Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Granola - Family Style

We made granola today - everyone helped. Here's how you do it:

Put in oats:
Add sesame seeds, almonds, oat bran and whatever else healthy you want:

Check and make sure it's all in the bowl:
Then stir:
Stir some more:
Add cinnamon, cardamom, a dash of vanilla, honey, and a bit of oil
Taste and stir (a bit of noisy rhythm helps the stirring)
Pat into cookie sheets:
Pat some more:
Bake for a long time in a moderate oven until golden brown:
Store in a special granola container:
This makes yummy breakfasts and snacks and is delicious on homemade yogurt. It can be very economical to make if one does not forget that the broiler has been on high for some time making nachos for lunch and one puts the first batch in a very hot oven and it comes out just a few minutes later when something does not smell right, a very dark brown color (almost black)! Hence the half full jar. Sigh!!

This was not my only mishap in the kitchen today - the other one will remain a mystery (I don't really want to talk about it - okay - it involved messing up a recipe beyond fixing, throwing it away and starting over :0(! ) Sigh, again. Some days I should really stay out of the kitchen but then who would feed the clamoring hordes? At least breakfast is ready for tomorrow :0)!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Last Monday of April

FOR TODAY April 27, 2009...

Outside my window...Chilly and breezy, big white clouds sailing by in a blue sky. Springtime has arrived. There are new ,tiny, green leaves on my maple tree outside my window.

I am thinking...about my little boy who's growing up far too fast - his birthday is coming up. I can't believe how fast time flies.

I am thankful for...my crockpot!!! My little kitchen friend who helps me make dinners early in the morning when things are still relatively calm so that I can be freed up when things go crazy later :0)!!

From the learning rooms...The big boys are doing research papers and we little ones are looking at frontier life and the human body.

From the kitchen...Roast beef and brown rice, sauteed asparagus for dinner. Homemade yogurt and granola for breakfast and I don't know what's for lunch

Verse for today...Philippians 4:8 Brothers, continue to think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected. (Children's version as my son's Bible was closer :0)

I am creating...A birthday gift for someone I love tons and tons, my gardens are still in progress.

I am going...to clean the bathrooms after this - icky job but most necessary!! I also need to get shopping done.

I am reading...A book a friend gave me - I don't remember the name and I'm too lazy to go get it :0)

I am hoping...My Dad's mastoiditis gets all cleared up so he can get out of the hospital today!! And that my Mom has a safe trip home from my sister's home in Washington D.C.

I am hearing...A lawn mower in the neighborhood and my husband snoozing here near me.

Around the house...Laundry and general tidy up

One of my favorite things...Fresh Rhubarb pie!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week: A regular week maybe - we may have my parents over night after my Dad gets discharged from the hospital. Also some birthday shopping as a little man in our home has a birthday at the very end of this week!!

Here is a picture I'm sharing: I think teaching manners to this little one may be a challenge :0) She never sits in her chair without putting her feet up!! Very funny!!
For more Simple Woman Daybook entries you can visit: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our Quirky (or Quacky) Neighbors and other Sunny Day Stuff

We ended up with one more beautiful, warm sunny day this week before our usual clouds rolled in (for those outside the PNW that may not understand my delight with sunshine - we average only about 52 sunny days a year here!!!) Anyway, we all relish these sunny, warm days. School was done quickly so we could go out and play.

