Thursday, May 27, 2010

Catch Me If You Can....

No, I'm not the gingerbread man, but just very busy this week! Most of our beloved relatives know that this weekend is our annual Birthday Bash. We have four children born in May, so we do one big party at the end of the month with presents, cake, ice cream, fun and family. It's also a really good excuse for grandparents to visit. We try to plan it Memorial Day weekend because usually those who are working (ahem, like Dale) have Monday off and the visit can last a little longer. The years when my brother and his family can make it, well, that is just plain awesome and we love it! Our little house would be filled to the brim with littles and uncles, aunts,and grandparents, most of them staying overnight here, and it makes for some precious memories.

However, the Birthday bash isn't the only thing going on here this week. Wouldn't you know that everything happens at once? Monday night we got our annual delivery of wood. Benjamin saw it and said to the guy (a friendly sort) "Well, I guess I know what my job is going to be." The wood man guffawed about that and drove away leaving us 15 face cords of wood to deal with over the next several months.

It is always a catastrophe when the cookie jar is empty so one afternoon while I was getting Isaac down for a nap, the baking fairies made chocolate chip cookies, their daddy's favorite. It is traditional whenever we make pancakes or cookies, to make one huge-o-fortisimo one for Daddy. Of course, Dale just suffers through eating it, ya know.

Everyone had to test the afore mentioned goods, and as you can see, at least one member of the quality control committee approved:

The upstairs bathroom closet has been an eyesore for way too long. I started brainstorming ideas to get it organized. On the pictured shelf were our hair stuff, wash cloths, and some towels.



That is only one shelf out of many. After the crunch for this weekend is done and the dust settles from all the excitement I have some major plans for decluttering and organizing throughout several areas in the house.

That little drawer system is for our brushes, hair pretties, headbands, etc. It is working out great except last night there was shampoo spilled into the hairbrush drawer. How that happened remains and mystery. Thankfully, it was easily cleaned up. We can't even find where the spill originated. Some evil shampoo-spilling spirit must have done it, because according to my inquiries, no one else did.

To add to the mixture of excitement this week, the church basement windows were replaced, and our big living room window was taken out and given a face lift with a brand, spanking new window unit.

Out with the old:

In with the new:

(Excuse the guy in the corner... he was caulking the outside of the window when I took the pic.)

So now I get the fun of figuring out a new window treatment. Right now I have too much going on to think much about it, but after the Birthday Bash I'll be able to concentrate more. The nicest thing about this new window is that the side windows open easily, and are big enough to stick an AC unit in it. Also, they flip down for easy peasey washing.

Now the the crew is working on scraping and painting the house, a job that is way overdue. So glad I didn't plant any flower beds around the house.

Today we will be cleaning some, and working outside. It has been hot and very summery, but the forecast is promising cooler temps tomorrow and through the weekend. I haven't done anything with the Memorial garden because I am currently fighting a battle with ants, and losing. There are so many you can't even work in the flower bed. I am going to put out a couple more poison traps and give it a little more time.

Our big vegetable garden is already needing weeding, so I will just focus on that for now.

I know, you are wondering about my secret project. I am pleased to say that though it isn't completely done, I will be able to finish it tonight after it cools off a bit. I will post a pic of it after the bday boy opens it up.

Meanwhile.... back to my cleaning, weeding, laundrying, and general hub-bub before the big day on Saturday!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

A day late but here it is~

FOR TODAY, May 25th....

Outside my window... clear blue skies, lots of sunshine... it's going to be HOT today and tomorrow for sure!

I am thinking... it is going to be time to set up our pool soon. Woohoo!

I am thankful for... cool nights.

From the learning rooms... I still have some reports to hand in, but we are done for now.

From the kitchen... bread baking and maybe some cookie making... we'll see.

I am wearing... green t-shirt, mutli colored broomstick skirt.

I am creating... the quilt for Benjamin, and simple A-line play dresses for the girls.

