Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Our Christmas program came off as a success. The little kids stole the spot light and it was commented that we had the richest looking wise men in history. I'm not quite sure about that but the robes I found at St. Vinnies did work wonderfully!
Joey was adorable. They all did very well. They only had to walk through the song "We Three Kings" as it was sung by Joey's Umma, Mom and Uncle Ian. The complication was that they had to walk from different sides of the sanctuary, meet in the middle and walk very slowly to the back, together. That went without a hitch.
Natalie was tucked away in the stable, patiently awaiting the arrival of the wisemen. She was so nervous about dropping the baby. She started to cry when we went to get ready but all was well; she safely held onto the baby until it was time to leave it on the chair.
The wisemen worship the newborn savior and present their gifts to Him.
Then we got all modern-like and sang We Wish You a Merry Christmas....and we even used instruments. Well, I sang and they used instruments.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
At first I wasn't going to participate in this today. But then I remembered the horrible dream I had last night.
I woke from a deep sleep at 3:54am just overwhelmed with grief. Usually I can just pray awhile and then go back to sleep but my dream had disturbed me so much that I had to get up. I did keep myself from going into the boys' room to make sure all was well but oh, what a dream!
I dreamt that my kids and I were walking along a bridge from my home town and it was under construction. There were huge gaps in the concrete and wierd scaffolding along the sides without rails. Eli fell from the bridge but was okay. He'd meet me on the other side. But then Samuel began to jump from ledge to ledge around the holes. He then jumped unto the scaffolding and I begged him to come back, carefully. Instead, with this huge cheeky grin that usually means he's going to do something that will test my patience, he jumped right off into the air. He was not okay. But in my dream I waited until the next day to call 911. As I recounted to my husband, in the dream, what Samuel had done, I recalled the huge cheeky grin and began to sob in anguish at the thought of never seeing it again.
That's when I woke up.
So, today, I am VERY, VERY thankful for my children and God's protective and merciful hand on us.
I'm also thankful for the huge cheeky grin though it exasperates me so on some occasions.
I'm thankful that when I can't protect my children, God can and does.
I'm also thankful that I can trust God in every situation, good and bad.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Hi all! I'm excited about the What's in a Name 2 Challenge. I did not participate in the first one this past year but since I'm also doing a 100+ reading challenge I figure I should be able to fit in books that fit these requirements somewhere along the line.
Thanks to Annie for hosting this interesting challenge.
*This is a challenge that anyone can join, no matter what types of books they like to read. You should be able to find books from any genre that will work.
*Dates: January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009
*The Challenge: Choose one book from each of the following categories.
1. A book with a "profession" in its title. Examples might include: The Book Thief, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Historian
2. A book with a "time of day" in its title. Examples might include: Twilight, Four Past Midnight, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
3. A book with a "relative" in its title. Examples might include: Eight Cousins, My Father's Dragon, The Daughter of Time
4. A book with a "body part" in its title. Examples might include: The Bluest Eye, Bag of Bones, The Heart of Darkness
5. A book with a "building" in its title. Examples might include: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Little House on the Prairie, The Looming Tower
6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title. Examples might include: Insomnia, Coma, The Plague
*You may overlap books with other challenges, but please don't use the same book for more than one category.
*Again, there will be some small prizes scattered throughout. No set schedule, so just be sure to check in once a while. There will also be a prize awarded at the conclusion to one participant who completes the challenge.
Here's my list:
#1. More Than a Carpenter - Josh McDowell
#3. A Father's Law - Richard Wright
#5. The Shack - William P. Young
Thursday, December 11, 2008
But it seems that time is getting away from me this year and I'm already into the thick of my oldest Christmas tradition: trying to get homemade cards and newsletters out BEFORE Christmas. I'm doing really well this year. I have the pictures but other than that, nothing. Hahaha. *eye twitches, choke--really* What am I going to do???
Actually, to be quite honest, I have it SO very easy. First of all, my decorating is the bare minimun. I hang lights and pine garland around the livingroom and usually the kids homemade ornaments hang from suction cups on the windows. That's about it. We don't do a tree for various reasons. The first of which is we don't want one. Yes, they are pretty and all that but the mess isn't worth the hassle when we are hardly ever home for the holidays. I think we have woke up on Christmas morning, in our own bed maybe twice in our 14 year relationship.
Our Christmas traditions are quite simple. I love that we go to my in-laws for Christmas eve. I hate to miss it. We used to go with them to Mike's great gr'ma's house for snacks and the aunts and uncles exchanged gifts then. After she went to the nursing home, we brought our Christmas eve celebration there. It was still a lot of fun. Our kids even enjoyed it. Mike didn't really care for it as he has a decided dislike for nursing homes. After she passed away we just stayed at my in-laws since my MIL is the oldest in her family. Now the aunts, uncles, and cousins in the area all go there and it's a blast.
