Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ta Dum!!!!

Look who's walkin'!!!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

FOR TODAY...September 28, 2009
Outside my window...Beautiful sunny skies, a chilly nip in the air - A lovely Indian Summer day!!

I am thankful for...The wonderful blessing of spending time with my blogging friend Cinnamon at Knights and Maidens Gathering. We got to host them twice - overnight on Thursday night and again last night. (See previous post)

I am I got started blogging and all the wonderful things I've learned and the wonderful people I've met on the way.

I am creating...Christmas gifts. One of the gifts I've been working on is not pleasing me so I'm considering pulling it out and starting over. It means picking out more colors for the project which intimidates me - I never feel confident picking colors. I need someone to come with me to the yarn shop!!!

I am sit down and go over my week's plans - homeschool co-op starts this week. Since our company just left an hour ago my brain is a little scrambled (in a good way!!) so I need to get back on track!!

I am reading...My Utmost for His Highest and a novel by Grace Livingston Hill - I just love her sweet books!!

I am hoping...That Cinnamon and her family has a safe journey home and that their son Gunnar feels well soon - he was feeling unwell when they left.

On my mind...Our appliances - our dishwasher is broken and our washing machine and dryer are acting up. I can do dishes by hand (or my kids can :0)!!) but laundry is another story!! So far the machine still washes if we turn the dial by hand when it gets to the rinse cycle - but really - I am concerned. Trying not to be because God even cares about things like this!!

From the learning rooms...Today will be a lighter day as I have a tad bit of tidying to do after squeezing fifteen kids into our house :0)!! But then our co-op classes start so this week we will really see how our schedule works!!

Noticing that...the wind is picking up outside - I wonder if the weather is going to change - the long delayed rain may be arriving!!

Pondering these words..."I have been driven to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go" Abraham Lincoln. I am just going to give my appliances to God!!! :0)

From the kitchen...Cinnamon taught me how to make homemade tortillas last night!!! Yummy!! There are leftovers so we are having those for dinner tonight. Then I'm planning my menu for the rest of the week!!

Around the house...Just general tidying up. Cinnamon's family really didn't leave much of a mess - just a really good sweeping and getting the kitchen back in order - oh yeah - I need to see to the bathrooms too - the kids played in the dirt and I suspect there is a bit of that hanging around after lots of little hands were washing up!!

One of my favorite things...A house full of people!!! I love to feed people and see to their comfort!! What a blessed time it was to host my friends!!

A few plans for the rest of the week...Get my act together to be out the door early two days a week - I'm looking forward to co-op - just need to be really organized!!

A picture to share...Esther and Granton - such cuties - I never expected that our babies would get to meet in real life - we've spent so much time looking at our babies pictures on the computer - to get to hold Granton and give him a squeeze was such a treat!!! (please excuse the ugly couch - it's the teen hangout - jump on and generally destroy spare couch upstairs - it's pretty yucky!!!)
Have a wonderful Monday!!
For more Simple Woman inspiration go to

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Who woulda thought...

A year and a half ago when I started blogging I had no idea what I was doing and what it would lead to. I really started mainly to ease that nagging guilt that I carried - something I kept a secret from all my creative friends. I don't scrap book!! And the guilty secret - I have NO interest in it!! Well, I do love the pretty paper and stickers all lined up at the craft store but the idea of sitting down surrounded with piles of the stuff and making a big mess?!! No thanks!!! Anyway - back to the subject - blogging was a way to record my life and my kids life without the muss!!

But I had no idea what blogging really was. I had no idea that I would find a community out there of other mothers with many children - other women who loved to make their homes a beautiful, cozy place to rest. I did not know that I would find encouragement for my soul and inspiration for my mind. And mostly I did not expect to make friends!! I don't have many people who leave comments but I have grown to love and appreciate the friends that come and "visit" me.

During my blogging life I really did not think that I would ever get to meet my any of my bloggy friends in person, yet God surprised me once again!! My friend over at Knights and Maidens Gathering has a son who lives fairly near us and he is getting married this weekend and guess what?!!! We got the pleasure of hosting Cinnamon and her children for a night while they traveled toward this big event!! What a blessing!! She and seven of her nine children drove from the mid-west all the way over here to Washington State.