I am going... to visit a lady tonight who lives up the road from us. She has a terrible rash and has been bedridden because of it for a few days.

I am reading... "An Old Fashioned Girl" by Louisa May Alcott

I am hoping... to be able to get my swirling thought in order. Lots to do this week before the birthday bash on Saturday!

I am hearing... the workers over at church replacing the basement windows.

Around the house... picking up, laundry, the usual. Plus I am working on tacking the binding down on Benjamin's quilt. This is going to take a few days! Need to finish up the memorial garden as well.

One of my favorite things... Sitting in the evening on the swing, snuggled up with a kid or two, or three, reading and drinking tea. So peaceful!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Finishing up Benjamin's quilt, wrapping presents, getting the house in order, and the memorial garden planted and the lawns mowed. Looking forward to my mom coming on Thursday!
Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Just when you think you are almost done stacking wood from last year, this gets delivered....

For quidelines to participate in the Simple Woman's Daybook go to:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Today Caleb is 8 years old! He already has several distinctions in our family. He was my first home birthed baby. He was also the biggest, weighing in at a mere 10 lbs 13 ozs. He was also a very easy birth, believe it or not. I credit my awesome midwife with that as she knew how to handle the birth of a large baby. Thanks to her, I suffered no damage from Caleb's entrance into the world. In other words... not one stitch, thankyouverymuch.

Caleb is also the most non-chalant of the kids. He is so laid back, so matter of fact, and can be a Mr. Sobersides.

For example, I was getting a pic of him this morning.

I told him "Smile nicely at the camera."

What in the world was THAT? Look natural, for heaven's sake.

Okay, not that natural. Try again, this time smile.

I think there is a visual echo in here.

Elizabeth was watching this whole process, and you can just see that big sister, "I know what to do " look on her face.

She finally decided to take things in her own hands. Literally.

As you know, especially if you have any children, getting a suitable picture isn't always as easy as 1-2-3. Sometimes it is 1-2-3-4- or 1-2-3-4-5... or in this case,

Happy Birthday Caleb! We love you!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Conversing with a 5 year old....

This morning when I got up Jerusha and Caleb were already up, sitting on the couch, looking at books, in deep discussion.

I said, "Good morning! How are you?"

Caleb answered, "ummm, hungry."

Jerusha chimed in, "I hongry too."

I considered that a moment and replied, "Well, I don't understand it. Didn't I just feed you yesterday?"

Jerusha said, "Yes. But not very much."

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Invasion of Elves!

Last night before having a late supper, some of us were outside working. I was mowing, and Dale and Benjamin were getting in the last of the seeds for the garden. Caleb and Jerusha were tearing around and the twins were inside with Isaac keeping him happy and occupied. Josiah was back and forth, being a gopher and all around helper.

After the gardening was all finished, Dale and Benjamin finished putting together my fantastic new sling swing. It is very comfortable. We tried it out for a few minutes after the mowing and picking up of garden tools was finished.

I was then summoned inside for a surprise. The children had been filtering by every so often, eyes sparkling, whispering cryptic messages about something in the house I couldn't see until the girls' said.

They made me close my eyes, but when we got in, at first, I didn't see much, except that they had mad a nice spinach and tomato salad, and corn to go with the homemade mac and cheese with hot dogs I had in the crock pot (hey Memere, don't you wish you were here?). Then I noticed several things.... the special floral arrangment on the table. So sweet!

But that wasn't all. They also swept really well, mopped, did some of the ironing, and folded all the laundry (and there was a mountain of it!). I had thought they spent their time just playing with Isaac, which would have been fine, but they took it upon themselves to go way above and beyond the call of duty. Everyone had a part, except Isaac. The slacker!

This morning I enjoyed coffee and Bible reading outside on the swing. It was so pleasant and peaceful. Esther, Caleb and Jersusha filtered out and joined me. It was fun to watch Mattan chase... whatever he was chasing. I think it was one of those white little pieces from the dandelion puffs, or his shadow, or his imagination... no ever claimed he was the brightest bulb in the package.

