Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HI YAH SEVEN!


HI YAH SEVEN!
Originally uploaded by princess and the purl

It's hard to believe that seven years ago, I was sitting in a hospital room on New Years Eve with a very precious baby boy! At 5 lbs 8 oz, he didn't even fit into his outfits! Now look at him....Happy Birthday Corey Lemon!

(music is courtesy of Corey's Favs!)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Little Drummer Boy


Well, Christmas is half over....we had our usual present opening at our house this morning and now we are off to my parents for the rest of the day....just what we need: MORE FOOD!!!

video

Earlier I had looked at a How to drum kit for Jamie. The next day, my mom's music teacher mentioned she was trying to get rid of her son's drum set. He is in the military and she is moving into a condo. They gave us this awesome drum set for FREE! All I can say is that I hope God blesses them back for what they have done for us!

(if anyone knows a good way to set up a drum set...please let me know....half of the drums' stands have this metal points on the end, I'm sure so that they don't move, but I have wood floors...not a good idea...hence the wonky half of a setup we've got going on!)


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Twas Two Weeks Before Christmas...


Twas two weeks before Christmas and all through our castle,
you can hear momma screaming, "Oh What a Hassle!!"

Cooking and cleaning and dishes galore.
Jamie hates folding laundry...it's such a bore!

Making sweaters and mittens to suit every fashion,
sleeves done in Stockinette are definitely not my passion!

Baking sweet treats for everyone's delight,
by January 1st our pants wont fit right!

I'm trying my hardest to spread love and Holiday Cheer,
but right now what I need is a pint of good BEER!

Not sure if I'll get a chance to post between now and all of our festivities so until then:

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside!


Sunday was our first "big" snow....only 3 or 4 inches, but still enough to give me the Christmas bug even more! It was the perfect snow, coating the trees and bushes, heavy enough to make a good snow ball, a beautiful blanket that kept people snuggled up at home. The kids were chomping at the bit to go outside....then we realized that hmmm, J had grown since last year! Corey now wears J's stuff and Riley Corey's, but there was no one to pass down last years' snow pants and boots to the 1st born! (yep, that's one more nomination for Mother of the Year for me!!!!) Not to worry poor child, this won't be the last snow and by February you'll be whining about when it will all be gone!

The dogs love it when it snows~well...Sawyer, our Golden, loves it when it snows...Max, our Rot mutt, is more annoyed by the fact that 10 year old Sawyer turns into a spastic puppy when the white stuff appears!

You might remember from my last post that we've been on a bread making kick. I've gone through 4 things of rapid rise yeast in the last month! Jamie is really getting into it~ the other day I made him make some Honey Wheat Bread as his math. We doubled the batch and I only gave him 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup measuring cups (mean mom!) so then he had to figure out that if the recipe called for 1 1/2 cups of wheat flour, what would it be doubled and then how many times would we fill the 1/4 cup. He did great and actually caught me once! (don't blame me...I went to a public school...snicker...snicker!)

These turned out to be crazy big loaves. Next time when we double the batch, I'm going to do 3 loaves or else free form some rolls. There is nothing like hot bread and fresh soup on a cold day! I've discovered that if I put it in soup, the boys will pretty much eat anything: I made a minestrone soup the other day and all three of them ate 2 bowls full! Little did they know that they were eating a bag of spinach and a zucchini...ok, so maybe I'll make up for "the wrong sized snow boots" with "the I make my kids eat a ton of veggies)

Oh, I have gotten a few leads on things to do for community service....I'll let you know when I get some details nailed down, but here are a couple of suggestions if you're interested:

-making and delivering Christmas Cards to a nursing home

-making cookies for the troops

-adopting a solider

-bringing snacks and love to our local airport when troops have a lay over

-do a card drive or something to send to our troops

-anything that will get the boys' focus off the "Toys For Us" flyer!

(seems to be a lot of troop centered ideas, but my boys are obsessed with the armed forces so I think that they will really connect with this one!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Post Tryptophan Ramblings

Well, Thanksgiving Day is but a memory with only tight pants to show for it!

I hope that everyone had a very great day. We spent it at my grandparent's house. My grandma is a hostess to rival all others....the original Martha! She has fancy serving dishes and goblets, plus her food is amazing! We had the standard Thanksgiving dinner, but there is something about it that makes you want to just keep on eating!

This year I am just really in the Christmas mood. Not because we have tons of money to buy everyone the latest and greatest gifts. It's just something different this year. I've been in a baking mood for the last couple of weeks, bread mostly, but I can't wait to start all of the Holiday baking: Christmas cookies, cranberry swirl bread, brownie biscotti...if I weren't so full I'd be hungry!

It amazes me the craziness that goes on with all of the sales today. Does that 60 inch plasma tv really make all the difference on Christmas morning? How have we gotten so off track? Even if you don't celebrate Christmas as the birth of our Savior, shouldn't the holidays be about helping others or at least spending quality time with family and friends? I really want to try and find some sort of community service activity to do with the boys as a family.

