Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I think I have discovered the way to not make friends.....give them Amish Friendship Bread starter. You know, the stuff that someone gives you in the Ziploc bag. Then you have to feed it and squish it and 10 days later, you feed it and divide it up into 4 more bags and use the rest to make bread. The bread is yummy. And, it's kind of fun for the first go around, but then, it multiplies. And not wanting to loose the friends you have, you decide not to pass on the starter. So you now have 4 bags of starter to feed and squish and then 16 and then 64 and then.....you get the idea.
I did not want 64 bags of starter. I didn't want 16. So I got creative. I kept one bag of starter to feed and squish and eventually turn into bread because we love it. Two bags went into the freezer. Not sure what I'll do with them yet but I have a few ideas. The last bag of starter became pancakes and they were good. Very, very good.

Here's my recipe:
1 cup Not-so-Friendship Bread Starter
2 cups Pancake Mix (I used Bisquick)
1 cup water
1/3 cup milk
1 small apple, diced
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon

Mix altogether. Use about 1/4 cup for each pancake. You could add some brown sugar but then they'd be really sweet....no syrup necessary. We liked them just plain. Will most definitely make these again.
Those bags in the freezer....I'm thinking something with pumpkin.....to celebrate fall.

Monday, August 30, 2010



Outside my window...Today is gray. It's humid, but not horrible. There is a nice breeze. I love days like today. Summer is winding down. Fall is on the way.

I am thinking...thoughts of fall - pumpkins, cider, hay rides, soccer, s'mores and pumpkin candles

I am thankful for...my wonderful friends

From the learning rooms...car-schooling today

From the kitchen...meatball sandwiches, purple potatoes with sugar snap peas and watermelon

I am wearing...jean capri's and green t-shirt

I am creating...a mess. Why is it that household projects create such a mess before you get them finished? And why does residing the house do that - it's an outside project?

I am going...to the chiropractor, the dentist, the apple orchard, my dad's to pick up my beef, and the church for a meeting.

I am reading...trying to catch up on some Homeschooling magazines

I am hoping...to find homes for all our puppies

I am hearing...the radio, the Bug, Leeny and Bubby getting breakfast, laughter, the Baby's pitter-patting of tiny hands and chunky knees as she crawls across the kitchen floor

Around the house...three laundry baskets full of clean clothes waiting to be folded and put away, shoes in the wrong places, curtain that needs to be re-hung, window that's going to be installed

One of my favorite things...cool, gray mornings and hot cups of coffee

A few plans for the rest of the week: a trip to Springfield to do some returns and visit the Library, moving stuff out of the toyroom in preparation for the new window that's going in, getting caught up on housework because the Husband is going to be on vacation for 15 days and I bet I don't get a whole lot done in the house. He's going to be siding the house, blowing insulation in the attic and generally making a mess. I'll be keeping him fed and hydrated.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Love. Total adoration. That's my niece K with the Baby at 10 days old. She wouldn't even look at the camera. Her eyes were only for her new baby cousin. I love that K!

For more Simple Woman Daybook entries, go here.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Speaking of Babies....

So sweet!
Cute little puppies. Eight of them. Four are black and four are shades of brown.

The girls like to bring them inside so the Baby can see them. I would rather take the Baby outside to see them. She loves to pull their hair and watch them crawl around. The kids think they should each get to keep one. I think there is no way. We have enough animals on this farm! The Husband thinks the mom is going to be making a trip to the vet to get fixed. Two batches of puppies in 8 months is too much.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Not the human kind. The turkey kind. Finally! Jenny Hen had 7 baby turkeys.

We only have 2 left (not sure what kept getting the babies), but at least we know she's figured out the nesting thing. Her last attempt at nesting resulted in a bunch of rotten eggs.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

She stole my camera

You will rarely see pictures of me. I hate having my picture taken. But my sister stole my camera and snapped these pictures of the Baby and I.

We bought this little pool for the baby. She loves the water and wants to be on her own. The big pool is not as fun for her (or me) as we have to hang on to her. This gives her some freedom.

Once she figured out she could climb out, she was back and forth the rest of the afternoon.

She thought Aunt M was so funny taking our picture.

Thanks sis for catching this moment.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Driving home Saturday night, Leeny announced that mommy, Memaw M and Memaw J were the best cooks ever.

