Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Computer Troubles

Hello to all my blogger friends. I'm sorry I haven't been able to post a new blog in several days. My computer is not working right now. This morning Kyle and I had a chance to come and borrow my sister-in-law's computer for a little bit, so I wanted to be sure to let you all know. Hopefully at least by Christmas the computer issues will be resolved and I'll be back to blogging. Blogging is an outlet for me and I am missing it terribly. . .

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Review & Black Friday Plans

We had a very nice day yesterday. The morning was rather relaxed around our house. Tom was out hunting, and the kids and I just hung out for a while. I decided to bake some blueberry bread to add to the food I was contributing. Then the kids and I took Hemi for a walk, visited Grandma, and played on the playground for a while. Before we knew it it was time to come home, feed the kids a little something for lunch, and make my baked corn dish.

By 1:40, we were heading up to the family Thanksgiving at Uncle Marshall's. It was a FULL house for sure! There were a total of 26 adults and 5 children. Aunt Sheila cooked 3 turkeys and made a HUGE batch of stuffing. Then everyone else brought dishes to pass. The meal boasted of dishes such as green bean casserole, cheesy potatoes, sweet potatoes, baked corn, sweet breads, Waldorf salad, chips and dip, my Jello salad, mashed potatoes, and I'm pretty sure there were a couple other things, but I can't remember right now. Then of course we enjoyed 6 different types of pies for dessert. Everything was delicious and no one left without a full belly.

The only blight on the day was that the kids didn't get their afternoon naps. Megan can handle missing a nap now and then, but Kyle gets extremely cranky and fussy, and true to form, he wasn't' happy at all last evening. When we finally put the kids to bed it was a much needed relief. Tom and I sat down and watched Transformers (which is a really good movie). Though I fell asleep about half way through. Tom got tired too, shut off the movie before it was finished, woke me up and we both went to bed.

I wish I was still in bed right now. But Megan got up before 5 and has been pretty wide awake ever since. So here I am blogging and she's playing quietly. We don't have any plans to go shopping today, though we will need to go out and deposit Tom's paycheck. Grandma has the day off today and plans to do her Christmas decorating so we'll probably go visit her for a while. Other than that we'll just hang out at home, and try to keep ourselves entertained.

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving's Thankful Thursday

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! What a very fitting day to participate in Thankful Thursday! I definitely have lots to be thankful for!

1. I am thankful for a husband who is willing to apologize when he knows he's done something wrong. Saying sorry takes quite a bit of humility. I am so blessed to be married to him!

2. I am thankful to have in-laws that I look forward to spending time with. We will be with my husband's large family today. I know both the food and the company are going to be great!

3. I am thankful that Hemi's accidents are becoming few and far between.

4. I am thankful for my neighbor, Heather, and her 5 children. Such a sweet family they are! We got together on Tuesday and decorated cookies. That was lots of fun!

5. I am thankful the venison filling my freezer.

6. I am thankful for the warmer weather we had yesterday which gave me the chance to take the kids and Hemi to the park. I am also thankful for my SIL, Holly, and her boyfriend, Scott, who came a long. We had such a nice time! I know it won't be long before all the days become too cold to be outside, so it's nice to get some fresh air while we still can. Oh, and Megan kept saying we were going to the 'parking lot'. LOL!

7. I am thankful that my life is filled with people whom I love, and whom love me. It makes me think of this verse from proverbs. . . Proverbs 15:17 Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred. We are not rich by any means, but we are rich in love and that is far better!

To read others Thankful Thursday, visit Laurel Wreath's Reflections.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Contributions

I have never hosted a Thanksgiving dinner, and I don't believe I will as long as we live in this tiny house. The house is too small, and the family is too big. However I always do my part and contribute to the Thanksgiving dinner, wherever it may be. This year it is at Uncle Marshall and Aunt Sheila's house. I have elected to bring 3 yummy dishes.

Baked Corn

3 well beaten eggs
1-1 1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon sugar
2-3 cups corn (fresh or frozen)
salt and pepper

Mix all ingredients.
Pour into a buttered baking dish.
Bake at 350 for about 45-55 minutes.

