Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hope for a New Year

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my Light, my Strength, my Song
This Corner Stone, this Solid Ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All In All
Here in the Love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone who took on flesh
The Fullness Of God in helpless babe
This Gift Of Love and Righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save.

When on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live!

No guilt in life no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's fist cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny!

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His Hand
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.


There in the ground His body lay
Light Of The World by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again!

As He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me!
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Yum

I've been wanting to start baking my bread again. Store bought whole wheat bread is over priced and isn't that good. I wanted to start baking my bread again, but truthfully have just been too lazy. I don't own a bread machine-I have to do all that kneading by hand.

Yesterday I went to the grocery store and purposely didn't buy bread. I was determined to bake this week of light schooling. Today,thanks to Tammy, I found a new bread recipe at the King Arthur Flour website.

Long story short, but my 2 loaves just came out of the oven. We can never wait for it to cool before cutting into it. So...we did. It's yummy! The texture is very nice. I started with their recipe for white bread, it's always a good starting place.

The recipe is good enough that you should try it. They are very thorough with their instructions so even if you've never baked your own bread, you should be okay.


Our freshly sliced loaf.

King Arthur White Sandwich Bread
*my comments are in bold*
1 packet "highly active" active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast; or 2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
7/8 to 1 1/8 cups lukewarm water*
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes

*Use the lesser amount in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate), and somewhere in between the rest of the year, or if your house is climate controlled. *I needed to use just a bit more water...guess my house is pretty dry.*

Directions
1) If you're using active dry yeast, dissolve it with a pinch of sugar in 2 tablespoons of the lukewarm water. Let the yeast and water sit at room temperature for 15 minutes, until the mixture has bubbled and expanded. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
*What I did- measure out the lesser amount of warm water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl and let bloom.*

2) Combine the dissolved yeast (or instant yeast) with the remainder of the ingredients. *This is when I realized I need the extra water+plus a bit more to make the dough nice and moist-without being sticky.*Mix and knead everything together—by hand, mixer or bread machine set on the dough cycle—till you've made a smooth dough. If you're kneading in a stand mixer, it should take about 7 minutes at second speed, and the dough should barely clean the sides of the bowl, perhaps sticking a bit at the bottom. In a bread machine (or by hand), it should form a smooth ball. *I knead by hand for a full 15 minutes. Lightly flour the table or counter if you have trouble with sticking. Mine was good.*

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise, at room temperature, for 1 to 2 hours, or until it's nearly doubled in bulk. Rising may take longer, especially if you've kneaded by hand. Give it enough time to become quite puffy.

4) Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into an 8" log.

5) Transfer the log, smooth side up, to a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan. Tent the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap. *I use a very clean dampish tea towel. I then set it in the cold oven with the interior light on to raise.*

6) Allow the bread to rise till it's crested about 1 1/4" over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour. Again, it may rise more slowly for you; let it rise till it's 1 1/4" over the rim of the pan, even if that takes longer than an hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.

7) Bake the bread for 15 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, till the crust is golden brown, and the interior temperature measures 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. *I don't have this kind of thermometer. Instead I baked it for 25 minutes and checked it-When you thump it, it should sound hollow. It should also be brown. Mine needed the extra 10-15 minutes.*

8) Remove the bread from the oven, and gently loosen the edges with a heatproof spatula or table knife. Turn it out of the pan, and brush the top surface with butter, if desired; this will give it a soft, satiny crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing. As soon as it's completely cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap; or in a plastic bag, air pressed and fastened securely at the top.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy...

I feel purt-near giddy. Really. God is so good to me!

The past few days have been a nice, contented blur. It's been a very nice holiday season. Today I'm trying to get back into my normal routine. I even made a menu plan(the first one in a few weeks).

And to add to my holiday delight? IHOP is offering their ONETHING conference to view for free!!

I wanted to go to this, but just knew I couldn't swing it. Once again, God has given me the desires of my heart. Watching it in the comfort of my own home is pretty nice. The kids can play around the tree (although, not for much longer) and I can fold laundry while we listen and enjoy.

It's free to watch, but you have to register. The second session started at 2pm central time.
onething 08

EDITED TO ADD: WOW! I can't say enough about the teaching I've been hearing all day! It's soooo good!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

The After Christmas Post


I hope you had a good holiday.

I keep thinking over and over how much better this year is than last. Each time I breathe a sigh of relief.

Our Christmas was so nice. It was so much the same as other years, but yet so different. For one thing, there wasn't that underlying stress that years past have had. I didn't have the day after Christmas blues. And I think I love my husband. Pretty great stuff.

The living room floor still looks like Christmas blew up all over it. 5yo is having a blast!! It's so great to see her really enjoying herself.

I even went out and bought curtains for my freshly painted (ahem...well, sorta) living room and kitchen with LAST YEAR'S Christmas money. I know, I know....get a life why don't I? (just how long do you squirrel away those Christmas dollars?)

I'm breathing a nice comfortable sigh of content.

God is good!!!!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

'Twas the days before Christmas


'Twas the days before Christmas and all through the trailer,
nothing was ready, not even a Christmas mailer.
The presents were bought with much bustle and haste
But they sit in the trunk, and I think, "What a waste!
This season of giving is such a great hoax
And the price tags attached would make anyone choke!"

But the children's eyes are so merry
oh my, how they twinkle
They care not if I've spent only a nickle.
So I'll bake a few cookies
I'll wrap up the sweaters
I'll even work on the annual letter!

Then Dad in his work clothes, and I in my jammies
will wrap more presents for the kids, Grandpaps, and Nannies.
We'll hang all our stockings
we'll neaten the shoes
Then Dad and I will plan- next year, a cruise!

We'll get up real early despite our complaints
and thank our dear parents for being such saints
We'll remember each Christmas we had in the past
and hope that this warm fuzzy feeling will last.
Then we'll wrap up the kids for a short care ride
and we'll rush and we'll hurry to be at tree side.

We'll sweep in the door and we'll hear them exclaim
You're all here so early, your driving- Insane!
It's so good to be together
this time of the year
It's so nice to be full of such Holiday cheer!

And you'll hear it ring out
as we drive out of sight
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Thankful


I posted this last year around the same date. It was fun for me to read. So much so that I thought it was worth posting again. Some of them are still quite fresh and true.

For some fresh posts try visiting the BlueCastle for Living in Thanksgiving.

And now for your reading enjoyment....

"This Christmas season I'm thankful that...

there are only 5 more days until Christmas and then it's over until next year.

most of my shopping is done, except a trip to the grocery store and maybe to walmart to print up a photo of we 3 girls for hubby's gift-especially because there are only 5 days until Christmas. Do you know what the stores are like?

I live in a small place that takes less time to clean than the palatial homes I drool over. It gets messed up very quickly, but since there's less room I don't have to walk as far to put things away.

I'm a good cook and my family will eat well before we are invited over to a not so good cook's home for dinner.

we have the simple things in life. Running water, flush toilets, and electricity. These are truly things to be grateful for.

the lovely couple at church tucked a nice Christmas surprise in my card and I was able to go and buy some much needed undergarments. They really are such a blessing.

there is a store that carries the much needed undergarments in my size. It's so nice to walk in and find exactly what I need in a plethora of colors. One size really doesn't fit all.

I have the love and support of God fearing parents. Even in difficult times I know they love me and are praying for me.

Christ humbled himself and became a man. Lived a sinless life, died, was burried, and rose again to be seated at the right hand of the Father and gives me VICTORY and eternal life through His sacrifice.

May I never forget all He has done for me."

