Monday, February 28, 2011

Locked Out

When my fella got home this evening,
he went upstairs to our bedroom to change.

He came down and announced that the door was locked to our room.

This created much excitement.
Just who would be the hero and get it open?

Brendan ran outside and climbed onto the front porch
roof and tried to get in our window.
It was locked.

Next I saw him with a ladder and trying to get into the front windows
to our room.
Locked too!

(I'm not sure why I lock the upstairs windows. 
Guess it's so they don't pop open when the younger ones are leaning
against them, looking outside.)

Inside, the other guys were coming up with another plan.

The heat vent!
The vent goes into our room. 
We have a bathroom off our room, so we have to have
some heat to keep those pipes from freezing.

Jordan got onto a chair and hoisted Titus up.
Titus was laughing very nervously!
"No, Jordan, don't let go!"

Up, up he went.
Yes, he's almost in!

Everyone cheered for Titus,
our hero!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Waiting for Spring

It's been snowing all day.
It's simply beautiful!

After getting bundled up, we took a fun walk up the road.
Wind was whistling through the trees,
whipping snow in our faces.
(I should of listened to Titus and wore my scarf).

After pulling sleds up the road,
we went racing down together! 

Soon this snow will  be gone and the grass
will be green.
We'll all be relaxing outside, looking for the
shade of the big maple tree.

But for now, the snow is so cozy!
What a great, memorable day together.
Popcorn and movies tonight will finish it off!

Thankyou Lord so simple blessings of snowy days!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Skirts and Tapioca

The boys have been asking for tapioca pudding
 the last couple weeks.

I kept putting it off because we didn't have
the extra milk.

Last night, on the way home from church, I asked
my fella to stop at the Dandy so I could run in and pick
something up.

"What are you getting?" was asked from the back of the van.
"Milk," I answered, "for tapioca."

"Yeah!!!"  was shouted all across the van.

This morning, I got the crock pot out and started the pudding.
I have a recipe that is using a crock pot and it's super
easy.  You dump the stuff in, mix in eggs toward the end
and then it's done!

I also started sewing some skirts I had cut out.
I tend to cut all the fabric one day
and then sew  next.  These skirts were easy because I could
use white thread on all of them so I didn't have to keep switching
thread colors.  

I love all the fun spring colors!  It'll be here soon!

I got most of them sewn together and the waste bands in some.
I'll have to finish the wastes and then the zippers.
Ugh, five zippers!
Then hem and wait for spring.

The blue ones and green one on the left are all the same pattern.
It has 12 gores and they take some time sewing together
and then sewing the seam down. 
I have a couple of skirts from this pattern that I did
last year.  They're so comfortable!
I tend to grab them the most so I thought I should make a few more.

We enjoyed a yummy supper together and then the boys
dug into the tapioca!  I think the wait was worth it.

2 qt milk
1 cup tapioca
1 cup sugar (I used raw sugar)
Mix these together in a crock pot.  Cook on high for 3 hours.

Beat 4 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla extract.
Take some hot mixture from crock pot, add to eggs and stir.
Pour back into crock pot. 
Cook for 20 minutes more or until thick.
Chill.  Although we can never wait that long, we eat it warm.

I also double this recipe and the time is alot longer too.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Almost Two Warm Feet

Joining Ginny is so much fun!
I love seeing the projects develop before me.
It's very motivating.

Last night, I started the heel flap of the sock.
I didn't even have to do it along my Youtube teacher.  :)
Maybe the next part will be just as "easy".
I so enjoy doing socks!

I'm still reading,  Housewives Desperate for God.
I find it very challenging.  I read one section and really think about it.

I started another book my friend lent me.
How Do You Tuck in a Superhero.
It's written by a lady with 5 sons.
I only read about 10 pages and I could SO relate to her many
funny stories!  Life with boys is SO different than I
ever thought it would be!
I love every minute (well, most of them!).
I could do without the injuries and blood.  :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No Nuking Anymore

It started many years ago, almost 18 years ago!