Harvest Pumpkin Apple Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups granulated sugar
1 can (15 oz.) Pumpkin
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup apple juice or water 1 large baking apple, peeled, cored and diced

PREHEAT oven to 350° F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.COMBINE flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and apple juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended. Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in apples. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pans.BAKE for 65 to 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
Orange Dream Jello Salad

1 large box of Orange Jello mix
1/2 cup water
8 oz Cream Cheese
1/4 lb Marshmallows
1 can evaporated milk
2 large cans Mandarin oranges
1 large tub of Cool Whip

Over medium heat stirring constantly, cook water, jello, cream cheese, and marshmallows until smooth. Remove from heat. Add evaporated milk. Drain mandarin oranges. Blend in blender for few seconds. Add to jello mixture. Stir in tub of cool whip. Let set in refrigerator for several hours. Garnish top with oranges.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Busy Day, No IOW

On a normal Tuesday I would participate in the Christian Women Online's Tuesday In Other Words, but today isn't a normal Tuesday. It's my husband's birthday! And well, to be frank, the quote just didn't inspire me this week. I feel like we've been writing along the same subjects for a few weeks now and it's just getting dull. Hopefully next week the quote will be a little more inspiring.

Anyway, back to the fact that it's my husband's birthday. . . I baked his cake last night. I had to do it early because without thinking I rescheduled my cookie decorating party with my neighbor and her kids for today. Now if I had thought ahead I would not have done that. It's just going to make today extra busy. And as usual on Tuesday mornings, I am watching her 2 toddlers while she home school's her two oldest for a couple hours.

Tonight, as per my husband's wishes, we are going to Applebees to celebrate with his family, and then everyone will come back here to give him their cards/gifts and enjoy some cake and ice cream. I have yet to get him a card or a gift, which I feel really bad about. I think I'm probably going to make a card this afternoon and just put some cash in it for him to do with as he wants. I hate giving cash because it seems so thoughtless, but I'm sure he'll have no quarrels about it.

So my schedule today is as follows:
6 a.m. Take Hemi out, work on laundry, shower and dress
7:15 Eat breakfast, feed kids
7:40 Dress kids
8:20 take Megan to school
8:40 pick up a little bit and put away laundry
9:00 get the neighbor children and watch them for a couple hours and fit in blogging.
11:00 return neighbor kids, and pick up house
11:20 pick up Megan
11: 40 fix lunch
12:00 clean up lunch, pick up house and vacuum quickly
12:30 Decorate cookies with neighbor and kids
2:30 Megan and Kyle nap, work on laundry, clean bathroom, and make birthday card
4:30 Megan and Kyle wake up, get snack, and hang out until dinner
6:00 go to Applebees
7:30 come back home for presents and dessert
8:30 clean up and go to bed

Here is the very yummy Pampered Chef recipe I used for the birthday cake. If you like peanut buttery desserts you will like this! It's one of our favorites.

Choco-Peanut Butter Swirl Cake

1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
3 squares (1 ounce each) semi-sweet chocolate for baking

3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
2-3 tablespoons milk
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped peanuts

1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray Stoneware Fluted Pan with vegetable oil. For cake, place cake mix in Classic Batter Bowl. In Small Batter Bowl, whisk water, peanut butter and eggs until well blended. Stir peanut butter mixture into cake mix. Mix 2 minutes or until well blended.
2.Pour half of batter (about 2 cups) into prepared pan. Melt chocolate in Small Micro-Cooker® on HIGH 1 minute, stirring every 15 seconds or until melted and smooth. Stir into remaining batter. Using Small Scoop, drop chocolate batter onto batter in pan; swirl with Skinny Scraper. Bake 50-55 minutes or until Cake Tester inserted near center of cake comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Carefully invert pan onto Stackable Cooling Rack to remove cake. Cool 30 minutes.
3.For glaze, whisk peanut butter and 2 tablespoons milk until smooth. Add powdered sugar; mix until smooth. If necessary, gradually add additional 1 tablespoon milk until glaze is of desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over cake; sprinkle nuts evenly over cake.
Yield: 16 servings Nutrients per serving: Calories 280, Total Fat 12 g, Sodium 280 mg, Fiber 2 g