The constant barrage of "I NEEEED this!" is driving me crazy! What exactly is it that we NEEEEEED? Material things fade away and by January no one can remember who got them what or why they even wanted it in the first place. That's our society though isn't it?!? Microwaveable Mac and Cheese because we can't wait 10 min. to make the "slow" method from the box. Drive thru lanes because we are too busy or lazy to get out of the car and have some actual human contact. Disposable everything (from plates to diapers to marriages). We have lost all meaning of actually working at something and in that everything has lost its value. As a child what was your favorite Christmas memory? I could maybe tell you 3 or 4 presents that I received growing up that really stood out through the test of time. But the thing that is burned into my memory is the time we spent together. Even now I can taste my favorite cookie, or laugh about some silly game we played, but the best part was just the Being. We are created for relationship. It's an internal wiring that we can't undo no matter how hard we try. People are missing that and they don't even realize it. Instead they try filling it with stuff, the bigger the better, except it's never enough to fill that hole.

I'll be posting about our little service experiment with the boys this month....maybe you'll be inspired to look past your latte or over your knitting to see a need!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Funnies

Don't have much to write about....it's been one of those weeks!!!!



We were talking about Animaniacs last night with Jim's mom. I LOVED that show when we were kids! Soooo I decided to Youtube it. It amazes me how educational this show actually was!!!!! (hands down better then the junk the boys watch now!) It was great watching their faces as they watched some clips.....the biggest hit was Good Idea Bad Idea (which just happens to be Jim's favorite so big surprise!)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Busy~Busy~Busy

So much to do, so little time....mountains of laundry waiting to be folded, dishes crying out to be done...but what am I doing.....everything but!

Yesterday we decided to make cookies. These are Brown Sugar Buttons with chocolate chips as the button holes.
A couple of weeks ago, I finished my side lines sweater. I like it except for the arms keep wanting to roll. I am thinking of sewing the ends together on the "vents" to make a thumb hole. Jim had a shirt with these built in and I loved it! We'll have to see if it works out like I want it to. The yarn, which is cool in person, is a pain the butt to photograph..so this is all ya get :)
I've also been working on a quick cardigan for a gift. It's the shalom cardigan, the pattern is on Ravelry for those who go there. What a nice fast project. I had one of my mom's neighbors try it on for size the other night. I think I need to add a couple of inches of length to the body and I still have to add sleeves, but I'm planning on calling it done by the weekend!
Today is a cold dreary day so all I really want to do is make a batch of french onion soup and hopefully a good loaf of bread! (oh yeah, and I'm also making mittens and toying with the idea of creating a fire truck and ambulance amigurumi for our neighbor's who just welcomed in a new baby boy.. it would be too easy having just ONE project to do!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Night of Firsts

Ok..so at my age, I am happy to say that there shouldn't be that many really "true" firsts. Sure, new experiences are great, but they are mostly the same....great meals, good beer, awesome "husband and wife" time, but not really anything I haven't done before. (with the exception of sky diving..although we did a backwards sky diving thing when I was in 8th grade where they stick you in a big silo with an airplane propeller covered by a trampoline type thing....very fun...was in Gatlinburg TN, but not sure if they still have it!)

So, tonight I candled my mom's ears. Very interesting! My first thought was man I wish I could reach my camera, but then again I don't know if I would like MY picture on the net with me laying down with a candle stuck into a Thanksgiving paper plate shoved in my ear! Regardless, it was pretty cool in a weird gross kind of way....hopefully it will help her ear aches and dizziness. From what I've read it might take a couple of days to feel the full effects. I'll make sure to let you know!

Well, I'm off to buy myself my own set....not sure if it's psychosomatic or what, but now my ear hurts!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Chocolate Chip! Chocolate Chip!

Chocolate chip won the vote~ 11 to 5.



Last night we had a little election night fever:



My sister called and said that she and Duane couldn't wait to hear the results of Jamie's election...so...they were bringing over pizza, pop and of course cookie dough to my mom's house (which ended up being the campaign headquarters). She also decided that we need to put up red and blue streamers to accentuate the fun!

After supper, Jamie opened the ballot box and counted his votes. Chocolate chip won! I then, being the mean mom that I am, made him graft the outcome and do a fake cookie college (doing rather large number math with the rest of them cheering or jeering the tv was interesting, but we made it through with no major melt downs!). It was really cool for him to see that even though the popular vote was one way, the cookie college could make the winner different. We based ours on the age of the person who voted since we didn't have enough to make a population based number (I know not entirely accurate, but heck, it got the point across!). I gave him the name of one of us, with our age and our vote. He then put all the ages in coordinating cookie columns and added them up. Sometimes it made no difference, popular vote went with the cookie college, but sometimes not....made for a good discussion on the political process!

This afternoon we made our Chocolate chip cookies....sorry no pics..too good to last that long! We bagged them up and took them to mom's neighbor hood to thank the people who voted....boy were they surprised! If your really ambitious here's our awesome recipe:

Perfectly Presidential Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup margarine
1/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 sm package instant vanilla pudding
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
8 oz chocolate chips

Cream the margarine, shortening, and sugars. Add the pudding, beat in the eggs. Mix in baking soda and 1 cup flour. By hand, mix in remaining flour and chocolate chips. Roll dough into 3/4 inch balls. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 350 for 10-12 min (cookies are white when you take them out). Let cool on baking sheet.