They arrived very late and immediately the kids all paired up - made friends and chaos ensued!! Wonderful, noisy, happy chaos!! And for me and Cinnamon - it felt like we'd known each other a long time - which we did - just not in person.

Grace and Granton - Ruthie and Esther:

Most of the gang
Abbie and Gianna - I think Abbie found her long lost twin!!!
Gage and Sam
And Cinnamon and I - if I look very tired (which I do) - it's because we stayed up until 3:30 A.M. visiting. I honestly can't remember when I stayed up that late (voluntarily that is - I know sick and teething babies have kept me up - but that was not even close to fun!!!)
And it looks like we will get to have them over one more time before they take that long drive back to their home. We are all looking forward to one more visit. I'm sure Cinnamon will put up lots of pictures of their big event as well!!
What a blessing it was to meet my friend and hear her voice and meet her children and share our lives. God has even used this somewhat temperamental machine to bless me in unexpected ways!! Isn't He amazing?!!!
Have a blessed weekend!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Grape Jelly

What I've been up to today:

A friend showed up at my door with this:
So I did this:
And this:
And stirred this:
Poured it into these jars:
To make this: (I know it's not the approved method of sealing jars these days - but my great-grandma, grandma and my mom have all done it this way - so I do too!)

So I could tuck away 13 jars of grape jelly in the pantry under the stairs (keeping my raspberry jam company):

So she and her brothers and sisters can have homemade grape jelly on their toast this winter!!!

It's been a good day!!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

FOR TODAY...September 21, 2009

Outside my window...The sun just beginning to warm the sky - peeping through the leaves. We are getting less and less direct sunlight in our yard as the angle of the sun changes. It will be warm today - very unusual for this time of year.

I am thankful for...My husband's cheerful spirit this morning after doing a very late night shift at the hospital.

I am remembering...the wonderful time I had (almost) alone with my hubby on Friday night - the great conversation we had - such a blessing!!

I am creating...Still working on Christmas gifts also some Fall decorations

I am be meeting with my consulting teacher with the local school district to present my plans for the school year for my children. She is a wonderful teacher and very pro-homeschooling. She has done this for years and (so far) has never questioned our plans - such a blessing.

I am Utmost for His Highest and still that silly novel from my book room - it's old and the cover is torn off but I love it and it puts me to sleep at night.

I am hoping...that Essie starts eating more solid food soon. She still nurses a lot but as far as eating she is so distracted with everything she does not eat much.

On my mind...Way, way too much. Mostly stuff I really shouldn't be worrying about right now - borrowing trouble you might say. I'm trying to get my mind back on track with what is at hand for today - this always happens when I am very sleep deprived - which happens when hubby gets these night time shifts!!

From the learning rooms...regular school day - Bible, math, writing, penmanship, reading and grammar in the morning and after lunch history and science

Noticing that...the sunshine is slow to get up in the mornings - and he's lower in the sky - first day of Fall tomorrow!!

Pondering these words..."Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass" (Psalm 37:5) powerful words and good ones for my fretful heart this morning!!!

From the kitchen...Swiss chicken tonight (not one of hubby's favorites and since he's working at the hospital again tonight he won't be home for dinner) spaghetti for later in the week

Around the house...Tidy up after a weekend of teenagers lolling around my house - they aren't slobs - they just - you know - mess things up - like giant puppies or something!!

One of my favorite things...a full pantry - it helps me to think about meals and makes me feel like I am doing good "Mom" work

A few plans for the rest of the week...get ready for guests at the end of this week - more to come about that :0), ticking things off my mental list of things that need to get done for winter's arrival - some closets and drawers still need attention and my yard needs to be put to bed. It a big list so if I can get to a couple it will be good!!

A picture to share...This little girl is on the move!! She pushed herself up to stand this weekend - in the middle of the floor - all by herself!! She'll be walking soon!!!

Have a wonderful day!!!

For more Simple Woman inspiration go to

Friday, September 18, 2009


Today I was going to decorate my home for the Autumn season - the first day of Fall is on Tuesday so the timing is perfect!! I even redecorated my blog last night to get me in the mood.

Well, we woke up to perfectly blue sunny skies and unseasonably warm weather!! I just can't do it - I can't light the spice scented candles and put out my pumpkins and colored leaves yet.

The air smells like freshly cut lawn and it still feels and looks like we ought to be hanging out on a brightly colored beach towel in a sun dress and flip flops!!
Another day - when the rains return I will set out my pretty red and orange decorations - for now I'm reveling in our extended summer - soon enough the seasons really will change and I will feel the urge to cozy up!!
Some pictures of the flowers in my garden that still think it's summer too:




My baskets:

My unnamed clematis:

Have a lovely, blessed weekend and enjoy these last days of summer!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Mr. Froggie visited our home yesterday morning during school. He was welcomed by our family as we like frogs around here - although we felt he would be happier outside. After trying to get him back out the way he came (through the open window) we decided it would be easier to take him out the front door. I especially thought this was a good idea since he was a bit nervous about all the attention and peed on my window. I am not a super neat freak but frog pee is different than toddler fingerprints!! :0)

Our little trip into the front yard ended up being a mini nature walk as we found several of his friends in my flower garden!!

Aren't they cute?!!

I love the unexpected adventures in my Mommy job!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back to School

We started school this week after a wonderful, fun filled summer break. The kids are ready to get back into a regular routine so most everyone was happy to get started (the teens - not so much :0)!!}

After a lot of prayer and thought I think I've come up with a really workable schedule for our home this year.

The most important part of the plan for me is to get up before the kids and have some quiet time with the Lord. This has always been a challenge as all my kiddos have been early risers. This year though I have decided to tell them that they cannot come out of their rooms until 7:00 am and Essie can play with them!! So far it has worked pretty well (all two days :0)}.

So breakfast at 7:30. Chores and play time until 9:30. I've decided to plan my computer time in there - this gives me time to also get some laundry going as well. And I can also start some dinner prep if I need to.

At 9:30 we start our day with Bible and then the older kids do their math, handwriting and grammar while I do reading and math with Abbie and preschool stuff with Jacob. If the other kids finish early they help me with Jacob or play with Essie.

Then lunch break from noon until 1:30 which gives me time to do more laundry and a bit of a break to read while I eat.

After lunch is history and science. We get done around 2:30 - 3:00. Then it's play time for the kids while I do more chores. At 5:00 the kids tidy the house and we get ready to welcome Daddy home and for our evening.

So far it's going well - in a couple of weeks we start our homeschool co-op so a couple of days will look different but if I am consistent I hope that this plan will help me keep up with things like laundry. I am finding that the quiet time in the morning really helps me focus my mind on the things that are important - gets my mind off me and on to God!! I don't know why I never thought to tell the kids to stay in their rooms before :0)!!!

This is the verse that jumped out at me during my quiet time this week "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matt 16: 24.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY...September 14, 2009

Outside my window...Overcast skies and breezy, but my little maple is so pretty with it's green leaves and I can still see blooms on my butterfly bush - my little maple seems to change seasons much more slowly than the rest of the yard - maybe because it's sheltered in it's little nook.

I am thankful for...the awesome thrift store finds this weekend!! Some much needed clothes for Essie and some dishes we really needed - in my colors - with a much cheaper price tag than I anticipated - service for 8. Praise God!!!

I am remembering...the very lovely church picnic we had yesterday - great fellowship with friends!!

I am creating...Christmas gifts

I am make a list and go to the Homeschool consignment shop in the next town over to get the last few books we need for school

I am Utmost for His Highest and a little novel for bedtime (can't remember the name - it's an old one from my book closet.)

I am hoping...that more of my tomatoes ripen in my garden and that my beans produce some more before Autumn really hits

On my mind...our schedule for the school year - getting all the music, dance and other lessons lined up so they don't conflict is a trick to be sure!! Also writing out my Student Learning Plans to submit to the school district - not much fun but necessary.

From the learning rooms...sitting down with the kids and writing out each child's schedule and mine with them so that we are all on the same page.

Noticing spite of the warmer than normal weekend weather the grass never really dried out from the heavy morning dew - Autumn in heading our way quickly.

Pondering these words..."If anyone would come after Me, he must take up his cross and follow Me" Matthew 16:24 If I want to be his disciple, I must give up my right to myself to Him (My Utmost for His Highest)

From the kitchen...I going to put something in the crock pot - not sure what yet - something from the freezer.

Around the house...menus!! :0), tidy up, and cleaning the bathrooms and kitchen today

One of my favorite things...getting up before the kids and listening to the quiet house (except for the dripping coffee maker - that's a great sound and smell :0)!!!)

A few plans for the rest of the week...time to get the Autumn schedule in place and operational - getting the plans into action this week :0)

A picture to share... My new dishes from the thrift store - I'm so happy with them - they are simple, pretty and best of all - they didn't break the bank!!!

Have a wonderful day!!! For more Simple Woman inspiration go to

Friday, September 11, 2009


I have been running all day. It's been a good kind of running - just regular life, you know.
But through it all I have been thankful for that ability to go, go, go!

Eight years ago our lives were jarred - shocked, actually, to the core by violence unknown to us here in this wonderful land.

So today, I am thankful for those who have spent the last eight years protecting our land and our lives from the scariness that abounds in our world. And I am thankful to God who has allowed us to live in this country where we can raise children without the turmoil that others around the globe face.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. May we never take it for granted!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


A sweet couple in our church who have a huge garden (we're talkin' huge) shared some of their harvest with us.

So I'm spending my time the next couple of days taking care of this bounty. Snapping and freezing beans (that box and two bags full), Grating and freezing zucchini for bread in the winter and enjoying the process of cooking up and serving the rest to my family.

I don't think they really have any idea how much they've blessed us. This winter when I take those veggies out of the freezer I will be thanking God for them. Times have been lean around here and this was truly an answer to prayer.

I pray that I can be a blessing to someone else today (and tomorrow). That I will answer the prompting of the Holy Spirit and do whatever it is - even if it seems simple. It may be huge to them!!!

See those sweet roses in the back? My lovely friend even put those in the box so that I could put them on the dinner table. So simple a gesture but it made my whole day.

Lord, help me to be a blessing today!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Boys and Toys

So some time ago my cell phone was lost. And there was not one person in this house that I could fuss at about it because - ahem - I lost it.

After a couple of months borrowing a friend's phone our time came to get a new one. So this weekend we did it. Hubs and I got new phones - and the remaining unlost phone became our backup - send with the kids phone. We are not plugged in people - you know - always "in touch" but we have enough kids to keep track of that these are handy tools to help with that.

Well, when we brought these tools home you would have thought we'd brought home a new puppy what with all the enthusiasm the teens showed!! They love gadgets!! So my teen boys knowing I'm backwards when it comes to technology offered to set up all the "stuff" for me.

My first call on my new phone came when my children called while we were visiting a friend last evening.

My ring tone: A giant, GIANT BURP!!!!

And I thought all the burping in the kitchen the other night was just the regular burping wars they engage in!!!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Coast

My family and I have been playing hooky for the last few days - that is if we had started school we'd be playing hooky. We decided to take one more long weekend before all things Autumn start - like Fall church schedules, home school co-op, and last but not least the return of the rain!! So off to Papa and Grandma's house we went - on the Washington Coast. I have lots of pictures (the area is sooo beautiful!!) so I'm sorry if it gets boring - kinda like watching someones slide show :0)!!!

We spent one day at a beautiful lake in the rain forest:

Goin' fishing with Papa:
The lake:

In the forest:

Crawdad fishin':
The catch:

Tasty appetizers - yummy!!!
We of course, spent time on the beach - this beach is almost always foggy and cold - but we were blessed this time with some clearing and no wind (unusual!!)

Then the kids had a good time playing by the awesome little creek near Grandma and Papa's home:
That water is COLD!!!

Sam found a beaver skull in the creek:

Playing an ancient vine maple fort (a God made fort!!)

We had a marvelous time and now are ready to start gearing up for the season to come!!!