Thursday, April 30, 2009

A first romance

My sweet boy is in a kindergarten class of 6 boys and 1 day a week one little girl is added to the mix. These boys are great friends. They love each other and get along so well. They treat this little girl with respect. They look out for her.

So yesterday my son and another little boy got into a fight over this little girl. Apparently my son was holding her hand and one of the other boys got upset. They then argued over who was going to marry her! For goodness sake, they are 6!

Thank goodness he wasn't thrown out of school for harrassment for holding her hand!

When I asked my son about it he blushed and said that he and his friend had "worked it out" and were okay. I didn't ask how they resolved it....maybe I should have.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Science experiment?

You may have noticed that I haven't blogged much the last couple of weeks. I even missed a couple of Menu Monday recipe posts (audible gasps all over blogland ignored).

Another confession, I haven't read many of your blogs either. (Okay, don't go egging my house or anything, nothing personal, K?)

I can come up with lots of excuses like -

A school fundraiser that occupied my time.

Family for Easter dinner. Therefore also, recovery from Easter dinner.

Sick kiddo.

Bad attitude.

But, so much for excuses, the truth is that I thought I needed a break from blogworld. I had convinced myself that "slacker mom" had emerged from blogworld and taken residence in my home.

Thus my science fair experiment is born.

Observation: I seem to be spending a lot of time blogging. My housework seems to resist blogging as a means of getting done.

Question: Is blogging and following blogs mutually exclusive from housework completion?

Hypothesis: If I take a break from blogworld, my time will be available to accomplish "stuff"!

Method: I took a break from blogworld and attempted to not let something else take it's place.

Result: I didn't get more done. I did get stuff done, but probably about the same that I would have even when I was blogging.

Conclusion: I miss blogworld! I miss my fans (all 3 of you)! I miss having some outlet besides hubby (who ignores half of my rants anyway!) So, watch out blogworld, I am back!


Wrap yourself in a fantastic journey,
a remarkable commitment, and a spare and splendid story

Master storyteller Jane Kirkpatrick extols the beautiful treasures, unknown to a wider public, rediscovered in the Old Aurora Colony of Oregon’s lush Willamette Valley. The people and legacy of Aurora, a utopian community founded in the mid-1800s, will stir your imagination, hopes, and dreams; and remind you that every life matters—that our lives are the stories other people read first.


Unique and treasured quilt pattern variations.

More than 100 photographs, many never-before published, from 1850 to today.

Cherished stories from Aurora descendants.

Rich images of fine crafts from the Aurora Colony and private collections.

An introduction by renowned American artist John Houser.

Aurora is about the difference every ordinary life can make—and a beautiful celebration of a time and place in which people expressed their most cherished beliefs through the work of their imagination and hands.

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

Read more and buy it here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A Flickering Light by Jane Kirkpatrick

Returning to her Midwest roots, award-winning author Jane Kirkpatrick draws a page from her grandmother’s photo album to capture the interplay between shadow and light, temptation and faith that marks a woman’s pursuit of her dreams.

She took exquisite photographs, but her heart was the true image exposed.

Fifteen-year-old Jessie Ann Gaebele loves nothing more than capturing a gorgeous Minnesota landscape when the sunlight casts its most mesmerizing shadows. So when F.J. Bauer hires her in 1907 to assist in his studio and darkroom, her dreams for a career in photography appear to find root in reality.

With the infamous hazards of the explosive powder used for lighting and the toxic darkroom chemicals, photography is considered a man’s profession. Yet Jessie shows remarkable talent in both the artistry and business of running a studio. She proves less skillful, however, at managing her growing attraction to the very married Mr. Bauer.

This luminous coming-of-age tale deftly exposes the intricate shadows that play across every dream worth pursuing—and the irresistible light that beckons the dreamer on.

