Monday, June 21, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY June 21st... Happy First Day of Summer... also the longest day of the year!

Outside my window...Sun shining brightly, and it promises to be a nice hot summer day.

I am thinking... I need to be organized this afternoon because of VBS tonight at a "sister" church we are going to participate in.

I am thankful for... Our new AC that works REALLY well!

From the learning rooms... On break from "formal" learning.

From the kitchen... Menu planning, grocery list making, and trying to figure out something quick and easy and healthy for supper tonight.

I am wearing... chocolate brown 3 tiered skirt, and laramie red t-shirt.

I am creating... Swimsuits... it's neverending I tell ya.

I am going... to take the age appropriate kids to VBS tonight.

I am reading... Starting "Under the Lilacs" by Louisa May Alcott today.

I am hoping... to get lots of sewing done today!

I am hearing... bickering... already... sigh...

Around the house... laundry, weeding, sewing, and some fun in the pool.

One of my favorite things... the early morning dew on my bare toes.

A few plans for the rest of the week: More of the same... garden, pool, sewing, and looking forward to a visit from grandma and grandpa!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

For guidelines to participate in the Simple Woman's daybook:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Is This Big Enough For You?

It is for me!

What am I talking about? Well, since our big AC has been installed downstairs, we were left with an empty window upstairs in the living room. For weeks Dale and I have been talking about how big of a unit we need to do the kitchen and living room. Dale has done quite a bit of reconaisance and last night came home with this:

Not the cutie-patootie sitting on top, just what he is sitting on. I took one look at it and got excited and then looked at our windows. My dubious look prompted Dale to say, "don't worry, a lot of it is packing. I measured before I bought it."

Uh huh.

This AC unit weighs as much as Benjamin does. Dale had to get a bracket to help support it. It has a whopping 15,1000 BTU rating. Whoooey! That should keep the heat at bay.

If we ever get some. Seriously, I'm not crazy about summer personally, but the last couple days has been cool enough to wear a sweatshirt. All fine and dandy. But it is funny to see our pool up and ready to go, and our next door neighbor having smoke out of his chimney from running the woodstove.

Today is sunny, and supposed to hit 83. In fact, we are supposed to be in the mid to high 80's for about 10 days. I think summer has arrived!

Today we have a ton of errands to run in the afternoon. Benjamin has an eye appointment. The office just happens to be around the corner from JoAnn fabrics, so we are stopping there to pick up some elastic for those swim suits I made the girls, and get some fabric for the boys swim "pants". Somehow the boys didn't trust me to pick it out for them. What's up with that? I also need to get some tan fabric for a lap quilt for the Fibers of Faith project I am working on. Then there is the miscellaneous list that I will probably go to Target for, since it is in the same area. At any rate, this afternoon will be busy to say the least.

Meanwhile this morning we have been making bread, marinating chicken for grilling tonight, measuring the boys so I know how much fabric to get, doing laundry, picking up, and I'm about to go work on some sewing. Yesterday was such a laid back day with the the cooler temperatures and gray skies, and today feels so sunny and energetic. Hopefully my stamina will hold out!

Have a blessed day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another Swim Suit Done!

Here is Esther's swim suit I finished today just in time for naptime! It is so cool and cloudy today, it is hard to even think about going swimming. However, looking at the forcast, starting tomorrow it looks very summer-y!

I had to take her picture about a dozen times. Just smile naturally for crying out loud! Then I realized there was a major glare from the glass in the big picture behind here from the overhead light. I had to do it all over....

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Summer Activities

No, we haven't fallen off the face of the earth. We have been pleasantly busy. The garden is doing well, and I think we have a handle on the weeds for the most part. Everything looks good!

The biggest happening this week is the official opening up of the pool. Yesterday was the first day the kids were in it. Some of them. Benjamin opted out. So did I, which meant Isaac did too. I don't have a thermometer for the pool, but it was probably just a couple degrees above freezing. Okay, that is an exaggeration, but it was COLD! No way I was going in. I think I will give it a few days to warm up before I take the plunge (pun intended).