Well, I have Christmas concerts today plus 2 different Christmas parties to attend tonight so I'd better get some much needed sleep. Merry Christmas to you all!
I got this great cook book last winter that has over 500 5-ingredient desserts. I like oatmeal cookies but not particularly Raisin Oatmeal Cookies. So in this book was a recipe for Cranberry Oatmeal cookies. Great! I love cranberries!
I need to triple the recipe but I didn't have enough cranberries so decided to throw in some nuts and chips.
Here you go....try 'em. They are really good!
3 cups butter, softened
3 cups packed brown sugar
6 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 cups oats
1 cup cranberries
1 cup semi sweet chips
1 cup walnut pieces
Preheat over 350*F. Lightly grease cookie sheets.
Mix butter and sugar til light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in flour and salt til thoroughly incorporated. Add oats, cranberries, chips and nuts. Mix and drop by tablespoonfuls unto cookie sheets. Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned and set but still soft. Cool 2 minutes on cookie sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Yield: 9 dozen
Today I decided to make another new recipe. Lemonade Cookies. First off, I thought the batter was pretty good. I love lemonade and tart things so it hit the spot for me. But as I was putting the second pan of cookies into the oven I noticed the first pan was already burning and they still had almost 8 minutes to go. So I took them out and turned the temp down a bit. Also, the cookies did the not spread the way I pictured they would. So I used a glass dipped in sugar to flatten them. Not so bad. They were coming out better. But then I tasted them.
Let's just say they are not a favorite. I took the rest of the dough, pressed it in a pan and made bars. I just couldn't put that much time into a cookie that I didn't like.
So after dinner is all cleaned up tonight I'm gonna make another 9 dozen of my DDWO cookies.
PS. Don't dbl or triple a recipe you've never tried before. What a waste! Ugh.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Gotta go check!
Riley woke with growing pains. Mike forgot to apply the Bengay. Negative point for dad. Me, driving to the bus in -6*F weather only to turn around and come back for the Bengay. Point for me cuz I'm a 'good' mom!
Jack Pot at the local Vinny's...14 books, 6 of which are Agatha Christie's. Total: $1.40 plus tax. Cha-ching. I think that deserves, like, 5 points!
I got home in time to whip out 9 dozen Chocolate-Cranberry-Walnut-Oat Cookies. Point for me--I did it ahead of time...no procrastinating! Because of the cookies I left late to get the boys from the after-school program which caused me to be late to my parent meeting. Ugh. What a day! Minus 2 points, mom.
Got the boys off to school without a hitch. Point for mom! Left an hour late for Marquette due to a blistering headache and an upset tummy. Minus a point for mom. Boo.
Roads were fine. Took mother-in-love shopping and found a Christmas gift for my Secret Sister. Point, mom! MIL took me out to lunch at Coco's. Awesome place. Go try it out!
Didn't leave there until 4pm because of the laundry. Minus one point, mom. I can't wash our whites at home because of the iron in our water....I've tried all the fixes....they don't work for us. So, by the time I left it was snowing and blowing and my windshield washer didn't work. It was frozen. So I was blinded most of way through Marquette, Negaunee and Ishpeming. It was ok the rest of the way and I made good time. Point!
Mike had dinner waiting for me when I got home. Point for dad--ok...I'll give him a few cuz he's the best! He made his special fried chicken with rice. It was so good that I ate too much and went to bed with an upset tummy. Minus a point for mom. Ugh.
So far, so good. Boys are at school, Mike is taking his last exam of the semester (3 down, only 7 semesters to go! oh, yeah...and one summer. er). Point for dad. The house is quiet....I AM AT HOME! That deserves a point. =) Hallelujah! Hallelujah! If only I could stay here. But no. I have to pick up Riley, pick up the other 3 hooligans, get dinner thrown on the table and be off to get Michael back to the school for the high school concert that he gets to play one song for. Whew! I'm tired already.
Let's see: Mike-3, Samara-6
I guess it's a bit unfair cuz I don't keep track of everything Mike does. Eh...oh well. I'm still winning! hahahahaha
Friday, December 5, 2008
Hubby did not get his wish to stay home from school today but I got my wish for the boys to be in school. Yeah! Riley took a few moments, as I was getting ready to go out the door, to walk to the end of the driveway and make some tracks in the fresh snow. He's really into tracks lately. It's really endearing, except when I'm running late to the bus or church and he won't go straight to the van. Instead he is out in the yard....making TRACKS. *sigh* He's just too sweet.