Jane Kirkpatrick is a best-selling, award-winning author whose previous historical novels include All Together in One Place and Christy Award finalist A Tendering in the Storm. An international keynote speaker, she has earned regional and national recognition for her stories based on the lives of actual people, including the prestigious Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Hall of Fame. Jane is a Wisconsin native who since 1974 has lived in Eastern Oregon, where she and her husband, Jerry, ranch 160 rugged acres.

Get more info and buy it here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What will they be?

It is so entertaining and awe-inspiring to watch children develop into people. To watch their talents and abilities emerge, and to wonder and help them discover the calling on their lives to utilize those best.

I think I have definitely discovered my Gigi's calling....She will be an artist! The world is her canvas! She is too young at 22 months to know, you say?! See for yourself.....

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

(This is the top of the bench in our entryway that hubby finished himself...)

See what I mean? She isn't fussy about medium. She prefers ink and graphite (pencil), but will make do with whatever is handy. (Translated, whatever she can get her little hands on!) She isn't partial to her canvas either. It doesn't have to be boring old paper! In a pinch, a hand will do!

Who wants to be the first to buy a masterpiece before she becomes too pricey? You know what? We could even have her come to you and personalize it on your furniture, walls, coasters, or any other place that needs an artist's flair!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Egg Update

After a request - here's how we did the eggs. After prepping the color dyes (any will do - traditional food coloring dilutes or egg dye kits) and hard-boiling the eggs,

1 - We dye each egg it's first base color. Usually the lighter colors work best, graduating to the darker colors on subsequent layers.
2 - Allow egg to dry.
3 - Drizzle or "paint" egg with rubber cement. Can make patterns but we like the "randomness" approach.
4 - Allow rubber cement to dry. (We usually hold the "ends" of the egg and blow like crazy - it may not help - but it keeps the kiddos occupado!)
5 - Dip egg in another color.
6 - allow egg to dry.

We usually do another round of rubber cement and dye too. Don't remove the first rubber cement if you decide to do this.

Do not peel or rub off any of the rubber cement until the eggs are dry, or the colors will smear. When dry the rubber cement just peels or rubs away. The dyes also change color as you dip other colors in, just keep that in mind.

I can't take credit for this idea. But I also can't give it to who it's due either, because I don't remember where I got it from. We did it for the first time probably 5 years ago. I think it might have been on Martha Stewart's program, but I'm not sure.

This does take some time, with all the drying in between rounds, but it's also fun to see them experiment with colors and patterns and can be used as a colors object lesson. With younger children you can talk about mixing colors, like "the egg is yellow and now we are dipping it in blue, what color will it be?" and with older kids talking about patterns, symmetry, balance and complementary colors, etc.

I try not to let the talk stifle their creativity.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter crafts

While my children are taught the REAL reason for Easter, and their need for a Savior and the hope of the resurrection, we do like us some spring crafts!

Of course - Easter eggs -

We made these designs with rubber cement. One of my favorite ways to color eggs!

And of course - these cute handprint lilies -







AND - after my shower, what did I find but this simple word at the base of our beautiful lilies -


Friday, April 10, 2009

Giving... truly more blessed?

Ok, first know that giving comes naturally to me. Hubs frequently has to help me balance our needs with those of others. It is a balance, isn't it? We do have a responsibility to take care of our families, but what does that truly require? Food, adequate shelter, clothes - the basic needs. What else is needed? Computer, cell phone, DVR, cable, flat-screen tvs? I'm not saying these are bad, but the more we own, the more we are enslaved to it. Homeowners should understand this concept. When you rent, you don't have to do maintenance. When you own, there is always something that needs to be fixed, replaced, repainted, etc. I only use that as an example, not to diminish owning a home, because I do believe in home ownership.

But what if we all gave a little more to others. Just others who could use what is sitting around our home. Or what if we gave a little of our (sniff) Starbucks money every month to providing clean drinking water to starving children? Why do we hang on to money and "stuff" like our lives depend on it? We focus too much on the temporal.

Flip-Flop Your Concept of Giving! This book made me think! Where do I want my treasure to lie? Here on Earth? In eternity? Giving changes us....AND those around us!!!

