Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Crazy Week

Anyone who knows me, knows I can only do about one activity per day. It is just the way I am made. I am not good at switching gears and going from one thing to another. So, for the most part, one thing a day is it.

But, this week an opportunity came up for the girls that I didn't want to pass up. A friend of mine has a 12 year old daughter who was holding a ballet camp from 9:30-12:30 Monday-Wednesday. I applauded her efforts and wanted the girls to be a part of it.

Well, Boop was already signed up for swim lessons everyday at 9:30. Not to mention we still had tumbling and church and MOWs and we also just started volunteering at the church for the summer academic enrichment program (helping kids learn to read or improve their reading - subject for another post).

We also managed to fit in a last minute lunch with friends we haven't seen in awhile, Oh, and I almost forgot, we have our evaluation Friday and a field trip to the local museum for the Baroque exhibit right after that.

I am very thankful for the opportunities we have had this week. But, I am also glad to be thinking about slowing down for the next few weeks.

It has helped me realize two things: I am OK with only doing one thing a day, if that, and it just solidifies the very simple plans/schedule I am making for fall . . .

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Perspective of a 10 Year Old

We were driving back from the grocery store this AM and Nature Girl starts to tell me a story. She tells me that, while at tumbling on Thursday, she was watching a lady on her cell phone.

The lady's finger was in her ear, so she could hear her conversation. NG went on to tell me that the lady had on white pants, no stains, a nice t-shirt, no stains and her hair was done and she had make up on. NG then proceeded to tell me, because of her observations, that she felt the lady had only one or two children.

I asked NG if the lady looked happy. She said "no, not really." I didn't have the guts to ask her if I ever look happy. ;)

I had to chuckle at NG's observations, and the conclusions she drew from them. I am not sure if I should laugh or cry. Or just change my clothes, take a shower and put on some make up. . .

Friday, June 24, 2011


Yesterday we finished up VBS. Last, Monday I was wondering why I even volunteered. But, by Wednesday I knew exactly why. It is so great to be a part of a church that invites all the neighborhood kids to come in and listen about the love God has for each and every one of us.

The girls had great line leaders. EG was in the 3/4 preschool class and she did great. Mostly because her babysitter was in there. I had Boop's class. 16 entering Kindergartners. Mostly boys. Once I learned their names and a little bit about each one, we had a good time singing, dancing, playing, doing crafts and learning about God, together.

Our theme was pandas from China and "God is wild about us." It was kind of cool because we, as a church are sponsoring a family who are missionaries there. They are a family of eleven and the parents and five of the youngest kids have made a commitment to serve over there for two years. We are blessed to know the family and have been praying for them and collecting missions money throughout the year.

Anyway, all the kids who attended VBS were invited back to church on Sunday to sing and dance on stage for their parents. About 3/4ths of the kids came back. They had a great time performing. The big girls were hard to see. I did though, because I was on the stage singing and dancing with them! Boop and EG were in front, in the middle. Boop did great with the moves and the singing. EG spent most of the time looking at the monitor. Turning her back to the audience. Then walking to me. Then going back. Then going down the stairs to her babysitter. Then back up the stairs, to the middle of the stage, back to me and then throwing an inflatable panda off the stage. Well, you get the picture. Daddy and Sissy were there to see it all!

Part of the closing ceremony was that the family from China just happened to be back in the states celebrating their oldest daughter's wedding. So the dad was able to preach. We got to hear some great stories about adjusting to urban Chinese living. Most building are 6 stories high (anything over that and they need an elevator.) They carry groceries up 6 flights of stairs. Everyone rides bikes. The grocery stores have 130 check out lanes. Most families have only one child (government law) and when the missionary family mentions they have a total of eleven in their family, they always draw a crowd.

Anyway, we had a great week. I am glad I volunteered. I am glad the kids participated. I am glad we were able to share the fact that God loves each and every one of those kids in a very special, a very real and personal way.

The kids can't wait until next year. . .

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Too Funny

I was cleaning out my desk in my bedroom. (Yea! Another summer project accomplished.) Anyway, I was going through a bunch of random pictures. I ran across a family picture that had been taken, at the church, at least 6 years ago. It was of me, hubby and the two girls.

Anyway, everyone was in the bedroom "helping me" finish my project and daddy picked up the picture and asked EG who everyone was. She said "Daddy, EG, Nature Girl and Little Mama." But, she didn't say me. I can understand why she didn't say Boop because there was no other boy in the picture besides daddy.

As we explored her answer a bit further, she thought I was Nature Girl. We all thought that was hilarious. As daddy and I looked a bit closer, daddy said he could see how she would think that.