It was hard to tear myself away to start laundry and breakfast, but I was glad for that early morning time of refreshing.

Knowing the garden is all in is a wonderful feeling.. emotionally. Physically I am still healing up from my gardening marathon on Monday. Can you believe I still can't walk right? It's much better than it was. I may even be able to resume my exercising tonight.

We had a bit of a mystery here this morning. Dale was up and heard the cat meowing. Not a problem, but it was coming from outside. Mattan always comes in at night, and doesn't go out again until morning. Esther was up early to say hi to Dale, and he asked if she let the cat out this morning, to which she replied in the negative. He asked me about it and I had no clue, unless he was driving Benjamin crazy downstairs while he was trying to sleep and he let him out. Mattan was let back in, and after Dale left I was in the living room and I heard this rustling at the wood pile below the window. I looked out and it was Mattan! Okay, he is definitely getting out on his own. I could see it was by one of the windows in the rec area downstairs, so I went down to take a look.

It didn't take a rocket scientist to see what happened. The window was open, and there was a hole in the screen, big enough for Mattan to get his head through, which for a cat means that the rest of their body can get through. I don't care if he goes out, I just don't want unwanted "pets" coming in. So, I shut the window, and will tape up that hole later today.

A little while ago while I was making breakfast, Mattan came in with a smug look on his face. That superior attitude was due, I am very sure, to the fact that he thought HE was in control of when he got to go out again. Sure enough, after a quick snack and drink, I saw him go upstairs. He came back up in a few minutes with a very irritated look on his face and twitched his tail at me. I ignored him and continued scrambling eggs. He finally dropped the holy cat attitude and started meowing pleadingly at the door. I let him out.

Gotta keep those snotty cats in line, ya know. He went out long enough to get all wet from the dew and came back to lick himself off. Whadda wimp. Then he went back out.

Love the cat... but gotta say, he has a pea sized brain.

Note to the observant: You may see the time index as last night, but I actually posted this Friday morning. I started it last night, so the time index goes to when I saved the post. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sticker on the Rear Window

Dale sent me this email, and I had to post it. It will make you chuckle, but also shake your head.


This was this guy's first boat and he was taking it to the lake, but he wasn't quite sure of the correct procedure for launching a boat off a ramp.

However, he figured it couldn't be that difficult to do, so he stopped by his office for advice, and they just told him...

"Just don't let the trailer get too deep in the water when you're launching your boat, and you should be fine".

Well later on, he couldn't understand what they meant by that, as he just could barely get his trailer in the water!

Here's a picture worth a "thousand' words! Your gonna love this guy!!!
They walk among us, get married, have children and vote!

NOTE: The sticker on the rear window explains everything!!!

And you wonder why our country is in trouble?


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Rainy day means a great time to catch up on some baking. This morning we made a double batch of chocolate chip cookies, two rhubarb pies, and one strawberry pie.

Anyone want to come over tonight for dessert?

Oh, btw... before you get too excited, according to my Betty Crocker book, the rhubarb pie has a whopping 610 calories PER slice! I'll tell you what, we can eat dessert then do a 5 mile WATP workout with weights and work it all off. :)

Now I Know What My Grandfather Meant

I remember as kids, we would go visit my grandparents. I was always awed by what seemed like a perfect and HUGE garden my grandfather kept. I know perhaps my childlike perception at the time may have been a bit exaggerated, but it seemed like every plant was hale and healthy, and there was never even one little weed to be found. I also remember from time to time hearing my grandfather say, at the end of a day out in the garden, "OOOhhh, I'm all lamed up."

Today I know exactly what he meant.

Yesterday was a beautiful day to be outside, and for me, to be in the garden. We had planted peas last week, knowing they are pretty hardy and withstand any frosts at this point. Plus we started them from seed, so they are just barely now peeking their heads out of the soil.