Enjoy and try not to eat the entire batch at once!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

That's how the cookie crumbles!

Here in the states, today is election day....so in honor of that we are having our own mock election.

We are in search of the Best Cookie:

Vote for Chocolate Chip or Oatmeal.
Jamie made a ballot box, ballots, and fliers with reasons to vote for each candidate.

We went around to friends and family today to have them be part of our election. It's really gotten J interested in the whole political process. Who would have guessed that an election would provide so much stuff for homeschooling: English (writing the descriptive fliers), Social Studies, Math (counting the votes and doing a mock "cookie college" based on age), Graphs...the list could keep going on and on!

We won't know until tonight who won, but tomorrow I'll bake whom ever the winner was.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Call Heroes

Today of course is Halloween...hope everyone had a fun and safe night (and that their kids will sleep after the sugar high from all of the candy!).

The boys this year wanted to be Call Heroes. This stemmed from a cartoon that Corey drew of the boys being super heroes. They of course were the call heroes....walkie talkies in their belts let them know if there was an emergency....for some reason mom seemed to be the one always calling for help!

I bought sweat suits at K Mart on sale for $8 and then used fabric paint and freezer paper to make the logo that Corey drew.

First I drew the symbols on computer paper with a sharpie (although I have heard that you can use your printer to print directly on to the freezer paper). I then traced the image on to freezer paper and very carefully cut it out using cuticle scissors. The freezer paper acts like a stencil after you iron it on to the shirt or fabric.
Then I just painted the symbol and tore off the freezer paper. Not too bad if I do say so myself!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Putting Out Fires

Wow...this is a record for my little blog..3 posts in as many days :) ....should get me through for a while..hahahaha!

Last night the boys stayed the night with their incredibly over indulgent Aunt and Uncle, so Jim and I had yet another date night! YIPEE! This is a luxury that I am really enjoying! We went and saw the movie Fire Proof. It had a certain draw with Jim being in the profession that he is, so it didn't take much coercing to get him to go to a "chick flick".

All in all, I'd say that we have a pretty strong relationship....don't get me wrong, we have our days just like everyone else. The big difference is that we make a point to communicate, we don't let things stew too long and (plug your ears, close your eyes..whatever you need to do) we don't let our problems effect our..umm..sheet music (if you know what I mean!). Recently we've had quite a few friends who have been experiencing marital problems, some resulting in divorce, some just miserable. What is the main common denominator? They let life get in the way. Before you know it, you're in separate bedrooms, barely talking...just coexisting. How can people who at some point had to have been madly in love with each other become strangers? It's pretty easy..selfishness moves in and you stop trying to woo the other person. Soon it's: "He always drops his clothes on the floor right in front of the hamper!" or "She always has a headache." the list can go on and on. The book Love and Respect teaches on this principle of a "crazy cycle", where everything mounts up and you start spinning out of control.

The trick is how to stop this out of control spinning ball of emotions before it's too late. The movie had a book to go along with it called "The Love Dare". Basically, it's 40 days of focusing on your spouse, reconnecting, and hopefully realizing that they aren't the only problem in your marriage. Most of the things we already try to do, but it's always nice to refresh your memory. It's hard to keep it up. We inherently seem to drift back into a me..me..me mentality, but what if we just started with baby steps? Day one was to not say anything negative to your spouse for that day (I tend to be a little sarcastic if you haven't noticed, but it couldn't hurt, right!)....who knows the difference, the walls that could crack if for once, we stop nagging and focus on the good.

I really would recommend the movie and definitely the book. (for some reason I have this old Coca Cola song in my head about living in harmony!) Some of you might be hesitant because of the "Christian" content of the whole thing. But I honestly believe God IS the author of love, who better to go to for teaching and guidance then the creator of it all? The verse references, no matter what your beliefs are, might just be the kind of light bulb moment you need to make your married life a healthier place.

(ok..once again, I'm off my soap box! Next post it'll be back to life as usual!)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ooops!

Ok...so Kathy caught me! I totally forgot to post about our weekend...not that we didn't have a great time, just been extremely crazy on the home front!

Sunday we went up to New Glarus with Crystal and Duane to do the brewery tour and just hang out.

We headed up north on 26 only to spot a sign in Cedarville "winery open".....Jim did a quick right turn as I, every so gently, yelled "TURN!!!!" It ended up being Famous Fossil's opening weekend and the place was really quaint. They have had the vineyard for 4 years, this being their first usable crop. We tasted some wine and I begged Jim for a bottle of their Autumn Blush....which was awesome!

Then Jim got us (that means ME) back on track. So we got back on 26 and headed towards Monroe. We ended up eating a quick lunch at Baumgartner's (Dad always raves about their famous cheese sandwiches....which are exactly that: 2 pieces of bread and a huge hunk of cheese!). We ended up with chili and cheese sandwiches and a couple of beers: Jim of course got Spotted Cow and I had a Berghoff Oktoberfest, which was pretty good definitely something I'll try again! As we were eating, I looked up on the ceiling and noticed that there were a ton of $1 bills up there...now these are super high ceilings so curiosity got the best of me and I asked the waitress what was up with all the bills. She said that it would cost a buck..so Crystal whips out a dollar. Once a year they clear off the ceiling and donate the money to a charity ($5200 last year). So the waitress brings a box full of metal thumb tacks and 3 quarters taped together. She put the tack in the middle of the bill and then did this fancy little wrap around the quarters....then she chucks the thing in the air and splat the bills up on the ceiling and the wad of quarters is barreling down (which she caught!). The only thing better would be if they had a little monkey!!! I would definitely take the kids back with like $10 in ones..too funny!