Except for noses, and about 30 years, Nature Girl and I look a lot a like. Most people who meet me and Nature Girl together, always comment how much she favors me.

I guess we really do. Wish I could figure out how to scan pictures. . .

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ultimate Schedule

This is the second year I am using Managers of Their Homes schedule. I actually enjoy putting it all together and making it all work. It is a lot like a puzzle. And, it is so colorful!

This year was a little trickier because Boop has actual school time that I needed to work in. The mornings usually go pretty much as planned. The afternoons are pretty loose as far as the schedule goes. This year, though, we will have to stick a little closer to it. Because we will be having a couple hours of school after lunch.

Some benefits from using this schedule: we get through a lot of school in a day (which means a lot of reading); EG knows that when I read to Nature Girl it is Little Mama's turn to play with her and vice versa; each kid has scheduled alone time with me and because it is on a schedule it doesn't get overlooked and we love moving from one subject/activity to another in a half hour, it keeps things fresh, interesting and helps to build attention.

I foresee a few problems with the schedule for this year, but the beauty of it is, it can be changed. Each kid gets a copy and I hope it will be something that they can start to use, as they become more responsible for their time.

I love, love, love my pretty schedule . . .

Monday, June 20, 2011


Yesterday hubby and I tried our hand at canning. It was definitely a learning experience, having never done anything like it before. We had all the tools we needed, we just needed expertise.

It was a whole lot of work for just the few jars we did. Obviously it is something we need to save up and do all in one day to make it worth while. But, we now have a better idea of what we are doing, so when we have to spend a whole Saturday canning the tomatoes we get from our plants, we will be a little bit ahead of the game.

I wish I were a great picture taker like The Pioneer Women or McMama. Nature Girl, Boop and Little Mama took the pictures for us, instead, and did a pretty good darn job.

Today we checked the seals, labeled the jars and will store them in our master bedroom, walk in closet. Along with the onions we have hanging in my old nylons in there. Hey, it is cool, dark and dry in there. You have to improvise when you don't have a root cellar.

Can't wait to make spaghetti sauce and salsa with it some time in the future . . .

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Ramblings for Today

EG isn't sleeping at night. Last night I brought her into our bed (something I swore I would never do) and at about 5AM she woke up, kissed me, stroked my hair and chatted. It was fun, for about the first 10 minutes. She stayed awake until 7AM, fell asleep and then got up with me at 7:30AM.

Daddy is working in the garage. Boop saw his sweating brow and came inside and got him a cup of ice water. Without being asked. Boop has a servant's heart. Just like his daddy.

We are going to try our hand at canning tomatoes today. I am a little nervous.

Tomorrow night, for dinner, we are having hamburgers and corn from our garden! A whole six ears.

Cleaning out continues. Today we made it through the china cabinet/school hutch.

On the hunt for a redneck pool. Not having much luck. Maybe everyone else has the same idea.

We had date night last night. It was kind of a bust. We missed the movie we wanted to see and neither of us were very hungry. So, we grabbed a little something at the food court and walked around the mall. Stopped and got a movie from the Red Box so all was not lost.

I think I received my last books, in the mail, for our school year next year. I am kind of excited to get started. Kids, not so much. Hubby is glad I am done "school shopping." Just a back-to- school outfit and school supplies. Neither of which should be a very large expense. Well, one would hope not. Me and school supplies can be a deadly combination.

The endodontist called me last night to check on me. Maybe all my questions were not as offensive as I thought. Or he is interested in my sister. Ha, ha! Just kidding Sissy. ;)

Bummer our baseball team did not make it to the College World Series. One of these days we are going to take a summer road trip to Omaha.

I think I have done something bad. The kids like Pawn Stars. I can't say as I blame them. Just wish the didn't have to beeeep so much. But, I like Rick. He looks like such a tough guy in the opening credits of the show. But, he laughs way too much to be a tough guy. And he has a great smile.

When EG wants me to pick her up or hold her she says "Uppie down, mommy. Please. Uppie down."

We are making some preliminary plans to travel up north in November. Our first time as a family in almost 8 years. Very exciting. So many people to see.

The big girls are in a summer musical program at church. The director gave us the CD to play so the girls could learn the songs. Well, of course, they play it constantly and do the motions. They seem kind of excited to do it. They each talked about maybe doing a speaking part (which is huge for them). Anyway, both Boop and EG know the songs and the movements! I am thinking about asking if they can have guest appearances. (Not really. But it would be cute.)

I really want to take a nap. So not like me . . .