Elizabeth however, has no fear of cold water and literally jumped in with only a slight hesitation for bracing herself against the cold. As usual, she was the first on in, and the last one out. Esther joined her, but much more slowly, working her way into the water a little bit at a time. Josiah and Caleb also played in the pool for a while, as did Jerusha who kept getting out and getting back in, flitting back and forth from the sunshine to the water. I made them get out when they started turning blue.

Another fun activity they are doing is joining the Barnes and Noble reading program. Click here to find out more details. They read 8 books, filling out this form we got at the local B & N. 8 books? That is all? They started reading Saturday, and all of them are done. Anyway, we bring the form back, signed by the parents (oh, that's me!) and they get to pick a free book for an assortment that has been advertised, using a cupon on the filled out form. A good way to get a free book!

Besides the weeding, there has been a little bit of wood stacking, and Dale has been doing some odds and ends around the house, like setting up the big AC unit downstairs, and looking into getting one for the new living room windows.

For fun we have the usual kick ball, base ball, basket ball, swimming, bike riding, Wii time, and general hanging out.

I have been plowing through some sewing, so if you haven't seen me online recently, you know why. ;) I have been making swim suits for the girls. I can't say I have completely finished them yet as I need some elastic and I ran out of thread for Elizabeth's suit while doing the hem. Here is a picture of her suit, unfinished hem and all. LOL....

Here is one I made for my friend's daughter... her leggings are made from the same material as the main part of the suit. Again... I need some elastic! A trip to Joann's is scheduled for tomorrow or Friday. We need some craft stuff for certain Father's day gifts that we have been planning. Ahem... that is top secret though, but I'll post pics next week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY June 14th...

Outside my window... gray and gloomy day

I am thinking...I have too many projects to do, and I need to prioritize them!

I am thankful for... less humid, cooler, cloudy days.

From the learning rooms... On break!

From the kitchen... Menu planning, grocery list making.

I am wearing... my A-line blue flowered nursing dress.

I am creating... swim suits for the girls.

I am going... out for some crafting supplies for the kids later in the week.

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

I am hoping... the water in the pool warms up enough by this weekend so the kids don't turn blue!

I am hearing... the happy hum of the washer and dryer, and dishes being washed in the kitchen, birds chirping outside.

Around the house... the usual for a Monday... Laundry, general picking up, etc.

One of my favorite things... knowing the garden is caught up... for 10 minutes at least! How can weeds grow so well in such a rocky garden?

A few plans for the rest of the week: Sewing spree week as much as possible. Time to get serious about this summer/spring list!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

Caleb, about 4 years ago!

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

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A "Homey" Kind of Day

Yesterday was a very rainy, very gray, very drowsy day. We had a nice gentle rain all day, sometimes getting heavier, but it was just what our thirsty garden needed. Of course, if the vegetables benefited, then you know the weeds did as well, so today I am hoping to get some weeding done before the next bout of rain, which probably won't be too long in coming, judging by the looks of the clouds rolling in.

It is going to be a homey type of day for the most part. Our lives really aren't that interesting, but here is an example of how one of our regular spring days might go.

First off is Bible reading. Everyone that can read in the least is trained to do it as soon as they get up.

One of my favorite things is getting up early to enjoy the quietude before the three ring circus starts for the day. I love to have coffee first thing, along with my Bible reading. Some mornings I go out on the swing and just enjoy the birds making their early morning calls to each while they look for breakfast, and the warmth of the early morning sunshine as it comes over the ridge. So peaceful!

I don't know why, but serious coffee drinkers have a "favorite" mug. The above has been mine for a long time. I was alarmed to see a hairline crack down the side of it this morning. It still holds the coffee in, thankfully!

Usually for breakfast we have oatmeal or eggs. Saturdays are pancake days for the most part. This morning I had nonfat yogurt and strawberries. So healthy and delicious!

Our tasks today are easy to list.

Laundry: a never ending task around here....

That load was going to go outside to be hung on the lines, but it suddenly looked like rain, so I threw it in the dryer. I love the smell of the laundry after it has hung out to dry!

I am cooking some pinto beans this morning as well. Around lunchtime I'll cut up the leftover ham from dinner the other night, some veggies, and put some cheese in it and viola! we have a yummy meal in the crock pot ready for us whenever we want.

