Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I Can See Clearly Now

Up here in the Pacific Northwest sunshine is a rare treasure! And we have seen the jewel hanging in the sky for the last two days!! Once my eyes adjusted to the brightness I began to see that my Fall window washing chore was badly needed!! That sun pouring in the windows was showing up all kinds of nasty stuff - dust, fly spots and I think - gasp! - even maybe - food (don't read that part Mom!!). So today I got busy and washed all those windows clean (there are eleven of them!!). And Wow!! what a difference it made in light coming in!!

I got to wondering what kinds of icky spots show up when the light of Jesus shines on me and what a difference it makes when I am willing to let Him get busy and clean them up!!!

Also today I got another kind of vision boost. On most days I feel pretty young - chasing around an excessively active one year old. It's easy for me to forget that my oldest is nearly 20 years old!!! But, alas, there are parts of my body that are very willing to let me know they are not as young as they used to be. My eyes are one of those parts. So today I got glasses - progressives. I am told I will get used to them. Right now as long as I am sitting still they seem to work. When I start moving around - as I am wont to do - caring for that one year old - wowie - the ground seems to move too!! So today I can now see clearly - according to the eye doctor!!
Hope your day is sunshiney bright too!!!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Monday in November

For Today...November 30, 2009

Outside my Window...Dark grey skies, my little maple tree has only a couple of curled up leaves left - there are drops of water lining the twigs - very pretty.

I am Thankful third born son who turns 16 tomorrow. I just can't believe sixteen years have gone by so fast.

I am remembering...the night Matthew was born - when I first laid eyes on my handsome boy - he looks so much like his Daddy!!! Remembering feeling overwhelmed at the idea of being the mother of three little ones - and low and behold, I am now the Mommy of eight!!! God does increase strength!!

I am creating...Christmas gifts (I've been saying that for a while :0)!!) I am so happy with how things are turning out. I promise to show pictures but it has to be after Christmas - too many people hang over my shoulder while on the computer - ;)

I am the grocery store nearby that sells bulk foods to get my peanuts for homemade peanut brittle - my gift to our friends and neighbors this year.

I am reading...Furious Pursuit a book about why God will never leave you - very good so far!!!!

I am new glasses come soon!! I really need them with all this handwork I'm doing!!!

On my Christmas menu - just thinking what might delicious and not too much drama for the cook :0)!!

From the learning rooms...several science experiments this week - need to get my stuff gathered!!

I am noticing...that as I sit here the sky is starting to lighten - the clouds are thinning - could we see some sunshine soon? My eyes would not know what to make of it if the sun did indeed appear!!!

I am pondering...the words of my pastor yesterday - about replacing our picture of our life with God's picture for us.

From the kitchen...working on leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner still - then I'm thinking a hearty beef stew is in order for later this week. Matt has ordered up Teriyaki Salmon for his birthday dinner tomorrow - I hope salmon is on sale!!!

Around the house...already tidied up and started laundry for today - I hope to put away Harvest decorations and begin Christmas decorations this week.

One of my favorite things...making gifts for people I love. I love to think about them and pray for them as I work on a special gift!

A few plans for the rest of the week....just a week to be as normal as possible after a long weekend of celebrating - resting up for the several weeks of building excitement for the big celebration of Christ's Birth!!!!

A picture to Share...Essie enjoying the second best thing to do with olives on Thanksgiving Day (the first would be eating them - of course!!!!)
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Have a blessed Monday!!!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Day

The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.
A. Lincoln
October 3, 1863
Happy Thanksgiving to all - may your day be blessed

Monday, November 23, 2009

Daybook Time

For Today...November 23, 2008

Outside my Window...dark grey skies, breezy and spitting rain. We've had so much rain lately!!!

I am Thankful for...this upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. What a wise thing our forefathers did instituting this day to encourage us to remember!!!

I am Remembering...last Thanksgiving Day spent with my parents on the wild and rocky Washington Coast.

I am creating...a Thanksgiving Day Feast.

I am try on frames for my new glasses - hopefully today!!!!

