Friday, April 29, 2011

Tea Cups

Next week, our church is hosting a  Mother/Daughter Tea.
Our Pastor's wife is organizing it.
She's chosen the theme of Precious Memories.
Remembering times of being with our mothers.
So the decorations are leaning towards a victorian type style.

This morning, the boys and I dug out all my tea cups.
I started collecting them when I was 15.
I remember loving the delicate detail of a china tea cup.
Beautiful flowers, swirls, gold etching, etc. 
Everything about them made it fun to collect.
I think I also envisioned having delicate, flowery tea parties with 
my daughters all dressed in beautiful dresses.
How funny life is some times!
You envision and plan with no control of the outcome.
I guess I can still envision and plan of doing those fun memories with my
boy's wives and their (MAYBE) daughters! :)

As I washed them and looked at each one, 
memories started coming to mind..
Such sweet memories.

This is one of my first tea cups.  
My father got me it.
My Dad is a giver.  He's always shown his love by giving us gifts.
He's not a touchy, huggy type man.
But he'd bring us gifts often , telling us he was thinking of us
and that he loves us!
My sister Tonya gave me this one.

My parents moved us to PA to join a ministry called
Teen Haven.  Tonya and I were both young teen girls.
They also started home schooling us after we moved there.
This caused Tonya and me to become close friends.
(Another plus for home schooling!
You get real close to your siblings who will always 
be part of you so why not become dear friends!?!?)
I remember my childhood and into teen years with the fondest 
memories of being with Tonya!
So this tea cup always brings back smiles.

These two were gotten during a trip to Canada.  
My Bootsie Grandma (my Mom's Mother) and Aunt Rosie
got me these two.
I was real close to my Grandmother while growing up.  I cleaned her house 
on Saturdays and have lots of memories of her.
My Aunt Rosie is more like an older sister.
She was single most of the years I was growing up.
Rosie and my Mom are real close so she spent alot of time with us.
The wonderful memories of being with Aunt Rosie are numerous!
I love the blessings of a close family!

My Mother in Law got me this one on a trip to Argentina.
When my fella was just a little boy, my in-laws moved 
their family to another country to serve the Lord.
I can imagine it must of been a bit scary at times and also 
very lonely.  I'm very thankful for the Godly example she is to many ladies
and to me.
She is still a woman who strives to live each day for the Lord!
Thankyou Mom for this reminder of you!

These three are some of my favorites that my sweet fella got me.
While we lived in ME, he would get me one each year for Resurrection Sunday.
I love the memories of being together in ME.
We were able to spend much time together as a family on the beach,
lake or in the cold winter.  Maine is a very beautiful state
and we enjoyed being there together as a family.
My fella has always spoiled me! :)

What a blessing to share the tea cups with ladies and their
daughters as they make memories together!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Venison Jerky

The boys love jerky!
Each Christmas they get gift cards and they'd spend the whole thing 
on jerky.  I don't let them as it's so expensive for the amount you 
get and it's got so much junk in it.

I saw a tool that you can make jerky out of ground beef.
 I ordered it from WalMart's online site (our store didn't have any in stock
as it's considered a seasonal item).  It was around $13.

We already had the dehydrator.  I got that at a yard
sale for $5!  I love having it for fun things like this.

I mixed some spices in the meat.
We had oodles of ground venison given to us.  I actually need to 
get using it up as I was told we'd be getting more soon so this was a great
way to do that.

I tried two different recipes to see if the gang could tell the difference and if 
they had a favorite.  They could tell and had a definate favorite.

I filled the tube with spicy meat and squirt it on to the trays.

Then it began to change before our eyes.  
The smell has been drifting all through the house, tormenting the boys.
They want to eat it but it wasn't  quite done yet.

 This was the best pose I could get of them testing it, stubborn boys!
 This morning they tried some.  Although, they've 
been sneaking pieces all along as I keep finding empty spots and keep adding more
spicy meat to the empty tray.

#1 Recipe I tried

3 pounds ground beef
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp garlic (I added alot more!)
2 tsp cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper

The boys said this one was ok.  Not real spicy and it tasted like tacos.

#2 Recipe tried

3 lbs ground beef
1/2 C liquid smoke
1/2 C worcestershire sauce
1 C brown sugar
3 Tbs garlic
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

The boys said this one tasted like the "real" stuff!  It's not as 
good for them with the brown sugar and I have no clue what's in the liquid smoke.