Also today we will be working in the garden. We are finally entering a maintenance routine, though I am still trying to "find" all our pea plants. For now I have granted them extended life, as there may be enough for us to enjoy some fresh peas, though I don't think there will be enough to freeze any. The plants didn't do well starting out. Whether due to dryness, or too warm when we planted them (hard to believe after all these cool days we have been having!) or the weeds have choked them out, I don't know. I contemplated just tilling up the whole patch and planting some more corn, but I think we'll just let the peas be and see what happens.

At some point today we are going to get in some music practice. It has been sorely neglected since school was done, and gardening took over. Last Sunday Benjamin and I did a piano/violin duet, and made me realize we need to get back on a regular practice schedule.

After that long post about swim suit fabric, I received the fabric for the twins' suits in the mail yesterday. Wow! I was surprised. I had just bought it Monday. Impressive delivery time, for sure! I checked the fabric and .... it's PERFECT! I have my friend's daughter's all cut out so I'll whip hers up then do the twins'. For a simple, easy, quick project, there have been a lot of mishaps, mistakes, and frustrations, and I haven't even made one stitch on them yet! I hope the rest of the project goes smoothly.

In the evenings after supper we do family devotions, I do my exercising, kitchen clean up is done, and sometimes we play Wii together. After the younger ones are in bed I get a shower and get out some knitting to do while sitting around with Dale.

Not the most exciting type of life, but I like it. :) Not everyday is the same of course, but that is just a little glimpse of what some of our days are like.

Now... on to the "to do" list for me! Have a blessed day!


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blink of an Eye

And just like "that", two decades have passed. That is when Dale and I met. Yesterday was our 19th anniversary.


I could be classified as an old married woman now, but frankly, I still feel like a young chick with rice still in my hair. For the record, Dale is 6 years older than me. Hehehehhee. Seriously, he looks younger than he is. He says it's the kids. They keep him young.

We "celebrated" with a special dinner here at home. We fed the kids earlier with a healthy (not) meal of hot dogs, french fries and peas. At least there was a vegetable. While I started baths, Dale fired up the grill. After all the little gremlins were placed in front of the TV downstairs with a tape in (yes, we fed them junk food then put them in front of the idiot box all in one evening. Gasp. They were growing too fast and getting too smart anyway.) Dale and I had grilled steaks, french fries, spinach salad, and peas for supper. Alone.

Well, sort of. Unless you don't count Jerusha coming up every 5 seconds to ask what we were doing. At one point she just kind of hovered for a while before we shoo'd her away. I think the tape the others were watching was over her head. Benjamin was in the living room being the baby sitter, so we sent her in there. Dale said "don't worry about her... she's just the busboy." Ha! All she did was hover, stare, and didn't clear anything. Definitely no tip for her.

We had cheesecake for dessert. No, I didn't make it. Dale picked up a sampler cheesecake from Aldi. It was very good. No, I didn't count calories. That is illegal when eat cheesecake on your anniversary.

We did have a good evening though, and enjoyed some conversation for a change. Although Dale did say next year for our 20th, we are going out to Olive Garden. I told him I wanted to go out on an Alaskan cruise. When he was done laughing me to scorn we exchanged gifts.

He got me a couple books by Tim LaHaye. It is a new series he and Jenkins are doing. They are going through each of the gospels, writing them from the author's view. It is based on the Bible, but written in a "fictional" type story line. Maybe not fictional, but it isn't just a dry account of the events. There is much more included. Through the story they incorporate customs, and living styles, and the general ebb and flow of daily life 2,000 years ago. I love that sort of thing... the stories of how things used to be and how people lived long ago, so I am looking forward to reading these books. Dale got me the first two books, John and Mark.

For Dale's gift I made him chocolate covered strawberries. He was impressed, and I hesitantly told him how very easy they are to make. He has seen them advertised here and there for a small fortune. Maybe we are in the wrong business, eh?