I am reading...A Christian novel by Dee Henderson - pretty good and my Bible

I am Hoping...I can get a bunch done on the Christmas gifts I'm making this weekend!! And that I can find the one thing that the craft stores in the area seem to be out of so I can complete the job!!! (I may have family reading :) I can't put in too many details!!)

On my Mind...just my schedule for this week - must make some lists and write some things down!!!

From the Learning rooms...just two days of school this week - formal school that is - Wednesday will be a home ec day :0). Cleaning house and baking.

I am Noticing...Jacob's memory of last year...I love how at four years old he really understands that a holiday is coming. I love watching his excitement build!! On a different subject - I'm also noticing the lovely flock of Junco's that are hanging around our house - winter is here now that these birds are in the neighborhood!!!

I am Pondering these words...God is personal, specific and immediate. My pastor said those words yesterday. What an amazing God we have!!! He created this world and yet knows me!!!

From the Kitchen...Oh my goodness!!! Way too much to I hope to get the rolls and pies made and in the freezer. Simple meals early this week and then Feasting!!!

Around the House...Cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning for my Mother-in-law and her husband and possibly other friends on Thursday. Creating small centerpieces for the table and getting out the china!! I can't set the table ahead of time because know...monkey girl!! In fact I'm seriously considering NOT using the china this year.

One of my Favorite things...being hostess!! I love making people feel welcome and comfortable in my home!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Thanksgiving blessings and then making fudge and Christmas candy with the kids on Friday. Christmas gift creating, playing, movie watching and popcorn eating. Lots of wonderful family time!!!!

A picture I am sharing...the last few red leaves clinging to my baby tree near my front door.

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and have a wonderful day!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Get Down!!!!

It has been very difficult to blog lately. Time has been elusive!! I can't seem to find the time to visit my friends blogs for more that a couple of minutes let alone leave comments. I can hardly get my own chores done during the day. And this is the reason why:

My sweet daughter seems to think she is part monkey!!! I can't turn my back for an instant and she is climbing on something. Some people say she will learn if she falls - not true!! She has fallen so many times and still she climbs. We have taken down the baby gate because she climbs over it (which after seeing her balance on top - seemed far more scary than what the gate was guarding!!)

Not so scary - she's sitting down (for once)

Sorry for the fuzzy picture - didn't have time to focus - she was just way to close to the edge!!
Way scary!!!!
So if I haven't been to your place for a while it's because I'm very, very busy!!! :) And needless to say - I fall into bed in the evening exhausted!! I have NEVER had a climber like this (she even moves chairs or anything else she can to find to get up high!!) . She is going to think her name is Esther-get-down!!! (still crazy about her though - just thinking it will be a miracle if we make it without a trip to the ER with this little one!!)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Miracle (Almost)

All of my life I have be unable to get oatmeal down!! I am not a picky eater but oatmeal... it has... you know...things in it (shiver). Growing up my mom faithfully served nice warm oatmeal several times a week and several times a week I sat and stared at my bowl full of porridge and tried not to gag with every reluctant spoonful. As an adult I suffered guilt as I walked past the oatmeal section knowing I was missing all the fabulous health benefits of the mighty oat!! Being the good mommy that I am I faithfully serve oatmeal to my children and they love it but I still had to turn down their invitations "Have some with us Mommy!!"

One day my sister (who suffers with the same issues) and a friend were discussing this problem when she told us how she cooks oatmeal. One small but very important difference she makes in concocting this dish. Now maybe everyone knows this but I sure didn't and she promised it would make all the difference in my attitude about oatmeal - instead of putting the oats in boiling water like it says on the directions she puts them in cold water and slowly cooks them.

Well I tried it:
And added all the goodies (which, by the way - may have destroyed all the health benefits but makes it oh so yummy!!)

And low and behold...I LOVE it and I am now eating oatmeal several times a week!!
It's (almost) a miracle!! Just ask my mom!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spoke to Soon!