Our quacky neighbors came for another visit and ended up spending most of the day. The kids thought they would be happy if we gave them a "pond" and to my surprise they went for it (I think these ducks fall into the "not so wild - wild animal animal" catagory):

I even got some time to dig with the new shovel my sweetie got for me

I did get some help from our new friends - and they really were a help scoping out all the nasty bugs and getting rid of them duck fashion (dinner anyone?)
Climbing a brother is great fun:
Even cool dudes like to play on the teeter totter sometimes:
Spring projects are in full swing:
And of course more duck watching:
Our clouds are back for a time (there was ice coming out of the sky today!!), but we sure enjoyed the sun!! It will be back - in the meantime these pictures will do!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Monday Doings

The sun finally arrived!!! Bright, warm and completely unobstructed by white fluffies or grey gloomies - this is what makes it worth it to live in the Pacific Northwest!!!! And warm!!! We broke out the summer clothes and the kids were even heard to say the "H Word". As in "Mom, I'm h**. Can we play in the sprinkler?" It was fabulous!
Glorious blue sky!!
And more excitement - Abbie's first tooth came out. She is so proud of her new smile!!!
We had guests yesterday, as well. I had heard that some new neighbors had moved in next door and they came to visit us. I must admit I was surprised at how comfortable they made themselves. They came early and stayed far longer than we thought they would - which caused some distraction for school. We offered them food - which they ate with gusto - then asked for more!! A little later they took naps - at our house - amazing! They did kindly allow me to take their pictures and even to post them here. I am sure they will be back as they popped over several times yesterday. They were delightful company inspite of their quirks and we are hoping they will bring their children some day.
Such a lovely couple!
We are enjoying more sunshine today before it goes away under the grey clouds we are more used to around here! What a blessed thing sunshine is!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Weekend Fun

Well, the weekend is nearly over. We enjoyed a rain free, warmer weekend. The hoped for sunshine did not arrive - but still nice weather all the same - for the Pacific Northwest rain free on a weekend is a big deal!!

I didn't make it to the big nursery like I had planned but did get to the store and pick up some pony paks to satisfy my need to play in the dirt:

Hanging baskets all planted:

Little pots by my front door all filled:
Playtime for sisters:

First marshmallow roast of the season:

Mmmm good - so very bad for my diet!! this is food fit for a king (although when I'm doing the roasting instead of manning the camera the marshmallows are a bit less black and more brown and gooey :0)!!!)

Our Sunday was a restful as can be while parenting eight children. We try to keep Sundays that way!! We've found when we keep the Sabbath we head into the new week in a better frame of mind - ready to step out - renewed - to bring God glory in our jobs - Wayne, out in the work world and me at home. I hope your Sunday was the same!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Twenty One Years!!

Twenty One years ago - April 16, 1988 - my sweet hubby and I tied the knot, said "I Do" and entered into a marriage covenant. This huge step was not just between the two of us - God was deeply involved. In fact, this marriage doesn't just include God but was and is wholly orchestrated by God. We know this full well and give Him all the glory for our wonderful life together.

Times haven't always been easy - we have experienced our times of financial distress, difficulty getting along, health worries etc. but along the way we have been blessed beyond measure!!!

I am so thankful for what we have together and my prayer is that we will be able to be a testimony to the covenant that God put in place for marriage - that on our 60th Anniversary we will be an inspiration to others about how great a God-filled marriage can be.

What a amazing, wonder-filled day that was!!! My heart still does flips when I look at these pictures!!!

Here we are today - cradling our 8th blessing from heaven:

Surrounded - blessed more than words can say!!!

On that day I was really still just a girl - madly in love - not really understanding what it really all meant. Today I'm no longer a girl - but still madly in love - knowing what I now know - I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!!! On that day I loved my Prince but I had no idea how that love would grow - today there is no describing what I feel for him - he is truly part of my being!!
I love you, honey!!! Thank you for 21 wonderful years!! There are no words to tell you how happy you have made me - my heart is full to overflowing!!!


Papa and Grandma came to visit yesterday. We had so much fun I only remembered to take one picture! We played most of the day and I think fun was had by all. I just love visits from my Mom and Dad. I treasure every moment - and I'm sure they do too!!!

Playing doll house:
On another note: It's nearing the end of the school year and that means planning for next Fall now. I really have trouble in this area. Spring is late - most days it still feels like Winter and I just have a hard time planning next Fall's schedule. But it must be done - paper work up to my elbows:
But the odd thing really is this: all the receipts for classes, checks to register for next year's co-op classes, agreement forms, family information etc. must all be done in pen. And the other day when I tidied my room and the computer desk I found many pens. Today when I must have one - I can't find any!!! Where do they all go? Do they hide? What is going on?!!