Monday, November 19, 2007

Call Me Mrs. Butcher

This Saturday was the start of deer season in NY State. So my husband, the hunter, was out doing just that on Saturday and Sunday. The good news is he got one! Yea! It was just just a small button buck, but a buck nonetheless. It's actually the third buck he has gotten in about three weeks, but the first two he hit with his truck so I guess they don't count. Though he did stop and cut the antlers off one of them. Am I married to a redneck or what?! LOL! Despite these crazy things he does, I do love that man!

Anyway, to save a little money he decided to butcher the deer himself. Now it sounds really messy. And actually the first time he decided to do it, I wouldn't let him do it in my kitchen and made him go to his moms house. But after seeing him butcher that first one I realized that it's not all that messy. It's not like he is bringing the whole dead thing into my house, which is what I had pictured. He guts the deer in the woods, then he hangs it in a tree to drain the blood, then he skins it and cuts it into pieces, so he is just bring in one big leg at a time. He uses trays to try to keep some of the leftover blood and stuff off my table which I appreciate. Then he cuts out the muscles one by one. Actually, in some ways it is rather fascinating. Seeing the muscles and tendons and ligaments on the bone. It's a mini lesson in anatomy.

I'd like to say that I help, but really I don't. Letting him use my kitchen is as close as I'll come to actually butchering it myself. It's just kinda slimy and yucky. I do sit with him and keep him company while he does it. It usually takes him 2 to 3 hours. I get him anything he needs, and then I help put the cut up and cleaned meat into freezer bags and cart it down to our freezer. And of course I take care of doing the dishes and clean-up with some good bleach water to make sure no nasty germs are left behind.

For 65.00, which is the cost of the hunting license, we now have about 25 lbs of organic lean red meat. Venison is healthy for you, and it does taste great (when cooked right anyway). The best venison cookbook that I have found is called The Complete Venison Cookbook From Field to Table by Jim & Ann Casada.

Here is my favorite recipe from this cookbook:

Venison Parmesean
4 venison steaks
1 egg
1/2 cup plain, dry bread crumbs
2 cups spaghetti or pasta sauce
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
parmesean cheese

Place each venison steak between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound gently to flatten each piece to 1/4 inch thickness. Beat egg with one tablespoon water. Place bread crumbs on flat plate. Dip each steak in egg and then in the bread crumbs to coat. Spray a non-stick skillet with vegetable cooking spray and heat to medium-high heat. Cook steaks, turning once, until browned (five to seven minutes). Do not have heat too high because bread crumbs will burn before steaks cook. Spread spaghetti sauce over bottom of baking dish. Place steaks on sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with parmasean cheese. Bake until hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted (about ten to fifteen minutes). Serve with pasta.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Smart Grocery Shopping

This morning I was getting myself and the kids ready for church and discovered that Kyle only had 1 diaper left. So I decided that the kids and I would head over to Walmart right after church. First of all, in order to keep Megan and Kyle happy while I shopped, I got each of them an Auntie Anne's Soft Pretzel. (yes, I got one to keep me happy as well! LOL!) With Megan in the seat and Kyle in the basket, each contentedly munching, I was ready to tackle my list. My list wasn't too involved. Just fairly normal stuff: diapers, milk, eggs, cereal, etc, and of course with Thanksgiving this week I had a few extra ingredients for the pumpkin bread, fruit salad, and baked corn that I am taking to our family gathering.

