Sunday, November 30, 2008

Busy Holiday Week

We have had my whole family here for the Thanksgiving week. Chuck flew in Wednesday night. My parents arrived about a week ago and my sister and her family also got here the night before Thanksgiving. It has been a full house and lots of fun.

We only get to get these cousins together every 3 0r 4 years and amazingly they all get along and have a lot of fun. Susan and her family are missionaries in Japan and are currently living in California. I wish the visits weren't so few and far between.

We went and picked out a tree (hopefully we wont celebrate Christmas in this house).

For fun we have gone letterboxing.

And the kids put on a Christmas play. Including an angel, Mary, Joseph, a shepherd and a director/narrator. It was so sweet.

***We should have our house appraised this week. Please continue to pray that it appraises for the agreed amount. If it doesn't, we will have to figure out what to do. We are trusting and believing that it will appraise, but in this crazy market, or if these buyers have someone working in their favor, we could have problems. Please pray!***

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We may be done...

...we have come to an agreement on the price of the house for these buyers. Which is great. So, here is the deal, they believe it will not appraise for what we agreed on. And then would want to renegotiate. This is where you all come in. We need the house to appraise for the agreed amount. We have made major changes in the last year to update the house and we believe it will appraise for the amount. SO PLEASE PRAY with us that God will fight this battle for us. We know that God is faithful and He will provide and that He will go before us and fight this battle. We also know that the enemy wants nothing of this, wants our family to be apart and doesn't want our family to trust in God through this.

Please pray that our home appraises for the agreed amount and that this will even be through the appraiser that they choose. Even though no one should have an influence on the appraiser, I believe they have chosen one that will work in their favor. They agreed on the deal with full belief that it will not appraise for that much. So they are putting their trust in the appraiser, and we are putting our trust in God. In God who is in control of every detail. In God who is sovereign. In God who is faithful.

Monday, November 24, 2008


...that God goes before us and works out the possible details. Pray with us that Jehovah Jireh, God will provide.

Clunky ~ Groovy ~ Junk

We have been watching some old shows (total old school) and we have enjoyed them so much. My girls just found Little House, The Brady Bunch, and My Three Sons. Aside from the simple plot lines and the simple sets, we love the "slang". We crack up when Ernie describes some girl as clunky. Or when Marcia says something is groovy. And everyone uses the phrase junk or n'stuff to mean just about anything. We may just start this fad all over again.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

letterboxing ,Miss Patty Cake and night out together

It seems like our life has been in such a state of NOT NORMAL for so long. We have been in the transition stage for close to 2 years. We just don't have time or money these days for fun things. For all too true our life has been overshadowed with moving and adjusting.

But for this night, it was just for fun. The girls and I went to go see Miss Patty Cake (a children's performer). Chuck has connected with a few different people at his new job/town and when we found out they were coming here to put on a concert, we wanted to go and see the show. It was really cute (a little young for my girls but we all enjoyed it) and very well done. I was quite impressed. And it was a treat to meet daddy's new friends and feel like an insider.

Before we even got there we found a letterbox in a nearby park. The weather here is chilly and enjoyable. After finding our treasure, this tree was a huge hit for climbing.

When all was done, we had to swing by and sign another counter offer on the house (yep, we were low balled again). We are praying specifically that we get a fair offer and one that we can accept.

To top the night, we had dinner out at Arby's. We hardly ever eat out so this is always a treat.

Tally enjoyed the curly fries and Tristen "drank" her dinner.
It was a pretty NORMAL night, accept for not having Daddy here. He comes home on Wednesday, just in time for Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Look what our "trash" turned into...

We have been composting here in this spot for about a year (how I started HERE). Though I grew up with parents and grandparents that composted, it is the first time that I have had my own official compost pile. It has been easier than I ever thought it would be and we have been able to enjoy the dirt (HERE).

It has been fun to see different things grow in the compost pile. I toss lots of different things from the kitchen and the garden and sometimes they take root. We have seen wheat stalks, garlic, onions, potatoes and most recently some pumpkins or gourds all grow in our compost bin.

