely a happy cheerful little guy.

Happy Birthday (belated) Ben!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Snowy Days

The first half of this week we received quite a bit of snow. I would say we have had at least 6 inches if not more. Danny decided that he would have all the snow from the driveway piled in one spot on the lawn for the children to make a snowman with. Here are the results.

P.S. For those inquiring minds who want to know, the baby and I were out doing the grocery shopping while this was going on.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Calm After the Storm

The memorial for Dan's father was Tuesday night. Yesterday we said good-bye to our guests as Dan drove his brother and his son home. We are now in the quiet place you reach when all the craziness of the even has passed.
The memorial went rather nicely. The pastor gave a great presentation of the gospel (most there were unsaved and quite a few of them were drug addicts and alcoholics). I got to meet relatives of Dan's that I have either never met or have only met once in the 11 years we've been married (we've known each other for over 14 years).
It was great having Dan's brother here. He is such a great guy and does a wonderful job with his son. He was widowed at a young age when his son was around 2 years old. He was also a great help around here, always rinsing the dishes or taking out the trash.
The children really enjoyed having their cousin to play with They played many games of Monopoly, Battleship and stuff.
I am however looking forward to getting back to a 'routine' (well our version of what at any rate). The girls need to get back to their school stuff. I need to get back to housework. Dan hasn't been able to do any therapy in a week and a half and I haven't walked the last two weeks. I still have a couple small boxes of papers and stuff of Dan's dad's to go through, but other then that we are all back to normal!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Final Update

Today with the blood pressure meds maxed out, Dan's dad was reading only 95 over 40-something. At 3:15pm they took hims off the medication and a few minutes later they took out the breathing tubes and everything. Just before 4 he passed on.

When Dan's sister finally was able to say good-bye (she tried see you later, I'll miss you, etc. first) they saw a tear roll down Duane's cheek. At the end Dan leaned over and assured him that he would take care of the rest of the family, God was taking care of them all and that Duane could go ahead and go because they would be taken care of. About 30 seconds after he said that- Duane stopped breathing, etc.

Dan is doing okay, trying to stay strong and take care of things for everyone. He has been able to reflect a little and stuff but I am sure it wont really sink in till everything is done and over with.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

update on my Father in Law

I thought I would post an update on what is going on with Dan's dad. He has shown no positive changes since Saturday. They have had to change the dialysis so that it is running 24 hours a day. The blood pressure med.s they were giving him to raise his pressure have been maxed out. If the dialysis machine shuts down tonight they will not restart it. If he is still hanging on tomorrow then the family will gather about 3pm at the hospital and they will shut all the machines off. After that it could be either minutes or hours before he passes.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Blogger Friend School #13 Meet My Bible

After a brief hiatus, BFS has started up again. There is a new host for the assignments as Tamara (the original host) is having issues with computer stuff. Thank you Nancy for taking this over, hopefully I can keep up with the assignments!

This assignment is all about our Bibles and how we use them.
  1. How old is your Bible? It is 5 1/2 years old
  2. Why did you chose this Bible? My dh bought it for me as a gift for our 6th wedding anniversary. It is a NASB Study Bible
  3. Do you highlight/mark passages in your Bible? Yes and also take notes in the margins
  4. If so, what is your system for marking passages? I highlight, underline, put brackets around, almost anything!
  5. Do you have notebooks to record things? I start notebooks and journals all the time and never go more then a few months in them
  6. If so, how many and what do you record? I will record verses I like, thoughts I have on them, prayer needs, Bible study/sermon notes, etc.
  7. Where is your favorite spot to read your Bible? In bed at the end of the day is really the only time I really manage to do anything
  8. Are there any special thoughts about your Bible you want to share? Regardless of where we get our Bibles from or what they look like, the important objective to remember is that they are no good to us if we don't USE them. That is something I have not been very good about lately. I can't seem to do anything with consistency

My Timothy James

I am SO late in posting this, I just can't seem to get myself doing much on the computer lately. But since I have started doing this for each of the children I couldn't miss one.

My little Timothy turned 3 a week and a half ago. I wanted to share some pictures and some wonderful things about him. First off I thought I would show you all his baby picture as its not often you see an 11# plus little newborn!

Whoever says there is no difference between boys and girls has never met my bunch. My boys have definitely been more headstrong and stubborn then the girls. That and they started playing with cars at a much younger age (and I mean driving them across the floor not just playing around with them).