When I said yesterday we had not succumbed to the flu I guess I spoke too soon!! We now have two down although one seems worse than the other.
Aww - so sad!!
But on the plus side my new maid with all these special features has something called a sanitize cycle!! I'd never seen anything like that before but now is my chance to try it out!
On the subject of laundry - I'm just curious - If you had a huge stack of laundry (and I know I can't be the only one :0)!!) and you could have help with only one part would you rather have help with:
1. The washing - sorting, loading up and starting the wash and getting it into the dryer and onto the couch all clean (there has to be more than one person who occasionally has clean laundry on the couch :0)!!! )

2. The folding - all neatly folded and put away.
I am in the midst of a tiny laundry crisis (which is why I'm sitting at the computer - hahaha)! My husband helped me tons with the laundry this weekend (shiny new machine!!!) but now I have lots and lots to fold! I think I may have an opinion on my poll but I don't want to say for fear it sounds like complaining ;-) !!
Well, off to sanitize and fold :0) !!!!
Have a great say!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Somehow I accidentally took a blogging break!! I have just been so busy and the days have just slipped by!! I was really kind of shocked when I visited my own blog and saw the date of my last post - October 26!! Wow!! So - we haven't fallen off the edge of the earth or succumbed to piggy flu - just got carried away with everyday life.

I've been madly creating for Christmas - with my current tool of choice - I will be switching for the sewing machine soon.
And I'd like to take a moment to introduce my new maids that recently joined the family - they specialize in laundry care:
Aren't they fancy?!!! My hubby was at our local hardware store and insisted that I come in and look at these beauties. After wiping the drool off my face I kindly mentioned to my sweetheart that there was NO WAY on God's beautiful green earth could these lovely machines be ours! Then he sweetly pointed out the clearance tag on ONLY these two floor models. They were greatly reduced and all the extra bells and whistles were free and our local power company gives a big rebate because they are efficient!! Wow!! So after a bit of talking and some quick prayer we decided we could swing it. And these lovely ladies came home with us!! Now, no more babysitting the washing machine - no more manually switching to a new cycle - no more worrying that I burned up the motor when I forgot!! I can set the machine and go to bed or leave the house or get involved in a task and know the wash is being washed!!! I can turn on the dryer and know it won't wake the baby with it's squeal or drown out out school time!! What a blessing these machines are to me!!! (And so darned fancy to boot!!!)
On another note: Almost all the car repairs are done!! The van - that fits all of us is fixed - yay!! Now I can actually leave my home to do things like go grocery shopping and go to the library! And our old truck got fixed in just the perfect time to fetch home our new maids!!
So God did provide our needs and I am so grateful!! In this season approaching the holiday set aside for that very purpose I am so thankful for these daily blessings of being able to do laundry and take my kids to the library!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

For Today...October 26, 2009

Outside my Window...very dark, pouring rain and very windy. My little maple tree is starting to really turn color.

I thankful dear lovely friend at church who gave me a gift certificate for my favorite tea (I haven't had any for a very long time). What a sweetie she is!!

I am Remembering...the lovely Autumn themed tea party my friends (and sister) gave myself and another friend for our birthdays at our homeschool co-op!! Such fun!!

I am Creating...More Christmas gifts

I am grab a few things at the grocery store - I don't really want to go out - it's so stormy but we need a few things.

I am reading...My Utmost for His Highest

I am hoping...the cars get fixed soon - and that my husband doesn't get too overwhelmed in the process!!

On my Mind...Some projects for our new units in Science and History

From the Learning rooms...setting up time lines today - I think we will line the hallway with them

I am much colder it is - winter is right around the corner

I am pondering these Words..."What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith, but has no deeds?" James 2:14

From the Kitchen...Spaghetti and french bread tonight for dinner, hot dogs and red peppers for lunch.

Around the house...Oh!! I really need to sweep - fireplace fires and lots of extra teenagers in our home for the weekend got lots and lots of stuff on the floor!! I did get all the dust bunnies (monsters - really) swept out from under my bed this weekend. I know they couldn't be seen but it was nice to sleep knowing under the bed was all clean :0)

One of my favorite kisses!!! (and Eggnog!! - I found some in the store already - shoot - the diet is really down the drain now!!!)

A few plans for the Rest of the Week...not much - the cars are all sick - so we aren't going anywhere except very close to home.