These vines have really taken off. I am tempted to just let them go and see if anything produces. It just goes to show you how helpful good dirt is. It gives a new meaning on "REUSE".

Here is a quick list of all the things we tend to put in our compost.
  • Any kitchen scraps that the rabbit doesn't get (banana peels, apple cores, sweet potato skins...)
  • Coffee grounds, tea bags, dryer lint
  • shredded paper
  • left over rice or pasta (with no sauces), old bread or crackers
  • the end of the cereal in the boxes or pop corn old maids
  • all of our bunny litter when we change her bedding
  • yard waste (leaves, grass clippings, (skip the flowering weeds)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Laura Ingalls Wilder Study and lapbook

Warning...lots of pictures and instructions on how to make this lapbook. Enjoy you homeschool and or crafty moms. Hope to be a place of resource for you. You can click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see what it looks like.

We have just finished studying Laura Ingalls Wilder for school and it has proven to be a huge favorite topic to study. I read some biographies from the local library to the girls and we started gathering information to make a lapbook. The girls also have been reading the books on their own for fun and we have also discovered the show on TV. To finish it off, we attended a Laura Ingalls Wilder presentation from a local librarian at a womens meeting at my neighbor's church.

Here are the girls with our sweet neighbor lady. Of course they wore their prairie dresses and bonnets. Sad to say, those are getting too small. I am fighting the urge to make them some more dresses. Here are the girls with the lady who gave the nice presentation and another HS girl and her super cute prairie dress (the dress that got me thinking about making ones for my kiddos).

We have really enjoyed lapbooking and I am really amazed at how much information the kids retain from this kind of learning. Totally hands on. Totally creative. And they want to look back at the books and show them to any willing audience. =)

While I read to the girls, they were making the mini books that go in the lapbook. I do the cutting, and they do the rest. We used a color copy from one of our first (geared for young readers) Laura books as a cover. On the back cover, we made a pocket for misc. timeline info we found.

So far, we have stuck to the traditional shutter fold folders glued to each other. This lap book was 2 folders connected. The orange MAP book included maps from Laura's travels. On the left flap were info about her family (parents, siblings, children...)Inside the first flap we made a book about different jobs Laura had and included some illustrations from the Little House books. The large purple and white book is another map and all the towns she lived in.

The yellow book is opened here to show ALL the times Laura moved. As I was reading the biography, we kept a log of this and then the girls put this in the wagon book (got the wagon from enchanted learning).

On the left is a small blue mini book with a map of where the Little House books take place. We learned that not all books are exactly like Laura's life. On the bottom right is a blue and white book that tells when she was born and died.
Here is a accordion fold mini book with open flaps that show all the different kinds of houses Laura lived in. Everything from a log cabin to a sod house to the final home of Rocky Ridge farm that she and Almanzo owned.

This mini book is a flip book that lists all of Laura's books and when they were published (several published after her death). Then the girls included their own art for each book. That allows them to draw and be extra creative.
This picture shows an accordion style fold mini book that lists all the difficult things that took place during the first 4 years of Laura and Almanzo's marriage. You can also see the red mini book that we made for the family album. We included some pictures of the different members of Laura's family (remember, she really wasn't Melissa Gilbert).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I have to promote this new idea. JELLY TELLY is christian based online TV channel designed as alternative to Nick and the cartoon network. No more worries about what questionable things the networks are gently exposing your kids to. From what I can tell, you pay a monthly fee ($2.99 - um, cheaper than a video) and your kids can enjoy. I think you can even register for a free month to try it. This is from Phil Vischer, the maker of Veggie Tales, you can click HERE to see a short video of Phil's vision for this new project. And, as a interesting note, Monday is KIDMO day on JELLY TELLY (if you don't remember...Chuck works at KIDMO now). Check it out. HERE

Monday, November 17, 2008

Trying not to get my hopes up

We got an official offer on our house, though it is not one that we can accept. It was so LOW. We have countered back and we are willing to stand firm at what we countered with. I am not even sure this family can afford the counter offer. Though on a positive note, they really LOVE the house. So, we are praying that if it is the right thing, they will come up with the extra funding. I will let you know if things progress. Praying that God's will is done.