Back on the road again, we finally made it to our destination: New Glarus. Since Crystal isn't much of a beer person I thought we could go through their shops first. We ended up at their bakery (we got a loaf of sour dough and a huge chunk of Carmel apple cheese cake). Then we stopped at this little swiss cottagey shop with cheese and fudge. I tricked Crystal and Duane into eating Jalapeno Fudge..heheehee! We got a couple blocks of cheese and Crystal bought some fudge. The only disappointing thing was that I would have passed up the cheese cake if I would have known that the cheese shop had "apple pie" which was exactly like the apple danish my mom used to make! (pity party!) I got over it after we got to the brewery! We took their tour and had a tasting, which is pretty cool: the tour is free and for $3 you get to sample 3 beers and keep the cup (they make good juice glasses!). So we bought a couple of mixed 6 packs, but what I really wanted was the t-shirt that said "Real women don't drink light beer." Oh well, next time!

On our way home we stopped at Walmart, got a few groceries and a couple cheap movies. I made minestrone soup to eat with our sour dough and we watched movies all night.

This was definitely one of our best anniversaries! We had so much fun doing absolutely nothing....and we saved a ton by not staying somewhere overnight! (well it was kind of like staying in a hotel...my mom's friend gave us her queen bed from her guest room and the house was clean...that changed once the boys were home!!!)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sidelines

I'm short on time, but wanted to post something! I've started a new sweater...pattern is from the fall Interweave knits called Sidelines. So far so good, finished the back panel and am almost done with the front. This has definitely not been mindless knitting (worked on it last night while drinking wine from Famous Fossil in Cedarville only to discover a mistake and had to rip out 10 rows arghhhh!). Regardless, I have some high hopes for the pattern.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Decade


A Decade
Originally uploaded by princess and the purl
It's hard to believe that this weekend we are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary....where did the time go?

I have to say that through all of the ups and downs I have no regrets! I love this man more and more with the passing of each day, it only seems to get better with age!

Happy Anniversary Babe!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Birthday Cake...OH JOY!

make cake...check....have complete melt down decorating the stupid thing....check....going home to drink lots of alcohol....CHECK!
I should have known from the start that this would be a wonderful day...HA!

Had to go to the big 'city'....felt like I was trying to run in waist high mud! Was every slow person in the tri state area trying to tick me off?!? Finally after almost 4 hours got done with my relatively short list of to do's. Went back to my mom's house, who had graciously watched my kids and volunteered to help with the cake..little did she know! Baking the cake started off fine (yellow sheet cake).

Decided to make it a layer cake using 11 x 17 pans. First cake came out beautiful....second...aaahh...not so much! My mom had "smoothed" out the first batch of batter into the pan. I did the second one....pulled it out of the oven and one side was like a 1/2 inch high..ARGH! Ok..ocd in control...not going to make another cake..this will be fine!

Used the recipe from the website for butter cream frosting...turned out good. Was going for a gray color..looks lavender, but who cares right?!?

Next up...recipe for gel frosting. (2 envelopes Knox gelatin 2Tbs Water 2 cups karo syrup). Added the water to the gelatin..turned into this lumpy thing...said to heat over low until dissolved and clear....heated over low, but only got something that (sorry for the grossness) looked like a sauce pan full of pus...literally PUS...smelled gross too! Decided to keep going, added the 2 cups karo syrup...INSTANTLY turned to this slimy mess! I am completely convinced that this is what they used for ectoplasm in the movie GhostBusters! Heated it through like the directions said..poured it into 3 glass bowls and added food coloring....refrigerated to cool, but it never got thick enough to use....finally gave up and made some more butter cream..turned out great (7 hours into making the stupid cake!!!!)

I got the Transformers Logo from a graft off of Ravelry by Elizabeth Thomas...very cool lady! I think that it turned out pretty good considering all that happened...Riley loves it so that's all that matters!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Monkey Munchkin Turns 5!

It's finally happened..my baby turned 5! It seems like yesterday that we brought this tiny, cuddly bundle of joy home...now look at him! He spends most of his days running around like a mad man, flipping off things, doing burn outs on his bike..you name it, he's probably done it!

Happy Late Birthday Baby!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Masculine Bovine Feces

The more these campaigns go on the more bogged down with masculine bovine feces I feel (that's my country girl equivalent of bs for all of you city people..hehehe).

This morning while watching these talking head shows I just wanted to scream! People...think for yourselves...google...grab your calculator...something!!!!! Get off your comfy tushes and do some research!

One of the big issues of this campaign is health care. I'm not big on universal health care (which is NOT what Obama is promoting), mainly because I see the hoops that hospitals, ambulances, nursing homes, and clinics have to go through in order to get payment from Medicare, Medicaide, and Kid Care. If you don't have every t crossed or i dotted, they deny the hospital payment, which then causes the hospitals to charge more for everyone else to even out their loss.