A Picture I am Sharing...Rainy day, playdough fun:

Have a wonderful Monday!!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Strong Tower

Strong Tower - Newsboys

strong and mighty
strong to save us
like a fortress never failing
strong in battle
strong in kindness
when we stray, Lord
You're strong to find us
when the winds come hard against us
You are steadfast,
You are true
when the ground beneath us trembles
Your foundation never moves

strong tower
high and glorious
strong tower
mighty in love
our refuge our defender
strong tower
Lord above

strong to lead us
through the shadows
strong to carry
all our sorrows
when the enemy surrounds us
closing in as darkness falls
though his armies rage against us
they can never scale these walls

You are my shelter, my shield
You are the home
I could never deserve
here I will serve,
ever under Your gaze
here I will serve,
ever singing Your praise -

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Cozy Dinner

Yesterday it was a dark as can be all day long. Rain poured and a stiff breeze blew leaves all around. When the weather is like that I like to make meals like this:

Chicken stock on the stove (I use leftover roasted chicken frame that I always put in the freezer for days like this).
After taking the chicken off the frame I saute leeks celery and garlic (in last of course) in a little sesame and olive oil - mmm smells so good!!!
Soften up some carrots and cabbage in the same pan and then throw in any other veggies that need to be eaten up - sometimes it's broccoli, zucchini or cauliflower.
Toss in some pasta - what ever I have on hand and season to taste with sea salt and pepper and then add a healthy dollop of soy sauce.
Serve with a crusty loaf of French bread - I have to make two batches because there is always someone hovering around needing to "taste test" the bread when it comes out of the oven (usually that person is my husband although if he's not around then one of the boys seems to magically appear when they hear the timer go off!!)
Dinner time!!

Finish up with warm baked apples drenched with a spicy brown sugar and cinnamon sauce

A warm cozy dinner for a cold blustery evening!! To me this is art!! I love to stay home and create yummy, healthy wholesome meals for my family to come and gather around the table at the end of a stormy day.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Today I got the privilege of having my lovely daughter - who is taking cake decorating classes - make my birthday cake!! What a delightful thing to have - a yummy cake made by such a beautiful young lady!!!

She planned the whole thing: Yellow cake (my favorite) with chocolate filling - of course (what mommy doesn't like chocolate?!!)

Yellow frosting - my favorite color.
With the decorations there were three different kinds of frostings!!!
What a yummy cake and a wonderful evening given to me by my family!!! I am truly blessed!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Relying on God

We have lots to be thankful for in our home!! I am amazed how much we have that I forget to be thankful for - until it's gone. Maybe that's what's going on in our home right now. Maybe we are being taught to be thankful again - the hard way - but still being taught. I don't know for sure but somethin' is going on!!

Right now it seems like there is not much more that can break around here.

The dishwasher gave up the ghost a couple of weeks ago - the parts to fix it cost almost the price of a new one. We're washing by hand. And you know what - I must admit - I'm learning to be more efficient - making less of a mess when I'm cooking because I'm thinking more about the cleanup!!

The washing machine is on it's last legs - I have to manually turn the dial to get it to move to the next cycle - the new part my husband put in over the weekend didn't fix it - soo we have laid hands on it and prayed :0)!! The other part that now we know needs replaced costs well over the amount we should put into a ten year old machine. I hope we don't have to wash our clothes on rocks in the nearby stream!!! I'm keeping well up on the laundry just in case it dies - we won't be out of clothes :0)!!

My hubby's commuter car had a little accident with a curb when my teenage boy was driving the other day (no he wasn't speeding or fooling around - he got the quiz from me and passed!!) and it is sidelined. His back-up pickup (the 50 year old one used for hauling fertilizer and dirt for my garden) had it's water pump go out on it's first day pressed into service as a commuter car.

And yesterday - believe it or not - our family van developed a major leak - I have been instructed to leave it in the driveway. Shucks - no more gallivanting around town while my kids are doing their math!! (You know I do that all the time - hee hee hee)

I'm not listing these things to whine (although there is part of me that wants to). I am trying to see some light. I am thankful my oldest son had enough money to purchase his first car a couple of weeks ago. He can still get to school and work. I am thankful that the ancient $400 car that my hubs bought for the kids to drive still works and he hasn't called me to pick him up from the side of the road (not that I can now anyway!!).

