Saturday, December 12, 2009

SOS Conference Giveaway!

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I would have given my left arm to go to this conference. But winning the Audio CDs of it would be the next best thing! Honestly the line-up of speakers is like no other conference. Voddie Baucham, Ken Ham, Paul Washer, Doug Phillips and more! We'd never have been able to attend. But you can buy the Audio CDs here: http://ncfic.org/conferenceaudiopreorder BUT first, the lovely family over at Inashoe is giving away 3 FREE sets if you follow the guidelines on their blog Inashoe . So whether you order them or get them free, it will definitely be a blessing! Wish me luck! And you luck!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tab Check Tuesday

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http://livingaslights.blogspot.com/2009/11/yelling-kids-in-line-of-fire.html
Did a little tab check. Here are some random websites open in tabs in my Firefox right now. Enjoy.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/GarlandsOfGrace

http://visionarydaughters.com/quiz/

http://mcpactions.com/blog/2009/11/19/over-300-incredible-photography-tips-from-mcp-fans/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+mcpactions+%28MCP+Actions+Blog%29&utm_content=Bloglines

http://www.moneysavingmom.com/

http://bluebehemoth.com/

http://needleinahaystackstitchery.blogspot.com/

http://jenniwren32.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 23, 2009

Beauty in the little things

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Go here first and see her oh-so-lovely laundry room.

http://pleasantviewschoolhouse.blogspot.com/2007/04/beauty-in-laundry-room.html

Just looking at that makes laundry not seem so bad. I can see myself with sunshine beaming through the window as I iron Clay's shirt on that floral ironing board cover.

Oh to make my surrounding such that I can't stand to see them messed up. Oh to make the little things beautiful. To have my laundry soap in a cute metal bucket with a metal measuring scoop. To have large floral ribbons weaved through my laundry baskets so that when they're filled with homeless socks they aren't an eyesore but an addition to my bathroom. I want to make or really should I be wanting to SEE the areas of house as beautiful and lovely; places that I straighten up as I walk by to keep them looking beautiful.

On a side note, this is a great idea to me:
See how she uses an actual bed pillow with on the couch? How much easier would it be to try and find cute vintage pillowcases than pillows? I actually love this and will be doing it ASAP!

Honestly though. Run on over to PleasantVilleSchoolhouse. She has post after post showing the beauty in the little things of her life, of her home. Inspiring.

If you blog...

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There's this post. This one here at Rocks In My Dryer. Go read it. It says things like this:

"But there is undeniable part of blogging that feeds a part of us (me) that is, perhaps, not the most sensible part: the part that craves to "measure" ourselves, the part that is naturally drawn to a false sense of urgency, the part that needs to be heard even when there's not really anything to say. "

Then you move onto the comments. READ THE COMMENTS. Yes, that was a command. Heed it. But you move onto the comments and you read things like this:

It was feeding something unhealthy in me - mostly a whole lot of narcissism. It was hard to admit that to myself, that I was wasting so much time on something that was essentially just a big ego booster. It felt awfully self indulgent.

I have felt God yelling at me to 'find the quiet' (yes, I see the irony in that statement). Blogging has started to feel like a highschool clique, and I'm certainly not part of the in group. I had started to wish I was the popular blog out there instead of just enjoying writing when I was inspired and had something to say. I was starting to fret if I hadn't blogged for a few days, worried that I was losing readers.

What was supposed to be a place to practice my writing sort of morphed into a journal and then a place to complain about anythign and everything. And then suddenly, I become more concerned with catering to the people that I thought might be reading my blog and I worried about what would draw them in and keep them

Seems like lately I come across a lot of blogs where the writer starts by saying that they don't have anything to blog about however they manage to write a very lengthy post about nothing

WHY do I do this? Is it pride? Is it making friends? Is it wanting to feel interesting or needed?

My post from last night and then reading this made me think. I haven't been posting because things aren't perfect. In fact, they're far from perfect. Really far. From here to China far. I haven't been doing great things. I haven't been canning or gardening. I haven't been finally conquering the behavior problems with the kids. Or keeping the bathroom spotless because of some great inspirational cleaning routine.

I started this to document things for my family. I could have stayed on my other blog with the readers I already had. Comments everyday sure are nice and who doesn't love the pat-on-the-back of loads of comments? But I moved. To start a blog more for our family. More about our family. And SO fast I came back to this place where I was blogging for other people, and hey, NOT blogging because of other people. In the same respect, I haven't been blogging real life BECAUSE family reads this blog. Who really wants their Grandmother (Hi Gramma! IF you've gotten this far and haven't turned back because my ramblings are too weird and annoying, I'm waving to you *wave*) but who wants their Gramma to read that they just can't seem to climb Mt. Laundry?

But if I don't mention Mt. Laundry I never post. lol!

SO what's the answer? I'm not sure. Part of me wants to not blog at all. Part of me wants to just cut this internet off and be done. Part of me wants to be able to just throw it all out the window and blog like a journal. Part of me wants to limit the blog to family stuff and farm stuff with no ramblings. Who knows. I don't. I know myself well enough to know I won't stop 100%. I know myself well enough to know I won't stop being on the internet. I wish I would. But I won't. Just won't happen. BUT I need to do something about my internet addiction. Maybe that should be the first step. To step back. Now how to do that? I'm an all-or-nothing gal. I'll pray about it and talk about it tomorrow. I've been thinking and praying about this internet thing for a while.

But for now you get my "I'm doing a blog post about whether or not to do a blog post" post. Which brings me back to another great post from the original post here

(In other words, I think writing a 47-part blogging series about Why We Probably Shouldn't Be Blogging So Much might be a little disingenous, don't you think?)

Hmm... blogging about why I blog. Blogging about whether to blog. Spending time on the internet debating whether to be on the internet. Ever wonder if because you're wondering you should just get up and stop?

See ya.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Late night bits

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It's been a while. And I know why. I don't want to admit it, but I do. At first glance it feels like I have the whole "I have nothing interesting to blog about" syndrome. But deeper, it's not that. Not that at all.

I know I'm not the only one who feels like I do. Like at the end of every day there is disappointment. Just that feeling of not having given 100%. The feeling of not having done enough, not tried hard enough, been selfish, been on the computer too much, or too much tv. Too many times where a child had to ask me something 4 times before I responded. Too many times where I said "no". "No" we can't play a board game. "No" you can't play playdough. "No" you can't sit on my lap. Too many dishes undone before bed. Too much laundry piled up. Too many chores undone. Too many times I was not the mother the Lord wants me to be. Too many times I was not the wife the Lord wants me to be. Too many times I didn't speak with kindness. Too many times I was actually mean. Too many times where I saw behaviors in the children I did not address. Too many times where I saw my behavior mirrored in their behavior. Too little prayer. Too little time in the Word. Too many times where guiding was really nagging. Too much laziness.