The Bug: snorts. Memaw J? She doesn't even cook!

Me: She cooks.

Bug: Well sometimes. She makes good grilled cheese.

Leeny: She makes toast a different way. She uses the smoke detector to tell her when it's done.

I about choked. Leeny was so serious. I couldn't quit laughing, because it is pretty true.


Here is my Daybook entry for today ~ Monday, August 23

Outside my window. . .the sun is shining and there is a slight breeze. It should be a beautiful day today.

I am thinking. . .I have a lot to do today and I wish this headache would go away.

From the learning room. . .Bubby and the Bug have finished reading, science, Bible study, copywork and handwriting. We'll have to finish the rest after we run errands.

I am thankful for. . .being able to sleep-in when I don't feel well, my kids, my home and getting to enjoy having a baby all over again.

From the kitchen. . .home made pizza tonight.

I am wearing. . .my usual...black shorts and gray t-shirt

I am creating. . .a HUGE pile of laundry that needs folded and put away.

I am going. . .to buy a new mattress today. YEAH!

I am reading. . .Simple Church and The Treasure Inside Your Child. Both are great.

I am hoping. . .to remain calm and patient today.

I am hearing. . .the radio, the Baby breathing funny, Leeny running through the house and roaring - trying to make the Baby laugh.

Around the house. . .supplies for siding the house are taking over the back porch, clean laundry that needs to be dealt with, blankets that need folded, kitchen floor that needs swept.

One of my favorite things. . .sleeping with the windows open. Hopefully the air will be off again in a couple of days.

A few plans for the rest of the week. . .schoolwork, dinner out with some girlfriends, swimming with Memaw J, going to an afternoon movie with the kids, working on nursery stuff for the church.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing. . .

We need to plan a trip to the Pumpkin Patch this fall and get a new picture with the Baby.

For more simple women, go here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Swimming with Memaw J

Memaw J took the afternoon off to take her grandkids swimming.

I tried to keep the baby occupied with toys, snacks, juice and watching the other kids. That didn't last too long and I had to take her in the pool.

First off, some of the kids had to show off their diving board skills. The Bug has mastered the dive, so her newest skill is cartwheels. Very fun to watch.

Bubby did cartwheels too. His were not quite as graceful as the Bug's, but were very funny to watch.

Of course Niece K had to show us her tricks. This was her "dive." Beautiful ;)

Leeny was up next. She couldn't decide what to do.
Memaw J took the baby for a while.

Goofballs. They were playing follow the leader and acting like cowboys. They were having so much fun!

Serious discussions. Memaw and Leeny.

We are so fortunate to be able to use this pool whenever we like. We love it!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

She's 10 Months

Actually she has been 10 months for a couple of weeks. I've been a little slow about getting the pictures off my camera and on to the computer.
If someone can run while they crawl, that would be what the Baby does. Boy, can she move! It's so funny to watch. She obviously didn't get her coordination from me. If I tried to crawl that fast, I'd end up on my nose.

Because she is always with me, she is learning all sorts of household chores. Currently her favorite is unloading the dishwasher. She loves to empty the silverware, chew on it and then leave it on the floor. (I did not teach her this). I get to pick it up and rewash it. Talk about a mother's work never being done!

Her smile just melts my heart and it's impossible to stay upset with her. She makes the cheesiest faces.

The baby has developed one habit that is not going to work for our family....screaming. It drives the Husband and I bananas. The spray bottle was supposed to be used to squirt her in the face when she screams, causing the unwanted behavior to stop. She thinks the spray bottle makes a great chew toy.

She's pulling up and walking along furniture, getting brave enough to go it one-handed. I fully expect she'll be walking at 11 months, following in the Bug's footsteps.
The baby is so much fun, exhausting but fun. She still isn't sleeping through the night but is starting to consistently take naps. She is also starting to eat real food (which she loves) and drink from her sippy cup. She is much to nosey to nurse when we are out and about so the sippy cup comes in handy.
I can't believe that we're already entering the toddler stage! The baby stage just flew by. But I'll enjoy the new adventure and make lots of memories.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Idol of the Seen