I worked my way around the store. I try to shop frugally and compare prices so it takes me a while. I'm not a name-brand snob. I'm more than happy to buy an off brand if it saves money. My first stop was the milk. I always buy the off brand milk which is generally about 20 cents cheaper per gallon. Though today I was pretty disgusted to find that all the milks went up in price. *sigh* Then I got to the eggs and compared prices for a 1.5 dozen large eggs, verses 1 dozen large eggs. Normally most people consider it cheaper to buy the larger quantity. But did you know that it's actually cheaper to buy 2 of the smaller packages in some cases? Eggs (at least at our grocery store) are one example. For 1.5 dozen it was 2.78, but to buy two 1 dozen it added up to only 2.56; which means I was getting 24 eggs for cheaper than I would have gotten 18. Same with fruit snacks. For a 1 package of 20 fruit snacks it is over 3 dollars (I can't remember the exact price) but to buy 2 packages of 10 it only adds up 3 dollars even. Though many things are cheaper to buy them in the larger quantity. Toilet paper is one example. It is cheaper to buy the pack of 12 rolls verses buying three packs of 4 rolls. But of course, even with toilet paper you have to be careful. The Scott Soft brand, which is what I buy, has a 24 roll pack that looks so cheap at 7 something, compared to the 12 pack that is 5 something. But when you look closely you'll see that the amount on each roll on the 24 pack is significantly less than that on the rolls of the 12 pack. Though you are getting more rolls, you are actually getting less toilet paper. So you are actually paying about 2 bucks more for less.

Of course there is also the business of coupons. I have found that many times it is still cheaper to buy the off brand than it is to buy the name brand with a coupon. (* I don't have a grocery store nearby that doubles coupons. I may feel differently if I did) One example that comes to mind is Pillsbury crescent rolls. This is something I always like to have in my fridge because several of my favorite recipes use them. Anyway, one package of Pillsbury crescent rolls costs 1.76. There are sometimes coupons in the paper for 0.20 off one package, or 0.50 off 2 packages. The off brand crescent rolls is only 1.38, so even with either of those coupons it's still cheaper to get the off brand. I will admit, even I do prefer the taste of certain name brand items (e.g. certain cereals, crackers, mac & cheese, etc) and in those cases I do buy them with a coupon if I was lucky enough to find it, or if not, even without a coupon. It certainly isn't worth it to buy the off brand if it ends up tasting yucky and doesn't get eaten.

The last thing I want to bring up is those pre-made meals. Yes, I agree most of the time it is probably cheaper to make my own from scratch. I do make many of our meals from scratch, and I used to try to avoid the pre-made stuff. However, In my 5 years of being married I have discovered that I get in moods when the last thing I want to do is spend time making a meal from scratch, and if I don't have some quick & easy meal options I will tend to give in to ordering pizza or going out to a restaurant, which is ALWAYS more expensive. So I always make a point to have some of those pre-made meals on my list to prevent me from giving in to that money wasting temptation. Frozen pizza, meatballs, and stir fry's are some of my favorites.

So I guess the moral of this post is:

1. It pays off to spend the extra time it takes to compare prices.


2. It pays off to spend a little more money at the grocery store to avoid paying A LOT more at a restaurant.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thankful Thursday

~I am thankful that Hemi didn't have an accident last night even though I didn't wake up to take her out in the middle of the night. I really needed a full night's sleep and I'm happy to say that I got one!

~I am thankful that Tom took Hemi out to go potty this morning before he left because it's raining and I really didn't want to do go out in the rain.

~I am thankful for my little girl. She sure makes me smile. Yesterday she got up while I was in the shower still. When I got out of the shower I peaked out and asked her how she was doing and if she was hungry for breakfast. She said she wasn't hungry (which is unusual for her), and then she says "I just eat this". I didn't know what she had, but thought it may have been one of the sugar cookies I had just baked. I finished getting myself ready and then I came out to inspect. Well, she hadn't gotten the cookies. Instead she had gotten the bottle of sprinkles, and dumped them all out on her table. She looked at me and smiled and said again "I just eat this for breakfast mama." Of course I couldn't let her do that so I proceeded to clean them up among much wailing and her crying "I don't want fruit loops, I just eat this. . . " It was really quite funny that she thought eating sprinkles for breakfast was just fine.

