Friday, February 27, 2009

Close The Door, Or The Chickens Might Get In!

Last Saturday morning, Dan & I were standing in the kitchen talking while Adam was playing in the driveway. (the door was open so we could hear him) In the middle of a sentence, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed something scurry by me. That "something" was a chicken! Ahhhh! Dan! A chicken! Get it! By now, the girls are screaming and chasing after this chicken. They've chased the bird into the bedroom - the carpeted bedroom. All I can think of at this point is "stop screaming, you're goning to scare the crap out of the chicken!" Literally! Have you ever smelled chicken poop? Uhhck! It ranks right up there with dog poop, but worse. Well, Dan managed to wrangle the chicken and throw it outside, and it did not release the contents of its bowels on the carpet. After the laughing died down, Adam calmly says, "it was my fault. Sorry mom, it was my fault." That little turkey chased that chicken inside the house just to see what would happen! The funny thing is, we have a doormat in from of that door that says, "shut the door before the chickens get in."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

They Got Me!

I asked Adam & Katie to clean their room yesterday and much to my surprise, they did...well, by all outward appearances they did. Then it occurred to me that they are getting pretty wise in their nearly 5 years of life. Yes, they pushed everything under the bed, and under and behind the chair. Part of me chuckled (silently to myself as to not encourage this kind of "cleanup"), the other part of me felt discouraged because now I have to do the whole "clean this room up right now!" "If you don't clean this room, I'm going to throw everything in the trash." "No more toys, from now on you'll only get underwear and books for your birthday and Christmas!" So, after an hour of whining & crying, the room was clean...even under the bed and behind the chair.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I saw this on Z88.3's website and thought it was just an amazing way to teach kids about Easter! I only have one problem, Adam is allergic to tree nuts. I suppose I could use peanuts. Any other suggestions from you foodies out there???

Easter Story Cookies

What You Need:
1 cup whole pecans
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch of salt
1 cup sugar
zip lock bag
wooden spoon

What You Do With It:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this MUST be done first -- don't wait until you're half done with the recipe)
2. Place pecans in zip lock bag and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break them into small pieces. Talk about how the Roman soldiers beat Jesus. (Read John 19:1-3)
3. Let each child smell the vinegar as you put the 1 tsp. full into a mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. (Read John 19:28-30)
4. Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Talk about how Jesus gave His life for us so that we might have life abundantly. (Read John 10:10-11)
5. Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl. 6. Explain that the salt represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. (Read Luke 23:27)
7. So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar and explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus chose to die because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him. (Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16)
8. Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Talk about the color white and how it represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. (Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3)
9. Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid. (Read Matt. 27: 57-60)
Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven "OFF." Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Talk about how Jesus' tomb was sealed with the stone. (Read Matt. 27: 65-66)
10. GO TO BED. Your child may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven. (Read John 16:20-22)
The next morning, open the oven and give each child a cookie. Take a bite and notice the COOKIES ARE HOLLOW! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb empty. HE'S ALIVE!!!! (Read Matt. 28:1-9)

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my's sunny and a little cool, but it's going to be a very nice day!

I am thinking...what was I thinking when I invited my niece to have a sleep over last night? She just wouldn't fall asleep last night, and then at 4:00am she came to my room, shined a toy lantern in my face, and said "I can't sleep anymore." What!? Are you kidding me? Too bad! Go back to bed.

I am thankful for...a God that not only loves me, but actually likes me. Imagine that. He knows my innermost thoughts and He still likes me.

From the learning rooms...A&K are off from school today, back tomorrow. Woo Hoo!

From the kitchen...some Thai food tonight, salads, maybe some kind of soup.

I am creating...if my so-called friend (you know who you are) would answer the phone so I could borrow her sizzix, I'm going to be making these hair clips I saw on Etsy.
I am sit in the sun and do a little reading today.

I am reading..."The Invisible Wall" by Harry Bernstein. Wow! It's a true story of a young Jewish boy's coming of age (somewhere in England I gather) just before the start of WWI. He lives in a neighborhood where the Jews live on one side of the street and the Christians on the other. They have a mutual respect for one another, but no relationship. I just started it on Saturday and I find it riveting, and heart wrenching.

I am hoping...this will be an uneventful week.

I am mom talking with Katie. It's so sweet to hear these kids have a "grown up" conversation.
Around the house...the house is clean, woo hoo!
One of my favorite things...clothes that feel comfy and look nice, and that make me feel good about myself.