I had several dozen other plants to transplant, and wasn't so confident they would survive a late frost, so we kept them in, and have been working on hardening them over the weekend. After much deliberation, research, and discussion with fellow gardeners over the weekend, I decided it was time to start getting them in the ground.

I won't give a blow by blow play of what all went on yesterday, but suffice it to say that we now have planted: tomatoes, peppers, onions, acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, pumpkins (not actually in the garden but elsewhere on the property where they will grow better hopefully), zucchini, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cucumbers, rhubarb, calalilies, and strawberries.

Yes, I said strawberries! We got some strawberry plants on a whim over the weekend, and a friend brought down a rototiller for us and we now have a little strawberry patch. Those of you who have seen the house, picture where the incineraters used to be. Those are gone (thankyousomuchNewYorkStatelaws... a whole soapbox for another post), and it is worked up into a little rectangle. You know I'm doing the goodie goodie dance. Well, not today, but I was.

Which brings me back to the beginning. I'm all lamed up. Even the muscles in my hands hurt. I think I can fully understand what my grandfather was talking about all those years ago. I also understand the little grin he had on his face when he said it. Yeah, I hurt, but it is a good hurt. It is the kind of ache that says I worked hard, and I can be satisfied with that.

Thank the Lord for the garden, although I wasn't saying that for a while. We have a very rocky garden, and that is an understatement. We haven't picked rock in a couple years because frankly, with the amount we breed here, it doesn't do any good, but it looks worse than it did last year, so next spring we'll pick rock. But digging and planting through the rocky soil is very hard, and you start feeling it right away.

I'm also thankful for the crock pot, and for using it for supper last night. I set it up when we came in at lunch time, and was so glad all we had to do was whip up a big salad and open up a couple jars of applesauce to go with the main dish: King Ranch Chicken. So good! So wonderful after a day of intense work.

Left to go into the garden are corn, green beans, and spinach. We also need to put the flowers in the memorial garden. I had Esther starting to clean it out yesterday but it is totally infested with ants and she couldn't work with them. I don't blame her! Dale got some stuff at Agway last night so I'll treat it when the rain stops and then we can get it cleaned up and looking nice.

Rain today and possibly tomorrow, so my only plans are to make a couple of rhubarb pies and work on piecing the back to Benjamin's quilt. The rhubarb was given to us Sunday, and I'm looking forward to a nice dinner tonight of spiral ham, red potatoes, veggies and pie for dessert!

Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY May 17th...

Outside my window... cloudy, sunny,cloudy, sunny.. you get the idea.

I am thinking... about many things: the new law against homebirthing in NY, a friend who is going thru a very hard time right now, and the schedule for the week.

I am thankful for... a day where I can plant!

From the learning rooms... on break.. finally!

From the kitchen... menu planning, shopping list making, and some tidying up before we head outside.

I am wearing... long denim skirt, t-shirt, and a light sweater.

I am creating... birthday surprises!

I am going... no where this week, but concentrating on trying to get yard work done between rain showers.

I am reading... An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott thru

I am hoping... to have the garden completely done by this weekend, if not sooner.

I am hearing... the littles playing, gentle noises from the kitchen of breakfast dishes, and some quite chit chat going on, oh,and of course, the washer going!

Around the house... Oh, there's always lots to do around here, but we will be outside a lot today. Tomorrow they are saying "rain" for the forecast, so we'll be working inside then.

One of my favorite things... Those moments of clarity when I can say "it is, what it is" and be perfectly content with that.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Other than getting the garden planted, we'll be finishing the mowing, working up the memorial garden and weeding the walkway at church, putting together the new picnic table and sling swing for outside. Whew! Then, during the "inside" times, working like crazy to finish my secret project!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...
So, pie or sauce? They both sound good to me!