We went up to school to have lunch with Mike today (shrimp, clams and some seasoned fries that are to die for! yum-O!) and crash in the library for an hour or so. It was so cold! 8* F before the wind chill! I still have to go out in it tonight. It wouldn't be so bad but it's at least a 45 minute drive. Er--Brrrrr!
Here's another pic of "the tree". I don't like pine trees. I don't know what kind this is....but it's the only one on our property that I do like. So I take lots of pictures of it. So Pretty!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Well, I needn't worry about a green Christmas anyway. It snowed all day today and yesterday and the day before and...well, you get the drift. Haha. That was punny! Maybe not. =I
So today I almost got stuck at the sportsmen's club after Riley got off the bus. The state has cut back hours for the plow truck drivers so they are only doing what's absolutely necessary. Which means main highways, not parking lots. And not little back roads, even if the principal of the local school IS my neighbor.
Tonight Mikey and I drove into Baraga for the Baraga Schools Christmas Concert. It was slow going as the visibility was pretty near nil and the roads are SLICK! On the way home it was blowing pretty bad and very COLD. Brrrrr. Glad I don't have to bring the kids to the bus tomorrow. Thank you, Lord, for a husband that goes to school! Although--- Mike is hoping for a snow day tomorrow. I think, if we get one, I will have to bug out of here for a few. I just need the quiet....I really don't need for the kids to have a 3-day weekend. Eh. I love 'em but Oh. My. Goodness. They have not been getting along lately. Not. At. All.
So anyway. We have lots of snow. Too much snow. And here's a warning to you all....Don't you dare complain about your snow til you've shoveled mine! hoohoohoo!! I will be whining and waiting for spring right bout mid-February. Just wait and see!
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Happy Decorating! I'm gonna go clean my room now. =D
I loved, LOVED, LOVED having my family here for Thanksgiving. It's the first time we've had T-day dinner at home since we married in 1995.
Thursday morning we brought Michael over to the KC Hall to work the free dinner our church puts on every year. I missed working it this year but Kim said she'd like to come help, so maybe next year???
When we got home we got right to cooking. I was very pleased to find that Kim and I work well in the kitchen together. She just went right to work on anything that had to be done and quickly adapted to the quirks of my oven.
We partook of a gorgeous turkey stuffed with whole cloves of garlic and rosemary.
And of course we had to have our relish tray (all the olives were gobbled up, wah!).
We left a bit of room for our choice of fresh blueberry or pumpkin pie (ty, Kim!), or apple pecan cheesecake.
The older kids did the dishes, leaving the pots and pans for us adults...but we had the kitchen spic and span in no time!
We ended the night with a game of Last Word. No, it wasn't an argument between Michael and me...we actually played the game. Kim won both rounds, if I remember correctly, which didn't surprise any of us. LOL
Overall it was a very exciting and wonderful Thanksgiving. I really have so much to be thankful for!
I was a brave, very brave woman this weekend.
After a hectic two weeks trying to get my kitchen painted and the house ready for Thanksgiving with my family, we had 14 people jammed into it all day Thursday--the majority of them children all under 15. My 4 nieces stayed the night Thursday and left Friday afternoon. I enjoyed their stay immensely and hope they all come again REALLY soon. So we had Friday evening to ourselves. My husband and I celebrated our 13th anniversary without the boys. =D
Now comes the brave part.....
Saturday morning I was scheduled to babysit for a family in Houghton. When I got there, I was informed that the dad had got the day off so I wasn't needed. I didn't see any reason to waste the 1/2 hour trip so called over to the Griffins to see if they wanted company for the morning. Turned out that they were a bit busy (that is a supreme understatement) so I instead offered to take their 8yo son, Malachi, off their hands for the weekend. Eli has been wanting him to stay over for some time now but it has not worked out for either of us. But Kelly was more than willing to have him out of her hair for a little while. When I got to the house, her 12 yo son, TJ, asked if he could come along. I figured it would be nice for Michael to have company too so I said sure if it was ok with his mom. She was fine with it and sent him to pack. "I'm already packed," he said. "I started packing as soon as you told Malachi he was going." Woo-eee! Now there is some faith in action! LOL That is how I ended up with a 1/2 dozen boys in my home this weekend. But that's not all. Oh, no....that's not all! Michael's friend, Steven, also called and invited him over but since TJ was here it wasn't going to work so I let Michael invite Steven over for the day instead.
So here we had 7 boys...ranging in age from 4 to 12. Wow.
I think Mike is crabby right now. He was really short with me and the boys all weekend. Luckily it was his weekend on call, he didn't have to put up with it too long.