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

To Do

Christmas Tree-check
Candles in the Window-Check
Homemade Ornaments/craft-
Christmas Cards-
Christmas Picture-
Traditional Holiday Long Underwear-CHECK!

At least I've got a few things accomplished.

Monday, December 15, 2008

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Have you seen those ads paid for the Corn Refiners Something Something or Other? Ever since the first time I saw them, I wanted to shout back at the TV.

No need, here is a handy dandy youtube video that says it all for me. (HT to Cheeseslave for finding the video.)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Birds!!!

Ewww! A huge flock of black birds just flew by the window. It actually darkened the sky a little. Ew!

now,...what was I going to write???? ....

I spent the week trying to get into the groove of a new schedule. Our old one just hasn't been cutting it for us lately.

The new schedule looks something like this:

Sunday Monday-like regular weekend days. Our days to relax, spend time with family. Unless on a Monday Hubs is not off. Then it's a regular work/school day. (This week we were off.)

Tues-Saturday-Schooldays (with the above exception)
Tuesday is recovery day. The day we recover from having a busy day with daddy the day before. This is the day I'll try to make regular grocery store day.
Wednesday -scouts and library day. Also the day to stop by the store for milk or bread if needed (it's on the way home).
Thursday cleaning day (moved from Saturday). This is the day we'll do the Big Clean. Also the day for the Walmart run. (groceries or last minute co-op items.)
Friday is co-op day. Relaxing, yet still productive.
Saturday- a lighter school day. A day to squeeze in a bit of whatever didn't get finished through the week. Also the day we have dinner with my parents.
Everyday is a tidy up day. You know, go through every night and get things put back where they belong. It helps cut down on clutter.

When 5yo was a baby we always schooled on Saturdays. 10yo didn't know any better. She just thought it was a regular school day. Today was the first Saturday we've schooled for a few years. She balked a little. We managed to get through 2 maths. We'll do some music later on and some language arts sprinkled sometime throughout the day.

It was hard for me to not go through and start the usual Saturday morning routine. Especially since the house only got a lick and a promise on Thursday. My back was too ouchy to do much more. I'll make up for it Monday.

Tonight we're off to a a colonial village to take part in an old fashioned Christmas. Should be fun.

OH! History! Life is good. I'll take pictures! (note to self: change camera batteries!)

Monday, December 8, 2008

A record breaker?

I know I've been rather quiet for a few days. Well,..I hurt my back. Or I guess, reinjured it, or aggravated an old injury or-something. Whatever you call it-it hurt.

We stayed home from co-op on Friday. One of the mom's decided to come over to help us. I didn't really need it, but it was a nice thought. She took care of getting dinner-fried chicken. It was good not to have to cook and clean up. Thankfully the house work was done Thursday so I was able to take it easy Saturday.

Sunday I was still trying to take it easy, but Hubs was home. He had 2 days off this week. The payback for that is that we wont see him until the week of Christmas. Kitchen work is like that. If someone else needs the extra time, you've got to pay the price for it.

Since he had 2 days off, we decided to go shopping. The kids stayed with my mom and dad. They even spent the night!

That means Hubs and I were alone for a whole day and night and most of yesterday!!!!

Truly, I don't remember the last time he and I were alone together for that amount of time. The last time I can remember was shortly after 10yo was born. But it was an emergency type visit and not what one would call relaxing. This weekend we had no agenda except to go shopping.

We went for a drive, got coffee, shopped, grabbed a sandwich. He helped me shop for the kids. He even laughed at my jokes (instead of being angry.) I could scarce believe it. It was pleasant. I had forgotten that we were ever like that.

You girls that have full time husbands probably don't realize just how lucky you are.

I didn't really how much I needed a break from 24/7 mommydom either. At bedtime, I realized that while I felt a little guilty over letting my children with their grandparents, I felt very relieved to not have to take care of anybody.

The shopping made the back pain flare up, but it was worth it. So worth it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thankful



My life has changed substantially this past year. Changed and yet stayed the same. I guess what really changed was inside of me.

I can't really articulate all that I've come to realize. Many of the lessons I've learned came hard. They were not lessons that anyone else would even realize I've learned. Just me. And God.

I've learned that looking backwards only keeps you from moving forwards. Sounds pretty obvious. It was something I knew in my head, but had not moved to my heart. Or maybe one my heart chose to forget. While my mind said keep going, something deep down kept looking backwards. It never understood why Lot's why turned into a pillar of salt (other than disobeying God.)

My heart now understands. It has felt the tears wash over and over. Bitter. Thinking at first it was good, realizing that it isn't, then feeling again the deep cuts of the wounds so long in healing. Those tears were necessary: the dead lost feeling vital to learning to live again.

Learning to forgive was something I thought I had mastered. Now I see it's a continual process. Forgiving as Christ does means wiping the slate totally clean so that not even the streaks show. It means never looking behind at where I've come from, but keeping my eyes fixed on The One.

This is my now. I cannot change yesterday, as much as I may yearn to do it. All I can do is live my today.

It's a lesson learned long ago, but one that's learned anew. A continuation of my education. Another step toward home.

And I'm thankful. Thankful for lessons learned. Time that heals. A God that teaches the lesson so faithfully.

-------------------------------------------------

Visit Blue Castle for more Living in Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Works For me...Lacing Up



Ever wake up in the morning, take a look around and think, "What blew up in here?!"

Only about once or six times a week! It's always especially bad when Hubs has been home the day before.

One thing I've learned the last few years is that the best way to get through it is to just get to it. The work isn't always so bad once you get started.

In the past I always cleaned in my bare feet. We don't wear shoes inside. It keeps the floors cleaner. The thing is, when you clean for several hours bare footed, you wind up with aching feet, not to mention if the garbage needs to go the curb and you don't have a willing helper, it takes some extra time to put your shoes on to take it out.

Enter my mom. She's been telling me for years to put some shoes on before I do things. Did I ever remember?

Is molasses pink?

Not until recently. Something just finally clicked. I began taking my mommy's advice and started lacing up the shoes before I start my cleaning. What a difference it makes.

It puts a spring in my step, protects my feet, and I'm also ready for anything. If I need to run outside to the car for something, or take the trash to the curb, I don't have to pause to tie up my sneaks.

For more tips click on over to Rocks in my Dryer.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Look of Things

I know, I know...I said I needed to clean like crazy. What else is new for a Tuesday?! Did I do it????

No. Not yet. !

Instead I spent the morning singing Christmas songs with the girls (and making a new playlist). But then I decided the Green Layout for the Blog (albeit very nice) just isn't very season appropriate, especially since I changed the playlist.

Little ole 'gotta get the job done now' me, decided it was time to search for a fresh look for The Factory.

I searched and searched. I found some lovely templates. Unfortunately either the codes weren't correct (what I'd like to believe) or else I'm way too dumb to be messing with blog design (which is likely more accurate.)

I did end up changing the layout though. Unfortunately, I also managed to delete all the side bars, widgets, links, and comments. It's taken me quite a while to figure out what was missing and how to fix it.

Blogger was a little weird earlier today too. I'll tell myself that it's them not me that messed it up.

...yeah...that will make me feel better

HELP!

It's Tuesday again....Pray for strength!!!!

It's all I can do to not don the work sneaks and have an all day work-a-thon.

Clearly something in my old schedule and routine is not working anymore. I've got to figure out what it is. AND QUICK!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I am convinced...

I woke up thinking about a Scripture today. It's been walking softly through my thoughts all day.


"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:38,39

Workin' 9-5

....except it was more like 12-12.. Who says SAHM's don't work?!

Last week I pretty much blew off homeschooling for a few days. What did we do instead?