For instructions and guidelines to the Simple Woman's Daybook go to:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Carpenter's Wheel Block

It's been a VERY long time since I worked on our fancy quilt. I had partially started the Carpenter's wheel block this past winter and got distracted/interupted by a child and never got back to it.

I finshed it off today, because I was unable to work on the secret project since a certain birthday boy was in most of the day.

Here is what it looks like, not squared up yet:

Peanut Butter Squares

Made these today for a church picnic tomorrow... they look delicious! Very simple to make, but certainly not diet friendly, so fair warning!

1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. butter or margarine
1/3 C. crunchy peanut butter (I used all natural)
1 egg
1 C. all purpose flour
1 C. regular oats (I used quick oats)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

Peanut butter frosting:
Mix 1 1/2 C. powdered sugar, 1/4 C. peanut butter, 3 tablespoons milk, and 3 Tablespoon baking cocoa.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix sugars, margarine, peanut butter and egg. Stir in flour, oats, baking soda and salt. Spread in greased rectangular 9 by 13 pan. Bake until golden brown, about 17 to 22 minutes.

Cool, and frost with Peanut Butter Frosting.

Cut into 48 squares; 85 calories per square.

Happy Birthday Benjamin!

I guess I don't have to worry about Benjamin turning 13. I never got used to that. Today he turns 14. Maybe I'll be able to wrap my ol' brain around that better. At least I have a year to get used to it.

Happy Birthday Benjamin!

So first thing when he got up I accosted him with a photo op. He's such a good sport. There was only mild protesting... "Mom.. .I just got up... my hair isn't even combed yet!" Love that spikey hair! Even without it he is plenty tall enough.

Normally I would just have a solo pic of the kid, but a dear friend of mine in Japan (hey Shellee, this is for you!) was commenting to me the other day on the phone how the pics of the kids are great, but if they aren't standing with Dale or me, then it is hard to see how tall they are getting.

So Shellee, how's the above pics for comparison?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Another Progress Report...

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Secret project update!!!!

I'm really excited about how the top turned out for this quilt! It is approx 53" by 75".

You can see, after the twins and I discussed the issue, we decided to go with both green and blue, the green being narrow because when you look at a photo of the earth there is tons more blue than green.

As I was considering what to do about the back, I realized I could peice the back using leftovers from the project, but there were a few calculations to do first.

I cut all the binding peices, then cut out for the window treatment and set them aside. I then cut out for his pillowcase and decided to just go ahead and sew that this morning. I used this tutorial for it. It went together in about an hour! I think it came out very nicely, if I do say so myself!

Next I will do up his simple little window treatment, then I'll know for sure what I have left to piece back. As for the quilting, I was going to do a stipple, but decided to just do a stitch in the ditch with a little outline quilting in the borders. Those NASA pics are too good to have any quilting lines over them!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Simple Pleasures

When I was young(er), there are certain things I never thought I would get excited about. For example... a new dryer, or a new washer, or a new vacuum cleaner. I would have thought anyone was insane that said "one day you'll do the goodie goodie dance over a new appliance".

Well, I have been known to do the goodie goodie dance over new appliances, new sets of keys, my turn to mow, and now.... I have a new ironing board!

I was so glad to dispose of my old board. It was dilapitated. It tilted downward. It wobbled while ironing. Didn't extend all the way so even someone short like me had to bend over a tad to do the ironing. The thing gave me 19 years of hard use, so who can complain?

Now I can iron with joy (!?!?!?!?!) on my new, sturdy, fully extendable ironing board.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flannel and Jeans... So Cute!

Some things just go together. Little girls and braids. Boys and overalls. Chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the oven and a glass of cold milk. Flannel shirt and jeans.

And of course, the smaller, the better. At least for kids. I couldn't resist getting a picture of Isaac in his little farmer boy type outfit today. Except, the little ham bone just wouldn't stay put! He kept zipping towards the camera before it would take the image.

Try number one:

Okay, take two....

Third time's a charm, right?
Maybe not...