When I found out I was pregnant for our first baby, I was so
excited!  It's funny, as soon as you find out, you begin
thinking of doing things for the "two of us" instead of just yourself.
Eating is now for the "two of us", exercising helps us both,
even the fresh air is good for us both.

I remember reading some information given to my by
my doctor.  These two facts are some of the few I still
One was not to sleep in an electric blanket while pregnant.
The other was not to stand by the microwave while it was running.

This made me think.  If it's not good for the baby, inside of me, how
can these things be ok once the baby is on the outside of me?
Won't they still be bad for a person, even if she's not carrying a baby?

I've read much information since then about the dangers of microwaves.
One cookbook I have even says not to "nuke" your bread and veges
 in a microwave because it nukes all the vitamins.

Yet, we've still had a microwave for all these  years.

While it would be on, I'd ask the boys to move away from it. 
I figured if they weren't right in front of it, the bad would miss them.
But where was it all going?  It must still be going into the air.

My fella and I were in the kitchen yesterday and he brought up
conversation about the microwave.  (This wasn't about the same subject of the
dangers of the microwave but about  a new policy at the school where
he works concerning microwave use.)
I commented that they're bad so they shoudn't be using one anyways.
And then I said, "We should get rid of our's!"  Now, I said this half-heartedly.
I have such mixed emotions abot it.
I KNOW it's bad for us, BUT I know how convenient they are.
Isn't that BAD!?!?!?
It's so easy to throw some left overs in and push the buttons and ta-da,
done in 30 seconds!  No pans to wash after and no fussing with the stove.

I wasn't expecting my fella to say, "Go for it!"

Then I read a blog this morning about a lady who gave up her
microwave for 2 months.  They put it in their garage while they didn't
use it.  If it was REALLY needed they could get it out.
Hmm, that sounded like a good plan.

So I took our's out of the kitchen and it's in the pantry.  If I really need it, I can get it
and plug it in real fast.  It's enough of a pain that I'll really need
it to go through all that hassle.

The boys were quite concerned this morning when they noticed
the counter was a bit empty.  Where is it, Mom?

How will we heat our food?

This does make meal preparation more of a challenge for me.
If I forget to take something out of the freezer,  I always knew
 I could thaw something
out in the microwave. 

We'll see how this goes.

 A few minutes ago, Brendan came into the living room
 where I was sitting on the
couch chatting with my Mom on the phone.
He asked if he could have some of the leftover cobbler from last night.

I nodded yes.

He came back in with a total sceptical face, "How do I heat it up
with no microwave?"

I couldn't stop laughing.  I explained this all to my Mom and we
both laughed!  I told him to put it in a little pan and cook it on the stove.

I remember having to do that, am I really that old?

I'll keep you posted on how it goes in our home.

This is the post I read that I mentioned above.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blessings of Being Home

What you do in your house is worth as much as
if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God.
 We should accustom ourselves to think
of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing
to God, not on account of the postion
and work, but on account of the word and faith
from which the obedience and the work flow.
-Martin Luther

While I peacefully slept last night, it snowed.
The world was quiet and peaceful.
It's such a beautiful sight to wake up to.

My fella has off today.

After our breakfast together, he went outside to tackle
the world of white!

I began my Monday routine of laundry.
Today it felt good to get the job started and begin to
see the huge pile disappear.

While I sat with Addan and Titus doing school,
I filled out my seed order form. 
Thoughts of yummy, home-grown vegetables
filled my thoughts.

The piano began to be played.

One found something to occupy his fingers avoiding
his math facts and English lesson.

"Look Mom, I did it!"

 I am so thankful the Lord allowed me to be home
with our boys each day!
There's no greater joy than hearing reading, laughter,
music in our home during school hours.
What a true blessing!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Costume Preparations

Tomorrow night we're having a costume party!
I'm so excited.
Our boys are excited.
The rest of the teens from church seem excited.

My fella and I thought of doing a costume party with the teens
we work with at church.  Costume parties
typically happen around Halloween. 
Since we don't participate in
that day, we decided it would be a good
activity to do during the long days of winter.