McCain, in his generous, no pork barrel spending ways, wants to offer us a $5,000 tax credit and then make us choose our own health care. What planet is he on?

To be completely honest, we are one of those families who do not currently have health care. We have looked into buying it on our own, but there isn't an extra penny available with all of the other increases we have faced over the last year.

In response to this wonderful "tax credit" I have only one thing to say-----
LADEE FRICKEN DA! That tax credit will do a lot of good if we're in a "Van down by the river"!!! (sorry, I love Chris Farley!)

I did a little research of my own (thanks to google and e health insurance):
Quotes are based on a family of 5 in our county


Blue Cross Blue Shield:

$324/month+ 1750 deductible+$6000 annual out of pocket (deductible not included) =
$11,638/year


$466/month+$500 deductible ($1000/family)+$6000 annual out of pocket =
$12, 592/year


Unicare:

$189/month+$10,000 deductible(once your reach deductible, 100% coverage)=
$12, 268/year


I don't know about you, but a $5000 tax credit (which you already can claim every single penny of your medical costs as a tax deduction) doesn't really make a dent in the cost of independently acquiring your own insurance. Also, this isn't saying that you'd automatically receive a $5,000 increase in your tax refund....that money would go to the insurance company to offset your plan's cost....and....McCain would then start taxing the previously "pre tax" money from your pay check that goes to your health insurance, if you get your insurance from your employer.

Hmmmm...do you feel duped?!?

Friday, October 3, 2008

30 Never Looked So Good!



Ok...I think we are finally ending our year of 30's. Amber was always the baby of the group and now she's joined our old fogies club!

She had a little git together last night and I had so much fun! These last few months have been awesome since we started hanging out again. It's like old times, but so much better! I am truly blessed to have her back in my life! I hadn't seen her dad in like forever and a day....can I just say he has to be THE FUNNIEST person I have ever met! He was always a funny guy when we were teens, but more on the polite funny hahaha as we walked out the door......there must be a metamorphosis that happens as we age, but now he is stinking hilarious!

I also had the pleasure of picking up Kathy from the bus station....it was so good to see her again! In the short amount of time that we spent together last night, I realized how much I miss her!!!!!! Kathy: here and now I am promising to try my hardest to keep better tabs on you and...Drive up to the Mad City and pound back a couple of beers with you!!!!! (and of course nab some of that awesome cheese bread you guys were talking about) I am thinking road trip...Amber are you up for it?!?

Yesterday was spent trying desperately to finish my February Lady Sweater, all I got was a blister on my thumb....aughh! So I finished it today. I like it, not totally in love with it like the picture, but it will work. The pattern called for a worsted wt. yarn...I would make it again in a sport or DK wt, but probably not worsted...the arms feel thick

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Midnight Insight

So, yesterday was all in all a pretty good day. We did our normal Friday errands, ended up needing to go to the big metropolis to pay the mortgage..soooo...decided to have a fun field trip day. Met my sister and her hub for lunch (with ice cream, mind you) and then ventured over to this awesomely huge indoor play land for the boys to run off some energy. After that, we stopped at Grandma's, picked up supper at McD's, and went home....

Where ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so upset that here I had spent pretty much all day giving the boys the "perfect" day and this was how I was getting repaid?!? J and Riley were arguing so I sent them upstairs. On the way up, J poked...no stabbed Riley on the butt cheek with a pencil (the eraser end, but still!). I lost it! Sent all of them to bed at 7:30...spent the next 2 hours yelling at them to get back in bed and was about ready to cry myself to sleep!

Later that night, with my mind still reeling over the days events, I got this insight:

They weren't intentionally trying to ruin my night. In fact, their behavior had nothing to do with the days events. I know that boys don't think "hmm, if I do this, I'll get into trouble" they just do it....but last night was just my breaking point. What do I need to do to get through to these kids!?!

It's simple stuff really: "We don't choke our brothers" "You can't throw rotten apples from the neighbors tree at each other" "Leave the neighborhood's ferrel cats alone" "BE NICE" "OBEY"

...the list feels like it goes on and on! I hate always riding them about what feels like everything, but then if I don't what kind of spoiled brats will they turn into...ARGHHH!

This weekend our church is starting a new series: Parenting: wii need help........funny, couldn't have come at a better time!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Yes, I'm still here....tired and frazzled, but I'm still here!


School has been going good. We have been really hitting the books hard and the boys are picking it up so quickly! Jim just started the last leg of his medic class.....here we go again! I've been trying really hard to get the boys cooking at least once a week. A couple of weeks ago they made french bread...not perfectly shaped, but they tasted sooo good! Yesterday, Riley and I made chocolate chip banana bread. He loves to help in the kitchen! Here's the recipe that I used:




Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar (I used less, but do whatever you like)
3 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips



Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar. Add bananas. Once the bananas get mushed up, add the eggs. Sift baking powder and soda with the flour and mix into the banana mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour batter into 2 greased loaf pans. Bake for 35-45 min......try to keep the kids away from it for more then 2 seconds (I went up to take a shower and came back down to only 1/2 of a loaf left out of 2 loaves!)