Friday, June 17, 2011

How I Roll

I love people. When I meet someone new and I have an opportunity to do a little relaxed chatting, I am usually pretty good about finding out about that person. I love to ask questions. Where they came from, what they do, etc., etc., etc.

It is especially apparent when I am nervous or anxious, as I was today in the root canal doctor's office. (He has a fancy name but I can't spell it.) I had to have an unexpected root canal and I was very, very nervous. I was at a new doctor's office. So my nervousness and my mouth got the better of me, I guess.

The doctor was young, which they tend to be now days. While waiting for my appointment, I noticed where he went to school and for how long. Anyway, while I was waiting for the anesthetic to kick in, I started chatting with him. Asking him questions about where he went to school, where he was from, how old he was, about his family. We discussed medicine and weather and why he chose that specific occupation.

I didn't think I was being intrusive. I even asked him if it was OK to ask him questions. He answered freely but not with many words. I did not get the feeling I was being offensive or invading his privacy.

So, when he stepped out of the room I heard his hygienist say "She asked you that?" Oh my! My mind started to go over all the questions I asked him. I swear they were not too personal. His diplomas and such were all over his walls. I did mention I had a 25 year old sister. Maybe he thought I was trying to set him up. Which I wasn't at all.

Oh well. I was going to apologize for being so chatty but I never got the chance. Kind of hard with your mouth pried open by a metal frame and a big hunk of plastic over your tongue. I don't want to change how I am. I love people. I love to know about people. Just for the sake of knowing.

One young lady came to the house the other day, selling a cable TV package. By the time we were through, I knew she had a son and some health problems. I gave her a hug and told her I would pray for her, which I have.

So, I guess, all that to say, I am not going to stop talking to people and learning about them. Maybe the dentist and hygienist were talking about someone else chatting him up . . . ;)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


On the way home from MOWs today EG yells: "I hate this stinkin' carseat!!"

After 2 hours of delivering meals in 100 degree weather, I had to agree with her . . .

Monday, June 13, 2011


I have been thinking a lot lately about what makes me different in my belief of a Creator and a Savior. Kind of what is the benefit or what sets me apart.

And this is what I came up with. It isn't very deep or theological but it is very real to me.

First, when I go through struggles, I am never alone. I have a God in Heaven, that created me and loves me and will always be there to listen to me.

Second, I have an instruction manual for life, the Bible. It is very hard to navigate and raise children in a world that has ever changing morality. It is a relief to me, that I can go to the Bible for guidance in how to live as a follower of Christ, how to be a wife and mother, a friend. Guidance that has stood the test of time.

Lastly, I have hope. That no matter what my life is here on earth, that this is only temporary, but a blink of an eye compared with eternity. It puts death, and life, into perspective. I will spend an eternity in Heaven with my Creator and my Savior.

When I take time to think on these things, I can help but have a heart full of joy, and thanksgiving. The key is to take time and think on these things . . .

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Candy Man Can

We went on a summer field trip yesterday to a local candy maker/toy shop/ice fountain. And the kids got to see how hard candy was made. And, for what I got to see of it, it was really, really interesting.

The Candy Man was very informative and walked all the kids, ages 2-13, through the hard candy making process. And in the end they got to taste the results. It was amazing how he took basic candy, made different colors, rolled it all together, cut it and it made the design of cotton candy in the little piece of hard candy. Truly amazing!

After the candy demonstration all the kids got ice cream. The parents too. Always a great summer field trip that ends in ice cream . . .

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Was the first day in a really long time, it seems, that we had nothing to do! It was great! The kids slept in as long as they wanted (everyone was up by 7:30 except NG who I woke at 8:30.)

Leisurely breakfast. Morning chores. Math. And that was it!

Daddy has done the yard. Is finishing the garage. The big girls are playing with the neighbor girl.

During "naptime" LM and Boop and I went to farmer's market, of sorts, and got a lot of fresh fruits and a couple of fresh veggies. It was kind of cool. We are hoping to make that trip part of our weekly shopping. Or, at least, bi-weekly.

Tonight's dinner is in the oven, whole chicken injected with some of hubby's special mixture, grilled corn on the cob (using his new basket) and roasted red potatoes. Left over birthday cake for dessert.

Such a nice, relaxing summer vacation day . . .

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happy 45th Birthday Daddy!

Yesterday was hubby's 45th birthday. He had to work during the day and had a detail at night so we tried to make it as special as we could. When he got home between shifts we had his cards and his present. A new bike! It was sitting in the driveway when he pulled up.