To start off we all 3 overslept. (sound familiar?) It seems to always happen on Tuesdays. Then I've got to force everyone to hurry and eat breakfast and get dressed when they'd rather lounge and loaf. ( I guess Mondays are just too much for us.)

I looked around and realized that our house looked like a national disaster area, and was in desperate need of attention. Amazing how that happens with the addition of just 1 extra person being around.

So I laced up my shoes and jumped right in. But I'm like the Pig and the Pancake or the Mouse and the Cookie...

"If you give The Momma a chore she'll noticec that something else needs to be put away. When she goes to put it way, she'll see that where it belongs needs to be reorganized. When she goes to reorganize she finds not everything fits in it's old home.

She will then decide to move the furniture in order to give it all a fresh look, only to find it didn't fit that way and needs to be moved again. Which will lead her to discover that although the room looked clean, indeed it was not.

So she'll dump everything out of the drawers-clothes toys and everything in between, and sort it all out. Which will make her realize that the living room is now messier than she could go to bed and not think about.

She will then totally dig everything out of it. And realize she is hungry.

When she goes to fix something to eat she'll see that she had not washed dishes from lunch, so..."

I just pretty much kept going until it was so late that all of us should have been in bed. Nothing was spared. I even did a few loads of laundry.

It was fully 2am before I could even shut off the light beside the bed to try and sleep. Somewhere in the middle of a medical mystery show I finally nodded off.

The next day I almost got right back at it, except I knew the phone man was coming and I just couldn't rest thinking that I blew off 2 whole days of homeschooling( Mondays are often a wash because Daddy is home for his weekly day off)

I should have taken pictures of the bedroom looking like a puzzle, but I was trapped behind some bunk beds for quite a while! I think I pulled a muscle. I NEVER know when I'm over doing it until it's too late.

The not so happy ending to this story....It's a week later, and I can barely tell I did anything.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Monday



We slept in...again...this morning. It feels so good to sleep as long as I want, but when I wake up and it's ...too late...I feel irritated with myself. I feel so behind as soon as I wake up!

Hubs was not home yesterday and will not be today either. He's working a half day for a friend, and then will spend the rest of the day in the city. I'm okay with him not coming. With the Holiday later this week we can use today as a catch up day. Although, since we slept in I'm wondering how much we'll actually get accomplished!

I need to plan the weekly menu and write a grocery list. I also want to wrap up homeschool Term 1. I don't really have any exam stuff ready, but I think I'll just go over what we've studied and see if she remembers any of it.

Now I'm off to check...I think 5yo went back to sleep!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Drought


I think I'm in a bloggy drought. I just spent a few moments going back over some of the archives, and I gotta say, I was very interested in what I was writing.

Oh, I know that comes off as prideful or vain (and that's not what I intended), but really, some of the stuff I wrote about made me chew before I swallowed. I was going through some personal something somethings at the time, so that was the inspiration. I can read how I was processing things. Free therapy indeed.

Maybe that's the problem with me right now.I don't have enough angst. I'm too happy?! 8?

nah... One can NEVER be too happy! 8D

I know the posts have been lighter and fluffier, filler for what I don't have words to say. Maybe I just don't have it in me any more to ponder the meaning of life. Maybe right now I'm just in a season of recipes...? ? ?

Friday, November 21, 2008

Quiz corner

you are aquamarine
#7FFFD4

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is medium - You're not the most decisive go-getter, but you can get a job done when it's required of you. You probably don't think the world can change for you and don't want to spend too much effort trying to force it.

Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
the spacefem.com html color quiz

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thankful


It might be something in the air. It may be that it's almost the holidays, or it may be that there are countless blog carnivals about it. Whatever it is, I've been really pondering the things I am most thankful for. Thoughts of love and life and laughter swirl and swirl round and round. How does one narrow it down to one specific thing to write about?

This morning as my hands were deep in the soap bubbles and my girls sat..er.. rather.. danced their way through breakfast it hit me!

The one constant in my life for as long as I can remember.

Music.

Music is in me and all around me. I hear it in the drip of the faucet, the click click of the keyboard, and the rustle of the leaves.

His voice becomes clear in the words of a song learned long ago. Comfort, peace, joy. Praise over flowing.

Swelling from within it speaks of the love I'm feeling, the loneliness soon to pass, or the wonders of His creation.

It causes my head to bop, my hips to shake, and my toes to tap.

God has so blessed me through music. As I stood with my fingers in the sudsy water and watched my children, I see it alive within them. They can't sit still when the peppy disco starts to play and find it impossible to keep silent during the moving crescendo's of our favorite songs. They, too, feel it, breath it, and sense it.

It's the gift He gave, and the one that continues to give and bless. What a wonderful Father we have!
----------------------------------------

For more Living in Thanksgiving click on over to Blue Castle.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Busy, busy busy

I spent yesterday working my tale off. Today I'm paying for it, but at least all in my world is organized.

Oh, how I love the organizing!!! People truly think I'm a little kooky. Sometimes I hyperventilate from looking at cluttery messes. Really.

Today I had to spend the day getting everything else that got pushed aside back into shape.

Homeschool was first on the list. We covered a good bit. I feel so accomplished!!

I have yet to do my Monday meal planning. I guess I'll just go without a plan for the rest of the week. It usually makes for a few meals of whatever I can dig up out of the fridge, freezer and cupboard-not necessarily a bad thing.

I have a few posts brewing but not enough time to make them coherent. Check back later.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Words to Live By




"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear,
though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God,
the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved:
God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved:
he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Selah.

Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder;
he burneth the chariot in the fire.

Be still, and know that I am God:
I will be exalted among the heathen,
I will be exalted in the earth
.

The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Selah."

-Psalm 46

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Too Cute not to include!!

We love this Bocelli Performance too!

What's Playing

Currently I'm listening to Andrea Bocelli on my windows media player. His voice is so soothing. It's also a nice change. I don't care that I don't speak Italian. I like it anyway.

Mostly we listen to Christian music, but I do like more secular music too ( I just get sooo offended by most of what's played). Sometimes I'm in the mood for a little Ella Fitzgerald or Billy Holiday. Today it's Andrea Bocelli.

Friday, November 14, 2008

quiz corner

A little quzzy fun for Friday! I am apparently a Bible Genius! an Impressionist painting, and NOT from the south??? I don't know about that one,...where I live EVERYBODY says I talk "funny."


You know the Bible 98%!
 

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Take More Quizzes

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Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Balanced, Secure, and Realistic.

7 Impressionist, -2 Islamic, 5 Ukiyo-e, -25 Cubist, -17 Abstract and 7 Renaissance!


Impressionism is a movement in French painting, sometimes called optical realism because of its almost scientific interest in the actual visual experience and effect of light and movement on appearance of objects. Impressionist paintings are balanced, use colored shadows, use pure color, broken brushstrokes, thick paint, and scenes from everyday life or nature.


People that like Impressionist paintings may not alway be what is deemed socially acceptable. They tend to move on their own path without always worrying that it may be offensive to others. They value friendships but because they also value honesty tend to have a few really good friends. They do not, however, like people that are rude and do not appreciate the ideas of others. They are secure enough in themselves that they can listen to the ideas of other people without it affecting their own final decisions. The world for them is not black and white but more in shades of grey and muted colors. They like things to be aestically pleasing, not stark and sharp. There are many ways to view things, and the impresssionist personality views the world from many different aspects. They enjoy life and try to keep a realistic viewpoint of things, but are not very open to new experiences. If they are content in their live they will be more than likely pleased to keep things just the way they are.


Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test
at HelloQuizzy

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West
 

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
 
Boston
 
North Central
 
The South
 
The Northeast
 
Philadelphia
 
The Inland North
 
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thankful


You know that song that goes, "To know, know, know him, is to love, love, love him, and I doooooo...?" Well that pretty much sums it all up for me.

Knowing Him is loving Him, and I do. I don't even want to remember what living life without the Lord was like.

How can I describe a love that is so reaching and moving? How can I put into words being known even in the darkest corners of myself?

I can't.

All I can say is that when I've come to the end of my words and the end of my thoughts, when I've run as hard as I can run, 1000 miles in the wrong direction, He's waiting there for me. He has never failed me.

I'm thankful, more than thankful, that He found me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Want to know what makes others thankful? Head on over to BlueCastle for more Living in Thanksgiving.

FREE MUSIC!!!!!


"Forerunner Music has recently launched a fresh new look on the web and is offering a FREE ALBUM download that is available now! Just go to forerunnermusic.com.

Enjoy, and tell your friends!"



SQUEEEEE!!! I love free stuff that's truly free!

I just downloaded 13 songs for free!! The only catch, if you consider it a catch, is that you have to be a first time register at the new site. I was, cause..it's a new website...and was able to download some lovely music.

My favorites so far: Light of Your Face-Misty Edwards, Glory Will Cover the Earth-Justin Rizzo, Alabaster Box-Julie Meyer, and See the Way-Misty Edwards.

I am still listening so this list will change-probably to include most if not all the songs. 8D

If I were truly tech savvy I'd figure out a way to incorporate them into my project playlist. I'm just not that good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stink-Away


I am by nature a saver not a spender. I'm also one of those people who panic at clutter (wish my family joined me on that one...it would make life run so much more smoothly).

So being a cheapskate neatfreak has brought me to the place of making many of my own cleaning products. My favorite one is...well...it isn't really meant for cleaning.

I love my homemade room spray! I was first inspired by this spray several years ago. We stumbled upon it quite by accident. My mum ordered some herbs from a very she-she lah-lah company ( I think there was a sale...) and as a bonus they sent an air sanitizer.

It was heavenly I tell ya! A pretty cobalt blue spray bottle that emitted a fragrance so energizing and uplifting-and a little squirt was all it took.

My brother, living at home at the time, found that lovely little bottle of heaven and decided it would make a perfect truck spray-Big rig that is. It was a mystery where that bottle o' goodness had gotten too, until he asked where he could buy more!

Well, knowing that it cost more than it should, we did what all good spendthrifts do...we did without it. 8D

That is until one of us stumbled upon the recipe.

It is now one of my favorite things to make, and it's customizable.

Here's what you need:
a small spray bottle (the kind you find in the travel section of the health and beauty aisle is perfect!)
water
alcohol (rubbing alcohol, or some cheap vodka will do if you don't feel weird buying it)
essential oils (your choice) To replicate the little blue bottle of gold you'll need sweet orange and eucalyptus

Fill bottle about 1/3 full of water. Add around 12 drops of essential oils (more if you have a bottle bigger than a 2oz or want it extra fragrant!)

Fill to the top with alcohol.

Shake well before spraying.

I love to spray my pillows and mattress before I put on fresh sheets. I'm also known to mist the curtains near the bed too, although I'm not sure it won't stain. Spray fabrics at your own risk.

Recently we had a fish fry with the family. The spray was a life saver after all was said and done. Instead of fish, the air smelled clean, fresh and invigorating.

For more of what works head on over to Rocks In My Dryer

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Stand


"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand

Stand"

-Ephesians 6:10-14a

I have been so aware of a raging battle within my home this past week. It was a very, very rough week and looking pretty bleak for a day or two. It was to the point I didn't know what else I could do. All I could do was stand. I think we're finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

I can't express to you how dark it was. It was a perfect reminder that no matter how we may protect our loved ones, there is still an enemy out there fighting for their very souls.

I'm so thankful that I know that, "Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world!" (1John 4:4)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Stay away!!!


ba da bum ba baaaaa!!!

not loving it.

We've been boycotting fast foods for months. We broke our boycott last June and ate a breakfast on the fly (which was okay) before hitting the zoo.

Yesterday we were so busy there was no time to eat. French fries started to sound good, so we again broke with our boycott and ordered some chicken snack wraps and fries. (5yo ordered nuggets.)

I was surprised by the lack of taste in any of the food. Everything seemed flat. Nothing tasted like real food. We were sorry we even bothered. Our "treat" turned into a trick.

Our reasons for boycotting fast food were reinforced. How can people eat that stuff? How did we ever eat that stuff? Seriously, even 5yo wasn't impressed, and she's well...5. The only thing she liked was the mini Barbie that came with it-That and the ranch she dipped everything in. I guess it covered up the "taste" of it all.

All I gotta say it blech! It really was gross. I appreciate the good food I'm able to make from scratch in just a little bit of time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Oh, I am sick....

All I can say, is "Lord have mercy."

"Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the LORD Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves. Selah

God has gone up with a shout,
The LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
Sing praises with understanding.

God reigns over the nations;
God sits on His holy throne
.
The princes of the people have gathered together,
The people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
He is greatly exalted."
-Psalm 47

And may I say, it's not his skin color that sickens me, not at all....

I vote my conscience

I Voted!



I do every electon without exception-even the small "insignificant" ones.

And as one of my friends put it so cleverly this morning:

"I did my civic duty and voted.

I now have the right to complain about anything and everything that happens in politics!"

Friday, October 31, 2008

I fall over laughing every time I watch this!!

Hope you get a kick out of it too. We've been re-enacting this around here for weeks. Everytime we need a laugh one of us brings it up.

You gotta watch. Especially if you were ever tortured with watching Lawrence Welk.



Oh, and by the way, Happy Reformation Day!!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Yummy and Oh so quick!

Souptacular08


I have had a "hankerin" for some lentil soup lately. I keep the ingredients in the cupboard just in case I ever decide to make it. This week I finally did. I put it on my menu plan, and actually followed through.

I don't know why I put this off for so long. It's so quick and easy and DE-Licious!


Lentil Soup My Way ( serves 4)

Extra Virgin Olive oil (enough to lightly coat bottom of pan)
1 whole onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and diced
8oz mushrooms, sliced
1 box Vegetable stock (I buy the kind without tomato as the base)
1 1/2 c. lentils
2c. water
1T. tomato paste
1t. chicken base
1T. dried parsley
1/4t. thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Extra Virgin Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

Over medium heat saute onions until slightly translucent.
Stir in carrots, mushrooms and garlic and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until mushrooms are softened and onions are golden.

Add stock, water, chicken base and lentils. Simmer over low heat until lentil are tender (around 20 minutes).

Add parsley and thyme, taste for seasoning, simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Garnish in bowls with a drizzle of EVOO and Parmesan cheese. Serve with crusty Italian bread.

YUM!..makes me hungry for it all over again.

I'm a cook that never measures so I've had to guess on the measurements here. If you like your soup a little more soup-y add more water.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Home School Forgetfulness


We've done some form of homeschooling now for the past 5years (this is our sixth...time flies!) Every year I make the resolution to take more pictures. I want to take more pictures. I plan to take more pictures, but have I remembered to carry a camera? No.

Until now.

I thought I loved my camera. It was a good price and took excellent quality pictures. The batteries even lasted a long time. Perfect. So I thought.

The problem was with the user. See, it wasn't one of those tricky knows-a-special-moment cameras. Unfortunately it was the kind I actually had to pick up and use. The problem was I was always, ALWAYS forgetting it.

Then Hubs and I made a trip to the zoo (together! what a shock, he's usually working) and his camera somehow made it into my purse-even though neither one of us remembered to use it. When I realized what happened I left it there thinking I'd remember where he put it. He still hasn't asked for it.

The thing about leaving his camera in my purse? Now I actually use it!

I know. Brilliant!

His camera has found a new permanent home in the side pocket, the former lonely abode of feminine products we ladies use ;) Move over mini's, there's a new kid in the town! His name is Samsung.

The best part is this camera is smaller than my old one, uses less batteries (unless one forgets to power it down ...), and still takes pretty okay pictures. I now have pictures of all those places we go-even the happy accidental educational experiences: Like the day we went to the library and realized we were just in time for story time.


For more of what Works-for-Me visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

This is how we do it...Halloween



Or..maybe how we DON'T do it.

People are always shocked or surprised to learn we don't celebrate Halloween. Our young family never has, and never will.

What we do instead? Nothing. We go about like we do any other day. Sometimes we've made it a point to go somewhere just to get out of the house, but otherwise we do nothing. Except maybe talk about Martin Luther nailing up his 95 thesis.

I could go on and on about why we don't do Halloween. Maybe I even will.

You wanna know what gets me the most riled up? It's the fact that people act offended when they find out we don't celebrate Halloween.( I only tell if we're asked.) They raise their eyebrows at us, clam up and say, "oh." or completely forget and have to be reminded over and over again that we won't be participating.

I don't condemn those of you that feel Halloween is okay. I would never dream of pounding you over the head repeatedly with my beliefs. So please! Don't look at me like we're freaks because we don't trick or treat.

Recently someone told me to not think of Halloween as Halloween. Instead, we should think of it as a celebration of friends getting together and having fun.

WHAT?!

Can we really remove ourselves from the true meaning of all those things that embodies this day? nah..I dont' think so.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Kitchen Remodel

I was looking through my pictures today and found some pictures of the kitchen remodel. Sorry, nobody thought to take pictures of the living room.



First one: What the wall looked like before primer. I hated this wallboard. This looks especially bad due to the fact it's the area right behind the stove.





This next one of the kiddos cooking. Yes, we were actually cooking so things are allover the counter. You can kinda see what the walls looked like.






Last but not least is Oh-so-lovely Me painting the first coat of color. Doesn't really do me or the paint color justice,but you get the idea.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Every light in the ...

...blog is on. But no one is reading. Hmmm. Kinda makes the whole "blogging for me" a reality.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Stuck between a ...

rock and a...cold place??? Sorry that's all I can come up with for this one.

The weather has finally hit a point where I'm thinking, "It's time for some heat." We had to install a new oil tank so that was last paycheck's "freemoney." So while we've got a new tank, there's not actually any oil in it.

Luckily we've been having Indian summer for the past few weeks until Friday. It went from temps in the mid 70's (and humid at night requiring a little cooling) to needing heat the very next day. I used the plug in oil filled radiators while we were home, but since we went to mom and dad's last night I turned them off. We got in about an hour ago. At first it felt pretty good in here (compared to outside.)
The more I sit here though, the colder my fingers and toes and backside is getting.

Brrrrrr!

Hubs comes home tonight. I'm going to try to talk him into getting the oil tank filled now instead of waiting until next month. It's no fun trying to use these heaters. The floors are cold. He stays in a heated apartment through the week. He doesn't have to be here to babysit the house.

My fingers are stiff from being chilly and my nose is cold. I'm going to the couch to cozy up in a blanket.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The most DELICIOUS

Ya know,...not to toot my own horn but,..."toot toot."

I sure come up with some good eats.

Fridays are co-op days, and because they are busy, I try,when I'm on the ball at least, to have a quick meal planned for Friday evenings. I had been out of the habit of planning my meals, but after spending the last few weeks coming up empty of ideas at meal time, I decided it was time to start planning again.

This Friday's menu was Chicken Apple Salads. This has been one of our favorites ever since our first trip to Panera and they had a salad with apples on the menu.

Just as I was about to start I decided I wanted a different dressing. Some kind of honey vinaigrette sounded good to me, but I didn't know how to make it. I turned to the Internet and came up with 8 ba-zillion recipes.

Now what?

I did what all cooks do- I guessed. I looked at a few recipes, and thought, "I can do that."

It turned out to be the most delicious accident I've had for a while.

I wanted to take a picture of the salad....but I was sooo HUNGRY!!!!

Here's what I did:

Chicken Apple Salad

-1 chicken breast per person, cooked and chunked (I used only 2 v. 3 since we aren't big carnivores)
-mixed greens or your choice (we like spinach, and "early spring" greens)
-1 apple, cored and sliced into thin rings (we had Macintosh on hand)
-chopped walnuts (1-2 tablespoons per salad)
-Feta or Goat Cheese crumbles, 1-2 TBS per salad(we prefer the goat cheese for it's mild flavor)
-dehydrated onion flakes to taste (a way I sneak a little savory in and my Non-onion eater will still eat it)
salt and pepper to taste

Honey Vinaigrette Dressing:
I used a Pampered chef dressing mixer which has ounce markings on the side
and mixes the ingredients beautifully.

1 ounce Raw Honey (which according to google is roughly 2 TBS)
3ounces Olive Oil ( I used light instead of EVOO)
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. paprika
4 t. Balsamic vinegar
1-2 t. fresh lemon juice (we like things kind of tangy, use your best judgement)
Salt to taste ( I used my palm to measure...maybe a 1/4-1/2 t??)
Pepper to taste

Arrange Greens on plate, sprinkle with onion flakes, cheese, salt/pepper
top with cheese and walnuts
place 3(approx.) apple rings on top, ( I also used a squeeze of the lemon on top of the apple to add a little zing and prevent browning)
drizzle on dressing ( start with less, you can always add more)
top with chicken breast pieces
Inhale.

You can store leftover dressing in the fridge. The oil and honey mixture may become thick, just let it come back to room temperature and it should thin out ( or place in a mug/bowl of warm water to speed it up.)

Sorry I didn't take a picture. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Confession

I'm the head and not the tail.
I'm above, not beneath.
I'm blessed going in and coming out.
I'm blessed in my basket and blessed in my store.
I am the righteousness of God through Christ Jesus.
He has chosen me for His own.
I am highly favored.

I am a winner not a loser.
I am saved, forgiven and whole.
I am of a sound mind.
I walk in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

I AM LOVED.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This is how we do it

...all hands are in the air..." (10 points if you know this song.)

Have you ever wondered how other people do things? Am I the only wierdo that thinks about what other people eat, watch on tv, or clean their home with? I can't be.

In light of my curiosity about others, here is a list of "How we do it."

1. Food-
We eat as naturally as possible. I make most foods from scratch. I ALWAYS read labels (I have since I was pregnant w/ 10yo...11years ago.) I don't buy foods with MSG, "natural flavorings," high fructose corn syrup, or hydrogenated anything. Nope. The rare exceptions would be the occasional candy corn, or bag of chips...all things in moderation. Even the healthy stuff. 8P (j/k) I DONT buy pop tarts, fruitloops, Eggos, or pizza rolls. All that junk is ...ewww...it just makes me shiver.

2. Cleaning
I am a neat-o-holic.

My name is _ _ _ _ _ _ and I am a clean freak. (admission is the first step.)

Unfortunatly, I live with a house full of messies, so my stuff isn't always as neat as I like. I'm the kind of person that disinfects my tooth brush on a regular basis. I like things to be not only neat, but clean and sanitary. Hand sanitizer is in all my vehicles, my purse, and anywhere else I can stash a bottle in case of lack of access to soap and water. (For the record, I prefer soap and water.)

I make my own cleaning products. I don't use nasty harsh chemicals. In fact, I've hardly ever used the typical arsenal of cleasers. It used to be just comet, some bleach spray, and a little lysol for the floors. Now I blend baking soda, borax, vinegar, bleach and plain old water to make all my cleansers. I alternate between homemade and Arm&Hammer Essentuals laundry detergant (with a tiny bottle of T-d- for the emergency type uses..truly I can do without it.)

I love a freshly vacuumed floor. My dream is to own a Dyson, but Hubs is much too cheap to see my side of this. Frugal...yeah...lets just say he's frugal.

We do a daily tidy up and our deep clean on Saturday. We don't leave the house on Saturday until it's done, even if that means staying home all day.

TV
Okay, ...this is a long one. I'll make it short by saying we are currently watching 1 or 2 hours a day, in the evening at bedtime. I can't help the fact that I like to unwind before bed with a little boob-tube.

Our watch list is this:
Heroes (eery and creepy in a comic book type way)
PBS type shows, (nat. geographic, discovery, history etc...)
Food Network (we like this channel a lot but only DVR Good Eats. We just love A.B.),
Turner Classic Movies - I like that old stuff and my girls do too. We DVR what we want to watch and then view at our convenience.
We also love LOST (but, ...I need to check when the new season starts.) Occasionally we DVR something off another movie channel. Basically we LOVE our DVR. It's mostly what we watch.

Disney used to be a regular around here, but I find most of the shows to be utterly repulsive. Zach and Cody are obnoxious, Wizards of...says it all right there, and the rest is too mouthy or teenager-y (IMHO). Watching this channel is a rare thing.

Maybe I'll think of more later...Oh! I know..worship, play, drive...the list could go on and on.

Now it's your turn. Tell me about you.

Again

Okay, day two of the crabbies. Today I was aware and at least was fighting the feeling. What is with me?

Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow, I will spend some time soaking, pickling, and marinating in the Lord. I always feel better when I do.

In the meantime, want to know what I think is one of the most beautiful sounds in the world? The sounds of voices lifted in spontaneous (non-lead) worship. It's the way I imagine heaven to sound.

The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying:
Holy, holy, holy,
Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”

Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created
.”

-Rev. 4:8-11

Monday, October 13, 2008

Had a bad day...

(insert that parting music from American Idol here...)

I had a bad day yesterday. I really did. I started off just fine, with church and a family lunch, but then Hubs was home and didn't go to church or to lunch so we rushed home after we ate to 'spend some quality time.'

Lets just say that's when things went downhill. As soon as we walked in the door he was picking on 5yo and shoving his laptop in my face asking me to 'fix it.' Then he started yapping about finances(not that I hadn't handled them right, but rather like: there never seems tobe enough), and arguing with a credit card company. All of this without a proper hello. (Did I mention we hadn't seen him in two weeks due to work?)

All those things were enough to put me on edge (nervous), but then I read some news that took me by surprise, and made me all the more edgy (irritated). The day kept spiralling downhill until around oh,...11pm. Then I guess it started to go back up when it was finally bedtime.

I hate days like that!!! I hate even more that I allow myself to have them.

If I set my face 'as flint' when those smaller things start to build up, I can choose to have a better day. When I choose to let circumstances get the better of me, I usually end up totally blowing it. Yesterday was the later.

Today I woke up and felt clearer. Much lighter and ready to face the day.

I haven't' had one of those day in a while, don't like 'em, don't wanna repeat it. Nuff said.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Great News!

And don't I hate to be left out of the loop. I had to find out through myspace...
Gee thanks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Boredom Busters

I may be in need of a few tips from some of the readers.

What do you do to keep from getting bored when the weather is too nasty to be outside? (that doesn't involve computer, tv, or bookreading?)

How do you stave off the winter blahs?

How do you combat the "I have nothing to do" days?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Cure for the Common Cold

It's official. The first cold of the season has struck my home. 5yo was the first to come down with it. Sniffles, drippy nose, a touch grouchy. By day 3 I thought she was on the mend, just as I was starting to feel the worst affects of it. Friday night, she woke up crying.."It hurts, it hurts!" I didn't know what at first. She said it was her head, but wouldn't be consoled. Then the truth. Her ears were hurting. At 2am, in a dead sleep, all I could think about was relieving her so we could all rest. All of us were awake. She was pretty loud.

I tried a snuggle, warm air, ...finally I remembered the ibuprofen and ear drops I had squirreled away and the rice sock I had made. She eventually went back to sleep, but before long was awake again. We slept very little.

To make a long story short, we didn't do the ER (although it crossed my mind...middle of the night loud crying can push one over the edge). I bought some garlic ear oil, benedryl, and liquid echinacea/astragalus. Sunday morning she woke up humming.

My ears are a little touchy too. We spent the whole weekend in our jammies in front of the tv. Not much fun, but we got our rest and are feeling much better.

10yo hasn't had so much as a symptom, but I've been dosing her up with the immune supporters so she hopefully won't catch it.

I hate to be sick. HATE IT! This time I guess I took it lying down a little. I usually am very militant about prayer, positive confession, and HERBS. Next time...for sure.

Monday, October 6, 2008

I getta kick outta you!

"I get no kick from champagne, mere alcohol doesn't faze me at all..."

I do get a kick out of you. All of you. All of those in clicks and search query's thrill me. The ones I especially like are when someone specifically clicks in CC Mommy factory. That means they were here, looking for lil' ole me.

Besides that one, I get a lot of clicks on scripture quotes and references. Which truly thrill me the most. It means that other people are thinking about the same things I am.

Speaking of scriptures...there's this thing that this blogger does, that I simply LOVE. She does a picture and a scripture. I love that. No comments. Just scripture. I've done it a few times, but still...I just love that she does it too!

10 points to the first person who can give me another line of the above song. Think hard...and no googling!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Some Random Favorites

Raindrops on Roses and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens, wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings....

Okay so I totally just ripped of Julie Andrew's character in the sound of music. I can't help but think of that song though when I think about things I like. (Have I mentioned I think in music? only about a dozen times.)

So here is my randomly generated list of favorite things:
1.four years old
2. Followed closely by 5 years old
3. Then three years old
4. who am I kidding? babies are pretty darn cute too.
5.A hot drink on a cool morning.
6. sleeping in late and waking up to a comfortable day of daydreaming and jammies
7.food with garlic
8.a night sky filled with stars
9. talking to a friend underneath that night sky
10. worship so intense that I forget my feet are still touching earth
11.floating in a still, ripple-free swimming pool when I'm the only one in it
12. warm sunshine across my shoulders and back, making my hair feel warm and cinnamon-y
13.fresh tomatoes picked hot right off the vine and popped into your mouth.
14.digging in the warm earth then filling the hole with a plant and watering it until the soil grows muddy
15. singing in a room with great acoustics without worrying someone may actually hear me (the lobby of walmart is great, but the greeters always smile and wave so, I think they hear me...)
16. having my 10yo sing along in harmony
17. freshly fallen snow in the moonlight that no one else has walked through yet
18 walking through that fresh snow and breathing in the cold crisp air, daydreaming about spring, and looking up at that big big sky
19.Fresh sheets
20. sitting down to a long hot shower and letting the water roll over my head and face

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chaconne

Homeschooling has been the best learning experience of my life. Through teaching my children, I'm learning so much. I've heard it said that if you want to really learn something; teach it. It's proved to be a true saying.

This year we embarked on homeschooling via the Charlotte Mason method. Her method differs from the more classical method we had been using for the other 5 years. I'm still internalizing it all, but go check her out for yourself. Read her books, check out a few blogs.

What I'm finding to be so refreshing is utilizing living books, and the composer and artist studies. I'm a total newbie, so I'm following Ambleside online's schedule (but not to the T). We did composer and artist study before, but not like we are now. I'm being exposed to musical pieces like never before.

This term we are studying Bach (Johann Sebastian as opposed to one of his many other relations that were also composers). The first 4 weeks the listening selection was the "Magnificat." These next 2 weeks we'll listen to "Chaconne."

By simply looking for a recording of Chaconne, I've been introduced to the musical genius of Jascha Heiftetz. He is so moving to listen to. check out the youtube recording of the "Chaconne" then compare it to this recording by another artist. The same piece, yet they sound so different. (the heifetz version I linked to also has an organ accompaniment, but trust me, that's not what makes it so much better.) The second version is good (he's been playing the piece for 50 years) but IMHO can't touch the Heifetz version.

Really, even if you don't normally do classical music, you gotta take the time to listen to this one.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Scheduled Outage

Funny, I planned on posting something different, but when I clicked over to blogger and saw the message about a scheduled outage due I changed my plans.

Something about those words "scheduled outage" leaped out at me. My first thoughts were "Gee, wouldn't be nice to take a scheduled outage?"

Something about that thought sticks...lingers. Why? I thought for a moment, whilst 5yo complained that her tummy hurt(and thus she can't finish cleaning that messy room.) Something about scheduling an outage seems like fun. We moms deserve a break every now and again. We work, homeschool, do laundry, and clean up all manner of yucky stuff. A nice break from those things would be nice.

But no, that is not it. What is it...What makes those words, "scheduled outage" stick out?

Then the thought becomes clearer. I don't ever have to schedule the shut-downs, the tune-outs or the mindless tasks.

Quite the opposite. I have to schedule my plugged in moments: The moments that I'm aware, sensing and realizing and conscious of the little everydays that may otherwise pass me by.

Like the way 5yo's curl at the top of her forehead is growing, and her skirts have suddenly shrunk or, the way 10yo sees a need and jumps in to help. Tonight it was supper, earlier it was a sink full of dishes. I have to plug in to hear the little songs they sing as they go about their day, the telltale sign of what they are absorbing. Plug in to be present to the games they play.

So many times the days slide by without a thought. One menial mindless task melds into another. But those darling babies, they are ever changing right before my eyes.

And so this is my oft said prayer, "Lord let me be present to your presence, and the gifts that you've given me in my children."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Cooling down....

...Breathing deeply. Allowing my muscles to relax. Typing a blogpost.

I just "lost it" with my children. I went into their room to retrieve something we needed for school today and I couldn't even get in the door. I wasn't completely surprised, because I had peeked in ( ever so slightly) at the door and knew some toys were out of place and needed attention. I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THE MONSTROSITY THAT LIE WITHIN. 5yo had run amuck! (a muck a muck a muck...10 points if you recognize where that line came from.) I first just gingerly pushed things aside, but then the full impact hit me. ALL of 10yo's warmer weather clothes were on the floor. ALL OF THEM! 5yo's weren't far behind. Babies, books, paper, coloring books...They started to swallow me.

It was gruesome I tell you.

Then mommy snapped... just a little. I usually refrain, but this time I could not.

"WHY IS ALL OF THIS ON THE FLOOR?!" you know what I heard as a reply? Silence. Crickets chirping. The clock ticking. No answer.

So The Momma said, "I'm too angry to continue with school right now. Your going to have to clean up first." and left the room. 10yo promptly started on the clothes, 5yo on the toys, and I sat down to a cross-word puzzle.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Teach Your Child to Read

Please tell me someone has used the Teach your child to read in 100 Easy Lessons book. I've been looking at for a while, and have decided to give it a go. The beginning lessons look easy enough, but does it progress too quickly?

I know a child that was taught through his kindie class via the DISTAR method. He is an awesome reader and has been ever since I first met him as a 1st grader homeschooler. (His mother was fortunate enough to not have to muddle through trying to teach him to read..He already knew how!) Knowing the Teach your child to read book.. was based on DISTAR is a major plus to giving it a go with 5yo.
10yo was taught using a more traditional phonics program, but sadly neither of us enjoyed it. It was blood, sweat, and tears getting her to become a strong confident reader AND she was even a child that enjoyed learning. She just did not like the phonics program, but being a novice, enrolled in a charter, I didn't know what else to do. We tried the HOP program, but it was boring too. Now that I'm at the learn to read stage with another child, I want to make it more fun, and painless.

What are your thoughts on the phonics programs you have used or encountered?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

There's nothing like waking up...

-to find that you and your children have slept hours past your ideal wake up time.
-scurrying to get dressed and caught up with the day.
-"fighting" to be first in line in the bathroom.
-stopping off at the washer and dryer, halfdressed, to reboot the laundry so I can finally get caught up.
-walking out into your kitchen and finding a gleaming kitchen sink. ahhhhhh....

Thank you flylady. There really is something to it. As soon as I saw that gleaming shiny sink, my day got that much brighter. I looked around a minute. Bowls of peaches and apples on the CLEAN kitchen table. Countertops wiped down, with nothing, NOTHING sitting on them.

My day isn't so bad after all.

There's nothing like perspective. I may have started off sleeping too late, but what a present to find the kitchen so neat and orderly. I love that kind of stuff!

So with renewed spirit I walk over to my trusty computer to turn on some music to keep my light mood going. I need to hear something. I'm going through music withdrawal. I start to look through my lists of favorite music sites-then a thought occurs to me. Why not try out that Pandora Music thingy? Of all people to hear about it from, it was my MOTHER. My non-techy, non-hip-to-the-times mother. Am I really the last person on earth to know about this? I guess in my defense, she found it by accident after she got her new comp and was looking for the station I listen to.

Pandora's Box is not a title I enjoy, although I get it. It's a clever name. My first search was for David Ruis... it set me up with a station that they thought I would enjoy. It was playing Agnus Dei from Passion. It's a good song, and I listened for a minute, but...kinda mainstreamy. So I did another quick search for Misty Edwards and lo and behold...Misty came on singing a song I wasn't singing along to. Much better. I'm only on song number 3, which is a Rita Springer song that we love...I think I'll keep this on a while and see where it goes.

If you haven't heard of Pandora Radio, you could check it out too. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I am that girl....???


You Are Jasmine!

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

Independent and adventurous. You don't want much; just to break out of the guilded cage society has put you in and experience life to the fullest. Following orders isn't really one of your strong points, and you would rather live a life of poverty than being forced into something that you hate.


Which Disney Princess Are You?

Edited to add:
I just ran across the quiz at a blog. I took it and posted the results. It wasn't until after that I looked at some of the other content. Beware. I wouldn't waste my time looking. Luckily, the quizzes had descriptions and parental warnings.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Galveston, Oh, Galveston...




My childhood home...My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Cleverness Eludes Me

If you've read my "About Me" section of the blog you'll know that cleverness often eludes me. I'm not the kind of girl that's quick witted in an argument, funny with the puns, or very wordy in crowds. Ask me to tell you something about something and I'll often draw a blank. ( I know, you are shocked!)

Yes, cleverness does elude me. So please forgive the bloggy blandness of late. With the new school year having started, and having been working on the house directly followed by vacation, and then back to school, I've just been too busy to be clever.

Stay tuned though. You never know when inspiration will hit me.