I'm sure by now you get it. And no, it's not a pity party. It is what it is. At the end of the day when I usually blog, it feels fake to talk about the little things done when everything else is left undone. It feels fake to do homemakery posts when I feel like a struggling homemaker. Same with fun children stuff when all day I was a "No" Mom.

So I'm going to work on crocheting this snood for myself, wait for Clay's clothes for work to dry (yeah he needs clean clothes for tomorrow and there's none in the closet. Sue me) and then set the alarm to go off at a reasonable time, spend time in the Word and start afresh tomorrow with a new Make and Share Monday scrapbooking post and you can pretend this didn't happen.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Odds and Ends

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A few minutes before bed to blahbitty blah blah.

A, have you been getting turkeys? Cheap turkeys? What? You haven't? It's pre-Thanksgiving time people. Right now at Walmarts all over the country there have been reports of 40 cents a lb turkeys. The turkeys have been around $5.50. Yeah 5 big bucks. Now there's a 2 turkey at a time limit. Over the last few days we've gotten 8. I sure wish I lived closer to town. I want 30 total. It's not looking good. But I've got my mom on the turkey hunt and she's going to be getting me 2 a day when they have them. Go Team Mom!

And in case you didn't know, turkeys are great. Yeah I wish I could afford nice free range turkeys (we raised our own this year, and unfortunately didn't take good enough care of our baby turkey poults this Spring) but at $40+ a turkey for free range, it's not in the budget. But 5 BUCKS?! Dude. And turkeys go so far. Far far far. See next paragraph. :)

So we cooked a turkey today. Actually it's me cleaning out all of last year's turkeys. We had a huge Thanksgiving turkey meal. Ahh the wonders of my mom coming and making homemade stuffing with sausage and mushrooms. Yum. But we ate loads of turkey. Then I stripped loads of turkey meat off. LOTS of it. And I put the carcass in the crock pot for soup. I easily have 2 full meals worth of shredded turkey meat. And more for soup. All those meals include a full dinner, lunch for Clay, and leftovers for us at home the next day. So that's how many meals? 8 meals in total? For $5 for the meat? Understand now why I want so many? 2 turkeys a month. Wouldn't want one every week cause we'd get sick of them, but every other week? Go budget, it's your birthday.....

What's that sound? You running to Walmart? Pick me up one while you're there eh?

*note* some Walmarts have been selling out of turkeys. The manager told my mom to call ahead of time. Might be worth a call if you live 30-45 minutes away like we do.

*note 2* if I were a cool blogger I would have taken a picture of the turkey and crock pot and whatnot. Does it ever feel ODD to take pictures of things like cutting meat off a turkey carcass? Sometimes it feels way too weird. When you're ripping tendons and hacking away at the turkey it feels pretty full of myself to take pictures of that grossness and feel like people will care about them. **Then I type out my post and wish I had taken the weirdness, narcissistic pictures to make my blog post look cool.**

B, Forget my old Last Hoorah post. I've had many of them in the last week. I'll touch on that Monday. Or late tomorrow night. Blasted weight loss. I hate it. Why can't I look like a goddess at 200 lbs? Why? Or live in one of those countries where they love their women fat? Now that, THAT would be nice. To weigh 200 lbs and be thought of as the most attractive woman in the room. Okay I don't seek to have men look at me, in fact I try to dress modestly so they don't. And the heavier I am the harder it is to dress modestly and feminine. It's not easy to find feminine modest clothes at Goodwill. So maybe the other country business would be even worse? um...No. It wouldn't. Where ARE these magical places people talk about anyways? And anyone want to make me some nursing jumpers or find some XL blouses for me at Goodwill? Okay. THis is it. So this is the LAST Last Hoorah Day LOL! Time to lose this weight. It wasn't so bad really. Some homemade stevia chocolate before bed. But let's not forget that I ate a plate and a half of Thanksgiving dinner. Even it being 5 hours ago and it was still Last Hoorah worthy. If I lived in that magical Fatland would I eat Thanksgiving every week? Do you think women specifically TRY to get fat there and being skinny is considered the state in which women are to strive to not be? That would be weird right? "Ew look at how skinny she is. Blech. Honey I love your fat." Okay enough. Must go to sleep. Can you see my tiredness morphing into madness? Eh... ignore my ramblings. This is just the tiniest glimpse into the rambling nonsense that makes my sweet rational, reasonable husband roll his eyes at me :) I love him.

C, Why am I up this late? Oh yeah, babies who don't sleep. Or prefer staying up until 1am and then sleeping til 9. I've never had a baby sleep through the night before the age of 2! And here I have this baby that sleeps 8 hours at night. But seriously me not being able to go to sleep until 1-2am isn't a huge help. I really need to buckle down and get working on him going to bed earlier. The first key is... NO, I don't want to say it. I can't. Sigh. Getting him *cough Me cough* up earlier.

D, Thanks mom for coming over and making a pre-Thanksgiving meal with me.

E, and because I read something that said people hate blog posts without pictures... I leave you with this. Garrison...
And that headdress thing was brought back from Egypt, real Egypt by my mom. Why Garrison is wearing it and why he looks so grumpy in all the pictures I found of him wearing it, I don't know. But it just feels like this post. That's what I should be wearing right now as I typed it. And I leave with that look on my face.

Sleep. Must. Find. It.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Our Hospital Stay....

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I've been missing this last week or so. You know you were thinking I was going to get back into the blogging almost every day thing again. And I am. Unless we're in the hospital with the baby that is!

Early last week Cassie and Adric had a little bout of something or another. They both had little fevers. But it all lasted just a day or two. Adric was sick for only about 12 hours! But because of the baby, my great mom came and took the fevery children away from the house until they were well.

Thursday Garrison had a little of an off day. He slept most of the day. But Friday he was feeling fine so I just figured, hey, normal baby stuff. But then Saturday mom came over and we were going Goodwilling. But Garrison wasn't feeling so great. He was fussy fussy. He would fuss when I picked him up instead of being comforted when I picked him up. I realized he was hot. So I took his under arm temperature. It was 101.5. I immediately called the on call nurse for the pediatricians and she said "Take him to the Emergency Room right now". Sigh. Just what every mom with a 5 week old needs to hear to make her a worried mess.

So we went.