What a fun treat for the gang here!  I don't care for jerky so it's not near as
thrilling for me :)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pond for Pleasure

Yesterday was simply gorgeous!
Warm, breezy and sunny!
Once school was done, the pleading started.

"Can we get the raft out?" was asked over and over.

My Uncle and Aunt gave the boys a raft in the fall.  
In the back of the boy's minds was the raft all winter long.
As soon as the pond thawed, the pleading started.
I may be crazy but letting them float in the raft when the ice just thawed
was even too much for me!
I knew there was NO way they'd get in the raft and not get their bodies wet!

So yesterday was the perfect day.
While I hung out the laundry, I could hear the yells, 
splashes and fun!  

Addan looks on.
Soon he joins in the fun!

Yikes!  Don't splash, the water is COLD!

Oh, the life of a young boy!
What fun memories they make together!

Today they have pink, sun burned shoulders to 
remind them of the fun they had yesterday.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


I have not posted in a week! Yikes!
Our home computer got a virus and died last week.
My sweet fella hooked up the boy's computer for me until we 
get a quicker one to replace the broken one.

I was super busy the last two days.
My 3rd sweet boy turned 14 on Monday so we were celebrating 
that day!   I still can't believe it was 14 years ago that we lived in Michigan!
And today I'm frantically packing and cleaning up the house to leave tomorrow
for 5 days in CT with my family for Resurrection Sunday!

So hopefully when I return, life as normal will return too! 
(Whatever that is in a house with 9 males!!) :)

Have a wonderful Resurrection Sunday!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yarn Along Hat

I haven't gotten nearly as much knitting done lately.
I've been outside more working on things like this:

The lighter colored wood chips is all added garden.
The boys commented that soon the whole front yard will be gardens!

I did manage to finish this last night.

My goal is to make one for each of the boys for Christmas.
One down, eight to go!

I've been reading home-schooling books,  catalogues,
manuals, etc lately.  This is the time of year I get the books for next year.
Next year will be the most we've had in school at once.
Titus will start school and it will be Brendan's last year.
We'll have seven in school!  Wow! 
This is the science I'll be using for four of the boys next year.
I'm real excited about it!

What are you using for science?  I've always lacked in science.
I don't care for any of the curriculums for the younger grades
we've used so far, so I'm hoping this one will be

Monday, April 11, 2011

Sling Shot Tutorial

I've just completed three in less than 15 minutes so this is a very quick
toy that your boy will love for hours!

First send your boy on a search for a branch that is thick and strong.
It also needs to be in the shape of a Y.

I used 1 inch wide elastic. 
Sew a loop on one end of the elastic.  Make it a little smaller than how
wide the stick is.  This will prevent it from sliding up and down the stick.

Cut the elastic about 7-8 inches long and then sew another loop on the
other end.  Stretch and slide it over the other end of the stick.

Give to smiling boy with strick instructions-

NO shooting live creatures!
NO shooting towards people!
NO shooting towards the house, cars, neighbors houses, etc!
ONLY shoot at trees and non-living objects!

Wrong-Foot Bandit

What a gorgeous morning in April!
Once Tim and Luke ran out and fed their chickens, the pleading started.
"Mom, PLEASE can we do our school outside on the patio?"
I finally gave in, with many "rules".
NO talking to eachother.
No getting out of your seat.
NO wandering around!
AND TRY to stay focused!

I knew these would be very difficult to follow.
But this one of the joys of the life of a boy.
Sitting outside, feeling the warm air blowing through your buzzed hair,
dreaming of the plans for the rest of the day.

I heard, "Jordan, when I'm done with school, I'm running up to the pine trees
in the back woods and getting some of the soft branches to make a slingshot!"
I'm sure the fractions, adverbs and nouns didn't triggar these thoughts!

While the school was slowly getting worked on,
I began planting some seeds.

I turned the lovely dirt over.  Hello worms!
There's something so rewarding about putting a shovel into the black
dirt and flipping it over!  All that lovely compost rotted over time
making black gold for my plants!

I filled the cold frame with seeds and put some rows around it.
This is my first time using a cold frame so this is all trial and error
for me.  It'll be good to compare the progress as the seeds are side by side.

The fencing is my attempt to keep little feet and guinnea feet out of the patch.
It's also a reminder to me where I planted the seeds.

As I worked, Luke's poor flock was getting chased by the wrong-foot bandit!

"Titus! Don't hit them with the stick! Just chase them but don't hit the poor creatures!"

"What did you say Mom?"

"Oh Titus!  Can't you ever get your shoes on the right feet?"