I am also starting my first sweater. It's a pattern that I got off of Ravelry called the February Lady Sweater. It's top down Raglan cardigan with 3 big buttons at the top and a lacy pattern for the body and most of the sleeves. It is too cute on the picture...hoping for the same results!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hope


I love this video~~helps that he's Scottish (you gotta love a Scott..can't help it!) I wish everyone took the election so seriously! I don't care about the designer of their glasses or the hairstyles that their wives wear....I'm not interested in buying a Coach purse from them..I want to know how they are going to run this country!!!!!!

As most of you know, I have been obsessing over this election. It has become an all consuming burden that is driving me nuts!!!! In the meantime, I have been trying to read a book by David Jeremiah called Slaying the Giant's in Your Life. The other day, I read the chapter on worry...arghhh! Here's the point that smacked me right in the head:

Matthew 6:27

Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to your life?

So true! Who can make themselves taller, or prettier, or richer by worrying? Dr. Jeremiah goes on to say: "Worry divides the mind and multiplies misery. It subtracts from our happiness. But it never adds."

In the end, worrying never gets you anywhere. It distracts you, burdens you, robs you of your joy...but it never gives you anything! I've come to the conclusion that the only thing I can control on Nov. 4th is MY vote....the rest is out of my hands.

We are valuable to God...he takes care of the sparrow and clothes the Lily, how much more does he care about the people he created in his own image! He has a plan, He governs the planets and the stars, He is the present, past and the future....we are in his hands and he is in control!

On a lighter note, I finally finished Riley's blanket....well, I still have to weave in the ends (yuck), but that's close enough for me to consider it finished!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Batter Up!!


batter up!!
Originally uploaded by princess and the purl

Today was the first time Corey really took to playing baseball. Usually he doesn't want anything to do with games that involve a lot of hand/eye coordination. BUT...for some reason today he wanted to play. At first it was a lot of swing and miss, but then all of a sudden he connected (and I mean connected....he almost took my head off!!!!) and he kept on hitting it like 10 times in a row!!!!

Whooohooo Corey!!!!!

The look on his face cracks me up! He was so serious, eyebrows furrowed, no smile....he's ready to smack that ball!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Indifferent

It seems like the last few weeks have had me in a strangle hold of indifference. I'm neither up nor down, the boys are neither exceptionally good nor bad....life is just strange.

I don't know if it's because things are settling down after all of the chaos that's been going on that now I don't know what to do with myself.....or maybe I'm just exhausted. I find myself wanting to retreat inward, to lay down with a big blanket and sleep. Our former youth pastor gave a sermon on God being your covering. He likened it to being wrapped up in a big fluffy comforter. That seems nice right now. I would love to be snuggled up in the arms of God, protected, loved, restored.

On one hand I can't seem to focus, but on the other I am constantly mulling things over in my head. I find myself in a constant period of self doubt, am I a good mom, should I be home schooling, why aren't the boys listening to me....the list could go on and on.

Tried prayer.....just can't concentrate long enough to get business done.

Tried reading my Bible...but nothing is jumping out at me.

I know that this is a spiritual attack, so I went upstairs, closed my bedroom door, and layed it all out there. I open my Bible to Proverbs (at first I thought great, another wasted moment, but then I read the passage):

Proverbs 3: 13-18

Blessed is the man who finds wisdom,
the man who gains understanding,
for she is more profitable then silver,
and yields better returns then gold.
She is more precious then rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths lead to peace.
She is a tree of life to those who embrace her;
those who lay hold of her will be blessed.

hmmm..I could really use some wisdom right now.....paths that lead to peace don't sound so bad either!

Then there's the election: I have never felt so emotionally divided!!!!! It is seriously making me question the para dimes that I have held for so long, but I still have no answers. I don't feel especially drawn to either candidate....the pressure to choose the right one is driving me crazy! So much weighs in the balance: natural resources, gas prices, money and taxes, abortions, health care, war and to top it all off, I have my children's future to worry about. No matter how much soul searching I do, I don't feel any better about our options (not like politicians actually do what they promise anyway right).

So I read further down in my verse from Proverbs:

Proverbs 3: 21-26

My son, preserve sound judgement and discernment,
do not let them out of your sight;
they will be a life for you,
an ornament to grace your neck.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
and your foot will not stumble.
When you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down your sleep will be sweet.
Have no fear of sudden disaster
or the ruin that overtakes the wicked,
for the Lord will be your confidence
and will keep your feet from being snared.

I need to relax, pray for wisdom and discernment, and let God be God. Perfect love casts out all fear. The Lord is my confidence and he will keep us safe.

As I was ending my quiet time, I landed on the first page of Habakkuk. I use a study bible so there is always this front page that describes the coming book. The very first paragraph talked about how life is full of questions, most with answers not wrapped up and tied. Habakkuk asked the hard questions. Through boldly asking God for answers, he gained an understanding of God's power and love. In the end, even though he knew Judah would have to go through a terrible time of trials, he rejoiced in who God was and what He would do in the future.

I ended up studying the book of Habakkuk for another hour....more later because this post is already crazy long!