And it turns out that with babies that age, it's a 100% "Better Safe Than Sorry" policy. Because newborns can go downhill so fast when things ARE serious, they treat things like they are serious until they find out they're not. So they take a spinal tap, blood and urine to culture all three to rule out any sort of bacterial type infection.

Ahh spinal taps in little babies. Not the best thing to watch. But I'm not one to be squeamish, so I watched all his procedures. Did you realize that little itty bitty babies have litty itty bitty veins? Yeah, 2 HOURS, 4 sticks, and 10+ people later, Hartley got his IV in. And he was a tad too dehydrated from his fever to get spinal fluid. He'd need ANOTHER spinal tap later. Great...

I did get to go in an ambulance. They transferred us from our local hospital to the Children's Hospital in Nashville. Mandatory 48 hour stay. There they did another spinal tap, got all his IV antibiotics going and by 2:30AM we were in a room. Poor Clay. He probably got to sleep at 3:30 and his alarm went off at 5 to go to work.

So I spent the next two days in the hospital. Let me just say, it's like Grand Central Station in the hospital room of a baby. All.... night.... long..... And let me also say that antibiotics make my baby Hartley gassy. And that gassy Hartleys stay up most of the night fussing.

Oh and they also give you meals if you're breastfeeding the baby. Nice. And you get to order off a stacked huge menu. Nice again. And let me give you an idea of how good the food is. I ordered PORK LOIN in the hospital. Twice. And it was fantastic.

But after 2 days, the cultures came back fine and we were discharged! I've spent the last week glad for a baby with no fever, trying to get the children back into normal life, and get my sleep schedule better again.

To all my friends and family that prayed for Hartley and sent well wishes, it was more than appreciated. Love you.

Back to regular blogging tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Beautiful Results!

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Okay sometimes we need God to show us that what we're doing is working, that what we're doing is important. I'm so dorky to be excited about this right?

So since I originally typed my beauty post, which was a handful of days before posting it, I really have been trying hard to get the house in order and just looking nice. This morning I awoke to THIS email:
Making an effort in the little things does NOT go unnoticed even if you never get a thank you email.

What is even more lovely to me is how working on the little details adds to the big picture, making Clay think to thank me for the things I have done for a long long time.

There are some things I normally do to show Clay how much I love and appreciate him. I gather Clay's clothes before bed so at 4:30 in the morning he can just walk in the bathroom and take a shower. He has an ironed shirt everyday. And I make his breakfast and lunch everyday. I make a container of oatmeal, a quart of unsweet tea, a quart smoothie with raw milk and strawberries, a lunch, and now that he's working until 9:30 at night, a dinner as well. And I set up his coffee maker, grinding the beans, setting it up so her can just turn it on, setting out a coffee cup.

And if you rolled your eyes thinking how old-fashioned that all is, and how I'm giving into male/female stereotypes, that's good!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Menu for Nov. 6-12

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Here's our weekly menu to soothe those who have been waiting on the edge of their seats for our menu since I mentioned it a couple days ago.

Friday:
Breakfast: Sweet Rice (leftover brown rice simmered with milk, cinnamon, vanilla & honey until the rice is soft, then beaten eggs mixed in to thicken)
Lunch: Bean salad with an open faced PB&J
Dinner: Black beans and brown rice with salsa
Tomorrow's Prep: Start sourdough, soak oatmeal, reboot kefir, get pita recipe written on card for recipe box for morning

Saturday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Vanilla Kefir
To Do: Make Pitas and bread
Lunch: Beans and rice leftovers (Clay will be at work) with kombucha
Dinner: Creamy Garlic Potato Soup with my sourdough bread
Tomorrow's Prep: Make Pitas, Start Sourdough IN pans so can bake first thing in morning, soak lentils, kefir grains in fridge, make quiches

Sunday:
Breakfast: Mexican Scrambled Eggs with my sourdough bread
Lunch: Pitas with hummus and coconut curry lentils
Dinner: Quiche
Tomorrow's Prep: Set up baked oatmeal before bed,

Monday:
Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal
Lunch: PB&J on sourdough
Dinner: Turkey and Mashed Potatoes and our yummy canned green beans
Tomorrow's Prep: Reboot kefir, soak pintos, soak oatmeal

Tuesday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Kefir
To Do: Make tortillas
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Shredded Turkey with beans and homemade tortillas, reboot kefir, soak oatmeal, start sourdough, put turkey carcass in crock pot

Wednesday:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with Kefir
Lunch: Cream cheese scrambled eggs (made by a 9yo)
Dinner: Turkey Soup with my sourdough bread

Thursday:
Breakfast: Homemade granola with homemade yogurt
Lunch: In town.
Dinner: Red curried cabbage and carrots over brown rice(unless I see my mom before then and get the red curry paste I left at her house. Then I'll do it earlier in the week cause I'm craving it!)

To see the beauty....

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Clay loves Fall. He loves it. Every time we step outside he revels in the beauty of the colors of the trees. He'd live somewhere that was Fall all the time. I can see awe in his eyes at God's creation.

And there's me, looking, thinking it's pretty and all, but...

There was a time as a young wife that I was SO focused on bringing beauty to every area of our lives. At that time, Clay and I lived in a schoolbus. It was a rockin' long schoolbus. And I made it home. We had a bed, a dresser, a rod for our hung clothes. It had a wood stove and a propane stove and oven. It had recliners and a small couch and a bookshelf. Everywhere you looked you could see touches of beauty I had tried to instill in our little humble abode. Curtains, doilies hung over backs of chairs, random little things here and there that as a new wife were my ways of showing love for Clay and bringing beauty to our simple lives.

After we moved here to TN, as a young wife I wore lovely skirts and dresses everyday. I did my hair and wore a nice floor length floral apron. We lived in a.. hmmm what's the word for it? Very hillbilly looking shack I mean house. And still again it was lovely in it's way. I had nice curtains, throw blankets on our free stained couches to try and cheer them up, a nice green rug on the floor, everywhere again there was me trying to bring beauty in the little things.

Now as Clay looks with wide eyes at the glory of the leaves changing color I sit and ask myself "Where's the awe?". As I sit in my nonfeminine grey sweat pants, needing a shower, with not a single picture of my children on the walls, and ask myself again....

"Where's the awe?"
(okay it's not a picture of Fall, but man, the beauty of that simple little creek running over rocks!)

Where's the awe in how amazing it is that the Lord blessed me with a husband to love and care for, truly amazing children to train and love on, a home in the country to tend, just a life that is so overflowing with blessings I can't number?