Bestselling author Randy Alcorn introduced readers to a revolution in material freedom and radical generosity with the release of the original The Treasure Principle in 2001. Now the revision to the compact, perennial bestseller includes a provocative new concluding chapter depicting God asking a believer questions about his stewardship over material resources. Readers are moved from the realms of thoughtful Bible exposition into the highly personal arena of everyday life. Because when Jesus told His followers to “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” He intended that they discover an astounding secret: how joyful giving brings God maximum glory and His children maximum pleasure. Discover a joy more precious than gold!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

8 things....

8 Things I am Looking Forward to:

1. A four day weekend with the kiddos!
2. Losing the other 20 lbs!
3. Doing some work on our house.
4. Warm weather.
5. Cold and flu season being OVER!
6. Making some yummy stuff for Easter Dinner.
7. Finishing Spring Cleaning...
8. Going home to be with my God!

8 Things I Did Yesterday: (It doesn't look like much because I did so much on Tuesday, so I could spend time with hubby on his day off!)

1. Took hubby shopping with me for a new dress!
2. Went out to lunch with hubby and Gigi.
3. Bought shoes for my daughter and myself.
4. Went and bought Easter ham, and snacks for the boy's class.
5. Read blogs and checked facebook.
6. Made some yummy chinese chicken for dinner.
7. Enjoyed the sunshine and warm weather. (but today it is rainy and cold. Blech!)
8. Bathed Gigi.

8 Things I Wish I Could do:

1. Knit.
2. Have time and energy to finish my "projects".
3. Snap my fingers (or twitch my nose and flick my ponytail if you are a Bewitched fan), and have the house clean!
4. Go on vacation with hubby alone.
5. Release "mommy guilt" more easily and not let it cripple me.
6. Go to bed earlier.
7. Take the children on the vacation of a lifetime without worrying about the cost.
8. Have all my family and friends believe in a Savior and Creator.

8 Shows I Watch:

1. House
2. Monk
3. Psych
4. Lie to Me
5. Chuck
6. Clean House
7. What Not to Wear
8. All those diy home improvement things. (Hubby is going to start limiting me, because his "honey do" list is growing)!

8 people I tag:

1.-8. You!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Revolutionize your thinking!

Serve God as never before!

The first Christians “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) shaking the gates of hell even in the face of severe persecution. The result: People all around “were filled with wonder and amazement” (Acts 3:10). What can give Christians today the same impact?

God’s Holy Spirit is ready to answer that for us in an awesome way, as Henry Blackaby and his son Mel Blackaby make clear in Experiencing the Spirit. You’ll see how the proof of the Spirit’s presence is our awareness of God’s personal assignments for us, plus our supernatural enablement to carry out those assignments. You’ll find essential clarification on the difference between natural talents and spiritual gifts. You’ll explore the dynamics of being filled with the Spirit through intimate relationship with Him, committed obedience, and radical departure from sin.

Instead of considering what you can do for God with your abilities and talents, you’ll be encouraged here to seek what God wants to do through you supernaturally by His Spirit, empowering you beyond your personal competence and capacities. Release the Holy Spirit’s work at the very core of your experience of the Christian life.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Fabulous Cashew Chicken

This one isn't a complete follower of South Beach, but still healthy. And we all scarf it down, too! It is a recipe from Saving Dinner by Leanne Ely. I did change a few things to be to our family's liking.

3/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
1 TBSP cornstarch
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 TBSP olive oil, divided
4 green onions, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
1-2 celery stalks, chopped
1 yellow summer squash, cut into pieces
1 zucchini, cut into pieces
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 1/2 cups cashews

In a bowl, combine juice, honey, soy sauce, cornstarch, and seasonings. In a wok or large skillet, heat 1 TBSP oil until it begins to smoke, Stir-fry vegetables for several minutes until the onions become fragrant. (I usually add the carrots first for a few minutes and then add the others). Set aside and keep warm. In the same skillet, heat remaining oil until smoking and stir-fry chicken until browned and tender. Add vegetables, cashews and sauce mixture. Continue cooking until sauce thickens and bubbles.