Anniversary aside, we have been very busy gardening. I think we have pretty much caught up and can transition into a "maintenance" rotation. I am still trying to find the peas. It is a very slow process because of the weeds. They are thick, and the same height as the plants. But what little I am uncovering, I'm wondering if it is a lost cause. There are huge gaps in the rows that make me wonder if it is even worth it at this point. The rest of the garden looks hale and healthy, though I think someone accidentally planted rock seeds. With all the rocks we have you wouldn't think anything would grow!

The sewing has been .... frustrating. I altered and copied a modest swim suit pattern I bought early in the spring. No problem there. I had ordered fabric from Chez Ami a while back when they were having a huge sale. Something I found out: not all swim suit fabric is equal. I was very disappointed with some of the fabric, I have to say. It was a woven, instead of a stretch. The pattern I have for the swim wear depends on the 75% or so stretch you get from the 4 way stretch lycra. Most of what I got didn't have it, and by the time I realized it, most of it was cut out.

It isn't a total loss. While there is NO way the girls can squeeze into the bodice pieces, I set all the cut out pieces aside for next year for Jerusha. I think if I put a little zipper in the backs, she can use them. If not, then at least I didn't pay and arm and a leg for the fabric. Thankfully, the fabric my friend's daughter picked out is perfect for swim wear, and I can go ahead and make her suit. Jerusha's original fabric is woven as well, but since I hadn't cut it out yet, I can adjust the pattern to allow for the "no stretchiness" of the fabric.

Yesterday the girls and I picked out some more fabric on Ebay, and you can bet I made sure it was 4 way stretch, and not woven fabric.

It is rainy and very cool here today, thankfully. I am finishing up quarterly reports to send out later, and then I'll get back to work on Rebekah's swim suit. She is very tall and slender. I'll probably have to add a couple of inches to the length of her suit, but that is an easy fix.

Have a blessed day!

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY June 7th...

Outside my window... Sunny and much cooler than it has been! We got some much needed rain yesterday, too, thankfully.

I am thinking... today is a great gardening day... cool, and the soil is soft from the rain.

I am thankful for... 19 wonderful years of marriage to Dale. Our Anniversary is tomorrow. :)

From the learning rooms... On break!

From the kitchen... Bread making, and thoawing out a spiral ham for supper.

I am wearing... broomstick skirt and matching t-shirt.

I am creating... the menu for this week.

I am going... to Joann's later this week to get elastic for the girls' swim wear, and fabric for the boys' swim wear.

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

I am hoping... to get the girls' swim suits cut out this afternoon.

I am hearing... Way too much fooling around for children who are supposed to be doing chores.

Around the house... Laundry, general picking up, and gardening.

One of my favorite things... see my pic below. :D

A few plans for the rest of the week: a special dinner for Dale and I tomorrow, and a trip to JoAnn's, and getting our pool set up.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing...

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

Sunday, June 6, 2010

A Quote That I Read Today

This part of a poem by Robert Browning has stuck with me all evening... maybe it will speak to someone else as well!

"At times I almost dream
I too have spent a life the sages' way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
Ages ago; and in that act a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted out -- not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it remain,
Dim memories, as now, when once more seems
The goal in sight again."

~from "Paracelsus" by Robert Browning


Saturday, June 5, 2010

Another Project to Cross off the To-Do List

I finished Esther's A-line dress this morning. I was hoping to finish it yesterday but we were in the garden all day, and I was too pooped to sew after supper. It didn't take long to complete.

Close up of the "fancy" stitching:

My three beautiful daughters in a recap of their dresses photo op:

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Not a Total Sloth

I finished Elizabeth's A-line dress tonight. It was already cut out and ready to go, and Jerusha's dress was almost all the way finished before I worked on it this morning, so if you are thinking... "wow, she made two dresses in one day!", think again. LOL.

Here is my beautiful Elizabeth: (btw... she picked out the fabric. At least I'll be able to pick her out of crowd.)

A close up of the fun stitching:

Poke Me, Please

I'm so unmotivated today. I have been impersonating a slug for most of the morning.

It's Dale's fault.


He came home from work early yesterday and said he didn't have to go back in until Monday.

So now my brain is on "vacation" mode and thinks I don't have anything to do.