Somewhere amidst laundry piles, dirty walls, diapers to change, tangles to comb out and school to do I forgot to look around and see the beauty in life. And it shows. I no longer get up and put on lovely feminine clothes. I no longer leave scriptures in Clay's lunch. I no longer try and make little corners of my house lovely. I no longer plan meals ahead to be 100% sure we have nutritious meals for our family. I no longer keep the house in the beauty that is order and cleanliness. I no longer make it a priority to keep my body beautiful and slim.

I've officially let myself go. And everything else in a way. I've stopped appreciating the beauty in an organized closet, in not only clean dishes but an empty dishdrainer (*gasp*), in a mopped floor (do people actually still DO that?), I've stopped appreciating the beauty of straightened books on a shelf, of colored leaves strung on strings around the house for Fall (do I have to actually DO that now that I've posted it? *help*).

I've heard it a gazillion times about learning to love homemaking, learning to love the little things like laundry and dishes. Honestly I don't love those things. I may never. BUT I purpose to start seeing the beauty in them well done. To look in the mirror with a nice skirt on in the morning and see the beauty the Lord sees in me, that Clay does. I purpose to not just look in the mirror and see the overweght woman, he one that doesn't need to look nice because what difference does it make? I purpose to smile when I smooth out wrinkles in our bed in the morning. I purpose to cover that bulletin board with pretty fabric and hang it up. I purpose to empty the dishdrainer, wipe down the counter and see it's beauty.

When I think of the Lord's creation, the tiny details He made with such loving care, I am reminded that I need to treat the little details of life with such loving care whether it's combing tangles out of 8yo hair or stacking cups in the cabinet. Beautiful.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Red Shirt Fridays

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Red Shirt Friday is a symbol of unity of support for our solders who have given their lives and their freedoms so we might enjoy ours.

Red Shirt Friday is not just to give thanks to the thousands that have died for us. It is also for the millions that have served our country, our serving our country now, and to the millions that have supported our brave military.

It is for the loved ones that have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our benefit. Mothers, wives, brothers, sisters, children, and relatives.

It is for the friends neighbors, communities, organizations, states and our nation that suffer from our loss.

It is for all of the ones that are serving now and have served.

Our Homeschool 2009-2001 -Part 1

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I am going to do a few posts about what we're doing this coming year. Actually our year goes from about Jan-Jan since we school year round. The Winter is when the children seem to switch to new books. But since I read many a homeschool blog post this Fall, I, being one that always gives into peer pressure figured it was time :) I'm going to break these into a couple posts. I'll post what we're using, why we like it and where to get it.

Math first. Seems there's always more talk about math than anything else. Maybe phonics, but math still seems to be the one people debate more, have strong opinions about, and doubt whether they're using the right thing, the most. We as a family use Math U See. I LOVE it. I won't say I haven't had my moments where I considered switching, but the fact that my children love it and thrive on it always keeps me on track with it.

MathUSee is definitely in the middle of all homeschool math debates for a reason. There's also a reason SO many homeschoolers use it. It's different. It's succeeding where for many children, the same old math was not. MUS (Math U See from now on in this post) is different for a few reasons. A, it's visual and tactile. It teaches learning using blocks all the way up through higher math. Being able to see and touch and build using manipulatives helps the brain visualize math. So it's good for those great at math. AND it's good for those who struggle with math. That makes it a great fit for the homeschooling family that will have children all over that map.
The blocks:
B, it focuses on the how and WHY you solve a certain problem a certain way. It's not just about learning how to do something but why you use a certain method, why you are doing what you're doing. I've learned a lot already and Frankie's only in 4th grade.
C, and perhaps the most important and controversial part of MUS, is that it uses the mastery method instead of the spiral method. Normally math is taught via the spiral method. Spiral programs introduce a variety of topics without expecting children to fully understand them. With repeated exposure and continuous review, children are expected to learn and master all necessary concepts. BUT with the mastery method, which I LOVE, a child masters a concept before moving onto a new concept. So you would master addition before moving to subtraction. So you would learn addition, then multiple digit addition before even starting subtraction. Then you would master subtraction, complicated subtraction, before moving onto multiplication, and so on and so forth. I love that my children are actually getting to cement an idea, cement what they've learned before being expected to move onto a totally new topic. They have 3, yes three, pages per lesson (each page has word problems too!). So if your child needs more than just the standard one day on a subject (like most children) they have 3 lesson pages, three days, to do the lesson. Then, it has 3 systematic review pages for each lesson. SO not only do they review past lessons and books (which people worry about) they also get more lesson practice if they need it. And of course lastly, the fact that we USE addition to subtract, that we use it to multiply. Just because we already did addition, it doesn't mean that the children don't use it every day.

Another worry is about the fact that schools use a spiral method so children aren't always in the same place testing wise, or won't have learned the same thing school children have at the same time. Don't worry! It all comes out in the wash. They WILL all learn the same things, they just learn them at different times. So while a public schooled child in one grade would have learned single digit addition and subtraction, our MUS children would have learned addition and double digit addition that year. But the next year the school children would learn double digit addition and subtraction, our MUSers would learn single and double digit subtraction. So after a couple years everyone's learned the same things. And my homeschooling goals do not include mimicking the public school system's goals, so I don't worry about it anyways.

MUS also comes with a DVD that has Mr. Steve Demme teaching each lesson up with a white board. My children just put the DVD in the computer, watch their lesson and that's it. Now I do have to teach now and then :) but Frankie especially doesn't need me at all. The DVD is all he needs. So if you aren't sure about teaching math, then this is great for you.

Check out a free demo here:
http://mathusee.com/demo.html

That was longer than I expected! Maybe I'll just stop with that for now.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday's Visual Things To Do

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Surprisingly I really enjoyed doing the pictures of the messy areas yesterday. It was quite motivating! I found myself working in things when I normally would be poking around on the computer. Be sure to check out yesterday's post as I updated as I went along. So.... we're trying round 2. But this round is scarier. Honestly. I have messes that easily trump the ones from yesterday. Ones that I cringe at the thought of taking pictures of. But here goes...

Blue desk Before:

Laundry take 2 Before:

Okay this one's going to hurt! The upstairs. This was just allowed to get totally out of control the end of my pregnancy and this last month with the new baby. Out. Of. Control. Thankfully I had Frankie take the picture and he didn't capture a good half the room lol! Sheepishly hitting Enter... Before: Status - DONE!

And the After:

Make quiches to have ready for tomorrow's dinner.

These three things I will post about here soon!
Reboot kefir

Reboot kombucha

Feed sourdough starter

Write out menu for the next week

Take shower. NO before here because an unshowered Mommy is not a good sight. Honestly.

Change sheets. We won't do a before of that because well... who wants to see my used sheets anyways?