~I am so thankful for my son. He also makes me smile. For his birthday, his grandpa gave him a couple of toy working trucks. He loves those trucks. Last night as we were getting ready for bed he had a hold of his dump truck and I could tell he wasn't going to give it up without a fight. I decided there would be no harm in letting him take it to bed with him. He was so happy he could keep it for bedtime. When it was time to kiss mommy and daddy and Megan goodnight, we all were blessed with one sweet kiss then he proceeded to kiss his dumptruck several times! LOL! Silly boy!

~I am thankful for God's Word. Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. It is definitely active in my life. Showing me, like a mirror, my true self with all my imperfections and uncovering my most inner thoughts and attitudes, that no other human sees, and judging them whether they be pleasing to God or not. Recently, God's word has been at work in me. Here are a couple of the things he has been showing me.

Proverbs 14:17 He that is angry dealeth foolishly.
-->My impatience, which leads to anger, causes me to parent my kids foolishly.

Proverbs 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirrs up anger.
Colossians 3:21 21 . . .provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
--->When I get impatient with my children and become overly harsh with them, I am provoking them to anger, and discouraging them.

Thank you God, for showing me where I need to change. Help me to become a mom who is not easily angered by my kids. Make me a patient mom and replace my harsh words with gentle ones. Help me to be to be a mom who always encourages my kids, and not one who is critical and discouraging. Please change me. AMEN.

To read more Thankful Thursday visit Crystal at God is in Control.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

What Were You Doing At 5 A.M.?

Why, I was up baking cut out sugar cookies, of course! I really should have baked the cookies last night, but there is this totally awesome warehouse book sale going on through a local publishing company, and I just HAD to go. It was worth it too! I got 11 children's books, 1 hard cover adult book, and 1 really nice Taste Of Home 3 ring binder cookbook, all for just 25.00. Most of the books are going to be Christmas presents, though a few I'm giving to Olivia (the girl I babysit) for her birthday. I didn't buy any for myself this time, but I plan to go back with my sister on Friday night and shop again. I just didn't have time to look at everything last night.

Anyway, back to the cookies. . . I needed to bake the cookies because I had plans to get together with the neighbor and her kids this afternoon to have a fall cookie decorating party. So I got up really early and baked a batch of cookies, cleaned up the kitchen, then while Megan was at school I worked on my cleaning for the day since my afternoon was going to be busy. But Alas, despite all my hard work, our plans were foiled. Heather called and cancelled because she's sick. I'm certainly not at all upset with her, these things do happen. I am a bit bummed that I wasted 2 perfectly good hours of sleep time! Oh well, at least my house is clean now and I can spend this time while the kids are napping doing other more enjoyable things. Maybe I should take a nap!

Oh yes, and while I was cleaning this morning, Hemi stole and ate a whole stick of butter, wrapper and all. I'm a little worried about what that is going to do to her later on once it works its way through her system. . .

Which Jane Austen Herione Am I?

I saw this while browsing blogs and I just couldn't resist taking the quiz myself. . .

This is what it said:
I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see.

Yes, I would say this describes me quite well. For the most part it's good, but I do think I can be a bit boring.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Banana Thiefs

Bananas are a nice healthy food, so I get a bunch every time I go shopping. Both my children like bananas, though Kyle more so than Megan. When I get a new bunch of bananas I have to watch that boy like a hawk or he's constantly up on the table stealing them out of my fruit basket. There have been days when he's managed to steal/eat as a many as 4 bananas. And as you probably assumed, the dirty diapers following are NOT pleasant.

Well, today I discovered another, unexpected banana thief in our midst. I went down to change the laundry, and since I had the house well picked up and (I thought) no food was left out that would tempt Hemi to get onto the table, I decided it would be okay to leaveHemi out of her crate while I was downstairs for a minute or two. I came back up and all was quite, but when I got closer I realized Hemi had stolen a banana from my fruit basket and had already eaten half of it, peel and all. It had never occurred to me that she might find the fruit appealing, though I guess I should have known better since she eats things far worse such as pencils, dirty socks, and her own poop. . .