The weekend is finally here!
Talk has been going around, questions have been asked,
hints have been given....

Who are you going to be?
What are you going to be?

Our boys get so into this kind of thing.
They're pretty easy to please. 
Outfits have been planned, sewn and created.

Last night one came down in full costume garb.
He looked good.
What fun!

I'm so thankful for the innocence of our boys.
I'm so thankful for appreciative teens we get to party
with tomorrow night.

What a blessing for a wholesome activity where we
can make great memories together!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Remembering the Day After Valentine's Day

I went to Bible college with my sister.
It was great being together.

I met my fella the first month we were there.
Our first date off campus was on my Birthday.
My sister was also with us as well as another friend.

The college had very strict rules for dating.
We couldn't go off campus as a dating couple without an
approved chaperone. 

By the time Valentine's Day rolled around,
my fella and I were pretty serious.
I had gone to his home during Christmas break and he
also came to my house.  Both parents approved of us dating.

That year, Valentine's Day fell on a Friday.
My fella  told me he was going to chaperone his brother Matt
and his girlfriend on their date.  They had
arranged to go out on Valentine's Day.  I was kind-of bummed.
BUT my fella told me he had arranged for us to go to a
fancy restaurant the next day.  It eased some of the sadness.

Valentine's evening, as I was in the rec hall, I heard lots of comments
about my fella. 

"Where's Philbrick?  He didn't take you out on Valentine's Day?"

"Why are you here without Philbrick?" was asked again and again.

I tried to play it off and say we were going out the next night,
but it was kind of sad.

My fella was so excited about this date.  I should
of known something was up.

He had made reservations in Escanaba, MI.  It was
a bit of a drive.  We didn't care.  We were on a date,
off campus with our two chaperones (one was my room mate
and the other was my RA). 

The evening was so romantic. 
Candle light dinner,  cozy room, yummy food
and a sweet man!

 Dessert was brought out on a silver platter.
I was so shocked.  The lid was lifted and all the
sudden my fella was on his knee. On the platter
was a diamond engagement ring.
 He was asking me to spend the
rest of my life with him and marry him!  I was sooo surprised!
It seemed everyone in the restaurant was watching us.
My fella shouted,
"She said YES!"
Everyone cheered for us.

It was such a memorable night for both of us!
I tend to reminisce more about the day after Valentines
than on the actual day.  Such a sweet, romantic night that was.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Sweet, Loving Memories

I've been working our Valentine's Party all day.
Making our tradition cookies
(I only make these today.)

I did a scavenger hunt for my fella's Valentine.
I made 26 "clues" for him to find.
From A-Z, I wrote a quality I love about him
and then on the back of the note,
I wrote where to find the next note.

The table is set,

The mailbox is full!

Excitement is in the air for a fun, cozy night together
expressing our love for eachother.

Chocolate Heart Cookies

1 C butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 C flour
1/4 C baking cocoa
1 C vanilla or white chips
2 Tbs shortening
1/2 C semisweet chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in vanilla.
Combine flour and cocoa.
Gradually add to creamed mixture.
Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut with heart shaped cutter.
Bake 375 for 8-10 minutes.
Cool on wrack.

Heat vanilla chips and shortening (either in microwave
or in double boiler).
Dip cookie corner in white chips.

Melt chocolate chips and put in small plastic
baggie.  Cut corner and drizzle over cookies.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Simply Yummy

Give us this day our daily bread.
Matthew 6:11

Man shall not live by bread alone, but
by every word of God.
Luke 4:4

This is the link to the post I did with our bread recipe.  I did
have different wheat berries this time.  I've used hard
winter wheat every time.  This time they were hard spring wheat.
Not sure what the difference is but the bread seemed "whiter" and lighter
with those wheat berries.  Fresh ground wheat is all the difference between
hard and soft, yummy bread!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One Warm Foot

I did it!  Yippee!
I'm so excited!
I actually enjoyed the "hard" parts.
I finished my first sock!

I had Youtube going along each step of the way.
I waited for a quiet minute or few to get the hard parts done.
(This can be hard at times, as there's rarely a quiet spot in our home.)