I am thankful for:
1) Tim's stubbornness (this will be a good trait later in life, right?)
2) giving him butterfly kisses
3) 'no' and 'uh huh' -his two favorite words
4) his willingness to help in the kitchen
5) he is funny
6) the way he and his brother play together (nicely for the most part)
7) he is competitive
8) he loves to be the one to say grace at meals
9) his hugs
10) his curiosity

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Please Pray

The last 36 hours have been a rather whirlwind. Wednesday we found out that Dan's dad (Duane) had cancer and we were told that he had 6-12 months to live. Yesterday we found out that it is lung cancer that spread to the liver and he also has an ulcer on his kidney that they were going to operate on last night but could not due to his failing health. This morning they put him on dialysis because his kidneys were not functioning well. Then came the breathing tube because his oxygen levels were at 30-40%. Tonight they went in to see about fixing what they thought was a hole in his intestines and instead they found spots of cancer all over his abdomin. The doctors have asked Danny if he wants them to resuscitate him if his heart or breathing fail him. Danny is right now on his way to get his brother (Brian) who lives almost 1 1/2 hours away (in the snow belt and there is snow falling). Brian has not talked to Danny's dad in probably five years and has decided he would like to see him before he passes. Brian was going to come in this coming Friday but Danny talked him into coming sooner to make sure he had his chance to see Duane. Please cover the whole family in prayer. It is also hard on Danny's Grandma as this is the second child she will have lost.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Orange zest kitchen tip

I thought I might add something to Tammy's Kitchen Tip Tuesday. If you haven't checked out her site Tammy's Recipes, do so soon. She has an extensive collection of recipes as well as other different tips and kitchen helps. Every Tuesday she puts out the call for kitchen tips and here is one from me-

I have been using a lot of orange zest lately. So, since oranges are in season and Devorah (my 9y0) happens to love oranges, every time I serve an orange I first wash it and then grate it skin off. I just use my grater with the smaller holes. It gets the zest off in nice skinny slivers and no zest. I then leave it sit out for a day or two to dry then put it away. I have a baby food jar full of zest right now waiting to be used!

If you have a kitchen tip to add or want to see what others have to share, visit Tammy's blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wednesday's Website #10

If you have a few minutes and want to look over a really neat site, then check out A Storybook Life. There are all sorts of frugal ideas there for decorating your home, making crafts, all kinds of stuff. It will keep you busy for awhile just looking around.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (22)

I only have ten minutes till I told Danny I would be off of here and upstairs to see him. I have been gone all day (well, I got home with enough time to put groceries away and heat up dinner) and haven't had any time with him. It is however Thursday and I wanted to get my list made.

1) I just spent a few hours with a good friend who I don't see often enough. I had a really good visit and am thinking of asking her to do a Bible study with me so we have an excuse to get together more often and so something really edifying comes out of our visits (not that we don't enjoy our time together, its just we could get even more out of it).

2) I am thankful for my oldest, Charlotte, who came with me today and watched Benjamin and my friend's 2yo daughter so we could visit without chasing children around.

3) For Danny who watched the other four here at home while I was gone.

4) For the progress Danny has had in his therapy and weight loss. He has been so consistent with going to therapy and that is the hard part for so many people.

5) That God has provided the gas money for us to get Danny to therapy and to get to church on Sundays, etc.

6) For the 401K money Danny put away the first seven years of his career. It wont be there for retirement, but it is supplying for our needs right now when we need it.

7) For our daughters' generosity- Charlotte (10) gave me her bank so we could pay bills with her money. Anytime we go to Aldis, the girls look for change on the ground and have recently been offering it to me to help with the bills.

8) Our new furnace- we applied for some assistance from the county to help weatherize our home. They gave us a furnace, more insulation in the attic, cleaned our gutters and a few other items.

9) The growth I see in my older two. We have had good talks with both of them this week about accountability and not letting Satan pull them into trouble. They are growing in their walks!

10) For the staff at our church and all the lay people who are involved in the ministry. We go to a great church and the people there are wonderful.

11) Warmth; its gonna be really cold out the next few days and I am so grateful for the fact that we are warm and snug in our home (see no. 8)

12) We have started making it a habit to have some real family time each week-playing board games or whatever, its been fun.

13) God's tremendous blessings. Even though we have a lot less then most people, we still have *so* much and God has blessed us incredibly.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

A break in the weather

The weather last week hit some unusual temps for our area. Instead of there being several inches of snow on the ground, we actually hit into the 60's. The kids were able to go out and bike ride in the middle of January! These pictures are from one of the days they were out there playing. It was probably around 50 that day for a high.

