Monday, January 31, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
I've had other good birthdays. One that sticks out in my mind was one of the birthdays I celebrated in Brazil. See, all my life I was envious of people with summer birthdays. They always got the bar-be-ques and the swim parties, and I got nothin'! January is a horrible month for a birthday. But, in Brazil, seeing as it's south of the equator, my birthday was in the middle of summer. So, I got to celebrate with a bar-be-que for the first time in my life. It was great. We had it in the little kiosk in the middle of our school campus. Of course there was a typical Sao Paulo thunderstorm right in the middle of it, but that was fine. I was celebrating my birthday in shorts, having a bar-be-que.
Birthdays are fun. It's nice to have a day that says, "This is the day you entered the world. What a difference that has made! We will make much of you this one day!" And, ironically, even though I convinced myself not to go running today, I am planning on getting a new pair of running shoes with my birthday money. And I will really try not to listen to myself again when I am half asleep. Nothing good ever comes of that.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
You spend about 1/2 hour picking out something to wear. Take a nice long bath beforehand, put on some nice perfume, do your hair up and refresh your makeup. He picks you up and opens the car door for you and you go someplace for dinner. You look into eachother's eyes, eat slowly and discuss things like... politics, work, friends, etc. After dinner, you see a movie, or take a walk in the park, holding hands and talking about everything.
After you're married, a date is basically like this....
You run to the U-Bake Pizza shop 1/2 hour before the babysitter arrives and get the kids a pepperoni pizza. Rush home, throw something on from the closet, hoping you don't smell too bad. Glance in the mirror, spray on a little extra hairspray, yell at the kids to stop running amok and put the pizza in the oven. The babysitter arrives and the kids are going berzerk. Hubby tells them to calm down and you are frantically writing yours and his cell numbers on a sticky note because something happened to the other one. You finally make it out the door, go to the restaurant, have dinner and then go to Lowes and pick out blinds for the bedroom and wait for 1/2 an hour for the gal to cut them to fit. Then, you look at chain-saws and drive home, pay the sitter, apologize for the rambunctious behaviour of the monkeys and be glad you paid her well, say good-bye and collapse in a heap.
But, in spite of all that..... I'd much rather be married than dating!
Friday, January 21, 2011
Well, my little I-hate-space boy has turned into an I-think-rockets-are-the-coolest-things-in-the-world boy. We've spent quite a bit of time paging through this book looking at rockets, discussing the Space Race in the 50's between Russia and the U.S. and checking out the different stages of the Saturn V rocket. That's one heck of a rocket, I must say. We've studied the space shuttle and I showed them a video of the Challenger explosion. We've been having a lot of fun and the boys are very enthusiastic. So, I'm thinkin' it's getting close to time to return this book to the library (well, I know it's time because they sent me the e-mail that says, "Return our books or we'll come to your house and chop off the protruding parts of your body!" They save those e-mails for people like me who constantly have overdue books.) So, I thought, this is a really good book. Maybe I ought to look into purchasing it. So, I surfed on over to my favorite on-line store - Amazon and looked in the used book section and found one that is in "Very Good" condition for..... drum roll please...... $0.32 plus $3.99 shipping. Shoot, that'll pay for my over-due fines and I still get to keep the book. So, I ordered it. Woohoo.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The past several days have not displayed my finest moments as a mother. I will not go in to the details, but there have been some incidents that I feel horribly about and even though apologies have been made, I still feel badly. I look at myself and am frustrated at how I lose my patience, think the worst of my children and say things I regret. I know this is all a product of my own sinful nature. One of the things that grieves me the most about my sin nature, aside from the fact that it is an affront to God, is that my sinfulness damages my children. Words spoken in anger hurt, and even when apologies are made, the damage is done. And that just cuts like a sword through my heart. However, I remind myself of a conversation I had with a friend once a couple of years ago. I was sharing my frustrations with myself and how I felt like a failure so much of the time. She called to my mind the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 and told me that so much of the time, what we bring is a pittance, not nearly enough to do the job required, but Jesus is faithful and will multiply our efforts so that the job will get done. I take comfort in that and continue to pray every day that God would multiply my efforts, and minimize the hurt I inadvertantly cause my children when my patience runs out. I know that in spite of my failures, God has placed these children in our home for a reason and that with His help, we will raise them in a way that pleases Him and prepares them for a joyful life in His service.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Chicken Barley Soup
Saute' onion, mushrooms (I put in lots of mushrooms because I love love love mushrooms) and carrots in olive oil. You can either liberally sprinkle on garlic powder or add some fresh garlic to the mix while it is sauteeing. So, I let that cook for a while and then added a can of Swanson's Vegetable Broth and a can of chicken broth. Now, this is why I think it's so good. It's the veggie broth. Veggie broth has much more flavor than chicken broth. It makes whatever you're making so much better. It is more expensive than chicken broth, because as far as I know, there's no store brand. At least there isn't at Save Mart. But, in my opinion, the increase in flavor makes the expense worth it. So, make sure you use vegetable broth. Then, I put in about 1/2 a cup of pearl barley, a can of Kirkland brand canned chicken and let the whole thing cook a while until the barley is tender. That should take at least 1/2 hour. I was hungry so I ate it a little early and the barley was a little chewy, but it was still good. If it seems too thick, add water.