I loved seeing the heel and foot develop.
I think I may even be able to do most of it again without help
(well, I like to think I could!)

I think I did them too big.  My next pair, I'll do one size smaller.

This Sunday is the first week of my new lesson.  I'm so excited.
This book is very practical yet complete.
It tries to explain the importance of our hearts being yielded and
obedient.  Then the outward will follow.  It's so important
to see Bibically why we do what we do and having a willing
heart to do what the Lord asks of us!

I finished my last fiction book.  I love reading them but I find it so
sad to end one.  It takes me a bit to get back into one.
So I've had a few nights off of fiction and have been reading gardening
magazines to put me to sleep.  I'm so looking forward to spring!
I love the feel and smell of the dirt.  Soon!

I had to include this cute picture of my fella.
He wears this hat while window washing.   I saw him pull up and
the blue hat in the truck's window.  I ran out to the porch
to take it.  Little did I know, he had flowers for me. 
He's so sweet!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love is in the Air

It's a perfect day for it!
Super windy!
The freshly fallen snow is blowing all around,
swirling against the windows.
Yet, the bright sun shines through the panes.
So cozy hearing the wind howling out there.

"Guys, go up into the storage room and get the
Valentine's supplies."

Shouts of excitement were yelled!

Every Valentine's Day we get our mail
tower  and card supplies out.

I made the mail tower a few years ago.
I'm surprised it's held up so well.
It's cereal boxes wrapped in white paper with stickers.
Each person has their own slot.

Tim lifting Titus to put a Valentine in Jordan's slot.
It's so fun doing things like this with the boys.
They get so excited about the smallest things,
yet these small things make big memories for them.

It's also so cute hearing them spell eachother's names.

"Titus, it's J-O-R..."

"But how do you make a J?"

The guys that made some today have it figured out how
many they need to do each day to get them done in time.

"This is SO much fun, Mom!  I love Balentine's Day!"

This is the beginnings of my cards.  One year I didn't do much
with the cards.  I think I had morning sickness and felt very
unmotivated.  One of the older boys commented they missed my cards.
They could remember all the different kinds I had made in the past and said
his favorite one was the "I spy" card I made one year. 
This made such an impression on me.
They do notice the little things.  I've tried to do one every year
since this comment.

I want each day to be a special memory for the boys, but I realize
that probably won't happen.  So on the special
days we have together, I want to make our times fun and full of
great memories together!

This month is always a fun month together!

Monday, February 7, 2011

When Mom's Sick

Yesterday after church, I could feel it coming.
A cold that started to feel like my head
was 100 lbs and just pounding.
I took tons of vitamins and other remedies.

Today I feel worse!  I'm not sure if the
headache if from lack of coffee today but it's bad!
I did finally take some asprin and it feels alot better.

Most of the day was spent reading and sitting in the living room
with the younger guys.  They're very entertaining.

What to do for supper?
No matter how I feel, they still get hungry.

Yesterday we had two of our own chickens for our big meal
so the bones were simmering all night
making a yummy, healthy broth.

I assigned each boy a vegetable to wash and cut.
Hunter, you have onions and celery.
Jordan, you have carrots.
Brendan, you get potatoes.
Silas, put a tablespoon in each pot of these spices.

Family soup!  It was super yummy and we all worked together to make it.
Now they're happy with full bellies (for now, that is!)
and it's making me feel a little bit perky!  Maybe I'll go tackle the laundry!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

An Amish Birthday

Yesterday was my fella's Birthday.
We've started a tradition for his Birthday.
Since my fella's "love language" is quality time, he chose to spend his
Birthday on a little get-away.
He'd rather have a quiet 2 days together than a gift.
This is great for me because I get to spend it with him! :)

The first year we went away, we stayed at hotel in Cortland, NY.
It wasn't an area with a huge amount to do.  This was fine as I
was feeling rather morning-sicknessish with Titus.  That wasn't
the best get-away but it was still enjoyable just to be together.

Last year we went to Niagra Falls.  Neither of us had been there
so it was fun seeing it for the first time together.