Devorah's Cake

I wanted to share the recipe we used for Devorah's birthday cake. The rule is that the birthday person gets to choose the dinner meal, the cake and the ice cream. Devorah had an orange theme for her dessert. She wanted orange cream ice cream and an orange cream cheesecake instead of a regular birthday cake.

Here is a photo of the finished product:

Orange Dream Cheesecake
The original recipe is found here. This is my version-

The crust was a basic graham cracker crust;

1 1/4c graham cracker crumbs
1/4c sugar
1/3c melted butter

Combine the crumbs and the sugar then mix the butter in. Press the mixture onto the bottom and slightly up the sides of a spring form pan. Bake at 375 for 4-5 minutes. Let cool before adding the cheesecake mixture.


3 8oz packages neufatchel cream cheese
1/2c softened unsalted butter
1c sugar
4 eggs
1/2c sour cream
1 1/2T orange zest
1/4c orange juice concentrate
1t vanilla

Beat together the cream cheese, butter and sugar. Add in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and pour over the crust. Bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes or until top is light brown and the center is slightly jiggly.

1 1/2c sour cream
2T orange juice
2T sugar

Combine ingredients. When cake has finished baking pour topping over it and bake it for another 5 minutes. Let cool in oven, cracked and then refrigerate to finish cooling. Decorate with thinly sliced oranges, peels removed.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Thursday's Thankful Thirteen (20)

Today my list is going to be all about my Devorah. She turned nine yesterday so its only appropriate to think of everything about her I am thankful for.

1) She is full of life.
2) She is a deep thinker.
3) She is a tom boy.
4) She helps out a lot.
5) She has a big heart.
6) She loves Mexican food (something we share).
7) She's a perfectionist.
8) She is full of drama.
9) She has a tender spirit.
10) She is sensitive to God's spirit.
11) She is adventurous.
12) She is playful.
13) She is analytical.

Charlotte Mason blog carnival #8

Hey, I am only two days late for this weeks edition of the Charlotte Mason blog carnival. Check it out here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

One more quick post- cute things they say

Before I go to bed I wanted to post this as I have been meaning to for weeks and don't want to forget anything (I did forget one thing already). Here are a few things the little ones have said to me lately that have really made me smile-

Tim (almost 3) has out of the blue started to learn his colors on his own. We had our Christmas lights set to fade from one color to the next and he was saying each color as it lit up. Here is what he said, "Red, green, blue, orange juice."

Not too long after that he came running into the kitchen all excited about something. "Mom, he runned!" You mean he ran?" I asked. "No, he runned!" Tim insisted.

Today Daniel was operating a little toy car and figured out something on it I was messing with the other day. He came and showed me how he did it and then told me "That's why you need to have kids" (to show you how to do all these complicated things you naive parents can't figure out for yourself).

One of the girls said something to me the other day that was so funny, and I can't remember it for the life of me!

Another Tiany giveaway

Lest you think I was joking when I said Tiany always has a party going on, she has another giveaway going on over at her blog. There is a website I go to often (though not often enough) called Raising Godly Tomatoes. The lady in charge (Elizabeth) writes articles on child raising based on her years of experience raising 10 children. She has some really good advice. After years of writing articles for her website she has ventured into book publishing. Tiany is giving away a copy of Raising Godly Tomatoes the book. Check it out!

Some of my favorite things

Tiany always seems to be having some sort of party over at Less of Me More of Him. Now she is celebrating her 2 year blogoversary.

She is having a nice giveaway to go along with it as well. She wants us all to share our favorite things and so here is a list of some of mine-

1) Rooibos Chai tea flavored with stevia and a little vanilla rice milk added. I am not a coffee drinker, cannot drink black tea (tannic acid) and cannot have milk (lactose). This is an awesome very low calorie sweet creamy wonderful drink hat really hits the spot.

2) Burt's Bees products- my sister bought me a bottle of shower gel, lotion and a bar of soap and I love it. The soap is honey orange and smells wonderful.

3) I love the smell of jasmine and Bath and Bodyworks makes a great night blooming jasmine fragrance line.

4) A warm rice/flax bag to keep your toes/fingers warm.

5) The smell of lavender as I fall asleep.

6) Little kiddo cuddles

7) Dark chocolate- even though I haven't had chocolate in a long time, drak chocolate is one of my favorite things.

8) a good cheesecake- lactose and all I still eat it.

9) Just about anything edible and Mexican- my second oldest gets this from me.

10) Anne of Green Gables- or any other book written by L. M. Montgomery- when I was a teen I borrowed every book of hers the library had.

I thought this would be harder then it actually was. Go visit Tiany and see what else is being recommended!