Now, if I was really going to enjoy myself, I would have had some homemade bread liberally spread with butter (garlic and butter are the only things I like liberal), but that's not allowed on phase 2, so I had half a sliced apple instead.
So, there you go! Yummy lunch! And easy too!
In the words of a famous ex-convict, "It's a good thing!"
Friday, January 14, 2011
So, all that to say, Missy Lou has been complaining about an ear ache and she's had an intermittant fever the past couple of days. I hate taking her to the doctor. What is he going to say she has now? Plus, I always wait for hours on end in a very crowded waiting room with.... well... children with runny noses. But, I just decided to suck it up and take her in and she has an outer ear infection. Nothing much. Probably should just let it go, but he gave me a topical antibiotic for her. And I left feeling a little dumb.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
So, today the kids get up and Duh-duh is complaining about a tummy ache. He didn't have a fever or anything, but I just jumped all over that and declared that we must have a sick day. So, Duh-duh stayed in bed an extra couple of hours, the other two played Uno and I finished up my Children's Church curriculum project, shredded a bunch of papers (classified information, you know) and cleaned out the corner of my bedroom that had been collecting all kinds of stuff. It's been a very productive and stress-free day. Duh-duh is feeling much better, too.
And to quote the original founder of the "Day Off" Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. You don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it!"
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
One of the reasons I love Lilly is that she is very much herself. She doesn't always stop and think about what everyone else will think about her before she does something. When I was first introduced to her in Henke's book, "Chester's Way" we learned that she wore nifty disguises and carried a water gun in her back pocket, "just in case!" Lilly also embraces life passionately and fearlessly. And she is not afraid to admit when she is wrong and apologize when necessary. I look at Lilly and see all the things I want to be. Plus, she wears awesome red cowboy boots.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
And I bought them and today I planted them! Here they are. All nestled snug in the ground for the rest of the winter. Aren't they cute? They've already started sprouting a little. I also found some mystery bulbs in the shed and I planted those, too. I have no idea where they came from. I know they aren't irises. They're too small for that. So, we will have a nice little surprise in a few months. And then there's this little guy right down here. She loves it when I work out in the yard because she likes to hide in the bushes and pounce on my arm when I least expect it.
So, I got my bulbs planted this afternoon, a few leaves cleaned up, a few worms chopped in half (sorry worms, but... it can't be helped!). And I tried to ignore all the hub-bub coming from down the street. The kids were playing with the neighbors and I kept hearing shouts of, "Bubba.... stop it! " etc. etc. I ignored it, pretending that I didn't know whose children those were. They need to learn to solve their own problems.
Anyhow, Hubby was outside doing his winter chores, too. He decided to work on pruning the various and sundry trees and vines on our little urban farm.
Here he is pruning our fruit salad tree. Hopefully we'll get a nice crop this year. Last year the aphids really did a number on our plum branch. So, I got my work done and came in thoroughly chilled. It's cold and damp out, but it felt good to get some work done and we'll certainly enjoy the fruits of our labors come spring!
Friday, January 7, 2011
I've developed a few favorite things over the past several months. So, I thought I'd share them with you.
My first favorite thing is my new eyeliner. For so long I used pencil eyeliner, but it would always smudge and by the end of the day I had railroad tracks under my eyes. I looked horrible. But then, I found out about liquid eyeliner and how that would be the magic cure. And you know what?..... It was. I got some Maybelline Line Stilletto Liquid Eyeliner and it is wonderful. It stays in place all day. I love it. Definitely a favorite thing.
Another favorite thing is my vegetable steamer. I generally don't like appliances with only one purpose. You should have seen all the nifty gadgets I registered for when we got married, and then I (shhhh, don't tell anyone) gave them to charity a couple years later because I realized I had to store all those iced tea makers and rice steamers and... whatever else we got that was big and had only one function. I like pots. You can cook rice in them, but also oatmeal and soup and all sorts of other things. If you want a spot in my kitchen cabinets you have to be able to multi-task. Anyhow, so we got this veggie steamer, and I must say it is one of my favorite things. I just clean and dump veggies in, a little water and turn the timer on and I get perfectly steamed veggies every time.
Well, I think that's all for this segment of "My Favorite Things." For one thing, the kids are done "resting" and are running amuck (or is it amok? or amock?) and I can't think straight anymore. (Mommy, he's hitting me. Mommy.... Mommy.... slam, crash.... did you hear that? That was the door slamming. Twice. Well, at least they closed it. It's cold out there!!) For another.... I have laundry to fold. And a bathroom to clean. In other words, I have to get back to work. Chop, chop!
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I've had a lot of cats throughout my life, but right now we have two. This one is my cat Nikki.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Anyhow, just wanted to let you all know that I am so glad the holidays are over and we are officially back to normal. Christmas is in the attic, we're back doing school and going to Costco for regular things and I'm not baking enormous amounts of zwiebach in one day. (I think 2 days before Christmas I baked about 15 dozen. Then I passed out.) It feels really good to be back to normal.
Whatever that is.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
That verse has been running through my mind all day. Probably because the sun is out and it is a glorious day. The sky wept all day yesterday, but this morning the sun just broke through and is shining like it's never even heard of rain. Everything is clean and fresh, the colors are brilliant. It is a beautiful day. Praise the Lord for the sunshine.
Sunday, January 2, 2011
So, it's pretty interesting taking a trip like this with your kids. You find out all kinds of things about them!