All I can find to write with:
The funny thing is - tomorrow when it's time to do math and the kiddos all need pencils - all we will be able to find is ball point pens!!! :0)

Monday, April 13, 2009

A New Week

FOR TODAY April 13, 2009...

Outside my window...Grey skies, breezy and kinda gloomy - they are saying snow levels are falling tomorrow again - All together now "We want Spring!!!"

I am thinking...about the great day yesterday - the joy at church, the wonderful time spent with my family - all the kids playing, the grown-ups visiting. Such a marvelous gathering - all sharing in the joy of the Resurrection

I am thankful for...My husband!! We celebrate our 21st Anniversary later this week. God blessed me with an incredible man!!!

From the learning rooms...A bit of a modified week as Papa and Grandma are visiting - we haven't really seen them since Thanksgiving. Lots of snuggling and visiting are in order!!!

From the kitchen...Soup and beans this week - a simple week after the holiday rush in the kitchen

Verse for today..."And the Lord, He it is that doth go before thee: He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed." Deut. 31:8

I am creating...my flower garden in the front of my house. I pulled the whole thing up last fall - it needed a do-over. I'm going to the nursery with all the grown-up girls in my family on Saturday - I can't wait!!! Also, still working on the plans for my veggie garden. I get worried about the time but really, if I plant sooner than May it doesn't work anyway - so I don't need to get worried!

I am going...Just regular running around this week - until Saturday that is - then it's that awesome nursery trip - Flower World here we come!!!

I am reading...The Winds of God by Gilbert Morris and C.S. Lewis' Letters to Children and my Bible

I am hoping...All the sickness leaves our house for good!!! I thought we were done but it appears my big boys have finally succumbed. Shoot - we are entering our third week!! I've had a headache every day since I got this darn bug - I'm better in every other way! Oh well, I has to go away sometime :0)!!

I am hearing...Esther smacking her lips while she nurses - what a sweetie (even if she does keep trying to kick my hand off the computer so I will make googly eyes at her - stinker :0)!!

Around the house...Tidy up - general stuff - get ready to spend the day with Papa and Grandma tomorrow!

One of my favorite things...Hugs from my Daddy!!

A few plans for the rest of the week: A nice quiet week - then out with girls on Saturday - can you tell I'm excited about that?!! Maybe the sun will come out while we are at the nursery!!!

Here is a picture I'm sharing: My sweet girls in their Easter finery - aren't they just the prettiest things?!!! My boys really could care less about their Easter clothes - although all five did wear button downs for the day - and cheerfully too. If they would have let me do it - that would have been an epic picture :0)!!!

For more Simple Woman Daybook entries you can visit: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Easter Blessings

(please remember to turn off my music at the bottom of the page)

Amen and Amen!!!!!!

A blessed Ressurection Day to all!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm Not the Maid

Contentment. This elusive character quality that God has been having me learn for the last nineteen years has been sorely tested this week. One full week of sickness in the house is one thing, but two - that's a whole different thing. It seems the germs have taken up permanent residence here. A big boy, medium girl and tiny baby are all still fighting the yucks with on again, off again fevers and of course the coughing, runny noses, blah, blah blah. Small boy ended up with an ear infection and Mommy and Daddy are getting very little sleep:

One Sad Baby:

Yesterday was one miserable day. Along with the sickies, it seemed nothing I did could induce the healthy ones to co-operate. Lots of quarreling, temper tantrums and general bad attitudes abounded. We ended up having a family meeting where I reminded them (I tried to keep my voice kind and calm) that we really don't have a maid and that when they could no longer find any clean surface in the house it meant that no one was helping and it's time to change behaviour. I'm hoping it was a good meeting :0)!! On a much happier note my sweet husband knew I'd been having a terrible day and gave my these pretty posies to cheer my heart - which they did:

So contentment hasn't been an easy thing to find in my heart lately. I have complained - in my heart and out loud. But in reality I have nothing to fuss about. While the flu may live here for a time - it's temporary. It's not easy but it is my job as Mom to train my children to be responsible and helpful - it doesn't come automatically - but it will come (someday!). No, I'm not the maid - something much, much better!!!