Well, I'm still sane. I think. And guess what? I want to do it again. Except Mike has put his foot down that it can't be on school nights anymore. Oh well. We'll do Friday to Sunday afternoon next time! hahahahahohoheehee
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Here's the list of what I've read:
Poirot Investigates (Collection of Poirot Short Stories)- Agatha Christie
Appointment with Death - Agatha Christie
Taken at the Flood - Agatha Christie
Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie
The Burden - Agatha Christie writing under the name Mary Westmacott
Cat Among the Pigeons - Agatha Christie
The Mirror Crack'd - Agatha Christie
The Murder at Hazelmoor - Agatha Christie
Curtain - Agatha Christie
The Body in the Library - Agatha Christie
Evil Under the Sun - Agatha Christie
Pocket Full of Rye - Agatha Christie
The Moving Finger - Agatha Christie
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Curtain-Agatha Christie (hard cover, 1975 edition)
Curtain- Agatha Christie (soft cover, 1976 edition)
I was so excited I didn't even check the titles! Hohohoheeheehee. Mayhap it was just that I'm so thoroughly exhausted. Hmmm? Maybe.
I also have these on the nightstand:
More Than a Carpenter-Josh McDowell
Crusader Hymns and Hymn Stories-The Billy Graham Team
I love the stories behind the hymns we sing at church so I snapped this one up. I'm hoping it will be something I can share with the kids since they have heard a few of these true stories through Adventures in Odyssey and have shown a lot of interest in them.
I'm suffering though. I have these great books at my fingertips and I can't read them. Yet. I have too much to do before my family shows up tomorrow and Thursday, expecting a 5-star Thanksgiving Dinner. I am so thankful those books will still be here when they have had their fill of food and family and head home.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Last night, Mike begged me to treat them all out to pizza so we wouldn't have to eat at our overloaded table. Today I just shoved it all aside and made room for the kids...they had grilled cheese and fruit for dinner, hot cocoa and GoldFish pretzel crackers for a bedtime snack. It worked...but it's getting old. For them and for me.
So, I'm half done with the kitchen. Unfortunately, I have finished the EASY half. The rest of it, I have to move the fridge and stove, and all my junque on the counters and above the cupboards to even get to the walls to paint.
The good news is that I am falling in love with the color....I think.
I'll let you know for sure when it is ALL done.
Of course I've thrown in extra projects, like the bookcase to keep me busy in the meantime. Right now I have 4 paint pans going: primer, summer rye (k), rice paper (br), and foam (bc and door).
Fun, fun, fun.
Disclaimer: My kitchen doesn't always look this cluttered. Really! Just sometimes. =)
My goal before I head off to slumber land? The last coat in the bathroom (all but the cabinet doors will be done! woo hoo!). Better get to it..... Night y'all!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
There is a peaceful loneliness that a snowy day conveys. The snow closes you off from the outside world and all can seem right in the world for a brief moment.
If you like the simplicity a red barn conveys, there are many to be had up here. In every state of repair and disrepair.
This little house is a favorite of mine. Of all the run-down shacks that you find up here, the symmetry of this one really speaks to me. So much care put into the building of it, but now it stands empty, only awaiting the ravages of time.
I would love to look in there and see how it was designed. I would love to copy the outside structure, but with my family I'd have to add an addition out back...but in a way to save the symmetry.
These enchanting roads that take my thoughts on flights of fancy can quickly become hazardous during our winter storms. With hardly a landmark to guide you in a dark, snowy storm it would be easy to lose the road and have to trek to the nearest (term used loosely) farm to get help--our cell service is quite spotty out here.
These little out-buildings always grab my attention. One property I passed today had at least 6 out-buildings of various sizes. I wonder what they are all for and if they are all still used. Mike often laughs at me because I rant about the run down shacks out here. Why don't the owners rip them up or burn them down. Our fire department could always use a good practice burn.
Yes, it's a fence post. I like fence posts. And barbed wire. As long as I'm not tripping over it!
This tree is a bit scary.
But I like it.
Here, if I go straight, I will not have enough gas to get the kids after school. So, I'm turning right and heading home. But another day I will take you farther down this road.
What's over that hill? I know what's over this particular hill. But this is the question that keeps me going some days--just wandering the back roads. Ooooh! Just remembered a back road I did that on and I'm definitely gonna take you down that one! Either before the snow gets too deep or next spring. I should've gone while the leaves were still changing. It is a glorious drive!
SEE! It pays to go over that next hill. You never know what you're gonna find.
That's home, peaking through the trees.
The sun decided to make an appearance later in the afternoon. I like how all glowy this picture is. I like this spot in my yard too. Those trees are nice.
I hope you enjoyed our little driving-picture tour.
Ok, I gotta go paint! Have a blessed day. =)