This year, Mark chose to go to Amish Country in the Lancaster, PA
area.  He found an Amish farm that allows people
to stay right on their farm. 

Mark took off from school on Thursday.  After giving lists and lists
of instructions to the boys, we headed out. 
I have to admit, I love going away but part of me always worries about the boys.
We've trained them enough that the older ones know what to do for
all the "what if's" that could happen.  They're very smart boys but
I still worry.  Guess it's the Mom in me.    Things are so nice now though,
we could call them regularly to keep in touch.  Communication is great!

We enjoyed a peaceful ride down.  This is almost the same ride I take to my
parent's.  What a difference traveling down without the rowdies!

Lunch was calmly eaten,  we stopped and shopped some and I knitted
most of the ride.  It was very relaxing!

The Amish farm was very cozy!  You had to cross a little stream across
the driveway.  There were geese in the stream and willow trees all along it.
It was so pretty!

One of the daughters greeted us when we arrived.
She was the 3rd to youngest of 8 children.
She showed us our "cabin" and gave us the instructions on how to do things.

It was a cozy place with plenty of room.

The bedroom we stayed in.  There was another one with 2 double beds in it.

We unloaded our stuff and went to the bulk food store right down the road.
It's funny,  when I go visit my parent's and I want to stock up, I
go to Centerville Bulk Foods.  This bulk food is about
5 houses up from the farm we stayed at.

The bulk food place is great!  I got a 50 lb bag of wheat berries for $22!
I normally pay $50 at the store in town here.  I got lots of yummies!

Then we headed out to eat at Shady Maple Restaurant.
My fella's brother and his wife were meeting us there.  Matt and Kathy
were at college when me and my fella were.  We're not only "related" but good friends.
Meeting them was a fun treat.  Although, my fella and his brother NEVER
behave when they're together!    Lots of great laughter and filling foods!!

The next morning, the Amish couple brought breakfast down to our room.
It was fun meeting them and chatting.  Having the common factor of the same amount
of children made instant conversation (although, I don't think it would of been necessary
 they were both very friendly and chatty)!

The Amish lady asked me a question I was never asked before.  We were talking
about having eight children (she has three girls, the oldest just getting married two
months ago and five boys).  She asked me if I cook all our food and sew all our clothes.
This stumped me.  Yes, of course, I cook all our food but sew ALL
our clothes too!  She proceded to tell me her second daughter enjoys sewing
so she does all the sewing for them!  Man, if I was Amish, I'd have to
be sewing all our clothes too!  The lady said her other daughter does
the laundry.  Then she said, "Wow! You home-school too!"  They both
began asking us questions about it.  They seemed just curious about our
lives as we were their's. 
The man started asking about our home and land.  My fella commented about us
burning wood for heat and how much help our boys were with that process.
He commented about our wood splitter.  My fella said, "They are our
woodsplitter!"  The Amish man commented about them using the machine for him.
"No,"  my fella said,, "THEY are the woodsplitter, with an ax!"  The Amish
man was impressed and said he didn't hear of too many people burning wood who
didn't own a "real" woodsplitter!  I think we may have been a novelty to them.

After breakfast, we walked around their farm.  The boys were
hard at work.  They were spreading manure and man, it reaked!

After looking at their happy animals eating their breakfast foods,
we packed up from our cozy "cabin" and headed out.

What a difference visiting the shops in February compared to May!
The shops were quiet and calm.
Kitchen Kettle was just a quiet little village.  During the warmer months,
the same shops are hopping with tourists.
My fella went with me to a yarn shop, the Candle Barn and other fun shops!
It almost seemed like it was my Birthday!

Then we headed for lunch and then our journey home.
What a fun trip together!

When we got home, there were some excited boys waiting for us!
They had all colored different letters and the "sign" hung all around
 the kitchen. 
The house was neat as a pin too!

Today I'm putting all our bulk foods into containers.
What a fun trip!
Mark's already looking forward to going back to Amish country next year.
I don't think I'll complain too much about it either :)

Happy Birthday, my sweet fella!!