Friday, April 8, 2011

If You Met Me

I'm joining Five Minute Friday.
If you met me.....

As I pondered  this thought, it all depended on how you met me.
If you met me alone, you will find I like to do crafts.
I love doing things with my hands.
I love to garden.
And I love my family.
I try to live my life based on God's Word and things He's taught me.

I am a very black and white type person.
Things are either right or wrong.  There tends to be no in between.
That can cause me to be opinionated.
I try to see things from the other side but often times it's very difficult!
I am also not very organized.
I used to be.
But as I've gotten older, my thoughts and words get so twisted.
My lefts and rights get confused.
The names I call my boys get mixed up.
I can't remember where I put things last.
I can't remember why I went into a room, trying to find something.

This brings me to the other thought,
IF you met me with my whole family.

The discussion would be totally on how I do it.

You see, I live in a house with nine other people.
Those other people are all of the male gender!
My sweet fella and I have eight sons!
Yes, they're all ours!
Yes, we know how much they cost!
AND YES, we know they eat ALOT!

If you met me with my gang, the discussion is often about
my life with them.

WOW!  that was fast!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Music in Our Home

Sing unto the Lord a new song,
and his praise from the end of the earth.
Isaiah 42:10

This morning I was reminded so vividly about the music in our home.

The older boys all take piano lessons.
Jordan started taking lessons when he was seven years old.
Right now we have five of the boys taking lessons.

Since I don't know music well enough to start teaching them,
we make them take at least one year of piano.
I felt it was important to learn the basic concept of music,
notes, timing, etc. 
After the first year, we see if they still have an interest.
Then once they get alittle older, the lessons then become
their choice.  I didn't want to have to battle with getting
them to practice each day.

So far none of them have wanted to quit.  We ask them at the beginning
of each school year if they WANT to continue lessons.
So far none of them have said they wanted to.
I'm very thankful for that!

At times the pounding of unfamiliar notes (it doesn't even sound
like music yet!), can drive me batty!

This morning was a reminder of that!

It seems each year we've had the Indian Dance.
The song sounds just like the name.
It's basically pounding of the same notes over and over!
I think they do it so LOUDLY to especially wrack my nerves.

But this morning as Luke was playing it, I was
reminded of what  a blessing music is in our home.
If there's a boy in a room, I can hear music being sung, played or listened to.
It's such a blessing that they all enjoy music.

Mrs Goble, the boy's piano teacher is a wonderful lady!
The boys love her and she makes their lessons so fun.
Each week, I hear funny stories she shares or does.

2009 Piano Recital

When I stop to pick the older boys up from lessons,
the younger ones run to Mrs Goble's door, excited to see her come
and greet them!  She makes them laugh and lets them come in for a few minutes.
What fun she is!

I'm so thankful for the boy's music and laughter in our home!
It's sweet noise to my ears (most of the time!) :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Cold Frame, A Bag and Too Many Kittens!

Ahhh, a Saturday home together.
Nothing to do today but stay put.

It was perfect timing for our feline friend to go into labor.
She wanted so badly to have them under Brendan's bed,

but Brendan would not have it!
So she settled for Luke's bed.

This was quite the experience for the younger guys.
Titus kept yelling to me all the updates.

When it first started he informed me the cat had a bubble coming out.
Then he yelled, "Mom!  She ate the bubble!"

Next the yelling started that she had one.
"Mom!  She laid one so far!"

(I took all the good bedding off and put an old blanket down)

The middle guys and I spread our wood chips in my garden.
This year I want to fence in all the garden.
In the past, half was fenced in but then I expanded it.
So, the path in the middle joins the two gardens.

Tim getting a load of wood.  Wood-burning season is finally winding
down.  Only 1-2 loads a day compared to many a day.

"Mom, she's had another one!"
I heard yelled out the window.

I could hear my fella working in the shed.

Look what he built me! 
I'm so happy!  I'm going to use it to plant an early crop of greens.

After we finished mulching the path,
I went inside to do inside work.
Fold the laundry that dried on the line,  start baking
for a Sunday School snack and finish a project I had started last night.

I took an old skirt.
Cut the bottom off below the pockets.
Made a liner with pockets
and added some handles.

I made it with bright spring colors.

Ribbon and buttons add some fun.
I just emptied my winter bag and put my stuff in here.
It's a bit big so may end up being more of a craft bag or book bag.
I love bags!

Our Kitty ended up have five kittens.

It'll be a day the boys all remember!