Have a great weekend. Remember to ask the tough questions, search your heart, and wait patiently for an God's answer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

first day of school

Haven't had much time to blog....school is in session!!!! Our actual first day was yesterday, but I didn't get around to posting till today....it's a lot different teaching 3 kind of the same curriculum, but not....oh well, the kids did a good job even if I'm a little frazzled!

Hopefully I'll have more soon to write about (my brain is completely gone!!!!)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Preparation H

...homeschool....you silly nuts!!!

We are now on our way to being prepared for the school year!!!! (best part is that I have a week before we are technically starting! WHOO HOOO!!)

This will be our 3rd year doing the whole home school thing. So far so good...not that there aren't moments that I want to quit and throw my little munchkins in public school jail, but then I breath, remember that I like to "take our time" in the morning and things are back in perspective!

Jamie is in 3rd grade, Corey is in 1st, and Riley technically is still preschool, but we are going to give kindergarten a try! For the first time I really feel like we have a good handle on the year. I have never been a heavy curriculum kind of mom. I like the freedom to study what the boys are interested and then squeeze the rest of the stuff in along side. This year we are starting off with the solar system....after meeting with a seasoned home school mom (thanks Sue!!!!), I now have a pretty good plan to make planets not only science, but throw in history, maybe some math and I have plenty of books and stories on space ships, satellites, and what not. I can even get plenty of spelling and vocab out of this!!!

It all started with a trip to Borders. Can I just tell you that I LOVE Borders' clearance section...I am always finding cheap books when I stop in for coffee. So it all started with a $5 Atlas of the Solar System...it goes through each planet in depth, how they make telescopes..if it has to do with space, it's in there!

So, you may be asking "what will she ever do with all of this time on her hands?"....NOTHING...absolutely nothing!!!!! Big sigh of relief...aaahhhhhh......I'm off to sit and relax with my coffee!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Red Scarf Project

The Red Scarf Project sends handmade scarves on Valentine's Day to college students who have aged out of Foster Care. This is really a simple project that has a ton of impact on youth who are without families. Please visit The Orphan foundation of America website for more info on how you can help! There are free patterns and more info on the specific sizes of the scarves. If you are a non-crafter, you can donate to the fund to help pay for shipping of these packages! Last year over 15,000 scarves were delivered!!! How awesome is that?!?! Way to go fiber community!

Anyone in the area: I'm thinking of meeting at 9 East 1st and 3rd Sat to hang out and whip up some scarves!!!!! Leave a comment and I'll give you more info on times and such :)

This year the Orphan Foundation is accepting the scarves from Sept.1- Oct. 31.


Orphan Foundation of America
The Red Scarf Project
21351 Gentry Drive
Sterling, VA 20166

Friday, August 15, 2008

Be Still

The last few days have been pretty stressful. The money crunch since Jim has been off of work is now becoming more then evident. I am the cheerleader. I am the one that tells Jim not to worry because God is in control and everything will be alright.....but yesterday I just wasn't feeling it. I was upstairs trying to squeeze in some quiet time. (in between laundry, breaking up arguments between the boys, and wiping Riley's runny nose constantly!) I came across Isaiah 63 and I was just undone.

Isaiah 63: 7-9

I will tell of the kindnesses of the Lord,
the deeds for which he is to be praised,
according to all the Lord has done for us~
yes, the many good things he has done
for the house of Israel,
according to his compassion and many kindnesses.

He said, "Surely, they are my people,
sons who will not be false to me";
and he became their Savior.

In all their distress, he too was distressed,
and the angel of his presence saved them.
In his love and mercy he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them
all the days of old.

Through my tears, I thought: I am distressed, where are You and the angel of your presence? When will You lift us up and carry us? When will we be redeemed? Satan had found the crack from my time bomb the day before and he just went to town. I was a wreck......

...But then God in his ultimate mercy patiently showed his faltering child (again) that he is Lord. I was running late to meet Amber for coffee and pie (yummm). When I turned onto the highway, I had to pull over. There were dark clouds in the east, but there was the most magnificent rainbow I have ever seen. I wish that my little camera could have done it justice. God has perfect timing (me running late and having sucha bad day) to put his reminder to us down here that he does keep his promises. Just about that same time I became aware of the song on the radio:

Be Still and Know I'm Here.....yes, yes you are Lord!

The song is now in my playlist if you'd like to hear it!

Have a great weekend and know that He is here! (by the way my new header is the picture I took of that rainbow....so that I'll have a constant reminder of God's faithfulness!)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tick..Tick..Tick..

BOOM!!!!

When we were kids, my grandma had this game where you had to put all of the little plastic pieces on a board and flip the switch before the timer ran out or else all the bright yellow shapes were flung into the air and you'd have to start all over. Today has been one of those days....I definitely didn't make the buzzer:

I was woken up to Jamie informing me that he couldn't find the package of hot dogs that they had taken up to their rooms....What?!? ARGHHHH~Don't ask why it was up there...found the package, but not before our Rot ate all the hot dogs! (anyone want a seriously gassy 120lb dog that sheds like a maniac..just kidding..maybe...no I'm really kidding..or am I...the fumes are about to kill me!!!)


Since Monday, my phone has been acting crazy: I have no signal and am roaming when I'm at our house, unless I am upstairs in our bedroom by the window. Tried to get the problem fixed today, but after 20 min on hold they were unable to explain why...ARGGGGHHH....so glad that I just paid them $216!!!!!!