Idols. Not good. But I am realizing that I have them. What are they? Idols of the seen. I can so easily make idols out of things that are seen. Clean floors, dusted furniture, the counters empty of clutter, the entryway swept and orderly....you know a clean house that stays clean. So that when people come over, they can see what I do. A house that stays clean despite the 5 people who use it all day every day. A house that stays clean at the expense of the children...no art projects, play dough (no way), Polly Pockets (ughhh!) and so on. But I'm learning.
I have discovered something that seems to be working. A nice compromise, something I can live with. After we finish formal schoolwork (we're never really done learning, right?), I list all the things that need accomplished for the day. Laundry folded and put away, floor swept, trash burned, dishwasher unloaded, chemicals added to pool, entryway cleaned, yard mowed, tomatoes picked and so on. Then we tackle the list. Everybody helps. When we are finished, that is the end of the housework/yardwork for the day. If I think of or see something else that needs done, it goes on the list for the next day.
I know my worth isn't based on what I accomplish in a day. But, as a stay-at-home mom, it's hard to remember that. I mean I'm home all day. People wonder what I do with all my spare time (as if I have so much). It's hard to keep in the forefront of my mind that loving and laughing and living and playing are the most important. That teaching my kids is better. Building relationships are vital.
Cleaning has a place and we are doing it. But my house is going to look lived in. There will be clutter on my counters. Hopefully the bathroom will remain cleaner than a gas station. The kids will have art projects taped to the walls and drying sometimes on the floor. There will be dishes in the sink because I cook and feed my family 3 times a day and sometimes I just can't keep up. Be careful as you walk because the baby will have dumped out something on the floor.
But my kids will be happy. They will be loved. They will love and serve others. And they will know how to work. But this momma is NOT going to make idols out of what my house could look like!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Simply Lovely Day

The Husband worked his regular hours Friday, had physical therapy for his shoulder, took us out to eat and then headed to his mom's house. Half a mile from her house poor Hubby got called back to work. Good old fast moving storms. He didn't get off work until 8:30 am Saturday. Then he went to help his mom and step-dad install a wood floor. That guy amazes me...he's been awake for 41 hours and doesn't complain or get grouchy. He works sooo hard. And the heat has been awful with temps in the upper 90's and the heat index over 105 all week.
So what did the kids and I do? I almost feel guilty considering what the Husband had to do. We had the most relaxing day. Other than some laundry, we didn't do anything. I read a book (the whole thing), the baby laughed and giggled and followed her siblings around the house. We played a game, ate a leisurely breakfast and had hot fudge sundaes for a snack. Bubby played in his room and watched a movie. The Bug and Leeny played in the toy room. It was a wonderful day with everyone happy and healthy.
We finally ventured out around 4:00 to see how the Husband was doing. He was still going strong. In fact, he wanted to attend the Truck Pulls. We went. I pooped out before him. By 11 pm, the Suburban was loaded up and I was begging him to leave. After all, the kids and I were tired. ;)
He's finally asleep and I imagine he'll sleep for a good long time. If his phone rings tonight, I might just shut it off.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I was thinking the other day about how God loves me. God knows we are going to mess up. He's given us instructions and sometimes we just don't do what we know we should. Yet he forgives us and loves us still. Even though He knows we're going to blow it again.
Recently one of the children had a tough choice to make. The child made the wrong one. While I was disappointed, I understood what had made them choose the way they did. I forgave the child and it was a great opportunity for character development, for both of us.
As the child was going to bed, they asked me if they had my trust. And that's when I realized that they'll probably mess up again....lots and lots of times....probably over the same issue. Because just like their mom, they are not perfect.
I was overwhelmed with the knowledge that God knows I'm going to blow it time and time again but if I was sorry and asked him if I still had his trust, He'd say yes. What a model parent!

Friday, August 6, 2010


The camping trip was fun. A lot of packing, but worth it. We got to the campground around 2. We decided to cut up the melons and prep some other food so that it would be done for the weekend. When my sister arrived, I thought we should set up the tent. That way we wouldn't be doing it in the dark. Did I mention that it was about 100 degrees? Well she would have liked to beat me with those poles for putting it up in all the heat!

After setting up the tent, we took the kids swimming. The water in the pool felt sooo good! It was a wonderful evening of relaxing, visiting and eating. The next morning dawned cloudy. No water park. It rained off and on the whole day and night. Yuck!

Thankfully, kids are resourceful and can make the best of any situation. Bubby discovered that the playground made into a "waterpark" when it was raining. The "waterslide" went really fast. The kids spent several hours playing on the "waterpark" and were soaked. They had fun in spite of the rain.