Tuesday's In Other Words-Perfect Love

"Love is beautiful, but it is also terrible--terrible in its determination to allow nothing blemished or unworthy to remain in the beloved."

~ Hannah Hurnard ~

God's love is so amazing for it's foundation is not in a response to what we do or don't do, but rather is a result of who God is, and therefore is unconditional. God knows our frame, He knows that we are but dust. He knows that it is humanly impossible to measure up to His standards of perfection. He knows that even our best good deeds are like filthy rags compared to His holiness. But because of the great love wherewith he loved us, while mankind was still entrenched in our own sin, God sent his son to live a perfect life, but die the death of a sinner so that he could pay our debt and make THE way for us to become suitable to enter God's presence at the end of our life. When we recognize our need for God to rescue us from our life of sin and realize that we cannot possibly be good enough to reach the holiness that God requires of those who enter his presence, and cry out for the salvation from our sins that only God can give through the death of his son, it is at that point that we are 'figuratively' covered in the blood of Christ that was shed on the cross for us, and from then on we are no longer separated from a relationship with God because of our human imperfections. In his sight we become holy like His son, without spot or blemish, not because of anything we have done to earn that position, but solely due to the life and death of Christ. However as long as we live life in our human body we will continue to fight our sinful nature. God in his great love for us, doesn't allow us to wallow in our human imperfections but is constantly changing us into the image of Christ through trials and circumstances that come into our lives. I compare it to a good friend who is totally honest and pushes us to be a better person, or a parent who loves their child so much that they refuse to let them get away with stuff, and though they know the discipline they give their child isn't fun, it will teach him how to live appropriately, responsibly, and safely as an adult. These two previous posts are very applicable to the second half of today's quote: Refiner's Fire, and last week's In Other Words. Go back and read them if you get the chance.

Psalm 103:10-14 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. Just as a father has compassion on his children, So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him. For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

Isaiah 64:5b-6a How then can we be saved? All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

Romans 3:22-24 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:4-9 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

1 John 1:8-9 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

For more Tuesday's IOW visit Ink It Blog.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Monday Madness

Today has been one very interesting day to say the least. It started out fairly normal, but by 8:30 a.m. the kids had already gotten into the fridge and dumped half a pitcher of pink lemonade on the floor and scattered ripped up tissues all over my living room, while I was busy cleaning up the lemonade of course. Shortly after that I put a DVD in for the kids to watch while I took my shower, but instead of watching that they decided it would be more fun to get mommy's address labels and stick them in mommy's Bible. After that little incident I decided we definitely needed to get out of the house for a while or the kids or I might not survive the morning. So we picked up Auntie Holly and boyfriend Scott and went to the Christmas Tree Shops. While we were there the fire alarm somehow got set off and everyone just had to leave everything and evacuate the building until the fire department came and made sure all was safe. The kids thought that was sooooo cool to see all the fire trucks with the flashing lights and sirens and firemen up close and personal. That didn't take too long so we were able to go back in and checkout quickly before heading to meet Grandma for lunch at Wendy's. We enjoyed an uneventful meal there, and then headed over to Old Navy. I think we shopped in Old Navy only about 20 minutes but when we came back out to the van the battery had gone dead. The first lady we flagged down couldn't get her hood open. The second lady we flagged down got her hood open but for some reason we couldn't get any spark from the spark plugs. Finally a man parked near us and saw that we were having car issues and came to our rescue. He figured out that we didn't have the cables connected quite right to our van and he was able to get everything properly connected at which point the van started right away.

Thankfully the day has settled down since then; a body can handle only so much excitement in one day. . .