Just a quick update, the couple who put an offer on our house wasn't willing to budge off of the lowball, unrealistic offer that they made. So, we are back to trusting in the right buyer, at the right time, at the right price. Thanks for caring and all the prayers.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

twist on the traditional tag - now a MOTHERHOOD TAG

I was tagged by Karen a few days ago and I have been meaning to get to this. I wanted to do a little twist on it, since we have all seen the same kind of tag game. I have been reading Permission to Mother's book (which is titled Permission to Mother). It inspired me to post interesting things about motherhood, pregnancy and birth.

1. I had a hysterosalpingogram as one of the tests in order investigate the infertility Chuck and I were struggling with.

2. My first child was conceived on fertility drugs. After years of trying, it seemed to be the best hope for us.

3. I never had an ultra sound. I never knew what I was having - there are so few surprises in life.

4. My second baby was a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and a face presentation baby (when the baby does NOT tuck its chin, but instead tilts it up ~ having the widest part of the head coming out first). I was so grateful to be able to experience the process of a traditional delivery (though she did have one huge swollen eye).

5. When I was pushing to deliver Tristen, I ended up with broken blood vessels in my eyes and face...I meant business (and in my opinion...I would take a vaginal delivery any day over a c-section).

6. I did not, nor was I willing to get an epidural for the VBAC delivery.

7. I used an SNS (tube style nursing) in order to breastfeed Tally. It was a lot work, but looking back on it, I am glad I did.

So, here is the deal on tagging you guys. I would love to tag you all and if you want to play. Go for it. I thought that the twist on the traditional tag would be fun. So, list your 7 interesting tidbits about you for the Motherhood tag.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

EASY (whole wheat) drop biscuits

I am trying to widen my repetoire of meal options. The truth is, I buy the same things at the grocery store each week and we tend to eat the same meals. Part of my dilema is that Chuck is not here to enjoy the food and the girls have a minimalistic way of eating. Seriously, 2 chicken nuggets is about all Tristen would eat (not that I ever serve those around here).

So I thought I would try some new things (my nephews are coming for Thanksgving and I can only imagine that 1/4 of a cup of dry cereal wont fill them up like it would for Tissy). Here is the easy recipe for drop biscuits.

2 Cups freshly milled flour (hard white)
1 Tbs. baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil
1 cup milk

Mix together the dry ingredients, make a well in the middle. Combine oil and milk. Pour liquid into well and mix with the dry ingredients. Drop by scoop or spoon onto greased cookie sheet (or parchment paper). Bake at 425 for 10 min. Makes about 1 dozen.

This is the recipe from the Break Beckers book that I got with my mill. Because I am using fresh milled wheat, it has the added benefits of being a whole grain. While these were baking I cooked up some little sausage patties to go inside. Move over McDonald's sausage biscuit, same idea but better for you. Pretty hearty breakfast and very inexpensive. I think it would fill up any growing boy.

This morning, Tristen was my baking helper. We ended up making our biscuits big and only made 9 instead of 12. They were great for lunch with butter and jam.

Sorry my pictures are so fuzzy this time. Must have been poor lighting.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

giving our best, not our trash

My sister (who is a missionary) recently posted (HERE) about how their church had welcomed them home when they arrived in the states this past spring. It was so neat to see great ideas of how a church family can really rise up and offer support and encouragement in such a great way.

I wanted to leave her a comment about how I learned the term "pounding" here in the south as a way to stock some one's pantry (a pound of this and a pound of that). I was trying to do a little research on it and ran across a hysterical blog post about how people often give their junk to churches, missions, orphanages and the such. I was laughing so hard at some of the horrible things that people pass on as "donations" all in the name of giving to God. If you want a good laugh (the funny parts were in the comments that people left) click HERE. I mean really, the stuff people donate is down right embarrassing.