A few plans for the rest of my week...not much!
Here is a picture thought I'm sharing... Adam playing Dan's guitar (looks like a cello!). Adam said, "I can do better than Miss. Kris (our church's children's worship leader). He's pretty full of himself!
If you want to participate in the daybook, see Peggy here.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Best Valentine's Day Present

Dan brought me a dozen roses last night and then today he gave me the best Valentine's Day present ever...he took the kids away for the day so I could clean the house and re-group after a crazy week of stomach yucks, working, & school commitments. I know today was a day to spend with your sweetie, but mine loved me in the knowledge he had of me and hooked me up! So, I cleaned the house, ran a few errands, and treated myself to a quiet lunch on Panera's outdoor patio. I sat in the sun eating my sandwich and reading my book. This was a much needed respite for me! Now everyone is back and life is back to the usual chaos.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

A Simple Woman's Daybook for today...February 9, 2009

Outside my window...Most everything is brown. There is a mystical blanket of fog covering the blueberry fields in the "valley" to the north of our house. The sun casts an early morning shade of yellow across the yard.

I am thinking...I have a little more tolerance for life this week than I did last week.

From the learning rooms...Maybe we'll do some Valentines.

I am thankful for...My semi-clean house, the 1 load of laundry I have to do today, a fridge that's stocked with food.

From the kitchen...Ropa Vieja (Cuban Beef Stew) with brown rice, Thai Peanut Chicken, Roasted Chicken with Sun dried Tomatoes & Artichokes.

I am wearing...Jeans, a long sleeved white tee, & a pea green wrap sweater that ties at the side.

I am reading...I just finished "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" & I thoroughly enjoyed it! Next, I may read "The Invisible Wall" by Harry Bernstien or "The Friday Night Knitting Club" by Kate Jacobs. We'll see if my Po' Dunk library has either one of them. If not, I'll be looking for another classic. Any suggestions???

I am hoping...for more spring-like weather this week. This chill in the air has cut right through me this season and I need a little warm sunshine on my face.

I am creating...I am still laboriously knitting this baby sock. I may not end up knitting the mate, because let's face it, life is too short to do things that just aren't fun. I'm also knitting this little baby slipper which is much more fun than the sock.

I am hearing...Sophie just walked in to tell me that she peed her pants. Are you kidding? The kids has been potty trained for at least 2 months. I don't get it.

Around the house...clutter as usual, but beyond that there's not that much to do.

One of my favorite things...CAKE! Homemade cake. Chocolate Homemade Cake. Chocolate Homemade Cake with Homemade Chocolate Ganache for icing.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Today is Dan's birthday, maybe a special dinner tonight. I have a date with a root canal specialist tomorrow. Wed. night we have our accountability group. Friday we have a special little get together. At some point this week I'll need to go buy coffee and coffee filters or somebody might get hurt. Just Sayin'

Here is a picture thought I'm sharing... Sophie is a girl after my own heart!

Happy Birthday Dan!

Today is Dan's 39th Birthday! Just wanted to wish him a very Happy Birthday, with more blessings than his heart and hand can hold! I love you honey!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Memories on the Wall

Taking my kids to a photo studio has proved to be a HUGE challenge! Each and every time I've done it they've failed to cooperate and I typically leave with 1 mediocre pose at best. I do admit that there have been a couple of rare occasions when I've actually gotten some very cute pictures of the kids. Once was about 3 years ago when Sophie was 4 months old. We did a family picture and some pics of the kids by themselves (a first for the twins). Since everything in that session turned put so nice I bought a huge package. These 3 pics, to the right, have been filed away in a closet ever since. I happened to be at K-Mart this morning and they have all the Martha Stewart frames 50% off, so I bought a few and hung those pictures today. I love the black & white of Katie. She's a beautiful girl!

Look at the sweet picture of Adam & Katie when they were babies. That was a Valentine's Day picture in 2005. Notice the 3 vertical pics to the far left...that's the "unofficial" hospital picture of each of my babies. Oh. My. How time does fly. It's bittersweet. Adam & Katie will be going to Kindergarten in the fall and Sophie will be 3 in two more months. Wow! I can become so overwhelmed with the "neediness" of 3 little ones right now that I often fail to realize that it will only be a matter of time before I'm hanging pictures of high school graduates, married couples, and grand kids on my wall. Pulling out old pictures really helps to put things into perspective.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Little Mp3 Humor

I saw this over at the "Tree Climber's" blog. Thought it would be fun. Disclaimer: I share this Mp3 player with Dan and his taste in music is, well, a little ghetto sometimes.

1. Put your iPod (or MP3 player) on shuffle.2. For each question, press the next button for your answer.3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS.4. Tag some Moms you admire who could use a laugh and a song.

HOW DID YOU BECOME A MOM? Big Boi (Fantasia) he he!

WHAT DID YOU THINK THE FIRST TIME YOU SAW YOUR BABY? She's a Butterfly (Martina McBride) oh my, how sweet! I really thought, "I sure hope she grows into that nose!"

WHAT DID YOU DO THE FIRST MORNING AFTER A SLEEPLESS NIGHT? Unchanging (Chris Tomlin) Yes, it's unchanging - still havin' those sleepless nights!