If at first you don't succeed... have an older sibling distract him until the last second!

I may be a little (just a LITTLE) biased, but he is so stinkin' cute!

Secret Project Update

Progress is finally being made after a very hectic week and weekend. I'm starting to hit the panic button on this project! Benjamin's birthday is this Friday, but thankfully I don't have to have it done until our birthday bash for all the May birthdays on the 29th. So I can breath... but work like crazy to finish it.

Here is the top without borders (guess what I am working on today? LOL)

Here is one border fabric:

I will be using one of the solid colors you see in the quilt blocks for the second border, then I think that will be big enough to cover his bed respectably. I really like the rusty gold color. Any votes out there for the second border? I have plenty of the solids left to use. Maybe I should take a poll?

Originally the panels came in a kit. The border fabric was backing fabric. I chose, in true quilter form, to take that perfectly good fabric panel and chop it up and add to it, as shown above.

Anyway, Benjamin is outside with Dale right now putting together a sling swing for the lawn, so I had better finish getting the first border on.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Simple Project

I finished this dress, made from an Elizabeth Lee pattern late last week only to find when I tried it on it was WAY too long. So, I measured, shortened it, and here it is!

Isaac had to be in the pic. :)

Close up of me and the ankle-biter:

This dress is nursable. It has nursing openings on the sides, and an underlay that is very comfortable. On the outside it looks like your simple, run of the mill, A-line dress. I can see in a different picture I had my photographer do that I could fine tune the fitting by taking it in at the waist a bit. But overall I am happy with it. I can tell it is going to be a very comfortable, breezy, perfect summer dress.

Onward to the next thing! The girls all have A-line dresses cut out. Each is a different fabric, so no assembly line sewing for these. They do work up very quickly at least.

Have a great day!

Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY May 10th....

Outside my window... sunshine, but a heavy frost.

I am thinking... How nice it was to see a little bit of snow in the air yesterday. I'm weird, I know.

I am thankful for... a nice day to run some errands. Last time I had to take all the kids in a downpour.

From the learning rooms... Just a couple more book reports and then we are officially done, except for those who are working on something over the summer.

From the kitchen... Oatmeal is being made, and menu planning.

I am wearing...Olive green courderoy knit skirt, matching embroidered fleece pullover.

I am creating... more picture files on the computer. It's been a while since I emptied the camera!

I am going... to the dentists with all the kids for Josiah's appointment this morning, and possibly grocery shopping.

I am reading... An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.

I am hoping... to sneak in lots of sewing time this week!

I am hearing... quiet noises of the children getting up and dressed, and the happy hum of the washer and dryer.

Around the house... The usual for laundry, picking up, and projects going on.

One of my favorite things... Coffee. First cup of the day.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Watching the weather to see when I can put out my little plants, church spring cleaning on Saturday, mowing the lawn, and possible meeting up with a long lost friend later in the week!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... )

One sleepy little boy....

For guidelines go to:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A "Happy Birthday" and "Happy Mother's Day" !

Yesterday my twins turned 12.

Wait, that can't be right. 12???? Nooooo... lemme think a second here. Weren't they JUST little screaming mimi's? Wasn't it just last week I had to "sun" them to get rid of their jaundice? Little sweet bundles of joy, sunbathing in their diapers and car seats? Wasn't it just a few days ago they learned how to walk, crawl, run? It seems like yesterday they spoke their first word, or for the first time said "I wuv you, Mama".

12? Can't be.

Can it?

Happy Birthday Esther and Elizabeth!

Also want to wish all the wonderful Mama's out there a Happy Mother's Day, and share this cute little email received recently:


Somebody said it takes about six weeks to get back
to normal after you've had a baby..... somebody
doesn't know that once you're a mother,
'normal' is history.

* * *

Somebody said you learn how to be a mother by
instinct ... somebody never took a three-year-old shopping.

* * *

Somebody said being a mother is boring ....
somebody never rode in a car driven by a teenager with a driver's permit.