Now that that birthday bash is past, I have a TON to do. Like... finding the garden amongst all the weeds. We got an excellent start to it yesterday, but it is rainy today, so we are staying indoors for the most part. Personally, I feel like I could just sprawl out with a book and nap and read all day, if there weren't all these little interrupters around. :)

I also have a nice long "Hurry UP!" sewing list going. Simple, A-line play dresses for the girls, swim suits for everyone (except Dale, who won't take off his sneakers, much less take a dip in the pool), and curtains for the little boys' room. I just finished Jerusha's A-line dress. It was easy-peasy. Great for a lazy day, for sure!

Here are some close ups of the fancy stitching: (Hopefully they look better here than they did on my hard drive!)

Okay... back to sewing for me.

Or maybe a nap.


If you Home School, Please Read!

This is a great read and WELL worth your time. Grab a cup of tea/coffe/ice water.... whatever you want... and enjoy.

Thatmom's post on minimalist homeschooling

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY June 1st....

Outside my window... rainy and cooler temperatures for today at least.. yay!

I am thinking... There isn't enough caffiene in the house for today.

I am thankful for... a fantastic, albeit busy, weekend with friends and family.

From the learning rooms... On break!

From the kitchen... Menu planning

I am wearing... my blue print A-line dress I made a couple weeks ago.

I am creating... a shopping list, and a "to do" list for today and tomorrow.

I am going... to take everyone to the dentist's for Josiah's appointment later this morning.

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

I am hoping... to get a nap later.

I am hearing... soft chitter chatter from the kids.

Around the house... laundry to fold, general picking up, recovery mode from the holiday weekend.

One of my favorite things... the sound of the early morning birds outside getting their breakfast.

A few plans for the rest of the week: sending in the paperwork from our last term, catching up on the weeding in the garden, back to the usual ebb and flow of life.

Here are a couple of pictures I am sharing...
The effects of a busy weekend with too many late nights:

For guidelines to participate in the Simple Womans Daybook:


It has been a whirlwind weekend in many ways. Thursday we cleaned some. We only did the basics as it was too hot to do much more. My mom arrived Thursday afternoon for a long weekend visit. Friday was hot again, but we finished up the cleaning,and I did some baking in the morning. We spent the afternoon with the sprinkler, ice water, and some company from up the street. This family has two little girls that are friends with Jerusha and I had invited them to come by Friday for a visit.

Saturday was the Birthday Bash. It was a beautiful day, a bit cooler than Thursday and Friday, but sunny and perfect for being outside. Well, some of us spent it indoors in the Urgent Care center.

Poor Caleb missed several hours of his own party after he stepped on a board outside. The board didn't bother him, but the nail sticking up out of it did. It was an impressive puncture wound that really hurt, so I took him up to have it checked. He got it irrigated, received a tetanus shot, and a prescription for antibiotics. Usually the Urgent Care Center is a pretty quick "in and out" but it seems like everyone was there! Since it was a holiday weekend, only two doctors were working, and that slowed everything down.

When we got back to the house, we ate a hasty, very late, barbecue lunch, had dessert with everyone (they opted to wait for us), and then Caleb opened his presents. Thankfully, the rest of the evening went well.

Oh, and for the record, I finished Benjamin's quilt a couple of days ahead of time, and he LOVES it!

Here are a few pics of the finished product:

Sunday was hot again, but we were in church and the house wasn't bad from a nice cool night with window fans running. Monday was hot again, and we were lazy and didn't do much, though I did get through a TON of laundry and some knitting.

One of the gifts the kids got was a new Wii game... Mario Kart, or something like that. So we have been having fun in the evenings playing. That has made for a couple of late nights for everyone, but we are getting back to our regular routines now.

Today Dale is back at work, and my Mom left, and we are jumping back in to the "real life" schedule by going to the dentist. Josiah has an appointment to fill a cavity. It is rainy and much cooler, and a great day to make sure all the littles (and one tired Mama) get in a good nap in the afternoon.

Tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and hot again, but we need to get out to the neglected garden and do some serious weeding. Meanwhile, we are catching up on laundry folding, picking up, and my sewing pile that was shoved aside for making Benjamin's quilt.

Back to the grindstone for us!