Okay off to work!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday's Things To Do

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Last night Cassie and Adric both had fevers so my amazing Mom drove 45 minutes to come pick them and take them to her house to keep the baby safe in case of them having the flu. Thankfully they're feeling better this morning, with Cassie only having a slight fever this morning. They're still there and enjoying being spoiled by their Nana. We all like a little Nana spoiling now and then right?

That leaves me with Frankie (9), Garrison (2), and the baby. I'm kind of letting Frankie have a free day today. He will work with me tonight on the kitchen but for now he's having a free day. The baby's asleep and Garrison's laying down for a nap.

So now what do I do?! I'm never without children. And it's not just not having lots around to deal with arguments or boo-boos or special drawings to look at. But it's also not having them to HELP me with the things I need done. I am looking around at some things and I realize I never clean them! Like the bathroom. I only do once in a blue moon and it's when I'm doing deep cleaning with Bleach and tea tree oil. Or straightening the blue desk. Or anything on the floor :) What a blessing having older children is in terms of house cleaning. They all make more mess but they sure clean well too!

On top of it, Clay's working late (until 9 or 9:30pm). I miss him so when he's gone.

*note* to make myself actually DO this, and for some sort of accountability, I'm going to post before and after pictures of some of these areas. Kind of scary posting this for all to see. But hey, I'm not perfect. And um... Grandma.... ignore the pictures of the mess. Just come back later to see the pictures of my nice clean house. Got to keep up appearances and all.

So the plans for today:

Watch V the series that's on Sci Fi today :) DONE! LOL!

Deep clean the kitchen counters. - DONE! Before:
After:

Clean out the baking pan cabinet, wiping and reorganizing. Before: status - job for tomorrow.

Clean bathroom (not sparkling, but normal day to day cleaning). - DONE! Before:
And After:

General straighten - DONE!

Fold all the laundry. Before: - status report: In fact that laundry pile grew more than twice it's size! It now fills the whole couch AND the coffee table has three laundry baskets of clean laundry on it. Now how did THAT happen?

Put laundry away

Straighten living room bookshelf. - DONE! Before:
After:

Cut out the pieces of Cassie's skirt - didn't even think about this! There most definitely wasn't time to find to do this. I wish I would have though!
Twirly Skirt Free and Easy Pattern and Instructions

Okay off to start. I'll be back to post after pictures as they come!

Monday, November 2, 2009

String Figures

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How we got to this place I don't know. On one hand we are moving more and more to being as self-reliant as we can. Cutting way back on electricity, line drying our clothes, heating with wood, growing as much of our own food as we can, and yet we are all tied to technology, bad. TV, computers, video games. Bad.

None more than I am. But that is for another post coming soon.

As a result of seeing this more and more, I've been trying to be more active in turning their minds away from the tv. I've been trying to remember and seeking out those simple fun games and toys that my kids can play that require little more than a string or ball.

Remember String Figures? While my childhood was the real beginning of the video game revolution (yes I spent way too many hours playing Atari, and then way too many days and weeks playing Nintendo as a kid) I still think back and there are so many simple pleasures we enjoyed as children.

We've started learning string figures. Cat's Cradle, Jacob's Ladder, Teacup and Saucer, and there's a million more we have yet to learn.

What's amazed me is how much they LOVE it! They each have their length of string they take with them everywhere constantly doing Jacob's Ladder. Here's a proud String Figurer :)
I remember Jacob's Ladder and Cat's Cradle from my childhood, but we did watch a YouTube video about it to double check :) Here's some links to some YouTube videos:
Sweet YouTube Videos by a nice young man

And here's a great site. It looks like it will take some getting used to and learning the symbols, but there are LOADS of great ones there that the kids are excited to learn.

Yeah you know you love toys that are nothing but a scrap of yarn. You can thank me later.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Excuse the mess

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While I work on a new template :)

Make and Share Monday & A Sweet Baby

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Another entry for Make and Share Monday. Now I know that last month Kristy said she quit doing Make and Share Monday but I'm not one to follow directions. So pop on over to her blog and pester her about where her crafty Monday goodies are. While I'm working on some other crafty things, as usual I have some scrapbook pages to show. Honestly it's been beyond hard to find time to scrap this month, with the new baby and all. I also knit the baby a hat and I'll post that too :)

I was going to start with the scrap pages but man, this face..... I can hardly stand looking at it, it's so gorgeous. Here's two of the sweet things I made recently. This light blue knit baby hat and the lovely squishy baby underneath. If this picture doesn't make you ache for a baby, I don't know what to say.
Second, if you don't read with a feeder, you would have already seen my next crafty thing. I redid my blog template. I wanted to learn to do those static templates you see floating around everywhere. So here it is :)

It's been a while since I posted a couple scrapbook pages. Here's a couple of the new baby:

Everything from these layouts (and most of my blog design though not all) is from a great store called Scraporchard. The ladies there are super friendly and outgoing so if you're looking for a nice place to hang out and learn how to scrap and of course a great store filled with amazing scrap goodies, SO is on that list! I'm actually a team member there and have been blown away by just how wonderful the ladies that call that their scrap home are. I've worked at a number of digital scrapbook stores, but honestly from the minute I started on the team there I've really been overwhelmed with how good hearted everyone is. Was a HUGE added bonus for making it on their team.

If you have any questions about digiscrapping, he sure to comment and I'll answer next Monday. I'm going to start work again on some tutorials about getting started scrapping. Until next Monday...

Homeschool Science *warning dead animal picture*

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Who needs a Science book when Daddies come home with this beauty found dead in the road. Note..... picture of dead owl ahead. In theory Gramma you won't be reading this since you saw the title first thing. Hopefully...

Originally when they saw it in the road they thought it was a hawk and threw it in the back of the truck. But when Clay brought the kids out they saw it was an owl. The kids were wide-eyed as they looked at the claws and beak. Cassie, our resident feather collector, got a huge owl feather to add to her collection. Clay and Frankie told the story about how there were two dead rodents right by the dead owl and how they looked like were run over together. Frankie felt like it told a "story" about how the owl was chasing the rodents and swooping down to get one when the car came.
Clay's face says "I'm holding a dead thing". Doesn't it?


Wow those claws really were something. Oh the creatures God has made.I think looking at the face is what made me feel sad that the owl was dead. Owls are amazingly beautiful, so unique in the look of their face. It was fascinating and sad at once.

While he supposedly brought this for the kids to see, the most excited to check it out was Daddy. It made the children more excited about it. As parents we really need to show excitement for learning for our children to have excitement for learning. Clay and I searched online until we found out what kind of owl it was. The children were most excited in this whole process when they saw a picture of what the own looked like alive. Their little brains put it all together then and I could see light bulbs go off. It is a Spotted Owl.