Somebody said if you're a'good' mother,
your child will 'turn out good'....
somebody thinks a child comes with
directions and a guarantee.

* * *

Somebody said you don't need an education to be a
mother.... somebody never helped a fourth grader
with his math.

* * *

Somebody said you can't love the second child as
much as you love the first .... somebody doesn't
have two children.

* * *

Somebody said the hardest part of being a mother
is labor and delivery....
somebody never watched her 'baby' get on the bus
for the first day of kindergarten ...
or on a plane headed for military 'boot camp.'

* * *

Somebody said a mother can stop worrying after her
child gets married....somebody doesn't know that
marriage adds a new son or daughter-in-law to a
mother's heartstrings.

* * *

Somebody said a mother's job is done when
her last child leaves home....
somebody never had grandchildren.

* * *

Somebody said your mother knows you love her, so
you don't need to tell her....
somebody isn't a mother.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Expect the Unexpected and some FO's

Yesterday morning, just before lunch, Dale came home unexpectedly from work. I asked if he was feeling worse ( he is sporting a head cold ) and he said "No". I then asked "Did you get fired?". The answer was "Nope". Apparently things are exceedingly slow right now at work so he got sent home until Monday. Ah, the joys of being a temp! So glad to have him home!

Today we unexpectedly took a trip to Lowe's for some gardening supplies. That took longer than expected because we were looking into a picnic table and one of those sling swing things. I've been wanting one of those since before Benjamin was born. We looked over some options and decided that Dale would go back tomorrow with the van minus the family so he can fit those huge boxes in.

On the way home there was an unexpected detour, so it took longer. By then it was getting past our regular lunch time and we were all hungry.

When we got home there was an unpleasant and unexpected phone message. One of the older gentleman in the church passed away and the funeral director was calling to see if Dale was available to help with the funeral on Friday. Dale is off now visiting the widow, after returning the phone call.

In the midst of all the surprises in the last 24 hours or so, I did manage to finish up the girls' culottes. I am now working on finishing up my nursing A-line dress. Here is a pic of the three girls, then just a pic of Esther so the pleats are more visible:

Have a great day ya'll!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Blip of Random Thoughts

I often wonder what the purpose of my ramblings are here. I don't think anyone but a few family members really care about the trivial matters of our lives, and rightfully so. This blog is geared towards my age (young, that is.. grin!) mama's and crafting. More emphasis on the crafting these days I know. It isn't that I don't do anything else, but I just don't think that recording those things are interesting to anyone. However, I have gotten a few very kind comments about enjoying "sharing" my day through the blogging process, so with some reservations, here is just a mindless flow of random thoughts.

First of all, the day today started out wonderful. It is MUCH cooler, and it was gray and dark, so all the kids slept in. I got in some extra Bible reading time, had two untinterupted cups of coffee, and even worked on some hand quilting while awaiting the masses to appear. All I had to listen to was the early birds chirping. Even the cat was sane.

It got me to thinking (yes I do that occasionally) how rare such a relaxing morning is. Like everyone else, we lead a busy life. Not so much "on the go" but just general busyness around the homestead. Right now we are in a lull before a frenzy of activity. School is almost over for everyone. Elizabeth had her last official day yesterday, and ended her school work with a nice little book report on Hildago, a book we read together in read aloud time. She loved the true tale of Frank Hopkins, and his mustang, Hildago and the legendary ride across the dessert.

The others who are doing book reports are almost done, and needing to finish their final drafts and then I'll check them over. Then, that's it. We're done until August. I'll have the last quarter reports to do, and file away portfolios, but as far as the kids go, they will get a break.

I have reservations about the non-school part of the year. I like the routine of having school because once we get into it, things seem to flow along quite well, though it keeps us busy.

However, with the absence of the schooling schedule, I am enjoying some nice, slower paced mornings. I don't have to jump on the computer right away to look up this or that for whatever unit study or lap book we are doing. I don't have a pile of corrections. There is more "free" time.