I am very blessed to have noses to wipe and children to train. I knew a long time ago that contentment was the key to doing this job God gave me. That true joy comes from doing this job - however mundane it seems to the world - to God's glory!! That is what I am striving for. Some days are harder - some weeks are long - but joy comes!!!

So here are two pictures of contentment:

Just chillin'

Enjoying the sunshine and a cookie after church on Sunday

Monday, April 6, 2009

Daybook Time

FOR TODAY April 6, 2009...

Outside my window...Glorious, beautiful, warm sunshine!!! Yahoo!!!

I am thinking...about Easter, about the sacrifice that was made on my behalf so that I would not have to bear the eternal punishment for my sin but instead I am made clean. Amazing love! I can't begin to wrap my mind around this glorious thing!!!

I am thankful for..My Lord Jesus Christ - I am overwhelmed with the blessing of being in His family!!!!

From the learning rooms...Catching up - we missed a bit because our illness - it's going to be hard to stay inside today - maybe we won't :0)!!

From the kitchen...I've got to plan my menus - I'm just simply very behind with everything!!!

Verse for today...Philippians 2:8-9 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross. Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name!!

I am creating...my veggie garden. Still in the cleanup mode from winter's ravages. It was a hard winter for my yard!!!

I am going...Grocery shopping sometime today and shopping for all those last minute touches to make Easter special (frilly socks for Esther and Abbie etc.)

I am reading...Philippians and The Sword of Truth by Gilbert Morris

I am hoping...All the sickness leaves our house for good!!! We seem to be having a couple of relapses - which I have heard are just part of this bug - Yuck!!!

I am hearing...The dishwasher running - the kids quietly playing a hiding game.

Around the house...Everything - I am behind, behind, behind - I am feeling like I need to sterilize everything!

One of my favorite things...Clear mornings when it's warm enough to let in the fresh air first thing - the smell of clean Spring air!!!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Getting ready for Easter - we have a wonderful picnic with family after celebrating at church - this is a day filled with joy and delight we share with my family - it's so wonderful since my parents and siblings are all believers - we all are celebrating Resurrection together!!

Here is a picture I'm sharing: My bird feeder - it's empty because my children's kitty won't leave the birds alone. This was one of the first purchases my husband and I made together as a married couple. I love how the lichens and mosses have grown on the roof:
For more Simple Woman Daybook entries you can visit: http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 3, 2009

On the Mend

This week was Spring break at our Homeschool Co-op. Unfortunately for us, all the littles and I spent the week like this:
Which, I guess, if we had to be sick it was a good time since the out doors looked like this all week (the street lights didn't even go off yesterday it was so dark and rainy!!):
But good things went on this week, too! (besides the already mentioned Birthday!!) This sweet little punkin (who's favorite thing to do is taste her toes) said her first word!! Seriously, she did!! She looked at me when Wayne carried her out of the room and said Mama! as clear as can be and then she did it several more times cause she could see how much it made everyone laugh!!! :
One of my kitchen helpers received a new apron from her sweet Blue-eyed Friend and she loves it. She loves to put it on and help out in the kitchen more than ever!!!
My last sickie made it out of bed today and got dressed. She's still pale and shaky but ever so much better!! And while it's still dripping outside and we even woke up to some snow dusting the ground this morning, it's getting brighter out. I hear tell the sun may come out this weekend and we will edge to near normal temps!! Get ready garden weeds - here I come!!!! Things are looking up!!