Clay then went to throw the owl off into the woods. Somehow he managed to get it stuck in a tree. So there the owl sits on a branch overlooking the side road. I don't even want to know what it will look like in a month. Eek.

Honestly I hate to see such majestic creatures getting killed in the road. But it's important to seize these little learning opportunities when they come.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Last Hoorah

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We all have done it. The last hoorah. You know what I’m talking about. The night before your new diet, and all bets are off. The night before the new diet. Pizza at 10 at night, followed by a couple cookies, the bottom of a strawberry milkshake (okay smoothie but still) a bowl of ice cream. And on and on. I mean tomorrow is the beginning of the rest of your life and all that jazz right?

Until tomorrow comes :)

Then you screw up and eat whatever. Yesterday’s long awaited tomorrow just became the new last hoorah because you’re starting OFFICIALLY this time, tomorrow. And you just had two, count em two, binge nights. Then two turns into three and instead of skinnier from this new diet, your new diet made you GAIN 10 lbs.

Help. I need to stop. Tomorrow’s the beginning of the best of the best food life. I hope. Well either way, tomorrow’s the beginning of no more last hoorahs. It may not be a perfect eating day but it won’t be a last hoorah day.

I hope.

Hey wait does that make today’s last hoorah the last hoorah of last hoorahs?

Help. I need help.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blogging is an interesting thing

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I used to have a blog, long ago, that had a much larger and loyal (now note I didn't say MORE loyal!) audience. I loved that blog in so many ways. One is because my audience was different than what I perceived my audience to be when I switched to this blog. There were things I posted there daily that somehow didn't become part of my postings here. I didn't ever really stop and think about it purposefully. But over time I found myself posting less and less on this blog where on my other blog I blogged regularly. With a focus here on mostly homesteading, I had stopped posting unless there was a picture, I stopped posting about the simple things of our days, I stopped posting about weight, and what we ate, homeschooling, God, and on and on. I had stopped posting about most of what made me me and what made our life one that is my joy. What have I been thinking? I should just give it up if I'm not going to be all of me. What fun is that anyways? You're missing out on how utterly cool I am. Well and crazy and you'll get that too as I get back to posting about the realities of our life. But ce la vie. What's cool without a little crazy anyways?

I hear women talking about blogging all the time. They don't feel they have anything worthwhile to say. They make comments about how no one's reading their blog anyway... Many of us have felt blog jealousy at either how perfect someone's life 'looks', how gorgeous their blog is, how successful their blog is, honestly it's never ending. As women our insecurities come blazing out guns loaded for lots of us when it comes to our blogs. When honestly the blogs we really love the most are women (or men) just being THEMSELVES. So how did I get where I wasn't just BEING? Not just being myself but just being? Bah. Stupid self-conscious self.

After having started this and not having the chance to return to finish it, honestly it made me chuckle to see how flawed and neurotic I can be. Blogging? Ah yes, something definitely worth fretting and overthinking right? :) :) :) You'd think I didn't have children and animals and weight and homeschoooling to overthink and fret about. Well at least I got a momentary self-conscious, overthinking, not-really-that-deep ramble off my chest so that I can move on to blogging the way I want. Blogging about the things that matter to me whether they matter to anyone else. Blogging because I want family to know about our lives. Blogging because I have friends that do as well. Blogging because I want to write memories down before they're gone. Blogging because there's a community of online bloggers that I enjoy being a part of. Blogging because I love my life and hope that a glimmer of the joy of my life helps someone be able to see the joy in theirs. Blogging because it gives me a chance to get some of my neurotic ramblings somewhere then just unloaded on my hardworking not-too-verbal husband who lovingly listens to me go on and on. Enjoy lol! AND you know you love a good neurotic Christian homesteading homeschooling lack of sleep having needing to lose weight Mom ramble. You know you do. Admit it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Something I never would have imagined I'd say

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"It does NOT make you look cool to not like Butternut Squash" - said to Frankie this week.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Who turned off the heat?

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in the South? It's cold. We went from 77 last week to not getting over 40 yesterday. I actually love Winter and the cold. Much better than the horrible sweltering heat. But this year there wasn't really a transition from warm to cold. I think Fall came while I was having a baby. I went into the hospital and it was hot hot and came out and the leaves were changing. The leaves are all falling from the trees, the cold is here and it's supposed to be 20 degrees tonight! The last of the squash will die off tonight.

But there's an upside to all this cold. This gorgeousness.... one of my all time favorite things...

There's just nothing like the smell of a woodstove. When I got up this morning Clay had already started the fire. Walking down the stairs to that faint smell was heavenly. Now I admit I wanted to still be sleeping (I have a 3 week old that thinks he should be wide awake until 2am) but that smell made me smile. And the heat. Oh the heat. It's just different. Central heat and air is great but it doesn't feel like heat. It keeps the house warm but there's not warmTH. Wood is warmTH. Love it. Seeing children sitting all around the stove sharing a book because it's the warmest spot in the house is just nice. Coming in from the cold to put your hands above the stove to warm them up is just nice. The sounds of crackling wood, snaps, pops of wood in the stove, is just nice. I can't wait to get the wood cookstove hooked up. You'll never hear the end of my love affair with wood then :)

And of course, I can't not post another sweet Hartley picture. He is changing so fast that in each picture I take he looks different than the last! Okay this picture makes me chuckle. He looks like a sweet happy piglet to me in this picture. Oink. Love when they're all cute and piglety and have those upturned breastfeeding noses and make little piglet grunting noises. I could eat him up. Not like pork of course. But in a "I could just eat those toes right up" kind of way :)

Love you Hartley dude.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Welcome Hartley Clay

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Yes long time no blog. But there's a great reason for the couple months off. Promise!

I'm so honored to be able to introduce our sweet angel, Hartley Clay. He was born September 29th :) He was a big guy - 10 lbs. 8 oz.! He 's huge honestly. He's two and a half weeks old and is just a giant baby doll! I've been taking loads of pictures, but for today here's the first couple pictures of his life. The B&W is him at two days old, and the color at closer to a week. Funny, to me he doesn't even look like those pictures anymore! They grow SO fast.



He's such a sweet and wonderful person. His one and only flaw is his desire to be awake from 9:30pm to 2am, leaving his Mommy tired tired. But he'll grow out of it. And if I could resist the overwhelming need to lay down in the middle of the day due to his late night activities, I could probably convince him to have a mid day long wake time that would help his schedule smooth out faster. But man... that mid day laying down time... it's precious.