So, enjoy the laugh but learn from the great example of how it is important to give our best.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Not sure I am ready...

... for prepubescent girls. The tears, oh the tears. I can handle the baby stage (sleep deprived mom and all) and the toddler stage (bring on the tantrums). Give me a kid with a hurt boo boo and I know what to do. But the prepubescent, not sure what to do. The emotions. The tears. The feelings. I fear we are entering the unknown. Am I going to make it?

Monday, November 10, 2008

one of our favorite subjects

We actually have been doing art from that art site that I found a few weeks ago. I am pretty impressed with that art blog and I am also pretty (um...actually VERY) impressed that we have followed through with doing it. I find that we are always disciplined to get the 3 Rs done for school. No problem there. It is easy to drop the extras. And sure enough, it is the extra things that my kids love the most.
The best way for me to remember to follow through with doing these artsy projects is to save them as my background on my computer and then it is right there, staring me in the face as a "friendly reminder". And as a reference when we are ready to draw them. When there is a project we want to do, I click on the picture to make it larger then right click to save as background. I did order some pastels for the last of our supplies. A year ago I took my weekly coupon to the art store and picked up some basics to have on hand for when the moment strikes.
We use a flattened out cardboard box as our safe surface to paint on. SO much easier than newspaper. When we are done, you can even hide it behind the couch for next time.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

looking for your favorite beauty products

It is that time for me to purchase some new makeup. Even though I don't wear much (I probably should wear more), I need to replace a few basics and I am looking for some new ideas. Aside from the pink frosted lips and blue mascara of the 80's, I have pretty much worn the same thing for ever and I need some inspiration. Who better to inspire me but my fellow blogging friends.

What are your favorite beauty products? Though I am in the market for some basics (foundation, face cleaner, blush, eye color...) what are things that you would recommend? I remember someone (I think it was you Mrs. Moon) who said they had a face wash that they really liked and they found it at Walmart or Target. If I can get it at Target, it is my style. I don't think I have ever gotten anything at the makeup counter at the department store. Maybe that is my problem (yes...sometimes I think cheapness is my problem).

Any-who...inspire me gals. I specifically didn't get anything the other day because I wanted to hear it from the experts. Well, that and the fact that all the choices overwhelmed me and I figured I should do some makeup homework before making my "once ever 3 year purchase". I really never run out of makeup, it's more like it gets so old I have to throw it out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

...and the answer is...

Like I said...I would have NEVER guessed this from the drawing. I am not sure what I am more amazed at ~ the fact that Tristen guessed this (shows how great her guessing skills are) or the idea that these girls are on the same wave link.

I am not sure if I ever really noticed the arrows on the S and Y. But the girls obviously have. When we play pictionary, we often use the box with the sign on top to represent a store. And notice she didn't use letters but the squiggles were for the SUBWAY letter on the top of the sign.

I would have been just wasting my time drawing some kind of an underground train. Thanks for playing along. I would have been very surprised if anyone guessed it. I thought this was a fun idea for a post.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What do you think this is?

Lately we have been playing pictionary as a family. I always loved this game (back in the 80') and we still have the early edition of it.In fact, I love games in general (we have a pretty good sized game closet). I am not the best at drawing or at guessing but I have always loved laughing when we play. I was playing with the girls the other night and right away Tissy guessed this (P for person, place or thing/animal). I was shocked that she guess this right with in just about 10 seconds. Tally drew it. I was totally lost.

Sorry the picture isn't great, I tried scanning it but it didn't work being a pencil drawing. You can click on the picture to enlarge it. So, what do you think it is? I will let you know after a days worth of guesses.

Bookmarks from food boxes

We have a collection in our home of home made bookmarks cut from food boxes. I have to give Chuck the credit for these creative little things. Though we try not to eat a lot of junk, there are times we get items at the grocery store as a treat for the kids when the are on sale (like fruit chews for example). When we get those kinds of kid treats, we always check out the box and find where we can cut out a cute bookmark. Some ideas are boxed cereal, granola bars, fruit chews, frozen waffles, snack cakes or graham crackers or gold fish crackers.

It is great to have bookmarks that are "OK" if you loose them. The card stock/cardboard seems to be just the right thickness for a bookmark. Just look for cute or creative or colorful patterns on boxes of cereal, or frozen food products or even from a box of tea (sleepy time bear). We have even cut them from the cover of coloring books or workbooks for school. We keep them in a bag in a desk drawer and we are always grabbing a new one when we start a new book (I have passed on the habit of reading more than one book at a time to my least they are readers).

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Praying through these scriptures today

Psalm 119:135-138
"Make your face shine upon your servant and teach me your decrees. Streams of tears flow from my eyes, for your law is not obeyed. Righteous are you, O Lord , and your laws are right. The statues you have laid down are righteous; they are fully trustworthy."

Psalm 147:6
"The Lord sustains the humble but casts the wicked to the ground."

Isaiah 66:2
"My hand has made both earth and skies, and they are mine. Yet I will look with pity on the man who has a humble and a contrite heart, who trembles at my word."

1 Timothy 2:1-4
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. this is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth."

Thanks Rachel, I borrowed these from you my dear. I am honored to be able to pray in freedom for our country.

Monday, November 3, 2008

condensed soup

I have a bunch of thoughts swirling around in my head and I am not sure any one of them is really worth a blog post. So, I thought I would put them all together and let you add your can of water and see if it turns into anything.
I am back in the zone (if you follow our blog, you know what I mean).
There seems to be nothing worth watching on TV these days. Sometimes I wonder if it is worth even having one at all. Most of it is just junk (prime time TV seems to be the worst).
I am in a TOTAL food slump. I buy the same things at the grocery store each week and I am getting pretty tired of it. I was looking at some one's shopping carriage on Saturday as I was waiting to be helped at the deli and noticed everything in her carriage would never be in mine. Seriously, I would never choose to buy those things. I think I need to step out of my food box and try some new things.
Please, please, please VOTE. What a tremendous blessing to be in a country that we have the freedom to vote. Neither candidate may be your absolute favorite choice, but pray that God gives you the discernment to choose the better of the two to lead our country.
Our "lookers" on Sunday flaked out. Surprisingly that is the first time that has happened. We are still absolutely believing that God will provide the contract in His perfect timing. I am finding comfort in knowing that God never shows up late.
I am in the process of making Christmas gifts for the girls. We are not really buying things this year. Obviously money is tight and we thought it would be a great way to make the holiday special and stay in a tight budget. I can't wait to post pictures. So far, things are looking CUTE.

Well, looks like it turned into a lengthy post. Even though it is an odd assortment of info and thoughts.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What are we going to do with all this candy???

I am glad Chuck is home this weekend so we can off load some of this candy onto him. I am really not sure what to do with it all. (I will never let them eat it all). The girls did have a fun time trick or treating and the next morning activity found them sorting the candy. They dumped it all into a common container right off the bat so it became "family property" (they always would ask first before they take a piece).

The sorting was too cute. Had to get a picture. Grouping like candies together.

Then I had to scan the list. I just thought it was cute to take an inventory of the candy.
Aside from sorting the candy (sounds like a math game to me), the girls also made towers out of it. Kind of like building blocks. We also reuse our candy when we make our gingerbread house at Christmas time. We save the candy and decorate the house with it. A great way to USE it with out having to EAT it. There is NO WAY I would let my kids eat all that SUGAR. Tough Mommy kicks in and doesn't let them eat it all. The sticky candy is bad for their teeth and the sugar is just not good in general.

We have always given out toys and treats for trick or treating. (Don't need more candy for me to say NO to). I have ordered things from oriental trading and then I save any extra "happy meal" style toy or birthday goody bag toy for my treat basket (pencils, stickers, rings, trinkets). It is a great way to recycle those toys. I also use that same treasure basket for treats for kids when I tutor. I am all about this kind of "re-gifting".

On a totally different note, we are showing the house again this morning. One of these times it will follow with a contract.