He said it was a total surprise. Thanks Alex for helping us out!

He treated himself to Sonny's on his way back to work. Then the kids and I got him ice cream and hot fudge to eat for when he got home.

We are continuing the celebration today by helping clean out the garage. Sort of. And then dinner and cake with Sissy and Alex tonight. They bought him a really cool deluxe basket to grill his veggies from the garden. And some great sauces and spices for the chef.

Happy Birthday Hubby! . . .

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blueberries and Rope Swings

Today we went on our annual blueberry picking trip. We have been going every year for a bunch of years and it is one of the things we really love to do. Especially with friends!

We went early so as to avoid the heat and sun. Which worked pretty well. Although toward the end, I ended up hanging out with EG in the shade. She ate her way through the blueberries, as one would expect. The big kids enjoyed hanging out with their friends and picking, and eating some berries.

We got about a gallon. I was hoping for a little more because we will go through those so fast. There are so many great things to make in the summer with blueberries. Maybe we will try to go back.

After the hot blueberry picking, some of our friends were going to the spring, which was literally down the road. I, of course, decided against that this morning when we were leaving. (Too much hassle to get everything ready.)

But, I should know by now, that I usually, not always, but usually give in. So, the big kids got to jump off the rope swing into the really cold spring water. EG got to wade, almost waist deep in the little beach area. Although, she expressed an interest in jumping off the swing as well. I have to admit, if daddy were there, I think I would have said yes!

The kids were excited and very thankful to be able to swim. Even though it was in their clothes! Thank you K, for the pictures! Yet, another successful blueberry picking trip . . .

Monday, June 6, 2011

Grandma's House

We had a great time at Grandma's house this weekend. We were able to pick up Sissy and Little Mama at about 7:30 AM and made it to Grandma's by lunch!

The kids immediately started swimming. And pretty much didn't stop until we left! As you can see by the pictures, each one of them in water.

We had a great dinner Friday night of ribs and corn on the cob and homemade potato salad. More swimming. A movie and then we all played Guesstures. What a great game. Paul, the kids and I had never played before and we had a blast. A must now, for all camping trips!

Saturday we had a great breakfast and then off to the beach. More swimming, sunning and looking for shells. It was a beautiful day and the water was perfect. So calm and clear.

We left the beach before it got too hot. Nature Girl wanted to look at the BIG houses, of which there were many. And, I have to admit, it is kind of fun to see how the other half lives. The houses were on the inter coastal and most had boats. They really were beautiful. NG was busy picking out which one she wanted to live in. And trying to take pictures!

Lunch and more pool swimming. Then off to Old Navy to spend our groupons. Got some great deals and then back to Grandma's for more swimming.

Saturday night was date night. Grandma and Sissy watched the kids so hubby and I could go have dinner at a local restaurant. Of course, it took us less than an hour to eat so we went down to the beach to walk off dinner. It was so beautiful. The breeze was blowing and the waves were rolling in. The sun was setting, oh so slowly. We walked for quite some time. (More than we are use too.)

We wanted to get home, though. We had bought The Wizard of Oz, which the kids had never seen before, and we were looking forward to watching it with them. So, all 8 of us huddled up in Grandma's sunroom and watched the movie. The kids loved it. Even EG.

Sunday we had a relaxing morning. And more swimming. We left around lunch time. Kind of sad to go. Again, we decided we need to add an extra night when we go. A long way to drive for only one full day.

We are planning another trip in August. Maybe we can squeak out an extra night then. Thanks Grandma for all the fun. Hope to see you again, soon . . .

Friday, June 3, 2011

Off to Grandma's This Weekend

For some fun in the sun and sand. . .

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Project Number One

We have a school room that we don't use for school.

About 2 years ago, maybe longer, we took the formal dining room and tore down the wallpaper, painted it and put in bookshelves to use for a school room. There are maps and a poster of butterflies and a time line hanging on the wall.

There is a sewing machine and sewing stuff, cardmaking stuff and drawers full of pens and papers and folders and notebooks and paperclips. There is a corner filled with old science and geography projects. It stores extra food that I buy with my couponing and my two huge wheat buckets.

We haven't use the room in at least a year and a half. Ever since EG learned to walk. In fact, it is closed off by baby gates because of the two huge bookshelves that are just screaming for EG to climb. And a bunch a little stuff just waiting for EG to grab.

But, one of my projects for the summer, is to clean it out and prepare to use it in the fall. It was great for the half of a year we used it before. Everything, for the most part, in one place. (Although we still have two other bookshelves in our kitchenette.)

Maybe I will post before and after pictures . . .