Monday, November 30, 2009

Never Again.....

You never know what you're going to get when you ask something of Corey. 9 times out of 10, it's gonna be just fine....but then you add in Turkey, 5 grandparents, and aunt and uncle...just throw it all out the window cause he's going to let it shine!

Someone had the great idea to play pictionary. No, our kids aren't that grandpa obviously made this easel for a giant, but it works!

Corey's word was "pants". Easy enough. He's a pretty good drawer. But man it was taking him FORever to draw his "pants". He steps back to show us a complete Christmas scene...snowman, Christmas tree, santa's sleigh....but no pants. I asked him where his word was in the picture: I don't want PANTS...I want Christmas! Well, all righty then!

(this is Duane and Crystal busting a gut)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Look What I Can Do!

I can make PIE!!! I know, whoopdeedoo....but I've never made a pie before. (It's always scared me a bit, but man, there's nothin' to it!)

Here's helper #1 (the other 2 were banished upstairs for fighting)...He's winking, not scowling..nice, huh? (and yes, we have a drumset in our soon as the new carpet goes in J's room it's outta here!!!)I was super impressed with Corey's cutting abilities! I mean LOOK at those tiny apple pieces!!!

Riley got to stir in the flour, sugar and cinnamon for the filling. Jamie helped roll and cut the dough, but I was so freaked out that I forgot to take a picture!
We made little pies by cutting around a small bowl and fitting them into a muffin tin...these were awesome and SOOO cute!

Jamie sure enjoyed these little hand sized pies!

Ok, so I couldn't stop there. The crust recipe that I used was ehh at best. I mean, it got the job done, but it didn't taste like Grandma's (well, nothing will taste like Grandma's because I don't have/ or will ever have lard!)
Here's attempt #2:

Cherry Pie with cheesecake filling and an oat crumb topping:
Pie Crust is from Zoe Bakes (please go visit this site....she gives a perfect tutorial!)
Obviously I'm a novice in the pie baking field....I only had Jim pick up 1 can of cherry pie filling..the can says 2 (Jim is not a fan of pumpkin...fruit pies with crumb tops are his favorite so here you go!)
The cheese cake filling:
1 pkg cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
Beat in mixer, pour in pie shell. Carefully dump cherries on top.
Bake 375 for 20 min. Add the crumb topping (I'd give you the recipe, but I wasn't over the moon for it). Bake 25-30 min more. Let cool and eat....MMMMmmmmm!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Trying To Be Thankful

Has anyone else had a rotten November?

It seems like this whole month has been one battle after another. Then here we are starting the holiday rush and my attitude is in the pooper. The kids fight non stop. All I hear is what they want from the "Toys For ME" catalog (yes, they actually call it that). The house looks like a tornado hits it on the hour, every hour. I'm worried about money...paying bills, buying in the heck will we ever make it?!? Our furnace went out...the brakes are funky in the Yukon....and will the SUN ever shine again?!?

Thanksgiving was a celebration of all that God had done to provide for the Pilgrims as the harsh winter approached. Instead of feeling full and ready to weather the storms and cold, I feel empty, spent and undone. A heart transplant is definitely here we go:

~I am thankful for 3 healthy boys, who fight and squabble...who are loud and farty...who turn everything upside down in the blink of an eye.

~I am thankful for a home and a family to fill it.

~Thank you God for providing us with extra money for a furnace and a husband who can fix our vehicles.

~Even though it isn't "the dream" job, I am so thankful for Jim actually having income when there are so many without.

~And Lord, thank you for the rain that washes the bean thingies off my car and makes me appreciate those sun shiny days even more then ever before!

The other day I was thinking about all of this when God reminded me that He is all sufficient. He is all that I need, no matter what the circumstance. Thank You Father for all that you do for this ungrateful child.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Moving On

Today was moving day for my grandma. Living in this old farm house was a bit too much for her, so we found a nice place in town for her. It's a little bittersweet. The turning of a page on a farm long past its usefulness.
There's beauty in the's hard to see reality when memories try to cloud your vision. This rickety old shed once housed chickens...and then when the chickens were gone, Kittens. I can't tell you how many afternoons I'd spend sitting in old hay playing with piles and piles of kittens. I wish Tommy would have showed up today....Grandma says there's been at least 3 Tommy's, but amazingly, they all look the same...grey with a white nose and white paws.