On an up note, I am going to be resuming real blogging here soon. I've had a blogging epiphany and just a desire to start blogging again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Frankieism of the day

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Frankie: "If I don't eat soon my arteries will become disabled and I will die".

Thankfully his mom rescued him from this life-threatening condition.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A sweet little giveaway

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Over at the Seven Sisters blog. I love finding little blog gems. Today someone sent me over to check out their mother's blog Never a Dull Moment. What a wonderful blog that is. What a love of the Lord she has and it shines through in her words. Through her blog of course I found her daughters' blog Seven Sisters. My Cassie came over immediately looking at the pictures of these gorgeous modest Christ-centered young ladies with a smile on her face. Then I read through many of their posts and was touched my how sweet and kind and lovely they are.

They are having a sweet, sweet giveaway that I want to win but want you to enter too :) :)

They are giving away this pretty little hand-embroidered journal:

So breeze on by their blog and be amazed at the grace of these young women and enter their contest. Seven Sisters Blog.

In case you didn't know

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Michelle Duggar has a blog!

http://blogs.discovery.com/tlc-michelle-duggar-blog/

Fun stuff.

Real Food Wednesday

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I think this is my first Real Food Wednesday contribution though I've taken pictures before with the plan of doing it. We all know how that goes around here. I can't seem to find whether there's a theme for this week so I'm winging it. I also can't find the Mr. Linky for it so I'm still just moving forward. If you have never checked out a Real Food Wednesday, it's hosted alternating weeks at http://www.cheeseslave.com/ and http://kellythekitchenkop.com So run over and check out all their Real Food Wednesday posts. Their posts are packed with information and you will find insane amounts of great recipes and info on the blogs that participate each week.

This is an old standby recipe that I LOVE but haven't made in a while. I've already eaten these up from the pictures and am making more today. Yum. They're fantastic, a little different, high in protein and fat and great for pregnant ladies, children and everyone else.

*note I kind of suck at this so I kept forgetting to take pictures of me actually DOING anything lol. Next time I'll have Frankie be my photographer. He'll be thrilled.*

Halvah Balls
What you need:
Sesame Seeds. I prefer the brown ones with the hull still on.
Coconut oil, preferably virgin coconut oil but whatever you have.
Sweetener, whether it's raw honey or stevia or maple syrup. Whatever floats your boat.
Coffee grinder
optional: spirulina

Start by taking your sesame seeds.
In small batches, grind the sesame seeds in the coffee grinder until fine. IF you choose to add spirulina put small amounts in the coffee grinder AS you grind the seeds so it mixes in well and easily. I grind until I have a handful of cups worth. Maybe 4 cups worth a batch or so. As each batch is done in the grinder, pour into a large bowl.

Once done grinding, start throwing in some scoops of coconut oil. I like Wilderness Naturals myself.
Mix well until it seems most of the sesame seed meal is a tiny bit coated. You don't want it wet, just crumbly. Like making pie crust. Here's mine in all it's green glory.
Then you add your sweetener to taste. This batch I used local raw honey. We have a 5 gallon bucket of it. Yum. Don't go too crazy or it will be sticky. They should be sweet but not icky sweet.

Then it's time to roll into balls. Roll them, put onto a plate and freeze. The coconut oil firms up and they're easy to hold for little hands and easy for pregnant moms to eat too many of. YUM.
There you have it. High protein, high fat, spirulina filled, raw goodness.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's these moments

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After a long, hard day, the kind of day where you really start to think you are the worst mother in the world and are more than ill-equipped to raise these children to love and serve the Lord, it's these moments that make it all worthwhile.

Background - early this Spring we had the money to get a beehive and start with bees. Clay's realllly into getting bees. But it turns out that Frankie didn't realize that all the trial month games on our phone that he was ordering cost well.... money. My cell phone was on my mom's plan for next to nothing. But it's not next to nothing when your 9yo runs up a $300 bill in ONE MONTH. Sigh. So bees were out. We paid my mom back and Frankie well... was in debt. Over the course of the Summer he's sloooooowly paid off $50 or so of the debt. (He's not so into paying it off). But now he wants to pay it off so that he can do odd jobs to make a little money to buy some hens for his banty roosters.

More background - Adric (5yo) has this jar lid of money. It's his most prized possession. Every penny, every nickel goes in there. It's something special I tell ya. The lid. God forbid anyone even looks like they're by the lid.

So tonight after my "insane, no-good, horrible mom" day, Adric out of the blue walks up to Clay. He says he wants to pay off Frankie's debt (the $250 debt BTW). He explains how he must have enough in his lid to pay it off. He says that it makes him sad to think that Frankie will be working it off forever and asked if he paid Clay the money if Frankie could be free of the debt. *insert mom tears here*.

So Clay has him go get his money. They count it out. $2.95. Turns out that's just how much was needed from a 5yo little brother to pay off a $250 debt. *insert more tears here*

Maybe I won't ruin these children after all.

Here's the sweetest 5yo in the history of 5yos.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Gardening Rules?

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I was talking to a friend a few months ago and we were talking about bolting cilantro. Mine always bolts of course. I didn't realize you could plant it every few weeks and use it all summer. I just always lamented not having it when I was to make salsa. Here I was talking about how cilantro doesn't grow well in the heat supposedly because well... it bolts. And she said something that stuck out to me. She said "I don't know anything about gardening rules. And I'm certainly not going to follow them."

I'm such a reader about things. Read read read. I may or may not actually DO them but I've read loads about everything. Loads of information packed up there but not nearly as much doing as I'd like. And a lot of times it's because this thing I read said it was too late, or that I don't have what I need, etc.

So Fall and Winter gardening is coming. And here I keep looking and reading things that say I should have started x, y, and z weeks ago, some many week ago. And I'm bummed. I keep asking myself whether it's even worth it to start things that the internet and books say I missed the window to plant. The real question is... is it worth it to TRY? Sometimes frosts are late right? If I cover with plastic it gives me a zone and a half bump *maybe* right?

Ack I'm such a rigid dork. I hate it too. Part of the whole gardening process is getting dirty, digging in, trying new things, failing at many of them, enjoying the successes. Tell me I can start cabbage now and it'll grow through the cold. That if I start broccoli it won't all die. That carrots aren't a lost cause. Radishes? Lettuce? Should I start it inside? Outside now though it's hot? Both? How much importance should I give to gardening "rules"? Obviously throwing out ALL wisdom from those who have had their hands in the dirt for years and years isn't wise. But to let it paralyze me isn't either right?

I surely can't be the only one that just totally geeks out when they look at empty gardens. I know over the years I'll get over it but looking even at the row and a half I've prepped and composted I'm geeking out and I have a couple more rows to prep and plant.