I am thankful every time I pull a load of clean clothes out of the washer!!! I am thankful every time my children wash the dishes without complaining - and they do (not complain - that is)!!! And I'm thinking that this might be a super great time to be stuck at home - the flu seems to be swirling around everywhere!!! So I am truly not complaining!!

I just am remembering to be thankful for all I have - which is so much more than I deserve. God is a good God and all of this is temporary. Sometimes a nuisance and maybe even troublesome but I know He can and will provide for our needs. It will be miraculous when all these things are fixed!! We right now can not possibly do this ourselves - there is simply no way. Which leaves it all up to God. It's really nice place to be when you think about it - relying on God!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today...October 19, 2009
Outside my Window...little Chickadees peeping and playing in my little maple tree, very cloudy - it's been raining tons- now that the rainy season finally arrived!!

I am Thankful husband covering for me this morning - kinda taking over making breakfast for the kids because I accidentally slept in!!

I am Creating...of course, crocheting Christmas gifts - but I'm also contemplating making up some new valances for my kitchen - I found some really cute material that I bought years ago and forgot about - It would look cute in my kitchen!!!

I am the grocery store later - don't need lots just a few basics

I am reading... Hebrews and Sister Chicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn

I am Hoping...the words that my pastor spoke yesterday keep ringing in my head ALL week!!! A convicting sermon that made me want to make some changes!!

On my Mind...not a ton - thankfully - some about our finances. Also, wondering where my parents are on their road trip.

From the Learning Rooms...a regular school day and week!

I am noticing...that Esther has not crawled in many days - it's official she's moving to the toddler stage - although she's still a baby in my mind :0)

Pondering these Words...from John 4:49,50 The royal official said,"Sir come down before my child dies." Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live." The man took Jesus at his word and departed. (do I have that kind of faith in my Savior?)

From the Kitchen...Chicken Soup - it's good for what ails ya!!!

Around the house...Laundry, a good sweeping and I need to clean up the front porch

One of my Favorite things...Watching the Chickadees play outside my window - they are sooo cute. They come up right close to the window so I can see details of their sweet little faces. Love those birdies!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Not much, my birthday is this week so hopefully, people are making plans for me :0) (I'm a cheap date so someone giving me a break from cooking dinner one night this week is all the plans I need!!)

A Picture I am sharing with you: A friend took this picture - isn't it just so cute? This Mama sure thinks so - but I may be biased.

Have a wonderful Monday!!
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

What A Friend We Have in Jesus

What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged; take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness; take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden, cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge, take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do your friends despise, forsake you? Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield you; you will find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised Thou wilt all our burdens bear
May we ever, Lord, be bringing all to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright unclouded there will be no need for prayer
Rapture, praise and endless worship will be our sweet portion there

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Rainy Days

What to do when the weather looks like this?:
Why snuggle up close to this:
With this:
And this (a lovely, warm piece of pumpkin bread):
Which, of course, I did - for about five minutes - then reality struck and it was back to this:
And this:
And this!:
There is lots more rain in the forecast so hopefully I'll get back to that cozy fire sometime soon :)!! Wishing you a snugly Friday!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Along with Autumn comes pumpkins, squash and APPLES!! We had an applesauce making day at our home this week. Everyone had a job:
Our apple carrier:
Cooking down the apples (some of the batches included some rhubarb from my freezer that we weren't eating up) :
Putting the apples through the Foley Food Mill is sticky work!!
Milling makes for tired shoulders so we had several shifts:
The sauce sweetener and spicer (and I think - unofficial taster - since I saw her licking her fingers several times!!)
Putting it up in jars:
Now the canner pot goes to work:
Done!! Thirty three quarts of yummy sauce:
All tucked away in the pantry under the stairs to wait for a cold winter morning or a rainy night to put over gingerbread cake:
And what did little Miss do while we were all busy bees? She found some kitchen entertainment as well - ahem - who was supposed to be watching that child - I need to talk to her mother!!!
Well, she had fun and was quiet !!
Applesauce in the winter is well worth the bit of mess!!!