We lived in a trailer on this farm, nestled between Grandparents and my great Aunt and Uncle, until I was in 1st grade. Today it feels like there is a hole inside, as big as this clearing where the barn once stood. My childhood was here, a time much simpler yet still so full.

I pray that my grandma enjoys her new abode, but honestly my heart will always be here on this little old farm. Goodbye old friend.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chi Town Getaway!

This weekend was a blast!!!! Lori got a free night at the Blackstone Renaissance Hotel in downtown Chicago and blessed Joyce and I with a little girls night!

We ended up taking the Metra out of Elburn. A couple of stops into the trip, there was a "unruly" train rider that needed police to escort her off....quiet the experience for us small town/ farm girls!

Once into Chicago, we ate lunch at Miller's Pub. I wish I had taken some pics inside, but it was too dark to really be successful. It's decor is hmmm...German lodge-ish....have I lost ya yet?!? Very good food and atmosphere!

Next stop was Blicks art supply. Two stories of canvases and markers and paints....too cool! (and what a genius place to put an art shop...just a few blocks from all of the Chicago Art Institute students!!!)

We ended up seeing our bus at a stop light. Joyce asked if I thought we should make a dash for it...sure, thinking the stop would be within the next block! (a couple block mad run later, and thankfully one more stop light for the bus, we were able to jump on the 14 to the hotel!)

Oh, and the weather was phenomenal!!! Who expects 70's in November in Chicago?!? Total God thing!!!!

As we were crossing to go check into the hotel, we were passed by a Segway crazy is that!!!!

The Blackstone kept in theme with the whole mod-art scene of downtown.

Check out that crazy carpet!

(Joyce, Lori, and I)

The room was huge...and the bathroom was amazing! LOVE the square rain shower head....Ahhhhhh! Turn down service ROCKS! (hmmm...I wonder if I could talk the kids into turning down MY covers each night and giving me a chocolate....hahaha!)

The first thing we all thought of when seeing the bathroom was how fun it would be to color in the wall paper with bright sharpies!

The dining room kept the mod feel (breakfast was ehh, I thought it was expensive for lukewarm food, but it matches Chicago prices).
This was Lori and I's first time on the subway!
We met up with Joyce's daughter (who graduated last year from the Art Institute). Isn't she the cutest! It was so fun to catch up with her and hear all about her super cool new job! She was a total sport listening to all of our "old lady" talk! We ate supper at the Weber Grill....and then had to trek back with full bellies on the subway...urp!
The hotel is right across the street from Grant Park and a couple of blocks from the Chicago Art Museum. (the boys saw this picture and said "look, it's Asland!")
On Saturday we hoofed it to CB2...which is AWESOME....and then Crate and Barrely Outlet....and last but not least Trader Joes.

We took a bit of a detour through this Lincoln Park neighborhood on the way to the El. It was so pretty! The landscaping was so beautiful, but I couldn't imaine living so close to my neighbors..and trust me, we have a tiny lot!
The el, on the other hand, was not so pretty! None of us are big fans of hights, but Lori liked it better then the subway.....I was just waiting for it to derail and send us crashing down to the ground! (Joyce is concentrating on forgetting where she's at...AND not looking out the window!)

All in all, it was so much fun! We started out the trip as church buddies and now I feel like we're 3 peas in a pod! We spent the entire trip laughing, telling stories and just enjoying each other's company. I am truly blessed to have these two as friends! (Thank you so much Lori, anytime you want to do it again I'm in!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009


this song says it all....simple and beautiful....redeemed and loved by my wonderful conselor, savior and friend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Jesus

I heard this song today...sat in the Wally World parking lot bawling my eyes out. Makes you think. I tend to go for the easily wrapped packages, not the messy stuff. I'm praying to be able to see things the True way...not just through my own selfish eyes.

This weekend I was blessed to be invited on a little girls getaway...I know that it will be a good time, full of laughs, shops and hopefully a little rest and renewal :)