Kim the geek. Off to sleep so tomorrow I can can tomatoes, make Phelan's cucumber ketchup, pull out all this year's seeds and get ready for planting this weekend!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Mini Paper Towels post Q&A

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I was asked a question about not using paper towels. I thought I had written about it but I must have forgotten. The question from Dana

Agreeing 100% with one confession... I use paper towels to drain greasy stuff... like turkey bacon (which we don't actually eat very often and isn't really that greasy at all), ground beef, french fries...

Do you not ever have greasy foods that need to drain? Or what?

I use cardboard or newspaper. I always seem to have cardboard around and Clay reads the local paper now and then and I save those. Now to be honest the only greasy thing I ever have is bacon. I don't really fry things ever. But for bacon I use cardboard or newspaper. The truth is if I had paper towels around for certain things my tendency to be lazy would take over and I would use them instead of rags for things. I would. Give me convenience and I choose convenience every time. I wish I didn't but if I HAD presliced store bread I'd put off making bread, if I have disposable diapers laying around I use them, if I had paper towels I'd use em :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Is there some reason

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that none of you told me that a low hoop tunnel is called a cloche? Hours of searching.... Hours. Trying to get a good enough article to show hubby exactly how to build a low hoop tunnel. My "hammer down some rebar, slip pvc over, then plastic, just wasn't inspiring him. After days of searching, countless cursings of Google, I read something that calls it a cloche and suddenly I can find a bazillion gazillion articles about it? I blame you, I really do. Now the question is.... why didn't I look in Eliot Coleman's book? I have it and all. I chalk it up to being blond AND pregnant. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Stinging Caterpillars Batman!

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So after Clay took Adric on a rockin 4wheel drive trek through the woods they went out to check the corn field/pumpkin patch. Suddenly they come in saying Adric got stung by a caterpillar. A caterpillar? Seriously? After I put a paste of meat tenderizer on it because I found it before the bentonite clay, they proceed to tell me tales of the weirdest looking caterpillar they've ever seen. Spots and horns and poison hairs. Treks through corn jungles to find the allusive horned poison hair spot caterpillar. Yeah yeah guys. Men and their fish tales and all that jazz.

Then Clay shows me this picture:

And suddenly I realize how glad I am to have missed the grand adventure because I don't have any desire to get stung by that thing. It's a Saddleback Caterpillar by the way.

*note* Adric normally is very sensitive to things like bites. But we dabbed tape on the sting to check for poison hairs and put the meat tenderizer and he doesn't have even have so much as a bump. When he came in he had a big spot where the main sting was and a red ring around it, but getting the hairs is key and sucking out the poison with clay, activated charcoal, plantain, or meat tenderizer.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Why oh why

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Am I on the computer right now when Clay should be home soon, I have a load of dishes to wash, laundry not put away, sewing area I wanted set up today, and 100 other things? *help*

Monday, August 10, 2009

Make and Share Monday - Aug 10th, I mean Wednesday

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**Note I never got around to finish this, so I'm leaving it half done and posting it anyways so I can finally move on with my life. I've been paralyzed you know with the feeling that something was missing**

On to another Make and Share Monday Er... Wednesday. So of course there's more scrapbook pages and hey, some dishcloth pictures. I DO do things off this computer you know!

So first things first, layouts from this week or two :)

See Flower Picking full credits HERE

See Your Light Shines full credits HERE

One of the things that inevitably happens to every single person who starts digital scrapbooking is downloading and using all sorts of "freebie" kits and later hating every page they did because they had NO idea what was good quality and poor quality digital scrapbook supplies. Happens to just about everyone. My last M&SM I talked about what digital scrapbooking is, what programs to look at and use, etc. So today I'm going to lead you to where to find good quality, FREE, supplies to get started. Cause honestly there's nothing like looking at an old page with embellishments that look like cartoons when you wanted realism, etc.

First and foremost. The first place most experienced digiscrappers think of with free kits is Shabby Princess. http://www.shabbyprincess.com/downloads.asp There's 22 FREE full kits there to download. And every one is high quality and won't let you down. Gorgeous stuff there.

The Makings of a Great Day

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Fabulous breakfast of Whole Wheat Dutch Pancakes with Amish Apple Butter and Raw Whipped Cream Sauce.

Church at home with Dad that including fun singing, laughing, a good Bible story and children inspired enough to make homemade paper puppets of the story of Zacchaeus and give Mom and Dad a puppet show (pictures later).

Lovely time hanging out on the front porch while Clay grilled. Hot but a nice breeze blowing, me crocheting a dishcloth, children sitting nicely with us, being great. Loving front porches lately.

Great lunch. A cookout with BBQ chicken drumsticks with Grillin Beans, chips, corn on the cob from the garden and stevia lemonade. With coupons I had, all that cost me $6. And let me say, I LOVE BBQ chicken legs.

Me, going to see Julie and Julia by myself. Clay even feeding the little people dinner while I was gone.

Finishing a scrapbook layout that night.

Great day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Living Without Paper Towels

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For many this will be old hand, but as I was folding today it felt like a good thing to post about. I don't know how long it's been now, quite a long time I'm sure, but we no longer use paper towels. It's honestly been one of the easiest things to transition to. I rarely even notice that we don't use them anymore. The only times I think I do is when the stomach flu is going around here or the dog has a bad accident. But with the day to day things, it's cake.

We use primarily three things.

Dishcloths. Not only are those for dishes, avoiding having to buy sponget, but wiping up spills, thing that need a wet wipe, these are great.


Little rags. These are free free free. Anything that has holes, gets too stained, quitter socks, etc. get cut up and turned into these smaller rags. We use these for noses, for picking up that piece of squished banana off the floor, things like that and also for anything that you REALLY want to just throw the rag away when you clean up. Those are very rare, but they happen and being that they're just old socks and shirts, no tears are shed if it has to go in the trash. Ours live in this hanging basket to be easily grabbed.


Dishtowels and surgical rags. Dishtowels are self explanatory. Hand drying, etc. all need dishtowel. But we are also blessed with surgical rags. My great aunt and uncle send them in boxes when they pack gifts, etc. They are super absorbant and great for anything really! Here soon I will be cutting and edging all old ripped towels as well. Smaller pieces of thick towels with a zigzag edge make fabulous fabulous rags.

And of course there's the old standby, cloth napkins. And we'll just pretend they're nice and folded in the drawer. Cloth napkins don't need an explanation do they? The only problem I have with them is there never seems to be enough here. I need more.

See? Not hard. There's something for every use of a paper towel. Cake.