On another note (a quick one I promise): I have totally forgotten how to do anything over at myspace. A friend of mine recently joined and so I popped over. I had a few pics I wanted to upload and then change my profile image, but..surprise surprise..I completely have forgotten how. I messed around for a bit, but still couldn't figure it out.

Told ya cleverness eludes me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What do ya call it when....

...the days are sunny, warm and crisp, the children are getting along and keeping their room clean, your spouse isn't grouchy, everything is right between you and the Lord, there's a spring in your step and a twinkle in your eye and despite the fact that things are not perfect, when you close your eyes gloom or strife doesn't smack you over the head?

Oh, yeah. That's right...happy. It's good to feel normal again. Sometimes I wonder how I lived through that deep dark season. That kind of funk is just so unlike me.

Thank God for His loving kindness and tender mercies! Thank God that He's with me, even in the darkest hour! And thank God that He's so steadfast and true and will see me through again...and again...and again!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Okay! I believe You!

...Jump in de line, Rock your body in time.




"Me said day, me said day, me said...7 I think. "-Fozzy Bear

Popping in

or otherwise known as "Popping Out: the story of my overworked eyes."

I thought I'd pop in for a bit. I spent the majority of my day prepping for home school lessons.

Warning: complaining may commence shortly.

10yo and I started the day off with a bang. This is our first full week in the official school year. A great opportunity to get into the real routine of how our days should look. To top it off, Hubs has been having more Sundays off (rather than his usual Monday) and this week was no exception. That means it's an actual full week. If he's home, not much school ever gets done. He keeps us too busy or else he's just too entertaining to focus on anything boring like book work.

We've finally started that morning Bible reading (I have had it on our to-do for ...ever.. but have never implemented it) and are working our way through the book of Esther. As the morning literature reading was being done, I started my weekly plan which went rather quickly. Then I began to think about the real course of study we'd like to take in History. A real chronological type study starting with Native Peoples and working our way forward. We started with the founding of Virginia last week and the book we've been reading then introduces us to Pocahontas. I've been thinking we'll pick up with Native tribes at that point.

I began to search for material to use. I searched, and searched and searched. If you'd look at my page history today, you'd find it incredibly full. What I've found is this: There is nothing that I've found yet, that goes into the study of our nation in the manner in which we'd like to cover it. NOTHING. The Hakim books come close, but they are abundant in skimming and glossing some areas, and sticking on others. I found various unit studies, books that cost a bundle, and adult geared websites, but nothing that gives me the "facts, ma'am, just the facts."

GrrrrrRRRRR!!! A four hour search ensued. Yeah. you read that correctly. 4 hours.

Now, I'm not saying I was zoned in only on the computer, and neglected my children. Not at all. We had lunch, did math lessons, oral narrations and all, but the Momma was working the whole time. Can someone say "multi-task?"

I finally ran across a good state website that lists some of the Indian tribes that lived in our area...wouldn't ya like to know where?...and bookmarked it after reading through a large portion.

Then I moved on to our book of centuries. This is another one of those things that I've been wanting to implement, but was for some reason saving for when we went independent of k12. The time is right.

So, here is a valuable tip for all you other HS'ers out there. Go to www.simplycharlottemason.com and click on Book of centuries. They've done most of the work for you. All you have to do is print, punch the holes, and insert into a binder.

I printed odd pages, reinserted the pages, and then printed even pages on the other side. I also took the extra time to put on all those page reinforcement stickers.

So that, my friends, is the why my eyeballs feel as though they are popping right out. I've spent too much time at the computer (which is pretty typical when I'm trying to find something). I can't just stop without completing what I've started.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I know, I know

I've been pretty quiet this week. The factory has me working overtime.

Vacation is over, and there has been a week's worth of dirty laundry to wash, fold and put away, the final days of hot weather to be enjoyed, summer harvest to be put up, and the first days of school to be started.

We're just busy that's all. I started a post the other day, but didn't even have time to finish it. Things should settle down soon and we'll get back into a work routine.

This year is new all around. Not only have we switched schooling methods, and added 5yo to the official mix, but I've been trying to get the house spiffed up too. Busy is good. Busy makes me happy. Busy makes me even more thankful for those quiet days curled up with the kids and a good movie, or rainy days and a good book.

I'll be back around sometime...probably next week. That laundry pile was ENORMOUS y'all. No joke.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's that time of the month again

Yup! Time for Global Bridegroom Fast at IHOP,KC.

Watch the prayer room live and for free Monday-Wednesday. You won't be sorry. Matt Gilman is leading a set right now that is simple and beautiful.


Like oil upon your feet
Like wine for you to drink
water from my heart
I pour my love on you

If praise is like perfume
I'll lavish mine on you
Till every drop is gone
I'll pour my love on you
-Gary Sadler, Dan Dean

Sunday, August 31, 2008

I've been awarded!


Lil' ole me. It feels so nice to be appreciated. I know my blog does not reach many readers. And I am totally fine with that. I write for me. I do feel blessed that the few who do read "get" what I'm trying to put on paper.

So if I had to give the award away? Oh, please, don't make me do it. There are so many great bloggers out there with much more to say than I do.

Here's a few to chew on. You decide.


Home Ec 101
Meridith @ Like Merchant Ships
Sarah @ Sarah's Blue Castle
Tammy @ Tammy's Recipes
Mamma Squirrel @ Dewey's Treehouse
Ann @ Holy Experience

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I'm home...sort of...

We just got in the door from a long return trip home from Virginia.

It was such a nice week. As with any adventure, the full impact has yet to hit me. It was just nice to be tucked away in a safe little bubble. (even if the weather didn't always cooperate.)

No school.
No phone.
No Internet.
No television.
No newspaper.

Just me, Jesus, 2 little girls, and 2 proud grandparents surrounded by trees, rain, and other happy people.

It was very hard to pack up to come home. Especially for 10yo. She found her niche.

She was surrounded by kids who spoke her God language. They were free to dance, sing, jump, shout, wave flags, or simply lay down and rest in the presence of the Lord. They even had a chance to sculpt. I watched her come alive.


I knew it being a holiday weekend that no matter which way we drove, there would be delays or traffic. I chose to take a chance and go through DC instead of my parents' old standard route that bypassed it. I took it on the way and it cut off almost an hour.-We didn't hit a bit of traffic though.

Starting out was pretty good, but then we came to the part where 95 split into a million different directions. I had a hunch it was one way, but second guessed myself, asked someone else to double check the map, and then proceeded to follow one of their suggestions. The route got us home, ...but it was definitely the scenic route through DC instead of the quicker one around it. Not really all that bad, but it did add a little time. At least 10yo got to see a bit of the city. She was hoping we'd have time to stop along the way for a quick tour. All in due time. I'm now pretty confident that I could drive in or around DC with little difficulty.

I should also mention that it also added a good bit of time wiggling around through a town in Maryland trying to find the bleedin' Cracker Barrel.

What's with that state anyway?! It seems like anywhere I tried to stop to take a pee we had to search and search for the promised gas station or Mickey D's. It must be against the law to put up one of those beloved Golden Arches- much less the standard 1000 foot tall Cracker Barrel square. We just needed to eat and relieve ourselves. Why did it have to be so hard? I totally wish there was a State of Maryland Complaint Department. I would SO be hitting up the toll free number!


I enjoyed catching up on all 60 of my emails when we go home. (well, if you call mom and dad's house home. It's much easier to just stay here for church tomorrow than to go home and come back.)

And I did try to take pictures this time. Really I did. just didn't realze my camera batteries were low and didn't want to take the time out to buy some new ones. Oh well... there's always next year.

I think I'm bound for bed now ...... ..