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thankful Thursday

~I am thankful for Tom, my husband, who is a hard worker. It's a blessing to be married to someone who is not lazy.
~I am thankful for glasses to correct my vision.
~I am thankful for indoor plumbing and modern appliances.
~I am thankful for Freecycle, and people who willingly take my junk.
~I am thankful for scented candles that make my home smell pleasant.
~I am thankful for the ladies in my Bible study group who are sincere and transparent and who lift each other up in prayer.
~I am thankful for the Awana Cubbie program which is a great tool for teaching Megan the basics of the Bible.
~I am thankful for Megan's Cubbie leaders who volunteer their Wednesday nights to show the kids God's love.
~I am thankful for the wise people in my life whom I can turn to for godly advice and support.
~I am thankful that we will be spending time with my family this weekend.
~I am thankful that God knows me, the real, imperfect me, and He loves me just the same.

For more Thankful Thursday's visit Crystal at God is in Control.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Puppy Update

For the last few minutes, Hemi, our black lab puppy, has been chasing her tail. It's giving me quite a chuckle. She's going around and around until her little puppy-self can't walk straight and tumbles over. Those silly puppy antics are part of the reason they are so hard to resist I think.

Though Hemi is a lot of work, she's a sweet pup, eager to please, and she loves the kids. I need to take her back to Petsmart and weigh her. She weighed 20 lbs when we got her a week and a half ago, and I know she's grown quite a bit. She's doing fairly well on the potty training thing. It's depressing to admit, but I think she may actually be having less accidents in the house than my daughter, but that's another whole story. . .

And after a week and a half of all the extra work, I can confidently say that I AM glad that we got her. I wasn't completely convinced at first, but she has successfully wiggled her way into my heart, and I think she is going to be a wonderful addition to our family. Though I doubt either of my cats agree.

Refiner's Fire

I received this in an e-mail from a friend this morning, and in light of yesterday's IOW topic, I thought I'd post it. . .

Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study. That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver. As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver."
She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?" He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it" If today you are feeling the heat of the fire, remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Joys and Frustrations

Joy: My daughter successfully using the potty.
Frustration: My daughter peeing on the couch instead of in the potty.

Joy: My children sharing their snack with each other.
Frustration: My children biting each other as they are fighting over their snack.

Joy: My kids playing with the puppy.
Frustration: My kids torturing the puppy.

Joy: My daughter saying please and asking nicely.
Frustration: My daughter wailing please in a tantrum after I've told her no.

Joy: My children coloring precious toddler masterpieces for mommy.
Frustration: My children coloring precious toddler masterpieces on the wall.

Joy: My children playing happily in the bathtub.
Frustration: My children pooping in the bathtub.

Joy: My children learning to ride their tricycles.
Frustration: My children riding their tricycles too far away and me having to chase them down.

Joy: Taking my kids to McDonald's playland.
Frustration: Having to climb up into McDonald's playland to get the kids down because they didn't come on their own.

Joy: Getting the kids a special toy at Toys R Us.
Frustration: The kids fighting because they want the special toy the other one got.

Joy: Knitting the kids cute winter hats.
Frustration: Trying to get the kids to keep their cute winter hats on.

Most days the joys outnumber the frustrations, but some days it seems like it's just frustrating. Unfortunately today has been a frustrating day. Deciding to put Megan back in pull-ups for school, finding out that Megan bit another child again, neither child wanting what I fixed them for lunch which they normally would eat, fighting over who gets to be closest to the TV while watching Baby Einstein after lunch, then Megan peeing on the couch again. . . I finally put them down for their nap a half hour early. They have yet to fall asleep and they have been in there for a good half hour. And to top it all off, Tom said he would be late getting home tonight. *sigh*. I think maybe a nap of my own would put things in a better perspective. . .

In Other Words

"In our lives the darkest times, the days that are bleak and black, add
depth to every other experience. Like the dark bits of color in a mosaic, they add the contrast and shadows that give beauty to the whole, but they are just a small part of the big picture."
~ Amy Grant~ Mosaic: Pieces of My Life so Far

Sometimes I have a hard time with these quotes that seem to be self explanatory. I don't really know what to say to add to it. Today is one of those days. So today I decided I'd just post a collection of verses that fit the topic of this quote. Besides, who am I to think that I could possibly write anything more profound, or life changing than what God has already left us in his Word.