Saturday, April 4, 2009

What to Wear????

About 2 months ago, hubs and I started the South Beach "lifestyle change", (diet is a nasty word around here...). Hubs has lost 50 lbs and I have lost 24. It is wonderful! BUT, it does have its dilemmas. While my children are outgrowing their clothes, mom and dad are shrinking, and the clothes are not.

My favorite pair of jeans can be removed without UNZIPPING them! I finally caved and bought a pair of jeans and 5 tops (three from a second hand store and 2 from an outlet. I plan to lose another 20 lbs at least.

But the problem remains, what to wear? I went shopping this evening in my favorite pair of jeans (I admit, Stacy and Clinton would toss them in a sec.) I felt like I belonged to the hip hop scene with my pants slipping down around my hips.

I went out to find another pair of jeans and a nice dress. I don't want to spend a fortune, since I plan to lose more weight. I went to JCPenney, Dillard's, Macy's, XXI, and Lane Bryant.

JCPenney had a few that looked great, if I wanted to show all my cleavage to the entire congregation Easter morning.

The saleslady in Macy's didn't even glance my way. Besides, the dress I wanted to try on was $200. WAY beyond my price range!

Dillard's sales staff followed me like I was going to steal something! Come on, I know the jeans look bad, but I am definitely not going to spend my money here if I'm treated like that!

XXI- I felt like I was in high school again....BIG MISTAKE! I'm sure they all thought I was shopping for my daughter. Some of the salesgirls looked the age of my daughter (10)!

Lane Bryant was one of the places I HAD to shop before I started losing weight. I had to beg the saleslady to unlock a dressing room for me. I tried on two dresses there and could have fit my two year old in with me.... That was a positive!

Needless to say, I came home empty handed. But I did see some beautiful I just need clothes to wear....

Stacy and Clinton, where are you when a girl needs help????

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

We are That Family

I am so excited to be featured over on We ARE THAT Family, Family Tree Society.

She has a compassionate servant's heart! Go over there and check out her blog! You will love it!

Keep, return or exchange?

I promised myself I would never do this, but now I frequently go shopping and buy something thinking I might like it without trying it on. I take it home and try it on and take it back if it doesn't work.

Why this change of heart? Dressing rooms in general. First, they are the size of a small outhouse most of the time. I can barely turn around, much less change clothes or drag a kid or two in with me. They are cold. They certainly don't want you to stay too long. The last thing I need is goosebumps while trying on a bathing suit. Not pretty... The lighting also stinks. Tell me who has flourescent lighting anymore besides dressing rooms. Nothing like an erie blue/white/purple light to show all those flaws! And of course, the toddler. Let's see if I can fit under the dressing room wall or door mom?!!! Hey this lady is trying on the same bra and it fits her so much better, and she doesn't have stretch marks....

I can also live without salespeople's opinions most of the time. Who cares if you like it?! I will probably never see you again! And you don't have an ulterior motive do you, maybe a commission? What matters is if I like it, am comfortable in it, etc.

Needless to say I frequently have returns. Am I ashamed? Not a bit. What do I say when I return it? IF they ask, I tell them I decided I didn't want it! This all leads to a situation with hubs yesterday. He is a sweetie, and took the day off to help me out. I have a sick toddler who didn't sleep the night before and I had so much to do....

Anyway, he proceeded to replace brake light bulbs in my car. He went to the auto parts store and bought the bulbs that the little computer told him to get. He came home and tried to put them in. One was the wrong one. Hubby proceeds to look up another parts store to go to, because he doesn't want to look bad going back to the one where he bought the wrong bulb....

Are you kidding me?! Who cares what the checker at the auto store thinks, if they even notice!!!! Must be an ego thing.....