IF SOMEONE SAYS "Can I have a snack" YOU SAY: Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet (Tchaikovsky) hmmm

IF SOMEONE LEAVES THEIR STUFF ON THE FLOOR YOU SAY: Good Time (Alan Jackson) he he! "I been workin' all week and I'm tired, and I don't want to sleep, just want to have fun, time for a good time) Yes, that sums it up!

IF SOMEONE ISN'T SICK TODAY YOU SAY: let's groove tonight (Earth Wind & Fire)

HOW DO YOUR KIDS ENJOY YOUR COOKING? Blessed Assurance (Third Day)

HOW DID YOUR KIDS DO IN SCHOOL TODAY? Aint No Other Man (Christina Aguilera) hmmm?

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHILE YOU SIT IN THE CARPOOL LINE/ DRIVE THRU? Just For You (Lionel Ritchie) yes, that's how I justify eating that fried chicken sandwich & french fries from Chick-Fil-A.

HOMESCHOOLERS, WHAT IS THE FIRST SUBJECT TAUGHT OF THE DAY? I not a homeschooler, so how about HOW DOES OUR DAY START? A World to Believe In (Celine Dion)

WHAT DO YOUR KIDS WANT TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP? Take My Life (Third Day) AWWWW! I pray that this will be true.

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY AS A MOM? Morning After (Kevin Carlberg) I'm cheatin' let's try again: Made To Worship (Chris Tomlin) yes, that's better.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE AS A MOM? The Good Stuff (Kenny Chesney) aww!

HOW DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WERE REALLY A MOM? Are You Washed In The Blood (Alan Jackson) YES! I realized that I would not survive another day of Motherhood without the blood of the Lamb!

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO AS A MOM? California Dreamin' (Queen Latifah) ha ha! I wish this was mu motto, I might not scream as much.

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MOST OFTEN AS A MOM? Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Michael McDonald) Yes, I can do this.

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY AS A MOM? Don't Know Why I Didn't Come (Michael Buble & Norah Jones) Yes I do know, I have 3 kids and I can't! I'm not bitter, really I'm not.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET AS A MOM? I've Always Loved You (Third Day) Not a regret! This shuffle thing is so fickle!

WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU'VE EVER DONE AS A MOM? Do You Remember (Jack Johnson) hmmm?

WHAT DO YOUR KIDS DO THAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? Come Away With Me (Norah Jones) hmmm?


WHAT DO YOUR KIDS DO THAT SCARES YOU THE MOST? Disco Inferno (Earth Wind & Fire) Um Yeah! I feel quite scared that my kids might burn my house down!

HOW DO YOUR KIDS DESCRIBE YOU AS A MOM? Theme From Forrest Gump - okay, that's just wrong! Run Mommy, Run!



Are Ya Cold? Try This...

Andouille and Black-Eyed Pea Chili
(Andouille is a spicy, Cajun sausage. Kielbasa can be substituted for the "sissy throats")
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound andouille sausage (cut into 1/4-inch cubes)
3 medium yellow onions
1 large red bell pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cans (14.5 ounce) low sodium beef broth
2 cans (15.5 ounce black-eyed peas)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (I used dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley ( I omitted this & it was still yummy)
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups hot cooked rice (I used brown rice...whole grain goodness!)
1) in a large dutch oven, add oil and heat over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, but not smoking, add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned - 5 to 7 minutes. Pour off excess fat. Add onions and pepper and cook until onions are golden brown - 5 to 6 minutes.
2) Add bay leaf, broth, and black-eyes peas, stir well (being careful not to smoosh the beans). Add chili powder, cumin, and thyme. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 25 minutes.
3) To Serve: Add parsley and salt, stirring well. Serve hot over cooked rice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Because The Lord Is My Shepherd...

I've been looking for an independent Bible study lately, and I have had no success because I can't seem to get to Orlando to the Christian book store. I've looked at Target & Wal-mart, I went to Barnes & Noble thinking, "surely this 8000 sq ft bookstore will have bible studies." NOPE. I wasn't even sure which study I wanted to do, I've been praying for guidance. Well at church this past Sun. our pastor taught from John 10 about the Good Shepherd. He suggested memorizing Psalm 23, or revisiting it if it's already been memorized. That's it! I'll do a study on Psalm 23. I need to be reminded that the Lord is my Shepherd. He knows me. He loves me. He cares for me. If I wander, He's there with His staff to pull me back to Him. He knows that sheep are dumb and prone to wandering (yes, that's me to a "T" - I'm dumb and prone to wandering). He wants to keep me safe from the wolves. I need to be reminded that I am SAFE with Him. I have grown into adulthood with a very jaded sense of security. I've been a sort of caregiver in my family for as long as I can remember and I have very few memories of being "cared for."