John 16:33b In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Romans 5:3-5 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 1:6-7 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

1 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

For more Tuesdays IOW visit Elisa at Extravagant Grace.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Need To Get Groceries

So I haven't gotten groceries in 2 weeks. My cupboards are so empty. Normally I would do my grocery shopping this morning while Megan was at school, but besides the fact that I babysat Olivia today, my husband didn't get paid yesterday like usual because the office girl who writes the checks was sick. So I was stuck scrounging around in the cupboards trying to find something healthy for Olivia and my kids to eat for snacks and lunch. Honestly, I don't think I was overly successful. For snacks they had fishy crackers compliments of those who kindly gave things other than candy at Halloween, and for lunch they had peanut butter and jelly on
semi-stale bread. N0t that there isn't anything in my cupboards, but what's there is stuff that takes too much time and preparation than what I am prepared to handle while trying to take care of 3 toddlers and a puppy. I'm glad my kids didn't mind the stale bread. I am too picky and wouldn't eat it. So would you like to know what I've eaten today??? Sugar cookies. . .Yup. That's it. Not anything healthy. Well, at least 2 of them didn't have icing on them. At least my kids had a healthyish breakfast of bagels and cream cheese and canned peach slices. But they ate all the peach slices and I don't care for bagels with cream cheese. . . plus I was running behind so didn't have time to fix a plain bagel for myself.

Now I should be thinking about what to fix for dinner, but I haven't a clue. And I'm really not in the mood to try very hard. It's Friday after all. Isn't Friday supposed to be an easy night where dinner is concerned? The good news is Tom is on his way home and he has his check and will deposit it on his way and then we are going to make grocery shopping a family outing tonight. Woohoo! What an exciting thing to do on Friday evening! LOL! I actually really do like grocery shopping. It's the only guilt-free way I can spend money. And I think I'm going to take the lazy route and we'll just grab something to go while we are out.

Happy Friday!

Embarrassing Moments

Today I visited Beth Moore's Living Proof Ministries Blog. I read her entry called "He Called It Spittle". It's about an embarrassing moment of hers while she was speaking to a group of women AND being taped. It definitely made me laugh out loud. Definitely check it out if you have a spare minute. I'm sure you'll get a kick out of it as I did.

Some people are prone to embarrassing moments, but thankfully, in general, I haven't been. I have had a few though. Beth's story reminded me of the time my husband and I went to the State Fair. Megan was just over a year old and I was 7 months pregnant with Kyle. Of course when I go to any fair I have to get funnel cake loaded with confectioners sugar, and this time was no different. Then towards the end of the trip we saw some friends of ours and stopped to visit with them. After we parted company Tom turns to me and lets me know that the top of my protruding belly had been a catch-all for the white powdery sugar. I was covered in it, and it was very obvious because I was wearing a dark shirt. Of course my husband didn't find the need to tell me about it before we found people we knew.

I think sometimes God has a sense of humor when teaching us lessons in humility. . .

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thankful Thursday

~I am thankful for all the exercise I'm getting now that I have a puppy.
~I am thankful for the long nap I had today. I feel feel somewhat recovered from the lack of sleep caused by the new puppy.
~I am thankful for Heather, my neighbor who watched Kyle today while Megan was in school so I could have a few hours to do some much needed sorting and organizing in the kids room. Yea! It's amazing how much a mom can do with just 2 uninterrupted hours!
~I am thankful for cozy sweaters and homemade Afghans.
~I am thankful that my husband shares his crocs with me, so I don't have to put my sneakers on every time Hemi needs to go out, which is a lot.
~I am thankful for all the sweet people who love Kyle and made his birthday special.
~I am thankful for sugar cookies with icing and sprinkles! YUM!
~I am thankful for the frozen pizza I had in my freezer and now is in my oven cooking for our dinner.
~I am thankful that tomorrow is grocery day so I can restock my cupboards.
~I am thankful for God who is all-powerful, and all-knowing, yet loves me, and is interested and active in my life.

For more Thankful Thursday's, visit Crystal at God Is In Control.