Then I went to deposit Jim's check...only he forgot take it out of his wallet and took it to work with him....ARRGGGGHHH!!!


I am going into the big metropolis to see if the cell phone store can figure out our signal problems and then I am going to sit down with a nice big latte (really want something stronger but it's only 10:30!!!).


Here are a couple of things that have made me happy this week:


A star blanket for a friend's baby




and Annie Oakley and her horse for my grandma W




Wednesday, August 6, 2008

FO's

Here's a couple of the projects that I've finished this last week:

Spiderman 3 blanket for J

and then my newest ami: Batgirl


Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get my pictures off of flickr to look better? They always seem so grainy if I paste the url from flickr...they look just fine if I upload them from my computer and they look just fine on flickr....just a mystery I guess

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tooth Loose

(sorry for some reason I have Foot loose in my head....now it's your turn!!!)

Corey has been battling the dreaded loose tooth for the past couple of days. He HATES loosing teeth...it's not like we're pulling out his finger nails or something! Anyway, here's a few pictures of the festivities:

Grandpa help me!!!!

Grandpa chickened out, Corey obviously miffed that he still has this tooth!

Finally I was able to coax it out of him! (now he wants his $$)

(ignore the mountain of laundry needing to be folded in the background...I know I've been trying my hardest to do the same!!!!)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Declaration


Today Jamie was baptized! Earlier this month he came to us asking if he could be baptized. He accepted Christ last year, but we didn't push the whole baptism thing, figuring in his own time he would want to do it. So, today he was baptized along with his friends Lizzy and Ben...and about 100 other people...including Uncle Duane!
I love the rays of light in the top picture! Crystal had something similar in one of her wedding photos and a friend told her that some people believe that those are angels...not sure how I feel about the photogenicness of angels, but it's kind of a cool thought!
Here is Jim and Pastor Ron baptizing Jamie. Jim was such a proud papa that he swooped J up and threw him into the air, giving him the biggest hug I have ever seen!


Each year our church has a B3 party (beach, bbq, and baptism). It is a very big celebration~we believe that water baptism is a public expression, declaring that Jesus is your Savior, symbolizing that you have been washed clean (out with the old creation, in with the new). We have a total party, eating food, hanging out, singing praise songs, kids playing games. We are so lucky to be part of a church community like Crossroads!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Everything

I know that most of us have been experiencing some really hard times..this video always puts it into perspective for me. No matter where you're at or what you're going through, Jesus is there drawing you back into his arms, ready to fight for you.

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.

Monday, July 28, 2008

But a breath

This morning we got the bills for Jim's ER visits (yes visits!) I have to admit that I've been secretly stressing over this. It seems like lately things have really hit the fan. I keep asking God "haven't we been through enough, yet?" Oh, what a patient and loving Father he is! While I am sitting here stewing over our problems I have forgotten to Believe and Trust in him!

Yesterday afternoon I was able to sneak in some one on one time with God. I turned to Isaiah 40 : Here are the verses that stuck out to me.

He tends his flock like a shepherd
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,
or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?
Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,
or weighed the mountains on the scales, and the hills on a balance?...

Do you not know,
have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow weary or tired,
and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who put their hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not grow faint.

So through all of these trials I am coming to understand that God has it all under control (he is gracious enough to keep reminding my stubborn heart!!!!). My Father, who created all the universe, who can hold the oceans in the palm of his hand, can certainly handle my minuscule problems!

Psalms 62 tells us that we are but a breath, our lives are so short....too short to spend it worrying over things that in the grand plan don't add up to dust!

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Sooo, back to the ER bills: I was expecting the worst. He had x-rays, stitches, two ER visits....and both bills add up to less then $2000! To some people that may sound like a lot (don't get me wrong, that is a ton of money for us to spend, but I was thinking something with maybe another 0). I truly believe that God kept Jim's hand from being damaged far worse then what really happened (he basically cut down to the bone of his first finger, but he still has a finger and he didn't damage the tendon!). In my mind those bills could have been so much worse and for some reason we are still financially surviving even though he hasn't worked in over 2 weeks!

GOD IS A GOOD SHEPHERD!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

busy bee


bumble bee
Originally uploaded by princess and the purl
I just love watching the bees buzz around my neighbor's flowers. She is so gifted with her gardens...I on the other hand am destined to have rock gardens!!! (Jim bought me a pond for my birthday a couple of years ago. It's been pretty easy because I don't have to remember to water or weed it!!)

I have been on a total crochet kick lately. If you would have told me a month ago that I would be crocheting instead of knitting I would have said your NUTS!!!! I hated crochet! I hadn't done much of anything craftwise in quite awhile...now I've got 6 FO's and a blanket for J in the works, plus a few things in my head that I want to try!!!! I started the blanket for Jamie while on vacation. The first picture that I saw was typical spiderman colors (red and blue), but J saw one that was Spiderman 3 themed and he had to have it..too obsessed!!!! I have a couple more sections of black and white to do and then add the white through the vertical points to make the "web". So far it has been really easy..good car project! The other two want their fav super hero's now! Thank God for Ravelry and the geniuses who can graft out the logos!!!!