Anyhow, I digress. I decided that since my lack of local Christian bookstores was hindering my study of the Word, I would take my search to the Internet. Surely there are free, reliable, true Bible studies on the Net. Yep! I went to and found a nice little study on Psalm 23. I'm trying to do a little each day. I hope to follow up with a book titled, "A Shepherd's Look At Psalm 23" (I think).

I'm learning to remember always, in all situations, that there is security in the presence of the Good Shepherd. That He is my very own Shepherd. It's so very important to dwell on these truths.

Stay tuned for more on Psalm 23...

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside My Window...B-R-O-W-N, everything here was kissed by frost and ice last week. The result? Everything that was green and lush is now brown and crunchy.

I am thinking...I need to improve my attitude this week. Maybe it was the cold weather, the root canal, the economy, etc... that threw me for an emotional, irritated loop last week.

I am thankful for...a healthy family, a tooth that is finally settling down, my job, Dan's job, & Katie's incredible creativity.

From the learning rooms...Katie is doing such a great job of putting letters together to make words - just little words, but still she's doing very well for her age.
From the kitchen...chicken and barley soup today, not sure for the rest of the week.

I am wearing...jeans, white tee, rust-colored cable knit sweater

I am books on, and I'm knitting baby socks

I am start a study on Psalm 23 today. I've decided that I need to trust my Shepherd more.

I am reading...A Tree Grows In Brooklyn & I love it. I love history, I am especially interested in life in the U.S. at the turn of the century. This book tells a story of a young girl who lives in the tenement district of Brooklyn in the very early 1900s. Many of us cannot even fathom the suffering that took place during that time. A time when people were immigrating to the U.S. to find a better life, a life more abundant.
I am not let the monotony of every-day cooking, cleaning, refereeing, disciplining, and more cooking, cleaning, refereeing & disciplining get me down this week.
I am hearing...Dora on the TV. Adam is home sick from school today, although I am totally seeing that he is well enough to be at school. Today will be a great lesson for him...he's gonna learn that if he stays home from school, he stays in bed, ALL DAY. The TV is going off soon.
Around the house...well, you know, the usual, although I spent 4 hours cleaning on Sat. morning so there's not the usual metric tons of clutter to return to it's home. Just a little.
One of my favorite things...a warm fire, a good book, a hot cup of coffee made just right, and...SILENCE.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...tonight I go to my accountability group, tomorrow I have an appt. to see a nice man who listens to me talk and gives me Godly, Biblical direction for working through things that interfere with a life abundant in the Lord. Wed. I'm working, Thurs. I normally work, but the office is closed this week because it's slow, soooo I have a whole day with NO kids because I still have to pay their school for 2 days. Whatever will I do? Will I be lost without them? he he he he he! (Insert snickering here). I'm thinking I'm going to do whatever my little heart desires.
Here is picture thought I am sharing...Katie and Sophie collected the eggs yesterday, all by themselves. Katie even lined the baskets with hay so the eggs wouldn't crack. They were so proud of themselves.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

You Don't Say?!

How many of you have been in public with your kids when they aren't having a "good" day? Ever have a stranger approach you and say, "my, you have your hands full!" Well, I have, on more occasions than I can count. Having twins always attracted attention, then having 22-month-old twins and a newborn brought even more attention. Now, there are those days when I have to get out of the house and that typically means bringing my brood along, and they are usually in the same rotten, I-have-to-get-out-of-this-house-or-someone's-gonna-get-hurt mood that I'm in. This usually makes for a worse mood in the end because they act out in public and I want to beat them in submission...(just sayin'). Well, I was telling Dan the other day that the next time someone walks by me and says, "don't you have your hands full," I may scratch their eyes out. 2 minutes after I said this Adam pipes up, "oh my, don't you have your hands full." Dan just about fell out of his chair.

I've been in a slightly foul mood this past week. The monotony of life has got me down. I just want to see my floors and counters free of clutter. I want to be able to accomplish a task from start to finish without having a child whining at my hip, or having to referee a MAJOR conflict because someone took something from someone.

Another thing, I heard the Orlando Utilities Commission will be raising their rates like 20% in the coming weeks. Not because the cost of fuel has risen, no. Because, get this, people are using less energy so they have to compensate. Are. You. Kidding. Me?

My mom is being laid off from her job of 20 years. I wish she was in a situation where she could just retire and enjoy her grand kids. She's not. What a terrible time to be looking for a blue collar job. She's alright with the situation, right now. I'm sad for her. She's had 3 jobs her whole life. I can't imagine being 57 years old and looking for a new job. This does give me an opportunity to let her know that I'm praying for her. May the Lord use this for His glory.

Oh well, I hope my hormone levels equalize this week and I'm a little more pleasant to be around. It's tough being a girl! Dan jokingly says I have gender envy...sometimes I think he's right.