Later in the afternoon, a big storm blew in complete with lightening and thunder. Time to head inside. There were 11 of us in the camper (condo on wheels). Overall, the kids did really well. They watched TV, some rested and we played a couple of games. After about 3 hours though, we were getting stir crazy. Thank God, the rain stopped for a few hours and we were able to get out for a while.

We took the kids to the arcade. Of course they had fun there. After our money ran out, we made it back to the camp site and into bed just as a big downpour started.

We all slept well. Nobody slept in the tent as it was soaked from all the rain. The Baby didn't mind any of it. She was tuckered out!
Saturday started out sunny, we thought maybe we'd make it to the waterpark, but no. By 8 am it was cloudy again. So we packed up and headed home. I think we'll try it again in a couple of weeks. It's fun over there, rain and all!

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I'm not much on going to fairs anymore. It was way more fun when we were kids and someone else was footing the bill. Fairs are soooooo expensive!

Bubby is in 4-H and had to do at least one project for the fair. He chose Meat Goats and Small Engines. We really had planned to start our projects early. But you know how it goes. You put it off for a week, then another and before you know it, the fair is one week away and your son is going to be at camp that week.

Lucky for us, we didn't have to do the small engine project and since he raises goats, all we really had to do was put together a display on one aspect of raising them. Easy enough. Well he went and got a BLUE Ribbon! Yeah Bubby! (A blue ribbon is like getting an A.) Then when we went to pick up his project, we found a green ribbon too. That was a "Best of Show" ribbon and had he been old enough, he could have taken it to the State Fair. He was too young by 4 months.

Luckily, the judging took place the day they were setting up for the fair and we didn't have to go back till the day they were tearing down everything. We got to skip the whole thing! No rides, expensive food, none of it! I didn't make it to the fair at all.

I think next year we should do Cooking. They can bake a cake. The Bug will be old enough to participate too. We are in the kitchen all the time, so that would be easy. But Bubby plans to show a goat (YUCK!) and the Bug wants to do something with her chickens. Oh boy!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

For My Nanny

Mom called last night and said that the pain is getting very bad and your time here is drawing to a close. It's been almost 5 years since I've seen you and I wish I could see you again. But too many miles and 4 kids makes it impossible. I know I'll see you again, just not on this Earth.
I've been taking a trip down memory lane and wanted to share some of those memories with you. So many happy times and lots of laughter. I wanted you to know that I have lots of happy memories with you (and Bapi). So here goes:

-Rides on the mopeds

-making horderves at Aunt Debbies (don't remember if it was for Christmas or New Years)

-Giant stuffed bunny rabbits as big as we were (we played with those things a lot)

-pretty ruffled dresses

-Playing BINGO around the counter at mom's house- you had real prizes for us kids - IT WAS SOOOO MUCH FUN!

-Staying at the beach the summer of '88 and making sand candles with us

-Coming to AZ by myself the summer I was 16 - we went to Mexico, we laughed till we about cried, you getting me dressed up to pass for 21 (and I did)- remember the blue eyeshadow?, and gambling for the first time. That was a great trip. Loved it!

-Going to Silver Creek Falls - what a beautiful place and you probably hurt so badly, but you walked all those trails with us.

-The A& P Store - that place was so cool. All the candy, hamburgers and Nintendo...a kids dream!

- Seeing mom smile when she was around you - priceless

-You taught me how to count back change - when I taught Bubby, I told him that it was you who taught me. As I teach the rest, you'll be getting the credit.

-Pac-Man - I can still play a pretty good game. I had the high score at the campground last weekend. Wish I could play you a game again.

-Do you remember teaching me how to make cream puffs? I do. We made them in the first apartment in AZ. I still love making them.

- Roast beef sandwiches with mustard and red onion. I remember eating those when we'd come to visit at camp grounds. Every time I eat one of those, it's like taking a trip back in time. Still my favorite way to eat them.

-Lots and Lots of laughter!

-My high School Graduation - I so appreciated that you came back for that. I know I probably never told you, but it meant a lot.

I have so many more memories, but time is running out. The baby wants to be nursed and has no appreciation for trips down memory lane. But, I hope you get the idea that I have lots of good memories that I'll carry forever. I love you Nanny!