For now.

The lull isn't going to last long, because very soon we will be engrossed in gardening and general yard work. Also, the parsonage is being painted this month, and the big picture window in the living room is being replaced, along with the basement windows at church. The wood for next winter will be arriving soon, and then let the stacking begin. Our mornings will get busy again, and into a routine, so for now, I am trying to convince myself that this lull is a good thing, but I have to admit that I feel a little like we are in limbo.

In the last couple of weeks the kids have been getting check ups at the dentist. Most of them got by without incident. Josiah has two small cavities that will be taken care of next week. Benjamin, we found out, has two premolars that haven't descended because adult teeth are in the way. Braces are in the very near future for him. It was either that, or pull the adult teeth. I figured he is too young to start pulling teeth out, though getting him to do his chores sometimes is very much like it.

Caleb has a small jaw, teeth packed close together, but the dentist said they looked very clean and beautiful, and to just make sure he flosses well between the teeth. However, something surprising to me, apparently Caleb is tongue tied! 8 years old, and I never knew it. He was always a good nurser, so I never thought to check. He has a slight speech impediment, but I credited him having a pacifier with that. Apparently it has more to do with his being tongue tied. It isn't severe, obviously, but I think I will look into some speech therapy for him and see if that helps.

The weather over the weekend was hot and humid. Too early in the year for that, if you ask me. Thankfully, this morning is nice and cool and just gorgeous. Tomorrow is supposed to be back up in the 80's, but I'll worry about that tomorrow. At least the humidity is down again, so 80's doesn't seem too bad, as long as the dewpoint behaves itself.

On the crafting front (you knew I had to get to this, didn't you?), the culottes for the girls are about finished. I would have had them done yesterday, but needed elastic, which my wonderful husband picked up for me on the way home last night. I plan on finishing them today and hopefully getting a pic up tomorrow.

I also started on a nursing A-line dress from an Elizabeth Lee pattern. It is going together very quickly. I think I could have made it a size smaller, but overall, it looks good.

The secret project is coming along well. I worked on it over the weekend while a certain son of mine was out playing baseball, and made some good progress. If the sun comes out later and he goes outside then I'll work on it some more.

Today I am cooking some dry beans and putting them in the freezer. We had a nice spiral ham last night for supper, and I'm using the leftovers to make mini fritattas. I've never tried these before but saw the recipe in a magazine at the Dentist's and it looked easy and yummy. We'll see how it comes out! Also on today's "to do", the kids are going through their clothes (starting to anyway), and big surprise... I'm sewing as much as possible!

Well, now that I have typed this all out, I need to go check on the sleepy head Isaac and wake him up so his sleeping schedule doesn't get totally thrown off. Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY May 3rd.... How can it be May already???

Outside my window... after a few days of very unseasonably warm (HOT) and humid days, it is gray, rainy, damp, but at least cooler.

I am thinking... of what I can have the children do this long day of being indoors.

I am thankful for... a child's creative mind.

From the learning rooms... book reports being worked on, and just a few little odds and ends. I'll be sorry to see this term come to an end, but the kids and I all need a little break from formal schooling.

From the kitchen... bread making, ham thawing, and soaking beans to cook to put in the freezer.

I am wearing... chocolate colored tiered skirt, and earthy tone green shirt.

I am going... to get some pea seeds planted this week.. I hope!

I am reading... An Old fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott.

I am hoping... to get a lot of sewing done today.

I am hearing... the happy hum of the washer, and the gentle noises of chores being done.

Around the house... so much I want to do, sewing is taking priority today. I am doing the menu and shopping lists first though.

One of my favorite things... feeling the cool night air come in the window of a long, hot and busy day, and hearing the peepers peeping.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Sewing (big surprise), planting peas and hopefully potatoes.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Guidelines for the Simple Woman's Daybook can be found here: