Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sew Fun!

I totally enjoy sewing!  I have had many patterns turn out to be a total flop!  This is so frustrating after the money and time was invested!  So, I have a skirt pattern that is super easy, quick to sew up and is comfortable.  I have made many skirts from this one pattern.  Shorter for summer months and long, thick fabrics for winter months!  My Mom gave me bags of fabric for my rug projects, this plaid fabric was in the bag.  It's flannel so I couldn't use it on my rugs so I knew exactly what I was going to use it for!  I finally had a free Saturday yesterday and whipped it up (with two other skirts,, I never like to just do one thing at a time,, saves time and thread).  I got this sweater at a yard sale this summer and was so excited to wear it with my new skirt!  Of course,, had to have one pose with my SO cute husband with his freshly cut hair!   Isn't he cute!?!?!?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Look Mom!

I just love Saturdays because of the relaxed schedule.  This Saturday we're all home together.  Today's goal is to start a skirt for an upcoming Valentine's Dinner with church family.  I was in the middle of cutting the skirt fabric when Titus pulled a puzzle off the shelf and started doing it on the floor behind me.  I just love how they pull projects out and start doing them in the same room with me.  Always makes the room more cozy with the little fellas in it :)  I heard, "Look Mom!" shouted with glee,,, Titus had finished his puzzle and wanted me to share in his pride!   Of course, this wet his appetite for more puzzles.  I got the box of little puzzles out and started to help him with these.  So cute hearing him giggle as each piece was placed in it's spot.  Such wonderful memories with our last little fella!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Busy hands

Homeschooling is great but it creates alot of just sitting and listening.  I get so restless just sitting,,, so I've always got projects to work on while I'm schooling with the boys.  My sister Ruthie is getting married this spring and my other sister Tonya and I are giving Ruthie a bridal shower in March.  This is a terrible thing for me,, I'm already losing sleep over it.  I absolutely LOVE doing things like this but it creates a very busy mind.  I lay in bed thinking of how we'll hang the decorations, where to put the punch table, where Ruthie should sit, what I should wear, what games we should play, etc, etc, etc!!!  Last night I lay thinking about the prizes for the games (Tonya and I are both providing 10 prizes each).  I'm trying to make them nice and practical but not spend alot of money.  So I brought out my basket of scrap fabric and got creating.  I started to make 4 potholders and a set of coasters.  I plan on making 4 aprons too.  Yippee,, there's 9 prizes already,, any extra I'll give to the sweet bride-to-be.  There are many advantages to homeschooling and this is another!!! :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Books, books, books

I love to read.  I'm always researching and looking things up but books can become quite an expense.  Our library system has a great tool,,, I can type in the title of the book I'm interested in (all from the comforts of home ) and it'll search all the local libraries to see if any of the libraries have that book and will ship it to my local library.  Every Wednesday, I go to town to take the oldest four to piano lessons, so I just add the library stop to my stops for that day (I do all our grocery shopping on Wednesdays).    This week I'm returning these books; I totally enjoyed reading Green for Life and found it VERY informative and exciting.  It's not a book I'd like to own so I can return it knowing if  I ever want to read it again,as  it's in the "system" of our libraries.  I'm also trying to learn to knit, so I am enjoying looking and trying to figure out all these new patterns.  Some day when I have oodles of time, I'm going to actually be able to just sit down and attempt some of these patterns,, but for now, I am content to read and learn about them.  What a great way to learn and save money.  I have found, if it's a book I really enjoy and would love to have to refer to, the next best way to get a book, is on Ebay or Amazon under the used books.  Yard sales in the summer are also great but I've stopped buying children's books as we just have SO many and it can add up(space and money),, so the library is great for that too.  Now,  keeping track of them, that's a post I'll have to write later when I figure out how to do that :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Cheese and Apples

Everyday at about 10 am, either Titus or Addan comes into the "school room"/family room and asks for cheese and apples.  Usually I'm in the middle of school with Luke and Tim and can feel quite annoyed with this interruption.  I some times think boys stomachs just NEVER get filled!!!  But lately I've been trying to change my attitude about getting this for them.  They love being together and if this helps build memories of being together, the least I can do is get them their food.  
Usually when I bring it to them,, they're sitting together closely on the couch reading a book or watching a video.  I hand it to them and hear little giggles as they look into their bowls and respond,, Thankyou Mom!!!  What a small sacrifice for me to make,, get up and peel and cut the apples and slice up the cheese,, all to hear pleasant replies for two little fellas.  I pray the boys grow close and stay close friends all their lives,, what a better friend to have than someone who grew up with you and has shared SO many memories with you! 
This morning I read from Matthew 18 and the verses have been ringing through my mind all morning.  Verse 4 says, "Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest  in the  kingdom of heaven. 5.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me."  It goes on to say if we offend a child it would be better to be drowned!  WOW,, Jesus has strong feelings towards children.  I need to keep that same feeling as I get things all day for my little ones and believe me, I hear my name called often each day!!! :) 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Praying Friends

Prayer is our way of communicating with our Savior.  I admit, at times I'm not sure how it works but I know the Lord asked us to do it and He is pleased when we come to Him with our cares and burdens.  "Cast all your care on Him, for He cares for you."   Since we've been married, I've always enjoyed having someone pray for me.  We were in churches that did "Secret Pals", and I always enjoyed knowing someone was praying for me.   A couple years ago, a man in our church preached on the importance of having someone to pray for you so that encouraged me to have a prayer partner.  I felt the Lord leading me to a lady in our church and thoroughly enjoyed doing that with her.  Due to changes in her life,, she couldn't keep the commitment any more.  Last year, I had a lady's Bible study in our home, and we ladies did prayer partners together then.  This year, I haven't had a prayer partner.  I have felt the need to have one again.  There's nothing like having a Sister in the Lord, praying for you.  Knowing I could share personal requests and feelings without her "judging" me and confiding in another lady,,, was sooo needed in my life right now.  I mentioned this to Mark,, sharing with him, not sure who to ask to be my prayer partner.  I thought of a few Face Book friends, but wanted someone who I could also fellowship with at church.  I'm so thankful for a loving, understanding, wise husband,, he suggested someone right off that was perfect for me!  Why hadn't I thought of her???  Last night, after praying all day about it, I approached her, and she was VERY excited too!  I'm so excited to have another prayer sister in my life!  I encourage all ladies to have a godly woman you can trust to be your prayer partner.  We're going to write our requests at the beginning of each month and trade requests.  What a huge blessing!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Simple helpers

If you can alot of your own food, you have lids and the canning rings laying around.  I was putting my rings and lids in my utensil drawer in the kitchen.  The rings quickly began to fill up my drawer (we use a jelly about every 2 days and many other canned items this time of year) and I was beginning to get annoyed at them.  While at my sister's house, I was looking at her new kitchen pantry her husband had recently built her, and noticed a bright, crocheted piece of yarn hanging from a nail.  I inquired what on earth that was?  and she told me of her canning ring hanger,, just get a ribbon or sturdy string and tie one ring on the end and a loop on the other.  The ring on the end keeps the rings from coming off.(the loop is to hang the ribbon on a nail in your pantry)  As soon as I got home,  I made one and simply LOVE it!  No more mess or running into the storage/pantry room to find the rings I put away after being so annoyed at them cluttering my utensil drawer.  I just slide it on or take one off as I need them.    It's neatly hanging in my kitchen closet and I can shut the door and my utensil drawer is nice and decluttered again!  Thanks so much Tonya!  The simple things that make my life so much more happy :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Whole wheat health

The food we eat is very important to our good health.  I try to feed our household healthy foods.  Because of this, I make most of the bread we eat (I do compromise and buy store bought wheat bread for grilled cheese sandwiches).  The first step is grinding the wheat berries.  This sounds like an airplane coming in for a landing!  Mark always jokes that this is called the Whipser Mill!
After the flour is ground, the mixer is pulled off the shelf.  This is one of my favorite, time saving appliances!  Honey, eggs right from the coop, olive oil, yeast and water are added.
This is the yummy bread dough after it's been kneaded for 8 minutes.  I put the bread in bread pans and let it rise by the woodstove until doubled in size.    Then it bakes for 30 minutes and the smells start wafting up the stairs,,,I start hearing voices asking how long before the bread is done.  One loaf is always eaten before it can even cool!   The other loaves are safely tucked away in the freezer for breakfasts that week.                                    

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Small answers, Big lessons

While growing up, my father always tried to show me the Lord.  In every area of our lives, while driving along, walking, at home he was always showing me His hand at work.  My father now always tells me to show our boys His hand at work.  If I tell my father about the Lord's blessings, the first thing he asks me, with a smile,, "Did you share that with the boys?"  My father loves the boys like his own and is very proud of them but wants only to see them live for Him!  So as I see the Lord answer things for us, I try and always point that out to them, showing them the Lord's special care for each of them.  Last week we were given some clothes, just the size of Luke.  I had commented to myself that he needed a couple more shirts and the next day we were given him clothes.  I pointed that out to Luke how the Lord heard me and supplied some shirts for him.  But how much more special when the Lord does it for one of the boys themselves.  Last week, Hunter came down from his room and said he needed a couple more dress shirts (he is now the one going through major growth!) and was going to use his Christmas gift card and get one.  Yesterday Mark went out to breakfast with some of his students that had graduated in the past (he does this about once a month), and Clint (one of the students) gave Mark some clothes after breakfast.  Clint has provided us with MANY clothes in the past but all have been for Jordan and Brendan.  Clint's clothes are always spotless, stylish and lots of them!  This bag was a fun bag:  ties, fun t-shirts, belts, pants  and dress shirts.  Guess who they fit?  Yup, Hunter!  I could hear my Dad in my head,,, so I excitedly pointed out how the Lord sweetly answered your "wish", Hunter.  So neat to see our Heavenly Father taking care of our little needs and showing Himself real to our boys!  So thankful for my earthly father,, always showing me my Heavenly Father!  My boys are so blessed: two godly Grandfathers, serving our Savior with their lives, a eartly father who loves them and obeys the Lord and shows the Lord real through his life and a loving Heavenly Father who meets our very daily needs and SOOOO much more!  His love is overwhelming!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Games, games, games!!!

Addan, Titus and Luke playing Go Fish. They love to play games together and never have a shortage of partners to play with. I love to play games too! As a child, my Mom just LOVED to play games with us,, all kinds :Aggravation, Probe, Bingo, Scrabble, Uno, and on and on! On Monday nights, my father had a men's Bible study at our home in our downstairs. I think Mom loved this more than the men and Dad. She'd get the popcorn out and games ready. We'd play game after game,, with her never wanting to quit! Such wonderful memories of being together. To this day, if we're sitting together relaxing, my Mom will jump in and say, "Want to play a game?" Funny, she gave us 4 games for Christmas and we played them all before we left her house that weekend!

Blessings to teach

This past Sunday night after church, I was chatting with a friend, who is also a Mom to many children and homeschools. She asked me how we felt about homeschooling, Christian School and public school. I'm not writing this to state my opinion (although I have a strong one,,, Psalms 1 is just one reason) but to express my thankfulness for the freedom we have in America right now to even choose and obey our convictions. When each of our boys, one day leave our home and, we pray, become productive for the Lord in whatever area they're lead to, how much satisfaction we will feel knowing they can pick up a book and read it because of the time we took to teach them. My husband sacrifices his hard earned money to buy their school books each year and other supplies and each day sacrifices are made to spend the time to go over their math facts, grammar rules, history lesson, etc. But what a small sacrifice when we can drop our "regular" work and do a quick unit lesson of flowers, like we did yesterday and see they excitement as they learn something new. Please keep praying we'll continue to be blessed with the freedom to choose how to educate our children! What a blessing it is!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Making yogurt smoothies

Since the busyness of the holidays are over, we've gotten back into the habit of getting "farm" milk. Since I'm also trying to cut back and shed a few pounds, I started making yogurt for my lunches. I found a recipe and method I thought would work for me and gave it a try. I love having yummy, filling, healthy lunches!

Here are the ingredients: yogurt I already made, honey, flax seeds, bananas and frozen blueberries we picked this past summer.

God's sweet answers

Last Monday, after I did my reading, I was thinking of the "extra things" I'd like to get (I know, rather selfish!) that don't fit in our budget right now. My sister is getting married in May and I'm helping with a shower and that always creates extra expenses, I'm reading about eating green so would like to add greens to our diet, of course, I could always get another book to add to my library,,, so I was praying/commenting to the Lord that I would love to come up with a way to make some extra cash.... not a deep prayer but just almost a wish under my breath type prayer. I came down and started my Monday and the phone rang. Now,, let me explain, I was selling crocheted rugs that I make at a shop in town but they changed their policies and I couldn't commit to it right now so months ago I stopped selling my rugs there. Back to the phone call, I didn't recognize the number so answered assuming it was call for Mark's business. It was a lady who had bought a rug in the shop awhile ago and wanted to special order two rugs. I took the measurements, colors and her contact info. I got off the phone thinking of my prayer that morning and was so thankful to the Lord for opening that door and showing me how much He loves me! His goodness is soooo special and personal! What a wonderful Savior we have! This is the rug I made for the order,,, I even had the colors of fabric in my collection so I didn't have to buy any new fabric!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hot lips Sunday

Our church has a bus ministry and bus people into church each week,, mostly children. They sometimes have activities after the meeting. Today was a challenge to see how many could eat hot chicken wings. Of course, it ended up being only teen boys and men to try it. Brendan and Mark were both included with 6 other guys. They looked so funny lined up, each holding a plate with 6 wings. Mr Norton had fried them in hot sauce and concocted a very HOT sauce to put over them. Once they got started,, I couldn't stop laughing. I've always known my man was the hottest and he was going to show it! A couple dropped out after only 1 wing. One by one the men started dropping out (they dropped out by taking a drink or eating the bread given to each player). Not my Mark or Brendan,,, they were the only two left. Ladies were showing concern for my "little" redhead but I just laughed and laughed. Both Mark and Brendan douse my good cooking each day with habanero pepper so I knew they could handle alot. Mark had tears streaming down his face and sweat pouring from his temples. Brendan was the ice man,, no reaction at all! Brendan finally gave up due to being full rather than the heat and turned over the winner title to his Dad. Brendan consumed 8 1/2 wings and Mark ate 10. Poor souls,,, I made chili for lunch too! Brendan is fine and Mark is now "resting" with a gut ache. Oh, the things men will do to show their "manhood"! My poor fella has hot lips now :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Beginning a blog

I have wanted to start a blog for some time but have been scared to take the first step. My visits to blogs during the day enourage me, motivate me and keep me inspired to learn new things. I am busy with housework and home schooling and my short visits give me company with fellow Moms and homemakers. I hope my blog will also do that for you.